Thursday, September 19, 2013

Science: the religion that must not be questioned


It's time for the priesthood to be taken to task
 – and journalists aren't up to the job

Henry Gee Senior Editor of Nature: "Scientific experiments don't end with a Holy Grail so much as an estimate of probability. The Truth, with a capital T, is forever just beyond one's grasp"
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I actually found this interesting and so familiar. I wrote something almost identical a while back based on similar findings and observations of my own. After being at odds much of my life with religious leaders over controversial subjects, I found that most all of the dogmatism of conventional religion has become the mirror image script of choice championed by those claiming not to be religious. Incredibly, the very Secular elements now in charge of worldview promotion, who claim to have replaced religion and appointed themselves as the official mouth piece for Science, seem to have torn the pages right directly out of the Christendom playbook for making their case. I wrote about this earlier in a piece I called,  
A Paradigm Shift (revolutionary science) or More of the Same ?
 Below are a few choice quotes from Henry Gee's article today, but I'll leave the link to his article at the bottom. Ironically, the readers and commenters of his article who vehemently disagreed with him actually make his case for the subject in their zealot styled comments as would any good Church defender. Dir-Hard religious zealots are a scary bunch to face. I know, I've been at odds with the historical conventional religious zealots most of my life. Who would have thought a future Secular version would have appeared promoting themselves as the "Change", but yet steal pages from the old Christendom Hierarchical Ecclesiastical Structure playbook and accept them as their own ? Here are some selected paragraph quotes below:
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"One thing that never gets emphasised enough in science, or in schools, or anywhere else, is that no matter how fancy-schmancy your statistical technique, the output is always a probability level (a P-value), the “significance” of which is left for you to judge – based on nothing more concrete or substantive than a feeling, based on the imponderables of personal or shared experience. Statistics, and therefore science, can only advise on probability – they cannot determine The Truth. And Truth, with a capital T, is forever just beyond one’s grasp." 
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"None of this gets through to the news pages. When pitching a science story to a news editor, a science correspondent soon learns that the answer that gets airtime is either “yes”, or “no”. Either the Voyager space probe has left the solar system, or it hasn’t. To say that it might have done and attach statistical caveats is a guaranteed turn-off. Nobody ever got column inches by saying that Elvis has a 95% probability of having left the building." 
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"Why do we (it’s the royal we this time, do please try to keep up at the back) demand such definitive truths of science, but are happy to have all other spheres of human activity wallow in mess and muddle?"
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"I think it goes back to the mid-20th century, especially just after the second world war, when scientists – they were called “boffins” – gave us such miracles as radar, penicillin and plastics; jet propulsion, teflon, mass vaccination and transistors; the structure of DNA, lava lamps and the eye-level grill. …"
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This last quoted paragraph is very illustrative of the consequences of anyone who deviates from the conventional norm regarding today's religious faith in Science as the modern day infallible cure for all that ails mankind. In that sense they've claimed to have replaced conventional religion with the new enlightened secular version. (Europe's present failure should be a clue to it's failures). But take a look at the conclusion of the article. READ: (source)
"Why is this? The answer, I think, is that those who are scientists, or who pretend to be scientists, cling to the mantle of a kind of religious authority. And as anyone who has tried to comment on religion has discovered, there is no such thing as criticism. There is only blasphemy."
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Wikipedia
Again the zealotry and intolerant attitude by those claiming to be the defenders of Science is more reflective of a conventional evangelical fervor from the Dark Age past, as opposed to the much advertised newer enlightened world of open minded free-thinkers. One of the more humorous aspects Free-Thought Gang is that you are free to think what you wish as long as it conforms with the prevailing belief system of the collective. Think outside their version of the new intellectual box and you are figuratively burned at the stake with all manner of insults, sarcasm, vulgarity and character assassination which was once the hallmark of Dark Ages Inquisition promoters they claim to have replaced. Such behavior has become the new popular way for discussing science now days. Many are card carrying members of that ever so popular site: "I F@#%ing Love Science" club. I like to illustrate it this way. Back when I use to visit some of those popular time wasting combat forum websites, if one individual from the collective detected in any way that your thinking or emotions weren't in line with prevailing dogma, they'd almost point the finger and shriek almost creepy genetically engineered Pig Squeal reminiscent of that remake of the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" staring Donald Sutherland. Remember that freaky sound ? And once one member chimes off, it alerts the rest of the cult-like followers to chime in as well. Disagree with the cult leader in any way and the squealing from other members begins. Some things have clearly got to change and the Earth's bad leadership has to definitely be removed, but this new age gang isn't the answer. I appreciate I'm probably not scoring many points with either side of the ideologue aisle here, but it is never the less my personal opinion. Seriously, please ponder this!


 Okay now, let's see how many out there Squeal, alert others in the herd and make my case.
A Paradigm Shift (revolutionary science) or More of the Same ?

2 comments:

  1. YES! Thanks for this post; though I didn't graduate with a science degree, I started with one as my major...and I think science needs to inform the art of design, not the other way. I'm always applying scientific principle and being open to learning / applying more...few do that, it seems.

    The free thought police are not into freedom, any more than those they criticize. The media...talk about not free, in any way! Those within it who do report without a bias cannot get very far, and the public parrots the cult leader du jour. The horticultural old guard (HOG) I dealt with in that other place was the same...and 2 of the main influencers had English degrees, not design or geography, nor knowledge of arid region horticulture. Forums..sheesh! Cult leaders are quite the spawn.

    Yes, a paradigm shift is needed! In my field, it seems the Internet and so much new (old) information and inspiration are growing way beyond the control of the cult leaders:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love science as a tool, but am not blinded by it as a religion which seems to be the latest later day paradigm. Lately I've been writing more in my Earth's Internet blog than over here. No one seems interested anymore in simple easy going fun things to do in life, like gardening, landscaping, family outings etc.

      Anyway, Thanks for the comments. I look at nature from an engineering perspective to be studied and replicated. Not something to be forced or altered to meet some monetary needs. Although nothing wrong with making a living with plants. Mostly, I'm disgusted with the Industrial Scientific Ventures which are ruining this planet and the scientific community which goes along with them for a price.

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