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Friday, November 30, 2018

Even fake science is unreproducible

The most famous experiments in psychology are no more reproducible than flipping a coin:
Over the past few years, an international team of almost 200 psychologists has been trying to repeat a set of previously published experiments from its field, to see if it can get the same results. Despite its best efforts, the project, called Many Labs 2, has only succeeded in 14 out of 28 cases. Six years ago, that might have been shocking. Now it comes as expected (if still somewhat disturbing) news.

In recent years, it has become painfully clear that psychology is facing a “reproducibility crisis,” in which even famous, long-established phenomena—the stuff of textbooks and ted Talks—might not be real. There’s social priming, where subliminal exposures can influence our behavior. And ego depletion, the idea that we have a limited supply of willpower that can be exhausted. And the facial-feedback hypothesis, which simply says that smiling makes us feel happier.

One by one, researchers have tried to repeat the classic experiments behind these well-known effects—and failed. And whenever psychologists undertake large projects, like Many Labs 2, in which they replicate past experiments en masse, they typically succeed, on average, half of the time.

Ironically enough, it seems that one of the most reliable findings in psychology is that only half of psychological studies can be successfully repeated.
Science is not, and has never been, a relevant vehicle for determining the truth. It is a philosophical category error to believe that it is. This is one of the many reasons for the failure of the New Atheists to make any substantive impression on society, as their entire worldview was based upon a false assumption.

It's particularly amusing to recall that Richard Dawkins actually wanted to revise the legal system and establish its foundation for evidence upon science rather than eyewitness testimony, which despite its flaws has proven to be considerable more reliable than science. It is probably due to their social autism that the New Atheists did not realize that science will never be more reliable than the scientists who make a living from it, which means that science is no more intrinsically reliable than accounting, proof-reading, or used-car sales.

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184 Comments:

Blogger JAG November 30, 2018 11:03 AM  

Brick by brick the facade is crumbling. Hopefully this bleeds over to where it is most needed, and starts dismantling the psycho-babble theories of the modern Left.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 11:05 AM  

Psychology isn't science.

Blogger rycamor November 30, 2018 11:10 AM  

The interesting tidbit here:

"And as in previous big projects, online bettors were surprisingly good at predicting beforehand which studies would ultimately replicate. Somehow, they could intuit which studies were reliable."

Replace scientists with online betting systems? This might have merit.

Blogger Daniel November 30, 2018 11:14 AM  

@2 That's not entirely true. The studies went to sufficient lengths to demonstrate that half of the classic studies were not only reproducable, but reproducable across different cohorts. The other half consistently failed.

The problem isn't that psychology isn't science, it's that it is science, and really only science...and science isn't remotely sufficient to perform as a cultural code of conduct and innovation. All the experimental failures are noise that should be ignored by the common people that our cultural betters insist is music instead.

Blogger widlast washere November 30, 2018 11:15 AM  

Not only is psychology not science but their theories are heavily influenced by the bad assumptions and neuroses of the shrinks themselves. I have never met a single psychiatrist or psychologist that didn't get into the biz for the free therapy.

Blogger Jack Ward November 30, 2018 11:16 AM  

Limited supply of free will? This is new for me. Maybe a darkstream with Vox ideas?
I did write out a bunch of stuff then decided it was all crap and erased it.

Blogger DBSFF November 30, 2018 11:16 AM  

Great, great crystallizing quote: "the New Atheists did not realize that science will never be more reliable than the scientists who make a living from it"

Blogger veryfunnyminion November 30, 2018 11:16 AM  

This has always been my favourite example of mathematically proven non-science.

A mathematician, doctor and medical researcher, John Ioannidis, laid out mathematical proof of the false findings of huge amounts of medical studies, including the gold-plated most-cited ones.


https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/308269/

Blogger Deus Vult November 30, 2018 11:17 AM  

Thanks for opening my eyes about these issues with a purely scientific based worldview.

Blogger Colin Flaherty's baby momma November 30, 2018 11:31 AM  

I believe in Science! which means my ungodly religious morality is based on idolatry of sodomy, abortion, sin, debasement and destruction; while fighting against evil bigoted oppression by White Christian supremacist men who don't want to be ruled over by hostile aliens.
Also to antagonize heretics who don't believe facts scientifically proven by peer reviewed funded studies.

If you're so smart, then you wouldn't question the experts, because you don't have an education certificate on that topic.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 11:33 AM  

#4 Reproducibility is not sufficient to make something science. You also need a plausible theory as to why you get the result you get. Positing that there's some 'unconscious' drama going on that the patient doesn't even realise themselves, is not an explanation.

#7 It's a bullshit quote. 1) What differentiates science from psychology is exactly that science is more reliable than the individual scientist. 2) science and 'new' atheism are entirely unconnected.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 11:37 AM  

#10
"I believe in science" means "I will trust that a sardine can filled with fuel and high-speed mechanics can transport me a 700 kph without me dying horribly."

Blogger JAG November 30, 2018 11:37 AM  

Jack Ward wrote:Limited supply of free will? This is new for me. Maybe a darkstream with Vox ideas?

I did write out a bunch of stuff then decided it was all crap and erased it.




Everyone here stands with whatever it was that you deleted.

Blogger S1AL November 30, 2018 11:47 AM  

"And as in previous big projects, online bettors were surprisingly good at predicting beforehand which studies would ultimately replicate. Somehow, they could intuit which studies were reliable."

Developed human intuition *when separated from human preference* (such as when the primary goal is to win money by being right), is fairly reliable.

Blogger Zaklog the Great November 30, 2018 11:47 AM  

Off topic, but hopefully amusing to the Dread Ilk:

https://imgur.com/a/4GsRNXt

I am far too easily amused.

Blogger Zaklog the Great November 30, 2018 11:48 AM  

Hmmm, may as well make that an actual link to save people time.

What makes a dark lord supreme?

Blogger Jack Ward November 30, 2018 11:56 AM  

@15. Zaklog
I do appreciate the confidence [or sarc, whichever] but, trust me, it was crap. But, then, most psychology is also crap. Known this long before Vox appeared on my radar.

Blogger tz November 30, 2018 11:58 AM  

If you go back to Aquinas and Aristotle, you find "Natural Law", which is discovered using reason and evidence, particularly the latter.

The general idea - and what gave us the discoveries in chemistry, physics, etc. in the 1800's were to find out what is in the box, or over the horizon, or on the island, or what things really do and document them first, and only then try to taxonimically organize them.

Today "science" doesn't first ask what is in the box, it asks what do I want to be in the box, even if it happens to be a silken unicorn that defecates skittles.

It used to be formulate a good question, then determine the answer, whatever it was, including the possibility that you don't know or can't know (Godel's theorem, Heisenberg's principle).

When the idea of natural law was abandoned (and it was the basis of the Constitution) our foundations - every one of them from the family to government to science and technology - were undermined and turned to sand.

Pilate asked "what is truth?" to the Truth incarnate standing in front of him and ordered the Truth crucified. But Truth has a way of resurrecting. You know Truth because it won't stay dead.

Blogger bob kuk mando ( everything has Consequences. that what makes them Consequences ) November 30, 2018 12:02 PM  

2. Felix Krull November 30, 2018 11:05 AM
Psychology isn't science.


while True, that isn't the point.

the point is that Scientists have allowed it to be treated as though it were Science. also, while Psychology is the worst branch of "Science" wrt to reproducibility
...
the Reproducibility Problem exists throughout all of the Scientific Disciplines.

because Peer Review doesn't mean a damn thing, except that you're conforming to current IFLScience! groupthink.

Blogger Unknown November 30, 2018 12:03 PM  

@12

That isn't science, it is engineering, which is applied science.

Blogger VD November 30, 2018 12:07 PM  

the point is that Scientists have allowed it to be treated as though it were Science. also, while Psychology is the worst branch of "Science" wrt to reproducibility

Based on the various reproducibility studies performed to date, it actually is not.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother November 30, 2018 12:09 PM  

You can get reproducible results even if you don't understand how you're getting them, Felix. Look at any ASTM D02 standard, for example. Every refinery or testing company lab tech can't tell you exactly how and why every bench top analyzer works, down to the EE theory that powers it, but he can absolutely get reproducible results. He'd be out of a job if he couldn't.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother November 30, 2018 12:10 PM  

Vox, psychology isn't science based on this information because it isn't observable, testable, and repeatable?

Blogger Logan November 30, 2018 12:18 PM  

This isn't surprising in a field dominated by women.

https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2011/01/cover-men.aspx

Women earning doctoral degrees in psychology outnumber men three to one. What does this mean for the future of the field?

This quote from the article was entertaining:

This doesn’t mean that cultural differences in behavior are irrelevant. As Yuri Miyamoto from the University of Wisconsin at Madison notes in an accompanying commentary, “In the age of globalization, psychology has remained largely European [and] American.” Many researchers have noted that volunteers from Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic countries—WEIRD nations—are an unusual slice of humanity who think differently than those from other parts of the world.

Yes, please go down that path. We'll never actually hear what they find. The field of psychology deserves about as much attention as astrology.

Blogger bob kuk mando ( everything has Consequences. that what makes them Consequences ) November 30, 2018 12:18 PM  

you mean Psychiatry is worse than Psychology? or you mean that some other non-Psy branch is worst?

because i'm not really going to bother wasting time trying to distinguish between Psycho- and and Psychi-. it's all garbage, excepting, perhaps, Descriptive Psychology.

http://www.nature.com/news/replication-studies-bad-copy-1.10634
"Psychology and psychiatry, according to other work by Fanelli4, are the worst offenders: they are five times more likely to report a positive result than are the space sciences, which are at the other end of the spectrum (see 'Accentuate the positive')."

Blogger DonReynolds November 30, 2018 12:23 PM  

When you get up in the morning with the assumption of universal equality, then a certain number of "sciences" are true. The historical fact remains that each of these "sciences" began with the fact that people were not all the same, they were not equal, and normal was simply the most commonly shared trait. Psychology is not the only "science" to be profoundly changed by the egalitarian mania of our modern times. Sociology has been similarly distorted, and the mother of social sciences...History too. Political Science has all but ceased to be comparative, being carried along by partisanship and a new-found interest in gender and race advocacy.

What we have witnessed in our own lifetime is a profound loss in our society. We no longer know what knowledge might be, even when we see it before our own eyes...and we are distracted and pursue notions and ideas that were never true in the past but suddenly have great currency. It is as though a great mania had overtaken this society and we have not seen the like since the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener November 30, 2018 12:23 PM  

This isn't just happening in psychology. It's happening in fields like organometallic chemistry and electrical engineering too.

Blogger DonReynolds November 30, 2018 12:34 PM  

Peer Review is a terribly limiting obstacle. I often think of what would have happened to Louis Pasteur and his works, had he been limited to the Peer Review of physicians or absolutely limited by government funding and approval by bureaucrats or the opinions of the peck-sniffs in the media.

Blogger VD November 30, 2018 12:40 PM  

Vox, psychology isn't science based on this information because it isn't observable, testable, and repeatable?

It is not the worst branch of Science with regards to reproducibility. Other studies in other fields have seen results lower than 50 percent.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 12:40 PM  

You can get reproducible results even if you don't understand how you're getting them, Felix

Just my point.

This is the difference between modern and Babylonian astronomy. The Babylonians could predict solar eclipses, but they didn't understand why. That's why we don't consider Babylonian astronomy science.

Blogger Gen. Kong November 30, 2018 12:40 PM  

JAG wrote:

Brick by brick the facade is crumbling. Hopefully this bleeds over to where it is most needed, and starts dismantling the psycho-babble theories of the modern Left.

Factually you're correct about the crumbling facade, but you fail to grasp the essential Satanic nature of the left. The facde's collapse makes little difference to the left because they practice a religion which is wholly opposed to truth in any form. It's like the "global warming" scam. When it was revealed that decades worth of "proof" about warming was literally falsified, they simply shifted to using "climate change" while ignoring the exposure of decades-long lies. They've already made the pivot to profit off the "climate change" scam (to sell cow-fart derivatives) in the event of another ice-age. You see the same thing with feminism. When Mother Gloria of the Sisterhood granted the "one-grope" indulgence to fellow Satanists like Bill Clinton, the whole thing should have laughed into the garbage heap of history. Yet here we are 25 years down the road and feminism is deeply rooted in the minds of most females, even as they tweet #metoo.

Blogger dc.sunsets November 30, 2018 12:40 PM  

Science and history have commonalities.

Both are mere representations of a larger whole, subject to conscious or unconscious cherry-picking. No human endeavor can be free of innate human bias. Belief comes first, long before the IQ-engine is invoked.

Neither science (as practiced) nor history can guide social structures, yet belief that they can (because they're erroneously presumed to be objective) is the foundation of the modern world. This is why human existence simply recycles the same rationalizations for collective folly in rhyming form. Leftism is the cult belief that humanity is an engineering problem with engineering solutions.

If most of "today's news" is now recognized as bias-laden fiction, when technically "today" can be seen in person, what does that tell us about what we're TOLD about the past?

Here, in the Internet Age, we drown in a sea of data...but is it possible to imagine being more bereft of knowledge? Is it not worse to exist in a fog of false certainty than to realize we live in pervasive ignorance? Fools are certain where the wise are cautious.

Blogger E. William Brown November 30, 2018 12:45 PM  

I see that you're drawing entirely the wrong conclusion here, Vox.

The problem here is not that science can't determine the truth, it's that psychology is not and has never been science. In a scientific field new results aren't taken as real until they've been replicated multiple times by different teams. Psychology has always routinely accepted any result that gets published, so long as it fits the narrative. Therefore, it was never anything but a con game.

The replication crisis is just driving home this basic fact to people who were previously fooled by their flim-flam about peer review and p-values.

Blogger bob kuk mando ( everything has Consequences. that what makes them Consequences ) November 30, 2018 12:49 PM  

29. VD November 30, 2018 12:40 PM
Other studies in other fields have seen results lower than 50 percent.




i nominate Econ for one of the fields Vox is talking about.

look at all the buffoons proudly declaiming the supremacy of Keynesian / neo-Keynesian Economics.

even 40 years after Carter's Stagflation conclusively disproved Keynes' central thesis.

Blogger Gen. Kong November 30, 2018 12:50 PM  

The most effective pushback against the left has been from the effective use of rhetoric of the type which is supported by truth. This is an area where Trump has proven himself to be a grand master. The destruction of the lie-facade is certainly necessary but it doesn't change minds unless they are first de-programmed, a task for which rhetoric is much more effective - as seen in the last few years.

Blogger VD November 30, 2018 12:52 PM  

I see that you're drawing entirely the wrong conclusion here, Vox.

You see nothing of the kind. The conclusion that I am drawing is absolutely and ironically correct. The fact that one can also draw other obvious conclusions has nothing to do with the conclusion I chose to draw.

Do not attempt to correct your intellectual superiors. It will seldom end well for you.

Blogger bob kuk mando ( everything has Consequences. that what makes them Consequences ) November 30, 2018 12:55 PM  

33. E. William Brown November 30, 2018 12:45 PM
I see that you're drawing entirely the wrong conclusion here, Vox.
...
Therefore, it was never anything but a con game.



hur dur. found the guy who doesn't bother reading the thread.

"Psychology and psychiatry, according to other work by Fanelli4, are the worst offenders: they are five times more likely to report a positive result than are the space sciences, which are at the other end of the spectrum (see 'Accentuate the positive')."

so, somewhere between 10% and 50% reproducibility is where we find the definition of Real Science!

perhaps Mr. Brown would care to enlighten us as to where the criteria is, so that the rest of us can identify "Science!" when we see it?

i also note that Mr. Brown has utterly failed to comprehend the meta-point.

how now Mr. Brown cow? why is it that Science! itself has permitted these obvious imposters to wear Science! as a skinsuit for multiple centuries?

Blogger electricsheeple November 30, 2018 1:00 PM  

Felix Krull wrote:Psychology isn't science.

I don't have a dog in the fight of whether Psychology is considered a science. But if there are ways to reliably predict future behavior of individuals, then it could be a science.

But I suspect the field of Psychology attracts a lot of charlatans and people uninterested in the actual real science of predicting future behavior.

We can see from the sexual heiarchy that future behavior is predictable so in that regard, there is a science somewhere in there.

Blogger Gen. Kong November 30, 2018 1:05 PM  

Good point from Mando: Keynesianism is yet another example of a religious dogma, like climate change, feminism and a large number of others. Mountains of evidence have been produced disproving all of them but it makes no difference to the faithful. Behold the power of faith - even a faith in utter lies. The real irony here is that the shitlibs who pride themselves on being "rationalists" who "just fucking love science" are more extreme religious fanatics than most Musloids are. No amount of evidence disproving their dogma can persuade them.

Blogger Up from the pond November 30, 2018 1:06 PM  

Science isn't a set of morals. It's a tool, like a screwdriver. A screwdriver in the hands of a Bolshevik is used to do bad things. A screwdriver in the hands of a good man is used to do good things. Of course, the Bolshevik is more liable to lie about the effects of his screwdriver or even lie that he has a screwdriver when he doesn't have one. Is this a good way to look at it?

Blogger Nate73 November 30, 2018 1:08 PM  

We've had about 2 or 3 hundred years of science and technology making huge strides above other areas of human interest like law, art, medicine, philology, philosophy, etc. The result is that everybody including crackpots want to seem "scientific" and get all the credibility people give to that term even if it doesn't work. Lenin believed in "scientific socialism". Freud wanted a science of the mind. Economics used to be fused with politics and nobody pretended it was science. And so on. It's understandable people want to improve their reputations and fields, but by now it's obvious that you can't have scientific law, scientific art, or even scientific nutrition!

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother November 30, 2018 1:11 PM  

Felix, how do we know when science really started?

Blogger bob kuk mando ( everything has Consequences. that what makes them Consequences ) November 30, 2018 1:15 PM  

the Humanities are rife with this idiocy, i could probably throw darts at a liberal arts college syllabus and almost any result could be nominated for what Vox is talking about.

'Political Science', fer instance.

more interesting are which nominally Hard Science! fields Vox may be talking about.

as noted above, AGW Climatology has been caught falsifying the data far too many times to be considered a Real Science!

do we have any other suspects?

i once demonstrated to an Astronomer that, by their own definitions and logic, the Universe canNOT have begun in an Order of Energy.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 1:18 PM  

Felix, how do we know when science really started?

Conventionally, we usually pin it at 1687, with the publication of Newton's Principia Naturalis. Everything before that is deemed 'natural philosophy', but that's a matter of interpretation. Men like Galileo, Kepler and Tycho Brahe all used scientific methods.

But the Babylonians were not scientists, they were bookkeepers, and they noticed the periodicity of solar- and lunar eclipses.

Blogger bob kuk mando ( everything has Consequences. that what makes them Consequences ) November 30, 2018 1:18 PM  

"so, somewhere between 10% and 50% reproducibility is where we find the definition of Real Science!"


meh. 90% and 50% reproducibility.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 1:25 PM  

crackpots want to seem "scientific" and get all the credibility people give to that term even if it doesn't work.

Just so. Noam Chomsky nails it in one minute:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M-2_OD3oMc

Blogger The Chortling November 30, 2018 1:26 PM  

far too many disciplines (used advisedly -- many modern topics are so incredibly undisciplined they'd be a laughing stock of our progenitors) borrow from the hard sciences.

That is, physics and chemistry and certain types of engineering are based on hard results.

Pseudosciences like psychology, social "sciences" and evolutionary studies have all borrowed from the credibility of hard science even though these pseudo-sciences are just cleverly disguised philosophy, ideology and modern religion. You see the priest-clergy class system built into academia these days and now invading all walks of corporate life. They're approaching the same powers that the Inquisition briefly held-- they mock and blast screed at all religions but are the very image of hypocrisy-- the kind which Christ put flat on its face in his time.

it's laughable and eventually the collapse of these fake scientists, fake news generators will create an era of human cynicism which will lead to cataclysm only hinted at in dystopic tales of science fiction.

Blogger Stickwick Stapers November 30, 2018 1:29 PM  

Psychologist Han Eysenck compiled statistical studies about psychoanalysis and psychotherapy and showed that at best it's marginally harmful and at worst it's downright destructive.

Eysenck found that 67% of neurotics recover spontaneously, i.e. if patients do nothing at all, two-thirds will eventually recover on their own. With psychotherapy, only 64% recover, meaning it's slightly harmful. Given that Freudian/Jungian psychoanalysis produces an astonishingly low recovery rate of 44%, it's demonstrably destructive. Vox has good cause to label it evil.

Psychologist Hobart Mowrer commented in 1961, "All of this, of course, is well known in professional circles and is gradually leaking through to the general public." They seem to have exerted some effort to plug that leak, because people still believe it has some positive benefit*. What can you say about a field of study in which its practitioners have recognized a major crisis for over half a century and accomplished zilch in rectifying it?

* I've heard a lot of people claim that cognitive behavioral therapy -- i.e. reality-based therapy -- has some benefit; but I haven't seen the statistics on how the CBT recovery rate compares with the spontaneous recovery rate.

Blogger camcleat November 30, 2018 1:34 PM  

@44

"But the Babylonians were not scientists, they were bookkeepers, and they noticed the periodicity of solar- and lunar eclipses."

You are so full of crap. Stop trying to sound smart about "Science." Or, just admit you worship at the alter of Ontological Naturalism and are letting your religious dogma on the matter confuse you.

Science is nothing more than drawing conclusions from observations, as opposed to philosophy which can also be concerned with pure ideas.

The only "Scientific Method" I taught was the one provided by Aristotle:

Step 1: Make a bunch of observations.
Step 2: Organize your observations.
Step 3: Summarize your observations; we call these summaries "Laws."

There is NOTHING provided by your modernist view of "Science" that adds value of that much simpler framework.

And, by that definition, what you ascribe to the Babylonians was exactly "Science."

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 30, 2018 1:38 PM  

... which means that science is no more intrinsically reliable than accounting, proof-reading, or used-car sales.
Generally speaking, accountants don't try to hide the data from you. As a rule, Psychologists, Economists, Climatologists and other quacks do try to hide the data.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 30, 2018 1:42 PM  

@12
"I believe in science" means "I will trust that a sardine can filled with fuel and high-speed mechanics can transport me a 700 kph without me dying horribly."
That's not "believing science". That's trusting engineering. Science has nothing to say with the matter.

Blogger bob kuk mando ( everything has Consequences. that what makes them Consequences ) November 30, 2018 1:44 PM  

48. Stickwick Stapers November 30, 2018 1:29 PM
With psychotherapy, only 64% recover, meaning it's slightly harmful.


meh. i would expect a 3% variance to be within MoE. especially given how sloppy the existing Science! within the Psych fields is.

so regular psychotherapy is the equivalent of Placebo. priced very expensively.

which means the practitioners thereof are knowing frauds.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 1:45 PM  

That's trusting engineering. Science has nothing to say with the matter.

Just trial and error, eh?

Blogger Unknown November 30, 2018 1:50 PM  

Psychology is 100% fake and based on guesses. Never believe anything they say. They have zero business being treated like Medical doctors.

Blogger camcleat November 30, 2018 1:54 PM  

@53

"Just trial and error, eh?"

Huh?

What do you think the experimental sciences (physics, chemistry) are, if not trial and error?

You think "Theory" and "Models" mean something profound and somehow define science as some high order mode of thinking, but here's a dirty little secret: they don't mean squat.

Phenomenological empiricism is ALL science is. The rest of it is just fun stuff some smart people do at best for fun or worse, self aggrandizement.

Blogger bob kuk mando ( everything has Consequences. that what makes them Consequences ) November 30, 2018 1:59 PM  

heh.

imagine how depressed Felix is going to be when he realizes that "trial and error" is the exact method by which IFLScience! moves forward.

Einstenian Relativity works extremely well ... until you get very small ... at which point it fails ( ie - Error ). which is why we have Quantum Mechanics. because they needed a framework to describe what they were actually observing.

Blogger Christian Schulzke November 30, 2018 2:00 PM  

Fake science has consequences; that is why it is fake.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 2:01 PM  

"Theory" and "Models" don't mean squat.

Not to you, no.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 30, 2018 2:03 PM  

@camcleat @brown @Felix
none of you actually know what science or the scientific method are. Please stop pontificating on the subject until you understand it.
The Scientific Method:
OBSERVE: collect verifiable data about the subject.
HYPOTHESIZE: build a theory or model of how the subject works.
TEST: design an experiment that would conclusively show your model to be false, then do the experiment to see if it is.

The most important point is that in science, NOTHING, no theory, no model, can ever be PROVEN to be true, only falsified.
Note this means that ALL scientific laws and ALL scientific models are only hypotheses. No scientific conclusion is ever proven, merely deemed consistent with the observations. A new scientific theory can come along at any time and completely replace the current model. This has happened many times in many disciplines. Quantum Mechanics has in fact replaced the Einsteinian model in General Theory of physics within our lifetimes, just as Einsteinian model replaced the Newtonian model earlier.

Until you understand this, you have nothing relevant to say on the subject.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother November 30, 2018 2:04 PM  

A theory is "our best guess now" until better information/data/hypotheses come along.

A model is nothing more than a mathematical equation with specific types of inputs and outputs.

Blogger tublecane November 30, 2018 2:06 PM  

I patiently await the day when the intellectual class admits it's been full of crap for more than a century with this bunk, humbly begging our forgiveness.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 2:06 PM  

The most important point is that in science, NOTHING, no theory, no model, can ever be PROVEN to be true, only falsified.

Couldn't have put it better myself.

And if your theory is not falsifiable, it is not science. As Max Born said: "It is not even wrong."

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 2:13 PM  

A model is nothing more than a mathematical equation with specific types of inputs and outputs.

If only it were that simple. The concept of the quantum leap defies everything we know about nature, but it's the best model available, and there's no math involved.

Blogger Stickwick Stapers November 30, 2018 2:17 PM  

meh. i would expect a 3% variance to be within MoE. especially given how sloppy the existing Science! within the Psych fields is.

Maybe. At best, you can say psychotherapy has no effect whatsoever. If that's the case, the perceived benefit seems to be that it gives people something to do, a feeling of control, while the organism rights itself completely independently of the therapy. I suspect work and prayer would serve that purpose just as well if not better, and less expensively.

Blogger Stickwick Stapers November 30, 2018 2:18 PM  

If only it were that simple. The concept of the quantum leap defies everything we know about nature, but it's the best model available, and there's no math involved.

wat

Blogger bob kuk mando ( everything has Consequences. that what makes them Consequences ) November 30, 2018 2:19 PM  

62. Felix Krull November 30, 2018 2:06 PM
And if your theory is not falsifiable, it is not science.



that's not what he said.

to rephrase YOUR characterization of this, "Only those things which have been Falsified are Science!". which is clearly absurd.

what you meant to say was, "Only those things which are TESTABLE are Science. And it's only Science until the hypothesis fails to conform to the test results."

"Trial" is a synonym for "Test".

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/trial
"the act of trying, testing, or putting to the proof. "

https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/test

thus, by your own admission, Science! is nothing but "trial and error".

Blogger tublecane November 30, 2018 2:25 PM  

@54- Several layers of guesses, in fact. Scientists are well-aware that their very observation alters reality, and they try to accommodate. But unlike elementary particles, for instance, human subjects can be aware of your accommodations.

Not only must a psychologist guess what will be the subjects' responses to things, they must guess what they'll guess about their guesses. And with every guess conditions change. Because it doesn't merely matter how they set things up, but what people think about it. And the human psyche is perhaps infinitely complex.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 2:26 PM  

wat

My mistake, I meant the quant per se: the idea that energy comes in discrete packages. Planck himself believed that it was nonsense, but useful due to its predictive powers.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 2:30 PM  

to rephrase YOUR characterization of this, "Only those things which have been Falsified are Science!". which is clearly absurd.

That's not a rephrasing. I said that theories that are not falsifiable, are not science.

To use your own synonym: if you cannot "test" a proposition, it is not science.

Blogger tublecane November 30, 2018 2:31 PM  

@67- Which is why many psychological experiments have they appearance of confidence games.

The only ones that come close to being scientificy is when they measure autonomous physical responses with an MRI machine and stopwatch, or whatever. But even then they are required to make guesses.

Blogger JAG November 30, 2018 2:39 PM  

Jack Ward wrote:Limited supply of free will? This is new for me. Maybe a darkstream with Vox ideas?

I did write out a bunch of stuff then decided it was all crap and erased it.



If you wouldn't mind a brief explanation about extra dimension theories that I've never quite understood it would be much appreciated. I fully understand if it is a waste of your time, and will not get butt-hurt if you don't provide it.

My question is in regards to Kaluza-Klein Theory, and the tiny extra dimension. This extra dimension is depicted as being at all points, at least at the Planck size limit. A familiar artistic representation of this is to show a grid with circles at each point.

The question I have is whether or not those circles represent the same dimension that is fragmented across space. If they are the same, does that mean All Roads Lead to Rome in a sense in that no matter where I choose to start in the universe, will I arrive at the same micro dimension if I zoom in close enough?

If this is not the case, and each circle is separate from the others, doesn't that constitute a more than 5 dimensional theory?

Blogger The Deplorable Podunk Ken Ramsey November 30, 2018 2:43 PM  

When a study comes along that confirms the biases of scientists, who are just a group of people with all the pitfalls of any social group, everybody tends to agree with it. Because they _want_ to agree with it. Such studies receive far less scrutiny and far more acceptance.

Put out a study that challenges the prevailing paradigms? Okay now you've got scrutiny. Now you've got people out there trying to reproduce your results and shoot you down. These same people were busy typing praise last week for the previous study that confirmed them instead of testing out that previous study.


This happens in every field in science, not just psychology. Vox is 100% correct. Science is only as good as the people in it. That is its ultimate and determinative epistemology.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener November 30, 2018 2:50 PM  

"Science is only as good as the people in it."

Anyone who disagrees ought to support the idea of the US government handing out psychology PhD's to all seven billion Americans. Just think of all the science we could be doing!

Blogger Stickwick Stapers November 30, 2018 2:51 PM  

My mistake, I meant the quant per se: the idea that energy comes in discrete packages. Planck himself believed that it was nonsense, but useful due to its predictive powers.

He was being scientifically expedient, and didn't understand the meaning of the quantum. The fact that, mathematically, it described experimental data perfectly was the compelling factor in his use of the quantum.

What's touching about the story of Planck and the quantum is how such a conservative scientist managed to overcome his revulsion to the idea of quantization, to the point that he set forth the idea in spite of his own personal misgivings.

Max Born on Planck: "He was, by nature, a conservative mind; he had nothing of the revolutionary and was thoroughly skeptical about speculations. Yet his belief in the compelling force of logical reasoning from facts was so strong that he did not flinch from announcing the most revolutionary idea which ever has shaken physics."

The history of physics is replete with such stories. Those in the under-developed pre-science fields, like psychology, need to study the history of genuine sciences and learn the hard lessons before they’ll ever produce genuine science themselves.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 2:54 PM  

The history of physics is replete with such stories.

Which is exactly why science is greater than the sum of its practitioners.

Blogger camcleat November 30, 2018 3:11 PM  

@59

"Note this means that ALL scientific laws ... are only hypotheses."

Absolutely incorrect.

Laws are empirical. It's the very definition of the term.

This is pretty fundamental stuff. It's clear our "science education" has failed a generation or two.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother November 30, 2018 3:14 PM  

Felix Krull wrote:The history of physics is replete with such stories.

Which is exactly why science is greater than the sum of its practitioners.


No, science is only as great as the integrity of its practitioners.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 3:25 PM  

#77
science is only as great as the integrity of its practitioners.

In reference to the earlier point about science being built upon falsification of theories rather than proof, science provides a method for shutting down bad or dishonest practitioners, or simply wrong theories.

As opposed to, say, psychology, where a drug-peddling neurotic like Freud is periodically brushed off and revived.

I studied political science, and visiting the institute library, I could count about fifty different theories on the political. None of then were falsifiable, hence none of them were wrong. If you could find a professor to take your exam, you could write your thesis on theories that had not been used for fifty years. While I was at uni, the prevalent theory of international politics changed twice.

In contrast, I could take a chemistry textbook from the fifties and teach it today with perhaps a few extra pages stuck in here and there.

Blogger pyrrhus November 30, 2018 3:28 PM  

@59 OBSERVE: collect verifiable data about the subject.
HYPOTHESIZE: build a theory or model of how the subject works.
TEST: design an experiment that would conclusively show your model to be false, then do the experiment to see if it is.

Except that no experiment is ever conclusive until subjected to extreme scrutiny and repeated thousands of times....As Richard Feynman said, there are things that we are 99.99% sure of, but nothing that is 100.00%.....Feynman also said that science is the business of proving "experts" wrong...

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother November 30, 2018 3:33 PM  

Felix Krull wrote:#77

science is only as great as the integrity of its practitioners.

In reference to the earlier point about science being built upon falsification of theories rather than proof, science provides a method for shutting down bad or dishonest practitioners, or simply wrong theories.

As opposed to, say, psychology, where a drug-peddling neurotic like Freud is periodically brushed off and revived.

I studied political science, and visiting the institute library, I could count about fifty different theories on the political. None of then were falsifiable, hence none of them were wrong. If you could find a professor to take your exam, you could write your thesis on theories that had not been used for fifty years. While I was at uni, the prevalent theory of international politics changed twice.

In contrast, I could take a chemistry textbook from the fifties and teach it today with perhaps a few extra pages stuck in here and there.


Felix, your argument is turtles all the way down. Who enforces the method that science uses to weed out bad theories, bad practitioners, liars and charlatans? Another method to weed out the people who abuse your second method (Scientific Method being the first)?

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 30, 2018 3:35 PM  

Those in the under-developed pre-science fields, like psychology, …
"Pre-scientific" implies possible progress to some future scientific state. I would state that a scientific state for such fields as Psychology and Economics is impossible.

Blogger Randomatos November 30, 2018 3:35 PM  

And now we all have joke cancer.

Blogger justaguy November 30, 2018 3:37 PM  

One learns the realities of hard science when one studies Chemistry or Physics( or something related to them) In the several years of study you get taught a theory, where it worked, how to play with it, and then how it failed and then repeat-- a new theory that incorporates the issues and moves on. You end up getting several generations of these and you realize all we are working with now is a theory that best fits what we have observed and it may be replaced again. That is science. Engineering and its many applied sciences takes what works and develops that it into something potentially useful.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 3:41 PM  

Who enforces the method that science uses to weed out bad theories, bad practitioners, liars and charlatans?

Good practitioners with better results.

Granted, a lot of bad science flies under the radar because nobody bothers to test it, but the point is that testing scientific propositions IS possible if you've got the time and resources. Happens all the time.

Blogger Stickwick Stapers November 30, 2018 3:49 PM  

"Pre-scientific" implies possible progress to some future scientific state. I would state that a scientific state for such fields as Psychology and Economics is impossible.

Can't speak to economics, but I know for a fact that it's possible for psychology. Won't happen until it experiences a Kuhnian paradigm shift, though.

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelpia November 30, 2018 3:54 PM  

Felix Krull wrote:to rephrase YOUR characterization of this, "Only those things which have been Falsified are Science!". which is clearly absurd.

That's not a rephrasing. I said that theories that are not falsifiable, are not science.

To use your own synonym: if you cannot "test" a proposition, it is not science.


Correct.

Theory can precede observations, but all theories must be testable to be "scientifically" valid. That's why string theory is not science -- it can't be tested, and falsified. That's why the General Theory of Relativity IS science, because it has been tested, with some of it correct, but other parts lacking, ergo Quantum Mechanics.

Theories need to explain natural phenomena -- if they can't, they aren't useful

Of course, this is why climate "science" is not science -- it's predictive model building, which inevitably leads to un-falsifiable claims.

Blogger VD November 30, 2018 3:58 PM  

Granted, a lot of bad science flies under the radar because nobody bothers to test it, but the point is that testing scientific propositions IS possible if you've got the time and resources.

Irrelevant. It very, very seldom happens. Science as it is actually practiced is not much more accurate than accounting that is never audited. It's no more "self-correcting" than publishing fiction.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 4:04 PM  

It very, very seldom happens.

It happens all the time.

It's no more "self-correcting" than publishing fiction.

Then how come we don't believe in a geocentric universe?

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener November 30, 2018 4:06 PM  

Predictive models of the sort that you find in climate science are absolutely falsifiable. The problem is that dishonest climate scientists ignore the repeated failures of their models. When one model fails, they just polish it up and present a revised version rather than fundamentally examining their assumptions and acknowledging their mistakes. And then silence anyone who dares to notice what they've done.

The method is only as good as the man behind it.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 30, 2018 4:08 PM  

I know for a fact that it's possible for psychology.
This is simply not possible. You cannot know for a fact the future state of human knowledge. Anyway, physics is deterministic. Humans are not.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 4:13 PM  

When one model fails, they just polish it up and present a revised version rather than fundamentally examining their assumptions and acknowledging their mistakes.

Yes. The reason you know climate 'science' is bogus, is because they admit so themselves. It's dialled back some, but a few years back, not a week would go by without headlines admitting that, by golly, the models were all wrong! It is worse than the models had assumed hitherto!

So, if these were honest mistakes, how come you never saw a headline from the usual suspects declaring that yes, yet again the models proved wrong, but this time the models over-estimated the predicted catastrophe?

Blogger Damelon Brinn November 30, 2018 4:44 PM  

science provides a method for shutting down bad or dishonest practitioners, or simply wrong theories.

Even if that were true, it doesn't mean the method will be used. Scientists might choose to use it, or might not. Psychologists could choose to subject themselves to rigorous testing, but they don't. The fact that the scientific method exists doesn't force "real" scientists to use it either.

There's another thing the Scientific Method does, though: it convinces lay people that scientists can be trusted because their methods guarantee correctness. That helps the scientist sell them more nonsense.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother November 30, 2018 4:55 PM  

Felix, do you think gun free zones prevent shootings in the same way science guarantees accurate results?

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 5:04 PM  

#92
Psychologists could choose to subject themselves to rigorous testing, but they don't.

There's no such thing as rigorous testing in psychology. That's the difference.

#93
What a strange question, but yes, if you had a zone without guns, there'd be no shootings. What that has got to do with scientifically accurate results is quite beyond me.

Blogger camcleat November 30, 2018 5:08 PM  

@93

Genius.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother November 30, 2018 5:14 PM  

Felix, yes I am sure common sense and cogent thinking seem strange to you.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 5:16 PM  

Felix, yes I am sure common sense and cogent thinking seem strange to you.

You were the one not seeming to understand that you can't have shooting without firearms.

Blogger Stickwick Stapers November 30, 2018 5:19 PM  

This is simply not possible. You cannot know for a fact the future state of human knowledge. Anyway, physics is deterministic. Humans are not.

I know it for a fact, because someone who is essentially the Copernicus of human behavior has already formulated the laws; they've just been ignored for 40 years. To the extent that I follow developments in the field of human behavior, I'm seeing glimmers of recognition and application of these laws. It's quite possible that within another 100 years, we'll see a full blown revolution in the science of human behavior.

Anyone who says you can't have a science of human behavior, because humans are unpredictable, hasn't thought this through. The ease with which people are manipulated by those with a keen ability to observe and recognize patterns in behavior alone proves that wrong. Verse after verse about about human behavior in the Bible proves that wrong. Humans as physical organisms are as subject to the laws of nature as any other physical thing. The situation is complicated by humans having spirits and souls endowed with free will, but the emotions we have, the physical states we experience, are nevertheless subject to the physics, chemistry, and biology of the human organism.

Blogger Gen. Kong November 30, 2018 5:23 PM  

Science as it is actually practiced is not much more accurate than accounting that is never audited. It's no more "self-correcting" than publishing fiction.

Or, to use a real-life example, no more accurate than the Banana Empire Dept. of Defense accounting is (a 21 trillion dollar black hole). Sez the banksta: I just fuckin' LOVE science! (Giant sucking sound in background).

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother November 30, 2018 5:25 PM  

Felix Krull wrote:Felix, yes I am sure common sense and cogent thinking seem strange to you.

You were the one not seeming to understand that you can't have shooting without firearms.


That is not what I said. You have just demonstrated the total intellectual vacuity of the IFLScience crowd. Read what I wrote, but slowly.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 30, 2018 5:25 PM  

I did not say humans are unpredictable. I said they are not deterministic. That difference is large enough to swallow the cosmos.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 30, 2018 5:26 PM  

The point is, Stickwick, that humans are no longer actually a part of nature.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 5:32 PM  

That is not what I said.

Then why don't you humour me, then? Explain your point by that rather cryptic question?

Blogger Crew November 30, 2018 5:46 PM  

The point is, Stickwick, that humans are no longer actually a part of nature.

You have a very narrow definition of nature.

Blogger Xiety November 30, 2018 5:47 PM  

camcleat wrote:@93

Genius.

Seconded.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother November 30, 2018 5:50 PM  

Felix Krull wrote:That is not what I said.

Then why don't you humour me, then? Explain your point by that rather cryptic question?


You are the only one here who doesn't understand the question, Felix.

Blogger Stickwick Stapers November 30, 2018 5:54 PM  

The point is, Stickwick, that humans are no longer actually a part of nature.

This statement is so bizarre it verges on insanity.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 5:57 PM  

You are the only one here who doesn't understand the question, Felix.

Then why don't you humour me?

Is your point that shootings happen in gun 'free' zones?

If that is the case, your mistake is linguistic. 'Free' of guns, in the colloquial sense of the words, does not equal 'zero' guns - there are actually guns in those zones.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 5:58 PM  

You are the only one here who doesn't understand the question, Felix.

I should perhaps add that I'm from Denmar, so you might show me a little lenience here. We don't do shootings in Denmark.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother November 30, 2018 6:07 PM  

Felix,

I get you. Didn't know you were Danish.

Look in any news story in the US of a mass shooting. They are all in gun free zones.

Blogger JimR November 30, 2018 6:07 PM  

"We don't do shootings in Denmark."

https://www.thelocal.dk/20161214/danish-gang-wars-intensify-with-grenade-attack

As for your confusion on the question posed, why do you assume that calling something a "gun free zone" means there are no guns there?

Blogger Mark Stoval November 30, 2018 6:11 PM  

I have read this thread up to this point. I have seen people talk past each other and argue over very minor quibbles.

I try to read other people with the most generous possible reading of their words. I try not to read with aggressive pedantry.

My take so far is that most here don't like science as practiced at the present time. I would guess that most, like me, think that government money has damaged science as has corporate "science".

My favorite "sciencey" thing was the quote by Freeman Dyson (???). He said something like "if you know what you are talking about then you can explain it to any reasonably attentive 5th grader. This is from ever failing memory.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 6:12 PM  

They are all in gun free zones.

Yes I know, but not 'free' in the scientific sense of the word. That's why I didn't understand the comparison with scientific accuracy. "Gun control zone" is not a scientific term.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 6:16 PM  

#113
It was, alledgedly, Einstein. He'd been asked by an American radio station to explain relativity to their listeners, and he readily agreed.

"I'd need about three hours."

"You have three minutes."

Afterwards, Einstein (ostensibly) said something to the effect that he never understood relativity better than after having given the elevator version.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 6:31 PM  

@Jim
That was a joke, and that's a two-year old article, but yes, of course there are shooting in Denmark. And many more than there used to be. But it's still nothing compared to the US.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 30, 2018 6:37 PM  

This statement is so bizarre it verges on insanity.
That which is supernatural is not entirely natural. He who is redeemed is no longer a slave.

Honestly, I didn't think I'd have to explain it to you.


Also, @Felix,
As I said before, you're assuming you have more knowledge here when you have less. Beware the Dunning-Kreuger effect.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 6:53 PM  

Who is Dunning-Kreuger?

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 30, 2018 7:06 PM  

Dunning and Kreuger posited and demonstrated that the more ignorant a person is, the more likely he is to think he is well-informed.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 7:10 PM  

You don't even get it.

Next time, don't throw fancy terms around if you can't spell them.

Blogger Megabar November 30, 2018 7:29 PM  

#32. dc.sunsets
> Leftism is the cult belief that humanity is an engineering problem with engineering solutions.

Well, I think humanity is in fact an engineering problem. Leftism attempts to solve this problem with an incorrect set of axioms. Alas, it seems that all substantive social structures develop incorrect axioms, and I'm not aware that anyone has so far worked out a way to prevent this.

#83 justaguy
> Engineering and its many applied sciences takes what works and develops that it into something potentially useful.

If you'll permit a rant, I'll admit to being a bit rankled that engineering is often relegated to being the dumb cousin to science. I'm not saying that you were suggesting this.

While it's true that some sciences are elegant, meaningful, and difficult (e.g. golden-age physics), and some engineering is mostly the application of a known pattern, this is not always true. I think a more fundamental division is that science seeks to understand and organize, whereas engineering seeks to create. I view the major engineering works, such as space flight, the internet, and working utilities every bit as awe-inspiring and important as scientific breakthroughs.

I recall reading somewhere that actions that have practical use are routinely considered less impressive than actions that don't. I think there's an element of truth in this, unfortunately.

Blogger The Deplorable Podunk Ken Ramsey November 30, 2018 7:46 PM  

Folks, never argue with an idiot. That's a waste of time.

Blogger Megabar November 30, 2018 7:49 PM  

#112 Mark Stoval
> I would guess that most, like me, think that government money has damaged science as has corporate "science".

I think the problem is more fundamental. In the modern West, science is organized as a single entity -- academia. This structure is hierarchical, with thought leaders and funding sources at the top. All human social structures are political, and science is no exception. Those at the top of academia create positive feedback loops, as they control which views are published or funded, which of course determines which views come to be viewed as credible.

This works well where there is an external correction factor to prevent positive feedback of incorrect views. Hard sciences where a given problem can be reduced to a few elements of objective data in a straightforward manner, fit into this category, as there is little subjective interpretation required. This is true even in a very challenging field such as physics.

But most fields are not so neat. Consider something like economics. The field is, in theory very objective. But it's so messy and large, that any reasonable discussion requires abstractions. Creation of abstractions is often very subjective, and it is here where bias is introduced, and positive feedback can go awry. Since experimentation of macroeconomics is impractical, there is no external factor that can break the wayward feedback loop.

I'm not entirely sure how to fix this. Removal of government funding does not fundamentally remove the positive feedback. You can see, for example, that within companies, often bad opinions become unchallenged.

Blogger JimR November 30, 2018 7:58 PM  

" but yes, of course there are shooting in Denmark. And many more than there used to be. But it's still nothing compared to the US."

Stay out of diverse areas in the US, and you are safe as houses. It's a people problem, not a hardware problem.

Blogger Felix Krull November 30, 2018 8:11 PM  

#123
Stay out of diverse areas in Denmark and you're safe as the mountains themselves. Danish normies might worry about street violence, but if you suggested that being shot was a real risk in Copenhagen, they'd laugh at you.

But assume we remove all the vibrancy from America, only Euros left. Would there be more or less shootings if there were no guns in America?

Mind you, I'm not against the 2A necessarily - as a Dane, I can't really comment on that - but arguing that ubiquitous gun ownership has NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER, is delusional, bordering madness.

Blogger Stickwick Stapers November 30, 2018 8:13 PM  

That which is supernatural is not entirely natural. He who is redeemed is no longer a slave.

You didn't say "not entirely natural," you said no longer part of nature.

Of course we're part supernatural. Not being a slave to sin doesn't mean that: a) those who are saved don't still struggle with temptation and sin; and b) the physical organism isn't subject to the physical laws of nature. The two are intertwined.

We can choose how to respond to that physical part, but in a limited way. If we had complete mastery of our physical selves, we would have no need of a Savior. Only one Man was ever master over temptation and sin; the rest of us are manifestly not, and the dynamics of that physical struggle with temptation and sin is described by an elegant suite of behavioral laws that were formulated over 40 years ago.

I have no idea why any Christian would resist such a notion. God created the natural world, he made our physical bodies. Why wouldn't they be subject to the knowable, unchanging laws of his creation?

Blogger Megabar November 30, 2018 8:24 PM  

#124. Felix Krull
> but arguing that ubiquitous gun ownership has NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER, is delusional, bordering madness.
Absolutely correct. The main criterion for a position is not that it has no negative effects; it's that the positives outweigh the negatives. People who can't cede any negatives for their position are generally blinded, or unable to understand nuance.

A rule can be good or bad depending on how it is enforced, who is subject to the rule, and the current state of affairs where the rule will be applied. I often find it useful to extend someone's position until it breaks to get them to realize that there is nuance. This is not the same as creating an equivalence and attacking that.

For example, no one would support personal nuclear weapons or main battle tanks, and so there are practical limits on what the right to bear arms protects.

Blogger justaguy November 30, 2018 8:41 PM  

#120: I meant no insult to engineering. I was trained as a physicist (BS in physics) but spent a career in nuclear engineering. Science is the theory and finding the limits/boundaries of where the theory works. Engineering, including most R+D, is getting that theory to actually do something useful. Not a dumb cousin (that is the idiocy of the writers on Big Bang Theory) but a different side. Both sides, science and engineering take brilliance and ingenuity to create new things (a new bridge design is more like a work of art than a new particle physics theory imho). Engineering mindset is a very useful tool in getting things/processes to work.

BTW, I am one of those who believe that the NSF and the government deep involvement in science killed it off. The control of the flow of grant money, now essential to a career in science not only regulates what is studied, but also the results. In 1995/96, most of the major US scientists on the ICCP (climate change UN study) wrote an editorial in the WSJ about the ICCP Executive Summary being a political document and not founded in what the science sections portrayed. Guess what-- how many were around a few years later for the 2000 report? How many had their funding cut/had to retire etc.

What we think of as science isn't it at all-- it is merely Academia turning out work product paid for by unthinking government bureaucrats who punish results they don't like and reward for those who do. Look at Mann!

Blogger vfm November 30, 2018 8:53 PM  

"BTW, I am one of those who believe that the NSF and the government deep involvement in science killed it off."

"Of course absolutely everything the government does makes things worse. If not immediately and directly, then in a delayed and indirect manner." - Doug Casey

Blogger Megabar November 30, 2018 9:05 PM  

#127. justaguy
> #120: I meant no insult to engineering.

Yup! I didn't take it as such. You just gave me the springboard for my rant. Your point about the Big Bang Theory is spot on. But note that they're not inventing the put-down -- it accurately reflects the pecking order of academia.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener November 30, 2018 9:08 PM  

"For example, no one would support personal nuclear weapons or main battle tanks, and so there are practical limits on what the right to bear arms protects."

You must be new here.

Blogger JimR November 30, 2018 9:12 PM  

"But assume we remove all the vibrancy from America, only Euros left. Would there be more or less shootings if there were no guns in America?"

I am not worried about shootings, I am worried about violent crime. Some involve guns, many don't.

It's a people problem, not a hardware problem.

Blogger wreckage November 30, 2018 9:30 PM  

How dare you, Vox? How VERY dare you!

Accounting is *substantially* more reliable than "science".

Blogger campbreeze November 30, 2018 9:30 PM  

As an accountant I was going to quibble with you about accounting until I thought about it for about 10 seconds. Touché.

Blogger wreckage November 30, 2018 9:45 PM  

I might also point out: Falsifiable's relationship with science is from Popper, and controversial. It is also, strictly speaking, philosophy, not science. I agree with Popper, but not everyone does, nor is there any basis outside of philosophical argument for declaring his rule true or false.

Even so, something not being testable DOES NOT disqualify it from being true; something not even in principle falsifiable or testable is what is meant be "not falsifiable".

Reductionism is a tool, not a master. It helps design experiments, not describe the universe. To follow a strict "scientism" is effectively indistinguishable from solipsism, as it ultimately insists everything outside of a strict mental construct within the individual mind, doesn't exist.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales November 30, 2018 11:42 PM  

@67

"Scientists are well-aware that their very observation alters reality, and they try to accommodate."

That not how quantum-mechanics, taken by itself, works. That's how one of the 13 or so interpretations of quantum mechanics works, assuming you're talking about quantum mechanics.

https://www.iep.utm.edu/int-qm/#H6

And really, that whole, 'observation alters reality' thing is just to say that, because of how things work on the quantum scale, trying to determine the exact location of, say, a boson is hard to do because you would have to use focused electro-magnetic radiation, IE light, itself made of photons which are quantum particles, to try and find said location. So, because light has slight momentum and is roughly of the same scale, when you point your device at the given quantum particle you've moved it from where it was at so you never really know where it really used to be. Or something to that affect. The point is, this whole idea of people just looking at something really small altering reality that people, even scientists, take to be an ontological truth with certain interpretations of quantum mechanics is, as with most things science, completely and utterly overblown. Like trying to get greater than anti-matter energy densities from zero-point energy, itself a quantum-mechanics concept.

And for that matter, saying 'quantum-mechanics says definitively X' tends to run into the same problem as asking, 'Do you support the Aquinian argument?' I mean, there were dozens of arguments he made in the Summa Theologica just like there are a ton of interpretations of quantum mechanics. The analogy, however, doesn't take into account that these interpretations are at odds with each other in several different ways from sunday whereas Aquinas all mostly harmonize.

Blogger Angantyr November 30, 2018 11:49 PM  

Felix Krull wrote:#123

But assume we remove all the vibrancy from America, only Euros left. Would there be more or less shootings if there were no guns in America?

Mind you, I'm not against the 2A necessarily - as a Dane, I can't really comment on that - but arguing that ubiquitous gun ownership has NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER, is delusional, bordering madness.


If all guns vanished, by magic? Sure, I suppose there would be zero shootings - you would just have 1,000,000+ stabbings is all, and scores of thousands of fatalities... So, yes, ubiquitous gun ownership does indeed have an impact - it REDUCES crime!

However, magic does not exist, so guns don't just go away because you wave your magick penis wand (or whatever) - good grief, they're MEDIAEVAL TECHNOLOGY, FFS!!! Seriously, they go back to the 14th century - they are not *new* by any healthy stretch of the imagination. Even the more modern variants that have your panties all in a twist feature technology that is well over 100 years old. Reliable repeaters have been around since the 1830's (thank you, Col Colt!), and even automatic weapons have been around since the late 19th century. Curiously, Queen Victoria's soldiers could easily have had AK-47's; every precursor invention needed to make one (fixed cartidges, jacketed bullets, smokeless powder, advanced metallurgy capable of handling smokeless powder, gas recoil systems, magazines, etc.) was available prior to 1900 - it's just that no one thought to combine them all into one handy package until 1947... (really, earlier if you count the MP-44, and if you count submachine guns then WWI with the MP-18).

If you think Victorian Era (and earlier) technology cannot be duplicated fairly easily in a modern workshop, you are far too stupid to be considered human...

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 01, 2018 12:20 AM  

@Stickwick.
This is where we disagree. Because the human will is supernatural, it is not subject to the physical laws of nature. This is what I abbreviated to "no longer part of nature." I thought, evidently incorrectly, that my meaning was clear. Because we have free will, and moral agency, there can be no laws of human behavior. Depending on your epistemology and theology, you may want to limit that statement to the regenerate, but the principle holds nonetheless.

To claim that the human will, or even the human heart, is subject to science is to imply that it is determinate and measurable. This is obviously false.

I don't even see how this is arguable from a Christian perspective.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 01, 2018 12:30 AM  

@Felix,
The rates of violence, and even gun violence are nearly identical between European countries and their fellow ethnics in the US. Irish Americans have a very similar murder/rape/assault rate as the Irish. Scandi Americans have much the same rates as Scandinavians. The free and even near-ubiquity of firearms in the US has no significant effect, even on the number of shootings.
The numbers are skewed by the very large percentage of our population that are African, Moslem and Latino/native, who all have horrific rates of violence.

Blogger James Pyrich December 01, 2018 1:01 AM  

"And ego depletion, the idea that we have a limited supply of willpower that can be exhausted."

Huh! Ego depletion isn't a thing. I suppose in an age where discipline is in short supply, such a hypothesis would have been exceedingly compelling... but discipline is like a muscle. Exercise it and you have it. Be generally undisciplined and, well, you won't have much willpower.

"And the facial-feedback hypothesis, which simply says that smiling makes us feel happier."

My skepticism on this goes back to the first time I heard it. Yeah, smile if you feel sad, angry, or afraid. That fixes everything. Fools.

Blogger Станислав Бартошевич December 01, 2018 1:25 AM  

@30
"This is the difference between modern and Babylonian astronomy. The Babylonians could predict solar eclipses, but they didn't understand why. That's why we don't consider Babylonian astronomy science."

This just means our modern definition of science is inherently and hopelessly corrupt: instead of discovering and categorizing natural phenomena, science now strives to prove a particular philosophical stance (and a nonsensical one), namely that causes of all material phenomena is rooted in other material phenomena. Read "The Trouble with Physics" by Smolin Lee to see how this led the supposedly the most precise of sciences, physics, towards doing almost nothing but counting angels on the head of a pin for half a century. Accidentally, Smolin himself also operates on the unshakeable a-priori philosophical assumption that Nature is God, and has God's attributes (he believes that in truth physical laws are simple and undivided).

Blogger Станислав Бартошевич December 01, 2018 1:41 AM  

@33
In a scientific field new results aren't taken as real until they've been replicated multiple times by different teams.

Fuck no. If the climate warming scam, about either of which science was supposedly settled many times over hadn't convinced you, I've mentioned "The Trouble with Physics" above. Check it for an example of outright lies and misquoting taken as real for a very long time, until someone bothered to actually trace down the trail of citations, too. That was in the field of theoretical physics, the science-iest of all sciences. And that's before questioning validity of actual experiments. What "verification by multiple teams" you're talking about when colliders and other equipment are so ungodly expensive now? Now it is just factually taking the team conducting experiment at their word.

Blogger S1AL December 01, 2018 1:44 AM  

"Theoretical Physics" is nowhere near being "the science-iest of all sciences". That would be experimental Physics.

Blogger Meng Greenleaf December 01, 2018 2:35 AM  

This may or may not be of interest: It's with regards to the category error that VOX mentions. Yes, it is true the truth-values are categorically different from significant values. But, what else is interesting is that the P-value < alpha-value (for example, say you run a OneWay ANOVA and generate a P-value of 0.01 that you compare against your alpha value you set at 0.05) is based on Karl Popper's attempt to force Modus Tollens (a logical expression) into scientific analysis.
As far as I am aware, this isn't possible.
P1: If P then Q
P2: Not Q
C: Not P
This only holds for P's and Q's that are categorically defined as 100% true (like, all men are bachelors or Christians are people who believe in God), not for likelihoods (250 mg of aspirin is likely to alleviate your headache).
Anyway, I didn't dedicate more time looking into it. I just thought that was interesting. I think I read a blog where someone found two errors that, if controlled for, might overcome some aspects of this fallacy. Perhaps a statistician with a logical bent could tell us?

That aside, Nanjing air pollution is so high today I was advised not to leave the hotel.... great :\ I bought a 2.5 p.m. pollution mask (not sure how effective it was) and went to have dumplings :) Now I'm back trapped in the hotel.... Uggg, I suppose I could get some work done.

Blogger wreckage December 01, 2018 3:04 AM  

If the mask isn't rubber, it's probably largely decorative. Paper or cloth might reduce inhaled particulates, but that's all.

Blogger M Cephas December 01, 2018 4:06 AM  

Scientists will even go out of their way to maintain a failing theory, rather than try to prove themselves wrong, as they so often claim.

After Michelson-Morley, did they question the Copernican Principle? Or did they instead, rewrite the equations for mechanics?

If their equations didn't work the way they were supposed to, did they recognize that perhaps they got it wrong? Or did they instead invent dark matter and dark energy, to prop up their existing models?

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 01, 2018 4:41 AM  

"You were the one not seeming to understand that you can't have shooting without firearms."

Keep telling yourself that perfect enforcement of such states is even possible. We'll keep laughing at you.

Heck, even if you enforce it to one degree or another, the killings don't go away. The pressure will simply find different vents. This is the reasons for the saying "guns don't kill people -- people kill people".

To imagine that to outlaw guns will ensure perfect enforcement, or that even perfect enforcement would eliminate killings, or that even eliminating killings (were it managed) would not simply be eliminating killings as defined by a too-strict definition? All of these imaginations are lunatic.

"Anyone who says you can't have a science of human behavior, because humans are unpredictable, hasn't thought this through."

"The humans do understand all that the humans do."

Recursion error. System crash.

Tendencies, yes. Infinitely precise and accurate predictions, absolutely not.

Psychology as a hard science? Perhaps it could be. However if it were, most people would never find out about it before all men's sins are shouted from rooftops, and lies pass away.

"I know it for a fact, because someone who is essentially the Copernicus of human behavior has already formulated the laws; they've just been ignored for 40 years."

Do tell? Else "The humans do understand all that the humans do" will once again resolve as "the humans apparently know nothing, because the humans omit."

Blogger VD December 01, 2018 9:40 AM  

It happens all the time.

No, it most certainly does not. Most of the most famous and important studies have NEVER been replicated. The number of scientific studies that have been successfully replicated is a very small fraction of the total published.

Then how come we don't believe in a geocentric universe?

Because we have successfully engineered a large number of devices based on a non-geocentric conceptual model. Virtually no one alive or dead has ever replicated or read any study related to falsifying a geocentric universe.

Blogger VD December 01, 2018 9:44 AM  

You don't even get it.

No, Felix, you are so far below the level of the discussion here that it confuses you. Seriously, you're in way over your head. You need to learn to stop blathering and start thinking about what you're being told. Your entire worldview is based on a false foundation.

Blogger Tars Tarkusz December 01, 2018 12:24 PM  

The real category error is science itself. Science is a category or bucket into which you can put actual rigorous fields like engineering and chemistry along with subjects with little or no rigor like gender studies. These things have very little in common and should not share such a category. I am convinced this category was hijacked by people who simply wanted the prestige without the hard work and results.

Though I haven't looked yet, I'd be willing to bet that the famous prison study is one that cannot be reproduced. While the Milgram Study always seemed very credible on its face, the prison study always came across as total BS with bad acting.

Blogger Felix Krull December 01, 2018 6:07 PM  

The main criterion for a position is not that it has no negative effects; it's that the positives outweigh the negatives.

That was the point I was trying to make when I wrote that I'm not against the 2A per se, even if it leads to an increased homicide rate. Lots of things cost human lives; alcohol, coal power and automobiles being the most obvious examples of stuff we're not going to ban.

There's a cultural basis to American attitudes towards firearms than I don't entirely understand but then, there are lots of things I don't understand about furriners. And to tell the truth, if I lived in America, I'd probably want a gun too.

ubiquitous gun ownership does indeed have an impact - it REDUCES crime!

Then how come US murder rates are five times that of the European?

And don't give me that 'it's muh niggers'-stuff. Sure, I can read statistics. But in Europe, it's the Mohammadans. If you really want to compare heritage Minnesotans with Swedes, you need to subtract the vibrant crimes from the Swedish statistics too.

Frankly, I don't know if such numbers have been compiled - I tried looking for them some time back, but didn't find any. Please keep me posted, should you succeed.

Because we have successfully engineered a large number of devices based on a non-geocentric conceptual model.

That is not why we left the geocentric model, because for calculating purposes, on the local scale it doesn't matter if you base your assumptions on a geo- or heliocentric model: take an orrery, remove the solar axis and pin Earth at its center. The orbits will look screwy, but you've not changed the mechanics of the orrery.

In fact, the most popular model in the 17th C was the geo-heliocentric model of Tycho Brahe: he posited that the sun moved around the earth and the other planets around the sun. Before modern optics, no observation you could make from Earth, would be able to distinguish which was right.

Observing an apparent lack of parallax shift of the stars, Tycho reasoned that either 1) the Earth was at the center of the universe or 2) the stars were so far away as to be wildly out of proportion with the dimensions of the solar system.

Of course, assumption number two turned out to be the case, but Tycho, without access to optics, had no way of knowing, so his model could explain everything the heliocentric model could, PLUS it explained why the stars didn't move according to the seasons.

Tycho's astronomical tables - based on a wrong cosmology - was in use more than two hundred years after his death.

Virtually no one alive or dead has ever replicated or read any study related to falsifying a geocentric universe.

It's happening every time the astronomers points one of the big telescopes at a distant star. If you do not account for the parallax shift created by Earth moving around the sun, the image will drift from the centerline.

If you don't consider that a test of the heliocentric model, I'm open to hear your alternative interpretation of the parallax shift. Perhaps G-d is moving the entire universe back and forth, according to earthly seasons?

Blogger Felix Krull December 01, 2018 6:25 PM  

It happens all the time.

No, it most certainly does not.


It's happening in high schools classrooms all over the world as we speak.

Off the top of my head, I can think of four experiments I've done myself to test the textbooks, but it's been more than thirty years since then, and I'm sure we did a lot more than that.

Blogger Felix Krull December 01, 2018 7:24 PM  

And a footnote to Tycho: the reason we left the geocentric cosmology was because of common sense. Geocentrism demanded you accept that the planets periodically moved backwards in their orbits. The heliocentric model had no such confounding phenomena, nor did Tycho's model.

Also, the geo-heliocentrics model was in accordance with Catholic dogmas - not that that mattered to the Protestant Tycho.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 01, 2018 7:25 PM  

And don't give me that 'it's muh niggers'-stuff. Sure, I can read statistics. But in Europe, it's the Mohammadans. If you really want to compare heritage Minnesotans with Swedes, you need to subtract the vibrant crimes from the Swedish statistics too.
Oh, so 50% of the Danish population is non-White? Good to know.
You're a fucking moron, Felix, and you're so convinced of your superior intellect you're happy to demonstrate it. At each any and every possible opportunity you show your inability to think beyond a simple two-step of logic. I'm sure there's a selection bias involved, but I've known a few Danes and honestly, you're the dumbest one I've ever met.

Blogger Felix Krull December 01, 2018 7:37 PM  

Oh, so 50% of the Danish population is non-White? Good to know.

What are you babbling about? I SPECIFICALLY proposed comparing oranges with oranges - comparing white crime in America with white crime in Sweden. In such a comparison, the fraction of vibrancy in each country would be irrelevant.

You're a fucking moron.

Yes, yes, I know. I've been told a dozen times in this thread already. It seems to be the standard go-to argument in here - it's like being back in kindergarten.

Blogger Felix Krull December 01, 2018 9:01 PM  

And I don't even understand why any real American would object to a comparison of white crime rates in Euroland vs. the US. If I were American, I'd be like: "Fuck yeah! You BET we're more violent!"

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 01, 2018 9:04 PM  

I SPECIFICALLY proposed comparing oranges with oranges - comparing white crime in America with white crime in Sweden. In such a comparison, the fraction of vibrancy in each country would be irrelevant.
It's already been provided, fuckwit.

Blogger Felix Krull December 01, 2018 9:21 PM  

It's already been provided,

Where?

In #150, I ask people to note me if they find such statistics, so a bit of specificity would be appreciated.

The Swedes are notoriously parsimonious with their statistics on race/crime, my own, non-scientific estimate is, that diverse people account for about 65% of the violent crime in Sweden, and upwards of 85% of the rapes, although rape is a rather broad category in hinsidan.

If you want to argue that an armed white populace is no more violent than an unarmed one, comparing white Minnesotans to white Swedes would be an obvious solution: the genetic stock is broadly similar and so are the social and cultural patterns.

And I'm not trolling here, at least not on this point. I'm genuinely curious as to what the differences are, if there even are any. Because the Swedes are actually quite well armed. Next to Switzerland - where having an assault rifle is mandatory for military age men - Sweden is the most gunned-up country in Europe. And it's not peashooters either, but ordnance designed to drop 1,600 lbs of elk.

...fuckwit.

Yes, I get it, stop repeating yourself.

I've considered the argument and decided that my statements are true or false independent of whether I'm a moron or not.

Blogger Felix Krull December 01, 2018 9:22 PM  

Sweden is the most gunned-up country in Europe.

Western Europe, that is.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 01, 2018 9:53 PM  

@58

>> "Theory" and "Models" don't mean squat.

> Not to you, no.

So, what is the great significance of the Phlogiston Theory?

How about the AEther Theory?
Theories, in general, are irrelevant.

Only a subset of theories are useful -- those which have been tried repeatedly to the point of being called "Laws of Nature" (although surprises still happen. Ever notice how you never see an listing for the value of the Gravitational Constant g beyond 3 significant digits? That's because g, as measured, is constantly fluctuating, by over 1%. Printed values of g are just averages of the latest observations.


Blogger Dirk Manly December 01, 2018 10:01 PM  

@66

"
what you meant to say was, "Only those things which are TESTABLE are Science. And it's only Science until the hypothesis fails to conform to the test results.""

Felix is actually correct in what he stated.

"Testable" and "Falsifiable" mean the same thing -- Is there some way of testing this idea, such that any outcome which is not X demonstrates the hypothesis to be wrong?
If there is such a test, then it can be called a Theory (which does NOT mean that it's right... Theory is just a way of denoting a hypothesis which is falsifiable through testing.

Falsifiable does NOT mean that it's false.
Falsifiable means that at least one test can be made which would prove the idea to be false. Falsifiability has no bearing on the outcome of any experiment.

Blogger Felix Krull December 01, 2018 10:09 PM  

So, what is the great significance of the Phlogiston Theory?

That is was disproved.

As I've said twice in this thread, what sets science apart from all other kinds of knowledge, is that you can disprove theories.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 01, 2018 10:11 PM  

@68

"My mistake, I meant the quant per se: the idea that energy comes in discrete packages. Planck himself believed that it was nonsense, but useful due to its predictive powers."

Likewise, the "epicycles and deferents" model of planetary motion is both false, but useful for it's predictive powers. Before the age of cheap computers, private pilots flying at night would pre-compute expected sextant measurements of star and planet positions with respect to the horizon. Earth-centered 4th-order epicycle & deferent (4 of each) calculations were much simpler to calculate than working out the differential equations and 3-D geometry needed to get "the real answer." The two are close enough for task, even though the epicycles and deferents model is spectacularly non-representative of the structure of the solar system.

All of which is spectacularly more useful than the Theory of Phlogiston.

Blogger Felix Krull December 01, 2018 10:14 PM  

#162
It seems to me you just made a very powerful argument in favour of scientific models.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 01, 2018 10:17 PM  

@69

"That's not a rephrasing. I said that theories that are not falsifiable, are not science. "

If it's not falsifiable, then it's not even a theory -- it's merely an untestable hypothesis. Which does not rule out correctness.

For example, I can hypothesize that 15,023 years ago, there was born a hunter-gatherer named Og, who lived on the land which is presently the city of Tyre.

Due to the lack of written language at that time, the hypothesis is untestable (even if we found the gravesite of such a person, we would never know what his name was, what exact year he was born in, nor whether or not he was born in the city of Tyre), therefore, the assertion will forever by stuck at, being, at best, a hypothesis, never a theory.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 01, 2018 10:25 PM  

@78

"As opposed to, say, psychology, where a drug-peddling neurotic like Freud is periodically brushed off and revived."

Don't leave out cocaine-addled and obsessed with his own sex-life to the point that he presumed that all clients must be, to the same degree, as sex-obsessed as he was. The man's writings are a literal study in the 3 laws of SJWs.

Blogger Felix Krull December 01, 2018 10:33 PM  

#165
Yes. And, of course, virulent gentilophobe. I assume you're familiar with Frederick Crew's comprehensive torch-job, but if not, here's a freeware copy:

http://lib1.org/_ads/AEEEFB2C2FF6737F4ABA0D0DC5565AE4

Be advised, it's a trillion pages long.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 01, 2018 10:45 PM  

@97

"You were the one not seeming to understand that you can't have shooting without firearms."

You remind me of why submariners make such lousy guards. Submariners primarily work off of checklists. So, when a sub is in port, if a submarine crewman walks a patrol through his sub, and doesnt' find anybody, and looks up and down the dock, and sees only another member of his crew or two, he checks the "all secure" box, and relaxes his guard for the next 4 hours.

Dick Marcinko specifically pointed this out in Rogue Warrior, in relationship to his SEAL Team's assignment to test the security of nuke subs when in port.

Now, you don't get to be a SEAL without also qualifying for extremely high level security clearances.

Marcinko brought along a Polaroid camera, and took photos of his team members in the missile bays of various subs.

The sub-fleet Admirals, being highly embarrased, decided that instead of admitting that they have a problem, and seeking out help to improve submarine in-port security, instead decided to court-martial Marcinko (and several of his subordinate officers and NCOs), for "entering locations they were not authorized to enter," -- completely glossing over the fact that they had ASSIGNED him the task of testing if such things were possible.

When the Navy wanted to recall him (and restore his commission) for Desert Storm, he told them to go f themselves.

(All court martial convictions, even for offenses which would be a mere citation (below misdemeanor status--like cranking your stereo at 3 AM and waking up everyone in the base housing area, or letting your dog run around loose on base) is treated as a Felony in the civilian world. They were willing to reinstate him at his previous rank (Commander), but refused to expunge the court-marital conviction. Typical Navy.

Blogger Felix Krull December 01, 2018 10:53 PM  

#167
That is an interesting anecdote, but entirely beside the point I was trying to make.

All this stuff about gun free zones started when someone somehow argued that the prevalence of shootings in so-called gun 'free' zones, was evidence that scientific methods were bogus. I was trying to explain that the 'free' in gun free zones was not the same as 'free' in the scientific sense.

The conversation deteriorated from there, but we got to Sweden eventually, so it wasn't all a waste of time...

Blogger Dirk Manly December 01, 2018 10:59 PM  

@132

>> How dare you, Vox? How VERY dare you!

>> Accounting is *substantially* more reliable than "science".

Barely medium-sized business CEO: What do the books say?

Head Accountant: What do you want them to say?

Blogger Dirk Manly December 01, 2018 11:03 PM  

@134

"I might also point out: Falsifiable's relationship with science is from Popper, and controversial. It is also, strictly speaking, philosophy, not science."

Science is a subset of philosophy. Popper's statement therefore applies.

Each of the "hard sciences" started out as a specific field within philosophy. Although they have gained their own identities, the scientific method is still a philosophical statement.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 01, 2018 11:10 PM  

@134

"Even so, something not being testable DOES NOT disqualify it from being true; something not even in principle falsifiable or testable is what is meant be "not falsifiable"."

Science has nothing to do with any of that.


There are 4 categories; each statement falls into one of them. These are

1. Known Truths ------------ 2. Unknowable Truths
3. Known Falsehoods --------- 4. Unknowable Falsehoods

Science deals only with those which fall into the categories on the left.

Religion deals, in some aspects, with SOME things which falls into categories on the right, as well as some in the categories on the left. Faith can be useful for quadrants 2 and 4. Sometimes faith in a particular item in quadrant 2 gets it moved into quadrant 1. It's a reward system.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother December 01, 2018 11:32 PM  

Felix, that was I, and my analogy went a few feet over your head.

I'll break it down Barney style for you.

The point I was making is that a gun free zone and methods that somehow make science give accurate results both depend on people obeying them to work. They don't enforce themselves. I can ignore a gun free zone sign just as easily as I can ignore any method for ensuring scientific accuracy in experimental results.

Blogger Felix Krull December 01, 2018 11:39 PM  

#172
I see. Well, that's a pretty tenuous analogy, if you ask me. Scientific conscientiousness is not enforced by commissars or police officers, but by colleagues debunking bad science.

Is it consistently or even systematically done?

No, but that's not the point. The point is that it CAN be done, if you have the determination and resources. In most other fields of knowledge, there's no definite way of debunking theories.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 02, 2018 6:11 AM  

"It's happening in high schools classrooms all over the world as we speak."

If it were actually happening at a rate significant for these purposes, science would have self-corrected, or would at least be improving.

It observably is not. The opposite is occurring.

To add to this, science itself is based upon several assumptions about the universe. When any of those assumptions are forgotten, ignored, or discarded, you have nothing left of use. Whether science (the profession) can self-repair to some extent or not is completely meaningless, because it cannot repair adhesion to the axioms upon which its methods are necessarily founded.

Once that adhesion is weakened or gone, the knowledge base is inevitably damaged, corrupted, perverted, exploited, and systematically eliminated.

"No, but that's not the point. The point is that it CAN be done, if you have the determination and resources."

No, the point is that is is not being done, and cannot be done without a commitment to Truth, among other things.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 02, 2018 11:37 AM  

@150

"There's a cultural basis to American attitudes towards firearms than I don't entirely understand"

Read about 5 books by American authors, about the American War for Independence.

Pay special attention to 3 months before and after the Battle of Lexington and the Battle of Concord. (Both in the same night, with the same Redcoat unit. In reality, they should be called brief skirmishes, not even amounting to a firefight. But then, in most wars of Independence and wars of Revolution, the earliest armed hostilities labelled as "battles" tend to be similarly trivial affairs [in military terms] which had extremely oversized political effect, causing a subsequent, and rapid escalation in armed hostilities).

Blogger Dirk Manly December 02, 2018 11:40 AM  

@150

"ubiquitous gun ownership does indeed have an impact - it REDUCES crime!

Then how come US murder rates are five times that of the European?"

1) Read what happened to the crime rate in Kennesaw, Georgia, after the city passed an ordinance mandating that every household legally eligible to own a firearm to be equipped with at least one.
TL;DR Violent crimes, burglaries, robberies, and home invasions dropped to statistical insignificance within a month, and have never returned.

2) Read "More Guns, Less Crime" by John Lott.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 02, 2018 11:46 AM  

@155

"And I don't even understand why any real American would object to a comparison of white crime rates in Euroland vs. the US. If I were American, I'd be like: "Fuck yeah! You BET we're more violent!""

White Americans are civilized.
Our threshhold for violence tends to be ABOVE the "suffered personal harm" level. "Society has suffered significant harm" or "this action, if deliberately repeated, will cause societal harm" is closer to where our trip-line is.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 02, 2018 11:49 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 02, 2018 11:49 AM  

@163

"It seems to me you just made a very powerful argument in favour of scientific models."

I'm an engineer. ALL of engineering is built on scientific models.

I wasn't arguing against you, I was arguing against your critic who discounted models.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 02, 2018 11:58 AM  

@167

"That is an interesting anecdote, but entirely beside the point I was trying to make.

All this stuff about gun free zones started when someone somehow argued that the prevalence of shootings in so-called gun 'free' zones, was evidence that scientific methods were bogus. I was trying to explain that the 'free' in gun free zones was not the same as 'free' in the scientific sense.

The conversation deteriorated from there, but we got to Sweden eventually, so it wasn't all a waste of time..."

Just as the submariners determined that their boat was "secure" because they didn't find any unauthorized personnel inside at the change of watch did NOT mean that the boat was actually secure.

Security to prevent entry of persons/things requires an ongoing, every second of every day, PERFECT security cordon.

No such thing can or will exist. If it did, then there would be no word for the activity we call "smuggling."

Let alone the fact that an armed person can just shoot the gate guards, and then go wherever they want within the "gun free zone" which is no longer gun-free.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 02, 2018 12:00 PM  

@173

"I see. Well, that's a pretty tenuous analogy, if you ask me. Scientific conscientiousness is not enforced by commissars or police officers, but by colleagues debunking bad science."

And what happens when the colleagues (*cough* Climate *cough*) are just as corrupt as the commissars and police officers in a police st ate?

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 02, 2018 12:50 PM  

I see. Well, that's a pretty tenuous analogy, if you ask me.

The point is, no one did.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother December 02, 2018 4:11 PM  

Why is it a tenuous analogy, butter cookie Felix? Both are sets of rules that only work if people have the integrity to follow them. Which is to say, not very well.

Blogger Dirk Manly December 02, 2018 6:33 PM  

Felix, Britain is a "gun free zone" and yet, after being made into a gun free zone, homocide by handguns went UP.

How does this happen? Discuss.

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