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curiously, we don't have a thread on science on here. We've got quite a few people who have a great interest in such, so I thought this would be a fitting place for discussing science in the broad sense, it's benefits and its limitations.

This is one of my favorite achievments of science of the last decades:

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it is something we thought would never be achieved, but here it is. It is a symbol for what science can achieve.

I also believe that the scientific method is a tool, and not a way of life. The scientific method is far too narrow and stringent to allow full philosophic excursions across the landscape. It isn't interested in stuff like spirits, bigfoot, cryptids, the nature of god and other magical elements, because it doesn't have the means to investigate those. But here lies the danger, that this will severely limit your progression in understanding the world.

The covid 19 debacle is another example where the strictness of the scientific method can severely halt progression, when faced with an accute problem that necessitates quick action. Wear a face mask or not? We have all been able to witness the undecidedness, the clumsiness and the shifting the gun of shoulder, that the scientific world showed on that issue. The slowness of the scientific method means, that they acted far too late in some of their recommendations. The scientific world refuses to accept blame, because they argue that they offered their best advice, given the data that was available back then. And while this is a true statement from their point of view, an external observer can only conclude that something went wrong, that we acted too late, and that science in this case was insufficient to ensure people's safety. So science isnt the be-all and end-all of everything.

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Me coming into this thread:

A choir boy as seen up close by Father O’Reilly?   Sorry, sorry, sorry. Couldn’t help myself. I think I need to have myself checked.  

Some astrophysics claim that there is a constant production of the molecule phosphine on Venus. This is interesting because phosphine is usually a byproduct of biological degradation. In other words,

I think being stringent is a good thing, especially well dealing with something like COVID-19.  As much as I love philosophy and a philosophical approach I think the development of stringent approaches in science came about as a necessity, not some sort of act of arrogance on the part of scientists, the most effective and efficient way is ALWAYS preferable, no ones out there deliberately making shit more difficult for the furtherance of science.  And whats the point of any serious investigating of something that you don't have the means to investigate or the evidence present to go by?  It would be an incredible waste of time and resources when there are issues that are clear and present and more to the benefit of the immediate functioning of a society.  You can't be thinking about how to make time machines when you haven't even invented the wheel yet.

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2 hours ago, action said:

It isn't interested in stuff like spirits, bigfoot, cryptids, the nature of god and other magical elements, because it doesn't have the means to investigate those. But here lies the danger, that this will severely limit your progression in understanding the world.

First off, the scientific method isn't a sentient entity and can not be interested in anything. It is a method for figuring out things.

Secondly, the scientific method could absolutely be used to study any supernatural phenome that influences the material (real world). And if they don't influence the material world you have a strong argument for them not being real.

2 hours ago, action said:

But here lies the danger, that this will severely limit your progression in understanding the world.

I would on the contrary argue that those things you mention, spirits, gods, unicorns and whatnot, aren't actually a part of our physical world. If you want to go beyond the scientific method you are a bit of a kook that wastes your time with the supernatural that likely is just imaginary.

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9 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

If you want to go beyond the scientific method you are a bit of a kook that wastes your time with the supernatural that likely is just imaginary.

to claim that it is "likely just imaginary" is actually formulating a theory on the problem of, for example, spirits.

that claim, like any claim, needs to be proven. 

But by dismissing this problem, by calling it "likely just imaginary", you're excempting phenomena from investigation.

And when science does reluctantly investigate a little further, like with that prayer experiment, the setup and results are laughibly unsatisfying. Scientists don't want to lose face by investigating these things, it seems.

Isn't that, ultimately, what this is all about? Not to lose your credibility as a scientist?

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11 minutes ago, action said:

to claim that it is "likely just imaginary" is actually formulating a theory on the problem of, for example, spirits.

that claim, like any claim, needs to be proven. 

But by dismissing this problem, by calling it "likely just imaginary", you're excempting phenomena from investigation.

And when science does reluctantly investigate a little further, like with that prayer experiment, the setup and results are laughibly unsatisfying. Scientists don't want to lose face by investigating these things, it seems.

Isn't that, ultimately, what this is all about? Not to lose your credibility as a scientist?

You don't understand. Anything that affects the natural world can be studied with the scientific method. They are per definition natural. Those things that doesn't affect the natural world are supernatural and can not be studied with the scientific method. 

But if something doesn't affect the material world in any way which can be studied by science, then in a way it doesn't exist as anything but an imaginary concept. The reason for why it doesn't affect the natural world is because it is imaginary. Take a ghost as an example. If that ghost someone interacts with the material world, it is subject to be studied by the scientific method. For instance if it can be seen by the eye or with some equipment, or if it makes a sound, or it it can interact with matter and move objects around. If it can do neither of this, if it in insisible, silent, and can't interact with matter - then it is indistinguisble from not existing at all, except as a thought. Like Santa Clause. Or god.

What prayer experiment? What are you gong on about now then? :lol: There have been lots of studies on the efficacy of prayer and despite what you say, there is nothing laughable about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficacy_of_prayer Unless you take pleasure is seeing religious claims being debunked, that is. And there is about $ 5 million spent on research into prayers every year - so there are some scientists who do want to study it. The problem is, of course, that it is not a terrible interesting field of science and that so far all the evidence suggests prayers doesn't work so you are kind of beating a dead horse. Most scientists actually want to expand our knowledge by discovering something new, not re-doing studies proving that prayers aren't working.

And I have no idea what you are talking about in the last sentence. Are you saying some scientists have lost credibility over something? Is this thread just a vehicle for grinding an axe against science?

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15 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

If that ghost someone interacts with the material world, it is subject to be studied by the scientific method. For instance if it can be seen by the eye or with some equipment, or if it makes a sound, or it it can interact with matter and move objects around. If it can do neither of this, if it in insisible, silent, and can't interact with matter - then it is indistinguisble from not existing at all, except as a thought. Like Santa Clause. Or god.

 

don't laugh, but there is this program I watch "paranormal caught on camera" on discovery channel, and these show various footage of ghosts, cryptids etc, which is then reviewed by "experts".

I watch it for entertainment purposes, but when I watch all that footage, I'm starting to see patterns and stuff that's consequent across all those videos.

Like batteries draining instantly in the vicinity of a ghost, stuff like that.

EMP's can measure electric magnetic fields. that's not imaginary; that's real

All perfectly measurable data. 

But as we speak, only freaks and self proclaimed "ghost hunters" are involved in this field.

Why can't this be a fully fledged discipline? 

Now, as it stands, when I watch that program and those "witnesses", you're always left with the thought that they set up everything as a hoax. Whereas, with an experiment run by respected scientists, this would not be the case.

Lots of missed opportunities for science here

 

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11 minutes ago, action said:

don't laugh, but there is this program I watch "paranormal caught on camera" on discovery channel, and these show various footage of ghosts, cryptids etc, which is then reviewed by "experts".

I watch it for entertainment purposes, but when I watch all that footage, I'm starting to see patterns and stuff that's consequent across all those videos.

Like batteries draining instantly in the vicinity of a ghost, stuff like that.

EMP's can measure electric magnetic fields. that's not imaginary; that's real

All perfectly measurable data. 

But as we speak, only freaks and self proclaimed "ghost hunters" are involved in this field.

Why can't this be a fully fledged discipline? 

Because there is no reason to think they are real. Hence they are reserved as topics for ridiculous entertainment shows. 

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1 minute ago, SoulMonster said:

Because there is no reason to think they are real. Hence they are reserved as topics for ridiculous entertainment shows. 

and that's why the scientific method is up for revision.

It will be fascinating to see what will come in the place of the old moldy institution of science. a new kind of "age of enlightement".

We're still using methods cooked up in the 17th century. Time for a revision, don't you think? We can do better than that, we should do better.

Consciousness comes with levels. We're not at the highest possible level yet. Science hinders our progress too much.

When will the realisation come, that we stand still? That there is so much more that needs investigating?

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2 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

Because it is unsuitable to use for the study of things that doesn't affect the physical world? I disagree. 

unless it attacks your baby, of course

 

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4 minutes ago, action said:

and that's why the scientific method is up for revision.

It will be fascinating to see what will come in the place of the old moldy institution of science. a new kind of "age of enlightement".

We're still using methods cooked up in the 17th century. Time for a revision, don't you think? We can do better than that, we should do better. 

The principles of the scientific method, experimental research, objective evidence, replicates, blind tests, etc, won't go out of fashion just yet :lol: But by all means, if someone develops an alternative method to figure out things, that can rival the successes of science, then it will be replaced automatically. Armchair philosophy and scriptural revelations will never replace it. 

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7 minutes ago, action said:

Consciousness comes with levels. We're not at the highest possible level yet. 

You definitely aren't. 

How about starting a thread about pseudoscience instead? It seems that that is what interests you, not actual science. 

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9 minutes ago, action said:

When will the realisation come, that we stand still?

When we stand still. For the moment scientists churn out thousands upon thousands of scientific papers every year that add to our cumulative understanding of the world. 

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4 minutes ago, DieselDaisy said:

Do people with science degrees/phds ever sit back and read a science book for fun, like I do history books? Genuine question. Graeme and his volcano porn need not answer.

I can imagine, when you studied it for 5 years at uni, needed to take exames etc, then doing it for work, that in your free time you'd prefer something different.

Now with history it's a bit different since that is entertaining in and of itself, but are medics entertaining? Is law entertaining? Or chemics (I suppose cooking up explosive potions never gets old, but still)?

I prefer to watch tom & jerry in my free time, to be honest

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Just now, action said:

I can imagine, when you studied it for 5 years at uni, needed to take exames etc, then doing it for work, that in your free time you'd prefer something different.

Now with history it's a bit different since that is entertaining in and of itself, but are medics entertaining? Is law entertaining? Or chemics (I suppose cooking up explosive potions never gets old, but still)?

I prefer to watch tom & jerry in my free time, to be honest

That is actually my point. History seems to operate as academia and somewhere between the hobbyist and entertainment - history is one of the biggest selling non-fiction categories in book stores. Science is just, well, zzzz. When people attach themselves to it during higher education it seems to be solely a ''for work's sake'' thing. Same with maths. Doubt many settle back with a good maths book in the same way they sit back with a book about Hitler.

In fairness I do have a book on the dinosaurs on my shelf.

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18 minutes ago, DieselDaisy said:

Do people with science degrees/phds ever sit back and read a science book for fun, like I do history books? Genuine question. Graeme and his volcano porn need not answer.

Books popularising science? Absolutely. 

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3 minutes ago, DieselDaisy said:

That is actually my point. History seems to operate as academia and somewhere between the hobbyist and entertainment - history is one of the biggest selling non-fiction categories in book stores. Science is just, well, zzzz. When people attach themselves to it during higher education it seems to be solely a ''for work's sake'' thing. Same with maths. Doubt many settle back with a good maths book in the same way they sit back with a book about Hitler.

In fairness I do have a book on the dinosaurs on my shelf.

my brother is an civil engineer. I glanced over his book shelf the other day. Books about concrete (the book was literally callled that: "concrete") and stress parameters for materials.

you don't exactly attract many birds with that.

"Do you wanna know the strenght parameter of my dick?"

 

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7 minutes ago, DieselDaisy said:

That is actually my point. History seems to operate as academia and somewhere between the hobbyist and entertainment - history is one of the biggest selling non-fiction categories in book stores. Science is just, well, zzzz. When people attach themselves to it during higher education it seems to be solely a ''for work's sake'' thing. Same with maths. Doubt many settle back with a good maths book in the same way they sit back with a book about Hitler.

I don't think I have ever met a scientist who went through a PhD degree for "work's sake" :lol: The work hours are too terrible and the salary too low for that. Scientists tend to be passionate about their field of discipline. They are scientists because they love their job and they love their research.

But this love wouldn't translate into reading scientific papers for "fun". They are not really entertaining. They are way too dense and written in a way to dry language for that. And besides, unless you actually work in that very disicpline, they are usually rather incomprehensible to other people.

2 minutes ago, DieselDaisy said:

I didn't really mean that. 

So what did you mean? Do you think that scientists write books for each other?

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1 minute ago, action said:

my brother is an civil engineer. I glanced over his book shelf the other day. Books about concrete (the book was literally callled that: "concrete") and stress parameters for materials.

you don't exactly attract many birds with that.

"Do you wanna know the strenght parameter of my dick?"

 

Maybe they do then.

1 minute ago, SoulMonster said:

I don't think I have ever met a scientist who went through a PhD degree for "work's sake" :lol: The work hours are too terrible and the salary too low for that. Scientists tend to be passionate about their field of discipline. They are scientists because they love their job and they love their research.

But this love wouldn't translate into reading scientific papers for "fun". They are not really entertaining. They are way too dense and written in a way to dry language for that. And besides, unless you actually work in that very disicpline, they are usually rather incomprehensible to other people.

So what did you mean? Do you think that scientists write books for each other?

I didn't necessarily mean popularization.

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2 minutes ago, SoulMonster said:

But this love wouldn't translate into reading scientific papers for "fun". They are not really entertaining. They are way too dense and written in a way to dry language for that. And besides, unless you actually work in that very disicpline, they are usually rather incomprehensible to other people.

That is why it is different from history. Historians, academic historians, all seem to read history for fun. In fact there is a sort of blurring of the edges, between academic discipline, hobbyism and mere entertainment. 

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