Author Topic: Beyond Science  (Read 272 times)

Sriram

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Beyond Science
« on: August 04, 2018, 05:55:30 PM »
Hi everyone,

I thought I will start a separate thread on this subject.

Some decades back or even today for that matter, some religious people question the validity of the Theory of Evolution or Cosmology or genetics or whatever....and thereby try to convince others of the validity of their religious mythology or literal interpretation of their religious texts. I can understand that this gives scientists and science enthusiasts some reason to get upset. They would naturally try to prove the validity of their discoveries and its inherent conflicts with mythology. No problem with that.

However, if none of the discoveries or theories of science are questioned but people have other reasons to believe in deeper aspects of reality than what science has discovered.....why should scientists and such people have a problem with that?  This deals with matters beyond science.

The usual argument appears to be that....such believers do not have a 'proper' understanding of science which is what prompts them to believe in such erroneous and unwarranted ideas of 'realities'. If they had a 'proper' understanding of science they will see the error of their ways and will give up believing in such matters!!

This is clearly nonsense!

1. People of science tend to position themselves as people with superior reasoning capabilities and  think that they can and should question the reasoning of people who accept any realities beyond what science has to offer.  This is clearly arrogant with no basis in fact. If anything, such people are  unable to see beyond their present 'theories'.

2. There is no such thing as a 'proper' understanding of science. Most scientists themselves have only a partial and incomplete understanding of discoveries beyond their specialized area of study. Also, most theories are even today only tentative and it is a moot point whether many professional scientists themselves agree on most theories. 100 years from today whether any of today's theories will still be extant is questionable.  So a 'proper' understanding of science has nothing to do with accepting realities that are beyond science. It is just a childish and easy way of fending off arguments by claiming that people don't understand science.....as if understanding some isolated scientific theory 'correctly' will automatically take care of all unanswered questions.

3. It is clearly a feeling of threat and insecurity that makes such science enthusiasts so vociferous and even vitriolic in the defense of their ideas.  It is a strong reaction born of set ideas. Almost a fear of some supernatural idea being thrust down their throats or fear of being told how to live. It is an egocentric  fear of losing control.

4. Many professional scientists  also are spiritualists/religious and believe in realities beyond what science has discovered. Understanding of scientific theories has nothing to do with accepting realities beyond that. Reality is complex  and not as straight forward as scientists had assumed in the early 20th century.

5. The traditional conflict between science and religion seems to have created a mind set of standardized rebuttal of all things not currently under the scope of science. This is old school thinking.

Just some thoughts.

Cheers.

Sriram

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Re: Beyond Science
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2018, 06:42:01 PM »

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However, if none of the discoveries or theories of science are questioned but people have other reasons to believe in deeper aspects of reality than what science has discovered.....why should scientists and such people have a problem with that?  This deals with matters beyond science.

It's not that it's a problem it's that if people are making claims about what is "beyond science", especially if they are linking it to science (as you so often do) then it's up to them to give credible reasons to take their ideas seriously. If it's a matter of baseless conjecture or blind faith then they should admit it. Personal faith isn't an issue, you can believe anything you like - but if you're putting it to other people (especially if you are linking it to science), if it is nothing but a personal belief, then you should say so.

The usual argument appears to be that....such believers do not have a 'proper' understanding of science...

Sometimes there is a misunderstanding of science (such as thinking natural selection is a metaphor) but the main issue is as sated above.

1. People of science tend to position themselves as people with superior reasoning capabilities...

Pots and kettles spring to mind...

2. There is no such thing as a 'proper' understanding of science. Most scientists themselves have only a partial and incomplete understanding of discoveries beyond their specialized area of study. Also, most theories are even today only tentative...

Theories are always tentative. A theory, by its nature, has a proper understanding.

3. It is clearly a feeling of threat and insecurity that makes such science enthusiasts so vociferous and even vitriolic in the defense of their ideas.  It is a strong reaction born of set ideas. Almost a fear of some supernatural idea being thrust down their throats or fear of being told how to live. It is an egocentric  fear of losing control.

Sounds like it's you who feels threatened. It really is simple: if you think you have some reason to suggest something 'supernatural' or beyond science and you want to convince others of it, then it's up to you to provide the rationale. If your rationale is criticised perhaps it's because it really isn't up to much.

If you try to link your ideas to science, or compare it with scientific hypotheses or conjectures, and your understanding of the relevant science is flawed then you can expect to have it pointed out.

I really don't care what you personally believe but if you're presenting it on a public forum as factual and have provided no good reasons to accept it, or if you are misrepresenting a scientific theory or are drawing questionable parallels between scientific hypotheses or conjectures and your own ideas, then, if I have the time and the relevant knowledge, I will point these things out.
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Gordon

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Re: Beyond Science
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2018, 07:03:12 PM »
However, if none of the discoveries or theories of science are questioned but people have other reasons to believe in deeper aspects of reality than what science has discovered.....why should scientists and such people have a problem with that?  This deals with matters beyond science.

The nub of the problem is here, Sriram: this feeling that some have that there are 'other reasons' to think that there are 'deeper aspects' that are 'beyond science' is gloriously imprecise in the absence of them going on to say anything that would provide grounds to take their feelings seriously.

As it stands it just sounds like a bunch of slogans that give some people a warm cozy feeling: which is maybe nice for them but that isn't enough to confirm that these 'deeper aspects' are anything other than wishful or magical thinking.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 06:55:23 AM by Gordon »

Sriram

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Re: Beyond Science
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2018, 01:42:36 PM »
There is no doubt that there are many things beyond the scope of science.

Some of the things we can try to examine and understand objectively....to the extent possible.  Most of it is confined to subjective experiences and science is left wondering what is going on.

There was a time some decades ago when many westerners wanted to leave religion and had only science as an alternative. In recent years however, more and more people seem to be embracing secular spirituality. 

https://tsriramrao.wordpress.com/about/
« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 05:00:02 PM by Sriram »

ippy

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Re: Beyond Science
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2018, 02:48:56 PM »
There is no doubt that there are many things beyond the scope of science.

Some of the things we can try to examine and understand objectively....to the extent possible.  Most of it is confined to subjective experiences and science is left wondering what is going on.

There was a time some decades ago when many westerners wanted to leave religion and had only science as an alternative. In recent years more and more people seem to be embracing secular spirituality. 

https://tsriramrao.wordpress.com/about/

Read your link Sriram, it didn't manage to get around Gordon's bolted down on all four corners post number 2 on this thread, that link couldn't even make it clear whatever it was the author thought was being thrown out with the bathwater.

You obviously have this well ingrained love of mumbo jumbo and seem unable to put it to one side.

Regards ippy.

Sriram

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Re: Beyond Science
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2018, 04:58:17 PM »


Copied from my above linked article.....

Jerome Ravetz, a British philosopher of science at Oxford….has commented recently in an article published on 8th June 2016…….

” Given the public awareness that science can be low-quality or corrupted, that whole fields can be misdirected for decades (see nutrition, on cholesterol and sugar), and that some basic fields must progress in the absence of any prospect of empirical testing (string theory), the naïve realism of previous generations becomes quite Medieval in its irrelevance to present realities.”


Quite relevant and quite revealing too....I think.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 05:00:19 PM by Sriram »

Gordon

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Re: Beyond Science
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2018, 05:26:10 PM »

Copied from my above linked article.....

Jerome Ravetz, a British philosopher of science at Oxford….has commented recently in an article published on 8th June 2016…….

” Given the public awareness that science can be low-quality or corrupted, that whole fields can be misdirected for decades (see nutrition, on cholesterol and sugar), and that some basic fields must progress in the absence of any prospect of empirical testing (string theory), the naïve realism of previous generations becomes quite Medieval in its irrelevance to present realities.”


Quite relevant and quite revealing too....I think.

Can't see anything problematic here: that the outcomes of science are provisional and subject to revision in response to new findings isn't news, and that some science pushes at boundaries and doesn't claim substantiated knowledge isn't news either.

That some might misunderstand science, or where scientific findings aren't explained well, or involve elements that are difficult for lay people to understand, may be communication or education issues but that in no way devalues professional scientific endeavour provided it isn't misused by the science community. That science may be misused by others is a separate matter.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 05:28:14 PM by Gordon »

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Re: Beyond Science
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2018, 05:35:20 PM »
Copied from my above linked article.....

Jerome Ravetz, a British philosopher of science at Oxford….has commented recently in an article published on 8th June 2016…….

” Given the public awareness that science can be low-quality or corrupted, that whole fields can be misdirected for decades (see nutrition, on cholesterol and sugar), and that some basic fields must progress in the absence of any prospect of empirical testing (string theory), the naïve realism of previous generations becomes quite Medieval in its irrelevance to present realities.”


Quite relevant and quite revealing too....I think.

Not really, no.

It's actually incredibly hypocritical to point out problems with science that are due to practicalities or the fact that it's done by fallible human beings when you're attempting to peddle baseless woo that you can provide no objective evidence or logical reasoning to support at all. Even if we imagine for a moment that there is something real in what you call "spirituality" or "mysticism", there is no way to know; the whole field could be misdirected for millennia and you could never know or correct it.
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