Richard Dawkins: The insidious attacks on scientific truth

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techstepgenr8tion
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22 Jan 2021, 7:26 pm

Did anyone else see or read this?

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the ... ific-truth

A couple of my own thoughts: 1) late, 2) heavy-handed, probably because he knows he's late.


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shlaifu
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22 Jan 2021, 9:21 pm

It's Dawkins. - if I had no idea about anything, guessing from his demeanour, I'd assume he was a villain.


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22 Jan 2021, 9:56 pm

Although I do agree with his sentiment. In Germany, where I live, only the neo-nazi Party openly declared Covid a fake, but there's an incredible number of people who think it's not that bad, all hysteria, and all a conspiracy of the pharma industry to sell more drugs - even at a time when there weren't any drugs against it, let alone a vaccine, available.

However, the scientific worldview is a humiliation for the species - our senses really are just providing us with a thin slice of the universe. To get more information, we need machines. That's pretty disarming. It should be noted how religions either describe the world as playground of invisible, superpowered humans, called gods.
It's a very human-centered explanation, but st least you know ehat to di when your god is angry - give him a present, show some devotion. What do you do when the subatomic particles conspire to make your life miserable?


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techstepgenr8tion
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22 Jan 2021, 10:26 pm

shlaifu wrote:
However, the scientific worldview is a humiliation for the species - our senses really are just providing us with a thin slice of the universe. To get more information, we need machines. That's pretty disarming. It should be noted how religions either describe the world as playground of invisible, superpowered humans, called gods.
It's a very human-centered explanation, but st least you know ehat to di when your god is angry - give him a present, show some devotion. What do you do when the subatomic particles conspire to make your life miserable?

I suppose you try to appease your nervous system in that case by some means you have control over.

I don't disagree with his underlying premise that it's really dangerous to attack the foundations of science on the basis of identity, ie. it's a portable structure that doesn't specifically seem to have any 'whiteness' encoded into it other than to suggest that perhaps if the Chinese has missed both Confucius and the Mongols that it might have been seen as a sign of Chineseness or if the Library of Alexandria had not been burned it might have been seen as a sign of Egyptianness or Greco-Egyptianness.

The basic premise seems to be that when I can do something many times and get the same result - I have a tool for interacting with and understanding the nature of reality. It's a very short and practical leap. Really at its root you couldn't have had blacksmiths, swordsmen, cavalry, or much of anything else unless there was practical or repeatable knowledge and any culture that shows technical prowess with just about anything is handling the raw materials in an informal sense - they just haven't gotten it to abstracting techniques to the level of double-blind randomized studies.

Also part of where I find the Jungian, mythological, shamanic, etc. extremely important to understand better is that it really, at least for right now, is still rather poorly understood, starting to be handled in a less literal manner but still has that problem, really its a way of engaging one's subconscious mind and actually being able to grapple with patterns of deep misery far more effectively than pharmaceutical drugs (and add psychedelics to that - the research is increasingly showing the effectiveness of not just psilocybin but any psychedelic on the grounds that the user has a mystical experience, ie. these states have a biological utility we don't understand yet). Science and mysticism IMHO, at least right now, are highly uncorrelated domains though. If either argues for the eradication of the other it's generally buffoonery and I really see the woke call for the toppling of 'white European' science as a call for a sort of political mysticism to overpower and dethrone the scientific method.


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cyberdad
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22 Jan 2021, 10:43 pm

So the attacks Dawkins is referring to relates to anti-SJWs who want to say what they want.
A few examples
i) race is a social construct - we already know why conservatives oppose this
ii) they want to say all lives matter not just BLM
iii) Not all lives are worth living if you are too old or disabled
iv) abortion is murder and women don't have rights to their body



CockneyRebel
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22 Jan 2021, 11:55 pm

I feel that all lives are worth living and every human life should be protected in the womb and beyond. My life matters. All lives matter.


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cyberdad
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23 Jan 2021, 12:49 am

CockneyRebel wrote:
I feel that all lives are worth living and every human life should be protected in the womb and beyond. My life matters. All lives matter.


True, but BLM are saying their lives matter too.



Pepe
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23 Jan 2021, 2:00 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Did anyone else see or read this?

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the ... ific-truth

A couple of my own thoughts: 1) late, 2) heavy-handed, probably because he knows he's late.


How does that tie in with the ideological belief that: "Morality is more important than the facts?" :scratch:

I blame Post Modernism for the modern disdain of reason, logic and Scientific Methodology.
Am I being too harsh? 8)


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And one more thing,


"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet." Humour is not meant to be taken seriously, yet many on the left pervert its intent.
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)


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Pepe
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23 Jan 2021, 2:09 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
shlaifu wrote:
However, the scientific worldview is a humiliation for the species - our senses really are just providing us with a thin slice of the universe. To get more information, we need machines. That's pretty disarming. It should be noted how religions either describe the world as playground of invisible, superpowered humans, called gods.
It's a very human-centered explanation, but st least you know ehat to di when your god is angry - give him a present, show some devotion. What do you do when the subatomic particles conspire to make your life miserable?

I suppose you try to appease your nervous system in that case by some means you have control over.

I don't disagree with his underlying premise that it's really dangerous to attack the foundations of science on the basis of identity, ie. it's a portable structure that doesn't specifically seem to have any 'whiteness' encoded into it other than to suggest that perhaps if the Chinese has missed both Confucius and the Mongols that it might have been seen as a sign of Chineseness or if the Library of Alexandria had not been burned it might have been seen as a sign of Egyptianness or Greco-Egyptianness.

The basic premise seems to be that when I can do something many times and get the same result - I have a tool for interacting with and understanding the nature of reality. It's a very short and practical leap. Really at its root you couldn't have had blacksmiths, swordsmen, cavalry, or much of anything else unless there was practical or repeatable knowledge and any culture that shows technical prowess with just about anything is handling the raw materials in an informal sense - they just haven't gotten it to abstracting techniques to the level of double-blind randomized studies.

Also part of where I find the Jungian, mythological, shamanic, etc. extremely important to understand better is that it really, at least for right now, is still rather poorly understood, starting to be handled in a less literal manner but still has that problem, really its a way of engaging one's subconscious mind and actually being able to grapple with patterns of deep misery far more effectively than pharmaceutical drugs (and add psychedelics to that - the research is increasingly showing the effectiveness of not just psilocybin but any psychedelic on the grounds that the user has a mystical experience, ie. these states have a biological utility we don't understand yet). Science and mysticism IMHO, at least right now, are highly uncorrelated domains though. If either argues for the eradication of the other it's generally buffoonery and I really see the woke call for the toppling of 'white European' science as a call for a sort of political mysticism to overpower and dethrone the scientific method.


This buffoon says: Give me the science but not the cult of wokeness. 8)


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Laughter is the best medicine. Age-appropriate behaviour is an arbitrary NT social construct.
Don't tell me white lies. Gaslight me at your peril. Don't give me your bad attitude. Hypnosis, psychosis. Tomarto, tomayto. There are *4* lights. Honey badger.
If I'm so bad, pass me by. ;)


And one more thing,


"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet." Humour is not meant to be taken seriously, yet many on the left pervert its intent.
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)


I luv Joe Biden! Democracy first!


Pepe
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23 Jan 2021, 2:16 am

cyberdad wrote:
CockneyRebel wrote:
I feel that all lives are worth living and every human life should be protected in the womb and beyond. My life matters. All lives matter.


True, but BLM are saying their lives matter too.


The term" "All lives matters" has been politicised.
BTW, "All lives" is inclusive of the concept of BLM.

I am not au fait with the finer points of the problem with the "All lives matter" slogan, and I am sure someone wanting my head as a trophy will find fault with what I have said.
Be my guest. 8)


_________________
Laughter is the best medicine. Age-appropriate behaviour is an arbitrary NT social construct.
Don't tell me white lies. Gaslight me at your peril. Don't give me your bad attitude. Hypnosis, psychosis. Tomarto, tomayto. There are *4* lights. Honey badger.
If I'm so bad, pass me by. ;)


And one more thing,


"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet." Humour is not meant to be taken seriously, yet many on the left pervert its intent.
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)


I luv Joe Biden! Democracy first!


The_Walrus
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23 Jan 2021, 2:18 am

It’s weird for Dawkins to sit around criticising women’s studies based on people on the very fringe (and in most cases, the very fringe from over 20 years ago). Imagine his reaction if Germaine Greer criticised science on the grounds that Michael Behe is an idiot?

When someone says “race is a social construct” for example, they’re making a scientific statement. Race isn’t something that could be discovered by biologists, but it is something which plainly exists and affects people’s lives, ergo race is “constructed” in the social rather than the scientific sphere.

Good sociologists should be scientists, and if applicable they should also be good philosophers of science. It is fair to say, and widely acknowledged by science, that many “scientific truths” are actually only truths for certain subsets. We see computers which fail to recognise black people because they have only been trained on white faces, or the psychological experiments which are only valid for Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic populations, or car safety features which assume that the car’s occupants have the height and build of a man. This isn’t going to suddenly overthrow our understanding of DNA, but if the designers of experiments all share preconceptions then a conclusion can seem more scientific than it is.



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23 Jan 2021, 3:15 am

Pepe wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
CockneyRebel wrote:
I feel that all lives are worth living and every human life should be protected in the womb and beyond. My life matters. All lives matter.


True, but BLM are saying their lives matter too.


The term" "All lives matters" has been politicised.
BTW, "All lives" is inclusive of the concept of BLM.

I am not au fait with the finer points of the problem with the "All lives matter" slogan, and I am sure someone wanting my head as a trophy will find fault with what I have said.
Be my guest. 8)


I get what you are saying but my point was it's not the words, it's the intent behind the use of "all lives matter" purely as a reaction to BLM, not because of any well intentioned love for all humanity.



cyberdad
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23 Jan 2021, 3:18 am

The_Walrus wrote:
It’s weird for Dawkins to sit around criticising women’s studies based on people on the very fringe (and in most cases, the very fringe from over 20 years ago). Imagine his reaction if Germaine Greer criticised science on the grounds that Michael Behe is an idiot?

When someone says “race is a social construct” for example, they’re making a scientific statement. Race isn’t something that could be discovered by biologists, but it is something which plainly exists and affects people’s lives, ergo race is “constructed” in the social rather than the scientific sphere.

Good sociologists should be scientists, and if applicable they should also be good philosophers of science. It is fair to say, and widely acknowledged by science, that many “scientific truths” are actually only truths for certain subsets. We see computers which fail to recognise black people because they have only been trained on white faces, or the psychological experiments which are only valid for Western, Educated, Industrialised, Rich and Democratic populations, or car safety features which assume that the car’s occupants have the height and build of a man. This isn’t going to suddenly overthrow our understanding of DNA, but if the designers of experiments all share preconceptions then a conclusion can seem more scientific than it is.


Dawkins see's PC in it's different forms as an umbrella which manifests in him getting cancelled for saying god doesn't exist.

But I agree its strange given women's studies is a pro-feminist area of study and feminists are the least likely to attack his controversial views on a male patriarchal god.



techstepgenr8tion
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23 Jan 2021, 8:41 am

The_Walrus wrote:
When someone says “race is a social construct” for example, they’re making a scientific statement. Race isn’t something that could be discovered by biologists, but it is something which plainly exists and affects people’s lives, ergo race is “constructed” in the social rather than the scientific sphere.

My only trepidation with "race is a social construct" is that it's not one of those phrases that unpacks itself well and I never know by its content who means what by it.

AFAICT race is a construct of light hitting rods and cones in the eye and then being processed by the brain. It's a surface glance of skin, hair, and bone-structure that gives some sense of heritage but even here subtle distinctions mean a lot. On a genetic level apparently it's far less distinct than it is on the optic level. When people say 'social construct' they usually mean that there's nothing there but psychology or opinion but if that were the case we could change our race on a dime by deciding that we felt like we were something else.

The core deliverable, that race is genetically meaningless by itself, probably has more to it but there's probably a way to phrase it that sounds less solipsistic or has less capacity to be used that way.


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23 Jan 2021, 3:26 pm

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
.

I don't disagree with his underlying premise that it's really dangerous to attack the foundations of science on the basis of identity, ie. it's a portable structure that doesn't specifically seem to have any 'whiteness' encoded into it other than to suggest that perhaps if the Chinese has missed both Confucius and the Mongols that it might have been seen as a sign of Chineseness or if the Library of Alexandria had not been burned it might have been seen as a sign of Egyptianness or Greco-Egyptianness.
[...] I really see the woke call for the toppling of 'white European' science as a call for a sort of political mysticism to overpower and dethrone the scientific method.



Well... The thing about the scientific method is that it's not the actual principle of action for day to day work as scientist. People don't walk around questioning everything all the time - they use methods they learned, often without questioning them. Only when things go really wrong, those methods are tested according to the scientific method.
That has been established by some of those "postmodern" sceptics, in particular the sociologist Bruno Latour, who went into laboratories and observed the people there like an anthropologist would - and asked people why they were doing the things they were doing. The point is not that the things were wrong - but rather that they were based on dogmas and unquestioned teachings.
Scientists, in daily life, do not rogorously test everything. They trust authorities and assume the authority has done the work.

Then: logic has been, in the past, the domain of men. A feminist backlash against logic is weirdly patriarchal, because it leaves the domain of logoc with men, rather than claiming it for women as well. It's a very strange stance.

The last thing, with former colonies reclaiming their culture and trying to frame science as "white" ... Well, science and capitalism dissolve cultures and identities. They were forced upon western society, and eestern societies have saved little islands of tradition and irrationality for themselves. But they didn't leave space for this for the subjugated cultures. What I mean is: here, you can be irrational, go to church, buy homeopathic medicines. There's certaon ways of denying science that are considered socially acceptable without totally breaking with a generally scientific world view - but those things are necessary for culture and identity.
Other cultures haven't been given the time to live along science and capitalism - and the exceptions we have aren't they same they would need to maintain their identity....
And stuff is only accelerating.
So I'm expecting some form of breaking point to be reached, if it hasn't already been reached - like in the middle eastern countries, for example.


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23 Jan 2021, 3:35 pm

Again I don't see much evidence of what Dawkins is talking about?

Social scientists who invoke science as a trojan horse of western imperialism are not preventing scientific evidence from being published so this seems like a straw man argument.