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"Holding Science Hostage" Trusting the gov't. on science

J Michael

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This is a very long but fascinating read about trusting the government on science. Well worth your time (that's just my opinion, though:)) if you've been affected in any way by the events of the past 2+ years and are in any way concerned about it. If you have any interest in "science", this might be for you, too. And you may just not agree with the author's assessments or conclusions. If not, I wonder if you would say why not.

 
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RaphaCam

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Eh, some interesting points, but too radical, and self-contradictory at that. The author criticises dogmatic science, and yet he's very explicit in accepting theories from a particular subset of public debate as dogma.

People should just read Feyerabend, TBH. He offers a sound and reasonable middle-ground between brahminical scientism and tinfoil-hat negationism.
 

J Michael

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Eh, some interesting points, but too radical, and self-contradictory at that. The author criticises dogmatic science, and yet he's very explicit in accepting theories from a particular subset of public debate as dogma.

People should just read Feyerabend, TBH. He offers a sound and reasonable middle-ground between brahminical scientism and tinfoil-hat negationism.
Could you be more specific? Can you provide some examples of where you believe he is either "too radical" (whatever that means) and/or self-contradictory?

Is Feyerabend understandable to a dunderhead like me? :) What would you suggest of his to start with?
 

RaphaCam

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Could you be more specific? Can you provide some examples of where you believe he is either "too radical" (whatever that means) and/or self-contradictory?
The text would be far better if he didn't insist so much in trying to refute facemasks. He also takes way too superficial jabs (pun intended) at social distancing and climate change. If he had focused more on how the lack of scientific consensus in some matters has been dissimulated at every step, his point would have been presented in a far more consistent fashion.

Is Feyerabend understandable to a dunderhead like me? :) What would you suggest of his to start with?
Well, it's understandable to a dunderhead like me! I recommend Science in a Free Society, which argues against scientism and the elitisation of knowledge. It's a development of his own Against Method, an extremely interesting read, but far more abstract than Science in a Free Society, and also more demanding of familiarity with prior discussions.
 

sestir

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I think he could improve on the third paragraph:

So, what is "science"? Quite contrary to the belief of the [general public], and regardless of whether we like to accept it or not, "science" as we know it today is a product of the Catholic Church. The very foundation of "Science qua Science" springs from the human dedication to the philosophical position that God made the universe according to certain unchanging principles and rules, and that those rules are discernible to Man.
When God founded the Earth, according to Job 38:4-7, he was accompanied by his angels. Didn't they at this time constitute the Catholic Church (Matthew 18:17-20) so that it would be proper to say that the Catholic Church created Heaven and Earth and therefore is uniquely able to explain how they work?
 

Ainnir

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I’m too tired to be affected or concerned by the last 2 years.
 

J Michael

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The text would be far better if he didn't insist so much in trying to refute facemasks. He also takes way too superficial jabs (pun intended) at social distancing and climate change. If he had focused more on how the lack of scientific consensus in some matters has been dissimulated at every step, his point would have been presented in a far more consistent fashion.
Agreed!

Well, it's understandable to a dunderhead like me! I recommend Science in a Free Society, which argues against scientism and the elitisation of knowledge. It's a development of his own Against Method, an extremely interesting read, but far more abstract than Science in a Free Society, and also more demanding of familiarity with prior discussions.
Thanks for that. I'll see if my library has them.
 

Ainnir

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They just wore you down, did they? Sorry 'bout that. But you're most definitely not alone.
Depends on who you mean by "they." :)
 

Ainnir

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You know...them what wud doo dat.
I didn't read the article; I might still, maybe. If I feel like it.
My "they" have nothing to do with media of any kind. Or scientists, or politicians. They're not allowed in my living room or head. 😊
 

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That article strikes me as wrong on very many levels, even in the historical analysis. Yes, the Church is able to reveal the fullness of science—by the Holy Spirit—and to show its true purpose, but plenty of ancient cultures (even pagan Greeks!) had a fairly solid grasp of some of the broad fundamentals, like the idea of principles, categories, and natural laws. I don't think some of the other claims made are serious enough for me to bring in Popper and actually engage them, but suffice to say they feel senseless to me—having just graduated with a science degree, too. Then we get into his metaphysics, which kinda-sorta start out like a form of realism, but layer on social construction, democracy, and murky epistemology. And then he gets onto "scientific" claims that have been debunked so thoroughly that they're the near-equivalent of believing the Earth is flat.

I do agree that science is inherently linked with politics, which is where I want to "jump off" from his other claims. I think it is correct to say that science, religion, and civil government are all intertwined, at least on some level. In fact, I'm working on a model that sorts out that very thing, moving beyond the Byzantine state/church dualism into a tripartite model that includes knowledge (spiritual and physical, including science), as the "father" of both ecclesial and civil systems. That's interesting because what we have now is not just a problem with people disagreeing about interpretation (eg, "This event means my tribe is better than your tribe.") but about the very possibility of truth, shared reality, and communion (eg, "Your tribe is from the moon and they eat moon-cheese in secret!"). The latter is not just a matter of poor education, but is fundamentally another belief system (ie, a religion) that is anti-science, anti-creation, and ultimately anti-Christ.

I could say more about that if needed, but I think that is enough to provide the context for the claim that *someone* (or some group) must necessarily progress, protect, and preserve knowledge. It's not just obscure facts about a virus that need the weight of authority and consensus behind them, but knowledge as basic as language itself—think of the opposite, if everyone spoke their own language like the Tower Of Babel! Thus, I believe that this task of guarding knowledge is not merely a secular one but a God-inspired—even God-given—one, albeit one that does not necessarily overlap with the functions of Church (just like civil law and punishment does not, but is also God-given). In other words, we need to be more serious about knowledge and science, not less so, and be very wary of those forces of lawlessness that try to tear it down—not question it legitimately, but want to tear it completely away from the ecclesial, from the civil, and from all of reality. Yet I feel that this seeming point of agreement with him is not agreement, either.

Because we can have correct facts but also be in the wrong ecclesially and civilly, I think he is actually desiring some kind of monolithic, politically-correct culture—the very thing he is supposedly angry about. Ignoring the specifics of his laundry list of politicized (and factually dubious) complaints (and his lack of peer-reviewed research in his own field—his links are a series of comments on LinkedIn!), his real problem seems not to be that the culture is becoming totalitarian, but that it is totalitarian in a way *he* disagrees with. The way forward, based on my research and modeling, is rather to understand how those roles (kingly, priestly, and prophetic) all intertwine together and where they operate differently. Then we can properly evaluate a scientist's findings based on the science, and not hand-wave them away (which he seems wont to do) if they have a different ecclesial or political idea (which are not necessarily correct, but shouldn't completely invalidate the science). It would also help clear up the confusion regarding funding, the difference between the scientific findings (which are factual) and the specific policy implementations (which are political), and myriad other categories that the author seemingly wants to homogenize (while claiming he doesn't want them homogenized).
 
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