The cult of science - Page 3 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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By Rancid
#14965345
Sivad wrote:I've read quite a bit on it and as far as I know all the attempts to formalize it have been shown to be either problematic or at odds with the actual history of science. So it hasn't been successfully formalized in practice or theory.


I don't understand this statement. WHy does a formalized scientific method have to be in line with the history of science? That makes zero sense.
By Sivad
#14965366
Rancid wrote: WHy does a formalized scientific method have to be in line with the history of science? That makes zero sense.


The history of science is the empirical test for the scientific method. If we look at the history of science and find that science doesn't adhere to any monistic methodology then there just isn't any scientific method.
By Sivad
#14965373
after three lengthy phases of characterizing science by its method, we are now in a phase where the belief in the existence of a positive scientific method has eroded and what has been left to characterize science is only its fallibility. First was a phase from Plato and Aristotle up until the 17th century where the specificity of scientific knowledge was seen in its absolute certainty established by proof from evident axioms; next was a phase up to the mid-19th century in which the means to establish the certainty of scientific knowledge had been generalized to include inductive procedures as well. In the third phase, which lasted until the last decades of the 20th century, it was recognized that empirical knowledge was fallible, but it was still granted a special status due to its distinctive mode of production. But now in the fourth phase, according to Hoyningen-Huene, historical and philosophical studies have shown how “scientific methods with the characteristics as posited in the second and third phase do not exist” (2008: 168) and there is no longer any consensus among philosophers and historians of science about the nature of science.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scie ... od/#DevPra


One of the settings in which the legend of a single, universal scientific method has been particularly strong is science education (see, e.g., Bauer 1992; McComas 1996; Wivagg & Allchin 2002).[5] Often, ‘the scientific method’ is presented in textbooks and educational web pages as a fixed four or five step procedure starting from observations and description of a phenomenon and progressing over formulation of a hypothesis which explains the phenomenon, designing and conducting experiments to test the hypothesis, analyzing the results, and ending with drawing a conclusion. Such references to a universal scientific method can be found in educational material at all levels of science education (Blachowicz 2009), and numerous studies have shown that the idea of a general and universal scientific method often form part of both students’ and teachers’ conception of science (see, e.g., Aikenhead 1987; Osborne et al. 2003).

Occasionally, scientists make sweeping statements about a simple and distinct scientific method, as exemplified by Feynman’s simplified version of a conjectures and refutations method presented, for example, in the last of his 1964 Cornell Messenger lectures.[6] However, just as often scientists have come to the same conclusion as recent philosophy of science that there is not any unique, easily described scientific method. For example, the physicist and Nobel Laureate Weinberg described in the paper “The Methods of Science … And Those By Which We Live” (1995) how

The fact that the standards of scientific success shift with time does not only make the philosophy of science difficult; it also raises problems for the public understanding of science. We do not have a fixed scientific method to rally around and defend. (1995)


In some areas of science, scholarly publications are structured in a way that may convey the impression of a neat and linear process of inquiry from stating a question, devising the methods by which to answer it, collecting the data, to drawing a conclusion from the analysis of data. For example, the codified format of publications in most biomedical journals known as the IMRAD format (Introduction, Method, Results, Analysis, Discussion) is explicitly described by the journal editors as “not an arbitrary publication format but rather a direct reflection of the process of scientific discovery” (see the so-called “Vancouver Recommendations”, ICMJE 2013: 11). However, scientific publications do not in general reflect the process by which the reported scientific results were produced. For example, under the provocative title “Is the scientific paper a fraud?”, Medawar argued that scientific papers generally misrepresent how the results have been produced (Medawar 1963/1996). Similar views have been advanced by philosophers, historians and sociologists of science (Gilbert 1976; Holmes 1987; Knorr-Cetina 1981; Schickore 2008; Suppe 1998) who have argued that scientists’ experimental practices are messy and often do not follow any recognizable pattern. Publications of research results, they argue, are retrospective reconstructions of these activities that often do not preserve the temporal order or the logic of these activities, but are instead often constructed in order to screen off potential criticism (see Schickore 2008 for a review of this work).
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scie ... iEduSeeSci
Last edited by Sivad on 21 Nov 2018 05:13, edited 4 times in total.
By Hindsite
#14965376
Godstud wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsIscbK7LVQ

I like that part when the guy says, "I am a scientist I don't believe in anything."
Praise the Lord.
By Sivad
#14965385
Godstud wrote:It's a comedy, @Hindsite. :roll:


It's satire. That's pretty close to how dipshit liberals think about science. They know fuck all about actual real science, it's the bullshit myth that they're cultishly dedicated to. They're fucking bubbleheads.
User avatar
By Godstud
#14965386
:lol: Most people know what real science is. Your statement is pretty silly. Your ad hominem is pretty weak, too. "Agree with me, or you're stupid!!"
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By One Degree
#14965416
Scientists are more aware of techniques needed to pin point cause and effect than the average citizen. It is unfair to say they are no better than the average person. Even if they don’t apply their methodology perfectly, they still do more so than the average Joe at least in their own field.
This does not mean I don’t think many are biased idiots. :)
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By Godstud
#14965419
Real science, of which this is a great deal, requires Scientific Method. It is not "political", or biased if it meets the requirements of Scientific Method and is peer reviewed. If you think otherwise, then your knowledge of how science works, is sadly lacking. Sorry. :(
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By One Degree
#14965421
Godstud wrote:Real science, of which this is a great deal, requires Scientific Method. It is not "political", or biased if it meets the requirements of Scientific Method and is peer reviewed. If you think otherwise, then your knowledge of how science works, is sadly lacking. Sorry. :(


You find what you search for. Politics tells you what to search for. This is why it takes so long to prove many ‘science discoveries’ nonsense.
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By Godstud
#14965422
It takes a long time to make real scientific discoveries BECAUSE of Scientific method and the fact that you have to prove what you are doing is repeatable, and can be done by your peers. We don't want science that's slap-dash and doesn't meet this requirement. This is called pseudoscience, when this happens.
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By Rancid
#14965464
Sivad wrote:The history of science is the empirical test for the scientific method. If we look at the history of science and find that science doesn't adhere to any monistic methodology then there just isn't any scientific method.


I don't see why it needs to by tied down to its history. I really don't. Science can improve on itself. It's ok if that makes it inconsistent with the past, it's ok if it causes adjustments to things that were thought to be true. So long as the newer methods are more sound, consistent, and reliable at sniffing out objective truths about the universe.

Right now, I do not buy what you're saying.

Applying the scientific method to the scientific method just sounds like Meta-bullshit people use to try and sound smart. On a more practical level, it's very clear that science (even with its faults) has been able to show us some objective truths within the universe. Obviously it cannot provide the whole truth, but it has been effective at providing some of it. This is better than say..... just making shit up and claiming it to be true.
By Sivad
#14965575
Rancid wrote:I don't see why it needs to by tied down to its history.


Science is the actual practice of science, it's not some abstract ideal. If we want to understand what science is we need to observe how it's conducted. And after observing it and studying the history and sociology of it, scientists, science historians, and sociologists and philosophers of science, have all concluded that there is no single, universal method of science. You can deny it but then you're just a science denier. :lol:

Right now, I do not buy what you're saying.


I'm not surprised.

Applying the scientific method to the scientific method just sounds like Meta-bullshit people use to try and sound smart.


:knife:



Here's nice physics professor from U of Wisconsin to explain that the scientific method is just a rhetorical gimmick:


It’s probably best to get the bad news out of the way first. The so-called scientific method is a myth. That is not to say that scientists don’t do things that can be described and are unique to their fields of study. But to squeeze a diverse set of practices that span cultural anthropology, paleobotany, and theoretical physics into a handful of steps is an inevitable distortion and, to be blunt, displays a serious poverty of imagination. Easy to grasp, pocket-guide versions of the scientific method usually reduce to critical thinking, checking facts, or letting “nature speak for itself,” none of which is really all that uniquely scientific. If typical formulations were accurate, the only location true science would be taking place in would be grade-school classrooms.

Scratch the surface of the scientific method and the messiness spills out. Even simplistic versions vary from three steps to eleven. Some start with hypothesis, others with observation. Some include imagination. Others confine themselves to facts. Question a simple linear recipe and the real fun begins. A website called Understanding Science offers an “interactive representation” of the scientific method that at first looks familiar. It includes circles labeled “Exploration and Discovery” and “Testing Ideas.” But there are others named “Benefits and Outcomes” and “Community Analysis and Feedback,” both rare birds in the world of the scientific method. To make matters worse, arrows point every which way. Mouse over each circle and you find another flowchart with multiple categories and a tangle of additional arrows.

It’s also telling where invocations of the scientific method usually appear. A broadly conceived method receives virtually no attention in scientific papers or specialized postsecondary scientific training. The more “internal” a discussion — that is, the more insulated from nonscientists —the more likely it is to involve procedures, protocols, or techniques of interest to close colleagues.

Meanwhile, the notion of a heavily abstracted scientific method has pulled public discussion of science into its orbit, like a rhetorical black hole. Educators, scientists, advertisers, popularizers, and journalists have all appealed to it. Its invocation has become routine in debates about topics that draw lay attention, from global warming to intelligent design. Standard formulations of the scientific method are important only insofar as nonscientists believe in them.
The Bright Side

Now for the good news. The scientific method is nothing but a piece of rhetoric. Granted, that may not appear to be good news at first, but it actually is. The scientific method as rhetoric is far more complex, interesting, and revealing than it is as a direct reflection of the ways scientists work. Rhetoric is not just words; rather, “just” words are powerful tools to help shape perception, manage the flow of resources and authority, and make certain kinds of actions or beliefs possible or impossible. That’s particularly true of what Raymond Williams called “keywords.” A list of modern-day keywords include “family,” “race,” “freedom,” and “science.” Such words are familiar, repeated again and again until it seems that everyone must know what they mean. At the same time, scratch their surface, and their meanings become full of messiness, variation, and contradiction.


Sound familiar? Scientific method is a keyword (or phrase) that has helped generations of people make sense of what science was, even if there was no clear agreement about its precise meaning— especially if there was no clear agreement about its precise meaning. The term could roll off the tongue and be met by heads nodding in knowing assent, and yet there could be a different conception within each mind. As long as no one asked too many questions, the flexibility of the term could be a force of cohesion and a tool for inspiring action among groups. A word with too exact a definition is brittle; its use will be limited to specific circumstances. A word too loosely defined will create confusion and appear to say nothing. A word balanced just so between precision and vagueness can change the world.

The Scientific Method, a Historical Perspective

This has been true of the scientific method for some time. As early as 1874, British economist Stanley Jevons (1835–1882) commented in his widely noted Principles of Science, “Physicists speak familiarly of scientific method, but they could not readily describe what they mean by that expression.” Half a century later, sociologist Stuart Rice (1889–1969) attempted an “inductive examination” of the definitions of the scientific method offered in social scientific literature. Ultimately, he complained about its “futility.” “The number of items in such an enumeration,” he wrote, “would be infinitely large.”

And yet the wide variation in possible meanings has made the scientific method a valuable rhetorical resource. Methodological pictures painted by practicing scientists have often been tailored to support their own position and undercut that of their adversaries, even if inconsistency results. As rhetoric, the scientific method has performed at least three functions: it has been a tool of boundary work, a bridge between the scientific and lay worlds, and a brand that represents science itself. It has typically fulfilled all these roles at once, but they also represent a rough chronology of its use. Early in the term’s history, the focus was on enforcing boundaries around scientific ideas and practices. Later, it was used more forcefully to show nonscientists how science could be made relevant. More or less coincidentally, its invocation assuaged any doubts that real science was present.

[...]


But it was not alone. Such now-familiar pieces of rhetoric as “science and religion,” “scientist,” and “pseudoscience” grew in prominence over the same period of time. In that sense, “scientific method” was part of what we might call a rhetorical package, a collection of important keywords that helped to make science comprehensible, to clarify its differences with other realms of thought, and to distinguish its devotees from other people. All of this paralleled a shift in popular notions of science from general systematized knowledge during the early 1800s to a special and unique sort of information by the early 1900s. These notions eclipsed habits of talk about the scientific method that opened the door to attestations of the authority of science in contrast with other human activities.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/ ... thod-myth/


There is no scientific method

I was very influenced when I was in graduate school by Paul Feyerabend who was a great philosopher of science who argued that there is no scientific method, that we scientists are opportunists, that we do whatever it takes to succeed at any time and to succeed means to deepen our knowledge, to have better knowledge, a better understanding of nature.

But there’s no magic bullet. There’s no magic formula that gets us there. There’s no set of rules. There’s no methodology that gets us there.

Lee Smolin, postdoctoral research positions at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara and the University of Chicago, before becoming a faculty member at Yale, Syracuse and Pennsylvania State Universities. He was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1995 and a visiting professor at Imperial College London (1999-2001) before becoming one of the founding faculty members at the Perimeter Institute in 2001.
https://bigthink.com/in-their-own-words ... fic-method
By Sivad
#14965604
Rancid wrote:I've not stated there is a universal method of science. :?:



Yes you did, you claimed it was formalized and you even claimed you use it every day. There is no scientific method, there's just whatever scientists do, that's it. There's no formalization or codification, and there are no guarantees that whatever methodology some research program adopts is sound. Science is just whatever people who practice "science" agree that it is.
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By One Degree
#14965605
@Sivad
I think it is important we understand this about science, but you seem to want to use it to condemn all science practices. This is not what they are saying. Science is not perfect and scientist are well aware of that. This does not mean their methods have no value.
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By Rancid
#14965615
Sivad wrote:Yes you did, you claimed it was formalized and you even claimed you use it every day. There is no scientific method, there's just whatever scientists do, that's it. There's no formalization or codification, and there are no guarantees that whatever methodology some research program adopts is sound. Science is just whatever people who practice "science" agree that it is.


It's formalized enough. Basic principles like is something testable? Can an experiment be designed? etc etc. These are all general things that could be stated as formalized. Of course they cannot always be applied, and they cannot always be applied "perfectly". Thus, depending on what is being studied, approaches have to be changed.

If you want to use this fact ot basically say that science is a myth, that's fine. However, it's indisputable that this generalized procedure is far better than say... making shit up.
Last edited by Rancid on 22 Nov 2018 00:14, edited 1 time in total.
By Sivad
#14965617
One Degree wrote:@Sivad
you seem to want to use it to condemn all science practices.



That's not my intent. What I'm trying to show is that science isn't some formal system with universal validity, and that faith or trust in science as an institution is unfounded. Science has to be assessed case by case on the evidence, faith in science is an oxymoron. I condemn faith in any human institution. I don't trust government, media, religion, or science. I trust reason and evidence. The liberal science cultists say we should trust scientists, well I've just posted two solid pages of reasons why you shouldn't trust them. You read through this thread and you'll find a very compelling case against the reliability of science as an institution.
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By Rancid
#14965618
Sivad wrote:What I'm trying to show is that science isn't some formal system with universal validity, and that faith or trust in science as an institution is unfounded.


Sure.... but so what?

I can't say I've ever had "faith" in science. It's just a means of trying to gain knowledge. Using it, doesn't mean you have "faith" in it.

Again, this whole conversation feels... dumb.

Because I do what is generally considered as science, doesn't mean it's somehow my religion.

I guess my point is, that your point is irrelevant.
#14965621
I think I get where you are coming from. We get tired of science being presented as Gospel. We can’t go too far the other way though.
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