My Understanding?

Source: What is Scientism? | American Association for the Advancement of Science

At the link above you will come across a fairly good description of scientism, as the author understands it. You’ll find others and not all will agree with him. I for instance don’t. Not entirely and not as he does.

Scientism is one of those words who’s meaning, who’s description depends a lot on our experience in the subject of science. It depends a lot on how we see science and on how we were taught science to be. For my part I was taught to see science in a certain way, and to apply it in a certain way.

As I see it science isn’t really a thing, but a way of discovering and learning. Science isn’t really about knowledge, but more a way of learning. A way of discovery and how to verify and confirm that what you have learned is true. Science is a matter of faith, faith in our ability to verify and learn, but not faith in science per se, but in how the scientific method can and will lead to learning.

In short science is not a matter of fact, but more a matter in finding out. A matter or learning from observation, trial, and experience what is going on in the world. In a recent photo on the web we saw a raccoon sleeping in a man’s living room. When a commenter said that raccoons are dangerous she was right. But at the same time she neglected to point out that sometimes some animals can be so comfortable around humans they really have no problem with them, and may well come to adopt a particular human as part of his family.

This is where science comes in, for by using science we are able to accept that things don’t have to be the way we were told they should be. That there are things not dreamt of in our philosophy.

As I see it scientism is the belief that we can take the pronouncements of scientists on faith, that they are matters of faith and not to be discounted just because they are matters of revelation and authority. In scientism science consists of a series of hoary old prophets stomping down off a mountain bearing stone tablets bearing the Word of God upon them. As far as I can see scientism is science as religious belief, and that’s not how science works.

And as far as I can see science and the scientific method can be applied to most anything, even things that we assume can’t be, for as we learn of them we will learn just how they could work if they indeed were. For we are an animal that needs to understand, or to think we understand even when our understanding is wrong. For that gives us a basis on which we can learn of our errors and correct them. Science gives us the tools we need to discover and correct our mistakes. Scientism denies us those tools and insists that we take what we know as holy writ. Science is a pair of reading glasses making our world clearer. Scientism is gouging out the eyes because what you see, albeit oh so dimly and blurred, offends you.

So that is my understanding, how I see scientism. My understanding is necessarily blurred, incomplete, but at least it’s a start and one I can improve upon. What is your understanding, can it be improved, and can you let it be improved?

They Live

Source: Home – Sasquatch Genome Project

I’ve decided I’m going to make this very plain, there is a great ape living in North America, and the link above provides evidence for this.

The problem is not with the evidence provided, but with Ketchum’s interpretation of it. She says it’s proof that the sasquatch is a hybrid of Man and some unknown ape. She says this because it would appear that they found gorilla DNA in the samples she tested. Ah, doctor, that’s not how it works.

Now I’m not what you’d call literate when it comes to reading the results she provides, but somebody much more competent than I came to this conclusion. Namely that what the specimens showed was a lot or gorilla DNA. This leading me to the conclusion that the sasquatch of North America is descended from a common ancestor of gorilla and human.

Unfortunately her mistake regarding what the sasquatch is unfortunately led certain other parties to conclude that the animal does not exist. Indeed cannot. I’ve forgotten what the logical fallacy is called, but assuming that being wrong in one area means you have to be wrong in everything. That’s not how it works. What her work did do is demonstrate the existence of a great ape living in North America, and which may even be native to this continent assuming that it is a separate species instead of a sub-species of yeti.

But there are those bigfoot scares, because to them only humans can be bipedal apes. And that when it comes to the sasquatch you can rely on the authorities.

I say, “Bull shit.”

When anybody says anything that is counter to the available evidence they can’t be relied on. That’s what it comes down to, and what it means is that some self-identified scientists can only be called creationists where this subject is concerned. They talk like creationist, they think like creationists, they act like creationists. And I say it’s damn well time they damn well stopped.

There is nothing supernatural about bigfoots, they’re just damn apes.

Foundation

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Source: Planck length – Wikipedia

I’m starting with the basics here, namely the shortest possible length there can be. Known as the Planck Length, it a dinky little bit of volume which we’ll call a “quantum”. A quantum being a sphere of 3 dimensions no greater than one Planck Length in height, width, and depth. Our universe is made up of quanta, and those quanta come in one of two states, the low energy “flat” and the high energy “fold”.

Space-Time can neither be created or destroyed, only switched from one state to the other. In addition, ST can only be in a fold state when it is sufficiently compressed. When there is no compression then there can be no folds.

In addition, in as much as the universe is one solid sphere of space-time the quanta within can’t move in and of themselves. But the states can. What that means is, a fold state can “hop” from quantum to quantum, with one quantum “unfolding” and the next in the path of “motion” “enfolding”. However, quanta resist change, and it is this resistance that disturbs the quanta around the fold in “motion”. At this level it is this disturbance which produces the force we call “gravity”.

There is more to be said on the forces, but for now we’ll leave it at that.

Our Need for Assurance

Filmmaker Errol Morris, once Kuhn’s grad student, accuses him of being a bad philosopher and bad person.

Source: Was Thomas Kuhn Evil? – Scientific American Blog Network

You get right down to it, we hate to be uncertain. The impression I get from the blog post linked to above is that Morris is none too fond of Kuhn telling him that he can’t be totally certain. I have bad news for Morris, you can’t be totally certain.

You get right down to it, we are limited. Limited in what we can know and limited in what we can understand. How we can see things has a profound effect on how we can know and understand, for we live at one level of perception, and when you go to a higher or lower level how you can perceive does change. There is a reality out there, but how we see it depends a great deal on how we can see it.

It is our flaw that we insist how we see things has to be the way to see it. In addition, how we see a thing depends on how we can see it, for our brains do not handle information as fast as we’d like. Speaking as an autistic, I get overwhelmed by what’s going on. At times things are just too much and I need some quiet time to get myself together. You get right down to it, everybody gets a bit overwhelmed and needs some time to get their shit together.

Oh, and Morris did insult Kuhn in that long ago meeting, with Kuhn over reacting to the insult.

So I wouldn’t say that Kuhn was evil, just mistaken. And that is was possible for him to learn and accept that. Just as it is possible for anybody to learn and accept that he was wrong, should they be willing to learn and accept.

That is how I see things. You?

On Being Wrong

Source: Home – Sasquatch Genome Project

In the link just above Dr. Ketchum presents her conclusion regarding the Sasquatch. Her conclusion is wrong, and that she is wrong is used by some of her critics to support their claim that she has to be wrong about the existence of Bigfoot. There is a term for this, the Fallacy Fallacy, in which the fact that one party is wrong about one thing means whatever else they say has to be wrong.

Now Ketchum doesn’t help her cause any through how she handles the data, in how she frames it. The presentation is crap and she assumes too much. Back when her findings were first released a skeptic had a look at them and found that the DNA found included a lot of gorilla DNA. This tells me that bigfoot has a common ancestor with the gorilla, which is what you’d expect given that both are great apes.

As I recall the skeptic concluded that Ketchum has to be wrong about the existence of the animal, based on her being wrong about the animal.This falls under the Fallacy Fallacy. In short, he came to a wrong conclusion because she made a wrong conclusion. In other words, he let his prejudice lead him astray.

He’s not alone, there are others who insist that something just can’t be all because another party made a mistake in one part of their conclusions. And very often it’s because the overall finding is something the skeptic didn’t learn in school. It comes down to this, we make mistakes because of our limitations. Limitations that mean we can’t know everything. We can at best know but a little of our world, and the rest will remain a mystery. But some just can’t accept that, for they are so insecure as to need absolute assurance.

And it’s not just in primatology. Physics is rife with it, with parties insisting on complications in their models, when the best way to understand what’s going on is to accept that it’s really quite simple, and that what we can see at present has layers beneath it. The foundation of the Quark is the String. Now what is the foundation of the String? For Strings as I’ve seen them presented are just too busy to be the foundation. Hadrons are badly focused blurs, Quarks are badly focused blurs. I suspect that Strings are badly focused blurs, and what they are made of are yet even more badly focused blurs. It isn’t until you get down to the bottom of things that you can an object that is simple and which constitutes the foundation of what all we know of.

And I suspect that this object is more a state spacetime can exist in, a state that in motion “disturbs” the spacetime around it that is in a different state. To add to this, it is my suspicion that there is a minimum size below which there can be nothing smaller. Which is to say, our existence is based on quanta below which we can not go. That is how I understand quanta, a part of spacetime and not in truth separated from it.

But anyway, whether we’re talking about zoology or physics, we need to accept that we can be wrong, and that we are wrong. I suspect that Strings are not the bottom of the pile, and I have concluded that the Sasquatch is a great ape living in North America. This last based on what evidence has been provided, and on what I know of the land of Beringia, which is at present partially flooded.

And that’s me being a contrarian.

Under Pressure

In this article it is reported that the nucleus of the typical atom is under great pressure. Greater than that of a neutron star. We also learn that the hadrons in a nucleus are also smaller than they are “free range”. That is, outside a nucleus. We also learn that at times hadrons in a nucleus will “overlap”, two of them occupying the same space at the same time.

Thing is, physical objects don’t exist. Not as we think of physical objects. What you’re seeing is a mirage, an illusion. Something we perceive because of how we can perceive and how we are equipped to handle the data we receive. Get right down to it, those two overlapping hadrons aren’t really overlapping, it’s their constituent parts that are occupying the same space because the vast majority of a hadron is empty space. Other hadrons are ordinarily excluded thanks to something that excludes them, it only when the pressure from the outside overcomes the exclusionary pressure that the two “merge”.

There is more I can say about this, but that needs to be composed. Just keep in mind that everything is empty space, it’s just that this empty space comes in something like two different flavors and those flavors do interact.