Re: virus: science's mememic place (was: Sexuality)
Thu, 19 Sep 1996 23:34:23 -0500 (CDT)

On Thu, 19 Sep 1996, Martin Traynor wrote:

> On 18 Sep 96 at 21:52, wrote:
> > As far as I know, science works to the extent that:
> > 1) "This experiment directly contradicts that hypothesis/theory."
> > [Proof by contradiction.]
> > 2) "This experiment provides strong evidence that major deviations
> > from this hypothesis/theory are false." [Proof by statistical
> > contradiction.]
> Yes, but this is all based on the belief that what we subjectively
> experience is a sufficiently close approximation of objective reality (if such
> exists) for our methodology to have meaning and value. This is a
> belief that most of us share (I think) or at least we are prepared to
> live our lives as if it were true. If it is based on subjective
> experience then it is not scientific so our belief in science is
> 'I believe, with no scientific evidence to
> support that belief, that my subjective experiences are sufficiently
> close to objective events that the scientific method is valid'. That
> is my belief, from which you will have difficulty dissuading me.
> However, I don't consider it to be of any greater objective value
> than your beliefs, whatever they may be. To paraphrase somebody; I
> don't share your beliefs, but I will vigorously defend your right to
> believe them.

In other words: one must make certain assumptions about how to go from
subjective perception to predictions about 'objective reality'. The
philosophers call this field 'phenomenology', and [as usual] get nowhere
very slowly. This doesn't require faith [Virian def.] to arrive at
working hypotheses for. It may require outright assumptions.

One's work, of course, colors one's metaphors.

/ Kenneth Boyd