Re: virus: New Ideas

John \ (
Sat, 24 May 1997 21:49:26 -0400

David McF wrote:
>Do you think scientists accept any random person's word on the matters
>in question? Or perhaps do they have good reason, like the other person
>is educated and has published in a peer reviewed journal?

Do you think that all of those who believe in some sort of mythology
believe every yahoo that comes along? No; we believe those who, by their
arguments and how much they adhere to our home-memes, we are lead to trust.
Do understand how gravity can affect time? Hell no, I can't even begin to
explain the concept. But I believe it does, because Hawking says so, and
Hawking has a great deal of credibility among many other people who ought
to know.

That's *faith*.

Incidentally, there are many, many peer-reviewed journals for religion.
Oddly enough, they almost all have articles in them that sound shockingly
like philosophy.

>I'm starting to get the impression that I'm the only one around here that
>has a scientist's perspective on faith (as described in, say, Carl Sagan's
>excellent "The Demon Haunted World").

Sagan, bless his heart, could never get his head around the idea that
science was a meme itself, and a human construct. Science has never been,
and never will be, infallible.[1] It was only a few short centuries ago
that Science thought of heat as having material and had was busy trying to
mix earth, air, fire, and water to get gold. Science, like religion, just
tries to explain things we don't understand. Science does it with better
accuracy, where it can address the issue -- but when it can't address the
issue, all it can do is profess ignorance, or claim (illogically) that
anything not scientifically proven to occur/exist cannot occur/exist.

[1]: Scientists almost always say this, but it sounds to me to be a disclaimer. Frequently, you get a Science-only guy who
says "How can you believe that?!" without examining his own pre-concieved
ideas that underlie science. There are plenty of concepts that wreak havoc
with the scientific faith -- Chaos theory, the uncertainty principle, etc
-- the same way Deconstructionism messes with philosophy and religion.

John Williams ICQ Address: 1213689
Various Artists: Raising the Tide of Mediocrity for Two Years