RE: The story-telling ape (was virus: Logic)

chardin (
Thu, 16 Oct 1997 12:33:20 CST+6CDT

> From: "Gifford, Nate F" <>
> To:, Brett Lane Robertson <>
> Subject: RE: The story-telling ape (was virus: Logic)
> Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 09:07:53 -0400
> Reply-to:

> ----------
> From: Brett Lane Robertson[]
> Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 1997 8:10 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: The story-telling ape (was virus: Logic)
> Sodom
> MODOS spelled backwards
> >> i can imagine that to people with an extreme case of
> depression could easily
> >> prefer death, especially if they were religious and had
> reason to hope
> >> for a continued "happy" existence.
> Brett
> >Yea, OK...but i don't think you'll find statistics that show
> religious
> >people commit suicide more often than less religious people.
> I notice that Nateman has self-destructed .... at least
> partially because he felt guilty about not staying within the bounds
> of discussion on the list. I think the group .... and especially
> the oldest members of the group ... like you Brett ... are more
> responsible for keeping the group on track then the newer members
> like Nateman or Sodom. How could you fail to point out that any
> Meme that has a happy life after death component must also have a
> strong anti-suicide component in order to survive? Two cases that
> come to mind are 1) an encyclical from the medieval church that made
> self-abnegation difficult because too many people were dieing from
> it and 2) the Shakers here in America who didn't believe in members
> having sex. I believe the last couple of Shakers died in the
> eighties. I guess a third instance would be Jihad - where you can
> choose to die early for Allah and get a seat on the floor of
> paradise or live a miserable Muslim life and get a seat in the
> bleachers. I leave it up to someone else to let me know where the
> other sons of Abraham go, much less the infidels.
Well, I guess you could say Nateman has "self-destructed." However,
it would be better if you go ahead and make your rules and restrict all conversation to
memes and viruses. You need to let newcomers know when they sign on
that this is a closed "logical" list. The only appropriate topics of
converstions are:

praises to the religion of evolution
prasies to the high priests of "science"
how everyone else who doesn't believe in the above two propositions
are obviously in a state of unreality
and any theories for accomplishing the "washing" of these people so
that they think like you do.

Topics which should not be encouraged:

How "science" and the "scientific method" are a myth when one asserts
that it is objective, logical and not influenced by the passions of
the men of science themselves;

how the peer-review process does not function, as most of the people
who sit on peer-review committess look after one another so that even
gross abuses in science go by for years undetected. That it is, in
fact, somewhat like certain memembers of the list, incestuous in nature--trying to limit
at all times those in opposition to the status quo.

That seldom, if ever, is a scientist's work replicated--for the very
nature of asking for a scientist's raw data is a threat or challenge
to the scientist. So, in reality, very few scientific papers are

That the theory being proposed usually falls far short of that
"universalism" which scientists claim for themselves, i.e., accepting
an idea on its merits rather than based on the person who proposed
and his link to influential institutions--which is, in fact, how
science really works.

There is a rational explanation for this and I would invite all of
you who are interested in the truth to pay close attention--those of
y ou who aren't interested in the truth and wish to chase after
beauty and other elusive subjects, well do what you must.

I just read an interesting book which puts forth these facts about
the condition science is in. The book, entitled "Betrayers of the
Truth, Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science" takes an honest look
at this field and makes the following findings:

"What philosophers, sociologists, and historians have had to say
about science has been read and noted by scientists and adopted as
the a general basis of how they see themselves. The philosophers
have said they are objective so scientists strictly forbid any
reference to subjective experience in the scientific literature. The
sociologists have said they are disinterested, so scientists disdain
any overt manifestation of competition or credit seeking. The
historians have said that science is the defense against unreason, so
scientist dny with a passion that human passions have any place
whatsoever in their work... The high place that science holds in
today's world, particularly among the educated, probably owes little
to its practical accomplishments. If sicence is worshipped in
western societies, it is not because of the technological toys or
comfots it may produce. It is for the far more fundamental reason
that science seems to represent an ideal, a set of values, an ethical
example of how human affairs could and should be conducted were
reason to be man's guide. In the secular world of the 20th century,
science performs part of the inspirational function that myths and
religions play in less developed societies. IT IS BECAUSE OF THIS
IS. (emphasis mine) (p. 130)

(Or I would submit, Dawkins is infected with his own virus)

Scientists and lay people alike have on their "rose-colored glasses"
when it comes to science. These authors debunk the notions that the
self-policing mechanisms of peer-review, replication and cognitive
nature of science is sufficient to keep out fraud and junk science.
In fact, they point out that replication of scienctific experiments
is almost never done--when it is done, it is seen as a direct
challenge to those asserting the experiment.

"Like all believers, they tend to interpret what they see of the
world in terms of what the faith says is there. The philosophers and
sociologists say science is self-policing, and that replication is
the automatic purifier of all defilement; scientists are taught this
in their training as an article of faith; therefore so it must be.
But in fact it is seldom the case. (p. 79)

"The chances of getting caught in committing a scientific fraud are
probably quite small. Replication in science is a philosophical
construct, not an everyday reality." (p. 87)

If one is interested in seeing how scientists throughout the
cneturies have bought bogus theories hook, line and sinker and how
these theories have negatively impacted society, you ought to read
this book. See how the scientific establishment fought to keep out
new ideas and succeeded by using their prestigious connections and
affliations with scientific journals and societies--sometimes holding
back progress 50 years--i.e., acceptance of the germ therory in
childbirth fever--countless women dying before the "old ways" were
overturned. Even though the physician advocating this procedure had
reduced his own maternal death rates by fantastic amounts--still, the
establishment refused to believe. The authors give more and more
current details and bring us right up to date.

The article discusses two works which I intend to read: Thomas S.
Kuhn "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" and Paul Feyerabend
"Against Method." Apparently, these works show how science is not
knowledge built upon objective knowledge stair-step like, but rather
all progress in science comes in bursts or revolutions which must
fight like the dickens to obtain a place in the scientific
establishment. Once adopted, they also become impossible to supplant
until the next "revolution."

The authors tell us:

"the presence of a strong rational element in science has been taken
to mean that that is the only significant element of scientific
thought. But creativity, imagination, intuition, persistence, and
many other nonrational elements are also essential parts of the
scientific process, and other less vital qualities such as ambition,
envy, and the propensity to deception also play a role. ..The
rationality evident in science has also been misinterpreted to mean
that science is the only rational exercise of intellect in society,
or at least the highest and most authoritative. Some scientists, in
their public apperances, can be noticed playing up to this role,
which seems to invest them as cardinals of reason propounding
salvation to an irrational public. It is probably a misperception to
think of science as different in kind from other exercises of human
intellect. At the least, the burden of proof should be on those who
make special claims for science, and any claim founded solely on what
the philosophers say about science must be rejected as partial. IN
mine) p. 218-219

The phenomenon of fraud underlies the importance of the human side of
science. It suggests that the logical structure of scientific
knowledge is not a proper basis for placing science in a different
category from other intellectual activities. Science is not removed
from the wellsprings of art or poetry, NOR IS IT THE ONLY CULTURAL

Probably, if I had found this book before I had signed on I would not
have found it necessary to do so. Seeing all this Science Worship
around me, I wondered if I were the only one who could see it?
Reading Dawkins, I could see from my own experience he is off the
mark. I think Dawkins and his ilk have
been debunked by others with far better intellects than mine. I
suppose that having worked around scientists and medical doctors for
so long, I watched a good deal of this first-hand and could see all
the irrational elements holding science up, making it into something
it is not. The next time someone says "scientific studies have
shown..." it might behoove you to check into it further--finding out
who paid for the study, who conducted it...who has an agenda. If you
will do that you will get away from this philosophical construct
that science is pure and pristine and that the boys in white wouldn't lie to us--that if it
were not so they would have told us. There is no such thing as A
SCIENTIFIC METHOD--there are lots of methods, but they all contain
that human element --regardless of how they try to convince you to
the contrary. Thus, I conclude with the same assertions I was making
when I first signed on. Science will be the better if you all stop
treating it like a Holy Cow. Chardin