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

Sodom (
Thu, 16 Oct 1997 14:48:51 -0400

chardin wrote:

> > 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
> validated.
> 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

this will take a while to digest, let me print itout, take it home,
mark it up and get back to it. Thanks