Critiques of Science as Currently Praticed

Discussion in 'Why Science Is Wrong... About Almost Everything' started by Sciborg_S_Patel, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Bart V

    Bart V straw materialist Member

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    This is not about viewpoints, this is about evidence, ID/ creationist do not bring any to the table. The only thing they do is pointing at lacks in knowledge and shouting "design!"
    The problems with this tactic is that this inevitably leads to negative arguments. Problem with negative arguments, they are very hard work.

    In the case of the thread we are reviewing here, the argument was that navigation through protein space was not possible in the timeframe of the age of our planet.
    The DI claimed that they had evidence that quantified the probabilities involved. After discussing that, it became clear that the evidence not even remotely said what the DI claimed.
    The paper it was based on was not appropriate to the conclusion, and even then they had to exaggerate the numbers significantly to use it.

    Now in that thread Paul and i provided with a number of papers that explored different approaches to how navigation through protein space would be possible.
    We could discuss these papers, but to be honest, they are a bit over my head technically. However, they are peer reviewed, published in reputable journals, and most importantly, positive evidence.
    The way you keeping avoiding to acknowledge this, makes me wonder if you realize the logical position this puts the DI with it's argument, the burden of proof is completely on them.

    Another reason why i am not so keen on discussing one, or all of these papers, is that it would make it seem that whatever we are discussing, is the only thing standing in the way of acceptance of ID.
    It is not, if one, or all of these papers are negated, that still only identifies a gap in the knowledge.

    So i will repeat my question:
    Going on the scientific evidence presented by both sides in that thread, do you think the DI has quantifiably shown navigation through protein space is impossible?
     
  2. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well you see that isn't true. For example ID scientists have explored the region of 'protein space' around particular enzymes by making experimental mutations. That is evidence - even though others may question how useful the evidence is.

    I defy anyone to watch a video such as this, and to claim that the ID scientists are bringing nothing to the table:


    I think it is best to concentrate on one paper at a time. That is why I have hoped to focus this discussion to one line of discussion.The problem is that opponents of ID are really desperate to claim a blow against it, and sometimes it takes a bit of thought to realise that things aren't quite as they seem.

    Let me give you an example. I think that originally the fact that one gene consists in part or whole of a frame shift of another gene, is a remarkable observation - whether or not it figured in the evolution of the 'nylonase' enzyme. But what exactly does it mean?

    One interpretation would be that protein space is heavily populated, so a a wild jump such as a frame-shift implies has a good chance of landing on a useful protein. I am not sure if any biologists are claiming that - if they are not, then useful frame-shifts seem to me to imply something far more remarkable. They seem to imply that a mind analogous to Bach is at work. There is a phenomenon in computer science analogous to a frame-shift, in which, if for some reason a jump does not land on the first byte of an instruction, what it finds is often still an instruction of some sort. Usually in this situation the program will crash extremely soon, but it is possible to imagine a Bach-like programmer devising strings of machine instructions that would do two or more entirely different things depending on which byte you entered the sequence. The fact that this would need a mind to achieve it, seems to be interesting evidence for ID!

    Wouldn't it be more constructive if Paul entered this discussion explicitly?

    David
     
  3. Bart V

    Bart V straw materialist Member

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    That is indeed evidence. And since that research was very narrow in scope, but was (and is) used by the DI misleadingly as if this applies more broadly, it is evidence for the divisiveness of the DI.
    What it is not, is evidence for ID, it does exactly what i said all the arguments of the DI do, pointing at a lack in the knowledge and shouting design.

    Oh please David, this is two hours of the same pointing and shouting design.
    To avoid wasting another two hours of my life to this drivel, i sampled here and there, and one of the first things i heard was a reference to the "one in 10 to the 77th" study we were discussing in that other thread.
    I guess that was also the research you were referencing above, and again they tried to claim it was proof that evolution was impossible.


    TOE is a well established theory based on evidence logic and observation. It is not complete, besides NS some other mechanism were uncovered, an incorporated in the theory.

    ID is not a theory, it is an unscientific notion based on faith based beliefs in supernatural causes, it says nothing about it's mechanism, nature of the designer, it explains nothing, and it is a complete science stopper.
    It is an "... of the gaps argument". an argument where, even after identifying and exaggerating (and sometimes inventing) the gaps, the conclusion does not even readily follow.

    Now knowing all that, and knowing you are an intelligent person, brings up this question.
    How the hell do you not understand where the burden of evidence lies in this discussion?
    There is not a single shred of positive evidence to be found in the scientific literature, how do you think scientific blows are going to be dealt against a notion that, scientifically spoken, does not even exist?

    If you, or anybody else would, bring up some positive evidence for ID/creationism, that would be constructive.
    It is hard to know what that evidence would look like, but that is the ID proponents problem, they have to provide it.

    It would also be more constructive to actually adres the issues in a discussion, again you avoided to answer my simple question from previous posts, and you simply ignored other issues too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  4. malf

    malf Member

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  5. Baccarat

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  7. Laird

    Laird Member

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    https://medium.com/@drjasonfung/the...ased-medicine-killing-for-profit-41f2812b8704

    It's worth following the links in that quote too and reading the articles in full.
     
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  8. north

    north Member

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    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/30/the-family-that-built-an-empire-of-pain
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
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  9. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    This is undoubtedly true, but I think it isn't the only problem with EBM.

    1) EBM helps to tie doctor's hands, which means that mistakes can be perpetuated, even when doctors start to have doubts.

    2) The process of reviewing evidence from multiple clinical studies has been turned into a technical process in itself - meta-analysis and systematic reviews. These processes can be easily biassed by excluding some studies from consideration on one excuse or another. All this obscures the data from the raw studies - N patients were given X, and N were given a placebo - what happened?

    3) As I discovered from the sharp end, drugs can kick back in really nasty ways, years after you start taking them. By then nobody is looking for possible side effects, and the new problems are attributed to something else, or to getting older! When I finally stopped taking statins, I had the pleasurable experience of feeling progressively younger again as the side effects wore off! Unfortunately, a lot of people on the internet report that statins side effects are sometimes irreversible. I don't suppose this problem is confined to statins.

    4) Because the decisions about whether to license drugs, and under what conditions, is now concentrated in so few hands, Big Pharma funds the research of these groups and individuals handsomely. I can't imagine why this is!

    In a way, the very name "Evidence Based Medicine" gives the game away! A name that sounds like good common sense, makes an excellent cover for a dodgy reality.

    David
     
  10. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Malcolm Kendrick posted this link that is closely connected with the issue of EBM.



    You may wish to skip forward a short distance until Aseem Malhotra starts speaking.

    David
     
  11. nbtruthman

    nbtruthman New

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    Consideration of the problems of EBM leads to a bigger issue with all of current applied and theoretical science.

    In a new article in Scientific American entitled "Is Science Hitting a Wall?",
    John Horgan is basically pointing out that both applied science and theoretical (pure) science are bumping into some sort of inherent limits to this human enterprise.

    Excerpts:

    So the key question is, why is the scientific enterprise slowly coming to a stop, or at least reaching a point of ruinously diminishing returns? More and more researchers, more and more funding, less and less productivity in new discoveries and understandings. We can rule out the notion that there are no new discoveries to be made. Scientists acknowledge the existence of very many gaps and unsolved mysteries in scientific understanding of nature.

    There seem to be three most likely explanatory choices: either it is (1) a matter of the inherent limitations of the human intellect combined with the ever-increasing difficulties of the problems, (2) the self-imposed blinders and shackles imposed by scientism - strict reductionist materialist naturalism, or (3) the metaphysical "powers that be" deliberately prohibit understanding of some things by humans (this would seem to mainly apply to theoretical physics). The multiverse and panpsychism are examples of the desperate efforts by theorists to substitute naturalist philosophy for (failing) science in the fields of theoretical physics and consciousness. These things can't be experimentally confirmed and therefore are not really science.

    Or the root of the problem could be some sort of a combination of these hypotheses.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  12. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Nbtruthman,

    I'd like to add a fourth factor - science is terribly reluctant to backtrack over mistakes. This is the core of the medical science scandals. Once they had proclaimed saturated fat to be dangerous, they couldn't back out, so type 2 diabetics are encouraged to eat a low fat high carbohydrate diet. Many are discovering that the diabetes improves if they eat a high fat low carbohydrate diet (much of the fat is saturated).

    I suspect there are other mistakes that they won't revisit - for example see Halton Arp's alternative view of quasar red shifts.

    Once you have a big chunk of incorrect science firmly in place, research just can't get anywhere useful.

    David
     
  13. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/23andme-is-terrifying-but-not-for-the-reasons-the-fda-thinks/
     
  14. Vortex

    Vortex Member

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    Just an interesting note relevant for this thread: the notion of the "scientific consensus" is a very recent one. In the "gold age" of science - the times of Enstein, Plank and other founders of the thories which now forms the mainstream of the natural sciences nowadays - the "scientifc consensus" expression (and notion) was not common. In fact, it would seem quite strange and self-contradictory to the scientists of that era. Just look at this graph...
     
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