why science is wrong… about almost everything — review by Society for Psychical Research

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On the contrary, Tsakiris vehemently protests that we are not ‘meaningless’, while acknowledging that he does not know what that meaning is. But it’s really not clear to me on what basis he concludes that there is meaning to existence, other than wishful thinking. As a consequence it’s an interesting yet ultimately unsatisfying book, too short and bitty to do justice to the richness of the Skeptiko archive, too often concerned with point-scoring, and not pulling the interview extracts into a coherent narrative. Instead he jumps around, with a tendency to stray from the subject of a particular chapter.
Now that he has a higher profile, it is possible that people not in tune with his views will be increasingly reluctant to appear on his show, so the range of interviewees may decrease in future. Those who are invited on and are fooled by the ‘Skeptiko’ tag into thinking that they are dealing with a host who is in sympathy with the aims of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and who fail to do due diligence on what they could be getting themselves into, will only have themselves to blame for a bruising encounter.

Is the term ‘Skeptiko’ misleading? Yes, in a way, but only because ‘scepticism’ has been co-opted by an approach that Tsakiris would claim isn’t sceptical at all, because it represents a narrow materialist status quo. He sees himself as truly an iconoclastic sceptic because he takes on those vested interests, but he has a problem distinguishing the baby from its bathwater.
Tom is hitting pretty hard, isnt he :O
 
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Apparently both the book and it's title ruffled someone's feathers. :D Anyone who thinks that status-quo science isn't the religion du jour need only read that "review."
dont tear me to peaces for that, but what if hes atleast partly right? what if mainstream science isnt just all wrong ? im by no means concurring with that review right here, but hes from a psychology organization, isnt he? he propably knows a thing or two about consciousness and stuff like that. im not saying that hes right but he just may be nt totally wrong either. but okay, despite the title of the book, well - i never thought about it as a scientific paper where you need to argue every possible problem that you can think of. it seemed more like a book full of mind-food for me. but well, thats just me.
 
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"Everything Science tells us about the physical universe is ultimately wrong if it fails to recognize the fundamental nature of consciousness and the underlying role of consciousness in every physical phenomenon that occurs."

I don't see how Science can be right about anything as long as the consciousnesses of scientists don't understand themselves and their own role in the existence of the physical universe. The materialist, naturalist world view of most scientists ignores the fact that consciousness is fundamental and all matter is dependent on consciousness for its existence. Everything Science tells us about the physical universe is ultimately wrong if it fails to recognize the fundamental nature of consciousness and the underlying role of consciousness in every physical phenomenon that occurs. Double slit experiments, quantum entanglement, and the quantum Zeno effect demonstrate this role yet scientists refuse to accept it along with the many other independent forms of evidence demonstrating that consciousness is not produced by the brain. Consciousness cannot be produced by any physical process. How could the changing concentration of ions across the membranes of brain cells produce what the color blue looks like to you? The brain might store data about the wavelength of light falling on the retina, or it might perform calculations on that data, but how could a computational device produce the subjective experience of what a color looks like? Consciousness is fundamentally different from any physical property or process and therefore cannot be produced by the brain. What could be more important to Science than the huge gaps this reveals in the scientific world view? What could be more important to humanity? Science has failed at its most basic and fundamental duty. When Science adopted naturalism it ironically left religion as the best source of information about consciousness and the origin of matter. Until science gives up naturalism and corrects its mistakes, Science will never be what it claims to be: an objective search for truth.
 
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I think it is odd that the author of "The Science Delusion" would criticize the title of Alex's book.
That seems a fair point. However his opinion may derive from the difference in the intention behind each title. If I recall, Sheldrake's was more or less a swipe aimed at a similarly-titled book, whereas I think Alex was aiming at a broader target. Still, for me it's what's inside the books that matters, the title is just a way to get people's attention.
 
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dont tear me to peaces for that, but what if hes atleast partly right? what if mainstream science isnt just all wrong ? im by no means concurring with that review right here, but hes from a psychology organization, isnt he? he propably knows a thing or two about consciousness and stuff like that. im not saying that hes right but he just may be nt totally wrong either. but okay, despite the title of the book, well - i never thought about it as a scientific paper where you need to argue every possible problem that you can think of. it seemed more like a book full of mind-food for me. but well, thats just me.

But , but . ."tearing to pieces" is so much fun. :D

Okay jokes aside, you're conflating different things. The two main ones being the reviewer's opinion of Tsakiris' book and the state of mainstream science. Of course there are many things mainstream science is correct about. Although - as an aside - other than the most obvious we don't really know what. My comment is that I see in the review a tendency towards considering it outrageous for someone to call into question SQ science as a whole. A reaction no different to how many adherents within someone claiming their religion is wrong. And it's worse because the review reads in a way where I get the impression that it wasn't done with intent. It's just an unquestioned part of the reviewer's worldview.

On a slight tangent. I greatly enjoy lots of status quo science. I just haven't made a religion out of it. And I also think that established science is far less open now than it was even at the time QM was first being formulated.
 
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"Everything Science tells us about the physical universe is ultimately wrong if it fails to recognize the fundamental nature of consciousness and the underlying need for consciousness for every physical phenomenon to occur."
Newtonian mechanics is a pretty good approximation but ultimately, as quantum mechanics and Einstein's theory of relativity demonstrated, Newtonian mechanics is wrong. The scientific materialist, naturalist world view may be a pretty good approximation in some areas but ultimately it is wrong.
 
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"Everything Science tells us about the physical universe is ultimately wrong if it fails to recognize the fundamental nature of consciousness and the underlying need for consciousness for every physical phenomenon to occur."
The difficulty for Science in admitting it is wrong is that once you accept that consciousness is non-physical the whole edifice of materialist creation comes crashing down. Results from parapsychology show ESP is not dependent on time and distance and this suggest that consciousness is not part of the physical universe. If you accept that consciousness is non-physical, is not part of the physical universe, you have to admit that the best explanation for the fine tuning of the universe is due to design by a transcendent creator. Science will never admit its mistake because that would be tantamount to surrender in its war on religion.
 
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The Science Delusion by Sheldrake is a book exactly about what it says, though I think he'd have preferred a different title too if I recall correctly. It's not an attack on science per se but on 'scientism', ie the misrepresentation of science by those with an agenda.

I can't see how anyone could seriously believe 'science' as a process for discovery is wrong about everything as so much of our modern living is based on the fruits of the process however, it has produced a body of knowledge which continuously grows and changes and what is a 'cast iron fact' today might not be tomorrow. That's not a problem unless we adopt a view that the only things that are true about the universe are those things revealed by science and that everything apparently revealed by the scientific method is exactly what is claimed for it.
 
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I "liked" Jim Smith's post because I agree that the reviewer may have missed the point Alex and others have brought up. If consciousness is fundamental, then it isn't a matter of merely tweaking the current models, in the way that Einstein tweaked Newton. "Wrong...about almost everything" really does seem to be the scale we would be talking about.

Linda
 
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I "liked" Jim Smith's post because I agree that the reviewer may have missed the point Alex and others have brought up. If consciousness is fundamental, then it isn't a matter of merely tweaking the current models, in the way that Einstein tweaked Newton. "Wrong...about almost everything" really does seem to be the scale we would be talking about.

Linda
I'm laughing at the fact that here's a case where I think you are going too far. Consciousness is fundamental. I make no apologies for stating that actuality. That said, within this physical framework there are characteristics, tendencies, etc. Gravity is (like everything) an expression of consciousness but that doesn't change the fact that on earth it operates at around 9.81 m/s^2.

As much as I strongly emphasize that status-quo science isn't the only field/method of knowledge and isn't always the appropriate way, I also strongly emphasize that it is a field/method that is valid and very useful within certain areas. To use one of my faves - just because a tool isn't appropriate for every job doesn't mean it's inappropriate for all jobs. It's foolish to throw out the phillips just because one is currently tightening flat-head screws.
 
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Tom Ruffles from the Society for Psychical Research has published a review of Why Science is Wrong… About Almost everything. First off, glad Tom reviewed it… look forward to the dialog it might generate. One point from the review I wanted to respond to has to do with the book’s title. There was no comment section after the review so I have done it here.

http://whyscienceiswrong.com/review-by-society-for-psychical-research/
He has a robust – putting it mildly – interviewing style. At his best, with a subject he knows a lot about (notably NDEs) and with a sympathetic interviewee, his conversations can be illuminating. Conversely he can pick out the weaknesses of his interviewees’ arguments in a way that is merciless. He is adept at showing how little sceptics (or rather pseudo-sceptics) have often thought about the ramifications of the subject they are on to talk about. In that sense Tsakiris provides a useful service in showing that simply because someone expresses a view strongly, it does not necessarily mean it is based on deep research. On the other hand he has a tendency to take an inability to provide a counter-argument as evidence for his own position, and he is not even-handed when debating those whose ideas he finds uncongenial.
Well, I woudn't call neither Alex nor his style "robust" or 'merciless". I consider him tolerant and patient enough to remain quite polite dealing with the worst kinds of misinformed and uninformed "skeptics". And the ridiculously weak level of argumentation presented by such type of "skeptics" does not need to be specially shown or emphasised by Alex: it is obvious to anyone but to such "skeptics" themselves. It is a kind of self-debunking. ;)

The chapter on atheism is confusing and unconvincing as Tsakiris has an image of atheists that they uniformly believe life to be ‘a meaningless illusion created by biologic (sic) robots.’ While there may be those who think it, though I’ve not met one, or at least one willing to admit to such a bizarre belief, it is a crude generalisation to lump all atheists in that category. Such a broad claim should be backed by evidence, but there is none here.
Never met one? Hmmm... Probably he never encountered personally a pair of guys known as R. Dawkins and D. Dennet. Those are well-known to have views which are noticeably similar to those described by Alex.

However, I have to agree with Tom that Alex is indeed a bit too harsh to atheists in general. Beyond Dawkins and Dennet, atheist ranks include people like Raymond Tallis and Thomas Nagel, who do not think that people are biological robots, or that our life is meaningless, or that human values are illusory. Such atheists are actually closer to spiritual people than to the hardcore New Anti-Theist crowd.
 
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dont tear me to peaces for that, but what if hes atleast partly right? what if mainstream science isnt just all wrong ? im by no means concurring with that review right here, but hes from a psychology organization, isnt he? he propably knows a thing or two about consciousness and stuff like that. im not saying that hes right but he just may be nt totally wrong either. but okay, despite the title of the book, well - i never thought about it as a scientific paper where you need to argue every possible problem that you can think of. it seemed more like a book full of mind-food for me. but well, thats just me.
thx... it would be one thing if Tom challenged the main premise of the book on scientific grounds -- i.e. made a strong case for mind=brain -- but he doesn't. he doesn't even offer a reasonable challenge to the idea that our understanding of consciousness has broad implications for science. he just seems upset with the idea that anyone could dare say science is wrong.
 
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The Science Delusion by Sheldrake is a book exactly about what it says, though I think he'd have preferred a different title too if I recall correctly. It's not an attack on science per se but on 'scientism', ie the misrepresentation of science by those with an agenda.

I can't see how anyone could seriously believe 'science' as a process for discovery is wrong about everything as so much of our modern living is based on the fruits of the process however, it has produced a body of knowledge which continuously grows and changes and what is a 'cast iron fact' today might not be tomorrow. That's not a problem unless we adopt a view that the only things that are true about the universe are those things revealed by science and that everything apparently revealed by the scientific method is exactly what is claimed for it.
ok, but did you review the response linked at the beginning of this thread? I agree science is a method not a position statement, but in another sense, in the sense we're talking about science can be judged as right or wrong.
 
#18
I'm laughing at the fact that here's a case where I think you are going too far. Consciousness is fundamental. I make no apologies for stating that actuality. That said, within this physical framework there are characteristics, tendencies, etc. Gravity is (like everything) an expression of consciousness but that doesn't change the fact that on earth it operates at around 9.81 m/s^2.
ok, at least now we're having a meaningful go at answering this kinda silly, but interesting question... i.e. is science wrong about everything. thx to Linda for framing it up (regardless of which way she sees the answer).

however, I think once you take the "consciousness is fundamental" leap you're way down the slippery science-is-wrong hillside.
 
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ok, but did you review the response linked at the beginning of this thread? I agree science is a method not a position statement, but in another sense, in the sense we're talking about science can be judged as right or wrong.
Yeah sorry Alex I wasn't responding to your point it was someone else's and I forget who lol
Just checked - it was Jim's observation.

I think Science can come up with the wrong answer certainly.
 
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