From: Gerald O'Connell <goc.nul> Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2012 17:02:32 +0100 Archived: Sat, 28 Apr 2012 13:16:12 -0400 Subject: Re: Science Denial In The 21St Century >Source: ScienceNews.Org >http://tinyurl.com/c324zul >Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 <snip> Interesting piece. Well worth reading, especially where it touches on the issue of belief systems. Of course what it doesn't consider (and nor does the study to which it refers) is the issue of endemic non-reflexivity. By this I mean the blindness to itself of serious discourse: the fact, in this instance, that adherence to a version of science is frequently a belief system all of its own. There is a fascinating example of the kind of communications breakdown this can lead to in the current thread on 'Ufology and psychiatry'. The subtext to large parts of that thread is that the protagonists adhere to differing versions of science as belief system, and, in one case at least, are unprepared to admit that other versions are equally valid. The parallels with religious debate where infidels and heretics slug it out, never succeeding in landing a logically meaningful punch, are all too evident The twentieth century saw a consensus being built around a spectrum from the 'hardest' of sciences (physics, until string theorists threatened its pre-eminence - no doubt to be resolved by a period of schismatic division, if you'll pardon the tautology) at one end to the 'softest' of social sciences at the other, and then shading into pseudoscience beyond that. Bauer (whose reflexive instincts are exemplary) is a highly recommended author to read on this: his awareness having been triggered as an academic chemist with an interest in the Loch Ness Monster. The placement of Ufology and its sceptical opponents in that spectrum is a highly problematic one: there are serious Ufologists who proceed as though they were first-class physicists (some of them actually are, but, of course, that is no guarantee that an individual will not leave his scientific training and method behind when confronted by anomalous data!); while there are scientifically qualified UFO sceptics who behave as though they were agents of the Spanish Inquisition. It is too much to ask that scientists, pseudoscientists and Ufologists should always adhere to the highest standards of critical objectivity in their work, but it is always worth pausing to reflect on whether they actually adhere to the standards that they purport to espouse. Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
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