Originally posted by caitlinfae
Melatonin, I'm sure Redneck can defend himself more than adequately here, but I'm not sure which post you were reading...your interpretation of what
he wrote is nowhere near what I picked up from his post. He is not literally talking about two difference sciences....but about two different mindsets
in relation to science.
Apologies to Redneck if I have misunderstood here...in my experience, and this is very personal, I've found that the scientists and the sceptics are
the ones who will not move on their "truth", which the more spiritually minded among us are more thatn happy to investigate possibility, regardless
of how empirical it may or may not be.
I know exactly what redneck is referring to, the 'social policy' thing gave it away. What his gripe is is when scientists discover stuff that
suggests issues that require some sort of action - social, economic, and governmental. As a libertarian, redneck can't accept that. Indeed, one of
his major bugbears, climate science, fits his category one perfectly - a slow collection of knowledge over a long period (over 100 years) which has
led to the current position. But that requires a knowledge of the history of climate science. However, he puts his faith in a few industry shills that
tell him what he wants to hear.
The thing here is that there is just one science. It is the science that observes nature and makes inferences, forms theories and models to explain
phenomena and sets of phenomena, makes new predictions etc etc. That's science. It underpins all science, from physics to geology to psychology.
Then there are the applications that are derived from science. He wants the applications for new toys, but not the results and implications of
knowledge that conflict with his ideology.
As for your issues, 'regardless of how empirical it may or may not be' is sort of the problem, though. If we are talking science, then it's hard to
move far from empiricism. What a good scientist or sceptic will do is to reject claims that have no evidence or empirical basis. It doesn't mean it
doesn't exist, just that any claims without evidence are pretty vacuous. Indeed, the excellence of science is shown in its pudding.
I think you are rather wrong on the possibility thing. Science is at the forefront of knowledge acquisition, it prospers by investigating
possibilities. And any scientist worth their label will react to new knowledge, and readily move on "their 'truth'". There is one mindset on
science, it's just a methodology.
However, I think those dwelling in the realm of pseudoscientific woo are rather different. Even when shown to be talking and spreading vacuous tripe,
nothing changes. All the studies that show homeopathy to be complete crap, yet people still buy into it. Do scientists have a responsibility to point
these things out? Or do we allow people to be hoodwinked by snake-oil salespeople?
Science is methodological naturalism, if you define spiritual stuff as non-materialist, then you are outside of science straight away, and science is
not the problem. The problem is that science is just fan-frickin-tastic at doing what it does. And its success is one good reason to be a
If people see how great it is, oh well. Doesn't stop you believing what you want if it makes you feel good - if you really want the bigfoot, crystal
magic, or indigo children to be real, believe it to be so. Just don't expect others to buy it without some sort of reliable evidence.
[edit on 16-8-2008 by melatonin]