Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by StellarX
Since we come from the same type of western schooling system, which for all practical purposes is a scientific one, i am not altogether sure what you
mean by 'scientific' education when we are taught the same general methodologies by which to reach our conclusions wether they be in physics, maths
or quite precisely structured languages. I am sure there are very few people who posts on ATS who have not had this type of education and that any
lack of scientific rigour in argument will serve better as condemnation of the way the natural sciences are taught than the individuals who are around
there twenties and still can not tell where science stops and baseless speculation begins.
The preference for staying on the 'safe side' can at best be called a personal failing when there is no one to yank your funding, damage or
'reputation' ( as scientist who don't question the status quo without it already being in tatters) or otherwise hurt the money flow that seems to
be the base inspiration behind most of this 'safe science' you so blithely refer to. Perhaps that is just a argument against the way scientific
research is done , or not done, in capitalistic societies but it hardly matters when that's encompasses so much of the research we see these days and
all we really need to contend with. Further pursuing 'speculative ideas until experimental evidence is found' seems to be how much of the trouble
starts as the scientific method works best when available evidence is pursued instead of attempting to find proof for speculative hypothesis ; unless
you wish to concede that the difference between them and us is essentially who turns out to be 'accurate' independent of their training or ability
There is significant overlap but as we have seen time and time again human beings , scientist or otherwise, tend to find what they are looking for in
this world which always serves to undermine the way we experiment to thus best prove ourselves correct.
I agree with the principle that the acknowledged experts in a field can and should speculate&argue amongst themselves but i must necessarily point out
that being best 'qualified' ( by a presumptive standard) or respected does not mean anything in terms of what is eventually determined real. Our
idea of who is best qualified is merely a standard that has allegedly served us well but it's not a deterministic standard which logically leads to
answers that stands the test of time. Just like might, independent of how it was gained, have always given right, by absence of means to resist in the
rest, so truth is true independent of what the standards of the day might find acceptable or even logical; reality does not care if and by who it's
workings is described. The history of science is obviously by en large a testament to self deception, outright misrepresentations and old fashioned
abuse of accumulated power.
It is my view that it is right and proper for interested lay folk such as ourselves to know what the currently accepted views are long before we care
to read about a similarly qualified individuals who happen to have reached different conclusions by employing the same sets of data and experiments.
This is after all how science progresses which is not often explained to lay folk who rarely seems to grasp the transition periods where plenty of
scientist in a given field necessarily lose 'face' and the grants that so often keeps them in house and home. Fact is our current system ensures
that corruption will be rife and that contrarion analysis will only very slowly, if at all, make headway. Since scientist oft uses their speculation
as evidence for their own quasi-scientific views, their human albeit better able to defend their own misrepresentations and deceptions, i think
everyone should have the same right while they attempt to gain more insight and learning into their respective fields of interest.
As amateurs we are ideally suited to ask questions as unlike scientist with reputations&professional standings and perhaps decades of invested time we
can change our minds for lack of serious investment where for them to do so could and frequently does risk not only a life's work but also a pension
and a mortgage. Since the vast majority works for money they may be scientist second but first they are working for a paycheck and must eat like the
rest of us and are as unlikely as the most uninformed amongst us to forget it. To suggest that those who have all the vested interest in the world not
( subconsciously if not consciously) to upset standards are paragons of impartiality and that they will always go where the evidence leads is to show
a comprehensive ignorance of at least economics and human psychology; since i'm not even trying to insult you or anyone in particular i wont spend
more seconds adding to the list of why a scientific establishment is as prone to corruption as any other variety of establishment with established
self interests. If the question is how something like a 'science' can be monolithic then i can just add that processes and procedures as well as
seniority&patronage can and does do well to mimic the reactionary achievements of rather more simple totalitarian systems.
I did not question the veracity of the 'laws of thermodynamics' as much as i questioned the abuse of such laws by those who do not understand the
implications of when and how they are applicable and when not. We were specifically discussing the second law which deals not only with just
macroscopic systems ( not all systems) but ISOLATED macroscopic systems at that. The host of fallacious , illogical and absurd assumptions that is
required to thus rule our local macroscopic negentropic systems is why i object to those who in their vast ignorance wield 'the laws of
thermodynamics' as blunt weapon. Those who wish to question why 'laws' are questioned should at the very least be familiar with the laws being
questioned before they jump to the defense of established theories which hardly needs the defense of lay people when the qualified one's are doing a
bang up job of it.
Scientific orthodoxy is necessarily the only jump off point for investigating the natural sciences as frankly no one should try to build their own
house without at the very least making sure how everyone else built theirs. To question orthodoxy because it is that is not only foolhardy but also
pointless as without alternative hypothesis, or at least to expose apparent flaws for further investigation, one is not contributing as much as one
is exposing your own immaturity and insecurity. I do not make up alternative theories to the one's currently held, i am not that creative and hardly
qualified, as much as i read papers and theories by those who are before sometimes deciding that some of them, even if not widely accepted, fits
better with everything else i know of the world which again, obviously, may not mean much from your perspective. Since that is hardly a qualification
and also a value judgement it's something everyone who is interested in these ideas should only consider if they are willing to give up on the notion
of 'certainty' in as much as those can be perfect descriptions of the underlying reality of the one we observe.
In conclusion i wish to apologise for a good part of my past conduct as reading some of my older posts more often than not leaves me cringing for one
reason or another. Since i have no doubt that i will feel the same way in five years i realise that what i lack in formal training i should at the
very least try to compensate for in civility. Having said that i am still not sure how and why the second laws , or thermodynamics in general, is
being employed to attack the observable evidence of local negentropy in our local rather significant macroscopic system. I understand that you wish to
talk about the universe at large ( for some reason presuming it's a closed/isolated system when that has not been proven) but frankly that was never
my intent and it is really completely irrelevant if entropy results somewhere else or the sun , our local source of negentropy, kills us all five
billion years from now. What i and so many others are interested in is technology's that will allow is to use existing flows or stores of energy,
like fossil fuels/wind/solar/tidal, to allow humanity access to cheap independent 'sources' of energy. We , at least the intelligent one's, never
suggested that energy will be created or destroyed to facilitate such processes ( as as far as we know energy can't be) and we can not for the life
of us understand why you attribute such ridiculous notions to us. Perhaps you can begin to understand why some , including me, get so very angry and
exasperated with the second law stuff when we for the most part don't understand why you think it's relevant when we never but questioned their
relevance on local scales!
Either way i have very little time these days but i would eventually like to get to our current understanding of EM theory to show that there are
significant omissions that goes a long way towards explaining why so many lay scientist and engineers ( to say nothing of the educated one's) just
wont stop tinkering! Perhaps if the theory was better understood and explained there would not , at the very least, be such great room for
[edit on 14-2-2010 by StellarX]