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Predjudice and bias in "Science"


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#1 canuck

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 08:22 PM

In previous posts, I have made numerous comments about the fact that "scientists" are no different to ordinary people: they are subject to beliefs, prejudices and biases, just like everybody else.

Furthermore, like almost everybody else, "scientists" will disregard anything which challenges their beliefs. Once a "scientific" belief has become embedded, it is very difficult to dislodge; furthermore, "scientists" will selectively consider only that data which supports their beliefs, and disregard that which challenges it.

This, of course, has significant implications for Spookology. Clearly, the findings of Spookology challenge the foundation beliefs of conventional "science", therefore they are both ridiculed and disregarded by mainstream science.

This is an attitude frequently reflected in contributions to these threads by our cheerleading squad for "science".

This is a link to an article which discusses this phenomenon; of particular interest are the links provided in this article.

I strongly suggest that everybody read the linked articles; particularly, the members of our cheerleading squad should find them very informative.


http://www.collide-a...ence-is-flawed/

#2 CaveRat2

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 11:17 PM

I can agree that in certain instances data is disregarded / altered to conform to a particular desired outcome. The global warming issue is a good example.

And in the field of spook-ology it is no different. For instance there is a widely held concept that ties ghosts into spirits and souls of the departed. Most investigators go at this field using that unfounded assumption. (If someone has proof the they are related, bring it on...)
Maybe that is why science is so counter to this field. We make these claims and refuse to budge from them even though we can't prove any of it. Maybe science would be more accepting if we were to be more open to the scientific methods.

Based on these methods we should consider revising the foundation of paranormal research. We have nothing to build on therefore maybe we should reconsider the basics. Perhaps, and science will agree, that is why proof is so elusive. Maybe we aren't looking in the right places. If we returned to square one and considered other options then possibly science would also begin a serious study. After all, the scientific method dictates that if a failed result is obtained then either a reason for the failure or a new approach is indicated.

Maybe the fact the findings of spookology challenge science is because our findings are in error. Or it could be science is not accepting. In either case the solution is to prove the case for either side. And that will take an acceptance of certain facts and building on those. For instance it does us no good to continue to push ghost boxes when both science and engineering can account for what those devices pick up. Yet there are many who still ignore the facts and attribute the results to voices of the dead. That first ignores pareidolia, second ignores what is known about how the mind perceives noise, third fails to provide any explanation as to HOW these supposed spirits can manipulate a complex electronic device with the precision needed to give the claimed results. Finally it fails to explain how some people can't even hear what others claim is buried in the noise.

Which all goes to say if we are going to promote such methods then we better also be able to justify and verify the claimed results. Otherwise science, which can verify many (but clearly not all) of their methods is going to win out

#3 plindboe

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 06:08 PM

Of course scientists have bias and prejudice. You might as well tell us that the Moon is made of rock. Duh! They're humans, not infallible robots.

Luckily there are several mechanisms in science that address and counteract bias (replicability, peer review, peer criticism and debate, reputation, statistical testing, encouraged skepticism, discouragement of dogma, focus on objectivity, bias and epistomology, emphasis on falsification etc.) and these deeply ingrained mechanisms are the reason that science has proven so succesful, while other methods of "discovery" have provided nothing but dogmatic assertions and grand claims. Are these mechanisms perfect and can they completely address human bias? Of course not. But every mechanism that addresses bias is still an improvement over no mechanism at all.

Religions and paranormal beliefs are stagnant precisely because they wallow in their own bias instead of addressing it as a problem, and whenever they criticise science they project their own bias onto it as if the problem only exists in science.

What mechanisms do spookology have to counteract bias?

Edited by plindboe, 22 December 2010 - 06:10 PM.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." (Bertrand Russell)

#4 plindboe

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 06:20 PM

The global warming issue is a good example


Can you expand on this?

Peter :D
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." (Bertrand Russell)

#5 canuck

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 07:50 PM

Of course scientists have bias and prejudice. You might as well tell us that the Moon is made of rock. Duh! They're humans, not infallible robots.

Luckily there are several mechanisms in science that address and counteract bias (replicability, peer review, peer criticism and debate, reputation, statistical testing, encouraged skepticism, discouragement of dogma, focus on objectivity, bias and epistomology, emphasis on falsification etc.) and these deeply ingrained mechanisms are the reason that science has proven so succesful, while other methods of "discovery" have provided nothing but dogmatic assertions and grand claims. Are these mechanisms perfect and can they completely address human bias? Of course not. But every mechanism that addresses bias is still an improvement over no mechanism at all.

Religions and paranormal beliefs are stagnant precisely because they wallow in their own bias instead of addressing it as a problem, and whenever they criticise science they project their own bias onto it as if the problem only exists in science.

What mechanisms do spookology have to counteract bias?


You have responded exactly as expected.

I suggest that you read the post and the embedded articles until you understand what they are saying, and their overall meaning. It will probably take repeated readings.

You may also wish to read the very relevant threads relating to the dumbing down of science, and Global Warming:

http://www.ghostvill...mp;#entry555624

#6 CaveRat2

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 01:44 PM

The global warming issue is a good example


Can you expand on this?

Peter :D


Without going into a lot of detail (You can find statistics online to back this up.) consider the opinion that the earth is warming up. The impression is left by the advocates of global warming that this is some kind of an anomaly; that we are causing it. This is an example of an agenda controlling the outcome.

If one actually looks into the geological and botanical evidence though, fossilized records indicate that millions of years ago, and for extended periods of time, the earth was much warmer than it is now. Fossilized remains of dinosaurs have been found in northern Alaska and near Antarctica. Leaf fossils indicate that even tough these areas are near polar extremes that the climate was temperate. Clearly man didn't contribute to that as this predated human existence.

In fact, if one looks at the records found in nature it is evident that while certain periods may have been colder, the majority of the time the earth was actually considerably warmer than at present. Therefore if we take the data available it can be concluded that global warming is not a disaster humans have caused, rather it is simply the earth getting back to normal. This outcome runs counter to what the proponents of global warming suggest though, the reason being they have disregarded the evidence of millions of years and instead selectively chosen to base their results on a short period of time from the Little Ice Age to the present when it indeed has shown a warming trend.

Thus the bias is evident here. They are looking only at data which supports their cause, not the overall picture.

#7 canuck

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 05:08 PM

Anybody interested in the hard science of natural climate cycles may wish to familiarize themselves with the theory of Milankovitch cycles, described in the link below.

Milankovitch cycles are accepted as the primary foundation of Earth's climate by most real scientists.

Not surprisingly, since this evidence runs counter to the current warmist ideology, it is disregarded by the warmist ideologues and climate fraudsters.

http://en.wikipedia....nkovitch_cycles

#8 ohreally?

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 06:09 PM

Of course scientists have bias and prejudice. You might as well tell us that the Moon is made of rock. Duh! They're humans, not infallible robots.

Luckily there are several mechanisms in science that address and counteract bias (replicability, peer review, peer criticism and debate, reputation, statistical testing, encouraged skepticism, discouragement of dogma, focus on objectivity, bias and epistomology, emphasis on falsification etc.) and these deeply ingrained mechanisms are the reason that science has proven so succesful, while other methods of "discovery" have provided nothing but dogmatic assertions and grand claims. Are these mechanisms perfect and can they completely address human bias? Of course not. But every mechanism that addresses bias is still an improvement over no mechanism at all.

Religions and paranormal beliefs are stagnant precisely because they wallow in their own bias instead of addressing it as a problem, and whenever they criticise science they project their own bias onto it as if the problem only exists in science.

What mechanisms do spookology have to counteract bias?


Notice the obvious silent non response to your question

#9 ohreally?

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 06:17 PM

The global warming issue is a good example


Can you expand on this?

Peter :D


Without going into a lot of detail (You can find statistics online to back this up.) consider the opinion that the earth is warming up. The impression is left by the advocates of global warming that this is some kind of an anomaly; that we are causing it. This is an example of an agenda controlling the outcome.

If one actually looks into the geological and botanical evidence though, fossilized records indicate that millions of years ago, and for extended periods of time, the earth was much warmer than it is now. Fossilized remains of dinosaurs have been found in northern Alaska and near Antarctica. Leaf fossils indicate that even tough these areas are near polar extremes that the climate was temperate. Clearly man didn't contribute to that as this predated human existence.

In fact, if one looks at the records found in nature it is evident that while certain periods may have been colder, the majority of the time the earth was actually considerably warmer than at present. Therefore if we take the data available it can be concluded that global warming is not a disaster humans have caused, rather it is simply the earth getting back to normal. This outcome runs counter to what the proponents of global warming suggest though, the reason being they have disregarded the evidence of millions of years and instead selectively chosen to base their results on a short period of time from the Little Ice Age to the present when it indeed has shown a warming trend.

Thus the bias is evident here. They are looking only at data which supports their cause, not the overall picture.


For you two http://www.ghostvill...mp;#entry556124

#10 ohreally?

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 06:26 PM

Of course scientists have bias and prejudice. You might as well tell us that the Moon is made of rock. Duh! They're humans, not infallible robots.

Luckily there are several mechanisms in science that address and counteract bias (replicability, peer review, peer criticism and debate, reputation, statistical testing, encouraged skepticism, discouragement of dogma, focus on objectivity, bias and epistomology, emphasis on falsification etc.) and these deeply ingrained mechanisms are the reason that science has proven so succesful, while other methods of "discovery" have provided nothing but dogmatic assertions and grand claims. Are these mechanisms perfect and can they completely address human bias? Of course not. But every mechanism that addresses bias is still an improvement over no mechanism at all.

Religions and paranormal beliefs are stagnant precisely because they wallow in their own bias instead of addressing it as a problem, and whenever they criticise science they project their own bias onto it as if the problem only exists in science.

What mechanisms do spookology have to counteract bias?


Notice the deafening non response to your question



#11 canuck

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 07:09 PM

Of course scientists have bias and prejudice. You might as well tell us that the Moon is made of rock. Duh! They're humans, not infallible robots.

Luckily there are several mechanisms in science that address and counteract bias (replicability, peer review, peer criticism and debate, reputation, statistical testing, encouraged skepticism, discouragement of dogma, focus on objectivity, bias and epistomology, emphasis on falsification etc.) and these deeply ingrained mechanisms are the reason that science has proven so succesful, while other methods of "discovery" have provided nothing but dogmatic assertions and grand claims. Are these mechanisms perfect and can they completely address human bias? Of course not. But every mechanism that addresses bias is still an improvement over no mechanism at all.

Religions and paranormal beliefs are stagnant precisely because they wallow in their own bias instead of addressing it as a problem, and whenever they criticise science they project their own bias onto it as if the problem only exists in science.

What mechanisms do spookology have to counteract bias?


Notice the deafening non response to your question

I assume that this post was directed to me.

Tragically, your response only reinforces the points that have been made repeatedly in the previous posts; however since you evidently have missed these points, I will spell them out to you:

1. The mechanisms and processes to which you refer are an IDEALISED view of the science business; the realities of science are as described in the links to which I have repeatedly referred you; and in previous threads relating to this topic.

I suggest you read them; evidently, it may be too much to ask that you either understand what they are saying, or appreciate the implications of these points. But try.

2. The process of peer review has varying applicability, and success. Due to the dynamics of the realities of the science industry, its success or failure is largely due to the individuals involved. Individual agendas play a major part in "peer review".

The issue of "Global Warming" is a prime illustration of how that process has been totally corrupted by criminal fraudsters in order to further their personal agendas.

In so doing they have not only perpetrated a massive fraud, but they have brought the entire scientific community into disrepute.

3. In relation to Spookology: the standard mechanisms of scientific investigation, including peer review, is alive and well within a small group of active researchers. In fact, as a consequence of the ridicule applied to this field of study by "scientists", the standard of research by these individuals is often greater than that of "conventional" science.

You should familiarize yourself with the work being done in this field, and the quality control processes which are applied as a matter of routine.

4. The quality of "science" in general is progressively declining. As our degree mills churn out battalions of "scientists" the quality of these "scientists" has declined precipitously.

As the industry balloons, and more and more "scientists" chase fewer positions, those that do manage to find employment in a "scientific" position, are under great pressure both to justify their existence, and to conform.

Since their qualifications are from degree mills, they do not have the knowledge, the imagination or other qualities to think of anything original; and in order for them to continue to collect a pay cheque every month, they must toe the line and conform to the prevailing doctrines; ie: global warming; and "supernatural" phenomena don't exist.

5. As a substantiation of this, read "'The Citation Index"; you will find that less than 10% of all the "scientific" research published in peer reviewed journals is considered worth reading by anyone.

In other words, 90% of all published scientific research is considered by the scientific community to be garbage.

Unfortunately, for the reasons noted above, sometimes that garbage floats to the top: global warming being a case in point.

This is a pretty damning indictment of the "science" and the value of "peer review"which you feel such a need to defend.

It should also give you pause to wonder why you consider the opinions of the average "scientist" to be any more authoritative on anything than that of your average cab driver.

The bottom line in all this is that "science" is just like any other human endeavor: it is driven by the dynamics of a whole range of influences, including the competence of its practitioners, and their personal beliefs, prejudices and political agendas.

Some scientists are experts in a very narrow field; if they express a view within the confines of that very narrow field, their views should be given due attention and consideration.

However, when they stray beyond that field, they should be treated the same as any other cab driver. This is the relevance to Spookology.

#12 CaveRat2

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 09:18 AM

It should also give you pause to wonder why you consider the opinions of the average "scientist" to be any more authoritative on anything than that of your average cab driver.


This statement says much, as it should. Because if "the average cab driver" can form a theory, do the tests, and prove (or disprove) his hypothesis, he is as much a scientist as the MIT graduate with a long list of letters after his name. Today there is too much emphasis placed on who is saying what as opposed to what they are saying.

That is where peer review enters the picture. It is this process which keeps those who "stray beyond their field" in line. For example a scientist with a degree in biology is usually no more qualified to peer review an astronomer who postulates a theory than the average cab driver. Thus peer review must also be confined to those who are actually your peers, not someone from outside the field of endeavor being reviewed.

#13 canuck

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 06:53 PM

It should also give you pause to wonder why you consider the opinions of the average "scientist" to be any more authoritative on anything than that of your average cab driver.


This statement says much, as it should. Because if "the average cab driver" can form a theory, do the tests, and prove (or disprove) his hypothesis, he is as much a scientist as the MIT graduate with a long list of letters after his name. Today there is too much emphasis placed on who is saying what as opposed to what they are saying.

That is where peer review enters the picture. It is this process which keeps those who "stray beyond their field" in line. For example a scientist with a degree in biology is usually no more qualified to peer review an astronomer who postulates a theory than the average cab driver. Thus peer review must also be confined to those who are actually your peers, not someone from outside the field of endeavor being reviewed.

Yes; all true.

With regard to "peer review", it is necessary to consider the practical realities of this process. Science has long since become politicised, and "peer review" has become just another tool in the arsenal of political advocacy.

Peer review, while in theory, is a quality control mechanism, it is also a mechanism to ensure conformity and stifling dissent. It is a very effective means to advance a particular agenda.

Beating the same unfortunate horse again: the whole "Global Warming" fraud has occurred because the peer review process was used by a group of corrupt "scientists" in order to protect their own turf and advance their own careers, to the detriment of science. As a consequence, a whole global warming industry involving trillions of dollars world wide has developed.

This has great relevance to Spookology. The "peers" of science have decreed that the phenomena observed challenge conventional science, and are not to be studied. Consequently, any research which is presented for publication in a mainstream journal is automatically trashed by the "peers"; and the advancement of science is impeded.

Such is the pressure of "peer review" that any scientist who expresses an interest in the field will be ridiculed, and have his career trashed.

The consequence of this is that progress in the field is very slow; and the "peers" can quite rightly point to the dearth of studies in Spookology published in "peer reviewed journals".

Fortunately, there are some journals which focus on Spookology, and the publications therein are reviewed by genuine "peers". That is, the articles are vetted by people who actually have some knowledge of the field and do not have to conform to any particular political agenda.

Therefore, in the long run, there is some hope that we may see some advances in the area.

#14 CaveRat2

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 11:23 AM

Certainly peer review is not infallible; witness the "peer reviewed" science that for hundreds of years dictated that the earth was flat. (The scientists of the day were the religious clerics, but none-the-less they dictated the science.) it was only after the opposing side got together and formed their own alternative theories and also reviewed them that the truth was finally put forward. Today the flat earth concept is debunked, not even considered. And the peer review of Galileo's theory is done every time a satellite snaps a picture of the earth's surface.

The same may eventually hold true for spookology, although exactly what explanation finally wins out is still up for debate. Ghosts may turn out to be not spirits of the dead, but something we have not even considered yet.

#15 canuck

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 08:03 PM

Of course, Peer Review" has its place and plays a critical and invaluable part in the progress of science. However, it is wise to keep in mind the realities and limitations of that process.

While these are well known within the scientific community, and we have touched on them briefly here, they are either conveniently ignored or selectively applied by those who wish to advance a particular agenda.

It is a common refrain for those who wish to denigrate an idea to point out that it may not have been published in a "peer reviewed journal".

Those who are familiar with the peer review process know that this is a disingenuous and fallacious argument.

Moving on, I am not as confident as you seem to be that "ghosts" are unconnected to the dead.

The work of William James in the late 19th century seems to provide some pretty good evidence to the effect that some ghosts are, in fact, the continuation of the life challenged.

Particularly, his "cross communication" studies are very intriguing and suggestive of that. These studies were, incidentally, peer reviewed.

Similarly, the work he did with Leonora Piper also is very strongly suggestive of life after death.

These studies, which were also "peer reviewed", have never been refuted.

What is required is that some real scientists attempt to replicate the work of James. If it were duplicated, that would be something to curl your toes!




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