Friday, August 23, 2013

What Is Science?

Spoiler: this gets a little dark. Just know, I love scientists, and to a lesser extent engineers. They're very smart, a blast to argue with, and sometimes surprisingly good natured. Also, for some reason, they appear to hold values and experience emotions. One time I saw a mechanical engineer exercise choice.

Faith Is A Fallacy and Dogma Is Ridiculous. Except When It's Not.

Science is not skepticism.

Science is the art of convenient application of rhetoric, joined at the hip with the philosophy of Objectivism/Physicalism.

When scientists talk about the future, it is data-driven prediction every time. But when anyone else tries their hand at prediction, they are confounding causation, failing to control for variables, overgeneralizing findings, and cherry-picking the data. They are coming from a place of bias or emotion. They are letting the hypothesis drive the conclusion. They are not significant.

Scientists are quick to remind you that their Method cannot prove but only disprove, that experiments must be repeatable to create rules/laws, and that some form of control or random assignment is necessary to isolate variables. But that doesn't mean they like being reminded. There are no 3 words in English more effective at putting a scientist on the defensive than "only a theory".

The contradictions and omissions that exist within The Bible or Reiki are proof of ignorance, of uncritical thinking. The Ultimate Truth that believers believe, grounded in surviving ancestral tradition, intuition, and transcendent experience is a "Flying Spaghetti Monster". Its witch baloney. Meanwhile scientists devote serious study to the question of whether the universe is a simulation running on a larger computer, whether there are infinite dimensions, and whether everything is made out of 10th-dimension vibrating math strings. If these ideas sound equally ridiculous to you than an uncaused conscious being in control of all matter, or a life-giving energy that flows through all things, or a universe where human choice is absolute, then you obviously don't understand math, and testability, and Occam's Razor. You don't pass the smell test.

Skeptics need to stop letting off the hook every technologist, every reductionist, and every futurist who hides behind the banner of science. The scientific method did not give us fire, agriculture, language, or ethics. Trial-and-error,logic, and doubt predate science. So does the search for truth, the idea of atheism, the concept of natural laws, the theory of the atom, the question of choice, the paradox of action. Science has delivered to the world many great things, and not all of them are technologies. Most importantly among these, science has dethroned God, and for a brief and Enlightened time it seemed that anything was possible because that throne stayed empty and all were equal in the salon of ideas. The mind was allowed the freedom to remake the world.

Slowly the throne of ideas has been reclaimed. The royal family has come out of hiding. Like the priests of old, the new priests of progress use familiar tricks. The performance of unbelievable feats. Predicting the future using techniques that are strange and opaque to the layman, always ready with an explanation when things do not go as prophesized. The goal is the same as always. Monopolize the creation and ownership of knowledge beyond any challenge. Claim all achievements are the result of infallible dedication to The Method. Brainwash most initiates within an endless status game where adherence to dogma and (sometimes paradoxical) deference to expert opinion is tantamount. Create a parallel semantics that creates the illusion of parallelism between all types of knowledge. Exploit this distortion to choke off debate. Take credit for the universe.

When doctors get their scroll, they wear robes. A velvet sash is slowly lowered over their heads, but the ceremony is called a "hooding". This is because the hood itself is invisible. It represents the absolute truth that envelopes us all, which only scientists can see, if not yet fully describe. Their hood is the Unified Field. The Great Thingy. The Hyopthesis that dare not speak its name. The Conclusion beyond all discussion.

Silence now, be very quiet. You can hear it, an echo of its long tail breaking the darkness...

You can feel it deep inside like a limbic neutrino...

The Law Beyond Laws...

The Meta-Set.

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