Readings on science and truth

What is, what isn’t, how do we know, and how do we know what we know. Here are examples and thoughts and ideas to ponder.

Science Blogs: Oh, the shame again: Another doctor embarrassing himself over “intelligent design” creationism – “You’ve heard me lament before about the woeful ignorance about biology and evolution common among all too many doctors. … the above indicates that Dr. Cook is very likely an excellent orthopedic surgeon. But none of it represents adequate qualifications to persuade me to take him seriously when he comments on evolution, and the harping on all of his qualifications appear to be nothing more than a transparent attempt to give him an air of scientific authority when blathering about evolution that, based on the content of what he writes, he clearly does not have or deserve”

Dr Melissa Clouthier: Dr. Sanity On Compassion And Truth “Leaving behind the “all truth is relative” mantra means leaving behind the circular and maddeningly unreasonable reasoning. Attaching firmly to the truth and having the truth inform and guide one’s fate, and that truth includes the humility of admitting to not knowing everything, but to knowing this much is true, confers sanity and a sound mind and freedom.”

The Guru’s Handbook: Words ” Nothing destroys communication as effectively as simple words misunderstood”

Isaac Asimov – The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 14 No. 1, Fall 1989. The Relativity of Wrong: “What actually happens is that once scientists get hold of a good concept they gradually refine and extend it with greater and greater subtlety as their instruments of measurement improve. Theories are not so much wrong as incomplete.”

Healthbolt: 26 Reasons What You Think is Right is Wrong: “A cognitive bias is something that our minds commonly do to distort our own view of reality. Here are the 26 most studied and widely accepted cognitive biases.”

Wellington Gray: A physics teacher asking for his subject back. “I am a young and once-enthusiastic physics teacher. I despair at what I am forced to teach.”

The Belmont Club on The Truth, Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth: ” if we return to the object of the Enlightenment, which is the search for a Truth that exists, then we need not dismiss the quest for love and healing as futile. It lies there for us to find and we may glimpse it along the way like the flowers into the light. Then we can live and die, in doubt perhaps, but never in despair.”

Philip J. Overby, The New Atlantis: Psychiatry’s Healer: “McHugh began his training in neurology and spent his career directing psychiatry away from its “misadventures” toward a more empirical approach in the manner of other medical disciplines. His training in neurology and psychiatry prefigured the widespread view that increasingly the two fields will overlap. As we learn more about the workings of the brain, the vagaries of the mind will become more concrete and subject to empirical scrutiny.”

Dumb looks still free: Internetworking and the role it plays: It is about the Iraq effort that you don’t see and is hard to comprehend – “Today, however, the computer has replaced the notecard and string arrangement, and one of the key elements of police work to bring down gangs, identify gang leaders and how their territory changes is via this method of network analysis.”

The Volokh Conspiracy: Bush Appointees Blocked Health Report Release: an example of cognitive bias? — “The problem is that the facts of this episode do not support Carmona’s charge nor the larger narrative.”

Thomas Barnett Modelled behavior is our military’s most important export. “To those who view America’s military history as one long list of evil deeds, this argument is insane. But to those who’ve spent their lives in the military or working with it, as I have, the notion of modeled behavior is a biggie.”

Sol Stern, The City. False Prophet – cognitive bias and the NCLB – ““Essentially, Kozol is the foundation on which the Steinhardt program is built. He is introduced in . . . a freshman course that serves to elucidate current political debates concerning education. Unfortunately, there’s pretty much no one on the syllabus to debunk him.” And that’s a pretty good explanation for why new teachers find themselves clueless when they step into urban classrooms.”

metapsychology online reviews. Doubting Darwin — “Though I agree with almost everything in this book, I do wonder at its value. There is a perennially debated question among opponents of creationism: should we debate them at all? Debating them seems to give them a legitimacy they do not deserve. Now, though Sarkar is not giving them a platform, in quite the same way as he would were he to appear on the same stage as them, a book-length refutation is, in one way, far too much effort to expend on them and takes them with a seriousness they do not deserve.”

Comments are closed.