Culture Intelligent Design Philosophy Science

Sabine Hossenfelder tackles pseudoscience — in a realistic way

Hossenfelder: “And some crazy ideas in the end turn out to be correct.” Yes, and it could be worse than that. Given the complexity of life, there should be no surprise if dimwits played by fanatics and grifters – Establishment or otherwise – are fronting poorly supported ideas and trying to stamp out more correct ideas as “pseudoscience” because the poorly supported ideas are convenient, comforting, and profitable. Anyone who doubts that factor either hasn’t been around long or has not been paying attention.

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Tal Bachman on the folly of “Trust science!”

Prediction: As the smarter portion of the population begins to piece together what’s happened in the past few years, “Science!” is going to take a beating in public reputation. That’s too bad. But, under the circumstances, the harm done by continued uncritical belief may be greater than the harm done by disillusionment. Agree or disagree, we will likely find out.

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Michael Egnor: The atheists’ Divine Hiddenness argument against God’s existence = nonsense

Egnor: The Divine Hiddenness argument is nonsensical because divine hiddenness is inherent in the nature of the Creator and the creature, as noted above. Furthermore, the atheist Divine Hiddenness argument seems to imply a bizarre inference: if the disbelief of even one person in the world disproves the existence of God, then it stands to reason that the belief in God by that person — that one holdout — would prove His existence.

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Vox on why you can’t trust Big Science

If you “trust” these science honchoes at all after this episode… well, COVID-19 is not as serious a threat as wilful stupidity. But going forward, another question looms: How much of “settled science” that has never been subjected to this type of careful outside scrutiny would likewise collapse? What ELSE don’t we know and what difference would it make in various science arenas?

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Michael Egnor: Science can and does point to God’s existence

Egnor: Note that science studies natural effects and does not and cannot specify whether the causes must be natural or supernatural. To constrain science to the search for natural causes is to introduce inherent error into scientific investigation — the error is that if supernatural causes exist, then science would be blind to them and therefore would not be good science. If we are to understand natural effects, we must be open to all kinds of causes, including causes that transcend nature.

Culture Intelligent Design Philosophy Science

At The Scientist: “Science must combat dogmatism”

Easier said than done. Sadly, when we are told primly to “trust the science,” it is nearly always the case that the persons demanding the trust means by “the science” whatever science happens to support their position. One thing the COVID pandemic did was make a far greater proportion of the public aware of that meaning of “trust the science” than was the case in the past. For better or worse.

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At The Ness: Science is not Just Philosophy

Wait. If atheist neurologist blogger Steven Novella is right, the science presenters in media must be speaking a different language from the rest of us. The impression that he says they don’t convey (“insight into the ultimate nature of reality”), they in fact do — by a variety of means. That’s okay, of course, until the whipped cream hits the fan.

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At Lancet: An appeal for an honest debate in science about the origin of COVID-19

We wish Jacques van Helden and his co-authors good luck getting an honest discussion going. It’s not like China is going to become transparent anytime soon. In any event, few virus researchers would want to be told bluntly that, because gain-of-function research in viruses can go badly wrong, they now face controls. Some nations wouldn’t heed the controls. And nature never responds – on her own – to calls for clarification. Most likely, whatever happened with COVID will need to happen again a few more times until a pattern develops. Then we’ll see. It doesn’t help that Lancet itself became politicized in recent years.

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At least, the “science of obesity” is now a legitimate topic of discussion

Another well-known science writer, Ross Pomeroy, says Gary Taubes is wrong. It is a good thing we get to hear both sides of the argument. That is not happening often enough. People who complain about popular doubt or denial of science are too often among the first to demand that only their side of the argument be published — thus fueling the very thing they complain about.