Intelligent Design

It’s 2016, and some sciences face serious questions

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Recently, a sociologist who has studied ID for some years, without being an advocate, went on record saying that he thought it will become part of mainstream science inquiry

We hope that isn’t the ruin of it. Critical thinking about first principles is much easier when one is not part of a grand official huff-ology. That is also the reason, as Malcolm Muggeridge pointed out, why proportionately far more great literature has been written in prisons than on government grants.

But enough about us. As noted earlier, the Royal Society seems serious (for now) about seeing past Darwin. I mean, how much more of this kind of stuff do they really want? (Were the mares also playing the stock market?) Or, for that matter, were the bees keeping tabs on their family trees when deciding whether to assassinate the queen?:

These short quotations from a longer account convey only in part the detailed reasoning hypothesized for the insects. That raises an obvious question: Who or what exactly is doing the reasoning? Some would say natural selection. But natural selection — the fact that some life forms survive and pass on their traits, while others don’t — must be one of two things. Either it is a mind suited to detailed calculations of self-interest. Or it has somehow produced in the insects’ minds capable of such a feat without, so far as we can see, having the brains to match.

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Cretors/popcorn maker

Maybe we aren’t the only ones who have noticed after all. You know there are problems when Sokal hoaxes are pointless. People who say nothing indefinitely are,  after a while, reasonably assumed to be either the hoaxer or the hoaxee. Neither is good for one’s reputation over the long run.

However, many’s the slip twixt the cup and the lip, as the proverb goes. Anguished Darwin scavengers must by now be letting the Society know that it mustn’t go too far. Otherwise, Bad People (us maybe?) will take advantage. So if no one does anything about the Darwinblathering din, that’s our fault, right? Fat lot of good it will do them to think so. They will just b back here I five years time, and that’ll be five years they wish they had back.

Also, the fateful decisions crackpot cosmology imposes on scientists are causing concern. See Peter Woit on the Paris string theory showdown.

Stuff is happening. Lots of people now know that lots of fields are a freak of a mess. The more sober of them see the need for reform, if only because it is hard to make a good case for public funding of standards-free science. People who want to make war on testability and falsifiability might be better off in traditionally untestable and unfalsifiable activities.

See also: Retraction Watch

and

Why social science is riddled with “flaky research and questionable theories” Because “ Graduate students were entering the field in order to change the world rather than discover truths. ” And it is becoming increasingly okay to discuss this stuff honestly.

So keep checking back at Uncommon Descent

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4 Replies to “It’s 2016, and some sciences face serious questions

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Why social science is riddled with “flaky research and questionable theories” Because “ Graduate students were entering the field in order to change the world rather than discover truths. ” And it is becoming increasingly okay to discuss this stuff honestly.

    Isn’t Stephen Fuller a social scientist? Is this criticism true of him as well and are you saying his views be treated with similar skepticism as well?

  2. 2
    News says:

    I would treat his views with skepticism, Seversky at 2, meaning that I would consider what basis he has for thinking what he does. Social scientists are not always wrong. Many great books have been written in the field.*

    The field fell on hard times when its practitioners became shills for world-saving causes.

    The field works much better when treated as cultural history rather than science.

    *Cf Banfield, The Moral Basis of a Backward Society, an honest account of why some societies cannot advance in civic virtue or technological or economic progress. There are, of course, many rival classics.

  3. 3
    wd400 says:

    I mean, how much more of this kind of stuff do they really want?

    You keep linking to this article, but you have yet to explain what you think it wrong with the paper. If you could move a bit beyond simply sneering we might understand why you think this paper is so wrong (and symptomatic of some deeper problem).

  4. 4
    Robert Byers says:

    The ruin of it!! Well; thought and said.

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