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Rationalia: Rule by science a bad idea

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From Jeffrey Guhin at Slate:

First, experts usually don’t know nearly as much as they think they do. Experts often get it wrong, thanks to their inherently irrational brains that, through overconfidence, bubbles of like-minded thinkers, or just wanting to believe their vision of the world can be true, mislead us and misinterpret information. Rationality is subjective. All humans experience such biases; the real problem is when we forget that scientists and experts are human too—that they approach evidence and reasoned deliberation with the same prior commitments and unspoken assumptions as anyone else. Scientists: They’re just like us.More.

Well, rule by science doesn’t really mean anything, any more than rule by ecology or religion would. What are the specifics?

Does ecology mean protecting our water supply or rodent rights? Does religion mean Buddhism or ISIS. Scientism was invented by people with too much time and money on their hands.

See also: Move to Rationalia and these will be our neighbours.

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3 Replies to “Rationalia: Rule by science a bad idea

  1. 1

    So good to see/hear people speaking out about this stupid (yes, stupid) Rationalia idea. These so-called scientists (Tyson, Dawkins, etc.) only hurt themselves by spouting such drivel. They look and sound…hmm…stupid.

  2. 2
    mahuna says:

    It’s useful to note that Progressives invented “Social Science” at the end of the 19th Century to give their harebrained ideas the patina of Science. No Scientist since then has taken the time to throw Social Science out of the club, and The Social Sciences are now what passes for a big chunk of education at colleges.

    I am nominally a Geographer, and one of things we were taught back in the ’70s was that in the US “geography” has no definition. That is, the US Geographic Association, which owns the trademark “Geography”, can’t (couldn’t?) agree on whether Geography is a Physical Science including Geology, Meteorology, Cartography, etc., or it is a Social Science including Urban Planning, Sociology, Cultural Impact, etc., etc.

    But it’s useful to keep in mind that Politics and Economics and Social Programs are “sciences”, although most of their theories are never well defined, there is practically no objective research, and statistics are mostly likely faked.

    So “Science” isn’t just Physics and Chemistry. A whole bunch of crackpot ideas (e.g.,Psychology) are accepted as Sciences.

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    Does Jeffrey know? is he a expert? Is his bias that others bias blinds them good sampling? I don’t bias should blind people. if so crime investigation would be hopeless. Its just that error does get into everryone and everyone can be blinded.
    Smarter people should be less biased. Possibly the smartest people do not prevail in education these days as it rewards studious kids .
    In the old days it rewarded the upper class. Who were smarter unrelated to school marks.
    Education hinders and not helps figuring things out these days relative to a curve.

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