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Should we get rid of “scientist,” replace term with “some guy”?

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Or “some gal”?

So says Frank J. Fleming, who challenges us to prove he is not a scientist (so far as the News desk can see, he is a political humorist).

He argues, there are no such things as “scientists” thusly:

Again, I’ll bet you’re protesting. “Scientists aren’t just anyone! They’re people who have used science to give us great things, like lasers and computers and seedless watermelons!” Yes, some people have used science to do some remarkable accomplishments… but how many of the people who go by the name “scientist” have actually done anything practical? How many are nearing the cure for cancer, versus how many are those idiots who tell us for years that some food causes cancer and then suddenly say the food prevents cancer? How many scientists help society, and how many are just throwing out noise and filling up AP copy?

You don’t know. This is something you should know — especially if you want to put meaning behind the word “scientist” — but you don’t. Not only that, but think of the most famous living scientists. Like Stephen Hawking. I mean, everyone has heard of him. He has to be an outstanding scientist doing useful things, right? Well, do you have evidence of that? What has Stephen Hawking’s science led to? Maybe one day it will help us make a warp drive or something, but if I said, “Stephen Hawking is a complete and utter fraud. Everything he says is nonsense,” would you have any way to prove me right or wrong? Hawking’s stuff is all far out theory built upon more far out theory. What are you going to do? Blow up a black hole and demonstrate that he’s wrong?

Many people today want science to be a religion. They are readily drawn to far-out theory that would be termed religion in any other society.

See also: Liberals “more resemble the uneducated conservatives” in gullibility about science – analyst. In that case, science may be “spilt religion” for the persons studied. They are not evaluating “sciencey” claims for their relevance to science but for the extent to which the claims increase a comfort level with the world as they understand it.

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I love this thread. AMEN. This writer git it right. Scientist is just THAT GUY. Possibly a girl but you know... There is no such thing as science. its just people figuring out things and then making things from what they figured out. it can be anyone but they must of applied themselves or got a lucky break. While science doesn't exist there does exist the need to do careful investigation before conclusions are drawn. so AT BEST they could say science is a high standard of methodology that can demand confidence in its conclusions. that is how science is seen by the people except they imagine, right or wrong, its done by above average intelligent people. Evolution is case in point where conclusions were drawn without a high standard of investigation but is claimed to be science. that why creationists should aim at the evolutionist claim to being a science before debunking 300 points of evolution. Robert Byers
Thus, the epistemological basis of modern experimental science is the presupposition that the universe is created with a rational order behind it and that man, being created in the image of God, can grasp that rational order. Moreover, the materialistic/atheistic presupposition that chaos created the universe and the mind of man are antithetical, i.e. self defeating, to scientific thinking:
Is Atheism Irrational? By GARY GUTTING - NY Times - February 9, 2014 Excerpt: GG: So your claim is that if materialism is true, evolution doesn’t lead to most of our beliefs being true. Plantinga: Right. In fact, given materialism and evolution, it follows that our belief-producing faculties are not reliable. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/09/is-atheism-irrational/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 Is Metaphysical Naturalism Viable? - William Lane Craig - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzS_CQnmoLQ The Atheist’s Guide to Intellectual Suicide – James N. Anderson PhD. - video https://vimeo.com/75897668 The Confidence of Jerry Coyne - Ross Douthat - January 6, 2014 Excerpt: then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant:,,) Read more here: http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/the-confidence-of-jerry-coyne/?_r=0 BRUCE GORDON: Hawking's irrational arguments - October 2010 Excerpt: What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse - where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause - produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale. For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the "Boltzmann Brain" problem: In the most "reasonable" models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/1/hawking-irrational-arguments/
And the ability to see purpose in nature, which is a necessary prerequisite for science, is 'wired' into us:
Children are born believers in God, academic claims - Telegraph - November 2008 Excerpt: "The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past 10 years or so has shown that a lot more seems to be built into the natural development of children's minds than we once thought, including a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose," http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/3512686/Children-are-born-believers-in-God-academic-claims.html
And yet, supposed 'true scientists' are in denial of the 'in-built' predisposition they have to see purpose in nature which enables them to do science in the first place:
Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? - October 17, 2012 Excerpt: "Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find." The article describes a test by Boston University's psychology department, in which researchers found that "despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose" ,,, Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/10/design_thinking065381.html
Thus, in my honest opinion, a 'true scientist' is a person who follows the empirical method to the best of his ability, but, most importantly, is also a person who is not in denial of his/her belief of purpose and design he sees in nature, and which is a necessary prerequisite for modern science. bornagain77
What makes a 'true' scientist? Well it is found that even young children 'think like scientists':
Young Children Think Like Scientists - 27 September 2012 Excerpt: "What these experiments show if you give the children one of these causal problems like figuring out how the machine works and then just leave the video recorder running, what you see is when the child[ren] are just spontaneously playing. … What they do is to do a bunch of experiments that will give them just information they need to figure out how the toy works," Gopnick said. http://www.livescience.com/23522-young-children-think-like-scientists.html
And even 'primitive' people have an innate ability to 'do science'
Geometric Principles Appear Universal in Our Minds - May 2011 Excerpt: Villagers belonging to an Amazonian group called the Mundurucú intuitively grasp abstract geometric principles despite having no formal math education,,, Mundurucú adults and 7- to 13-year-olds demonstrate as firm an understanding of the properties of points, lines and surfaces as adults and school-age children in the United States and France,,, http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/05/universal-geometry/
Many people would say that children and tribesmen are not really 'true scientists' in the strict sense, so exactly what is a 'true scientist' entail? Well, the epistemological basis of modern experimental science was born out of the matrix of Christian Theism, in which it is held that God created rational-minded creatures in his own image,
"Modern science was conceived, and born, and flourished in the matrix of Christian theism. Only liberal doses of self-deception and double-think, I believe, will permit it to flourish in the context of Darwinian naturalism." Alvin Plantinga “Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.” – Johannes Kepler Theism, with its vision of an orderly universe superintended by a God who created rational-minded creatures in his own image, “is vastly more hospitable to science than naturalism,” with its random process of natural selection, he (Plantinga) writes. “Indeed, it is theism, not naturalism, that deserves to be called ‘the scientific worldview.’” Alvin Plantinga via NY Times "Refuting Naturalism by Citing our own Consciousness" Dr. Alvin Plantinga - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r34AIo-xBh8 Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer - video – (Notes in description) http://vimeo.com/32145998 Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21) Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics. http://www.robkoons.net/media/69b0dd04a9d2fc6dffff80b3ffffd524.pdf Founders of Modern Science Who Believe in GOD - Tihomir Dimitrov - (pg. 222) http://www.academia.edu/2739607/Scientific_GOD_Journal also see Jaki
Interesting OP. Thanks. BTW, here's a minor observation:
So says Frank J. Fleming, who challenges us to prove he is not a scientist (se far as the News desk can see, he is a political humorist).
(so far as...? Dionisio

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