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Does Dr. Sutter claim to have no beliefs that guide his search for truth?

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An astrophysicist offers a warning about misusing science:

Here’s a warning, from me to you: don’t look to science for cheap validation, ever, because it will end up breaking your heart.

The process of science simply doesn’t care what the answer is. Sure, individual scientists may and will have their individual biases and preferences and hopes for a result. But in science the ultimate arbiter is the universe itself. The data we collect decide the outcomes, despite our individual preferences.Paul M.Sutter, “Stop Using Science To Validate Your Beliefs” at Forbes

But, of course, the data people collect is partly a function of what they look for which is, in turn, guided by their beliefs. And if they did not have beliefs, they would not do science at all. Hence the point of the title question.

The other day, for example, we ran a story about how psychologists began, in recent years, to study religious groups in terms of how people who belong to them make use of available coping skills. Psychologists didn’t used to do that because they didn’t believe they would find those skills in such groups.

It would be helpful if we knew more about what Dr. Sutter means by “cheap validation.”  Also, what about approaches to science that couldn’t possibly be falsified?

Think, for example, of the researchers whose work seemed “very surprising,” whose conclusions they fought against, who are now announcing that the work. does NOT, after all, disprove Darwin. That’s because “Darwinism” is framed in such a way that it’s impossible to pin down and even fossil rabbits in the Cambrian would not disprove it.

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See also: Psychology: Study of religion takes evidence-based turn Association with things most people see as positive does not, of course, make a religion “true.” It does, however, make one wonder about the perspective of psychologists who don’t seem able to recognize the pattern.


“Adam and Eve” researchers say their work does NOT disprove Darwin Well, if their findings support orthodox Darwinian evolution, why did they find them “very surprising” and why did they fight against them? Isn’t that rather unscientific of them?

3 Replies to “Does Dr. Sutter claim to have no beliefs that guide his search for truth?

  1. 1
    Barry Arrington says:

    Paul Sutter: “But in science the ultimate arbiter is the universe itself.”

    Jerry Coyne: “Wait, I thought I was the ultimate arbiter of everything.”

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    As Mr. Arrington’s humorous tongue in cheek hints at, the final arbiter of what is true must be the human mind. Not the universe.

    As many here on UD can testify, all the evidence in the world will not dislodge a determined dogmatic Darwinist from his a priori atheistic beliefs.

    Or to put it another way, evidence can certainly falsify beliefs while at the same time validating other beliefs, but in the end, in the final analysis, it is always left solely to each individual human mind to determine how the evidence is to be interpreted.

    Moreover, common sense (and quantum mechanics) gives primacy to what is ‘real’ to the mind of man, and even to the Mind of God, not to the universe.

    “The principal argument against materialism is not that illustrated in the last two sections: that it is incompatible with quantum theory. The principal argument is that thought processes and consciousness are the primary concepts, that our knowledge of the external world is the content of our consciousness and that the consciousness, therefore, cannot be denied. On the contrary, logically, the external world could be denied—though it is not very practical to do so. In the words of Niels Bohr, “The word consciousness, applied to ourselves as well as to others, is indispensable when dealing with the human situation.” In view of all this, one may well wonder how materialism, the doctrine that “life could be explained by sophisticated combinations of physical and chemical laws,” could so long be accepted by the majority of scientists.”
    – Eugene Wigner, Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, pp 167-177.

    He goes toe-to-toe with science big wigs… and so far he’s undefeated. – interview
    Dr. Bernardo Kastrup: You see we always start from the fact that we are conscious. Consciousness is the only carrier of reality and existence that we can know. Everything else is abstraction; [they] are inferences we make from consciousness.

    “In any philosophy of reality that is not ultimately self-defeating or internally contradictory, mind – unlabeled as anything else, matter or spiritual – must be primary. What is “matter” and what is “conceptual” and what is “spiritual” can only be organized from mind. Mind controls what is perceived, how it is perceived, and how those percepts are labeled and organized. Mind must be postulated as the unobserved observer, the uncaused cause simply to avoid a self-negating, self-conflicting worldview. It is the necessary postulate of all necessary postulates, because nothing else can come first. To say anything else comes first requires mind to consider and argue that case and then believe it to be true, demonstrating that without mind, you could not believe that mind is not primary in the first place.”
    – William J. Murray

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    Max Planck (1858–1947), the main founder of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.

    Advancements in Quantum Mechanics have now experimentally verified this ‘common sense’ conclusion that ‘mind’ must be primary in order for anything else in the universe to ever be considered ‘real’ in the first place.

    Specifically, advances in quantum mechanics have now falsified ‘realism’, which is the belief that the universe exists independently from mind, apart from any conscious observation.

    Should Quantum Anomalies Make Us Rethink Reality?
    Inexplicable lab results may be telling us we’re on the cusp of a new scientific paradigm
    By Bernardo Kastrup on April 19, 2018
    Excerpt: ,, according to the current paradigm, the properties of an object should exist and have definite values even when the object is not being observed: the moon should exist and have whatever weight, shape, size and color it has even when nobody is looking at it. Moreover, a mere act of observation should not change the values of these properties. Operationally, all this is captured in the notion of “non-contextuality”: ,,,
    since Alain Aspect’s seminal experiments in 1981–82, these predictions (of Quantum Mechanics) have been repeatedly confirmed, with potential experimental loopholes closed one by one. 1998 was a particularly fruitful year, with two remarkable experiments performed in Switzerland and Austria. In 2011 and 2015, new experiments again challenged non-contextuality. Commenting on this, physicist Anton Zeilinger has been quoted as saying that “there is no sense in assuming that what we do not measure [that is, observe] about a system has [an independent] reality.” Finally, Dutch researchers successfully performed a test closing all remaining potential loopholes, which was considered by Nature the “toughest test yet.”,,,
    It turns out, however, that some predictions of QM are incompatible with non-contextuality even for a large and important class of non-local theories. Experimental results reported in 2007 and 2010 have confirmed these predictions. To reconcile these results with the current paradigm would require a profoundly counterintuitive redefinition of what we call “objectivity.” And since contemporary culture has come to associate objectivity with reality itself, the science press felt compelled to report on this by pronouncing, “Quantum physics says goodbye to reality.”
    The tension between the anomalies and the current paradigm can only be tolerated by ignoring the anomalies. This has been possible so far because the anomalies are only observed in laboratories. Yet we know that they are there, for their existence has been confirmed beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, when we believe that we see objects and events outside and independent of mind, we are wrong in at least some essential sense. A new paradigm is needed to accommodate and make sense of the anomalies; one wherein mind itself is understood to be the essence—cognitively but also physically—of what we perceive when we look at the world around ourselves.

    An experimental test of non-local realism – 2007
    Simon Gröblacher, Tomasz Paterek, Rainer Kaltenbaek, Caslav Brukner, Marek Zukowski, Markus Aspelmeyer & Anton Zeilinger
    Abstract: Most working scientists hold fast to the concept of ‘realism’—a viewpoint according to which an external reality exists independent of observation. But quantum physics has shattered some of our cornerstone beliefs. According to Bell’s theorem, any theory that is based on the joint assumption of realism and locality (meaning that local events cannot be affected by actions in space-like separated regions) is at variance with certain quantum predictions. Experiments with entangled pairs of particles have amply confirmed these quantum predictions, thus rendering local realistic theories untenable. Maintaining realism as a fundamental concept would therefore necessitate the introduction of ‘spooky’ actions that defy locality. Here we show by both theory and experiment that a broad and rather reasonable class of such non-local realistic theories is incompatible with experimentally observable quantum correlations. In the experiment, we measure previously untested correlations between two entangled photons, and show that these correlations violate an inequality proposed by Leggett for non-local realistic theories. Our result suggests that giving up the concept of locality is not sufficient to be consistent with quantum experiments, unless certain intuitive features of realism are abandoned.

    Do we create the world just by looking at it? – 2008
    Excerpt: In mid-2007 Fedrizzi found that the new realism model was violated by 80 orders of magnitude; the group was even more assured that quantum mechanics was correct.
    Leggett agrees with Zeilinger that realism is wrong in quantum mechanics, but when I asked him whether he now believes in the theory, he answered only “no” before demurring, “I’m in a small minority with that point of view and I wouldn’t stake my life on it.” For Leggett there are still enough loopholes to disbelieve. I asked him what could finally change his mind about quantum mechanics. Without hesitation, he said sending humans into space as detectors to test the theory.,,,
    (to which Anton Zeilinger responded)
    When I mentioned this to Prof. Zeilinger he said, “That will happen someday. There is no doubt in my mind. It is just a question of technology.” Alessandro Fedrizzi had already shown me a prototype of a realism experiment he is hoping to send up in a satellite. It’s a heavy, metallic slab the size of a dinner plate.

    Experimental non-classicality of an indivisible quantum system – Zeilinger 2011
    Excerpt: Page 491: “This represents a violation of (Leggett’s) inequality (3) by more than 120 standard deviations, demonstrating that no joint probability distribution is capable of describing our results.” The violation also excludes any non-contextual hidden-variable model. The result does, however, agree well with quantum mechanical predictions, as we will show now.,,,

    Albert Einstein vs. Quantum Mechanics and His Own Mind – video

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    In the following experiment, that was performed with atoms instead of photons, it was proved that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness – May 27, 2015
    Excerpt: The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured.
    Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler’s delayed-choice thought experiment, which involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler’s experiment then asks – at which point does the object decide?
    Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.
    Despite the apparent weirdness, the results confirm the validity of quantum theory, which,, has enabled the development of many technologies such as LEDs, lasers and computer chips.
    The ANU team not only succeeded in building the experiment, which seemed nearly impossible when it was proposed in 1978, but reversed Wheeler’s original concept of light beams being bounced by mirrors, and instead used atoms scattered by laser light.
    “Quantum physics’ predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness,” said Roman Khakimov, PhD student at the Research School of Physics and Engineering.

    The Theistic implications of this experiment, i.e. of Mind preceding matter, are fairly obvious. As Professor Scott Aaronson quipped, “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists,,, But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”

    “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor quantum computation – Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables

    Moreover, to presuppose that “Truth” can ever be found within the Atheist’s materialistic worldview is a fool’s errand.

    Truth, (like the abstract concepts of “what is real”, mercy, justice, mathematics, free will, species, persons, and an endless litany of other abstract mental concepts), simply can never be grounded within a materialistic and/or naturalistic worldview, since atheistic materialism and/or naturalism holds that all our explanations for everything in this universe are exhausted by reference solely to the material universe alone.

    In order to ground “truth”, and in order to ground any other abstract mental concept we may wish to reference, (like the abstract concept of “what is real”), it is necessary to appeal to something beyond the universe.

    There can be an abstract “truth” about the universe, but the universe itself can never be the grounding for that abstract “truth”.

    In short, in order to ground “truth” itself it is necessary to appeal, not only to our own immaterial minds, but ultimately to the Mind of God so as to provide a coherent foundation what is the ultimate “truth” about the universe.

    Otherwise “the truth”, like everything else in the Atheist’s materialistic worldview, dissolves into some illusory, even imaginary, entity.,,,, And some illusory and imaginary entity is certainly not worth pursuing, especially in science.

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Copernican Principle, Agent Causality, and Jesus Christ as the “Theory of Everything”

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

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