Thursday, September 29, 2011

Science vs dogma

Two hypotheticals:

1. You (common, everyday man) observe something occurring in nature. Every time it happens, you figure out that a specific something causes it. You emit the hypothesis that "A causes B" and devise a number of experiments to disprove it. You fail, and as far as you know everyone else also fails to disprove your theory. You tentatively accept the theory.

2. You observe something occurring in nature. It violates accepted dogma. You note that there is no known case where the alleged cause is known to actually produce the observed effect and, in fact, there is no actual proof that the cause even exists. You are told that you lack the inner grace that allows the high priests to verify that the cause does indeed exist; that there are secret rituals you're not privy to that they have used to confirm the truth of the dogma, and you're better off just accepting it as fact.

The first paragraph describes, for example, the idea that complex information is overwhelmingly, if not exclusively, generated by intelligent causes. A lot of people consider it to be a religious belief.

The second paragraph describes stuff like dark matter, string theory, quantum physics, black holes and pretty much everything physicists declare to be scientific truth. (I love that phrase... "scientific truth". It has a gnostic ring to it.)

Edit: To clarify, by "quantum physics" above I meant the more esoteric interpretations, like the multi-verse theory; stuff that is not even verifiable, let alone verified.

Edit 2: This is a great example of a scientist understanding the science / dogma problem : The Van Allen Belts and Travel to the Moon.


Bertrand Le Roy said...

I'd bite but I know from experience that you won't listen. You would need to first consider the remote possibility that you may be wrong.

Marcel said...

The thing is, you have a tendency to jump all over the place :) If you want to restrict yourself to these two topics, by all means - I am really curious what could be said to contradict me.

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