Science is wrong sometimes, therefore anything is possible

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Physics Guy
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Re: Science is wrong sometimes, therefore anything is possible

Post by Physics Guy »

“DCP” wrote:This is how science has always progressed. The fact that there is a luminiferous ether, the fact that our flat earth is the center of the universe, the fact that weights of different magnitude fall at different speeds, the fact that ulcers are caused by stress and that mice spontaneously generate, the fact that atoms are indivisible . . . all of these and many other obvious truths have stood the test of time.
Ah, but it is much worse than that. Hidebound in their preconceptions, were scientists at least smart and honest enough to see their errors when alternative hypotheses were boldly raised? Hardly! It took such a vast weight of unambiguous evidence to goad those dull scientific oxen into shifting their courses. Not even the most suggestive tentative hints were enough for those closed-minded scientists.

Or have they at least learned from past embarrassing errors to be quicker next time to acknowledge radical alternatives? No, not even this! Every meteorite, every ether, each ulcer has only made the perverse creatures double down on their demands for precise and detailed evidence, controlled experiments, reproducible observations, just as if all those past reversals had somehow affirmed those ridiculous standards of evidence.

It's a disgrace, but it shows no signs of stopping, alas. Dowsing and remote viewing and prophecy will just have to join the disgracefully long list of scientific facts that started out as mocked myths, as soon as their own mountains of clear evidence appear.
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drumdude
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Re: Science is wrong sometimes, therefore anything is possible

Post by drumdude »

Dan could be doing the real legwork advancing the field. He believes he can dowse for water. He should be out there in the field every day discovering how this mysterious power works.

Does it work at night? Does it work in the rain? Does it work when he wears rubber boots? Does it work when he hasn’t prayed that morning?

He has an astoundingly uncurious mind to not investigate these claims that he is so interested in. Or maybe he’s just afraid that what he believes is there really isn’t.
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Re: Science is wrong sometimes, therefore anything is possible

Post by Boomer57 »

drumdude wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2024 4:32 pm
“DCP” wrote:Competent critics, if not always immediately welcome, are useful. They help to guard one against error and they also help to sharpen arguments and better define positions. But incompetent critics and disingenuous critics are without value. They’re merely noise and distraction.
Daniel ignores any “competent criticism” posted on his blog. He didn’t engage with a CIA review of the ESP evidence from the 90s which was thoughtfully brought up to him. He doesn’t engage with the evidence that the ESP researchers have been roundly criticized by their peers.

Any clear minded reader of his blog sees this, and all we are doing is simply pointing it out. There are maybe a dozen of us who care enough about his little blog to enjoy doing this.

Dan could be finishing his books and get out of this tiny space he supposedly doesn’t want to be in. But I think Dan would rather be distracted than get any real work done.
some things haven’t changed:

I’m still behind on my writing goals.

There are still folks out there — the very same ones that there were twelve years ago — whose lives appear to revolve around lamenting my wickedness and stupidity.

I don’t think lamenting is the right word here. I find it a trivial little pastime, like occasionally delighting in watching toddlers struggle to walk.
Apparently DCP has become more like a sloth and less like a tapir....
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Marcus
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Re: Science is wrong sometimes, therefore anything is possible

Post by Marcus »

DCP's arguments have spilled over into an r/Mormon subreddit discussion:

"Daniel C. Peterson, ESP, and the credibility of Mormon apologetics"

https://www.reddit.com/r/Mormon/comment ... bility_of/

One exceptionally vivid opinion is at the top:
Daniel Peterson's whole schtick is finding anything, literally ANYTHING that someone, somewhere, sometime outside of Mormonism believed about a thing that could at best be loosely compared to a highly isolated and compartmentalized Mormon truth claim. He then uses his big boy vocabulary to inflate one sentence worth of substance into a five paragraph essay. Does it contradict other evidences he simultaneously promotes? Doesn't matter. Does it hold up to a basic test of logic? Doesn't matter. Are his arguments the toilet paper TBMs use to clog the drain so their testimony doesn't get flushed away before their very eyes? Yes.
A very interesting quote in the thread was of a BYU prof. who reviewed something Nibley wrote:
Nibley was a smart dude, and read widely and wrote lots of apologetics, but even a BYU professor commented that "Nibley shows a tendency to gather sources from a variety of cultures all over the ancient world, lump them all together, and then pick and choose the bits and pieces he wants. By selectively including what suits his presuppositions and ignoring what does not, he is able to manufacture an ancient system of religion that is remarkably similar in many ways to our own–precisely what he sets out to demonstrate in the first place."
[link for the quote about Nibley: https://www.LDS-Mormon.com/nibley1-shtml/ ]

I wasn't aware of that review. Wow!
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Re: Science is wrong sometimes, therefore anything is possible

Post by Marcus »

Lol. Gemli gets a nod on the reddit thread about DCP:
And he spends an enormous amount of time battling Gemli. He could have written the great American novel using the some 12000 exchanges. Gemli lives in that groups head rent free constantly.
:lol:
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Re: Science is wrong sometimes, therefore anything is possible

Post by drumdude »

In case Dan thought it was just the handful of us watching. It’s clearly not, and he’s clearly not the protagonist he imagines. :lol:

Great find Marcus!
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Re: Science is wrong sometimes, therefore anything is possible

Post by Physics Guy »

Image
I would challenge Sam Harris to think of a structural material problem for which we previously had a standard solution in plastic, but for which the best current option is steel.

My point is not that religious answers to questions about life are stronger than scientific ones. It's just that plastic is a different material from steel, and it's newer. Science is likewise newer than religion.

Some products are much lighter and cheaper if made from plastic, but when plastic wasn't available or when plastic manufacturing was still being developed, people used steel because it was what they had. There was no time when plastic was available but steel wasn't, so nobody ever made things out of plastic that should have been out of steel.

In the same way, lots of questions that should have been answered scientifically were once answered religiously because science wasn't available or was too primitive. There aren't going to be a lot of scientifically answered questions that will get better religious answers, because if there were better religious answers to those questions, we would have had them before science and the inferior scientific answers would never have been accepted.

Harris is right that the switching from one kind of answer to another has all been in from religion to science. He is wrong, though, if he argues that religious answers are all bound to be inferior to scientific ones, just because the switches from one kind of answer to the other have all been in that direction. The unidirectionality of the switching can perfectly well be due entirely to the fact that science is newer. Science may be no more likely to replace religion for everything than plastic is to replace steel for everything.

ETA: Airline cutlery doesn't count, and anyway it's bamboo now.
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Re: Science is wrong sometimes, therefore anything is possible

Post by Morley »

I get your analogy, Physics Guy, but it's a little flawed. In order to reduce costs, plastic has been tried as a component in things like power tools, only to be replaced by steel. I traded my plastic water bottle for a steel one over concerns about plastic pollution. The move away from plastic to stainless steel and cast iron is happening now all over the food industry--look how the the use of teflon has been limited recently.
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Re: Science is wrong sometimes, therefore anything is possible

Post by Chap »

Physics Guy wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2024 2:25 pm
Harris is right that the switching from one kind of answer to another has all been in from religion to science. He is wrong, though, if he argues that religious answers are all bound to be inferior to scientific ones, just because the switches from one kind of answer to the other have all been in that direction. The unidirectionality of the switching can perfectly well be due entirely to the fact that science is newer.
What criterion (in your view) would enable someone to decide whether a religious answer to a question is inferior (or superior) to a scientific one?

Please illustrate this by giving a question which can be answered either by religion of by science, and showing what specific religious or scientific answers might be proposed.
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Re: Science is wrong sometimes, therefore anything is possible

Post by Rivendale »

Marcus wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2024 11:36 pm
Lol. Gemli gets a nod on the reddit thread about DCP:
And he spends an enormous amount of time battling Gemli. He could have written the great American novel using the some 12000 exchanges. Gemli lives in that groups head rent free constantly.
:lol:
One commenter regarding Dan's legacy being protected because of technical issues of this board should look at how redditors view it. From the same reddit thread:
Yeah — I watched the first few minutes of Peterson's appearance on Mormonism with the Murph. I was surprised when Peterson basically said that he thought it was possible that Joseph Smith was really finding buried treasure using scrying and other means.

Peterson can believe what he wants — but that sort of thing is not helpful to apologetics, in my opinion.

And, yeah, I remember the whole kerfuffle with Peterson losing his job with the Maxwell Institute 12 years ago. That was a great time in Mormon history, lol.

I actually volunteered for The Interpreter for many years. Apologists are, umm, interesting people.
I have heard him talk about dousing rods in the past and how he can't explain it, but they really work. Simialrly I think it was Jonathan Nevil who also argued that dousing rods work. Perhaps I'm confusing folks.

Peterson is interesting because he essentially got booted from the Maxwell Institute because he was doing polemical apologetics instead or publishable research. He then turned around and formed the Interpreter Magazine which has the blessing (and some funding) from the church. So the church wants him to stay active, and they support him, but don't want him on their most visible and scholarly BYU endeavor. He traveled with FAIR to Sweden and/or Germany as part of their apologetics goes to Europe tour. He likes to talk, especially about the wittnesses, but sometimes his conclusions are perhaps not the most researched or logical.
And finally.

Dan has simply answered the primary question that yes psychic phenomena does exist, and so all of those secondary questions about why psychics can't do their thing when they don't control the environment, and clearly don't have any actual abilities, simply don't matter!

After all, how do you feel when you think about psychics being real? Good? Then what else matters?
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