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Creationism and other doctrines. Was Mindforth

William Tanksley Google wtanksleyjr at cox.net
Fri Dec 27 17:11:50 EST 2002

Bernd Paysan <bernd.paysan at gmx.de> wrote:
>William Tanksley Google wrote:
>>Science is great, but it's only knowledge. It's a profession of
>>people, and scientists are just people.
>Sure, but we have nothing better than knowledge and people.

True indeed, and I can't claim otherwise.

>Also, I can't 
>see how someone posting on the internet, using a computer can put 
>scientists in a sentence as if they weren't related at all to him.

Er... Huh? I was addressing a common fallacy which sees Scientists as
being capable of seeing through any deception to the Truth Of The
Matter. I was pointing out that they ARE just like all the rest of us,
vulnerable to fraud.

As a matter of fact, they're in general vulnerable to a special kind
of fraud -- or so claim some magicians who work the anti-psychic
routine. They _expect_ certain things to work (reproducible
experiments pointing out truth), and aren't looking for certain other
things (for example, people maliciously guiding the search for
reproducible experiments). This is, of course, a generalization, but
it's allegedly a noticable trend.

My education was with engineers at first, and then "computer
scientists" and mathematicians, so I wouldn't know; I've only had
brief contact with scientist types. I do know that the types I've hung
around with have their own weaknesses, all interestingly different
(although I haven't done any real work at studying or exploiting said

>>Sometimes you need dogmatism, whether it's to profess an utter and
>>uncritical materialism or an utter and uncritical faith in Christ
>>alone. If the miracle-worker wants your money, at LEAST put an utter
>>and uncritical faith in the fact that in a few years he'll be gone.

>I think you only need dogmatism if you stick your head into sand, and
want a
>reason to keep it there ;-).

A clear, simple statement.

>Actually, what we use is the only "magic" that works in our world, 

And then a clear, simple demonstration of dogmatism, of the
materialist variety.

>Dear believers: [...] If some sort of magic worked in our world, we 
>scientists would use it every day.

Oh, and scientism, while you were at it: you believe that Scientists
have unique and special access to truth. Look at the logic behind what
you just said!

Many committers of fraud use beliefs in scientism to do their work --
consider the Laundry Beads or Magnetic Cures. Because a scientist said
it, it must be true -- because it worked by a few repeatable
experiments, it must be true (and yes, experiments can be set up for
both which will nicely confirm them; laundry beads are especially
clever, since the first few times you use them your clothes will get
washed with the help of residual detergent in the machine). This isn't
even counting all the frauds which use cargo cult science: big words
used to confuse people into thinking that the product is "scientific."


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