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Creationism and other doctrines. Was Mindforth

William Tanksley Google wtanksleyjr at cox.net
Sun Dec 29 18:28:29 EST 2002

Bernd Paysan <bernd.paysan at gmx.de> wrote:
>William Tanksley Google wrote:
>>Many committers of fraud use beliefs in scientism to do their work
>>consider the Laundry Beads or Magnetic Cures. Because a scientist
>>it, it must be true

>This works very good in a society where people put a divide between
them and
>scientists*, and use scientific "results" just the same way as they
>their traditional sources of superstition. Then, Lem's rule ("any 
>sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguisable from magic")
works the
>reverse way.

It's called the "division of labor", and despite the dangers you
describe, it's a good thing. I'm not a scientist, although I've
studied and use the method; I'm not an engineer either. I'm something
of a mathematician.

> Once again: You don't have to believe anything a scientist tells you. That's 
> the whole point, *not* believing in stuff.

The whole point is finding things to belive which fit the real world.

> You can reach your own conclusions.

About laundry balls? Good luck applying the scientific method to them.
Worse yet, about an active and intelligent deciever like Uri? The
scientific method alone isn't even any good; he can think as fast as
you can. He wasn't unmasked by a "mere" sceptic, after all, but by a
professional deciever (magician).

>You have to train your critical mind to work in a scientific 

Get the right beliefs. Act on them. Constantly watch the results, and
be honest with yourself about will and won't demonstrate their
success, both before and after the action -- and keep watching all the
beliefs, all the time, not just right after an experiment.

Don't forget logic, either -- test your beliefs against each others,
both in your own mind and in other people's (as with this forum).

>Science is not something you can let other people (specialists) 
>handle for you, while you can be completely ignorant. This won't
>work - you can't reach your own conclusions then, and have to treat 
>scientific methods as "black box".

Right. So throw out the part about "can be perfectly ignorant". Better
to remain like the scientists themselves -- partially ignorant (as we
all are), trusting the results of experience and a solid, well-proven
system (as they do when they cite journal articles), and working to
expand knowledge in our own specialised domains.

And, of course, keeping an eye on the system all the time -- else we
wind up like the psychological journals, with all new articles and no
attempt to reproduce the experiments described in prior publications.

>You probably get angry at my footer.

Where did this hypothesis about my emotions come from? Why do you say
it? I understand your footer, and it perturbs me not at all. It's
perfectly true, and almost perfectly useless.


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