ken's work

John H. johnh at faraway.hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
Tue Mar 16 23:56:59 EST 2004


Matthew,

Your perseverance is to be admired but in this instance your wisdom is in
question. The responses from Ken are as always, absolute denial of error,
refusal to accept correction from others, he'll take the good comments on
board and let the rest go. I know how frustrating it all becomes, seen this
little show many times over the years, usually with the protagonist posters
like yourself becoming more and more frustrated at Ken's refusal to bend his
thinking. Been there myself, driven me crazy on occasion also.

As I stated a few weeks ago, this ng is now being dominated by posts about K
P Collins. There's a prediction that didn't require AoK, just patient
observation over the years.

Your critique of Ken's work is excellent, I trust all here take good notice
of it.


John H.



"Matthew Kirkcaldie" <m.kirkcaldie at removethis.unsw.edu.au> wrote in message
news:m.kirkcaldie-652948.15351517032004 at tomahawk.comms.unsw.edu.au...
> Ken, you persist in misunderstanding the things I am saying.  I don't
> for a moment doubt that you can take any experimental paper and make it
> fit into your framework.  I don't make a positive or negative value
> judgement about the theory itself, except to say that it seems like
> there are some useful ideas in it.  I am simply stating the following
> points:
>
> - scientists have a healthy skepticism about their own and others' work;
> it is this willingness to continually re-evaluate which DEFINES the
> scientist.  By and large I am a scientist; therefore I pay attention to
> your work, and others', and use it to challenge the things I thought I
> "knew".  In this way I develop intellectually, and I submit my ideas to
> others as part of the same process. You, however, claim that you "got
> it" 24 years ago, have nothing further to learn from experiment,
> discussion or challenge, and that your ideas are the Truth. You are not,
> therefore, acting in the spirit or the practice of scientific endeavour
> (nor as a rational human being, in my opinion), and this is the reason
> that you have had such trouble dealing with the scientific community.
> Despite the fact that your ideas are closely derived from scientific
> research, by declaiming them as the Truth, you are rejecting THE core
> value of science, and are not acting as a scientist.  Nor, therefore,
> are your ideas scientific.  I don't care how many phenomena you believe
> they explain; your behaviour and attitudes place you outside the domain
> of science in particular and rational discourse in general.  There can
> be no meaningful discussion in the presence of such an attitude.
>
> - you also fail to understand that no matter how much of neuroscience
> you claim is consonant with your ideas (and it might ALL be for all I
> know; I fail to see how you could know, given your claim that you no
> longer read the literature), there is nothing to be gained by that
> except an insight into how you believe neuronal dynamics operate; it
> becomes useful when it predicts the novel, instead of verifying the
> known.  The hurdle at which you fall is that believing you understand
> the entire system and that there is nothing further to explain, is
> frankly absurd and worse, is a sterile dead end.  Again, this attitude
> is completely incompatible with science.
>
> I want to make this completely clear: your ideas may enable you to
> understand a wide range of phenomena and the similarities between them,
> and may, for you, represent the ultimate summary of the actions of the
> nervous system.  I hope you enjoy this sense of understanding.  By
> refusing to doubt, question or critically discuss your theories, you are
> excluding yourself from science, the scientific method, and normal human
> rational discourse.  You become a dogmatist, reliant on faith rather
> than discourse and empirical observation.
>
> Again, this point is not related to the merits or otherwise of NDT, AoK,
> W2DBT, whatever acronym you believe holds the ultimate truth.  I have no
> doubt you can cast any experimental result, and apparently any event in
> world affairs, into the terms of your framework.
>
> By refusing to admit the possibility that you could be at all wrong, or
> that the ideas could be improved in any way, you have ceased
> intellectual discourse.  Hell, Neil has even cited chapter and verse the
> inconsistencies with published data that are contained in AoK.  How do
> you respond to that?  Which "version" of your theory was just an idea,
> and which was the "Truth"?  This is empty rhetoric; I know you are not
> going to respond to this except in some way which dramatises your
> struggle for acceptance, or the degree of your enlightenment, or some
> global conspiracy to discredit your work, or some such.
>
> NOW: Here is one last offer I will make to you: if you believe your work
> explains and predicts the behaviour of the nervous system, I will do you
> a deal.  You claimed that I could take any neuroscience paper (or good
> quality) and you would show how NDT explains it.  Great, I accept.  I
> will select a published paper and supply you with a description of the
> experiment that was performed, chapter and verse, complete in every
> detail.  You will then apply the principles of your theory to the
> problem, and using NDT, tell me what the outcome of the experiment
> should be.  I will then supply the complete paper with results.  We will
> then see if NDT is useful as a predictive model, or is simply a summary
> of other published work without any fundamental explanatory power.  How
> does that sound?
>
>          Matthew.





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