Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
A new term, actually…two words…
Bearing in mind that experience and experiment come from a common Latin root, catechism-science is anything toiling away under the label of “science” that exists entirely outside of that. Its persuasive strength comes from being repeated over and over, verbatim, by people who call themselves “scientists” but who do not do science.
It’s important to separate this out from the real stuff, for a number of reasons. One of the most important of these reasons is that science relies a great deal on deductive reasoning, and while deductive reasoning is most persuasive when it is carried out properly, people lose track of how easy it is to do it improperly. It doesn’t work at all, in fact, unless 1) the range of possible causes has been exhaustively listed, and 2) each item within that list was eliminated conservatively. If the producer of the conclusion succeeds at #1 and fails at #2, the final conclusion is only as strong as the weakest elimination. If he fails at #1 then the whole thing is just a waste of time. Or, to be more precise about it and maybe a bit more tactful, it is a (questionably) valid exercise of what might be real scientific thinking, within an arbitrarily restricted scope of possibilities, thus rendered at least partially useless.
This is done all the time nowadays. Super Bowl Sunday is an awful day for spousal abuse; this-kid or that-kid has Autism; this-or-that climate-change model is 95% certain.
This is not the same as anti-science, which works toward a desired conclusion by paring information away that doesn’t fit. Although there is certainly a relationship between catechism-science and anti-science, in the sense that they both start with the desired findings already identified. They both contain an awful lot of passive-voice statements, like “these symptoms are thought to be classic traits of Asperger’s” or “the science is settled on global warming.” Statements formed within these sciences, involve a consistent situation in which the speaker is pointing to someone else, and nobody really knows much of anything except how to repeat things that someone else has said.
Therefore — if you ask fairly innocuous questions, questions you ought to be able to ask of real science, such as, “how do we know that?” or “just how sure are we of that?” you get back a whole lot of nothing, veiled threats hinting toward your imminent ostracism if you don’t straighten up and fly right, or pure nonsense. “Oh, very sure! Very, very, very sure! Extreeeeemely sure!”
If you let it play out, now and then you find out that’s actually correct. About as often as a roll of the dice comes up double-sixes, and for the same reason. In other words, it might occasionally bump into real and verified truth, but isn’t real science.
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