Talk:War on Science
I think that something should be said on whether a philosophical stance denying science in principle fits in "anti-science". From what I read, anti-science seems to apply to those who disagree with science because they actually disagree with what it concludes, but it says nothing about the denial of science for philosophical reasons regardless of what it claims.
Something about "anti-scientism"
Anti-science straw man.
The article is a piece of crap pretending all scientific doubt springs from the same source (an imaginary "movement") and is of equal value or validity — or lack thereof – and that doubting the validity of science with regard to certain controversial and conflic-of-ionterest ridden issues (e.g. vaccines and genetically modified organisms) is equivalent to doubting evolution and moon landings. It's a risible attempt a making the case that all people who “doubt science” are not being reasonable. Scientific results are always provisional, susceptible to being overturned by some future experiment or observation. Scientists rarely proclaim an absolute truth or absolute certainty, so who are the actual anti-science? 188.8.131.52 (talk) 10:39, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
- Well, doubting established theory that has evidence behind it for ideas without any evidence at all seems moderately similar to people that believe things with evidence behind it. Like how fiction is kind of similar as a broad group of works because it deals with things that aren't real...which could include the anti-science nonsense. Scientists don't proclaim absolute truth but proclaim what the evidence supports that can be overturned with new evidence and facts. Not conspiratorial nonsense and very badly spelled proclamations against doubting the conspiracies. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 14:21, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
- The IP poster has a point. This article does pretend all scientific doubt springs from the same source, an imaginary "movement". Anybody who has read the history of science knows better. Scientists have been quite vile to each other for literally hundreds of years. Lord Kelvin himself thought radioactive decay was nonsense, all the way to his grave he denied it, so he was a science denier? Lord Kelvin? Copernicus thought the Sun was the center of the universe... does that make him anti-science too? Roo (talk) 20:40, 21 February 2017 (UTC)
Fucking terrible Aneris bloviation
- Especially during the 1980s and the 1990s, a fashionable current in the so-called "Academic Left" commonly known as "postmodernism" denied objective reality in favour of more relativist positions, under such umbrellas as social constructionism or feminist epistemology. The postmodernists located their relativist positions on the political left wing, ranking the realist positions as belonging on the right wing. In the view of these postmodernists, science served the interests of "white males" — who are seen as destructive, oppressive, imperial, out of touch with nature, patriarchal, jaywalking and God knows what else. Curiously, Andrew Ross of Social Text claimed that this conflict was part of the so-called culture wars, with the natural science establishments of the world playing hardball for conservatism.
- Is it true that many academics and other people started to buy the idea that things like gender, sexuality, even biological sex we all social constructs that we needed to eliminate now? Yes, that's true. Were these people almost all left-wing on most other issues? Yes, they were. Is is true that a lot of them talk about 'white male privilege' and how bad it is? Yup. If the style of the paragraph bothers you, I can try and change it, but the content here is pretty solid. Pbfreespace2 (talk) 00:13, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
- No need to guess. He doesn't like this being documented. But they never tell plainly.
- The current situation is not even in there anymore (real peer review etc). This was removed quickly, lest it becomes apparent that this is still ongoing.
- The historical situation is well documented across numerous publications (e.g. Higher Superstition, Fashionable Nonsense).
- The quote of Laudan that tied many things together was removed also.
- Now the next paragraph is about to be axed, for opaque reasons.
- Latest edit was the removal of "facts are socially constructed", with the pretext there was some error between social constructivism and social constructionism. Well, compare. I found the former term more common in this context (also view the Philosophy section), but I actually find the other link of David more complete at a first glance. However, an error this is not.
- This is another example of death by a thousand cuts. What can I say. Business as usual, including making it personal (see headline here). Hadn't Percy and FCP edit it already (part of the wording is theirs) it'd be another rollback/revert without reason, though this talk page section doesn't explain anything either. Easy solution: add Mission Point 5: "Leave my postmodernist friends alone!" (I'd accepted that and would heed the request) ~ Aneris ✻ 01:25, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
- No need to guess. He doesn't like this being documented. But they never tell plainly.
It didn't even occur to me that this might be Aneris drivel
So... I was reading this section, and I was like "What?! How is social construction an anti-science concept?" as if there were hard scientific definitions for say... gender or race. It's almost cringe inducingly wrong. I was going to suggest a rewrite, but... being that it's part of Aneris' little war, I'm gonna say... just nuke it except for the sokal affair. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 22:34, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
- Wait, what? Which part of the article? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:28, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
- The "Postmodernism" section, it was an Aneris rant. Here it is:
Especially during the 1980s and the 1990s, a fashionable current in the so-called "Academic Left" commonly known as "postmodernism" denied objective reality in favour of more relativist positions, under such umbrellas as social constructionism or feminist epistemology. The postmodernists located their relativist positions on the political left wing, ranking the realist positions as belonging on the right wing. In the view of these postmodernists, science served the interests of "white males" — who are seen as destructive, oppressive, imperial, out of touch with nature, patriarchal, jaywalking and God knows what else. Curiously, Andrew Ross of Social Text claimed that this conflict was part of the so-called culture wars, with the natural science establishments of the world playing hardball for conservatism.
Actual scientists who themselves partook in the science wars reject this framing, however. Alan Sokal — a vocal member of the old left who embarassed postmodernist claims to being science in a splash known today as the Sokal affair — pointed out that the "one-to-one correspondence between epistemological and political views is a gross misrepresentation" and that there certainly weren't just two sides to the issue, anyhow. Sokal's protest is evidently an exercise in truth, as one thing in particular that unites such disparate fringe groups as religious fundamentalists, pro-industry supporters, greens and postmodernists is their collective problem with the process of scientific inquiry proper.In addition, Sokal and many other scientific realists who argued in the science wars are in fact both leftists and feminists — though just not radical to the point of
utter confusionthe postmodernists. Bruno Latour — previously to be found in the opposite, relativist camp — commented on the underbelly to the anti-science positions, stating that "dangerous extremists are using the very same argument of social construction to destroy hard-won evidence that could save our lives".
- What the Social Text Affair Does and Does Not Prove, Alan Sokal, 1997
- Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern, Bruno Latour (University of Chicago, 2004)
I genuinely hope this discussion doesn't derail completely
- Despite the stupid thumbnail, this particular video (by King Crocoduck, a YouTuber I just found tonight) is actually not your typical, cringeworthy "SJW"-bashing video. I can't stand those type of gloat-filled STEMlord videos, myself (for obvious reasons). But this exact video does indeed adress a genuine form of apparent pseudoscientific irrationality:
- A warm recommendation is that you pause and read when study abstracts are shown. I find that their specifics are important to the point he's making.
- To provide some of my own initial criticisms of the video up front: I'm going to be the first to point out that this video really shouldn't have been so centered around that one girl at that seminar. Thankfully, the vast majority of the discussion in the video focuses on the situation in general, and not on any one particular instance of drama (which is, in part, why I'm bringing this video up for discussion at all).
- Further, I certainly can't recommend that other guy he mentions in the video, who seems more your typical Thunderfart-esque antifeminist (and who also seems to hold some truly weird views on "male role models in the classroom" and ADHD denialism). I sort that stuff under "crank", myself — possibly far right crank.
- I also think that the superflous slippery slope argument given at the very last second of the video is unconvincing; I don't see "postmodernists" (or whatever these people are) throwing anyone in jail, anymore than I see astrologers throwing people in jail. But that's beside the point, I suppose — he was just linking back to his discussion on Lysenkoism, methinks.
- The point about pseudoscience slowly establishing an ever-growing bridgehead in society if we let it is real, though. As Carl Sagan so poetically put it:
“”I worry that, especially as the millennium edges nearer, pseudoscience and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive. Where have we heard it before? Whenever our ethnic or national prejudices are aroused, in times of scarcity, during challenges to national self-esteem or nerve, when we agonize about our diminished cosmic place and purpose, or when fanaticism is bubbling up around us — then, habits of thought familiar from ages past reach for the controls. The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.
- But ignoring the specific weak points of the video itself (and indeed, its relative nearness in subject focus to that of various deplorable internet subcultures), I find that this particular video has something to say that is most relevant to anyone interested in the gray zone between science and pseudoscience.
- And by the way: please don't reply without first having actually viewed the video in question. Rehearsal of your preconceptions is the last thing anyone is interested in reading, I assure you.
- What are your thoughts? Perhaps not on the actual video itself, so much as on the dangers inherent in any and all forms of anti-science that manage to gain popularity (never mind in actual academia)? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:33, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
- Their beliefs weren't challenged in that room, because as many Conniseurs of this video will gleefully point out, it was said in a safe space. I highly doubt that the actual academics on this school will not tear them a new one. I do not know if that particular belief is widespread in South Africa but i guess that is what education is about.
- About anti science in higher Education: I know a lot of people from highschool(the german variant wich is like a University lite) who would fight you about nuclear power. not because they reject it outright but because our Society is pretty anti nuclear. A Physics student had my back, and we agreed that the Industry is to blame not the Science.
- Therefore i am confident that the people in the video had a talk with other people and may have changed their minds. And unless proven otherwise (like a follow up video) i will believe that students no matter where they hail from are willing to challenge their beliefs.
- In addition: I cannot find a source of "uct science faculty meets with fallists" that isn't a liberal bashing anti-SJW hate diaterie. Another thing is that it is an instance of nutpicking sciencemustfall from a group of students that protests student fees in South Africa. Yes they believe stupid shit, but only right wing nutjobs seem to make a big deal out of it.(hurr durr only in africa) --Benaresh (talk) 09:18, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
- First of all, I would just like to mention that I only watched the first half of the video. This due to me being far too hungover to focus on anything for more than a two minutes.
- But on to my criticism of the video. I think that it can be summarized by one word nutpicking. Videos like this propagates, intentionally or unintentionally, that anti scientific views are the norm in feminism and much of sociology. This is simply not the case. The girl who said that we should restart science from an African perspective and the woman who said that Principia Mathematica is a rape manual are colossal idiots. But their views are not accepted by mainstream academic feminism.
- I would argue that the propagation of the notion that anti scientific views are held by mainstream feminists is far more detrimental to society that the anti scientific views held by a very small and ridiculous group of feminists. This notion illegitimizes feminism and stifles constructive debate and effort to counter social injustice. This holds especially true for issues concerning inequality within the scientific communities. A lack of diversity within the scientific community is a real issue and is rooted in the current hedgemony within the STEM community. TheGrandmother (talk) 11:56, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
- I always find that people treating "feminism" as if it were one, single monolithic thing is a huge problem. The very term "feminism" is really as broad and diverse as the term "politics" is (for all intents and purposes). I believe the video does point out (in the part after you stopped watching xD) that that girl actually subscribes to critical race theory (and not to "feminism", as such). She proceeds to claim that — while empirical science is false, due to the people practicing it having the "wrong" skin color — local variety traditional shamanism, which purports to summon lightning strikes using magic spells, is actually a real thing. That's how off-target her views actually are. Now, while she's just a random student (who should not be persecuted), and while it's anyone's right to be wrong (especially at university, which is the right place to explore ideas, even crazy ones), the fact still remains that she is wrong. The mainstream aside, her views certainly amount to near-Creationism. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:15, 19 January 2017 (UTC)