Talk:War on Science

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Info needed[edit]

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.

I genuinely hope this discussion doesn't derail completely[edit]

Note: I would appreciate it if all respondents to this thread would do their very best to stay mindful of their own biases, to resist splittingWikipedia in themselves and others, to abstain from jonanism, and to read all others' comments with the principle of charityWikipedia in mind. Thanks in advance.
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)
Good post! 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 diverseWikipedia 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)

Sections lacking depth, editorial[edit]

"Then there are also the hard-left who constantly insist on a major restructuring and redistribution of wealth through an authoritarian state that controls every aspect of human life, who find it insufferable that science can solve problems associated with poverty without resorting to the massive structural reforms these people claim are needed."

Can I get a cite on this? I've definitely seen some instances of leftist antihistory, and in some obscure corners antiscience, but they don't really match what's described here. What science solves which problems associated with poverty? Why not be more specific? It's also a break of topic. This sentence doesn't follow from the first and the sentence after it is also non-sequitur. That entire section is very vague and I'd like to flesh it out plus "Alties" (with less political editorialization, just facts and examples). That is, if you all don't mind.... Saichai (talk) 10:13, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

A worldwide view? Relations to Luddite movements (anti-technology, etc.)? What about Putin's Russia?[edit]

As far as I know, this article presents a view on the United States. It does not present a view by countries other than the US.

I suspect that this anti-science movements has relations to Luddite movements, such as ones that are anti-technology. For example, they want to give up all of the conveniences that science has given us in order to become the morally superior party they always act as if they are. To achieve that, they dispose of all electronic and electric devices and move to houses that are equivalent to what was available around 1650, before Isaac Newton made his great scientific discoveries, as well as utilizing horse-pulled buggies for transportation. In addition, they could also depend on coal. The anti-technology movement has been around for some time and is now rising. Is it possible to document it?

I know of Putin's Russia as something of a Luddite country, with its leader, Vladimir Putin, is being saved by these neo-Luddites. Putin is a notorious Luddite, just like Trump. Putin doesn't have a smartphone. He doesn't use email, he doesn't have any social network accounts—indeed, he does not appear to use the Internet at all. Trump doesn't use a computer. The similarities between Trump and Putin is striking. Also, he thinks the threat come from the thinking and educated. Can this be documented here? -- Bryan See (talk) 09:29, 10 September 2017 (UTC)

Yeah, that's incorrect[edit]

@GrammarCommie That edit should remain omitted from the article. Communism implies the lack of the state within theoretical need as the requirement for it is virtually removed as the means of production move into the hands of groups rather than government. Dubbing it as a "state that controls every aspect of human life" is laughably incorrect and borders on red baiting. It's not a matter of preference, simply rather, it's barring disinformation, knowingly or otherwise. Click Link Or Gulag (talk) 02:52, 30 September 2018 (UTC)

@Captain Communist Communism suffers from a major problem, that is to say what it is supposed to be in theory (a slightly anarchist, highly collectivist, communal utopia) and what it actually turns out as in practice (a despotic authoritarian hellscape in which paranoia and fear are the norm, and in which the state dictates every aspect of one's life). In regards to the latter the description given is quite apt. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 04:03, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
@GrammarCommieWe aren't talking about the issues of Stalinism and whatnot, we're talking about blanket statements like "authoritarian Communists" that's a oxymoron. I don't actually care about the practice of such ideas on a page like this- but I'm not having rubbish and inaccurate descriptions at all. The statement can be revised with some proper research, or it's not there. I could argue if it's the idea or the context within each case of its practice that's the problem, but I'd be going off topic. Dubbing all Communists as liken to the theory of Pol Pot (or so to say, no theory at all) isn't nuanced. Click Link Or Gulag (talk) 04:24, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
Not sure how you manage to interpret "Communists" with a qualifier attached as a claim that all communists are like Pol Pot or somesuch. (talk) 04:40, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
Throwing out oxymoronic and basic phases like "authoritarian Communists" means that it could be referring to a number of people- besides that, the theory clearly says otherwise. The fact that it has already been changed by someone else without any justification is a bit jarring to me personally. I hope they don't mind that I change it back and humbly suggest that they talk about it here. Click Link Or Gulag (talk) 04:46, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
Many professed communists have turned to authoritarianism, you know. The other ones are called hippies if I'm not mistaken. ;) (talk) 04:51, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
That means nothing. I could look at how many liberals have gone to the alt-right or full on neoliberalism, but that doesn't mean that the ideology somehow resolves itself out of any sort of contradiction. Practice doesn't exactly corrupt theory, otherwise Christianity would have changed a million times by now.
Anyway, the fact is that the statement made is incorrect. It must be therefore edited to uphold standards, or it isn't going anywhere but the rollback button. Click Link Or Gulag (talk) 05:09, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
@Captain Communist Regarding Christianity, it has changed over time. Don't believe me? Look at the site header, those blasphemy jokes wouldn't have been acceptable several hundred years ago, hell only fifty years ago they would have been unacceptable. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:43, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
@GrammarCommie I'm not talking about the societal reflection and prospection of Christianity and how it has slowly became irrelevant, but sure. Fact of the matter is that the edit isn't theoretically correct and doesn't belong here without a major edit and more nuance, as it simply doesn't make sense to people who actually understand how the system works. As I said, it comes less across as a valid point and more rather a thinly veiled jab at 20th century Marxism-Leninism. Not needed, or relevant to this subject. Click Link Or Gulag (talk) 18:18, 30 September 2018 (UTC)

"There are also the authoritarian communists who consider that a major restructuring and redistribution of wealth through an authoritarian state that controls every aspect of human life is necessary, as opposed to resolving issues via less drastic measures."

Why is this in this article? Which state religion do you have to believe in for political incrementalism to be a proven scientific fact worthy of the same status as things like climate change being real or vaccines not making you autistic?

Where is the scientific evidence that capitalism is an infinitely sustainable model or one that can be incrementally reformed by politically realistic means that will not themselves trigger revolutions?

The evidence and arguments against incrementalism as a theory, stand as follows:

1. Even a very rudimentary analysis of class interests will tell you that incrementally reforming capitalism to no longer be capitalist will be against the interests of the capitalists. This means they will not do it themselves, especially not to the point of ending capitalism, unless it's under such duress that they believe they'd be better off as members of the Proletariat than whatever the alternative is.

2. History does not favor incrementalism. Sure, in some countries, you can see quite significant progress within a stable order, but that progress typically has limits shaped by constraints built into the country's class structure. They are not infinitely malleable but vulnerable to stagnation as an inherent function of their socioeconomic order. Even within countries, we can see that these orders often die very chaotic deaths and rather abruptly replaced by a new order or no order at all (as was the case with the collapse of the bronze age). China's many revolutions before the 1800s also show signs of the finite capacity for growth or change available to a given state and social structure.

3. You didn't invent the Republic. Neither did the one you probably live in, and it will not be the first to become controlled by a ruling class in such a way as to completely prevent a country from adapting or provoke revolution. Representative governments are nearly as old as government itself and have proven perfectly capable of becoming too ossified, corrupt, and interested only in the affairs of the ruling economic class to adapt to change or deal with the consequences of their own actions.

4. Even "reformed" countries are often built on revolution. England for example may have a monarch but the initial transition from feudal monarchy to a state run by parliamentarian capitalists was fairly sharp.

5. Precious few regimes survive through multiple economic orders.

6. Colonialism, slavery, and more ended in large part suddenly and in significant part by force or revolution. If 80% of the world map can go from colony to independent in a pretty short timespan, much of it through revolution, then how viable really is it to say that incrementalism is a good model for how the economic and political order evolves? The colonial system wasn't incrementally reformed, as some Europeans might have wanted. It ended rather quickly, with multiple rather large wars involved, and completely new revolutionary governments being founded in the formerly colonized countries.

7. Even if you still believe incrementalism is how things work, or think that the current situation isn't like past situations, that's not a scientific fact. It's a political opinion. One which is loaded with a lot of assumptions about the world that may or may not hold up to scrutiny. Simply claiming that issues will or can or even should always be resolved by less drastic measures is as dogmatic and less historically likely than those who argue that they can't and revolution is required. You definitely can't find a body of scientific literature "proving" somehow that full, stable transformation of capitalism into resolving all of its inherent problems in a liberal parliamentarian Republic is something that will realistically occur "because science." — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

You have to keep in mind that RW has a heavy Bush-era lib influence on it. It's a relic of times gone by, and shouldn't actually be taken seriously as a political resource outside of niche areas like the alt-right and shit. Oxyaena Harass 12:28, 19 July 2021 (UTC)

Priorities and a leaky pipe analogy[edit]

One of the important things in life is making efficient decisions, before you act, you might want to ask some preliminary questions about what your goals should be, and where your priorities should sit. This is very relevant to using science because this is where a scientific approach to analysing the problem genuinely does help.

Let's say that you have a leaky pipe, and on one side of the pipe, there is a leak which is spewing water and reducing water pressure in the system. On the other side of the pipe, there is a leak, but that leak is not as big as the one on the other side. Now we can only patch up one side of the pipe, because we only have a limited amount of resources, if you patch the bigger hole, you make the water pressure better than if you had for some reason picked the smaller one, that's something that we know is a fact for reasons.

In any sensible society, one which we assume will be healthy and long-lasting against the world's various threats that crop up, we will make the sensible decision. The problem is that there is a missing factor is assessing the leaky pipe.

Different people perceive the leaks differently depending on their life experiences, in other words, they are blind, to them, they are making the rational choice, because that is what they know. Science, actual science, is critical in addressing this perception problem, because it is how we know something. For all it's flaws, and yes, the imperfection of humans in truly being able to fully know the world, it is the best thing that we have. So, we have a leak. How do we assess whether what we are dedicating our time to is the correct one? To me this is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself, no matter who you are. It's what I consider to be the answer to 'what is meaningful'.

There is a political commentary here. This is also a frustrating thing for those who do know the science to be faced with, and sometimes you engage in despair thinking and getting angry at people who 'should just know what took you years to learn'. On the other hand, how long do some issues have left to be educating people? If you don't seize control or do something drastic today, is that another life lost? Even if people who don't understand what you are trying to do (addressing the leak that's going to cause your village to run out of drinking water) never do in your lifetime. (talk) 11:50, 18 October 2021 (UTC)