Criticising the scientific method

  • Thread starter hadeka
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  • #36
LightbulbSun
58
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If this was in any way an analogy to your original statements - if you had asked a question like "Wouldn't you trust an ichthyologist more to do a do a marine survey for you?" I would entertain this.

Ok, then entertain it.

You're kinda, well, flat-out lying there:

"The ichthyologist has an expertise in his particular field of study, and is therefore able to draw more accurate conclusions on the data than a non-expert in his field of study."

You could certainly retract or correct that statement but pretending that you didn't say it isn't going to get me to accept a revisionist history of your contentions.

Again, it has nothing to do with whether the science is accurate or not. I mentioned nothing about the peer reviewed process. I'm only contrasting between the expert and the non-expert. It's a rule of thumb I use, and that's what it is a rule of thumb that isn't fallacious in reasoning at all.



No one, not you or I, said anything about credence.

Nor did I say anything specifically about non-experts; I simply said that being the ichthyologist who collected the evidence does not make one more correct in one's conclusions.

And I agree with you. Again, my contention has nothing to do with whether the science is accurate or not.

I said that anyone with access to the evidence might be able to draw more correct conclusions and I stand by that. Your response, in which you said that being an expert makes one more correct, is untrue.

Please explain to me how one might be able to draw more correct conclusions if they had access to the data. Let's use meteorology for example, let's say we gave a layman access to all of the different maps that measure different things in the atmosphere. Now, please explain to me how this layman who has no idea what these maps are telling him can come up with a more accurate forecast than the meteorologist?



...or that theory X is more accurate because expert X concluded so. Therefore, your statement that this is the case was fallacious.

Except this is not what I stated. You're misconstruing my statement.



? I don't think I said anything like that. In fact, this pretty much simply appears to be another rhetorical gambit.

you said:
Bias is necessary in everyday lives. You can't apply scientific rigor to any, or really even most, of the decisions you make.

If I'm not an expert in something, I am going to be bias towards the expert in that something. It is a bias we all must, and even you inevitably make at some point in our lives. Unless, you're claiming to be an expert in every single thing?


So you're sticking by "experts' conclusions are more accurate"

Contrasted with a non-expert's conclusion, they most likely are.
 
  • #37
kyotasha
2
0


i Have to agree with Ivan Seeking on this, that being the fact that not finding something is not the same as finding something does not exist. The scientific method understands this principle though! But, i do understand and appreciate the criticism. It's like the first reply to this argument, scientists are constantly trying to improve their "nets", or their instruments with which they collect data.
 
  • #38
CaptainQuasar
362
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Ok, then entertain it.

So... you're admitting it's not an analogy to your original statements? I don't think you need me to explain to you why I'm not going to follow a red herring.

Again, it has nothing to do with whether the science is accurate or not. I mentioned nothing about the peer reviewed process. I'm only contrasting between the expert and the non-expert. It's a rule of thumb I use, and that's what it is a rule of thumb that isn't fallacious in reasoning at all.

Oh, I see, you were talking about the kind of science that tries to be inaccurate? Even if you actually have rules of thumb like "only experts can draw conclusions from data" your rules of thumb aren't science or the scientific method.

Rules of thumb are for guessing. Guessing isn't part of deciding who drew the correct conclusion in science.

And I agree with you. Again, my contention has nothing to do with whether the science is accurate or not.

Except for the part where all of the preceding posts in the thread were talking about science and your comment talked about the accuracy of scientific conclusions.

Please explain to me how one might be able to draw more correct conclusions if they had access to the data. Let's use meteorology for example, let's say we gave a layman access to all of the different maps that measure different things in the atmosphere. Now, please explain to me how this layman who has no idea what these maps are telling him can come up with a more accurate forecast than the meteorologist?

Bzzzt. "Layman who has no idea" or "layman who is not scientifically literate" is not the category we're talking about - that's another thing, along with "credence", that your rules of thumb made no reference to and I certainly didn't mention. When you claimed that "only experts can draw conclusions" you excluded laymen with experience in the problem domain like fishermen, scientifically literate laymen, and even inexpert scientists.

Except this is not what I stated. You're misconstruing my statement.

I don't think so. Experts being the ones to "draw more accurate conclusions" clearly fits hand-in-hand with "only experts can draw conclusions from the data". You avoided saying "probably" or "most likely" or anything moderating that someone offering up rules of thumb might.

If I'm not an expert in something, I am going to be bias towards the expert in that something. It is a bias we all must, and even you inevitably make at some point in our lives. Unless, you're claiming to be an expert in every single thing?

Even if I was, it would have nothing to do with bias! The conclusions of experts are not automagically unbiased any more than they are automagically accurate or correct.

I can see, though, that since you seem to regard the opinion or best guess of an expert as a substitute for scientific rigor, you probably really thought that was what I meant.

Contrasted with a non-expert's conclusion, they most likely are.

Again, great for guessing, not for science. In science you can't just guess, you must test differing hypotheses. Just assuming that one of them is right and basing further work on it (work that isn't testing it) because it's the one that came from an expert is commiting the fallacy of appealing to authority.

And it's still a total change in tune to go from "only" experts can draw conclusions and experts are "more accurate" to saying they're "most likely" valid or "most likely" accurate, no matter how evasive you are on that count. I'm not going to be ignoring that any more than I'm going to buy it that you were including fishermen as ichthyologists.
 
  • #39
CaptainQuasar
362
0


i Have to agree with Ivan Seeking on this, that being the fact that not finding something is not the same as finding something does not exist. The scientific method understands this principle though! But, i do understand and appreciate the criticism. It's like the first reply to this argument, scientists are constantly trying to improve their "nets", or their instruments with which they collect data.

Yeah, you're dead-on on that count. I don't know if you saw where hadeka posted a link to the full text; turns out his paragraph was from a section called "Equipment Constructs Results", that was all about improving instruments.
 
  • #40
LightbulbSun
58
2
Quasar, this discussion is over. You're not even answering to my response anymore without saying "rhetorical gambits" or "ah ha, I see you're asking me a question so I will not answer this red herring" or whatever warped analysis you have of my statements.

This guy sums up my thoughts on this subject pretty well. If you want to comment on this Quasar you can since I know you'll disagree with most of it.


The Script

"I'm sick and tired of self-appointed so-called experts and their know-it-all, arrogant attitude. Why don't you people stay out of things you know nothing about? To hear you tell it, you know everything and the rest of us are stupid."

I've seen this script before. At this point I'm supposed to get all humble and apologetic and say "There, there. We didn't mean to make you feel bad. You're really a good person and a valuable human being and your opinions do count."

I'm tired of playing that game.

* We're not "self-appointed" or "so-called" experts. We are real experts. We're not "authority figures." We are real authorities.
* It's not arrogance to say what you know professionally. It is arrogance to reject expert opinion without having expertise of your own.
* If hearing the experts say you're wrong makes you feel bad or stupid, that is your problem, not ours. See a therapist and work on your self-esteem. If you think this is rough on the ego, try getting a paper or grant proposal you've worked on for months rejected, something real experts face all the time.
* We don't know everything, but we do know more on our subjects of expertise than other people, especially people with no training at all.
* Unless you have real evidence to back up your opinions, they don't count.
* If you hear something that conflicts with what you think you know, and you don't bother to check it out, you shouldn't feel stupid. You are stupid.
* If you want to take on the experts but won't spend the time, effort and money to become an expert yourself, you're not just stupid. You're lazy, too.
* If you think I'm disrespecting you, you're right. I have no respect for people who are uninformed, get angry when someone contradicts them, but are too lazy to get informed, and too cowardly to face failure, criticism, and the possibility they might have to change their minds. You're not a good person. Nobody who is lazy and cowardly can be called "good."
* Where did you get the idea you're so valuable? There are six billion of us. You're not all that unique. How exactly did you get the notion that you stand so high in the cosmic scheme of things that you have the right to make real experts treat you as an equal without bothering to acquire any knowledge yourself?

So ordinary people aren't as good as Ph.D.'s? People with ordinary jobs make the steel, mine the coal, harvest the wheat, drive the trucks, lay the pipes, string the wires, put out the fires, enforce the laws, keep the records, and do a hundred thousand other things absolutely essential to keeping the world running. They deserve to be honored and respected.


But that doesn't qualify them to have opinions on subjects where they have no expertise.
http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/SelfApptdExp.htm
 

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