Ervin Laszlo's Forum

Anyone who has actual read through the older postings here may be aware that an article he wrote provoked the first substantive post on this blog.

Since then he's established what he is calling the "Forum On Science And Spirituality". So far it is heavy on the latter and light on the former.

The most recent posting there to catch my eye is one that decided to make use of a popular tactic employed by people who peddle bizarre claims that science has dismissed or shot down. It goes something like "oh yeah!? Well scientists thought Einstein was wrong once upon a time!".

The offending article in question is right here.

My response can be read in the comments section there, or right here:


I find myself continually disappointed in the understanding of basic scientific principles demonstrated by contributors to what is supposed to be a “science and spirituality” forum. This time we find ourselves confronted with the old canard that once upon a time people resisted proposals from the likes of Einstein or Galileo and therefore science types should be more open minded to new ideas because they’ve been wrong to dismiss hypotheses before.

Completely overlooking the fact that these were both examples of science working the way it is *supposed* to work. Science is skeptical by design, and for good reason. You are not entitled to simply stroll in with a new hypothesis that sounds interesting and have everyone instantly take you seriously. You WILL be challenged, vigorously and ruthlessly. Your idea WILL be required to bring evidence to the table to support it… the more “revolutionary” it is the higher the bar will be set because the more currently established evidence it must call into question and require re-interpretation of and we don’t just do that willy nilly because someone thinks “wouldn’t it be neat if…” That would result in limitless wastes of everyone’s time to the detriment of the entire process. Sagan summed this principle up most succinctly with his observation that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”.

You will notice that initially harshly challenged these revolutionaries may have been.. but they were given opportunity to make their cases, and when that was done their ideas were relatively rapidly accepted, incorporated, and built upon. If you have a revolutionary idea that is actually correct, then you can find the evidence to demonstrate that and you can present it, and your hypothesis will undergo *and survive* all the testing and challenges and attempts to falsify it which it will then be endlessly subjected to and science will continue it’s march forward with your new idea tucked firmly in with the other theories and hypotheses which have met the very deliberately harshly rigorous criteria science sets for claims to knowledge. If you cannot bring that evidence to the table then your idea will rightly be marched right over top of and ground underfoot.

To imply that the proper and deliberate application of the critical review required by the scientific method is nothing more than the stubborn clinging to of “old dogmas”, and to attempt to draw any degree of relation between this and the resistance to contradictory information encountered in the confines of religious teachings and church hierarchies demonstrates a profound lack of familiarity with how science operates and why it enjoys it’s unparalleled success at uncovering new information about the world while slaying erroneous or just plain useless ideas one after another.

No comments:

Post a Comment