1. Guest, the 'News in Brief' for the week beginning 1st August 2022 is here.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Welcome! To read the Core Purpose and Values of our forum, click here.
    Dismiss Notice

Trust Me, I'm a Scientist - Richard Dawkins

Discussion in 'Other health news and research' started by MeSci, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. MeSci

    MeSci Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    3,536
    Location:
    Cornwall, UK
    There's an interesting bit at about 2020 where they are talking about problems with peer review, e.g. things slipping past reviewers which shouldn't.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001b1k

    Presenting his first programme for Radio 4, the evolutionary biologist, author and former Professor for Public Understanding of Science, Richard Dawkins, investigates trust in science.

    It's an issue of concern for scientists as well as others. Despite our scientific and technological advances, many people still believe the Earth is flat and that vaccines cause autism. Even the President of the United States has called climate change a hoax.

    Richard Dawkins considers what scientists are doing right and what they're doing wrong, concentrating on the process of science, communication, education, and policy with experts in their field. These include Bad Science author and academic Ben Goldacre, physicists Dr Jess Wade and Prof Jim Al-Khalili, science policy fellow and podcast presenter Dr Maryam Zaringhalam, Virginia Tech’s Marc Edwards who exposed the Flint water crisis, Norman Lamb chair of the science and technology select committee, education consultant Tom Sherrington, head teacher Alan Grey and director of the Science Media Centre Fiona Fox.

    The programme looks at an increasing divide between scientific evidence and public opinion and concerns that science communicators are simply preaching to the converted. Is there a need for greater openness and accountability to restore trust?
     
    MEMarge, Philipp, Tia and 15 others like this.
  2. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    4,530
    Surely greater openness would only restore trust if underlying conduct were shown to be trustworthy.
     
    MEMarge, Sean, JellyBabyKid and 8 others like this.
  3. Andy

    Andy Committee Member

    Messages:
    17,114
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Well, there's one reason for mistrust of science, or is it actually two?
     
  4. large donner

    large donner Guest

    Messages:
    1,214
    Surely its an oxymoron to have a belief in Richard Dawkins?
     
    MEMarge, John Mac, Sean and 6 others like this.
  5. Tia

    Tia Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    387
    I found this discussion on science/culture really interesting...

    https://iai.tv/video/changing-scien...ail&utm_term=0_33593fe9fa-00aba2c572-47080025

    It's a live video recording of a debate held by Institute of Art and Ideas, the description given:

    "If once we made sense of the world with the idea of God, now most of us believe in the scientific story of the unfolding universe and evolution. Yet scientists increasingly see their theories as useful models rather than an ultimate account. Might science be just another human description limited by language, culture and our particular circumstances? Or are we right to assume science has uncovered the eternal truths of the universe?"

    The panel is a novelist, an Oxford chemist and a Cambridge prof of philosophy of science.

    Is science is the route to discovering the ultimate truth of everything? How science and culture are interconnected?

    Quite heavy but I find this kind of thing fascinating. I was also really intrigued by the character of the scientist on the panel.
     
    Hutan and andypants like this.
  6. large donner

    large donner Guest

    Messages:
    1,214
    Its not limited when language culture and "particular circumstances" mean only certain high priests can claim understanding of the big questions and make unfalsifiable pronouncements based on favoured hypothesis then call them theories. That's the whole point.

    No.
     
    ladycatlover, MEMarge, Sean and 3 others like this.
  7. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    41,543
    Location:
    UK
    I think the difference is that science doesn't claim to have uncovered the eternal truths. It can only claim to have created models based on observations and tested by experiments and further observations. And those models are only useful if they enable us to predict likely outcomes of further experiments. Science carried out properly does not depend on culture or beliefs.

    Religion (or at least some religions) is fundamentally different in making claims to universal truths. It also often deals with different kinds of issues like ethics. But I won't go any further as we have a rule against discussing religion!
     
  8. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    4,530
    Let us hope that NIcE does not have a rule about discussing science.
     
    ladycatlover, Amw66, MEMarge and 8 others like this.
  9. Tia

    Tia Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    387
    The scientist on the panel argues that science is uncovering eternal truths.

    The science philosopher and the novelist point out that culture and beliefs will always influence what questions scientists asks and how they interpret the answers.
     
    ladycatlover, MEMarge, Hutan and 4 others like this.
  10. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    41,543
    Location:
    UK
    :rofl::rofl::rofl:

    And let's hope they don't believe in the BPS religion...
    Like Newton did before Einstein came along...
     
  11. Unable

    Unable Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    UK
    I think it might be more correct to say that science, as a process, has the potential to uncover at least some of the eternal truths of the universe. :)
     
  12. Unable

    Unable Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    UK
    Ah! I missed earlier replies saying much the same thing!
     
  13. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,678
    I only have a belief in the social construction of Richard Dawkins, and that makes him really angry.
     
    ladycatlover, MEMarge, Sean and 3 others like this.
  14. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,928
    We have no capacity to determine ultimate truth on most things. Most truths, or facts, are declared so by definitions. Scientists are aware, at least critical rationalists are, that all science can be tested and if found wanting it is false, though it might be mostly right in parts.

    Ultimate truth probably does exist. Probably, not certainly. However we, humans, are not capable of directly perceiving it. Declarations that we do are beliefs, and most beliefs are probably wrong or limited. However we often cannot prove a belief wrong either, unless it is clearly contradicted by facts.

    We live in a sea of uncertainty, and much of what we all believe is wrong, or limited in some way. Science is just a tool to help us figure a lot of it out. Its not magic. Its a method to weed out the worst explanations on anything for which we can get "objective" observations.

    I don't believe in science, and particularly not scientific dogma. I trust in the scientific method as we currently understand it, but only until we have something better. That might never happen, or it might happen in our lifetimes.

    A good research scientist must be ready to change their views based on analysis of the evidence. Blind belief is dangerous in science.
     
    ladycatlover, Amw66, MEMarge and 10 others like this.
  15. large donner

    large donner Guest

    Messages:
    1,214
    Why don't they do it then by making observations instead of making models and throwing out the observation if it doesn't match their model.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  16. Unable

    Unable Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    UK
    I think it’s supposed to go the other way isn’t it? The model should be revised to accommodate the observations. (Unless the observation is determined to be a misperception of some sort of course ;) )
     
    ladycatlover, MeSci and Trish like this.
  17. large donner

    large donner Guest

    Messages:
    1,214

    Well he is a scientism fundamentalist.
     
    Luther Blissett and ladycatlover like this.
  18. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,093
    Location:
    Germany
    Tempted to download and listen to this, but as it almost certainly contains hypocrytical bullshit from Ben Goldacre and Fiona Fox I probably shouldn't, especially as I listen to podcasts whilst I'm driving and if I start ranting and swearing (which I always do if someone says something stupid in a podcast) other road users might get the wrong idea and think it's about them.

    I can heartily recommend shouting at radio 4 podcasts whilst driving, it's one of my few remaining pleasures in life. If anyone would like a good one to get started, I spent a pleasant 20 minutes screaming at these 2 self-obsessed milenials recently:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06qmwzn
     
  19. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    4,263
    Quotes of hypocritical bullshit might come in handy at some point!
     
    MEMarge, Unable, ladycatlover and 3 others like this.
  20. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,928
    This would be what I call bad science - models must match observations, especially when tested in extreme situations.
     

Share This Page