[Sca-cooks] Questions on theory and proof

Celia des Archier CeliadesArchier at cox.net
Sun Feb 7 19:45:16 PST 2010

Bear said: 
> Here you are using a set of imprecise "facts" to make 
> conclusions about the general mindset of "scientists" in 
> order to support your pet theory.  Isn't that precisely what 
> you are arguing against?

 Actually, I didn't provide any facts at all... I'm not creating a proof, I'm
expressing an opinion. Ian of Oertha provided the story about lightening. And
I'm not arguing that scientists in general have a specific mindset, simply
expressing the concern that "too often" (again, that's a value statement, not
a statistical one) IMO, people who believe that they are following a sound
scientific perspective, or are using sound research principles, can fail by
being *too* certain of their own conclusions, or the conclusions of the
sources that they're citing, as opposed to looking for alternate
interpretations.  I'm not drawing a fact based argument to prove the
invalidity of the scientific methods... I'm simply encouraging folks to keep
an open mind and to look beyond what they think they know, because a study of
epistimology shows that often we don't "know" as much as we think we do...
That what we accept as "fact" is often not "fact" but actually opinion and

And to be clear, I also am not drawing conclusions about the general mindset
of scientist... I am simply stating that I have a problem with the mindset of
*some* scientests, researchers, mathmaticians, historians, *and* academics
(two of which sets I belong to, just as a BTW.)  I also specifically state (in
a later email, in somewhat different words) that I have a great deal of
respect for scientists (and others) who keep an open mind... Who reserve
judgment just enough to leave the door open for future discoveries, even when
they believe that the *current* data supports a different conclusion. To me,
*those* are "true scientists."  I had a great deal of respect for my last
psych Prof (who was a neurobiologist) because she taught her students that a
proper scientific perspective required both a healthy dose of skepticism *and*
a sense of humility, and willingness to be open to having your mind changed.
To me that is a good thing.  And I can respect a scientist, a researcher, an
academic, who keeps that in mind more than one who does not because my own
study of history shows me that the former is the type of scientist who makes
those great leaps of discovery. The latter, on the other hand, seems so bound
by convention and preconceptions as to do preclude discoveries of more than
the smallest nature.  And I respect that outlook no matter who has it
regardless of whether or not they agree with me, or whether or not their
interpretation of the data differs from my own. 

In service, 

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list