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Comment: Re:Seems he has more of a clue (Score 1) 698

by narcc (#49599055) Attached to: Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics

Your ignorance is that you can't tell the difference between refinement and disprovement.

What gave you that impression? What I've written is about as controversial as Kuhn -- indeed, a great deal is borrowed directly from him. I'm not exactly sure what you're arguing against, but it certainly isn't anything I've written!

You seem to have this odd belief that science progresses iteratively toward truth. It's a strange belief, to be sure, but one that, at least to some small degree, was implied by Popper. (That is to say, I can understand both the attraction and the misconception.) Science, by necessity, cannot lead to truth. Knowledge gained through scientific means is always provisional. If that were not the case, progress would be impossible.

The mountain of evidence is of sufficient height that in order to actually disprove and overturn one of theories your mountain of contrary evidence would have to be even bigger.

I'm not sure even the most ardent falsificationist would accept that unusual interpretation. Duhem does a far better job than I can of explaining what's wrong in The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory. Happily, I found the bit important to this discussion described in this equally useful paper: Falsification and The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes. Lucky

I'm going to guess that you don't have a formal background in science. From what you've written, I'd be willing to bet you're more of an interested layperson as that's the kind of nonsense you'll see written on blogs and forums by the undereducated "defenders of science". I've seen little good come from those groups, and an awful lot of nonsense. Steer clear of them. They've done far more harm to the public understanding of science than even the most ambitious young-earth creationist has ever dreamed.

Short of a university education, which is a bit much to demand of you, I can make some recommendations. Whitehead as a wonderful introduction at the beginning of Science and the Modern World which is well-worth your time just for the historical overview. Kuhn and Popper should follow. Even if you only bother with a summary of their more influential ideas, it should give you a better grounding.

Comment: Re:What? - Question Solved. (Score 1) 173

Okay, 39/100 is an absolute, total and complete failure in all possible regards. Legitimate scientific fields don't get recognized for being able to backup 39% of there research.

Yes, that's why we abandoned the pseudo-science of medicine ages ago. Oh, wait...

Given the little data we have, psychology is 'average'. We won't know if they're doing exceptionally well, or exceptionally poorly, until more studies are done not only on reproducibility in psychology, but in other fields as well.

Reproducibility problems aren't often investigated, and very few fields are actively studying the issue. I suspect that we'll find serious problems in virtually all branches of science as these studies continue. Nature has already taken action. I expect this crisis to hit even physics which is certainly not immune to controversy.

There's also the question of fraud, to which no branch of science is immune. It would be difficult to determine, but very helpful, if reproducibility problems could be divided between methodological problems and fraudulent or falsified results. It's difficult enough to stop computer generated articles from slipping through. How much more difficult would it be to find "real" papers with falsified data?

If nothing else, this should stress the importance of replication in all fields. Scientists are humans, after all, not the purely objective machines you imagine them to be. It's a dangerous belief, often held by non-scientist "science fans", which ultimately undermines the whole enterprise in the minds of the public.

Comment: Re:Seems he has more of a clue (Score 1) 698

by narcc (#49590673) Attached to: Pope Attacked By Climate Change Skeptics

Nonsense is nonsense, regardless of the intent. There's little more dangerous to the public understanding of science than bad arguments and nonsense offered in defense of science.

Here, I say that if it's settled, then it isn't science as science can not be 'settled'. Science wouldn't work if such a thing were possible.

Equally, science is indeed frequently overturned. It is designed to be overturned! It could not progress otherwise. Further promulgating the myth of successive refinement (like the person to which I replied) is deeply harmful as it implies that science leads ultimately to truth. (Which, as you know, is impossible.) It sounds like a nice thing for people to believe, sure, but such a fundamental misunderstanding is deeply harmful to the public understanding of science. What would they think, then, when science is necessarily overturned as it advances?

I don't see why you think it's overturned infrequently. Even foundational aspects of science, in nearly every branch, have undergone significant revisions even over just the last century. That's a good thing. It means science is working. If more people understood science, they'd know that it's a positive thing as well. Hiding that fact, which you seem to find uncomfortable, just to get more people to "believe in" or "trust" science isn't helpful. They just end up believing in nonsense they mistakenly call science.

Comment: Re:jQuery is for lazy, fat, "developers" (Score 1) 218

by narcc (#49573045) Attached to: JavaScript Devs: Is It Still Worth Learning jQuery?

The options are: 1) Use a library that harms both performance and readability 2) Don't use a library and enjoy better performance and readability.

With jQuery, you save maybe a few minutes of development time, assuming the developer is already familiar with the library, but it costs you a lot in application performance and maintenance costs. The few extra minutes it takes to do things right in the first place quickly pays for itself.

The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work. -- Richard Bach, "Illusions"