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OfflinePhluck
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Registered: 04/11/99
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Pseudoscience and public opinion.
    #3492699 - 12/13/04 07:00 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Pseudoscience is a scary trap to fall into, and it's certainly not one that politicians have been averse to in the past.

Often, the strong opinions held by our leaders are not matched by the available evidence. Take Iraq, for example, the WMDs never seemed to materialize, yet public support for the invasion is still quite strong.

It seems as though once someone has take a certain side in an issue, they no longer really care about the evidence to back it up. Once a person or group of people have been accused of something, and public opinion has largely turned against them, the mere reassurance that evidence exists is enough for the believers, their faith that the evidence exists is enough to back them up.

It seems that overall, we need to be more demanding about evidence, if we can't see it and review it, we're far more likely to end up engaging in witch hunts, and attacking and alienating people who have been targeted for irrational or false reasons.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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OfflineDivided_Sky
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Re: Pseudoscience and public opinion. [Re: Phluck]
    #3493191 - 12/13/04 08:10 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I'm trying to tread carefully the line of crossing into politics, but I think it is fair to say that people support invading Iraq because it seemed like the correct decision at the time. Most people aren't going to change their opinion about past actions if they feel those actions were based on sound reasoning.

As for pseudo-science, I was just talking to my dad (a nuclear scientist) and he would say that pretty much every idea on this board is pseudo-science or snake oil. I was discussing scientific evidence for Buddhist ideas such as quantum mechanics and he said I'm getting the wool pulled over my eyes.

This is just human prejudace. I don't think it has much to do with science or evidence, people filter out information that disafirms their preconcieved opinions. They only hear what they want to. If you use the example of the Iraq invasion (perhaps a stronger example would be the publics view of Saddam 9/11 connection) it is also fair to say that many people also cling to the idea that we went there to steal oil, despite no proof ever emerging. People are often narrow minded to begin with, and politics push this to the extreme.


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1. "After an hour I wasn't feeling anything so I decided to take another..."
2. "We were feeling pretty good so we decided to smoke a few bowls..."
3. "I had to be real quiet because my parents were asleep upstairs..."


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InvisibleFucknuckle
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Registered: 04/24/04
Posts: 6,762
Re: Pseudoscience and public opinion. [Re: Phluck]
    #3493249 - 12/13/04 08:18 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Phluck said:
It seems as though once someone has take a certain side in an issue, they no longer really care about the evidence to back it up. Once a person or group of people have been accused of something, and public opinion has largely turned against them, the mere reassurance that evidence exists is enough for the believers, their faith that the evidence exists is enough to back them up.

It seems that overall, we need to be more demanding about evidence, if we can't see it and review it, we're far more likely to end up engaging in witch hunts, and attacking and alienating people who have been targeted for irrational or false reasons.




This is a nice post but has nothing to do with S and P

99% of the topics covered in here have no evidence. To insist it is silly and invites more conflict


--------------------
What it is, is what it is my Brother.
It is as it is, so suffer thru it.


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: Pseudoscience and public opinion. [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #3493284 - 12/13/04 08:22 PM (12 years, 9 months ago)

I think that is the basis of pseudoscience though, people often cling to their ideas or beliefs, even through a lack of evidence or despite strong evidence to the contrary. I agree that people cling to the idea that the US went to Iraq just to steal oil using exactly the same psychology as anyone else.

There are a lot of things on these boards that are certainly pseudoscience. I'm not sure what else to call an attempt to discredit current scientific theories on gravity, by criticizing an analogy used to simplify the complex math behind it for public consumption. Or strict adherance to a healing technique that has been shown in numberous studies to be no more effective than placebo. Or banning someone based on claims that they have been mean and insulting, without producing actual examples.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us


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