Do you believe the scientific community in 2020?

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pennzy
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What I’m getting from all this is that science points us in a direction and over time it is refined.

hank
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very carefull about putting words like “scientific”, “community” and “consensus” together

I think a lot of the difficulty accepting scientific consensus statements is that they offend ‘ibertarians by recommending cooperative management of resources rather than market-based freedom to take whatever you can get.

E.g.: https://www.compassscicomm.org/ebm-consensus-statement-download

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Disclaimer: following is only my opinion and depends strongly on my experience.

First of all, I get the idea. I think I understand where it is comming from. If you are planing on doing something you dont understand, you will likely consult experts. If you ask 5 plumbers what to do about your problems with plumbing and they all give you the same answer, your best bet would be following that answear.

Secondly, I dont believe there is such a thing as “scientific community” in a way thats represented publicly. You have thousands of scientists working all over the world trying to find a solution to something a theory that explains something or just purely analyzing something as objectively as possible without injecting any opinions into data. Many of these people are working to prove the exactly oposite thing. The information they may be working with may wary and concusions they reach using different methods may wary also as well. Some may just analyze a theory to find if its right of wrong and reach opposite conclusions. There have to be houndreds of thousands contradictory papers published all over the world and so many of them are likely wrong by todays knowledge.

Now there are trends in science, just like there are trends in any profession. Some opinions are held by many scientist and certain approaches to solving problems are popular during certain time periods. A few years ago a large porion of scientists may have believed the HIV may be cured using cerian proceses trigered by some type of medication and few years later most have abandoned it. Many people are looking at what others are doingto come up with ideas for their problems.

Now that I have expressed what I believe the “scientific community” is, how would you define what their “consensus” is. Are we going to study all the different conclusion specific groups reached on a certain topic? You’ll find a lot of contradictory stuff.

I believe that a lot of what people consider “scientific community” is a very small group of “celebrity” scientists who get all the media attention. Dont get my wrong, some of them are experts and did a lot to earn the status they have. Anf yes, many of them have reached consensus on many matters, but thats just a few people. You would find that a lot of scientists dont agree with them at all. Or they dont agree with their methodology, or their conclusions. And there will be a large part that will admire them, agree with everything and dream of such a status. Now add selective media/political filter to the small group and you get your “scientific community consensus”.

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Dr.Phillip wrote:
I can offer you my opinion on that. I have a PhD and worked in academic research for years. I participated on many research project, including medical/clinical research. My PhD is in technical field.

I dont know what people mean when they say “scientific community”. Wast majority of scientists are very narrowly specialised. We all have areas where we are considered “expersts” and unimginably more areas where our knowledge is either superficial or equal to common knowledge. If you ask my opinion on some geological or sociological phenomenon, you likely wont get better answer than if you asked random person.

Now if a comunity of specialists, for example molecular biologist agree on somenthing, it doesnt mean its true. Their idea of what it really is will very likely be much more probable than someones who is not specialist, but it will not necessarily be true.

But wait, there is more. It gets even more complicated when it gets beyond numbers and raw data. As soon as you make a theory,, you will definately find other scientists who can have a different explaination that will make as much sense and maybe even more. Doesnt mean any of you is right. I never met a fellow scientist (specialist in my field) with whom I would agree 100% on everything we researched.

So I would be very carefull about putting words like “scientific”, “community” and “consensus” together.

I do believe in research, discovering new things, finding new explanation for old things. I believe in publishing results and data, in reproducibility of results. I believe in truthful and honest diacussion. And I believe in mistakes. Because I sure as hell have made many.


This might help:
Quote:
Scientific consensus is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists in a particular field of study. Consensus implies general agreement, though not necessarily unanimity.

Anyone in science understands what you mean — that scientists are no less human than anyone else, i.e. they have opinions which vary just like anyone else. I doubt that there exists any two people agree who on everything. But that’s besides the point.

Plus, a scientist’s credibility does not transfer to a domain where they lack knowledge.

But for those less familiar with science it’s important to realize it’s not just a collection of arbitrary opinions. Not all opinions have the same weight. Scientific consensus does exist in sufficiently established domains and is like an averaging and stabilizing effect, much like the law of large numbers.

It does not mean that each data point is the same value or on the same side of the average. It does mean that taken collectively, the “community” achieves something more useful than the individual components: a consensus that tends to be more correct and more stable than without it.

The averaging effect also explains why new ideas face resistance. Some might decry it, with the benefit of hindsight, but don’t forget survivorship bias: we note the good ideas that took time to become accepted, but there are also plenty of bad ideas that got kept out of the body of knowledge by the same virtue. It also emphasizes that science does not and should not rely too strongly on any single data point or scientist. In other words this is a feature, not a bug.

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As for why to expect the future to be like the past, it’s an interesting question. First I assume you mean the future vs past functional behavior of the universe. The short answer is we don’t know for certain, but we do with a high probability and confidence. The fact is everyone including you makes this assumption on a daily and ongoing basis, consciously or not. Science formalizes it a bit.

So far I think we are in agreement, we both “assume” or “believe” it will.

Quote:
Some points on why it’s a reasonable assumption:

•*consistent observations in support: we keep observing the same patterns of behavior*
•*lack of observations to the contrary: we have never managed to find the behaviors changing in place or time without some other cause*

That just begs the question.

Quote:
•utility: if the future is like the past and we learn past patterns, we have some useful knowledge going into the future, otherwise we remain ignorant. If the future is unlike the past, we wasted our time, but also, we have bigger problems!

Again we agree that there is order in the universe.

Quote:
•currently the most sensible position to hold: why should we expect the future to be different from the past?

That’s not an answer, that’s really a different way of asking the same question.

Quote:
So, the answer is because it works and has demonstrated benefits.

But, it’s not science. It begs the question.

Trusting science that has been observed is one thing, but, the scientific community making accurate claims and or predictions for the future is another. Everyone has biases based on their own individual beliefs.

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Deputy Dog wrote:

But, it’s not science. It begs the question.

Trusting science that has been observed is one thing, but, the scientific community making accurate claims and or predictions for the future is another. Everyone has biases based on their own individual beliefs.

Science is a method by which we seek to reduce as much as possible the biases we have in testing a hypothesis – whether those biases are based on our preconceived beliefs, past traditions and methodologies, or any other type of bias that can be introduced into a test of a hypothesis. It isn’t science to “trust” in past results to be replicated indefinitely, under all possible conditions.

In science, when we discover that some of our past conclusions are not correct, or sometimes not correct, that is not a failure of science – it is a success. That knowledge leads to refinement of the hypothesis, and further testing. Science is a method – not a conclusion or set of conclusions that is assumed to remain inviolable forever and across all changes in the variables we are trying to predict.

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Dr.Phillip wrote:
I believe that a lot of what people consider "scientific community" is a very small group of "celebrity" scientists who get all the media attention.

 

Very well said.  I should have changed my "monumental flaw" post to reference mostly those within the celebrity group that more often than not post utter nonsense claiming to  be facts.

phouton
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I don’t see how it is begging the question:

Quote:
begging the question is an informal fallacy that occurs when an argument’s premises assume the truth of the conclusion, instead of supporting it.

Perhaps my word choice could be improved or at least clarified. The “assumption” of consistency of the physics of the universe over time and space is not taken a priori as a premise. It is a conclusion as a result of extensive observation. Though there is no mathematical/logical proof that it can’t be false, everything we know so far suggests it is true.

I could give you some imagined scenarios where it could be false, but as interesting (and uncomfortable) as it might be to think about, there’s just no evidence for it.

Deputy Dog wrote:

Trusting science that has been observed is one thing,

That would be called history. The value of science is that it is not just descriptive, but also predictive.

Deputy Dog wrote:
but, the scientific community making accurate claims and or predictions for the future is another.

And then the claims and predictions are evaluated for their consistency with reality.

“The future” is not a fixed reference point, and it eventually ends up in the past. We can pick up the bits of evidence left behind. Plus, we are time travellers going at a rate of one second per second. We get multiple ways to check the predictions. They’re pretty damn accurate as well as incredibly precise, in many cases. And when they’re not, they’re refined until they converge with reality.

Deputy Dog wrote:
Everyone has biases based on their own individual beliefs.

Yes, and science helps reduce the impact of those biases or incorrect beliefs by having consistency with reality be the final arbiter.

Deputy Dog wrote:
But, it’s not science.
I wonder, what do you understand to be science?

You know what? For sake of argument let us suppose that we know the future will be different. What impact would that have on science? Would physics change gradually? That would perhaps just require adding some time dependence to quantities we thought to be constant—not a huge deal. Would the change be abrupt? Assuming we survived the transition, would there still be order in the universe to understand? If so, then the process of science would be just as valuable and it simply would be a ‘reset’ of previous knowledge and require rechecking everything.

As interesting as these questions may be in a philosophical sense, I fail to see their relevance in practice. I haven’t envisioned any scenario that undermines current scientific efforts or approaches. It’s like trying to conjure up a variable that we haven’t detected and speculate on its impacts.

Meanwhile, in the face of everything which we know suggesting consistency, what reason is there to suggest an inconsistent future? The “assumption” of consistency is falsifiable. Non-consistency is not falsifiable and also introduces unknown additional complexity, much like Russell’s teapot. By Occam’s razor, the former is preferable. None of this is absolutely definitive, but the evidence and probabilities are very much on one side.

Well, I hope at least someone has fun reading all this.

phouton
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klrman wrote:
Dr.Phillip wrote:
I believe that a lot of what people consider “scientific community” is a very small group of “celebrity” scientists who get all the media attention.

Very well said. I should have changed my “monumental flaw” post to reference mostly those within the celebrity group that more often than not post utter nonsense claiming to  be facts.

If so, those people consider incorrectly.

The scientific community, and its consensus in particular, is an emergent property. It is not defined by any one person or group, though there is certainly a usefulness to having science popularizers.

The analogy of an average is helpful again. For a six-sided die, averaging out the values of the rolls will eventually converge to 3.5, despite there being no such value on the die. The average is an emergent property. Similarly, the scientific consensus is an emergent property which no one person necessarily holds exactly.

Consensus, like an average, has the benefit of being stable and on average more correct than any individual data point or person.

Muto
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Science!

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes,” Mark Twain

After the Apocalypse there will be only 2 things left alive, Cockroaches and Keith Richards
..

Big Sky Country

Muto
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Oli wrote:
Nothing about this Earth is constant or consistent or repeating unless you are talking about very short time frames..

Ohh, don’t know about that.
Pretty sure suckers are born every day is consistent throughout history.
World leaders don’t want educated independent thought from the masses, yeah, consistent.
People are too dumb or stubborn to move from areas where things don’t grow well and will starve, but still have no problem making more babies to starve and continue the cycle.
Haters gotta hate and lots of people will still root for the Dallas Cowboys, again consistent Smile Alright this one fits into “very short time frames” on a cosmic scale.

It’s all in fun people, lighten up.

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sometimes rhymes,” Mark Twain

After the Apocalypse there will be only 2 things left alive, Cockroaches and Keith Richards
..

Big Sky Country

pommie
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I am seeing the word ‘Consensus’ a lot in this thread, what if the group of scientists gathered are all like minded?
The consensus is going to be biased in favour of their like mindedness, completely nullifying the result, yet it would still be a consensus of scientists and released as such.
It was the consensus of most climate scientists that the weather would turn nasty in about 2040/50 yet here we are NOW with severe climate change and very quiet climate scientists Evil

Cheers David

Nothing to see here folks, move along...

phouton
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pommie wrote:
I am seeing the word ‘Consensus’ a lot in this thread, what if the group of scientists gathered are all like minded?
The consensus is going to be biased in favour of their like mindedness, completely nullifying the result, yet it would still be a consensus of scientists and released as such.

Good point. Consensus is like the convergence of an average. It emerges once a pattern becomes clearer, typically on more established topics. On newer topics or the cutting-edge research, scientists are anything but like-minded, as Dr.Phillip pointed out.

Scientists have to be creative and kind of opinionated to explore new ideas. So is there a consensus or not? Again like averages, initially there isn’t and eventually one emerges.

Note that the analogy isn’t perfect since scientists aren’t a random process, and a learning algorithm would probably be a better analogy or model, but it’s sufficient for illustrating the point:

hank
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You can find a consensus statement on most any interesting medical or scientific question, it’s a think people do for reference and standard of care purposes.

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hank wrote:
You can find a consensus statement on most any interesting medical or scientific question, it’s a think people do for reference and standard of care purposes.

This is one of the problems with a consensus “it’s a thing people do for reference” the consensus is then referred to as fact, not the opinion of a group which is what it is.

On the news today it was stated that a consensus of scientists said that the planets formed gently, not violently, going against the consensus held for over 60 years

Their “proof” is an image showing one small asteroid that had collided with another one gently, way out in the Ort cloud Tired

As an aside :- Wish I could ask them how two small planets collide gently Facepalm

Cheers David … who really does respect scientists, but not the ones looking for their 15 seconds of fame.

Nothing to see here folks, move along...

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pommie wrote:
hank wrote:
You can find a consensus statement on most any interesting medical or scientific question, it’s a think people do for reference and standard of care purposes.

This is one of the problems with a consensus “it’s a thing people do for reference” the consensus is then referred to as fact, not the opinion of a group which is what it is.

On the news today it was stated that a consensus of scientists said that the planets formed gently, not violently, going against the consensus held for over 60 years

Their “proof” is an image showing one small asteroid that had collided with another one gently, way out in the Ort cloud Tired

As an aside :- Wish I could ask them how two small planets collide gently Facepalm

Cheers David … who really does respect scientists, but not the ones looking for their 15 seconds of fame.

I think this latest study adds one example to a body of evidence suggesting that the gentle formation hypothesis may be true. The gentle planet formation hypothesis has actually been debated for about 15 years. This one example doesn’t establish a scientific consensus applying to all the planets, even though the study’s author seems to be making some sweeping claims about the new discovery.

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pommie wrote:
hank wrote:
You can find a consensus statement on most any interesting medical or scientific question, it’s a think people do for reference and standard of care purposes.

This is one of the problems with a consensus “it’s a thing people do for reference” the consensus is then referred to as fact, not the opinion of a group which is what it is.

On the news today it was stated that a consensus of scientists said that the planets formed gently, not violently, going against the consensus held for over 60 years

Their “proof” is an image showing one small asteroid that had collided with another one gently, way out in the Ort cloud Tired

As an aside :- Wish I could ask them how two small planets collide gently Facepalm

Cheers David … who really does respect scientists, but not the ones looking for their 15 seconds of fame.

That one is fairly dim…the forces are small because the objects are small. The forces will get bigger over time as mass increases. I can’t believe anyone would publish something so easily deconstructed.

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nope, too much PC and virtue signaling in scientific community today.

NorthernHarrier
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jf_smm wrote:
pommie wrote:
hank wrote:
You can find a consensus statement on most any interesting medical or scientific question, it’s a think people do for reference and standard of care purposes.

This is one of the problems with a consensus “it’s a thing people do for reference” the consensus is then referred to as fact, not the opinion of a group which is what it is.

On the news today it was stated that a consensus of scientists said that the planets formed gently, not violently, going against the consensus held for over 60 years

Their “proof” is an image showing one small asteroid that had collided with another one gently, way out in the Ort cloud Tired

As an aside :- Wish I could ask them how two small planets collide gently Facepalm

Cheers David … who really does respect scientists, but not the ones looking for their 15 seconds of fame.

That one is fairly dim…the forces are small because the objects are small. The forces will get bigger over time as mass increases. I can’t believe anyone would publish something so easily deconstructed.

I don’t think the evidence yet shows what happened with larger masses merging. They’re saying the process by which the various particles collided in this particular case was slower and more gradual than depicted under the hierarchical accretion theory – with the various bodies orbiting each other before slowly merging. They didn’t indicate what, if any, evidence there is to support your apparent assertion that the process was more violent and accelerated for larger masses.

hank
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https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00380-2

Good Stuff Elsewhere

Quote:
A focus on reproducibility is necessary in the physical sciences, too — an issue explored in this month’s Nature Physics, in which two metrologists argue that reproducibility should be viewed through a different lens. When results in the science of measurement cannot be reproduced, argue Martin Milton and Antonio Possolo, it’s a sign of the scientific method at work — and an opportunity to promote public awareness of the research process (M. J. T. Milton and A. Possolo Nature Phys. 26, 117–119; 2020).

The authors — at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Paris, and at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, respectively — draw on three case studies, each one an instalment in the quest to measure one of the fundamental constants of nature ….

The researchers chose the speed of light ©; Planck’s constant (h), a number that links the amount of energy a photon carries to its frequency; and the constant of gravitation (G), a measure of the strength of the gravitational force between two bodies.

For both Planck’s constant and the speed of light, different laboratories have arrived at the same number using different methods — a sign of reproducibility. In the case of Planck’s constant, there’s now enough confidence in its value for it to become the basis of the International System of Units definition of the kilogram that was confirmed last May.

However, despite numerous experiments spanning three centuries, the precise value of G remains uncertain. The root of the uncertainty is not fully understood: it could be due to undiscovered errors in how the value is being measured; or it could indicate the need for new physics. One scenario being explored is that G could even vary over time, in which case scientists might have to revise their view that it has a fixed value.

If that were to happen — although physicists think it unlikely — it would be a good example of non-reproduced data being subjected to the scientific process: experimental results questioning a long-held theory, or pointing to the existence of another theory altogether.
… Questions in biomedicine and in the social sciences do not reduce so cleanly to the determination of a fundamental constant of nature. Compared with metrology, experiments to reproduce results in fields such as cancer biology are likely to include many more sources of variability, which are fiendishly hard to control for.

But metrology reminds us that when researchers attempt to reproduce the results of experiments, they do so using a set of agreed — and highly precise — experimental standards, known in the measurement field as metrological traceability. It is this aspect, the authors contend, that helps to build trust and confidence in the research process.

klrman
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One particular annoyance to hear is when the phrase "it hasn't be scientifically proven" is thrown around in a careless manner and in such a way as to denounce a very real experience that really can't be easily proved scientifically at the moment, but is still real nevertheless. It's like saying the universe doesn't exist because we can't prove it 100%.  There is a saying that science and metaphysics eventually have to meet and crossover each other.  This is becoming much more true today than in the past with all the advancements in quantum mechanics. 

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klrman wrote:

One particular annoyance to hear is when the phrase “it hasn’t be scientifically proven” is thrown around in a careless manner and in such a way as to denounce a very real experience that really can’t be easily proved scientifically at the moment, but is still real nevertheless. It’s like saying the universe doesn’t exist because we can’t prove it 100%.  There is a saying that science and metaphysics eventually have to meet and crossover each other.  This is becoming much more true today than in the past with all the advancements in quantum mechanics. 

In what way is it “careless” to conclude that some cause and effect relationship, or the existence of some phenomenon, hasn’t been proven scientifically, when it can be tested scientifically? You can say anything you imagine is “real,” in the sense that you can really imagine it. And many people have hallucinations. That doesn’t mean: 1) that a scientific test is not appropriate; or 2) that it is careless to state the current scientific evidence, or lack of it, relating to that phenomenon.

In fact, it might be careless NOT to make clear that something hasn’t been scientifically proven. Example: the alleged connection between vaccines and autism. Another example: regular scares about the sources of illness that are passed from person to person and can cause panic and other anti-social responses. Another example: many products advertised as being effective in curing or preventing disease, without any scientific evidence substantiating the advertising claims.

The bottom line is that, if you wish to believe in things without scientific proof, you have that right. You also have a right to declare that you think your experience is very real to you, even without scientific proof. However, other people have a right to believe only in what is proven scientifically, and to declare that such proof doesn’t exist for one phenomenon or another.

klrman
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 ^^ Agreed.  What I like about this thread is that it has stayed civil and hasn't been closed.  Somewhat of a first here at BLF considering the topic.

hank
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If you’re curious where science came from, and why you’re allowed, nay expected, to think for yourself, this is worth reading:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12586398-a-brief-history-of-britain-...

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NorthernHarrier wrote:

I don’t think the evidence yet shows what happened with larger masses merging. They’re saying the process by which the various particles collided in this particular case was slower and more gradual than depicted under the hierarchical accretion theory – with the various bodies orbiting each other before slowly merging. They didn’t indicate what, if any, evidence there is to support your apparent assertion that the process was more violent and accelerated for larger masses.

I never asserted anything, just said that it goes against the teachings that scientists have taught for over 60 years or so.
As to support for my apparent assertion, oh please, stating that the actions of two minor planets weighing in at many billions of tonnes would be the same as two objects that would weigh in the region of maybe 1,000 tonnes is laughable at best.
The general consensus of all scientists is that our own moon came into being because of a violent collision between a minor planet and our own planet, which could not happen with a ‘soft’ collision.
Agree to disagree Wink

As for scientific proof as to what happened in prehistory, how can any theory be proven. unless someone has invented a time machine.

Cheers

Nothing to see here folks, move along...

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Is this thread still alive? Where are the trolls and the flames? 

When you embrace a thought pattern and accept it as a truth, i.e. when you program your subconscious mind for it, it will mold and shape your experience creating your reality. It is a powerful energy shaping act which involves a lot more than you may think.

So why should I be believing into someone else?

First and foremost you should believe wisely, learning to believe if required. You should believe for the highest and best. You should believe in The Smile Light. You should believe in your self-development. Essentially, you should believe in anything you wish to experience. I understand many of you may not be able to believe in many things yet, this is understandable and development level related.

If after reasonable manifesting time something you believe doesn't comes along, you either did it wrong or something is likely blocking it. You need mind reprogramming then.

Back to my lair. 

The Light Innocent I am

Deleting a post and redoing it causes the forum thread answer notifications to become invalid. Thus, if you need to change your just published post, edit it. Thanks.

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"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."  Einstein

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Hitchens’s razor

Quote:
What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.
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phouton wrote:
"Hitchens's razor":https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitchens%27s_razor
Quote:
What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.

 

Only true when one has to try and prove something to someone else.  That is the beauty of personal experience, no need to prove to others the existence of it or not.  Quote:  "One can learn all the secrets of the universe and effectively control it, yet still not know me".

phouton
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klrman wrote:
Only true when one has to try and prove something to someone else. That is the beauty of personal experience, no need to prove to others the existence of it or not. Quote: “One can learn all the secrets of the universe and effectively control it, yet still not know me”.

Quote:
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.
Richard P. Feynman

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