Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Brain Drain





I sometimes wonder what civilization would be like if the smartest people in the world (e.g. Vladimir Kramnik & Alexei Shirov) dedicated themselves to natural philosophy instead of theoretical entertainment.

Chess is a game about considering all possibilities and all options. Science on the other hand is about censoring all possibilities and all options.

I guess it's pretty obvious why all the geniuses would rather play chess than work in a lab.

31 comments:

Jeffery Keown said...

You're wrong. Look at the shifts made in the last 2 centuries:

The transition from a Ptolemaic cosmology to a Copernican one.

The acceptance of the theory of biogenesis, that all life comes from life, as opposed to the theory of spontaneous generation, which began in the 17th century and was not complete until the 19th century with Pasteur.

The transition between the Maxwellian Electromagnetic worldview and the Einsteinian Relativistic worldview.

The transition between the worldview of Newtonian physics and the Einsteinian Relativistic worldview.

The development of Quantum mechanics, which redefined Classical mechanics.

The acceptance of Plate tectonics as the explanation for large-scale geologic changes.

The development of absolute dating.

The acceptance of Lavoisier's theory of chemical reactions and combustion in place of phlogiston theory, known as the Chemical Revolution.

The acceptance of Lamarck's theory of evolution to replace creationism

The acceptance of Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection replaced Lamarckism as the mechanism for evolution.

The acceptance of Mendelian inheritance, as opposed to pangenesis in the early 20th century

Perhaps, one day, Expanding Earth hypothesis will be found to be the superior explanation for observed features of our planet, or Plasma/Electric Universe will be dominant in cosmology... but for the moment, they lack the rigor to be the prevailing theory.

Your problem is that your pet theories are not popular right now. Science is not a popularity contest. It is based on observation and experimentation. The hypothesis that best fits the observation becomes the accepted theory until evidence is uncovered that can't be explained. Thus "theory explains what can be observed." When something outside the theory is observed, the theory is modified. The best example of this is perhaps exoplanet research. Almost daily new findings rewrite the science of planetary formation. Also, evolution and development is in constant flux as new fossils fill gaps in lineages, and genetic mapping reveals links between animal groups. This is the way of robust, living research.

Conversely, you and other Velikovskians think that laws should conform to historical observations. Where history is found to be at variance with an observed law, history's subjective viewpoint must be discarded in favor of observation.

Flies, for example, did not rain down from Venus, but evolved naturally along with everything else on the planet, most likely at some point during the Triassic.

Additionally The Earth cannot have stopped rotating only to start again a few hours later; physical laws do not allow this to occur. There must be another explanation (an earth-grazing comet is the most likely culprit).

Venus does not have a cometary tail, currently stuck in some kind of "dark discharge mode." It's a magnetotail, not a tail of dust and gas, but of plasma. Almost all planets have such a tail, even the Earth.

The lesson is to keep at it even if current theory says you're wrong! I'd be the first to shake your hand when EE becomes a fact.

KV said...

OIM,

"Science on the other hand is about censoring all possibilities and all options."

I have no problem if you were to pose such a hypothesis, then followed up with supportive proofs that can be independently tested.

Science does not censor, a few practioners may do so either for ego, or for continue to make a living, or to maintain their stupidity or all three. But, remember, science progresses even with all the obstecles created through the use of lords, believers, creators, aliens, etc.

OilIsMastery said...

Jeffery,

"Look at the shifts made in the last 2 centuries:

The transition from a Ptolemaic cosmology to a Copernican one. "

Science only made the shift from the Ptolemaic model to the Copernican model in the last 2 centuries?

"Your problem is that your pet theories are not popular right now."

Your problem is you think science is a popularity contest.

"It is based on observation and experimentation."

It should be. However gravitons, gravitational waves, the Big Bang, black holes, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and Dark Flow have never been observed or experimented on.

OilIsMastery said...

KV,

"Science does not censor, a few practioners may do so either for ego, or for continue to make a living, or to maintain their stupidity or all three."

Science does indeed censor. It's called peer review.

Jeffery Keown said...

"Science is not a popularity contest."
--Jeffery Keown, Pedantic Ass, 2009

Jeffery Keown said...

Science only made the shift from the Ptolemaic model to the Copernican model in the last 2 centuries?

Oops. My bad. I was typing that in shifts. I should have said "few" or something like that.

KV said...

OIM,

So your definition of peer review is censorship. I understand that the process is not flawless, but it is the best we have, and are likely to have. You may be surprised that many peer reviews are gut wrenching to the reviewers, as they accept the findings that are contrary to their own thinking at the time.

Note that review process is in writing, especially when the work is objected. The reviewer has to list the reasons why the work is inadequate or insufficient, and the auther does have a recourse by answering the questions/concerns raised.

With Internet, you can publish your work on your own, especially when peer review rejects your work.

OilIsMastery said...

KV,

"So your definition of peer review is censorship."

Correct.

"It has been my sad observation that by mid-career there are very few professionals left truly working for the advancement of science, as opposed to the advancement of self. And given enough people with strong enough interests, professional peer pressure takes over from there. Peer pressure in science, as elsewhere in society, consists of alternately attacking and ignoring the people who advocate a contrary idea, and discrediting their motives and/or competence, in order to achieve conformity." -- Tom Van Flandern, astronomer, 1993

"But peer pressure operates throughout life, not just among the young; and it is prevalent among scientists, who would even mount an international boycott of a publisher of a radical hypothesis (Velikovsky's) rather than address its scientific merits (which didn't happen for a quarter of a century, because of peer pressure.)" -- Tom Van Flandern, astronomer, 1999

"The tradition of 'peer review' of articles published in professional journals has degenerated into almost total censorship." -- Halton C. Arp, astronomer, 2000

"Of course that market today needs the Internet to loosen the shackles of scientific censorship and control through anonymous peer review." -- Wallace Thornhill, physicst, October 2006

"I understand that the process is not flawless, but it is the best we have, and are likely to have."

Actually peer review is flawless. Peer review is flawless because it perfectly achieves it's goals of censorship and information suppression. It's also flawless because it allows scientists to be part of a herd and not think independently.

"You may be surprised that many peer reviews are gut wrenching to the reviewers, as they accept the findings that are contrary to their own thinking at the time."

LOL. Like when Chandrasekhar scrawled "this exceeds my imagination" across the Arp paper without even submitting it?

"Note that review process is in writing, especially when the work is objected. The reviewer has to list the reasons why the work is inadequate or insufficient, and the auther does have a recourse by answering the questions/concerns raised."

Like a Kangaroo court. Awesome.

"With Internet, you can publish your work on your own, especially when peer review rejects your work."

Exactly why peer review is useless.

Jeffery Keown said...

Dark Matter explained.

http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/

OilIsMastery said...

Dark Matter is impossible to observe and impossible to experiment on therefore it is impossible to explain.

http://bigbangneverhappened.org/

KV said...

OIM,

Man is a social animal, and does everything through peer review! Our political system is a gigantic peer review system with many imperfactions. But, that is where we are in the evolution, and have to learn to deal with it.

OilIsMastery said...

KV,

News flash: society, peer review, and politicians are retarded.

Anaconda said...

@ KV:

Peer-review is anonymous.

That is a huge source of the abuse in the process.

One must question the effectiveness of the anonymous system.

KV wrote: "You may be surprised that many peer reviews are gut wrenching to the reviewers, as they accept the findings that are contrary to their own thinking at the time."

To review, it is not necessary to subscribe.

In fact, perhaps that is part of the problem: Reviewers thinking they must subscribe to a particular paper's postulate or conclusions, before they will pass on the paper for publication.

That is a terrible mistake.

The standard should be correct process and method: Did the paper follow the scientific meithod.

It should not be a matter of personal subscription of each paper submitted. That kind of standard is doomed to limit the advancement of science to the personal biases of anonymous individuals.

The exact opposite of what the scientific method is supposed to facilitate.

KV said...

Anaconda,

The author gets a feedback from review through editors of the journal, and author may clarify if he/she chooses.

We select a journal for the readership or audience it represents, or peers.

Fungus FitzJuggler III said...

I see no evidence that Einstein has superceded Clerk-Maxwell. To the contrary in fact, as Einstein neglected EMF when looking for a GUF.
Heaviside censored the full original equations which required 4th dimensional terms to be expressed. These quaternions are now commonly used in 3d computer graphics and the Heaviside censorship should be ended.

Anaconda said...

@ KV:

I really do appreciate your taking the time to comment on this website, but that being said, I don't think your response to my above comment addresses the abuse of the anonymous system: That instead of anonymous critique that improves a paper (and admittedly screens out substandard papers), you get censorship that perpetuates status quo inertia and dogmatism.

KV wrote: "We select a journal for the readership or audience it represents, or peers."

Yes, but be careful you don't end up selecting a journal for the biases and prejudices of its anonymous peer-reviewers.

Besides, another of the problems of today's Science is over-specialization.

Few scientists are willing to "look over the fence" at another area of scientific discipline and say, "guys, the emperor has no clothes", you need to reconsider or re-evaluate.

And those few scientists that do have the intellectual courage to do so, usually receive nothing but grief for their trouble.

Something, somehow has got to change for science to make dramatic breakthroughs.

And yes, there is much room for the civilization building scientific breakthroughs, but not likely under the currrent regime of scientific journal protocol.

Too many valid ideas are screened out as beyond the pale.

The biggest fault of Science is the conceit of knowledge:

"We understand, we don't need to consider other ideas."

KV said...

OIM,

You stated:

Dark Matter is impossible to observe and impossible to experiment on therefore it is impossible to explain.

In your observation on dark matter, Can I replace it with a god?

Anaconda said...

"god" is impossible to observe and impossible to experiment on therefore it is impossible to explain.

There.

But while "god" is not a physical substance subject to empirical observation & measurement and explanation, so-called "dark" matter is supposed to be subject to those requirements...but isn't.

So-called "dark" matter is testiment to the pseudo-scientific nature of "modern" astronomy.

The attachment to the "gravity" only model has led to conjuring up imaginary substances that have no basis in Science.

Here is an explanation of why "dark" matter is such a farce.

Yes, I know, the explanation is from the dreaded Thunderbolts.info, but Tom Wilson lays it out in compelling fashion. Wilson is a computer programmer originally trained in biology.

Frankly, Wilson exposes the outright lies necessary in "modern" astronomy to support the conjured idea of so-called "dark" matter.

The sooner "modern" astronomy rejects this pseudo-science and other artifacts of gravity "only" astronomy, then the faster astronomy can join the modern sciences.

Right now, there are many areas in astronomy that need to have ALL funding with tax dollars cut off!

KV said...

Anaconda,

Replace 'god' with 'point' as defined in math, and how many dimension do I assign to 'point'.

Jeffery Keown said...

Living science: A new Moon!

Water on the moon over turns all the old theories. This is how science actually works. Oils and Anaconda can knock over all the strawmen they like, but beyond their gross, broad-stroke characterizations lay the real thing!

We were mistaken, and now the theories adjust to adapt to new data.

Anaconda said...

"point" is impossible to observe and impossible to experiment on therefore it is impossible to explain.

There.

And the reason this makes sense?

Because a "point" is a location in a Cartesian coordinate system.

It says nothing about what is at the location.

Any explanation that uses "point" as part of the definition is simply saying, "an unknown dynamic" is located at "X, Y, Z" location on a Cartesian coordinate system.

KV wrote: "...and how many dimension do I assign to 'point'."

Well, in a Cartesian coordinate system there are three dimensions, "X", "Y", and "Z".

But regrettably, "...as defined by math..." has become unhinged from the Cartesian coordinate system, as in "string" theory and one can state that it is unknown how many dimensions there are at the location of a point.

BUT THIS IS BULLSHIT AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH EMPIRICAL SCIENCE.

Why?

Because there is no observation & measurement to support the idea of dimensions beyond the three dimensions of the Cartesian coordinate system.

Indeed, it is offensive to the Scientific Method to claim the existence of more than three dimensions.

Why do I take such effort to answer KV's questions?

Because, I hope, in a backhanded and veiled way, KV is acknowledging some of the problems and limitations present in today's over-reliant, mathematical astronomy.

In essence, "modern" astronomers are asking mathematics to answer questions about physical properties in the Universe it can't answer with the present ability to observe & measure.

(And the "gravity" assumptions held in their heads.)

As Dirty Harry said, "Every man has got to know his limitations."

Mathematicians have forgot the limits of their tool, mathematics.

When men forget their limitations, eventually great embarrassment & shame are their reward.

So-called "modern" astronomy is heading for that point at this very moment.

KV said...

Anaconda wrote:

"Because, I hope, in a backhanded and veiled way, KV is acknowledging some of the problems and limitations present in today's over-reliant, mathematical astronomy."

I was trying to show that all concepts are incomplete, and science (including math)is perpetually engaged in more perfect conceptualization. And, this is where peer review comes in. For the sake of argument, and only an argument, I propose a point is a nonsense, as physics demands a finite size to the smallest unit of matter. I would be correct in physics, but wrong in math, as math defines a conceptualization in space (consisting of any number of dimensions), totally abstract.

Anaconda said...

Keown wrote: "Oils and Anaconda can knock over all the strawmen they like, but beyond their gross, broad-stroke characterizations lay the real thing!"

Jeffery Keown is either a knave, a fool, or naive.

So-called "dark" matter is not a "strawman", but, rather, is a central, yet, conjured idea based on no observations & measurements.

Without the conjured idea of "dark" matter acting as a crutch, ALL gravity "only" ideas would be falsified and, thus, invalidated.

Hardly a "strawman" argument.

Anaconda said...

KV wrote: "I was trying to show that all concepts are incomplete, and science (including math)is perpetually engaged in more perfect conceptualization."

Very interesting.

Yes, I would agree all concepts are incomplete -- Man does not and never will have absolute knowledge.

But there are at least two possible reactions to this postulate:

1. Assume all conceptualizations to this point are "on the right track" and only need to be more fully "fleshed" out by continuing on the same train of reason & logic.

2. Allow for the possibility that at least some conceptualizations are wrong and must be reconsidered from scratch or from the beginning.

It seems clear that "modern" astronomy clings to the former instead of embracing the latter.

As I stated already:

The biggest fault of Science is the conceit of knowledge:

"We understand, we don't need to consider other ideas."

KV, is this a problem in astronomy or not? Yes or no?

KV said...

Anaconda,

You asked: "KV, is this a problem in astronomy or not? Yes or no?"

Read Jeffery's many post, and you will get the answer.

By the way, are you involved in IT work? I ask because most IT guys are driven to seek "yes" or "no" answers, kind of zeors and ones.

Anaconda said...

KV, no, I'm not in IT work, and I tend not to ask questions in the yes or no, format, unless, the interlocutor tends not to answer questions in a forthright manner.

KV wrote: "Read Jeffery's many post, and you will get the answer."

Just like your answer.

Jeffery Keown said...

@KV
In Anaconda's defense, he isn't as black and white as OiM. Oils rejects theories based on folks' religion, which is very strange. I have no religion and tend not to judge a person's material ideas on such things. If, like Vine Deloria or William Dembski, you mix religion and science, you'll find me rejecting you. I try to look past the religion and try to see the science... like with Newton and other early scientists who were as much Christian theologians as they were researchers.

Also, Anaconda tends to post long, detailed replies that make his position very clear. He also is a champion of evidence, but this combined with his paranoia about the mainstream, makes him a difficult person to debate.

But nobody's perfect.

Anaconda said...

@ Jeffery Keown:

Thank you.

Minus the "paranoia".

KV said...

Jeffery,

I was more than fair to Anaconda, and actually, I like his posts mostly, and same for OIM, and I take them both seriously for their passions about abiotic hydrocarbons, unresolved or speculatively resolved technologies that built ancient structures and so on. I do not like personal attacks or characterizations: i.e. - Jeffery Keown is either a knave, a fool, or naive. This may be true in some context (we are all humans), not all three, all the time!

Anaconda and OIM want to publish without peer review. But, the very nature of publication is that your work is in a domain of differing views. Even if one self-publishes, peer review happens, except the author does not get the feedback, and contrary views and findings.

As I have said in my opening comment, that OIM blog is much more fun and challenging at times. I stumbled on his blog when I was researching perpetual increase in oil reserves of oil companies, while we were paying over $100 a barrel, and marching toward the doom and gloom of peak-oilers.

Quantum_Flux said...

Science discards incorrect theories via a process of elimination. That's not censorship though, there's nothing precluding you from saying the Earth is flat.

OilIsMastery said...

QF,

"Science discards incorrect theories via a process of elimination."

That process of elimination only takes 2000 years (e.g. geocentrism).