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Teaching the History of Pseudoscience

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Re: Teaching the History of Pseudoscience

Postby Arouet » 21 Sep 2012, 00:51

SydneyPSIder wrote:Arouet, if you re-read your supplied dictionary definition of a 'scientist' and your own definition, you will see they are circular definitions.


How so?

You haven't actually said or explicated anything, or you would now have to supply a reasonable description of what is meant by 'science'. No criticism, just sayin'


I'm surprised you would find that noteworthy, since what you asked me for was the definition of "scientist".

But if you want a definition for science, here is the free online dictionary's definitions:

science [ˈsaɪəns]
n
1. the systematic study of the nature and behaviour of the material and physical universe, based on observation, experiment, and measurement, and the formulation of laws to describe these facts in general terms
2. the knowledge so obtained or the practice of obtaining it
3. any particular branch of this knowledge the pure and applied sciences
4. any body of knowledge organized in a systematic manner
5. skill or technique
6. Archaic knowledge
[via Old French from Latin scientia knowledge, from scīre to know]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
science (sns)
The investigation of natural phenomena through observation, theoretical explanation, and experimentation, or the knowledge produced by such investigation. Science makes use of the scientific method, which includes the careful observation of natural phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis, the conducting of one or more experiments to test the hypothesis, and the drawing of a conclusion that confirms or modifies the hypothesis. See Note at hypothesis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


The MDC and the Mythbusters show don't meet any of the definitions of science - nor do they claim to. I'm not sure if you take issue with this or not.
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Re: Teaching the History of Pseudoscience

Postby Arouet » 21 Sep 2012, 00:56

SydneyPSIder wrote:, but as you say, the members of the JREF do not claim to be practising scientists (presumably meaning 'technologists' really) of any sort.


Just caught this: no, I meant scientists. I hadn't heard the term technologist before, but looking at the definition "technologist - a person who uses scientific knowledge to solve practical problems" then no, that sounds more like an engineer, though perhaps there are people who overlap? I'm not sure why you would have thought I meant that!
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Re: Teaching the History of Pseudoscience

Postby really? » 21 Sep 2012, 03:54

SydneyPSIder wrote:
Arouet wrote:
SydneyPSIder wrote:What, they're going to teach the history of pseudoscience such as Randi's and Mythbusters pathetic attempts at double-blind and triple-blind trials that don't involve any blinding at all? Amazing.


Neither Rnadi nor Mythbusters are scientists- nor (as far as I know) do they purport to be.

How would you define a 'scientist'? (After all, that is what the course is apparently all about.)

I was just deeply unimpressed with some of the video of Randi's challenge on another thread -- the experimental 'design' was appalling, an utter failure. No reliable repeating measurements, no double or triple blinds etc etc. Just seems to be a circus set up to humiliate people who have some pretty wacky ideas.

Further, the OP seems to be trying to associate a philosophy of science course with the JREF, but as you say, the members of the JREF do not claim to be practising scientists (presumably meaning 'technologists' really) of any sort.


Exactly where and how did Randi or the Mythbusters in your mind get involved ? Because I clearly made no written association when I posted the topic and neither does the author of the article. The course is concerned with what pseudoscience is. How to recognize pseudoscience from science. And how to think critically about claims of pseudoscience.
Last edited by really? on 21 Sep 2012, 04:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Teaching the History of Pseudoscience

Postby NinjaPuppy » 21 Sep 2012, 04:00

really? wrote:Exactly where and how did Randi or the Mythbusters in your mind get involved ? Because I clearly made no written association when I posted the topic.

I knew that but then again, I know EVERYTHING! :lol:
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Re: Teaching the History of Pseudoscience

Postby really? » 21 Sep 2012, 04:58

NinjaPuppy wrote:
really? wrote:Exactly where and how did Randi or the Mythbusters in your mind get involved ? Because I clearly made no written association when I posted the topic.

I knew that but then again, I know EVERYTHING! :lol:


I'm sorry I didn't make it clear; the question was directed to SydneyPSIder.
I know everything too. ;)
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Re: Teaching the History of Pseudoscience

Postby NinjaPuppy » 21 Sep 2012, 05:29

really? wrote:I'm sorry I didn't make it clear; the question was directed to SydneyPSIder.
I know everything too. ;)

I knew that TOO. :D I didn't make it clear that I was insinuating that you may have totally disregarded my previous commentary here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2475#p27186

If you didn't, then let me make it totally clear that I'm just bustin' chops. ;)
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Re: Teaching the History of Pseudoscience

Postby SydneyPSIder » 21 Sep 2012, 07:06

really? wrote:
Exactly where and how did Randi or the Mythbusters in your mind get involved ? Because I clearly made no written association when I posted the topic and neither does the author of the article. The course is concerned with what pseudoscience is. How to recognize pseudoscience from science. And how to think critically about claims of pseudoscience.

JREF.

And I was just pointing out that the members of JREF seem singularly poor at designing valid scientific experiments in their stagecrafted activities. Why would they be the experts in pulling apart what pseudoscience is when they fall into poor and pseudoscientific practices themselves?
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Re: Teaching the History of Pseudoscience

Postby Arouet » 21 Sep 2012, 09:45

But if they are not doing science, why would you evaluate them on the basis of science? The MDC and the mythbusters show are not scientific experiments. They draw on scientific principles in coming up with their tests/demonstrations, but they should not be confused with science.

The critique that some JREFrs make of pseudoscience should be evaluated on the basis of those critiques, not on what happens during the MDC or a taping of Mythbusters.
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Re: Teaching the History of Pseudoscience

Postby SydneyPSIder » 21 Sep 2012, 09:48

Arouet wrote:
SydneyPSIder wrote:Arouet, if you re-read your supplied dictionary definition of a 'scientist' and your own definition, you will see they are circular definitions.


How so?

You haven't actually said or explicated anything, or you would now have to supply a reasonable description of what is meant by 'science'. No criticism, just sayin'


I'm surprised you would find that noteworthy, since what you asked me for was the definition of "scientist".

But if you want a definition for science, here is the free online dictionary's definitions:

science [ˈsaɪəns]
n
1. the systematic study of the nature and behaviour of the material and physical universe, based on observation, experiment, and measurement, and the formulation of laws to describe these facts in general terms
2. the knowledge so obtained or the practice of obtaining it
3. any particular branch of this knowledge the pure and applied sciences
4. any body of knowledge organized in a systematic manner
5. skill or technique
6. Archaic knowledge
[via Old French from Latin scientia knowledge, from scīre to know]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
science (sns)
The investigation of natural phenomena through observation, theoretical explanation, and experimentation, or the knowledge produced by such investigation. Science makes use of the scientific method, which includes the careful observation of natural phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis, the conducting of one or more experiments to test the hypothesis, and the drawing of a conclusion that confirms or modifies the hypothesis. See Note at hypothesis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


The MDC and the Mythbusters show don't meet any of the definitions of science - nor do they claim to. I'm not sure if you take issue with this or not.

You're a fabulous copy-paster, Arouet, you will go down in history for that achievement, if nothing else. Good work!
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Re: Teaching the History of Pseudoscience

Postby NinjaPuppy » 21 Sep 2012, 09:52

SydneyPSIder wrote:You're a fabulous copy-paster, Arouet, you will go down in history for that achievement, if nothing else. Good work!

Like I always say, "if the shoe fits, wear it". If there is an accepted definition that someone agrees with, why try to paraphrase?
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Re: Teaching the History of Pseudoscience

Postby Arouet » 21 Sep 2012, 10:55

SydneyPSIder wrote:You're a fabulous copy-paster, Arouet, you will go down in history for that achievement, if nothing else. Good work!


I thought you wanted to discuss these things? Do you take issue with anything I wrote?
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Re: Teaching the History of Pseudoscience

Postby Arouet » 21 Sep 2012, 10:56

NinjaPuppy wrote:Like I always say, "if the shoe fits, wear it". If there is an accepted definition that someone agrees with, why try to paraphrase?


Especially if the quote says it better than I could!
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Re: Teaching the History of Pseudoscience

Postby really? » 21 Sep 2012, 11:05

SydneyPSIder wrote:
really? wrote:
Exactly where and how did Randi or the Mythbusters in your mind get involved ? Because I clearly made no written association when I posted the topic and neither does the author of the article. The course is concerned with what pseudoscience is. How to recognize pseudoscience from science. And how to think critically about claims of pseudoscience.

JREF.

And I was just pointing out that the members of JREF seem singularly poor at designing valid scientific experiments in their stagecrafted activities. Why would they be the experts in pulling apart what pseudoscience is when they fall into poor and pseudoscientific practices themselves?


Your pointing out is in error. This course isn't a science class. This course is not sanctioned by Randi or JREF members. Th Mythbusters shouldn't have been mentioned by you at all
I'm just not following your train of connect the dots to now not just Randi and The Mythbusters, but also to the JREF members.
So explain how a course taught at Kean University has any connection with Randi or Mythbusters or JREF members ?
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