My point is this: There is a wider bridge than there should be between that
which is "natural" and that which is "scientific". This is unfortunate,
because by rights (and in trhe end) they should be the same. There are a
number of reasons why this hiatus exists, some of which are insidiously
economic but others simply relate to the nature of both folklore, romantisim
and science (the terms don't really matter much - ALL logic requires a basis,
a starting point, a given; that must be taken on faith).
There is a real need for people who can and want to bridge that gap, and too
few can or would do that. In other words, what I see is to me constructive
and bodes an important potential. The only thing that is for sure, is that
things can not and will not stay as they are, and it's going to take real
people willing to extend themselves somewhat out of "their element", to insure
that the direction taken is "the right one".
So keep at it. (nothing new follows)
Wilson, Dale wrote:
> Dear LionKuntz,
> > Anecdotal IS NOT HEARSAY -- it is direct personal experience of the
> > person relaying the anecdote.
> I'm willing to accept that definition.
> > "Research-based information" is nothing more or less than a special
> > case of anecdotal data.
> I agree.
> Misplaced trust in authority institutions is no better than
> misplaced trust in
> > individuals with personal experience.
> Exactly. Distrust of authority is one of the bases of science.
> Credibility is not the same as authority. Individuals with credibility
> submit their ideas and claims to evaluation by the community. Mutual
> trust and communication are essential.
> I wrote:
> > ....[When slick marketing enters the picture, it gets even worse.
> > There is no end to the biodynamic/enzymatic/microbial stuff people are
> > trying to sell. Much of it comes with scientifically reasonable
> > models, but only with anecdotal information and possibly contrived
> > data. People are susceptible to being swindled, when they strongly
> > want to believe it works. Don't get me wrong, some of these things
> > probably do work. But they need to be tried out by a critical
> > community. There is safety in numbers. ].....
> > Lion replies: You have not made any serious attempt to familiarize
> > yourself with the high quality of research and decades of
> > record-keeping maintained by some systems you are here disparging.
> > You have a bias which can be summed up in the phrase "If I didn't
> > believe it I wouldn't see it".
> I have always been interested in biological control methods and IPM, and
> have been performing field-oriented research on them in academic and
> private contexts for the last ten years. I would love to see all this
> stuff work, but much of it does not. At Pioneer, a constant parade of
> seemingly fly-by-night companies come to our door trying to sell us
> wacky products and ideas. A colleague and I have instituted a small,
> quiet effort to try out some of these agents and methods in production
> > You are handicapping yourself by your narrow closed mind
> Why so hostile? I try to be open-minded about everything.
> > refusing to learn from the experience of others who are not interested
> > in swindling you, and you are spreading infectious memes by
> > propagating your preconceived conclusions in public.
> Slick-sounding, amazing-claim products should be approached with
> caution. But they should be tried in realistic field plots.
> I wrote:
> > Reality is one. We may not know very much about reality, ut the idea
> > that different modes of reality exist to which different modes of
> > knowledge acquisition apply is dualistic crap.]....
> > Lion replies: Reality is ONE, and you ought to find out what it
> > really is.
> That's why I'm a scientist.
> > Science can be a tool of exploration, but it can also be a religion
> > and a superstition abused by persons who over-filter reality to
> > conform to a preconceived narrow bias.
> I agree completely. It's a human foible.
> > There is still plenty of room to learn from other "experiments" which
> > are only available as anecdotal information.
> Legitimate science embraces public attempts at verification. Sure, most
> information we get is in some sense anecdotal, but when lots of reliable
> people try something and find it to be true, the knowledge is more
> reliable than what a lone door-to-door salesman might say.
> > Not only do scientists have the right to describe reality in terms of
> > their choosing, but so do priests, poets, novelists, and farmers. The
> > problem is not that these others have nothing to say about reality,
> > but thatone group usurps authority to be the only ones allowed to
> > speak.
> All these groups should be willing to submit their truth-claims to
> community verification. But, I suppose we should restrict our
> discussion to falsifiable claims (sensu Popper).
> > If someone has knowledge you might desire, but speaks only spanish it
> > behooves you to learn spanish to learn what you want, so also if
> > someone speaks only "farmer"
> > or "biodynamic" or "microbial crap".
> Truth and language are two different things. Crap is crap. There is
> plenty of crap in scientific journals too.
> I wrote
> > .....[I believe there is a strong parallel between the unreliability
> > of the primary scientific literature (journal articles) and anecdotal
> > information in the sustainable ag community.
> > would like to see integration of the communities, and increased
> > relevance of the ag science community.
> > Lion replies:
> > You are stipulating multiple abundant hurdles to convince yourself
> > that there is "safety" in numbers, when there is no safety at all.
> > Me, you, congress, USDA, and everybody who lives is subject to
> > filtering out aspects of reality and living in a straightjacket of
> > self-deception and group-self-deception.
> By "safety in numbers" I mainly meant in a plethora of research results
> and confirmations. I agree, self-deception is a constant danger. That
> is why we need to look to joint experience with truth-claims.
> > Good luck building your cozy cocoon, but it is obviously not big
> > enough for all of us to fit in there.
> I get the feeling you are arguing with a straw-man caricature of me. I
> suspect we agree on more than you think.
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