I am also of the view that the fragmentary nature of reductionist science
has entrenched too many false facts derived from this peculiarly atomistic
view of how the world works. And thus that research findings in many fields
are going to be suspect. There is a problem of research focussed on the
minutiae and ignoring the fact that systems are more complicated than brick
The peer review system seems to have been set up for the very best of
motives (to put research effort into the most important areas and see that
work is properly assessed before being published), but along the way (as is
the case with any socio-political institutions) the system has acquired its
own preoccupations: - it has led to a situation where it severely inhibits
the articulation of contrarian opinion, and reinforces the perpetuation of
some bad science.
Is there, for example, a citation to demonstrate 'HIV probably causes AIDS'?
No? [ http://duesberg.com/kintro.html ] Does that mean that the focus of
research is to test the proposition, to test contrary propositions, or is
new research based on 'false fact' that 'HIV probably causes AIDS'? The
latter of course. Gilbert Ling's research on cellular physics is the basis
of the MRI scanner technology, but Gilbert Ling questions the membrane
theory of the cell, on grounds that it does not make sense in physics.
Gilbert Ling [ http://www.gilbertling.org/ ] is denied official research
funding and is supported in a laboratory by the maker of the MRI scanner.
These are not peripheral questions but issues central to science and
politics; I suspect that they are not exceptional cases, but symptomatic of
pervasive problems with science.
John Brockman says [ http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/diamond/diamond_p1.html
that Jared Diamond is trying to turn history into a science. I'm not sure
that's what Diamond's history writing is, but the idea seems to me to be the
wrong way around. We have see science as more like history: - to turn our
view of science into something more sensible, to see it, like history, as a
cultural construct, a language construct, a fallible construction of ideas.
We need to recognise that research makes hypothesis and the teaching of
hypothesis tends to create 'fact' and dogma and orthodoxy and to demand
conformity (in which respect economics is also a 'science', I guess). While
the foundation of science is in processes of testing and proof, it drifts
away from that in the hands of humans.
Hence it is entirely appropriate to doubt, and unwise to assume that the
protection of vested interests, in careers or money, arises always
altruistically even when pursued intellectually.
To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at: