Monday, March 26, 2007

A Journey Into the Mind of Vicki Davis

Only the Cool Cat Teacher could open a post on bi-partisan cooperation by illustrating the importance of smashing your enemies while they are too weak to resist.

And what's up with this?

The fact that the scientific community seems to be unable to tolerate differing viewpoints whether it is global warming or the discussion concerning a divine entity bothers me. If a theory is a theory, it is disputable by definition and in fact must be disputed to keep the democracy alive. So now, theorists want to claim theories are fact, when in fact, they are still theories.

The "scientific community" has no opinion on the "divine entity." That question is outside the scope of science. That the globe is warming, however, is a fact, proven through observation.

Am I the only one who actually reads this stuff?


Gnuosphere said...

"The "scientific community" has no opinion on the "divine entity.""

Yeah, isn't that annoying? I touched on that here, some time ago. While it's true that some scientists have opinions on a "divine entity", it doesn't follow that when expressing those opinions they represent "the scientific community". How could they?

I also find the statement "[theory] must be disputed to keep the democracy alive." off-kilter. It's the freedom to dispute that supports democracy, not the disputing itself.

Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher said...

Actually, global temperature change is cyclical and there are some scientists who have literally been kicked out of the scientific community because of their dissenting voice. Have you been following the debates?

I have my opinions and you have yours. It is great we can have a healthy exchange. But the banishment that is happening in scientific circles in colleges today is terrible.

The scientific community does indeed have an opinion on the divine entity. It is not possible to not have an opinion. Creationism and evolutionism both remain theories, not fact. (Although I have my beliefs, I will not impose them on another.)

And has for "having to read this stuff" blogs are read by choice. It is very obvious that you have a general dislike for me and my thoughts and that is what blogs are -- thoughts and opinions of the blogger. Not scientific journals. Not magazine articles. I do my best to polish and prime.

I too, however, read people I disagree with and that is important to keep us sharp and open minded.

AS for the importance of smashing your enemies while they are too weak to resist -- did you even read what I was talking about?

The reason that WW2 happened in the first place was because no one stood up to Hitler while he could be stood up to. The Rhineland wouldn't have fallen if the folks in France had fought back. Austria wouldn't have fallen if they had fought and the folks in England hadn't been in their country estates (Hitler liked to attack on Saturday mornings and used this to their advantage) -- in fact 70% of hitler's machinery broke down on the way into Austria and he would have been easy to defeat.

However, it is in the tiny compromises -- tolerating dictators and saying "it doesn't affect me."

No one should be allowed the right to DICTATE what you or I have to believe. If it is a theory it is a theory. Period. Whether you or I think it is fact if it cannot be proven, it is a theory.

That includes global warming and that also includes where we came from as human beings. Most of us do believe that we are experiencing fundamental climate change (myself included) but that does not excuse the ostracism of dissenting viewpoints on major panels covering global warming.

As you and I both know, it is, after all, good to have dissenting voices sometimes.

Gnuosphere said...

Vicki claims:

"The scientific community does indeed have an opinion on the divine entity."

I don't see how this is possible. Could you please explain how you've concluded that the scientific community has "an" opinion? I've never heard this before. What is the opinion and how did the community come to a conclusion?

On another note Vicki, what is the difference between a theory and a belief? I ask because you say...

"Creationism and evolutionism both remain theories, not fact. (Although I have my beliefs [...]"


"[...]DICTATE what you or I have to believe. If it is a theory it is a theory. Period. Whether you or I think it is fact if it cannot be proven, it is a theory."

I've always understood the two words (i.e. belief and theory) to have significantly different meanings though it appears you use them synonymously. Is this your intention? If not, could you please point out what the difference is between the two?

Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher said...

No, I indeed am deliniating the difference between theory and belief --
a theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; "theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"; "true in fact and theory"

A belief is something that is personal.

There are multiple theories that govern our world. However, a theory by definition is scientific. A belief by definition is personal.

Yes, they are different and indeed I am intending them to be so. You may have multiple theories that conflict with one another -- but in my personal belief, I may accept one as being true or not.

However, I could spend hours talking here about my beliefs. It is obvious to me that it is a waste of time on this matter.

The point here is that we must allow dissenting viewpoints from our own. The scientific community has taken great steps to remove "intelligent design" as a "theory" because a divine entity is not supposed to be a valid theory-- however big bang and the theory of aliens planting life on this planet are allowed as theories.

Global warming and the multiple theories of creation have been areas where I have been reading and have concluded that the scientific community tends to be about as tolerant of different beliefs as some of the religious "right" that they condemn. I see a lot of unwillingness to work with others in an agreeable, amenable manner on both sides of the fence. We are losing our ability to disagree.

Indeed, your sidetrack into fact and theory is but a side trip and away from the main point of what I was saying.

I would agree with you that it is the freedom to dispute that supports democracy but when one is allowed to disagree that is evidence that there is freedom. One can give "lip service" all day that one can dispute, however, if you don't ever allow it, it is a farce.

I have friends at research institutions who are telling me that their freedom to dissent is being limited.