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Postscientisme : La Science se Meurt

Postscientisme : La Science se Meurt - Forum De Chimie

Postscientisme : La Science se Meurt - Forum De Chimie.


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Old 03-18-2006, 06:55 AM
Pentcho Valev
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Default Postscientisme : La Science se Meurt



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"Prof Smith has said chemistry was not attracting enough students to
make it viable. Sussex follows Exeter, King's College London, Queen
Mary University of London and Dundee, which have also cut back on
chemistry."

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"But there has been a marked global decrease of students willing to
study physics, and funding has decreased accordingly. Not only that,
the best students are not heading for studies in physics, finding other
fields more appealing, and science teachers to schools are getting
scarcer in supply. In fact, warning voices are being heard about the
spread of a "scientific illiteracy" where many living in
technologically advanced societies lack the knowledge and the ability
for critical thinking in order to function in their daily environment."

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"We are nearing the end of the "World Year of Physics", otherwise known
as Einstein Year, as it is the centenary of his annus mirabilis in
which he made three incredible breakthroughs, including special
relativity. In fact, it was 100 years ago yesterday that he published
the most famous equation in the history of physics: E=mc2.
But instead of celebrating, physicists are in mourning after a report
showed a dramatic decline in the number of pupils studying physics at
school. The number taking A-level physics has dropped by 38% over the
past 15 years, a catastrophic meltdown that is set to continue over the
next few years. The report warns that a shortage of physics teachers
and a lack of interest from pupils could mean the end of physics in
state schools. Thereafter, physics would be restricted to only those
students who could afford to go to posh schools.
Britain was the home of Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday and Paul Dirac,
and Brits made world-class contributions to understanding gravity,
quantum physics and electromagnetism - and yet the British physicist is
now facing extinction. But so what? Physicists are not as cuddly as
pandas, so who cares if we disappear?"

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"Physics is in danger of disappearing as an identifiable subject from
much of state education, through redefinition to general science and
teacher shortage."

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"Par ailleurs, on remarque qu'aujourd'hui, les thèses «
relativistes », par exemple celle de Paul Féyerabend[2], ont un
impact très fort, notamment dans les milieux étudiants. Même si leur
diffusion s'accompagne de contresens et de malentendus, elles servent
de socle à des critiques de plus en plus vives adressées aux
professionnels de la recherche : Votre science dit-elle réellement le
vrai ? Comment osez-vous prétendre qu'elle se réfère à la
rationalité alors que les jugements esthétiques, les préjugés
métaphysiques et autres désirs subjectifs imprégnent sinon sa
démarche tout entière, du moins certaines de ses phases ? Votre
légitimité incontestée est-elle fondée sur autre chose que des
effets de pouvoir ?"

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"There is a popular argument that the world's oldest profession is
sexual prostitution. I think that it is far more likely that the oldest
profession is scientific prostitution, and that it is still alive and
well, and thriving in the 20th century. I suspect that long before sex
had any commercial value, the prehistoric shamans used their primitive
knowledge to acquire status, wealth, and political power, in much the
same way as the dominant scientific and religious politicians of our
time do. So in a sense, I tend to agree with Weart's argument that the
earliest scientists were the prehistoric shamans, and the argument of
Feyerabend that puts science on a par with religion and prostitution. I
also tend to agree with the argument of Ellis that states that both
science and theology have much in common, and both attempt to model
reality on arguments based on unprovable articles of faith. Using the
logic that if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and waddles
like a duck, it must be a duck: I support the argument that since there
is no significant difference between science and religion, science
should be considered a religion! I would also agree with Ellis'
argument of the obvious methodological differences between science and
the other religions. The other dominant religions are static because
their arguments are based on rigid doctrines set forth by their
founders, such as Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad, who have died long ago.
Science on the other hand, is a dynamic religion that was developed by
many men over a long period of time, and it has a flexible doctrine,
the scientific method, that demands that the arguments change to
conform to the evolving observational and experimental evidence.
The word science was derived from the Latin word scientia, which means
knowledge, so we see that the word, in essence, is just another word
for knowledge. An associate of mine, Prof. Richard Rhodes II, a
Professor of Physics at Eckerd College, once told me that students in
his graduate school used to joke that Ph.D. stood for Piled higher and
Deeper. If one considers the vast array of abstract theoretical garbage
that dominates modern physics and astronomy, this appears to be an
accurate description of the degree. Considering the results from
Mahoney's field trial that showed Protestant ministers were two to
three times more likely to use scientific methodology than Ph.D.
scientists, it seems reasonable to consider that they have two to three
times more right to be called scientists then the so-called Ph.D.
scientists. I would agree with Popper's argument that observations are
theory-laden, and there is no way to prove an argument beyond a
reasonable shadow of a doubt, but at the very least, the scientist
should do more than pay lip service to the scientific method. The true
scientist must have faith and believe in the scientific method of
testing theories, and not in the theories themselves. I agree with
Seeds argument that "A pseudoscience is something that pretends to be a
science but does not obey the rules of good conduct common to all
sciences." Because many of the dominant theories of our time do not
follow the rules of science, they should more properly be labeled
pseudoscience. The people who tend to believe more in theories than in
the scientific method of testing theories, and who ignore the evidence
against the theories they believe in, should be considered
pseudoscientists and not true scientists. To the extent that the
professed beliefs are based on the desire for status, wealth, or
political reasons, these people are scientific prostitutes."

Pentcho Valev

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