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Old 16-11-2008, 05:43 PM   #1
Diane
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Default Beyerstein: PT digest on pseudoscience

DISTINGUISHING SCIENCE FROM PSEUDOSCIENCE


LINKS

In this thread are links to all the recent threads considering various facets of Beyerstein's long and excellent paper, Distinguishing Science and Pseudoscience. (Please read the entire paper however. These threads are only my own (first, rough) take on the paper. They may not cover some salient point that may leap out at you, specifically - some crucial point that turns your own headlamp onto full bright. PT needs everyone's headlamp turned on full bright ASAP.)

1. Beyerstein on Mario Bunge at McGill: Beyerstein clearly respected this man's thinking; he took many of Bunge's points as a foundation for his own ideas on the matter.

2. Beyerstein on the Basics, and on C.D. Broad: Broad, a very curious investigator, laid out simple boundaries congruent with science that have become known as the Basic Limiting Principles.

3. Beyerstein on types of pseudoscience: Under the heading "Characteristics," we find several points that PTs could easily be accused of promoting: not participating enough to even know what's going on in the greater world of science to recognize when their own ideas have gone past their due date, sticking to non-falsifiable "beliefs," misusing data to make their own treatment construct appear more "scientific," defending a practice on the basis of it's being "old" and therefore venerable, begging for more "time" to "study" their thing, whatever it might be, leaning on the accompaniment of uplifting, congenial beliefs (which I call dopamemes) associated with their favorite treatment thing, instead of actually studying it and shining the light of neuroscience on it. These dopamemes are listed and predictable. Religion shares many of them. The human brain may need to flow its messaging around in these circular ways once in awhile, but none of them belong in PT being the loci of treatment constructs.

4. Beyerstein on qualities and contents of pseudoscience: In this thread a list of characteristics of the practitioners of pseudoscience appears. It's like a window into the non-conscious reflexive part of the human frontal cortex, with no attempt ever having been made to develop executive function. Beyerstein introduces us to Irving Langmuir's list of "Symptoms of 'Pathological Science'," and to pseudoscience norms of behaviour.

5. Beyerstein: overview of pseudoscience and skepticism is a summary. It provides a brief outline of skepticism, what it means, what it is, why it's necessary in the development of a personal scientific perspective, and why it's important that everyone become adept at developing and using such a thing, not just when "doing" science but for looking at everything. He outlines the kinds of harms, both short term and long term, that can result if we don't.


I've written a blogpost about this digest, for anyone who might be interested.
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"Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

“Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

"Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire

Last edited by Diane; 16-11-2008 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 24-04-2009, 08:53 PM   #2
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Here is a review of Victor Stenger's new book on quantum "theology" and quantum "spirituality."
The review is called, Quantum gods do not deserve your faith.

The book is, Quantum Gods: Creation, chaos and the search for cosmic consciousness.

From Amazon:
Quote:
Review
"Lots of biologists defend evolution against creationism. Unfortunately, few scientists in the physics community speak up about the pseudoscience in their own field. The public understanding of modern physics is seriously out of whack, thanks largely to pop junk like The Secret and What the BLEEP Do We Know?

These books and movies promote a bogus version of quantum mechanics--the belief that 'you create your own reality' by controlling the laws of physics with your mind. They offer instant wealth and happiness, but they deliver medieval superstition. The sad part is that so many scientists are willing to let the public get their knowledge of physics from celebrity quacks.

That's why we re so lucky to have Victor Stenger. He knows quantum theory as well as anybody and, unlike most of his colleagues, he's willing to step outside the ivory tower and face those who misuse science. In Quantum Gods, Stenger confronts mainstream theologians and New Age gurus--anyone who tries to link physics to mysticism. He takes their theories seriously enough to examine them in detail and he finds that, so far, none of them live up to the standards of scientific truth. As we accompany him on his investigation, he guides us through the most important concepts in modern physics from relativity to string theory.

The world has needed a book like this for a long time. If you care about scientific literacy, Quantum Gods is not optional." --Geoff Gilpin, author of The Maharishi Effect: A Personal Journey Through the Movement That Transformed American Spirituality

Product Description
Does quantum mechanics show a connection between the human mind and the cosmos? Are our brains tuned into a "cosmic consciousness" that pervades the universe enabling us to make our own reality? Do quantum mechanics and chaos theory provide a place for God to act in the world without violating natural laws?

Many popular books make such claims and argue that key developments in twentieth-century physics, such as the uncertainty principle and the butterfly effect, support the notion that God or a universal mind acts upon material reality.

Physicist Victor J. Stenger examines these contentions in this carefully reasoned and incisive analysis of popular theories that seek to link spirituality to physics. Throughout the book Stenger alternates his discussions of popular spirituality with a survey of what the findings of twentieth-century physics actually mean. Thus he offers the reader a useful synopsis of contemporary religious ideas as well as basic but sophisticated physics presented in layperson's terms (without equations).

Of particular interest in this book is Stenger's discussion of a new kind of deism, which proposes a God who creates a universe with many possible pathways determined by chance, but otherwise does not interfere with the physical world or the lives of humans. Although it is possible, says Stenger, to conceive of such a God who plays dice with the universe and leaves no trace of his role as prime mover, such a God is a far cry from traditional religious ideas of God and, in effect, may as well not exist.

Like his bestselling book, God, The Failed Hypothesis, this new work presents a rigorously argued challenge to many popular notions of God and spirituality.
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Diane
www.dermoneuromodulation.com
SensibleSolutionsPhysiotherapy
HumanAntiGravitySuit blog
Neurotonics PT Teamblog
Canadian Physiotherapy Pain Science Division (Archived newsletters, paincasts)
Canadian Physiotherapy Association Pain Science Division Facebook page
@PainPhysiosCan
WCPT PhysiotherapyPainNetwork on Facebook
@WCPTPTPN
Neuroscience and Pain Science for Manual PTs Facebook page

@dfjpt
SomaSimple on Facebook
@somasimple

"Rene Descartes was very very smart, but as it turned out, he was wrong." ~Lorimer Moseley

“Comment is free, but the facts are sacred.” ~Charles Prestwich Scott, nephew of founder and editor (1872-1929) of The Guardian , in a 1921 Centenary editorial

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you, but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." ~Don Marquis

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists" ~Roland Barth

"Doubt is not a pleasant mental state, but certainty is a ridiculous one."~Voltaire
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Old 24-04-2009, 10:13 PM   #3
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Thanks Diane. I'll be checking this one out for sure.
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Old 19-03-2014, 09:00 PM   #4
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Thanks Diane

I am surrounded by pseudoscience today . Need my fix of sense
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