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The Science of Why We Don't Believe in Science

NegativeZero

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The author certainly has a point, most people resist change, especially when it involves changing fundamental beliefs about religion or the role humanity plays on the earth. Although, it seems like he is trying to dismiss any criticism of mainstream consensus opinion as a delusion of emotionally invested individuals.

I reckon that is a dangerous assumption to make as consensus opinion doesn't have the best track record in getting things right. Think eugenics or the flat earth theory.

While personally I find it impossible to argue against climate change after looking into the available data there are merits to the question marks over vaccines and even creationism.

But lets leave creationism Vs evolution alone. Vaccines are much a little less controversial and you might find this interesting if you like biology. One of the essential ingredients in a vaccine is an Immunologic adjuvant, they basically antagonise your immune system into reacting strongly to the denatured virus which you're being immunised against. this like explains a bit about the mechanism and the different types of adjuvants

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunologic_adjuvant#Adjuvants_and_toll-like_receptors/

Most of the adjuvants listed there aren't really a problem for the human body, however the double-stranded RNA as well as DNA fragments are a cause for concern.

Double stranded RNA molecules are an area of intense study in the burgeoning discipline of gene therapy, specifically they are being used to activate or deactivate the genes inside target cells. Now, I do a little bit of biotech investing so i'm familiar with a lot of the proposed methods and trials of using such molecules is a clinical capacity and they are extremely vigorous. The RNA sequences are designed to affect specific genes within the genome of an individual and the most effective treatments are encapsulated within a lipid membrane which will only bind to the protein receptors of a specific cell type.

Now the specific accusation of the MMR vaccine causing autism, in light of this information is actually quite plausible as childhood development including neural development involves the activation and deactivation of thousands of genes in a progressive interrelated fashion and RNA interference could cause a deviation from the normal sequence of gene expression.

When I look at clinical trial information for vaccines I to do not even see a mention of RNA interference let alone DNA recombination, which is a lot more complicated.

Now the problem with this issue is that it's kindof like opening up a pandoras box, because everyones genome is slightly different there can be no absolute statement efficacy regarding the results of introducing this kind of substance into the human body. To even begin to approach the issue, all of the nucleic acid adjuvants commonly used in vaccines would have to be sequenced and then a full assay of their effects would have to be carried out on every cell type found in the human body and this would have to be repeated for a range of genomes which should represent the genetic configuration of at least the majority of the poulation.

To put this in perspective, it requires research which would make the human genome project look like a postgrad study. So given that the traditional development model for for vaccines requires that the developer pays the bill for pre-clinical trials, not to mention the potential law suits that may happen after conclusive result, I can see why they don't want to look into this. What really concerns me more is the fact that our public health officials as well as academic institutions are also dismissing this possibility either out of ignorance or being personally invested in pleasing big pharma who are funding partners in a lot of the public sector research carried out in most western countries.

Generally I find that money is a much stronger motivation for wilful delusion than emotions.
 

scorpiomover

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It's a great point.

I have seen a bit on the subject. There is more, though.

1) Antonio Damasio is a neuroscientist who is examining the differences between emotion-based reasoning, and non-emotional reasoning. Most of us have emotions, and so use emotion-based reasoning. However, there are a few people who received brain damage in the areas of the brain that specifically deal with emotions and empathy. Those people are able to function quite well, and are just as moral as anyone else, except that they don't feel anything for others, not even for their wives or husbands. One of the experiments chose to examine how one reasons in real life, where some choices are more predictable and reliable than others, but you only learn which are the more predictable and reliable by experience. Normal people did fairly well in the experiments. Those who lacked emotional processing did significantly badly.

2) Most people are only attracted to unrelated adults. It is as if the brain filters out one's relations and children from sexual choices. A small minority lack that filter. We can see the results. So cognitive filters serve an extremely valid purpose.

3) Scientists themselves are humans, and so are subject to the same cognitive biases as science-disbelievers. So even if you disbelieve a particular scientific theory, and have definite proof that you are right, and all the evidence supports your view, for the same reasons as the article you posted, you are likely to find that scientists will refuse to acknowledge that you are right, and likely to claim that YOU are the one who is refusing to accept the truth.
 

Artsu Tharaz

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The problem with those who say they use science is they generally aren't just using facts to argue facts - they are using facts as a way of arguing against ways of doing things, without bothering to show why the facts they are using imply the change in method that they are advocating, because to them it is just 'obvious' that the conclusion follows.

I'd personally like to see more actual formal logic used in argumentation, e.g. syllogistic logic with well defined premises and conclusions where any fallacies can be efficiently pointed out.
 

scorpiomover

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I'd personally like to see more actual formal logic used in argumentation, e.g. syllogistic logic with well defined premises and conclusions where any fallacies can be efficiently pointed out.
Love to as well. That does make arguments read a lot more like a mathematical theorem. Rather dry for most people. Also, a heck of a lot of work checking your proof. I gather that most people would rather quickly put across reasons for following their POV, and then go back to sex, sports and alcohol.

We can live in hope.
 

Artsu Tharaz

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Love to as well. That does make arguments read a lot more like a mathematical theorem. Rather dry for most people. Also, a heck of a lot of work checking your proof. I gather that most people would rather quickly put across reasons for following their POV, and then go back to sex, sports and alcohol.

We can live in hope.

I don't need people to do this all the time or anything, but the fundamental assumptions for doing things in society really need to be laid out more clearly, especially when it requires restricting the freedoms of others.

There is so much shit done in society which has a semi-valid basis, but which obviously doesn't apply to all cases. If someone would actually express the reasoning behind things in a clear way, logical fallacy free, then we could at least point out concisely whether or not something actually fits the principle or not.

It seems that true science died soon after it was developed. Now what passes for science is routine application of the rules developed hundreds of years ago to purposes from hundreds of years ago. LAME.
 
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