25
   

Must Scientific Knowledge Be Considered Relative?

 
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 11:53 am
@JLNobody,
Quote:
They are driven virtually 100% by instinctive hardwiring. By contrast, humans behave toward a world that is interpreted both by individuals and the cultures which "program" them to a significant extent.
AGAIN, and you know this how?
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 12:39 pm
@farmerman,
I think I see your point, farmerman. Whether individuals are programmed by culture to a "significant extent" is basically what this thread is about.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 12:44 pm
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:

I think I see your point, farmerman. Whether individuals are programmed by culture to a "significant extent" is basically what this thread is about.


Is this to suggest that a bias can't be hardwired?
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 12:51 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
I am not even sure what "hardwiring" means. My view of human nature would probably not include concepts like that.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 01:05 pm
@wandeljw,
Genetic programming is what I mean by it. Surely your view of human nature includes that concept? If not, we may have an even more interesting topic to discuss.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 02:08 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
To me, genes play only a minor role.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 02:26 pm
@wandeljw,
Fair enough -- although some would strongly disagree with you.

Even playing a minor role though it seems possible that in could, along with cultural programming, present a scientist with biases with which to contend. I would think they might even be harder to detect.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 03:48 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
I doubt it; scientific research is a universal cooperative with checks and balances from most developed countries.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 04:35 pm
@wandeljw,
EO Wilson is taking lots of heat for proposing a "hardwire" argument for social evolution.

HOWEVER, thats not the point I wanted JL to admit.

Oh forget it!
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 05:25 pm
@cicerone imposter,
And, as we all know, scientists are not subject to the foibles of lesser men,
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 05:32 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
But there are scientists who are lesser men.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 06:39 pm
@cicerone imposter,
My point exactly
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 08:38 pm
@farmerman,
No, I want to try to answer your question, when I know what it means. Are you asking me how I know that, unlike ants who behave without the benefit of cultural conditioning, humans behave toward situations with respect to the definitions they have of them, and that their definitions/interpretations of situations result both from their individual creativity and their social cultural conditioning (what I called "programming")?
Of course I don't know this in any absolute way, but I think it's consistent with more of the evidence. And I think this goes a bit toward answering the OP--"Must scientific knowledge be considered relative?" I would be very hesitant to consider scientific knowledge ABSOLUTE. And I am confident you would agree given that all scientific knowledge is provisional. Being a progressive institution its knowledge is--almost by definition-- subject to revision.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 08:58 pm
@JLNobody,
I think I understand what you are saying; after all, the first homo-sapiens who walked on the planet had no real knowledge of what we call science. All their actions were fundamental to survival, and not much else.

What we call "modern conveniences" are usually made for increased efficiency to save time - which in a way extends our virtual life spans.

2 Cents Drunk Drunk Drunk
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 09:51 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Yes, C.I., knowledge did not begin only after the emergence of Science. Image all the eons of trial and error discoveries during Man's formative period. The "scientific method" is a great invention, not only because it gave rise to knowledge but because it does so so much faster; it is so efficient a method for determining what ideas about the world are reliable and which are not (verification and falsification).
It can be said that mankind has survived not only because of its knowledge but also because many of its illusions (e.g., myths and fantasies) have provided some of the ideological strengths needed to form and maintain social solidarity. They may have been both false and functional for survival.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Oct, 2011 09:51 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Yes, C.I., knowledge did not begin only after the emergence of Science. Image all the eons of trial and error discoveries during Man's formative period. The "scientific method" is a great invention, not only because it gave rise to knowledge but because it does so so much faster; it is so efficient a method for determining what ideas about the world are reliable and which are not (verification and falsification).
It can be said that mankind has survived not only because of its knowledge but also because many of its illusions (e.g., myths and fantasies) have provided some of the ideological strengths needed to form and maintain social solidarity. They may have been both false and functional for survival.
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Oct, 2011 07:20 am
My current understanding is that scientific knowledge is inferential and therefore can never attain certainty, given the limitations of human perception. Hume, et al.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Oct, 2011 10:31 am
Science professionals have specialized skills related to their field. In addition, advancements in scientific instruments have greatly expanded what can be observed. To me, these factors have greater impact than outside influences.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Oct, 2011 11:02 am
@JLNobody,
I experience modern conveniences all the time when I travel; flights can take me half way around the world in one day. If we think how long it took past explorers to travel the same distance, it reflects in almost everything we do.
0 Replies
 
bigstew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Oct, 2011 12:19 pm
@FBM,
Quote:
My current understanding is that scientific knowledge is inferential and therefore can never attain certainty, given the limitations of human perception. Hume, et al.


Hume's verificationism isn't a widely endorsed epistemology. Further, inference may not entail certainty, but that doesn't mean knowledge is relative, nor can we attain justified true beliefs regarding reality.
 

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