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Paul Leeks
2008-Sep-08, 11:38 PM
I am confused about this I wonder if others are too.

Is mainstream science something accepted to be true in cold clinical terms??

what about weird things(paranormal)? I consider that to be mainstream science,things experienced by normal people and studied by normal people..it's called Parapsychology!

I don't consider psychology to be mainstream..its a pseudoscience( I studied it at uni,it's rubbish!)

Parapsychology is a real science..it's what REALLY happens in life on all different levels!

I have noticed some of the mindsets around here....if you don't have evidence your deluded, thats like me saying if you don't have your birth certificate you don't exist!!

PL

spratleyj
2008-Sep-09, 12:01 AM
Wow, what a post!

Jigsaw
2008-Sep-09, 12:03 AM
"Mainstream" science, as generally used, means data that is generally accepted by the scientific community. This is because this data is arrived at via studies and experiments that are reproducible--a scientist can publish his experiment including the details of how he arrived at his conclusions, and another scientist can reproduce his exact experiment and achieve the same results.

Parapsychology has no such mechanism, and therefore it is not considered "mainstream". Nobody has ever done parapsychology experiments with reproducible results.


Is mainstream science something accepted to be true in cold clinical terms??

No, because it's possible to describe paranormal events in "cold, clinical terms". What makes mainstream science different is its capacity for reproducible experiments and results.

PetersCreek
2008-Sep-09, 12:19 AM
Your distinction between psychology and parapsychology seems completely arbitrary and self-serving. Human behavior "REALLY happens in life", too.

pzkpfw
2008-Sep-09, 12:25 AM
...thats like me saying if you don't have your birth certificate you don't exist

No, because there are other forms of evidence.

If I met you on the street, I'd know you are real, regardless of whether you have a birth certificate or not.

That you post in this forum, also tells me you are real - though you could really be Linda Carter who lives in Alaska.

Evidence comes in different forms and different levels of quality. The evidence required for "belief" depends on what is being "believed".

I am happy to believe that you really are Paul Leeks, of New Zealand.

...because that is a perfectly reasonable thing within my experience*.

I am not happy to believe that levitation is real.

...because that not a reasonable thing within my experience*.

(By experience I include here personal experience [which, by the way, is not perfect - people can be fooled] and 2nd hand experience such as reading and watching documentaries.)

I don't need better evidence you are real.

I do need better evidence that levitation is real.

To me, that's what make levitation and such - unmainstream. If any real evidence shows up (e.g. repeatable verifiable unbiased experiments) then maybe such stuff has a chance of being mainstream. I wouldn't hold my breath.

Paul Leeks
2008-Sep-09, 12:29 AM
mainstream science goes on repeatable evidence(observable), where as experience is subjective/objective and spontaneous

my name is Paul Leeks and I have had OOBE(same as others,spontaneous) I also posted about a "ghost agent" named Paul Leeks written by someone else,
so how does science account for coincidences.

I gave up on coincidences a long time ago,especially from hitchhiking experience you come acoss the right person,at the right time.

the "universe" has a 'Oneness' to it

I have noticed twins that are friends of mine and how their lives turned out,its like a mirror reflection..extraordinary

science knows stuff all about the true nature of reality(which is a mystery) and it cannot be defined by physical laws

PL

pzkpfw
2008-Sep-09, 12:47 AM
I have noticed twins that are friends of mine and how their lives turned out,its like a mirror reflection..extraordinary

You could do a study of twins.

Find hundreds or thousands of them.

Define a way to measure the way lives turn out (e.g. wealth, family, education; even add some subjective stuff like "are you happy?"), and collect some data.

Then you'd do a statistical study of the results.

Then you'd know if it really was "extraordinary".

---

If it was [found to be true, significantly often] you'd possibly do a search for causes. e.g. Is it genetic? Social? ...

---

No need for any "wow the Universe is cool" wonderment.

Real science provides enough wonderment.

Paul Leeks
2008-Sep-09, 01:06 AM
I am not particularly keen on statistical analysis

but I will gather more info on the twins thing

PL

aurora
2008-Sep-09, 01:14 AM
There have been quite a few studies of twins raised apart compared to twins raised together. This has been done to get a better understanding of what is genetics and what is environment.

Of course, those studies were done using the scientific method, unlike what you are going on about in the OP and as already pointed out by others.

Digix
2008-Sep-09, 01:19 AM
I am confused about this I wonder if others are too.

Is mainstream science something accepted to be true in cold clinical terms??

what about weird things(paranormal)? I consider that to be mainstream science,things experienced by normal people and studied by normal people..it's called Parapsychology!

I don't consider psychology to be mainstream..its a pseudoscience( I studied it at uni,it's rubbish!)

Parapsychology is a real science..it's what REALLY happens in life on all different levels!

I have noticed some of the mindsets around here....if you don't have evidence your deluded, thats like me saying if you don't have your birth certificate you don't exist!!

PL

because of inability to perform experiments most of mainstream science became no more than parapsychology now they take some very high level data and try to derive low level formulas that can make that data.

paranormal stuff is not a science at all because you must be able to reproduce experiment or else it is invalid.
parapsychology can be a science if it behaves scientifically. and it was a science is soviet Russia for short time, however it doesnt seem that it was successful
if you cant reproduce any results or observations you just wont prove anything.

if you can find anything reproducible in parapsychology that would be just excellent start for new science studies.

Jigsaw
2008-Sep-09, 01:25 AM
my name is Paul Leeks and I have had OOBE(same as others,spontaneous) I also posted about a "ghost agent" named Paul Leeks written by someone else,
so how does science account for coincidences.

It's not science's job to account for coincidences. Coincidences are merely something that human beings happen to perceive, like "love"--they are not a natural phenomenon that requires study, understanding, and codification.

sarongsong
2008-Sep-09, 02:47 AM
Hmmh, given this thread title's phrasing plus not posting it in General Science , tells me we're about to beat another dead horse. No amount of whining is going to change the rules of science. Reproduce your OBE if you think it qualifies as science.

Paul Leeks
2008-Sep-09, 02:53 AM
my OBE was spontaneous (like most people).

I think science has tried to explain it, I prefer yoga instead (Yoga Sutras)

Paul

Fazor
2008-Sep-09, 03:06 AM
Why did I know who the OP was as soon as I saw the thread title? :)

sarongsong
2008-Sep-09, 03:11 AM
See, Fazor, you're telepathic! :)
...weird things (paranormal)...I consider...to be mainstream science...I think science has tried to explain it [OBEs]...Lay it on us, brother; what did science say?

Eta C
2008-Sep-09, 03:30 AM
I am not particularly keen on statistical analysis

but I will gather more info on the twins thing

PL

If you're not keen on statistical analysis then you're not doing science of any sort. mainstream or otherwise. I think Lord Kelvin's quote in my sig sums it up fairly well.

As to parapsychology, it's a pseudoscience at best. That is it dresses up in the clothes of science, but uses none of the actual methods of real science. It's a field full of charlatan spoonbenders like Uri Geller and misguided, if sincere, researchers like Rhine who, unfortunately, wouldn't know good experimental design if it bit them.

As to the question in the OP, others have answered it already. Mainstream science is that which is the currently accepted consensus based on agreement of theory, observation, and experiment. Some that was non-mainstream becomes such as new experiments and observation confirm seemingly outlandish ideas (plate tectonics, ulcers as a bacterial infection). Other times the mainstream grows incrementally as it is extended.

Paul Leeks
2008-Sep-09, 03:45 AM
why am I not keen on statistics..

is because: "you can prove anything with statistics except the truth"

and having studied psyc at uni and how people answer their questions,etc.I'm afraid it's true!

it's a load of crap!!

PL

sarongsong
2008-Sep-09, 03:54 AM
why am I not keen on statistics...is because: "you can prove anything with statistics except the truth"...This isn't true?
Profile: Paul Leeks
Join Date: 28-April-2008
Total Posts: 322 (2.40 posts per day)...

Digix
2008-Sep-09, 03:59 AM
why am I not keen on statistics..
is because: "you can prove anything with statistics except the truth"

prove that apples fall up then


and having studied psyc at uni and how people answer their questions,etc.I'm afraid it's true!
it's a load of crap!!

psychology is not same as physic or other nature sciences.
because nobody would accept that if 80% of experiments show one result ans another 20% is opposite then theory is 100% correct.

however psychology can predict that if 80% answers were like that, then if you continue process probably most of people will answer same or act same.

parapsychology cant do anything useful at all, except confuse and serve as entertainment.

Eta C
2008-Sep-09, 04:13 AM
why am I not keen on statistics..

is because: "you can prove anything with statistics except the truth"

and having studied psyc at uni and how people answer their questions,etc.I'm afraid it's true!

it's a load of crap!!

PL

Sorry, but quoting a tired cliche like that isn't going to hack it with me or any other scientist. Given your bitterness I have to wonder if you had a stats teacher that treated you badly.

Sure, you can misuse stats, but that doesn't invalidate the need for them. It's the way science establishes repeatability and confirmation of results, the exact sort of thing that's lacking in parapsychology. One can learn to recognize misuse of stats and disregard and debunk those efforts. A classic example is Rhine's ESP "experiments." The whole thing was one big messed up and invalid statistical analysis that produced a signal that wasn't really there. If he'd designed his experiments properly and done a proper statistical analysis he never would have seen the "evidence" for ESP.

Paul Leeks
2008-Sep-09, 04:21 AM
this is from "psychology"...DISCOPEN...(from my experience it isn't true)

D-Developmental...I am not the same person as yesterday because I learnt something today (instead of having a fixed personality)

I-Introspective...You don't know what REALLY know what goes through my mind!its private

S- Statistical...how many people tell the truth!(I try to like most people and I have told white lies like most people)

C-cognitive...you don't know much abourt ESP or if it even exist. I have had 3 pairs of dice correct in a row(without conscious effort,small inner voice)

O-observation...experience is spontanous and mysterious. I did my first aid exam the next day I saved someones life in a car accident right outside my house(coincidence). I got in the front page of a magazine for it. I still have it.Saving someones life is the best I have ever done."

P-can't remember that one!

E-experimental.... What is observed under controlled conditions is not the same as spontaneous PSI which happens in the REAL WORLD!

N-naturalistc..Truth is on different levels.Truth is occult(hidden knowledge).ONLY YOU KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR LIFE AND YOUR DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS!!

Psychology is crap, life isn't black and white but YOU people are:it's called the HUMAN CONDITION...and thats LIFE!

DON'T WORRY I STILL LOVE YOU!

PL

Argos
2008-Sep-09, 01:12 PM
Its not that parapsychology is not a mainstream science. It is not even a science.

As for psychology, Id say it is a descriptive science [it has a method], or a statistical science at best [like economics], since its postulates cannot be applied rigorously to every individual with exactly the same empirical results.

Moose
2008-Sep-09, 02:05 PM
As for psychology, Id say it is a descriptive science [it has a method], or a statistical science at best [like economy], since its postulates cannot be applied rigorously to every individual with exactly the same empirical results.

As is clinical medicine. Humans are complicated critters, and we're nowhere near a "theory of everything" to accurately describe living organisms. The only solution to "insufficient science" is more science.

Psychology, biology (medicine), and economics are fields in which there is a great deal of (statistical) noise, making scientific rigor so much more essential, and conversely more difficult to achieve.

The better the methodology, the better (proper) statistics can differentiate significance between the experimental and control groups. It's the difference between "technique A has better results than technique B" and "we can't reliably tell them apart".

Speaking of which, I have used results from my brief exposure to experimental psychology in my "everyday" life. Both to train my pets, and I've even used Pavlov's technique to train myself (to the scent of fake lavender) in order to manage a persistent nausea problem I had in the late 90s. (It still seems to work, as of a few years ago when I last tried it.)

Moose
2008-Sep-09, 02:11 PM
Its not that parapsychology is not a mainstream science. It is not even a science.

Oh, and I'd actually argue the opposite, sort of. Parapsychology certainly qualifies to be studied under scientific control. But like any other pseudo-scientific field, the better the rigor, the more the claimed "effects" go away.

So far, not a single parapsychological "result" has ever survived any sort of scientific review.

Argos
2008-Sep-09, 02:24 PM
Parapsychology certainly qualifies to be studied under scientific control.

It would then be called 'physics'. :)

Torsten
2008-Sep-09, 03:52 PM
why am I not keen on statistics..

is because: "you can prove anything with statistics except the truth"

and having studied psyc at uni and how people answer their questions,etc.I'm afraid it's true!

it's a load of crap!!

PL

As Eta C has stated, this is a tired old line, glibbly repeated by someone who hasn't a clue about the use of statistical math in science. Your condemnation of statistics suggests to me that you know absolutely nothing about statistical methods. I find it insulting that after having spent a significant (pun intended) part of my career applying rigorous methods to data that I have personally collected, to have you tell me it's a load of crap. How about you get at least a passing grade in an introductory course in statistics before spouting further nonsense on this? (ETA: Upon re-reading Pl's comment, I see that the "load of crap" comment refers to psychology. However, this still does not remove his apparent slur on the field of statistics.)


Psychology is crap, life isn't black and white but YOU people are:it's called the HUMAN CONDITION...and thats LIFE!

Another utterly ignorant, insulting comment. Who do you think you are to insult a varied, colorful group of interesting people in this way?

By the way, data that I have collected will be presented at an IUFRO conference in Rotorua next March. I suppose you'll consider that a bunch of crap because someone took the time to properly understand the data, which are hardly black and white.

Cougar
2008-Sep-09, 05:09 PM
I am confused about this...
Yes, apparently.


Is mainstream science something accepted to be true in cold clinical terms??
No, no, and more no. This question evidences a severe lack of understanding of what science is. Some responders have given a short description of mainstream science. You should study those responses carefully. Then you should crack open a book or two about science. You might try Searching For Certainty, What Scientists Can Know About the Future [1990] -- John L. Casti.


...what about weird things(paranormal)? I consider that to be mainstream science,things experienced by normal people and studied by normal people..it's called Parapsychology!
Such consideration would be wrong. Very wrong. On the plus side, paranormal claims can be tested. Such tests have been performed. On the minus side, every fair test performed to date has shown such claims to be false. This is not a good record.


I have noticed some of the mindsets around here....if you don't have evidence your deluded, thats like me saying if you don't have your birth certificate you don't exist!!
What do you suggest instead of observational, repeatable evidence on which to base opinions, theories, etc.? Hunches? Personal feelings? Dreams? Delusions? Fevered states of mind?

djellison
2008-Sep-09, 06:43 PM
I wonder if others are too.

No, not really.

mugaliens
2008-Sep-20, 07:11 PM
Paul, you raise a very interesting question, along with some very interesting points. Before we tackle "mainstream science," let's first tackle "science."

Exactly what is meant by "science?" Websters has several definitions, but the one I believe is closest to what we (board members) general persue in our careers and throughout life (including on this board) is this: "knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method." Note that it goes on to say, "cooking is both a science and an art."

As for the "scientific method:" "principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the ocllection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses." - Webster's

Put simply, it's a figuring out what works, how, and why, by means a bit more organized than a best guess.

Well, that alone opens the fields of science wide open to many things, and we see that reflected in the many college classes with the word "science" tacked on, including the science of music, art, photography, psychology, philosophy, business, etc. I've never have thought differential equations could be applied to business, but there they are, right there in a text on investments. Would you believe that the equations governing the burning of non-homogeneous materials are applicable to the spread of information through communication?

Thus, I would argue that science is indeed broad, but should be broken down into two parts: hard science, and soft science.

Hard science would include any situation where all variables are known, and experiments can be repeated time and time again, with the same results (even if the results themselves appear random - the fact that they're pseudo-random is itself predictable).

Soft science, on the other hand, involves a combination of hard science, with its known variables and outcomes based on those variables, with areas which are gray, or "fuzzy," and where one begins dealing in probabilities where those probabilities aren't inherent in what's being examined (like electrons), but rather, where those probabilities arise because either not all variables are known, because the interactions between the variables are not fully understood, or a combination of both.

I'll include a third category here, which is "pseudo-science," for clarification only, as I believe it falls outside the bounds of science because it either fails to adhere to known scientific principles, or because, despite countless attempts at finding evidence to support it, the vast majority of evidence (or lack thereof) to date supports the contrary. One example would be extraterrestial visitations. Another would be ghosts.

I'd place psychology in the category of a soft science. Many attempts have been made to cache areas of psychology in scientific terms, but quite a number of psychological areas remain relegated to best guesses, based partly on observation, partly on statistical evidence, and partly on gut feeling.

PetersCreek
2008-Sep-20, 10:43 PM
Pssssst...Paul can't reply. Pay attention, Mugs.

mike alexander
2008-Sep-20, 10:57 PM
But he was banned after his 333rd post. That is exactly one half the Number of the Beast.

Coincidence?

Abaddon
2008-Sep-21, 11:21 AM
But he was banned after his 333rd post. That is exactly one half the Number of the Beast.

Coincidence?

No, evil statistics. :lol:

Torsten
2008-Sep-22, 08:47 PM
Promoting (or defending) hyperdimensional design will only get you 666 posts.

However, zero degrees of freedom there.