Rahvin writes: Only if you consider that the scientific method requires all scientists to be "mindless mechanical robots."
No, there is no such requirement. There is probably no such thing as "the scientific method" either, though that discussion is off topic for this thread.
Rahvin writes: Besides, this is an appeal to consequence fallacy - whether objectivity results in bland automatons or not is irrelevant to whether or not objectivity does or does not require a strict adherence to facts and logic to the exclusion of all personal opinions, preferences, emotions, and other forms of human bias.
Without personal opinions, preference, emotions and other forms of human bias, there would be no science.
Scientists tend to be highly opinionated, and their scientific work often arises from strong emotions. Their choice to consider objective evidence as more important than financial reward is itself a choice derived from emotions.
Note: I am not wanting to derail this thread. I was just commenting on some some highly simplistic assertions that you were making.
Straggler writes: But I would argue that science is unique in the way that it attempts to overcome some of those human proclivities that stand in the way of reliable understanding and knowledge.
I certainly agree that science attempts to achieve reliable understanding and knowledge. But it does not do so by overcoming opinions, emotions and bias. You might even say that science is itself biased in favor of empirical evidence as opposed to ancient traditions.
Straggler writes: Do you fancy starting a thread on that topic?
Rahvin writes: In other words, objectivity does not turn one into a "mindless mechanical robot" as you said.
In Message 133 you said "Objectivity requires adherence to facts and logic and nothign else." If that is what objectivity is, then it would turn one into a mindless mechanical robot.
Rahvin writes: And yet the peer review process exists specifically to weed out those conclusions that are driven to inaccuracy by the personal bias of those submitting a paper.
You seem to misunderstand the role of peer review. There are plenty of published papers for which corrections had to be issued, or in some cases the papers retracted, because of inaccuracy. And there are plenty of accurate papers that are rejected in the peer review process as "not of sufficient interest".
Rahvin writes: You seem to believe that I actually said that scientists are required to think like robots.
I'll repeat again, that what you actually said was "Objectivity requires adherence to facts and logic and nothign else."
Science is a highly creative enterprise. With your "and nothing else" you have ruled out that creativity.
Rahvin writes: Whether you or I like the rate of U235 decay is irrelevant.
Coming up with radiometric dating methods is an example of the scientific creativity that would be ruled out by your: "Objectivity requires adherence to facts and logic and nothign else."
nwr writes: You might even say that science is itself biased in favor of empirical evidence as opposed to ancient traditions.
Straggler writes: But that is not the same as proclaiming that all conclusions are merely the result of wholly creative subjective processes and that none are more or less valid than any other.
nwr writes: I'm not sure what's the point. I certainly have never made such a proclamation. I am a strong proponent of science.
OK. Then what did you mean by the above?
I'm not sure why you see a problem.
If I hop into my car and want to turn left, then I can control the steering so as to bias the motion of the car such that it turns left. If I prefer to go straight, then I can control the steering so as to bias the motion of the car toward going straight.
If I don't want to bias the motion of the car at all, I can keep my hands off the steering wheel, hit the gas pedal, and see where it goes. I'm pretty sure I would finish up in the ditch if I did that.
I am saying that there is always bias.
If I have a mindless mechanical robot, then it can act without bias. But what it does will suffer from GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out). As humans we have minds, and we use those minds to bias our actions in such a way as to avoid the GIGO problem.
Straggler writes: If the scientific method probably doesn't exist then on what basis do you advocate scientific knowledge as different or superior to any other?
I really don't know why you are seeing a problem there. I have not questioned the existence of science.
In genesis there is a story of Adam and Eve, which claims to describe the origins of the Jewish people. If I suggest that the Adam and Eve story is merely a "Just So" so tale, I am not thereby questioning the existence of the Jewish people. Similarly, if I suggest that what is often given as "the scientific method" is merely a "Just So" story, I am not thereby questioning whether there is such a thing as science.
Taz writes: This is a subject that has puzzled me for years now. It's not just the evangelicals that have a much higher divorce rate than everyone else, it's the conservative states that have much higher divorce rates than the more liberal states.
It is not really all that surprising.
I am currently following a thread at another forum, on the question of whether successful marriage is possible today. Sorry, it's not a publicly accessible forum, so I can't give a link.
Reading that thread, it is clear that the people having trouble are the ones who prefer the old fashioned ideas of marriage, with the woman almost having the status of a house slave. The ones with successful marriages are those who make marriage an equal (more or less) partnership.
Since conservatism is pretty much the preference for older traditions, it isn't particularly surprising that conservatives carry that over into their marriages.
Rahvin writes: I think he/she is saying that "the scientific method" is sometimes used as an explanation without elaboration. Those three words, "the scientific method," become a replacement for an actual explanation.
I'm saying that while there are some broad characterizations that can be given of science, there isn't anything that could be codified precisely enough to be considered a method.
If one closely examines the history of science, there are plenty of examples that don't fit what is often presented as "the scientific method".
I won't further elaborate, nor provide references, for if I do then Straggler will only accuse me of namedropping.
I participate at evcforum because I enjoy thoughtful discussions where the parties to the discussion can learn from one another. After several failed attempts, I have to conclude that such thoughtful discussion is impossible between me and Straggler. The attempts to discuss usually finish up more like street brawls, and I have no interest in participation in those. I guess it's a personality conflict of some kind.