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Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Cameron Reilly

Tony, people who make reference to "the earth was flat" make two mistakes.

1. They do not understand science. The scientific process is to create a hypothesis and then use evidence to disprove it. Dawkins gives an example in his documentary about one of his lecturers at University inviting someone to speak to the class. During the presentation, the speaker completely demolished a theory that the lecturer had built a career around. After the talk, the lecturer walked down to the podium and congratulated the guest and the audience cheered. THAT'S what science is all about and I'm sure Dawkins knows that better than anyone.

2. The second mistake is to think that science thought the earth was flat.

I quote from Wikipedia:
Today essentially all professional medievalists agree with Russell that the "medieval flat Earth" is a nineteenth-century fabrication, and that the few verifiable "flat Earthers" were the exception.

Tony Goodson

I think you're taking the "flat earth" example too literally. What I'm talking about are scientists of the day sticking to the dogma of the day, I'd be amazed if Dawkins is the type of person who can step outside the scientific dogma to hypothesise beyond what is known.

That's the mistake often made about the Scientific Method, that it's pure logic and infallible.

Two things show the fallibility.
Firstly, to hypothesise, you have to go beyond what is known, or at lest gather what is known, into something new. That's a rare talent which most people in science don't have. They're too "Sensing" and not "Intuitive" enough.

Secondly, what you set out to prove or disprove is a statistical correlation....which can be faked!! Yeh yeh peer review and all that, but how often are the bad samples pulled before a peer gets anywhere near it.

Science has achieved wonderful things, but let's not get carried away, it's as open to abuse by corruption and dogma, as "religion" is, as it's largely stocked by the same narrow minded philistines pretending to be experts who can't be challenged.

I'll give you a few examples to look up.

Mark Purdey and his fight to prove the root cause of Mad Cow's Disease, BSE, and CJD, and he may have found the cause of other degenerative diseases. But will the mainstream scientific establishment listen to him?

John Gofman, who is an eminent scientist, and his work on ionizing radiation, predominantly medical X-Rays shows a strong threat from these screening techniques. Is it in anyone's interest to support him?

Eric Laithwaite who developed the linear motor, and in his latter life started to look at gravity (just like Einstein) and gyroscopes. He presented to the Royal Institution, who thought he was bonkers. Maybe he was, but he was hypothesising well beyond the known, with gravity defying machines!

No problem with Dawkins going after the Creationists, and supporting Atheism, there's just something in my gut, call it Intuition, which doesn't sit quite right about the guy. Now I've got to prove it!!

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