March 14, 2020

"That is science."

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Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Yes! Paraphrasing Edison who said he discovered 100 ways not to make a lightbulb.

n.n said...

Observable, reproducible, testable. Science is a near-frame philosophy and practice where accuracy is inversely proportional to time and space offsets from an established frame of reference.

chuck said...

Never going to get published that way. No publications, no tenure. Might teach classes as an adjunct without benefits.

Ken B said...


tcrosse said...

I was privileged to work with a bunch of brilliant scientists with gilt-edged credentials, but it was in private industry. They had all been told that part of the deal was that they would never publish. OTOH they all made a pretty nice living.

Fernandistein said...

Science is a near-frame philosophy and practice where accuracy is inversely proportional to time and space offsets from an established frame of reference.

Damn straight! Science is also a NOMA running loose in the streets.

n.n said...


National Organization of Minority Architects?

noma [no´mah] gangrenous processes of the mouth or genitalia?

StephenFearby said...

Evokes a successful re-education outcome for thought crimes in Communist China.

Sebastian said...

1. The scientific method involves testing ideas.
1'. Testing ideas involves trying to prove them wrong
2. I had an idea
3. I proved it wrong.
3'. In fact, I proved it wrong in several ways.
4. Therefore, I committed science.

Spot the fallacy.

4'. Actually, this is humor.


gspencer said...

Sideshow Bob once asked, in trying to understand being charged with a crime, "'Attempted murder', now honestly, what is that!? Do they give a Nobel prize for 'attempted' chemistry?"

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Robin Williams, "Awakenings":

The Director refers to stapled sheets of paper in his hands,
Sayer's resume.
The Camel Institute. Tell me *
about that, anything with patients *
there? Or . . . *
(burying it)
The Director isn't sure he heard right.
Sorry? ,>
It was an immense project. "
I was trying to extract a decigram
of myelin from four tons of
I was on it for five years.
I was the only one who really
believed in it. The rest of them
said it couldn't be done. t
It can't.
Well, I know that now. I proved

h said...

Sebastian makes a good point. Except, between steps 2 and 3, is "I accepted the possibility that my idea was wrong." This is the essential step that so many people who say that they are "science based" ignore.

1. My idea is that climate change results from human activity.
2. (that which must not be spoken): I accept the idea that my idea is wrong, and susceptible to disproof with empirical data.
3. Here's some empirical data about whether or not climate change results from human activity.
4. You are anti-science!!

It's not a question of whether or not the empirical data support or don't support the idea in 1. It's a question of whether or not you agree that the idea in 1 is an idea that can be decided with empirical evidence.

Bay Area Guy said...

This probably doesn't qualify as "science" per se, but California has 39 Million people and 2 deaths from the Coronavirus.

So my scientific hypothesis is that the risk of death from the virus is low here.

Here's a nice link to lightning strike fatalities with fancy charts and graphs, if folks are interested.

Of course, not wanting to be obtuse, I would concede that lightning strikes aren't contagious. But they are damn powerful.

Lucid-Ideas said...

There aren't many differences between science and seance, but the small ones are the size of large ones.

rhhardin said...

Modus (2015) Swedish TV series, episode 3 at 10:30, English-speaking evil-doing cult member shouts at a woman driver stalled in traffic, "Feminazi!"

Apparently a Rush heard-of'er but not a Rush listener. Will they find out they're wrong (science) or not (news).

rhhardin said...

Karl Popper has a book of what makes up science, but he's a philosopher. He leaves out the place of intuition.

Joan said...

I wrote my master's thesis on improving science fair experiences & outcomes for everyone involved.

I love this cartoon for its accuracy and its humor. Thanks for posting it!

Fernandistein said...

science fair

The Navajo Nation Science Fair winner, out of 120 entries, proved that sage is a better treatment for diabetes than Metformin in a study with two unmatched subjects. Very efficient.

Bay Area Guy said...

Karl Popper has a book of what makes up science, but he's a philosopher. He leaves out the place of intuition.

Popper was great, and so was Thomas Kuhn (Structure of Scientific Revolutions).I had a friend, a long time Biology Professor at UC Berkeley, who passed away recently, who told me that in the 1950s, Kuhn kicked him out of a seminar at Berkeley.

chuck said...

He leaves out the place of intuition.

Does he mention curiosity and motivation? Is there any reason that smart folks shouldn't all become lawyers?

Joe Kickass said...

"Popper...leaves out..intuition"

I'm 100% certain that Popper doesn't exclude intuition.

But if you don't know what would prove your intuition to be wrong, Popper wouldn't call it science.

chuck said...

Popper was great, and so was Thomas Kuhn

Don't know about Popper, but if Kuhn kicked your friend out of a seminar it was a compliment.

Josephbleau said...

And when you work hard on your PhD research for 2 years at State U and in the end can't get your p values small enough, you tell your adviser that you created science by proving there was no significant effect. He tells you to go back home and feed the chickens, funding is expired for you, here's a Masters Degree to show your mother.

AJ said...

Wow. Shocked to find something so simple and intelligent at this place. I guess a stopped clock is right twice a day.

tim maguire said...

It's science, but it's not published science.

Big Mike said...

Richard Feynman explains how to do science.

tim maguire said...

This is why "climate science" isn't science. Its theories aren't testable, reproducible, or falsifiable.

cubanbob said...

“It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.”
― Richard P. Feynman

Science in a nutshell.

Narr said...


Non-Overlapping Magesteria, acc. to S.J. Gould, PhD. Such as Religion and Science.

"Mistakes were made."

Francisco D said...

Popper was great, and so was Thomas Kuhn (Structure of Scientific Revolutions)

Absolutely essential scientific philosophers.

Big Mike said...

This is why "climate science" isn't science. Its theories aren't testable, reproducible, or falsifiable.

@tim maguire, actually, it is readily falsifiable. But no matter how many times nature has failed to match predictions, the theories abide.

FullMoon said...

And when you work hard on your PhD research for 2 years at State U and in the end can't get your p values small enough, you tell your adviser that you created science by proving there was no significant effect. He tells you to go back home and feed the chickens, funding is expired for you, here's a Masters Degree to show your mother.

Ain't that the truth.

Narayanan said...

"I accepted the possibility that my idea was wrong.
Re Popper, Kuhn and others

Do philosophers know what is science?

Conversely can philosopher show philosophy can be science?

Joan said...

Two years for a Masters Degree sounds about right. Most of the PhDs I know (besides "education" "doctorates' [separate scare quotes required]) took at least four years.

Philosophy of science is a blast. The problem with Popper and his falsification requirement is that he failed to take into account the so-called historical sciences, like paleontology and geology (well, stratigraphy, at least), and fields like astronomy where it's possible to hypothesize and test but not strictly in the way Popper describes.

Kuhn's popularity waxes and wanes. He's somewhat out of favor now. It'll swing back around, eventually. Maybe.

Fernandistein said...

Absolutely essential scientific philosophers.

Why? Essential to whom, and for what?

Do any well known scientists credit any "scientific philosophers" with helping them make discoveries? If so, who and whom?

Are any discoveries discredited or reinforced by any philosophies, other than by the simple standards, such as reproducible experiments?

stephen cooper said...

I looked at those four pictures with the neonotenous little blobs of jello trying to sound conservative and on the side of the science departments and I thought

the cartoonist has no idea that he does not understand science, that he is showing only that he knows .....

THAT IS WHAT PEOPLE who do not understand science LIKE TO IMAGINE SCIENCE IS

There are not many real scientists in the world, maybe in a country of a 100 million there are 1 or 3 hundred, and EVERYONE OF THEM CAN SEE THROUGH THIS PROPAGANDA

Science is what happens when someone with complete and total empathy, or as close to it as someone without the average shortcomings can get, FINALLY UNDERSTANDS SOMETHING THAT IS EITHER SIMPLE OR COMPLICATED. (sometimes angelic inspiration is involved, but that happens more often in ballet, theatre, poetry and the veterinarian/animal psychology and medical malehuman/femalehuman psychology sciences than it does in what hoi polloi think of as contemporary STEM)

The jello blobs, while creatively drawn, are just spouting Popperian Sorosian propaganda.

Feel free to disagree with what I just said, but remember "Disagreeing with someone who knows a lot more than you do - just because...." IS NOT SCIENCE.

Writing down your "I do not understand science but I too have thoughts about things" thoughts on any given subject, writing down such thoughts before you cared enough about a subject to develop intensely empathetic, or divinely inspired, thoughts IS NOT SCIENCE..

By the way, did you know that Popper was not a scientist, but just a guy who wrote about science?

Narayanan said...

Observable, reproducible, testable.
I accept this.

These are not the criteria proposed by Popper etc.

stephen cooper said...

"creatively drawn" is a huge compliment.

For example, as much as I think Snoopy was creatively drawn, his cousin "Spike" was not.

"Spike" was a great beagle, and I Hope that his fellow beagles treated him well, and that he had the best possible life a beagle could have, but let's fact it , my friends.

"Spike" was not creatively drawn.

Fernandistein said...

helping them make their philosophies.

narciso said...

Soros severely misunderstands who pointed dismantled kant.

stephen cooper said...

Who among us remembers the 70s when the great intellectual biweeklies all were almost unanimous in their hope that someone like Soros might compete the system of German Idealism?
I remember

stephen cooper said...

not Erick von K and not Ben Stein, God bless their hearts

Phil 314 said...

the null hypothesis is at the core of the scientific method.

Unfortunately there is a publication bias against negative studies.

narciso said...

I think german philosophy in unhelpful.

Nicholas meyers strange protocols covers some of the material that the late umberto eco did with the prague cementery.

Josephbleau said...

If Feynman was happy with proving himself wrong, no one would have heard his name. You make a contribution by finding interesting formulations that predict outcomes. If you are wrong a few times, ok but don’t brag about it, it costs money to no gain. Spending your life disproving hypotheses will not make a career, unless you disprove one from a famous old guy. If the jello blob kid tries to publish his self falsification? Not in Nature or a player journal.

n.n said...

The problem with Popper and his falsification requirement is that he failed to take into account the so-called historical sciences, like paleontology and geology, and fields like astronomy

I suggest a separation of logical domains. For example, we have barely made near observations at the edge of our solar system. We have inferred the galaxy, the universe, and beyond from models (i.e. hypotheses) and signals of unknown fidelity. There are "theories" of origin based on physical myths, which may have prompted the evolution of science as a philosophy of plausible.

stephen cooper said...

Nicholas Meyers was a family friend of one of my fellow grad students back in the day (Pushkin, Kolmogorov, in case you care, that sort of thing), 7 percent solution made him rich, poor Taleb idolizes Eco but Eco only dreamed of understanding the world .... NO ANGELIC INSPIRATION THERE, he was too much of a standard issue modernist (and hence not pro-life, of course, the poor loser), although he was humble and creative in his way .....

so I have been learning Thai for a year (amor omnia vincit) and on the news ---- maybe you saw it ---- somewhere in Thailand, during this tourist drought where the tourist bananas are rarer and rarer, the temple monkeys were fighting the city monkeys over a rare case of yogurt snacks (NOT A BANANA AS ORIGINALLY REPORTED BY THE FAKE NEWS IT WAS YOGURT) and seriously I know maybe 200 hundred words of Thai ---maybe 300 or so if you feed me some psychosoblins or whatever those pangolin mushrooms are called ---, and so I said (in order to amuse the three or so Thai BEAUTIFUL women who were discussing the subject) LING WAT MAI CHAALAT (the temple monkeys were unwise)


stephen cooper said...

I forgot the comma between NASHEEKH and BYEDNEEK

translation without the comma


translation with the comma

God loves both you all and me and you and all of us and everyone who we thought of as a friend or vice versa,
the poor souls,
all of them either subject to death or now that they are alive !!!!

If you don't trust me just ask a native Russian speaker

stephen cooper said...

think of it this way.
maybe you were not a pleasant kid, maybe you were greedy and tried to get your way and it showed on your face, you always looked a little more greedy and selfish than you would have liked to look


if you had been truly loved from the first moments when you were a little baby. maybe that happened, maybe it did not but if that had happened THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN WHAT WAS RIGHT.

Trust me, I know the difference.


just repent for your sins, God knows only you can do that, I CANNOT DO IT FOR YOU

even though as God is my witness I have not had a pain free day since years before your parents were young, maybe. So I know a thing or two about what repentance would feel like if it were not the easy thing you NEED TO KNOW THAT IT IS.

and remember this.

God created you to UNDERSTAND and LOVE as nobody else can, because only you have lived through what you have lived through.

And yes I could almost instantaneously translate this comment into Russian, Spanish, Latin, Italian, Ukrainian, Anglo-Saxon and at least one Asian language but I am not gonna do that tonight and it does not matter what I could have done tonight because

All that is important is that you know someone out there, whether it is me or not (no it is not me it is someone who has known you better than I do) knows
how delighted God is that you are the son or daughter of God

only you have lived through what you have lived through

and you have no idea how hard it has been for me, a friend to creatures who never had a friend in this world, to listen in recent weeks to all those loudmouths badmouthing our innocent friends the bats of the world and not to say

who are you to judge

because, let's face it , we are all in the same lifeboat and nobody wants to hear someone else say, sitting in a lifeboat
who are you to judge

that being said

God loves both you all and God loves me and God loves all of us and God loves everyone any of us ever thought of as a friend and God loves everyone who ever thought of us as a friend

and God loves the poor souls in Purgatory (pray for them tonight)
and God loves people who are afraid of dying (almost everyone I know) and God loves people who have no fear of death (me and a few of my pals, all of whom are more feared by our poor young friend Death than vice versa - trust me, and remember God loves me too and treasures me in that Divine Heart) and God loves us all as we are when we are what we are when we are most alive

and yes I could translate this into French or Spanish or Thai or Russian or Anglo-Saxon without consulting a dictionary (except for Thai and Anglo-Saxon) but why would I?

God speaks to your heart because God loved you before you were born

stephen cooper said...

all I can say is this

It is important that you know that someone knows how delighted God is that you are God's daughter or God's son


narciso said...

If i have that right

Vazhno, chtoby vy znali, chto kto-to znayet, kak Bog voskhishchen tem, chto vy doch' Bozh'ya ili syn Bozhiy

narciso said...

Im sure babelfish is much worsen

narciso said...

Im sure its direct and not idiomatuc.

stephen cooper said...

and one last thing.

there are many people who have thought that I am a phony (I have written a few million words in comment sections) .... there are some people that have thought that I am a phony, that I am or was a fake, and who told me so.

Sometimes I responded (I responded to a few or them, and I ignored a few of them - you remember, I did not always respond well ....)

Sometimes I did not respond at all.

But let me say this.

I never have made a single cent out of telling people this important fact


and I will never ever accept a single cent for whatever labor I undertake to get that message out.

Stop reading right now if you do not want to read about what I have suffered for kindheartedly trying to get that message out in these comment threads and in what is called real life (but any time heart talks to heart, that tis real) (and as God is my witness I know what a comment thread is, and what it is not ....)

It takes balls of steel to mock some guy on the internet who has claimed that Death is more or less a little brother that is afraid of him because after all GOD LOVES US ALL and yes that means that even I, who you are tempted not to trust, even I am someone who GOD IS DELIGHTED TO HAVE AS ONE OF HIS CREATURES and that means that yes, a lesser creature like our young friend Death is actually a little afraid of someone like me who is A CHILD OF GOD ...

mock me all you want but THE BATS ARE INNOCENT.

It is no small thing to be a friend to a creature who never had a friend in this world.

I will NEVER stop being a friend to those creatures.


Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

if you are in need of a faith healer pray with love in your heart and your prayers will be answered.


remember that

I remember.

stephen cooper said...

It is important that you know, that somebody knows , that GOD IS DELIGHTED that you are one of his daughters, or one of his sons.

(In Russian, that line is, compared to the best lines in Russian of Pushkin, what Peguy and his celebration of Eve and the memory of her love for all of us, her children, were to the best passages of Proust ---- basically, Peguy wrote a 5 thousand lines long poem that expressed what Eve would have written if she had been asked to write about life the way Proust wrote about life when he wrote about the good moments in his life. Hans Urs von Balthasar is the guy who said this first. God loves us all equally, Peguy, Eve, Balthasar, Proust, those beautiful Thai women who laughed tonight at LING BA WAT MAI CHALLat and even me, and as for me, I LOVE WITH A COMPASSION that you can only understand if you know what it is like to not have had a pain free day since the 1970s ---- I love our innocent little friends the bats, who were born to fly and who do not deserve to be the victims of gossipers).

stephen cooper said...


the cockroaches, I Remember --- God bless those poor creatures, they only want to live the way you want them to live

the bats ---- and as God is my witness, NOBODY and I mean nobody will ever tell me a single one of them had sin in their little bat hearts....
I WISH I COULD SAY THE SAME for the people I have met in this world

the ones with the balls of steel who argued with me - even after I told them how much (Y)you loved people like me - they ought to think of you as I think of you, my young divine Friend, as OUR WONDERFUL CREATOR

I am much more humble than any one reading this can imagine


and I don't care


cor ad cor loquitur


forget me.

millions of years from now someone will remember the tens of thousands of days I suffered, without once having a pain free day, and someone will say to me, hey that was sad , and I will say ....

it was nothing

I always knew that GOD LOVES US ALL.

forget me, my friends.

love those who are close to you.

and forget me.

I always knew what I know,
God loves us all.

say that to someone who has never heard it.


Kob Koom Khraa'p.

stephen cooper said...

actually nobody will ever remember those tens of thousands of days.

trust me you won't remember. ...and....

God will not remember, because God is my friend and I am certain that if I tell him to just forget about it,
because he is my friend,
God will do the right thing,

It was all for nothing, those tens of thousands of days.

That being said, if I pray for somebody, God hears my prayers for that somebody, and that is not nothing.


stephen cooper said...

Nobody will ever remember a single one of those tens of thousands of days.
Trust me.
The bats are innocent, every creature on the face of the earth that is not human is INNOCENT

and as God is my witness, most of the humans are innocent too, and the ones who are not ....

pray for them.

like I did EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE ten thousand and more days.

Don't let bullies or bad people make your life worse ----- seriously, don't let that happen.

But pray for evildoers, that they might repent.

and ....

don't bother worrying about those tens of thousands of days.

My gift to God, and my gift to you, is this ...

that was my problem, not yours.

Take care of yourselves and take care of those you care about.

THE BATS ARE INNOCENT don't even think it is possible that they are not innocent.


stephen cooper said...

Do not, in anger, touch a single hair on the head of one of those bats


Phil 314 said...

Lithium can help this, Mr. Cooper.

stephen cooper said...

Phil 314.

Actually I am a boring accountant, with the should of a scholastic theologian, although my heart is more on the side of the Carmelites like Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Therese, and Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity.

I post this way to encourage people not to be mediocre when thinking about matters that are relevant to whether we are moral or not: it matters little if they agree with me or not.

What you think of as ranting has been continued at 9:47 on Sunday evening on the Biden/Sanders thread.

Feel free to pray for me, PRAYER IS MUCH BETTER THAN LITHIUM for people like me, who have no need of lithium.

Did I mention that I scored very highly on the accountancy qualifying test when I took it?