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Author Topic: Enemies of science....  (Read 10384 times)

Offline www.optimalwebsite.co.uk

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Enemies of science....
« on: 19/09/2006 00:09:07 »
This is another question for my book, so dont spare the details in your responses....

I've been reading through several citizenship textbooks and found the content not very scientific. I'm not a scientist myself by any stretch of the imagination but i know BS when I see it. Some examples:

The book opens with a prolonged discussion in favour of asylum issues (what has this got to do with citizenship?) John Stewart Mills recieves a single mention, whereas Greenpeace recieves a full half page. Cherie Blair is lauded for working a week up til giving birth. The Greek legacy for Western Civilisation recieves condemnation for excluding slaves, women, children and foreigners. I could go on but I get angry just thinking about it...

Has anyone else ever looked at these Citizenship courses/books? What do they think?

JH


I wondered whether anything was done by the scientists to resist this, or whether they tended to sypathise with the authors and it's me that's in the wrong.


 

another_someone

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #1 on: 19/09/2006 00:38:06 »
John Stuart Mills was a social philosopher and economist.  Much of the rest seems to relate to politics and social philosophy – I am not sure how it relates to science in general, and how does it justify your title 'Enemies of science' – it seems to be neither friend to enemy to science.

That politicians write BS almost seems a definition of the job.

I have not read the pamphlets you refer to, but I would scarcely be surprised at your description of them.

What I am perplexed about is why you think science and scientists will have much more to say on the matter than any other member of the public?

Certainly, I could understand why you would put such questions to a bunch of economists, or social philosophers, and hence your reference to John Stuart Mills (although you could just as easily refer to Keynes, Galbraith, John Locke, or many others), but I would not particularly trust Einstein's opinion on such matters.



George
 

Offline Gaia

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #2 on: 19/09/2006 08:19:59 »
Personally I think that one of the more useful things they could do is insist on a course of English lessons! Just think how hard it is to live somewhere where you can't speak, read or write the language.

Gaia  xxx
 

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #3 on: 19/09/2006 09:35:16 »
The point is that surely the Citizenship Courses should promote scientific thought....     the content is mostly progressive politics promoted to an academic subject. Citizenship has become an A-Level and GCSE course in the last couple of years. The texts are readily available at Waterstones and elsewhere.


JH
 

another_someone

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #4 on: 19/09/2006 10:51:08 »
Not really - this implies that people who are not scientists, or do not have a scientific temperament, cannot be good citizens, and I do not see this as being so.

Ofcourse, on the forum, we would like to think that we are citizens who also happen to have a scientific understanding; but it is both unrealistic, and even undesirable, to homogenise the whole of society to require that if you are not science oriented then you are a poor citizen.

What you may argue as being counter-scientific in nature is that a true scientific education should not promote any particular answer, but rather should promote the questions; and as such, to be either pro or anti asylum seeker would be unscientific, but a scientific perspective should be to promote thought as to what the pros and contras of different policies regarding asylum seekers should be.  But then, this overlaps another debate we were having elsewhere, where some of us (as I recollect, Rosy and myself in particular) were concerned that even science itself is not really taught in a scientific way, but is taught as a series of given conclusions, rather than a series of questions, and you cannot be a good scientist unless you know how to question and to doubt any orthodoxy.  Why then should one expect citizenship classes to be taught in a scientific way if not even science is taught in a scientific way?



George
 

Offline Gaia

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #5 on: 19/09/2006 11:34:49 »
quote:
Originally posted by Gaia

Personally I think that one of the more useful things they could do is insist on a course of English lessons! Just think how hard it is to live somewhere where you can't speak, read or write the language.

Gaia  xxx



Doh, I thought you meant the British Citizenship tests for immigrants [:I]

Gaia  xxx
 

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #6 on: 19/09/2006 13:39:58 »
The point I thought is that a textbook should be value-netural and truthful. For me as a philosophy this is what science is. I recognise this is an ideal, something human beings will fall a little short of. But the citizenship book reads like an attempt at political coercion. It doesn't promote debate, it promotes an opinion. It's not like it teaches how to use statistics to determine the truth of a conjecture, but instead quotes (pretty dubious) statistics to try to enforce that conjecture on the reader. [:(!]
 

another_someone

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #7 on: 19/09/2006 14:04:02 »
quote:
Originally posted by www.optimalwebsite.co.uk

The point I thought is that a textbook should be value-netural and truthful. For me as a philosophy this is what science is. I recognise this is an ideal, something human beings will fall a little short of. But the citizenship book reads like an attempt at political coercion. It doesn't promote debate, it promotes an opinion. It's not like it teaches how to use statistics to determine the truth of a conjecture, but instead quotes (pretty dubious) statistics to try to enforce that conjecture on the reader. [:(!]




But that was never what citizenship classes were supposed to be about.  You may debate whether having citizenship classes is a good or a bad thing, but it was always intended as a means of indoctrinating people into social normality, not about having the question that normality (in that respect, it is more akin to religious education than scientific enquiry).

For instance, citizenship classes would tell you that a good citizen should be a law abiding citizen, yet a more enquiring approach may be to ask whether laws should be obeyed, whether they should always be obeyed, or selectively be obeyed.



George
 

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #8 on: 20/09/2006 13:12:33 »
While I agree that the application of science and technology and the use of mathematics and logic has a place in citizenship.  The subject is more about good techniques for living together within an existing system and how that system should be allowed to evolve.

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #9 on: 20/09/2006 17:21:27 »
There's nothing for sale on my website....    grrr....   this has nothing to do with this post or science. Please stop spamming my posts. It's meant for serious discussion only.

Kind regards,


Joel
 

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #10 on: 20/09/2006 18:11:30 »
quote:
Originally posted by www.optimalwebsite.co.uk

There's nothing for sale on my website....    grrr....   this has nothing to do with this post or science. Please stop spamming my posts. It's meant for serious discussion only.

Kind regards,


Joel



Its you who spamming this site with you web marketing if you were the real deal you would have used a normal handle like everyone else citizen. But no you could not resist self publishing your site. Your site makes its money by getting attention and using the address like in forums is a good way to doing just that. You know full well that this is not in the sprit of this forum. You just have to look to see that. But never miss a trick hey…….   [V]

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #11 on: 20/09/2006 19:12:57 »
As far as I can tell you guys have the same IP address !!..optimal and bymystuff !!..or am I mistaken ?

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #12 on: 20/09/2006 19:17:47 »
quote:
Originally posted by neilep

As far as I can tell you guys have the same IP address !!..optimal and bymystuff !!..or am I mistaken ?




Hey neil come to think of it its the same as mine!!!!!!

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #13 on: 20/09/2006 19:33:07 »
:) Hadrian ...now you're freaking me out !!...and I've already had one episode....explain chum !! :)

Men are the same as women, just inside out !
« Last Edit: 20/09/2006 19:33:26 by neilep »
 

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #14 on: 20/09/2006 19:47:24 »
I was making the point that if you allow people to use web address as their name where will it stop.

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Offline neilep

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #15 on: 20/09/2006 19:52:24 »
GOOD POINT MADE CHUM !!!

When we eventually move to the other site (some time next March 2009 !!)..it will make dealing with scam posts and threads so much easier !

Thanks Hadrian...*hugs him*



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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #16 on: 20/09/2006 20:01:47 »
OHOOOOO  SPOOKY Neil hugging me! All I can think of is that hairy…… no I can say it its to disturbing    ….

You do good job Neil thanks for all the work
 [^]:D[^]

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another_someone

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #17 on: 19/09/2006 00:38:06 »
John Stuart Mills was a social philosopher and economist.  Much of the rest seems to relate to politics and social philosophy – I am not sure how it relates to science in general, and how does it justify your title 'Enemies of science' – it seems to be neither friend to enemy to science.

That politicians write BS almost seems a definition of the job.

I have not read the pamphlets you refer to, but I would scarcely be surprised at your description of them.

What I am perplexed about is why you think science and scientists will have much more to say on the matter than any other member of the public?

Certainly, I could understand why you would put such questions to a bunch of economists, or social philosophers, and hence your reference to John Stuart Mills (although you could just as easily refer to Keynes, Galbraith, John Locke, or many others), but I would not particularly trust Einstein's opinion on such matters.



George
 

Offline Gaia

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #18 on: 19/09/2006 08:19:59 »
Personally I think that one of the more useful things they could do is insist on a course of English lessons! Just think how hard it is to live somewhere where you can't speak, read or write the language.

Gaia  xxx
 

Offline www.optimalwebsite.co.uk

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #19 on: 19/09/2006 09:35:16 »
The point is that surely the Citizenship Courses should promote scientific thought....     the content is mostly progressive politics promoted to an academic subject. Citizenship has become an A-Level and GCSE course in the last couple of years. The texts are readily available at Waterstones and elsewhere.


JH
 

another_someone

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #20 on: 19/09/2006 10:51:08 »
Not really - this implies that people who are not scientists, or do not have a scientific temperament, cannot be good citizens, and I do not see this as being so.

Ofcourse, on the forum, we would like to think that we are citizens who also happen to have a scientific understanding; but it is both unrealistic, and even undesirable, to homogenise the whole of society to require that if you are not science oriented then you are a poor citizen.

What you may argue as being counter-scientific in nature is that a true scientific education should not promote any particular answer, but rather should promote the questions; and as such, to be either pro or anti asylum seeker would be unscientific, but a scientific perspective should be to promote thought as to what the pros and contras of different policies regarding asylum seekers should be.  But then, this overlaps another debate we were having elsewhere, where some of us (as I recollect, Rosy and myself in particular) were concerned that even science itself is not really taught in a scientific way, but is taught as a series of given conclusions, rather than a series of questions, and you cannot be a good scientist unless you know how to question and to doubt any orthodoxy.  Why then should one expect citizenship classes to be taught in a scientific way if not even science is taught in a scientific way?



George
 

Offline Gaia

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #21 on: 19/09/2006 11:34:49 »
quote:
Originally posted by Gaia

Personally I think that one of the more useful things they could do is insist on a course of English lessons! Just think how hard it is to live somewhere where you can't speak, read or write the language.

Gaia  xxx



Doh, I thought you meant the British Citizenship tests for immigrants [:I]

Gaia  xxx
 

Offline www.optimalwebsite.co.uk

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #22 on: 19/09/2006 13:39:58 »
The point I thought is that a textbook should be value-netural and truthful. For me as a philosophy this is what science is. I recognise this is an ideal, something human beings will fall a little short of. But the citizenship book reads like an attempt at political coercion. It doesn't promote debate, it promotes an opinion. It's not like it teaches how to use statistics to determine the truth of a conjecture, but instead quotes (pretty dubious) statistics to try to enforce that conjecture on the reader. [:(!]
 

another_someone

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #23 on: 19/09/2006 14:04:02 »
quote:
Originally posted by www.optimalwebsite.co.uk

The point I thought is that a textbook should be value-netural and truthful. For me as a philosophy this is what science is. I recognise this is an ideal, something human beings will fall a little short of. But the citizenship book reads like an attempt at political coercion. It doesn't promote debate, it promotes an opinion. It's not like it teaches how to use statistics to determine the truth of a conjecture, but instead quotes (pretty dubious) statistics to try to enforce that conjecture on the reader. [:(!]




But that was never what citizenship classes were supposed to be about.  You may debate whether having citizenship classes is a good or a bad thing, but it was always intended as a means of indoctrinating people into social normality, not about having the question that normality (in that respect, it is more akin to religious education than scientific enquiry).

For instance, citizenship classes would tell you that a good citizen should be a law abiding citizen, yet a more enquiring approach may be to ask whether laws should be obeyed, whether they should always be obeyed, or selectively be obeyed.



George
 

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Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #24 on: 20/09/2006 13:12:33 »
While I agree that the application of science and technology and the use of mathematics and logic has a place in citizenship.  The subject is more about good techniques for living together within an existing system and how that system should be allowed to evolve.

Learn, create, test and tell
evolution rules in all things
God says so!
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Enemies of science....
« Reply #24 on: 20/09/2006 13:12:33 »

 

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