The risk of failing to put pursuit of truth first

December 31, 2006 | By | 9 Replies More

“He who begins by loving Christianity more than Truth, will proceed by loving his sect or church better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Aids to Reflection, “Moral and Religious Aphorisms,” no. 25 (1825)

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Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Skblllzzzz says:

    And the universal version would sound like:

    “He who begins by loving Faith more than Truth, will proceed by loving his sect better than Faith, and end in loving himself better than all.”

    I simply equal all religions to sects, maybe not too elegant, but it keeps the wordcount down. Anyone with a better formulation?

  2. “He who begins by loving Reason more than Truth, will proceed by loving his mind, and end in loving himself better than all.”

    The Truth against the world {system}.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    He who loves something other than evidence more than evidence will have impotent reason and no truth.

  4. What is accepted as evidence and the quality of the evidence is interpreted by it's handlers and their appreciation of Truth.

    "Anthropologist Richard Leakey has said that ‘If someone went to the trouble of collecting together in one room all the fossil remains so far discovered of our ancestors (and their biological relatives) who lived, say, between five and one million years ago, he would need only a couple of large trestle tables on which to spread them out.’1 Most hominid fossils are fragments of jaws and scraps of skulls but, as palaeontologist Stephen J. Gould once said, ‘they serve as a basis for endless speculation and elaborate storytelling’2. Beliefs, expectations, and prejudices inevitably play a role in the interpretation of fossils, as do personal rivalries and the desire for fame."

    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/dp5/ape1

    "Fossils tend to be interpreted in the light of prevailing beliefs and expectations, and modern scientific preconceptions could easily prevent scientists from recognizing genuine remains of giant humans for what they are."

    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/dp5/ape2

     

    Note from Admin:

    I promised to give Larry a long leash and to publish a few of his comments that I would have rejected, to illustrate why many of Larry's comments would have been rejected.

    Larry has been controversial at this site. He is well known here for his rambling comments that occasionally contain something worth while (If this sounds rude, just search for “Larry” in the search field and see for yourself). 

    This comment of Larry’s is a comment I was inclined to reject.   In his comment, Larry has given us links to two pages to a wacky series of articles, adding nothing of value (in my opinion) in his comment.  As I interpret Larry’s comment, he is claiming that mainstream scientists are biased and self-blindered when it comes to evolution.

    The first page indicates that A) the fossil record establishes nothing at all, B) palaeoanthropologists are frauds, as evidenced by the 1912 scandal of Piltdown man and C) (citing Stephen J. Gould) evolution couldn’t have happened.   The conclusion is that evolution is an “extraordinary claim” that demands (and lacks) extraordinary evidence.   What really destroys the claim of evolutionists is that there “is” (according to this site) evidence that “humans similar to ourselves were found in strata more than one or two million years old.”

    That’s where the second link comes in.  That page “establishes” that “humans of the modern type existed . . .millions of years before our supposed apelike ancestors are thought to have appeared.”  It goes on to argue that modern scientists are conspiring to defraud us by hiding that evidence.   Oh, yeah.  And these early humans were 15 tall (or more). 

    The author of these articles is “David Pratt,” who also debunks the big bang theory here:  “At present there is no cosmological theory of any type that can account for all the observational evidence.”

    Pratt also writes for “Sunrise Magazine”: “A quarterly magazine, SUNRISE presents a wide spectrum of thought-provoking articles on scientific, religious, and philosophic themes in the light of ancient and modern theosophy and its application to daily experience.”

    What is theosophy?  See here.

    Pratt also takes on neuroscience, claiming to demolish "identity theory,” the claim that mental states are identical with physicochemical states of the brain. 

    In the process of attacking mainstream science, Pratt engages in the same sort of cherry picking as Larry does when he interprets the Bible and Larry’s world.

  5. We started out considering Coleridge's quote about loving Christianity more than truth, which I agree with. Then we got the "universal version" according to Skblllzzzz. Then to include scientism and humanism I provided another version which Erich ignored by appealing for evidence.

    Coleridge, Skblllzzzz and I were simply making observations. Erich believes my charge of evidence handling is "without value". His typical response is to belittle and name-call Pratt rather than considering something outside the mainstream, even though Pratt also "handles" the evidence.

    In Richard Milton's article he says, "Most scientists privately accept that there are serious objections to Darwinism such as those cited in these pages and privately they will admit to the objections. However, they have become reluctant to discuss them in public (and in a forum like the Internet they will deny them altogether) because they fear that they will aid their critics and unwittingly discredit their own profession. In some cases, they feel it is better to be discreet, pretend that there is nothing wrong, or even to tell a 'little white lie' in the interests of the greater good of science. I cannot criticize anyone who feels this way about the profession they love — I would be tempted to do the same myself if I were a scientist."

    The gatekeepers are not serving science by insisting on leashes.

    http://www.alternativescience.com/thes_and_richard_dawki...

    “At present there is no cosmological theory of any type that can account for all the observational evidence.” There is one that comes a lot closer than the Big Bang: http://www.jmccsci.com

  6. Scholar says:

    Well at least I learned something from Larry's post. I learned that "Cremo and Thompson" (and Larry?) were raving lunatics. Here is a quote I came across at Larry's psuedoscience link…judge for yourself.

    "Cremo and Thompson demonstrate that present-day palaeoanthropologists apply double standards to fossil evidence. If a find conforms to standard theory, it is readily accepted, whereas anomalous evidence is subjected to such rigorous scrutiny that no find is likely to be admitted."

    Must be the fault of those pesky scientists and their concocted theories which won't even allow harmless anomalies?

    Certainly seems like standard creationist double standards are not so sound.

  7. The question is: Did you learn anything from Milton's article, or do you prefer to label him also so you can, like Dawkins, keep his ideas from being considered. More name-calling won't bury the evidence. {It's better to just not allow it in court}. Is it so difficult to admit that even scientists have prejudices?

    "Distinguished medical doctor and director Jonathan Miller candidly admitted on TV, "Even if you showed me the evidence for homeopathy, I still wouldn't believe in it."

    Given such irrational attitudes, what are the chances that conventional science will even investigate anomalous phenomena, let alone make any breakthrough discoveries?"

    Have you ever considered that maybe the Creationists and the Darwinists are both wrong?

  8. grumpypilgrim says:

    Milton's article speaks for itself, and shows him to be the idiot he is said to be. Contrary to Larry's assetion, it is not a matter of "keeping [Milton's] ideas from being considered" or of "burying the evidence," it's a matter of ignoring nonsense, which appears to be all that Milton is able to produce. Milton's mistake is that he makes sweeping generalizations from lone, isolated examples, which is the exact opposite of the scientific method. Larry does the same thing: e.g., he cites one medical doctor who rejects homeopathy and then generalizes this "irrational attitude" to all scientists. President Bush thinks this way, too, and it is a huge part of the reason his policies have been such resounding failures. Creationists also think this way, which is why their ideas do not belong in any science class.

    When the newspapers talk about the decline of science education in America, this is one of the things they are talking about: people who don't even understand what science *is*. These folks — Milton, Larry, Bush, etc. — imagine that whatever ideas come out of their heads are just as valid as ideas that result from decades of scientific research. Larry displays this thinking again when he asks, "Have you ever considered that maybe the Creationists and the Darwinists are both wrong?" Scientists — *real* scientists — ask the latter question all the time, because proving Darwin wrong would be a ticket to scientific super-stardom. But Larry assumes that scientists all think the same illogical, *unscientific* way he does. Indeed, Larry emphasizes this when he asks, "Is it so difficult to admit that even scientists have prejudices?" OF COURSE scientists have prejudices, Larry, and we ALL know it. Some scientists even have huge egos oozing with vanity, ambition and self-aggrandizement. That is why scientists use the scientific method, and why they call poseurs by derogatory names: because, among scientists, unscientific thinking is synonymous with stupidity…and if it is driven by a hidden agenda, it is synomyous with fraud.

  9. Dan Klarmann says:

    LJC: Anyone in science knows that careers are made by someone proving the existence of anomalous phenomena. Eager, bright post-docs are always trying to prove that some mainstream scientific theory is wrong in some detail.

    This unrelenting process of trying to falsify existing theories is the root of the scientific method. However, once a hypothesis has been repeatedly defeated by all available evidence, then mature scientists are unlikely to bother to look at the same old evidence as it is newly discovered by the next generation.

    This is the automatic disregard you often see in scientists when off-the-mainstream ideas make each circuit though the public conscious. Homeopathy (for example) was largely disproved in the same generation when it first came out.

    In the two hundred year history of homeopathy, not one study has ever shown a difference between the effects of homeopathic remedies and pure placebos (the essence of a controlled experiment). Naturally, anyone familiar with these studies will automatically ignore anyone claiming to have new proof without having done a controlled experiment.

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