• Modernity,  Polemics

    The Effect of Postmodernism on Science

    Drawing on the work of the late French philosophers Deleuze and Guattari, the objective of this paper is to demonstrate that the evidence-based movement in the health sciences is outrageously exclusionary and dangerously normative with regards to scientific knowledge. As such, we assert that the evidence-based movement in health sciences constitutes a good example of microfascism at play in the contemporary scientific arena. (source) A revolution starts slowly and insidiously. That’s its nature. Before you even recognize it, you’ve been caught up in it throes. By the time you realize what’s happening, it’s too late. Revolutions must happen this way or else they wouldn’t happen at all. In the last…

  • Polemics

    Is Healthcare a Right?

    Is healthcare a right? This question has become highly politicized in recent years. Before thinking about the answer, we should note that this is an entirely different question than whether or not the government should provide healthcare to all citizens. Separating these two questions is very important. There are many government services that are beneficial to the people that the government provides which are not fundamental human rights. Conflating the two issues can lead to irrevocable damage to our civil liberties. What’s more, confusing fundamental human rights with those things which are simply nice for society as a whole or which might be better characterized as aspirational ambitions of a developed…

  • Polemics

    The Myth of the Non-Incentivized Nonprofit or Government Agency

    There is a persistent idea that anything organized or done in an effort to make a profit is necessarily bad. At the same time, many believe that any organization that is not for profit, or even better, a government agency or governmental entity, is free of the perversities and corruptions that we sometimes see in for-profit enterprises. In fact, there is a healthy competition between for-profit corporations and not-for-profit entities like charities, NGOs, and governmental agencies for your money and attention. But it is important to remember that each type of organization is subject to potentially perverse incentives. For corporations, the incentive is money. The idea that a corporation might make money (and…

  • Polemics

    Scientist?

    The perpetuators of Scientism are obviously “Scientists” themselves. Scientists, in the Scientism sense of the term, do not believe that they are subject to the problems of other humans, such as cognitive dissonance. Bill Nye, one of the high priests of Scientism, shows this characteristic well, as demonstrated in this piece by Scott Adams.  He sees cognitive bias and cognitive dissonance in others, he sees an explanation of why others can ignore “facts” and rationalize the world to fit their own narrative, but he cannot allow for the possibility that he might do this himself. In fact, he defines cognitive dissonance with his own example better than any other example…

  • Polemics

    The New High Priests

    If scientism is a new religion, then people like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson are it’s high priests. They rhetorically slay the adversaries of science by invoking the unassailable authority of science itself and foster a belief in its inerrancy. They are religious zealots of this new religion. Both are famous for issuing quips and responses that feed the salivating crowds of those too captivated by science, but which do little to persuade an adversary. This type of rhetoric in ineffective at least, bullying in the average case, and dangerous in the worst case. Take, for example, this quote from NDT: The good thing about science is that it’s…

  • Polemics

    Scientific Nonsensus

    I’ve said before that we need to be careful of those who claim “scientific consensus” as an argument-ender. This issue has become even more prominent recently as people or groups are dismissed at once as being “science-deniers” or “truth-deniers.” We are told that we now live in the “post-truth” era where “facts” have been made irrelevant by the idiocracy. These buzzwords are applied to a variety of subjects ranging from vaccines to climate change, or from economics to sociology. Though it feels good to immediately label all anti-vaxers as such, it is dangerous to do so and wrong. This pat appeal to science, what I call Scientism, makes an authority…

  • Polemics

    What Is Knowledge?

    Raphael’s School At Athens (Please read On the Nature of Truth and Reality first if you haven’t already.) What is knowledge, and how do we justify it? In The Theaetetus, Plato records a dialogue between Socrates and Theaetetus regarding the nature of knowledge. Socrates, just before his death, suggests three ideas: Knowledge is nothing but perception. This idea, attributed to Protagoras, is easily discounted by the two men (“things are to you as they appear to you, and to me as they appear to me”). Knowledge is true judgment. This idea is refuted because many people have true knowledge for the wrong reasons or have true knowledge without justification. This gave way to…

  • Polemics

    On the Nature of Truth and Reality

    Is there an objective nature or reality? Or is it subjective, dependent upon our perception of it? Such are the questions that fill sophomoric philosophy class essays. I will make no argument here other than to say that there is an objective reality. Anyone who says that there isn’t makes a statement that is incompatible with the world he imagines. Statements of truth belong only in a world where truth is absolute. Yet, schoolboy sophistry has little to do with the real problem. The problem is that we rarely, if ever, are able to know what reality is in an objectively verifiable way. In other words, the problem is not…

  • Polemics

    Perception Is Not Reality

    We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are. – Anais Nin I’m sure someone has told you that perception is reality. It isn’t. This popular platitude is harmful and destructive. It is philosophically and logically false. It’s usually spoken by one person who wants another person to change something, but realizing that the “reality” doesn’t justifiably need to be changed, then the request is reframed to ask the person to change something that she likely has no control over. It is simply an ad hominem attack. There are two kinds of things that we commonly refer to as facts; one is an objective, reality-rooted fact; another is a subjective, bias-rooted…