It is a Fact that…


Location hypothesis of Atlantis in Mediterrane...

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I’m going to raise the tone for this particular post just a few notches, and take a stronger stance than I have on many of my other entries. Some of you may agree with the points I address, some may disagree, others still may consider the tone of this post to be overly doctrinaire, dogmatic, even religious in its implications of seeming worship at the altar of materialistic science.

No matter. Like it, or not, agree or not, think what you will. You will anyway, and I can do nothing to change that.

Science and other methods of rational inquiry are the best means we currently have to give us a real understanding of the world and ourselves; There are things we really can say that we know about the universe and humanity, and it seems as though we shall never run out of new things to discover about either.

There are facts about reality that still, our understanding of which, even today, are so well-supported by sound argument and objective data, that it is incredibly unlikely that they shall at any point in the foreseeable future be rejected or overturned in their basic formulation, though conceptual paradigms and descriptive details are certainly subject to updating with better reasoning and newer information.

But regardless of our knowledge or acceptance of them, facts themselves have a distressing tendency to go on being facts no matter our likes, beliefs, or wishes.

Thus, it’s important to note the difference between facts, which change only when the things they concern undergo change, our understanding of those facts, which while provisionally true are always open to revision, amendment or rejection, our claims of fact, which may be true or false to varying degrees, and our personal truths, or opinions, which while perhaps derived from facts, or not, are only at best subjective interpretations of facts, and not facts themselves.

I will shortly note those things we have reason to consider facts, not ‘just theories,’ as certainly as we can possibly know anything using scientific and rational methods.

I’ve said it elsewhere, but a scientific theory is not a hypothesis, not a guess, and not something you come up with while drunk or stoned.

A hypothesis does not get promoted to a theory, nor a theory to a law. Scientific theories are the sets of ideas we use to describe and explain a given set of observational facts, though how we look for and interpret facts is sometimes driven by theory and its attendant hypotheses. The existence of gravity was a fact for teens of billions of years before Newton formulated the first useful mathematical laws describing it, and it will not just go away if suddenly no one accepts it anymore.

You cannot change facts by denying them, arguing however facilely against them, or by legislating them away.

…But first, an important disclaimer:

I won’t make much in the way of actual arguments in this post to persuade or convince anyone in what follows after this note, but merely offer examples of what has been well-demonstrated by those more properly qualified than I, and perhaps you as well, depending on whatever your expertise and knowledge-base is, and isn’t, as solid, reliable science that we can be pretty confident in if not certain of its factual nature, implausible claims of vested interests in money, careers, suspected political agendas, and academic conspiracies by criminally dishonest scientists aside…

…as if it were only media pundits, politicians, corporate lobbyists and executives who are motivated principally by a genuine concern for the truth, and none of the previous, an extraordinary claim indeed.

Call foul however you like on those things you disagree on as to their inclusion as facts; If it makes you happy and reassured of the correctness of your own position, of your own superior understanding, reasoning, objectivity and undoubted good common sense, then I henceforth declare you, for all time and space, completely, incontrovertibly, and absolutely right.

You win the argument, hands down. It feels so good to be right, doesn’t it?

And so, with all real need for anything but intellectually dishonest sham argumentation thus removed from the equation, let’s get on with this…

It is a fact that…

  • …calling something a fact in science is not the same thing as calling it a fact in the everyday sense, nor that we claim to know and understand it with total and absolute certainty…
  • …living things evolve, both microevolution and macroevolution together, and this has been happening over billions of years on an old world, within a still-older universe, neither of which needed a supernatural creator to bring them about…
  • …despite what pundits, the fossil-fuel industry, and politicians claim, the global climate is being adversely affected by human technology, in ways that foregoing any action on dealing with it effectively could have serious economic consequences…
  • …there is a definite causative relationship between atmospheric release of CFCs and degradation of the ozone layer…
  • …there is a known causative link between tobacco products and certain forms of cancer…
  • …the best data shows that vaccines do not cause autism-spectrum disorders…
  • …Atlantis was a place first known only to Plato, because he made it up from whole cloth just to tell a story and make a philosophical point about his politics, and is no more real than the setting of his Allegory of the Cave
  • …no psychic who has ever been adequately examined and tested by non-believers has ever been shown to possess genuine supernormal abilities…
  • …no UFO sighting, crop-circle, animal mutilation, or alleged alien abduction that has ever been fully investigated and explained has ever been demonstrably caused by any intelligent extraterrestrial or paranormal entities, and those cases that have not been completely explained due to a lack of adequate data don’t strengthen the case for either…
  • …the features of Near death experiences (NDEs) are perfectly consistent with what we know even now of the functioning, and the malfunctioning, of the human brain, and stories told of strange experiences by those allegedly traveling outside their bodies during an NDE are only that — stories — not evidence of anybody’s idea of an afterlife…

I sound pretty confident about these statements, don’t I…

Well, I have reason to, for time and time again, these claims have been looked into by those with more scientific, medical, and forensic acumen, much less experience, than yours truly. They have all been looked into, case by case, over and over again, and been found, as the data becomes less ambiguous, to have perfectly prosaic explanations for seventh statement onward, or in the case of the third through fifth statement, definite causal relations, and in the sixth, a definite non-causal relationship.

How much more do we really need to look into the more paranormal claims before we finally decide that until some new, more convincing data come up, there’s probably nothing left there to see?

How much more do we really need to say, ‘the jury is still out,’ how much overcautious indecisiveness is really warranted with the non-paranormal positive statements before we finally take decisive action, particularly with the third statement?

Object to any of these as you wish, I only ask that you keep your objections reasonably civil; Nobody appreciates a crybaby in a presumably adult body throwing a temper-tantrum because their personal truths and delicate sensitivities have been offended by one so unread, pseudo-intellectual, libtard, and close-minded as myself…

If you wish me to change my tune on any of these, remember that you are making one or more claims of which I have reasons, very sound ones in my view, to remain unconvinced, and that as the claimant, however positive or negative the claim, the burden of proof properly rests on you…

…not I!

About Troythulu

I seek to learn through this site and others how to better my ability as a person and my skill at using my reason and understanding to best effect. I do fractal artwork as a hobby, and I'm working to develop it to professional levels, though I've a bit to go till I reach that degree of skill! This is a crazy world we're in, but maybe I can do a little, if only that, to make it a bit more sane than it otherwise would be.

Posted on Wednesday, 0:14, June 22, 2011, in Reason and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Your fractals are pretty! But overwhelming!

    I enjoy your writing and the subjects you choose to write about are definitely along my lines of interest. Nicely done!

    Like

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