TED Conversations

TED
  • TED
  • New York, NY
  • United States

TEDCRED 10+

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.

For discussion: http://blog.ted.com/2013/04/01/a-note-to-the-ted-community-on-the-withdrawal-of-the-tedxwesthollywood-license

+1
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Apr 7 2013: Is there a meaningful difference between pseudoscience and the scientific investigation of hypotheses that have an extremely low probability of being confirmed?

    It may be helpful to define that boundary.
    • Apr 7 2013: One problem, of course, is that knowing what has an extremely low probability of confirmation prior to experiment is a bit tricky because it is only through experiment that we will really know. Thus it's all well and good to guess what is and isn't possible from one's armchair but it's just not science.
    • Apr 7 2013: Only the theory determines what can be observed. Einstein
      • thumb
        Apr 7 2013: Then perhaps the issue is testing theory for which there has been extremely little support? And a great amount of skepticism? And a high level of ideological value within a particular cultural and political context? Based on significant assumptions?

        Here's an experiment: Let's throw this woman in the water to test whether or not she's a witch. If she floats, she is. If she sinks, too bad. What? You think this research is pseudoscience? It's because you're blinded by your flawed materialist paradigm. Our next experiment will be to determine whether or not you are also a witch.
        • Apr 7 2013: Who argues like this, please? You can argue with above 5 sigma results that Dean Radin is reporting for the Ganzfeld telepathy.. and I like to go there..but this just... how is it called, a strawman? I call it cheap propaganda.
        • Apr 7 2013: Where should the support come from if not from other researchers taking up on this? Pseudoscience is your floating witch. If there is evidence, it must be false or fraudelent because no one else supports this. And if some experiments fail or some frauds are going on, and the whole science sinks with it, well too bad.
        • Apr 7 2013: Your example is nonsense. This is because it's far from clear how the test (floats or not) relates to the outcome (is or is not a witch). This is in stark contrast to testing, say, how often a person can "guess" a coin toss. That is a very straightforward test that can be conducted in a very straightforwardly scientific manner. Strangely enough, it seems humans do consistently better than 50/50. How odd, I wonder why that is? And anyone not blinded by their anti-science ideology should, it seems to me, wonder too.
      • thumb
        Apr 7 2013: Einstein to Heisenberg: "Only the theory determines what one can observe."

        I've seen some good examples of that in this discussion. Especially from Steve.

        If you aren't getting my point, think harder.
    • Apr 7 2013: And to answer your initial question, of course there's a meaningful difference between pseudoscience and the scientific investigation of hypotheses that have an extremely low probability of being confirmed. All the difference in the world. Especially when initial testing seems to tentatively support the hypotheses. Then it is only right that science follow up on these things rather than shut down inquiry because some feel it is not in the public interest to investigate such things.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.