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to what extent can science be considered as a biased way of obtaining knowledge?

Although we all tend to believe scientific discoveries, to what extent are we being manipulated to do so? Can scientists be using the confirm bias explanation to prove their theories right ? In the world today, several theories continue to be proved wrong, what does this say about science ? Thus, is science any more reliable than history ?

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    Jan 10 2012: Hi Anisha
    Point by point:
    1. are we being manipulated to do so?
    The medium is the message. If discussing a new scientific discovery promotes a forum which includes advertisements, then we are being manipulated to become aware of - if not to believe in - scientific discoveries in order to expose us to commerce. I don't think the scientists themsleve are involved in the manipulation.
    2. Can scientists be using the confirm bias explanation to prove their theories right?
    Not is the scientific sense, they are not. As promoters of a device using new discoveries, I suppose they could be, but 'confirming bias' is not part of the scientific method.
    3. In the world today, several theories continue to be proved wrong, what does this say about science?
    It says that science works. The whole purpose of the scientific method is to prove or disprove theories. One is just as valuable as the other. In fact, most attempts to understand something result in experiments which return a negative result. Then the theory is modified and tested again, and in the end, the theory - within our current ability to test it - is proven. This is a good thing.
    4. Is science any more reliable than history?
    Science is many more times more reliable than History. History is written by the victors who raise up their cause to the detriment of the losers. It is most often written with bias aforethought and with incomplete information. It is often simplified in order to make it 'understandable' to the 'common man.' Which means the inner workings are hidden from view and a 'politically correct' reality is experienced by the 'common man' that has little to do with what actually happened. Democracy is in a constant battle in which truth is engaged in combat with the 'politically correct' version of what biased people want truth to be.

    Can't we all just get along? No.
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    Dec 18 2011: What distinguishes science from other forms of investigation is that it uses experiments to objectively detect error. Science is not so much about proving concepts to be true, as it is about disproving false concepts.

    As Albert Einstein once said, "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong."

    There is a widespread misconception that scientific discoveries have a stamp of "truth" on them. Thus, people often feel compelled to "believe" these discoveries and pronouncements are unquestionable. The irony of course is that science is fundamentally based on questioning claims and testing claims against hard evidence, rather than investing belief in claims. There is nothing magical or irrefutable about a scientific discovery, other than it has withstood a certain number of challenges by independent investigators. If, however, someone new comes along and successfully challenges the claim, then the rules of science dictate the claim must be either amended or abandoned, being replaced only by a claim in harmony will all existing experimental evidence.
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    Dec 18 2011: Science is one of the most important facets of our everyday experience in life, as the understanding of the workings and interactions between matter and energy is what helps us live the lifestyle we have today. But, as I said so, science has really no explanation for why things happen the way they happen, or why things should happen at all, why there should be only 16 known elementary particles, four being gauge bosons or force-carriers while the rest have to constitute the particles that produce these particles. Where does the force that manipulates these so-called 'elementary particles' come from? See, science is merely a vague approximation of natural events and is nothing more. Of course science has provided us with in-depth knowledge of nature, but without the why and with just the how, you can't really understand nature. I will give you an example of how science has a tendency to 'create' new theories to fit gray areas in other theories. Almost all of the time these 'spontaneously created new theories' are somewhat vague and almost indistinguishably resemble pure fiction. These can be seen in the case of dark energy and dark matter. Even more so when we read up on the particle physics concepts of strings and membranes, where scientists describe our entire three-dimensional universe as being a rolled-up twinkie stuck in a nine-dimensional membrane. Even with these defects in science, science has made amazing new progresses that even I myself appreciate greatly.
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    Knowledge by nature attributed with consciousness. Knowledge within Science (Scientific) continuum considered as narrow meaning and attached limited inside Data (D) – Information (I) – Knowledge (K) – Wisdom (W) or DIKW continuum. Knowledge in broad sense nothing else considered as Nature Knowledge spanning from quantum level containing consciousness element factor (CEF) as quantum consciousness going through physical, biological, Human Knowledge en route toward beyond human and infinity (absolute Knowledge)

    D – I continuum is the hub of Science. K – W located “at the Edge of Science”. Portion of K overlapping within D – I domain called as “Scientific Knowledge”. On the other hand, portion of K beyond D – I continuum or within K – W domain called as “Knowledgeable Science” (Visit our K-base )

    Our - “Knowledge is the Edge of Science” will explain the “what–why–where–how” of the limitation of Science (Scientific Knowledge), and the beginning of “Knowledgeable Science”. To get overall insight on the issue, visit also our - “Addressing the dawn of Knowledgeable Science era”

    Our concept of Knowledge Value (KV) applied to Nature as well as Human Knowledge, shown as Knowledge Management (KM) metrics derived from our Human System Biology-based KM (HSBKM) model framework applied in the form of an absolute value scaling ratio ranging from 10 -38 (Planck number) applied to Knowon, our newly proposed 5th fundamental force in physics and consecutively KV = 5.0 applied to human Knowledge with Higher Consciousness (KHC) or accumulated to KV = 9.0 as human maximum possible score en route to infinity or goes beyond human KV. KV is mean to assessing hypothetically the intensity of Nature Knowledge consciousness element factor (CEF) within Knowledge continuum in the Universe (see URL - “Knowledge Value (KV)” and -“Basic structure..
    • Dec 27 2011: Hi, Md Santo !!!
      You said :
      "Knowledge in broad sense nothing else considered as Nature Knowledge spanning from quantum level containing consciousness element factor (CEF) as quantum consciousness going through physical, biological, Human Knowledge en route toward beyond human and infinity (absolute Knowledge)"

      Could it be equated to the mystic metaphor " The Knower is the Known "

      Thank you !
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        Dec 27 2011: Dear Natasha,
        Yes. You are absolutely right, “The Knower is the Known”. For your information, actually it is to some degree related to metaphor what I called as “KNOWLEDGE ‘R’ US” ( visit - April 1, 2010 )

        Md Santo
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      Jan 10 2012: Hello Mr. Santo
      I am in agreement with David Weinberger who wrote:
      "The real problem with the DIKW pyramid is that it's a pyramid. The image that knowledge (much less wisdom) results from applying finer-grained filters at each level, paints the wrong picture. That view is natural to the Information Age which has been all about filtering noise, reducing the flow to what is clean, clear and manageable. Knowledge is more creative, messier, harder won, and far more discontinuous."-David Weinberger

      Wisdom comes more from experience than from knowledge. A child who has burned his fingers once does not need to know the boiling point of water in order to avoid the hot iron a second time. Knowledge alone does not automatically confer wisdom. A person can know about sex, condoms, HIV, STDs, and still act without wisdom. The belief that 'enough data, filtered correctly' will confer wisdom' is erroneous.. The process you describe uses computers and scientific methods and algorithms, but the result is a social network acting on what is contained in its databanks. It is not science, and it does not guarantee wisdom..
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        Jan 10 2012: Dear Jon,

        Yes, I agree also with David Weinberger classified K in somewhat broader sense, not just only fixed in between I and W within DIKW continuum. With noted that it will surely irrelevant and/or not valid to the ICT evolution or Information age considering that “intervention” factors techno – process – people always exist . In other words, within evolution of Science which is currently takes place in the form of a shifting hub from formerly D – I toward K and beyond as the hub of Science, or shifting paradigm from formerly called as Scientific Knowledge toward Knowledgeable Science era, then we should gave K as broader meaning. In this circumstance, Human Knowledge is the integral part of Nature Knowledge and because Consciousness is the prominent attribute of Knowledge, so Human Consciousness also integral part within Nature Consciousness continuum spanning from quantum level containing consciousness element factor (CEF) applied to Boson massless particle to human level and beyond. So, in broader sense, Wisdom is Knowledge with higher level of consciousness

        Ref for this short narration are URLs - “Basic structure of Human System Biology-based Knowledge Management (HSBKM) model framework” and - “Science beyond Knowledge as solution to Basic Science on the issues of Higgs Boson”
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    Dec 19 2011: Science is democratic now, and that's why it's no longer science. Psychology, would be the most blatant example of this, it's a "science", predominantly based on self report... Self report isn't science, people lie, all the time, especially about sex and drugs, principle concerns of psychology. As we have let more and more people into the scientific community, the bar for "scientist", has been lowered dramatically.

    Now a theory is deemed a working model, simply by being "peer reviewed".... I take issue with that concept, as I'm actually quite certain the word "peer" doesn't apply to people like Tesla and Einstein. By allowing "peer reviewed" to pass as "accurate", we have turned science into something it was never meant to be, a matter of opinion. If you can convince half of the scientific community, that your findings are accurate, then, they are... That's nonsense, half the scientific community could easilly be wrong.

    It is however slightly more reliable than history, because as Einstein and Tony said "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong"... There are still ideas out there, so stupid, that you can't convince a scientist to peer review it. Instead you convince someone to design an experiment to disprove your results.
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      Jan 10 2012: Hi David
      You said: "Science is democratic now, and that's why it's no longer science."
      That might be true in the social sense, the facebook and twitter sense. For people with little science background discuss the modern world and its problems as if a public discussion and building a consensus makes something true, scientifically. It is true that what they say is what they say, which is probably relevant in a democracy, but what they agree on might be totally wrong scientifically.

      But you can not say that science is no longer science. There is real science being done in labs the world over which will have far greater effects on the future than the chitter chatter being agreed upon in the social networks.
  • Dec 18 2011: Science is the most reliable too we have. No human endeavor is perfect.

    Science progress is continuous and never ending exploration and discovery of the approximation of the truth. Over time this approximation is getting more and more accurate. Today we have advanced computer, biological and other technologies that prove that our understanding of the physical world is getting better.

    Occasionally a scientist does not act ethically. However those instances cannot change the fact that most scientists are making progress in their theories.
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    Dec 17 2011: Integrity . . . it comes down to this in all things. The scientific method enables those without integrity to be outed more easily than in other fields. True?
  • Dec 16 2011: I think of science as truth-seeking. Just because there are a few corrupt scientists, that does not negate the value of science.