Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Science & Philosophy

In these days we are accused of attacking science because we want it to be scientific.  Surely there is not any undue disrespect to our doctor in saying that he is our doctor, not our priest or our wife or ourself.  It is not the business of the doctor to say that we must go to a watering-place; it is his affair to say that certain results of health will follow if we do go to a watering-place.  After that, obviously, it is for us to judge.  Physical science is like simple addition; it is either infallible or it is false.  To mix science up with philosophy is only to produce a philosophy that has lost all its ideal value and a science that has lost all its practical value.  I want my private physician to tell me whether this or that food will kill me.  It is for my private philosopher to tell me whether I ought to be killed.
GK Chesterton - All Things Considered

I think the general disbelief and subsequent apathy about any scientific hub-bub is due to this affect.  "Wolf!" has been cried so much it is hard to believe any scientist.  The mingling of philosophy (and further politics) with science reports has tainted both.

"When my wife & I play cards; I come in second, she comes in next to last." -Jim Tremblay
Figures don't lie, but liars can figure.

Either side of any argument can produce some expert and some study to show the rate of increase/decrease of a data point with limited connection indicates we are at a point of acting now or facing immediate peril.  How perilous is the peril?  Very.

Monty Python and The Holy Grail
Lancelot: We were in the nick of time. You were in great peril.

Galahad: I don't think I was.
Lancelot: Yes, you were. You were in terrible peril.
Galahad: Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.
Lancelot: No, it's far too perilous.
Galahad: Look, it's my duty as a knight to sample as much peril as I can.
Lancelot: No, we've got to find the Holy Grail. Come on.
Galahad: Oh, let me have just a little bit of peril?
Lancelot: No. It's unhealthy.

Sorry, I just wanted a quick rant as this is the season of polls and opinion meters.  They keep asking questions nobody cares about (Red or Blue) in an attempt to justify themselves when we may all likely want Orange.


  1. Orange is a great color (my favorite) and there should be more of it.
    Some pollster called me this week and asked if I was voting for so-and-so. I said, "I don't know." She said, "well, will you pledge to at least vote?" And I said, "I'm not pledging anything right now; I'm making dinner."

    I am quite sure I'll be voting and I am quite sure that after I research each candidate, I will come up with someone. I hope. Maybe someone orange.

  2. Like I've said before: I think the comic strip "Shoe" said it best last week. The problem with the November elections is that someone will win.

    I think that I will change my political view to "orange."

    I'll even start making the tee shirts...

  3. Orange you glad you voted for me.

    Being able to vote "no confidence" would produce a chilling result.