Skip to comments.What if we're wrong? New book poses provocative question about human knowledge
Posted on 08/19/2016 7:59:16 AM PDT by Leaning Right
Hindsight is 20/20, right? Thats the premise of a new book that poses the question: What if we were wrong?
Chuck Klostermans But What If Were Wrong? (Blue Rider Press, 2016) deals with the fact that the great march of history shows us that, well
were always wrong. Aristotle had his run as the smartest man on the planet, but he got disproved by Galileo, who was trumped by Newton, until Einstein ruled the roost. And while there have been some hints of proving Einstein wrong, nothing has really stuck. But even so, scientific fact is a fact only until its proved wrong.
(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...
The author does not mention climate change, but that's the thing I thought of immediately. We are not allowed to be skeptical of climate change in the least.
The author does mention that he talked with Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of the leading proponents of climate change. Tyson did not think much of the author's premise. No surprise there.
It is also interesting to note that the author says that we must be skeptical of non-scientific great ideas as well. For example, is modern democracy really the best form of government?
Seems like just a rehash of Kuhn’s ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolutions’.
[We are not allowed to be skeptical of climate change in the least. ]
That’s because its not science. Its a political agenda.
I’ve been making this argument on liberal sites when arguing against AGW and evolutionism. I try to explain that we are in the enlightened modern age, but so were the 60’s at the time, and sow was 1880 at the time.
I ask them, “what do we know now that will turn out to be absolutely wrong?”
For example, is modern democracy really the best form of government?
The problems come about when scientists stop doing science.
If they stick to formulating hypotheses, testing them, and facilitating the ongoing validation and re-testing of the hypotheses, they are doing science.
When they make inferences by analogy or take a position based on scant evidence, they are not doing science.
Calvin liked theocracy.
Hobbes liked monarchy.
Urban weather stations, asphalt and altered heat absorption profiles of city environments all probably contribute more to localized URBAN HEATING than CO2 could ever DREAM to...
WOW! What great insight! We don’t know everything and we might learn something new in the future.
What’s pathetic is that this captain obvious is being given any attention.
First book I had to read in college, and maybe the best.
The constitution and declaration sum up the best idea man has had for governing. Our CREATOR has made us equal and free. Start with that premise.
And the more human nature is taken into account at every level of government from large (president of a land) to small (dog catcher et al), from phase (introductory excitement and dogooding at the birth of a new country) to phase (a jaded population grown used to corruption), the closer we get to an ideal minimalist gov.
Switzerland is farther along than we are with federalism, for instance. Allow the states MORE freedom with LESS control from the top. All politicians part time, earn very little for their service, all have full time jobs elsewhere. Title of “president” merely a figurehead for a year; country run at the top by seven individuals, rotating year by year which one serves as “president” for meeting world leaders, etc.
More power to the people to “citizens arrest” the leaders. For instance, the ability for the people to have a Party arrested on criminal charges for being corrupt, needing a trial by jury. The ability for the People to have criminal charges brought on the leader for not being eligible: not the crap here where no one was seen to have “standing” to even FIND OUT IF OBAMA HAD EVER HAD A US PASSPORT before the senate handed him one, or discover why he never had a social security number of his own.
I believe you missed the author’s point. He’s NOT just saying that great ideas get refined as time passes.
He’s also saying that many people refuse to accept that fact. And that is not a “captain obvious” thing. Even today, many so-called educated people simply accept scientific principles without any question. “Settled science”, if you will.
Galileo, who was trumped by Newton, until Einstein ruled the roost.
Those are more like improvements rather than proving the previous person wrong. Or one could look at it as the recent champion standing on the shoulders of giants.
That’s not what I got out of it. He’s not talking about the ignorant, lazy low information person, but society in general, that even the learned, wise ones somehow believe that we know everything, or that everything we “know” is the final word.
Obviously you don’t think so, neither do I, and neither does anyone I know. So who is he trying to enlighten with his profound observation?
Right you are. And that was my only disagreement with the author's thesis. Newton refined Galileo's work. And Einstein refined Newton's.
In fact, it could be argued that Newton wasn't all that "wrong" anyway. His work was a very good approximation under most conditions.
For millennia, humans used faith as a guide to understanding the world. Even pagans and heathens had folktales that warned of the many consequences of hubris.
Shorn of religion in a world of material comforts, many people will not have the courage to accept the full measure of what skepticism means in a secular context. Hume, Kant, and Nietzsche understood, but their standards were a bit higher than those of modern self-worshipers.
” Our CREATOR has made us equal and free.”
The equal part is the biggest BS perpetrated on people and the biggest cause of human problems. It is patently obvious we are NOT equal.
If anything God made us all different, and thank God for that!
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