Thursday, December 19, 2019

The End of the Scientific Culture

Razib Khan writes on The End of the Scientific Culture:
In the 1990s there broke out something we now call the “Science Wars.” Basically it pitted the bleeding edge of “Post-Modernism” against traditional scientific scholars, who were generally adherents of a naive sort of positivism. By the latter, I’m not saying that these were necessarily people steeped in Carnap, Popper or Lakatos. Very few scientists know anything about philosophy of science except for a few nods to Karl Popper, and more dimly, Francis Bacon. By “naive positivism” I’m just alluding to the reality most scientists think there’s a world out there, and the scientific method is the best way to get at that world in terms of regularities. ...

By the 2000s these arguments seemed stale and tired. ...

Now the “academic Left” is on the march again. Though somewhat differently, and arguably more potently. The Left is self-consciously “science-based” and “reality-based.” Instead of the grand assertion that science is just another superstition, the bleeding edge of the academic Left now argues that science needs to be perfected and purged of oppression, white supremacy, etc. Who after all would favor oppression and white supremacy?

The problem is that to eat away at the oppressive structures the acid of critique has to be thrown at the pretention of objectivity of scientists and science as it is today, and as it has come to be, over the past few hundred years.
I don't entirely agree with him, but look at Nature's Ten people who mattered in science in 2019, and with the
usual LuMo rant against it. The ten are mostly political activists, or chosen to meet diversity requirements.

LuMo says the only legitimate entry is the guy who led Google's demo of quantum supremacy, but Nature refuses to use the word "supremacy" because that reminds people of White supremacy. I would think that Greta Thunberg would be the one on the list to most remind ppl of White supremacy. Only a white girl could turn a set of psychiatric disorders into international celebrity status.

I think that the claim of quantum supremacy is bogus for scientific, not political, reasons.

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