Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fake but accurate

One of my foavorite blogs is Coyote Blog. Check out his post today on this subject:
Fake but Accurate -- Now Coming to the Hard Sciences
of us remember the famous "fake but accurate" defense of Dan Rather's story on
GWB using forged National Guard documents. If the post-modernism movement
were to have an insignia, their tag line (their "E. Pluribus Unum') could
well be "fake but accurate."
I have written for a while that
post-modernism seems to be coming to the hard sciences (I differentiate the hard sciences, because the soft sciences like
sociology or women's studies are already dominated by post-modernist
thinking). For example, I quoted this:
For those of you who cling to
scientific method, this is pretty bizarre stuff. But she, and many others, are
dead serious about it. If a research finding could harm a class of persons, the
theory is that scientists should change the way they talk about that finding.
scientific method is a way of building a body of
knowledge based on skeptical testing, replication, and publication, this is a
problem.The tight framework of scientific method mandates figuring out what
would disprove the theory being tested and then looking for the disproof. The
thought process that spawned the scientific revolution was inherently skeptical,
which is why disciples of scientific method say that no theory can be
definitively and absolutely proved, but only disproved (falsified). Hypotheses
are elevated to the status of theories largely as a result of continued failures
to disprove the theory and continued conformity of experimentation and
observation with the theory, and such efforts should be conducted by diverse
parties.Needless to say postmodernist schools of thought and scientific method
are almost polar opposites.

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