Saturday, April 14, 2012

My target is highly respectable DENIALISM , not the cranks ...

Michael Marshall
My denialist target is the unconscious bias still lurking within mainstream science and mainstream scientists.

I am not after, in the main, the cranks who deny HIV-AIDS/9-11/the Holocaust/Evolution/Climate Change etc.

I have much bigger fish to fry.

My target is The Enlightenment Project and its offshoots : Modernity/Positivism/Scientism and their collective claim that there is nothing in the universe we can not and will not know - eventually.

Scientists who say this are DENIERS all right, deniers of the possibility of limits to Certainty.

They freely admit the space trip to Perfect Certainty will be very long, very expensive, filled with disappointments and errors - but that Science will ultimately arrive.

I ,on the other hand feel ,we can never know or control much of Reality --- in part, simply for lack of money.

To take an example we all talk about but no one ever does anything about, the weather will never be perfectly known.

 It is simply too expensive to fund all the observation posts and computing power needed to do even a reasonably close-to-perfect prediction job.

The Science is there, has been there - but the money has not and never will be.

Partly it is a size issue.

Humans are simply too Big for quarks and too small for Quasars to know much about either without spending an inordinate amount of money that we haven't got to spend, not when more pressing human-sized problems face us.

If this sort of scientific DENIALISM is sheer Blue Sky/ Castles in Spain/ Pie in the Sky wishful thinking , the COMMENSALIST science alternative is refreshingly down to earth.

It cheerfully accepts limits and strives instead to see just how far we can push them along,  for the betterment of life on Earth.

I am aware of many other scientist authors/bloggers out there working to refute crank denialism.

 But I currently know only of a few scientists (insider agitators as it were) who are tackling my definition of denialism from inside their institutional home of mainstream science and mathematics.

That takes a high level of intellectual bravery and I salute them.

In upcoming blog posts I will discuss some of these pioneers' work to explore whether it parallels my own efforts....

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