1. Zugzwang
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    24 Nov '20 01:041 edit
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/nov/23/oxford-covid-vaccine-hit-90-success-rate-thanks-to-dosing-error

    "Oxford Covid vaccine hit 90% success rate thanks to dosing error.
    Participants given first shot at half strength by mistake were found to be better protected."

    "The Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccine trials reached 90%
    efficacy by accident thanks to the “serendipity” of an error that led
    to some participants receiving half doses, it has emerged.

    On Monday scientists revealed that the Oxford vaccine had an
    overall efficacy of 70%, but could be around 90% effective when
    administered as a half dose followed by a full dose a month later.

    “The reason we had the half dose is serendipity,” said Mene Pangalos,
    executive vice-president of biopharmaceuticals research and
    development at AstraZeneca."

    "Scientists said they still could not fully explain why the half dose gave better
    protection, but said it may be that it triggers the immune system differently."

    Scientists really know what they are doing, don't they?
  2. Joined
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    24 Nov '20 08:593 edits
    Many scientific discoveries, as well as many new scientific mysteries, are discovered by scientists accidentally. That doesn't imply in any way that scientists in general don't "know what they are doing" nor would it in any way imply that there is something wrong with their methodology nor with their general way of thinking. Apply sound scientific method for long enough and there is pretty much bound to be at least one accidental discovery and that fact can even be taken as a sign, of sorts, that scientific method works.
    Many such scientific discoveries that have been discovered by scientists accidentally have had benefits, or at least significant consequences bad or good, for humanity (see link below) and that includes penicillin; -and how many lives have been saved by penicillin?

    https://www.sciencealert.com/these-eighteen-accidental-scientific-discoveries-changed-the-world
  3. Zugzwang
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    24 Nov '20 17:451 edit
    @humy said
    Many scientific discoveries, as well as many new scientific mysteries, are discovered by scientists accidentally. That doesn't imply in any way that scientists in general don't "know what they are doing" nor would it in any way imply that there is something wrong with their methodology nor with their general way of thinking. Apply sound scientific method for long enough and ther ...[text shortened]... ?

    https://www.sciencealert.com/these-eighteen-accidental-scientific-discoveries-changed-the-world
    I was well aware of the famous story of the discovery of penicillin.

    My last sentence did NOT mean, of course, that scientists never know what they are doing.
    I would like to see more humility, however, from some people here about the limits of science.
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    24 Nov '20 18:218 edits
    @duchess64 said

    I would like to see more humility, however, from some people here about the limits of science.
    I honestly do not understand your complaint against us in the slightest.
    Did somebody here say science can do anything such as move whole stars and galaxies or tell us the exact age of the universe specifically with an accuracy within one trillionth of a second?
    Obviously nobody here denies science has limits.
    Exactly what kind "limits" are your referring to here and give an example of when and where one of us here denied one of those limits and exactly which one...
  5. Zugzwang
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    24 Nov '20 18:39
    @humy said
    I honestly do not understand your complaint against us in the slightest.
    Did somebody here say science can do anything such as move whole stars and galaxies?
    Obviously nobody here denies science has limits.
    Exactly what kind "limits" are your referring to here and give an example of when and where one of us here denied one of those limits and exactly which one...
    To be more precise, perhaps I should have written the 'limits of scientists' rather than the 'limits of science'.

    There seems to be a common naive overidealization of science and scientists.
    Most people seem to overlook how science has been exploited to oppress people.
    There's a long history of 'scientific racism' and 'scientific sexism'.
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    24 Nov '20 19:311 edit
    @duchess64 said

    There seems to be a common naive overidealization of science and scientists.
    Most people seem to overlook how science has been exploited to oppress people.
    There's a long history of 'scientific racism' and 'scientific sexism'.
    To the best of my recollection, I have never have seen any post on this science forum that does any of those things.
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    24 Nov '20 19:541 edit
    @duchess64 said
    There seems to be a common naive overidealization of science and scientists.
    Most people seem to overlook how science has been exploited to oppress people.
    There's a long history of 'scientific racism' and 'scientific sexism'.
    Blaming science for oppression is like blaming gravity when you fall off the roof.
  8. Zugzwang
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    24 Nov '20 19:561 edit
    @humy said
    To the best of my recollection, I have never have seen any post on this science forum that does any of those things.
    It's the elephant in the room that one does not mention.

    My point is that, amidst the general tone of 'science and scientists are always wonderful',
    there seems to be little or no recognition of how science has been exploited.
    'Scientific racism' was used by Westerners to justify the conquest of non-Western peoples.
    'Scientific sexism' has been (and still is) used to justify depriving women of equal rights or opportunities.

    In general, white men lack interest in recognizing 'scientific racism' or 'scientific sexism'.
    It's easier for them to pretend that it does not or even never has existed.
  9. Zugzwang
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    24 Nov '20 19:593 edits
    @wildgrass said
    Blaming science for oppression is like blaming gravity when you fall off the roof.
    One should not just cherry-pick the many good uses to which science has been put
    and say 'Bravo for science!' while ignoring the bad uses to which science has
    been put and say 'But that does not count because it's not really science".

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_racism

    "Scientific racism, sometimes termed biological racism, is the pseudoscientific belief
    that empirical evidence exists to support or justify racism (racial discrimination),
    racial inferiority, or racial superiority.[1][2][3][4] Historically, scientific racism received
    credence throughout the scientific community, but it is no longer considered scientific."

    Many famous scientists were ardent believers in 'scientific racism'.
    My point is that a scientist can do both good work and bad work.
    A scientist could discover a cure for a disease and also, using a 'scientific method',
    conclude that white people are intrinsically superior to non-white people and
    therefore justified in enslaving or exploiting non-white people.
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    24 Nov '20 21:142 edits
    @duchess64 said
    One should not just cherry-pick the many good uses to which science has been put
    and say 'Bravo for science!' while ignoring the bad uses to which science has
    been put and say 'But that does not count because it's not really science".

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_racism

    "Scientific racism, sometimes termed biological racism, is the pseudoscientific bel ...[text shortened]... y superior to non-white people and
    therefore justified in enslaving or exploiting non-white people.
    One should not just cherry-pick the many good uses to which science has been put
    and say 'Bravo for science!' while ignoring the bad uses to which science has
    been put
    which one of us here has ever said "Bravo for science!" while denying science has sometimes been used for evil?
    and say 'But that does not count because it's not really science".
    If something isn't science then science cannot be blamed for it.
    Racism has never been part of real science because science comes from real empirical evidence, not mere hearsay of empirical evidence.
    Nobody here as far as I am aware has ever supported this 'scientific racism' so I really still honestly don't understand what you have got against us here. You cannot blame us for something other people, not us, once did.
    My point is that a scientist can do both good work and bad work.
    Which, given nobody here denies a scientist can do bad, isn't a point.
    A scientist could discover a cure for a disease and also, using a 'scientific method',
    conclude that white people are intrinsically superior to non-white people
    No, he cannot. Not with any valid scientific method. The word 'superior', at least in this narrow context, has no scientific meaning, let alone rep something that scientific method can be applied to.
  11. Zugzwang
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    24 Nov '20 23:03
    @humy said
    One should not just cherry-pick the many good uses to which science has been put
    and say 'Bravo for science!' while ignoring the bad uses to which science has
    been put
    which one of us here has ever said "Bravo for science!" while denying science has sometimes been used for evil?
    [quote] and say 'But that does not count because it's not really science". [/qu ...[text shortened]... ontext, has no scientific meaning, let alone rep something that scientific method can be applied to.
    Apparently stuck in denial, Humy distorts the context.

    "...say 'Bravo for science!'"
    --Duchess64

    Obviously, it was not meant as a literal quote, but as the general expression of
    the UNCRITICAL ADULATION of science and scientists.
    Humy prefers to attack the strawman of it being a literal quote.

    The 'scientific racists' said that they applied the 'scientific method' as much to
    questions of 'race' as they did in their other scientific work.

    In an earlier generation, most, if not about all, of the white people here would likely
    have believed the 'scientific racists'.
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    25 Nov '20 07:402 edits
    @duchess64 said


    Obviously, it was not meant as a literal quote, but as the general expression of
    the UNCRITICAL ADULATION of science and scientists.
    I haven't noticed any of that here but, even if I had, that's not the same thing as 'scientific racism'.

    Humy prefers to attack the strawman of it being a literal quote.
    No, I prefer that you clarify what the hell you are talking about because I'm not a mind reader.
    The 'scientific racists' said that they applied the 'scientific method' as much to questions of 'race' as they did in their other scientific work.
    We are not those 'scientific racists'. I for one have seen no evidence that any of us here are these 'scientific racists'. Perhaps you would like to explain yourself, making apparent unfounded and unprovoked accusations against us? And why this apparent prejudice against scientists and science?
  13. Zugzwang
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    25 Nov '20 08:17
    @humy said
    I haven't noticed any of that here but, even if I had, that's not the same thing as 'scientific racism'.

    Humy prefers to attack the strawman of it being a literal quote.
    No, I prefer that you clarify what the hell you are talking about because I'm not a mind reader.
    [quote] The 'scientific racists' said that they applied the 'scientific method' as much to ...[text shortened]... d unprovoked accusations against us? And why this apparent prejudice against scientists and science?
    Humy continues his dishonest distortions, attacking more strawmen.

    Clearly, I cited 'scientific racism', not to mention 'scientific sexism', as major
    examples of why the sweeping idealization of science and scientists is wrong.
    Scientists are just about as flawed and prejudiced as non-scientists.
    (I already have condemned Humy's racism or at least willful blindness to racism in earlier threads.)

    Some books about 'scientific sexism':
    _The Mismeasure of Woman_ by Carol Tavris (1992)
    _Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong-and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story_
    by Angela Saini (2017)

    I suspect that Humy will claim that he never has noticed any sexism in modern science.
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    25 Nov '20 15:48
    @duchess64 said
    My point is that a scientist can do both good work and bad work.
    A scientist could discover a cure for a disease and also, using a 'scientific method',
    conclude that white people are intrinsically superior to non-white people and
    therefore justified in enslaving or exploiting non-white people.
    I think these points as stated are pretty obvious. But earlier you had written that scientists are overidealized and intimated that science was the cause of oppression. Those things are both untrue.
  15. Zugzwang
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    25 Nov '20 19:061 edit
    @wildgrass said
    I think these points as stated are pretty obvious. But earlier you had written that scientists are overidealized and intimated that science was the cause of oppression. Those things are both untrue.
    Just keep denying reality.

    Many people who have not worked around scientists tend to overidealize them.
    In reality, many scientists behave selfishly and some very dishonestly when it
    comes to competing for fame and fortune or just a secure job.

    Science has been widely exploited to justify the oppression of many people,
    though privileged white men tend not to be among them.

    Some books about 'scientific sexism':
    _The Mismeasure of Woman_ by Carol Tavris (1992)
    _Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong-and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story_
    by Angela Saini (2017)

    I suspect that most men will claim that there's no sexism in science, at least not in modern science.
    Many, if not most, women who work in modern science would disagree.
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