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Science Forum

  1. 25 Jul '14 15:33
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28464009

    Oh dear.

    Please say this is a wind up.
  2. 25 Jul '14 15:43
    I saw this today. The MP in question says he is "not afraid of ridicule." Well, that's painfully obvious.
  3. 25 Jul '14 16:01
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I saw this today. The MP in question says he is "not afraid of ridicule." Well, that's painfully obvious.
    Yeah, typical Pisces.
  4. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    25 Jul '14 16:12
    The logical flaw in all this is that just because some herbal remedies are useful, it doesn't mean astrology is anything other than hogwash. There is some link between the time of year on is born and health and psychological outcomes just because of the weather when one is young. This doesn't make astrology any use. The problem is the guy is on the Science and Technology select committee and is in a position to influence policy.

    As a bit of fun astrology is fine, but it can have no effect greater than a placebo in medicine, so one may as well save some money on an astrologer and give the patient a placebo.
  5. 25 Jul '14 18:27 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    The logical flaw in all this is that just because some herbal remedies are useful, it doesn't mean astrology is anything other than hogwash. There is some link between the time of year on is born and health and psychological outcomes just because of the weather when one is young. This doesn't make astrology any use. The problem is the guy is on ...[text shortened]... in medicine, so one may as well save some money on an astrologer and give the patient a placebo.
    I know what you mean, but I am not convinced that astrology even as a bit of fun is fine. It may have a placebo effect which may be benign or even positive, but I have seen just as many people discouraged from taking action to remedy something in their lives either because their stars say it isn't going to happen, or because it says it is and so they sit back and just wait for it.

    I wonder if this MP would have taken an interest in it at all if society was less tolerant to allowing such specious claptrap getting any kind of mainstream acceptability.
  6. 25 Jul '14 18:40 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    I know what you mean, but I am not convinced that astrology even as a bit of fun is fine. It may have a placebo effect which may be benign or even positive, but I have seen just as many people discouraged from taking action to remedy something in their lives either because their stars say it isn't going to happen, or because it says it is and so they ...[text shortened]... s less tolerant to allowing such specious claptrap getting any kind of mainstream acceptability.
    A future president may press the red button for thermal nuclear world war on the bases of the star signs.
    I think irrational beliefs are generally dangerous and I think we should fight them at every turn.
  7. 26 Jul '14 07:38
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    I know what you mean, but I am not convinced that astrology even as a bit of fun is fine. It may have a placebo effect which may be benign or even positive, but I have seen just as many people discouraged from taking action to remedy something in their lives either because their stars say it isn't going to happen, or because it says it is and so they ...[text shortened]... s less tolerant to allowing such specious claptrap getting any kind of mainstream acceptability.
    Nationalism is another bastion of irrationality that is still not nearly frowned upon enough. People support "their" football teams and Olympic athlethes without questioning why, and if quizzed, will say it's harmless and "just a bit of fun." But only when people stop supporting "their" teams and "their" country and the Olympics are abolished can we be sure there will not be another world war.
  8. 26 Jul '14 08:26 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Nationalism is another bastion of irrationality that is still not nearly frowned upon enough. People support "their" football teams and Olympic athlethes without questioning why, and if quizzed, will say it's harmless and "just a bit of fun." But only when people stop supporting "their" teams and "their" country and the Olympics are abolished can we be sure there will not be another world war.
    Wrong! Competition is the backbone of progress. A united world is a doomed world until such a time comes when we must unite against another species from a distant solar system... which is highly unlikely.
  9. 26 Jul '14 09:38
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Nationalism is another bastion of irrationality that is still not nearly frowned upon enough. People support "their" football teams and Olympic athlethes without questioning why, and if quizzed, will say it's harmless and "just a bit of fun." But only when people stop supporting "their" teams and "their" country and the Olympics are abolished can we be sure there will not be another world war.
    I agree with most of that. Although I don't think abolishing the Olympics would literally help prevent another war, I think I know what you really mean -it is the ruthless selfish competitive attitude that must somehow be 'abolished'.
  10. 26 Jul '14 09:55 / 6 edits
    Originally posted by iChopWoodForFree
    Wrong! Competition is the backbone of progress. A united world is a doomed world until such a time comes when we must unite against another species from a distant solar system... which is highly unlikely.
    Competition is the backbone of progress.

    it can be and, for technological progress, it often has been in the past. However, whatever progress can be achieved with competition potentially can always be achieved and with greater efficiency with cooperation. The only problem with that is the thorny problem of persuading and motivating people to make progress without necessarily any selfish personal gain but rather do it for the greater good of humanity -typical naturally selfish and ruthlessly aggressive human nature will tend to get in the way of that rather a lot. But, where and when people can be effectively persuaded to think and act purely altruistically and cooperate rather than compete for the greater good, cooperation is always better in every way than the vastly more wasteful competition! One problem with competition is that there are always some that lose. One advantage with cooperation over competition is that there isn't necessarily any losers because everyone can eventually benefit from it.
    In many cases, only cooperation can achieve certain goals. For example, cooperation, not competition, between the countries of the world can have any hope of eliminating world poverty and disease.
    A united world is a doomed world

    WHY would lack of division and cooperation doom the world? With all else being equal, the more united the world, the better its most likely future. A divided would may destroy itself through warfare because it is divided.
  11. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    26 Jul '14 15:40
    Originally posted by iChopWoodForFree
    Wrong! Competition is the backbone of progress. A united world is a doomed world until such a time comes when we must unite against another species from a distant solar system... which is highly unlikely.
    Actually what determines the projects one can take on is the level of accumulated capital. Competition makes it harder as there are several groups duplicating effort. For smallish projects this can be an advantage as they can go in different directions, but for larger projects it introduces artificial limits. No individual country could have taken on a project as expensive as LHC (the US cancelled SSC on cost grounds).
  12. 26 Jul '14 21:12
    Originally posted by humy to RankOutsider
    A future president may press the red button for thermal nuclear world war on the bases of the star signs.
    I think irrational beliefs are generally dangerous and I think we should fight them at every turn.
    US President Ronald Reagan liked to consult an astrologer, Joan Quigley.

    "Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time
    as White House Chief of Staff was cleared in advance with a woman (Joan
    Quigley) in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain the planets
    were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise."
    --Donald Regan

    How would you feel if the Americans elect a creationist as their President?
  13. 27 Jul '14 09:19
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    US President Ronald Reagan liked to consult an astrologer, Joan Quigley.

    "Virtually every major move and decision the Reagans made during my time
    as White House Chief of Staff was cleared in advance with a woman (Joan
    Quigley) in San Francisco who drew up horoscopes to make certain the planets
    were in a favorable alignment for the enterprise."
    --Donald Regan

    How would you feel if the Americans elect a creationist as their President?
    Aha! Finally an explanation for the US government's economic policies in the 1980s.
  14. 27 Jul '14 20:19 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Aha! Finally an explanation for the US government's economic policies in the 1980s.
    Even without astrological guidance, US President Reagan was capable of great folly.
  15. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    27 Jul '14 20:48
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Even without astrological guidance, US President Reagan was capable of great folly.
    What else could you expect from a grade B movie actor turn president?

    Did you know he actually thought that if he pushed the red button launching missiles to Russia, he could recall them if he thought he had gone too far.