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(The New Republic)   Those nerdy scientists have become a bunch of bullies, according to people who believe in telepathy and hate getting criticized   (newrepublic.com) divider line 141
    More: Dumbass, Deepak Chopra, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Kellogg School of Management, Chapman University, telepathy, Jerry Coyne, scientific progress, telomerase  
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5082 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Nov 2013 at 4:10 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



141 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-11-19 04:13:23 PM  
But Sheldrake is respected in his (morphic) field!
 
2013-11-19 04:14:03 PM  
Nerds tend to be bully with other nerds. Read any IT thread about a subject. Or just go to Slashdot and read any filtered comment rated below +1. You can see how they speak to one another.

Or I guess just read the random thread on Fark. Same thing.
 
2013-11-19 04:14:09 PM  
Truth hurts.
 
2013-11-19 04:14:12 PM  
images2.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-11-19 04:16:28 PM  
images4.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-11-19 04:16:44 PM  
 Every time you eat a chicken or a banana it transforms into a human. ~ Chopra


No.
 
2013-11-19 04:17:39 PM  

skinink: Nerds tend to be bully with other nerds. Read any IT thread about a subject. Or just go to Slashdot and read any filtered comment rated below +1. You can see how they speak to one another.

Or I guess just read the random thread on Fark. Same thing.


except when two of them are talking complete idiocy, and the one who's still grounded in reality is called the bully
 
2013-11-19 04:18:06 PM  

Satan's Bunny Slippers: Every time you eat a chicken or a banana it transforms into a human. ~ Chopra


No.


Why, that's a rather silly take on Chopra's beliefs.

*reads TFA*

WTF.
 
2013-11-19 04:20:03 PM  
Here are a few examples of my recent participation in real science.
...
As a member of the American College of Physicians, I am board certified and maintain licenses in Massachusetts and California.


So you're a human mechanic. Does this make auto-mechanics scientists too?
 
2013-11-19 04:20:34 PM  
And of course the comments are filled with people who think their unverifiable beliefs about consciousness are scientific because they put down thick layers of mysterious sounding language.
 
2013-11-19 04:21:07 PM  
Also oblig:

24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-11-19 04:22:36 PM  
The moon exists in consciousness-no consciousness, no moon-just a sluggishly expanding wave function in a superposition of possibilities. All happens within consciousness and nowhere else.

I bet bong hits with Deepak would be super fun.
 
2013-11-19 04:23:05 PM  

impaler: Here are a few examples of my recent participation in real science.
...
As a member of the American College of Physicians, I am board certified and maintain licenses in Massachusetts and California.

So you're a human mechanic. Does this make auto-mechanics scientists too?


Most physicians are not scientists. Many physicians engage in scientific research studies, and all are the practical and artistic application of science, but they are not necessarily scientists.

Maintaining the minimum amount of CEUs necessary to renew your medical license is NOT participating in real science.

Neither is pontificating on word salad from the big science thesaurus.
 
2013-11-19 04:23:56 PM  
Guess who's watching Penn & Teller's "Bullshiat!" right now?

/Must have been my ESP knowing this thread was coming up...
 
2013-11-19 04:24:11 PM  

Satan's Bunny Slippers: Every time you eat a chicken or a banana it transforms into a human. ~ Chopra


No.


i2.kym-cdn.com
 
2013-11-19 04:25:48 PM  

Satan's Bunny Slippers: Every time you eat a chicken or a banana it transforms into a human. ~ Chopra


No.


2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-11-19 04:26:57 PM  

Arkanaut: Satan's Bunny Slippers: Every time you eat a chicken or a banana it transforms into a human. ~ Chopra


No.

Why, that's a rather silly take on Chopra's beliefs.

*reads TFA*

WTF.


I was sort of giving Chopra a pass on his whining, thinking "yanno, it's not good, but at least it's not creationist shiat....until I read that.
 
2013-11-19 04:28:05 PM  

berylman: The moon exists in consciousness-no consciousness, no moon-just a sluggishly expanding wave function in a superposition of possibilities. All happens within consciousness and nowhere else.

I bet bong hits with Deepak would be super fun.


Wow.  Dude's so solipsistic he's crawled up his own ass.

/that line of reasoning is a short step away from "if we ignore our problems they'll all go away"
//Chopra hasn't gotten there because he apparently doesn't understand how reasoning works
 
2013-11-19 04:28:30 PM  

Satan's Bunny Slippers: Every time you eat a chicken or a banana it transforms into a human. ~ Chopra


No.


At least once when a universe was created from the explosive expansion of an unimaginably dense point of mass, and the as-yet-not-fully-understood particles expelled create atoms, a few of those atoms hung out with the wrong crowd and eventually transformed into a Chopra. ~ Me

The good news is that every atom that became a Chopra has a nonzero chance to later become a banana, and those atoms are unlikely to ever become a part of a Chopra again.  Additionally, if they do become part of a Chopra, they are likely to be part of a different Chopra, and that Chopra will necessarily be less douchey than the original Chopra.~ Also Me

BUY MY BOOK
 
2013-11-19 04:28:55 PM  
I am mentally bullying telepaths right now.

Ha! ha!
Stop bullshiating yourself!
Stop bullshiating yourself!
Why are you bullshiating yourself!
 
2013-11-19 04:29:06 PM  
cdn.tripwiremagazine.com
 
2013-11-19 04:30:27 PM  
All science is pseudo-science at some level.  Your's just happens to be a bit pseudo-ier than some others.
Beyond that, are those your mom's glasses?
 
2013-11-19 04:31:39 PM  

impaler: Also oblig:
[24.media.tumblr.com image 500x284]

Tim Minchin


Why not link to one of his songs?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBUc_kATGgg


Also:

i88.photobucket.com
 
2013-11-19 04:32:57 PM  
Credentials!  Lots of people have 'em.  Do they make you right?  Ask this guy--he had credentials:

2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-11-19 04:35:24 PM  

Bondith: berylman: The moon exists in consciousness-no consciousness, no moon-just a sluggishly expanding wave function in a superposition of possibilities. All happens within consciousness and nowhere else.

I bet bong hits with Deepak would be super fun.

Wow.  Dude's so solipsistic he's crawled up his own ass.

/that line of reasoning is a short step away from "if we ignore our problems they'll all go away"
//Chopra hasn't gotten there because he apparently doesn't understand how reasoning works


Well, if you destroy your consciousness, say, with a bullet through the head, all your problems will go away, so maybe Chopra's right.
 
2013-11-19 04:36:22 PM  

fickenchucker: Guess who's watching Penn & Teller's "Bullshiat!" right now?

/Must have been my ESP knowing this thread was coming up...


Champions of REAL magicians who openly admit that they are doing magic tricks.  I have the utmost respect for that art form, I've seen magicians do amazing things.  See also:  James Randi, sort of the "old guard" of pseudoscience debunking, and naturally a friend of Penn and Teller.  Famous magicians do tend to know each other, I guess that's natural.
 
2013-11-19 04:37:31 PM  
Oh god damnit, it's Chopra.

I think a lot of the problem comes from initial confusion regarding Quantum Mechanics, and what scientists mean when they say 'observe'.

Normal people hear 'observe', and think OH MY GOD! Conciousness itself alters reality! Things don't exist until we see them! WE HAVE SPECIAL POWERS!" (Or, at least, I'm assuming that's how Chopra got started on this bullshiat).

What we MEAN, and what it means in Quantum Mechanics, is basically "The universe interacts with this object in almost any fashion whatsoever, since that could, theoretically, be measured."
 
2013-11-19 04:39:29 PM  

fickenchucker: Guess who's watching Penn & Teller's "Bullshiat!" right now?

/Must have been my ESP knowing this thread was coming up...


I lost a huge ammount of respect for that show (And them) when, after someone pointed out they were being intentionally misrepresenting in one episode, they responded along the lines of "HEy, it's just entertainment, it's not meant to inform people!"

/That and they seem to have some sacred cows that they don't, for some reason, investigate on that show.
//Like, say, Libertarianism. Since no one can seem to agree on what that IS, you'd think that would make a wonderful, amusing Bullshiat episode. Yet for some *strange* reason, they never approached it...
 
2013-11-19 04:40:03 PM  

The_Philosopher_King: impaler: Also oblig:
[24.media.tumblr.com image 500x284] Tim Minchin


Why not link to one of his songs?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBUc_kATGgg


Also:

[i88.photobucket.com image 600x418]


Funny how people who don't believe in divination are much better prognosticators than those that do.
 
2013-11-19 04:41:34 PM  
Felgraf:
What we MEAN, and what it means in Quantum Mechanics, is basically "The universe interacts with this object in almost any fashion whatsoever, since that could, theoretically, be measured."

Can you elaborate a bit on that?  I'm still fairly confused.  My limited understanding, at least when it comes to quantum entanglement, is that at the very moment that either entangled particle is "observed", the probability wave collapses and instantly the two take on opposite states, no matter how far apart they are.  In this context, what does it really mean to "observe" it?  Would a better word to be to "measure" it?

/no tolerance for pseudoscience, but I admit quantum physics is pretty mind boggling.
 
2013-11-19 04:41:51 PM  

Rabid Badger Beaver Weasel: Truth hurts.


www.mtv.comwww.futurestyle.orgd3na4zxidw1hr4.cloudfront.netuserserve-ak.last.fm
O RLY?
 
2013-11-19 04:49:14 PM  

Felgraf: Oh god damnit, it's Chopra.

I think a lot of the problem comes from initial confusion regarding Quantum Mechanics, and what scientists mean when they say 'observe'.

Normal people hear 'observe', and think OH MY GOD! Conciousness itself alters reality! Things don't exist until we see them! WE HAVE SPECIAL POWERS!" (Or, at least, I'm assuming that's how Chopra got started on this bullshiat).

What we MEAN, and what it means in Quantum Mechanics, is basically "The universe interacts with this object in almost any fashion whatsoever, since that could, theoretically, be measured."


I am reminded of a monologue by retired actress Julia Sweeney. She stated that, after becoming fascinated with the subject of quantum physics specifically due to Mr. Chopra's statements on the subject, she took several quantum physics courses. Amongst the lessons that she learned from those courses were, and this is a direct quote, "Deepak Chopra is full of shiat!"
 
2013-11-19 04:50:42 PM  

Satan's Bunny Slippers: Every time you eat a chicken or a banana it transforms into a human. ~ Chopra


No.


2.bp.blogspot.com

agrees.
 
2013-11-19 04:52:16 PM  

Felgraf: Oh god damnit, it's Chopra.

I think a lot of the problem comes from initial confusion regarding Quantum Mechanics, and what scientists mean when they say 'observe'.

Normal people hear 'observe', and think OH MY GOD! Conciousness itself alters reality! Things don't exist until we see them! WE HAVE SPECIAL POWERS!" (Or, at least, I'm assuming that's how Chopra got started on this bullshiat).

What we MEAN, and what it means in Quantum Mechanics, is basically "The universe interacts with this object in almost any fashion whatsoever, since that could, theoretically, be measured."


Quantum mechanics is deeply strange, so some people decide that it supports whatever else they happen to believe that is strange.
 
2013-11-19 04:53:34 PM  

nekom: Felgraf:
What we MEAN, and what it means in Quantum Mechanics, is basically "The universe interacts with this object in almost any fashion whatsoever, since that could, theoretically, be measured."

Can you elaborate a bit on that?  I'm still fairly confused.  My limited understanding, at least when it comes to quantum entanglement, is that at the very moment that either entangled particle is "observed", the probability wave collapses and instantly the two take on opposite states, no matter how far apart they are.  In this context, what does it really mean to "observe" it?  Would a better word to be to "measure" it?

/no tolerance for pseudoscience, but I admit quantum physics is pretty mind boggling.


I should note: I am not a theorist, graduate quantum mechanics was two years ago, and research is frying my brain, but!

If I recall correctly, what they mean by observed is, literally, *anything hitting it*. That is, after all, how we'd measure it, in theory: By bouncing something off it, or passing it through something with which it would interact (IF it has polarization A, it can't pass through this, but if it has polarization B, it can!). Interacting with *any matter* at all collapses the wave function.

Part of the confusion comes from the fact that Quantum Mechanics is, computationally, kind of a mathematical abstraction. There are some arguments that things aren't actually 'wave forms', but that it's something else in play, but that kind of goes over my head a little.

Do be careful with the 'opposite states' thing: They take on opposite *initial* states. If I take pains to make sure the first paticle I measure is in state A) (By hiting it with something to force it into state A), I do *not* force the other particle into state B)-you cannot make FTL communication by using Quantum Entanglement (Because there is no way to see if a wave form has 'collapsed'.)
 
2013-11-19 04:54:58 PM  

Raoul Eaton: Quantum mechanics is deeply strange, so some people decide that it supports whatever else they happen to believe that is strange.


Well, yes, but I really do believe some of it is founded in a misunderstanding. It is VERY EASY to hear "Observed" and think "Holy shiat, a fundamental force of the universe is altered merely by a concious mind looking at it!", and going from there to Quantum mechanics=NEw Age Mysticism is right.
 
2013-11-19 04:56:46 PM  
Felgraf:
If I recall correctly, what they mean by observed is, literally, *anything hitting it*. That is, after all, how we'd measure it, in theory: By bouncing something off it, or passing it through something with which it would interact (IF it has polarization A, it can't pass through this, but if it has polarization B, it can!). Interacting with *any matter* at all collapses the wave function.

So in essence, to "measure" it, it is necessary to force it to interact with something, and that interaction rather than the "observation" collapses the wave?  That makes sense.  So the answer to "ZOMG how does it KNOW you measured it?" is really "It doesn't." then?
 
2013-11-19 04:59:54 PM  

Satan's Bunny Slippers: Every time you eat a chicken or a banana it transforms into a human. ~ Chopra


No.


And poop.  It turns into a human and poop.
 
2013-11-19 05:01:52 PM  
Consciousness? I care not for it. It's unconsciousness I crave. Where's my martini. Plus, quantum physics makes brain matter shoot out of my ears.
 
2013-11-19 05:03:13 PM  
Photons do not have consciousness, nature does not have a mind, the moon is there whether humans see it or not, and intelligence is not inherent in nature, but a product of naturalistic evolution.

I, too, tend to agree with this, but technically he doesn't know these things so he shouldn't say them so definitively or absolutely. He should say, "There is absolutely no credible evidence that..."
 
2013-11-19 05:05:22 PM  

nekom: Felgraf:
If I recall correctly, what they mean by observed is, literally, *anything hitting it*. That is, after all, how we'd measure it, in theory: By bouncing something off it, or passing it through something with which it would interact (IF it has polarization A, it can't pass through this, but if it has polarization B, it can!). Interacting with *any matter* at all collapses the wave function.

So in essence, to "measure" it, it is necessary to force it to interact with something, and that interaction rather than the "observation" collapses the wave?  That makes sense.  So the answer to "ZOMG how does it KNOW you measured it?" is really "It doesn't." then?


Exactly right! You've got it, I think. =)
And I suspect the reason we just call it 'observation' when teaching it is because it is easier to say "When it is observed" (since they assume other scientists know what they mean) then to say "When anything interacts with this for any reason whatsoever'."
 
2013-11-19 05:06:37 PM  

jigger: Photons do not have consciousness, nature does not have a mind, the moon is there whether humans see it or not, and intelligence is not inherent in nature, but a product of naturalistic evolution.

I, too, tend to agree with this, but technically he doesn't know these things so he shouldn't say them so definitively or absolutely. He should say, "There is absolutely no credible evidence that..."


It's hard to blame people, though, sometimes.  Who needs psychics when the universe itself is so freaking weird?  I mean, there was a time that people didn't understand what stars, comets, planets, etc were and assumed them to be spirits or whatever else.  One can hardly blame them for believing that, as they had no proper explanation for them.  So this completely freaking BIZARRO stuff starts getting discovered, quantum entanglement, black holes, superfluid helium, etc. and even some relatively smart people are going to see theological implications.
 
2013-11-19 05:08:48 PM  
Felgraf:
Exactly right! You've got it, I think. =)
And I suspect the reason we just call it 'observation' when teaching it is because it is easier to say "When it is observed" (since they assume other scientists know what they mean) then to say "When anything interacts with this for any reason whatsoever'."


Thanks for clearing that up, though I'm still blown away by that.  I mean, in theory information IS still breaching the speed of light.  Unless it isn't.  Again, who needs bullshiat when real science is so mind boggling?
 
2013-11-19 05:09:11 PM  
yes, observation in the quantum world means "interaction" and it certainly doesn't mean consciousness. however, that interaction doesn't seem to occur when a particle is "hit", it seems to occur when the particle that bounces off of the targeted particle is measured, however it is measured.

that's my understanding of it.
 
2013-11-19 05:10:16 PM  

nekom: jigger: Photons do not have consciousness, nature does not have a mind, the moon is there whether humans see it or not, and intelligence is not inherent in nature, but a product of naturalistic evolution.

I, too, tend to agree with this, but technically he doesn't know these things so he shouldn't say them so definitively or absolutely. He should say, "There is absolutely no credible evidence that..."

It's hard to blame people, though, sometimes.  Who needs psychics when the universe itself is so freaking weird?  I mean, there was a time that people didn't understand what stars, comets, planets, etc were and assumed them to be spirits or whatever else.  One can hardly blame them for believing that, as they had no proper explanation for them.  So this completely freaking BIZARRO stuff starts getting discovered, quantum entanglement, black holes, superfluid helium, etc. and even some relatively smart people are going to see theological implications.


But I was saying that Coyne doesn't know if photons have consciousness or not. They sure don't look like they do and so far nothing even suggests that they possibly could, but to say that you know absolutely that they do not is incorrect. It's also not, dare I say, scientific.
 
2013-11-19 05:11:20 PM  
Nerdy bullies?

www.smbc-comics.com
 
2013-11-19 05:12:17 PM  

nekom: Felgraf:
Exactly right! You've got it, I think. =)
And I suspect the reason we just call it 'observation' when teaching it is because it is easier to say "When it is observed" (since they assume other scientists know what they mean) then to say "When anything interacts with this for any reason whatsoever'."

Thanks for clearing that up, though I'm still blown away by that.  I mean, in theory information IS still breaching the speed of light.  Unless it isn't.  Again, who needs bullshiat when real science is so mind boggling?


the information itself is "non-local' they say.. but the ability to tell anything meaningful from that information must include information that can only travel at the speed of light, so whether anything is or isn't "transmitted", it won't ever matter to us.

it's like rolling two dice and having that result "pop up" on both sides instantly.. but until you communicate what that result is - and you can only do that classically - at light speed - you'll never be able to tell that the two were the same number or different.

/again that's what I understand
 
2013-11-19 05:12:22 PM  
jigger:
But I was saying that Coyne doesn't know if photons have consciousness or not. They sure don't look like they do and so far nothing even suggests that they possibly could, but to say that you know absolutely that they do not is incorrect. It's also not, dare I say, scientific.

I'm not 100% positive, but I THINK this is from Sagan's dragon in the garage example, the wording would be something like "Unless and until there is evidence to the contrary to review, I'm tentatively dismissing this."  Or as James Randi often says "It doesn't seem very likely to be true."  So yes, I agree with you fully on that.
 
2013-11-19 05:12:38 PM  

Dimensio: Felgraf: Oh god damnit, it's Chopra.

I think a lot of the problem comes from initial confusion regarding Quantum Mechanics, and what scientists mean when they say 'observe'.

Normal people hear 'observe', and think OH MY GOD! Conciousness itself alters reality! Things don't exist until we see them! WE HAVE SPECIAL POWERS!" (Or, at least, I'm assuming that's how Chopra got started on this bullshiat).

What we MEAN, and what it means in Quantum Mechanics, is basically "The universe interacts with this object in almost any fashion whatsoever, since that could, theoretically, be measured."

I am reminded of a monologue by retired actress Julia Sweeney. She stated that, after becoming fascinated with the subject of quantum physics specifically due to Mr. Chopra's statements on the subject, she took several quantum physics courses. Amongst the lessons that she learned from those courses were, and this is a direct quote, "Deepak Chopra is full of shiat!"


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5-mLoeNxn0
 
2013-11-19 05:13:03 PM  

nekom: Felgraf:
Exactly right! You've got it, I think. =)
And I suspect the reason we just call it 'observation' when teaching it is because it is easier to say "When it is observed" (since they assume other scientists know what they mean) then to say "When anything interacts with this for any reason whatsoever'."

Thanks for clearing that up, though I'm still blown away by that.  I mean, in theory information IS still breaching the speed of light.  Unless it isn't.  Again, who needs bullshiat when real science is so mind boggling?


Well, it's not, because A) You can't actually transmit information by it (You can't tell whether or not a wave form has collapsed, if I remember right), and *Fiddling* with particle A doesn't fiddle with particle B.

But it is flipping WEIRD, I agree.

sobriquet by any other name: yes, observation in the quantum world means "interaction" and it certainly doesn't mean consciousness. however, that interaction doesn't seem to occur when a particle is "hit", it seems to occur when the particle that bounces off of the targeted particle is measured, however it is measured.

that's my understanding of it.


Actually, I'm pretty sure that's wrong. And that *would* actually imply conciousness, or at least 'life' since it has to be some form of being which does the 'measuring', whether it's a plant reacting to the photon by photosynthesizing, or a human pissed off that they can't get the @#%@#^#@$ beam for their optical setup to align properly.
 
2013-11-19 05:14:19 PM  

Felgraf: nekom: Felgraf:
Exactly right! You've got it, I think. =)
And I suspect the reason we just call it 'observation' when teaching it is because it is easier to say "When it is observed" (since they assume other scientists know what they mean) then to say "When anything interacts with this for any reason whatsoever'."

Thanks for clearing that up, though I'm still blown away by that.  I mean, in theory information IS still breaching the speed of light.  Unless it isn't.  Again, who needs bullshiat when real science is so mind boggling?

Well, it's not, because A) You can't actually transmit information by it (You can't tell whether or not a wave form has collapsed, if I remember right), and *Fiddling* with particle A doesn't fiddle with particle B.

But it is flipping WEIRD, I agree.

sobriquet by any other name: yes, observation in the quantum world means "interaction" and it certainly doesn't mean consciousness. however, that interaction doesn't seem to occur when a particle is "hit", it seems to occur when the particle that bounces off of the targeted particle is measured, however it is measured.

that's my understanding of it.

Actually, I'm pretty sure that's wrong. And that *would* actually imply conciousness, or at least 'life' since it has to be some form of being which does the 'measuring', whether it's a plant reacting to the photon by photosynthesizing, or a human pissed off that they can't get the @#%@#^#@$ beam for their optical setup to align properly.


you took the word "measure" to mean life form, and that is not right - it can be "measured" by interacting with a third particle - that particle then bears the result.

Measurement in no way implies consciousness.
 
2013-11-19 05:14:50 PM  
I'm trying to wrap my mind around this, give someone a view from 1 expert (doctor, scientist, etc..) and they go okay makes sense, give them 10 in agreement and they go now they must be sure. Give them 100 in agreement and they buy it even more, give them 99 in agreement and 1 disagreeing and some David and Goliath complex kicks in and some sector will gravitate to the 1 since they must hold some truth the other 99 want to hide. Turn those 99 into a monolithic group via a big scary name, Medical Establishment, Big Pharma, etc... and now you have removed the fact it is still made up of a group of people who all have individual identities and have reached a shared consensus and now that rogue one is some sort of saint trying to save us all.

For some reason this is happening with global warming, vaccinations, and new age medicine. I would love to believe that we have moved beyond such snake oil salesmen tactics but as the pool of knowledge has grown people have become convinced that new knowledge is dangerous and there is some old knowledge that is better but we have forgotten in, old stuff worked fine and that 1 rogue will grab on to that and claim some ancient mojo. It's just upsetting that we have so much willful ignorance in your society and people that even worse are proud of their ignorance.
 
2013-11-19 05:16:01 PM  

Satan's Bunny Slippers: Every time you eat a chicken or a banana it transforms into a human. ~ Chopra


No.


If you eat a banana phone does it turn into a human/banana/phone hybrid?
 
2013-11-19 05:16:37 PM  
Weird? It would be weird if thingies smaller than light behaved like big things
 
2013-11-19 05:18:29 PM  

Felgraf: Raoul Eaton: Quantum mechanics is deeply strange, so some people decide that it supports whatever else they happen to believe that is strange.

Well, yes, but I really do believe some of it is founded in a misunderstanding. It is VERY EASY to hear "Observed" and think "Holy shiat, a fundamental force of the universe is altered merely by a concious mind looking at it!", and going from there to Quantum mechanics=NEw Age Mysticism is right.


Yes, it is easy, and this is the first time I've seen the confusion articulated so nicely and simply in lay terms.  Thanks.

FWIW, I got interested in QM coming at it from the woo end, based on just the confusion you describe.  (I think the book was Dancing Wu Li Masters.)  That got me interested in the science, then I started reading books by scientists and realized the woo wasn't part of the science, and I've since dropped my interest in woo.
 
2013-11-19 05:19:39 PM  

Felgraf: nekom: Felgraf:
If I recall correctly, what they mean by observed is, literally, *anything hitting it*. That is, after all, how we'd measure it, in theory: By bouncing something off it, or passing it through something with which it would interact (IF it has polarization A, it can't pass through this, but if it has polarization B, it can!). Interacting with *any matter* at all collapses the wave function.

So in essence, to "measure" it, it is necessary to force it to interact with something, and that interaction rather than the "observation" collapses the wave?  That makes sense.  So the answer to "ZOMG how does it KNOW you measured it?" is really "It doesn't." then?

Exactly right! You've got it, I think. =)
And I suspect the reason we just call it 'observation' when teaching it is because it is easier to say "When it is observed" (since they assume other scientists know what they mean) then to say "When anything interacts with this for any reason whatsoever'."


Do electrons inside of an atom interact with the protons in the nucleus?
 
2013-11-19 05:26:31 PM  
I'm sorry, I couldn't hear anyone over the whining toddler in the first three paragraphs of that article.
 
2013-11-19 05:28:39 PM  

mike_d85: Satan's Bunny Slippers: Every time you eat a chicken or a banana it transforms into a human. ~ Chopra


No.

And poop.  It turns into a human and poop.


This is now a poop thread.

aisforawkward.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-11-19 05:29:19 PM  

skinink: Nerds tend to be bully with other nerds. Read any IT thread about a subject. Or just go to Slashdot and read any filtered comment rated below +1. You can see how they speak to one another.

Or I guess just read the random thread on Fark. Same thing.


Scientists are some of the most condescending, manipulative assholes I've ever met when it comes to a theory they don't like. Even my anthro teacher got in on that game once talking about a theorist he didn't think was reputable. It drives me up a wall. Professionalism is actually something I tend to expect from people with degrees.
 
2013-11-19 05:30:45 PM  
images3.wikia.nocookie.net

...is being bullied by pseudoscientists.

/obscure?
 
2013-11-19 05:37:01 PM  

PsiChick: Professionalism is actually something I tend to expect from people with degrees.


The problem with your statement is that not all hypotheses and not all layperson theories are reasonable or should even be treated with respect or consideration. Depak Chopra falls into the later.

The man basically takes a Scientific Thesaurus and throws together pseudo-philosophical thought which he tries to make sound technobabbly.

Depak Chopra is the medical version of the Rockwell Automation Retroencabulator.
 
2013-11-19 05:42:46 PM  

hardinparamedic: PsiChick: Professionalism is actually something I tend to expect from people with degrees.

The problem with your statement is that not all hypotheses and not all layperson theories are reasonable or should even be treated with respect or consideration. Depak Chopra falls into the later.

The man basically takes a Scientific Thesaurus and throws together pseudo-philosophical thought which he tries to make sound technobabbly.

Depak Chopra is the medical version of the Rockwell Automation Retroencabulator.


Ever hear of this guy? I don't have my bookmarks, so it's a shiatty article, but this guy was basically harassed nonstop because of his theory. When they're doing that to their own, yes, there's something wrong.
 
2013-11-19 05:46:10 PM  

PsiChick: skinink: Nerds tend to be bully with other nerds. Read any IT thread about a subject. Or just go to Slashdot and read any filtered comment rated below +1. You can see how they speak to one another.

Or I guess just read the random thread on Fark. Same thing.

Scientists are some of the most condescending, manipulative assholes I've ever met when it comes to a theory they don't like. Even my anthro teacher got in on that game once talking about a theorist he didn't think was reputable. It drives me up a wall. Professionalism is actually something I tend to expect from people with degrees.


Anthropology is a field where the "soft" and "hard" sciences conmingle more than is common elsewhere. This makes many of those with a stronger "hard" science background rather protective of their credibility, and many of those whose background is closer to the traditional humanities very defensive about theirs.
 
2013-11-19 05:48:32 PM  

hardinparamedic: Depak Chopra is the medical version of the Rockwell Automation Retroencabulator.


Nailed it.

The phrase I was going to use was, "not even wrong."
 
2013-11-19 05:52:06 PM  

RevCarter: PsiChick: skinink: Nerds tend to be bully with other nerds. Read any IT thread about a subject. Or just go to Slashdot and read any filtered comment rated below +1. You can see how they speak to one another.

Or I guess just read the random thread on Fark. Same thing.

Scientists are some of the most condescending, manipulative assholes I've ever met when it comes to a theory they don't like. Even my anthro teacher got in on that game once talking about a theorist he didn't think was reputable. It drives me up a wall. Professionalism is actually something I tend to expect from people with degrees.

Anthropology is a field where the "soft" and "hard" sciences conmingle more than is common elsewhere. This makes many of those with a stronger "hard" science background rather protective of their credibility, and many of those whose background is closer to the traditional humanities very defensive about theirs.


As I provided a link to point out, it's not soft v. hard sciences. It's all of 'em.
 
2013-11-19 05:52:44 PM  

PsiChick: Ever hear of this guy? I don't have my bookmarks, so it's a shiatty article, but this guy was basically harassed nonstop because of his theory. When they're doing that to their own, yes, there's something wrong.


Galileo Gambit.
 
2013-11-19 05:59:14 PM  

hardinparamedic: PsiChick: Ever hear of this guy? I don't have my bookmarks, so it's a shiatty article, but this guy was basically harassed nonstop because of his theory. When they're doing that to their own, yes, there's something wrong.

Galileo Gambit.


Not unusual. Same happened to  Warren and Marshall when they proved certain stomach ulcers were caused by a bacteria.
 
2013-11-19 06:03:46 PM  
So, anybody else think the word "bully" has now been beaten into uselessness through overuse?
 
2013-11-19 06:06:29 PM  

simplicimus: Not unusual.


Actually it is unusual, as it only happens to those with extraordinary claims, which are by definition unusual.

Notice how all these people that "science thought were wrong" were awarded the Nobel Prize? Awarded by scientists too - go figure, they're not only assholes, they hypocrites too!

And if you lack basic logic skills, this clearly means that scientist's criticism of Chopra probably means he's right.
 
2013-11-19 06:06:48 PM  

simplicimus: Not unusual. Same happened to  Warren and Marshall when they proved certain stomach ulcers were caused by a bacteria.


It's not enough to be made fun of for your belief. You also have to be right.
 
2013-11-19 06:09:42 PM  

PsiChick: skinink: Nerds tend to be bully with other nerds. Read any IT thread about a subject. Or just go to Slashdot and read any filtered comment rated below +1. You can see how they speak to one another.

Or I guess just read the random thread on Fark. Same thing.

Scientists are some of the most condescending, manipulative assholes I've ever met when it comes to a theory they don't like. Even my anthro teacher got in on that game once talking about a theorist he didn't think was reputable. It drives me up a wall. Professionalism is actually something I tend to expect from people with degrees.


It's hard to humor fools. It's a difficult thing to sit there and attempt to maintain a professional distance when some moron decides that Darwinism is "outmoded" or that photons are conscious, and, more to the point, decides that his unobservable, untestable drivel of a hypothesis is just as valid as the observed and tested theories already in place. Yes, scientists should be perhaps a bit more tactful & circumspect when dealing with fools, but, let's face it, when you have a fool with deep pockets and a large following, like Chopra, undermining real science, it's hard to remain professionally distant.
 
2013-11-19 06:10:24 PM  

hardinparamedic: Galileo Gambit.


No, I'm not claiming  anyone is right or wrong (although, as anyone who knows me can guess, yes, I fall on the psychics-are-just-people-with-a-group-of-symptoms side). I'm saying 'don't be a douchebag'. There's a difference.
 
2013-11-19 06:12:33 PM  

FormlessOne: PsiChick: skinink: Nerds tend to be bully with other nerds. Read any IT thread about a subject. Or just go to Slashdot and read any filtered comment rated below +1. You can see how they speak to one another.

Or I guess just read the random thread on Fark. Same thing.

Scientists are some of the most condescending, manipulative assholes I've ever met when it comes to a theory they don't like. Even my anthro teacher got in on that game once talking about a theorist he didn't think was reputable. It drives me up a wall. Professionalism is actually something I tend to expect from people with degrees.

It's hard to humor fools. It's a difficult thing to sit there and attempt to maintain a professional distance when some moron decides that Darwinism is "outmoded" or that photons are conscious, and, more to the point, decides that his unobservable, untestable drivel of a hypothesis is just as valid as the observed and tested theories already in place. Yes, scientists should be perhaps a bit more tactful & circumspect when dealing with fools, but, let's face it, when you have a fool with deep pockets and a large following, like Chopra, undermining real science, it's hard to remain professionally distant.


So say 'no, this is not supported by evidence' and move on. Harassing people is not okay.
 
2013-11-19 06:13:14 PM  

impaler: simplicimus: Not unusual.

Actually it is unusual, as it only happens to those with extraordinary claims, which are by definition unusual.

Notice how all these people that "science thought were wrong" were awarded the Nobel Prize? Awarded by scientists too - go figure, they're not only assholes, they hypocrites too!

And if you lack basic logic skills, this clearly means that scientist's criticism of Chopra probably means he's right.


I never said science doesn't respond to new concepts, just that sometimes the road can be difficult. And Chopra is just a can man selling books and lecture tours.
 
2013-11-19 06:15:28 PM  

PsiChick: I'm saying 'don't be a douchebag


To go along with what I said, PsiChick,not everyone is worthy of being nice to, either. Typically, what happens when someone criticisms someone, such as Chopra, Mercola, Adams, et all, all of their followers come out of the woodwork to attack and harass someone for doing so. This has been taken to terrifying extremes by people who have contacted the critics' employers and accused them of things like falsifying their research, or molesting children (escalating quickly)

These people are total assholes who adopt the same tactics they criticize "mainstream science" for using, and then claim that because they're fighting for the TruthTM (Only revealed by paying 19.99 for my new book), it's all okay.
 
2013-11-19 06:23:27 PM  

hardinparamedic: PsiChick: I'm saying 'don't be a douchebag

To go along with what I said, PsiChick,not everyone is worthy of being nice to, either. Typically, what happens when someone criticisms someone, such as Chopra, Mercola, Adams, et all, all of their followers come out of the woodwork to attack and harass someone for doing so. This has been taken to terrifying extremes by people who have contacted the critics' employers and accused them of things like falsifying their research, or molesting children (escalating quickly)

These people are total assholes who adopt the same tactics they criticize "mainstream science" for using, and then claim that because they're fighting for the TruthTM (Only revealed by paying 19.99 for my new book), it's all okay.


Thing is, this is science. If someone calls your employer and harasses you, sue their asses for defamy, but until that point,  ignore it. You have evidence? That should be all you need. If you want to go confront, say, flat-Earthers, feel free, but do it in a civil manner.

It kind of doubles back to the fact that we live in a society. You can't make mean people go away, and the fact that people are assholes doesn't give you the right to be assholes in return.
 
2013-11-19 06:30:57 PM  

PsiChick: hardinparamedic: PsiChick: I'm saying 'don't be a douchebag

To go along with what I said, PsiChick,not everyone is worthy of being nice to, either. Typically, what happens when someone criticisms someone, such as Chopra, Mercola, Adams, et all, all of their followers come out of the woodwork to attack and harass someone for doing so. This has been taken to terrifying extremes by people who have contacted the critics' employers and accused them of things like falsifying their research, or molesting children (escalating quickly)

These people are total assholes who adopt the same tactics they criticize "mainstream science" for using, and then claim that because they're fighting for the TruthTM (Only revealed by paying 19.99 for my new book), it's all okay.

Thing is, this is science. If someone calls your employer and harasses you, sue their asses for defamy, but until that point,  ignore it. You have evidence? That should be all you need. If you want to go confront, say, flat-Earthers, feel free, but do it in a civil manner.

It kind of doubles back to the fact that we live in a society. You can't make mean people go away, and the fact that people are assholes doesn't give you the right to be assholes in return.


Yes, you're certainly right that professionals should act professionally, but sometimes it is really difficult.

I mean, if I walk into an accountant's office and tell him that spreadsheets are composed of sentient viruses that feed on numbers, and therefore he should change his practice to reflect my ideas, sure it'd be great if he wasn't a douchebag about it, but I'm not sure I can reasonably expect a polite response.

These woo practitioners aren't even in the ballpark where their ideas can have relevant evidence - it's closer to theology than science, and there is a long bitter history to deal with whereby people of religion have tried to tell scientists how they should practice science. I'm not saying that scientists shouldn't try to take the high road, but people can be more or less patient when confronted by the same (offensive) arguments year after year.
 
2013-11-19 06:30:58 PM  

Felgraf: fickenchucker: Guess who's watching Penn & Teller's "Bullshiat!" right now?

/Must have been my ESP knowing this thread was coming up...

I lost a huge ammount of respect for that show (And them) when, after someone pointed out they were being intentionally misrepresenting in one episode, they responded along the lines of "HEy, it's just entertainment, it's not meant to inform people!"

/That and they seem to have some sacred cows that they don't, for some reason, investigate on that show.
//Like, say, Libertarianism. Since no one can seem to agree on what that IS, you'd think that would make a wonderful, amusing Bullshiat episode. Yet for some *strange* reason, they never approached it...


You're reading too much into the series.  They never claimed they were scientists, followed a non-biased scientific method, or came to the table without their own opinions. In fact, they outright say they do have biases.  Their points have always been to encourage people to research the whole story and not latch onto bumper-sticker slogans.

And since the show is 10 years old they did recently revise their second-hand smoke opinions.  But they, and many others, question governmental bans on smoking over the rights of property owners.

About the Libertarian thing, everyone knows they're atheistic Libertarians.  Any philosophy carried to it's extreme isn't viable--society depends on a blending of outlooks to keep extremists in check.
 
2013-11-19 06:35:34 PM  

skinink: Nerds tend to be bully with other nerds. Read any IT thread about a subject. Or just go to Slashdot and read any filtered comment rated below +1. You can see how they speak to one another.

Or I guess just read the random thread on Fark. Same thing.


Reading the threads on Slashdot, you'd think they were all the undisputed rock stars of their respective fields or specialties as well as fighting off job offers with a stick.

Your post is a reaffirmation of why I stopped reading SD; the inflated egos there are just too much to take.
 
2013-11-19 06:37:34 PM  

kriegsgeist: Felgraf: nekom: Felgraf:
If I recall correctly, what they mean by observed is, literally, *anything hitting it*. That is, after all, how we'd measure it, in theory: By bouncing something off it, or passing it through something with which it would interact (IF it has polarization A, it can't pass through this, but if it has polarization B, it can!). Interacting with *any matter* at all collapses the wave function.

So in essence, to "measure" it, it is necessary to force it to interact with something, and that interaction rather than the "observation" collapses the wave?  That makes sense.  So the answer to "ZOMG how does it KNOW you measured it?" is really "It doesn't." then?

Exactly right! You've got it, I think. =)
And I suspect the reason we just call it 'observation' when teaching it is because it is easier to say "When it is observed" (since they assume other scientists know what they mean) then to say "When anything interacts with this for any reason whatsoever'."

Do electrons inside of an atom interact with the protons in the nucleus?


Of course they do via an exchange of photons. Rarely they dive right into the nucleus and get sucked into a Weak interaction.

As to the other point, we could have saved a lot of aggravation by saying "interaction" instead of "observation." When a particle collides with another particle it is necessarily localized in time and space, and so it's wave function has collapsed.
 
2013-11-19 06:42:07 PM  

HighZoolander: Yes, you're certainly right that professionals should act professionally, but sometimes it is really difficult.

I mean, if I walk into an accountant's office and tell him that spreadsheets are composed of sentient viruses that feed on numbers, and therefore he should change his practice to reflect my ideas, sure it'd be great if he wasn't a douchebag about it, but I'm not sure I can reasonably expect a polite response.

These woo practitioners aren't even in the ballpark where their ideas can have relevant evidence - it's closer to theology than science, and there is a long bitter history to deal with whereby people of religion have tried to tell scientists how they should practice science. I'm not saying that scientists shouldn't try to take the high road, but people can be more or less patient when confronted by the same (offensive) arguments year after year.


So maybe they should just, say, turn off the computer? Not everything needs to be responded to, and if you can't respond politely, go pay a freshman to type something up for you.
 
2013-11-19 06:49:25 PM  

PsiChick: HighZoolander: Yes, you're certainly right that professionals should act professionally, but sometimes it is really difficult.

I mean, if I walk into an accountant's office and tell him that spreadsheets are composed of sentient viruses that feed on numbers, and therefore he should change his practice to reflect my ideas, sure it'd be great if he wasn't a douchebag about it, but I'm not sure I can reasonably expect a polite response.

These woo practitioners aren't even in the ballpark where their ideas can have relevant evidence - it's closer to theology than science, and there is a long bitter history to deal with whereby people of religion have tried to tell scientists how they should practice science. I'm not saying that scientists shouldn't try to take the high road, but people can be more or less patient when confronted by the same (offensive) arguments year after year.

So maybe they should just, say, turn off the computer? Not everything needs to be responded to, and if you can't respond politely, go pay a freshman to type something up for you.


Well, people are human, and sometimes people on the internet are wrong. You're asking scientists not to argue, whereas you may as well ask people not to express opinions that undermine or make a mockery of their work.

(I had a freshman type this for me, which is why I resisted a response to that condescending/douchy comment)
 
2013-11-19 06:53:46 PM  

HighZoolander: PsiChick: HighZoolander: Yes, you're certainly right that professionals should act professionally, but sometimes it is really difficult.

I mean, if I walk into an accountant's office and tell him that spreadsheets are composed of sentient viruses that feed on numbers, and therefore he should change his practice to reflect my ideas, sure it'd be great if he wasn't a douchebag about it, but I'm not sure I can reasonably expect a polite response.

These woo practitioners aren't even in the ballpark where their ideas can have relevant evidence - it's closer to theology than science, and there is a long bitter history to deal with whereby people of religion have tried to tell scientists how they should practice science. I'm not saying that scientists shouldn't try to take the high road, but people can be more or less patient when confronted by the same (offensive) arguments year after year.

So maybe they should just, say, turn off the computer? Not everything needs to be responded to, and if you can't respond politely, go pay a freshman to type something up for you.

Well, people are human, and sometimes people on the internet are wrong. You're asking scientists not to argue, whereas you may as well ask people not to express opinions that undermine or make a mockery of their work.

(I had a freshman type this for me, which is why I resisted a response to that condescending/douchy comment)


I'm more saying that, if you're in a field and someone obviously pathetic challenges you...harassing them? Maybe not your best plan ever.
 
2013-11-19 06:56:56 PM  

PsiChick: HighZoolander: PsiChick: HighZoolander: Yes, you're certainly right that professionals should act professionally, but sometimes it is really difficult.

I mean, if I walk into an accountant's office and tell him that spreadsheets are composed of sentient viruses that feed on numbers, and therefore he should change his practice to reflect my ideas, sure it'd be great if he wasn't a douchebag about it, but I'm not sure I can reasonably expect a polite response.

These woo practitioners aren't even in the ballpark where their ideas can have relevant evidence - it's closer to theology than science, and there is a long bitter history to deal with whereby people of religion have tried to tell scientists how they should practice science. I'm not saying that scientists shouldn't try to take the high road, but people can be more or less patient when confronted by the same (offensive) arguments year after year.

So maybe they should just, say, turn off the computer? Not everything needs to be responded to, and if you can't respond politely, go pay a freshman to type something up for you.

Well, people are human, and sometimes people on the internet are wrong. You're asking scientists not to argue, whereas you may as well ask people not to express opinions that undermine or make a mockery of their work.

(I had a freshman type this for me, which is why I resisted a response to that condescending/douchy comment)

I'm more saying that, if you're in a field and someone obviously pathetic challenges you...harassing them? Maybe not your best plan ever.


Well yeah, I can't argue with that. I'm not sure someone rich and famous like Chopra falls into that category, but I've yet to see or hear of a scientist harassing someone who may really be mentally ill.
 
2013-11-19 07:02:12 PM  

HighZoolander: I'm more saying that, if you're in a field and someone obviously pathetic challenges you...harassing them? Maybe not your best plan ever.

Well yeah, I can't argue with that. I'm not sure someone rich and famous like Chopra falls into that category, but I've yet to see or hear of a scientist harassing someone who may really be mentally ill.


It seems to be a default response, is the problem. Like I said, they even ended up harassing a Nobel Prize winner. This is par for the course, and that shiat needs to stop.
 
2013-11-19 07:02:29 PM  

HailRobonia: Satan's Bunny Slippers: Every time you eat a chicken or a banana it transforms into a human. ~ Chopra


No.

[i2.kym-cdn.com image 400x280]


static2.dmcdn.net

So THAT is why the banana is the atheist's worst nightmare!
 
2013-11-19 07:05:58 PM  
To summarize and clarify some of the up-thread discussions:

In quantum mechanics, "observed" means "interacted with another particle (usually a photon) in such a way that the quantity in question changes what the interacting particle would do".

For instance, when you shoot an electron through an orbital containing another electron, whether the one you're shooting bounces, and in what direction, depends on the specific position of the electron in its orbital.  Thus, the orbital has been "observed" and the wave-function collapses, the electron having a specific location instead of a probabilistic one for a few femtoseconds.  This occurs whether the thing shooting the observing particle is a highly advanced bit of technology run by a human or just a wandering bit of charge off a lightning bolt, etc.
 
2013-11-19 07:10:51 PM  

PsiChick: So maybe they should just, say, turn off the computer? Not everything needs to be responded to, and if you can't respond politely, go pay a freshman to type something up for you.


Isn't that kind of rude and condescending to say?
 
2013-11-19 07:18:20 PM  
I didn't see this posted -- if someone else did, I missed seeing it.

Random Deepak Chopra.
 
2013-11-19 07:21:44 PM  

Felgraf: PsiChick: So maybe they should just, say, turn off the computer? Not everything needs to be responded to, and if you can't respond politely, go pay a freshman to type something up for you.

Isn't that kind of rude and condescending to say?


...Good point.
 
2013-11-19 07:28:15 PM  

PsiChick: HighZoolander: I'm more saying that, if you're in a field and someone obviously pathetic challenges you...harassing them? Maybe not your best plan ever.

Well yeah, I can't argue with that. I'm not sure someone rich and famous like Chopra falls into that category, but I've yet to see or hear of a scientist harassing someone who may really be mentally ill.

It seems to be a default response, is the problem. Like I said, they even ended up harassing a Nobel Prize winner. This is par for the course, and that shiat needs to stop.


I'm not about to say that it's good, but I'm honestly not convinced that it's worse in science (or among scientists) than in any other field (have you seen how literary critics treat authors/each other?).

It's just human nature. I doubt it will ever stop, however unappealing it may be.
 
2013-11-19 07:29:23 PM  

PsiChick: Felgraf: PsiChick: So maybe they should just, say, turn off the computer? Not everything needs to be responded to, and if you can't respond politely, go pay a freshman to type something up for you.

Isn't that kind of rude and condescending to say?

...Good point.


You just earned a few respect points.
 
2013-11-19 07:32:16 PM  

HighZoolander: PsiChick: HighZoolander: I'm more saying that, if you're in a field and someone obviously pathetic challenges you...harassing them? Maybe not your best plan ever.

Well yeah, I can't argue with that. I'm not sure someone rich and famous like Chopra falls into that category, but I've yet to see or hear of a scientist harassing someone who may really be mentally ill.

It seems to be a default response, is the problem. Like I said, they even ended up harassing a Nobel Prize winner. This is par for the course, and that shiat needs to stop.

I'm not about to say that it's good, but I'm honestly not convinced that it's worse in science (or among scientists) than in any other field (have you seen how literary critics treat authors/each other?).

It's just human nature. I doubt it will ever stop, however unappealing it may be.


True.
 
2013-11-19 07:34:58 PM  
Never mind all this "who said what."  Just check the claims against the crackpot index.
 
2013-11-19 08:18:47 PM  

PsiChick: hardinparamedic: PsiChick: I'm saying 'don't be a douchebag

To go along with what I said, PsiChick,not everyone is worthy of being nice to, either. Typically, what happens when someone criticisms someone, such as Chopra, Mercola, Adams, et all, all of their followers come out of the woodwork to attack and harass someone for doing so. This has been taken to terrifying extremes by people who have contacted the critics' employers and accused them of things like falsifying their research, or molesting children (escalating quickly)

These people are total assholes who adopt the same tactics they criticize "mainstream science" for using, and then claim that because they're fighting for the TruthTM (Only revealed by paying 19.99 for my new book), it's all okay.

Thing is, this is science. If someone calls your employer and harasses you, sue their asses for defamy, but until that point,  ignore it. You have evidence? That should be all you need. If you want to go confront, say, flat-Earthers, feel free, but do it in a civil manner.

It kind of doubles back to the fact that we live in a society. You can't make mean people go away, and the fact that people are assholes doesn't give you the right to be assholes in return.


People are learning the hard way that the 'we have science on our side, ignore the quacks' stance *costs lives*.

Consider Vaccination.  Science is sound.  Statistics are sound.  Quacks spread some lies and now we are seeing deaths as a result.

 IMO, especially right now, the pendulum is starting to swing back hard against pseudoscience masquerading as science.  Possibly in small part out of guilt for not slapping down the anti-vaxxers fast enough or hard enough.
 
2013-11-19 08:22:16 PM  

Discordulator: It kind of doubles back to the fact that we live in a society. You can't make mean people go away, and the fact that people are assholes doesn't give you the right to be assholes in return.

People are learning the hard way that the 'we have science on our side, ignore the quacks' stance *costs lives*.

Consider Vaccination.  Science is sound.  Statistics are sound.  Quacks spread some lies and now we are seeing deaths as a result.

 IMO, especially right now, the pendulum is starting to swing back hard against pseudoscience masquerading as science.  Possibly in small part out of guilt for not slapping down the anti-vaxxers fast enough or hard enough.


Harassing people doesn't solve that problem, it just invalidates you as a researcher.
 
2013-11-19 08:38:22 PM  

PsiChick: FormlessOne: PsiChick: skinink: Nerds tend to be bully with other nerds. Read any IT thread about a subject. Or just go to Slashdot and read any filtered comment rated below +1. You can see how they speak to one another.

Or I guess just read the random thread on Fark. Same thing.

Scientists are some of the most condescending, manipulative assholes I've ever met when it comes to a theory they don't like. Even my anthro teacher got in on that game once talking about a theorist he didn't think was reputable. It drives me up a wall. Professionalism is actually something I tend to expect from people with degrees.

It's hard to humor fools. It's a difficult thing to sit there and attempt to maintain a professional distance when some moron decides that Darwinism is "outmoded" or that photons are conscious, and, more to the point, decides that his unobservable, untestable drivel of a hypothesis is just as valid as the observed and tested theories already in place. Yes, scientists should be perhaps a bit more tactful & circumspect when dealing with fools, but, let's face it, when you have a fool with deep pockets and a large following, like Chopra, undermining real science, it's hard to remain professionally distant.

So say 'no, this is not supported by evidence' and move on. Harassing people is not okay.


Not advocating harassment, just defending a curt response. Harassment is never OK.
 
2013-11-19 08:41:45 PM  

FormlessOne: PsiChick: FormlessOne: PsiChick: skinink: Nerds tend to be bully with other nerds. Read any IT thread about a subject. Or just go to Slashdot and read any filtered comment rated below +1. You can see how they speak to one another.

Or I guess just read the random thread on Fark. Same thing.

Scientists are some of the most condescending, manipulative assholes I've ever met when it comes to a theory they don't like. Even my anthro teacher got in on that game once talking about a theorist he didn't think was reputable. It drives me up a wall. Professionalism is actually something I tend to expect from people with degrees.

It's hard to humor fools. It's a difficult thing to sit there and attempt to maintain a professional distance when some moron decides that Darwinism is "outmoded" or that photons are conscious, and, more to the point, decides that his unobservable, untestable drivel of a hypothesis is just as valid as the observed and tested theories already in place. Yes, scientists should be perhaps a bit more tactful & circumspect when dealing with fools, but, let's face it, when you have a fool with deep pockets and a large following, like Chopra, undermining real science, it's hard to remain professionally distant.

So say 'no, this is not supported by evidence' and move on. Harassing people is not okay.

Not advocating harassment, just defending a curt response. Harassment is never OK.


I'm okay with curt responses. My problem is scientists who are assholes.
 
2013-11-19 08:43:08 PM  

PsiChick: Harassing people doesn't solve that problem, it just invalidates you as a researcher.


You're focusing your harassment on the wrong side of things. The Age of Autism forum community,  for example, is infamous for death threats and attempts to ruin the personal and professional lives of people who are pro-vaccination and prominent. Reporter Tsine Tsounderos was attacked in print and online by "Chronic Lyme Disease" zealots after she wrote an expose series that exposed the slimy behavior and practices of the "doctors" and psuedoscience disciplines which preyed on them. These are people who will, for shiats and giggles, make dozens of alts and single-purpose facebook accounts simply to give the impression that numbers are on their side. NaturalNews.com is another site which is well known for doing this, publishing smear campaigns on people who criticism their statements and quackery.
 
2013-11-19 08:47:04 PM  

PsiChick: My problem is scientists who are assholes.


You would.

hardinparamedic: You're focusing your harassment on the wrong side of things. The Age of Autism forum community,  for example, is infamous for death threats and attempts to ruin the personal and professional lives of people who are pro-vaccination and prominent. Reporter Tsine Tsounderos was attacked in print and online by "Chronic Lyme Disease" zealots after she wrote an expose series that exposed the slimy behavior and practices of the "doctors" and psuedoscience disciplines which preyed on them. These are people who will, for shiats and giggles, make dozens of alts and single-purpose facebook accounts simply to give the impression that numbers are on their side. NaturalNews.com is another site which is well known for doing this, publishing smear campaigns on people who criticism their statements and quackery.


This.

If one want to state that it's scientists that are harassing, they're full of shat.
 
2013-11-19 08:49:57 PM  
PsiChick:
Harassing people doesn't solve that problem, it just invalidates you as a researcher.

It's important to remember that harassment is rarely the Weeners.  Deepak, as an example, has been pushing this sort of twatwaddle for years.  The opposition to him was quiet, and it made no difference.  The voice of opposition has just slowly grown louder and louder until one day people say 'hey, this is harassment'.  At some point the magic line was crossed and suddenly it's harassment?   And for that matter, what is being called harassment is simply blunt honesty.

Also, it doesn't invalidate the researcher any more than being harassed validates the harassed, or harassing invalidates the one being harassed.

Woo causes real harm, be it physical, emotional, financial, and that harm is not contained to only the one who embraces it.  Therefore, why be anything other than blunt and honest?  Sugarcoating has not brought positive results in dealing with snake oil peddlers for over 100 years of dealings.  Why should it work now?
 
2013-11-19 08:53:19 PM  

hardinparamedic: PsiChick: Harassing people doesn't solve that problem, it just invalidates you as a researcher.

You're focusing your harassment on the wrong side of things. The Age of Autism forum community,  for example, is infamous for death threats and attempts to ruin the personal and professional lives of people who are pro-vaccination and prominent. Reporter Tsine Tsounderos was attacked in print and online by "Chronic Lyme Disease" zealots after she wrote an expose series that exposed the slimy behavior and practices of the "doctors" and psuedoscience disciplines which preyed on them. These are people who will, for shiats and giggles, make dozens of alts and single-purpose facebook accounts simply to give the impression that numbers are on their side. NaturalNews.com is another site which is well known for doing this, publishing smear campaigns on people who criticism their statements and quackery.


And then there's a Nobel Prize winner kicked out of his lab for discovering quasicrystals. I'm not saying those people aren't bad. I'm saying neither side gets a pass.
 
2013-11-19 08:58:34 PM  

PsiChick: Harassing people doesn't solve that problem, it just invalidates you as a researcher.


PsiChick is right, scientists and science advocates really should just ignore the woo-peddlers. If science has facts on its side, then there is no need to discredit the claims of the other side. Facts speak for themselves and we all know that everyone listens to the facts when they are presented. I mean, what's the harm in letting the woo-meisters spew nonsense, anyway, right?
 
2013-11-19 08:58:36 PM  

Discordulator: Woo causes real harm, be it physical, emotional, financial, and that harm is not contained to only the one who embraces it.  Therefore, why be anything other than blunt and honest?  Sugarcoating has not brought positive results in dealing with snake oil peddlers for over 100 years of dealings.  Why should it work now?


This.

I've explained to you before that people have strong feelings on this matter for a number of reasons. Some have watched their patients die prematurely because they chose "alternative medicine" over science-based treatment and therapy. Others, like myself, have had friends and loved ones die because of the same.

However, if you want to direct animosity and anger towards people for being blunt and often not very nice to woo-peddlers and their followers, that blame lies at the feet of those groups, and their rabid fandom. A fandom which would make the some of the most aggressive PETA followers seem tame. It's not that one day people on the support of science-based medicine and other disciplines suddenly decided to be an asshole to someone for no reason, it's the fact that they tried being nice, and were treated like absolute shiat, and countered with misinformation, a gish gallop of lies, and "Just asking questions" nonsense in return.

David Gorski, who posts under the name of Orac, is a cancer surgeon and researcher who drew the ire of Age of Autism for posting on his blog dissections of their claims about vaccines. For that, they began a concentrated and crowdsourced harassment of his employer. The charges they levied against him nearly ruined his career.
 
2013-11-19 09:00:52 PM  
Sorry, that last part was to PsiChick,not you Discordulator.
 
2013-11-19 09:02:56 PM  

PsiChick: I'm not saying those people aren't bad. I'm saying neither side gets a pass.


Yet your ire is focused almost exclusively on one side and not the other, and oddly it is the side that tends to have evidence on its side that you criticize more. Why is that?
 
2013-11-19 09:20:37 PM  

PsiChick: skinink: Nerds tend to be bully with other nerds. Read any IT thread about a subject. Or just go to Slashdot and read any filtered comment rated below +1. You can see how they speak to one another.

Or I guess just read the random thread on Fark. Same thing.

Scientists are some of the most condescending, manipulative assholes I've ever met when it comes to a theory they don't like.


No, they just tend to have lower thresholds for unprovable bullshiat.
 
2013-11-19 09:33:08 PM  
I don't really care about the OPINIONS of the people in this article.

Want some established FACT on Psi Research?

Then learn something. You can start here  http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm
 
2013-11-19 09:34:49 PM  

mamoru: PsiChick: I'm not saying those people aren't bad. I'm saying neither side gets a pass.

Yet your ire is focused almost exclusively on one side and not the other, and oddly it is the side that tends to have evidence on its side that you criticize more. Why is that?


STOP HARASSING!!!!

It's the same shtick as creationists. You honestly, bluntly correct them, and they call it "attacking."
 
2013-11-19 09:54:17 PM  

Proximuscentauri: I don't really care about the OPINIONS of the people in this article.

Want some established FACT on Psi Research?

Then learn something. You can start here  http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm


You mean a website that looks like it was designed in 1995 that links to an article admitting it is nothing more than the placebo effect?

 Many of those articles were explicitly published in a journal co-edited by the proprietor of that website. But really, what's more convincing than a non-peer reviewed journal run by an electrical engineer who infamouslyhas promoted several famous and well known hoaxes as proof the paranormal.

Your blog sucks.
 
2013-11-19 10:12:11 PM  
You only run into trouble with alternative medicine if you choose to follow it exclusively to the exclusion of scientifically proven methods. Any homeopathic doctor worth his herbs will tell you that. The issue isn't people who advocate prayer, it's the people who advocate ONLY prayer and the idiots who follow that religiously. There is something to aromatherapy and noise therapy and herbology because those things have you take a more active role in your recovery, allowing the mind to affect the body's natural healing abilities instead of just sitting there in a hospital bed getting stuck with needles except when you need them. Buddha's not gonna heal a failing kidney. Life is suffering, dipstick, so deal with the hospital and check back in once you're on an iv.

The majority of modern medicine is based on naturally occuring substances synthesized to be as affective as the pharmaceutical lobby will allow them to be. Basically figure that your only option is to rely on the flaws of human intelligence in some form or other and calm the fark down.

/That Coyne guy sounds like a genuine coont tho. Show me on the voodoo doll where the Hare Krishna touched you.
 
2013-11-19 10:21:20 PM  
"militant skeptics."

Saw that and was wondering were "strident" was.
 
2013-11-19 10:22:18 PM  

hardinparamedic: PsiChick: Professionalism is actually something I tend to expect from people with degrees.

The problem with your statement is that not all hypotheses and not all layperson theories are reasonable or should even be treated with respect or consideration. Depak Chopra falls into the later.

The man basically takes a Scientific Thesaurus and throws together pseudo-philosophical thought which he tries to make sound technobabbly.

Depak Chopra is the medical version of the Rockwell Automation Retroencabulator.


But does he always feel like somebody's watching him?
 
2013-11-19 10:34:20 PM  

ciberido: hardinparamedic: PsiChick: Professionalism is actually something I tend to expect from people with degrees.

The problem with your statement is that not all hypotheses and not all layperson theories are reasonable or should even be treated with respect or consideration. Depak Chopra falls into the later.

The man basically takes a Scientific Thesaurus and throws together pseudo-philosophical thought which he tries to make sound technobabbly.

Depak Chopra is the medical version of the Rockwell Automation Retroencabulator.

But does he always feel like somebody's watching him?


Oh woah oh
 
2013-11-19 11:12:08 PM  

hardinparamedic: PsiChick: Ever hear of this guy? I don't have my bookmarks, so it's a shiatty article, but this guy was basically harassed nonstop because of his theory. When they're doing that to their own, yes, there's something wrong.

Galileo Gambit.


I had to search that term, which lead me to the Wikipedia article on  HIV/AIDS denialism.  What the holy fark.  Is there ANY scientific fact or theory that doesn't have a group of nutcases calling themselves "skeptics" about?  Are there "gravity skeptics" out there?  People who "dissent" from Newton's Laws of Motions?  People who doubt freaking rainbows?

Oh.

Wait.  (NSFW)

media.tumblr.com
 
2013-11-19 11:17:52 PM  

pxlboy: skinink: Nerds tend to be bully with other nerds. Read any IT thread about a subject. Or just go to Slashdot and read any filtered comment rated below +1. You can see how they speak to one another.

Or I guess just read the random thread on Fark. Same thing.

Reading the threads on Slashdot, you'd think they were all the undisputed rock stars of their respective fields or specialties as well as fighting off job offers with a stick.

Your post is a reaffirmation of why I stopped reading SD; the inflated egos there are just too much to take.


I read the last line of your Weeners and thought you were talking about The Straight Dope before I went back and read your entire post from the beginning.  I leave it to others to comment on whether or not the folks at The Straight Dope match your description.

/I found that amusing, anyway.
 
2013-11-19 11:32:33 PM  

ciberido: hardinparamedic: PsiChick: Ever hear of this guy? I don't have my bookmarks, so it's a shiatty article, but this guy was basically harassed nonstop because of his theory. When they're doing that to their own, yes, there's something wrong.

Galileo Gambit.

I had to search that term, which lead me to the Wikipedia article on  HIV/AIDS denialism.  What the holy fark.  Is there ANY scientific fact or theory that doesn't have a group of nutcases calling themselves "skeptics" about?  Are there "gravity skeptics" out there?  People who "dissent" from Newton's Laws of Motions?  People who doubt freaking rainbows?

Oh.

Wait.  (NSFW)

[media.tumblr.com image 500x282]


You have some reading to do.
faculty.washington.edu
 
2013-11-19 11:39:39 PM  

ciberido: hardinparamedic: PsiChick: Ever hear of this guy? I don't have my bookmarks, so it's a shiatty article, but this guy was basically harassed nonstop because of his theory. When they're doing that to their own, yes, there's something wrong.

Galileo Gambit.

I had to search that term, which lead me to the Wikipedia article on  HIV/AIDS denialism.  What the holy fark.  Is there ANY scientific fact or theory that doesn't have a group of nutcases calling themselves "skeptics" about?  Are there "gravity skeptics" out there?  People who "dissent" from Newton's Laws of Motions?  People who doubt freaking rainbows?

Oh.

Wait.  (NSFW)

[media.tumblr.com image 500x282]


Dude, there's still the Flat Earth Society out there (cross-pollinating with Timecube); there are Hollow-Earthers and people who want to believe it's turtles all the way down.

People are stupid. Just accept it, and your blood pressure will drop like 20 points.
 
2013-11-19 11:40:53 PM  

Discordulator: PsiChick:
Harassing people doesn't solve that problem, it just invalidates you as a researcher.

It's important to remember that harassment is rarely the Weeners.  Deepak, as an example, has been pushing this sort of twatwaddle for years.  The opposition to him was quiet, and it made no difference.  The voice of opposition has just slowly grown louder and louder until one day people say 'hey, this is harassment'.  At some point the magic line was crossed and suddenly it's harassment?   And for that matter, what is being called harassment is simply blunt honesty.

Also, it doesn't invalidate the researcher any more than being harassed validates the harassed, or harassing invalidates the one being harassed.

Woo causes real harm, be it physical, emotional, financial, and that harm is not contained to only the one who embraces it.  Therefore, why be anything other than blunt and honest?  Sugarcoating has not brought positive results in dealing with snake oil peddlers for over 100 years of dealings.  Why should it work now?


mamoru: PsiChick: Harassing people doesn't solve that problem, it just invalidates you as a researcher.

PsiChick is right, scientists and science advocates really should just ignore the woo-peddlers. If science has facts on its side, then there is no need to discredit the claims of the other side. Facts speak for themselves and we all know that everyone listens to the facts when they are presented. I mean, what's the harm in letting the woo-meisters spew nonsense, anyway, right?


mamoru: PsiChick: I'm not saying those people aren't bad. I'm saying neither side gets a pass.

Yet your ire is focused almost exclusively on one side and not the other, and oddly it is the side that tends to have evidence on its side that you criticize more. Why is that?


A) There is harm in people advocating unproven methods of treatment as alternatives to medicine. This is not that.

B) Discrediting? Fine. The harassment FTFA? Not so much.
 
2013-11-20 12:14:46 AM  

PsiChick: The harassment FTFA?


Please point out the harassment in the article. From my perspective, Professor Coyne's response is calm, reasoned, and full of factual statements and logical conclusions based on those facts.

What about that constitutes harassment?
 
2013-11-20 12:29:54 AM  

mamoru: PsiChick: The harassment FTFA?

Please point out the harassment in the article. From my perspective, Professor Coyne's response is calm, reasoned, and full of factual statements and logical conclusions based on those facts.

What about that constitutes harassment?


"he refers to Sheldrake as having trained at Cambridge University while leaving out that he held respected senior positions in biology there." That would be one example.
 
2013-11-20 12:34:22 AM  

PsiChick: B) Discrediting? Fine. The harassment FTFA? Not so much.


While you may have a point in some circumstances, this is not one of those circumstances. But this is par for the course when it comes to you: Whenever an article tangentially related to the science vs mysticism debate shows up on Fark, you just have to inject your typical concern-troll "I'm all for science but I hate when science does this" prattle. It's getting tiresome, my dear. Once again, there are occasions where you might actually be right. Malpractice and fraudulent studies are a very real part of science, unfortunately. So are really big egos with reputations to protect.

But this thread is about Deepak Chopra. I know you're smart enough not to defend his inane prattle, so you should be in agreement when his special brand of scientific-sounding mysticism is pointed out for bamboozling nonsense that it really is.

Right?
 
2013-11-20 12:41:13 AM  

PsiChick: "he refers to Sheldrake as having trained at Cambridge University while leaving out that he held respected senior positions in biology there." That would be one example.


That constitutes harassment? Hold on a second, I need to check some dictionaries...

Oxford tells me this: aggressive pressure or intimidation

Yeah, I'm still not following. Professor Coyne not pointing that out is neither aggressive, nor intimidating. One of the points that Professor Coyne is making is that it doesn't matter what a person's credentials are if the ideas they are promoting are not supported by evidence or reason. Science does not yield to any authority but evidence. And he correctly points out that when folks like Chopra and Sheldrake are called out on their nonsense ideas, they almost always refer to their credentials to support the ideas rather than any evidential support, as there is none.

Ignoring appeals to authority is not harassment. Pointing out BS when someone is attempting to spew it from a position of authority is not harassment. Calling things what they are is not harassment.

This very much seems like a case of "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means".
 
2013-11-20 12:44:40 AM  

mamoru: PsiChick: "he refers to Sheldrake as having trained at Cambridge University while leaving out that he held respected senior positions in biology there." That would be one example.

That constitutes harassment? Hold on a second, I need to check some dictionaries...

Oxford tells me this: aggressive pressure or intimidation

Yeah, I'm still not following. Professor Coyne not pointing that out is neither aggressive, nor intimidating. One of the points that Professor Coyne is making is that it doesn't matter what a person's credentials are if the ideas they are promoting are not supported by evidence or reason. Science does not yield to any authority but evidence. And he correctly points out that when folks like Chopra and Sheldrake are called out on their nonsense ideas, they almost always refer to their credentials to support the ideas rather than any evidential support, as there is none.

Ignoring appeals to authority is not harassment. Pointing out BS when someone is attempting to spew it from a position of authority is not harassment. Calling things what they are is not harassment.

This very much seems like a case of "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means".


Nowadays "Being mean to somebody by not letting him pretend to be what he wants to be" is harassment. See also Rand Paul's recent temper tantrum.
 
2013-11-20 12:55:19 AM  
PsiChick:
A) There is harm in people advocating unproven methods of treatment as alternatives to medicine. This is not that.

B) Discrediting? Fine. The harassment FTFA? Not so much.


A) There is harm in what Deepak Chopra states because people can, and will, use alternative medicine *instead of* rather than *in addition to* proven medicine.  Deepak states that AIDS can be treated with "Ayurveda's primordial sound".  So, this is that.  This is why people have problems with Deepak, and what he states as science without being science, and as truth without evidence.

When he says he is being attacked, yet continually attacks, he is being disingenuous.  When he responds to criticism of Oprah for favoring suzanne somers and jenny mccarthy by stating that science based medicine has many problems and that oprah is just asking questions...  he is edging towards the line, implying without stating that the alternatives are better.

And when people leave science based medicine we start seeing the return of whooping cough, measles, and the fatalities they bring.

The criticism of Deepak is precisely what you say it is not " There is harm in people advocating unproven methods of treatment as alternatives to medicine. This is not that. "No, this is that.  He is being criticized for this.

B) What harassment?  It looks more like he got called out and played victim.
 
2013-11-20 02:50:39 AM  
It's (Chopra) a lot like listening to "Coast to Coast AM" or the old "Art Bell Show". EVERY single guest (kook) has a book for sale. I always wonder if they really believe their own bullshiat.
 
2013-11-20 07:25:55 AM  

Gyrfalcon: Dude, there's still the Flat Earth Society out there (cross-pollinating with Timecube); there are Hollow-Earthers and people who want to believe it's turtles all the way down.

People are stupid. Just accept it, and your blood pressure will drop like 20 points.


I'm pretty sure the Flat Earth society is very elaborate satire, similar to the whatever-baptist church (Landover Baptist church? I can't remember which one it was.)

PsiChick: "he refers to Sheldrake as having trained at Cambridge University while leaving out that he held respected senior positions in biology there." That would be one example.


Even if he left that out,w hy would that matter? Biology is not quantum mechanics. I agree with the other poster, I'm not following how that's *harassment*. Someone holding a distinguished position at one point != Their theory has more creedence-I'm sure there's a lot of people that are/were high up in academia that think all sorts of things that are A) Wrong, B) Completely unrelated to their field, so why on earth should we mention it.

Does Deepak list all his detractor's qualification and 'high positions' they held when he argues with them? Do you expect him to?
 
2013-11-20 09:26:06 AM  

jigger: nekom: jigger: Photons do not have consciousness, nature does not have a mind, the moon is there whether humans see it or not, and intelligence is not inherent in nature, but a product of naturalistic evolution.

I, too, tend to agree with this, but technically he doesn't know these things so he shouldn't say them so definitively or absolutely. He should say, "There is absolutely no credible evidence that..."

It's hard to blame people, though, sometimes.  Who needs psychics when the universe itself is so freaking weird?  I mean, there was a time that people didn't understand what stars, comets, planets, etc were and assumed them to be spirits or whatever else.  One can hardly blame them for believing that, as they had no proper explanation for them.  So this completely freaking BIZARRO stuff starts getting discovered, quantum entanglement, black holes, superfluid helium, etc. and even some relatively smart people are going to see theological implications.

But I was saying that Coyne doesn't know if photons have consciousness or not. They sure don't look like they do and so far nothing even suggests that they possibly could, but to say that you know absolutely that they do not is incorrect. It's also not, dare I say, scientific.


To state that they do with no evidence whatsoever is merely speculation, NOT a theory, NOT EVEN a hypothesis, but simply a wild-@$$ed guess, and definitely NOT scientific.
 
2013-11-20 09:51:12 AM  

PsiChick: hardinparamedic: PsiChick: Professionalism is actually something I tend to expect from people with degrees.

The problem with your statement is that not all hypotheses and not all layperson theories are reasonable or should even be treated with respect or consideration. Depak Chopra falls into the later.

The man basically takes a Scientific Thesaurus and throws together pseudo-philosophical thought which he tries to make sound technobabbly.

Depak Chopra is the medical version of the Rockwell Automation Retroencabulator.

Ever hear of this guy? I don't have my bookmarks, so it's a shiatty article, but this guy was basically harassed nonstop because of his theory. When they're doing that to their own, yes, there's something wrong.


The critical difference here being that Shechtman's discovery was TESTABLE, which allowed it to be PROVABLE. Chopra's "ideas" (and I'm being generous) meet neither of those criteria, and are therefore NOT scientific by definition.
 
2013-11-20 10:01:20 AM  

PsiChick: HighZoolander: Yes, you're certainly right that professionals should act professionally, but sometimes it is really difficult.

I mean, if I walk into an accountant's office and tell him that spreadsheets are composed of sentient viruses that feed on numbers, and therefore he should change his practice to reflect my ideas, sure it'd be great if he wasn't a douchebag about it, but I'm not sure I can reasonably expect a polite response.

These woo practitioners aren't even in the ballpark where their ideas can have relevant evidence - it's closer to theology than science, and there is a long bitter history to deal with whereby people of religion have tried to tell scientists how they should practice science. I'm not saying that scientists shouldn't try to take the high road, but people can be more or less patient when confronted by the same (offensive) arguments year after year.

So maybe they should just, say, turn off the computer? Not everything needs to be responded to, and if you can't respond politely, go pay a freshman to type something up for you.


The reason that they must be responded to is because they and their believers become obstacles to real science.
 
2013-11-20 10:58:03 AM  
Being an underdog doesn't give one credence.

Here is your lesson for today on hypothesis, theory, and logic:

A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. To be a "scientific hypothesis" the scientific method requires that it can be tested. Even though the terms hypothesis and theory are often used synonymously, a scientific hypothesis is not the same thing as a scientific theory. A scientific hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon which still must be rigorously tested. In contrast, a scientific theory has undergone extensive testing and is generally accepted to be the explanation behind an observed phenomenon.

My eight grade science teacher, Miss Flynn was was very instrumental in helping me to understand the scientific method.

It was on a Wednesday that I first observed that when Miss Flynn sat upon her desk facing the class, I could see her panties (this being the era of miniskirts). They were pink panties. The following two days I observed that she wore pink panties again. Therefore, I formed a scientific hypothesis that Miss Flynn always wore pink panties. The following Monday however, I observed that she wore blue panties, which disproved my theory. Then, adolescents being what they are, word got around that Miss Flynn was exposing her panties, at which point she stopped sitting upon her desk making further observed impossible, and any hypotheses we had, such as whether or not Miss Flynn always wore panties (we WERE adolescents after all) became unscientific.
 
2013-11-20 11:10:32 AM  
Sorry, I left logic out. Logically, after just one observation, I could have stated that Miss Flynn always wore pink panties, there being no evidence to contradict me.
 
2013-11-20 01:23:26 PM  

revrendjim: kriegsgeist: Felgraf: nekom: Felgraf:
If I recall correctly, what they mean by observed is, literally, *anything hitting it*. That is, after all, how we'd measure it, in theory: By bouncing something off it, or passing it through something with which it would interact (IF it has polarization A, it can't pass through this, but if it has polarization B, it can!). Interacting with *any matter* at all collapses the wave function.

So in essence, to "measure" it, it is necessary to force it to interact with something, and that interaction rather than the "observation" collapses the wave?  That makes sense.  So the answer to "ZOMG how does it KNOW you measured it?" is really "It doesn't." then?

Exactly right! You've got it, I think. =)
And I suspect the reason we just call it 'observation' when teaching it is because it is easier to say "When it is observed" (since they assume other scientists know what they mean) then to say "When anything interacts with this for any reason whatsoever'."

Do electrons inside of an atom interact with the protons in the nucleus?

Of course they do via an exchange of photons. Rarely they dive right into the nucleus and get sucked into a Weak interaction.

As to the other point, we could have saved a lot of aggravation by saying "interaction" instead of "observation." When a particle collides with another particle it is necessarily localized in time and space, and so it's wave function has collapsed.


So if electrons interact with protons inside the same atom via proton exchange, and if all interactions cause wavefunction collapse, then why do electrons exist in atomic orbitals described by wavefunctions?
 
2013-11-20 01:24:36 PM  
^ "same atom via proton photon exchange"
 
2013-11-20 01:41:36 PM  

Satan's Bunny Slippers: Every time you eat a chicken or a banana it transforms into a human. ~ Chopra


Actually, when you get right down to it, the vast majority of the material that we call "chicken" or "banana" when eaten, actually transforms into shiat.

My bottom line on Chopra: For a dude who gave a book the title "Ageless Body, Timeless Mind", that a really obvious dye job you've sportin'.
 
2013-11-20 02:09:22 PM  

mamoru: PsiChick: "he refers to Sheldrake as having trained at Cambridge University while leaving out that he held respected senior positions in biology there." That would be one example.

That constitutes harassment? Hold on a second, I need to check some dictionaries...

Oxford tells me this: aggressive pressure or intimidation

Yeah, I'm still not following. Professor Coyne not pointing that out is neither aggressive, nor intimidating. One of the points that Professor Coyne is making is that it doesn't matter what a person's credentials are if the ideas they are promoting are not supported by evidence or reason. Science does not yield to any authority but evidence. And he correctly points out that when folks like Chopra and Sheldrake are called out on their nonsense ideas, they almost always refer to their credentials to support the ideas rather than any evidential support, as there is none.

Ignoring appeals to authority is not harassment. Pointing out BS when someone is attempting to spew it from a position of authority is not harassment. Calling things what they are is not harassment.

This very much seems like a case of "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means".


Felgraf: PsiChick: "he refers to Sheldrake as having trained at Cambridge University while leaving out that he held respected senior positions in biology there." That would be one example.

Even if he left that out,w hy would that matter? Biology is not quantum mechanics. I agree with the other poster, I'm not following how that's *harassment*. Someone holding a distinguished position at one point != Their theory has more creedence-I'm sure there's a lot of people that are/were high up in academia that think all sorts of things that are A) Wrong, B) Completely unrelated to their field, so why on earth should we mention it.

Does Deepak list all his detractor's qualification and 'high positions' they held when he argues with them? Do you expect him to?


So saying 'this person with these credentials supports my side, but this guy whose credentials I won't list doesn't'  isn't a blatant appeal to authority that borders on lying about your opponent?

Discordulator: A) There is harm in what Deepak Chopra states because people can, and will, use alternative medicine *instead of* rather than *in addition to* proven medicine.  Deepak states that AIDS can be treated with "Ayurveda's primordial sound".  So, this is that.  This is why people have problems with Deepak, and what he states as science without being science, and as truth without evidence.


So confront that statement by saying 'that's wrong and the germ theory is why'. Don't say 'this person with ten credentials supports my side but I won't list the credentials of the other person'.
 
2013-11-20 03:40:41 PM  

kriegsgeist: So if electrons interact with protons inside the same atom via proton exchange, and if all interactions cause wavefunction collapse, then why do electrons exist in atomic orbitals described by wavefunctions?


Because (ready for it?) They might indeed collapse the wavefunction for each other, but the system as a whole has a wavefunction that applies to outside viewers, and it's that wavefunction you're able to observe.

Quantum effects are relative to the interaction participants and you're not a part of that interaction.

Not unlike sound waves - someone might hear a sound, but you can't tell how far away it is until YOU hear it, doesn't matter that someone else did (poor analogy time, go!)
 
2013-11-20 06:51:41 PM  

sobriquet by any other name: kriegsgeist: So if electrons interact with protons inside the same atom via proton exchange, and if all interactions cause wavefunction collapse, then why do electrons exist in atomic orbitals described by wavefunctions?

Because (ready for it?) They might indeed collapse the wavefunction for each other, but the system as a whole has a wavefunction that applies to outside viewers, and it's that wavefunction you're able to observe.

Quantum effects are relative to the interaction participants and you're not a part of that interaction.

Not unlike sound waves - someone might hear a sound, but you can't tell how far away it is until YOU hear it, doesn't matter that someone else did (poor analogy time, go!)


This is kind of my point - we can rationalize it by saying the wavefunction always exists and the interaction is what collapses it, but I think it is important to remember that this stuff was all invented to explain observations - interactions from our perspective with the intent of measuring something. Since science must be based on observable phenomena, and we must be doing the observations, we can't just neatly cut ourselves out of that picture and still call it science.

I'm not saying Chopra is on the right track, or anyone else who links quantum physics to consciousness in this way - what I'm saying is that the Copenhagen and other interpretations of the  meaning of the wavefunction are really outside the realm of science, and in the realm of philosophy. In other words, to use the sound example, whether or not sound exists when there is no one there to hear it is a philosophical question, since "hearing" or "measuring" changes the nature of the system by including an observer.

We can use science to predict that sound waves will be produced when a tree falls in the forest, whether or not anything is there to hear it. And so, the question becomes one of definitions - what is sound? Is it the wave travelling through the air, or is it the detection of that wave by something?

In my experience, all philosophical questions are at root questions of definitions. The definitions we attach to words represent our underlying assumptions, and from those assumptions all valid logic should reach the same conclusions - so barring fallacies, the only difference between two philosophies is in the initial assumptions.

The Copenhagen interpretation makes the assumption that past the Heisenberg Uncertainty limit, particles exist as waves in space and time. It's a perfectly reasonable assumption, but there is no way to know for sure what is happening unless we can measure it. The Uncertainty Principle shows us that we can never measure it (even indirectly), and so it is necessarily in the realm of philosophy.

The only point I'm trying to make here is that as scientists we tend to take the easy way out of this predicament (since it is unsettling when you think about it) and assume that the mathematical description represents a reality independent of our observations. As scientists, we shouldn't need to do that - we should be able to freely admit when we don't (and can't) know something.

I understand the point that you (I assume), reverendjim and Felgraf are making - by choosing the word "observation" or "measurement" over "interaction" we tie the observer to the phenomena, and it would be easier to understand (the Copenhagen interpretation) if we didn't do that. But the unfortunate fact is, the observer is a part of the phenomena, and no amount of faith in a particular philosophy will change that.

The reason I think it's important to remember this is that since these questions are ultimately philosophical, and therefore the answers depend on our initial assumptions, if we leave the door open to investigating other sets of assumptions, we may one day be able to test alternative philosophies and bring them into the realm of science. Which of course is how progress is made in science - by re-examining underlying assumptions.

Before anyone jumps all over me: I'm not a fan of Chopra and I think this consciousness-based idea (I've heard of some other authors saying similar stuff as well) is probably way off-track. The fact that there seems to be hard-coded limits to what we can observe doesn't excuse anyone from philosophizing about the other side of those limits based on a misunderstanding of what we know to be true on this side, especially when they are doing it just to make money.
 
2013-11-20 08:59:06 PM  

PsiChick: So saying 'this person with these credentials supports my side, but this guy whose credentials I won't list doesn't' isn't a blatant appeal to authority that borders on lying about your opponent?


That is not what Professor Coyne is doing. In his exchanges and posts about Chopra et al 's woo, what he is saying can be summarized as "The facts support my side. It is my job to research and teach these things, so I am well acquainted with them. These other folks with such and such credentials also discover and present these facts which support my side. Take a look at their facts. You're side has no facts to support it. You're credentials are only ever used to give you the appearance of authority, because you have no facts to hold up; just a lot of made up mumbo jumbo that you try to make sound scientific."

So, no Professor Coyne is not blatantly appealing to authority. When he points out credentials, it is to aid understanding where the facts came from. That, and as a sign of respect, is his purpose for listing any credentials when presenting his side. When Chopra lists credentials, it is not to help show where facts and discoveries are coming from, but instead to make those spouting such nonsense sound authoritative in the absence of any evidence. It's a rather large difference.

And, it still isn't harassment by any definition. I find your attempts to use that word to portray these exchanges in such a light to be rather dishonest.

Also, I'd still appreciate an answer to this question from before:

PsiChick: I'm not saying those people aren't bad. I'm saying neither side gets a pass.
 
Yet your ire is focused almost exclusively on one side and not the other, and oddly it is the side that tends to have evidence on its side that you criticize more. Why is that?
 
2013-11-20 11:05:04 PM  

mamoru: PsiChick: So saying 'this person with these credentials supports my side, but this guy whose credentials I won't list doesn't' isn't a blatant appeal to authority that borders on lying about your opponent?

That is not what Professor Coyne is doing. In his exchanges and posts about Chopra et al 's woo, what he is saying can be summarized as "The facts support my side. It is my job to research and teach these things, so I am well acquainted with them. These other folks with such and such credentials also discover and present these facts which support my side. Take a look at their facts. You're side has no facts to support it. You're credentials are only ever used to give you the appearance of authority, because you have no facts to hold up; just a lot of made up mumbo jumbo that you try to make sound scientific."

So, no Professor Coyne is not blatantly appealing to authority. When he points out credentials, it is to aid understanding where the facts came from. That, and as a sign of respect, is his purpose for listing any credentials when presenting his side. When Chopra lists credentials, it is not to help show where facts and discoveries are coming from, but instead to make those spouting such nonsense sound authoritative in the absence of any evidence. It's a rather large difference.

And, it still isn't harassment by any definition. I find your attempts to use that word to portray these exchanges in such a light to be rather dishonest.

Also, I'd still appreciate an answer to this question from before:

PsiChick: I'm not saying those people aren't bad. I'm saying neither side gets a pass.
 
Yet your ire is focused almost exclusively on one side and not the other, and oddly it is the side that tends to have evidence on its side that you criticize more. Why is that?


A) So if his credentials are such a thorn in his side, why not post it?

B) This is an argument between two scientists, and I started off only talking about one side, because that's a side I have direct experience with. I'll wholeheartedly agree most woo folks are in outer space half the time, but I've never seen them actually pull tactics even like this, so I can't speak about it from personal experience.
 
2013-11-21 01:39:42 AM  

PsiChick: mamoru: PsiChick: So saying 'this person with these credentials supports my side, but this guy whose credentials I won't list doesn't' isn't a blatant appeal to authority that borders on lying about your opponent?

That is not what Professor Coyne is doing. In his exchanges and posts about Chopra et al 's woo, what he is saying can be summarized as "The facts support my side. It is my job to research and teach these things, so I am well acquainted with them. These other folks with such and such credentials also discover and present these facts which support my side. Take a look at their facts. You're side has no facts to support it. You're credentials are only ever used to give you the appearance of authority, because you have no facts to hold up; just a lot of made up mumbo jumbo that you try to make sound scientific."

So, no Professor Coyne is not blatantly appealing to authority. When he points out credentials, it is to aid understanding where the facts came from. That, and as a sign of respect, is his purpose for listing any credentials when presenting his side. When Chopra lists credentials, it is not to help show where facts and discoveries are coming from, but instead to make those spouting such nonsense sound authoritative in the absence of any evidence. It's a rather large difference.

And, it still isn't harassment by any definition. I find your attempts to use that word to portray these exchanges in such a light to be rather dishonest.

Also, I'd still appreciate an answer to this question from before:

PsiChick: I'm not saying those people aren't bad. I'm saying neither side gets a pass.
 
Yet your ire is focused almost exclusively on one side and not the other, and oddly it is the side that tends to have evidence on its side that you criticize more. Why is that?

A) So if his credentials are such a thorn in his side, why not post it?

B) This is an argument between two scientists, and I started off only talking about one side, because that's a side I h ...


To be precise, it seems like it's more like an argument between a scientist and a pseudoscientist....
 
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