Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Inexistence of “Raw” Data in Science and Everyday Experience

The subject of this blog post might as well be catalogued as being among those things that scientists say that makes my head explode.  In this case, sitting in the Bloomington Starbucks across from Sample Gates about a month ago, I heard a cognitive science (currently dissertating) PhD candidate say something to the effect: “It’s raw data, so there is no possibility of it being biased.”  He was talking to a colleague, defending against some onslaught presented by a journal article, the title of which I didn’t catch.  What I want to emphasize is the erroneous thinking of this student, who has since this time successfully defended his PhD thesis.  I shake my head at this kind of lack of understanding so many scientists have of their own field and the general nature of science.  Particularly egregious was his follow-up comments, which asserted that biasing cannot be added to unbiased data without it being extreme and obvious to all, as if the heavens would open and Zeus would callout, “biased!,” if such were to happen.  I’ll only deal with the first statement that I paraphrased above.

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A Philosophical Thought on the Oasis of Life on Mt. Pisgah

If I am not careful, I am going to begin sounding like my friend, Matt Segall —not a bad thing, just this blog post’s content is more his forte than it is my typical fare.  I was recently hiking Mt. Pisgah, which is in North Carolina, and I was struck by some ideas; dualities in reflection, mostly.  Near the top of the craggy trail, which is hardly “moderate,” as at least one website claimed, I chanced upon a tree and shrubbery-like growth that looked like something out of a movie. Continue reading

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Filed under Eastern Philosophy, Personal, Philosophy, Pure Philosophy, Science

Feynman on the Necessity of Philosophy for the Progress of Physics

Serendipity often leads to some of our most fruitful realizations, creative ideas, and understanding —and are even responsible for our most citation-worthy bits of supporting information.  Such is the case to be discussed here.  It so happened that, just after writing the blog in response to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s ignorant position on philosophy, I read Richard P. Feynman’s The Character of Physical Law to unwind.  The Nobel laureate was always notoriously, even devilishly, anti-philosophy. Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Philosophy, Physics, Popular Science, Science