Please note: This page is the content of Philosophy of Science.
Understanding of Messiah could be better achieved by a trained contemporary scientist if his heart already had been remained virgin. Philosophy of science is not the same as science. It is not science at all. Yet, it regulates and decides what is a real science, or at least what is a good science.
We believe that in the first line of conflict, in the ultra-industrialised world, we are face to face with their hard science. Hence, we should clear what we understand about the modern science
What I teach is that great creators of good sciences did not start to be great and fabulously known as bright. It was, later that they were known as such. They were humble and hard working and had not any idea to create the great. They were just solving easy problems eliminating obstacles from their own way. It is because we do not know which problem is actually comes to be great and is worthwhile to solve.
When we solve problems and put the solutions in exposure to others then those others might decide that we have solved a great problem and start to appreciate us. By walking in such path we never engage in becoming a pathological scientist. We do not insist on solving great problems and focusing round around them. After we solved a simple problem, that could be a grandiose we have achieved, based on the judgement of others or that might be just nothing worth to be mentioned anywhere. Achievements in engineering and power of money spending in modern societies, especially in the US, have given the idea that you can plan to discover the truth behind the nature. Those achievements give tools to us to gather more data, with the theories that we have in hand.
Additional data, if we know what data we should collect at all, might get us to recognising some discrepancies and deviation of reality of nature compared inside the mould and body of existing theories. In such cases a new theory becomes in demand for new interpretation of differences observed. A theory is produced by a simple postulate that proposed by a sudden whimsicality of a mind not because that mind is trained or coached in special way but because of eagerness that that mind has. Normally, that postulate might come simultaneously to many minds far from each other or immediately receives ovation from many interested and golden minds. Golden due to its similarity to gold in its malleability that can accept new and complex shapes easily. Some minds are like steel. They accept new shapes but by hammering and pounding. Some are like pig-iron. They do not accept new shape and pounding shatters them. That new postulate could be a simple adjustment to existing theory or something that does not become possible in a century. One might solve it with enough courage. But courage should be accompanied by knowledge. Still, that postulate is in a meta stage of discourse, compared to data that it interprets. It is not positioned in the same class and same floor with all data gathered before. It demands and derives gathering of new data and new knowledge. If new data implies changing a numerical factor from, say, 2.5 to 2.6 then this is not a new theory. But if you postulate that the numerical factor change requires proposing a new postulate for a new interpretation, then that becomes a new theory.
Scientists always have tendency to keep the current theories with any price. It is due to economy and pragmatism of science, which requires establishing order and law in the domain of science to prevent further chaos and fancifulness that might waste resources; human resources and material resources and time. Max Born, German physicist, and Noble laureate in physics was teacher of the young Heisenberg when he entered in university. As Heisenberg writes in his autobiography, Max Born noticed such an impatience and tendency in Heisenberg in bypassing foundation courses in eagerness to reach to more challenging parts of physics. He told to Heisenberg that when kings are building palaces ordinary people should carry the barrows around. He meant Heisenberg should exercise more patience towards acquiring basics. Max Born advice targets such waste as well. He is not interested in allowing students who later lead the scientific technological establishments of society waste their mental energy in goals that does not have a known outcome. That economy reflects in stories that official academy of science of certain country in certain time vilified or "booed" ignorantly a new postulate proposed by a certain courageous, usually young scientist. If such stories ever truly happened it is due to gold, steel and pig-iron classification of minds.
Scientists in such cases have implemented a "sensitive" experiment. It means to find a specific repeatable manageable time-framed test or evidence to put the new postulate in the crucible of real nature examination. New theory should devise and implement tests that ratifies its validity with criteria imposed by objective positivist implementation accepted by contemporary scientific society. These tests to theories are never-ending and also inductive. Every time a student solves a problem with that theory, that exam question or end of chapter exercise is a test to that theory. The theory is "inductive" so always subject to doubt, but nevertheless "one hundred percent" correct. Two things that at first seems contradictory for untrained scientist. This reflects in exaggerated stories of freshman students who doubt the correctness of Einstein.
Now allow me to explain what could become a grandiose theory when you are planning to create one. Consider the factory that makes playing cards. They produce ten thousand of each card, every day in fifty two batches for a deck of fifty two playing card. Then a machine takes one from each batch makes one deck, gives them to another machine to shuffle them. A third machine puts them in a box, seals the box and sends it for the sale. Somebody decides that if he buys many decks of cards from the market and carefully write the order of incidence of each card in the deck, after a while he can find a pattern for the occurrence of cards in the deck. Well, he has every justification for that haunch. Shuffling is done by machines. Those machines follow mechanical rules and it seems likely to find their pattern. In the next stage he announces that he has found the pattern. Then you ask him what about those cards in your drawer? Do they also follow the pattern? He says: "no, they are only fifty percent of the cards, but I assure you the investigation of my colleagues and mine are on the way to extend the pattern to cover all the cases." No, the story is not finished yet. He believes every time that people shuffle the cards, after certain amount of shuffling, cards return to the original factory-shuffling pattern. He only needs some more time, some more deck of cards, some more assistants, and some more computers. He can create works, papers.
He publishes patterns and statistical manuals to help his colleagues around the world to put every new deck of cards in one of the many categories that are instructed in the manual. Creation of new patterns are most welcome if done by the “pattern-experts” who have been trained under his instructions of “pattern-o-logy.” If you ask them they always are just about to solve the problem. Of course, of course the problem has a solution. Is n't it? This is something partially I can remember written by chemist Irving Langmuir when extending idea of "pathological science" taken by Physics Today around 1990. (Thanks to Internet, now it is easily available. Please search.) You can find the link to the original at the "copyrights page" of this web-site. I used to teach all that to my students after explaining details of Semmelweis' discovery. Langmuir quotes such story with reference to a real person, one of his university colleagues. I expanded that quoted story in this way. You might not believe that such a trivial example might exist. There is a “house” in astrology that recently has been created based on the study of pattern of lives of “celebrities” and the details of time and place of their birth. (They are doing reverse engineering!)
There are other resources worth to mention them. They are accounts of incipience of pathology in science mostly among the students of first year of the university. They could be some complicated back-doors around encapsulated, or stopping some freshmen from inappropriate approach, devised only to bar feeble students of first year to be over-powered just at the gate. What I quoted related to Max Born and Heisenberg also covers such area. Later, Heisenberg's contributions such as principle of uncertainty came out to be so much Messianic. (He also came to be very practical person like an engineer. He was the man who designed the safest way of exploiting atom power for production of electrical energy.) We should propagate grace and kind-hearted-ness in judging people. Human survival is in altruism not in proliferation of cynicism. Other main point is about the people who are well dressed in pathology. Well dressed pathologists root from what Thomas Scheff calls "Academic Gangs." One, recently chasing such affairs was Serge Lang and his pattern known as "The Files." He had aimed his challenges towards powerful sources of dissemination of non-sense dressed as scientific research rather than freshmen and delusional poor-man.
One sign of institutionalised pathology is when "literature produced by them" is out of proportion of tangible achievements that can be observed or at least expected from that group. (A very good example of that is politics. That takes most of the printed material, time and all media available for human.) As David Inglby, the English contemporary philosopher cites it: "(T)he belief that what we need is simply more 'findings'-that round the corner lies some vital new fact which will settle the argument once for all." He points to "(E)rror of naive empirist view that knowledge simply consists in the accumulation of findings, rather like pebbles which, if stacked up in sufficient quantity, are bound to reach the sky eventually." (my emphasise) Cases of pathology are not created by freshmen, too eager first year bright students, or crazy people out of academia. They are created by people who carry title of "professor" and are funded by millions of dollars.
Sometimes, gathering of data starts to corrupt the whole discipline. In that case a chaos is created that cannot be settled with any reasonable reconciliation of parties involved being seen in any foreseeable future. An example of that happens in medicine, pharmacy, psychology/psychiatry, media, health-care, penal system, politics etc. Every day one of them comes with a new postulate, arranging polls, control groups, blindfolded and double blind folded experiments with boisterous results and the other day or immediately a contradicting result publishes in another corner. In such environments numbers become doctored and sexed up. Mathematical statistics are not fully understood by lazy or non-analytical minds. Moneys and titles are passed from under the table. Some results become left out in the drawers. Arena becomes manned with villains and honest people become marginalised. Unfortunately, most of this villainy happens in universities where scholars of rigorous disciplines are judging everybody as if they also are in the same universe of rigour as engineering and science requires. When They are busy sorting out the new first year cohort of physics to come to simple problem solving sessions instead of thinking to overthrow the Einstein postulates, at that time their very respected colleague in next door department with a title of Professor X receives millions from government to create a penal system that its net result is to convert an eighteen year old one time shop lifter to a twenty year-old ferocious gangster who does not hesitate to use a gun in case, all based on publications and dissertations and ranks and files that in appearance looks like an original work in engineering. Scheff and Lang introductory works were to scrutinise into such matters. They do not know somebody who has a title of “professor” in a college in a corner of the world teaching one of those discipline mentioned, his authorised title might make him influential in imposing his nonsense to a professor of engineering with hundred patents working in MIT. The MIT teacher has not time and resources to chase any of those claims except to accept them based on the respect for all the “academia” society and leaving the job for the “expert” to do (then where is your curiosity?). This is described as the "enjoying the legal consequences" of having that certificate or position without looking into its content. During 1980's I was in Afghanistan studying the life of mountain people. They had a proverb for literate villains as "When a thief comes with a lantern he can select better goods (to rob)." This pen has the mission to transpire such villainy; that being among scientists does not mean to be a scientist. That science can easily be perverted even when it is rigorous, let alone it only mock up the real science in its outer crust and appearance.
Another phenomenon, I call the Galileo-church effect. It is a double edged sword on the hands of villain to frighten both sides of the conflict. David Inglby says, "Unfortunately, in scientific circles, the word 'philosophical' has come to be a term of abuse; philosophy is not seen as a liberating and enlightening activity, but as a form of primitive pre-scientific dogmatism from whose clutches we ought to be glad to have escaped....(I)t is because researchers have cultivated empirical at the expense of conceptual sophistication that they do not realize how serious this fault really is."
The other direction of the road is that one who carries titles of positivist science, can intimidate the other learned people and non-learned people as if he is in the position of Galileo and those others including philosophers, theologians, litterateurs, artists, politicians, journalists are "fathers of the church" as if positivists propositions all are irrefutable realities of the universe that doubt about them is equivalent to blasphemy and those who do not cooperate later will be condemned similar to fathers of church adversary to Galileo. Some describe this as the "neo-scholastic." This is reflected in attitude of some hard-scientists to implement "feed-forwarding" gauges to bar philosophers to engage in talking with them or curios people become involved in scrutinising the doctored experiments and patched facile nightly changing theories, as if all the title-carrying scientists are Galileo and all criticising individuals are "church fathers."
Let me think for a second time. What are the overall uses of our scientific activity? Bertrand Russell, the famous English mathematician and philosopher says, “Pure mathematics is to train teachers who later teach pure mathematics to people who become teachers of pure mathematics!” Between this never-ending sequence few might escape to work as analysts for casinos. We might ask, for instance, “Why string theory goes on and on?” This question is always legitimate in philosophy, in philosophy of science, but they might beat us with the Galileo cudgel. That later they will make us ashamed since we are ignorant and cannot appreciate the virtue of pursuing abstract science. Actually, we are asking them, “Let us look into the telescope, and see what you see!” And, “Let us see the new attire of the emperor!”
It seems that we have had two contradictory assertions here. Once we defended strict science against proliferation of non-sense. Once we defended philosophy and argumentation before looking into the telescope. They are not contradictory. Sense and non-sense science assert that they have findings based on evidence. Evidences that ordinary humans cannot reject or confirm and only have to be accepted based on an authorisation of scientists and powers gained by their own peers. Scientists claim they have something beyond being argued by ordinary man and they demand power to control destiny of human for their trueness. The trueness that cowardly desert the arena just at the minute that evil enters from behind them to face the human. Philosophy and also arts and literature check and inspect such authorisations and capacity of human for committing to those power.
From the "emperor" I go to "empires." Empires build armies and fortifications to defend their achievements when it is attacked by invaders. What will be the use of those expensive fortifications and well paid men if at nick of the time that machinery does not work? Science first goal is to equip the man with enlightening tools and gears that guide him in the darkness of ignorance. What disaster will it be if a scientist becomes ignorant and isolated of very tangible facts surrounding him? What is the use of the scholar who teaches French literature and Victor Hugo and critical study of Les Miserables but when he faces a John Valjean then he acts as a Javert towards him. He is given the opportunity to show what he has learned from thirty years of teaching that book but he acts as the anti-hero.
Another thing is honesty. We never heard in history that any great scientist has been dishonest or a villain. For example, one cannot accumulate knowledge of any value for humanity by trafficking poor people say from a non-developed country to laboratories of an industrialised country and gathering data by subjecting them to cruel behaviours.
In contrast, a sacrificing scientist who has courage to follow an invert path to that path might achieve a great social theory by observing impartially an undeveloped society without intervention in their affairs.
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