Would A Scientist Lie To You ?

dishonest_scientistsScience has attained a position in modern culture that approaches what was formerly reserved for religion. Many people would thank God for that turn of events but most of the scientists, good “priests” of the new “religion”, would caution the God-thanker against unscientific thinking.

If that little scenario seems a bit convoluted, the actual situation in science-at-large is much more distorted.

Before launching into a case-in-point, I want to float an analogical situation to ease our approach to some extremely tangled territory:

You’re just cruisin’ along, doin’ your thing in life, when a rival you didn’t even know you had starts to spread a rumor that you’re a sex abuser. The first you hear of it is during a conversation at the next table in the café. It’s about whether the police should use entrapment to find sex abusers and it’s definitely loud enough to make you listen.

Certain details of some recent case start surfacing and you begin to realize that these people are talking about a man who’s currently being investigated for his activities who sounds like it might be you—too many little details, no name, but enough circumstantial evidence to deduce that these people are discussing You!

This kind of rumor-mongering doesn’t happen just in cafés; it’s present in business, political, and religious communities, too. The point I want to make is how hard it can be, once a rumor has circulated enough to gain currency, to disprove it, no matter how many facts you have at your disposal. Shades of Lenin and the Big Lie…

Back to the scientists.

A recent news buzz was created by an extremely expensive collection of scientific equipment—the Large Hadron Collider. This particle-smashing machine was built by tax-payer money but the people who’s pockets were emptied haven’t been given the whole truth…

An entertaining yet scientifically weak article in The New York Times, Gauging a Collider’s Odds of Creating a Black Hole, discusses some apparently alarming aspects of the risks scientists create with their expensive experiments. The problem with the article and most of mainstream science is that the science being done isn’t as rigorously honest as one might imagine it should be.

What some folks would call a fringe-group (a group that has successfully predicted what many recent spacecraft have recorded, things that have the mainstreamers running back to their drawing-boards) recently posted an article by Jeremy Dunning-Davies, senior lecturer in physics at the University of Hull and fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Dr. Dunning-Davies discusses the alarm produced by the switching on of the Hadron Collider, then proceeds to give an acute analysis of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics (not  horribly technical) and says something very interesting for a scientist:

“Science should be studied with a totally open mind and any advances should be examined in a like manner. Surely the aim of any scientific investigation is to seek the truth? Probably mankind will always be found wanting intellectually and any solution to a problem will be no more than an approximation to the real truth, but efforts must continue in all areas to find that elusive complete answer….Where several theories exist, that fact must be openly acknowledged with no thought for protecting vested interests of any sort.”

Dr. Dunning-Davies is not well appreciated by his fellow scientists. He’s encroaching on their “priesthood”, he’s asking for the complete truth and that just might lead to the mainstream scientists not having the monetary support they want.

Point?

If a large group of scientists are not letting the whole truth reach the public, or using the tactics of the malicious rumor-mongerer to keep competing theories from the funding-dollar, we the Public deserve to know.

Figuring out how to put down the rumor-like science and let the whole truth shine is a bit harder than just knowing about it. Just like the fellow having misinformation being spread about his sexual abuse, beating down a popular lie is a huge task…

Spiritual Quote:

“…the injunction to investigate truth—that is to say, no man should blindly follow his ancestors and forefathers. Nay, each must see with his own eyes, hear with his own ears and investigate the truth himself in order that he may follow the truth instead of blind acquiescence and imitation of ancestral beliefs.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Promulgation of Universal Peace

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13 thoughts on “Would A Scientist Lie To You ?

  1. “Where several theories exist”

    He seems to think that, by existing, all theories are equal. This is false.

    His theories are wrong, and have been demonstrated as wrong. There is no horrible danger from the LHC.

    • Well, the “seems” of your comment seems to take the Dr.’s statement from an angle I don’t think he was speaking from. He neither affirms nor denies the truth of alternative theories. What I hear him saying is that one must, at least, consider other “existing” theories, which far too many scientists do not do.

      Also, I don’t think the Dr. was saying the LHC was dangerous; just that building it for less than completely honest reasons is wrong…

  2. hogwash.

    If you think science has attained a position …. approaches formerly reserved for religion… you’ve missed the point of science – rather completely. Are you missing that point to deceive others deliberately, or are just ignorant about science? The erroneous concept that science is a religion is poppycock. And the concept keeps popping up from new holes like some hellish version of “whack-a-mole”; one can explain and point out facts endlessly to correct one problem, and then “pop” up comes another erroneous person asserting the same thing. Can I guess that some religious leaders are behind this? In any case, this ain’t the Queens garden in Alice in Wonderland. Go look up Science in the dictionary, please. Please. Please

    • Jay,

      I didn’t say science is a religion. I said it’s attained a place in our society that religion used to have; i.e., the position of authority.

      I happen to be quite well-versed in science and religion and can clearly see the difference in their approaches to life; but, to say that science has replaced religion as the societal authority is not the same thing as saying that science is a religion…

  3. Would a scientist lie to you? Of course he would! Some unscrupulous scientists will say whatever their sponsors want them to say. Case in point? “Our research proves that nicotine is not addictive, and definately does NOT cause lung cancer.” or “Research proves that formula is better for baby than mother’s breast milk.” The savvy news consumer knows to ask “who is paying for the research?” (Yes, it’s always been the formula manufacturers.)

    The media has their hand in it as well. Some scientist reports that a glass of red wine each day has been linked to lower risk of heart disease. Yet they fail to report that the same benefit can be acquired by drinking purple grape juice, which has the edded benefit of not damaging your liver.

    Of course, not all scientists are for sale to the highest bidder. I like to think that most are fair minded, honest folk. But that doesn’t mean that a fair-minded, honest scientist’s own biases won’t blind them to other possibile explanations. After all, the scientific method has a built in prejudice: You come up with a hypothesis, and then you test it. You assume that you know the truth, and you try to prove it wrong. It’s always possible that you can find multiple scenarios that don’t disprove a theory, but they certainly don’t prove it either.

    Just goes to show, we need to be conscious critical thinkers whenever we hear or read something.

  4. I agree that there are some unscrupulous scientsists out there. Some I know are mis-informed by some former assumptions he’s been taught at college! lol For example, pharmaceutical scientists have been programmed that the ‘real proven’ medicines are those man-made in laboratories and all other kinds of medicines are inferior!

    And some others often keep an open mind, which is important for any science-based theory to advance.

  5. Human beings are not completely candid with themselves. Until they evolve within to rediscover the nature of consciousness, then truth is obscured by cultural conditioning. The soul does not judge. It opens wider to rediscover its own truth. Nothing else matters.

  6. Nice reflection on the nature of truth and knowing.

    It seems we need to have a truth seeking consciousness, we need some humility as to the nature of our conclusions, particularly the motives for investigation, since we all can be wrong without knowing it.

    A huge cavern can exist between truthful observation and a conditioned imagination connecting invisible dots. Overall, the scientific method is one of the most honest at proving, or seeming to prove what it attempts to. Most religions I assume do not wish this kind of attempt at objective critical reasoning, instead, establishing question free zones.

    I am proud in the subjective sense, of religions and or religious teachers who incorporate the views of science and critical thinking without bias. These would seem more worthy of my attention.

    Thanks for the post.

  7. Pingback: Why do scientists feel they need to lie? « TWAWKI

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