Sunday, August 23, 2009

Simple Questions

I've had to ask a couple.

Of course, as you've seen with Gabriel, I've had to ask repeatedly, "If the Wright brothers were raised in a nomadic hunter-gatherer society, would they invent the airplane? If not, why not?"

This is, quite frankly, a question I think any bonehead could produce a cogent answer for. It also gets right into the heart of the matter behind inequality in scientific progress across the planet: Geniuses who do not have access to knowledge and technology will have their potential greatly stunted, regardless of any genetic advantage they may have.

Another troll I've been dueling with was an annony identified as Graeme Bird by Tom Foss. Graeme lives in denial behind fundamental concepts behind the philosophy of science such as the null hypothesis (and, by extension, falsification thereof as a basis for a positive conclusion) and burden of proof.

I repeatedly asked Graeme what the alternative method for concluding "unicorns don't exist" there is. Dodged every time.

I mean, geeze, is it that hard to humor me for a simple question that gets to the fundamentals of the matter?


djfav said...

They don't want to answer our questions. They want us to answer their questions. But questioning their questions simply won't do.

Don said...

Good old Graeme. I read that exchange today and was sad that I couldn't participate (though not really; I was in the Florida Keys, on a boat in my swim trunks and my flippy floppies). I remember him from Skeptico. I remember looking at his blog and finding that he's also a relativity denier.

The way he threw around "logic" reminded me of the way Objectivists throw around "reason;" not as a noun with a definition, but rather as a catch-all for "The thing that makes me right all the time."

I also dug that time he yelled about science CONTRADICTING THE LAWS OF LOGIC!

Well, if there are any "laws of logic" that science contradicts, it would be because they are wrong. Stupid assholes and their lack of understanding od axiomatic systems.

Finally, I liked djfav's "I have a degree in philosophy." It was quite the "fuck you." Though the last time some asshole asked for my qualifications and I said the same thing, I was accused of making an appeal to personal authority...Fucking cranks.

Bronze Dog said...

Wow. The last relativity denier I personally tussled with was good ol' Wo[is]MI. He suddenly found it inconvenient when I pointed out that the Global Positioning System relied on relativistic corrections right in the satellites. If it wasn't there, all the GPS receivers in the world would slowly get less and less accurate.

And, of course, if relativity was wrong, that loss of accuracy would still happen, just in the other direction.

It was hilarious when I told WoMI that his own logic led to the conclusion that GPS works by dumb luck. Cue desperate projection.