Scientific Rules and Knowledge are now Racist ?

Plutonius

macrumors 604
Original poster
Feb 22, 2003
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I thought I have seen it all :). Now they are saying that the physical science rules that govern us are invading their safe spaces and that science rules need to be redone.

Opinions differ quite a bit on MR but I would like to see someone defend these college students.

 

rdrr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2003
529
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NH
Nevermind... I found the explanation of this whole thing, and how someone got chastised for saying "It's not true" and challenging the notion of sending lightning to strike someone. o_O
 
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citizenzen

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2010
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I would agree except these are college students saying the rules of science and mathematics are wrong and need to be redone.
College is a great place to learn otherwise.

I'm more concerned about the adults who are out of college and in positions of power to exert their ignorance on the people. Who is going to teach them?

For instance, who is going to teach Trump and other climate deniers to accept science?
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
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Sod off
I'm not going to try and defend the statements in the video, but I will critique the way this debate is being presented here.

First off, the way the video is being used here constitutes a strawman argument. The decolonization of science is a important debate being undertaken by many honest, brilliant and thoughtful people. There is a great deal of literature on it. Representing the entire discussion through a fragment of a student debate that was clearly not intended to be publicized is at best sloppy, at worst deliberately misleading. It demonstrates a lack of grasp of the subject matter (a subject that is, admittedly, very complex).

The decolonization of science and intellectualism more broadly is not about a total rejection of scientific "truth" in favor of tradition, belief, or opinion; rather, it is about taking a critical approach to the epistemologies and ontologies underlying modern western science, and questioning our own assumptions in the universal applicability of science as we conceive it. It is, in fact, about being more rational, not less so.

Further Reading.
 

garirry

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2013
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I used to think that if you disagree with science you are a blind religious freak, but it looks like soon I'll be thinking that you are a blind triggered SJW.

It reminds me of those *******s that try to claim that gender doesn't exist and is just a social construct. You can't argue with science. Science is the closest you'd get to the truth.
 
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subsonix

macrumors 68040
Feb 2, 2008
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I would agree except these are college students saying the rules of science and mathematics are wrong and need to be redone.
Descarte said the same. And as you mention, they are students, God forbid they exchange ideas in an open forum during their college years..

We also miss the context here, perhaps this is a seminar in a first year epistemology course. :D
 

Lord Blackadder

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May 7, 2004
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Sod off
I used to think that if you disagree with science you are a blind religious freak, but it looks like soon I'll be thinking that you are a blind triggered SJW.

It reminds me of those *******s that try to claim that gender doesn't exist and is just a social construct. You can't argue with science. Science is the closest you'd get to the truth.
I shouldn't bother, but...

You don't think that Western epistemologies could serve to hamper discovery by biasing the kinds of questions we ask and the ways we evaluate "truth"? You think Western scientific understandings are always universally applicable or intelligible? You can't see a single way our cultural assumptions (science does, after all, operate in a very real, culturally-specific context) might blind us to greater understandings of reality and our place in it?

The moment you hold up scientific knowledge as "truth", it becomes ossified and science loses the ability to evaluate itself properly. Science is as much about realizing how much we still do not understand as it is about gaining understanding. This position can be taken without misrepresenting belief or tradition as a surrogate for science.

Oh, and there are plenty of cultures out there with more than two genders. There are also plenty of organisms (including, rarely, humans) that can express more than one sex at the same time.
 

rdrr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2003
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I shouldn't bother, but...

You don't think that Western epistemologies could serve to hamper discovery by biasing the kinds of questions we ask and the ways we evaluate "truth"? You think Western scientific understandings are always universally applicable or intelligible? You can't see a single way our cultural assumptions (science does, after all, operate in a very real, culturally-specific context) might blind us to greater understandings of reality and our place in it?

The moment you hold up scientific knowledge as "truth", it becomes ossified and science loses the ability to evaluate itself properly. Science is as much about realizing how much we still do not understand as it is about gaining understanding. This position can be taken without misrepresenting belief or tradition as a surrogate for science.

Oh, and there are plenty of cultures out there with more than two genders. There are also plenty of organisms (including, rarely, humans) that can express more than one sex at the same time.
Oh but they are not talking about importance of culture and how it can exist with truth in science. The fact that she was talking about scratching out the LAW of gravity, and doing away with western science all together is just absurd. While you have some good points in your argument, the people in the video have another agenda, and if you disagree with them, not only do you have to apologize you need to sit through the lecture on adhering to their rules. Which of course means you cannot point out that they might be wrong.
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
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Oh but they are not talking about importance of culture and how it can exist with truth in science. The fact that she was talking about scratching out the LAW of gravity, and doing away with western science all together is just absurd. While you have some good points in your argument, the people in the video have another agenda, and if you disagree with them, not only do you have to apologize you need to sit through the lecture on adhering to their rules. Which of course means you cannot point out that they might be wrong.
My interpretation of the clip is that the speaker was not advocating throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but doing away with science as a western-centric institutional hegemony. But again, I do not wish to put words in her mouth. By showing only part of the clip we are in effect silencing her and/or taking her words out of context. If I heard the whole debate I might strenuously disagree with her, or I might find that we share opinions. As of now I have no way of knowing.

I think the purpose of the debate was to force people to think harder about what they see as "true". Do I think there are fish in Africa that are capable of channeling black magic and striking people with lightning? Frankly, no. But this is as much a discussion about power as it is about truth.

Strolling into Africa (for instance) and telling a person that western science has monopoly on the truth is arrogant and offensive...and wrong, from a philosophical standpoint. Doubly so when we ponder the history of westerners in Africa - their appearance and residence there was as conquerers, slavers, extractors of wealth and imposers of an impermeable and vastly unfair social order. Now that western society has done away with colonies, the new republics find themselves increasingly victimized by the west though proxy warfare and the forces of globalization. And yet they are still told that the "right" way of thinking is to aspire to western-style modern development using western style science. In other words, legitimacy and prosperity is supposedly only available through the adoption of a western worldview, with perhaps superficial "foreign" trappings.

Decolonizing anything (including science), is the act of self-legitimation by postcolonial peoples, and the west's acknowledgement of that legitimacy. That may involve respecting (not necessarily adopting or agreeing with) some beliefs and practices that run against the grain of western science; but more importantly it involves the acknowledgment that even scientifically valid (by our standards) understandings of the world can be developed in contexts and through means that may be difficult for westerners to understand.

Wow. Brought to you by reason.com: "Free minds and Free markets". Possible bias there?
 
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jkcerda

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Jun 10, 2013
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The decolonization of science and intellectualism more broadly is not about a total rejection of scientific "truth" in favor of tradition, belief, or opinion; rather, it is about taking a critical approach to the epistemologies and ontologies underlying modern western science, and questioning our own assumptions in the universal applicability of science as we conceive it. It is, in fact, about being more rational, not less so.
I can't get mad at that. Dumb it down, so people can get their outrage on over what a bunch of loudmouth sophomores are saying in classrooms.
 
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LIVEFRMNYC

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Oct 27, 2009
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I thought I have seen it all :). Now they are saying that the physical science rules that govern us are invading their safe spaces and that science rules need to be redone.

Opinions differ quite a bit on MR but I would like to see someone defend these college students.


I'm not going to act like I fully understand her entire point, or how far she's willing to take her specific point. But I do agree with her on a limited basis. Culture, religion, fear, and etc, has basically muted out other possible sciences in western society.

IMO, mankind is no expert in science. We only discovered use of electricity(for modern society) less than 300 years ago.

If things like black or spiritual magic is real, their is obviously a science behind it. And the young lady was right about others in westernized society being instantly quick to dismiss it.
 
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