By Chris Delamo of Red Pill Philosophy
You know, I’m a big supporter of science.
Although my criticisms of the shortcomings modern mainstream science (specifically the doctrine of materialism) might lead you to believe otherwise, the fact is that I want science to be as SCIENTIFIC as possible, by removing as much dogma, belief, faith, and hearsay from it as I can.
I recently got into a short Twitter debate with Cara Santa Maria, a dedicated advocate of “science” who’s worked with The Young Turks and came to my attention through her two appearances on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.
In her Twitter description, she includes the hashtag “#ScienceFTW!”:
Wonderful: I like science, too.
But I don’t like hearsay, dogma, and faith DISGUISED as science.
I tweeted out to Cara the following: “@CaraSantaMaria claims to be an empiricist, yet relies on hearsay from studies she didn’t conduct as foundation of her knowledge.”
The rationale behind the tweet was to show that, although Cara claims to be an advocate of science and empiricism, she is willing to BYPASS scientific empiricism by believing in the results of studies she did not personally conduct, on the basis of faith and hearsay alone.
Now, although this might sound like a harsh criticism, I agree that it is: it’s technically impossible for each person to personally carry out and perform EVERY study every done so they can PERSONALLY experience the evidence firsthand, instead of relying on faith and trust that those who actually DID conduct the experiments, are valid.
So, I’m not here to debate that we should NOT trust other studies performed by people we’ve never even met. I think we can, and should, with the proper amount of skepticism as to ensure we are not being deceived.
My point, is simply to argue that if you’re going to call yourself “an empiricist”, who claims to ONLY draw conclusions on the basis of scientific evidence, then you might want to actually practice what you preach, instead of succumbing to the same faith and hearsay seen in the religious preachers that “scientists” so commonly excoriate.
Here’s the rest of our interaction:
Her final response there, “I suppose I’m not as literal as you are.”
Well, yes, that’s the whole point, isn’t it.
What DO we define as worthy of “evidence” and “empiricism”?
At what point does hearsay, faith, and trust in studies you did not directly perform, become nothing more than trusting your church leader who says he saw God in his dreams, hence you should believe him?
Cara essentially admitted that she has a lower standard for empiricism than the very scientists who use strict empiricism to conduct evidence-based studies in the first place.
And again, I’m not even saying I have a “higher standard”, because I, TOO, trust studies I’ve not directly performed.
But the point was to show how SO MANY followers of science are just that: FOLLOWERS.
They exhibit the qualities of religious followers, accepting what their leaders tell them on the basis of literal faith, hearsay, and trust, INSTEAD of on direct, scientific observation.
All of this implies that, to a large degree, the cult-ure (cult?) of science is a combination of real-world ACTUAL scientists performing studies first-hand, and then a vast swath of people who have chosen, on the basis of faith and hearsay alone, to trust what their scientific leaders tell them.
Granted: the very core definition of science is the demanding of evidence for all conclusions, so certainly a scientific leader is much less capable of deception than a religious leader, but I’m not criticizing actual in-field scientists here: I’m going after those who blindly (literally) believe in the conclusions of other people, whilst claiming they are “committed empiricists”.
You’re not a committed empiricist, at least not to the degree that science demands in the standards of its own studies, researches, and textbooks—and that’s fine: I don’t perform every study I believe, either, but then again, I don’t prance around on a high-horse of “committed empiricism” while contradicting myself in the very “ScienceFTW!” hashtags I tweet out there.
Sadly, the blind (literally) followers of science are an essential part of what keeps science alive in the first place: those who hashtag “ScienceFTW!” are the same ones who buy REAL scientists’ books, share their work, and ultimately supply a large portion of the funds and economics that allow scientists to perform their ACTUAL research in the first place.
And for that, I suppose the blind followers of science will have to stick around with their religious support of scientific empiricism (what a fuckin’ oxymoron, huh? — “…religious support of scientific empiricism”. Sadly, that is the CORE of what my qualm here is: blind followers of science, on par with religious commitment and allegiance, trusting “scientific researches” on the basis of whether or not it calls itself “scientific” in the first place).
The sad irony, is that “science” is just a word—a word used to describe an ideal, noble vision that I fully support: “one must have evidence, for any conclusions made.”
But the ideal, textbook definition of science is much different than the gritty, real-world human application of science, which is part of why I am so passionately opposed to the blind followers of science.
It is well-known and documented that MANY scientific studies are skewed by corruption and money (I guess you can’t really call it a “scientific” study at that point, could you?).
Do you really think a research firm hired by a nutritional company to perform a study on the effectiveness of a new diet pill is NOT going to skew the results to appease their client?
If a fat-loss company hired researchers to determine the efficacy of a diet pill, and the scientific results came back honestly to show that the pills don’t work—it shouldn’t be hard to believe that, if the fat-loss company is ONLY interested in selling a gimmick for quick cash, that the company will go find another research firm that WILL skew the results (at the right price, of course). And you can be guaran-damn-teed there are “scientists” and “researchers” out there willing to skew results for money.
The distinction here is between GENUINE science, and corrupt hijacked science. Of course, if it is “corrupt hijacked science”, it wouldn’t REALLY be “science”, would it?
No, it wouldn’t, but this again goes back to what I’ve mentioned many times on my blog: language sucks shit.
Sure, it works great, but there’s PLENTY of room for improvement.
And in a 140-character Twitter world of poorly-abbreviated words and shitty acronyms, the shortcomings of language take on a whole new meaning (no pun intended, fuck it, pun intended).
But notice how that is ultimately what Cara concluded: it was a semantic difference: she had a different definition of “empiricism”, which reflected HER personal standard of what qualifies as “empirical enough.”
For her, it seems, if it calls itself “science”, and has big words like “research”, “peer-reviewed”, and “double-blind” attached to it, then it MUST be scientific, and thus MUST be trustworthy, right?
That is what I mean by the cult-ure (cult) of science: it is trusting science on the basis of the overall cultural consensus associated with this overall “culture of science”. Word-of-mouth, hearsay, and faith become “more than enough empiricism” for the blind followers of science.
And take it from Cara herself:
TRANSLATION: “I have a lower standard of scientific empirical evidence because I align myself with the cultural sense of comfort gained by being a blind follower of science. I’m apart of this tribe, so I can trust what the leaders say.”
But I don’t want to be too harsh on Cara: she’s not the devil.
However, her arrogant dismissiveness of ANYTHING that falls outside the cultural-scientific-word-of-mouth-consensus is PART of the overall problem with science today: “science”, in terms of its ideal textbook definition, has been hijacked by the gritty reality of human beings and their perpetual capacity to be corrupted and imperfect—a la diet pill example.
I actually made a video just about 1 year ago, titled “Joe Rogan & NASA Physicist: We’re Living in the Matrix”, where I started the video off with a clip from the first time Cara appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.
In the clip, Joe asks Cara why quantum physics has been hijacked by woo-peddlers who turned the implications of the “double-slit experiment” into new-agey explanations for how reality works.
You can watch that video compilation I made here (which, I give myself credit, has probably given the 324,000+ people who have watched it a reason to think Cara is a close-minded dogmatic blind follower of science): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOBT-TVAhM4
If you don’t have time to watch my video, here’s Cara’s quote that I used: “All these people who are trying to SHILL quantum mechanics as an explanation for thought, or love, or any of these woo-woo things—NONE OF THEM ARE FUCKING PHYSICISTS!”
Although she is definitely right: there ARE a lot of “woo-peddlers” (a term popularized by Cara through her appearance on the JRE), that doesn’t mean quantum mechanics ISN’T a very bizarre realm that contradicts most, if not all, of the Newtonian / Einsteinian worldview.
I think at this point, I’ve made my point enough.
Dogma is what happens when a cult element becomes more important than first-hand, objective evidence.
Science today has developed such a vast, strong, fervent “#ScienceFTW!” cult that it now has enough blind followers to rival most world religions.
That, is a tragedy, and it’s the current Achilles’ heel of science that is helping turn it from its ideal textbook definition, into the corrupt, hijacked, and dogmatic (borderline) religion that it has become today.
For more on why “science” is like “religion”, check out one of my past articles here: http://redpillphilosophy. com/2014/02/07/bill-nye-vs-ken-ham-two-religious-nutjobs-arguing/
Thanks for reading.
DISCLAIMER: ALTHOUGH THIS ARTICLE WAS PERFORMED USING DOUBLE-BLIND, CROSS-LONGITUNIDAL RESEARCH PARAMETERS, THE ARTICLE ITSELF IS FUNDED BY RED PILL PHILOSOPHY, AND THUS IS SUBJECT TO A CONFLICT OF INTEREST – BUT DON’T WORRY: IT’S A “SCIENTIFIC STUDY” AND THUS SHOULD BE TRUSTED
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