The battle against dogmatism
Harmonia Philosophica has for a long time now fought the battle against dogmatism. And as we all know, dogmatism is now bred inside the realms of science, which serves as the new religion of our ages. To that end, I have managed to comment on every important science or technological or societal advancement, trying to pinpoint the philosophical dogmatism hidden behind the nice headlines, so that everyone can see what is in front of their eyes.
However the news coming every day from the fields of science often repeat themselves. And Harmonia Philosophica is not only obliged to report on dogmatism under any form, it has also an obligation towards quality and aesthetics as well. Repeating the same things over and over again would be just… ugly and give the wrong impression. (but not pointless, since today’s society always needs reminders of the obvious, especially when it is so distorted by the media every day) But in any case repetition is the mother of learning. And we need learning.
In an effort to keep aesthetic quality standards high and at the same time continue to expose dogmatism in today’s modern ways of thinking, this philosophy portal will maintain here a comprehensive centralized list of worldwide news headlines which are based on any kind of dogmatic beliefs. This list will be updated on a regular basis and will at the end contain all science/ technological/ society news that undermine the free thinking of people by covertly using dogmas which claiming they are “objective”. Needless to say that this is not an article against science per se. Proper, correct science (as it used to be exercised by the great scientists of the past) is a form of thinking that can be extremely helpful. Proper science accepts all kinds of arguments, is based on data, intuition and logic and does not discredit opinions for simply being “religious” without giving explanations. Unfortunately today’s science has turned into mere scientism and that is what this page is fighting against.
The list will describe in a few words the dogma behind every specific headline and related links in the Harmonia Philosophica philosophy portal for further analysis, so as to help readers understand what is the problem with these news themselves.
List of dogmatic articles
Find below a list of articles which are based on dogmas of any form. For every article I present a small excerpt and a short analysis of why and how the article is dogmatic. The reader can click on the related tags which will lead him to relative articles in Harmonia Philosophica for him to read more about the specific dogma.
Any suggestions of new headlines that should be included in this list for philosophical analysis is more than welcome.
1. Genetic variations & schizophrenia
“Largest study of its kind finds rare genetic variations linked to schizophrenia: Genetic variations that increase schizophrenia risk are rare, making it difficult to study their role. To overcome this, scientists analyzed the genomes of more than 41,000 people in the largest study of its kind to date. Their study reveals regions of the genome where mutations increase schizophrenia risk.” (1)
Study a phenomenon which is affected by multiple factors. Focus on just the one which gives access to grants. Dogma detected: Materialism.
2. Genes and educational achievement
“A study co-led by the University of East Anglia (UEA) has found that people with genes for high educational achievement tend to marry, and have children with, people with similar DNA.” (1)
Think about it: People have 99% similar DNA with… bananas. So? How valid can such a research be? Dogma detected: Materialism.
3. Theory of evolution acceptance
“The theory of evolution by natural selection is one of several examples of societal disputes that center on the validity of specific beliefs, where one position is backed up by logical reasoning and scientific evidence, and the other is not.” (1)
Believing that only you are reasonable. Using logic to reach to conclusions without being able to reproduce in the lab, while calling out as “dogmatists” those who do the same in order to reach to God. Dogma detected: Atheism.
4. Bacteria and their effects to humans
“Studying how gut bacteria affect behavior in zebrafish could lead to a better understanding of how probiotics may affect the central nervous system in humans.” (1)
Dogma detected: Mechanistic view of life (and humans in particular).
5. Neurons and human behavior
“A new Theory of Connectivity represents a fundamental principle for how our billions of neurons assemble and align not just to acquire knowledge, but to generalize and draw conclusions from it. Our brains have a basic algorithm that enables us to not just recognize a traditional Thanksgiving meal, but the intelligence to ponder the broader implications of a bountiful harvest as well as good family and friends. “A relatively simple mathematical logic underlies our complex brain computations,” said Dr. Joe Z. Tsien, neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, co-director of the Augusta University Brain and Behavior Discovery Institute and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Cognitive and Systems Neurobiology.” (1)
Penrose and Godel have already killed the idea of a human brain working in an algorithmical way. And yet, we still insist that our brain is like a computer’s simply because we build computers. (for money of course) Dogma detected: Mechanistic view of life (and humans in particular) and materialism.
6. Scientific theories and science objectiveness
Why don’t we have to present both sides of every scientific theory? “Don’t you want to be fair and balanced?” Stephen asked. Neil responded, “That would be a waste of everyone’s time. When different experiments give you the same result, it is no longer subject to your opinion. That’s the good thing about science: It’s true whether or not you believe in it.” (1)
Experiments are experiments. Observation is observation. Science is the creation of models in order to explain what we observe. It is not the “truth”. If you believe so much in what you observe, would you believe someone who OBSERVED the resurrection? Would you believe a doctor who objectively OBSERVED someone dying and then waking up and telling you things he saw or heard while dead? (NDEs) Dogma detected: Scientism. (a.k.a. “Science is the truth and the cure for everything”)
7. Obey Science! [2016-12-01]
“People who know about genetically modified food agree with science, that they’re safe. On the other hand, those who know plenty about global warming are cautious about the science that says humans cause the phenomenon, a new study shows. Furthermore, the study showed some people still make what researchers call “illusionary correlations,” such as “genetically modified foods cause autism”.” (1)
Science knows better. Obey to your new religion. Obey or… get warmed!
Related tags in Harmonia Philosophica: science the new religion
8. Amazon Kindle advertising rules.
Amazon has released a new marketing plan that a Kindle writer could use to promote his book. This tool comes with specific terms to which the writer must comply before using it. So far so good, one could say. Indeed. At least until you read the terms: You cannot offend the religious views of someone, you cannot offend someone based on race and so on and so forth and… oh, you cannot promote books related to religion and spirituality! (see picture above) As simple as that. Raw. Unedited. Dogmatism can never be anything different.
9. Oxytocin and finger tapping…
A new study shows that participants receiving oxytocin — a hormone known to promote social bonding – are more synchronized when finger-tapping together, than participants receiving placebo. This effect was observed when pairs of participants, placed in separate rooms tapped together in a leader/follower relationship (1)
Matter affects matter. Actually, everything affects everything (cosmic sympathy). So we must be really careful when extracting conclusions from a research. Yes, oxytocin has an effect. Does this mean that the same effect cannot be exerted by other means? Does this mean anything about the philosophy of what it means to be a human or about the nature of the nous per se? Stay true to what you look for. Usually you will find it…
10. Guts. Mental Illness.
Study shows how the microbiome may affect mental illness and interact with treatment. (1)
As above in No. 9 case. Everything affects everything. Focusing our conclusion only to what we like, makes the conclusions prejudiced. Consider all options, present them fairly and you will be a true scientist…
11. Controlling things with the mind
Researchers have made a major breakthrough that allows people to control a robotic arm using only their minds. The research has the potential to help millions of people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases. (1)
We analyze brain waves and then we replicate things happening when specific brain waves appear. This means we can replicate what we see. It does not mean we understand the way the mind works of what the mind is! And yet, this is exactly what scientists are trying to convince us that is happening. We must understand that a theory is just that: a theory. A model used to replicate what we see happening. It is not philosophy, it is not “knowledge” of any “truth” whatsoever…
12. Knowing things about memory and the brain…
The human brain could store 10 times more memories than previously thought. (according to models used by scientists based on rat brains) (1) [read on 2017-01-03]
Great news. Reading this headline and skimming through the article makes someone very happy to know that scientists are starting to understand more and more things about the brain and its processes. Science is really living the dream of increasing knowledge, right? Wrong. At a small ‘footnote’ mentioned in the article, scientists claim things about the memory capacity of the brain even though “scientists still don’t understand much of how they work, including how their size affects how information is transmitted or stored in the brain”! So to put it simply: we have created models to analyze brain, but we do not know how these models work like brain works. And yet, based on these models we make predictions and draw conclusions. Are these conclusions solid? No. Not even close. They are standing in mid air, with not even a thread to hold them. But who cares. As long as we have a scientific ‘conclusion’ to publish and make people happy (and our selves happier with more grants for research) who cares…
13. The ‘Dark Matter’ science: The “discovery” of what we believe.
Many articles in the news deal with the “discovery” of dark matter properties, the analysis of these properties and the prediction of potential new discoveries in the future. “In their paper published in Nature the physicists from the University’s College of Science, working with an international collaborative team at CERN, describe the first precision study of antihydrogen, the antimatter equivalent of hydrogen” claims one article. (1) [read on 2017-01-04]
And why not? Imagination is free. Dressed up with the authority cloak of “science” anything can pass as legitimate and earn people money and fame so… why not do it? Harmonia Philosophica has for a long time warned for the futility and the dangers of making science based on axioms we arbitrarily choose and then believing the conclusion as being… “true” in the philosophical sense of the term. (2, 3, 4, ,5)
14. Gene modifications, Ants, Humans.
Gene-modified ants shed light on how societies are organized. (1) [2017-03-02]
We like to believe that things can be understood based on what we do. We like to believe analogies can be a sufficient tool to explain what is unique. We like to believe that we are genes and matter. We like to believe in general. We need religion more. True pure religion. Religion without faith. Based on things we know deep inside…
Related tags in Harmonia Philosophica: genes, humans, religion, religion philosophy, knowledge
15. Interrogating the brain…
A research team has used an innovative neuroimaging tool to interrogate the complex brain networks and functions. (1) [2017-03-02]
We love analyzing things. If only we knew what we were looking for…
Related tags in Harmonia Philosophica: analysis, science, research, simple questions, brain, mind
16. Controlling things with your brain.
Controlling a prosthesis with your brain: The use of brain computer interface has the potential to improve the daily lives of people with prosthetic limbs, according to new research. (1) [2017-03-05]
One must be very careful when looking at shining new stones brought by science to dazzle. Technological advances regarding the use of the brain and the brain waves to do things must not be confused with actually KNOWING what mind and consciousness is all about. We are kids playing with the kitchen here. This does not make us alchemists…
Related tags in Harmonia Philosophica: knowledge, alchemy, science, science philosophy, mind, brain, neurons, arrogance, modern civilization
17. Post-animal agriculture
There are now ways to replicate meat and animal byproducts (milk and eggs) using science. New Harvest is a non-profit that uses these methods to work towards a “post-animal bio-economy”. (1) [2017-03-05]
We believe we can control everything. We believe we are gods. But the need to control things does not denote strength. It denotes weakness…
Related tags in Harmonia Philosophica: control, modern civilization
18. Programmable… intuition
Researchers are trying to improve automated planners by giving them the benefit of human intuition. By encoding the strategies of high-performing human planners in a machine-readable form, they were able to improve the performance of planning algorithms by 10 to 15 percent on a challenging set of problems. (1) [2017-03-05]
One more science newsflash that is beyond words… Programmable… intuition! More stupid can get you killed. Life is unpredictable. Life is chaotic. And only because it is unpredictable and chaotic, can we understand it. And control it. But not by thinking. But by letting go and accepting. Intuition is about synchronizing with the cosmos. Trying to program it simply destroys the freedom required for that synchronization.
Related tags in Harmonia Philosophica: stupid research, intuition
19. How humans bond
The brain chemistry revealed. In a new study, researchers found for the first time that the neurotransmitter dopamine is involved in human bonding, bringing the brain’s reward system into our understanding of how we form human attachments. The results, based on a study with 19 mother-infant pairs, have important implications for therapies addressing postpartum depression as well as disorders of the dopamine system such as Parkinson’s disease, addiction, and social dysfunction. (1) [2017-03-05]
The same dogma over and over again.
What is to say more?
A dogma is a dogma. And repeating it too many times does not make it true no matter what. We must unlearn what we have learnt. We must empty the cup as soon as possible. We must start going back before we are too deep inside the forest that turning back seems impossible. We have built too much on dry sand. We must start bringing things down. Or there will be nothing left to build…
Related tags in Harmonia Philosophica: materialism, dogmatism, dogmas, scientific dogmatism, against materialism
20. Is the human brain hardwired to appreciate poetry?
In 1932 T.S. Eliot famously argued, ‘Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.’ But can we really appreciate the musical sound of poetry independent of its literary meaning? Apparently yes. A recent study has shown that the brain displays a positive electrophysiological response when presented with sentences that conform to certain poetic construction rules. It is the first demonstration of unconscious processing of poetic constructs by the brain. (1) [2017-03-05]
Cause – Effect.
Effect – Cause.
We see the world through our own glasses. And the glasses are broken. We invent rules and then we see them validated by the same rules…
If only we became blind.
Then we would see again!
Related tags in Harmonia Philosophica: axioms, scientific dogmatism, brain, free will, emotions
21. Curing before the disease.
The skin cells of four adults with schizophrenia have provided an unprecedented “window” into how the disease began while they were still in the womb, according to a recent paper in Schizophrenia Research. The paper was published online in January by researchers at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo in collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. It provides what the authors call the first proof of concept for their hypothesis that a common genomic pathway lies at the root of schizophrenia. The researchers say the work is a first step toward the design of treatments that could be administered to pregnant mothers at high risk for bearing a child with schizophrenia, potentially preventing the disease before it begins. (1) [2017-03-05]
Curing before the disease.
Predicting before it happens.
We are now ready to control life.
And somehow, this means we will miss it…
Related tags in Harmonia Philosophica: medicine, living, prediction
22. Can math help explain our bodies – and our diseases?
The incredible complexity of how biological systems interact to create tissue from the information contained in genes boggles the mind – and drives the work of biomedical scientists around the world. Now, a pair of mathematicians has introduced a new way of thinking about these concepts that may help set the stage for better understanding of our bodies and other living things. Using advanced mathematics, researchers hope to create models of biological systems that can inform our understanding of normal development and disease. (1) [2017-03-12]
Modeling things in mathematics makes us to believe we have explained them. And yet, as Shestov points out, understanding is not the same as knowing. Every time we try to understand something we destroy it in order to fit it inside the little boxes we have in our mind. But the cosmos cannot fit in a box…
Related tags in Harmonia Philosophica: Shestov, knowledge, scientific models, understanding, mathematics
23. Poker-playing AI program first to beat pros at no-limit Texas hold ’em.
A team of computing scientists is once again capturing the world’s collective fascination with artificial intelligence. In a historic result for the flourishing AI research community, the team has developed an AI system called DeepStack that defeated professional poker players in December 2016. (1) [2017-03-12]
Computers think faster. So?
Cars run faster. So?
It is not running fast which makes us the best. It is the ability to stand still and listen to the river flowing. It is not thinking faster which makes us the best. It is the ability to stop thinking and just accept the cosmos.
Related tags in Harmonia Philosophica: dasein, humans, being, computers, AI
~ To be updated