Dogma Danger, III

Nobel prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) because the scientific group had become dogmatic on global warming. Their 2007 National Policy Statement on Climate Change emphasized two sentences by placing them apart in their own paragraph: The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. “Incontrovertible” means “not open to question.” Professor Giaever’s letter of resignation noted the irony of their word choice. In the APS, it is okay to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is ‘incontrovertible’? The APS reiterated its support for the language in 2009. A letter from 16 eminent scientists published the Wall Street Journal on January 27, 2012, noted that treating global warming as incontrovertible was stifling scientific inquiry by, for example, making it nearly impossible for a young scientist to conduct research that might call the dogma into question because to do so eliminated their chances at publishing, tenure, and funding.   Click for more Dogma Danger....

Truth & Faith

I may not have any design upon my neighbor as to his faith, which I must honor even as I honor my own. For I regard all the great religions of the world as true, at any rate for the people professing them, as mine is true for me. –Mahatma...

Creativity Generates a New Reality

STARTUP A Silicon Valley Adventure by Jerry Kaplan The following is an excerpt from: STARTUP by Jerry Kaplan …I first learned the truth about scientific progress from my Ph.D. dissertation advisor at the University of Pennsylvania. A shy Indian man with a shiny, balding head and an occasional stutter, Dr. Joshi was widely known for his brilliant work in artificial intelligence. Our weekly meetings to help me find a thesis topic were more like therapy sessions than academic discussions. Most of the time he would sit silently behind his desk, watching me wrestle with some difficult question at the blackboard. When I was particularly down, he would offer a cryptic bit of encouragement: “You’re not wrong, you know.” I had spent the past several months puzzling obsessively over an obscure problem in computational linguistics. One day, I explained to Dr. Joshi that I had searched the entire library for a clue to the solution, but without success. “Perhaps you should try a different approach, Jerry.” “Like what?” He pointed to the clock on his wall. It was round with no numerals, only single tick marks for the hours. “What time is it?” “Four-thirty.” I thought he was pointing out that our hour was up. Instead, he walked over and rotated the clock a quarter turn to the right. “Now what time is it?” In its new position, the clock looked exactly as it had before, except for the position of the hands. “Seven forty-five.” “Are you certain? Rotating a clock doesn’t change the time, does it?” He had a point, but I didn’t know what to make of it....

Dogma Danger, Part I

In any case, even the truth, when believed, is a lie. You must experience the truth, not believe it. Werner Erhard Quoted in Werner Erhard The Transformation of a Man: The Founding of EST   Click for more Dogma Danger.  ...