Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Scientific versus Popular Meaning of Words

In consciousness science, as in all sciences, there are certain terms such as "theory" that have a different meaning than in popular language. 

An article on Scientific American runs through seven commonly misunderstood scientific terms:

Terminology #4 is "skeptic." The commentary provided is directed at self-described skeptics of mainstream scientific theories like neo-Darwinism and climate change. However, something similar could be said of those who are apriori dismissive of evidence of scientific anomalies, meaning scientific evidence that conflicts with prevailing theories and paradigms. The article reads:

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"Simply denying mainstream science based on flimsy, invalid and too-often agenda-driven critiques of science is not skepticism at all. It is contrarianism ... or denial," Mann told LiveScience.

Instead, true skeptics are open to scientific evidence and are willing to evenly assess it.

"All scientists should be skeptics. True skepticism is, as [Carl] Sagan described it, the 'self-correcting machinery' of science," Mann said. 

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Another expression listed is "nature versus nurture." The author points out that we are influence by both our genetic inheritance and our environment and that the environment might affect how our genetic potential is expressed or even mutated. 

Not surprisingly, the article does not consider a third influence: our own essence or consciousness, let's call it the noetic factor or paragenetics, as coined by Waldo Vieira, MD. Consider that we may not be born as a "blank slate," but rather we inherit some information, tendencies, intelligence from our own past as a pre-existing consciousness (past lives, period between lives, for example). 

In addition, rather than biological life and its evolution stemming from a God or from random events, consider that consciousness itself may be what animates and "complexifies" biological life. Some of the progenitors of the field of evolution thought this way, but their ideas have been abandoned with the rise of materialist reductionism: commonplace today, though it has been getting  increasingly  inadequate and outdated. We covered this subject in a previous post:

http://iacblog-english.blogspot.com/2013/05/salute-to-cockroach-consciousness.html

Read on to reflect on the other 5 commonly misunderstood scientific terms:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=just-a-theory-7-misused-science-words

We look forward to your comments!


Nelson Abreu

Los Angeles

IAC Blog Team

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