Very few scientists

[From Dag Forssell (930506 1210)]

Quoting myself from yesterday on "soft" science:

EMPIRICAL DESCRIPTIONS are descriptions of what is happening based
on observations. Explanations suggest underlying regularities;
things that usually happen "other things being equal." Testing and
validation is seldom rigorous. This leads to an intuitive or
statistical recognition of observed phenomena and empirical laws =
rules for practice. Most "common sense" understanding of our world
consists of empirical descriptions.


...As one can read on the net, very few people tolerate being told
that their ideas are wrong. I know that scientists are not
supposed shy away from having their ideas rejected with sound
reasoning and sound evidence but it appears that there are very
few scientists that are like that in the life sciences; perhaps
this is why other scientists don't consider us very scientific.

Very few indeed, but perhaps we can speculate about who and why. I
believe we agree on this net that we all control (defend) our
highest systems concepts, our sense of self. If a person lives by
experience and recognizes that experience is varied and less than
certain, then such a person lives in an uncertain world. Still, one
depends on one's own integrated sense of one's own experiences.
This sense can not be proven or disproven. But naturally, it is
defended. If you live with a science of this nature, (where 55%
correlation is impressive and publishable), it is author against
author, with no proof or disproof in sight. But it is the only
thing you know.

Quoting myself some more, this time on "hard" science:

GENERATIVE THEORETICAL MODELS follow from a different and more
rigorous scientific method. They are based on logical modeling of
functional relationships at levels below the observed phenomena,
followed by testing with an expectation of 100% verification. They
offer explanations of why and how things happen.

Tom Bourbon (930506.0854)

And then there is the belief, like unto any I have ever seen in
any other branch of religion, that physiological data are real
data, but behavioral data are something else...

...Someone must recognize that these data are solid, that the
behavioral data and theories on which most of the popular methods
in physiological research rest are not solid, and that they can do
something to change the state of affairs...

As I read Tom, I see that physiological people identify with the
hard sciences, and lump all behavioral data with the soft,
unreliable sciences. Tom is pleading for someone to make the
distinction by METHOD and clearly see what is soft and what is
hard. There is some of each in behavior and physiology.

It occurs to me that chucks "very few" scientists have defined
their self differently. What matters is not individual experience
but individual understanding of generative theoretical models. The
model is what should be correct, not the person.

Now Chuck's comment:

...scientists are not supposed shy away from having their ideas
rejected with sound reasoning and sound evidence...

makes more sense. Sound reasoning becomes a tool and criticism the
process by which one verifies the validity of one's correct model.
It is still very painful for this hard scientist to have a model
fail, but then you have reorganization during sleepless nights and
a new, better model.

Best, Dag