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Flashcards in Lecture 15 Deck (34):
1

The textbook claims that the power of science in contemporary society is so powerful that...

Any claims made to truth by scientists is immediately granted legitimacy.

2

Although the public does have confidence in science, and the public trusts scientists more than religious figures or politicians...

For specific issues this is not always the case.

3

Only __% of public trusts scientists on stem cell research.

39.

4

Example of groups that dispute scientists' claims.

- Climate change denial movement.
- Anti-vaccine movement.
- AIDS denial movement.

5

What does it take for the public to properly trust science?

- Public needs to make sense of science.

6

Is it enough for people to know the contents of scientific discoveries?

Not just contents, but also process that scientists go through to acquire knowledge.

7

How would the public make sense of science?

Public needs to make sense of science. Have to have some understanding of what is going on in scientific disciplines. Not just contents, but also process that scientists go through to acquire knowledge. Role of evidence in drawing conclusions. Just because a scientist has expertise in one area, doesn’t mean they have expertise in a different area. Peer review process.

8

What does Tim Caufield think should be the two questions for the relationship between the public and science?

- Why don’t some members of the public trust science, or scientists, when there is so much supporting evidence of the science in question?
- Why do people believe conspiracy theories?

9

What are factors that erode public trust that come from the scientific community?

- Perception that science isn’t working. See rallies, but don’t see research working.
- Scientists are critical of their own disciplines. Biologists critique state of biology today.
- Methodological shortcomings.
- Concerns about retractions (studies that get retracted). Science has a self-corrective process which seems like a weakness.
- Conflicting reports from media.
- Advice given by non-scientist celebrities. Conflicts with scientific literature.

10

Who accused social scientists and humanities scholars for attempting to undermine the scientific enterprise?

Alan Sokal.

11

Alan Sokal

Accused social scientists and humanities scholars for attempting to undermine the scientific enterprise.

12

___ arose to question the assumptions we take for granted about science.

Postmodernism.

13

Postmodernism

Radical form of skepticism. Existence of reality, notion of truth, as well as notions of rationality, human nature, and the idea of progress.

14

Sokal's Social Text

Intentionally designed it to be full of nonsense. Wanted to see if a leading sociology journal would published something if it referenced the right people, if it used the right jargon, and if it flattered the editor’s ideological viewpoints. “Transgressing the Boundaries Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.”

15

___ was celebrated while he created the greatest scientific hoax of the century.

Sokal.

16

Rationalists were slightly ___.

Utopian.

17

What did rationalists think would happen to mysticism, the cult’s beliefs, pseudoscience, and superstitious nonsense.

With developments in the natural sciences, scientific knowledge would result in the disappearance of mysticism, the cult’s beliefs, pseudoscience, and superstitious nonsense.

18

Rationalists like Marx had a very ___ framework that they applied to their scholarship.

Scientific.

19

Pseudo-science and the paranormal has ___ substantially since the late-20th century.

Grown.

20

Pseudo-Science

Derogatory term we use to refer to a system of beliefs, whose adherents mistakenly claim they are based on natural laws or scientific principles. Cloak beliefs that are extra-scientific in the mantle of science. For example, homeopathy.

21

Paranormalism

Invokes supernatural powers. Things that scientists believe are contrary to the laws of nature.

22

What is the difference between pseudo-science and paranormalism?

Difference is that proponents of pseudoscience masquerade their beliefs as if they were science, but adherents of paranormalism don’t care about that so much.

23

To the uneducated, much cutting-edge science looks ___.

Paranormal.

24

Which pseudo-sciences used to be accepted as valid?

- Phrenology: Bumps on the head determined character and human behaviour.
- Alchemy.
- Astrology.

25

5 categories that help us tease apart the kinds of social phenomenon that lie outside of science:

- Client-practitioner.
- Religious tradition.
- Core researchers.
- Grassroots.
- Single person.

26

Example of crank:

Jim Carter.

27

Circlon Synchronicity

His theory explains all the mysteries and paradoxes of physics. Theory rests on Circlons, which are springs within springs. Circlons subdivided to make all the matter in the universe.

28

Cranks appear like genuine scientists. For example, physicists may think that Carter had a legitimate theory if they thought...

How much different are Circlons than string theory?

29

Cranks appear like genuine scientists. For example, physicists may think that Carter had a legitimate theory if they thought...

How much different are Circlons than string theory?

30

Beliefs that depends on a client-practitioner relationship:

Astrologers or psychics.

31

Paranormal belief system within a religious tradition:

Christian Young Earth Creationism. Earth came from direct acts of God less than 10,000 years ago.

32

Paranormal belief system kept alive by a core of researchers:

Practice the form, but not the content of science. Labs, lab coats, but not actually producing science. “Cargo Cult” science. Parapsychologists. Telepathy, psychokinesis, near-death experiences etc. Unlike astrologers and psychics, don’t have clients.

33

Paranormal belief systems that can be characterized as grassroots:

Come from public spontaneously. Belief in alien visitation and abduction.

34

Paranormal beliefs that originate from the mind of a single person:

Person has unusual implausible scientifically unworkable vision of how nature works. Cranks.