Eli is happy to present some supplemental materials expanding on a previous post and more
@whinecough "devastating critique" is my word for when half-bright self-appointed science police get on the case of actual researchers— Dan Davies (@dsquareddigest) July 31, 2015
@whinecough paradigmatically, it involves holding up something as a Fatal Flaw [tm] which was actually mentioned by the authors— Dan Davies (@dsquareddigest) July 31, 2015
@whinecough & then it's always "oh I was just raising wider issues WHY HAS THIS BECOME SO PERSONALISED"— Dan Davies (@dsquareddigest) July 31, 2015
I have had so many conversations or email exchanges with students in the last few years wherein I anger them by indicating that simply saying, "This is my opinion" does not preclude a connected statement from being dead wrong. It still baffles me that some feel those four words somehow give them carte blanche to spout batshit oratory or prose. And it really scares me that some of those students think education that challenges their ideas is equivalent to an attack on their beliefs. -Mick CullenRouner points out that many things people claim as their opinion are actually statements about facts, and facts are not opinions. Some things are opinions, such as Eli believing that carrots are the most superior food stuff.
There’s nothing wrong with an opinion on those things. The problem comes from people whose opinions are actually misconceptions. If you think vaccines cause autism you are expressing something factually wrong, not an opinion. The fact that you may still believe that vaccines cause autism does not move your misconception into the realm of valid opinion. Nor does the fact that many others share this opinion give it any more validity.He continues
And yes, sometimes scientific or historical data is wrong or unclear or in need of further examination. Everyone knows water expands when it freezes. Do you know why it does that? when literally nothing else in the world does?Eli and several others pointed out that yes, science and a lot of people know why water expands when it freezes, and Jeff added a correction. A very important correction, not for what it said about water, but for what it said about how misconceptions can and should be corrected.
Nope, and neither does science.[ *See correction below and related article] Or hey, here’s a question; what was the racial heritage of the Ancient Egyptians because historians can’t come to a consensus;and Egyptian art is too stylized to accurately judge.
* Correction: I did get something wrong in the article. I said that science didn’t know why water was the only substance that expands when it cools. Turns out water is one of the few substances that expands while it cools, not the only one, and that we do know the reason it expands. I took finding this out with chagrin and further proof of my point that we all have much to learn. My opinion was based on bad data. Now it’s not.This, to Eli is a major point, that one has to recognize one's own limits. This is so unusual that one can only point to the title of Michael's most recent post: They concede nothing, they can't