work in progress


Introduction

This is the path of scientific enquiry. I have just completed the Treatise in which I described the path as:-

Now this path of course is mystical so what has it got to do with science. In a sense the path is the purpose of the mandtao blog, and this page is a summary so far. It is also why a path of scientific enquiry can be a genuine path.

But we need to look at background first.

Science methodology

The methodology is of course what is wonderful about science. Over time people have used a methodology that has enabled us to establish knowledge beyond doubt. This is a tremendous asset because knowledge without doubt is a good platform for society – a good consensus. But there has to be a clear understanding as to the limitations of this knowledge base. So in terms of enquiry we have our first question:-

What are the limits of scientific knowledge?

The Method

Here is the scientific method that is at the basis of this sound consensus:-

Hypothesis
Design of Experiment
Appropriate Experimentation
Analysis of Results
Valid Conclusion (perhaps with a level of accuracy)

This is the quantitative method, and it is the soundest form of scientific knowledge because the same experiment can be verified anywhere. This is the essence of science, and it is science’s great strength.

There is also qualitative research. Qualitative research tends to be used as an attempt to make discussions about society appear scientific. I carried out qualitative research for an M Ed in which I used case studies. I used approx. 20 case studies that were legitimate – I interviewed them. Starting from the recorded interviews I analysed and developed conclusions. Prior to the interview I did a background study on the issue concerned, this study formed the basis of the questionnaires, this study also formed the basis of the analysis of the interviews and the logical conclusions that followed. But is this science?

Assume that I carried out the research with integrity – I believe that to be true and I qualified, where is the knowledge that has been gained? I drew conclusions from talking with 20 people, are those widely-accepted scientific conclusions?

Here is another type of qualitative research. I want to investigate people’s views of political correctness. I do a background study on what is political correctness, and I build up a questionnaire. The interview takes 20 minutes and each interview becomes a case study. I carry out an analysis of the findings and formed a valid conclusion based on the case studies that the emphasis on PC language does not contribute to an improvement in society.

Depending on your viewpoint this research on PC will be accepted or rejected. Is that science? When I use the scientific (quantitative) method defined above, it is unlikely that conclusions would be rejected but the conclusions of qualitative research based on case studies can legitimately be rejected.

As a statistician I tend to reject qualitative research by case study as a methodology because it is only valid for the 20 people that were chosen. In my M Ed research my case studies were chosen by availability. There was no random choice from an overall population so any conclusions formed can only be valid for the 20 case studies.

Similar quantitative research would consider the whole population about which they wished to make conclusions, choose a random sample, question, analyse and conclude. But in the type of social situation in which case studies are used random research is not usually practical. To counter this “quantitative” interviews chosen randomly are not likely to have the depth that can be accessed through qualitative research.

So we have another question:-

What are the limits of knowledge obtained through qualitative and quantitative research?

And here is the more important question:-

Does science ever portray as knowledge findings that go beyond the accepted limits?

To begin to answer that question we have to look beyond the research methodologies to 2 factors:-

The funding of the research
The scientist and academia

Both of these are interlinked. If we start with the funding we find that the funding is not neutral, it has strings attached to it. Academic institutions are given funding by business interests to investigate a product such as a medicine. Because the business wants a favourable outcome the scientist is under pressure from them, and at the same time the scientist is under pressure from the academic institution who rely on funding for their existence.

Can we rely on research based on this funding and the institutional dependence on favourable findings?

Dependence on funding also has another characteristic, it can dictate the direction of scientific research. As an ideal the scientist as a person pushing back the bounds of scientific knowledge has got to be the envy of any genuine enquirer. But as an enquirer I have to ask whether that is the case now. Institutions employ people who have a record of attracting finance so the scientist who pushes back those boundaries now has to be the scientist who pushes back the boundaries whilst at the same time attracting finance. As business or defence provides most of the finance we have a bias towards technological advancement especially if there can be a profit. Science for science sake now does not exist because science requires funding. I describe this funding issue as a “hidden axiom of science”.

How does this impact Gaia (Ch25)? War needs a diplomatic solution, but in reality wars are fought for profit primarily (Ch17). Apart from the human cost there is always an environmental cost; there is always a cost to Gaia. Gaia pays a cost for defence research. Much funding comes from the big corporations, and the way they behave is inimical to Gaia. It is worth noting Oppenheimer’s regret. According to this coursework he did not regret Hiroshima (whilst others have claimed Hiroshima was not necessary to win the war – Gore Vidal), but was concerned about the destruction of mankind his research potentially contributed to. In my view scientists should be concerned about regret. It is not enough to say that scientists are there to research whereas others make the decisions. When you look at the inhumane decisions government puppets make scientists cannot abdicate their responsibility and take the ostrich position .

At the same time the scientist has bills to pay so they become compromised as the rest of us. Oppenheimer’s regret should be a question:-

Is your research beneficial to Gaia?

If not, can you avoid harmful research?

What is scientific knowledge?

I have already discussed the boundaries of scientific knowledge based on science methodology, but the very knowledge that is considered scientific has been fashioned by history.

I have attributed to Bacon a division between reason and revelation for taxonomy purposes (discussed here with link), but Bacon was so much more. What matters in this dichotomy at the time was that both reason and revelation was considered knowledge – science. History has refashioned knowledge as science and religion, and what was considered revealed knowledge is now a religious myth. At best it could be considered religious experience, but that is not knowledge because it cannot be verified by scientific method.

Here there is a dilemma concerning qualitative research. Religious experience could be researched scientifically through case study methodology, but the problem would be the resistance of scientific conditioning.

I have discussed conditioning in general here (Ch 22). To begin with understanding scientific conditioning is that the conditioning process as a whole is neutral. Whilst there is sinister control of conditioning by the 1% through marketing and consumerism, conditioning as a whole is a natural process. Conditioning in science is primarily through education. What happens in schools is that science is taught as truth without any questioning, scepticism is not a legitimate approach to science.

I am not sure whether I question this aspect of scientific conditioning at schools. Students should learn that science and scientific method is verified knowledge, however to me it is a duty for every scientist to develop scientific enquiry. For me it is the duty of every scientist to begin to follow the path of scientific enquiry, at least to be able to answer the questions posed here. Given the political manipulations that I will discuss later, I would rather see science answer these questions I raise rather than egotistical manipulation of the ignorant for profit. As a token start on this I would promote a scientific ethics for all science students at uni.

So in school students are conditioned in science, it is accepted as knowledge. But equally, because it has become historically acceptable, revelation is not considered as knowledge. It is not stated as such but because it cannot be verified by scientific methodology revelation is not science.

However social science is given some form of “knowledge status”, basically because it is taught and examined. Social science is not taught in the way of truth as science is, but the whole ethos of school is that being educated means that you are successful at what the curriculum designers (not the teachers) impart. Being educated is conditioning, and in terms of science that conditioning is neutral – imparting scientific knowledge. Socially the purpose of school is to fit students into the 1%-system – to create wage-slaves.

For me the science of school is a sound consensus of science to provide a platform for life. What school does not provide is genuine enquiry. This more specifically applies to the questioning of the 1%-system, questioning whether all we have in life is a role as a wage-slave is definitely not the conditioning desired by the 1% for education.

As a corollary of this lack of genuine enquiry in schools science students do not have enquiry. That might sound strange in that research is considered a search for knowledge but is it?

I have already asked you to question whether funding controls that enquiry. There is another hugely important aspect of science conditioning, and that is the direction of enquiry.

When does science question its axioms?

Science conditioning accepts the axioms of science, and research is guided away from axioms by agreement and conditioning. I have already referred to the hidden axioms of science when discussing funding. Now we have also seen axiom 1 that reason is science and its corollary that revelation cannot be verified by science; as such revelation is not now considered knowledge. But the path of scientific enquiry needs to look upwards at science’s axioms as well as downwards in terms of rational development. Science as knowledge without revelation cannot examine “upwards” because it does not have the method for questioning axioms because science is grounded in reason. Science needs a quality that can enable science to question axioms in a constructive way. The path of scientific enquiry can give it that.

Focus – Determined Enquiry

Focus – Determined Enquiry

There is a stereotype image of a scientist in the lab who is relentless with the search for knowledge. They push and push examining the scientific evidence until they have an insight that brings it all together. Here is a meme of the path developed in the treatise:-

Pathstill

Note the path of insight.

Insight is one of the key approaches of

Banner

Does that mean that all scientists seeking that Eureka moment of scientific discovery are actually following the path?

In a sense the answer to that is positive but in practice it doesn’t work out that way because scientists are so conditioned to reason. They rationalise that the insight is as a result of reason because as scientists they are conditioned into accepting that all is reason. Insight is an aspect of revelation, the insight has been revealed to the scientist. Once we have an insight it becomes an idea that reason can use, and the revealed aspect is glossed over.

So for a scientist the path that goes beyond conditioning is synonymous with the path that is beyond reason, part of revelation.
In treatise ch23 I discussed practice. For the scientist we have the practice of determined enquiry. Scientists would argue that they have determined enquiry now so this is mystical BS. I can understand that. So it is important in this path to use that determined enquiry on questions that exist on the boundaries of science. So the first determined enquiry is the limits of science.

Limits of science

I have already asked:-

What are the limits of science?
What are the limits of knowledge obtained through qualitative and quantitative research?

These are good questions to begin with, focus on them.

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Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

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