Wonderful phrases 18 October 2004
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Peter Morrell,
Hon Research Associate, History of Medicine
Staffordshire University, UK

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Re: Wonderful phrases

"...'experts' are only experts until they are debunked and only when they are can science grow. One does not need a 'medical degree' or 'qualifications' to be critical and think autonomously...Deconstruction means teasing out the internal flaws and contradictions in a text."

The "introduction of God to bolster his argument merely has the opposite effect...references to Deity are clear proof if any more were needed that his 'belief' in 'HIV' is akin to theology rather than science. Belief in the Deity is merely state sanctioned irrationality identical to the scientifically sanctioned mass theological belief in 'HIV'."

Well done to Alexander Mr Russell; these are indeed wonderful phrases and literary gems worthy of deeper reflection.

Talking of 'state sanctioned irrationality' and letting uncritical use of beliefs and assumptions masquerade as 'facts,' reminds me to say that these are some of the commonest and least endearing habits of many so -called scientists, presumably because they have had no training in critical thinking and harbour no desire to restrain their beliefs with the very detachment and neutrality they always claim to possess, but which is very rarely evident, to the more critical eye, in the things they say and do.

One book that discusses some aspects of this is Thomas F Gieryn, The Cultural Boundaries of Science, Chicago University Press, 1999. And for those who prefer the sweet and undiluted nectar of real philosophy of science, they can tap the rich vine of the Lyle Zynda lectures, all online free at http://www.soc.iastate.edu/sapp/phil_sci_lecture00.html

Competing interests: None declared