Social Skeptics bear the habit of hiding what it is they are seeking to promote. They accomplish this misrepresentation through terminological equivocation and the employment of club signature intimidation words. It behooves the Ethical Skeptic to understand what a person means when they utter certain words, and ensure that the words are not being implied as club weapons to enforce specious religious doctrines. It behooves the Ethical Skeptic to understand their own employment of such words, and exercise the use of them in a context of ethical clarity; to disarm the social inference that such words mean more, than they really do. To err in either regard is the source of all fanaticism.
Say What You Mean
Social Skeptics erroneously influence their acolytes through misleading them as to the meaning behind the terms they employ, and the nature of the underlying philosophy entailed. They believe that their use of the terms evolution, atheism and science affords them immediate scientific gravitas and a perch of correctness. When a person slings around the terms evolution, atheism and science, for me this is not tantamount to an immediate free pass into the graces of trustworthiness. I regularly encourage the Social Skeptic vulnerable among us to understand what it is indeed that they mean, by the terms they employ. Clarity is one of the consequentialist goals of Ethical Skepticism. If you represent critical thinking, science and rationality, then one would be hypocritical to not employ complex terms in a frame of meaningful reference. Otherwise the terms are simply used as a weapon of pretense and intimidation. I use the words evolution, atheism and science – therefore anything I say is scientifically correct, and I have an entire cadre of bullies available to back me up if I so choose. This is not science, it is a hypo epistemological process of fraud.
As an Ethical Skeptic, if I am to continue inside a discourse of life and meaning with such a person, I need to know if they really understand what they are saying when they spout off the words so frequently uttered by their ‘mentors.’ I really need to know what they mean by
Evolution – do they mean speciated diversity of life through the generational culling of environmentally stimulated allele changes?
Or …do they mean that life sprang up on Earth through abiogenesis and random primordial ooze, therefore we are simply a one way genetic expression machine which has deterministically resulted in the fluke illusion of consciousness? The former fact is science, the latter argument is a highly separate religion – often protected by and conflated inside the club weapon word ‘evolution.’
Atheism – do they mean a personal ethic of not commenting or concluding around this undefinable construct called ‘god?’
Or …do they mean that they hate (and habitually apologize around this) anything to do with a certain religion, its adherents and any idea that a magical bearded entity poofed the universe into existence in 6 days, 6000 years ago? Do they really mean that they choose to venerate Material Monism, and an existential lack of any innate purpose to this biosphere Earth, or any other similar events which occur in our Universe? Really, because I am not sure how one derives such a conclusion. I did not possess their enthalpy laden spaceship, that much psychic clairvoyance, nor that much time, in order to determine such an extraordinary claim myself. The former choice is an ethical action, the latter argument is a highly separate religion called Nihilism – often protected by and conflated inside the club weapon word ‘atheism.’
Science – do they mean both the body of accepted knowledge and the method by which we objectively qualify and build that knowledge?
Or …do they mean screaming about a selective set of physical measures which target confirmation and methodically avoid falsification of a specific religious understanding of the world around us? Do they mean an ontology protected through a non acknowledged Omega Hypothesis (the hypothesis which is developed to end all argument) masquerading as the ‘null hypothesis,’ through an inverse negation fallacious approach – and therefore socially enforced as truth? The former definition is science, the latter argument is a highly separate religious hypoepistemology – often protected by and conflated inside the club weapon word ‘science.’
Science is also about clarity, value, disciplined thinking and trustworthiness. When you hear me use the words above, I mean the former and not the latter in each case. If I attempted to imply the orange ontologies in the chart below, as scientific truth – I could not look at myself in the mirror in the morning – from such a display of dishonesty. Passing off one’s ontology as a science, constitutes not only pseudoscience, but is a Wittgenstein Error (Epistemological) as well. Be wary of those who can do such without conscience. Be very wary of those who can not only look at themselves in the mirror after promoting such fraud, but aspire to celebrity in the process as well. The incorrect use of these words abrogates your claim to represent scientific thinking. Say what you mean – and you will gain the respect of those who truly understand philosophy and science.
Mean What You Say
If you join a movement, organization or philosophical movement – do so because you really understand and really mean and believe those tenets which are promoted by that movement. Don’t do so because you desire to appear as smart and scientific, or need some kind of self affirmation and acceptance, pep rallies or the rush of shaming others whom you regard as beneath you intellectually or socially. Such dispositions render one vulnerable to being manipulated by celebrity and malevolent influences. Otherwise, you are living what is called a Lie of Allegiance. If you, quietly over a couple beers, will soften your stance and reflect on a whole series of doubts you carry – but must hold in abeyance – then you are living a Lie of Allegiance. People in churches do this to make their families happy. People in Social Skepticism do this, and worse, in order to gain acceptance to that club. This personal foible is anathema to the Ethical Skeptic.
/philosophy : self understanding : cognitive dissonance : error/ : mistaking one’s fanaticism or being ‘hardcore’ as positively indicative of the level of understanding and commitment one possesses inside a philosophy or adopted belief set. The reality is that being fanatical or hardcore indicates more one’s dissonance over not fully believing, nor fully understanding the nature of the belief tenets to which they have lent fealty.
A fanaticist is different from a fanatic. A fanatic simply loves a particular subject or brand. A fanaticist on the other hand employs their outward extremism as a cover to hide an unacknowledged and suppressed inner cognitive dissonance.
A useful tool in Social Skepticism, the Lie of Allegiance, keeps the faithful unified and aligned in playing select activist roles. A Lie of Allegiance is often promoted through one-liners, weapon words and circularly quoted propaganda, initially deployed by celebrity SSkeptics, and enforced by the faithful, looking for purpose power and reward. It relies upon the ignorance of its participants, leveraged through the application of pep rallies and the pummeling of effigies of evil opponents. This is why the acolytes and trolls of Social Skepticism often focus on politics and persons, and not science itself. They either do not fully understand, nor do they fully believe, the philosophy to which they have lent their fealty.
This inner dissonance, prompts what we observe as fanaticism.
The Lie of Allegiance
1. The origin of fanaticism. The core argument which binds together a group on one side in a false dilemma.
2. A core philosophy (such as Nihilism or Material Monism) which is masked by a differing but similar and more attractive cover philosophy (such as atheism) because of the cover philosophy’s generally more acceptable nature.
3. A principle which is not fully regarded as truth by many or most of the members of a club of adherents, rather is adopted as a preemptive compromise in order to gain acceptance in that club. A principle employed only as the default, Omega Hypothesis, or battle cry agenda around which to combat those on the other side of the false dilemma argument. The measure of adherence to the Lie of Allegiance principle is more a reflection of disdain towards those of antithetical positions, than it is an expression of rational conclusion on the part of the adherent.
i. Many of the proponents in a Lie of Allegiance based organization, do not fully understand their Lie of Allegiance, nor perceive its contrast with the cover philosophy to which they in reality adhere.
Example: Most self proclaimed atheists cannot coherently frame the difference between atheism, skepticism, agnosticism, naturalism, nihilism, ignosticism, monism, materialism, tolerance and apatheism.
ii. Many members involved in a Lie of Allegiance do not in reality care about the specifics of the teaching under which they profess fealty. Specific psychologies involving the Ten Pillars are at play inside the binding power of the Lie of Allegiance.
Example: Many self proclaimed atheists wear the badge as a result of an emotional state, rather than a discriminating choice of conscience. This renders them susceptible to Nihilist’s, who use rally cries and the pummeling of christian issues in effigy, as a way to enlist the emotional allegiance of those who have poorly rationalized their ontology.
Social Skeptics bear the habit of hiding what it is they are seeking to promote. They accomplish this misrepresentation through terminological equivocation and the employment of club signature weapon words. It behooves the Ethical Skeptic to understand what a person means when they utter certain words, and ensure that the words are not being implied as club weapons to enforce specious religious doctrines. It behooves the Ethical Skeptic to understand their own employment of such words, and exercise the use of them in a context of ethical clarity; to disarm the social inference that such words mean more, than they really do.
I look at myself in the mirror each morning, and I like and respect the guy I see there.
Defending the integrity of the methods of science is not the same thing as tendering conclusions in lieu of science. Ethical Skeptics get this, fake skeptics do not. An additional litmus test with respect to being able to tell a fake skeptic from a real one, can be found in how they regard disposition of a null hypothesis inside hypothesis reduction theory. Do they conflate statistical hypothesis reduction with scientific hypothesis reduction? Do they employ the incorrect null hypothesis? One might be surprised to find that even in the disciplined halls of institutional science, abuse of the null hypothesis is one of the most common forms of pseudoscience.
The basic definition of the null hypothesis (H0) is as the preeminent and referential member of the mutually exclusive set of options to a sponsored alternative hypothesis (Hx). In statistical inference (and at times in multivariate theoretical reduction if such parity can be reduced) the null and the alternative are polar opposites: the contention that there exists no measurable relationship between two apparently independent variable arrival distributions. In scientific hypothesis reduction however, the context of our discussion below, such parity is not guaranteed; often the null and alternative residing only as mutually exclusive ideas, and not necessarily representative of the entire domain of Ockham’s Razor sufficient potentiality. The null may need be dethroned through the persistent consilience of disparate inductive inferences, and not via one statistical falsification. Most often in science, the former is the case.
An (or the) alternative hypothesis on the other hand is the contention which is being tested for merit, which could serve to falsify, modify or strengthen the null hypothesis. The null hypothesis is the contention which is assumed to be the standard against which the alternative is to be evaluated. The null however is not assumed to be true in a hypothesis reduction (series of hypothesis feature tests and eliminations), neither in advance of nor after testing completion in which an alternative fails. Science is constantly seeking to modify, strengthen‡ or falsify the null hypothesis.
“Rejecting or disproving the null hypothesis—and thus concluding that there are grounds for believing that there is a relationship between two phenomena (e.g. that a potential treatment has a measurable effect)—is a central task in the modern practice of science.” (Quote from Wikipedia: Null hypothesis)†
‡The null hypothesis however, can never be proven. To accomplish such would require omnipresence and omniscience. To assume therefore, the null hypothesis as ‘true’ – because only god could prove it (implying of course that you are Q.E.D., god), because it is the simplest, first-in-the-door, most conforming, default or least feature-stacked, is an assumption of pop-scientific illiteracy (see The Real Ockham’s Razor). Many times in the material labs I have run, we have had circumstances where we knew damn good and well that our null hypothesis was wrong – we simply struggled to conclusively prove it. The null in those cases acted as a lever of discipline, the threshing board against which our research and our thinking competed and was held to account. In this regard our null hypothesis was very useful. I venerated this particular null in its leveraged role, but I didn’t go around believing it as true. This is a key differentiating litmus as to discerning who bears scientific literacy and who does not.
The least scientific thing a researcher can do, is believe the null hypothesis.
Many skeptics cling to the mistaken doctrine that the job of skepticism is to defend the null hypothesis. Nothing could be further from the truth. The ethic of skepticism (it has no ‘job’) is to provide the fertile, dispassionate and disciplined ground of mindset, in which to exercise objective science method. The job of science is to disprove the null hypothesis.
By stepping in and believing/advocating the null hypothesis (ostensibly until ‘proof’ is delivered to the contrary), the skeptic is usurping the role of science and taking the mantle upon himself to dictate what is knowledge and not-knowledge. The purpose of ethical skepticism is to dispel this abductive tyrannical notion of skepticism’s role and reach.
For example, ‘Earth is a sphere’ is not a null hypothesis – rather it is the outcome of a completed hypothesis reduction in which an alternative successfully falsified the null. The actual null hypothesis in that reduction was that the Earth was flat – this null was falsified through inductive consilience over thousands of years and finally by deductive inferences derived from celestial navigation and satellite launches. Skepticism provided the mindset inside which the flat Earth null could be falsified by science. This misconception of the null hypothesis standing as the currently ‘true’ hypothesis (or fictitiously some kind of social skeptic non-falsifiable truth), stems from confusion over its oft framing as the the most familiar and accepted view of a contention, or
the common view of something,
the accepted view of something,
the historical view of something.
Such positioning is a matter of coincidence or even procedural necessity, not inferred existential truth nor status of UN-falsifiability. Often as well, in the instance when a common view of something is not held, reduction may be assembled in terms of a null hypothesis which is
the parsimonious alternative (least complicated (not complex), predicate dependent, plural or feature-stacked).
None of this qualification for the null hypothesis amounts to anything which would pass a Popper Demarcation test for falsification based science by any means. Which introduces the circumstance when, despite the array of predictive and suggestive evidence (or Induction), when the inductive/predictive alternative cannot ethically be promoted to status as the null hypothesis. Specifically, when the ramifications of a hypothesis dictate conservancy in its application; say, regarding an idea’s safety or potential disruption of science or society for instance, the null hypothesis is that which defends against such risk, or
the alternative which introduces the least external risk in its application.
In the past in my labs, when introducing a new material for industrial component fabrication or compounding, even though the constituents of the altered material might be commonly assumed to be safe or might present the most parsimonious view of complexity with respect to the solution it entailed, we would default to the null hypothesis citing that the compound is potentially human health impacting (adds complicated-ness) until rigorously proved otherwise (see Error of the Guilty Null below). Many of our products never made it to market because we could not answer this question sufficiently. I was not willing to look at a study and declare ‘looks like science’ and then hold my breath (and please stakeholders who pocket the earnings) while we tested the compound on the public at large. The guilty null ruled in such instances (the material was guilty until proved innocent).
Food science ethically is practiced under the Guilty Null ethic. Food is guilty until proved innocent. This may be a pain in the ass, might piss off stockholders and irritate fake academic payroll skeptics and impatient executives. But presuming to tamper with the substances that all of us consume, 3 times a day for life, demands a much higher level of scientific rigor than many social epistemologists are willing to tolerate. Certainly more than the 3 years of third party lab deferred study (work content) it took to approve glyphosate, for instance.
Under this null hypothesis ethic, we would then seek to nullify the idea that the material presented a health or well being danger, in both acute (mortality, vitality and fecundity) and long term (endocrine, carcinogenic and mutagenic) contexts. The problem resided in that we did not possess the expertise and resources to conduct such testing ourselves; therefore we had to contract with third party labs in order to predict each tactical assessment. It was our prosecution of the proper null hypothesis in such circumstances, which defined our skepticism – our ardent and ethical defense of science. The contracted labs were not hired in order for us to surrender our responsibility to bear the burden of science – as that is not why they are hired. A lab is going to simply study what they were contracted to study. We, and we alone, bore the responsibility to prosecute the null in each case. That was our scientific duty. There can never be a circumstance where we contended ‘but the lab said…’ This blame-shifting to analytical third parties is not allowed in the real business world; neither should it be allowed in science based business.
This null hypothesis framing can also be seen as a form of parsimony itself; as is mentioned above – risk, is indeed also a form of complicated-ness (not complexity). This introduces the principle of the abuse of the null hypothesis as a means to enact ‘truth’ which has not in reality earned this position of merit. Specifically, five types of error are committed by those who are eager to promote an idea (shortcut the science) through manipulation of the null hypothesis. The first two are formal failures in logical calculus and the final three are procedural failures of soundness. All five are fallacies of logical inference.
A. Null Hypothesis Formal Fallacy
Argument from Ignorance (Extrapolation from False Positive)
Proof by Negative Composition (Extrapolation from a False Negative)
B. The Omega Hypothesis Procedural Fallacy
Error of the Default Null
Error of the True Null
Error of the Guilty Null (The Precautionary Principle)
Through the art of the Elegant Lie, I can manipulate thought so as to enforce an entire religion. That is to say, by promotion of unmerited thought into positions of defended science, one can prematurely convince entire masses of people, that questionable thinking is indeed proved science.
A. Null Hypothesis Formal Fallacies: Conflating Statistical/Experimental and Theoretical Hypothesis Framing
In general, an experiment conclusion always refers to the null, rejecting or accepting H0 rather than H1. The null hypothesis stands in the crucible. In statistical inference analyses however, often we do test a circumstance where H0 is indeed constrained to the outcomes true or not true. The conflation of statistical theory inside diagnostic hypothesis evaluation, with the broader set of science hypothesis reduction, often lends to confusion in broader hypothesis reduction practice.
The scientific null hypothesis is simply the hypothesis which the researcher tries to disprove, reject or nullify.† Social Skeptics often errantly spin statistical theory that the null hypothesis can never be falsified. This mistake is indicative of the mindset of a person who has run a couple textbook confidence intervals, however has never once solved a complex problem nor made a discovery. Beware of people who spin such pseudoscience (through conflating statistical iterations with hypothesis reduction, as is spun here: Statistical Misconception: Falsifying the Null). Yes, one single arrival distribution confidence cannot serve to ‘disprove’ a statistical null hypothesis, but neither does science consist of one single statistical arrival distribution comparative. The demarcation of science and pseudoscience hinges precisely upon our ability to falsify ideas – and most specifically and effectively the null – and not simply statistically induce a relationship in one test. This is a common mistake of technicians who masquerade as scientists – and resides at the heart of the current disinformation campaign over raising p-value thresholds of significance. It is a form of creeping pseudoscience which has unfortunately made its way into professional ranks – and even worse, mislead us as to the impact of negative health factors which proliferate in our diets, environment and medicine.
Not every experiment can be evaluated through the employment of p-value delimited distribution curves; nor can a μ0 = μ1 circumstance always be identified. One such example can be seen below with respect to the understanding and employment of type I and II errors inappropriately applied outside the constrained context of a statistical test.
Wikipedia cites regarding type I and type II null hypothesis testing errors:
In statistical hypothesis testing, a type I error is the incorrect rejection of a true null hypothesis (a “false positive”), while a type II error is the failure to reject a false null hypothesis (a “false negative”).¹
This principle is incorrect however, when being applied to theoretical hypotheses.
In broader theoretical hypothesis reduction a false positive and false negative impart no disposition whatsoever to the veracity of the null hypothesis; only the signal which was measured regarding the alternative hypothesis. Confusing the domain of statistical hypothesis testing with the larger practice of scientific hypothesis reduction is a principal tactic of social epistemologists. In logic, as opposed to statistics, the null hypothesis remains in a moot disposition under both a false positive and a false negative condition – and is not therefore assumed true – in scientific hypothesis reduction. In science, as apposed to constrained statistic set theory, when a type I or II error is introduced, a further disposition of the null hypothesis must be separately indicated. If such type I and II error theory is to be correctly framed inside the context of scientific testing, it should read:
In scientific hypothesis testing, a false positive outcome is the incorrect rejection of the null hypothesis which further can lead to a type I error, the incorrect rejection of a true null hypothesis. While a false negative outcome is the incorrect elimination of an alternative which can further lead to a type II error, the failure to reject a false null hypothesis.
Null hypothesis error type and separately an alternative hypothesis’s status as false negative or positive are not the same thing. To force the two outcome dispositions to indeed constitute the same logical equivalent of a type I or type II error constitutes exercise of decision theory inside a bifurcation fallacy. I have observed a cadre of clinical neurologists speak often of examples of type I and II errors, inexpertly identifying cases wherein the two options are not opposites. Ideally, when constructing a critical path for experimentation, one should seek to establish a reductive/deductive series of opposite Bayesian inference tests in which a posterior inference can be drawn. But this is less often the reality. Most errors in scientific testing result relate to controls or constraints (CC), measure (M) or significance (S) errors. A great summation of this principle from even a statistical testing standpoint can be found here: Never Found a type I or II error (Science Modeling, Casual Inference and Social Science).
This principle, the abuse of type I and II error contexts, is displayed in the graphic above, where such a bifurcation is shown to be enacted through an implicit argument from ignorance or fallacy of negative composition. Categorization of a hypothesis testing, outside of Bayesian theory, to have constituted a type I or type II error is a disposition that can be assigned only after the hypothesis reduction has been completed in finality. Never before. But you will find social epistemologists swinging the term inside pluralistic arguments like they were an erstwhile major league batter of science.
A principle method of deception-by-pretense employed by social epistemologists (Social Skeptics) is the prejudicial framing of arguments as constituting type I and type II errors, while indeed the science is still ongoing inside a hypothesis reduction. This is pseudoscience. Be very wary of a Social Skeptic who over-employs the type I and type II error disposition in social discourse.
Type I and II Error Abuse Fallacies
By forcing a false positive or negative, or spinning alternative outcomes inside a diagnostic or statistical ‘true or not true‘ theory basis, to therefore imply without sufficient evidence a conclusive hypothesis reduction, of the nature of a type I or II error, I have committed:
Argument from Ignorance
/logic : fallacy of argument/ : asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false, or is false because it has not been shown to have any evidence.
Science has found no proof of intelligent life nearby us in space, therefore intelligent life does not exist nearby us in space.
Science, despite its best efforts, cannot disprove the concept of existence of a god, therefore God exists.
Proof by Negative Composition
/logic : fallacy of argument/ : disproof of tenets inside an opponent’s idea or of the idea itself stands as proof of my own idea or argument.
Discrediting of the Piltdown Man fossilized remains as a paleoanthropological hoax, demonstrates that evolution is a fraud and stands as a proof of the validity of Creation Theory.
B. The Omega Hypothesis: Abuse of Soundness of the Null Hypothesis
An additional form of pseudoscience which fails the Popper Demarcation principle, can be found in the practices regarding the employment of an invalid null hypothesis, HΩ. The creation and unmerited protection of the Omega Hypothesis constitutes a form of hypoepistemology which is spun through practices of Inverse negation fallacy, and corruption of the standards and methods of science. Through these practices of social epistemology, an apparent coherence can be spun around a particular view of a subject, and protection by the corrupted institutions of science afforded until such time as a Kuhn Paradigm Shift is able to be precipitated. Sadly, this often only occurs upon the death of the key social epistemologists involved.
Omega Hypothesis (HΩ)
/philosophy : pseudoscience : social epistemology : apparent coherency/ : the argument which is foisted to end all argument, period. A conclusion promoted under such an insistent guise of virtue or importance, that protecting it has become imperative over even the integrity of science itself. An invalid null hypothesis or a preferred idea inside a social epistemology. A hypothesis which is defined to end deliberation without due scientific rigor, alternative study consensus or is afforded unmerited protection or assignment as the null. The surreptitiously held and promoted idea or the hypothesis protected by an Inverse Negation Fallacy. Often one which is promoted as true by default, with the knowledge in mind that falsification will be very hard or next to impossible to achieve.
1. The (Wonka) Golden Ticket – Have we ever really tested the predictive strength of this idea standalone, or evaluated its antithetical ideas for falsification? Does an argument proponent constantly insist on a ‘burden of proof’ upon any contrasting idea, a burden that they never attained for their argument in the first place? An answer they fallaciously imply is the scientific null hypothesis; ‘true’ until proved otherwise?
Einfach Mechanism – an idea which is not yet mature under the tests of valid hypothesis, yet is installed as the null hypothesis or best explanation regardless. An explanation, theory or idea which sounds scientific, yet resolves a contention through bypassing the scientific method, then moreover is installed as truth thereafter solely by means of pluralistic ignorance around the idea itself. Pseudo-theory which is not fully tested at its inception, nor is ever held to account thereafter. An idea which is not vetted by the rigor of falsification, predictive consilience nor mathematical derivation, rather is simply considered such a strong, or Occam’s Razor (sic) stemming-from-simplicity idea that the issue is closed as finished science or philosophy from its proposition and acceptance onward. A pseudo-theory of false hypothesis which is granted status as the default null hypothesis or as posing the ‘best explanation’, without having to pass the rigors with which its competing alternatives are burdened. The Einfach mechanism is often accompanied by social rejection of competing and necessary alternative hypotheses, which are forbidden study. Moreover, the Einfach hypothesis must be regarded by the scientific community as ‘true’ until proved otherwise. An einfach mechanism may or may not be existentially true.
2. Cheater’s Hypothesis – Does the hypothesis or argument couch a number of imprecise terms or predicate concepts? Is it mentioned often by journalists or other people wishing to appear impartial and comprehensive? Is the argument easily falsified through a few minutes of research, yet seems to be mentioned in every subject setting anyway?
Imposterlösung Mechanism – the cheater’s answer. A disproved, incoherent or ridiculous contention, or one which fails the tests to qualify as a real hypothesis, which is assumed as a potential hypothesis anyway simply because it sounds good or is packaged for public consumption. These alternatives pass muster with the general public, but are easily falsified after mere minutes of real research. Employing the trick of pretending that an argument domain which does not bear coherency nor soundness – somehow (in violation of science and logic) falsely merits assignment as a ‘hypothesis’. Despite this, most people hold them in mind simply because of their repetition. This fake hypothesis circumstance is common inside an argument which is unduly influenced by agency. They are often padded into skeptical analyses, to feign an attempt at appearing to be comprehensive, balanced, or ‘considering all the alternatives’.
ad hoc/Pseudo-Theory – a placeholder construct which suffers from the additional flaw in that it cannot be fully falsified, deduced nor studied, and can probably never be addressed or further can be proposed in almost any circumstance of uncertainty. These ideas will be thrown out for decades. They can always be thrown out. They will always be thrown out. Sometimes also called ‘blobbing’ or ‘god of the gaps’, it is a bucket into which one dumps every unknown, hate-based, fear-based and unexplained observation – add in a jigger of virtue – then you shake it up like a vodka martini, and get drunk on the encompassing paradigm which can explain everything, anything and nothing all at the same time.
3. Omega Hypothesis (HΩ) – Is the idea so important or virtuous, that it now stands more important that the methods of science, or science itself. Does the idea leave a trail of dead competent professional bodies behind it?
Höchste Mechanism – when a position or practice, purported to be of scientific basis, is elevated to such importance or virtue that removing the rights of professionals and citizens to dissent, speak, organize or disagree (among other rights) is justified in order to protect the position or the practice inside society.
Constructive Ignorance (Lemming Weisheit or Lemming Doctrine) – a process related to the Lindy Effect and pluralistic ignorance, wherein discipline researchers are rewarded for being productive rather than right, for building ever upward instead of checking the foundations of their research, for promoting doctrine rather than challenging it. These incentives allow weak confirming studies to to be published and untested ideas to proliferate as truth. And once enough critical mass has been achieved, they create a collective perception of strength or consensus.
4. Embargo Hypothesis (Hξ) – was the science terminated years ago, in the midst of large-impact questions of a critical nature which still remain unanswered? Is such research now considered ‘anti-science’ or ‘pseudoscience’? Is there enormous social pressure to not even ask questions inside the subject? Is mocking and derision high – curiously in excess of what the subject should merit?
Entscheiden Mechanism – the pseudoscientific or tyrannical approach of, when faced with epistemology which is heading in an undesired direction, artificially declaring under a condition of praedicate evidentia, the science as ‘settled’ and all opposing ideas, anti-science, credulity and pseudoscience.
Poison Pill Hypothesis – the instance wherein sskeptics or agency work hard to promote lob & slam condemnation of particular ideas. A construct obsession target used to distract or attract attack-minded skeptics into a contrathetic impasse or argument. The reason this is done is not the confusion or clarity it provides, rather the disincentive which patrolling skeptics place on the shoulders of the genuine skilled researcher. These forbidden alternatives (often ‘paranormal’ or ‘pseudoscience’ or ‘conspiracy theory’ buckets) may be ridiculous or indeed ad hoc themselves – but the reason they are raised is to act as a warning to talented researchers that ‘you might be tagged as supporting one of these crazy ideas’ if you step out of line and do not visibly support the Omega Hypothesis. A great example is the skeptic community tagging of anyone who considers the idea that the Khufu pyramid at Giza might have not been built by King Khufu in 2450 bce, as therefore now supporting conspiracy theories or aliens as the builders – moreover, their being racist against Arabs who now are the genetic group which occupies modern Egypt.
5. Evidence Sculpting – has more evidence been culled from the field of consideration for this idea, than has been retained? Has the evidence been sculpted to fit the idea, rather than the converse?
Skulptur Mechanism – the pseudoscientific method of treating evidence as a work of sculpture. Methodical inverse negation techniques employed to dismiss data, block research, obfuscate science and constrain ideas such that what remains is the conclusion one sought in the first place. A common tactic of those who boast of all their thoughts being ‘evidence based’. The tendency to view a logical razor as a device which is employed to ‘slice off’ unwanted data (evidence sculpting tool), rather than as a cutting tool (pharmacist’s cutting and partitioning razor) which divides philosophically valid and relevant constructs from their converse.
Also, the instance common in media wherein so-called ‘fact-based’ media sites tell 100% truth about 50% the relevant story. This is the same as issuing 50% misinformation or disinformation.
6. Lindy-Ignorance Vortex – do those who enforce or imply a conforming idea or view, seem to possess a deep emotional investment in ensuring that no broach of subject is allowed regarding any thoughts or research around an opposing idea or specific ideas or avenues of research they disfavor? Do they easily and habitually imply that their favored conclusions are the prevailing opinion of scientists? Is there an urgency to reach or sustain this conclusion by means of short-cut words like ‘evidence’ and ‘fact’? If such disfavored ideas are considered for research or are broached, then extreme disdain, social and media derision are called for?
Verdrängung Mechanism – the level of control and idea displacement achieved through skillful employment of the duality between pluralistic ignorance and the Lindy Effect. The longer a control-minded group can sustain an Omega Hypothesis perception by means of the tactics and power protocols of proactive pluralistic ignorance, the greater future acceptability and lifespan that idea will possess. As well, the harder it will to be dethrone as an accepted norm or perception as a ‘proved’ null hypothesis.
One key sign that an Omega Hypothesis is being promoted, is the tactic of declaring any non-conventional alternative explanation as constituting ‘magical thinking.’ This paranoia about every thought that threatens one’s beliefs as stemming somehow from magic, is in itself a version of religious thinking. Three conditions typically lead to this tactic, and highlight a person’s religious clinging to the Omega Hypothesis:
A. Forcing a Null Hypothesis from an idea which has not really been matured into an actual scientific hypothesis in the first place,
B. Assuming the Null Hypothesis to be true,
C. Assuming all competing hypotheses to be declarations of ‘magical thinking’ – in an attempt to obviate any scientific testing or maturing of such an idea.
These stand as the warning signs that a social epistemology of bullying, and enforcement of the Omega Hypothesis, is in play.
All the above a set of practice which abrogates a Popperian view of the threshold and rigor of adequate science, relying instead on the promotion of an invalid null hypothesis (HΩ) through academic inertia, ignorance of the discipline, promotification science, social skeptic campaigns or corporate pressure.
Assignment of the incorrect null is in reality a form of asking the wrong or begged question under the scientific method. I can prejudice the results of science by tampering with that which is assumed as its null. Specifically, this entails several forms of favoring a null hypothesis by assigning it unmerited status as the null hypothesis through a series of non discriminating, but sciency-looking pretend induction tests, – promotification or King of the Hill science practices – and moreover, through ‘parsimony’ or ‘Occam’s Razor’ default, granting the incorrect null unmerited status as generally accepted scientific theory until such time as the monumental task of disproving it, is achieved. Karl Popper cited in his essay on pseudoscience, Science: Conjectures and Refutations, element (4) in his list of 7 things which distinguish science from non-science:
(4) A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is nonscientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory (as people often think) but a vice.²
This is the essence of the first of the two null hypothesis assignment errors. The Error of the Default or Irrefutable Null. There are two forms of such tampering with the null hypothesis:
Error of the Default Null
/philosophy : pseudoscience : incorrect hypothesis testing/ : a variation of argument from ignorance.
The practice of assigning a favored or untestable/unfalsifiable hypothesis unmerited status as the null hypothesis. Further then proclaiming the Default Null as the null hypothesis until such time as it can be defeated by new competing science.
Since science has conducted no research into the possible existence of a spiritual realm, therefore the spiritual realm exists, stands as the null hypothesis until such time as this can be disproved by science.
Running promotification tests supporting an idea when test data falsifying that idea already exists.
I possess an accurate definition of the term God.
You cannot prove that god does not exist, therefore God exists until otherwise proved
You cannot measure God, therefore no such thing as anything unmeasureable exists.
You cannot prove that god does not exist, therefore God exists until otherwise proved
I possess credible science and resources regarding representation of scientific consensus.
Error of the True Null
/philosophy : pseudoscience : incorrect hypothesis testing/ : a variation of argument from ignorance.
Regarding the null hypothesis as objectively ‘true’ until proved otherwise, when it simply is the null hypothesis from the standpoint of the logical calculus in a hypothesis reduction hierarchy and not because it has been underpinned by a Popper level scientific rigor. Further then proclaiming the True Null to be the prevailing conclusion of science.
Consciousness is material monist in origination. Science has shown that all other hypotheses are false.
Science has ‘found no evidence’ regarding the existence of a spiritual realm, therefore no investigation should be conducted until such time that absolute proof is obtained.
A suspect in a very difficult legal case should be considered guilty until such time as he is able to prove he is innocent.
A subject is scientifically considered a pseudo-science until such time as it can be proved real.
You cannot measure God, therefore under science any thing which it has not measured objectively does not exist.
Error of the Guilty Null (Precautionary Principle)
/philosophy : pseudoscience : incorrect hypothesis testing/ : the practice of assigning a favored hypothesis the status as null hypothesis, when in fact the hypothesis involves a feature or implication which would dictate its address as an alternative hypothesis instead. A null hypothesis which is, by risk or impact, considered potentially harmful until proved innocent, should be treated as an alternative under correct parsimony. Further then invalidly proclaiming this Guilty Null to be the prevailing conclusion of science until such testing is conducted which could prove it to be false or until such time as it can be defeated by new competing science.
A violation of the precautionary principle, in this case a ‘lack of directly associated hazard’ is commuted to mean ‘lack of necessity to observe or measure risk.’ Since risk cannot, has not, or has been shown through scant study to possibly be low, then the substance is approved for use until proved harmful. It is fraudulent pseudoscience. When stats of a substances harm are further squelched, the pseudoscience becomes a crime.
Presuming disease to be simply a matter of bodily system malfunction, rather than to stem from external inducement (environment (involuntary), lifestyle (voluntary), epigenetic, viral, bacterial/biome, genetic) – while logically such a contention is easy to default and could stand as a null hypothesis, such a practice introduces extraordinary amounts of stacked provisional knowledge and risk. It fails the precautionary principle. This again is a common trick of pseudoscience.
A new crop control pesticide is safe for human consumption until proved by science to be harmful/inflammation inducing.
DNA and protein chains from food never make it past the human digestive barrier so therefore polynucleotides and protein chain based hormones added to animal stocks do not impact human endocrine systems.
Light dimming switches are safe for consumers until such time as house fires can be objectively linked beyond correlation, to their introduction into the market.
The standard of testing of safety for a compound which is applied topically or ingested occasionally, should be the same standard applied for a compound which is ingested daily/regularly.
An example of The Guilty Null and The Default Null can be found here with respect to Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Precautionary Principle (click on image below):
/business : consumer social policy : medicine and food/ : the lifecycle management of chemicals, adjuvants or biological agents which do not indicate immediate classic major pathology pathways in test animals, into a final phase of testing upon the broader human population, in order to speed them to market and generate revenue during long term employment testing. Establishment of activist ‘skeptics’ to patrol and ensure any failures are squelched as constituting only pseudoscience and anecdote.
Keep a sharp eye out for both the type I and II error claims as well as practices of King of the Hill pseudoscience, as such fallacies inside of hypothesis reduction regularly occur inside science as well as the social discourse. Both fallacy sets can masquerade as real science if keen minds are not watching the candy store. In essence, deployment of the two forms of the Omega Hypothesis stands as a way of interceding on behalf of science. By skeptically upstaging science I can therefore pretend to speak on behalf of science by socially corrupting its methods.
Ethical Skepticism Litmus
As an Ethical Skeptic, you are the one tasked with maintaining a discriminating mind with regard to process. No, you are not claiming to represent science or its conclusions. But one can as a skeptic indeed take a stand to defend the method of science when one observes it being abrogated. This is what the term ‘ethics’ means, an allegiance to a standard of practice – and not an allegiance to a particular set of outcomes, or categories of thought one considers socially valid or invalid.
Protecting the integrity of the methods of science is not the same thing as tendering conclusions in lieu of science.
This differentiation is a key litmus test in being able to tell who is a fake and a real skeptic. Real skeptics get this difference. False skeptics do not.
In true research, the diligent investigator is continually bombarded by huge amounts of data, in the form of facts, observations, measures, voids, paradoxes, associations, and so on. To be able to make use of this data a researcher typically reduces it to more manageable proportions. This does not mean we need to necessarily tender a claim about that data. Instead science mandates that we apply the principles of both linear and asymmetric Intelligence as part of the early scientific method. Our goal in Sponsorship is not to force an argument or proof, rather to establish a reductionist description through which the broader observational set may be reproduced or explained, as possible. This reductionist description is called a construct. Constructs are developed by laymen, field researchers, analysts, philosophers, witnesses as well as lay experts and scientists alike. The science which ignores this process, is not science.
It is the job of the Sponsor in the scientific method, to perform these data collection, linear and asymmetric Intelligence and reductionist development steps. In absence of robust regard for Sponsorship, science is blinded, and moreover the familiar putrefied rot of false skepticism takes root and rules the day of ignorance.
(scientific methodology) an individual or organization gathering the resources necessary and petitioning for plurality of argument under Ockham’s Razor and the scientific method.
When we speak of ethics at The Ethical Skeptic, we speak less of features of personal moral character, and more of the broader application context. A professional allegiance and adherence to a clear and valuable series of deontological protocols which produce results under a given knowledge development process. In other words, fealty to the scientific method, above specific conclusions. Ethically I defer; I surrender my religions, predispositions and dogma to the outcome of the full and competently developed knowledge set. This is ethics. It really has nothing to do with morality and everything to do with the character of curiosity. I do not have the universe figured out, and I would sincerely like to know some things.
Type I Sponsor: Lay Science
A key component of this ethical process are the portions of science which involve Sponsorship. Don’t be dissuaded by the title. A sponsor is a very familiar participant in the protocols of science. Sky watching lay astronomers for example are a vital part of the scientific method, depicted in the chart to the right under Type I Sponsors. These lay researchers perform key roles in monitoring, collecting and documenting of celestial events and bodies. Many new comets are named after the actual layman who spotted them and provided enough information for science then to further prove the case at hand. The Sponsor in astronomy does not prove the hypothesis per se, rather simply establishes the case for a construct: the proposed incremental addition of celestial complexity beyond the reasonableness of parsimony (see: Ethical Skepticism – Part 5). Science then further tests, reviews and proves the lay astronomer’s sponsored construct by means of a hypothesis. The layman in astronomy in essence ‘gathers the resources necessary and petitions for plurality of argument (a new celestial moving body) under Ockham’s Razor and the scientific method.’ It is this Type I Sponsor realm, inside of which Big Data will unveil its most remarkable revolution.
“In everyday life we are continually bombarded by huge amounts of data, in the form of images, sounds, and so on. To be able to make use of this data we must reduce it to more manageable proportions.”¹ This does not mean we need to make a claim about that data. It means we need to apply the principles of asymmetric intelligence. Our goal in [Sponsorship] is not to make a claim necessarily, rather to “establish a reductionist description through which the observational set may be reproduced.”¹ – Stephen Wolfram, A New Kind of Science
In similar fashion, Sponsors function as a critical contributor group to science under a number of more complex, and less linear fields of study than astronomy. A woodsman who has hunted, fished and lived in the Three Sisters region of Oregon, can stand as both an expert in terms of resource and recitation, and moreover can become a sponsor of an idea regarding the domain in which they have spent their entire life conducting data collection. Wise local university researchers will meet locals on Cascade Ave. in order to collect observations on some of the region’s geologic history. The lay researcher him or herself can perform citizen science as well, yes. But more importantly he or she might aid science by developing an idea which has never been seriously considered before. Perhaps they have observed changes in total Whychus Head spring water volume flow prior to magnitude 3.0 and above earthquakes. Perhaps they want to formalize these observations and ask a local university to take a look at their impression (construct). This is Sponsorship. Establishing a case that science should address their own version of a comet, in the natural domain which they survey.
The role of the Sponsor is not to prove a particular case, rather to surpass Ockham’s Razor in petitioning science to develop and examine a set of hypotheses
Indeed, problems even more complex, such as the studies of patterns and habits of wildlife, rarely advance via the handiwork of one organization or individual. The task is simply too daunting. Citizens provide critical inputs as to the habits of the Red Wolf or Grizzly Bear.² In similar fashion, medical maladies and successful means of addressing them, are many times asymmetric in their challenge, involving a many faceted contribution and mitigation element series. The role of the lay researcher, moms and dads with respect to their children, is critical. To ignore this lay resource under the guise of fake skepticism and ‘anecdote’ is not only professionally unwise (unethical), but cruel as well (immoral). These stand as examples of the asymmetric challenge entailed in the majority of scientific knowledge processes we face as a society. It is this preponderance of asymmetric challenge therefore which promotes the Sponsor into the necessary roles of both inventor and discoverer, and not simply the role of science clerk.
Type II: Tinkerer Sponsors As Lay Scientist
The second category of Sponsorship involves the work of lay tinkerers and garage inventors (Type II Sponsor in the graphic above). Arguments vary as to the magnitude of impact of this class of researcher, but no one can dispute the relatively large impact that this class of Sponsor has had on various industry verticals. A key example might be 17 year old layman Michael Callahan, who lost his voice in a skateboarding accident, and subsequently developed a device called Audeo, to aide the plight of those who have suffered a similar loss of vocal function (see: Top Inventions: Audeo). But lay science does not have to bear simply the consequentialist result of a technological device (Type II) or simply observation inside a well established domain of science (Type I) . A sponsor can perform the role of discovery as well.
Type III: Sponsor As Discoverer
A more powerful and controversial role of the Sponsor, and a role which The Ethical Skeptic believes stands as the Achille’s Heel of science today, is the role of the discoverer or Type III Sponsor under the scientific method. This person performs both the inception and broad case petition roles for plurality under the scientific method. In my labs historically, we have had two significant discoveries which were sponsored by outside parties who brought their petition for hypothesis development to my labs, for both validation/application testing and funding. Were I a fake skeptic, this would have never happened. One was a method of changing a clinical compound and another a groundbreaking approach for material development. Each was not a technological development, rather a scientific breakthrough that would ultimately change technology later. These were discoveries, not inventions. This agent of science, the discoverer, exercises the Bacon-esque Novum Organum which resides at the heart of discovery science. This is the aspect of science which Social Skeptics and their crony oligarchs perform desperate gymnastics in order to deny and squelch. Pharmaceutical companies and competing labs/organizations fought us hard to deny or steal the development of technologies surrounding these discoveries. For the most part they failed, but they caused damage. Damage to society and all of us ultimately. They wanted to control and overprice the technology application and deployment.
The freedom to discover wrests control from the hands of Social Skeptic cronies and into those of ethical small enterprise and mercy based organizations.
Should their cronies in Social Skepticism gain control of science and government fully, then the Sponsor and lay researcher will become an endangered species. A compliant herd, caged in an oligopoly cubicle zoo, milked of their intellectual potential, mulling the shallow, instant-grits, Social Skepticism literature upon which they graze. SSkeptics are professionals at socially mandating that something not exist. They are a mafia after all; if they cannot kill you or your message, then they will ensure that no intellectual trace of either exists. Such constitutes the bright and wonderful promised future of Social Skepticism.
Nonetheless this less touted and critical part of the scientific method, the discovery contribution of the lay researcher, has contributed vastly more to our understanding of life, health and our realm than oppressive SSkepticism will ever allow to be admitted into history. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy opines thusly about the data collection, reduction, intelligence and discovery process as outlined by, lay scientist, Roger Bacon (Type III Lay Scientists):
Bacon’s account of his “new method” as it is presented in the Novum Organum is a prominent example. Bacon’s work showed how best to arrive at knowledge about “form natures” (the most general properties of matter) via a systematic investigation of phenomenal natures. Bacon described how first to collect and organize natural phenomena and experimental facts in tables, how to evaluate these lists, and how to refine the initial results with the help of further experiments. Through these steps, the investigator would arrive at conclusions about the “form nature” that produces particular phenomenal natures. The point is that for Bacon, the procedures of constructing and evaluating tables and conducting experiments according to the Novum Organum leads to secure knowledge. The procedures thus have “probative force”.†
Indeed, it is the lay researcher who may well possess the only domain access under which to make such “form natures” observations which can be crafted into “probative force,” or that of a testable Construct or Hypothesis. To ignore these inputs, to ignore the input of 10,000 lay observers who inhabit a particular domain, even in the presence of uncertainty and possible chicanery, is professionally unwise (unethical). To the Ethical Skeptic, it is unwise to set up conferences which function only in the role of teaching people how to attack these researchers, even if the conclusions on subjects these conferences regard as bunk, are 95% correct in their sponsors’ assessments.
Fake Skeptics, those who have a religion and an ontology to protect, bristle at the work and deontological impact of Type III lay researchers. Roger Bacon was a lay philosopher and researcher in his own right, and accordingly so, bore his own cadre of detractors and ‘skeptics.’ Yet his work had a most profound impact on modern discovery science thought. It is this type of researcher which challenges and changes the landscape of science (see: Discovery versus Developmental Science). It is in this domain where we first encounter the Ethical Skeptic paradoxical adage “Experts who are not scientists and scientists who are not experts.” It is this social and methodical challenge which we as a body of knowledge developers must overcome, in order for discovery to proceed. It is our duty to resolve this paradox and move forward, not habitually attack those involved.
Social Skepticism: Exploiting the Paradox for Ignorance
This absolutely essential element of ethics therefore, under the scientific method, is the process of Sponsorship. The Craft of Research, a common guide recommended by advisers in candidate dissertation prosecution, relates “Everything we’ve said about research reflects our belief that it is a profoundly social activity,”³ That simply means that, the majority of science, research and the knowledge development process resides outside the laboratory, in an asymmetric and highly dynamic realm. Given this abject complexity of playing field, it becomes manifest that it is our fealty to process which effectively distinguishes us from the pretender, and not how correct we are on bunk subjects. The role of the Ethical Skeptic is to defend the integrity of this knowledge development process. Which brings up the circumstance where, what if various persons and groups do not desire knowledge to improve? What then is the role of the Ethical Skeptic?
If you demand ‘bring me proof’ before you would ask ‘bring me enough intelligence to form a question or hypothesis’ – then I question your purported knowledge of science. ~TES
Part of our job as well at The Ethical Skeptic is to elicit, to shed light on circumstance wherein pretenders circumvent and abrogate this ethical process of science. Instances where false vigilante skeptics use the chaos of research, against the knowledge development process itself. Unethical actions which target elimination of Type III research and defamation/intimidation of Type III both lay and scientist researchers. Below are listed some of the tactics employed on a deleterious path of willfully and purposely vitiating the Sponsorship (in particular Type III Sponsorship) steps of the scientific method:
Tactics/Mistakes Which Social Skeptics Employ to Vitiate the Sponsorship Portion of the Scientific Method
1. Thinking that the craft of research and science solely hinge around the principle of making final argument.³
2. Promoting an observation to status as a claim.
3. Thinking that a MiHoDeAL or Apophenia claim to authority can be issued without supporting evidence.
4. Routinely accepting at face value associative, predictive or statistical proofs while eschewing and denying falsifying observations.
5. Lack of acknowledging the full set of explanatory possibilities under the sponsorship Peer Input step.
6. Presuming that a Sponsor is only pursuing one alternative explanation during Peer Input.
7. The inability of SSkeptics to recognize true experts in other than academic/oligarch contexts.
8. The errant habit of false skeptics in citing and deferring to non-experts.
9. Vigilante thinking in mistakenly believing that the role of skepticism is to ‘evaluate claims’ and teach Sponsors about critical thinking which squelches Sponsorship in the first place.
10. Amateur error in applying pretend Peer Review tactics in the Sponsorship stage of science.
11. Failure to demonstrate circumspection to own contradictions or weaknesses in own Peer Input argument.
12. Failure to define/address significance versus insignificance by observational context.
13. Fake Skepticism: Asking “Here is what we need to prove this” rather than “Here is what we need in order to develop a hypothesis.”
14. Committing the Vigilante Mistake: Killing just as many innocent Sponsors as one does Bad Science Sponsors.
¹ a. Stephen Wolfram, A New Kind of Science, Wolfram Media, Inc. Champaign, IL; p. 548.
¹ b. Stephen Wolfram, A New Kind of Science, Wolfram Media, Inc. Champaign, IL; pp. 557-576.