Re: Offered without comment or warranty

Tony Hollick (
Thu, 14 May 98 18:03 BST-1

Damien Broderick writes from Melbourne, where I happily used to live
(Ivanhoe; Eaglemont):

> I have a terrible sinking feeling that more than one of the geniuses on
> this list read the purported study forwarded by Tony Hollick (by Cat,
> Thomas H. and Ray Fiddle [1983], wasn't it, or am I thinking of the
> skepticism poll conducted by Hither, Adolph and Yon, I [1882]?) as a
> serious academic paper.
> Damien Broderick

>:-} >:-}

When I read the aforesaid 'paper' over on 'forteana' (the 'Fortean
Times' conference), I thought it made a good point (or two), leaving
aside the 'supporting evidence' and addressing the _hypotheses

One of the glories of Critical Rationalism is that all we really
need be concerned with is the content of ideas. Their source,
'confirmation', 'authority' and so on are quite unimportant. A
hypothesis may be true even if everyone disbelieves it; it may be
false even while everyone agrees with it.

I append a lovely essay by Karl Popper which makes these points
rather better than I.

PS: Damien: I likely would have attended Melbourne U. had I not been
given a three-day ultimatum to be flogged in the showers by the
prefects at Geelong Grammar School; this was two weeks before my
Matriculation exams (over 90% in the mocks), after I called a
prefect an 'impolite bastard.' John Gray Gorton's hapless son Robin
was being given 'leadership training).

Despite this foolishness, I rather like Australia. >:-}

PPS: Was your reference to 'Cat, Thomas H' an intuition, or have you
perchance picked up a meme from the brilliant '50s TV series
'T.H.E. Cat' (Thomas Hewitt Edward Cat)?

/ /\ \

Tony Hollick, LightSmith (LA-Agora Conference) (Agora Home Page, Rainbow Bridge Foundation) (NorthWest Coalition Against Malicious Harrassment)

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>>>physics/general on CIX: #1 Anduril (2791) 1 May 93 5:47 *


"... seen as the result of human endeavour, of human dreams, hopes,
passions, and most of all, as the result of the most admirable union
of creative imagination and rational critical thought, I should like
to write 'Science' with the biggest capital 'S' to be found in the
printer's upper case.

Science is not only like art and literature, an adventure of the human
spirit, but it is among the creative arts perhaps the most human: full of
human failings and shortsightedness, it shows those flashes of insight
which open our eyes to the wonders of the world and of the human spirit.
But this is not all. Science is the direct result of that most human of all
human endeavours - to liberate ourselves. It is part of our endeavour to see
more clearly, to understand the world and ourselves, and to act as adult,
responsible and enlightened beings.

'Enlightenment', Kant wrote, 'is the emancipation of man from
self-imposed tutelage . . . from a state of incapacity to use
his own intelligence without external guidance. Such a state
of tutelage I call "self-imposed" if it is due not to any lack
of intelligence but the lack of courage or determination to use
one's own intelligence instead of relying upon a leader.
*Sapere Aude!* Dare to use your own intelligence! This is the
maxim of the Enlightenment.' [ref. 6, Immanuel Kant, 'Was ist

Kant challenges us to use our intelligence instead of relying upon a
leader, upon an authority. This should be taken as a challenge to
reject even the scientific expert as a leader, or even *science itself*
Science has no authority. It is not the magical product of the given,
the data, the observations. It is not a gospel of truth. It is the result
of our own endeavours and mistakes. It is you and I who make science,
as well as we can. It is you and I who are responsible for it...

The nuclear bomb (and possibly also the so-called 'peaceful use of
atomic energy' whose consequences may be even worse in the long run)
have, I think, shown us the shallowness of the worship of science as an
'instrument' of our 'command over nature' or the 'control of our physical
environment': it has shown us that this command, this control, is apt to be
self-defeating, and apt to enslave us rather than to make us free - if it
does not do away with us altogether.

And while knowledge is worth dying for, power is not. (Knowledge is
one of the few things that are worth dying for, together with liberty,
love, kindness, and helping those who are in need of help)."

by Karl R. Popper

from "Realism and the Aim of Science"

Volume I of "The Postscript to The Logic of Scientific Discovery"

Edited by William Warren Bartley, III,

Publ. Hutchinson, 1983, pb. 1985

Copyright Karl Raimund Popper 1956, 1983

Sir Karl Popper, F. R. S., held fourteen honorary Doctorates from American,
British, German, Austrian, New Zealand and Canadian universites.

He was a member (or honorary member) of twelve academies, among them
the three oldest that still exist.

Works of his have been translated into over 30 languages.

But Sir Karl was never impressed by great reputations, least of all
his own.

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