Re: A Braid of Several Threads
Mon, 28 Jul 1997 13:26:56 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 97-07-28 05:35:40 EDT, I said:

<< > all the participants are "experts" in their respective
> fields...that is they have oodles of credentials, awards, and
> experience. How is one expert to beleived and another one not?
> Why or why not is one Ph.d more credible than another.

and you said:

>I think critical thinking is the key. If an expert claims something,
>we have to evaluate his claims from the evidence he presents, what we
>know, and how well he can argue his case. >>

But that is the problem you see. I've been browsing the "Cold Fusion" and
"infinite energy " crowd. (as an example)...they make a very compelling
argument...lots of Ph.d's..lots of papers....lots of experimental
evidence....lots of international conferecess....Best I can tell they're
every bit as credible as say, Thin-film metals deposition....of gamma-ray
litography...(just to pick two fields of which I know nothing and someone
could baffle me with bullshit)

And as Dr. Mallow (Infinite Energy)...documents....there is tremendous
resistance to the Popular Wisdom....The wright bros. were flying for
YEARS...just down the road from the newspaper....while that same newspaper
was denouncing the "impossibility of flight"....and the reception that PC's
received in the 70's....etc. etc. ad nauseum...

As far as trusting someone else's opinion....fine and good....But let's take
Carl Sagan and an example....A nobel winning astronomer? many
industrial scale blunders did he make? Like the nuclear winter scenario.

Or Dr. Paul Ehrlichman (the bugologists) and his starvation scenario for the

I despair.