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Published 6 years ago by AdelleChattre with 5 Comments

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  • leweb

    practitioners have questioned whether the acupuncture in many studies was done “correctly.”

    You mean, like how spirits won't manifest themselves under scientific observation because skepticism makes them shy?

    I can tell you what happens to your body during acupuncture: needles get stuck into it.

    • AdelleChattre

      Let’s see: on the one hand there’s a medical tradition reaching right from now back countless thousands of years, and on the other we have your admittedly charming, but cynical, reductive, scientific materialism that says unless you already understand, it can’t possibly exist. Hmm. Perhaps time will be the best judge of merit.

      • leweb

        People believed that Earth was flat and that the Sun revolves around it much longer than the opposite. There are all sorts of absurd things people have believed for thousands of years. Just because people have believed something for a long time it doesn't make it true.

        • AdelleChattre

          People believed the Earth was flat? Here we have an example of how reality may not be on your terms, and exactly as you presuppose. Archimedes calculated the diameter of the Earth to an astonishingly accurate degree using two sticks in the sand at Alexandria. Atlas is said to've been holding a globe. One can see the curvature of the Earth on a sufficiently broad horizon.

          People who thought the Earth was flat were blind to wonder, deaf to mystery.

          We may prefer that there not be gods and monsters, yet still be reasonable and humble enough not to expect the universe to deal with us only on our terms.

          • leweb

            Ah, but you're talking about some of the most educated people in the world at the time. I guess I should have said "most people".

            I don't expect the universe to deal with me on my terms, or anyone's terms. The universe is what it is, and we perceive only a tiny fraction of it. There are enormous amounts of stuff about it that we don't know, including a lot of stuff we won't ever be able to know. And I do wonder what that might be, which is why I'm working on science instead of trying to legally scam people out of their money (I guess having a conscience precludes me from the latter, but I think I might be able to cultivate my cynicism enough to do it if I really wanted to). If you tell me that there's a new thing about the universe that I should know, I'm really happy to hear it, but I need evidence. And I have some minimal standards for what kind of evidence I need to take your claim seriously.

            I actually don't have a strong preference regarding the existence of gods/monsters/etc. But I think there's no credible evidence for them, just as there isn't credible evidence for the existence of invisible pink unicorns, or homeopathy, or spiderman, or the philosopher's stone. There are piles of crappy evidence of varying heights for each of those things, but having a higher pile of crappy evidence doesn't make any of them more believable to me.

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