Posted on November 20, by woit Way back in science writer John Horgan published The End of Science, in which he made the argument that various fields of science were running up against obstacles to any further progress of the magnitude they had previously experienced. A question that I always wondered about was that of what things would look like once the subject reached the endpoint where progress had stopped more or less completely.
Today we welcome award-winning science writer and author, John Horgan. John has written a great deal about scientific dogmatism, materialism, consciousness, and so many of the other topics we love to talk about here on Skeptiko.
Thanks so much for joining john horgan science writer perelman. Thanks for having me on, Alex. I think you give hope to people who love to write and love science. So, I guess the first question is, how did a provocateur like you make it as a science writer? And number two, is it still possible for someone to do the same?
I certainly hope so. Thanks for that very flattering introduction. In other words, I love science. Revealing the deepest possible truths that humans can learn and I wanted to convey that knowledge to the public from the scientists themselves.
And [I] began getting quite skeptical of string theory and unified theories of consciousness and some of these really exciting avenues for explaining the world. Although I think that really points to the larger problem with science that you touch on very nicely in your book, but also in your blog and your many writings: I have Catholic friends like this.
They may go to church, go through the ritual and go out and have a beer with their buddies after and watch the game. I still think that science is our most powerful source of knowing ourselves and the universe although I read a lot of literature, and watch a lot of movies though I think the arts are absolutely necessary to contemplate our scientific way of knowing the world.
There are some scientists who are digging trenches and becoming very arrogant and rigid, and doubting and hostile toward other ways of knowing including the arts. And, as you say, philosophy and certainly religion. If we want to get more explicit, maybe we would have to talk about the possibility of God, and the possibility of the transcendent and the supernatural; the possibility of ESP.
I think maybe where you and I differ is just as I am extremely skeptical of string theory, and all the theories of consciousness, and the origin of life that are out there right now.
Rupert Sheldrake was certainly one of the most, if not the most, prominent scientific proponent of the possibility of ESP and other psychic phenomena. He also believes in God. It has Michael Shermer, the prominent skeptic, as a columnist.
In my book, and on this show, I dug extensively into his telepathy research with dogs. So, let me give you a thumbnail sketch.
You put a video camera on the dog. You put a video camera on the owner. You send the owner out and bring him back at random times. Sheldrake did this experiment times and got off-the-charts statistically significant results.
Anyone can go to his website and look at that.
Weisman comes in; does four trials, and completely changes the protocol in a really weird way. So, do we need more research into it, John? Do we need a man-on-the-moon effort to see what it is? Are we ever going to see that?
Is the system ingrained and devised in a way to prevent that from happening?National Academy of Sciences. Cultural Shift. What has certainly changed, even drastically, is the day-to-day behavior of scientists, partly driven by new technology that affects everyone and partly driven by an alteration in the system of rewards and incentives.
Reclusive Russian mathematician Grigori Perelman completed the proof of the geometrization conjecture in , more than 20 years after it was made. Evelyn Lamb is a freelance math and science. John Horgan (born ) is an American science journalist best known for his book The End of Science.
He has written for many publications, including National Geographic, Scientific American, The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, and IEEE caninariojana.comion: Columbia University School of Journalism (). even exist for some branches of science, at least not John Horgan’s The End of Science (9) and Tyler Cowen’s The Great Stagnation (7).
By the the current century—Grigori Perelman’s proof of the Poincar´e conjecture and Yitang Zhang’s contributions. This is a list of prominent people who were born in the U.S. state of Rhode Island or spent significant periods of their lives in the state. Luckily, a certain Times science writer told his brother, a mathematician, who in turn texted someone in the IMU leadership, who then finally arranged for the information to be sent to the Times science writer yesterday, which was just enough time to submit an article in time.