Discussion re: Skeleton Report

I have just gone back through our two outlines looking for the shape of our skeleton arguments, and in the process noticed that we both mention consciousness twice and that both of us mention it only fairly deep in the body of the outline. It’s a tie!

Here is what I extracted on a first pass:

Proto-skeleton argument from Chris’ outline
1) Science is limited in its assumptions about reality, which adversely affects our values 2) Science contributed to modernity which brought benefits but at a heavy price 3) Extended science goes back a long way in history 4) Why scientists resist extended science 5) Extended science is beginning to emerge 6) A new ontology, epistemology, and methodology are needed, and what they are 7) What should be done

Proto-skeleton argument from Hardin’s outline:
1) Science is stuck 2) Paradigm shifts occur in science 3) How the Galilean paradigm shift occurred 4) Why scientific orthodoxy resists paradigm shifts 5) How we know science is stuck today 6) Why this is a problem 7) Who is entitled to address this issue 8) What paradigm-shifting developments are occurring on the frontier of science 9) The philosophical issues that are raised 10) A best guess as to what the new paradigm will be 11) What could science could look like in 50 years as a result

For our reflection.
My thought is that at this summary level there should be a flow of (hopefully persuasive) argument.

Dear Chris

I think the generic line of argument might follow this kind of sequence:

1) Our vision of what we hope to accomplish 2) The challenge we are addressing (what is wrong in broad terms) 3) An explanation of the need for action (situation, context, history) 4) Our diagnosis of the problem (our best insights) 5) The resulting approach we recommend (our creative contribution) 6) Issues and objections raised by this approach (anticipating resistance) 7) Answers and responses to these issues (defusing resistance) 8) What needs to be done now (action steps, resources, awareness building, planning) 9) Future prospects (the positive outcome this could lead to in the future) 10) Recommendations (summary)

I have made this list as a way of helping my own thinking along.

Dear Chris

Modernity is not frozen independently of ourselves of course: it’s a function of our mass beliefs. Curiously it is mainly educated people who believe strongly in the idea that there is “nothing but” the physical world. They hold it, I think, as a mark of their scientifically enlightened educated status. Usually when they have never looked into the question in any detail. It gets taken on as part of the package of dogmatically asserted ideas in high school science classes. And in modernity science is the prime source of authoritative knowledge. So they resist changing this belief, because it might mean they were no longer educated people.

Part of our task – maybe our central task – is to get people to question this belief. We must have a replacement belief to offer them which is as scientifically respectable. We must reassure them that with the new belief they actually move to a higher level of enlightened educated status. The “nothing but” belief needs to be presented as a science class 101 oversimplification. Key experimental results in physics from the period between 1900 and 1920 might be useful as part of the storytelling – the ones that bewildered physicists at the time. Another belief educated people have is unfortunately that quantum physics would be too difficult for them to understand. They need to be helped past this too, because it is is quantum theory which decisively takes science itself beyond the “nothing but” stage. However, since even quantum theory is presented by some science popularisers in a way that avoids questioning “nothing but” beliefs, we need to anticipate and sidestep those debunking moves as well.

Enjoy Germany!