Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id WAA19089 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Sun, 17 Mar 2002 22:33:00 GMT X-Originating-IP: [18.104.22.168] User-Agent: Microsoft-Outlook-Express-Macintosh-Edition/5.0.3 Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 22:24:48 +0000 Subject: Re: FW: MD Dawkins on quantum/mysticism convergence From: Steve Drew <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <email@example.com> Message-ID: <B8BAC82F.firstname.lastname@example.org> In-Reply-To: <200203172200.WAA18905@alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk> Content-type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII" Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit X-OriginalArrivalTime: 17 Mar 2002 22:26:54.0263 (UTC) FILETIME=[D76DAC70:01C1CE02] Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 16:53:07 EST
> From: <AaronLynch@aol.com>
> Subject: Re: FW: MD Dawkins on quantum/mysticism convergence
> In a message dated 3/17/2002 11:06:28 AM Central Standard
> Time, Douglas Brooker <email@example.com> writes:
>> Thanks for this.
>> If I were conducting a study, my instinct would lead me to pay
>> special attention to what scientists participating in the 'love fest'
>> receive or perceive they receive from the mystical side. We can
>> understand the way the aura of science serves to enhance the
>> claims of mystics, but less understandable is what scientists receive
>> from the other side.
> Hi Douglas.
> There can be considerable financial and social incentive for
> scientists to sell out and join the "love fest." They may receive
> lucrative book deals, for instance. Moreover, many "nonfiction"
> books are actually conceived by literary agents, and that
> includes science books. The agents are often just looking
> for what will sell. So they may identify something that many
> people will want to believe when they read about it, or that they
> already believe or want to believe but would also like to see
> "justified" in "scientific" language. Scientists may also be drawn
> to the fame that can come from becoming an advocate for some
> mystical idea. And there are even rich prizes (e.g., Templeton)
> for connecting religion and science. All these sources of money
> and attention increase the formation rates of new ways of
> attaching science to mysticism, and then they increase the
> centralized transmissivity of the new idea combinations once
> Attaching the name of an authority figure to a belief system
> also increases its transmissivity, receptivity, and longevity.
> (See my 2001 stock market thought contagions paper on
> that.) People feel more confident about voicing and
> retransmitting an idea that they can attribute to an authority
> figure. If the recipient of the message disagrees, the person
> transmitting the message can always blame the authority
> figure. They also realize that the listener/recipient of the
> message is likely to give more credence to a message
> attributed to an authority figure. That added credence then
> increases the receptivity that the message enjoys. Finally,
> it can make people more inclined to remember the message,
> increasing its longevity.
> Scientists who can be presented to the public as authority
> figures can therefore be offered especially lucrative book
> deals and other ways of profiting from the believers in
> mysticism. Many scientists are aware of this.
> - --Aaron Lynch
Scientist are no more immune than other people from silly ideas, religion
etc. The pure pursuit of knowledge never was and will, IMO , truly be the
driving force for science. Or else why the race to publish first? Given also
that many scientists earn very little, the temptation exists when offered a
serious wad to take it. Most scientists have families to support, and only a
relative few can afford to have their own opinions.
But, yes, the authority figure is the important part when it comes to
selling the idea.
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