RE: FW: MD Dawkins on quantum/mysticism convergence

From: Steve Drew (
Date: Tue Mar 19 2002 - 22:06:52 GMT

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    Subject: RE: FW: MD Dawkins on quantum/mysticism convergence
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    Hi Vincent.

    > Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 11:10:37 -0000
    > From: Vincent Campbell <>
    > Subject: RE: FW: MD Dawkins on quantum/mysticism convergence
    > <I don't think it does anyone any good to complain about writers not
    > using
    >> scientific terms with the same rigor they are used in scientific
    >> publications. You have to fit the words to the purpose and the audience
    >> you
    >> are writing for.>
    > As longer term list member will know, as a bit of a definitional
    > pedant, I couldn't really agree here.

    What about people who think and believe they do understand?
    Would you talk to first year undergrads in the same terms as third year?
    It doesn't do much good to complain if no one pays attention.
    That said, i'm not against pedantry wherever possible.

    > As Sokel & Bricmont have shown, when
    > people start using terms they don't understand and try and lever them into
    > their own theories, the only reason they're doing it is to try and fool the
    > reader that they are clever. It is a dreadful and unethical conceit, (and
    > doesn't stand up to scrutiny).

    It may not in some circles, but it can be used on the gullible or
    > Personally, as someone coming from a humanities/social science
    > position, the extent to which my own fields are minefields of jargon means
    > I'm quite fed up with people trying to claw in jargon from the natural
    > sciences in order to try and make what they're talking about somehow more
    > credible (whilst often trying to pretend that natural sciences are rubbish
    > at the same time).

    Very true. I've come across the same myself.
    > Some terms are cross-disciplinary - culture would be a good example
    > that is up for definitional discussion- but others, like quantum, are not,
    > and people should IMHO stop buggering about with them.

    Hear, Hear.
    > Vincent



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