Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Odd Case of Sir Karl Popper

Max Planck stated very clearly a premise that would later fuel Popper: Science cannot give the final answers to anything.   Of course, such a statement would imply, automatically, the qualification of Metaphysics to reveal, expose and explain that which Science cannot…   This is not the only thing in which we should dissent with Popper.

Let’s briefly go over some of the arguable statements of this man.

Sir Karl Popper stated:

Of Freud:   That his predictions were as elusive as those of astrology.

Of the scientific method of induction:   He discards it in favor of starting the scientific work from an imaginary or even mythological conjecture of the world.

Of science:   “The erroneous perspective of science is discovered by its avidity to be real”.

About Nazism: “Its origin would be that of the sincere purpose of men to improve their condition and that of their peers”.

About absolute truths:   That it is not possible to reach them, but it is possible to get near.

About determinism:   It does not exist.

About history:   It does not exist.

About truth:   In science, it is unreachable.

Enormously popularized by Phillip Johnson, whom through the Evangelical Service of Documentation and Information published notes commending his work in “Darwin on Trial” (1991) (the reader can refer to Ch. 12 of the same book: “Sir Karl Popper. Psychoanalysis, Science and Pseudoscience”); Johnson is also the author of a work whose title says it all:   “Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds” (1997).

Popper was a personal friend of Helmut Schmidt (member of the Government of West Germany as Minister and Chancellor between 1969 and 1982, time in which relations between the Catholic Church and the State are thawed.   Catholic printing presses launch 4.5 million works annually, 31 newspapers of the same ideology print 13 million copies daily, and an iron pact between all the European conservative parties is sealed – Christians, lays, English, Gaullists, fascists-) and is the author of works in which he affirms that the invention of the printing press belongs to northern Europe, when China had already developed it several centuries before (perhaps the fact that this country would fall outside of the orbit of monotheistic religions, whose principles seem to have played a very important role in Popper’s convictions, is what prevented the acceptance of the true time and place where such an invention was actually made…).    Perhaps his attack in Freud is also very coherent: Sigmund studied the religious phenomenon as a simple mental problem, whilst Popper has no scruples in accepting an act of faith (“imaginary or mythological conjecture”) as a presupposition to initiate scientific analyses.    Coincidentally, in the pages of the Spanish catholic magazine “La Fe”, already in 1844 it was possible to read the following words “Human sciences rest largely upon a type of faith…”

Just as other characters would do, Popper attempts to minimize the scientific aim assigning it what he calls “avidity” to reach the truth, and condemning it to impotence in such field.   When we reflect upon this obscurely critical attitude, we again find coincidence between his words and that of the previously mentioned catholic magazine: “Which is the wise man so intimately convinced of the truth of the causes, as the evidence of the effects? (…) Who, if God himself does not descend to reveal him, could say…: This geological or astronomical system, of medical or natural sciences, is a complete and definitive system?”   The coincidences with such concepts are coherent with other Popperian affirmations: science cannot describe reality, determinism does not exist, and much less does history, while he is implicitly completely sure of the existence of absolute truths.

We do not wish to erroneously conclude that Sir Popper, when disqualifying contemporary science (and sending the Freudian Theory to the garbage pile), could not ignore the fact that he would replace Metaphysics within those disciplines capable of providing knowledge valid to humanity.    And who knows if, inwardly, he didn’t think that “all the sciences, the physical as well as the moral, should parade in front of religious science, as daughters parade in front of their mother, bending the knee…” (“Revista Religiosa, Política y Literaria La Fe”, Spain, 1844, p. 20).

Popper and Falsifiability

Popper was a communist around age 15, and anti-Marxist upon reaching 17.   He opposed Positivism and the Wiener Kreis (Vienna Circle), rejecting “the myth of inductionism” since he considered that Science operated by deducing consequences from theories rich in content which could be submitted severely to testing.   He argued that Science began with the Myth and continued with Metaphysics in order to develop the critical method, accelerating and intensifying the trial-and-error process.   He opposed determinism as Einstein insisted they’d discuss the issue… but Popper seemed to be more interested in matters such as those included in a work entitled “Darwinism as a Program of Metaphysical Investigation”, which may have inspired him to give the conference “Evolution and the Tree of Knowledge”…

Some members of the Wiener Kreis:
Moritz Schlick, Rudolf Carnap, Otto Neurath, Hans Hahn and Philipp Frank.
Before Popper, the Science model firstly described by Francis Bacon, which conceived it as an exercise in induction, gets criticism from Hume, whom casts a light of doubt on the assurance that a series of objective observations might reveal exceptions that refute the norm.   Hume, who didn’t seem to be able to know how to refute the Plan Argument as “proof” of the existence of God, did also not reach the illuminated reflection of Albert Bayet:

In as much as religions and philosophies of the absolute seek primarily to secure unassailable positions, in which they shall forever affix their thought, science solely needs points of support which serve its new conquests (…) The most beautiful hypotheses with which it arranges knowledge bear the mark of relativity, and therefore of that which is provisional; thus making nothing in it definite, nor nothing in it undisputable.”

No, Popper wants absolute answers, and not relative ones.   Bayet’s idea would not have seemed “convincing” either and Mr. Karl discards the inductive model considering that, in practice, theory precedes the experiment and not the other way around.   But, then, where should be start?   And Popper, a lover of ideas with traces of absolutes (science cannot reach the truth – determinism doesn’t exist – history doesn’t exist – the printing press was not invented by the Chinese – the French Revolution “was essentially a government of terrorists”, are all affirmations made by him), proposes to use an imaginary or even mythological conjecture of the world…    That conjecture will have to be submitted to criticism in search of disconfirming evidence which, should it be found, will reveal the need for a new and better explanation.   In other words, Popper admits, in principle, the possibility that an imaginary or even mythological conjecture might be valid!   If this is not an attempt to salvage the good name of Metaphysics, already widely discredited in its time, it sure looks like it…

We mentioned “disconfirming evidence”.   Let us, then, explain Popper’s falsifiability.

Falsifiability is an epistemological current which affirms that to state a theory means to refute it through a counter-example.   If it cannot be refuted, then the theory remains confirmed (but never verified, given that truth, according to Popper, is unattainable, and not even the observation of reality is useful to make true rules or confirmed hypotheses).   That observation is useful for denying “fake” theories: scientific work, thus, is developed through criticism and not observation.   Science, according to Popper, must not verify, but formulate new theories in increasingly perfect fashion…    Falsifiability is a criterion of verification of the scientific validity.

“Falsating” a theory, then, is to search for the fact that proves it is false.   However, contrary to the beliefs of its creator, falsifiability is far from covering all the possibilities; it has no universal value.    Therefore, infinite statements (such as “things are such as they are”) are not falsable.   Furthermore, there are false falsables (“X always happens”: false because at some point X did not occur) and non-false falsables (“X is always X”).   Statements must fulfill certain conditions of validity: they must be precise, falsable, clear, bold and daring.   This would mean that a scientific theory would have to possess a genuine explanatory capacity in order to make risky predictions which exclude the largest amount of possible results: the success in the prediction is impacting only up and until failure is a real possibility.

In brief: if a scientific hypothesis overcomes the effort to demonstrate its falseness, it can be accepted –at least– provisionally.    Popper attributes to himself thus having given the World the indispensable starting point in order to understand the difference between science and pseudoscience.   Nonetheless it seems as if falsifiability could give a reasonable berth to certain grave and hilarious valuation errors:   falsifiability enables us to distinguish, according to Popper, science from pseudoscience if and when all the scientific predictions made may be wrong, explains P. Bloom.   Therefore, if we refer to Astrology, for example, since its predictions can be tested in consideration of the fact that they may be wrong, even when they are wrong, they can be considered, in principle, scientific theories!

Our good Sir also criticized the idea that science is, in essence, inductive, highlighting instead its hypothetical-deductive nature.

This would be the layout of the scientific process according to Popper:

Problem – Conjecture/Hypothesis – Falsation – New Problem

Let’s now turn our attention to a curious corollary of this Theory:   once its “falsed”, a non-confirmed hypothesis doesn’t become false, but must be further studied within the field of Metaphysics…   The “rehabilitation of Metaphysics as a serious discipline is evident:    in it are non-scientific hypotheses… but nonetheless not false either (?).    A question that Popper “strategically” leaves out is:   what happens when valid conclusions are reached in Metaphysics… which collide with valid conclusions in Science?

This is not the only aspect which comes through as suspiciously irrational in the popperian thesis.   Paraphrasing the famous (and discredited) theologian saying “if everything has a cause, there must be a first cause”, Popper’s henchman Hans Albert elaborates the Trilema of Münchhausen.    Albert holds that if we demand fundaments from everything, we must also demand it from the knowledge which we have redirected to the proposition which we are trying to support in the first place.   He thus pontificates that this takes us to three equally inacceptable alternatives:

Regresum ad infinitum:   To go unendingly backwards in the search of support (which results impossible in practice).

Logical circularity in deduction:   In the process of supporting our precepts, we use statements which appeared as needed of support.

Arbitrary interruption of the process:   The principle of sufficient support is suspended at a concrete point.

As may be easily noted, the Trileme of Münchhausen is based on the need to reach knowledge, such as in Religion, from entities whose existence has never been proven; meaning, supposed absolute, definitive, eternal truths…   Nothing farther from rational or scientific thought:   Neither regresum ad infinitum, nor logical circularity in deduction, and much less the interruption of the procedure, are neither viable nor acceptable alternatives in Science.    Plausible, rational, and methodologically correct methods to access knowledge possible and relative are the only humanely suitable forms to make science.    Man has not fared at all badly with such methods…


THERE IS NO regresum ad infinitum…   sincere there is no infinitum, you “go backwards” until you can find probable support.

THERE IS NO logical circularity in deduction…   unless the process is in a purely speculative stave or procedural errors are being made.

THERE IS NO arbitrary interruption of the process…   but logical limits to the evidential satisfaction as established by the physical, temporal, or statistical empires.

The ideas of Popper have been widely questioned.   Among those who reject them are highly relevant names from contemporary thought:   Habermas, Adorno, Feyerabend (“science is not superior for its method or its results, there is no special, infallible method”), Kuhn, Wittgenstein, Klosko, and Hokheimer.

Among Popper’s errors that have been pointed out are:

- The propagation of irrationality through a particular conception of science;

- Reducing rationality to instrumental rationality, without consideration for the rationality of the objectives or objectives which the theories aim to reach;

- The elaboration of a useless mechanism for economic science: falsifiability is not applied to economic practice because it is of no avail to give account of the complex real economic phenomena nor the effective proceedings of economic science;

- Absolute lack of interest in signification but solely in the Theory which sustains that IT (the Theory) is previous to the observance of the actions;

- Subordination of knowledge to its immediate use;

- Ignoring methodological concerns of the history of thought;

- Not recoursing to philology when necessary;

- Affirming dogmatically that a general method to enlarge or examine our knowledge exists, elevating the model of physico-natural sciences to the canon of science;

- Depriving human and social sciences of the hermeneutical moment of anticipation, giving facts the ultimate criterion of truth without realizing that, without anticipating a model, it is impossible to escape from the repetition of the given;

- Not directing rational criticism towards an emancipating interest but rather remaining in the appearance of particular facts, divorcing them from its social structure;

- Etc…


Thomas S. Kuhn
Even though it is not the purpose of this writing, we shall extend into the exposure of these criticisms in order to be able to properly support a conclusion about popperian falsifiability.

Kuhn, contradicting Popper, points out that science advances through paradigms in use.

Falsifiability turns out as a prepotent method when society is studied and considered simply an immutable object that simply lies there and can only be captured through a method.   The pretension to subsume every rational explanation in a nomological-deductive scheme deprives from the truth of that same thing, which is also subjective and contradictory.   On the other hand, says Quine-Duhem, an isolated hypothesis cannot be falsed, since it always forms part of an interdependent network of theories.

It seems to rise from Popper’s method that that which is not effective towards reaching a goal must be excluded from rationality and degraded to the level of superstition.   Thus remains excluded the importance of the ends (what for which something is good for).   Popperian “reason” is a “disinfected reason”: Thought seemed to have been reduced to the level of industrial processes and submitted to an exact plan, this is to say that, it would be converted to a fixed part of the production.   Reason interprets then every idea as a pragmatic scheme of instrumental nature.   From there, the dictatorship of technology is just a stop away, with the instrumentalization of the world as a result.   We believe that the ideas of thinkers such as Popper have contributed, sadly, to the implantation of the current technological dictatorship and all its nefarious side effects.

Society, says Adorno, is not an object of nature;   society is contradictory, rational and irrational at the same time.   Social sciences lack a system of laws as clear and evident as the ones natural sciences have.   These study a defined object that can be boarded in an immediate fashion; the object of social sciences isn’t there, it is neither neutral nor coherent.    The method to be applied in social sciences must take that into account or a contradiction between its formal structure and the structure of its object will emerge.   If the basis of the scientific method is criticism, the object of social sciences must be criticized from the point of accepting the possibility of a society different from the one that exists.   Renouncing to a method to study society, as Popper does, is a conservative and fatalistic attitude: one does not believe that one is able to (or one doesn’t want to be able to?) change that what is being studied, that is, transform society.   Well, we added, Karl Popper politically supports neoliberalism (no intervention of the state in economy matters) thus supporting his ethics in egoism and shoving distributive justice aside.   In other words, clearly a conservative and reactionary position.

Popper is concerned with WHAT (what is thought, believed, done) and not WHY (for example, finding the interests generated which make a society transform in a specific way).

There is a palpable sense of mediocrity in the dimension of his ideas, a certain moral pettiness evident in his conclusions.

His philosophical attitude is all too similar to his political attitude.   He shows enthusiasm in the return to a medieval way of thought: Metaphysics, he affirms, has its place in human knowledge; truth cannot be reached; the spine of science: determinism (and with it the possibility of prediction –relative, but prediction nonetheless– and, therefore, of change) does not exist; history itself (that great witness to the iniquities to which ideas of the caste of popper’s have conducted, perched upon what he calls “critical rationalism”) doesn’t exist either…    From there to extolling the quantum gaps through which he sees the “eternal and unattainable truths” filter through and sentencing Psychoanalysis to death –that dangerous enemy of mystic abnormalities–, is just a question of argumentative coherence.   I am convinced that Popper constructed that coherence being fully aware of the reactionary sense of his thought.

“The scientific conception of the world rejects metaphysical philosophy.    But how can we explain the error of the metaphysical pathways?   This question can be raised from different standpoints: psychological, sociological and logical.
The search within the field of psychology is still in its beginnings; the beginning of a more compelling explanation can be found in the investigations of Freudian psychoanalysis”.

(Wiener Kreis, 1929)

Let’s return to the problem of falsifiability even at the risk of seeming repetitive to our patient reader.

Falsifiability pivots on the hypothetical deductive method.   Why?   Because Popper considered scientifically incompetent the inductive method: it proved impossible, he said, reaching general laws regarding reality from particular facts given that, once a “law” is established, posterior observations would discredit it, and a new law would be admitted which could, in turn, be discredited by ulterior observations, and so forth.   Induction was insecure and inexact as a basis for science.   According to Popper, scientists worked by selecting an observation, choosing the object, conducting a defined task with a specific interest and from a specific point of view, needing a problem.   All of this indicates that, in practice, theory precedes experiment and not vice versa.

We ignore if the argument has been answered in the simple way in which we will answer it, but it would exceed the intentions of this page to reproduce all the criticism that Popper has received.   In the first place, we believe that Theory is confounded with simple Hypothesis; in the second place, if the sought verification is reached, the manner of work can be made flexible under the condition that the object being studied permits it.   Always, absolutely always, one must start from science of the particular fact.   The fact of which one has preconceptions about and is obstinately trying to prove one’s right regarding a specific idea, does not discredit the scientific quality of the work being conducted if one arrives at the confirmation of that idea and, from there, to the elaboration of the general rule.   The latter, in the best of cases, will be the butterfly arisen thanks to a satisfactory metamorphosis from the chrysalis-hypothesis.

But Popper proposes discarding the Hypothesis-led Inductive Method, and replacing it with an imaginary or, even mythological conjecture of the world.   To Popper, that is more scientific.

By induction, according to Popper, we will never be able to affirm, alter having observed thousands of ravens, that “all ravens are black”.    When applying falsifiability to that conclusion we see that, to prevent the apparition of a single non-black crow, the only scientifically valid conclusion (not a real one, since truth cannot be reached, but, rather, approached… -?-) will be “not all crows are black”.   While he accepts starting from imaginary and even mythological conjectures, Popper rejects that there may be ultimate scientific statements, because they can always be presented with a refutation based upon experience.   The observation is subtly obvious but also subtly obscurantist: on the one hand, what he says would seem indisputably true, but, placed upon the context of his thought, he is actually pinning on science the concepts of absolute knowledge and eternal irremovability actually pertaining to religious dogma.

“Mediocre spirits demand of Science a sort of certainty which it cannot give, a sort of religious satisfaction.   Only the true, rare, truly scientific minds can face doubt, into which all of our knowledge is tied.” 

(Sigmund Freud)

We believe that the Wiener Kreis, rather than getting entangled in debates with Popper’s irrationality, should have provided him with a good net and a chair, and entrusted upon him the task of, upon seeing a non-black crow, catching it and bringing it in as evidence (valid, not real…) of his theory.

We, being less prudent than the professors of the Circle, shall try to reflect upon some critical observation of this new argument.   In the first place, given that if, as he and other metaphysics affirm, truth is unreachable, we ignore how Popper in fact knows that we are getting close to it… and, furthermore, how does he so absolutely know that we will never reach it.   Firstly, Popper starts from an unproven precept, and secondly he concludes with a nihilistic assertion which is metaphysical and obscurantist.   It is evident that this good man seems to have chosen the wrong profession: searching absolute truths in Science when, by definition, Science offers relative truths.   He mixes these absolute ideas (“imaginative/mythological conjectures”, “truth cannot be known”, “experience always refutes achieved truths”) with erratic affirmations about the scientific process (he denies that Science advances with mistakes, and does not become paralyzed, nor does the ruin of human knowledge ensue when a Theory succeeds another, thus refusing to realize that, if that would have happen, we would still live in prehistoric caves) and anathematizes inductionism for the way in which scientists work, for the “impossibility” of reaching general laws and for appealing to the antiscientific concept of “suspension of sufficient support” (Popper wants to say that we cannot affirm that in the future, just as it has happened up till now, when two hydrogen and one oxygen molecule become joined they will form water and conclude that this result is a general law: again we believe that the solution to this false problem that Sir Popper presents us would have been to invite him to conduct all the necessary experiments to the end of times, in order not to have to resort to the suspension of the sufficient support…).

Jürgen Habermas
When Habermas points out to him that when denying the legitimacy of the latter substantiation –and thus considering the idea as a mere pragmatic scheme of instrumental nature– the only thing remaining is the “principle of criticism”, once again, in our point of view, is the true vocation of Karl Popper put in evidence… Effectively, since the “the principle of criticism” cannot be justified and only assumed as a decision in favor of reason, it constitutes ultimately an act of faith; in other words, an irrational act.   The systematic recidivism of Popper in the metaphysical cannot be attributed to anything else but a frustrated clerical vocation.   We firmly believe that he would have been a brilliant medieval friar, after his Christian conversion, of course.
But, since we are talking of a highly influential, “in-fashion” thinker, his excessive incidence in the academic world of today must be considered dangerous because to him there would have been no difference between the following ideas (all of which are mere pragmatic schemes of instrumental character, according his singular conception):

“As every development of the productive force of labor, capitalist employment of machines only tends to lower the costs of merchandise, and thus minimizing the part of the day in which the laborer works for himself, in order to prolong the other part in which he works for the capitalist…”

“…a sensible person must remember that sight may be perturbed in two ways and due to two opposite causes: when you pass from light into darkness, or from darkness into light.”

“Every general theory of the world, whether it be of political or religious nature –in occasions it is difficult to say where one ends and the other one starts–, does not struggle as much negatively and with the purpose of destroying the world of contrary ideas, as it does positively and with the intent of imposing its own.”

Given that “ultimate support” does not concern him, Popper would start from the same point of view to analyze these three ideas.   When we realize that the first one belongs to Marx, the second one to Plato, and the third one to Hitler, we understand the dangerous aspect of such popperian indifference a bit better.

Digression becomes necessary here in order to revise the Inductive Method and the positivist principles thrown to the garbage by Karl Popper.

- Inductive Method.

To induce is to make general affirmations from particular Facts.

All the things and their changes, all the facts and their consequences, everything that affects our senses are phenomena.    Example:  the fall of bodies, the influence of light upon plants.   When we confirm the reoccurrence of such observed facts, reason generalizes.   It can then be affirmed that all free bodies fall, that light influences the life of plants…  The organic and unitary whole of these generalizations (laws, rules, propositions, concepts) which seek to explain a series of phenomena receive the name of Theory.    And then, it all starts over again:  questions arise:   how do phenomena occur?   Why do they occur?   And to try to respond to these, new theories are born…

- Deductive Method.

Having certain propositions extracted from experience, reason, intuition or imagination been accepted, other propositions are deduced.

The problem of the deductive method is that it may lead to a Paradox: given an affirmation (accepted propositions = postulates, axioms, primary concepts), when all the consequences are deduced from it (deduction of properties by study, analysis, classification) one could arrive to one that contradicts the affirmation itself.


Having accepted the premises we will have to accept the logical conclusions.

The Deductive Method could take us from an act of faith (the premises) to an absolute truth (the logical conclusions).

The Inductive Method takes us from particular facts (the premises) to the relative truths (the laws).

Galileo proposed the inductive system based on the experimental method.   Darwin and Freud follow it with the necessary adaptations as determined by the object of study.

Aristotle had proposed the deductive method.   Religious people and Popper follow it.

When, in the explanation of certain matters, it is sustained that the inductive method must be replaced in benefit of the deductive, errors can be made.

One must be careful not to confuse theoretical knowledge (reached with deductive methods), with deductive presentation of knowledge, because the theoretical knowledge does not exclude inductive logic (for example, when choosing the object of study through mental processes).   Inductive methods can also be employed to discover causal relations.   Theoretical knowledge presupposes objects comprehended by thought… but, differently from empirical objects, theoretical objects are not fragments of reality but logical reconstructions of reality.

Empirical knowledge consists of descriptions of objects, whilst theoretical knowledge gives explanations.   Those explanations can be constructive both deductive- as well as inductively.   Methodologically, then, the union between induction and deduction is a rule.    Both are the faces of the same process.   It is not correct, therefore, to shove aside inductive logic.

It is not possible to reconstruct scientific history, for example, with only theoretical analyses and the presentation of deductions; historical analysis must also be included.   This historical analysis must begin with an inductive presentation of phenomena and laws, highlighting the incomplete, unilateral, and contradictory empirical level reached.    One may then move forth into the theoretical level utilizing the deductive method.

The process of theoretical knowledge must coincide with the historical process: things and phenomena begin as forms and elemental relations which gradually develop and deepen.   From the summary of these forms and elemental relations reached inductively, one will reach abstract theoretical knowledge.   Upon reaching said level, can the acquired knowledge be transmitted in a more complete and concrete form.

Deduction enables us to reconstruct historically and logically.   Induction is previous and enables us to reach empirical abstraction.    Knowledge is obtained inductively and discovered deductively.

The excessive devotion for deductive methods without prior serious and profound training in inductive operations inevitably leads to the loss of the capacity to treat fundamental data, but also, a simple truth reached inductively is always incomplete since experience is ever unable to totally reach it.

Induction allows for the construction of hypotheses (theoretical knowledge) that, in turn, leads to the deductive explanations or presuppositions of new facts and phenomena.   EACH OBJECT MUST BE STUDIED WITH THE PROPER METHOD, IN THE PROPER SITUATION AND IN THE CORRECT PROPORTION.   This means that variations of the combination of inductive and deductive methods must be accepted.

- Methods of knowledge.

a)         Level 1 Empirical Induction

Based upon empirical knowledge, the researcher investigates the object and extracts conclusions inductively.    Since pure empirical knowledge does not exist, neither are the conclusions purely inductive:   to reach knowledge regarding partial facts (characteristics, qualities, and concept of the object).   From the situation of the problem one moves onto the problem and from it to the hypothesis; such is the inductive path.

a1)       Level 2 Empirical Induction.

There is here already a relationship between the inductive and the deductive.

a2)       Induction and deduction in a theoretical and empirical level.

Inductively, a hypothesis is formulated which rises from the combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experiments, and the hypothesis is experimentally confirmed.

a3)       Deduction and induction at the theoretical level.

The object is explained deductively leaning upon theoretical knowledge, first as hypothesis and then as a theory which will be proved at the empirical level (by way of theoretical conclusions compared with the results induced from the control tests).

a4)       Deduction at the theoretical level with inductive elements and empirical proof.

The hypothesis rises out of prior theoretical knowledge, whether it is through the correct application of logical principles, or logical approximations stemming from intuitive thought.
Heuristic thought as used to solve problems can have a deductive aspect.

a5)       Deduction at the theoretical level with inductive elements.

The hypothesis is based upon a previous theory and elaborates upon a new theory without proving it experimentally.   This system is employed when studying categorical-inductive systems.   Notwithstanding from this method of deductive knowledge are inductive elements included in deduction.


The basis of theoretical knowledge can be found in empirical investigations and empirical methods (observation, measurement, experimentation, comparison), which are based upon inductive logic.   The deductive and inductive methods must be combined to achieve a correct balance between empirical and theoretical knowledge.   Each of these methods, when combined, increase the creativity of the investigator and develop, irrefutably, specific intellectual traits in the researchers.   Gregorio Klimovsky (an Argentinean mathematician and philosopher) considered that there were 64 scientific methods.   But the indispensable core of scientific work is as follows:
(Not even the hypothesis would be indispensable!)

Accepting the hypothetic-deductive method exclusively, as Popper would have it, would mean that no science could have an inductive base.   In other words, for him, sciences such as Medicine, Psychoanalysis and the so-called Life Sciences would not be considered sciences…

I do not believe that the point of departure for Popper is the “failure” of the inductive method to reach universal truths.   He was well aware that the progress of Science presupposed the correction of mistakes, once such were proven to exist.   He could not overlook that the merit and highest trait of scientific knowledge was to provide humanity with the tools of relative knowledge of reality in which its existence develops.   Merit, trait, and characteristic that set Science apart from Metaphysics and Religion.   Here is where I do believe resides Popper’s “problem”, which he tries to solve:

The discrediting of absolute ideas and the relegation of Metaphysics, Mysticism and Religion to the level of fantasies linked to mental disorders.   The Wiener Kreis had already explained that “the metaphysic and theologian believe, and in this manner become confused, that their affirmations say something or show the state of things.   Analysis, nonetheless, shows that such affirmations say nothing but simply express a certain humor or verve.”

Popper held that the evolution of Physics was a process without the purpose of correction and better approach to the truth about the cosmos.   However, in order to know if we are indeed approaching we need to possess a double knowledge: of the truth in and by itself, and of what we have achieved by approaching it…   How did Popper possess such knowledge if he had indeed denied the scientific possibility of actually know the truth?

In his eagerness to demand that science provides absolute truths he reveals an essentially religious mind without the use of neither reason nor criticism, but quite the opposite.   Popper has been considered a justifier of belief; the strength of his philosophy resides in a double destruction: that of the rationality of science, and that of the trust in the fact that scientific knowledge is capable of progress.   Men that seek absolutes, such as Popper, interrogate their environment in search of such absolutes.   The urgency and practice of such search cement a dominating attitude, and even when they are able to act rationally, they will invent absolute explanations and tend to affirm an absolute power.   When searching for partialities, however, the environment is studied without demands, cementing an attitude of understanding by researching and deepening.   Thought will discard the existence of absolutes of any type and promote tolerance.   Affirmations will be made within the bounds of reason and knowledge.   Nonetheless, even today, absolute ideas, brute force, and the eagerness for power constitute a cohesive and operational structure that inform the economic and political judeochristian-muslim world.

Popper, according to Stove, has perpetrated a dangerous academic fraud, especially when trying to pass himself off for a Rationalist.

Reason and knowledge have taken refuge in Science and Culture where they have become besieged by, with the help of Popper and others, philosophical absolutism and pseudo-rational metaphysics.

Given that Popper is an author who begins to write in the 1930’s, it is impossible to avoid noticing that the divulgation and popularity of his ideas was definitively boosted by the translations and publications of some of his basic works realized contemporarily to the preparation and functioning of the II Vatican Council.   This establishes another point of reference that helps us explain popperian intentionality.

(This text is an excerpt of the essay “Elogio del Psicoanálisis” (Praise of Psychoanalysis),
by José M. Fernandez Santana.   Total or partial reproduction
is hereby forbidden without written permission by the author)

Read more "The Odd Case of Sir Karl Popper"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why Us. Why Now.

The world is ridden by demons, as Carl Sagan would say.

We return to an unprecedented Dark Age. If things continue the way they have, we will soon be (and are already to a certain extent) obeying the rule of rich speculators and clergy members.

We must keep in mind that, although they have already made mistakes before, such as in the Middle Ages and during the French Revolution, they will be sure to learn from them, and employ other, more effective, and less obvious methods.

It is the responsability of us thinking civilians to put an end to this altogether, and educate ourselves in the ways of the world, and it's history. And I don't mean the "official" history, that you are encouraged to believe, but what really happened. A cold analysis of world events based upon the interests behind every event, and of those who actually profited (monetarily or otherwise) from them.

Even though they have at their disposal weapons of mass destruction, infinite financial resources, means of persuasion and political power upon this Earth, their great Achilles' heel is their obsessive compulsive need for self-destruction. This makes them irrational. This makes them inherently weak when faced with a single rational thought.

We have lived, as far as we can remember, in a constant global state of inflation, unemployment, war and injustice. We, the thinking people, have sat upon our couches at home and contemplated the world turn into a place not quite as worth living in as our parents had hoped. We, the inheriters of the world, have a responsability which our forefathers have bequeathed us; to make this world a better place.

Imagine a world without war, without strife, without hunger, without speculators, without suffering. Imagine a world without religion...

Imagine a world where you would not suffer from the anxiety of a "superior being" that observes your every move,and judges your every word. Imagine waking up in the morning, and greeting your neighbors, the birds, the sun and the grass... and that's all. Imagine not worrying about having to be "thankful to god" for what you have, but rather, be able to actually enjoy what is available to you, without having to work as a slave for a rich capitalist who cares only about his profits, while you are unable to buy a single reading lamp for that apartment whose rent you can barely afford.

Imagine not being poor and actually being able to pursue your dreams. What kind of world would that be? A world without limits? A world with people who felt happy and satisfied? In such a world, what would we do with things such as money, jobs, banks, churches?

Imagine at least actually working at something you loved, but not so much for the money, but for the knowledge that with that job all your needs would be met, and you would help meet others' needs.

Imagine the holy see returning it's gold, it's riches and it's investment to what's left of the native american indians, to the survivors of the nazi and communist concentration camps, to the pacific islanders, to the africans, and to the descendants of the millions of atheists, anarchists, skeptics, scientists, researchers, writers, and many, many millions more human beings that were slaughtered by the christian church, it's followers, it's representatives, and it's supporters.

Think about the possibility of us humans actually breaking from this slavery they call the "labor market", where human skill is traded and sold to the highest bidder, and actually living in a system where services would be given because someone needed them, and not because someone needed feverishly to get rich.

How would it be, to live in such a world? How would it be to live with a free mind, where your ideas were your presentation card, and your willingness to help others your credit line? How would it be to live in a world where your best investment was to ask your neighbor if anything was needed from the forest, or from your plot of land?

Would it really be that horrible? Do we really need to be slaves? Are we so afraid of freedom, that we willingly bow our heads and submit to the chains of money and religion? How willing are we to destroy our own self for the betterment of those who speculate with our physical and mental health? How many lives have been disposed of, destroyed, forgotten and erased, for the sake of those who would stand upon our heads?

This online repository of crucial information has been founded with the idea of helping that person who needs factual data, or the person who just can't find the answer to something. This site is intended for those who think, or want to think, a bit more clearly. This site is intended to break chains and bring light. This site is intended to help separate the waters (and we won't need Moses for that).

"The Water Thief" refers to an old experiment semi-accidentally performed by Empedocles, which was to become the first recorded awareness of the existence of an element's mass. A Greek philosopher, politician, poet, and scientist who lived in the time of the historian Herodotus, he performed a simple experiment by use of a clepsydra whereby he deduced that air must have "corporeality". Such ideas would soon thereafter be developed into Demokritus' atomic theory for the cosmos.

The Earth belongs to nobody, therefore, everybody must take care of it. We belong to it, just as we belong to the universe. We are made of it, and it is made of us. We can either care for it and each other, or look the other way while those with a obsessive desire for self-destruction "take care" of the planet for us.

This is a warning call for humanity. This is a wake up call for the thinkers of the Earth to unite. Write books, write essays, make phonecalls, meet, demonstrate, discuss, get elected, get educated, and get your rights fullfilled.

You have a right to be Happy.

You have a right to be Free.

You have a right to live without Fear.

You have a right to Love.

You are the result of 65 billion years of evolution.


Read more "Why Us. Why Now."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Research: Religion Causes Brain Damage

In studying the effects of religious identification and spiritual experiences on the neuroanatomy of adults, Dr. Amy Owen, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, together with other researchers, has proved that religious types see their brain mass diminish at an advanced age. Catholics, Protestants and other believers displayed a considerable amount of atrophy when the volume of a structure central to the limbic system (the hippocampus) was measured.

The studies (published in PloS One 30/03/2011 and Scientific American 31/05/2011 and largely ignored by the world media) focus upon the volume and functioning of the brain of practicing religious people. The results are compared with those who possess no religious faith whatsoever.

Those evaluated were older persons who participated in a study of
the neurocognitive consequences of depression, who were interrogated about their religious beliefs.

The study concludes that the fight for the faith releases stress hormones that, given time, diminish the size of the hippocampus.

This is not the first study that shows the negative effects of religion and spirituality on the mental health. The obsessive sensation that God punishes, the anguish derived from committing religious transgressions, and the confirmation that religious ideas cause conflicts of conscience with society and cultural progress are highly stressful and cause a spiritual pain hard to distinguish from physical pain. This entire phenomenon has negative effects upon the brain.

It wasn’t too long ago that Sigmund Freud relegated religion to the realm of neurosis in his book “Totem and Taboo” (first published in 1913), where he thoroughly exposed methods by which the primitive men and the neurotics project inner mental life onto the external world. He explained that such imaginary constructions were typical of obsessive thinkers, and persons who suffered delusional disorders and phobias.

Considering that religion has, since the beginning of times, been used as a tool of oppression and conformity with the peoples of the Earth, it is of no surprise to us that leading world healthcare and psychological organizations paid no attention to this issue. Accepting this scientific fact would inevitably mean the effective worldwide ban on religion due to its health hazard.

Would you BAN religion? Why? Why not? Please feel free to participate by commenting below!

Read more "Research: Religion Causes Brain Damage"