Speaking of what we do not know

A while ago I shared a video offering a “review” of LOST by someone who hadn’t seen it. Well, even funnier is this video in which someone who has never seen a Star Wars movie all the way to the end trying to piece together what happens in the trilogy. You will cry laughing!

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn’t seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

On a more serious side, I also was made aware of an excellent video about what science is, that deals with less amusing aspects of talking about things we have never taken the time or effort to understand (HT Sandwalk):


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  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    My only problem with that video is it’s message is effectively, don’t question consensus and if you know nothing about the subject don’t get involved in the discussion.It’s not asking people to keep an open mind, it’s telling them to accept what they are told by people who know better.So who are the people who know better? Should people stay out of politics because they don’t understand how policies are formed – despite the fact that those policies are going to affect their lives directly?Should people not use money because they don’t understand the economy or the fiat currency? Should they not own a house because they don’t understand how a mortgage works or basics of supply and demand (and you know that there are lot of home owning people out there who are economically in dire straits right now – even supposedly intelligent people).What about religion itself? Are we going to tell people not to your church if they don’t agree with the full doctine? Would church congregations even exist if everyone adopted this policy.Professionals can be wrong -even – shock horror -scientists. If you’d listened to any financial ‘expert’ for the last 10 years on the economy you would realise they haven’t a clue.I thought the whole idea in science was to question what is established and then either improve a theory or reject it entirely – this video seems to be saying don’t question – believe we tell you.If we lived in a world where everyone kept their own private beliefs to themselves, it would be a very informationally poor world.I don’t need to be a fashion designer to tell my wife she looks lovely in a dress, similarly I don’t need to be a car mechanic to tell there’s a problem with the car when the engine won’t start.However I do need a healthy dose of skepticism when the mechanic tries to flog me new tyres to solve the problem. I need to be a skeptic when someone turns up on my door telling me – from authority – that his gadget is going to make my life easier. And I am a skeptic when the govenrnment tells me it’s fighting a War Against Terror for my benefit and safety.Most of the time we put trust in others to do the work not because they are smarter or more able, but because in our limited lifetime we cannot possibly learn or understand everything through our own effort (Imagine having to build a car before you learned to drive?).At the end of the day, those people we employ to go and do the work for us, we have to evaluate what information they bring back and either trust them, or wait for more information before we proceed.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    I don’t have a problem with ordinary people getting involved in processes that depend on experts in fields in which they themselves have no expertise. But there is an appropriate place for pointing out (to allude to Keith Ward in an earlier post), none of the self-proclaimed disprovers of Einstein who cannot do calculus have any hope of being right, except by accident.It is a challenge, finding the balance between encouraging people to think and engage, and encouraging people to know their limitations and recognize fields that require expertise and training. If we want to teach people to look for second opinions in medical matters, we don’t want them to all think they need no expertise and can make all medical decisions themselves, do we?

  • http://www.abandonallfear.co.uk Alex Fear

    I agree.I just find the vid patronising, and it’s not hard to see the intent and target audience behind it.I found it particularly interesting the maker chose an illustration of 4 walls around the ‘non-scientist’ closing in like something out of Indiana Jones.That image to me came across more as shutting someone in, than a representation of someone shutting themselves in.Almost like, if you don’t want to accept what we are telling you then you don’t belong outside, or deserve freedom – please stay in this confined space – it was a closed message.If they want to send a closed message, fine, just don’t make out it’s an open message from open-minded individuals.:)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09146781661881693212 Glade Diviney

    Does this video imply that certain apologists for science should also defer to experts who have given their lives to the difficult work of Biblical studies and theology?Or will they, instead, continue to spout uninformed opinions, closing themselves and others inside an anti-supernatural box?Just wondering.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    Kaffinator, if you’re referring to the first video, then I’d have to say “no”… :)But more seriously, I do think that some scientists dive into realms that are, if not Biblical studies or even theology, are certainly the realm of philosophy, without a broad grounding in that approach to knowledge and inquiry. And certainly there are a lot of discussions of religion in which both proponents and opponents share a lack of familiarity with the scholarly study of the Bible…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09146781661881693212 Glade Diviney

    Actually I think either video could make the point!