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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Less Wrong vs. Less Wrong

A few years ago, we saw the following on Less Wrong:

The short answer: it's very much like how a few minutes of philosophical reflection trump a few millennia of human cultural tradition.

More recently, we see:
But when a solid majority of the experts agree on a conclusion, and you see flaws in their statistics, I think the default assumption should be that they still know the issue better than you and very likely the sum total of the available evidence does support the conclusion. Even if the specific statistical arguments youv'e seen from them are wrong.
So … the Less-Wrong training trumps experts in one field but not another? Or are they saying that expert opinion is more certain than statistics but less certain than philosophy? Or is that it's trendy (in some quarters) to believe the people science journalists say are experts but not theologians?

2 Comments:

Anonymous TJIC said...

Nice zing!

7:35 AM  
Anonymous g said...

(Sorry, I'm years late to this party -- I just saw a link here from somewhere entirely different.)

I don't see the conflict here.

If you see Occam's razor and (some variety of) religion as conflicting and choose to go with Occam's razor, then you may indeed be rejecting "a few millennia of human cultural tradition" -- but you are not disagreeing with "a solid majority of the experts". There is no solid majority of experts in favour of any religious (or irreligious) position. (Unless you count the fact that, e.g., a solid majority of Christian theologians are in favour of Christianity, but obviously you shouldn't because being Christian is one of the main things that motivates people to become Christian theologians.)

6:27 AM  

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