2 de noviembre de 2011

Moving the goalposts

Otro motivo por el que no me creo la religión: a medida que la ciencia va avanzando, los creyentes (o mejor, quienes los pastorean) van "moviendo los palos" continuamente; todo vale con tal de evitar reconocer que su portería es un coladero:

In his china teapot analogy, the philosopher Bertrand Russell illustrates the futility of holding on to concepts that have no observable consequences. Russell asserts that he believes there is a small china teapot orbiting between Earth and Mars, which is too small to be discovered by the most powerful telescopes in existence. If a larger telescope is constructed and, after an exhaustive and time-consuming survey of the entire sky, finds no evidence of the teapot, Russell will claim that the teapot is slightly smaller than expected but still there. This is commonly known as “moving the goalposts.” Although the teapot may never be observed, it is an “intolerable presumption,” says Russell, on the part of the human race to doubt its existence. Indeed, the rest of the human race should respect his position, no matter how preposterous it appears. Russell’s point is not to assert his right to be left alone to his personal delusions, but that devising a theory that cannot be proved or disproved by observation is pointless in the sense that it teaches you nothing, irrespective of how passionately you may believe in it.

Brian Cox y Jeff Forshaw, en Why Does E = mc2?

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