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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2011 :  06:52:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So when I read the headline of this story, I cringed and prepared myself to read something like maybe Krauss citing some research into men sexually selecting younger characteristics in women or some sort of lame and icky justification of having sex with underage girls. So when I read what actually happened, I was underwhelmed. It really pisses me off that Krauss phrased things "As a scientist..." and referred to empiricism. Those statements are an embarrassment to the scientific community and unfortunately weaken everything else he said to try to defend his friend. But I don't think what he did was outrageous. Just misplaced arrogance, like an expert claiming to be knowledgeable in some area that is outside of their area of expertise, but using their expert status to gain credibility.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2011 :  06:57:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
PZ's simplification of the issue is disappointing. But I'm not surprised. It seems plausible from the limited amount that I've read so far that Epstein didn't know the girls were underage. Lots of guys have a thing for barely legal age girls. That's why there is a porn mag called "Barely Legal" (which I found out because I had a friend in college who was really into it.) Icky to many including me - yes. But illegal? No. Proof of being a pedophile? No. I think Krauss really believes his friend to be innocent, and in that case there is something impressive about his loyalty, despite the consequences.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2011 :  09:26:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by marfknox

PZ's simplification of the issue is disappointing. But I'm not surprised. It seems plausible from the limited amount that I've read so far that Epstein didn't know the girls were underage. Lots of guys have a thing for barely legal age girls. That's why there is a porn mag called "Barely Legal" (which I found out because I had a friend in college who was really into it.) Icky to many including me - yes. But illegal? No. Proof of being a pedophile? No. I think Krauss really believes his friend to be innocent, and in that case there is something impressive about his loyalty, despite the consequences.
PZ isn't the only one. Rebecca Watson and others, including some of us didn't exactly do the research that should have been done before judgment was passed. As skeptics, that's not good. I dunno... I agree that Krauss made mistake by presenting his defense from a scientific point of view with he as the scientist, when he should have probably offered that there are reasons to be skeptical, and here they are. It's not such a subtle difference, and an important one.

The essay I linked to is well sourced. I think a good case was made for why we should step back from previous conclusions and consider how we arrived there. Even if it turns out that our original conclusions were correct, was the rush to judgment based on the information we had warranted? It ain't always easy to be a skeptic.

I'll be interested to see what the response to this essay is in the community at large, and especially from Myers, Watson and some others.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26004 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2011 :  09:49:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

From a new blog called Skepticism and Ethics that Jeff Wagg has been promiting, the first essay published has to do with Lawrence Krauss's defense of his friend, Jeffrey Epstein.
The thing that I (and I thought Rebecca Watson) was most concerned with was Krauss' attempt to give his "I saw nothing" some gravitas by puffing himself up as a scientist, but that essay doesn't mention that issue at all.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2011 :  10:11:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by Kil

From a new blog called Skepticism and Ethics that Jeff Wagg has been promiting, the first essay published has to do with Lawrence Krauss's defense of his friend, Jeffrey Epstein.
The thing that I (and I thought Rebecca Watson) was most concerned with was Krauss' attempt to give his "I saw nothing" some gravitas by puffing himself up as a scientist, but that essay doesn't mention that issue at all.

I think that is a non-issue. It is absurd to say he was "using science" to make his claims there. The worst you can say, and remain in the realm of reason, is that he was using his credibility/authority as a respected scientist to assert a claim. A claim that no one (correctly so) accepted from him.

There are a whole lot of things you have to do in order to "use science" when making a claim, and he did none of those things. He was talking out of his ass, sure, but in no way was he "using science".

As I said before, it was an emotional reaction ion defense of a friend.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2011 :  10:11:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by Kil

From a new blog called Skepticism and Ethics that Jeff Wagg has been promiting, the first essay published has to do with Lawrence Krauss's defense of his friend, Jeffrey Epstein.
The thing that I (and I thought Rebecca Watson) was most concerned with was Krauss' attempt to give his "I saw nothing" some gravitas by puffing himself up as a scientist, but that essay doesn't mention that issue at all.
I would say that Watson was going after both issues:

A few points:

Epstein didn’t pay for massages with sex, he was charged with and admitted to paying for massages and sex with underaged girls, with money.

Everyone here is not a victim. Epstein admitted to paying for sex with underaged girls and he served a ridiculously short sentence for it. That is not the definition of “victim.”

Many of these girls described being “recruited” by friends and by Epstein’s own aides and the modeling agency he funded. They were brought to his house where they were given money after sex. To say that they were already having sex for money goes in the face of the evidence we have.


As it turns out, things may not have been so black and white, is the point that the essay is taking issue with.

And sure, I'm not letting Krause off the hook by invoking his I'm a scientist defense of his friend as you can see by the above post. But a look at the comments made where people blogged about this definitely shows a rush to judgment about defending a "criminal sex offender." I have looked over the "she thought" blog I linked to and "indie skeptics" and the I'm a scientist aspect was only mentioned in passing really.

So while some may have stuck to the "I'm a scientist" problem, for many, it seems that there was a rush to judgment about defending "a known pedophile." And worse.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26004 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2011 :  13:00:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude

The worst you can say, and remain in the realm of reason, is that he was using his credibility/authority as a respected scientist to assert a claim.
That's what I did say.
There are a whole lot of things you have to do in order to "use science" when making a claim, and he did none of those things. He was talking out of his ass, sure, but in no way was he "using science".
I don't know why you've got such a hang-up on him allegedly "using science."

What he did was try to imply that his "I saw nothing" was somehow more reliable because he is a scientist, which is an argument from misplaced authority since Krauss isn't a "spotting underage girls" scientist.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26004 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2011 :  13:06:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

I would say that Watson was going after both issues:
Reading her essay again, yeah.
So while some may have stuck to the "I'm a scientist" problem...
At the least, that's the reason Watson put "Embarrasses Scientists Everywhere" in her title.
...for many, it seems that there was a rush to judgment about defending "a known pedophile." And worse.
I still haven't seen any of the "orgy" claims.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2011 :  14:07:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dave_W said:
What he did was try to imply that his "I saw nothing" was somehow more reliable because he is a scientist, which is an argument from misplaced authority since Krauss isn't a "spotting underage girls" scientist.

The entire flap is because Watson(skepchick) and a few others decided to jump off the sanity train and set a field of strawmen on fire. That should be the real issue here, not Krauss talking out of his ass.

And, again, I don't see any difference in this context between my paraphrase "using science" and Watson's "invoking the name of science!" (as if science is some deity to be invoked...)

He wasn't doing either of those if you insist on saying they are different, he was (as you agree) misusing his credibility as a scientist. That is completely different than "invoking the name of science!".

Skepchick and her commenters are starting to look like they are the actual problem here, not Krauss.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2011 :  15:27:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dave:
I still haven't seen any of the "orgy" claims.

So are we going to pick nits now? Or was that a joke?

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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