On Sat, Mar 23, 2013 at 4:30 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 3/22/2013 5:54 PM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
>
> My God people don't you have even a rudimentary bullshit detector? Fantastic
> claims, cries of persecution, irreproducible results, this crap just reeks
> of junk science!
>
> I don't think Sheldrake is correct, but he writes papers and collects
> experimental results. Maybe he's lying, and maybe other scientists are
> lying. That happens, unfortunately -- in part because the wrong
> incentives where created, but that's another topic. We all assign
> degrees of belief to different things. For example, I assign I high
> degree of belief to the idea that most scientists are not deliberately
> lying to me. If I didn't I would have to reject science, because I
> don't have the time or resources to replicate even a fraction of the
> results. We all accept science mostly by betting on a set of beliefs.
> I assign a low degree of belief to morphic fields, but am willing to
> listen to theories. If I weren't, I would lose the opportunity to play
> with ideas.
>
> You will be persecuted if you decide to do experimental research with
> psychedelics. Apparently you will be censored if you even propose the
> idea. Nobody will be able to reproduce your results without breaking
> the law. The only scientific claim that Hancock makes is that
> ayahuasca can be used to treat drug addiction. We are legally
> forbidden from testing this claim.
>
>
> Actually ayahuasca is exempted from the ban on DMT on the grounds of
> religious freedom.

I don' think it's that simple. From my limited understanding of laws,
my impression is that the plants themselves are exempted from the
international conventions, but creating a preparation with active DMT
from them is illegal.

UniĆ£o do Vegetal won a court case in the USA that allows them to use
it for religious purposes. I'm not American and not used to case law,
so I don't really understand what that means.

> Also, it's one thing to be prohibited from using a drug as treatment.  But
> it's something else to study it scientifically.

Agreed. I guess the distinction is important if you are in favor of
such restrictions to begin with.

> Marijuana is a schedule 1
> drug, but it can still be studied in scientific experiments.

Under special permissions. To obtain these permission you have to
submit a research program to some political body. Ultimately,
political decisions control what research gets done, and strongly hint
at what results are expected.

> Can you claim with a straight face
> that there is freedom of scientific inquiry?
>
>
> Can you claim with a straight face that *any* restriction on scientific
> inquiry means there is no freedom?

Any restriction means less freedom. Pretending this is not the case is
a form of doublespeak.
The cost of freedom in some cases is so high that most people agree
with the restriction. I prefer to live in a world where it's illegal
to kill people, and prefer to not have that freedom. But language is a
powerful thing, and once we start pretending that restrictions and
freedom are compatible, we start getting more and more restrictions --
as we see nowadays. Importantly, these restrictions spread to
activities that are personal or involve only consenting adults and
affect no one else.

So yes, any restriction on scientific inquiry compromises scientific
freedom -- in some cases it's justifiable, but we should be extremely
careful in considering those cases.

> Should we allow experiments to see if
> Ebola virus can be made airborne?

Would you be very surprised to learn that the military is funding this
research? They would not ask for our permission, by the way. The
permission thing only works one way.

> Develop more addictive tobacco plants?

I'm sure that's being done this very moment, and I suspect it's perfectly legal.

Cheers,
Telmo.

> Brent
>
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