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Re: What is Deconstruction

 It would seem to me that it's foolish to deny the importance of culture 
 in the way that science proceeds. Culture determines not only what 
 questions are asked but also what one considers 'reliable' data. For 
 instance, 18th century French astronomers were told of stories of rocks 
 falling from the sky, but they denied this occuring with the vigor and 
 certainty shown in this group of those who deny the existence of say, 
 UFOs or ghosts. This was because the information came to them largely 
 from peasants and other non-aristocratic types.  It wasn't until after 
 the revolution (with the unwashed masses in charge) that meteorites 
 suddenly became plausible. 
 So yes, while the boiling point of water is the same for someone in Nepal 
 and Germany, whether you think it's important to boil water and measure 
 its boiling point and whether you believe the data you get is influenced 
 heavily by culture. And yes, while sometimes the universe answers with 
 more than a yes or no, it's often very difficult to interpret its answer. 
 Try your hand with interpreting a difficult infrared or proton NMR 
 spectrum sometimes to see if this isn't true! 
 As a infrequent visitor to this group, I am amused by those who deny with 
 such certainty the existence of unusual phenomenon. "It's not 
 reproducible" seems to be their cry. As someone who performs liquid 
 chromatography, let me tell you that you can develop problems which are 
 non-reproducible but are certainly real! That's why chromatographers have 
 the (in)famous "Rule of Two": If a chromatographic problem doesn't happen 
 twice, ignore it! : ) 
 In other words, though the problem itself was certainly real, but tracing 
 it down may take a lifetime and thus not be worth the effort! To me this 
 is indicative of the problem science has with apparently random or non-
 reproducible phenomenon (under which most so-called paranormal phenomenon 
 Personally, I doubt most paranormal phenomenon. I've never bent a fork 
 with my mind nor seen a ghost or UFO. It's just that I'm not ready to 
 dismiss everything not explained by our current knowledge as being frauds 
 or misconstructions by the ignorant. I consider myself a skeptic. But, it 
 would seem to me that true skepticism is equally skeptical and open to 
 question our current knowledge as it is of claims of new phenomenon. 
 Especially be doubtful of positions based on authority. In other words, 
 not only question the Gellers of the world, but also the Hawkings! (not 
 to mention all those government spokespeople!).