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June 13, 2010

Needed: A Scientifically Valid Theory of Human Behavior

Empirical Science can be defined as an approach to natural phenomena based on observation, hypothesis and experimentation, all ideally carried out in a collegial atmosphere of healthy skepticism and rigorous honesty. Also understood is that new observations should be scrutinized for both their accuracy and compatibility with accepted theories. In that context, it is not expected that new observations or hypotheses must be accepted by all workers in a given field; rather collegial disagreement on some issues often persists for long intervals; but without introducing error or impeding overall scientific progress

In terms of its impact on human behavior, the spectacular development of empirical Science (generally conceded to have started with Galileo) has become the single most important factor shaping human (and other) life on the planet. Indeed; violent discontent generated by ambient discrepancies in the rate of scientific “progress” and distribution of the wealth it enables may be the single most immediate threat to human existence. Although we are often reminded of other, more potent existential threats, the ones we create are important because they are at least potentially remediable and some, like accelerated climate change and looming shortages of energy and fresh water, are decidedly urgent.

In that context, it can also be persuasively argued that what our species needs most is an accurate, evidence-based theory of human behavior, one also as compatible as possible with well established scientific theory.

Whether one can be developed in time to avert all extant man-made threats is unlikely; however, it’s also unlikely that any one threat would become an extinction event. Indeed; a “natural” reduction in human numbers might even be a useful first step towards planetary stabiliization.

In future entries, I hope to present persuasive evidence that the erroneous faux-scientific theory of drug prohibition now embraced by the world's governments (for a variety of understandable reasons) has become a major obstacle to an accurate understanding of our behavior as a species.

Until that obstacle is removed, it will probably be impossible to “solve” the serious behavioral problems now being forcibly misrepresented as a matter of (seriously mistaken) policy.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at June 13, 2010 05:51 PM