Friday, August 27, 2021

model purity

"Dawkins says that models > experience. In other words, he prefers an abstraction to experiment; in other words, he is a priest and not a scientist. Reality is messy, models are clean and perfect—just like a religious dogma."

A model that doesn't include the mess is a lie; it is far more impure than a model that highlights its dangling theads, invalid domains, and ambiguities.

Is Dawkins a priest? He's certainly not a scientist. To be precise, he is a liar-priest. A Sophist. At best, a science-themed Sophist, who occasionally, by accident, offers some real science. 

A model without the mess is more properly called a novel. If it's a really nice model maybe we can call it fine art. Michaelangelo's David portrays someone who never existed; that doesn't mean sculpture is bad. However, only a Sophist would try to pass it off as science.

(I do think David shows big M was phenotypically a sodomite. His paintings had limp wrists too. Still, the φαγγωτ was technically excellent in a way moderns can't even dream of aspiring to.)

No comments: