"They were tired of looking up to physics and mathematics," said Dr Wallace Sampson of this recent, widespread academic movement.  So they, the anti-science "post modernists," declared science to be merely "a 'social construct' with no universal principles."

Isn't that a great way to avoid some hard work!

But, of course, they avoid the power of today's science.  That power enables a skillful user of the knoweldge to anticipate outcomes with vastly  improved probability.  And it might help us sidestep some solipsistic silliness of self-deception and pseudoscience. 

Dr Sampson fights health fraud.  He fights it with science, and he clearly prefers to avoid  "pseudoscience."  He sees a rather distinct line between science and pseudoscience.  And he seems to be doubtful of post-modernistic perception of that line.

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Dr Sampson spoke about Errors and Misinterpretations in "Alternative" Medicine Research at a public meeting sponsored by  Oregonians for Rationality, August 24, 1998, in Portland, Oregon.  Dr Sampson is Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine (retired) and editor of The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine.
 
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"Postmodern philosophers of science, and relativists, those who believe there is no such thing as objective truth, rarely get anywhere because they rarely ask the right questions, rarely even knowing what the right questions happen to be.  This is because postmodern philosophers of science are, for the most part, postmodern philosophers first. and scientists not at all.  They are interested in language, which is fine as far as it goes, but in the physical sciences language has only a limited function and so mathematics is employed instead as the main means of attempting explanation and description--not always, let it be said, very successfully.  ...they are continually condemning scientific explanations as inadequate, when what is inadequate is their understanding of these explanations and what "scientific explanation" means."
Ralph Estling, in
"The Wrong Question"
Skeptical Inquirer, Mar/Ap 2006, p. 59
  
 
 
Who understands science?

To those who understand, and daily use, science, many rejections of science by post-modernists are seen as absurd.  Some science principles, if understood, cannot be rejected.  To reject is simply to not understand.  Some aspects of science are seen, not learned; just as one sees that green is different from orange.  To insist that they are the same is to tacitly admit colorblindness.

Misunderstanding of science is even more widespread than generally recognized.  Consider that Richard Feynman found all of the authors of seventeen shelf-feet of K-12 science textbooks submitted to the California State Curriculum Commission "were teaching something they didn't understand  ... didn't know what the hell [they were] talking about, so it was a little bit wrong, always!"  The entire group of texts submitted were "UNIVERSALLY LOUSY!"  "Perpetual absurdity."  ("Judging Books by their Covers," in Surely, You're Joking, Mr. Feynman, Bantam Books, pp 262 - 276.)

This is simple science, not college-level high powered stuff.  The authors were highly educated, many holding academic positions.  Many may well have been post-modernist academics.  But we can see from Feynman's accounts of their errors, they could not have been working scientists; they could not have been using those principles.

Percy C. Wason's famous (among cognitive psychologists) card selection puzzle can shine some light into the corners of the human mind struggling to understand something just a bit out of easy reach.  It shows a little of why science is so difficult, even when extremely simple.  And it speaks simply, but subtly, to the hypothesis that reality is only a mental construct with no existence "out there."

Seeing the cards . . .