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bird, junk and formal education
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
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Location: vancouver island

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:20 pm    Post subject: bird, junk and formal education Reply with quote

the formal education topic keeps on coming up on the other thread so i thought i would quickly share my perspective on this.

i play/teach music for a living and don't have much in the way of formal education, or any degree in music. many of the best musicians i know, generally older are in a similar position, while some incredible musicians i know who are young don't have a ''formal education or degree'' in music either.

when miles davis was young and accepted as a student to julliard school of music in new york which at the time (and probably still is), regarded as a great place of formal learning, he opted to hang out on 52nd st. with bird while partaking of a jazz musicians life style in emulating all that bird did which included getting involved in hard drugs. he dropped out of julliard and got his education in the real world outside of academia.

i'm not saying that this approach is for everyone or that you can't benefit from formal education.. there are many amazing musicians who have went thru a more formal type of training or education in the universities and that is all fine and good too.

i know that ncgr and american federation of astrologers offer courses which provide an astrologer some form of certification which some people feel gives a 'worldly' stamp of approval to the practice of astrology.. if it mattered to musicians, you would see the certificate on the wall when you went to the next musical performance, but i doubt you will see it!

a person is going either be curious and passionate about what they do, or they won't get it regardless of the path they choose (formal or informal) to pursue in any field, astrology or music being the 2 examples i am playing with here.

i have read that much of the focus of the ncgr is on modern as opposed to traditional techniques.. not sure where the a.f. of a. is at with this, but a certificate from 20 years ago from either of these astrological institutions would not bring you up to speed on the use of neo- traditional astrology for the simple reason much of the literature has only come on-stream since the early 90's.. diplomas may mean something for some folks, but they don't for some others.

thoughts? my astro prediction is that waybread is going to chime in here! Lala Happy Lala Happy Lala Happy

http://www.astrojohn.com/whycertify.html

in the process of reading this article now..
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Paul
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Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi James

My only point, from the other thread, to make on this is that I reject the notion that one need to be qualified in science to know what science is, just as one does not need a degree in computer science to know what either computers are or what science is. You do not need to have a degree in the arts to know what art is, and whilst the arts are a broad subject, so too are the sciences, ranging from hard sciences to natural sciences to social science etc.

Waybread's comment in that thread seemed to imply, and her subsequent clarifications seem to continue this track, that it is better that one were well educated in science before offering their view on whether astrology is or is not a science, or, more broadly, on what science is or isn't.

I disagree with that.

I think anyone with reasonable intelligence and good command of the english language can know what science means - which as I've highlighted does not necessarily mean a hard science - and can suggest that something is akin to a science or not, just as they do not need qualifications in art to determine whether something is an art or not.

Next year I hope to complete my MSc, but it would be embarrassingly inaccurate for someone to consider me a 'scientist' and Waybread's question of who holds a MSc or even a BSc similarly didn't make any further distinctions.

On the other hand poor old Telsa had no science degrees and so presumably by the same token is not a scientist or is less of one that I would be?

I think the idea is flawed.

Personally, I am all for formal education or some kind of apprentice scheme depending on what the nature of the thing you want to study is. I just don't think we should limit opinion or dismiss, implicitly or otherwise, those who do not have that formal education, when the subject is something which does not require an 'expert' opinion in that field. I do not think it requires an expert opinion in science to ask the question is astrology a science.

There isn't any reason to continually make the point of course, but to save replying on the other thread, I thought I'd reply here instead.


http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7742
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
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Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks paul,

i happen to share your position and find waybreads position much more challenging to appreciate. as i understand it, waybread has been insistent on the need for formal education.. as one can see on the other thread, not everyone agrees with that viewpoint.


einstein quote.. he had sun in pisces and moon in sag, lol

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, james-- What do you mean by "bird, junk, ..."

Let's not compare apples and oranges.

Some fields require credentials. You can't call yourself a MD if you haven't passed your board exams. No wiggle room here.

Other fields are based more on talent and practice. Music is one of them. Not that a degree from Julliard is likely to hurt a classical musician.

James, a field like science is closer to my MD example than to your music example. I am just curious as to what is your background in science, whether formal (high school biology) or informal (a subscriber to Science magazine, or......)

Then all of us have feelings and beliefs, more or less informed, about a whole range of fields and jobs.

Suppose someone plays the piano with two fingers, has a repertory limited to "Chopsticks," has no music education at all, and calls himself a professional musician (currently unemployed) and an expert in music theory. Then he posts opinions on an Internet forum that fly in the face of what you know about music. Or he starts spouting negative opinions of musicians as a bunch of druggies and low-lifes.

What is your reaction?

Paul, since you didn't address my points on the other thread (so far, at least) I assume that they stand. There is low-level (and often incorrect) half-truth "knowledge" about science such as evangelical Christians attacking the teaching of natural selection in public schools in the US. There is advanced insider knowledge, as might pertain to a director of a research lab. Plus all kinds of gradations in between.

I need to qualify, and note that occasionally there are disciplines in particular universities offering a B. S. or M. S. degree that are not terribly scientific; but they can get categorized in this degree if a B. A. or M. A. at their institution has something like a language requirement or other criteria for an Arts degree that their department doesn't require-- by default. Possibly your degree program and granting university is sliced up this way.

Do you mind saying what your field is?

If you're happy with a few lower-order definitions of science that's fine. But it will limit your understanding.

People sometimes do not know what they do not know.

I don't have to defend my understanding of science, as well as my understanding of the gaps in my knowledge. I have a M. S. degree from back-when, which was enough to convince me that my interests lay elsewhere. Fortunately I was able to convert much of what I learned in it into a non-scientific area of study. I rubbed shoulders with Ph. D. scientists and technicians throughout my education and career, however, knew a lot about their research, and was married to a scientist for 20 years. My brother is a scientist. I'll compare my knowledge of science with yours, any day.

Scientists define the field: not astrologers whose last science course was Chemistry 101 20 years ago. Or possibly high school biology, 30 years ago. Possibly they hated it and barely passed it.

But don't try to tell me these people have an informed opinion about science, unless they did an awful lot of credible catch-up study since then. Maybe a science book or magazine is their regular bedtime reading, or they have a strongly scientific hobby, like birth-watching. Maybe you have done this, Paul and James. If so, I'd love to hear about what it is.

Tesla worked in another era. So did Newton, So did Einstein. Science was different then, and anyone who doesn't know the difference doesn't know science today. So oftentimes your comments just convince me that you haven't caught up on science today.

I just cringe when I see science-bashing or scientist-bashing by people who so clearly demonstrate their ignorance of science today.

Rarely we find a genius who can escape the academic route to scientific research today. Rarely. Most scientists cannot and do not. Paart of this is because scientific knowledge increasingly demands expensive lab equipment, teams of researchers, and external funding.

But you knew all this, right?
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james_m



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Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi waybread,

bird - charlie parker.
junk - heroin

re - comparing apples and oranges... astrology is somewhere in between music and science as i see it. i don't think arguing for formal education across the board in all categories is the only way to go. i do think this captures some of the general thrust of your comments - "must have a degree" in order to comment, let alone practice.. i don't agree.
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waybread



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Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James, I never said someone must have a degree in order to comment on this forum.

It would be nice if people who comment so freely on science and scientists had sufficient background in science to substantiate their comments, however.

What is your science background?
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james_m



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Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread,

i never said you said you said people have to have a degree to comment on this forum!

it would be nice if people who comment so freely on astrology and astrologers had sufficient background in astrology to substantiate their comments...

we are right back where we started!!!!

if you took exception to my use of the word science in the beginning of the other thread with my comment that astrology is a bit of both ( art and science) or are suggesting i need a degree in science to validate my initial comment, i don't agree with you..

as to your last question - i thought you weren't into turning comments into personal inquires? that is the answer you gave me when i asked something similar.

waybread wrote:
James, I never said someone must have a degree in order to comment on this forum.

It would be nice if people who comment so freely on science and scientists had sufficient background in science to substantiate their comments, however.

What is your science background?
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Morpheus



Joined: 21 Mar 2007
Posts: 764
Location: Rawalpindi/Islamabad (Pakistan)

Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James_m,

Formal education as well as scientific education is no substitute for interest and prowess in astrology.

When I joined 'Skyscript Astrological Community', I was not interested in educational background of the members. I was more interested in demonstration of their 'applied' 'astrological knowledge'. If we dig deep into it, the pseudo-scientists turned pseudo-astrologers, demanding such details are the only one who have read three books in past 30 years. They barely understood it and have no capacity/competency to demonstrate the application of such knowledge. Cognizant of their inadequacy and fearful of exposure, they resort to such antics. They demand respect in an astrological community on the strength of irrelevant qualification. Alas.... (please note that your contribution of on an average 2 charts-with in depth analysis- per week in Mundane Astrology amount to nothing)

Apart from any formal education I might have-it has no bearing with astrology- I was apprenticed/trained by an astrologer when I was 16 years of age. So, I am in a position to state that real astrology has nothing to do with mathematics, statistics, physics, chemistry, medicine or any science.

The things which I have learned in this and the previous threads are:

-The best degree is a degree in science
-The best degree in science is the one which I have
-14 years of scientific education amounts to nothing, let it be atleast M.Sc.
-Oh, you are going to complete M.Sc in 'C' Science. Sorry, you dont wear a lab coat.

In the end all poor astrologers are banished by the Priests of High and Esoteric Scientific Knowledge.

Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!... (Lady Macbeth)

Chess players, have 'elo' rating to show their playing strength. 700 for a beginner and 2870 for the world number 01, mine strength of 1850 falls in the category of club players. Unfortunately, in the absence of any worthwhile astrological contribution, we dont have such elo rating to judge the pseudo-astrologers.

Frankly, you might have patience, but I can not argue with someone, demonstrating chameleon logic and whose only distinction is barely passing and obtaining an obscure, good for nothing scientific degree in 666 B.C from the city of Alexandria.

Very Happy


[Post edited to remove inappropriate comparison - Paul]
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James, I don't know where the confusion keeps coming in as you keep misinterpreting my views on academic degrees. I never said you needed a degree in science to validate your OP. I will just have to live with it.

Morpheus, if I can figure out how to report your post to a moderator, I will do so.
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Paul
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Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've edited or removed some posts that were inflammatory and insulting in nature, or referenced those posts which were so.

Let's please keep to the topic and be sensitive of our comparisons in future posts.

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Paul
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Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:

Some fields require credentials. You can't call yourself a MD if you haven't passed your board exams. No wiggle room here.


I agree, the only question that remains is whether you need credentials to say "this is X", where X is either a science or an art. What is good for one is good for the other, we can presume, unless there's some very good reason to the contrary, that if an expert opinion is required in one instance it might similarly be required in another.

Quote:
Or he starts spouting negative opinions of musicians as a bunch of druggies and low-lifes.


Right, and I think, if I am honest (correct me if I am wrong) that actually a large proportion of your argument here has this firmly in mind, namely, if you're going to criticise a subject at least have some education or experience with working in that subject to a level such that you can make an informed critique rather than an ignorant criticism.

So when it comes to criticising science, I think I agree with you Waybread, and I genuinely believe that this idea of criticism is driving your post with regards questioning whether people have an MSc etc.

The problem with this, in that particular thread was that the title was not about criticisng science. I think, probably understandably, that perhaps in previous conversations regarding science and astrology you may have run into the "science is holding us advanced astrologers back" people or the "we hate science" people, of which there are sadly quite a few in our astrological society online and that this is the engine which drove that particular point.

My own reason for highlighting it is to draw attention to the fact that that particular thread should not assume negative reactions against science.

You might argue that the best person to distinguish between what is a science and what is an art is someone educated in both perhaps, not just one? Or instead someone with some post-grad in English or Linguistics, perhaps someone who did a dissertation in etymology or linguistic denotations rather than a science subject at all.

The very reason I deliberately didn't offer what my MSc was in is precisely because you failed to require one in your own example. It makes me wonder, is the person who has a degree in a social science better placed to know what 'science' is than our english language graduate. Do all courses which are prefixed with MSc or BSc etc. operate in such a way that the question of whether a thing is a science or not is addressed and answered?

I don't think so.

Quote:
Do you mind saying what your field is?


MSc Computer Science - you see my point now I think?

Quote:
If you're happy with a few lower-order definitions of science that's fine. But it will limit your understanding.


Perhaps you could highlight how you know which is a 'lower order' and 'higher order' definition? What is the determinant for what is lower or higher?

Quote:

People sometimes do not know what they do not know.


Correct and it's equally possible that our science buffs do not know that they do not know what an art would be defined as.

Who knows best what astrology is defined as? An artist or an astrologer? If not the artist, then why the scientist?

Quote:
I don't have to defend my understanding of science


I agree, but I don't think anyone asked you to.

Quote:
I'll compare my knowledge of science with yours, any day.


Okay, shall I compare my knowledge of art against yours?

Why are we making these points? Are you assuming that your 'authority' on science is called into question?
What is being called into question here, and only this, is whether or not one needs to have a qualification in science to know what it is - I'm sure it's helpful, but is it necessary? And if it isn't, then why bring it up?

Quote:
But don't try to tell me these people have an informed opinion about science, unless they did an awful lot of credible catch-up study since then.


Okay, I won't. Perhaps I might ask you not to tell me that scientists have an informed opinion of either astrology or art as well?

Quote:
I just cringe when I see science-bashing or scientist-bashing by people who so clearly demonstrate their ignorance of science today.


Exactly Waybread, but I would urge you to remind yourself that the topic under question was just in identifying whether a subject belongs to category A, category B, both or none - to paraphrase it. It was not a "let's all attack science" topic. The problem, I suspect, is that you have dealt so often with those who have turned such topics into science bashing, and wary of this reacted first?
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waybread



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Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul, a lot of what you say is on my page. So thank you. Thumbs up

James's other thread thread "art or science" is the background to this one, both replete with science-bashing by people who either do not understand science or who (for their own mysterious reasons) post as though they do not understand it.

This all began on the other thread when I explained what science is like today, such that astrology is not a science in today's terms. The thread generated all kinds of anti-science discourse, much of it demonstrating that scientists today have a more massive public outreach problem on their hands than they realize.

A point I made on the other thread concerns the question, how much science do you need to know before you can speak accurately about it?

This seems like a simple question but it is not. It is not a "one size fits all" proposition. This is why I outlined different levels of science education (formal and informal) appropriate to levels of knowledge about science.

On one level, a degree-- like a marriage license-- may be a piece of paper signifying nothing to people who don't care about them. On another level, unless some cheating is going on, nobody gets a B. Sc. who hasn't demonstrated coursework proficiency in her discipline. Presumably she could take the courses but skip the application for her diploma, and know just as much. But the B. Sc. itself may be a job or advanced degree ticket, so most students definitely want the degree in hand.

BTW, my Master's field was environmental impact assessment.

I wanted to protect those wild plants, animals, and places: not somehow boost my ego, engage in world domination, or suppress astrology-- which at that time wasn't even on my radar.
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james_m



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Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi waybread,

i'm sorry for any misunderstanding on my part. however i believe some responsibility for the conversation stems from comments that either directly or indirectly implied the only person who can comment on science is someone with a degree in it or something to that effect.. it appears that is how i and some others read your comments. i had no intention of bashing science (and didn't), but i do know the parallel where scientists bash astrology is hard for some astrologers to ignore and i understand that too.. perhaps that's difficult for you to understand, or perhaps it's counterproductive to focus on that as you stated previously, and to which i agree. standing up for science and the need for people to have degrees in order to comment on science while turning that into the conversation was my motive for starting a separate thread here on education - formal or informal. thanks for articulating yours.



waybread wrote:
James, I don't know where the confusion keeps coming in as you keep misinterpreting my views on academic degrees. I never said you needed a degree in science to validate your OP. I will just have to live with it.

Morpheus, if I can figure out how to report your post to a moderator, I will do so.
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spock



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Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul wrote:

On the other hand poor old Telsa had no science degrees and so presumably by the same token is not a scientist or is less of one that I would be?[

Actually, he wasn't. He was a technologist, which is not the same thing. Same with Edison, who was not a scientist, which didn't keep him from offering some naive, inane ideas that he thought should replace the science of his day. That science and technology are the same thing, or that technology is a product of (i.e., issues from) science Is a common misconception, even among some historians, because science and technology are both progressive in ways that most other enterprises are not. The intertwining of science and technology we see today is a recent development. Technology and science have interacted closely only since the late nineteenth century, beginning in Germany in the chemical industry. Much of the relationship before then involved scientists explaining what technologists had already done. When Johannes Kepler, for instance, calculated the ideal shape for kegs it turned out they were already being made that way.
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

james_m wrote:
waybread,

i never said you said you said people have to have a degree to comment on this forum!



What I said was:

Quote:
How many people here have a B. S. (B. Sc.), M. S. (M. Sc.), let alone Ph. D. in a scientific field from an accredited university? If not, what is the depth of their scientific education?


Now maybe we can get back to something productive.
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