I have always been fascinated with the concept that two psychologists could examine the same patient and have diametrically opposed views on the same patient, especially in court. One will appear for the prosecution and one for the defense. What fascinates me about it, is that working as a Mechanic/Technician/Engineer, when you are called in to solve a problem, there may be many schools of thought at the beginning of the process of Problem Solving, everyone is in agreement by the time the machine or tool is up and running.
Of course, machines even as complex as “Rocket Science” machines, are nowhere near as complex as Human Beings. But still, I have seen time and time again how Physicians and Psychologists can have bitter disagreements, whereas Engineers, Mathematicians and Statisticians will come to a consensus given the opportunity to work it out between then. This is especially true when they are given the opportunity to solve a problem which relies on quantifiable and repeatable experiments. However, if left to work as separate groups, they will both likely fail.
A trend we have seen in the last decade, is where even Scientists disagree. Look at the Global Warming, sorry, Climate Change debate, and people will tell you on either side that there is no debate, both sides will claim “Settled Science”. If you disagree you are a “Skeptic”, a “Denier” or a downright Conspiracy Theorist. Lately we have seen people of strong Faith on the Climate Change issue for “Deniers” to be jailed. Personally I wouldn’t want to live in a world where you could be jailed for beliefs. I would defend the right of anyone to believe anything they want with one caveat, that they are not harming anyone.
One lesson that could be gleaned from this is don’t hire a Climate Change Scientist to repair your Washing Machine, Ion Implanter, Vehicle or Hadron Collider. You could end up in jail if you disagree with their opinion, and they’ll probably not be able to repair it. What we are witnessing is the demise of Science. Galileo was a renowned Conspiracy Theorist. He insisted that the Earth could not be flat. When he spoke out he was branded a heretic by the Church, who at the time were the ultimate authority on everything including Science. If the Church had not existed, Galileo would still be branded a “Denier” by other scientists at the time. This is not a pattern repeating itself, up to this point in history, everyone believed the Earth to be flat and nobody had any reason, except Galileo, to believe otherwise. We know now that we cant go back to the day when Scientific Theory was dictated by Religion. And yet this is where Science is headed, if you go against the dogma you are a “Heretic”. So why are people in complete disagreement even though they have examined the same evidence?
We can go a little further into the issue by looking at the fact that one group “believe” that God created the Earth and that we all descended from Adam and Eve 6,000 years ago. Even when you point out scientific fact to some people, for example, the issue that every human on Earth came from Eve, who had 3 sons, and yet there are Asians, Caucasians and Africans? There many other issues with this belief, you will find their faith in their belief is unshakable. Again, I have to say I have no issue with people believing anything they want, as long as nobody is harmed. Religion is a good thing for society in general, but if your Deity tells you to kill others, then you need to find a new Deity.
In Science, everything is a theory. The theory relies on constant questions and debate, even attack. In the Peer Review process the scientist puts the theory out there for all to see. In science, there are no stupid questions, anyone is allowed to ask a question without being labelled a Conspiracy Theorist. Sure, there will be idiotic questions and actual conspiracy theorists making connections that don’t exist. But, when they post their theory and allow peer review, their theory is either bolstered or dismissed. Usually the people who will resort to ad hominen attacks are the conspiracy theorists.
What I have come to realise is that many people act on their feelings rather than thinking out the problem or even thinking before speaking. Over a decade ago a Psychologist pointed out that if we raise children to believe they are equal or superior to others, if we don’t teach children that there are consequences to their actions, if we fight their battles for them and tell them they are special, that we are likely to see a “Spoiled Generation”. His prophetic message has come to pass.
Dr Aric Sigman, although he will probably never be credited for it, predicted the current generation we see, particularly in universities, who become offended at the least little thing, even if they are not the victim. The rise of “Safe Spaces”, Political Correctness, support for failed ideologies such as Marxism, Stalinists, Socialism, and people who generally don’t fit well in society, should be more than apparent. We have mothers calling employers about their children, just as they bullied the child’s school teacher. We have a generation who feel “entitled” to everything without having to compete. We have many, but not all young people, who were constantly told they were special, but are extremely disillusioned that others are surpassing them in every aspect of life. Some are very angry with their parents, who didn’t prepare them for real life.
We are now seeing these people in positions of power and making decisions for you and me. It’s a scary thought, but a young social worker may arrive on your doorstep and have the power to make life-altering decisions for you and your family. With Political Correctness and equal rights and other changes we have made over the years, this young woman (in 85% of cases), came from a university and was taught Socialism or Marxism from professors who have little connection with the “Real World” most of us live in. If they had to survive outside their ivory towers, most would struggle, they have no proven ability in many cases, except as an “Academics”. She had a diploma and the necessary qualifications, so it doesn’t matter she has no children of her own, or no real life-experience, she was given the job because she had the necessary qualifications. And she’s going to make decisions for and about your children.
To compound the problem with this Social Worker, she is trained in a discipline which is not scientific and has no proven history of excellence. I am a big fan of Science and applying scientific principles to every endeavor in life. For me there must be measurable and demonstrable benefit in everything. To apply this standard of quality in courts, we would never see two Psychologists having diametrically opposed opinions on the same patient. The solution to this in courts is simple, only allow Forensic Psychologists to testify. A Clinical Psychologist at best can only offer an opinion, where a Forensic Psychologists give the patient a barrage of tests in which they are compared to the general population. Of course there will be the “Whores of Court” that sell their soul to the highest bidder, usually the government, and will repeat any lie you want for enough money. Psychologist Margaret Hagen wrote a book entitled “Whores of Court” which until recently, was free to download from her website. Another study by Dr Jane Ireland also looked at the use of experts in Family Court in the UK and found that 70% were not qualified.
I have to wonder sometimes how far we have advanced as a civilization when so many field of endeavor are actually going backwards. We have of course advanced, people are living longer these days and many diseases are curable or treatable because of advances we have made, mostly by scientific means. While there have been a few positive strides in Psychology, and a few retrograde, Psychologists cannot claim to have “cured” a single patient, ever. This is not to say that Psychology has no value, a skilled therapist can save lives just as sure as an Emergency Physician or Surgeon. Psychology and Psychiatry have gone retrograde with many Psychologist and Psychiatrists criticizing their own profession and the turns it has taken recently. For example; every Human Emotion is now listed as a “Disorder”. Many have rejected the DSM latest edition.
The problem I see with Psychology and Psychiatry, is that they have never embraced Science. Both being part of Medicine, which in itself is not scientific, have relied too heavily on theorists rather than science. For most Psychologists, you are either Freudian or Jungian and subscribe to one school of thought over the other. Science exists independent of the scientist. Science doesn’t care what you or Sigmund Freud or Carl Jung thinks, it just exists. Every scientific theory must remain a theory and be challenged on a regular basis if we are to advance as humans. The experiment that water boils at 100*C at Atmospheric Pressure may one day be dis-proven, this is as it should be. Perhaps one day a scientist will change our understanding of the process and this will lead to new advancements.
These days “Consensus” means something different from what it once meant. If you don’t “believe” in Global Warming, you are not part of the consensus and must be ridiculed and your reputation burned at the proverbial stake, this is not how Science works. No “Denial” is acceptable, no questions are possible with this new Religion of Science.
They say that you should never bring up a problem without suggesting a solution. I honestly don’t have any solutions. I have struggled for years to understand this, and while I have filled in a few blanks, I am still a long way off. Perhaps if schools taught children from a young age how the scientific process works, people would be a bit more “Scientific” in their thinking? One thing I learned is that many people go through life without thinking, hardly at all. The ones who excel in school and college are those who can assimilate information and repeat it, often without really understanding what they are talking about. People who drive cars on “Autopilot” are more likely to have a collision because they are not “Driving Defensively”, and not thinking.
I took a third-level Psychology course in Teaching & Learning, at the time I worked as an instructor. The tutor told me to read chapters 1, 3, 5, 7 and skip 2, 4, 6, 8. I was so captivated by the subject of Psychology that I read everything, and have continued for years. One fascinating thing I learned was a topic called “Over-Learning”. This is where you have done something so many times that you don’t need to think about it, eating, drinking or driving are some examples. The part of your brain that processes these tasks operates very much like a computer. When I studied this, I learned to play guitar in a week. I had struggled for years with guitars and instructors and couldn’t play a note, when I learned “How” to learn a repetitive skill I could I learn so much faster. I have since taught hundreds of people to play, absolute beginners, and all could play a complete song from start to finish in less than an hour.
If a guitarist or any musician wanted to play a complex piece and had to make their fingers respond to what their brain is thinking, their fingers couldn’t respond rapidly enough. You must over-learn each piece and there are a few tricks to know, most importantly, when you make a mistake, stop and go back to the beginning, otherwise you have programmed the wrong thing into you brain’s “Computer”. Ever notice how you make the same mistake over and over in the same place every time? It is also necessary to program your left hand separately from your right hand, and then put the two together. Musicians will tell you that practice makes perfect, but now you understand the psychological process.
The reason I mention this is because too many people operate on “Autopilot” and we all suffer from it in some ways. People not thinking and reasoning out problems will resort to “Cut & Paste” solutions. It worked in the past so they do it by default. Bad drivers have taken a drink before driving and never had a problem until they had a collusion. Police arrest a suspect because he has tattoo’s or uses cannabis, there is a certain mindset or certain modus operandi because they do this every day and have over-learned the process. The problem is that many times they get it wrong. I was reading about a murder and 18 people were arrested and questioned. Obviously only 1 person committed the murder, but they arrested 17 innocent people to get their suspect. It also took 17 times longer to arrest that suspect and the process costs 17 times more than it should. If the process or the experiment is flawed to begin with, so will be the results.
Albert Einstein gave us a wonderful gift, he said; “to repeat the same experiment over and over again and expect different results every time, is Insanity”. Not following a scientific approach to everything we do is insanity. Turning Science into a Religion based on Faith and Belief is Insanity. Governments relying on unscientific Sociology to try to control society is Insanity. Courts using Clinical Psychologists instead of Forensic Psychologists is Insanity. Courts allowing untrained Doctors to express opinions on Forensic matters is Insanity. Social Workers claiming they can predict future risk of children, and then place these children at far higher risk is Insanity. The signs & symptoms of this insanity are easy to spot if you know what you are looking for. When people are so fixed in their beliefs or dogma that they wont be swayed by evidence, you are dealing with a form of Insanity. The term Cognitive Dissonance explains what is happening, but it doesn’t explain why or how to “cure” a person suffering from it.
Maybe it’s time we listened to Einstein?