Real Science vs. Quasiscience, or Postmodern science vs. Modern science
Our world faces all sorts and types of global risks and threats demanding transdisciplinary solutions of transdisciplinary science, engineering, and technology.
The mainstream science and technology are largely mono- or inter-disciplinary failing to solve complex problems, from social inequality to pandemics to climate change.
No single global risks or threat, environmental or social, exists as isolated from the others. Each issue or risk or opportunity is part of the global network of causes, factors, issues, or risks, or opportunities, where there are primary factors, subordinary factors and contributary factors. And each causal variable is marked by its category, parameters, impact, and likelihood. It is like the WEF’s Global Risks Network of Economic, Environmental, Geopolitical, Societal and Technological Risks. The
For example, global environmental issues involve the following changes: Overconsumption; Overpopulation; Biodiversity loss; Deforestation; Desertification; Global warming/climate change; Habitat destruction; Holocene extinction; Ocean acidification; Ozone depletion; Pollution; Waste and waste disposal; Water pollution; Resource depletion; Urban sprawl.
Habitat loss and climate change and biodiversity loss are mutually adversely affecting each other. Deforestation and pollution are direct consequences of overpopulation and both, in turn, affect biodiversity. [Global Risks Report 2021 16th Edition; http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_The_Global_Risks_Report_2021.pdf]
What are Transdisciplinarity, Transdisciplinary Research, or Transdisciplinary Science and Technology?
In all, transdisciplinarity tops several distinct levels of knowledge, research, education, theory, practice, and technology:
Specialization (Narrow AI, Specialists, Scientists, Learned Ignoramus, who divides, specializes, thinks in special categories, Information Silos, Silos Mentality) >
Disciplinarity (analytic science, traditional fragmented disciplines, analytic science specifies several hundred different special disciplines, self-contained and isolated domain of human experience with its own community of experts; ERC >
Interdisciplinarity (Interdisciplinary Studies) = Multi-disciplinarity (the ERC's structure for Science: Physical Sciences and Engineering; Life Sciences; Social Sciences and Humanities, which still needs to reach the topmost knowledge level of transdisciplinarity; https://erc.europa.eu/; https://erc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/document/file/ERC_Panel_struc… )>
Transdisciplinarity (synthetic science and technology and society, the ideas of a unified science and technology and human society, universal knowledge, synthesis and the integration of all knowledge, total convergence of knowledge, technology and people, Trans-AI = Narrow AI, ML, DL + Symbolic AI + Human Intelligence).
Monodisciplinary involves a single academic discipline. It refers to a single discipline or body of specialized knowledge.
Multidisciplinarity draws on knowledge from different disciplines but stays within their boundaries. In multidisciplinarity, two or more disciplines work together on a common problem, but without altering their disciplinary approaches or developing a common conceptual framework.
Interdisciplinary research “integrates” information, data, techniques, tools, concepts, and/or theories from within two or more disciplines.
Interdisciplinarity is about the interactions between specialised fields and cooperation among special disciplines to solve a specific problem. It concerns the transfer of methods and concepts from one discipline to another, allowing research to spill over disciplinary boundaries, still staying within the framework of disciplinary research.
In the context of the unprecedented worldwide pandemic-enhanced crises, the transdisciplinarity appears as an all-sustainable way of solving complex real-world problems pursuing a general search for a “unity of knowledge” or Real-World AI.
Transdisciplinarity is radically distinct from interdisciplinarity, multi-disciplinarity and mono-disciplinarity.
Transdisciplinarity analyzes, synthesizes and harmonizes links between disciplines into a coordinated and coherent whole, a global system where all interdisciplinary boundaries dissolve.
It is about addressing the world’s most pressing issues and seeing the world in a systemic, consistent, and holistic way at three levels:
(1) theoretical, (2) phenomenological, and (3) experimental (which is based on existing data in a diversity of fields, such as experimental science and technology, business, education, art, and literature).
Transdisciplinarity is a way of being radically distinct from interdisciplinarity, as well as multi-disciplinarity and mono-disciplinarity.
Transdisciplinarity integrates the natural, social, and engineering sciences in a unifying context, a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts and transcends their traditional boundaries.
Transdisciplinarity connotes a research strategy that crosses many disciplinary boundaries to create a holistic approach.
Transdisciplinary research integrates information, data, concepts, theories, techniques, tools, technologies, people, organizations, policies, and environments, as all sides of the real-world problems.
Transdisciplinarity takes this integration of disciplines on the highest level. It is a holistic approach, placing these interactions in an integral system. It thus builds a total network of individual disciplines, with a view to understand the world in terms of integrity and unity and discovery.
As noted, “Addressing societal challenges, as embedded in SDGs, using transdisciplinary research” considered a “mainstream modus operandi for research” by the OECD Global Science Forum (GSF). The Recommendations for Governments, research agencies, research institutions and international bodies follow below.
The Mainstream Science and Technology as the Postmodern Science and Technology
Postmodernism is described as “a broad movement that developed in the mid-to-late 20th century across philosophy, the arts, architecture, and criticism, marking a departure from modernism”. Postmodernism is marked by skepticism, irony, or rejection toward the grand narratives and ideologies and unifying schemas associated with modernism. Postmodernism criticizes “universalist ideas of objective reality, morality, truth, human nature, reason, science, language, and social progress”.
Today’s science is a postmodern phenomenon, which knowledge claims and value systems are contingent or socially-conditioned, the products of political, historical, or cultural discourses and hierarchies (Postmodernism, Britannica).
It is typically defined as “a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world”.
The postmodern “science is any system of knowledge that is concerned with the physical world and its phenomena and that entails unbiased observations and systematic experimentation” (Science, Britannica).
Or, science is “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment”.
The purpose of postmodern science is to produce useful models of reality, as many as possible.
In reality, science is the sum of universal knowledge, creating the most comprehensive models of reality. It pursues universal knowledge covering general truths or the operations of fundamental principles and laws.
The demarcation between real science and non-science or pseudoscience as quasi-science or art, literature and religion, is known as the demarcation problem.
Also, it covers the demarcation problem between the empirical sciences and mathematics and logic as well as 'metaphysical' systems. The criteria which would enable us to distinguish between science and non-science are universality, causality and validity or truthfulness, which could be supported by some additional criteria as verifiability and falsifiability.
In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn divided the process of doing science into normal science and extraordinary science (which he sometimes also called "revolutionary science" marked by paradigm shifts).
A paradigm shift is a fundamental change in the basic concepts and experimental practices of a scientific discipline as a normal science, “the regular work of scientists theorizing, observing, and experimenting within a settled paradigm or explanatory framework”.
Today, Science and Technology is poised at a new paradigmatic level of transdisciplinary research and development (TRD), transgressing a multitude of scientific disciplines and special technologies at the united knowledge and technology level, integrating and moving beyond discipline-specific approaches to address real-world problems.
The old distinction between normal and revolutionary science is now the difference between the mainstream science and technology and transdisciplinary science and technology. Such a paradigm shift downgrades the present disciplinary scientific R&D to the level of quasi-science or pseudoscience, which, instead of solving complex real-world problems, creates global risks and threats.
As Aristotle noted, to be scientific, one must deal with causes, one must use logical demonstration, and one must identify the universals which 'inhere' in the particulars of sense.
Today’s normal science is a postmodern science, which is generally fragmented into different branches based on the subject of study, as the inorganic world, the organic world and the social world.
Typically, it is divided into 4 major branches:
· the natural sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, and physics), which study nature in the broadest sense; the social sciences (e.g., economics, psychology, and sociology), which study individuals and societies;
· the formal sciences (e.g., logic, mathematics, and theoretical computer science), which deal with symbols governed by rules,
· applied sciences, as engineering and medicine, which disciplines use existing scientific knowledge for practical purposes.
The reductionism of modern science is supported by its hierarchical model, as pictured below.
European Research Council has its own mish-up of sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering, with Mathematics and Computer Science and Informatics; Life Sciences; Social Sciences and Humanities.
The damages of such mono-disciplinary classification are rather tangible, and it could be seen from the themes and topics of its top subsidy program, as advanced grants, costing annually about Euro 0.5bn.
Meantime, our several TRR&D projects about "I-Europe Platform", "Smart Green Cities" and now Trans-AI Human-Machine Technology Platform had been and WILL be declined by mono-science reviewers and panels to the "benefit" of pseudoscientific projects, since its proponents arrest any paradigm shift to new Trans-Science and Technology.
For the present postmodern science, lack of real causality and reduction should be a central strategy for understanding the world and reality, which is ultimately unknowable and all models are just imperfect approximations to it.
This blurs the principal demarcation between the mainstream science, scientism, quasicience, pseudoscience, fringe science, junk science, or all as antiscience.
Antiscience rejects the mainstream science and the scientific method, for several good reasons:
· replication crises, in the social and life sciences, the results of many scientific studies are difficult or impossible to replicate or reproduce on subsequent investigation;
· cognitive and publication biases;
· failing to generate universal knowledge;
· the scientific model [or paradigm] recognizes only that which is quantifiable or measurable... as real;
· scientific theories are shaped by the dominant political, economic, or cultural models of the time;
· the scientific community is under economic/industrial and military power, the military-industrial complex, large corporations, and the grants that came from them had an immense influence over the research and results of scientific experiments.
· The mass commercial production by universities of redundant specialists, special professions without supplying fitting jobs, as a result, the U.S. has a record-breaking $1.73 trillion in student debt.
The reduction science is untrustworthy, because it is never complete and always being revised, causing the fear of genetically modified foods despite scientific reassurance that such foods are safe or massive anti-vaccinationist movements or global warming controversy or health effects of pesticides.
Such a greed scientific reductionism results in the politicization of science for political gains by government, business, or advocacy groups; cult of ignorance or widespread anti-intellectualism – “Hostility to and mistrust of education, philosophy, art, literature, and science”.
All the public policy and political institutions are set up around the mono-science paradigm: societies and academic communities, universities, science policy, funding of science, science communication, science museums, science festivals, science fairs, citizen science, science in popular culture, and science journalism.
New knowledge in science is advanced by research from scientists conducting scientific research to advance knowledge in an area of interest. Before scientists were priests, philosophers, natural philosophers, mathematicians, natural historians, natural theologians, engineers or scholars.
Motivated by direct financial reward for their work, many scientists have advanced degrees in an area of science and pursue careers in various sectors such as academia, industry, government, and nonprofit environments.
Contemporary scientific research is highly collaborative and is usually done by teams in academic and research institutions, government agencies, and companies.
A set of physical science scientists include:
A set of Life Science scientists include:
Industrial and organizational psychologist
A set of applied scientists include
Operations research and management analysts
What is Real Science?
"No one in the history of civilization has shaped our understanding of science and natural philosophy more than the great Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle (384-322 BC), who exerted a profound and pervasive influence for more than two thousand years" —Gary B. Ferngren
Aristotle’s writings cover most critical subjects including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics, meteorology, geology and government. Aristotle provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him. The West inherited its intellectual knowledge and language, as well as problems and methods of inquiry. As a result, his transdisciplinary study has exerted a unique influence on almost every form of knowledge in the West and the East.
Aristotle has been called “the father of metaphysics, analytics and logic", "the father of biology", "the father of political science", "the father of zoology", "the father of embryology", "the father of natural law", "the father of scientific method", "the father of rhetoric", "the father of psychology", "the father of realism", "the father of criticism", "the father of individualism", "the father of teleology", and "the father of meteorology". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotle
Aristotle pursued “the ideal of a unified system of all the sciences", “constructing reason and science as a single all-embracing system..., what is reflected in the Transdisciplinary Philosophy, Science, Arts, Engineering and Technology.
Transdisciplinary Science and Technology: the matter of life and death during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond
Today, the Trans-Science and Engineering is completely out of the pecking order of the linear reductive hierarchy of sciences.
Meantime, Transdisciplinary Research (TDR) is ranked as a “mainstream modus operandi for research” by the OECD Global Science Forum (GSF). Addressing global risks and societal challenges, as embedded in SDGs, is the main goal of transdisciplinary science and technology (TST). Integrating knowledge from different science and technology disciplines and (non-academic) stakeholder communities, the TST projects should have a priority in sustainable public funding and socially responsible private investments. For only the TST solutions are applied to global issues as the COVID-19 pandemic spreading across the World affecting human health, the socio-economic wellbeing, employment, inequality, economy, policy, and everyday human life.
No global issues, or critical threat to the world, from global economic, social, and political issues to global environmental issues, that potentially impact or affect all persons and places, could be solved out of the TST.
TST is the source of the all-sustainable smart discoveries, innovations, technologies, and investments, as the Trans-AI to be developed and deployed as a global human-AI Internet/Web Platform.
Europe is in the urgent need of TST and TDR projects.
Having a strong industrial base and huge resources, human and economic, Europe could be a global socio-technological model in the transdisciplinary solutions of trans-national and global change problems. It needs to overcome to the fragmentation of the EU’s research space and digital market, difficulties in attracting human capital and external investment, the lack of commercial competitiveness, and internal geopolitical inequalities, or Big Europe mentality.
[Why the EU lags behind in AI, Science and Technology: https://futurium.ec.europa.eu/en/european-ai-alliance/open-discussion/w…]
Mass Technological Unemployment is Looming without Compensation Effects.
Due to the narrowly specialized higher education massively provided by the narrow specialized scientific faculties of universities most human jobs, occupations, professions, and works will disappear due to the ongoing narrowly specialized AI revolution.
Over the next 5-8 years, robotics and AI will replace millions of millions of jobs. Narrow/weak AI, Robotics and Automation is posing a great risk to all jobs, including educated professionals and their job markets.
People may say technologies have always created new jobs by taking old jobs, however NAI is a unique kind of technology as seeking to simulate human behavior or mimic human intelligence thereby really threatening human intelligence.
While historically technologies only replaced a very limited aspect of human action, WAI seeks to replace human mind in parts or as a whole.
“Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to computer systems that perform tasks or make decisions that usually require human intelligence. AI can perform these tasks or make these decisions without explicit human instructions”.
Banking and financial services employees, factory workers and office staff will seemingly face the loss of their jobs—or need to find a way to reinvent themselves in this brave new world. Millions would need to be reskilled to cope with the change, while governments would have to provide stronger safety nets for displaced workers.
“Computers, intelligent machines and robots seem like the workforce of the future. And as more and more jobs are replaced by technology, people will have less work to do and ultimately will be sustained by payments from the government,” predicts Elon Musk, the cofounder and CEO of Tesla.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) concluded in a recent report that “a new generation of smart machines, fueled by rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, could potentially replace a large proportion of existing human jobs.” Robotics and AI will cause a serious “double-disruption,” as the coronavirus pandemic pushed companies to fast-track the deployment of new technologies to slash costs, enhance productivity and be less reliant on real-life people.
Millions of people have lost their jobs due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and now the machines will take away even more jobs from workers, according to the WEF.
The organization cites that automation will supplant about 85 million jobs by 2025. WEF says there’s nothing to worry about since its analysis anticipates the future tech-driven economy will create 97 million new jobs. Currently, approximately 30% of all tasks are done by machines—and people do the rest. However, by the year 2025, it's believed that the balance will dramatically change to a 50-50 combination of humans and machines.
Management consulting giant PriceWaterhouseCoopers reported, “AI, robotics and other forms of smart automation have the potential to bring great economic benefits, contributing up to $15 trillion to global GDP by 2030.” However, it will come with a high human cost. “This extra wealth will also generate the demand for many jobs, but there are also concerns that it could displace many existing jobs.”
“More than 120 million workers globally will need retraining in the next three years due to artificial intelligence’s impact on jobs, according to an IBM survey.” The amount of individuals who will be impacted is immense. The world’s most advanced cities aren’t ready for the disruptions of artificial intelligence, claims management consulting firm Oliver Wyman.
It is believed that over 50 million Chinese workers may require retraining, as a result of AI-related deployment. The U.S. will be required to retool 11.5 million people in America with skills needed to survive in the workforce. Millions of workers in Brazil, Japan and Germany will need assistance with the changes wrought by AI, robotics and related technology.
The Trans-AI will eat the world
The Real-World, Scientific AI vs. the Unreal, Unscientific AI: Disrupting the Old-Style, Narrow, Weak, Statistic AI/ML/DL
Transdisciplinary Science and Technology: the matter of life and death during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond