Ossónoba Philosophical Society   Ossónoba Philosophical

Ossónoba Philosophical Society
founded in 2016

Mission statement:

The Ossónoba Philosophical Society studies subjects without regard of any social bias, political correctness or any pressure from outside. What is studied is not necessarily useful. Nor does it follow an agenda of any group or defend anyone's interests. It is apolitical and independent of financial sources. Its only objective is to entertain with thinking. In the footsteps of Francis Bacon, it is evidence-based reasoning and not will-based reasoning.

Current members:

Prof. Peter Stallinga, Univ. of The Algarve (www.stallinga.org)(2016)
Prof. Igor Khmelinskii, Univ. of The Algarve (ORCID: 0000-0002-6116-184X)(2016)
Prof. Leslie V Woodcock, Univ. of The Algarve, (Research Gate: Leslie Woodcock)(2017)

OPS in the news:

Click here to see OPS in the news
Click here to see OPS publications

Press releases:

21 October 2020: Covid-19 statement

The journal:

Transactions of the Ossónoba Philisophical Society (TOPS)


A.F. Chalmers wrote a wonderful book entitled "What is this thing called science?", a title we would like to use here as well. Because, after all, what is this thing called science? It has become more and more obvious that people have no inkling anymore about what science is and what it isn't. Mostly people think that if you are intelligent (had high marks at school) and study something with state-of-the-art equipment or methods, than this classifies you as a scientist.

But it isn't. That isn't (necessarily) science.

Even worse, society itself starts defining the science in that way. Does anybody still see the difference between 'science' and 'technology'? Between a PhD and an engineering degree? Does anybody still care? Why should you care? Probably you don't mind the idea of a 'rocket scientist' as the sum of intelligence, even while nearly all rocket scientists were rocket engineers instead; They developed and used technology to put a man on the moon.

It gets even worse. Most universities join the game and attribute PhD degrees to students of their engineering departments. Ignoring the fact that these people receiving a Philosophical Degree never had a single lecture on philosophy in their entire life. It is as if you give a diploma of computer engineering to somebody who learned how to cultivate potatoes, just because computer engineering sounds sexier. That does not make sense.
This does not mean that Philosophy/Science is better (or worse) or more difficult (or easier) than Technology/Engineering, but that it should be very clear that the two are very different indeed. Society will get into trouble if it cannot make a clear distinction.

It gets even worse. Even the most prestigious universities lose the path and start copying the ideas mandated by society. We suspect that this is due to the fact that society ever more requires 'efficiency' from the universities and thus scientific subjects have to be 'useful' for society somehow. Yet, this is the same as demanding that art should be useful. How useful is Mondriaan's Red  Blue and Yellow? How useful is to know that stars go into supernovae? How useful is scaling the channel length in transistors down to 25 nanometer?

The last example was to check if you were not falling asleep. Indeed, the last item was technology again. In fact, one item of science is that it has no (direct) use for society, while the scaling down of transistors seems a very beneficial step indeed.

Yet, even one of the most prestigious universities in the world has succumbed to the fashion of modern times and starts adopting the politically-correct stance on science. Saying for instance that Science is not battling Religion, as stipulated by the United Nations, while the two are, and always have been, clearly in an eternal battle.

Wasn't it Martin Luther who said "Reason is the biggest enemy of faith"? Quite so. A scientist does not 'believe' or 'trust' anything or anybody. Truth is not found by believing in things, nor by repeating the common opinion, or by voting. The latter is often done in society, "The consensus among scientists is ...", etc. The religious stance (Don't study or discuss at all. Believe!), the political stance (The majority decides; by debating I'll make it my majority) and the scientific stance (Search for the verifiable truth, independent of social pressure or financial or political interests). Science is Philosophy, philo-sophia, the love for knowledge. Not philo-pecunia or philo-potentia, or philo-iPhonica, the love for money or power or gadgets.

Yet, The University of California at Berkeley, probably by the need to get 'accepted' by society that pays for them, in its description of science[2], writes that science involves a 'feedback' from society that has "Benefits and Outcomes". But, pure science does not have benefits, nor outcomes or goals. Did Galileo think about developing some application when he argued that objects fall equally fast. Did Newton have in mind some device to sell when he developed his Theory of Gravity?
No. Of course not. That would be like the engineer DaVinci. Even Einstein commented, "Anyone who thinks science is trying to make human life easier or more pleasant is utterly mistaken."

Another serious error the author of those pages of Berkeley makes is stating that science needs "Community Analysis and Feedback". Or, in other words, you need to get some form of approval from your scientific colleagues. In other words, colleagues are going to decide on the validity of your ideas. Indeed, this is how science works in 2013. Scientists have to be part of a social network to get their ideas accepted. Popularity is thus more important than correctness. To get your paper accepted, you have to do a lot of diplomacy, and actually, this is more important than the scientific part.

Yet, history has shown that all major scientific breakthroughs came against the then generally accepted ideas. Social networks tend to only repeat what is already 'known' and makes science into a political popularity "truth by ballot" system.
That, while all science breakthroughs were done by 'loners'.

Yet, the biggest error the authors make is trying to placate the religious sentiments in our society. They write that it is a misconception that science contradicts the existence of God[1]. Yet, science does contradict the existence of God.
The logic behind it is quite simple and has three simple steps:

1) According to scientific method, the best model is the one that explains things with the minimum number of ingredients (William of Ockam*). If something is not needed to explain the world, then remove it from the model. God is not needed to explain the world, so God does not exist.
Also, Einstein: "The aim of science is, on the one hand, as complete a comprehension as possible of the connection between perceptible experiences in their totality, and, on the other hand, the achievement of this aim by employing a minimum of primary concepts and relations."
2) If a god is needed to explain a creation of a system as complex as our universe, if a creator is needed, then the unavoidable question is: Who created the Creator? (If the answer is "has always existed", then this can also be true for the universe and we revert to observation (1)) [age-old discussion of the Unmovable Mover]
3) Gödel has mathematically shown that no system can be self-complete. This is a mathematical proof/equivalent of (2). There are a lot of people that think that Darwin's theory goes against religion, but it doesn't. God might have created evolution. However, Gödel's ideas do go against religion, since God cannot include Himself. "Can God create a stone so heavy it cannot lift Himself?"

Science is pure and only assumes things that are consistent with measurements (reality) and that are necessary to explain reality. Sometimes it is suggested that, in the scientific method, something is correct until proven wrong. Ergo, since science cannot proof the non-existence of a god, the model of an existing god is correct and thus God exists.

That is not how it works. We could for instance also say that the back of the moon is green, and since you have no proof to the contrary, our idea is correct until you prove us wrong. That is not how it works! We start with a simpler model, that the back of the moon is the same color as the front that we can easily see and measure, until some piece of evidence/data forces us to think otherwise.

Now apply this to the concept of a god. Do we need a god to explain the world? No. Therefore there is no god in a scientific point of view. Until you find some piece of evidence for it. Just like the back of the moon is the same color as the front of the moon until it is shown that the universe is more complicated and has a two-color moon.

Well, people can still believe in a god (that is a human right), but they can't hide behind science. There also is no obligation to adhere to the scientific method, everybody can decide to think otherwise and not be a scientist, just as we can decide to be not a member of religion X. Somebody can be religious and still be a great and intelligent investigator/researcher, for instance working in technology, and even disagree with the above, but cannot deny that science is for the moment contradicting the existence of a god. That would namely imply saying that "science is a great tool, but only for things that fall outside the set of things I believe in", as if you can be a part-time scientist or that there are things you are not allowed to discuss.

You can be agnostic and a scientist. No problem. Actually being open minded is the best, because it happens too often that people are sticking to their model (beliefs) in spite of evidence. ("Trust your model; facts can be disposed of"). Yet, open minded is not the same as assuming true everything that you cannot prove wrong.
Believing there is no god is just as silly as believing there is one.

This point of view, obviously, will not fall well in a society that wants to please everybody, and demands politically-correct tolerance for all ideas (except, of course, the idea of intolerance; showing Gödel right yet again). Entities making such statements as presented here will be cut off funding. Well, if that is the case, ... so be it. All for the love of knowledge! Philo-sophia.

Science is dead:

So we conclude that science is dead in the 21st century. (Link to presentation "Science is dead. Long live science!": Science is dead. Long live science!).
Professor Bruce G Charlton of the University of Buckingham reached the exact same conclusion. In his book "Not even trying: the corruption of real science" (freely available. link to book), he writes as an introductory paragraph:

"Briefly, the argument of this book is that real science is dead, and the main reason is that professional researchers are not even trying to seek the truth and speak the truth; and the reason for this is that professional ‘scientists’ no longer believe in the truth - no longer believe that there is an eternal unchanging reality beyond human wishes and organization which they have a duty to seek and proclaim to the best of their (naturally limited) abilities. Hence the vast structures of personnel and resources that constitute modern ‘science’ are not real science but instead merely a professional research bureaucracy, thus fake or pseudo-science; regulated by peer review (that is, committee opinion) rather than the search-for and service-to reality. Among the consequences are that modern publications in the research literature must be assumed to be worthless or misleading and should always be ignored. In practice, this means that nearly all ‘science’ needs to be demolished (or allowed to collapse) and real science carefully rebuilt outside the professional research structure, from the ground up, by real scientists who regard truth-seeking as an imperative and truthfulness as an iron law."

The Ossónoba Philosophical Society fully agrees with Prof. Charlton.

The climate:

The special mission of OPS is to find out where and how other thinkers are wrong. For that it will use the Scientific Method of Popper that defines science (in contrast to the modern fetish for technology):
1. Subject: Study the natural, real world
2. Data collection: Acquisition, reduction, induction
3. Hypothesis
4. Isolation
5. Falsification of hypothesis
6. Experiment (prediction)
7. Replication (communication to peers).

In his famous essay, Science as Falsification (link to text of Popper), Popper wrote "It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory — if we look for confirmations.". What climate alarmists are doing is looking for proof of their ideas everywhere. We are daily bombarded by cherry-picked news items that seem to confirm the theory of AGW. Yet, as Popper said, a theory that explains everything explains nothing (link to video). Science is about finding out where theories are wrong and not where they are correct.

Using this technique, the major breakthrough was the debunking of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) ideas:

  • In signal analysis, the CO2 was lagging behind temperature,  thus invalidating the AGW model. download publication
  • Polar ice might work as a climate stabilizing system though negative feedback. If ice melts, it'll come back. download publication
  • With modern peer-review system, a consensus is readily established without it  representing the truth. "Consensus" is not a scientific argument! download publication
  • The meme of AGW can percolate in society because it is advantageous to believe in it, similar to Pascal's Wager. "I have everything to lose by not believing and nothing to lose by believing in it". The psychology of AGW. download publication
  • In contemporary climate data, we can again see how CO2 is the result of temperature. Thus, adding CO2 to the atmosphere will have no appreciable effect on the climate. Analysis of Temporal Signals of Climate
Another recent paper:
  • "Perils and pitfalls of empirical forecasting". About statistics and their validity. Perils and pitfalls of empirical forecasting

Criticality and phase transitions:

We review the scientific evidence, from both historic and modern laboratory measurements of thermodynamic properties, for the non-existence of a critical-point singularity on Gibbs density surface, for the existence of a critical dividing line between 2-phase coexistence, for a supercritical mesophase with the colloidal characteristics of a one-component mist, and for the percolation loci that bound gas and liquid states. An absence of any critical-point singularity is supported by an overwhelming body of experimental evidence dating back to the original pressure-density-temperature (p-ρ-T) equation-of-state measurements of CO2 by Andrews in 1863, and extending to the present NIST-2017 Thermo-physical Properties data bank of more than 200 fluids. Historic heat capacity measurements that gave rise to the concept of “universality” are revisited. The only experimental evidence cited by the original protagonists of the van der Waals hypothesis, and ‘universality’ theorists, is a misinterpretation of the isochoric heat capacity (Cv). We conclude that the scientific experimental evidence does not support the Andrews-van der Waals theory of continuity of liquid and gas, or the existence of a singular critical point with universal scaling properties. All available experimental data is compatible with a critical divide at Tc, defined by the intersection of the percolation loci at fluid state bounds, and the existence of a colloid-like supercritical mesophase between gas and liquid states.


[1] http://undsci.berkeley.edu/teaching/misconceptions.php#c1
[2] http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/howscienceworks_02

Pages maintained by Prof. Peter Stallinga for stallinga.org