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Pseudo-Scientific Thinking and the Horse

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  • Original Poster

    #41
    LOL, I totally want my horse's aura photographed.

    Comment


    • #42
      I dunno, Isabeau, sometimes I feel like I do my best thinking with a pitchfork in my hands or mounted on my John Deere!
      Click here before you buy.

      Comment


      • #43
        Can't resist!!

        Quote-- I have seen a mixture of DMSO and Furacin take my gelding's swelling down in a hind leg injury that swelled beyond all proportion to the small scratch that he got, overnight. I would consider both of those medications to be fairly old-fashioned. I don't mean to say that old-fashioned should be thrown out. Just that scientific reason should be applied before we start messing with our horses!-Quote-Mayhew

        MY age is showing! DMSO old fashioned?

        We are also still using Penicillin, -older than DMSO.

        And there are scientific reasons for and against both, depending on the situation.
        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

        Comment


        • #44
          Sadly, I don't think this is limited to the horse world!

          Comment


          • #45
            Originally posted by Katy Watts View Post
            The first is based on faith. The second is based on evidence.
            Originally posted by Bluey View Post
            I don't think you understand what science is.

            You don't have to believe anything and be a zealot over it when we are talking science, unlike with religions or alternative medicine.

            With science, you don't just believe, you study why what science is explaining seems to be so, look for proof and if you find it, fine, that is the way it works in that situation science presents it.
            If not, you keep looking.

            If people believed science like they do, say, the Bible, we would still be stuck on whatever passed for science 2000 years ago.
            There would not be disputing to it, as with those that today still follow the Bible.
            I live in the deep Bible belt, I know what I am talking about.
            Paula provided a excellent perspective on this....

            Bluey's post provides us with the words:
            "If not, you keep looking"

            To honestly seek something, one must retain some element of faith that it may be found.

            The scientific zealot may believe only that which may be proven by science, yet they look for things through the scientific process that they only speculate may be found. That process requires faith in ones beliefs.

            One may argue that some things are ultimately unprovable, and inapplicable to the scientific method....

            But every thing that may be conceptualized, or perceived by the senses, contains some element of truth, even if that element is only the truth of it's existence as a thought in a mind.

            For it is only from that form that a thought exists in the mind, that it may then be sought in some manor, to then bring it into understanding, discovery, or a creation of physical form.

            Even discovery requires recognition of an idea.

            The most difficult endeavor that we all face in life is to remain open to all ideas, and to recognize that all beliefs have some element of truth at their root that brought them into existence.

            We do not need to shut the door on the messenger because we do not like the contents of the message. Can't we ignore the message and just be fascinated by the mystery of what forces brought the messenger to the door?

            The truth of science is that it was created out of an evolution of thought. Homo Habilis possessed the inklings of scientific thought as they pounded flakes off rocks to choose from the most usable stone flake for that purpose that Homo Habilis had held in his/her mind.

            Evolution created modern humans through some lineage that very likely included some incremental form of progress to arrive in our current form.

            Durring that time, science arose right along side with superstition, religion, and all mannerisms of "customary" belief, and "fashions" of living.

            Throughout millions of years from the origins of humanity, it's always been the total sum of behaviors that made up the whole.

            Now suddenly science is the only "real" characteristic of being human?

            The truth is that science has only "evolved" alongside with every other element of the grand total of all that makes us humans.

            You don't divorce a part of yourself that has millions of years of evolutionary history behind it's existence just because you don't know how to prove it's real. It exists because it provided some purpose for survival.

            A true scientist will except the whole human experience as valid. They explore those areas where they may provide benefit to improve our understanding of things, and hopefully improve our quality of life.

            But to shut out a portion of that which is a legitimate part of humanity because some individual minds have declared it as not scientifically explorable, is most decidedly not a vibrant philosophy of scientific prudence.

            Comment


            • #46
              Here's a fun new game. Lets count the number of fallicies in a post and pick a Champion for the post with the most.

              http://commfaculty.fullerton.edu/rgass/fallacy3211.htm
              Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

              Comment


              • #47
                Now suddenly science is the only "real" characteristic of being human?
                According to whom?

                The difference between banging two certain types of object together, observing a spark and utilizing that to one's benefit and the development of superstition is that hundreds of different superstitions can arise from the same experience of a large group of people over time, and each is equally valid to the individuals who hold them, but iron and flint and a few of its cousins are pretty much the same the world over.

                Perhaps at some point our imaginations and our senses were interchangeable, and it's certainly fun (and tempting in the extreme, as we are all hard-wired to believe we're "special") to speculate that it may have once been so, but it does not appear to be an actual fact for modern day humans.

                To difference between superstition and a robust understanding of reality is that the former can take shape even with minimal actual reality being present. It only requires a fertile imagination and the will to (or the need to) believe something. Which brings us RIGHT back to page one--where horse people and I daresay every other type of "people" willingly believe things that push their buttons emotionally. That might be a conviction that horses should be gelded by the phase of the moon, or it might be a belief that the Sky God is going to come down with wrath and ruin if we fail to observe some ritual or another.

                Both may have origins in some arcane occurrence or observation, and THAT is the romantical part that tugs at us. But who's to say the individual who first declared that gelding by moonlight was "better" was not some old nut-case who happened to be very charismatic and had a lot of ignorant acolytes?
                Click here before you buy.

                Comment


                • #48
                  Ahh. Back to fuzzy navel-gazing then, are we?
                  "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                  ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                    According to whom?
                    How about I change it to....

                    Now suddenly science is the only "real" characteristic of being a reasonable human?

                    Let's not dismiss the title of the thread.....
                    "Pseudo-Scientific Thinking and the Horse"

                    pseudoscience
                    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/pseudoscience

                    A theory, methodology, or practice that is considered to be without scientific foundation.

                    I'm attempting to present an idea of a middle ground between science and pseudoscience.

                    The idea is centric to a concept that all behaviors come into existence to fulfill a purpose, and that purpose may be scientifically explored. Attempting to dismiss a Pseudo-Scientific behavior by a prima facia observation does not fulfill a criteria of "ideal" scientific examination.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                      Ahh. Back to fuzzy navel-gazing then, are we?


                      Only missing the ohmmm, ohmmms.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                        Does anyone else find that strange and totally illogical thinking exists more in the horse world than elsewhere? Ideas that were discarded in the human medical world 100 years ago still exist in the horse world. Recently, me: "My horse is gassy, and every time he passes gas he moans. This is unusual. He has never moaned when farting before. Should I be worried about this?" Fellow horse person: "It's hazy today. That must be causing it. Better give him a peppermint." Am I alone in noticing that otherwise quite intelligent people let their brains go out the window when it comes to horses? I was thinking specifically of bodily horse care, lotions and potions and unguents, but it just occurred to me that the topic could apply to behavioral science/training as well.
                        Most of it's perpetrated by the SmartPak Generation . . .

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                          According to whom?

                          The difference between banging two certain types of object together, observing a spark and utilizing that to one's benefit and the development of superstition is that hundreds of different superstitions can arise from the same experience of a large group of people over time, and each is equally valid to the individuals who hold them, but iron and flint and a few of its cousins are pretty much the same the world over.

                          Perhaps at some point our imaginations and our senses were interchangeable, and it's certainly fun (and tempting in the extreme, as we are all hard-wired to believe we're "special") to speculate that it may have once been so, but it does not appear to be an actual fact for modern day humans.

                          To difference between superstition and a robust understanding of reality is that the former can take shape even with minimal actual reality being present. It only requires a fertile imagination and the will to (or the need to) believe something. Which brings us RIGHT back to page one--where horse people and I daresay every other type of "people" willingly believe things that push their buttons emotionally. That might be a conviction that horses should be gelded by the phase of the moon, or it might be a belief that the Sky God is going to come down with wrath and ruin if we fail to observe some ritual or another.

                          Both may have origins in some arcane occurrence or observation, and THAT is the romantical part that tugs at us. But who's to say the individual who first declared that gelding by moonlight was "better" was not some old nut-case who happened to be very charismatic and had a lot of ignorant acolytes?
                          Yet how is science bent to the will of some third party interest not then identical to pseudoscience?

                          Is bad science the same thing as pseudoscience?

                          What of the "trust" that modern culture encourages us to place in science. Yet science is fallible, and may even be manipulated to create improper influence.

                          How can one be "scientifically" certain that a new drug prescribed will not be a drug to be recalled later for harmful effects..... What of the belief systems that work on "faith" that the drug will cause benefit and not harm.... How is that so different from superstition?

                          I do understand that good science is based on good evidence.

                          How is a blind faith in science not so dissimilar to a blind faith in a superstition?

                          There's a very deep seated set of behavioral drives underling why we believe, and how we come to believe, and those forces effect all aspects of how we think, including scientific thought.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by Ghazzu View Post
                            Ahh. Back to fuzzy navel-gazing then, are we?
                            But look at the neat-o new sentence I created...

                            "vibrant philosophy of scientific prudence"

                            We can use it in other ways too....

                            Feeding your pony 25 pounds of sweet feed in one serving would not be congruent with a vibrant philosophy of scientific prudence.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                              S
                              That is science. Science is dynamic. Today it's spontaneous generation, tomorrow it's germ theory. If science wasn't cynical and dynamic, if we were not always questioning, we'd still be afraid that if we sailed too close to the horizon we'd fall off the edge of the world.

                              Paula
                              This.

                              Science is not a body of knowledge. It is a process

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                I think, in regards to the OP that the reason why people fall off the edge sense wise is because they do not have the skill or knowledge to create what they desire.

                                ie: someone wants very badly to ride well, does not have a good trainer, has no real ability so blames their lack of progress on the horse being injured or sick or what have you. Since the vets all can’t see what is wrong with the horse they must go to other places for "help"

                                I see this in dressage all the time. People ride with terrible trainers and are being taught total crap - so they have problems. Again since the vets can’t "fix" it they go to other modalities.

                                What they really need it to learn to ride/train correctly.

                                I do want to say though that just because something is 100s of years old does not mean the info is invalid. Some of the most important theory we have for training is handed down over time.... and equitation science is showing a lot of it to be correct.

                                I also agree with Paula.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  To get back onto another aspect, for a lot of horsey stuff there really isn't peer reviewed evidence.

                                  When my mare had an abscess I used databases to find articles in vet med & animal science journals...nada. Also seemed like there was pretty much no consensus from vets or farriers on how to treat.

                                  What is out there is usually small (REALLY small) sample size, which is always a start, but hard to use when making decisions, IMO.

                                  That is not to say there isn't science out there on a lot of horse topics, but for many of the topics (like abscesses, skin issues...) that we revisit here on COTH seem to be lacking (which is probably why we are revisiting them so much!)

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    I would hazard a guess that peer-reviewed evidence counts for only a small percentage of human medicine, as well.

                                    It isn't the *only* form of scientific evidence, though.
                                    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                                    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Yet science is fallible, and may even be manipulated to create improper influence.
                                      HUMANS are fallible. Data are incomplete and in need of constant revision. Observations may be flawed or biased.(see above re: HUMANS)

                                      But the pure process of scientific inquiry is simply what it is: a process, practiced by imperfect beings who often screw it up.

                                      It is the bad conclusions, the bias, the skipping of steps and the wilful manipulation that defines pseudoscience. There is also a great deal of badly-done science, science that turns out to be incorrect, and science that is outdated.

                                      Please insert "knowledge" for "science" in the second sentence above if the S-word is offensive.

                                      I would, however, give pseudoscience its own special category with a special emphasis on the word WILFUL, since much of it is not simply badly done or not done at all but is also WILFULLY thrown out there to sell products, and/or to further someone's agenda that is NOT purely to gain knowledge.
                                      Click here before you buy.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Yet science is fallible, and may even be manipulated to create improper influence.
                                        HUMANS are fallible. Data are incomplete and in need of constant revision. Observations may be flawed or biased.(see above re: HUMANS)

                                        But the pure process of scientific inquiry is simply what it is: a process, practiced by imperfect beings who often screw it up.

                                        It is the bad conclusions, the bias, the skipping of steps and the wilful manipulation that defines pseudoscience. There is also a great deal of badly-done science, science that turns out to be incorrect, and science that is outdated.

                                        Please insert "knowledge" for "science" in the second sentence above if the S-word is offensive.

                                        I would, however, give pseudoscience its own special category with a special emphasis on the word WILFUL, since much of it is not simply badly done or not done at all but is also WILFULLY thrown out there to sell products, and/or to further someone's agenda that is NOT purely to gain knowledge.
                                        Click here before you buy.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                          I think, in regards to the OP that the reason why people fall off the edge sense wise is because they do not have the skill or knowledge to create what they desire.
                                          Agree. And another emotion that often throws people into the chaos of cognitive dissonance is fear. Fear is very powerful. I have seen SO many people who act afraid of their horses, yet they refuse to admit it. They just dance around it instead of facing it straight on. They get really creative making up all kinds of irrational excuses for not riding. I think a lot of equine professionals have seen this as well, so they provide detailed, long term programs for ground work, so people can still have a relationship with their horse, but not have to face their fear of riding.

                                          You've all seen them. The person who spends 2 hours grooming, wrapping legs, stretching, massaging, applying aromatherapy, lunging to ride at walk/jog for 15 minutes in an enclosed arena with company, then cooling out for 20 minutes of hand walking, hosing, more grooming. Or the folks who have been doing Parrelli groundwork for over 5 years, yet the horse is still 'not ready' for much ridden work.
                                          Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

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