Okay, the editor said it: “there is no apolitical science.” We are not now dealing in the world of accusations but of admissions. He is admitting that opposition to “creationism,” however they define it is political. Fine. We all knew that but we did not have it in writing before. Getting things put in writing is a genuine help.
I was a devoted SciAm fan growing up. I collected other people’s old copies and had a collection going back to the 60’s. Then SciAm was bought out by some big publishing firm. And my favorite column, the Amateur Scientist by Forrest M. Mims III , was cancelled because Mims was a Christian.
They can break with tradition in this way if they want, of course. But then they will no longer be able to say that their science is not tainted with (drenched in?) politics. Which is why, no matter what the crisis, no one did it in the past. The outcome, no matter who wins the U.S. election, will be reduced public trust in science. Scientific American could well find itself down there with “media” generally, in terms of public trust.
Alternatively, it may become possible to have a discussion about what, exactly, science is. For example, in the case of the ATP turbine, “Natural selection did it” has the same explicit explanatory value as “God did it.” But natural selection is somehow science and God is not. Why? How?
A paper by well-known thinkers like Carlo Rovelli and Elliott Sober offers instances of the way that philosophers can clarify problems for science. Citing Jerry Fodor, it seems like they’ve almost forgotten that Jerry Fodor also wrote What Darwin Got Wrong (2010).
Revealing the way politics has invaded science all the way down, according to Norman Doidge. There’s a good chance that, even though most people don’t directly say it, the reputation of “science” will never recover from this episode. People will disbelieve politely but thoroughly.
Bencze: Multiverse theory has no falsifiers. It excludes nothing. No potential fact of existence can falsify it. By contrast Relativity has plenty of falsifiers: Something exceeding the speed of light,…
If propositions in science cannot be falsified by evidence, they aren’t propositions in science. They are simply things many scientists believe for a variety of reasons.
Study: Well-educated and well-to-do people are just as likely to say they have experienced a miracle as poor and uneducated people—if they encounter an existential threat in life…
David Klinghoffer: As Dr. West explains, for all the blessings of science, there are problems with saying, as some literally have done, “In Fauci we trust.”
Hossenfelder: It is not possible for each and every one of us to redo all experiments in the history of science. It therefore becomes increasingly important that scientists provide evidence for how science works, so that people who cannot follow the research itself can instead rely on evidence that the system produces correct and useful descriptions of nature.
Hard on the heels of the news that a Harvard astronomer still thinks that long-vanished space rock Oumuamua is “alien tech,” we see—direct from Boilerplate Central—a screed by a Harvard science historian at Scientific American about “denialism.” She has a theory:
But now, here’s a problem: In the world of the war on math, what, exactly, is wrong with science fiction replacing science? If 2 + 2 does not necessarily = 4, how can we be expected to even know that bogosity is wrong?
“Seventy-five years ago, C.S. Lewis published his novel ”That Hideous Strength,” which explored the dangers of government in the name of science. What relevance does Lewis’s advice on the promise and perils of science-based public policy have in the age of COVID-19 and beyond? “
Crawford: I conclude that, since teleological concepts cannot be abstracted away from biological explanations without loss of meaning and explanatory power, life is inherently teleological. It is the teleological character of life which makes it a unique phenomenon requiring a unique discipline of study distinct from physics or chemistry.