Ballantyne is known for the concept of “epistemic trespassing,” where a scholar, convinced that his thesis explains the universe, invades other disciplines like the mad bull charging into the literary tearoom.
Doubtless, the science journal editors believe that Trump will be defeated and they will claim some credit for that. Fair enough. But it’s possible that Trump will be reelected. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all served two terms each. And Trump won the last election despite all the polls that announced he would lose. Should that happen, the journal editors will be in the unhappy position of being widely seen to be ignored.
Sheldon: The editors of Science and Nature compromised their scientific objectivity years ago. They promoted papers that big pharma wanted, they suppressed papers that made big pharma look bad. They were complicit in the coverup of not just tobacco and sugar lobbies, but vaccines and Darwinism and global warming… So of course this produced cognitive dissonance, since it violated some of the very basic tenets of objective science.
The problem with naturalizing wisdom is that wisdom isn’t natural. It necessarily comes from a perspective beyond our own troubles in our own time.
Researchers: “When individuals are fully independent, even under highly unfavorable circumstances a consensus provides strong evidence for the correctness of the affirmed position. This no longer remains the case once dependence, polarization, and external pressure are introduced. With such interventions, the probability of a false consensus increases dramatically.
” “Shut up, he explained” is not consensus, it’s false consensus.
Alex Berezow: “Political partisanship. There was a time when scientists knew better than to deal in politics. That time is now gone. Openly cheering for one side of the political spectrum over the other, scientists and science media outlets are gambling with their reputation.” Well, from an international perspective, here’s the obvious problem: If the US Prez is THAT important, science ain’t what it used to be.
In fact, during the COVID crisis, a great deal of the blather for science made no sense at all, a fact that is becoming more and more evident. People won’t immediately give up believing in science as a result. Rather, they will begin to treat it as the superstition of the social elite. It doesn’t make sense and doesn’t need to. It is wisely got around wherever possible.That’s not what science used to be but that;s what many policy decisions have made it.
Because what our betters really want is that their nonsense, whatever it stems from and wherever it leads, always be dressed up as “science.”
Rob Sheldon: We have the data to improve our models and the much-attacked Greater Barrington declaration suggests that we should, since the DATA from Sweden show that lockdowns are neither necessary nor even helpful. But this author suggests that the models are perfect, and therefore the data must be rejected in the name of science, of course. He is displaying, even in his own scientific subfield, the same TRUST in science, that we disparaged in Nature. The disease of deification begun by Darwin is far more pervasive than anyone wants to admit. You might say that herd immunity hasn’t yet been reached.
Mahlberg: In the latest major backflip, the WHO has condemned lockdowns as a primary strategy for combating the spread of the virus, after originally recommending them.
Nature was founded in 1869. Between then and now, many U.S. Prezzes have come and gone. The puzzling part is why Nature (and stablemate Scientific American) would throw themselves into the fray like this, as if they had no reputation or credibility, apart from politics, to defend. If it’s all really about politics, fine. Many suspected that but no one could prove it. Now, any statement made on behalf of “science” will be wisely read as on behalf of “politics.” That will harm genuinely urgent causes the most. When there’s no daylight between “Stop plastic in the oceans!” and “Vote for Schmeezer!”, most people will make up their own mind about plastic in the oceans/Schmeezer. The authority of science becomes indistinguishable from Schmeezer’s media outreach. Well, at least they brought it on themselves.
Marks points out that politicians who insist that their beliefs represent science might be surprised by the checkered history of that view.
John Lennox is the Oxford mathematician who wrote 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity (2020), among many other books. “The fascinating biopic tells the story of Lennox’s life defending the harmony between science and faith.”
Sheldon: My best explanation is that the editors of Nature, SciAm, NEJM are themselves not research scientists, but political hacks—hired under the supposition that good relations with government funders required not science but PR.
Siegel: “It is a fundamentally misinformative act to present multiple sides of a controversial issue equally when the scientific consensus overwhelmingly favors one perspective.” Actually, consensus is achieved in many ways, including some that contribute to the likelihood that the consensus will be wrong, no matter how many experts believe it. In fact, the surest way to often be wrong is to adopt the very attitude Siegel displays here.