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New York Times tackles cosmology at the crossroads

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Between space exploration and lunacy, presumably:

A few months ago in the journal Nature, two leading researchers, George Ellis and Joseph Silk, published a controversial piece called “Scientific Method: Defend the Integrity of Physics.” They criticized a newfound willingness among some scientists to explicitly set aside the need for experimental confirmation of today’s most ambitious cosmic theories — so long as those theories are “sufficiently elegant and explanatory.” Despite working at the cutting edge of knowledge, such scientists are, for Professors Ellis and Silk, “breaking with centuries of philosophical tradition of defining scientific knowledge as empirical.” More.

If it is not empirical (evidence-based), why should the taxpayer fund it? Why should anyone care what they think?

As I have said a few times here, a lot of today’s “cosmology” could have been thunk up by a mystic sitting on a prayer mat thousands of years ago.

I don’t care; I believe strongly in freedom of religion.

But do let’s be clear what difference evidence makes when it comes to public funding for science.

See also: What went wrong in cosmology.

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