Earth Day predictions from 1970
The evidence is in. Climate science doomed us on Earth day ages ago. We don’t exist. Or something.
From Talk Origins on science and prediction:
The process of proposing a hypothesis, and then testing its accuracy by collecting data on events the hypothesis predicts. If the predictions match the new data the hypothesis is supported. Generally the best supported hypothesis is considered correct.
Alternatively, from Freeman Dyson
In the modern world, science and society often interact in a perverse way. We live in a technological society, and technology causes political problems. The politicians and the public expect science to provide answers to the problems. Scientific experts are paid and encouraged to provide answers. The public does not have much use for a scientist who says, “Sorry, but we don’t know.” The public prefers to listen to scientists who give confident answers to questions and make confident predictions of what will happen as a result of human activities. So it happens that the experts who talk publicly about politically contentious questions tend to speak more clearly than they think. They make confident predictions about the future, and end up believing their own predictions. Their predictions become dogmas which they do not question. The public is led to believe that the fashionable scientific dogmas are true, and it may sometimes happen that they are wrong. That is why heretics who question the dogmas are needed.
Here are more quotables from notables on prediction in science.
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