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Why a senior scientist doesn’t “believe” in “science”

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She left her position after she got fed up with the climate science wars. She quotes Robert Tracinski, who says,

Some people may use “I believe in science” as vague shorthand for confidence in the ability of the scientific method to achieve valid results, or maybe for the view that the universe is governed by natural laws which are discoverable through observation and reasoning.

But the way most people use it today—especially in a political context—is pretty much the opposite. They use it as a way of declaring belief in a proposition which is outside their knowledge and which they do not understand. Robert Tracinski, “Why I don’t ‘believe’ in ‘science’” at The Bulwark

Curry goes on to cite experiences that make clear that “I believe in science” often functions as a polite version of “Shut up or else.”

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See also: A study of the causes of science skepticism sails right by the most obvious cause of skepticism: Repeated untrustworthiness

2 Replies to “Why a senior scientist doesn’t “believe” in “science”

  1. 1
    asauber says:

    “I believe in science”

    Translated another way: “It’s my religion to abjure my judgement to people who seem smarter than myself. May these people I don’t know rule over me with benevolence.”

    Andrew

  2. 2
    PeterA says:

    “Maxwell, one of the greatest physicists of all time, calculated the density — to three significant figures — of the æther, a substance that doesn’t exist. If that doesn’t make the case for the peril of over-reliance on theory — and the need for profound scientific humility — nothing will.”
    —Dr Behe’s response (part 3)

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