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Ethan Siegel at Forbes on “finally” making the United States a “scientific nation”

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Get a load of this:

1.) Put an end to the “false equivalence” game. It is a fundamentally misinformative act to present multiple sides of a controversial issue equally when the scientific consensus overwhelmingly favors one perspective. Appeals to common sense, our gut instincts, a single piece of evidence, our internal moral compasses, or the opinions of influential members of society might be persuasive tactics, but are meaningless when it comes to a scientific matter. If something can be decided by evidence — and the full suite of collected evidence is decisive in nature — then and only then will we achieve a scientific consensus.

We have this dangerous myth in our society that science is often wrong, and that listening to mainstream science is restrictive and locks us into what will someday be an archaic way of thinking. That is completely false, and sorely misrepresents how science actually works. Only in the presence of decisive evidence can consensus be achieved. Consensus is not “the end goal” of science, but rather a starting point for future advances. Consensus is what the overwhelming majority of professionals have concluded has been strongly established by the existing evidence so far.

Ethan Siegel, “Is America Finally Ready To Become A Scientific Nation?” at Forbes

Quite apart from the fact that science IS often wrong—for the same reasons as other types of judgment can be wrong—there is usually science on both sides of contested questions but consensus may be arrived at by ignoring one side.

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.

13 Replies to “Ethan Siegel at Forbes on “finally” making the United States a “scientific nation”

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    It is this trite that I was indoctrinated in and it is nothing but trite

    I would love for Ethan to try to prove that right to me in my face and I have a whole slew of things that he needs to explain

    We could start with the overwhelming amount of dishonesty behind the hormone oxytocin and then we’ll go from there

    And will also talk about the overwhelming amount of dishonesty and psychological fields and the failure to replicate many of their experiments but were scientific consensus

    I really want him to comment unless he needs to answer to this crap and I am so tired of people like him getting to Dictate reality for others if the professionals want to have a scientific consensus they better get their crap together maybe some of These professionals need to start getting fired for the crap science

  2. 2
    AaronS1978 says:

    Oh and by the way evolutionary psychology I don’t need to say much more about that

  3. 3
    OldArmy94 says:

    Glad we didn’t listen to his “advice” when it came to the consensus surrounding eugenics.

  4. 4
    Querius says:

    How about the science of “racial hygiene”?

    Are eggs bad for you?

    What about continental drift? That was considered the domain of crackpots until Jack Oliver’s 1968 paper, Seismology and the New Global Tectonics.

    No, we’re supposed to worship the high priests of what passes for “science” and swallow whatever they happen to say today. Hook, line, and sinker.


  5. 5
    BobRyan says:

    Darwinists have no evidence. The consensus, which isn’t a consensus, has no merit. Lack of evidence does not stop the belief in the idea.

  6. 6
    Querius says:

    Yes, exactly. Pseudo scientists have faith in the vindicating evidence that’s obviously there but just not yet found. Any day now, but more funding is needed.

    And that’s why the common reference is to the “missing link” as if all the links are there but one.


  7. 7
    bill cole says:

    Scientific opinion of complex issues such as origin events is sometimes wrong and agenda based. We know this from our experience with the grand claims of evolutionary theory. Science is a powerful tool for hypothesis testing of observed phenomenon. It is a very poor tool for understand the ultimate origin of matter and living organisms. When you get consensus around these issues skepticism of an ideological agenda is warranted.

  8. 8
    Querius says:

    Good point, Bill.

    In my opinion, academics and the science press needs to respect an informed “science don’t know.” And even when science thinks it knows, it should always be qualified, and never “the science is now settled.”

    As to science education, children are far more stimulated when they learn about the things science isn’t sure about. As for me, I still remember when the science was settled that there are exactly nine planets and that Jupiter has 12 moons and Saturn 10. These absolutes make easier multiple choice questions.


  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Excellent comments thus far.

    If I might add, in regards to ,,,, “Finally” Making The United States A “Scientific Nation”

    I think this piece of trivia is interesting to that topic,,

    Bruce Charlton’s Miscellany – October 2011
    Excerpt: I had discovered that over the same period of the twentieth century that the US had risen to scientific eminence (in the world) it had undergone a significant Christian revival. ,,,The point I put to (Richard) Dawkins was that the USA was simultaneously by-far the most dominant scientific nation in the world (I knew this from various scientometic studies I was doing at the time) and by-far the most religious (Christian) nation in the world. How, I asked, could this be – if Christianity was culturally inimical to science?

    In fact, despite what atheists may falsely claim to the contrary, not only is science not at war with Christianity, but science itself would be impossible without science adopting an “essentially theological worldview.”

    Physics and the Mind of God: The Templeton Prize Address – by Paul Davies – August 1995
    Excerpt: “People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”

    Moreover, contrary to what many people have been falsely led to believe by Darwinian atheists, about Intelligent Design supposedly being a pseudo-science, the fact of the matter is that all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.
    From the essential Christian presuppositions that undergird the founding of modern science itself, (namely that the universe is rational and that the minds of men, being made in the ‘image of God’, can dare understand that rationality), to the intelligent design of the scientific instruments and experiments themselves, to the logical and mathematical analysis of experimental results themselves, from top to bottom, science itself is certainly not to be considered a ‘natural’ endeavor of man.
    Not one scientific instrument would ever exist if men did not first intelligently design that scientific instrument. Not one test tube, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, or etc.. etc.., was ever found just laying around on a beach somewhere which was ‘naturally’ constructed by nature. Not one experimental result would ever be rationally analyzed since there would be no immaterial minds to rationally analyze the immaterial logic and immaterial mathematics that lay behind the intelligently designed experiments in the first place.
    Again, all of science, every nook and cranny of it, is based on the presupposition of intelligent design and is certainly not based on the presupposition of methodological naturalism.

    In fact, adopting an ‘essentially atheistic worldview’, as mainstream science currently does today, drives science itself into catastrophic epistemological failure.

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist (who believes Darwinian evolution to be true) is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. the illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who also must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the hopelessness of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is simply too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must also hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin).
    Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    Darwinian Materialism and/or Methodological Naturalism vs. Reality – video

    Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    As soon as I see appeal to alleged scientific consensus, I red flag. Collective opinion, especially in an ideologically polarised or dominated era is worth not even the cost of the paper it is written on. As for feelings and demands for modesty in the face of the new magisterium acting as life-tenure super legislature . . . the corruption of the US Supreme Court is metastasising . . . that is a negative value, it extracts a cost to put it down. The only sensible view is that scientific knowledge claims, especially those that are explanatory rather than direct observation, are at best weak form, provisional knowledge claims and should be held with a modicum of understanding of limitations. I used to imagine updates arriving at the door in High School Chemistry classes. As for computer simulations and other modelling exercises, such must not be confused with real world experiments and should be calibrated against same for reliability. KF

  11. 11
    Truthfreedom says:

    Gotta love seeing how the power struggle continues in the modern Sanhedrin.

  12. 12

    “Science” is not extractable from the humans involved in every aspect of it. This is why people don’t trust “science,” and rightly so.

  13. 13
    Querius says:

    Can anyone guess the earliest recorded scientific experiment, one that follows the scientific method?


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