Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Corruption in science? And “overwhelming consensus”?


Scientists who practice actual science and demand something crazy like proof before advocating for government regulations and taxes on what you exhale are harassed out of their fields. Science has devolved from posing a theory and setting about proving or disproving it to a vote by people dependent upon government grants seeking to please their master in the hope of keeping the funding spigot open.

Harsh, but then, as another guy says,

TV watchers will recall the familiar advertising trope of yesteryear in which we were told “4 out of 5 dentists [or doctors] recommend” using fluoride toothpaste, aspirin for headaches, or some such. We were always left to wonder whether that fifth doctor was a moron or something, never pausing to consider that the fifth doctor might well recommend the same thing, but emphasize something else first (like flossing perhaps, or Tylenol instead of aspirin because of sensitive stomachs, etc). But Archie Bunker was coming back on the air in 30 seconds, so most of us didn’t follow up on these puzzles.

This is all worth keeping in mind when we hear about an “overwhelming consensus” for something in science.

Also, same guy:

Science is not a set of dogmas, and it is not a pronouncement by a committee. It is a method. Richard Feynman, perhaps the world’s most eminent physicist, put it this way:

In general, we look for a new law by the following process: First we guess it; then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right; then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with the experiment, it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is—if it disagrees with experiment, it is wrong.

The catastrophic anthropogenic global warming theory is based entirely on models, which are programmed by their creators to predict disaster. But we know for a fact that the models are wrong, because they disagree with reality. When the facts collide with a theory, the facts win.

Depends on what’s at issue.

Some people say science should replace religion. There are two opinions about that but for sure science shouldn’t replace the crackpot religions we grew out of, millennia ago:

… I would build that dome in air,

That sunny dome! those caves of ice!

And all who heard should see them there,

And all should cry, Beware! Beware!

His flashing eyes, his floating hair!

Weave a circle round him thrice,

And close your eyes with holy dread

For he on honey-dew hath fed,

And drunk the milk of Paradise.


See, the thing about apocalypses, whether it’s that guy’s or the global warmists’, is that they tend to buck a trend. Stuff is always happening, life goes on, disasters sometimes and apocalypses rarely. But apocalypses, whether religious or scientific, attract much more interest. That suggests the burden of evidence should be higher.

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I won't go as far as saying that science is corrupted, but individual scientists will certainly be affected strongly by the cash flow. With regard to global warming, I just can't see where the push for it comes from. Sure, green energy is big business but tiny compared to the oil companies. And countries like The US and Canada benefit economically from no restrictions in CO2 emissions. Personally, I believe that anthropogenic warming is real. But the impact is completely unknown. We know that fossil fuel burning has increased atmospheric CO2 (although not as much as predicted). We know that atmospheric CO2 reduces the heat radiated back to space (basic physics). We know that a warmer atmosphere will increase ocean surface temperatures (again, basic physics). And we know that the weather and climate are greatly affected by ocean surface temperatures. All of this is basic physics. But beyond this, the models have predicted everything from little change, to desertification, to an ice age. Climate change may not be predictable but human (re)action is. Optimistically, we never plan longer than the next generation. Politically, we never plan beyond the next election.Acartia_bogart
May 19, 2014
09:06 AM

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