Consensus

Here’s an interesting article on how reliance on any form of science based more on consensus than on facts, logic and evidence tends toward pseudo-science.  The overview:

The issue of global warming has been one of the more confusing and misleading issues to be presented to the public. Despite the absence of a significant scientific basis for most predictions, the public has been led to believe that there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that the issue is a matter of immediate urgency requiring massive control of energy usage. The first part of this paper will briefly describe this situation. The thought that scientists would allow such an abuse of science is difficult for most laymen to believe. However, I suggest that what is happening may, in fact, be the normal behavior to be expected from the interaction of science, advocacy groups, and politics. A study of an earlier example of such an interaction, the interaction of genetics, eugenics and immigration law during the early part of this century, reveals almost analogous behavior.

Link: Science and Politics: Global Warming and Eugenics by Richard S. Lindzen

He notes that the intersection of pseudo-knowledge and public life is marked by a lack of the systematic specificity and definition that sound science relies on: “Global warming, as a public issue, is a semantic quagmire. First there is confusion over the use of the expression ‘global warming.’” Note that the same could be said of “evolution,” which is represented to the public as anything from a Darwinian change in how many moths with dark wings exist relative to moths with white wings to all the origins of change that has ever happened in any species, to all change that has or ever will happen in the entire universe, to all change that happens in multiple universes. The way that evolution is represented to the public it is little more than hypothetical goo which comports with all empirical evidence, leaving many with the impression that it is a theory supported by all the evidence or overwhelming amounts of evidence when in fact evolution, whatever it may be*, is seldom specified as an actual scientific theory in the first place.

*The way it is presented to the public is at the level of a creation myth or mythological narratives of naturalism based on little more than imaginary events in the past that seem natural to some scientists, as apparently some scientists believe in modern creation myths. Given that they also tend to mistakenly believe that progress has been and is associated with narratives of natural progress throughout history they believe that their mythological narratives should be promoted with public funding, dissent should be censored, etc., so that in the end creation myths are presented as the epistemic equivalent of scientific “fact.”

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One Response

  1. [blockquote]they believe that their mythological narratives should be promoted with public funding, dissent should be censored, etc.[/blockquote]

    Here’s a great illustration of this:

    Museums reveal much more about the present than they do past! Here’s a great paper that draws striking parallels between “The Planet of the Apes” ‘Forbidden Zone’ and today’s ‘Forbidden Archeology’:

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