Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

The Science Credibility Bubble 1747

eldavojohn writes "The real fallout of climategate may have nothing to do with the credibility of climate change. Daniel Henninger thinks it's a bigger problem for the scientific community as a whole and he calls out the real problem as seen through the eyes of a lay person in an opinion piece for the WSJ. Henninger muses, 'I don't think most scientists appreciate what has hit them,' and carries on in that vein, saying, 'This has harsh implications for the credibility of science generally. Hard science, alongside medicine, was one of the few things left accorded automatic stature and respect by most untrained lay persons. But the average person reading accounts of the East Anglia emails will conclude that hard science has become just another faction, as politicized and "messy" as, say, gender studies.' While nothing interesting was found by most scientific journals, he explains that the attacks against scientists in these leaked e-mails for proposing opposite views will recall the reader to the persecution of Galileo. In doing so, it will make the lay person unsure of the credibility of all sciences without fully seeing proof of it, but assuming that infighting exists in them all. Is this a serious risk? Will people even begin to doubt the most rigorous sciences like Mathematics and Physics?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Science Credibility Bubble

Comments Filter:
  • Oh, you're the one my father-in-law talked to.

    Thanks, BTW! His PC is working now.

  • Re:What (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tobor the Eighth Man ( 13061 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @12:15PM (#30389132)

    Haven't seen Sweeney Todd, have you? There's plenty the tonsorial-industrial complex doesn't want you finding out.

  • by mi ( 197448 ) <> on Thursday December 10, 2009 @12:55PM (#30389956) Homepage Journal

    There's a difference between skepticism and uninformed judgement with a preexisting bias.

    Only in the eye of a beholder... No objective difference exists...

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @12:58PM (#30390022) Homepage Journal

    Its happening here and now : []

    i want to kick every fucking moron who doubts climate change in the face. in addition, i want to kick every fucking snake in fox news in the face two times over.

    i wonder which tune those bastards who are muddying the waters about the climate change due to their personal gains or fears of minor tax increases would be singing, if the sinking church was their community's and sinking home was theirs, just like in the video.

  • by FireFlie ( 850716 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @01:04PM (#30390126)
    Education? Hah! Grandparent is obviously referring to Einstein's distinguished position as a patent clerk as his qualification to question known physics you ignorant clod!
  • by Ozlanthos ( 1172125 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @01:59PM (#30391182)
    Waht seems to be going on right now is that we are breaking into two distinct groups of people, those who want to do something about how we treat the planet, and those who do not. The among the one's who do want to do something about it, there are those who want to tax westernized nations until their economies match the pace of the rest of the "developing" (ie 3rd world economies) world. Unfortunately they are compelled by greed for the power to flip the off-switch on the general public, while they and their friends enjoy the utmost comfort, and opulence our modern society can provide. They hate hard science because it doesn't scare the public enough, so they fudge the numbers the scientists give them.

    Then there are those who make their opulence and comfort from doing things the way we have been doing them since the beginning of the industrial revolution. They have no desire to change (except to make more money for the same or less), and see no reason they should be forced to.. They see no wrong in drilling every oil deposit, falling every tree, raping the bounty of the seas, and building on anything flat enough to support a human structure. they think they can do this in perpetuity without ill effect, and hate hard science because it tells them that they can't.

    Then there is the general public, left without the knowledge of science, they are taught to hate science because they don't understand it, and are being lied to by people whose interests conflict with the data given.

    Another way to look at it. []
  • by Eukariote ( 881204 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @02:10PM (#30391400)

    Do elaborate, please.

    As you ask so kindly, I will.

    Just how much science is bunk, anyway?

    Most of astrophysics and climate science, about half of physics, and a small part of chemistry is bunk. Biology is not so much bunk as well as very incomplete.

    How do you define the threshold of "most" science?

    Science is being practiced within the interpretative context of accepted theories. When such a theory has been falsified, the whole edifice of scientific endeavor built on top of it should be discarded. I am basically looking at what fraction of a particular scientific field is built on top of falsified theory and thereby judge whether it is somewhat or mostly bunk.

    What exactly is in the set of ideas you're labeling "science"?

    In principle, I view science as the collection of knowledge derived using the scientific method. Science in the Popperian sense, that is. However, in my post I was referring to science as the practice that has emerged: a sadly human endeavor influenced by agendas, funding, strife, and belief that even so poses as the ultimate authority on truth because of its supposed founding in the scientific method.

    Since you "know of many clear and unambiguous experimental and observational falsifications of sacred theories and models", please list them or provide links.

    For a falsification of Big Bang cosmology, see Halton Arp's work []. For one of the many different falsifications of relativity theory, see Dayton Miller's work, a good overview of which can be found here [] For a falsification of the fossil oil genesis theory, look no further than the many deep oil wells the Russians have taken into production. To read up on the proper theory, see here []. The list goes on...

  • by Hellpop ( 451893 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @02:55PM (#30392140) Homepage

    If you pay me tons of money, I will certify you so that your opinion will be valid too. I can also teach you how to audit your thetans and tell you about Xenu...

    That's about the size of it, pal.

  • by Gorobei ( 127755 ) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @03:01PM (#30392268)

    all ideas are NOT equally valid, then I challenge them to even predict what the weather will be over my house, in exactly 7 days from now !

    My belief in science over, say, unicorns and fairies, does not mean I have perfect knowledge of the future.

    You see the problem is, climatologists can't even predict the "small stuff" to any degree of accuracy, yet will quite happily stand 100% by their conclusions on what will happen in 10 years fro now, declaring that they know better, and everyone else is either unqualified, or misguided, or a moron.

    It is usually easier to estimate and predict "large stuff" compared to "small stuff." This is why insurance companies exist, and why my toothbrush is in my bathroom rather than in Jakarta due to quantum effects.

    And don't talk to me about localised effects being difficult to predict ... when it comes to floods, droughts, hurricanes, typhoons etc, they *are* localised effects. They ARE important to the survival of the human race. So it's 0.6 oC warmer in the Antarctic ... who gives a fuck ? When there's 8 foot of water in your living room, THATS IMPORTANT !!

    Oh, it's important that I have $100 million. Curse you, science, for not giving me that. I don't give a fuck about molecules or forces, I want the money.

    Averaging out the whole planet and then declaring "yes it it getting warmer" is hardly a PhD conclusion ... any fool with a college electrical certificate can tell you the more light bulbs are turned on, the bighter the room will be.

    There is hope for you yet.

    In the period 1950 till 2009, we've gone from 2.5 billion people to almost 7 billion ... what did you EXPECT to happen to global average temperature ?

    Oh, this is the inverse Flying Spaghetti Monster pirates vs global warming theory.

    Try correlating temperature against population, and guess what kind of slope the line has ?

    Thanks for sharing that. It did get a bit chilly after the black death, and was damn cold in the USA after the Spanish Flu outbreak.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.