Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Way We Do Science

I’m not a big fan of hackers. However, one recent hack-job has given us an insider’s view of how science is done and how a scientific consensus is achieved and maintained. It has also proved that God can bring good out of evil.

As a consequence of the hack-job, the email exchanges of several British and American scientists in the forefront of climate-change research have been made public. Regarding this revealing exchange, John Tierney writes,

“When a journal publishes a skeptic’s paper, the scientists e-mail one another to ignore it. They focus instead on retaliation against the journal and the editor…These researchers, some of the most prominent climate experts in Britain and America, seem so focused on winning the public relations war that they exaggerate their certitude.”

“Contempt for critics is evident over and over again in the hacked e-mail messages, as if the scientists were a priesthood protecting the temple from barbarians” (Science Times
(NYT) Dec. 1 2009, 1-2).

It’s this kind of group-think, exaggeration and dirty tactics that makes me wonder about how extensive this kind of problem is in the halls of academia. Last year, the documentary, Expelled, revealed that several academicians have been fired, denied tenure or simply harassed because of their sympathies for “intelligent design” (ID). In such a repressive climate, I think we have to be somewhat skeptical regarding the resulting scientific “consensus.”

Meanwhile, evolutionists promote the establishment position, that we, the public, can trust the findings of science because all of their findings and publications are carefully scrutinized by their peers. However, if their peers are no more than “a priesthood protecting the temple from barbarians,” we might have to question whether the foxes have been left in charge of the chicken coop.

Last month I heard David Berlinski, an agnostic who respects ID, relate a story about a publisher who apologized to a scientist because he had been forbidden to publish any paper sympathetic to ID. Berlinski suggested that this type of thing wasn’t unusual.

This raises the question, “What kind of trust should we place in the evol.-establishment?” However, according to the militant evolutionist, Richard Dawkins,

“It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in the findings of Science that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).”

Ironically, it has taken a criminal-hacker to demonstrate that our trust is more “safely” placed elsewhere.

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