whither science?

Willis Eschenback takes apart an interview of Professor Muller of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project by NPR. What is revealed is about the nature of science in modern society.

I wholeheartedly agree. I only fear that Muller doesn’t realize the full extent of the problem. I’m afraid he hasn’t noticed how that whole “we’re on a noble mission to save the world from itself” mentality has deeply infiltrated and corrupted an entire field of scientific inquiry.

I also found his comments on “pigeonholing” quite revealing. In the interview he divides people into “deniers”, “skeptics”, and “exaggerators”, and discusses what he sees as the characteristic claims of his neatly pigeonholed groups … and then he claims he doesn’t like pigeonholing?

The picture raised is that of a scientist trying to please an ideology in vogue and having problems with his intellectual integrity in the process. It is a struggle which is endemic in the nature of scientific inquiry. Eschenback’s story provides a good illustration about why it is an important struggle.

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