Friday, April 18, 2014

The Rationality of Science

This quote about the rationality of "science" in Mark Buchanan's wonderful book Ubiquity: Why Catastrophes Happen is a terrific discussion about the rationality of science.

 "Science is of course, about inventing and testing ideas, and coming to beliefs through conversation with nature; it is decidedly not about being told 'how it is' by some authority. 'Science,' as Richard Feynman once expressed it, 'is belief in the ignorance of experts' - and, one might add, in the possibility of becoming slightly less ignorant through careful investigation. But while this is true, there nevertheless a great naivete in any view that would see the scientist as some kind of autmaton driven by the Holy Trinity of Rationality, Objectivity, and Open-Mindedness. Scientists are human beings, and since all science takes place in the setting of a community of researchers, scientists can influence other scientists."

So as we investigate the seriousness of Global Climate Change and start to consider what we might do about it, please consider that scientists have been wrong in the past and will be wrong in the future.  

And when we only fund and publish those with the mainstream thinking, that does not constitute real science according to Buchanan's definition of science.

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