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The Problem with Science... Is Scientists
National Review ^ | 07/07/2014 | Kevin D. Williamson

Posted on 07/07/2014 8:15:45 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

To repurpose Willi Schlamm, the problem with science is scientists. In the current issue of National Review, Charles C. W. Cooke has a pitiless essay on the cult of Neil deGrasse Tyson and “America’s nerd problem,” and in the prior issue I touched on a similar subject, the meme-ification of science for political purposes, in “Nobody @#$%&*! Loves Science.” The common theme is prestige: Science enjoys enormous public esteem, which it has earned for itself, and it is inevitable that political types seek to bask in that prestige themselves, or to dress their policy preferences in white lab coats.

Thus the MSNBC humble-braggadocio about being “nerds” — Neil deGrasse Tyson and Chris Hayes being fellow nerds in the same sense that Buzz Aldrin and those monkeys were fellow astronauts.

The problem is that scientific prestige accompanies scientists well outside their fields of expertise. That’s true when they wander into other scientific fields — as I noted in my essay, Carl Sagan authored scientific illiteracies based on long-discredited ideas in the course of arguing for abortion — but the problem is most acute when it comes to the matter of politics.

A relatively recent and intensely annoying example of this comes from my alma mater, the University of Texas, which is proud to employ the physicist Steven Weinberg, who was awarded the Nobel prize in 1979. Professor Weinberg is not short of opinions — evangelizing for causes ranging from atheism to Zionism — and is unsurprisingly interested in the question of government funding for scientific research, a subject he explores in his compact essay “The Crisis in Big Science,” recently republished in The Best American Science and Nature Writing of 2013.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Science; Society
KEYWORDS: cience; scientism; scientists

1 posted on 07/07/2014 8:15:45 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

The problem with scientists is massive funding for a million cr** studies.

2 posted on 07/07/2014 8:20:05 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: SeekAndFind

It is not with scientists but with sciencetwists - prostituted renta opinion “wizards”.

3 posted on 07/07/2014 8:25:34 AM PDT by Leo Carpathian (FReeeeepeesssssed)
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To: SeekAndFind
If you don't believe in all the incidental personal opinions that scientist have, then you are anti-science.

If you don't believe that "nothing is true in science", then you are anti-science. If you think theories should be proved, you are anti-science.

If you don't believe everything that Bill Nye says, then you are anti-science.

If you don't believe that Bill Nye is a scientist, then you are anti-science.

4 posted on 07/07/2014 8:26:41 AM PDT by Ethan Clive Osgoode (<<== Click here to learn about Evolution!)
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To: SeekAndFind

The problem with any process is ALWAYS the PEOPLE who run it.

Humans are flawed and despite how perfect any system is designed to be, it will always fail at the most fragile point and that is always at the flawed human point.

Socialism looks good “on paper” but the amount of power it requires a few at the top to manage causes it to be deeply flawed at the personelle level.

The better the system the less it relies on people making decisions and holding power, which is WHY any system that puts limits on the power of the people running it is superior to any ssystem that demands there be no limits.

5 posted on 07/07/2014 8:27:29 AM PDT by GraceG (No, My Initials are not A.B.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Double postings from you with different titles... twice.
Rather confusing, including the deBlahsio postings. Either that or FR is screwing up.

6 posted on 07/07/2014 8:28:28 AM PDT by John S Mosby (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t understand the logic of this article at all. First he criticizes scientists for trying to look out for themselves and speaking up for the value in what they do. Well, politics aside, who wouldn’t look out for their jobs and take an interest in getting a share of the budget? Seems only natural to me. Then he blames scientists for trying to work within a political system for dealing out money. The blame for a broken, bloated system of throwing money away is not on the scientists as a group, but on the voters who send incompetent representatives into office, and the crooked politicians who keep the system running. Meanwhile he throws in some classism, which is always good for strirring the pot.

7 posted on 07/07/2014 8:41:29 AM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: Sacajaweau

Yes. The problem with scientists is the sources of their funding. Much akin to statisticians.

8 posted on 07/07/2014 8:43:21 AM PDT by Blue Collar Christian (Just what is the real reason to disarm a law abiding citizen like me, ?)
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To: GraceG

Reducing restrictions only changes who is making wrong or crooked decisions.

Not suggesting there be more restrictions. Sometimes there should be, sometimes there shouldn’t be.

9 posted on 07/07/2014 8:56:13 AM PDT by sakic
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To: Kirkwood

I think you aren’t reading him right. He agrees it is logical for scientists to push for more funding for science. He even agrees science should be funded more.

Where he parts company with scientists, and the one guy in particular, is when they start claiming that because government funding of science is Good and Necessary, then government funding of anything and everything is equally Good and Necessary.

BTW, this is all an example of Expertise Transference.

“I am truly expert in my field, which happens to be law (for example). Therefore I am an expert in all fields, and my opinion should override those with less expertie.”

The biggest problem with this notion is that a true expert in any field has, more or less by definition, focused on it so narrowly he is likely to be quite ignorant and therefore inexpert on any other subject. Expertise does NOT transfer.

Personally, I like what Will Rogers said, “We are all ignorant, just about different things.” The humility to recognize that you are NOT qualified to make decisions for other people, outside your field of expertise, is something sorely lacking among many in our educated elite.

10 posted on 07/07/2014 11:33:34 AM PDT by Sherman Logan (Perception wins all the battles. Reality wins all the wars.)
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