In the comments on this site yesterday, TT suggested that I was “anti-science”.
Considering that over the past years I have consistently thrown the mockers at Global Warming and the Anti-Smoking crusades, that may appear to be true. In fact, just the opposite is true.
In my school days, one of my favourite subjects was physics. I later went on to study physics as part of my third level course. So while I wouldn’t call myself a scientist, I do think I know a little bit about theories and experimentation.
The process in science is quite simple. You formulate a theory, and you then design experiments to test that theory. If the results of the experiment fit in with the theory then you know that you are on the right path, and if they don’t then you discard the theory. Simple.
Modern science however takes a different path. You formulate your theory and if the experiment doesn’t prove the theory you discard the experiment. The reason for this is simple – modern science is driven by cash and ideology, and has nothing to do with the search for truth and enlightenment.
This distortion of science seems to have become the accepted norm. I have seen advertisements for research where they have gone so far as to state the desired outcome in return for the funding. If you don’t find what they want you to find then you don’t get the cash. Is anyone going to find other than the desired outcome under these conditions?
In the case of Global Warming, so much has been invested that Global Warming has to be fact. Industries have sprung up on its back, taxes have been imposed and a multi trillion industry has grown. It is inconceivable that Global Warming could be false. Is any government or academic institution going to back research that proves it is false? The fact that many eminent scientists dispute it is hushed up, as it HAS to be true, whether it is true or false.
Similarly the Anti-smoking science has reached the status of a cult religion. To speak out against it is heresy. No doctor in his right mind dare claim that Environmental Tobacco Smoke is harmless despite very strong evidence that it is. Even the World Health Organisation is ignoring its own research and is declaring the argument closed. There is massive funding at stake here both from governments [via so called charities] and the pharmaceutical industry.
Science these days has become a democratic affair. Whether the arguments are right or wrong, what counts is the number of people who believe those arguments. We constantly hear such lines as “the clear consensus of opinion” and “the science is established”. No one dare argue the cases they will be pilloried and ridiculed.
I would just ask you to consider one little fact –
Once upon a time, the Earth was flat and also was the centre of the Universe. That was considered to be an “established fact” and to argue against either “fact” was an act of heresy.
Just ask Galileo.