Scientific heresy

  (03 November 11)
  by

Matt Ridley gave a lecture in Edinburgh recently in which he examined science/pseudoscience dichotomy. There are many examples currently active in our communities, and many more of historic interest. He spends quite a deal of time examining climate change checking its credentials as science or pseudo science. And he makes the point that sceptics are regarded as heretics in the same way as they have in other cases in our past.

 This is quite an interesting piece – perhaps a controversial one. 

3 comments

It has been almost three years since we moved to Spain and finding our way around has been fun and man and van London sometimes a struggle. When you move abroad you realize that you are giving up your career, your house, the lease car and all.

Posted by Timmy

David makes a good point. It's why, on Climate Change (and other complicated scientific questions) I believe we laypersons have no recourse but to defer to authority - but we have to choose the authorities we rely on intelligently: www.sof-in-australia.org/blog.php?blog_id=561

Posted by Greg Spearritt

This is a serious problem for those of us at the coal-face in the battle against such 'pseudoscience'. Often, these purveyors of pseudoscience wipe the floor with me. How come? When all I can do is exclaim "bulldust", the adherents of the practices and beliefs which I have labelled as 'pseudoscience' hit me with scientific methodology. They quote research data. And, surprise-surprise, the results of that data backs up their beliefs. (And this applies, as well, to beliefs such as Astrology.) All I can do is to keep my mouth shut. I have no case, unless I can quote alternative research data which has contrary results. Secondly, I need to familiar enough with the details of the data being presented to be able to criticise its methodology. Unless I can do so, I have no case. If I scream "crap", they retort "We have presented scientific data. Where is yours?"

Posted by David Miller

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