17 October 2014

Another Well Written Defense of Science

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 8.49.28 PMJonathan Bines is a staff writer for Jimmy Kimmel and he has a piece in Huff Post that is superb- it deserves sharing and widely. In this memorable October, a lot of virologists (and disease experts) are getting a taste of what evolutionary biologists, and climate scientists have experienced.

A quote from Bines:

“Science cannot be refuted by appeals to intuition or personal experience, attacks on the character or motivations of scientists, accusations of institutional bias, or by “cherry-picking” a particular authority figure, alternative theory, or research study. It cannot be denied because it is inconvenient, or because one dislikes the policy implications. It cannot be dismissed on supernatural grounds or through suggestions of conspiracy. It cannot be undermined by dreaming up alternative hypotheses (unsupported by strong evidence), or by pointing to remaining uncertainties in the established theory. All these are utterly inconsequential as refutations — not because scientists “know better” than the rest of us — but simply because they fail to convincingly meet the burden of proof.”

Another piece in the Washington Post tonight by Dr. Marshall Shepherd, past president of the Amer. Meteorological Society, is also worth reading. It’s here.