Science Eats Her Young – Consensus vs Correctness, the Scientific vs the Political and the happy news of the unkown unknown


Karl Popper, the godfather of falsifiability [Φ phi studios 2014]

Karl Popper, the godfather of falsifiability                                                           [© phi studios 2014]

There is a new guest article up at Judy Curry’s blog, Climate Etc. by Will Howard titled Appeals to the Climate Consensus Can Give the Wrong Impression that is of particular interest to Meme Merchants because it is both relevant in scientific current affairs and is also relevant generally in the discussion of scientific epistemology in regards to how people generally are supposed to know what the state of the science is at any given moment.

The article was originally posted at The Conversation.  Will Howard is a Research Scientist at University of Melbourne  School of Earth Sciences and is also the Deputy Chair of the Australian National Committee for Antarctic Research.

On the current events front of science, there is a bitter and on-going debate about the supposed scientific consensus regarding anthropogenic global warming due the volume of CO2 emitted by human activity.  The debate rages far and wide about this supposed consensus: what is this consensus actually? how many scientists hold this ‘consensus view’? which scientists [or who’s] really count in the matter?  who should do the counting? who owns the ‘consensus’, and what does all of this mean for the rest of us anyway?

No Meme Merchant is going to settle the debate about the specifics of the consensus about the catastrophic global warming debate – there are lots of places trying to do that – but we would like to take up a very confined look at the “what does all of this mean anyway?” specifically in regards to Mr. Howard’s article – before I launch into a rave about what’s so great about science as a way of knowing.

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When the Uncertainty Monster Rears its Wicked Head Should We Tell the Truth?-A Comment on Curry


The Incredulity of St Thomas - Caravagio c.1601 - Truth is vouchsafed to the doubter

I have a comment in over at Judith Curry’s blog Climate Etc. on her recent post, Should We Tell the Whole Truth About Climate Change?  – Good long title there, I approve.  There are already almost 400 comments, so I am promoting my comment to a slightly expanded post here to cut through the torrent of bits over there.

Judy writes:

In principle, yes of course.  In practice, many journalists, scientists and government officials are not so certain as to how to balance telling the whole truth and being truthful in an “effective” way.

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