Friday, November 27, 2009

Science Is A Self-Correcting Enterprise, As Long As The Correction Is Happening At Some Other Time, In Some Other Place, On Some Other Theory

In looking at the scientific responses to the "Climate-gate" revelations (here, for example, and in the associated comments), I'm finding an attitude that says, "We know that there is no scandal and that AGW is sound, because science is a self-correcting enterprise." All of this sidesteps the question of whether or not the self-correction is something that needs to take place right here, right now, and on this particular theory. If self-correction is always conveniently taking place somewhere and somewhen else, then when precisely is it ever really taking place?

The attitude reminds me of the old joke about the "Efficient Market" economist who won't pick a twenty-dollar bill up off the sidewalk, because if it were really there someone else would have already picked it up!

So come on, scientists, you're going to need to prove for once that Science! really is a self-correcting enterprise. Even when the chips are down.

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