Archive for March 3, 2023

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.

Richard Feynman

If you want to see a contrast of what Science vs what “The Science” is you can’t do better than contrasting these words from scientist Richard Dawkins declaring :

The true reason science is more than an origin myth is that it stands on evidence: massively documented evidence, double blind trials, peer review, quantitative predictions precisely verified in labs around the world. Science reads the billion-word DNA book of life itself. Science eradicates smallpox and polio. Science navigates to Pluto or a tiny comet. Science almost certainly saved your life. Science works.

He notes that in speaking up for science (and those who suffer for professing it) he is fulfilling an obligation

We who don’t have a career to lose should speak out in defence of those who do. The magnificent seven are branded heretics by a nastily zealous new religion, a witch-hunt that recalls the false accusations against J.K. Rowling and Kathleen Stock. Professor Kendall Clements was removed from teaching evolution at the University of Auckland, after the School of Biological Sciences Putaiao Committee submitted the following recommendation: ‘We do not feel that either Kendall or Garth should be put in front of students as teachers. This is not safe for students…’ Not safe? Who are these cringing little wimps whose ‘safety’ requires protection against free speech? What on earth do they think a university is for?

Dawkins who is famous for his atheism closes his statement noting a double standard

Postscript on the flight out: Air New Zealand think it a cute idea to invoke Māori gods in their safety briefing. Imagine if British Airways announced that their planes are kept aloft by the Holy Ghost in equal partnership with Bernoulli’s Principle and Newton’s First Law.

Shades of Calvin Robinson’s incredible speech at Oxford where he notes that nobody is calling on Islam to change their scripture to accommodate gay marriage.

Now contrast this to this story from 10 years ago supposedly before the war on science began publicly in earnest:

Scientists working on the most authoritative study on climate change were urged to cover up the fact that the world’s temperature hasn’t risen for the last 15 years, it is claimed.

A leaked copy of a United Nations report, compiled by hundreds of scientists, shows politicians in Belgium, Germany, Hungary and the United States raised concerns about the final draft.

Take a look at the article and note how they are all afraid of the data leading people to a different conclusion than they wish and realize that our opponents have been fighting this culture war a long time before we have.

So the next time someone tells you not to fight the culture war note that the only difference between the culture wars now and the culture war 20 years ago is that we’re finally fighting back.