Wednesday, April 22, 2015

There's No Such Thing as Consensus Science

From Professor Mark Perry, at the American Enterprise Institute, "For Earth Day: Michael Crichton explains why there is “no such thing as consensus science”":

Do a Google search for the term “global warming consensus” and you’ll find more than 23,000 links (and 18,000,000 results without the quotations marks). The first link is to this NASA webpage about “scientific consensus” with the following bold statement:
Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.
As part of my series of posts this week to recognize the green holy day called Earth Day, here’s what Michael Crichton had to say about “scientific consensus” back in 2003 when he gave a lecture at the California Institute of Technology titled “Aliens Cause Global Warming” (emphasis mine):
Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.

In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of. Let’s review a few cases...
Keep reading.