What Scientists Really Do
|February 9, 2012||Posted by Barry Arrington under Intelligent Design|
In a comment to a recent post Dr. Liddle wrote: “Scientists do not appeal to authority; they appeal to evidence and argument, and all their conclusions are provisional, not absolute.”
I will grant that Dr. Liddle’s statement summarizes fairly what scientists should do, but I am astonished that anyone – much less someone who has been around the scientific block a few times as Dr. Liddle obviously has – would believe that is what scientists actually do. Every single scientific revolution, from Newton to Einstein, was met with vociferous opposition by the scientific establishment with a vested interest in the status quo. Indeed, I have previously noted on these pages that scientists often hold to the prevailing orthodoxy with a hidebound obstinacy that would make a mediaeval churchman blush.
Appeals to authority? If I had a dime for every every time I’ve heard “the overwhelming consensus among scientists is [fill in the blank],” I could retire comfortably today. Provisional conclusions? Give me a break. Tell that to the next Darwinist who gets red in the face, stamps his feed and yells “Darwinism is a fact, fact fact!”