[Plant-education] Scientific truth

David Alan Walker via plant-ed%40net.bio.net (by d.a.walker from sheffield.ac.uk)
Tue Oct 31 16:01:20 EST 2006


Here, in the UK, much to do about the Stern Report
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/green/story/0,,1935716,00.html

 About which, I  said to a journalist that

³Similar economic considerations apply to the more complex issues of abating
nuclear proliferation, and reducing dependence on Middle Eastern oil.
ŒAchieving
these benefits by improved end-use efficiency lets one make money on the
deal.¹ This
is, in a variant on Marv Goldberger¹s memorable phrase, ³spherically
sensible².
Energy efficiency makes sense no matter which way you look at it. It should
be done
to save money, even if we¹re not concerned about such issues as global
warming².

She replied  ³Agreed. But irrelevant to the global warming debate, which is
 essentially about truth².

To which I replied

" A scientist is supposed, by vocation and training, to be properly
sceptical to be open-minded and, while working within the confines of
current dogma, to be able to step outside of existing ³truths² once these
can be demonstrated to be less than true or even false. These constraints
are, by definition, in conflict with one another. Moreover, scientists are
human, they can be mistaken and misled".

Don't tell me, though, that scientists are a bunch of crooks. By and large
they are not into it for the money (or, if they are,  go ahead and dismiss
them all as abject failures). Like politicians and, dare I say it,
journalists, most are ready to accept what measurements (facts, truth?) tell
them. Global climate change is real. Easier to verify than Evolution. Easier
to verify, would you believe, than the "Laws of Thermodynamics".  Don't,
please, destroy your credibility, by doing a Canute thing. The tide is
washing over your feet. Look at it.

I am reminded about how relieved I was, back in 1953 at ³Old Purdue¹ when I
heard someone stand up and denounce MaCarthy
<http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAmccarthy.htm>

So where does Plant Ed stand on these matters?. Do we deny Global Climate
Change. Do we deny Intelligent Design? Are we allowed to talk about these
matters or must we follow the  old U.K dictum (that brought us where we are
now) to avoid all discussion of polotics , sex or religion?

Best regards

David


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