Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Intimidation and Consensus

How do you establish a global warming establishment? You smear your opponents.
So, the Society of Environmental Journalists put together a guide on climate change that lists a number of publications on global warming, scientists and seven environmental groups, each with positive descriptions. Under the "Deniers, Dissenters and 'Skeptics'" category are four listings -- all negative. They suggest that these folk are venal, partisan and bad scientists, or all of the above.
Why is it so important to environmentalists that their side be perceived as having a consensus? Isn’t science about the facts, not whether everyone else agrees? After all, Galileo was far outside the consensus of his time -- yet still the earth moves.

I think it comes down to the big victim of progressive education: the virtue of independence. Progressive education “socializes” its students; it trains young people to go along with the group rather than think for themselves.

We’re beginning to see what happens in a nation of easily intimidated conformists who lack the self-confidence to think for themselves.

1 comment:

Galileo Blogs said...

Science should be taught as the story of the *non-consensus* thinkers. All scientific advances begin with that first person who formed a correct new conclusion. By definition, that conclusion is outside of the consensus.

In another field, a mentor of mine once told me that the job of a stock analyst is to "form correct, non-consensus opinions." Stepping back to think about that, it is profound advice, also something remarkably difficult to achieve. Of course, the rewards are great for those who can achieve it in any field, whether it is science or investing or anything else.