Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Problems with Science Today

Justin Taylor highlights some good articles in his post on Climate Gate. I thought this quote was especially important:

"What they (the criminating e-mails) reveal is something problematic for the scientific community as a whole, namely, the tendency of scientists to cross the line from being disinterested investigators after the truth to advocates for a preconceived conclusion about the issues at hand."

I think it is fair to say that this is true not just in the field of climatology, but in all fields of science today. As I alluded to in my previous post, none of us start off as disinterested investigators without presuppostions in our search for truth. We all have filters that we use to judge the data we receive. Therefore, I believe, science should never be relied on fully. Science is in danger of becoming an idol if we relate to it too much authority.

On the subject of problems in science, I was especially intrigued by a movie I saw last night called, "Lorenzo's Oil" (1992 - Nick Nolte, Susan Sarandon). It details the amazing true story of how a boy named Lorenzo is diagnosed with a rare incurable and fatal disease and yet, while receiving little help from the medical industry, discovers a medical solution with his parents that saves his life for another 25 years. With their backs against the wall, the boy's parents (who had not been trained in medicine) begin to search for the cure on their own, only to find that politics had gotten in the way of medical science advancing a cure. Today "Lorenzo's oil", as it is called, prevents or stops this fatal disease in up to half of the patients who take it. Hundreds of lives have been saved.

I recommend this movie to you heartily.

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