Crackpots and the Nature of Truth
December 24, 2002 9:03 AM Subscribe
Crackpots and the Nature of Truth If you're a busy guy like me, you take on faith a lot what is promoted as scientific truth. But there's usually a "crackpot" minority who may find a few data points which don't fit the orthodox scientific theory and claim them as evidence of a conspiracy or mass delusion. On very rare occasions (and this is probably NOT one of them), they may even turn out to be right. For this reason, the unaligned unscientific masses find it easy to side with the crackpots. Those within the orthodoxy often take the position that confronting the minority in a fair and open debate would unduly dignify the minority's position. Unfortunately, the orthodoxy at the same time often loudly denounces the minority's position as "unscientific," but doesn't go much beyond that. To be sure, the minority's position often is truly "unscientific" because, for instance, it's unfalsifiable. The orthodoxy seems to be missing golden PR opportunities in articles like this. If the orthodoxy is truly concerned about winning converts away from the crackpots, shouldn't they AT LEAST take advantage of these opportunities to say a few words about what science is and is not, to inject some of the basic concepts of science (hypothesis, experimentation, theory construction, falsifiability, etc.) into the popular memesphere?
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