Rear Mirror: What Has Become of Science?

Source:  http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/climate-change-and-the-death-of-science/

What has become of science? We thought that science was about the pursuit of truth. Then we became perplexed at how quickly scientists have prostituted themselves in the service of political agendas. We have seen the unedifying spectacle of scientists refusing to share their data, fiddling their results, and resorting to ad hominem attacks on those who have exposed their work to be fraudulent. We have seen the Royal Society becoming a shamelessly crude advocacy society.

We have seen President Obama choosing notorious climate alarmists and liars to be his personal advisors. We have seen the peer review process and journal editors colluding to prevent publication of results that do not serve the politically-correct agenda, and scientists refusing to consider results that demolish their pet theories. What is going on here?

What is going on is that science is no longer what we thought it was. It is now a tool in the hands of socialists, and the smart money is flowing into the pockets of ‘scientists’ who will serve their agenda. Follow the money. Whilst traditional physics and chemistry departments are closing in British universities, and there is a shortage of science teachers, there is an abundance of cash being poured into departments that will serve socialist ends, and no shortage of acolytes desirous to use this as a route to power.

Once there was modern science, which was hard work; now we have postmodern science, where the quest for real, absolute truth is outdated, and ‘science’ is a wax nose that can be twisted in any direction to underpin the latest lying narrative in the pursuit of power.

So this is not science as we know it. Science has to re-invent itself as a political tool, just as it was under Hitler and Stalin. Scientists must learn ‘as quickly as possible’ what will please the political elite, and serve it up. As one Richard Fernandez has written:

All in all, the notion of “post-normal science” seems like a complete contradiction in terms or a perversion of the standard definition of science as commonly understood. It appears to be an elaborate and dishonest attempt to pass off the preferences of a single group as some kind of pseudo-science. There’s a much simpler term for this dishonest phrase: politics.

Post-normal science is nothing but a cheap and lying term for a political diktat; for the rule of the self-appointed over everyone else. Whatever truth “Global Warming” may contain it has surely been damaged by its association with this disreputable and vile concept which brazenly casts aside the need for any factual basis and declares in the most unambiguous terms that whatever values it chooses to promote constitutes a truth unimpeachable by reality and a set of values that none dare challenge.

He quotes extensively from Mike Hulme, the guy who set up the Tyndall Centre with help from Pachauri, here are just a few prime examples:

  • Within a capitalist world order, climate change is actually a convenient phenomenon to come along.
  • …‘self-evidently’ dangerous climate change will not emerge from a normal scientific process of truth-seeking…scientists – and politicians – must trade truth for influence.
  • The function of climate change I suggest, is not as a lower-case environmental phenomenon to be solved…It really is not about stopping climate chaos. Instead, we need to see how we can use the idea of climate change – the matrix of ecological functions, power relationships, cultural discourses and materials flows that climate change reveals – to rethink how we take forward our political, social, economic and personal projects over the decades to come.
  • The idea of climate change should be seen as an intellectual resource around which our collective and personal identifies and projects can form and take shape. We need to ask not what we can do for climate change, but to ask what climate change can do for usBecause the idea of climate change is so plastic, it can be deployed across many of our human projects and can serve many of our psychological, ethical, and spiritual needs.
  • We will continue to create and tell new stories about climate change and mobilise these stories in support of our projects.
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