Climategate and the structure of scientific devolution

Climategate matters for the following reasons–

Science is never “settled.”

Science can be, among other things, a continuing and self-correcting process of human inquiry.

Science is necessary to our survival as a species and as a planet because it fundamentally lets us know when we are wrong, so we can take action to correct our mistakes.

The second that science is treated as “settled” marks the beginning of its devolution as a science.

Science and ideology are enemies.

Science by its very nature must be open to all sources of information, and must be able to test these sources.

Ideology by its very nature builds echo chambers of true believers resistant to new and contradictory information. Ideology attempts to complete and communicate a narrative to a level of certainty beyond the sustainable or possible. Ideology appears necessary for public action, but it is inadequate to sustain our action when it is necessary to correct our action.

Science depends upon human integrity, reason, transparency, open sources for and retention of information, intellectual competence, technical skill, computational power, explanatory and visualization mastery, fair play, disclosure of and separation from vested interest, recognition of verifiable and tested truth from whatever quarter, respect for authorship and for differing perspectives, advancement due to achievement, open debate, free dissemination of human knowledge, and trust in others to act upon reason and evidence rather than upon ideology.

Science can no more expected to be the handmaiden of politics than it can be expected to be the handmaiden of religion.

Climategate negated the traits of good science in manifold and multiple ways. In its themes of manipulation and obfuscation, Climategate manifests the structure of scientific devolution.

© Copyright 2009, Albert J. Schorsch, III
All Rights Reserved



Leave a Reply