Sometimes I wake up and feel as though we are living in a terrible masquerade ball. At this ball scientists no longer have any credential - the science that they profess must first be censored and filtered by the real scientists. The real scientists (a.ka. the politicians, the activists and the pundits) then decide if the work from the "lesser" scientists should be accepted with open arms or rejected for painting society and the world with a false brush.
In the debate on global warming or "climate change," science has taken a back seat to the punditry of today. Let's be clear about this - there exists no 100% consensus on global warming. Even those who agree that global warming is real, disagree over the scope of the changes that could happen. Yet people like Al Gore constantly and unrelentingly claim that there is a consensus and that those who disagree are just plain wrong. Obviously, their science is superior.
What kind of world are we living in when dissent is so dangerous that there is an active campaign to silence those? Liberals complain about the suppression of political dissent, but where is the outrage over the suppression of scientific dissent? Liberals vehemently defend the rights of those with views seemingly outside of the mainstream to organize and speak. Yet, many of these same liberals would never think to come to the defense of those scientists who had a different view of the world then they did.
Science is facing a real and genuine crisis. It is in danger of becoming homogeneous and indistinguishable from those who simply advocate science rather then study and research it. Science will cease to be a reflection of the world as it truly is - instead it will become a reflection of the ideology of the majority or to the those who can control the majority. The ideology of science will be linked to the politics of the time, to the customs and norms of the time rather then to the dictates of reality.
Some may say that this is hyperbole, or that science will never become ideology. Yet, history is full of examples of science as ideology. The science of eugenics was was based upon the belief in racial superiority. Yet, there are other examples that are current to our times.
Animal testing is based upon the science (or belief) that a) Animal testing closely replicates the results that humans will face and b) that human testing should generally not be done. Animal testing is so warped by ideology that when the question of efficacy and accuracy comes up, many of us resort to the argument of "well they're animals" instead of actually confronting the issue and questioning the ideology behind animal testing.
Ideology, unfortunately, has emerged in the 20th century as one the most dangerous byproducts of the enlightenment.
Part 2 to follow.