August 30, 2020 | David F. Coppedge

Fallen, Fallen Is Big Science the Great (cont.)

Here are more angles from which to view the downfall of Big Science and its accomplice, Big Media.

Please notice that these accusations against science are being made by scientists and secularists who embrace Darwinism.

Big Science Is Pretentious

It is time to do away with outlandish claims and make science duller (New Scientist). This magazine that usually champions science over all other forms of knowledge (scientism, as described in the first paragraph below) has had enough. It issues a trumpet blast to shame the perpetrators of boastful, pretentious, outlandish claims, and warns of the perverse incentives that have brought disrepute on Big Science, Big Media, and the entire “science ecosystem.” Stand back and feel the heat:

ONE of the special things about science is its inbuilt system of self-correction. There is no such thing as scientific truth, just a set of provisional truths that are subject to revision or rejection when new information comes in. That process isn’t always quick or peaceful, but it usually gets to an answer in the end. The result is scientific progress.

Today, science badly needs to turn that commitment to self-correction on its own processes. Science involves many exciting discoveries, but not all incremental advances can be revolutionary. In a bid to get pulses racing with newsworthy findings, scientists are throwing caution to the wind. As psychologist Stuart Ritchie explains, the values that make science so successful – universalism, disinterestedness, organised scepticism and common ownership of knowledge – are being sacrificed on the altar of hyperbole.

The problem is one of perverse incentives. Almost everyone in the science ecosystem benefits from flashy original discoveries and astounding claims: the scientists, their institutions, grant-awarding bodies, academic journals, press officers and the media. Almost nobody benefits from caution, such as diligently combing through other people’s data or replicating experiments. As a result, science is increasingly and worryingly unreliable.

Can we do better than peer review? Gold standard or below par? (Chemistry World). For those who still believe that peer review guarantees objectivity and reliability, Rachel Brazil has some deprogramming to do. Meta-research on research consistently shows that peer review does little better than randomness when it comes to approving or disapproving worthy papers.

Perhaps it is unreasonable to expect high levels of consistency from peer review. As Lawrence states, ‘you are sampling from three people who are not objective … they’ve got particular opinions’. This may not have once been a problem, but the current competitive nature of academia has made each peer reviewed decision highly significant. ‘If you have a funding rate of 5%, or 10%, you’re going to have very few winners and a lot of losers, and a lot of undeserving losers and some undeserving winners,’ says Johan Bollen, an expert in complex systems from Indiana University Bloomington, US, who has been investigating alternative models for distributing funding.

The opportunities for fake science to make it through in this competitive environment are non-trivial. To show that peer review is not enshrined in heaven as some objective, eternal canon, Brazil discusses other proposals that are being seriously considered, like random funding, lotteries and universal funding. Something must be done to break out of the stranglehold that current peer review practices have, which pass out publishing rewards unfairly and mislead the public with a faulty image of reliability.

Big Science Is Subjective

Paradox puts objectivity on shaky footing (Science Magazine). This article leaps from a poorly-understood thought experiment in quantum mechanics by Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner to the conclusion that nothing is objectively true. Doesn’t anyone have a problem with that self-refuting proposition?

Whereas Wigner believed resolving the paradox requires quantum mechanics to break down for large systems such as human observers, some of the new study’s authors believe something just as fundamental is on thin ice: objectivity. The puzzle could mean there is no such thing as an absolute fact, one that is as true for me as it is for you.

“It’s a bit disconcerting,” says co-author Nora Tischler of Griffith University. “A measurement outcome is what science is based on. If somehow that’s not absolute, it’s hard to imagine.”

Big Science Is Politically Biased

This is not news; we have been demonstrating the anti-conservative, pro-Democrat bias of academia for years (e.g., 13 July 2020). What is new is the phenomenon of activism in the name of Big Science, being justified on the basis of evolutionary anthropology and psychology. This trend is a direct outcome of the unrest and violence occurring in US cities over “Black Lives Matter” and other radical groups demanding “anti-racism” activity. To what extent are scientists showing solidarity in order to appear politically correct or avoid being attacked? And what do these articles have to do with science anyway?

Hit ’em where it hurts – how economic threats are a potent tool for changing people’s minds about the Confederate flag (The Conversation). Note: *this is not in any way meant as a rationalization for the Confederate symbols* – it is about totalitarian activism, where people are expected to conform or be canceled. “The Conversation” pretends to be a science site, yet it allows two academics from NC State and USC to advocate for the most effective ways to force social change – not only regarding flags and symbols, but about LGBTQ acceptance. They specifically target conservatives by name and argue that economic threats are a potent weapon for getting those who are not politically correct to succumb.

Science meets politics (Science Magazine). This is a review of a new book by Samanth Subramanian about J.B.S. Haldane, a strong proponent of Darwinism in the first half of the 20th century. Haldane was also a communist radical at a time when it was precarious to be one, and yet reviewer P. William Hughes gives him apologetic coverage. One shouldn’t hold one’s breath waiting for a good review of any scientist who was skeptical of Darwinism or who believed in God. Notice how Haldane blended his beliefs in Marx and Darwin:

Subramanian admonishes Haldane’s belated rejection of Lysenkoism, suggesting that he demurred because he was reluctant to criticize fellow communists. This criticism lands awkwardly, mostly because Haldane did disown Lysenko—although not as quickly as his anticommunist peers—and eventually left the CPGB, disillusioned by its rejection of “bourgeois genetics.” However, Haldane clearly admired Stalin and tried to reconcile Darwinian evolution with Soviet dialectical materialism (“diamat”) pseudoscience. Subramanian suggests that these mistakes were the predictable result of the political views that motivated Haldane’s best work.

Ultimately, Subramanian’s depiction of Haldane is balanced and modern and should prove engaging to readers interested in the birth of genetics and in the intersection of science and political belief.

Big Science Is Being Taken Hostage by Leftist Radicals

An Open Letter: Scientists and Racial Justice (The Scientist). This article, an open letter signed already by hundreds of academics, sounds like it was written by antiracist prophet Ibram X. Kendi. It calls on scientists to admit their racism and confess their complicity in “system racism.” Readers unfamiliar with Kendi’s Critical Race theory and the influence he is having on the protests and riots can read a book review about his writings on National Review, and compare how the scientists are responding. A familiar tactic by Marxist revolutionaries is to control the narrative, eliminate free speech and free press, and break down the system. Big Science will succumb to the revolution, just like it did in Stalin’s Russia. Instead of being judged by evidence, science will be judged by whether it supports or opposes the Revolution. That is how Stalin fell for the fake agricultural and genetic science of the charlatan Trofim Lysenko, who sold his theories as anti-capitalist. Millions died of starvation as a result.

Few are the voices that are protesting the requirement for re-education classes in critical race theory, which are infiltrating colleges, universities, and labs (see what is happening at Sandia National Laboratory, reported by WND). It is also coming to public schools across the nation in the form of an antiracist book, White Fragility. The entire academic world is becoming indoctrinated in these views, which are overtly racist—judging people by the color of their skin. Science was meant to be colorblind. Whoever finds a fact about nature contributes to human knowledge; skin color should have nothing to do with it. The founders of Black Lives Matter are admitted Marxists. They will take Big Science all the way down if they gain power, exercising totalitarian control over scientists, but as the next article shows, hundreds of scientists are already falling for their strategic, deceptive, revolutionary plan.

Systemic racism has consequences for all life in cities (University of Washington). Big Science is pretending to raise a fist in solidarity to the anti-racism movement (the notion that you are already guilty of racism just by being born in a “racist society”). But Big Science is caught in a trap: if Big Science doesn’t stand up to the new totalitarianism voiced by Michelle Ma in this press release, it will implode and become a shell of its former self, morphing into a tool for leftist radicals.

The main purpose of the paper is to show the scientific community that fundamental practices in science are based on systems that support white supremacy and perpetuate systemic racism, the authors said. They hope their colleagues in science fields will begin to dig into the history of the various laws and practices that built present-day inequalities — such as redlining and Jim Crow laws — and then start to reevaluate how they run their labs and conduct their research.

“I hope this paper will shine the light and create a paradigm shift in science,” Schell said. “That means fundamentally changing how researchers do their science, which questions they ask, and realizing that their usual set of questions might be incomplete.”

Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, both evolutionary biologists who were “cancelled” by leftist radicals at Evergreen University (see their story told in the documentary No Safe Spaces), have been speaking out on their “Dark Horse Podcast” about the risk to scientists and academics who won’t show courage to stand up to radicals. In episode 41, they show recent clips of people in outdoor restaurants being confronted by shouting radicals demanding they raise a fist of solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Those who refuse are shouted at even more, filmed with their faces prominent in order to be broadcast on the internet so they can be doxed (exposed) and shamed or canceled. Other patrons sitting nearby drop their heads and raise a fist so as not to be harassed. Even if one agrees with the positions of the radicals about racism, Weinstein says, no one should be forced to submit under threat. Bret and Heather know what they are talking about. Radicals forced them out of their university positions, and their colleagues refused to stand up for them, even though the two later won a judgment against the university for the way they were unfairly treated.

And yet Weinstein and Hdeying attribute the latest social movements to evolutionary game theory! This undermines any appeal to moral duty. This should be so obvious, but it completely escapes them. They were treated badly, and (we agree) have a right to feel indignant over what was done to them. And yet if it is all an evolutionary game, it’s not about right or wrong, but only about who wins the fitness test by blind natural selection. If the radicals win, who are they going to complain to, and what will be the charges? An evolutionary judge would have to say, “Tough; that’s the way it goes.”

Big Science has become a toy of the radical left. We lament its downfall, remembering its roots so strongly embedded in the Judeo-Christian worldview of the west, and illustrated by so many God-fearing creation-affirming founders of science. But this kind of fall will ensue to everyone who rejects their Creator. In Romans 1:18-32, Paul emphasized the fact that creation is clear from the things that are made. He warned the world that rejection of the creator leads to absurdity. And so we see highly intelligent people professing to be wise, but acting like fools.

Once again, we reiterate that Big Science refers to the power centers and institutions that claim to “speak for science.” Any individual scientist who does good work with honesty, humility and integrity gets our respect. But maybe it is getting time for theistic scientists working honestly to heed to the message of a coming angel at the end of the age who will call to those in Babylon, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4).

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