“I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.
Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”
For progressivism, ‘science’ has become a safety blanket in which its adherents can swaddle themselves to avoid confronting alternative beliefs.
Whatever your politics, be wary of this tactic of trying to shut down discussion.
“Science” is an ever-changing body based on what we know or what we think we know. The Earth used to be flat. The Earth used to be the center of the universe. Pluto used to be a planet.
That’s not to say that evidence should be ignored, but I often wonder when you hear something like “95% of scientists agree that X” what it is that the other 5% disagree with. Consensus does not equal truth.
Whenever someone says there is “no question” about any given matter, my first instinct is to question it.
I also question arguments that include something like “don’t be on the wrong side of history” or “the debate is over.”