Originally Posted by hpeer
. . . The argument now seems to have devolved into the trust worthiness of scientist. . .
Then, by further extrapolation, are we to believe that we should believe NOTHING from a scientist as they are inherently at someones pocket?
I think that your statements above address the core
issues these days. And they are not something new. Scientists have always been "paid" or financially sponsored by somebody with significant money
all the way from Leonardo da Vinci up to the present. And few, if any, of the sponsors kept their hands off the scientists work or field of study. There has always been an underlying agenda influencing the work.
- - Because the cost of modern scientific research
is getting more and more expensive, scientists have come to learn where the "bread" is and what they have to do to feed their families and put their kids
. These are the harsh realities for all occupations.
- - What is discouraging now is the need for mass media attention to get the "sponsor's" attention and keep the money
flowing. Since private sponsor's are pretty much a thing of the past with a few exceptions, governments are the prime source now of money for research
. And obviously that leads to politicians controlling who, what and where the money is given.
- - Look at NASA and the Space Program, every 4 or 8 years they have to dramatically alter their long range objectives to appease this group of politicians or that group. NIH has the same problems with politicians sticking their fingers into what can be researched and what cannot be researched for political/religious reasons.
- - It is a wonder that any significant research is getting done anywhere. Serious research is scuttled by politicians boasting about ending funding
for study of the sex life of this frog or that bug, when the underlying research objective is to find life saving chemicals, hormones, medicine, whatever to better treat human diseases/conditions.
- - Climate change is a fact, as it has been going on for billions of years. What is up for discussion is are humans having any significant or long lasting effect on the natural processes of the planet. Evolution is a fact, but what is up for discussion is the motivating/causal factors by which evolutionary changes happen in organisms.
- - One problem with modern research is it is being done by "proxy" rather than direct controlled experiments and observations. Computers
, satellites, etc., are cheap
when compared to putting scientists out in the field to do significant data gathering. Then everything is fed into a super-computer with a modeling program written by a human who has personal biases (every human has personal biases). If you look carefully through the cited survey
you will find that nearly 80% are involved in computer climate modeling. If you look at the survey response rate chart you will that on average only 1 in 5 who received the survey returned it. Only 375 scientists responded out of probably many, many thousands in the field world-wide.
- - Be that as it may, looking through the actual data in the survey there are text book patterns of bell curve responses to questions that rarely shift off the center - "I don't really know or care" - other-wise known as the "average" position.
- - So as to your questions - are scientists trustworthy? These days not anymore than I would trust economists, politicians, or used-car salesmen.
- - "we should believe NOTHING from a scientist as they are inherently at someones pocket
" - That's a little too extreme, there are some good scientists out there, but the ones screaming doom and disaster and making claims that defy common sense are pushing an agenda most usually related to their sources of funding
- - It is extremely sad that in today's mass media, instant polling, and hyperbolic claims of this and that, that real science has been forgotten. Even the term "scientist" has been debased and used as a "buzz word" to try to legitimize fringe religious and political purposes. There are a lot of old oxymorons - one is "military intelligence" and now they can add "social scientist," "political scientist" and "climate scientist."