Science Is Now More About Politics And Not Science

The 'Net has been obsessed with science over the past few years, particularly climate science. One of the things this ongoing online battle has illustrated to many of us more tech/science savvy denizens of the 'Net is that these days science is no longer about science science and more about political science. I'm not talking about the field of Political Science, but actual science that has become so politicized that it is no longer science but another version of Lysenkoism, where ideology trumps scientific method. (Trofim Lysenko's work was used by the Soviet Union in an effort to create the “New Soviet Man”, someone with ideological purity that suborned all personal ambition in order to serve The State, i.e. a drone with no sense of self.)

This trend has been building for some time, and the efforts of the late astronomer Carl Sagan certainly didn't help matters.

When the actual science no longer matters and predetermined outcomes are the only driving force behind 'science', then it isn't science anymore, is it? It's politically correct ideology masquerading as science.

Science has been thoroughly Saganized. The vast majority of research papers are wrong, their results cannot be replicated. The researchers writing them often don't even understand what they're doing wrong and don't care. Research is increasingly indistinguishable from politics. Studies are framed in ways that prove a political premise, whether it's that the world will end without a carbon tax or that racism causes obesity. If they prove the premise, the research is useful to the progressive non-profits and politicians who always claim to have science in their corner. If it doesn't, then it isn't funded.

"Science" has been reduced to an absolute form of authority that is always correct. The Saganists envision science as a battle between superstition and truth, but what distinguished science from superstition was the ability to throw out wrong conclusions based on testing. Without the scientific method, science is just another philosophy where anything can be proven if you manipulate the terminology so that the target is drawn around the arrow. Add statistical games and nothing means anything.

'Science' that is more politics has perverted the science community. Is it any wonder that fewer people trust science these days? If everyone has to take anything coming from the scientific community with a huge grain of salt, then science is no longer trustworthy. Everyone has to wonder what the motivation behind any pronouncement may be or wonder whether it's truthful or propaganda. Pseudo-science, quackery, and political ideology masquerading as science – so-called 'junk science' – has displaced actual science. In the end it will do all of us harm because those actually performing science according to long established scientific method have been marginalized and the propagandists rule. Skeptics are derided as being closed-minded or in the pay of [place convenient bogeyman here] and therefore not credible.

But skeptics are a required part of science because they force those making various claims to back them up with reproducible experiments and raw data. If the experiments or data cannot be reproduced, then the claims are bunk. Like climate science is today, there are a lot of theories about the causes of anthropogenic global warming. However there has not been one theory or experiment that has been reproducible by others. 'Data' received has been so heavily massaged as to be useless. The raw data isn't 'available' or is 'not germane' or has been 'lost'. If a hypothesis cannot be falsified, then the hypothesis is crap. At that point it becomes something that must be taken on faith with no proof required. That's not science. That's religion. Unfortunately that's where we find ourselves today in regards to climate change. All of the science is based on faith and computer climate models so defective that aren't anywhere near the observed climate data. And if the models aren't tracking the data, then the conclusion from the true believers is that the observations must be wrong. It's not just here where we see the decay of science.

Over the past few years how many research papers have we seen published that later had to be withdrawn because of errors in data analysis, or worse, fraudulent experimental results and made up data? How many times have we seen new scientific 'discoveries' turn out to be nothing more than shoddily run studies with questionable methodology?

Science works as a process that utilizes a set of tools. It does not innately confer superiority on anyone. A scientist who does not utilize the scientific method is as much use as a carpenter who cannot make chairs or a plumber who cannot fix toilets. A science that exists as a fixed absolute, whose premises are not to be questioned, whose data is not to be examined and whose conclusions are not to be debated, is a pile of wood or a leaky toilet. Not the conclusion of a process, but its absence.

It's time to reclaim science in the name of science, not political expediency, otherwise we are giving legitimacy to the equivalence of modern day Lysenkoism.