March 20, 2010

When to Doubt a Scientific ‘Consensus’

Discovery Institute senior fellow Jay Richards has an excellent piece at The American titled, "When to Doubt a Scientific ‘Consensus’," that gives 12 criteria to help us decide whether it’s appropriate to doubt a particular “consensus.” Richards of course notes that the very term “consensus” is often used to shut down scientific debate—but that hardly means the scientific “consensus” is necessarily wrong. Indeed, some wrongly challenge the consensus when it ought to be affirmed. Richards threads this needle carefully, explaining why we must carefully examine the scientific, sociological, rhetorical, and political dynamics of a debate to determine if the consensus deserves our assent, or our skepticism.

Read the article here: When to Doubt a Scientific ‘Consensus’