Scientists should understand themselves as both learners and active creators of knowledge, according to a recent research paper on “Distributed Science: The Scientific Process as Multi-Scale Active Inference.” The study disputes the traditional inductive scientific method and suggests a Bayesian model, whereby multiple theories are weighed side by side for plausibility. The model also factors in the role of personal and community-wide interests affecting scientific advancement. Caution is called for when interpreting science-based policies, since scientific understanding is always evolving.
1859, the year of publication of Darwin’s The Origin of Species, was the year that the concept of evolution exploded into popular consciousness. It went on to foment a controversy that raged for a hundred years and still continues, in some quarters, to be considered problematic. That was because Darwin, and independently Alfred Wallace, had… Continue reading The Evolution of Evolutionary Thinking
One of the victims of covid and the reactions to the pandemic, has been the reputation of science. This is best summed up in the slogan which emerged during the pandemic, the admonition to “FOLLOW THE SCIENCE!”, which was parroted by scientifically semi-literate pundits whenever anyone had the temerity to question the official version on… Continue reading The Bureaucratic and Authoritarian Implications of “The Science”
Bjorn Lomborg (New York, NY: Basic books, 2020) For a long time, there has been no real centre ground politically on climate change: either you are a believer in green activism and its policy platform or a denier, it seems. This is nowhere more demonstrably seen than in the US, where stance on climate change… Continue reading Review: False Alarm: How climate change panic costs us trillions, hurts the poor and fails to fix the planet.
We in the UK are 60 days into a lockdown which has devastated our economy in an attempt to address a Covid-19 outbreak which is by now largely on the retreat. But like a rabbit in the headlights, we are stuck with a policy which, although it has successively changed its justification as each of… Continue reading How Useful Are “R” Values?
The latest news that the Antarctic has undergone rapid melting in the period 2014-2017 (Vaughan, 2019), undoing 35 years of gradual growth, one of the touchstones of climate change sceptics, effectively demolishes the argument that global warming is not real. Nevertheless, the pressure by activists for radical and immediate restructuring of the economy is potentially… Continue reading An assessment of the status of climate change modelling as a scientific paradigm (part 2)
These past two weeks have seen an escalation in ecological activism with protesters taking control of the arteries of major cities in the UK, bringing traffic to a standstill, in order to force radical action on the government regarding climate control. While I feel encouraged by young people taking action over an issue they are… Continue reading Climate change as a scientific paradigm (part 1)