tisdag 6 april 2010

WSJ: Science is Dying

WSJ expresses in Climategate: Science is Dying in WSJ  from Dec 3 2009:
  • Science is on the credibility bubble. If it pops, centuries of what we understand to be the role of science go with it. 
  • What is happening at East Anglia is an epochal event. 
  • As the hard sciences—physics, biology, chemistry, electrical engineering—came to dominate intellectual life in the last century, some academics in the humanities devised the theory of postmodernism, which liberated them from their colleagues in the sciences. 
  • Postmodernism, a self-consciously "unprovable" theory, replaced formal structures with subjectivity. 
  • With the revelations of East Anglia, this slippery and variable intellectual world has crossed into the hard sciences.
But the credibility of  science was eroding long before Climategate and postmodernism,
in particular among young people entering education and chosing careers: Mathematics, physics, engineering and hard sciences was in decline and economy, politics and why not, postmodernism on the rise.

So, when did then the decline of  science start? Was it when
  • the Cold War ended in 1989? 
  • Einstein became four-dimensional in 1915 preparing the eleven dimensions of string theory?
  • statistical mechanics and its offspring quantum mechanics coined coin-tossing as science?
  • set theory became the basis of mathematics in Principia Mathematica in 1910?
  • Cantor introduced his transfinite numbers in the late 1900s?
  • the Lebesgue-integral replaced the Riemann-integral in the early 1900s? 
  • Prandtl became the father of modern fluid mechanics in the early 1900s?
  • set theory took over elementary school education in the 1960s?
  • the pocket calculator made long division powerless? 
  • Big Bang became the one and only cosmology starting in the 1960s. 
  • chaos theory could be used as explanation of the unexplainable?
  • Wikipedians took command of scientific truth? 
  • the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences endorsed IPCC?
Some of these questions are discussed in my My Book of Knols and previous blog posts. Or was
it not until IPCC showed that climate models were reliable? Compare Washington Post's Scientists' use of computer models to predict climate change is under attack.

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