Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Times, They Ain't a Changin'

Recently, Popular Science shut down the ability to make comments on its website.

You'll notice that there are no comments on that article … uh … yeah … Actually, when I first looked at the article it showed "Comments" with a count of "zero". Now the article has links to Twitter, Facebook, etc. In other words, Popular Science welcomes comments, just not on their site.

This has been a topic of online conversation, blogs, and news, and rightfully so. The main argument I've seen was concerning whether or not this was censorship. Well, for one, it IS a private entity and has the right. It's not a publically-funded entity, where that would be an issue. Being able to make comments on a site is not a "right", but an option provided by the website to stimulate conversation. But unfortunately, spammers, trolls, and people being plain rude have ruined comments. No longer a means of discourse; just a way to be coarse.

As usual, I'm going to look at this from a different angle. One that looks at part of the article (linked above) that has been brushed aside.

PopSci (I LOVE that shortened name, by the way) believes that things like the origins of climate change are apparently without opposing scientific proof. Comments that shed any doubt on the "popular consensus" are detrimental and need to be shut down.

Let me remind you: Whenever you remove dissension to scientific findings, you have removed the validity of those scientific findings.

Take a moment and read that again. Let it sink in. Really. I'll wait.

History has proven that there is no such thing as empirical scientific absolutes. Let me give you an example. For about a century, scientists were convinced that light was a wave. In 1905, Albert Einstein challenged that conviction in that light was not only a wave, but also a particle. Now, according to the majority, Albert Einstein was wrong. Two decades later the dual concept of light was finally accepted. It took two whole decades for the MAJORITY of scientific EXPERTS to admit that they COULD be wrong.

It is this same hutzpah today that plagues the scientific community. Without such men as Albert Einstein challenging the status quo, we would not have the scientific breakthroughs of our day today. I know, "but that was Albert Einstein". In 1905, Albert Einstein was a patent clerk with a passion for physics, not the Nobel Prize-winning man we came to admire much later.

Again, history has proven that there is no such thing as empirical scientific absolutes.

Scientists today suffer the same malady that those in Albert Einstein's day suffered: unmitigated arrogance. They fully believed that those before them were genuine, sincere, but seriously misguided in their understanding of (name the subject), and that they themselves were far superior in their intellectual comprehension of (that same subject).

Until those, and their supporters, understand that those in our future will also consider US borderline Neanderthals in OUR expertise, the true ability for scientific expansion will be arrested. And Popular Science has willingly supplied the handcuffs.

© Emittravel 2013

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