From Patrick Mead- Scientific Consensus
The crowd that shouts “the earth is heating up, man caused it, and man can stop it” often cites a long list of scientists who agree with them in whole or part. Then, they declare that “scientific consensus” is on their side. I’m a guy who knows next to nothing about climatology (though I read a lot), but I am also a science-type guy so when I hear “scientific consensus” I get a chill down my spine.
“Scientific consensus” has been used to:
1. Determine who is a witch.
2. Shove Jews into ovens.
3. “Prove” that blacks have no souls and are, therefore, not human.
4. “Prove” that the world was entering a new Ice Age. (circa 1970)
5. “Prove” that fiber (then known as roughage) is bad for you.
6. Drive corporations into bankruptcy via lawsuits because they produced products or chemicals that were later found to be harmless.
7. Declare that tonsils, appendixes, and 20 other organs and glands are no longer used and are, therefore, vestigal.
8. That Lucy was our evolutionary ancestor. And she wasn’t. And she was again. And she wasn’t.
“Scientific consensus” can be a good and important thing, but more often it is merely the latest cultural myth. Sometimes it is something worse — far worse.
This is only part of his first post on this subject. Do not fail to read them all.