Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Never Enough Scientific Criticism Department

Political scientist Børn Lomborg published a book last year called The Skeptical Environmentalist. Sadly, aside from not being an environmentalist--or much of a scientist, it would seem--the book makes huge scientific errors, such as selectively quoting from the body of research in order to bolster weak arguments. Alas, it appears that Lomborg can't handle criticism from real scientists who have been rigorously trained in the scientific method and who have to face intense scrutiny from peer review any time they publish findings. The scary part, however, is that Lomborg's work seems to be accepted without much criticism in other circles, such as in The Environmentalist.

Perhaps Lomborg doesn't realized the dual-edged sword that true skepticism entails. As Robert Oppenheimer put it:

"There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors."

Lomborg asserts, of course, that he embodies that statement; but it truly appears that he embodies the quote's negative. Maybe if Lomborg actually studied one real science, he might realize how unscientific and ungrounded in reality his own biases, and those of economicists and so-called political scientists, have become. Pity us all if anyone cites Lomberg as a credible source!

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