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Questioning Consensus

March 24, 2010

A great post has appeared on one of my favourite blogs, Respectful Insolence. It looks at what a scientific consensus is and when we can question it (and then takes down someone else’s particularly bad answers to these questions).

I like what he has to say towards the end:

But the wonderful thing about being a scientist is that science is a process. Although it is an activity of people it does not depend on any group of people. Eventually, even when scientists go down wrong alleys or succumb to fads, science wins out. It is self-correcting. The process may not be as fast as we like. It may not be as linear as we like. In fact, sometimes it’s damned messy and frustrating. However, it is the best process we have for finding out how our universe works.

Yep, it’s not perfect, but it is damned good!

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