The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.
A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions--as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.
I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.
I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.
Scientific advancement carries risk,” Kohler argued. “It always has. Space programs, genetic research, medicine—they all make mistakes. Science needs to survive its own blunders, at any cost. For everyone’s sake.”Vittoria was amazed at Kohler’s ability to weigh moral issues with scientific detachment. His intellect seemed to be the product of an icy divorce from his inner spirit. “You think CERN is so critical to the earth’s future that we should be immune from moral responsibility?