Is political bias ruining science?
Science junkie that I am, I enjoy reading science articles written for laymen like me, the titles of which might be "Science for Idiots" or something like that. Being informed about science, and being able to think rationally, are interlinked, in my view.
You might think scientists, especially renowned physicists and cosmologists, would be solidly objective, dispassionate seekers of truth (or, as they prefer to call it, facts). I like to think most of them are.
We might be wrong about that.
If we are, that portends a serious flaw in a great institution. Upon that institution depends much of our intellectual capital, and therefrom, our future technological ability — to survive as a world power. If the great scientists are so blinded by personal opinion that their blindness hampers their scientific judgment, we are in trouble.
I recently viewed an online lecture by a well known physicist, Dr. Lawrence Krauss. His lecture is about his book, which is even more aptly named than he realizes: "Hidden Realities: The Greatest Story Ever Told...So Far."
The hidden reality of which Krauss intends to speak involves physics, but the one he reveals is his obsession with Trump-hatred and, it appears, Jesus-hatred. The lecture was given shortly after the 2016 presidential election. Clearly, Krauss had not gotten over the trauma of seeing the defeat of one of the most treacherous politicians of our lifetime. He demonstrated his irrationality by inserting into his lecture his open disdain for the president — to the cheers of a foreign audience.
Krauss is by no means alone in his inability to keep his personal opinions out of his science lectures. The once venerable magazine Scientific American has for years drifted toward leftism and seems no longer able to think clearly about planetary meteorology.
Much of the corruption in science, be it financial, academic, or political, is in my view connected to the atheistic philosophy scientists have adopted as far back as Charles Darwin. We must be careful here not to conflate science, the pursuit of truth wherever the evidence leads, with physicalism, the philosophy that says nothing exists except the physical.
The more refined version of physicalism is much more rational than atheism. Physicalism simply says there is no falsifiable (i.e., independently verifiable) proof that God does or does not exist. Many scientists, however, go far beyond that open-minded version and reveal not only their insistent atheism, but even an overt hostility to the very idea of a divine, intercessionist Creator.
The irony is that science itself is finding more and more evidence that the physicalist philosophy has fatal defects. One by one, bits of evidence are building up. In some articles by science journalists, it is becoming clear that physicalists are increasingly resorting to more tenuous arguments to prop up their false philosophy, not only on scientific grounds, but on political ones as well.
To their chagrin, more and more Americans are recognizing that there is no legitimate, scientific basis for dehumanizing unborn children. The arguments for abortion are no longer biological; they are purely ideological.
Regarding evolution, it is becoming less tenable to describe human beings as an upgraded version of chimpanzees (or, more precisely, of a common forebear). DNA studies cannot bridge that gap.
Cosmology cannot explain why the universe has the extremely unlikely properties that make it suitable for life, except by proposing an even less likely multiverse.
Quantum physics is gradually eroding the physicalist paradigm. The evidence is moving toward the notion that the universe is not essentially physical, but mental, and, by implication, spiritual.
We are not there yet, but the trend is discernible. Along the way, the real danger is that the search for scientific truth may be derailed by irrational ideology. If there is no fool like an old fool, there may be no idiot like one with a Ph.D. after his name.