Glenn Harlan Reynolds has a recent link at Instapundit to his Spring, 1999, Tennessee Law Review article entitled “THANK GOD FOR THE LAWYERS”: SOME THOUGHTS ON THE (MIS)REGULATION OF SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT, 66 Tenn. L. Rev. 801.
Really, everybody in law and science should read that article.
The Law Pundit has been battling mainstream science for years because too many of the members of that group arrogantly think that the noble pursuit of truth is equivalent to its attainment, indeed, they often think they are the attainers, which is not always the case.
In fact, the state of the real world of science is probably worse than the picture painted by Reynolds, especially in the humanities, where it is much harder than in the physical sciences to prove (or disprove) that the theoretical motors of scientific concepts in the “soft disciplines” actually run. And some of them, when the actual evidence is examined, are motors which definitely do not run.
Our paradigm example in the humanities is illustrated by the case elaborated in Breaking the Maya Code, a book by Michael D. Coe, professor emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University. Coe clearly and understandably relates how the quest in Maya studies among the leading authorities of the day was not a quest for truth, but rather for power and position, just as in every other profession. Truth was secondary and was not allowed to surface until the opponents – who were scientifically in the wrong – died.
Yuri V. Knorosov, who was a researcher at the then Leningrad [now St. Petersburg] Institute of Ethnology is now the undisputed decipherer of Maya glyphs, but his battle against the powers of mainstream academia was not some sort of an unfortunate exception or misunderstanding in the scientific world. There are still many areas of science where unproven theories are rampant.
We refer here to our many postings on this topic:
Mainstream Archaeology Fakes
Lawyers and Archaeologists
Peer Review Blocks Contrary (but Correct) Opinions
Japanese Jomon rock image a fake
Senior Scholars Never Challenged
Law, Evidence and Archaeology: Errors in Biblical Chronology I
Law, Evidence and Archaeology: Errors in Biblical Chronology II
Vaccination, Autism, Facts, Peer Review, Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos
citing to The Scientific Status of Theology: Imre Lakatos, Method and Demarcation by Greg Peterson
The Importance of Evidence
The Sky Disk of Nebra : A Question of Evidence
Belief Without Proof : Evidence and the World – #12 – Americas Populated only Recently
Who Rightfully Claims the Holy Land?
Belief Without Proof : Evidence and the World – #1 – String Theory in Physics
The Political Realities of Mainstream Science – Richard C. Lewontin
The Lost Ark of the Law, the Mishnayot, the Talmud and the Tosefta
Research Skills are not everything – but close
Stars Stones Scholars : The Decipherment of the Megaliths as an Ancient Survey of the Earth by Astronomy