Saturday, April 16, 2011

What Science Is. What It Isn't.

It is a simple rule of thumb anyone can use to figure out if you are dealing with a person or organization interested in doing real science OR if they are only interested in running some sort of public relations scam: Do they own up to their mistakes? Those interested in science do, all the others do not.

So, let's say you see that some organization has made a claim that by a certain date there would be 50 million "climate refugees" around the world. Let us further say that date was 2010 and that census figures indicate the actual number of climate refugees to be, oh, right around zero. If one were interested in science would one:

A) Openly acknowledge the weakness of your prediction and seek to identify the factors which led your hypothesis to be so wildly inaccurate; OR

B) Attempt to remove any evidence of your ever having made the, now, ridiculous prediction in the first place.

See if you can guess which route the United Nations Environment Programme decided to take.


Tully said...

What are you talking about? Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

Rich Horton said...

Tully, if this was Facebook I'd "like" that.