Our title may be an exaggeration, but not a very big one. At the blog of the Discoveroids there’s a new post by David Klinghoffer. He’s the Discoveroids’ journalistic slasher and poo flinger. His brilliant new offering is “Science Is Not Democratic.” Who Knew?
It consists of only three paragraphs, and one of those is a quote from this article in New Scientist: Dark matter tops physicists’ wish list, post-Higgs. Before we get to what Klinghoffer has written, we’ll give you a few excerpts from New Scientist:
A new survey of about 50 particle theorists reveals mixed feelings about whether the long-sought Higgs boson will ever point the way to new theories, but renewed optimism that the mysterious stuff that makes up most of the universe’s matter will show us the way.
There’s a bit more to it than that:
Physicists had high hopes for the Higgs boson. Its discovery last year at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland, filled in the missing piece of the standard model, physicists’ current best explanation of all the particles and forces in the known universe.
However, the standard model is still incomplete – it does not account for gravity, for example – so physicists hoped the Higgs would turn out to be weird enough to point the way to new theories.
They’re disappointed. Nothing revolutionary was found. Let’s read on:
A new survey suggests that physicists are giving up hope for the Higgs. Last week Ibanez [Luis Ibanez of the Autonomous University of Madrid in Spain] and his colleagues held a meeting to discuss just why the Higgs has the properties it does, and gave attendees an opinion poll to kick off the talks.
Of nearly 50 respondents, only 53 per cent believe the LHC [Large Hadron Collider] or the next future collider will ever detect non-standard properties of the Higgs. Just 59 per cent were confident that the LHC would make any new discoveries now that the Higgs has been found.
This isn’t really surprising. Scientists at the very cutting edge of what is known are rumbling and mumbling about where it’s all going. One could read into it the obvious fact that they don’t have any preconceived agenda — contrary to creationists’ conspiracy theories.
We’ll skip to the end, and that’s where we find the paragraph that Klinghoffer has quote-mined:
Of course, with just a small fraction of particle physicists represented in the survey, results must be taken with a pinch of salt. “This kind of discussion gives ideas on what to pursue,” says Ibanez, but he cautions that consensus is not necessarily the route to discovery. “Science is not democratic. Very often the one who is correct is in a minority.”
Okay, now let’s see what Klinghoffer makes of all that. Remember, he’s written only two paragraphs. The first one mentions the New Scientist report on the survey of particle physicists. Then Klinghoffer quotes the paragraph we already showed you, from the end of the New Scientist article, and he puts this part of his quote in bold font:
… consensus is not necessarily the route to discovery. “Science is not democratic. Very often the one who is correct is in a minority.”
You’re thinking: So what? But you know the full context of that quote. Remember, we’re dealing with a Discoveroid. They’re creationists and they’re quote-miners. They’ll say almost anything to convince their brain-dead readers that evolution is nonsense and their “theory” about a magic designer — blessed be he! — is great science. So Klinghoffer grabs that quote and uses it for his own purposes. Here’s his final paragraph, with our bold font:
So the truth of a scientific proposition — say, the Darwinian theory of evolution — is not, after all, decided by a count of heads? The majority, the precious “consensus” we hear so much about, may be wrong after all, while the minority may be vindicated in the end?
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, David. That’s what the survey of particle physicists was all about. The secret has slipped out and you spotted it. It’s now official — the vast majority of evolutionary biologists may be totally wrong and you Discoveroids may be right after all. That’s also true of the guy who keeps promoting The Time Cube. All you need now is some evidence.
Oh, we almost forgot. Klinghoffer’s last line takes a swipe at the National Center for Science Education, who are always mentioning the scientific consensus regarding evolution. Klinghoffer imagines that his mined quote totally discredits them.
Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.