July 29, 2012
PROF. STEPHEN CLARK WRITES:
Taubes’ book should be viewed as particularly subversive. If you find his argument convincing, and in particular if in practice you find his recommendations effective, then your eyes should be opened to the ways in which science is a very human enterprise subject to all the failings that humans possess. It should not be a surprise, though it seems always to be, that scientists are not immune to self-deception and the worldly temptations that plague us all. The appropriate response to all scientific claims of truth, in particular as reported, is a healthy skepticism. And my, oh my. How subversive it would be if that attitude were to spread widely and more generally to bare assertions of truth of all kinds. The tale Taubes tells, the history he recounts, is as important as the advice he gives.