Sunday, August 28, 2011

Facts and fiction.

Another washout summer is nearly over, and the economic woes have ousted anything paranormal from the news. There's been little to investigate and apart from a new experience of my own that's keeping just out of sight so far, nothing at all for me to do. So I've been writing some short stories and novels instead. Well, why let all that research go to waste? If I can't use it on facts I might as well use it on fiction.

For me, though, it is important to distinguish fact from fiction. An attitude that seems sadly lacking in many areas of alleged science lately. Often, the science is twisted to fit a political agenda and objectivity is abandoned in favour of preconceived conclusions supported by tortuously twisted figures.

So we hear that biscuits cause cancer and that fat people cause global warming, the reduction in smoking prevalence that matches with the exponential rise of asthma means that smoking causes asthma, the gradual decline in alcohol consumption is evidence of an outbreak of binge drinking and aliens are going to kill us all because they don't like us having power stations.

That last one is not something I made up. Neither are any of the others. They are all things that were made up by people employed as scientists. Paid, I might add, from tax revenues. I would prefer to have the likes of Clive Barker or Stephen King paid through taxes. At least they make it clear they are just making up stories.

Not all scientists are like this. There are still quite a few who believe in the actual principles of science and who seek the truth rather than the money. There are still some out there.

You won't hear about them very often and when you do, you will hear them decried as heretics. They are not following the plan.

I remember a head of department retiring in the days before I became self-employed. One line of his speech really stayed with me. He said "When I started in science, we were chasing knowledge. Now we're just chasing money."

Since he retired, things have become much worse.

The truth has a way of coming out no matter how hard the control freaks try to suppress it. They never learn.


Regina Richards said...

Sadly, at least here in the U.S. self-interest often has more influence on the opinions of scientists, politicians, and others than do evidence or facts.

southernwriter said...

Gotta love science...

Do you know the difference between an astronomer and an astrologer?

Fifty IQ points.

I can't help it. I think that's a funny joke, even though I should be offended.

How long have astronomers been trying to separate themselves from astrologers? About five hundred years?

I just ran across a scientific publication online where a couple of astronomy's best and most respected have predicted the end of the world. I think I will drop what I am currently writing and blog on that first. I'll send you the results.

ver: woric?

Not me.

Romulus Crowe said...

Regina - it's become the same everywhere, I think. Those who hold the purse strings used to determine the direction of research.

Now they determine the outcome too.

Romulus Crowe said...

SW- I've recently read about planets made of diamonds and space rocks hurtling at us from all directions. All reports have the magic words 'probably' and maybe' peppered through them. It's like going back to the days I used to spend reading Michael Moorcock's novels.

So maybe you shouldn't be offended by that joke. Maybe the astronomers should.

Anonymous said...

lol! maybe the astronomers should indeed.

southernwriter said...

I see we read the same article. Great minds think & all that...

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