Trust In Science, Not Scientists

Razib makes an important point:

...many scientists believe that because science is such a superior method of extracting information about the world around us, and constructing predictive models which have been shown to have great utility, that that means that they as scientists can simply transfer their godlike powers to other domains with the greatest of ease. But as the abof ove should make clear I believe this is a false perception, because the power of science arises from the intersection of the communal wisdom of tens of thousands of individuals over decades with the nature of the subject at hand.

Jonah Lehrer seconds. One of the greatest errors of modernity is simply conflating the truths of one world of experience with the truths of another. I guess Michael Oakeshott instilled in me the sense that this confusion is the central intellectual problem of modernity. It is indeed at the root of a great deal of our difficulties. It is a mistake to apply the truths of science to that of history or aesthetics or politics. They are simply different categories of understanding the world. And the most profound mistake in human thought is to conflate the claims of religion with the claims of politics, and to conflate the truth-claims of the eternal with the truth-claims of the now.

This is the core argument of my book. I believe it is the core insight of conservatism. If it is, the current Republican party is almost the perfect nemesis of the conservatism I still proudly hold. And I have reluctantly come to believe that too. Which is why I want to see this current GOP defeated, whatever mask it is currently wearing, and however many reservations I might have about the Democratic party.

Underneath, today's GOP is a very dangerous and deluded animal.