Consensus science

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Consensus science is the illogical position, often taken by liberals, that the truth in science is what a majority of scientists claim it is. For example, liberals claim that since the vast majority of scientists believe in evolution (a false premise), evolution must be true. Of course, this position is logically fallacious, and therefore false, since a large number of scientists do not believe in evolution.

Technology writer George Gilder observed in an article entitles "Another Flop for 'Consensus Science'":[1]

In California, the state sold the public on a gauzy multi-billion dollar vision of miracle cures that supposedly were just around the corner. The warning signs about the California Prop. 71 embryonic stem cell program were virtually ignored by the mainstream media. ... [Now] California is broke and plainly has wasted billions on a quixotic errand for political correctness. The real progress with stem cells comes, happily, in less controversial--and less well funded areas.

Science writer Michael Crichton said:

  • "Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.
  • "Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus.
  • "Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus." [2]