Since the seventeenth century, Rousseau’s influence has changed the way scientists approach their discipline—ironically, given that he based his theories on emotion and conjecture rather than observation and data. A return to rigorous standards of inquiry, unbiased by personal agendas, would restore science to its former position of strength.
Today, we face a new epistemological crisis. In the realm of natural phenomena, our desire to know has outstripped our understanding of what it means to know. This has serious implications for assessing the data and statistical models presented by climate science.
The proposed federal investigation into those who question man-made climate change is more dangerous to science than the Inquisition.
Good scientific training is strenuous and humbling, because science is unforgiving. To spare society from the imposition of subjective pipe dreams, the prudence characteristic of valid scientific thinking needs to permeate the entire intellectual order.
The evisceration of its epistemology constitutes the real war on science.
To love our children well, we must equip them with a strong education in the sciences as well as the liberal arts.
Paradoxically, to speak intelligibly about the matters that concern them, contemporary intellectuals must appreciate the unintelligibility of the world in which those matters take place.