Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Globe really should listen to John Polanyi, Nobel laureate

The Globe, of all papers, has a piece today by Canadian Nobel laureate, John Polanyi, entitled “Hope lies in the scientific method ”.

I have written many times about the importance of “scientific method” and how it is NOT being applied by the Globe and Mail and other news organizations to the question of alleged tax leakage.

The Globe and Mail accepts this central premise of tax leakage as some god given creationist concept that is blindly accepted, and promulgated by them without debate to all the Globe’s readers. This makes the Globe the equivalent of some religious propaganda news organization promoting creationist concepts like tax leakage. What tripe nonsense. Like the speed of gravity, or the distance to the moon, there can only be one answer to the question of whether tax leakage exists or not. To be valid, that answer has to come from the application of the Scientific Method to the question of tax leakage and not shrouded in secrecy under 18 pages of blacked out documents, proffered up by Jim Flaherty, Canada’s snake oil salesman Finance Minister.

Applying the Scientific Method to the question of tax leakage is something which the Globe and Mail has FAILED to do, and yet here they are printing articles by Nobel laureates which extol the virtues of the Scientific Method?

I think the Globe would be wise to heed the words that are printed in its own pages today, and actually reflect on what John Polanyi is saying when he writes:

“It is sometimes overlooked that the power of science comes from debate - that science is grounded in democracy. There is a caricature of science as being composed of a catalogue of facts. If this were the case, there would be no need for the scientific meetings, since we would not need to debate. Facts would be transmitted online to a central location, where they would trigger a round of applause.

But that is not our experience of scientific meetings. Rather than using them to state facts, we advance propositions. As with evidence in court, these are tested in cross-examination before a jury of our peers.

Truths established in this fashion can subsequently be overthrown by a higher court. Indeed, on examination, the new laws of science often turn out to be approximations. This serves as a reminder that the Creator did not originate them; human beings did. Human constructs though they are, they give evidence of their power by opening a Pandora's box of possibilities.

Though we meet in alarm because of the impact of science, science remains our greatest hope. This is not just because science marshals the power of reason, but because it does so in a civilized way.

We must hope that the same civilized approach can be employed to persuade a wider public of new truths. It is, in fact, our only hope. We cannot conduct ourselves on a crowded planet as we please; the economy will fail (as to a degree it has), the environment will fail (as it has begun to do) and the victims of both failures may, in desperation, take up arms.”

1 comment:

Dr Mike said...

To all you media types (Except the Guelph Mercury) this is a totally quantifiable issue & easily verifiable.

Either there is tax leakage or there is not.

Maybe it is time you guys get out there & do some leg-work instead of kowtowing to Harper & his crew.

Do the work , you just might be surprised.

Dr Mike