Dogma Danger, III

Ivar GiaverNobel prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) because the scientific group had become dogmatic on global warming. Their 2007 National Policy Statement on Climate Change emphasized two sentences by placing them apart in their own paragraph:

The evidence is incontrovertible:

Global warming is occurring.

“Incontrovertible” means “not open to question.” Professor Giaever’s letter of resignation noted the irony of their word choice.

In the APS, it is okay to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is ‘incontrovertible’?

The APS reiterated its support for the language in 2009.

A letter from 16 eminent scientists published the Wall Street Journal on January 27, 2012, noted that treating global warming as incontrovertible was stifling scientific inquiry by, for example, making it nearly impossible for a young scientist to conduct research that might call the dogma into question because to do so eliminated their chances at publishing, tenure, and funding.


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Truth & Faith

Mahatma Gandhi

I may not have any design upon my neighbor as to his faith, which I must honor even as I honor my own. For I regard all the great religions of the world as true, at any rate for the people professing them, as mine is true for me.

–Mahatma Gandhi

Creativity Generates a New Reality

A Silicon Valley Adventure

by Jerry Kaplan

The following is an excerpt from: STARTUP by Jerry Kaplan

Jerry Kaplan

…I first learned the truth about scientific progress from my Ph.D. dissertation advisor at the University of Pennsylvania.

A shy Indian man with a shiny, balding head and an occasional stutter, Dr. Joshi was widely known for his brilliant work in artificial intelligence. Our weekly meetings to help me find a thesis topic were more like therapy sessions than academic discussions. Most of the time he would (more…)