With science on the other hand, the art of bulls**t doesnt work - there is .
Uhmm, sorry to disagree but yes it does.
Look at the registration of official think tanks, in Washington D.C. Science think tanks are becoming big business solely for the act of creating ambiguity and incorrect persuasion, in public policy.
For example, a think tank will find some minute science tangent that shows that something like petroleum gasses do not harm the environment, instead helping the environment. They will also show that there is no global increase in temperature and that there is no connection between CO2 buildup and heavy industry, when ice sample in the artic completely show that there is. ChevronTexaco will learn about this think tank's report and contribute million of dollars so the think tank can get publicity for the report. Legislators, who are heavily lobbied by CheveronTexaco will get the report feed actually into formulating bills.
This practice is growing and think tank registration is exploding, we people just finding weird scientific quarks that help Corporate America image, knowing they will get rewarded for doing so.
I think CG was talking about science vs. law exams. On a physics exam, if you don't know how to work the problem there is no way around it. On a law exam, if you don't know the material you can b.s. your way around it if you are good at that kind of thing.
sorry for this long post but I have 15 minutes to kill in between classes and this topic we are discussing about science versus law is interesting to me.
yes Will that is the context I had in mind. For example, on a chemistry exam - there is only one correct answer
, like carbon mixed with oxygen is carbon dioxide (
is that even chemistry? and if so, is what I just said correct?
have no clue). Anyway, getting back to a language which I do understand, law is different. On a law exam, whether Smith
should be applied to resolve the legal issue is arguable. And, even if it is "obvious" that smith v. smith should
apply, you can still try to manipulate what the legal principle emerging from Smith v. Smith actually is - i.e. whether Smith v. Smith should be construed narrowly such that it does NOT cover your client's situation, or whether it should be construed broadly such that it DOES cover your client's situation. And even still, if the outcomes of all that are not what you want, you can construct an argument that Smith v. Smith and the emerging legal principle should not apply on grounds of public policy, or that the case was wrongly decided, or that an obiter part of a judgment should be followed, etc.
One "black and white" rule in law is that lower courts of a particular jurisdiction are bound by the decisions of higher courts of that same jurisdiction. So a trial judge would be bound by an higher court's decision whether he agrees with it or not
. So you would think that this would be one instance of a clear cut case, a black and white legal answer. But for reasons outlined above, it is not. One side will argue before the court that "the appeal court has ruled on this very issue and so you are bound to follow that decision." The other side will argue that no, that case - the seemingly "correct, black and white answer" of what the law is - is somehow distinguishable.
So my point is that even when a legal case appears
clear cut and there DOES appear to be a "right" answer to the legal problem, there is always room for argument, and that is of course one of the key "lawyering" skills. But not so with science - for example, I cannot try and make an argument on my exam as to why CO2 was wrongly constructed, should have actually been CO3, or that even though we think CO2 is carbin dioxide it really is carbon monoxide! There is only one correct answer, and if you dont select it on an exam, you are wrong, plain and simple. no way around not knowing other than guessing at it.
That is what I meant 9nines. But yes, I agree with what you said. Scientific processes are far from value-neutral and that "black and white" science is often manipulated and interpretted in ways that lead to differing interpretive results.
But I still dont get that though. For example, with global warming. Is there not a "right" or "wrong", black and white answer to the question of global warming and which gasses cause it? Why is this debatable? How can it be debatable? I dont get it. Wouldnt that be like saying that it is debatable that hydrogen plus oxygen = water?
So i dont get why/how some environmental/scientific issues are debatable? is it because they cant be confirmed conclusively? if not, then why not (like the global warming example).
Speaking of global warming, I must say that if anybody doubts it, come to Toronto, and see people walking around in shorts in January. if that aint global warming in effect, then I dont know what is!
Looking forward to some science lessons in this thread!