Wednesday, February 24, 2010

the need of all of them for expert guidance would cause them to gravitate toward the consensus positions among scientists

The above is a quote from this Reason article, which just pissed me off to no end. The article's about a sociological research project testing the inclinations of loosely (and frankly, ludicrously) defined groups towards accepting or discarding scientific "expert guidance" which supposedly comes from their own or an opposing philosophic tendency.

The entire project, and indeed, the article itself, is predicated on the need for "expert guidance". Not testimony, not research, not evidence - although the writer of the article artfully elides "evidence" and "guidance" as if they were synonymous in a passage later in the article - but "guidance". It's also quite interesting that the study's four tendency-groups doesn't include an "elitist" tendency, although one might suspect that it might fall within the "hierarchical" grouping which is described solely in nasty terms which suggests that neither the writer nor the researchers would place their smug selves within the confines of their own study.

I'm rather perturbed that an allegedly libertarian magazine like Reason would publish something so indulgent of the dogmas and theocratic aspirations of the secular priesthood.

"Consensus positions". Humbug!


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