Science We Hope Turns Out To Be Settled
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  • WigWag

    On the subject of science versus faith, there is actually one of the most fascinating essays that I have read in a long time in today’s New York Times by retired Professor Stanley Fish.

    Entitled, “Citing Chapter and Verse: Which Scripture Is the Right One?” Fish makes the argument that “science” is far less objective than its proponents claim and that it is as chock full of assumptions as religion is.

    I suspect that Professor Mead and his readers might find it very interesting. The column can be found here,

    As it happens, Fish is the world’s most prominent living Milton scholar (although I think he gets alot in Milton wrong).

    He’s written what may be the two most important works of criticism of Milton that have been penned in the last 50 years; “Surprised by Sin: The Reader in Paradise Lost” (1967) and “How Milton Works” (2001).

    Like Professor Mead, Fish is extraordinarily erudite. They have a very different view of the world; Fish is usually thought of as a postmodernist although the label annoys him.

    I wonder if Fish and Mead have ever met or sat down for a discussion. It would be well worth the price of admission to see the two of them on stage together discussing the classics or, alternatively, the rival claims of religion and science.

    It sounds like a perfect program for the 92nd Street Y in New York or perhaps for Book TV on CSPAN.

    Anyway, the Fish Op-ed is provocative enough to be worth a look.

    I don’t know if Fish likes chocolate though.

  • The faster-than-light neutrino experiment was incorrect. Relativity stands, settled almost one hundred years ago.

  • Benjamin

    Seems like this could be the kind of readership that is extremely vulnerable to social desirability bias, where people give the answers that they think the surveyors want to hear or that they *want* to be true.

    ie, heavier people are under-reporting how much chocolate they consume because they don’t want to be seen as gluttons.

  • JimK

    Well then I guess it’s time for our daily govt chocolate ration to go up to 15 grams from 25 grams, aye?

  • Corlyss

    NPR wouldn’t know science, settled or not, if it jumped up and bit them in their wedding tackle. The next time Guy Raz (NPR’s science reporter) pulls a blooper like the one 2 years ago where he solemnly agreed with a climatologist who mischaracterized the loss of Artic ice as equal to the size of Texas, I’m going to send him the money I’ve been saving up to send him to a decent science course at a community college near him.

  • Andrew Allison

    Fun post, but let’s not lose site of the fact that “settled science” is an oxymoron!

  • Kris

    “if any papers get published debunking these important findings, we don’t want to hear about them.”

    We’ll make a Green out of you yet! 🙂

    [email protected]: “I don’t know if Fish likes chocolate though.”

    Burn the heretic!

    Alternately: Fish likes chocolate like Woman likes bicycles.

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