The Sciences

Defending Science on HuffPo

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitApr 28, 2010 11:39 PM


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I used to write for the Huffington Post, before it became overrun with antiscience alt-med antivax garbage so thick I could smell it through my monitor. Case in point would be a somewhat targetless essay by Dr. Larry Dossey, who seems to be trying to say that because science is portrayed as an individual effort, but is actually usually a team effort, students get confused and marginalized. Or something. His point is difficult to determine. But in any case, he's quite wrong; the idea of science being done by groups of people collaboratively is everywhere, from astronomy to zoology. I need not go into details, because, happily, Steve Newton from the NCSE has posted a rebuttal on HuffPo that tears Dossey to shreds. My favorite part was when Dossey says Nobel Prizes are only given to individuals, and my first thought was "Wow, I wonder if the IPCC knows about this?"... in his essay, Newton says almost exactly the same thing. Great minds, yadda yadda. Anyway, I suggest you read Dossey's screed, and then read Newton's slamdunking of it. It's a wonderful exercise in muddied and clear thinking, in that order. With people like Newton writing for HuffPo, it makes me feel a bit better that I don't need to as much.

Tip o' the white lab coat Robert Luhn of the NCSE.

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