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The dangers of ‘consensus science’


When the topic of creation and evolution is brought up, many evolutionary sympathizers will mention that it isn’t even a debate anymore. It is fact. It is the consensus of scientists. Therefore it is not worthy of discussion. But the term ‘consensus science’ is actually an oxymoron!


The following quotes were taken from an excellent article on creation.com found here: http://creation.com/why-consensus-science-is-anti-science.



When scientists wish to speak with one voice, they typically do so in a most unscientific way: the consensus report. The process of achieving such a consensus often acts against science, and can undermine the very authority it seeks to protect.”

– Daniel Sarewitz, director of the Consortium for Science at Arizona State University.

The claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something… you’ve been had. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science.”

– Michael Crichton, Harvard physician and author

Geologists largely chose to forget Alfred Wegener, except to launch a flurry of attacks on his fairy tale theory (Pangea). Until 1961, when it began to seem as if the sea floors were spreading. The result: it took the consensus 50 years to acknowledge what any schoolchild sees.”

– Rollin T. Chamberlin, Chicago geology professor

The historical track record of scientific consensus is nothing but dismal. In fact, scientific reviewers of journal articles or grant applications may use the term ‘it is the consensus in the field…’ often as justification for shutting down ideas not associated with their beliefs.”

– Jorge Barrio, Dept. of Molecular & Medicinal Pharmacology, UCLA

Who would play devil’s advocate on thorny public policy issues if everyone knows that the ‘wrong’ point of view can actually get you in trouble? If we want our universities to produce the best ideas, we must train and habituate student to seek out disagreement, seek out facts that might prove them wrong, and a be a tough skeptic whenever they find a little too much agreement on an issue. College campuses, however, are often doing the precise opposite: rewarding groupthink, punishing devil’s advocates, and shutting down discussion on some fo the hottest and most important topics of the day.”

– David Knight, Oxford science historian & philosopher


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One thought on “The dangers of ‘consensus science’

  1. Good article and very informative, I’ll be more alert to this ‘language’ – thanks Tim.

    Posted by Verlin Rice | May 7, 2015, 2:28 am

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