Independent Institute President David Theroux hailed that trait in this year's winner of Nobel Prize for medicine, Barry Marshall, who believed ulcers were caused by bacteria, when the establishment knew that Marshall's theory was "preposterous" -- except that Marshall turned out to be right.
Crichton focused on the many times that fad science has been wrong. Remember Y2K? Ho-hum. The population-bomb scare? Yawn. Then there's Yellowstone, the national park that declined due to rangers' misbegotten (and often fatal for the wildlife) conviction that they knew what was best for the animals -- in this case, they killed wolves and overprotected elk until the whole ecosystem suffered.
On Tuesday, Inhofe issued a statement from Capitol Hill that noted how scientists with independent views don't get on too well with the IPCC. Witness Chris Landsea of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who resigned from the IPCC this year because he believed an IPCC top hurricane scientist wrongly linked severe hurricanes to global warming. As a result, he wrote, "the IPCC process has been subverted and compromised, its neutrality lost."
I've seen this when covering failed educational fads: Curriculum boards chase out the free thinkers, then smugly announce that all the experts agree with them -- so they must be right.
What did Gray think of the Oreskes report? "It shows you how we've all been brainwashed."
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