This commentary about science and skepticism comes from Dr. Joe Sobel at accuweather.com
He is careful to not take sides in the global warming debate, but he expresses quite well the need for scientists to be skeptical.
Science and Skepticism
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Thank you for checking out the AccuWeather Global Warming Center. The purpose of this site is not to be an advocate for or against anthropogenic global warming, but rather to be a clearinghouse of ideas and to facilitate the exchange of information. We are very much opposed to any thoughts of suppressing discussion. We will present information that represents the consensus of the majority of the scientific community. But we will also present opposing points of view.
Remember, science is not a democracy; the majority is not always correct. Remember, the scientific consensus used to be that the Earth is flat and that the sun revolves around the Earth.
In these modern times of zero-second sound bites and rapid global communication, it has become standard for there to be two categories of people in the global warming debate: those who believe that humans are responsible for global warming and everyone else. If you are a skeptic and aren't quite convinced that we know all the answers, you are considered a heretic by the believers.
But, it can be argued that scientists must be skeptics. A scientist may have a theory; however, in order for the scientific method to be honored, the scientist needs to be emotionally unattached to the results. The data will prove whether the theory is correct. Scientists cannot start an experiment with the goal of reaching a particular conclusion. They cannot root for specific results. They cannot change the data to fit any preconceived idea of what the results should be. They need to analyze each piece of data in order to arrive at a conclusion.In other words, they need to be skeptics.
So, whether you are a believer, or a skeptic, we hope you will visit our web site frequently and we look forward to your comments and input in the future.