The March for Science, which has the purported goal of drawing the Trump administration's attention to concerns of the scientific community, will take place in Washington, D.C., this weekend. Headlining are such personalities as TV scientist Bill Nye, formerly known as "The Science Guy" who now intends to "Save the World" with his new Netflix show.
Another attendee, who was notably not asked to speak or is even recognized as an official marcher, is Dr. Stephen Meyer, who has a doctorate in the philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge and program director of the Discovery Institute. Today on "Pure Opelka," Mike Opelka asked Dr. Meyer why he calls the event the March Against Science.
It's a "march for scientific ideology, not science itself," Meyer said.
Mike remarked that Nye is "the perfect talking head for a march against science," a reference to Nye's constant politicizing of scientific issues.
Meyer explained that there are two definitions of science in the culture right now. One is the traditional, which is that science is a method of gathering data and evidence and a methodology for evaluating that evidence. The other is that science strives for a "settled opinion" or consensus.
Meyer asserted that the marchers take the second view of science, not as an open-ended evaluation of evidence but an "atheistic, materialist ideology" and that anybody who disagrees is deemed "anti-science." He also said that science needs argumentation to progress along with free exchange and open evaluation of ideas.
Mike agreed that we "can't cap knowledge" and "can't say there's no more to learn." And he asked Meyer at what point do you stop accepting new data?
Meyer answered by referring to Marcello Pera's "Discourses of Science," which argues that science advances as scientists argue about how to interpret evidence. He also cited the Royal Society's 2016 meeting on Neo-Darwinism and evolutionary biology, where not all scientists agreed on the mechanisms of evolution and are openly looking for new explanations. Science flourishes when differences of opinion are allowed to air.
On the subject of climate change, Meyer told Mike that there are models being used that do not accurately describe data we already have, so he asks why we accept their predictions. Meyer wondered at the exclusion of scientific luminaries from an alleged Science March simply because they want to continue interpreting the evidence.