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Friday, November 7, 2008

Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton who died a few days ago, was notable as both a very successful writer and a warming heretic. Crighton was not entirely unqualified to comment on science, being a graduate of Harvard medical school, and a former lecturer on anthropology.

Crichton was not someone you wanted to cross. In his 2006 novel, Next, he introduced a character named "Mick Crowley" who was a child molester with a small penis. A real person named Michael Crowley, a senior editor of The New Republic, had written an article strongly critical of Crichton's global warming stance.

Some of the arguments in this 2005 speech outlining his scepticism are looking a little dated (for example - the "heat island" argument is rarely advanced these days by sceptics) but there are still many worthwhile quotes.

"Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world."


Anonymous said...

It requires only one person offering valid proof to overturn any scientific thesis. The unceasing talk of "consensus" (particularly given the learned opinions to the contrary which are available - see here)should be anaethema to honest scientists. The consensus we are belaboured with is the stuff which politics, not science, is made of.
Crichton could have made a novel out of that, too.

Anonymous said...

I don't think his arguments are as dated as you say, in part because he did not attempt a detailed attack on the details of global warming theory.
He made salient points about th way science is conducted, the way that the global warming stuff was presented and marketed, the bias at sciam, and so on. None of that has dated.