A response to New Yorker article by Adam Gopnik
Science has edges and established cores (none-edges). The article forgets about the core and zooms in its edges of progress. The core is fixed and stable, and rarely changes (*), but this article is about the edges. The edges of science are a wavefront progressing. Human disagreement is foam of this wave while being shaped and while progressing. Of course science orogresses via its vehicles, the semi-rational and semi-greedy humans. The disagreement between Bohr & Einstein was about the foam. The core (more established) parts of science are often considered engineering and technology, and it is often forgotten the they used to be (but still are) science, because they were discoverable only via the scientific method.
There are objective criteria to identify foam and core. I can explain more if necessary.
The edge is where scientific data is not available.
The deeper hidden fallacy of the article is the wrong idea that the science is created by and a product of the minds. Science is a product of measuresment and data extracted from nature (as gold or other metals from earth). The mind is just a vehicle for digging the earth. The vehicle is imperfect and semi-crazy and semi-silly and semi-evil. But the human mind also explores and begore finding the actual gold (i.e. measurements that consistently and constinually and perpetually reproduce), they speculate and argue and are possessive.
The misleading magic of science is that produces good results using an imperfect process.
What is often called science is the waves and moving parts, not the tranquill parts of the science. At edge of progress, we are close to the edge of unknown and ignorance and chance and greed and serendipity and mistakes and expectation and speculation. But when (if) data arrives, that wave will become part of history of science.
Every tranquil and stable part of science used to be a rolling wave some time is history. That's why the above article seem to not be short of evidence for their claim.
The problem us, again, about the words. The tranquill and stable parts of science are not called science but instead aften called technology, engineering, health industry, education, etc.
The big trouble is about communicating to public about the science. The science and its motivation and its necessity and utility. And this article does not help about it although it attempts to.
Why what I wrote matters? Because:
1- Articles like this create a wrong impression in the mind of people who are outside the technicalities, but decide about science policies and finances. i.e., general public, who inform the MPs, who in turn decide about the science-related policies. As a result: guess what, your cancer, when you get it in 20 years, will not be curable then yet.
2- As a result of these writings, less people will be involved in science and we will have less technical people. Also less people who are excited about the idea of contributing to science. Hence, less children who aspire about it influenced by parents, etc.
3- The state of science news reporting is horrible. They Only publish the wrong and false results (about spooky actions, about what makes you fat, about cancer vaccines!!, about why Einstein was suddenly wrong and then right, about the confusion of failing scientists). The true evil is in the currebt state of science journalism.
I am interested in writing a better written article about this post. Contact me: sohale () gmail com
PS. * Like stable release of a software. I will write more about this.
The New Yorker, you are doing a crime to humanity by creating false negative impression about science. This leads to the cures to cancers delayed. Hence you and your children will die sooner than they should. Because articles like this directly make the public opinion (and MPs) decrease the budgets. Because this article directly influences the funding policies of science. At a result, America soon will have research expenditure of 0.5% GDP (as it happened in UK), instead of the current 2%GDP . As a result, you and people ypu know dies 5-10 years earlier. You just did it (again).
Also for that part of Quantum Mechanics no observation exist to prove or reject any of those side. The fact that we could not measure was the reason that debate exists in QM. The observation/measurement/data is the only reason QM was found and the only reason why Bohr/Einstein debate is still not resolved.