Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vox Day on Scientists - They aren't that smart

A sentiment I share. From his column:

"It's a real pity that Pew didn't subject scientists to the same "science knowledge" test they gave the public; I bet the "shockingly" low results would surprise everyone. Scientists not only know very little outside their professional fields, but they tend to be given to falsely assuming that their very specific expertise and education is somehow magically applicable to the broad spectrum of human knowledge as well. Remember, as a group they were convinced that totalitarianism was the desirable future... many of them still are. Nor should you forget that the mainstream economists' consensus was that the second stimulus package, Obama's $787 billion plan, would work too.

No doubt people will interpret these results as proving that scientists are smarter and more educated, and therefore the public should follow their lead. This is absurd, as the results actually show that unlike the public, most scientists are incapable of producing sufficient value to society to financially support themselves; they're welfare queens living off the reputation of their forebears and eager to keep the taxpayer money flowing. What makes them stupid isn't their misplaced faith in evolution or AGW/CC, although both will eventually prove embarrassing, but rather their enthusiastic embrace of the very government support that is rendering them largely useless."

Science is far less important to society than business and the ideological freedom that most scientists oppose. Recall that the Soviet Union was devoted to science and spent a higher percentage of its resources on scientists than any nation in the West. The observable historical reality is that science depends on society, society doesn't depend on science. And yet, as the survey shows, many scientists harbor contempt for the very society that makes their existence possible.

During my previous life in the Federal Government, I had to interact with many scientists and Engineers. They were (on whole) very sharp characters and always impressed me - Joe Six-pack. But my admiration evaporated when they got off their area of expertise and started to discuss politics, religion, business, etc. A high IQ - by itself - and unsupported by judgment and firm knowledge of the subject at hand - is useless.

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