As a great many of my colleagues have pointed out, CNN is regressing to the Middle Ages of journalism by eliminating all of science from the public discourse, forever. My thoughts on this are as follows:
This is excellent for science.
CNN’s decision, which goes against the grain, is a warning shot across the bow of science saying basically, “Look, you’re not relevant, you’re boring, you’re obscurantist; much of what you say isn’t even true.” I believe that CNN’s decision marks the beginning of a Küngian paradigm shift. The only question I have to ask is, what took so long? We’ve had these contemporary equivalents of witchcraft spouting their dribble all over the press in recent years. First it was that godawful NOVA series, then that New Age mockery of reason What the Bleep do We Know?, and then Brian Greene’s two propaganda publications. One has to thank one’s lucky stars tha such saviors as Peter Woit and Bill Dembski have arisen in recent years. But they aren’t enough without popular pressure. As Noam Chomsky recently noted, progress is won from below, not given from above. And this is historically confirmed by such LaRouchian works as A People’s History of Science, which you can read about here, here, and here.
Basically, what Küng, Hung, Hempel, and others have shown, is that science requires outside pressure in order to progress. Internal consistency is not enough. The trick is overcoming what Chomsky has in another context called “community norms” (cf. Chomsky, New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind, 142 ff). Chad Orzel wants to suggest that scientists make progress by yelling at each other. And notice that he fails to cite the “book” he is supposedly reading. Well what Orzel (and, giving him the benefit of the doubt – his book) fails to realize is that the shouting must come from outside.
And indeed this is what Blitzer, Cooper, and the rest have done for us. They have given an ultimatum to science, much like Congress has given an ultimatum to the auto industry. Except there is no one to bail out the scientists but themselves. The one area where perhaps Orzel is correct is in the Creation/ID/Evolution three-way mud-wrestling match, where the latter of the three regularly resorts to ad hominem, and often tacitly admits doing so.
Well, that’s all I have to say for now. Everyone from Whitehead to Reichenbach would be pleased with this development; so then should contemporary scientists be.