Consensual Science | Jay Richards

We know that, despite the cliché, great minds do not all think alike. That’s why on Great Minds with Michael Medved, we bring to you a diverse list of guests, who don’t think alike, and who don’t necessarily think the way the majority or the “consensus” in their field say they should. After his timely and controversial essay for the American Enterprise Institute, Michael asks Jay about about the idea of a “consensus” in science, and when we’re entitled to doubt it.

A Diversified Mind

Jay Richards is a senior fellow at Discovery Institute and an amazingly diverse and accomplished thinker and writer. He teaches at the School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America, serves as Executive Editor of the web journal The Stream, and meanwhile has had time to write a stream of fascinating and important books on a range of subjects, from science to economics to theology. He holds a PhD in theology and philosophy from Princeton Theological Seminary. His books include the New York Times bestsellers Infiltrated, and Indivisible.

Video

Show Notes

Timestamps reference audio (not video) most closely.

  • 01:50 | “When to Doubt a Scientific ‘Consensus’” at American Enterprise Institute
  • 02:20 | The odd resurgence of a flat earth movement
  • 03:59 | The signs when consensus is just groupthink
  • 04:54 | Red Flag 1: Conflating multiple issues
  • 06:22 | Red Flag 2: Ad hominems predominate
  • 07:07 | Are ad hominems sometimes appropriate?
  • 08:15 | Red Flag 3: Pressure to conform and the confessions of emeriti
  • 09:18 | Red Flag 4: Premature claims of consensus
  • 10:46 | Can any far reaching prediction be made with certainty?
  • 11:36 | What about predictions of unsustainable population growth?
  • 12:29 | Red Flag 5: When a subject inherently resists certainty
  • 13:33 | What’s the harm in overstating the consensus?
  • 15:07 | How might free markets deal with catastrophic climate change?
  • 17:45 | The potential of desalinization
  • 18:20 | Carbon dioxide, plant food, the leaf area index, and aerial fertilization
  • 19:45 | The long term way to preserve the environment

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