Scientific consensus

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“Happy, warm and comfortable”

Since: Oct 10

Mountain retreat, SE Spain

#1 Jun 26, 2016
Whether you or I like it or not, it exists.

"... scientific consensus is a collective opinion and judgement of scientists in a field of science."

Its use appears to be most prevalent in the pseudo science of climate change, although it is mentioned in regard to other branches of science "ranging across biology, geology, chemistry, and other natural sciences," homoeopathy excepted

Anyone (with an open mind) can find references to the subject with the help of Google or any other search engine.

Scientific consensus should be based on evidence.

As Steven Novella, MD, writes in his NeuroLogica blog:

For anyone trying to take a scientific approach to knowledge about the world, we must rely heavily upon experts, or those who are more knowledgable than we are. There is no choice there is simply too much specialized scientific knowledge for anyone to be an expert in everything, or even a significant portion of scientific disciplines.

Further, being an educated layperson is usually not enough to form your own opinions on specific scientific questions. Forming a reliable opinion often requires a level of detailed knowledge that only an expert in the field can obtain. Even experts can be wrong, of course, and since lay opinions are likely to span all possibilities, some are bound to be correct. Experts, however, are far more likely to have an opinion that accurately reflects the evidence and to understand how to incorporate new evidence as it comes in.
Anonymous

United States

#2 Jun 5, 2017
Earthling-1 wrote:
Whether you or I like it or not, it exists.

"... scientific consensus is a collective opinion and judgement of scientists in a field of science."

Its use appears to be most prevalent in the pseudo science of climate change, although it is mentioned in regard to other branches of science "ranging across biology, geology, chemistry, and other natural sciences," homoeopathy excepted

Anyone (with an open mind) can find references to the subject with the help of Google or any other search engine.

Scientific consensus should be based on evidence.

As Steven Novella, MD, writes in his NeuroLogica blog:

For anyone trying to take a scientific approach to knowledge about the world, we must rely heavily upon experts, or those who are more knowledgable than we are. There is no choice there is simply too much specialized scientific knowledge for anyone to be an expert in everything, or even a significant portion of scientific disciplines.

Further, being an educated layperson is usually not enough to form your own opinions on specific scientific questions. Forming a reliable opinion often requires a level of detailed knowledge that only an expert in the field can obtain. Even experts can be wrong, of course, and since lay opinions are likely to span all possibilities, some are bound to be correct. Experts, however, are far more likely to have an opinion that accurately reflects the evidence and to understand how to incorporate new evidence as it comes in.
And it's not just a consensus, it's a growing consensus to the point where now every major scientific organization or association now includes a confirmation of human influenced climate change in its position statement.

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