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You have scientist who arrive at theories, and do modelling and prediction based on these theories, in all good faith. They may be pretty sure of the validity of their theories, and obviously find great gratification, not to speak of career prospects, when these theories are widely adhered to. If these theories tend to reinforce the prejudices of the deciders and the opinion-makers, a vulgarized, simplified, dumbed-down version will become part of the belief system of these people.

The fact that, in the general case the deciders and opinion makers don't actually understand what underlies the modelling and prediction, is what makes the whole thing religious.

In the case of the nuclear industry, it's not the nuclear scientists who are at fault. The industrials and the politicians are at fault, because of wilfully poor risk assessment. The modelling and prediction can only be as good as the politically-determined parameters permit.

In the case of economics... the theories are bunk anyway, and the deciders and opinion makers have been taken for a ride. They are slowly discovering that there is no Santa Claus, but they are trying to hide that from the kids.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 04:39:27 AM EST
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