Richard Nolle’s Website of the Week page is a great place to hang out if you’re looking for interesting reading. One recent selection comes from Daniel Drasin and exposes the Art of Debunkery:
Like all systems of truth seeking, science, properly conducted, has a profoundly expansive, liberating impulse at its core. This “Zen” in the heart of science is revealed when the practitioner sets aside arbitrary beliefs and cultural preconceptions, and approaches the nature of things with “beginner’s mind.” When this is done, reality can speak freshly and freely, and can be heard more clearly. Appropriate testing and objective validation can–indeed, *must*–come later.
Seeing with humility, curiosity and fresh eyes was once the main point of science. But today it is often a different story. As the scientific enterprise has been bent toward exploitation, institutionalization, hyperspecialization and new orthodoxy, it has increasingly preoccupied itself with disconnected facts in a psychological, social and ecological vacuum. So disconnected has official science become from the greater scheme of things, that it tends to deny or disregard entire domains of reality and to satisfy itself with reducing all of life and consciousness to a dead physics.
As the millennium turns, science seems in many ways to be treading the weary path of the religions it presumed to replace. Where free, dispassionate inquiry once reigned, emotions now run high in the defense of a fundamentalized “scientific truth.” As anomalies mount up beneath a sea of denial, defenders of the Faith and the Kingdom cling with increasing self-righteousness to the hull of a sinking paradigm. Faced with provocative evidence of things undreamt of in their philosophy, many otherwise mature scientists revert to a kind of skeptical infantilism characterized by blind faith in the absoluteness of the familiar. Small wonder, then, that so many promising fields of inquiry remain shrouded in superstition, ignorance, denial, disinformation, taboo . . . and debunkery.
The article goes on to present a comprehensive list of techniques for t he expert debunker. The tongue may be in the cheek, but the arrow hits its mark.