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Continuing our discussion below Dan Sarewitz writes:
Scientists get hysterical whenever anyone questions their authority, pokes fun at them, doesn’t take them seriously. They also tend to be incredibly ignorant about the processes by which political debates get played out, public opinion gets formed, etc. And they are apparently oblivious about the connections between their own work as scientists, and their value commitments as citizens and human beings. When the problem of climate change gets overblown or distorted in movies or by environmental groups, are the same scientists who are freaking out about Crichton’s goofy book decrying distortions in the other direction? There seems to be no awareness (or at least no acknowledgement) that the reason Crichton’s book is galling is not because he distorts the science (if this were the case, almost every science fiction book would create collective apoplexy), but because the scientist-critics don’t like his politics. From this perspective, Crichton and his scientist-critics both labor under the same fallacy: that science dictates action in the world. It doesn’t.