Science Not Scientists?
Dr. Vernon Grose, a former member of the National Transportation Safety Board shares many of my interests, including, but certainly not limited to the TWA Flight 800 disaster. Dr. Grose has recently published his long time coming book, "Science but Not Scientists," published at last after a 30-year delay. The book includes a foreword by none other than Dr. Wernher von Braun, father of America’s space program. In Science but Not Scientists, Vern Grose tells the story of a high-stakes battle over California public policy on science education. Self-characterized as a most unlikely person to lead the fight, Grose found himself at the center of a maelstrom confronting aggressive segments of the science establishment (including the National Academy of Sciences, which violated its 110-year-old charter in order to advance its leadership’s preferred position in the political debate). Ultimately, logic and scientific truth achieved success in exposing the difference between science – a field of objective intellectual inquiry – and scientists – ordinary people susceptible to common human frailties and subjective points of view. Wernher von Braun, writes in the Foreword: “Vernon Grose, in tracing out in Science but Not Scientists his personal involvement in the vortex of these two forces, illustrates one more time the humanity of scientists – their likelihood of being just as prejudiced and bigoted as anyone untrained in science. He properly calls for objectivity rather than scientific consensus. He rightly urges that message rather than messenger should be scrutinized and tested for validity. Science will be the richer and humanity the ultimate beneficiary by heeding this clarion call.” Dr. Grose holds many views which certainly have attracted the ire of many in the scientific community. The Darwinian account of the origins of life, he insists, does not begin to qualify as scientifically verifiable by the standards that science itself demands. In a recent Pennsylvania case, for example, the National Academy of Sciences spelled out these standards. "In science," it said, "explanations are restricted to those that can be confirmed from the confirmable data – the results obtained through observations and experiments that can be substantiated by other scientists. Anything that can be observed or measured is amendable to scientific investigation. Explanations that cannot be based upon empirical evidence are not part of science." On these grounds the court ruled out intelligent design as scientific. But on exactly the same grounds, Grose's book contends, Darwinian theory should also be ruled out. "Pray tell," he demands, "where are the specific, observable, testable, confirmable data – obtained through observations and experiments – concerning [Darwin's view of] origins? There are none. And there never will be." Some may be taken aback by these statements from Dr. Grose, but should they be? I strongly urge everyone with a scientific bent to read Dr. Grose’s eye opening book. It just may change your perspective relating to this thing we call “science.” Vernon L. Grose, Chairman of Omega Systems Group Incorporated, authored the best-selling Managing Risk: Systematic Loss Prevention for Executives. Before that, he was appointed by President Reagan to the National Transportation Safety Board. He has given hundreds of media interviews on risk, disasters, and terrorism. Evolution