The Corner

Thoughts on Climategate, Van Jones, and Al Gore

Once upon a time, scientists, unlike prophets, were inductive. They sought to interpret evidence in empirical fashion, rather than twist it to “prove” preexisting suppositions. The Enlightenment taught them to welcome transparency and free expression, not (as in the Medieval Age) to form cabals to hound out heretics. Public intellectuals and grassroots activists were devoted to promoting proven ideas, rather than making fortunes through the shrill advocacy of unproven ideas. In the age of cynicism, penances were sold to sinners to allow them without guilt to satisfy appetites that conflicted with their doctrine; by contrast, the lives of moralists reflected the simple creed they advocated for others. Governments acted on scientific consensus, not theories that were the most favored or trafficked in popular culture. Debates, not propaganda cinema or cheap invective, adjudicated honest disagreement; people of the lab and library, not Hollywood celebrities and rock stars and their wannabes on campus, informed the public about scientific dispute.

How strange: This was to be our new age of science; instead, we are getting alchemy, the inquisition, and the reign of the superstitious.

Most Popular

Trump: Yes

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More

Trump: Yes

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More

A Few Cracks in the Progressive Wall

The contemporary progressive agenda — of, say, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren — has rarely appealed to 51 percent of the American electorate. Most polls show opposition to Court packing and the abolition of the Electoral College. Voters don’t seem to like ... Read More

A Few Cracks in the Progressive Wall

The contemporary progressive agenda — of, say, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren — has rarely appealed to 51 percent of the American electorate. Most polls show opposition to Court packing and the abolition of the Electoral College. Voters don’t seem to like ... Read More

Trump: No

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More

Trump: No

Editor’s Note: The following is one of three essays, each from a different perspective, in the latest edition of National Review on the question of whether to vote for President Trump. The views below reflect those of the individual author, not of the NR editorial board as a whole. The other two essays can be ... Read More