Yes - I believe we agree here. I think, perhaps, we've been using the verb "silence" a bit differently which may be the cause of some confusion. I'm using it with a perhaps more "liberal" meaning. Not to actively silence (censor) but to not allow a voice (refusing to acknowledge). Depending on ones POV either can be considered to be "silencing." I'm more against the former than the latter.
There exists a word for what you want to communicate: "ignore". There is no reason to use "silence" to mean "ignore" except to confuse.
Sort of - Ignore isn't quite what I had in mind. Something stronger than that. Refusing to publish the paper of a quack, for example, isn't just ignoring - it's removing that opinion from the public sphere. Or maybe something like not hiring a professor of evolution who believes in creationism for example. Something with consequences beyond just being ignored but not quite censorship. I'm not sure English has a word for it.
Science is not simply "opinions offered by smart people." They are hypotheses supported by data. It doesn't even matter if the people doing it are smart or not - the data is what matters. Sometimes data contradicts one's personal beliefs and you get "pseudoscience" - a discipline that accepts what it has already decided is true first and then seeks to prove it with the data. Typically this involves cherry picking data and other poor practices.
Your argument is that scientific experts are special and better than experts in any other field of knowledge.
No - it is that *science* is a better tool for producing facts about the world than any other discipline. Did you miss where I said "the data is what matters?" I'm not claiming science is better or that other disciplines are bad. But if you want to know something about world then the best tool for the job is a scientific approach.
But don't apply it to literature and art.
That completely ignores that scientists are human, are subject to the same corrupting influences of other fields, and that not even peer review is sufficient to remove bias and guarantee truth. (See studies on repeatability of peer reviewed studies)
It doesn't at all - that's why I said the *data* is what matters and not *people*. Science is a self-correcting methodology. It's like an algorithm for generating facts about reality. It's not perfect (nothing is) but it works quite well and is reasonably fault tolerant. The philosophy of science is about refining science to take into consideration for, and correct, the flaws that you mention. The process run over time is what makes science work. Not any single study or finding. The repeatability issues you mention are *exactly* what makes science great at what it does! They're exposing the flaws in the individuals! Would you rather we just blindly agreed with the first study and get on with it???
Think about it. How many scientific consensuses have been overturned in the history of science? Why would you treat any particular consensus as the final word on the matter, when the very nature of the scientific method provides contingent results? (We have not yet proved X to be false vs. We proved X to be true)
You're tending towards extreme philosophical skepticism here a bit. "How can we know anything at all?"
You're the only one talking about absolutes like "guaranteeing proof" or removing bias completely. Lets not commit the nirvana fallacy.
For the most part scientific consensuses have not been overturned - augmented and modified yes but not overturned. Example: Newton was "pretty right" about gravity but there were anomalies. Einstein got closer. Somebody else will undoubtedly do better. But that is not to say that Newton was "wrong." That's what you expect from science - a better theory than the one that you had. Not a whole-sale throwing out of a prior theory but modifications on it. Gravity didn't turn out to be "intelligent falling." It's still an attraction between massive bodies. I doubt that will change.
The consensus forms *after* it has been shown to be mostly correct. Perhaps with accepting some flaws (everything is flawed - deal).
I get the feeling you're not comfortable with probabilistic truth. Bayesian thinking is much more useful that full right/wrong. It does not leave us with proofs or 100% certainties though. It leaves you with something in between based on "prior probabilities" and whether you have supporting or conflicting data.
I'd love to hear about all the scientific consensuses that have been overturned by some sort of magic or miracles.
The list goes on. All of these are demonstrably false.
You cannot possibly prove creationism false with science. Creationism is fundamentally a historical claim, which is outside the realm of the scientific method.
The best you can do is say it unlikely by logic and cumulative evidence - but that is not a scientific result, however true it may be.
Talk about damning with faint praise. "You can't disprove me" is the battle-cry of those with no evidence to support their claim.
I reject your claim though that Creationism can't be dis-proven. Certain components of Creationism can certainly be tested. 6,000 year old Earth? False. No common ancestry? False. The human race began with 2 people created from dust? Do I really need to tell you this is false? And if the "theory" depends on these components then, well, the theory fails.
If you're talking about the Roman Catholic Church stance on the big bang and evolution then sure - you're finally closer to "claims that cannot be proven false." But that only says "we may not be wrong." Yipee? Join the choir of other metaphysical beliefs that also can't be dis-proven.
However if your theory can't be tested then it is not a scientific theory. That's not saying it's wrong but if a competing theory has empirical evidence and is based on good scientific methodologies then the latter should be preferred.
I am curious though. What *better* way of discovering facts about the world would *you* suggest over science? Or are you just anomaly hunting so as to weaken the scientific stance so that you can feel better about a non-scientific position you have that conflicts with empirical evidence?