Isn't using expert consensus opinion just matter of probabilities?

I’m clearly aware of recent events and mandates in which the experts have been wrong. The statement was an obvious joke. I find the subject matter of the thread interesting and although the elephant in the room is clearly there, not mentioning it is fine by me.

Sorry, your sarcasm wasn’t evident so I missed the point of your comment.

The Structure of Scientific Revolution is available for download on line. (50th Anniversary Edition as a pdf.) The introduction by Ian Hacking alone is worth a read.

Ian Hacking’s essay mentions this entry: Thomas Kuhn (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

I’m still working on my Stickhenge project and just very recently started reading "The Copernican Revolution" by Kuhn which is very good, cosmology starting with the Egyptian sun god Ra through to Newton.

Beyond that; a quick google search turns up *“Explaining Scientific Consensus: The Case of Mendelian Genetics” which seems more about the actual nitty gritty than Kuhn’s book.

Developing a unique approach to the formation of scientific consensus, Kim focuses on the so called “middle-level” scientists and their essential role in criticizing and controlling the more single-minded and prominent elite scientists. Kim contends that it is through these scientists, who are often more accessible in university settings, that new discoveries and ideas will be generally accepted in the scientific community, displayed in textbooks, and eventually, accepted into the core knowledge.

Haven’t read it but from the reviews evidently it’s used as a textbook.

2 posts were split to a new topic: Off-Topic

Besides Thomas Kuhn there’s also Karl Popper I gave his "Logic of Scientific Discovery" a go but found it tough sledding. Never finished it.

AFAIK those two are the most prominent modern writers on the scientific method.

Despite the somewhat exaggerated title, this is worth reading:

Omand served as head of both MI6 and GCHQ. The book is mainly about assessment, not production, and has worthwhile things to say about dealing with “experts” (both carbon and silicon-based). His generalizations outside his field of experience should not be taken as gospel.

The best book on production that I have encountered remains:



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I also recommend:

Expensive, tough sledding in places if you haven’t been exposed to some of these ideas, but IMHO well worth the money and time.




Knowledge overconfidence is associated with anti-consensus views on controversial scientific issues

Across seven critical issues that enjoy substantial scientific consensus,…snip… results indicate that those with the highest levels of opposition have the lowest levels of objective knowledge but the highest levels of subjective knowledge

From Naked Capitalism


This is a bit long but good. I skimmed through some of it. Be less scared of overconfidence

Don’t recall the context but Isaac Azimoth said something along the lines of if the experts were in agreement then they were most likely correct but if they were not in agreement a person should withhold judgement.

The linked article says it can be a mistake to put too much weigh on this simple rule which the article calls a “low-info heuristic”.

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