Sunday, February 16, 2014

Rotting from the head downwards

Greg Mankiw is a professor of economics at Harvard.  Here, Paul Krugman takes down Mankiw's OpEd in the New York Times in grand style.

One may argue that this is only an opinion piece; but look at the underlying facts (Krugman exhibits some of them).   How can a reasonable person arrive at Mankiw's conclusions from these facts?  How is Mankiw's opinion rationally supportable?

The rot is visibly there in that "hardest" of the hard sciences - particle physics, where Peter Woit has been tireless in exposing how much theoretical research has lost its moorings with the experimental side of the science.

The rot is visible in the "hardest" of the social sciences - economics - where Krugman has been diligently exposing it for years.

The idea that the rot extends to the American Academy of Religion which unlike economics or particle physics, works within frameworks that either cannot be falsified or are difficult to falsify, is incredible, unpalatable and unacceptable to some.

So let's give them a certificate here - in all the fields of human study, the scholars of religion are the most scrupulous in their observations,  empirically demanding in their explanatory frameworks, and honest in their interpretations. 

While we're at it, we'll also create a certificate for excelling at ostrich-head-in-the-sand.