Friday, June 11, 2010


I think it is extremely unfortunate that Matt Ridley has missed many of the important points and concepts. In my view, he has also cherry-picked evidence to form opinions which are unsupported by the bulk of scientific evidence and understanding. This is demonstrated by the fact that he completely ignores the mainstream scientific literature. In my view, it is also clear that he has a very poor understanding of the core issues.
-- Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, one of the experts asked by New Scientist to comment on Matt Ridley's take on ocean acidification, which is that:
Ocean acidification looks suspiciously like a back-up plan by the environmental pressure groups in case the climate fails to warm.
That sounds to me a bit like a PR person saying that:
the claim that smoking increases the risk of heart disease looks suspiciously like a back-up plan by anti-smoking campaigners in case smokers fail to die of lung-cancer.
On a broader point, how useful is Ridley's analogy of ideas 'having sex'? Is it more credible than the meme metaphor, which Scott Atran debunked in In Gods We Trust?

Ridley, it may be noted, is a passionate advocate of deregulation. Contrast this with a recent reality check by James Surowiecki.

P.S. 2pm: I haven't been keeping up with George's columns. He has a sound take here.

No comments: