Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Should we tolerate Big Bang denial?

Catriona McKinnon has a couple of interesting papers on free speech and denial of the Holocaust and climate change. In both cases, the essence of the argument is that denialists are not really historians or scientists, even if they claim to be. (This is not simply saying that they are bad historians or scientists, but rather that they are not even doing proper history or science.) Therefore, there is no need to include their views in academic conferences, journals, etc.

I just came across a possibly parallel case, concerning apparent 'censorship' of papers questioning the Big Bang on arXiv. I say 'possibly' because I simply don't know enough about this case to judge. There's no obviously non-scientific reason, that I'm aware of, for anyone to deny the Big Bang.

I wonder whether this is a case where these papers ought to be allowed - even if they are mistaken (i.e. bad science) - or whether they ought to be excluded on the grounds that they are not really scientific (as, McKinnon argues, climate change denial ought to be).

No comments:

Post a Comment