And we don’t mean political science.
Yuval Levin explains.
My own simplistic analogy: Imagine scientists who invent a flame-retardant suit. To test it, they grab ten people off the street, strip them naked, force them into the suits, and then into fires of varying degrees. The results are recorded and observed. The data would have scientific use but would plainly have been obtained through monstrous methods. Of course "we believe in science" (as though scientific truth were a matter of human will)--it’s the scientists who need controlling. And every society has controlled its scientists through moral teaching and ultimately through the laws. To do otherwise is to submit to the tyranny of science. Such reasoning is not beyond anyone’s "pay grade." The Bush Administration had one way of respecting science, and the Obama Administration is showing its nihilism in the way it is abdicating public responsibility in favor of the will of scientists.
It was rumored that Yuval was a runner-up to Bill Kristol as a regular New York Times columnist. With Bill’s leaving, I hope he captures the prize this time.
See of course Joe K’s post below .