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George Will on the Sociology of Science

George Will’s column asks tough questions of Republican candidates. We wondered if he would ask about evolution, and he sort of did. But interestingly he poses the question not to Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann but to Jon Huntsman, who brags about believing in evolution and global warming.

You, who preen about having cornered the market on good manners, recently tweeted, “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” Call you sarcastic. In the 1970s, would you have trusted scientists predicting calamity from global cooling? Are scientists a cohort without a sociology — uniquely homogenous and unanimous, without factions or interests and impervious to peer pressures or the agendas of funding agencies? Are the hundreds of scientists who are skeptical that human activities are increasing global temperatures not really scientists?

Mr. Will ignores the evolution angle and focuses on global warming. But he’s got the sociological reality of Big Science down cold.