5 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A lawyer's conception of truth
, 9 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Reason in the Balance: The Case against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education (Paperback)
Nobel laureate Kary Mullis was asked to testify as an expert witness at the O. J. Simpson trial (in the end, he didn't.) Consequently, he thought quite a lot about the nature of truth as it is seen by lawyers and by scientists. In law, the opposing sides approach a trial by collecting all the evidence that will be used in the trial, and exchanging it in discovery proceedings. At a certain point, the stream of evidence is cut off, and this finite body of information is used to reach an absolute, final verdict (truth-telling.) In science, to the contrary, the stream of evidence is never cut off, never ends, and no one ever reaches a final, absolute, unmodifiable truth. This distinction Johnson fails to understand (or at least chooses to gloss over.) He is committed to lawyer's truth and has no interest in scientific truth. That is the trouble with this book and, indeed, all of Johnson's pseudoscientific writings.
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