At the heart of many scientists - but not all scientists - lies the heart of a totalitarian planner. One can see them now, beavering away, alone, unknown, in their laboratories. And now, through the great global warming swindle they can influence policy, they can set agendas, they can reach into everyone's lives; they can, like Lenin, proclaim "what must be done". While the humanities had a sort of warm-hearted, muddle-headed leftism, the sciences carry with them no such feeling for humanity. And it is not a new phenomenon. We should not forget that some of the strongest supporters of totalitarian regimes in the last century have been scientists and, in return, the State lavishes praise, money and respectability on them.
Interestingly, Phelps quotes Hayek; here's the original; there's a lovely extra snippet where Hayek hints that scientists and engineers are peculiarly susceptible to the fascist siren song:
It is well known that particularly the scientists and engineers, who had so loudly claimed to be the leaders on the march to a new and better world, submitted more readily than almost any other class to the new tyranny.
Phelps and Hayek are saying, you may be an atmospheric chemist, but your work is training your mind along totalitarian tracks: a belief that science somehow has Absolutist methods for distinguishing fact from fiction. And you'll end up no different to scientific socialists, who've deduced their way to a logical case for robbing us of our liberty.
This view allows Phelps to bemoan Ian Plimer being persecuted for his scientific beliefs. The scientific establishment is the catholic church, those brave enough to oppose the orthodoxy modern-day Galileos etc.
Except, of course, Plimer's actually wrong. He's so spectacularly wrong that I really don't need to provide links. Are we to lose the ability to tell that? Does a commitment to liberty require instead a radical relativism where any theory goes and no empirical test can knock it down? That some people really can't tell the difference between a lab monkey and Stalin?
I used to think it terrible how everyone and his dog tried to dress themselves up in sciencey clothes, but this is much scarier.