The Science Wars—didn’t they blow over like the bird flu crisis and global cooling? In the 1990s, several books such as Paul Gross and Norman Levitt’s The Higher Superstition and Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont’s Intellectual Impostures exposed some exceptionally crazy claims about science that were rampant in the humanities circles loosely called “postmodernist.” Science, the postmodernists claimed, was “socially constructed,” in the sense that its claims were the outcome of political pressures rather than the result of rational evaluation of evidence. The critics of the postmodernists demonstrated how badly they had understood science and predicted grave consequences if nothing was done about the threat. The postmodernists ignored the challenge and kept producing the same dense academese as before, while occupying the same tenured chairs. Scientists remained blissfully unaware of the dispute and...

 
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