Truth and Science: A Nobel Laureate’s Advice to Students

By Ron Barmby

Dr. John Clauser is an experimental physicist of the highest order.

His 2022 Nobel Prize in physics is enough to make him one of the preeminent scientists of our times. His work confirmed the existence of quantum entanglement—that two particles once linked remain linked no matter how far apart they are pulled. A change in one linked particle still affects the other linked particle.

A peer of Clauser’s said the achievement “will surely go down as one of the most incredible intellectual achievements in the history of science.” So, when the Nobel laureate talks about physics, the science of matter and energy, people should listen.

He recently was asked to give an inspirational talk to a group of South Korean students. Rather than discuss quantum physics, he grabbed the world’s attention by advising the students their job was to tell the truth. Truth has the property of being in accord with reality, and good science means observing reality in nature and reporting it accurately with no thought to the consequences.

Dr. Clauser told the young South Koreans that when he conducted his prize-winning experiments to settle the debate between Albert Einstein (who rejected quantum entanglement) and Niels Bohr (who supported it), he did not know the answer beforehand. He sought and discovered reality by careful observation of natural phenomena.

Clauser warned the students against being used to manufacture an interpretation of truth at variance with reality, which would then be propagandized opportunistically by non-scientific business and political leaders (he called them “techno-cons”). If the techno-cons can sell this distortion of reality to the public as truth, they win because then they can propose responses or solutions in line with their own agendas. If they can’t sell it, they will switch to another contortion of truth and resume selling.

Clauser has been very open about his views (including with the students) on what is one of the worst sources of dangerous scientific misinformation the public has been fed by techno-cons:  the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He has called the IPCC’s misinformation “a dangerous corruption of science” and “(a) massive shock-journalistic pseudoscience.” Dr. Clauser asserts climate change is “not a crisis.”

Dr. Clauser joined as a director the CO2 Coalition, a leading scientific community (that includes many former IPCC contributors!) dedicated to providing facts, resources and information about the vital role carbon dioxide plays in our environment. He signed the World Climate Declaration (There is no climate emergency), of which the 1,600 signatories rival the IPCC in both numbers and scientific credentials.

Despite his fame and credentials, Dr. Clauser’s reward for expressing his views and warnings to the next generation of Korean physicists was to have a previously scheduled address canceled by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This reaction seems at odds with the due diligence requirements of an organization tasked with achieving global sustainable growth and prosperity.

Meanwhile, mainstream news continues to tell us the IPCC has nailed the science and that they should be trusted. We should take it on faith that carbon dioxide has caused an existential climate change crisis, that CO2 is responsible for an unnatural and abnormal warming period, that all extreme weather events are increasing due to CO2, that CO2 is causing sea level rises that will drown us and that the ocean reefs are dying. It further asks us to believe that the transition to a carbon dioxide-free economy will be affordable, feasible and quick — even in impoverished nations. These myths are presented as truth by the non-scientific techno-cons.

If all those assertions were true, the techno-cons would not be afraid of Dr. Clauser, and careful observation of natural phenomena would prove their claims to be valid. Instead, they continue to change the supposed reality by saying warming has ended and boiling has begun. Business and political agendas—along with the powerful lobbies they create—can be a poison to serious scientific inquiry. To paraphrase Churchill, each new lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on.

The students in South Korea may be disappointed they did not get a lecture in quantum mechanics; it was their one and only chance to hear from the physicist who stood on the shoulders of Albert Einstein and Neils Bohr and saw even further than those giants. After all, what could be more important in science than seeing further?

But Dr. John Clauser’s special message to them was that it is more important to tell the truth about what you see than just seeing further. Truth is either entangled with science, or it isn’t science at all.

To quote Churchill directly, “Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it. But there it is.”

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