When George Ellis and Joe Silk wrote an op-ed in the prestigious Nature magazine, dramatically entitled “Defend the integrity of physics,” cosmologist Sean Carroll responded via Twitter (not exactly a prestigious scientific journal, but much more effective in public discourse) with, and I quote: “My real problem with the falsifiability police is: we don’t get to demand ahead of time what kind of theory correctly describes the world.” The “falsifiability police”? Wow.No, you don't get to be despised by being merely useless. Today's philosophers of science are despised because they are so openly anti-science, as I have documented on this blog many times.
This is actually all very amusing from the point of view of a philosopher of science. You see, our trade is often openly despised by physicists (the list of offenders is long: Steven Weinberg, Stephen Hawking, Lawrence Krauss, Neil deGrasse Tyson — see for instance this, or this), on the grounds that we are not useful to practicing scientists.
If he thinks that his philosopher colleagues are useful to science, he should give an example. Instead he gives:
But also, there is interesting disagreement among philosophers themselves on this matter. For instance, Richard Dawid, a philosopher at the University of Vienna, has argued in favor of embracing a “post-empirical” science, where internal coherence and mathematical beauty become the major criteria for deciding whether a scientific theory is “true” or not. I, for one, object to such a view of science, both as a scientist and as a philosopher.The mud-slinging is almost entirely one-sided, with the philosophers arguing against the validity of modern science.
A better course of action would be to get both scientists and philosophers to seat at the high table and engage in constructive dialogue, each bringing their own perspective and expertise to the matter at hand. It would be helpful, however, is this happened with a bit less mud slinging and a bit more reciprocal intellectual respect.
For the most part, today's physicists ignore philosophers as crackpots.
In the podcast, he argues that Newtonian mechanics is wrong, that there are no crucial experiments, that a science can become pseudoscience by not being progressive enuf, that philosophers need to define science in order to cut off funding for some projects, and that millions of Africans are dying because of pseudoscience.
When talking about this history of science, like others, he talks about Copernicus and Einstein. And of course the description is so over-simplified and distorted that his points are wrong.
His biggest gripe is with requiring scientific hypotheses to be falsifiable, as Karl Popper had argued. He hates the idea of science having a crisp definition, but wants philosophers to declare what is or is not science.