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Sunday, December 26, 2021

Courtroom Pseudoscience

The legal establishment has adjusted rules of evidence so that almost any self-styled scientist, no matter how strange or iconoclastic his views, will be welcome to testify in court. Junk science is impelled through the "let-it-all-in" legal theory. The incentive is money: the prospect that the Midas-like touch of a credulous jury will now and again transform scientific dust into gold. Ironically, the law's tolerance for pseudoscientific speculation has been rationalized in the name of science itself. The open-minded tradition of science demands that every claim be taken seriously, or at least that's what many judges have reasoned. Experienced lawyers now recognize that anything is possible in this kind of system.

Peter H. Huber, Galileo's Revenge: Junk Science in the Courtroom, 1991

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