Falsifiability and Pangloss

First, you weren’t seeing enough of the good news. Now, the bad news is good news. Here’s President Bush, implying that the attacks are a sign that things are going well:

“The more progress we make on the ground, the more free the Iraqis become, the more electricity that’s available, the more jobs are available, the more kids that are going to school, the more desperate these killers become”

Bush also directly stated a causal relationship between success on the ground and more resistance:

“The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react.”

I know science and the scientific method are not a high priority with this administration (e.g., see Salon today), but seriously, come on. We can all agree that no attacks would in fact constitute good news. We are now told that the current level of attacks is also good news, and that when the attacks escalate, that’s a sign of more success on the ground. Bertrand Russell and Karl Popper had it wrong, while Candide’s devoted advisor Pangloss had it right the whole time:

“It is demonstrable,” said he [Pangloss], “that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end. Observe, for instance, the nose is formed for spectacles, therefore we wear spectacles. The legs are visibly designed for stockings, accordingly we wear stockings. Stones were made to be hewn and to construct castles, therefore My Lord has a magnificent castle; for the greatest baron in the province ought to be the best lodged. Swine were intended to be eaten, therefore we eat pork all the year round: and they, who assert that everything is right, do not express themselves correctly; they should say that everything is best.”

New and improved epistemology coming soon to science textbooks near you!