A asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 5 months ago

How is a scientific consensus defined?

Whether it be the theory of evolution or the theory of gravity, what level of acceptance and endorsement does there need to be in order to say that there exists a scientific consensus about something?

8 Answers

  • 5 months ago

    Consensus : General agreement.

    I guess it means that if a general agrees with it it is accepted as a theory. if the general does not agree is is accepted as BS.

    I may be wrong.

  • 5 months ago

    True scientific consensus takes decades to achieve at a minimum. When a theory does achieve this, it can also be said to have "universal acceptance". To have scientific consensus, a theory can have NO reputable scientific source that disputes it's authenticity. Gravity and Evolution reached consensus a long time ago. Global Warming, while close, still has not.

    In the history of human science, no theory that reached scientific consensus has ever been shown to be wrong later. Even upon unearthing dramatic new evidence, the theory still stands on the weight of the old and is tweaked to include the new, it never falls completely.

  • Jim
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Pre-publish for peer review.

    Other scientists will set up multiple experiments to duplicate results.

    If results are achieved, then the paper is "Peer Reviewed" and "published".

    Anytime afterward, if any experiment shows theory not supported, the process starts over again!

  • 5 months ago

    It's a term coined by the 'global warming' activists, and has no scientific relevance.  A scientific theory is useful until and unless contradicting evidence is found. 

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  • Dixon
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    It doesn't have a special definition, it is just a consensus within the scientific community. That opinion will be apparent from conference talks, published articles and papers etc. I would say that in general scientific consensus is prudently skeptical but ultimately moved by the weight of evidence, regardless of previous ideas.

  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    5 months ago

    Science comes up with hypotheses to explain the observations.

    Until new observations or any other plausible reason suggesting that the hypothesis is wrong appear, you have consensus.

  • 5 months ago

    There is no consensus about the numerical definition of "consensus". I might suggest 75%, others might pick 80% or even 90%.

  • 5 months ago

    The consensus about a topic is difficult to achieve initially because of lack of knowledge about that topic or lack of strong evidence. But as the research progresses and more and more scientists starts enquiring or validating about that topic, consensus can be achieved. This is true that debate and controversies begins when the new theory about a particular topic emerges but consensus can be achieved as the time progresses. The example of consensus are the newtons's gravitational laws, principal of superposition, uniformity law etc.

     The collective opinion, judgment of the community of scientists in a field of study is known as consensus.

    The consensus have been achieved in the IPCC reports by the scientists. As of result of this consensus problem of global warming and its impact was taken seriously. This led to development of United Nation conference on environmental development(UNCED)at Rio Di Janeiro in 1992. The problem of global warming was accepted and international framework convention(FCCC) on climate change was constructed in which about 160 countries including the signing of the convention by President George Bush of United States.

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