Objectivity and Truth

Just watched an episode of the Colbert Report where the guest spoke of needing “objective journalists” to give us culture & truth. He said he loathed Wikipedia, because it relies too much on amateurs to give us accurate information.

Someone needs to tell this guy that there is no such thing as objectivity from a single source. No one person can ever be objective on their own; we have to sum up the subjective experiences of many, many people to approach an objective point of view.

That’s what science does: it sums up the subjective thoughts & experiments of lots of people, all over the world, to arrive facts about the universe.

That’s the idea behind Wikipedia, too: that millions of people, all contributing knowledge to a single database, will eventually create a storehouse of facts.

And that’s the democratic ideal, as well: that by summing up the political views of everyone, we’ll come up with the best policies.

To believe that only one person, or only a small group of people, can hold the keys to truth is not only undemocratic, it’s unrealistic. As our history of scientific progress shows, the most solid truths are those that everyone can agree on.