The question "What is truth?" is perhaps the hardest one ever posed. Science is based on the correspondence theory of truth, namely, that truth corresponds to reality. But others say that truth is based on consensus, while others say that truth is entirely relative. So, what's the truth about truth?
Dr. Pinker is an excellent writer and thinker. Perhaps his greatest contribution to our national dialogue is his insistence, backed up by considerable research, that life keeps getting better and better. However, he seems to miss the mark in a recent essay titled "Why We Are Not Living in a Post‑Truth Era."
Since nobody really knows what postmodernism is, it's becomes a nebulous concept that poses an existential threat to science and technology. How so? Because it's largely characterized by a rejection of objective truth. This is antithetical to scientific inquiry.
Ideology is a double-edged sword. Dedication to a set of beliefs can be admirable, but when it leads to inflexibility and obstinance in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it is a dangerous thing. Such ideological rigidity -- often found among the adherents of various philosophical, religious, and political doctrines -- can lead to the rejection of evidence-based inquiry, which serves as the bedrock of modern science.
An analysis of 70 papers shows that most scientific research does not advance by "falsification," as philosopher Karl Popper made famous. Ironically, falsification has itself been falsified.