Ethan has been on a tear of late, and this article is a good example of it.
It is science’s ability to admit to error that makes progress possible.
Cranks will often argue in the other direction: ‘see, they *admitted* they were wrong, you can’t trust anything they say!’
But admitting mistakes is honesty in action.
Science deals with a lot of complexity, and so it can take time for scientists to realize that their favorite explanations might not hold water. But they have a good track record for eventually ejecting theories that are not supported by evidence, and they have an absolute fetish for obtaining fresh evidence by which to judge their explanations.
Now if we could only teach American schoolchildren how to reason from evidence, that would be something.