This writer made several pointed argument against creationism, and supporters of creationism, who want to teach it as an "alternative" to evolution. In this case, he was using the example of the OPERA result to falsify this often-made claim against science.
Creationists regularly assert that science is a closed operation, that those offering opinions differing from the norm cannot get a fair hearing within the scientific community. They argue that it is impossible to publish papers in the technical literature that call the dominant paradigm into question. It is this narrow-mindedness, they continue, that keeps their "important" ideas from being shared broadly. I can't begin to count the number of notes I've received from creationists who rail against the biologists who refuse to consider what they have to say. The charge is always the same: scientists are biased and unwilling to consider any ideas that contradict their opinions.I had made practically the same argument before, especially in addressing what many crackpots have always made when their "theory" got debunked. There have been many instances in physics where the strongly-held ideas at that time had to be revamped to make way for new and better/more accurate description of our world. So people who continue to make such arguments are utterly ignorant, and hope that those who hear their arguments are also utterly ignorant of such facts.
The work arising from CERN demonstrates just how absurd this argument is. The scientists responsible for the work calling special relativity into question had absolutely no trouble getting their results in front of their peers. No one closed ranks and black-listed those who challenged the prevailing paradigm. Quite the opposite occurred. The physics community is abuzz with the results, and healthy discussion, meaningful skepticism, and plans for replication abound.
The other argument made is the fact that creationism/intelligent design offers zero experimental data and physical evidence in its support.
Creationists, on the other hand, simply make assertions. They offer no data and perform no experiments. As was pointed out by creationists themselves under oath in the Dover, PA intelligent design trial in 2005, no one is performing any scientific investigations of intelligent design. No one is publishing any empirical data on the subject. No one is doing anything at all other than saying, "wow, it seems really unlikely and counter-intuitive for evolution to work." What the creationists want is for an alternative theory of evolution to be accepted - and taught to our children - simply because they don't like the one that currently is supported by the data and by virtually every scientist in the field.I think this is very important, and it also separates science from many other subjects, especially the standard, typically political banter where data seldom get cited, but personal preferences are used as valid justification for something. Don't believe me? Pay close and critical attention to any political speeches and debates. See how many times the superficial claims and assertions are given the support of actual data.
There's a lot to be learn from science, not the least of which is the methodology on how we arrive at a conclusion or knowledge. I can only wish other areas and most people make the same critical evaluation of what they accept as being valid.