Joined: Oct. 2005
True, but why make it easy for them?
Scientists who are about to speak about science or scientific results are supposed to think about how to communicate clearly and effectively, taking into account the audience and the ways they could misunderstand what they are about to hear. Why make it easy for people to misunderstand or misrepresent by saying either A) "I believe" when what you really mean is simply "I think" or "I suspect", or "I'd bet that ...", or B) "I have no idea" or "there's no evidence", when those simply aren't true?
We know that creationist / IDists love to paint scientific conclusions as just another belief, and we know that science proceeds by hypothesis testing and disproof, not by asserting beliefs. Yes, I'm being cranky here, but Whitesides is being very unhelpful.