Most definitions of 'authority' I've seen assign the right of command.
I've seen the term used both ways: as having the right to command, and as having the right to have one's statements of fact taken as authoritative.
esp. because you've not defined the term in your Insights piece
I didn't explicitly, but I think it's pretty clear from the article taken as a whole that I meant the second of the two meanings above.
Are you really arguing about the correctness of science and our ability to gauge and ascertain that?
I think you need to read the article again.