I remember people completely destroying the book, saying that Crichton fabricated evidence and misquoted people to make it look like global warming doesn't exist. If that's all they got from the book... well. Much more important is the realization that there are huge areas of life which human kind generally doesn't have the first idea about. This point is driven home painfully if you read Bryson's 'Short History of Nearly Everything'. He quotes a famous brain saying that "all science is either physics or stamp collecting", and that seems to be the general attitude: we have studied atoms and particles down to the wire (or string, as it may be), but there are many infinitely more pertinent subjects that have completely escaped our attention.
In Crichton's book, people keep throwing scientific references at each other. Truth be told, my meager three years at college have been enough to show how a lot of scientific research is pure, unadulterated bullshit. So I am naturally wary of arguments like "Professor Z.'s study shows that..." Instead, shall we please actually read professor Z.'s paper and try and understand what made him reach that conclusion? Not all science is based on evidence, and history ought to teach us pretty damn well that not all science is fact.
There are more things in Heaven and Earth, friend Horatio, than are dreamt of by our philosophers.