From political analyst Michael Barone at TownHall:
Liberal elites tell us that “the science is settled” and that people must have faith in their predictions. But science is never settled. Scientists produce theories and test them against observations. When Albert Einstein announced his relativity theory in 1905, he didn’t ask people to have faith. He claimed that his theory would do a better job than Isaac Newton’s of predicting observations in a solar eclipse in 1919.
It is religion, not science, that demands that people have faith in things that otherwise seem unlikely, brands those who do not as “heretics” and “deniers,” requires participation in repeated rituals (recycling, anyone?), and permits sinners to purchase indulgences (carbon offsets for Al Gore’s private jet).
The sensible thing to do about possible climate change is to learn more, to fund research (and not just by believers in the alarmist faith), to think seriously about how to mitigate possible bad effects — and to take advantage of possible good ones. (I grew up in Michigan, where I would have been happy to experience a little warming.)
Seversky at 1, Barry Arrington at 3: What Seversky does not understand is that Julie Shaw [post-facts scientist] is attacking the very legitimacy of Clare Foran’s approach to science [climate change is real].
And the damage is done whether either Shaw or Foran (or Sev?) is intellectually capable of understanding the problem.
Can human beings be morally certain* that we have judged a set of available facts correctly? On Shaw’s showing (and on that of anyone who espouses a Darwinian view of the mind), even if we had such a certainty it would just be another illusion for survival and reproduction. But Foran writes as though we could have such a certainty and must act on it.
Why does Foran believe that? Is she not a Darwinian?
Most science writers today seek to proclaim truths, with penalties for doubt, and at the same time to assert that the human mind is not structured so as to understand truth.
In other words, truth is whatever the elite want, which – with suitable punishments for doubt or dissent – eliminates tiresome issues around correctness.
* Moral certainty means that our handling of the facts available was just and reasonable, so we incur no moral guilt by our decisions. Genuinely unavailable facts don’t count.
Science just doesn’t work that well as a faith. It tends to get despondent and commit suicide, leaving fanatics to squable over the relics.
See also: A scientist on the benefits of a post-truth society
Why does climate change “denial” matter in a “post-truth” society?
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