Conservative Pseudo-Science Confuses Evolution and Climate Change

Some on the anti-science right never run out of ways to repeat their absurd arguments that scientists are generally wrong and consensus statements should be ignored. The latest news report to generate such a claim comes from a report in The New York Times. New fossil evidence suggests that once again we have to rearrange the exact pathway in the evolution of modern man.

This is hardly anything new. Dealing with limited evidence from fossils there has always been controversy over the exact pathway, and different views have been predominant at different times. Scientists are quite aware of the limitations of our knowledge here and this report is hardly revolutionary.

The rather misnamed Astute Boggers tries to adapt this to their anti-scientific beliefs on climate change:

These two cases shod;l stand as a warning to anyone and everyone who argues that “warmening”/AGW must be true because “it’s the scientific consensus!”

What is the PC theory at any given time is subject to change because CONSENSUS IS NOT PROOF.

Only the scientific method can offer proof.

Other than that logical arguments and logical conjectures merely make one hypothesis more plausible than another.

We should not wreck our economy and our industries and allow the federal government – or any “world government” to have more control over our lives and liberty because many scientists find one theory more plausible than another. That’s merely “scientific consensus” and it should carry little to no weight in the political realm. Because it is subject to change.

Their first error here is in the misuse of consensus. There has never been a consensus on the pathway of human evolution which is comparable to the consensus on climate change. Many scientific viewpoints do change. A consensus as strong as that on global warming is not very likely to.

The next error is that they are confusing ideology with science. Their political biases are clear as they repeat the usual right wing talking points about “world government” and loss of liberty which are totally irrelevant to the scientific viewpoint. They have bought the right wing propaganda as to what the solution to climate change would be. As they do not like what they falsely believe is the solution, they respond by denying the scientific facts.

Their final error is in thinking the possibility that science can be wrong means that there is a high likelihood that the science is wrong and it can be ignored. Considering that a consensus agreement of this magnitude is very unlikely to be wrong, and considering the consequences if the scientists are right, it is hardly worth risking the survival of much of the planet on the fantasies of a bunch of right wingers with a flat earth mentality. Even if global warming does not turn out to be a serious problem, we would still benefit by changes which would result in energy independence–and which do not require a “world government” taking control of our lives.

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13 Comments

  1. 1
    reliapundit says:

    thanks for the link!

    u r wrong!

    you wrote:

    “A consensus as strong as that on global warming is not very likely to.”

    partial list a nearly universally held scientific theories which proved utterly false:

    flat earth
    earth at center of universe
    ether
    ehrlich’s population explosion
    global cooling
    leprosy is very contagious
    atom is smallest unit

    theories long discredited by consensus but which them were proven right:

    cause of ulcers is bacterial
    geological plate-tectonics
    massive meteorite impacts caused mass extinctions

    and so on…

    this is how science works. read kuhn.

    it is not ideological, YOU ASS, to assert that since ice cores show that CO2 increases occur 800 years AFTER temperature increases that is CANNOT BE A CAUSE OF IT.

    this is dispositive of the argument that CO2 causes global warming.

    it is not ideological, YOU MORON, to argue that since atmospheric man-made CO2 has steadily increased and global temperatures have not that CO2 cannot cause global warming.

    IT IS DISPOSITIVE of AGW due to man-made CO2..

    it is not ideological, YOU LEFTIST DUPE, to argue that consensus is NOT PROOF.

    it is just a plain freakin fact.

    it was once consensus that females were inferior. that blacks were. that jews were.

    all wrong.

    it was once consensus that viability began in the first week of the second trimester. NOW PROVEN WRONG.

    it was once consensus – among the elite academy – that command economies were better than freemarkets. WRONG AGAIN.

    Hayek was proven right and MARX AND GALBRAITH WRONG.
    Laffer was right. Every single solitary liberal economist WRONG. Milton Friedman right. BUT YOU PROBABLY CAN’T ACCEPT THESE TRUTHS.

    You are in denial.

    And draconian taxes and regulations on energy and industry is your leftist pipedream/wet dream: FINALLY a way to encumber freemarkets and industry with politburo-like taxes and controls.

    ’cause jerks like you can no more accept that AGW is bunk, than you can accept that abortion is murder (because life begins at conception; what else is conceived at conception if it is not a new life, with unique DNA!?).

    jerks like can no more accept that global warming cycles and cooling cycles are natural, than accept that Marxism failed, and that the withdrawal of support for South Vietnam (in 1975, two years after our last ground troop had exited!) led to SE Asian genocide.

    Leftist numskulls like you can no more accept that there is plenty of evidence for solar and cosmic rays having a greater effect on global temperatures than admit that Clinton committed an impeachable offense.

    Big fat Leftist jerks like you can no more accept that water vapor and carbon particulates have a greater effect on global temps than admit that Reagan won the Cold War.

    IOW: YOU SIR ARE THE IDEOLOGICAL ASS.

    I was raised by card-carrying commies who wept when Stalin died.

    I marched on the first Earth Day.

    I saw the light.

    I pray you do too one day.

    All the Best – you big fat leftist jerk!

    PS: i have a ba and a ma. from two major universities.
    PPS: from wiki:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....fic_theory

    Superseded biology theories

    In Lamarckism, a giraffe is able to lengthen its neck over its life time, for example by stretching to reach higher leaves, and subsequently have an offspring with a longer neck. The theory has been superseded by the understanding of natural selection as the primary mechanism of evolution.

    Giraffes are often invoked in explanations of Lamarck’s superseded theory of evolution. In Lamarckism, a giraffe is able to lengthen its neck over its life time, for example by stretching to reach higher leaves, and subsequently have an offspring with a longer neck. The theory has been superseded by the understanding of natural selection as the primary mechanism of evolution.

    * Lamarckism challenged by Darwinian evolution, but revitalised in Neo-Lamarckism – see also epigenetic inheritance
    * Maternal impression – rendered obsolete by genetic theory, but see fetal origins of adult disease
    * Miasma theory of disease – rendered obsolete by germ theory of disease
    * Spontaneous generation (commonly occurring abiogenesis) superseded by “Omne vivum ex ovo” (life comes from life)
    * Recapitulation theory – or “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”

    [edit] Superseded chemistry theories

    * Caloric theory
    * Phlogiston theory – replaced by Lavoisier’s work on oxidation
    * Part of Dalton’s law
    * Vital essence theory

    [edit] Superseded physics theories

    * Aristotelian theory of gravity – discredited by Galileo
    * Classical mechanics – superseded by general relativity (on large scales) and quantum mechanics (on small scales)
    * Classical electrodynamics – superseded by quantum electrodynamics
    * Ether – failed to be detected by the Michelson-Morley experiment, made obsolete by Einstein’s work.
    * Caloric theory – Lavoisier’s successor to phlogiston, obsolesced by Rumford’s and Joule’s work
    * Emitter theory – another now-obsolete theory of light propagation.
    * Persistence of vision – is being debated by investigative psychologists.
    * Progression of atomic theory

    * Plum pudding model of the atom – assuming the protons and electrons were mixed together in a single mass
    * Rutherford solar system model of the atom with an impenetrable nucleus orbitted by electrons.
    * Bohr model with quantized orbits
    * Electron cloud model following the invention of Quantum Mechanics in 1925 and the eventual atomic orbital models derived from the quantum mechanical solution to the hydrogen atom.

    [edit] Superseded astronomical and cosmological theories

    * Ptolemaic system/Geocentric universe – obsoleted by Copernicus and Galileo
    * Copernican system – obsoleted by Johannes Kepler and Isaac Newton
    * Newtonian gravity – obsoleted by general relativity

    [edit] Superseded geographical and climatological theories

    * Flat Earth theory
    * Hollow Earth theory
    * The Open Polar Sea, an ice-free sea once supposed to surround the North Pole
    * Rain follows the plow – the theory that human settlement increases rainfall in arid regions (only true to the extent that crop fields evapotranspirate more than barren wilderness)

    [edit] Superseded geological theories

    * Continental drift was superseded by plate tectonics
    * Expanding earth theory replaced by a statist model with Subduction
    * Catastrophism was replaced by Uniformitarianism

    [edit] Superseded medical theories

    * Theory of the four bodily humours
    * Eclecticism (medicine) – medical history – Some say it transformed into homeopathy and pseudoscience.
    * Physiognomy, related to phrenology, was the study of one’s physical appearance in relation to one’s inner character.

    PPPS: Kuhn: http://www.amazon.com/Structur.....0226458083

  2. 2
    reliapundit says:

    agw/global warming due to man-made co2 will soon be superseded, too.

    then please, you and your leftie friends, PLEASE : STFU!

  3. 3
    reliapundit says:

    btw, jerk-off:

    if the freakin SURVIVAL OF HUMAN LIOFE ON THE PLANET WAS “IN THE BALANCE” THEN WHY HASN’T GORE STOPPED TAKING JETS AND INSTEAD ONLY DO VIDEO-CONFERENCES?!

    ’cause your all full of shit.

  4. 4
    reliapundit says:

    btw: the southern hemisphere is NOT WARMING AT ALL.

    certainly not this year – one of the coldest EVER on record.

    if CO2 was causing GW then this would be IMPOSSIBLE ’cause CO2 is increasing globally.

  5. 5
    reliapundit says:

    and another thing: your a lib!

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Reliapundit,

    Writing multiple posts with a bunch of bogus points does not make them any more meaningful.

    “partial list a nearly universally held scientific theories which proved utterly false:”

    You make the same mistake that the post at Astute Bloggers made. A previously held belief is not the same as the product of a scientific consensus statement. Many of the beliefs you describe are cases of non-scientific thoughts being debunked by science.

    In your examples, global warming denial is the belief which is analogous to the flat earth and other non-scientific beliefs.

    You clearly have no concept of what ideas are scientific, what ideas are non-scientific, and the meaning of a scientific consensus statement. Your concepts of politics and economics are similarly warped. When you confuse politics and science your views are particularly warped.

  7. 7
    jimmy says:

    Ron, in your second year you are really going to have to do something to imporove the quality of trolls here. This one is about the dumbest one yet.

    Not only doesn’t he know what “consensus statement” means, he has no idea that real science exists outside of his puny little mind. He thinks every scientist is wrong and he is right because its all a communist plot.

    It is hard to tell what the dumbest claim is. Perhaps saying it is colder in the Southern Hemiphere this year. Climate change isn’t about what the temperature is one season. It is about overall trends. Also note this is about climate change–not simply global warming. The science predicts some areas will get colder and some warmer at times.

    The funniest part is seeing a freemarketer like you be accused of being a Marxist.

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    Jimmy,

    Most likely he’s just a 14 year old kid who knows nothing about science, knows nothing about economics, knows nothing what liberals believe, and has trouble even writing a coherent sentence. He’s picked up some right wing talking points and doesn’t have the common sense to do the slightest bit of fact checking.

    Oh, yes, it was amusing to be called a Marxist. Time for him to turn off the talk radio and return to reality.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    Jimmy,

    Agree his comment on the souther hemisphere is especially inane. His logic is the same as those who claim, “it is cold today, therefore there is no global warming.”

    He is in error with regards to both his logic and his facts. Climate change has had an effect in the southern hemisphere.

    South America:
    http://www.climatehotmap.org/samerica.html

    Africa:
    http://www.climatehotmap.org/africa.html

    Antartica:
    http://www.climatehotmap.org/antarctica.html

  10. 10
    Skeptic says:

    You might be a little unfair to conservatives in linking to his site as an example of conservative climate change denialism. This guy is quite dumb even by their standards.

    There’s way too many errors to address, but you got it right Ron in concentrating on his confusion between previous falacious viewpoints and a modern scientific consensus statement. He certainly is on the side of those who believed in a flat earth and that the earth was in the center of the universe, etc in opposition to scientific findings which found that past beliefs were incorrect.

    His arguments also reek of a fanaticism and ideology. Ron, as a strong supporter of free market economics, might I suggest a counter argument for an idiot such as this? Here goes: Failure to respond to global warming will result in a collapse of our economic system. Therefore Reliapundit must be a Communist. Supporters of the free market understand that regulatory action is sometimes necessary. In the case of responding to climate change, it is much better to respond now, when the remedies are tolerable, rather than waiting too long which would put more property in jeopardy.

    There, that’s more along his thought processes, and far more accurate than anything he wrote.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    “that’s more along his thought processes, ”

    Believe me, he still won’t understand. It took five posts before the spam filters finally picked up on him. Since then he’s added countless other comments which, believe it or not, are even more irrational than the ones above.

    This is not a person playing with a full deck.

  12. 12
    assman says:

    I agree with reliapundit basically on most of what he said although he could have been less rude and personal in his attack. But he is right.

    And actually I think most of you are wrong. Scientific consensus implies nothing. It certainly does not imply correctness. I only believe actual scientific proof not scientific consensus. And there is no real scientific proof.

    What do I consider scientific proof. A very very large body of precise empirical observations that are in good agreement with a very unambiguous and precise scientific model. What is an example of this. Quantum mechanics has tonnes of supporting evidence. Including very precise predictions of spectra, craploads of experimental results. And all of these are numbers that I know how to calculate. The model is precise, unambiguous and very transparent.

    What do we have with global warming. A very ambiguous GCM model filled with tonnes of unknown parameters that don’t even obey any laws/constraints. A number of opaque computer simulations that don’t even agree with each other. Nevermind agreeing with the real world.

    Now with global warming I would be willing to even settle for a few startling predictions along with some very nice coincidences. For instance with Newton’s laws we had Halley’s prediction which was incredible and we had the nice coincidence between g on Earth and the centripedal acceleration of the Moon. With these alone I would be inclined to believe. Showing me a bunch of graphs does not convince me.

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    “I agree with reliapundit basically on most of what he said although he could have been less rude and personal in his attack”

    Then you should see all the stuff I kept in moderation.

    “I only believe actual scientific proof not scientific consensus.”

    A scientific consensus means that the scientists in the field believe that the views have been proven. Of course there is a limit to proof here as the only 100% proof will be to wait to see if the predictions come true, but by then it will be too late.

    “Now with global warming I would be willing to even settle for a few startling predictions.”

    That is one reason why the scientitific consensus went as it did. The predictions of those who have been discussing climate change are taking place and many parts of the world, including the poles and areas such as Darfur, are seeing the effects. There has been a strong misinformation campaign to try to hide this fact, often misquoting old predictions to claim they were wrong.

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