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    Ending the Global Warming Debate

    March 30, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    John Rabe linked to a wonderful speech this week. Given by Michael Crichton at CalTech in 2003, it is aptly titled “Aliens Cause Global Warming”. Here are some of my favorite parts:

    I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.

    In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results.

    There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

    When did “skeptic” become a dirty word in science? When did a skeptic require quotation marks around it?

    Nobody believes a weather prediction twelve hours ahead. Now we’re asked to believe a prediction that goes out 100 years into the future? And make financial investments based on that prediction? Has everybody lost their minds?

    Crichton, of course, is not speaking from a Christian worldview, but nevertheless, he makes a most important point by explaining that the entire global warming debate {as well as other debates that have occurred in our nation’s recent past} are based on data that cannot be known. It is a debate from ignorance on all sides. Including mine.

    I personally think that we would do much better to argue about things we know. I know that pollution fills my Southern California air. I know that the nearby dairy makes my home smell like cow if I open my window. I know that people are creating way too much trash. If we want to debate the environment, let’s debate some known issues, and not something Al Gore and his flunkies typed into a computer model.


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  • Reply Brandy April 1, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    300,000 names, hm? Interesting. Smacks of consensus again, if you ask me. 🙂

    In his speech, Crichton explains that hard science depends only on one scientist being right. And by right, he means results that are reproducible by some other scientist who wants to test the first guy’s theory. The idea that an attempt to predict something in the future that has never happened before and will never be reproducible using data that cannot be known is science is ridiculous. It is fortune telling.

  • Reply Anonymous April 1, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    I found it very interesting when Al Gore went to talk to the Senate, he was allowed special treatment. He didn’t have to give his testimony in advance in writing as required from other people. Of course this insures no one has the ability to research and refute any facts or cases he speaks about and there is less likely to be hard and thoughtful questions about the information he presented.

    He also brought 300,000 names on a petition as if somehow this would increase the validity of his testimony.

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