We’re Not Critics – We’re Enemies!

Today’s Fox News website had this little story, entitled Climate Scientists Plan to Hit Back at Skeptics. In the article, Stanford University climate researcher Paul R. Ehrlich had this to say about global warming skeptics:

“Most of our colleagues don’t seem to grasp that we’re not in a gentlepersons’ debate, we’re in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules,” Paul R. Ehrlich, a Stanford University researcher, said in one of the e-mails.

Its worth noting Ehrlich’s use of the phrase “merciless enemies”. In other words, challenge the preferred dogma, and you’re not just ignorant – you’re an enemy, and thus, by extension, deserving of any and all ad hominem attacks hurled your way. One can almost hear “let me assure you, we haf vays to make you accept the dogma!”

In a related story, ID proponent Jay Richards, co-author of the book Privileged Planet, notes

Now when I read anything on the environment in the New York Times, I try to keep a couple of deconstructionist qualifiers running in the back of my head: “This is what the New York Times wants me to believe about the issue” and “What are they trying to accomplish with this piece?” I know it’s cynical, but when it comes to environmental stories, I just don’t trust New York Times reporters to keep it straight.

Some things they want to accomplish with this piece:

(1) Divide and conquer skeptics of global warming orthodoxy and Darwinism, by painting the latter as ignorant religious zealots, in hopes of starting a fight among conservatives. No doubt they’re hoping that, say, Richard Lindzen will have to explain why he agrees with those nefarious creationists on the global warming issue, and that he’ll have to spend his time issuing statements of agreement with evolution.

(2) Make it harder for official bodies to encourage critical thinking on global warming, since attempts to do the same with regard to evolution have, in recent years, met with fierce resistance and only modest success.

Those of us who challenge some of the tenets of Darwinism on scientific grounds, and who propose ID as a reasonable scientific alternative, have been told ad nauseum by the Darwinists that its all about the science and ID isn’t science and etc, etc, etc, yadda yadda. But if the tactics we’re beginning to see from global warming proponents and Darwinists mentioned in these articles continue, then its legitimate to ask: where’s the science? It just never seems to occur to these people that critics and skeptics of some their claims are basing their skepticism and critiques on the science. That’s not to say that some aren’t grinding political axes, but it doesn’t follow from that there is no legitimate scientific basis for the skepticism and criticism. The response to that ought to be to provide the science. Instead, it seems, the tactic of choice is to bully everyone into acceptance of the preferred dogma. If this trend continues, there will be no reason for the public to trust the pronouncements of science on just about anything! What a sad state of affairs that will be.

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12 Responses to We’re Not Critics – We’re Enemies!

  1. As Nobelist biologist Peter Medawar put it: “I cannot give any scientist of any age better advice than this: the intensity of a conviction that a hypothesis is true has no bearing over whether it is true or not.”

  2. Are humans messing up/ with the environment?

    IMHO there isn’t any doubt- we are.

    We appear to be a wasteful, wanton species- it appears we have “evolved” into that anyway.

    It makes sense- the members of our species that led a peaceful co-existence with mother nature were over-run by the wasteful, wanton lot.

    After all that is what they do. That is all they do.

    So here we are.

    The point being is we need to focus on that aspect of our being.

    Because right now (Van Halen) we are our own worst enemies.

    (that from a guy who wants all the ice to melt so he can live closer to the beach without moving);)

  3. “. . .who play by entirely different rules,”
    Well, we do. We think it is really wrong to “lose” or falsify data and stop honest dissent.

  4. Is this the same misanthrope Ehrlich that is credited with the following quotation: “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”? He’s a moonbat, on par with Dr. Death. He may be safely ignored.

    Or, maybe not.

  5. Well-funded hu? Let’s take a look at that…
    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashe.....835581.htm

  6. William Wallace in #4: I hadn’t heard that quote so I googled it and apparently you’re correct.

    Giving society cheap, abundant energy . . . would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.
    — Paul Ehrlich, “An Ecologist’s Perspective on Nuclear Power,” May/June 1978 issue of Federation of American Scientists Public Issue Report,

  7. Gods iPod in #5…yeah, I wondered about that one, too! I guess in Erhlich’s world well-funded means UNfunded!

  8. “[T]he intensity of a conviction that a hypothesis is true has no bearing over whether it is true or not.”

    The British mathematician, & philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970) had a deeper insight about that:

    “The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed, the passion is the measure of the holder’s lack of rational conviction.” —Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays “On the Value of Skepticism” (1950), quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief.

  9. “If this trend continues, there will be no reason for the public to trust the pronouncements of science on just about anything! What a sad state of affairs that will be.”

    Uh oh, you just gave the game away and admitted that creationists hope that if AGW is brought into disrepute, then science itself will be brought into disrepute, and thus they can use it as a new salvo against evolution. Not really a surprise I guess.

  10. Paul Ehrlich has shown total detachment from reality in another area: Resource depletion.

    http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=44

    http://www.wired.com/wired/arc.....on_pr.html

    Ehrlich was dead wrong and is now considered an esteemed academic. No surprise there.

  11. 11

    Retro,

    Uh…the unfortunate connection between the topics of global warming and evolution was hardly started on this forum. The Promoters made that connection long ago. Repeatedly.

    “Examples of common topics in which denialists employ their tactics include: Creationism/Intelligent Design, Global Warming denialism…part of understanding denialism is knowing that it’s futile to argue with them, and giving them yet another forum is unnecessary. They also have the advantage of just being able to make things up and it takes forever to knock down each argument as they’re only limited by their imagination while we’re limited by things like logic and data.” –scienceblogs

    “Evolution and Global Warming are two entirely different areas of science; at the same time, though, they share an interesting similarities: they are vociferously opposed by people who adopt the mantle of scientific skepticism even as the entire scientific community has gotten behind a general consensus.” –Austin Kline

    “how many politicians who deny or obfuscate on global warming do you think also deny evolution? They go together like, um, Adam and Eve? Tobacco and oil? Anyway, a politician who denies evolution is bound to be a young Earth creationist…” Discover

    “Replace the topic of “global warming” with the topic of “evolution” and his conclusion is just as valid. To the deniers, consistency… or scientific evidence… or reality… isn’t important.” -rationalitynow
    “Ever notice how many global warming deniers are also evolution deniers? That’s just good old American anti-intellectualism at work”. -talkorigins
    “Creationists and Climate Change Deniers: Two Peas in a Pod” – Stephanie Rogers

    - – - – - – -

    But let’s take your comment at face value, shall we?

    Are you suggesting that the focus of scientific “disrepute” should be aimed at those who have had legitimate questions, or, is it more appropriate to point it at those who evaded giving answers, destroyed primary data, conducted character-assassination, and stacked the peer-review process for ideological purposes?

    What is truly not surprising is that your comment takes up the former and ignores the latter. Not surprising at all, really.

  12. Upright biped — you took the words right out of my mouth. Precisely. Retroman is being highly selective in his criticism. I haven’t “given away the game” as he put it. He misses the point entirely.

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