Really Sciency

Visit my other blog 'Really Sciency' looking at Climate Science and its portrayal, misrepresentation and denial in the media.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Creationists and AGW rejecters can’t be compared.

Unfinished Arguments

Occasionally I get some time, but not as often as I like, to post on other blogs including Paul Hudson’s which I also mention in my Links section. It tends to attract its fair share of AGW rejecters.

Unfortunately the blog closes it comments after a time and brings some good debates to an abrupt end. It does not seem right to carry such debates forward onto Paul's subsequent postings as they will certainly be off topic but having a blog of my own I can at least post what I would have said had I had the time and the chance.

In this thread several anti-AGW arguments reared their heads. Most can be found in some form on the Skeptical Science Site with much more informed rebuttals than I’m sure I give. Nevertheless I intend some posts that will summarise the arguments I have been involved in and what I would have replied.

The first which is;

Creationists and AGW rejecters can’t be compared

In the Hudson Thread I was told that I appeared to be attempting to classify climate change sceptics along with "creationists" and that the two things are not similar. My adversary stated that the latter do not use science in any shape or form so any similarity was is entirely in your own mind.

Well yes I was comparing the two because the arguments and tactics are frightening similar. Although I used creationism / evolution as my main example my real argument was not confined to it but included any belief the pseudo-sciences such as Homeopathy, Astrology etc.

My adversary had this to say on climate science;
“that even if the science is known in general terms, the detail is extremely uncertain.”

But the same can be said for evolution.

Apparently the difference between this position and evolution was; 
“At least in the case of evolution we understand the underlying mechanism, even if we can't predict individual outcomes. In any case, there are no other alternative scientific explanations”.

But the same can be said for AGW.

There seems to be a logical disconnect between people who can reject some accepted science in favour of scientifically rejected hypothesis as in the case of rejecting the theory of anthropogenic global warming and favouring its denial, but accept the theory of evolution over creationism. Of course they cannot see this contradiction because they will see their reasons for dismissing aspects of generally accepted science in favour of something else (that the Earth is only a few thousand years old for example) as valid. In the case above creationism is rejected as unscientific but those who believe it justify it on the grounds that it is scientifically (and religiously) supported. You only have to look at Answers in Genesis to see how a global flood killed nearly all the animals leaving them in layers to fossilise, or that scientific dating methods are so inaccurate that all dating over the age they believe the earth to be can be dismissed.

 Another example of this ‘logic’ unique to creationists is rejecting DNA evidence of evolutionary lineage but accepting it as valid evidence in a court to support the death plenty. Those who reject AGW are not far behind by accepting the basic physics of GHGs but rejecting the idea that a build up caused by increased man made emissions could account for present warming.

As I have said the similarities are frightening similar. Skeptics of AGW and evolution both have people with scientific qualifications or claimed qualifications on their side. Both claim to have valid alternative theories that are often contradictory and are not accepted by the science mainstream or even soundly supported by evidence. Both publish lists of ‘scientists’ who reject the ‘consensus’ and both positions are sometimes adopted by exactly the same groups believing the same ‘science’;

Personally they might not see credible alternative explanations for one but do for the other, but logically I can see no difference between both groups and any others that reject mainstream science.

If they can find no scientific reasons ("there isn't a consensus as I chose to understand it" etc) but still dismiss the opinion of the majority of scientists who research and publish in the field then the 'logic' is just as valid as those who choose to believe Homoeopathy works, or the Earth isn't Billions of years old, or living things didn't evolve.

Now some might actually believe all of those things so there is no contradiction in their minds but I suspect that most of them do believe at least some things that are held to be 'settled' science so I do not understand how they can logically dismiss others if not because of political, ideological or religious beliefs.


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