Thursday, January 22, 2015

On the credulity of those posing as the champions of science

Barry Arrington, the chief IDiot on Uncommon Descent, has just published a post on The Credulity of those Posing as the Champions of Science.

Turn off your irony meters. You were warned.


34 comments :

  1. Ah, not only do we get to enjoy the hypocrisy, but we also get another demonstration of the phenomenon of denial comorbidity - most creationists seem to be also climate change denialists even though the two things have nothing in common on the surface...

    We all know why that is, of course

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  2. We all know why that is, of course

    Not me.

    Isn't climate change just an example of the Intelligent Designer making the planet a better place for Canadians?

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  3. Or perhaps the Designer's latest design is to open up the Arctic for the Christian oil companies.

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  4. Most creationists have signed on to climate change denial, but that belief was originated by others, mostly right-wing economic conservatives who couldn't stand the thought that there was an issue that demanded some regulation in the interest of society as a whole.

    The creationists were late to the party.

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    1. It's simple, if you can explain oil formation through AIG, aka 6K years, instead of the millions and millions of years geologists say it takes, you can kill two birds (evolution and climate change) with one rock.

      You can keep the devout happy, and subdued obviously, because you don't need to explain oil formation in the time span geologists say oil formation happens, but rather creator X put oil in the ground 6K years ago for humans to find.

      Climate denial, creationism and for example creationism in space (electric universe) can be traced back to the 6K years out of the genesis myth. If you keep the time span short, lots of stuff can't have happend: take that evilutionists.

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    2. right-wing economic conservatives [...] The creationists were late to the party.

      I think, due to the substantial overlap of these sets, a lot of them were already there.

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    3. I thought that the basis was that us mere mortals could mess with creation. Human-induced climate change was an affront to the concept of an Almighty G... er.. to the designer(s) who ever they happen to be.

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    4. The point is that global warming denialism first became popular on the Right when Tea Party enthusiasts took it up. They were motivated by opposition to regulations and taxes, not by seeing a conflict with Scripture.

      The Religious Right overlaps with economic conservatives, but the global warming denial got its start with the latter. The original wave of Tea Party adherents were not necessarily motivated by their religious beliefs (most famously, they were enthusiastic about Ayn Rand, herself not religious at all). Of course the Religious Right soon assimilated global warming denial and found it consistent with their beliefs as to what a Creator would or wouldn't allow to happen. Today's Tea Party crowd are much more pious than the original bunch.

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    5. I think you'll hear most often that conservatives dont accept climate change because it interferes with big business - this goes back decades- but I've always thought there was a religious component to it. The 2 seem to correlate so well. Its easy to think of why this would be the case.. Climate change will be a disaster of Biblical proportions, and to the theist only God can cause a disaster of Biblical proportions. It would be hubris to think we humans could interfere with his plan. Direct support for this view comes from denialist Senator Inhofe who has said he doesnt believe in climate change because "God is still up there" or something of that sort.
      This theistic worldview can have wideranging effects on how one interprets scientific evidence. ID founding father Philip Johnson was ( and might still be) and AIDS denialist. I've only heard him claim his view is based on evidence but I suspect in the back of his mind he's hoping that AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality and promiscuity. Other AIDS denialists have been more forthright about that.

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    6. Climate change will be a disaster of Biblical proportions,...

      Really? Do you think billions of people are going to die in a flood or were you just thinking of all the first-born sons?

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    7. It's not purely the business case that upsets the Right; it requires international co-operation (aargh!), may lead to attempts to control the market (nooooo!) by measures such as taxation (OMG I THINK I'M HAVING A CORONARY!).

      Head-in-the-sand thinking certainly seems more keenly developed among the religious. I recently saw the odious StephenB at UD assert that, since the population of the world could be squeezed into Texas and still only have the population density of Chicago, overpopulation will never trouble the world. Because it's all about space, of course.

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    8. Really? Do you think billions of people are going to die in a flood or were you just thinking of all the first-born sons?
      I've gotten the impression that the worst case scenario over the next 2 centuries could displace 100s of millions and lead to massive local food shortages. Most of the biblical disasters were rather localized

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    9. Don't you think that we could cope with something that takes place over 200 years without calling it a disaster of Biblical proportions?

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    10. Could we? Yes, I think we could. Will we? I'm not sure how good we'll be at that.
      It seems to me you have a precise definition of what a "disaster of Biblical proportions" is and you think Climate change wont meet that defintion. I called it that to highlight what I think is going on in the minds of religious people who reject CC. They think its enough of a transformation of the earths climate that only God could do it or at least allow it to happen.

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  5. Most creationists I have encountered are simple contrarians. They oppose the "mainstream" no matter the subject. Climate? Deny! Vaccinations? Deny! Moon landing? Deny! Bigfoot? Definitely!

    I don't know what drives this behavior but it must be a sociological phenomenon. I don't know how to explain it but it seems that a person with one crazy belief actually has 100 crazy beliefs.

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    1. The activists that we commonly call "creationists" I think should be called "Authority Transfer Creationists" to distinguish them from ordinary, sane religious people who feel God created the universe. What distinguishes the AT creationist from the average religious guy (besides runaway Dunning-Kruger effect and narcissistic egomania) is that the former is driven mad with envy and jealousy over a perceived or alleged loss of prestige, status and scientific and intellectual authority which they believe back in the Good Old Days used to be the rightful possession of conservative Christian big shots. In their view, scientific authority and prestige were unjustly stolen from its rightful owners, conservative Christian preachers and priests, by scientists using the dirty, underhanded technique of doing experiments and making discoveries. That scientific authority should be attributed to scientists is obviously unnatural and not at all what the Bible teaches, but that's clearly just a temporary aberration of recent vintage, and can obviously be reversed by the simple expedient of calling scientists Nazis. AT creationists assume that scientific authority is a zero sum game, so the only way their dear religious leaders can regain the moral and intellectual superiority and prestige that they used to have back in the Good Old Days is by taking scientific authority away from scientists. They know that whatever's bad for science is good for religion. So, on the one hand they say "the scientists are on our side, it's a real controversy, we have thousands of Nobel laureates who are creationists" and on the other hand they say "Scientists are dummies, Nobel laureates are just egotists with little letters behind their names, Scientists are Nazis, Hitler was a Darwinist" etc. etc.

      That argument seems self-contradictory, but it makes sense to them as kettle logic united by a single intent, namely that whatever makes scientists look dumb or evil makes Christian religious leaders look smart and morally superior by comparison. It's the crab principle: if the crabs in a bucket see one crab crawling out, the other crabs drag him back down. If you understand this, you understand why they contradict themselves so often. They don't see it as them contradicting themselves because the effect is the same: their feelings of insecurity and inferiority are temporarily reduced, and religious authorities appear to be uplifted because scientists are dragged down. They're crab creationists.

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  6. i don't know and don't think creationists are denying climate change. i do and they should.
    its impossible mans puffs of smoke shake, rattle, and roll the great globe.
    I see it as very much a upper class desire to make a greener cleaner world. I'm not accusing anyone of fraud but people are slow to debunk welcome ideas.
    It never occurs to me that humans are making a warmer planet.
    i don't read much about it but common sense and the lack of great evidence tells the tale.
    it just seems to credible mankind that mankind can affect the globe.
    its not that easy and its not warm in toronto. last year was also not warm.
    its all a bunch of dumb. Off the record.

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    1. Robert, thats why the global warming and global cooling tags where combined into Climate Change.

      See, they couldn't substantiate global warming. Nor could they substantiate global cooling.

      Ah, but Climate Change. That was an extraordinarily insightful, brilliant, shrewd move.

      We IDiots couldn't in a million, billion years come up with that. Even evolution couldn't straddle the time dilation required.

      It could only have come from those incredibly intelligent Climate Change affirming, design denying sort of brains.

      Who can deny Climate change??

      The climate changes ??!! Really??!! No shit, sherlock!!!

      Gawwwwoooorrd. Who would've thought it possible!!!! No f234n' way!!!

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    2. See, they couldn't substantiate global warming. Nor could they substantiate global cooling.

      "Substantiating" global warming is the easiest thing ever. The last 15 years have been the warmest 15 years on record. 2014 is in a statistical tie for warmest year ever.

      The word game where pollutionists say that "climate change" was substituted for "global warming" because of lack of evidence is just the robotic right wing attempt at shifting the argument from evidence to appeal to motive. Right wingers can never support anything they say with evidence, so they shift every argument to appeal to alleged motives. Not the temperature average for the last 15 years, oh no that's evidence-- let's say that those scientists are greedy and motivated to commit scientific fraud to get research grants.

      Right wingers want to shift every argument to appeal to motive because they have contempt for evidence but they egotistically imagine themselves great judges of human character and psychology.

      Hey Steve, if right wing Christians are such geniuses at knowing people's motives, why do they so often hire molesters, rapists, adulterers, grifters, con men and pyramid scheme fraudsters and put them behind the pulpit? Why do they constantly hire pervs, rapists and sex harrassers and appoint them as YOUTH PASTORS?

      Why, Steve, why? If you were really such awesome judges of character and psychology, why don't you write up your psychological hypotheses along with supporting experimental evidence and submit it to the Journal of Bull$π!/+ Amateur Psychoanalysis?

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    3. I see it as very much a upper class desire to make a greener cleaner world.

      The bastards!

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    4. The last 15 years of temperature data would just be weather in the absence of a forcing mechanism. And in fact, things like volcanoes can alter temperatures for years.

      What seems difficult to get across is that CO2 will be around, like interest on a loan, for a long, long time. It's effect will always ride on top of solar fluctuations, volcanic eruptions, ocean currents and such.

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    5. CO2 ... what we need is for the Flood geologists to figure out how God made shedloads of limestone in a year, and do that.

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  7. I love the fact that Uncommon Descent's slogan is serving the Intelligent Design Community. As if it is a real scientific community that publishes peer reviewed science. lol

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  8. What's with the weird copy-paste photoshopping on Barry's picture?

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    1. A lawyer can use a few extra lapels: their clients have a habit of grabbing at them.

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    2. What's with the weird copy-paste photoshopping on Barry's picture?

      I didn't notice that. I think I know why that photo was altered by someone. Fixed.

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  9. Professor Moran,

    Name calling doesn't add any more merit to your blog. Quite the contrary


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  10. Johnny: "Name calling doesn't add any more merit to your blog. Quite the contrary"

    Maybe you should tell that to Barry Arrington. Have you read some of his comments from the post linked by Larry?

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  11. Barry has been displaying a melt-down over Learned Hand's disagreements with this subject over at UD. If you have read any of LH's comments you will note that he has gone out of his way to be civil and polite.

    I guess Barry, the lawyer, doesn't know how to deal with rational and logical arguments, presented in a non-confrontational way.

    But the fun is over. LH's punishment has been imposed. He will no longer be commenting at UD.

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    1. I guess Barry, the lawyer, doesn't know how to deal with rational and logical arguments, presented in a non-confrontational way.

      Oh, he can deal with them. He asks them a question and bans them while they are busy typing the answer.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. He has now banned Keiths for asking about LH's banning.

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    4. And he's gone into hiding himself. He's like my cats: whenever they do something mischievous, they immediately disappear for a few minutes, just in case. I have asked about LH too but I'm still there (perhaps till Barry shows back up).

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