Wednesday, October 24

V. global warning alarmism, then evolutionism, and back again

I always like to repost my articulate comments from elsewhere, raise the IQ of this weblog a little, ya know? ;-)

So here's one I thought was pretty good from Tom's site. Big discussion of Gore's Nobel, Bjorn Lomborg, etc. 'jim' (not buddy Jim over here I don't think) commented that he thinks the scientific community is risking its credibility in their approach to global warming. I wrote:

jim: good point though i think the scientific community has already hurt its credibility, ie, it's past the risk. and this isn't the only issue, either...

the postmodern critique pointed out the limits of rational inquiry some time ago. science in general has seemed fairly oblivious to this critique, for good and ill.

now we are seeing the politicization of science without attendant awareness that subjectivity is involved. the scientific 'consensus' is simply presented as 'fact'.

Of course, another area which I criticize in this regard is evolutionism and the demonization of all who believe in some form of creation in which evolution does not suffice to get from nothing to complex life.

In other crappy scientism news, Clive Thompson at Wired says scientists should change their terminology to the Law of evolution since the unwashed masses don't understand that a theory can be 99% proven. Well, yes: if you rule God out of bounds from the start, evolution's the best explanation left. Of course, Thompson's rhetoricizing here, because evolution can't really be proven, especially in retrospect.

Before anyone goes berserk, I'm not saying there's not evidence for evolution. But Thompson sort of implies that evolution is 99% proven by referring to the possibility of a theory being 99% proven. Evolution is patently not 99% proven. It can't be, because it's in the past. Unless your proof is constituted by 'Well, we're here, and there's obviously no god, so...'

Again, a big part of the problem here is presuppositions. If science restricts itself to inquiry with absolutely no reference to God, then evolution makes sense. What other explanation could their be?

But, if we move back to presuppositions and allow the possibility of God and I ask you what makes more sense: an Intelligent Designer or complex life from nothing, the answer to me is clear.

It's the start of the disconnect: to atheists, belief in any form of creation is utterly unwarranted. To deists, the absolute exclusion of creation is nonsensical.

No wonder very few of us on opposite sides can meaningfully discuss this issue.

And, by the way, regarding the title of this post: I'm not denying global warming. I'm agnostic on it and willing to stipulate the IPCC's work.

I do question the extent of human causation. Further, following Tom and Lomborg, I question the imperative of re-tooling our global economy around global warming, killing ourself to fight back a few degrees (out of the total) while people are dying in the undeveloped world, today, of simple disease and malnutrition and lack of jobs and security and access to capital. We want to spend billions, and maybe cripple our economy, for possible ecological savings for those of us in the developed world while we don't care about those in the developing world that we could save right now for pennies on the dollar.

Not to mention the Law of Human Ingenuity. I'm betting, in my policy recommendations (which, of course, will make no difference ;-), that we'll figure out ways to live with global warming, if it's as bad as some people predict it will be: solar shade, seed the clouds, sequester carbon in the ocean, build sea walls, undersea colonies, or even arcologies. I don't know. But when it gets bad enough, we'll come up with something.

Not to mention the fact, which I've alluded to above, that global warming countermeasures may very well cripple the economies of developing countries that need more money today and need more wealth to deal with the possible effects of predicted global warming.

(By the way, the UN already predicts that developing nations will have much more wealth to deal with this situation in the event of rising seas, etc.)

Okay, flame off.

(Sorry I didn't warn you about the flame on ;-)
Post a Comment