The reason why I have such a very big problem with Richard Dawkins is not that he is the leading spokesperson for Darwinist Evolutionary Theory. As it happens, I personally have many strong objections to Darwinism. However, some of my best friends are Evolutionists yet I feel absolutely no need to direct abuse at them
Nope, it's not the Darwinism thing that pisses me off about Dawkins
It's the fact that he represents the perversion of what now passes for popular science which has little to do with the idealised scientific method and a lot more to do with advocacy, case-building, lawyers tricks and politics
Science shouldn't be about amassing whatever evidence you can find to support your ideas
It should be about seeking out the material which most strongly challenges your theories
The perfect scientist says to himself every day 'I don't want to be wrong so I'm going to come up with everything I can to prove myself wrong'
Some common clues which suggest that someone posing as a scientist might actually be behaving like a Dawkins-style scientician include...
- Any reference to 'scientific consensus'
- Presentation of modelled data as real data
- Cherry picking of real data and the rejection, or editing, of anomalous data
- Any attempts to force people into 'you're with us or against us' style false choices
- Any claims that the science of any subject is 'settled once and for all'
- Attempts to depict anyone with opposing points of view as a nutter
The problem is, of course, when faced with a fundamentalist pulling these kind of stunts is that it's difficult not to be drawn into a similar pattern of behaviour and respond to foamy-mouthed advocacy with foamy-mouthed counter advocacy
I've had a couple of recent exchanges with some chums on the subject of man made global warming
They believe it's happening. I'm not so sure
They send me links about temperatures going up. I send them links about temperatures going down
They send me links about polar bear numbers shrinking and pictures of cute baby bears stuck on ice floes. I send them links about about polar bear numbers not shrinking and pictures of ice breakers stuck in ice
None of which proves dick
But sometimes I can't help myself, even though I know better. So...
My other 1/2's Dad is over from New Zealand for a few weeks and we were chatting about how the winter in New Zealand was panning out
He mentioned that snowfall has been so heavy this year that one ski resort had to go out and buy a bigger measuring stick
I did a few quick web searches and confirmed that was indeed the case. In passing, I couldn't help noticing that Australia's had a pretty special year for snow too
- and then I remembered visiting Athens this year, a few days after it had been covered by six inches of freak snow
- and then I remembered a mate spending the night in my place after visiting China with a suitcase full of flip flops and chinos only to walk into the worst snowstorms in fifty years
- It snowed in Baghdad this year for the first time in a century
Here in the UK we've just endured yet another spectacularly shitty summer, with the BBC covering up for that other bunch of propagandist stooges at the Met Office, who fucked-up their summer forecast yet again, by downplaying how bad the summer was and knocking out articles suggesting that there was nothing unusual about this summer at all...
Last month was the first sunspot-less month in a century
I can't find any reference to that fact on the State Broadcasting Company's website but I did find an old article bigging up the implications of sunspot activity four years ago (link corrected), when sunspot activity was consistent with the global warming myth. The article ends with the most outstanding horseshit I've seen labeled as science for at least a week...
'This latest analysis shows that the Sun has had a considerable indirect influence on the global climate in the past, causing the Earth to warm or chill, and that mankind is amplifying the Sun's latest attempt to warm the Earth.'
When the language of climate change gets so screwed up that the Sun is referred to as having an 'indirect impact on global climate' (as opposed to the presumably ever so direct impact of that devil gas CO2) you can be pretty sure somebody's trying to sell you a serious lemon