Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education Politics Science

Is Climate Change the New Evolution? 1055

Posted by Soulskill
from the carbon-dioxide-was-created-6000-years-ago dept.
sciencehabit writes "Is climate change education the new evolution, threatened in U.S. school districts and state education standards by well-organized interest groups? A growing number of education advocates believe so, and yesterday, the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, California, which fights the teaching of creationism, announced that it's going to take on climate change denial as well."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Is Climate Change the New Evolution?

Comments Filter:
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @06:40PM (#38731044)

    I thought one of the fundamental aspects of modern empirical science is that, unlike a religion, it is ALWAYS open to revision and dispute. That's the whole point of the scientific method. Whether there is a significant modern consensus or not, I think it goes against the core spirit of scientific inquiry to EVER say "This matter is settled and no future scientist may ever question it." That's the very kind of anti-empirical position the Creationists themselves take in presenting their religious take on science.

    And I'm certainly glad for Einstein's sake that no one ever thought this way about Newtonian physics. "Sorry little German, the matter is settled. Stop being a Newton denier."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bhcompy (1877290)
      Exactly. Stop talking about issues as black and white and start talking about science. Teach the scientific method, teach reasoning skills, etc. Let kids figure it out on their own, otherwise they never learn how to think, only how to memorize and regurgitate talking points.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @06:52PM (#38731206)

        Stop talking about issues as black and white and start talking about science.

        Except that this isn't really about science. Much like the creationism debate, it's about people who are members of a crazed abrahamic cult that believe they have "dominion" over the earth, don't understand that the original wording was "stewardship" and that they're NOT supposed to fucking wreck the planet, and who refuse to acknowledge when a firm scientific consensus has been achieved because the recommendation of the consensus means they might have to change their lifestyles a bit.

        • by elfprince13 (1521333) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @07:43PM (#38731924) Homepage
          The best translation is actually "to rule over". Taken out of context, that phrase is used to justify their behavior, but they forget that the proper model for the exercise of authority (at least within a Christian worldview) is the type of servant-leadership Jesus exhibited.
      • by sneakyimp (1161443) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @07:25PM (#38731686)

        Would you agree or disagree that "there is no climate change" is a valid talking point? To "go after" people who say "there is no climate change" is valid because these people are morons. The geological record shows that climate changes constantly and to deny it without scientific reasoning is unscientific and backwards and should be assailed. Furthermore, to refute that humankind can cause climate change with an empty and baseless statement of religious conviction is not science, it's idiocy.

        Long live the debate as to whether humans can cause climate change! Bring the facts! Leave the religious voodoo mumbo jumbo in church/synagogue/mosque/temple/whatever.

        • by Roger W Moore (538166) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @10:13PM (#38733582) Journal

          Would you agree or disagree that "there is no climate change" is a valid talking point?

          It is a valid point for introducing the concept - it would be a good way to introduce the evidence in a thought provoking way and get the students to think about whether there is a better explanation for the data than climate change. Of course to do this you need teachers capable of really understanding the observations so they can point out flaws in arguments.

          However I've noted that the climate change proponents are just as guilty of anti-science rhetoric as their opponents. For example an A-level physics question in the UK once showed a plot of remaining fossil energy reserves (decreasing) and energy demand (increasing) and asked how this plot showed that the UK must develop renewable energy sources. Of course the graph did not show that - it just showed that eventually fossil energy sources would not be enough given current demand predictions. This is also solvable by developing other non-renewable sources (e.g. nuclear) or simply by being more energy efficient and reducing demand.

          So opponents of climate change may be anti-science by denying evidence but the proponents are often just as anti-science by ignoring other solutions and just pushing the "green" political agenda they want to see enacted. Neither side seems to be actually interested in what science really has to say when it is not what they want to hear... which is precisely when you should listen to science because that is when you learn the most!

          • by sneakyimp (1161443) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @10:55PM (#38733918)

            As I understand it, there's plenty of evidence for a warming trend. In that sense, climate change is a fact. The acrimonious debate (for people with enough mental capacity to get past a knee-jerk reaction) revolves around two questions 1) whether or not it is caused by human activity, and 2) whether it in fact represents a continuing trend and therefore a crisis for humanity. Neither point 1 nor point 2 has been proved definitively but many minds much more knowledgeable about the facts than I seem to think so. Unfortunately, this doesn't really seem like a provable proposition. Given the complexity of the environment, one might as well try to prove that String Theory is correct. I support and admire the scientists who struggle to understand/explain/prove either String Theory or climate science.

            I also applaud people who argue in favor of Green technologies -- but not to the point of lying or distorting facts. Increased efficiency, energy alternatives, recycling -- these are all good things for humanity. Exploring the alternatives brings more bounty to humanity at large so that we can have a reasonable expectation of supporting all 7 billion people on the planet regardless of whether there is a looming climate crisis or not.

            As to whether you believe in climate change being caused by humanity, what's the harm in believing it if it means we make less of an impact on the climate? A few bucks here and there? Cleaner air? Less of a dependence on the Middle East? If the climate hazard is real and we are causing it, denying it is absolutely, most definitely shooting ourselves right in the foot.

            But yes let us get past denying that the climate is in fact warming and start figuring out why.

        • by Kaz Kylheku (1484)

          Never in the history of the planet has there not been climate change. We are experiencing global warming now, which is a fact. What is not a fact is that the global warming is accelerated relative to where it "should" otherwise be (i.e. in the absence of industrialized human activity). This hypothesis is being pandered about like science and used to bully people into supporting various initiatives, and paying taxes, etc. It is politics, and not science.

    • by Dutchmaan (442553) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @06:48PM (#38731152) Homepage

      Well it's a little bit of both actually. Personally speaking I don't believe that climate change deniers are doing so from a science standpoint but rather from an ideological standpoint. You have a vast majority of scientists providing data about climate change and some very vocal naysayers trying to disprove not the findings themselves but the methods by which the results are achieved or the time frame in which the results occurred. In other words climate deniers aren't challenging the data, they're challenging the data collection. Which seems a very left handed way to try and disprove something using a scientific method.

      I'm all for gathering as much data as possible because it can only lead to more accurate models, but it seems that climate deniers are putting the cart before the horse.

      • by bhcompy (1877290)
        Well, there's the group that challenge the data collection and the models, and there's the group that says that "why should we punish ourselves when we're just a small portion of the world's population and China and India, who have the vast majority of the world's population, don't give a fuck at all?" as well as the group that says that it is inevitable anyways, since it's just influencing a trend(eg coming out of an ice age).
        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @07:00PM (#38731328)

          "why should we punish ourselves when we're just a small portion of the world's population and China and India, who have the vast majority of the world's population, don't give a fuck at all?

          How about because your per capita CO2 emissions are at 19.18 tons, while China's are at 4.91, and India's are at 1.31.

          In other words... you're the bigger problem, not them.

    • by forkfail (228161) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @06:52PM (#38731200)

      So - you do understand what a theory is, right?

      And if they're teaching it right, then they're also teaching that if verifiable evidence arises that contradicts it, that the theory is modified or thrown away.

      Let's keep in mind that the deniers don't even want mention of the possibility that we humans just might be making a real mess of the eco system that we rely upon to exist. That might cut into profits.

      PS: No, not everyone agreed with Einstein all [datasync.com] the [wikipedia.org] time [kerryr.net].

      • by nmos (25822)

        Let's keep in mind that the deniers don't even want mention of the possibility that we humans just might be making a real mess of the eco system that we rely upon to exist. That might cut into profits.

        One person's profits is another person's next meal. For such a person it's not unreasonable to be sceptical.

    • Isnt denying that the huge-scale human intervention/activity on the planet - which goes from releasing boundless amount of heat to atmosphere to releasing radioactive substances to sea - can NOT have an effect that is considerable, as stupid as denying that the earth is older than 6000 years ?

      one has the motive to control the masses by some private interests behind, the other has the motive to control the masses to protect profits.

    • Are you suggesting presenting varying findings from people actually working in the field?

      Or "teaching the controversy" by presenting the rantings of retired weathermen from Kansas and Oklahoma railing against communist environmentalists?

    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @07:27PM (#38731708)

      I thought one of the fundamental aspects of modern empirical science is that, unlike a religion, it is ALWAYS open to revision and dispute.

      It is open to revision in response to, and dispute in the form of, results that contradict the existing explanations and more parsimonious explanations for the results which have been produced.

      Defending against pressure to teach, as science, "controversy" which does not actually exist within the scope of the scientific work in a field is not anti-science.

      Whether there is a significant modern consensus or not, I think it goes against the core spirit of scientific inquiry to EVER say "This matter is settled and no future scientist may ever question it."

      Yes, it would be, but that's not what the National Center for Science Education is saying, so that's what's known as a strawman.

      That's the very kind of anti-empirical position the Creationists themselves take in presenting their religious take on science.

      And its the anti-empirical ideological-based approach, and the pressure to present the results of that approach as science, that the NCSE is opposing in the two areas in which it is taking stands.

      And I'm certainly glad for Einstein's sake that no one ever thought this way about Newtonian physics. "Sorry little German, the matter is settled. Stop being a Newton denier."

      Unlike the non-scientific work at issue, Einstein's work was scientific, and there wasn't an enormous amount of pressure to teach "the controversy" between Einstein's models and Newtonian physics in primary and secondary education when no such controversy actually existed in the scientific community, so the issue is in no way parallel.

    • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @07:36PM (#38731824)
      Yeah the problem with your argument is it's thirty years behind the times. The arguing over the theory the testing and attacking and checking that IS the scientific method is what scientists have been doing .

      Of course they did that out of the limelight and glare of the media.

      NOW that they - that is 98% of them- have checked, double checked, reaffirmed and reaffirmed their reaffirmation that the theory that carbon emitted by human activity is causing the temperature to rise faster and will reach a point where civilization cannot be sustained, NOW they are sounding the alarm.

      What else did you want them to do?

      And here comes FoxNews and the Koch brothers and the oil and coal industry and the whole gullible denier dittoheads , showing up to the party and saying "say... we need to prove these here theories!.. say I have an idea!!!"

      You know what this boils down to? You chose the wrong career path to influence this discussion buddy. If you want to be an expert in something, then you have to pay the dues real scientists pay.

      care about this topic? climate change denial is brought to your courtesy of the exact same people and PR firms and think tanks who brought you the smoking is not related to cancer meme 40-50 years ago.

      And it's taken up by the same demographic who deny evolution, so yes, it is the present day evolution debate in another form.

      The only difference between those earlier debates is not accepting Darwinism, while it's a scientific tragedy for anyone who takes it seriously is not going to destroy the habitability of earth.

      And smoking kills you and maybe your family, but not everyone on earth.

      But this time it's different. the propagation of Climate Change Denial is a Crime Against Humanity pure and simple.

      The Nazis objected to their prosecution also. They said it was ex post facto lawmaking to try them for killing the Jews and homosexuals and Gypsies. They argued that they really believed their philosophical load of crap, and they were entitled to make their nation's laws.

      And you know what? There was some truth to that argument. Until we decided there wasn't that is and went ahead and charged them for things which had not been crimes before- Crimes Against Humanity- which was just a free floating idea and no law anywhere , until we used it in Nuremberg.

      The prosecutor there pointed out that probably the first person to be charged with murder had the same argument- you can't charge me because the law doesn't exist.

      Some sociopath somewhere always thinks he's going to use the law to evade the law. I have a right to say whatever I believe!

      Here's the bottom line. Criminals decide what laws there will be. If your "free speech and freedom of opinion" results in horrific death and disruption on a scale never imagined before then your "free speech and freedom of opinion" will be curtailed for the good of humanity and in fact its exercise under certain circumstances will be deemed criminal and it will be deemed criminal ex post facto and you won't like that any more than the Nazis liked it and you'll make the same arguments they made and you'll end up just like they ended up. Because criminals determine through their behavior what acts are criminal and society always acts to circumscribe that behavior, no matter what.

      It's not that hard to put together a case right now. Essentially they're shouting "no fire" in a crowded theater on that is on fire. That's manslaughter already. And no,. no one cares if you *really* believe it because *you're not qualified to perform surgery and you're not qualified to adjudicate this scientific matter and you know it in both cases.*

      No one cares if you think you are and in the future, when the ravages of climate change are actually playing out and the people who are young today are looking to assign culpability they're REALLY not going to give a shit what you *really believed*.

      We're not all at fault. It isn't a s

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nmos (25822)

        So you call anyone who disagrees with you Nazis and suggest that they should be murdered. Are you really surprised that there is some resistance to your approach?

      • by rahvin112 (446269) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @11:14PM (#38734040)

        NOW that they - that is 98% of them- have checked, double checked, reaffirmed and reaffirmed their reaffirmation that the theory that carbon emitted by human activity is causing the temperature to rise faster and will reach a point where civilization cannot be sustained, NOW they are sounding the alarm.

        Not one SINGLE climatologist has EVER said that even the worst possible projections of climate change will result in reaching the point "where civilization cannot be sustained". Spreading that bullshit propaganda does nothing but harm to the attempt to make the public aware of this problem. Climate change is a problem, but it is NOT going to end civilization and only someone without a fucking clue about what climate change is, why it's happening and how to prevent it would even suggest that.

        Not only that but you go off the deep end and try to argue that even suggesting that it's not world ending it is a crime punishable by death.

        Welcome to Fascism, population you. Seek help.

    • by OldHawk777 (19923) *

      Hence, religion in public, business, government, schools ... must never be allowed, except as a mythology topic for anthropology/science cultural studies.

      The US Constitution gives the individual citizen a right to have religious freedom, but does not provide any religious institution/church/temple... freedom in public spaces. IOW: Keep the mythology BS out of my life, and I will defend your right to have/practice a religion.

    • by quantaman (517394)

      So you got a new theory and want to do science?

      1) Take your theory and your supporting evidence
      2) Find the best experts in the field you can and bring them your theory and evidence.
      3) They're not convinced? Take their feedback and come up with a better theory or better evidence and repeat.
      4) When you and all the experts are agreed start putting the new theory and evidence into the textbooks.

      Unless you're a creationist or AGW-denialist, in that case

      1) Take your theory and your supporting evidence
      2) Find the

    • by Sique (173459) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @08:01PM (#38732184) Homepage

      It wasn't a settled matter. In fact, James Clerk Maxwell's equations from 1879 were already pointing towards a constant speed of light, and the Michelson-Morley-experiment in 1881 already questioned the ether theory, so Hendrik Antoon Lorentz with the help of Henri Poincaré had some equations ready which postulated a morphed timespace in 1892.

      Albert Einstein's Special Relativity from 1905 thus wasn't so much about "shaking up the dogma of Newtonian physics" as more about "lets finally tackle those strange contradictions we get if we want to describe electromagnetism and astrophysics in the same physical environment".

    • by sjames (1099) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @08:04PM (#38732206) Homepage

      If anyone has actual data to refute global warming, they are welcome to present it. If they have an alternative way to interpret other people's data, they are welcome to argue for it.

      Demanding that schools not teach students about it is not an acceptable form of revision or dispute and never has been.

    • High schoolers are really not in a position (epistemically, not socially) to question fundamental theories. Every future scientist needs to be brought up on what the current body of scientific knowledge is.

      So science classes necessarily have to take the form of, "Here's what we know." Good ones go a step further and say, "here's how we know it". But either way, they're ultimately presenting it as you would any other accepted fact, because stuff has to be well-vetted by the scientific community before it

    • by nedlohs (1335013) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @08:25PM (#38732460)

      It's school science education. Not university level study.

      You teach the current ideas of science - you even teach the old stuff that we know is wrong but still works for the domains you are interested in.

      For example, I was taught that F=ma in my high school science class, even though we've known for 90 years that that's simply not true.

      High school science is not about doing cutting edge research, it's about learning the basics of science. Hence you teach what the scientific community as a whole currently accepts.

      You teach that the sun is powered by fusion that occurs due gravity, you don't teach that the sun is an iron ball supernova remnant even though some people argue it is ( http://www.ballofiron.com/ [ballofiron.com] ), you don't teach that the sun is an externally powered anode in a galactic circuit even though some people argue it is ( http://www.electric-cosmos.org/sun.htm [electric-cosmos.org] ). You don't "teach the controversy" and leave it up to the students to decide which theory they like the best. Sure the widely accepted understanding could be wrong, but the place for arguing that is not the high school science class taught by a teacher almost certainly not specialized in that particular field.

      Einstein didn't try to have his theory taught in high school science classes as a short cut instead of convincing other actual scientists to accept it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @06:45PM (#38731102)

    Humanity is not going to give up modern convenience for something that will effect future generations.

    • by riverat1 (1048260)

      Except that global warming is already affecting this generation. For most though it's in subtle ways that are easy to dismiss for most people but that won't last forever. And even if we were to get serious about it now it will 40 or 50 years before things start to stabilize.

  • Nope. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @06:46PM (#38731134)
    No.

    If the science for climate change continues to pan out for another fifty or hundred years, then maybe those people denying it can be classified as cranks. Right now, though, it's ridiculous to claim that climate change is as well established as evolution. That's insulting to the theory of evolution.
    • Re:Nope. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Suki I (1546431) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @06:51PM (#38731196) Homepage Journal

      No.

      If the science for climate change continues to pan out for another fifty or hundred years, then maybe those people denying it can be classified as cranks. Right now, though, it's ridiculous to claim that climate change is as well established as evolution. That's insulting to the theory of evolution.

      Or even as well established as meteorology.

    • Also (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @07:10PM (#38731478)

      The problem is that people seem to conflate the science, facts, and the politics of climate change. They think if you disagree with any part, you are a "denialist". So what do I mean?

      Well first take the fact of climate change: That the average global temperature is changing outside of known cycles. Provided the data on which this is being based, this is true. It is a fact, a simple observation about the world.

      Then there's the theory of climate change: That this change is being cause either primarily or exclusively by carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as a result of human emissions. This is a theory, it provides a logical proposal to explain the facts. Like any theory it could be subject to revision or dismissal later should more information come to light. Doesn't mean it will be, but it can (if it isn't falsifiable, it isn't a scientific theory).

      Now after that you get some additional theories like the theory that this will be a net bad thing for humanity. Remember that this is not a fact, it is a theory, and that the overall theory of CO2 causing climate change could be right, and this could be wrong. As such one could reasonably examine the evidence and accept the first theory and reject the second.

      Then you get in to politics or policies: That the only thing to do about it is to massively reduce CO2 output, institute carbon taxes, etc, etc. That isn't a scientific theory there, it is politics. There are other solutions that would work. One example would simply be to prepare for the chance and deal with it. You could argue that even if this particular change is human caused, in the future a change will happen that isn't, so better to spend resources on becoming resilient to change than trying to avoid this one. Geoengineering would be another approach to dealing with it. Different policies can be debated, the costs, the benefits, and so on, there is no one right answer here, there are options.

      However if you disagree with any part, you get labeled a denalist. So you can say "I think the Earth is getting warmer, and I think manmade CO2 is the cause. However my examination of the evidence leads me to believe it is not a bad thing, in fact it'll be just fine so we shouldn't do anything," and you get shouted down as "denying climate change." Or you can say "I think it is happening, manmade, and a bad thing. However I think reducing CO2 production is the wrong approach. I think we should do geoengineering because it is cheaper/more effective/etc," and you get shouted down as a "denialist."

      That's my real problem, is people confuse the levels of it. There are facts (all scientific theories have to start with facts, observations), theories, and then policy suggestions as a result. Calling it all bullshit can be accurately called denying it. However being skeptical or disagreeing with parts cannot.

      Also there's way too much stock put in computer models. Not that they are used, but that people think they "prove" something. No, a computer model proves nothing, it is a model. It makes predictions. If the predictions are repeatedly accurate, it is probably a good model of reality and can be counted on to produce accurate predictions in the future. If they are inaccurate, it needs to be revised. However it doesn't "prove" shit. It models.

      So while models should (and must) be used in climate research, people need to stop saying things like "This model proves that X will happen in Y years!" No, it predicts it. Well and good, that's very different from proving it.

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @06:49PM (#38731158)
    It's an ice age! It's warming! It's change! It's not quite the new ethereal soup, that's dark matter.
  • by rish87 (2460742) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @06:58PM (#38731314)
    What bothers me most about the controversy over climate change, is even if it turns out human actions don't actually have a significant impact on climate, we damn well know we affect the environment. We also know fossil fuels won't last us forever and acquiring them is becoming increasingly volatile due to who does and does not have access to their source. So sure, we should be cautious and treat climate science as we would any other science where we need a critical eye, but we need to be taking the same actions regardless of the conclusions (due to our knowledge of other affects). How is reducing pollution and non-renewable resource consumption a bad thing? Who the hell honestly thinks unregulated energy consumption and dumping of various emissions is okay?
    • by BoberFett (127537) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @07:39PM (#38731880)

      Those are good things. However the action proposed by politicians hanging onto the coattails of science (not the actions proposed by scientists themselves) is to continue shifting wealth. And when government shifts wealth large chunks of that wealth tend to end up in the pockets of the politically connected.

      So when you say "the same actions" are you referring to the fossil fuel usage reduction action or kneejerk political action?

  • by micron (164661) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @07:01PM (#38731346)

    The climate science debate has two important components to it. This issue focuses on one component, and that is the anti-science attack on climate science. This has the same source of ignorance and zealotry that has challenged teaching evolution in the classroom. This is a stand of religious based ignorance against science. I have not met anyone who understands the scientific process who challenges the theory of evolution. I am using the scientific definition of theory, which is an operating model, and not the "theory is not a fact" arguement that my religious friends pick up.

    The second component to climate science is that there are some great issues of modern science and society that can be taught here. To not teach this in the classroom is missing out on a real opportunity to teach critical thinking that children can get passionate about.

    You can teach about data collection, and how this can be a source for controversy.
    You can teach about computer modeling and statistical analysis. What these tools are great for, and where they fall short.
    Plenty to teach about weather vs. climate, and what the climate means for other systems on the planet.
    Lab experiements on basic components of the atmosphere, and why they don't always translate to the actual model of the world.
    You can teach the ethics of how to prioritze science against society and economic concerns.

    Lots more stuff that I am not getting in to.

    My point being, this is another area where zealotry is screwing up a great opportunity to train the next generation of scientists.

  • Some clarifications (Score:5, Informative)

    by dyftm (880762) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @07:21PM (#38731628)

    As someone working in this field, I would just like to make some clarifications. The term 'Climate Change' is better viewed as two separate questions: is climate change occurring, and if so, is it due to human influence? The first question is effectively settled; temperatures are increasing and extreme weather events are occurring more frequently. The second question is more complex, although the vast scientific consensus is that it is indeed due to human influence. In particular, the greenhouse effect has been conclusively proven. The slightly-informed seem to misinterpret scientific uncertainty (a very specific term referring to statistical probabilities) with a much more general 'scientists aren't sure if this is true or not'.

    It is true that there is a long way to go in climate science. However, this is no reason not to teach it in schools. There are many unknowns in the science (as with any field of science); these should not be understated, but neither should they be overstated - it would not be helpful for teachers to spread yet more excessive doubt. Finally, it is of particular importance that climate science is taught in school - the consequences of climate change are likely to be extremely grave for mankind and will impact the next generation much more than this one.

  • by liquidweaver (1988660) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @07:42PM (#38731918)

    It's not really "Is the climate changing." The climate changes all the time, from short to long term.
    The question is - are WE causing the climate change?

    • by ErikZ (55491) *

      That question has long since passed.

      The current question is "You evil 1st world bastard, how much money do you have?"

  • by Livius (318358) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @08:33PM (#38732566)

    Both evolution denial and climate change denial arise, not because some people believe evolution or climate change are not real, but because they know they are.

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @09:32PM (#38733254) Homepage Journal

    Conservatives often believe in the power of "common sense" and dismiss subject experts as biased by the "liberal education system".

    True, science is supposed to be empirically verifiable, but the common man cannot perform most of the tests and verifications on their own. Thus, they rely on alleged conservative subject experts to judge the topic.

    If you point out that most of those with "proper credentials" don't support the conservative view (that X is false), they'll just say that the education system bias weeds out most conservative experts such that conservative experts won't have such degrees.

    Until their own house bakes to a crisp, they won't believe climate experts with formal degrees because they believe the whole education system is corrupt and biased due to the "liberal commies" running the universities.

    (And if their house does burn to a crisp, they'll probably think, "Damn! I'm baking in hell because I talked to liberals.")

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @09:47PM (#38733386) Journal
    Seriously, we have a number of them that have transplanted to Colorado. And at this time, I think that they have a serious neuro virus that has destroyed their ability to think. They believe that cutting taxes, waging multiple wars, raising spending, and denying science will solve everything.
  • by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @10:38PM (#38733772) Homepage

    The problem is that the NCSE doesn't just want to teach about the science of climate change. They want to push specific policy proposals as "The Solution" to the problem:

    http://ncse.com/climate/teaching/humans-can-reduce-climate-change [ncse.com]

I tell them to turn to the study of mathematics, for it is only there that they might escape the lusts of the flesh. -- Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain"

Working...