Friday, August 19, 2011

"The Science is settled"

Half Sigma muses on how people think, and it explains a lot about the Climate Change debate, including the entirety of the "the Science is settled" silliness:

As I’ve previously stated, the vast majority of people believe what they believe because other people believe it, and not because they have actually attempted to reason through the evidence to come to the correct answer themselves.

When there is a divergence of opinion on a subject matter, people are far more likely to use whatever reasoning ability they have not to figure out the actual truth of the matter, but rather to figure out which group they should believe.
Shockingly, people of a liberal bent find "scientific" evidence supporting their policy preferences to be felicitous.  Unsurprisingly, people of a conservative bent find skeptical arguments against same to be preferable.

This is why even though I blog about climate issues here, I don't much talk with people about it.  I approached the issue from the perspective of finding out what fits the historical record, which led me into data and down the rabbit hole.  Most people aren't interested in that.  They just want to make sure they're pulling for the "right" team.

It's an interesting read.  Not sure if I believe he's right about Rick Perry, but he absolutely nails Mitt Romney.


Rev. Paul said...

"Not sure if I believe he's right about Rick Perry, but he absolutely nails Mitt Romney."

Thereby proving your own point. I see what you did there.

Borepatch said...

Rev. Paul, heh.

ProudHillbilly said...

That is so perfect! Science is never settled because it's a language to express what we know about the universe and that is changing constantly, although not as constantly as the universe itself is. What's really sad is not just that people make stupid decisions when hampered by this "settled" idea but that they miss the whole fun and excitement of watching the changes in our knowledge. Which is a future blog that's squirreled away in the back of my mind...

trailbee said...

Thank you for your post. Brian Fagan, of UC Santa Barbara, wrote The Little Ice Age, Basic Books 2000, just as 'global warming' reared its ugly head. I had used the book for something else years ago, but I keep re-reading the ending, which talks about this warming in terms of people, ag and CO2. Today, while checking out Bayou Renaissance Man's blog, where I found your comment, I reread that last section again, and beat myself up. I realized I had missed two of the most important items in his summary - the issue of the politics involved worldwide, which was never addressed and is vital, and he left himself a back door, just in case he (or the establishment) changed his mind. :) And there ProudHillbilly is correct. Then I really looked at where he worked at what and realized he is a lib. I am so slow!