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The war on Science

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  • The war on Science

    Interesting letter. I think it is a fine defense, as if defense is necessary when one has the facts on their side. I have quoted the portion of the letter that in my opinion strikes at the heart of those who claim some grand scientific conspiracy. Scientific discovery by nature is a contact sport. And anyone that can prove that global warming isn't happening has a rather large and lucrative payout waiting for them.

    Scientific conclusions derive from an understanding of basic laws supported by laboratory experiments, observations of nature, and mathematical and computer modeling. Like all human beings, scientists make mistakes, but the scientific process is designed to find and correct them. This process is inherently adversarial—scientists build reputations and gain recognition not
    only for supporting conventional wisdom, but even more so for demonstrating that the scientific consensus is wrong and that there is a better explanation. That’s what Galileo, Pasteur, Darwin, and Einstein did. But when some conclusions have been thoroughly and deeply tested, questioned, and examined, they gain the status of “well-established theories” and are often spoken of as “facts.”

    For instance, there is compelling scientific evidence that our planet is about 4.5 billion years old (the theory of the origin of Earth), that our universe was born from a single event about 14 billion years ago (the Big Bang theory), and that today’s organisms evolved from ones living in the past (the theory of evolution). Even as these are overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, fame still awaits anyone who could show these theories to be wrong. Climate change now falls into this category: There is compelling, comprehensive, and consistent objective evidence that humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which we depend.
    The signatories are all members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences but are not speaking on its behalf.
    Here is the rest of the letter.