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When to Doubt a Scientific Consensus

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Anyone who has studied the history of science knows that scientists are not immune to the non-rational dynamics of the herd.

A December 18, 2009 Washington Post poll, released on the final day of the ill-fated Copenhagen climate summit, reported “four in ten Americans now saying that they place little or no trust in what scientists have to say about the environment.” This was the month the tide turned in public perceptions of climate change. Several recent polls have found “climate change” skepticism rising faster than sea levels on Planet Algore (not to be confused with Planet Earth, where sea levels remain relatively stable).

Many of the doubt-inducing climate scientists and their media acolytes attribute this rising skepticism to the stupidity of Americans, philistines unable to appreciate that there is “a scientific consensus on climate change.” One of the benefits of the 2009 Climategate scandal, which revealed leading climate scientists manipulating data, methods and peer review to exaggerate the evidence of significant global warming, may be to permanently deflate the rhetorical value of the phrase “scientific consensus.”

But since Pope Francis has invoked a scientific “consensus” in his new encyclical, Laudato Si, it may be time to revisit this issue. Read More

Source: Jay Richards, https://stream.org