Discovery Institute: Thrilled About ClimateGate

We’ve been pretty quiet about the global warming email imbroglio. That’s because we don’t yet know what these revelations mean — if anything. As always, we’re prepared to follow the evidence; but we’d like to make our own informed judgment, rather than leaping on the nearest bandwagon. Let the truth be known.

If it turns out that the global warming boys are a bunch of slime-balls, so be it. Let them be dealt with accordingly. If they’re all honorable scientists, that’s okay too. We’d prefer it, actually, because we have no wish to learn that scientists have been misbehaving. But our reaction won’t be based on ideology. Either way, we can handle it. If the globe really is warming, and if it’s our fault, we’ll accept the science; but we’ll continue opposing the political solutions now being proposed.

Speaking of ideology, we’ve known since this affair first erupted that every kook, every witch doctor, every Nostradamus buff, every purveyor of pyramid power, crop circles, UFO abductions, and — most assuredly — every creationist would be leaping with joy, claiming that the misconduct of the climatologists is “proof” that their own little niche of kookdom has also been suppressed by conspirators. But this scandal, if it turns out to disgrace the climatologists, won’t validate the ravings of all the maniacs in the world.

And that brings us to our topic for today. As we knew would happen, the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids) are jumping on the “vindicated kooks” bandwagon. We present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from At Least The ClimateGate Scientists Didn’t Admit Going to Church, which appears in the Discoveroid blog. The bold font was added by us:

The silence of the ‘pro-science’ blogsphere on the ClimateGate scandal is remarkable.

That’s how it starts. The apparently delusional Discoveroid writer is gloating that the science blogs are silent about ClimateGate because we’ve all been caught in a giant conspiracy — not only lying about global warming — but also, by implication, we’ve been lying about “Darwinism.” Let’s read on:

For years, readers of Pharyngula, Panda’s Thumb, Neurologica, WhyEvolutionIsTrue, Denialism, Respectful Insolence, and other militantly ‘pro-science’ blogs have been treated to rants about the need to protect the integrity of science from frauds and ideologically motivated practitioners.

The Discoveroid doesn’t mention your humble Curmudgeon in that group, and understandably so. We’ve always been out of step, politically, but we too have “ranted” about ideologically motivated fraud, because that’s what creationism is all about. We continue:

Of course, ‘protection of the integrity of science’ in the faux ‘pro-science’ blogsphere has generally meant suppression of skeptics who question so-called ‘consensus science’ on Darwinism and on Anthropogenic Global Warming. ‘Protection of science’ has more often that not entailed personal invective, recourse to ‘consensus’, advocacy of professional destruction of skeptics, deference to scientific authorities, censorship, and judicial coercion.

Observe how all the bitterness and resentment caused by a lifetime of professional ridicule comes pouring out of the Discoveroid’s pen.

“Suppression of skeptics”? “Consensus science”? Maybe that’s been a failing in global warming, we’re still not sure. It wouldn’t surprise us, because we’ve always suspected a political agenda there. If global warming turns out to have been an ideological and political snake pit, we won’t hesitate to agree that it’s a disgrace — but none of that will help the creationists.

Creationists have no suppressed data, no research worthy of publication, and no scientific theory. Creationists will not be liberated from the dungeon into which the “Darwinists” have allegedly cast them, because that dungeon is of the creationists’ own making — it’s the natural and entirely voluntary habitat of pseudo-science. The global warming skeptics may indeed have something of value to tell us; the creationists don’t and they never did. That’s the difference.

It’s amusing to see the creationists leaping to position themselves alongside the climate warming skeptics — as if the two groups had anything in common regarding the validity of their science. But nothing like the alleged misconduct in climatology has been happening in the biological sciences. In biology, the coercion has all been on the other side, first by attempting to outlaw the teaching evolution, then to force creationism into the classroom, and more recently to suppress research that creationists deem blasphemous.

We’ll skip over most of the Discoveriod article because it’s boring, and we’ll get right to the core of the Discoveroid’s kook-validation argument:

[W]hen the integrity of a major field of global science is destroyed — not threatened, but destroyed — by smoking-gun evidence of massive systematic scientific misconduct and fraud, the ‘pro-science’ blogsphere gets writer’s cramp. Dead silence.

That may be so. We don’t know because we don’t routinely survey the opinions of other science blogs. We’ll let them work it out. It doesn’t matter. Whether or not the climate warming boys are guilty of misconduct, creationism is bunk and it always has been. That includes the clumsily (and not very convincingly) secularized version of creationism known as intelligent design.

If the global warming skeptics turn out to have been right all along, then watch for the creationists to claim vindication for their unscientific mumbo-jumbo. But it won’t work for them any more than it will work for the Time Cube. Whatever happens with the global warming scandal, the earth does not have 4 simultaneous days in one Harmonic Time Cube, and creationism is pseudo-scientific nonsense.

[Update: Discovery Institute: The Mask Falls Away.]

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10 responses to “Discovery Institute: Thrilled About ClimateGate

  1. Allow me to add to your “silence.” Like Ken Miller in “Expelled” the DI will pretend that we don’t exist.

  2. Michael Egnor, aka the “Egnorant One”, consistently shows us pure uncut, weapons grade stupidity when it comes to science. He’s a bona fide neurosurgeon, but shows no knowledge of what science is or how it works.
    To me, his amazing ignorance of science is mind boggling. . . . . . . .

  3. All they are doing is misrepresenting some statements in the e-mails. The ice is still melting, the planet has finite fuel resources and we nee to conserve.

    You can build “cars” that get 12,000 miles to the gallon. (French school did that). You can build zero energy homes (Germany does that).

  4. Chris P says: “You can build zero energy homes”

    When Al Gore moves into a wigwam, I’ll think about it.

  5. “Discovery” Institute says: “At Least The ClimateGate Scientists Didn’t Admit Going to Church”

    Dr. James Hansen: “My prayer would be that people recognize how wonderful creation is, how the planet is incredible, the life we have on this planet.”

    Dr. James Hansen is one of the “ClimateGate Scientists”.

    So, do those “Discovery” people ever get anything right? Why is it so easy to “pwn” those guys. Lol.

  6. A scary thought: what if the ‘roids switch tactics and now try to “teach the meteorological controversy” so they can get equal time along with the morning weather report. I wouldn’t put it past them.

  7. From what I have heard, the leaked emails don’t really question global warming, but consist mainly of honest skepticism and wanting evidence by scientists. Unfortunately there is apparently attempts to suppress contrary peer-reviewed papers as well. Most of it would appear not so much to “make up” global warming, but as an honest attempt to limit the amount of information to be quote mined by skeptics. No matter their motivation, it was still wrong and has set up an even worse problem in that there is now not only is the material to take out of context available but “proof of the conspiracy” is now floating around. As always, honesty is the best policy, particularly for science.

    Oh, and DI is still made up of complete idiots. Only they would think something happening in an almost completely unrelated field affects their sad little arguments in the slightest.

  8. There was an interesting poll of U.S. scientists, (members of AAAS) done in July:

    87% of U.S. scientists believe in evolution (I’m surprised it’s that low)

    84% of U.S. scientists believe in anthropogenic global warming (I’m surprised it’s that high)

    Basically, there is a convergence of opinion on evolution and global warming.

    My back of the envelope calculation is that roughly 3% of scientists reject global warming but accept evolution, assuming almost all who reject evolution also reject global warming (which is probabably true, knowing what I know of the religious right)

  9. “When Al Gore moves into a wigwam, I’ll think about it.”

    Now, now. Don’t fall into the ‘tu quoque’ trap.

  10. “Climategate” started out when there appeared on the Internet a collection of e-mails of a group of climatologists who work in the University of East Anglia in England. These documents reveal that some climatologists of international preeminence have manipulated the data of their investigations and have strongly tried to discredit climatologists who are not convinced that the increasing quantities of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere are the cause of global warming.

    It is true that a majority of the scientists who study climatic tendencies in our atmosphere have arrived at the conclusion that the world’s climate is changing, and they have convinced a group of politicians, some of whom are politically powerful, of the truth of their conclusions.

    A minority, however, is skeptical. Some believe that recent data that suggest that the average temperature of the atmosphere is going up can be explained by natural variations in solar radiation and that global warming is a temporary phenomenon. Others believe that the historical evidence indicating that the temperature of the atmosphere is going up at a dangerous rate is simply not reliable.

    Such lacks of agreement are common in the sciences. They are reduced and eventually eliminated with the accumulation of new evidence and of more refined theories or even by completely new ones. Such debates can persist for a period of decades. Academics often throw invective at one another in these debates. But typically this does not mean much.

    But the case of climate change is different. If the evidence indicates that global warming is progressive, is caused principally by our industrial processes, and will probably cause disastrous changes in our atmosphere before the end of the twenty-first century, then we do not have the time to verify precisely if this evidence is reliable. Such a process would be a question of many years of new investigations. And if the alarmist climatologists are right, such a delay would be tragic for all humanity.

    The difficulty is that economic and climatologic systems are very complicated. They are not like celestial mechanics, which involves only the interaction of gravity and centrifugal force, and efforts to construct computerized models to describe these complicated systems simply cannot include all the factors that are influential in the evolution of these complicated systems.

    All this does not necessarily indicate that the alarmist climatologists are not right. But it really means that if global warming is occurring, we cannot know exactly what will be the average temperature of our atmosphere in the year 2100 and what will be the average sea level of the world’s ocean in that year.

    It also means that we cannot be confident that efforts by the industrialized countries to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will have a significant influence on the evolution of the world’s climate.

    Alas, the reduction of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere would be very costly and would greatly change the lives of all the inhabitants of our planet–with the possibility (perhaps even the probability!) that all these efforts will be completely useless.

    Harleigh Kyson Jr.