Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier (the JG-TC) of Mattoon, Illinois — famed for the Mad Gasser of Mattoon. The letter is titled Scientists should look for reason.
We don’t embarrass letter-writers by using their full names, unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures. Today’s writer isn’t known for anything except today’s letter, so we’ll use only his first name, which is Leonidas. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
From recent comments about education some readers seem to have an absolute faith in claims which fly under the banner of “science.”
Yeah, we’ve noticed that too. It’s very disturbing. Here’s what Leonidas says:
Why shouldn’t claims of science be reviewed, even rebuked? Science is literature written by scientists who are human. In any field of effort humans can be sloppy in their workmanship or pursue it without the rigor it should receive.
Wow — that is a great idea! It’s one of the best ideas we’ve ever heard. Why didn’t anyone think of it before? This is exciting! Let’s read on:
Debates among scientists are today especially to be noticed about global warming.
Your Curmudgeon doesn’t pretend to know anything about climatology, but we’re like those people Leonidas is talking about — we assume the scientists in that field know what they’re talking about. But we’ve been accepting their literature on blind faith, and we didn’t realize it until now! Leonidas continues:
What disturbs about “global warming” is the claim that cattle contribute to it. This claim was recently published in the JG-TC, announcing that we should sharply reduce our cattle herds, because cattle release both CO2 and methane.
Yes, we’ve heard about the cattle flatulence problem. Here’s what Leonidas thinks:
Two messages from the record of natural history would refute this claim, declaring cattle to be not guilty.
Leonidas is going to use facts to review the literary claims of climate scientists — something that has never been done before. This is so exciting! Hey, get this:
During the late 18th and early 19th centuries our earth was having noticeably cooler weather, a period known as “the little ice age.” At this same time buffaloes by the millions roamed our western plains along with deer and antelope. These great beasts release the same gases as do “many cattle.”
Amazing! What’s even more amazing is that it has never previously occurred to any climate scientist to factually review his ideas. And now we come to the end:
Scientists should apply some reason to this set of circumstances and deliberate with rigor on their meanings.
Great letter! If this new idea of checking facts ever catches on, science will never be the same again. Oh dear, we just had a frightening thought: What if the theory of evolution were subjected to the kind of review Leonidas is proposing?
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