Creationist Wisdom #474: Mere Literature

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?

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #474: Mere Literature

  1. Eh Leonidas, it’s known as “peer review” and it’s been around for quite a while among scientific journals. It’s pretty clear your local paper doen’t have it.

  2. This Leonidas, King of the Sputter, is a source of much greenhouse gas by way of the copious amounts of bovine ordure he emits. Methinks a tax is in order, and it could be used to get all those wayward scientists back onto The One Trve Path To Wisdom™.

  3. Two observations:

    1. Does anyone other than fundtards/creationists use the word rebuked?

    2. The writer is honest about the problem, fundtards/creationists don’t understand how the scientific method works and they really do believe science is literature.

  4. I have wondered if the biomass of ruminants, cattle, deer,whatever is greater than it has been historically. I haven’t seen a comparative study.

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    For extra do’h, this comment on the letter: “Scientists have to eat too, Leonidas. If they didn’t apply for grants to fund their ‘warming theories’, what on earth would they do for a living? “

  6. Science is literature written by scientists who are human.

    And there you go- once you’ve reduced science to just “what’s written in books,” instead of the method of thought that’s tested the knowledge in them, you’ve made the (false) equivalence you need to raise religion to the level of science; now you can insist that your Book deserves equal time in the classroom with science, since, gosh, they’re really just two faces of the same thing. Sometimes the only way to make a mountain out of your molehill is to level the mountain to your molehill’s size.

  7. It’s as if Leonidas thinks that there are, like, three, maybe four, dudes who sit around and come up with all the science there is.

    Well, duh, of course those guys can’t get everything right.

  8. “Science is literature written by scientists who are human”? Making that statement takes a lot of gall for someone whose alternative is a book.