Overturning The Scientific Revolution

Posted by | October 7, 2011 17:20 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Republicans have come up with a new argument against climate change.  Robert Bryce argues that if Einstein can be proven wrong (scientists recently discovered the possibility of particles going faster than the speed of light) then so can climate change scientists.  Steve Benen exposes this for the malarkey that it is:

Bryce uses the CERN example, dubious though it is, a way to ask for open-mindedness — and who’s in favor of being closed minded, right?

This might have been more compelling a few decades ago. Now, however, we have years of heavily-scrutinized data and models, and they all say the same thing: we have a climate crisis that requires immediate action.

Bryce wants there to be “room for debate”? There already is — those with evidence that contradicts what we know are welcome to do what the CERN scientists did (publish finding, invite scrutiny, etc.). But simply saying that someone, somewhere, might at some time be able to find some evidence that challenges the scientific consensus on climate change isn’t much of an argument.

The process of testing established knowledge and building on the existing scientific understanding was developed in the 17th and 18th centuries.  I’ve thought that the Republicans want to bring us back to the 19th Century.  But maybe I’ve given them 100-200 years worth of too much credit.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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