Science can trump ideological viewpoints

info@islandpacket.comOctober 9, 2013 

The science deniers are everywhere. Though devoid of scientific knowledge themselves, they have the hubris to think they can sort out the correctness of opposing views, even when most people who know something about the subject, i.e., scientists, disagree with them.

An Oct. 3 letter writer talks about naturally occurring cycles in climate although the evidence is abundant that the current warming is not due to those cycles. Others point to a flat temperature for a relatively short period of time. They never learned what some science teacher vainly tried to impart to them: It takes a lot more heat to melt ice than it does to raise the temperature of water one degree. In fact, it takes almost as much heat to melt a kilogram of ice as it does to raise the temperature of that resulting ice water to the boiling point.

When the Catholic Church believed that the sun revolved around the earth, the sainted Cardinal Bellarmine was quoted as saying, "To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin." He meant by this that criticizing either of those two things went against the consensus of the church fathers, and this was strictly forbidden. To doubt one was to doubt the other.

And so it is with modern science deniers. When it goes against their ideological views, it must be wrong; the facts be damned; heresy is heresy. But the earth continues to heat up even so.

David D. Peterson

Port Royal

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