Saturday, October 10, 2009

LGF Equates Creationism With Global Warming Skeptics

Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs is writing about a "Climate of Denial" in which he argues that creationists and global warming skeptics use the same tactics to arrive at their "science." He writes:
Again, I’m struck by the similarity between the techniques of global warming deniers and creationists; they both use cherry-picked data, they both make outrageous claims couched in pseudo-scientific language that sounds convincing to gullible people, they both compile lists of skeptical “scientists” that turn out to be packed with ringers, frauds, and people who never signed in the first place, and they both use quote mining.
As I have indicated before, I am just not sure this is true. I think this for the following reasons:

  • I know of very few creationists who write about an area in which they practice. The classic example of this is, obviously The Genesis Flood, written by a hydraulics engineer and a pastor—neither of whom had the slightest amount of geological or biological training. That trend continues to this day. Ken Ham, the charismatic leader of Answers in Genesis has no science training other than that which one must get in school. His training is, in fact, in the pastorship. The scientists he employs (John Whitmore, Jason Lisle, Terry Mortensen, David Menton) have degrees from creationist colleges and their science articles are never published in mainstream science journals because their research and evaluations are suspect. This is true with the ICR as well. When they attempt to produce something approaching mainstream science (The RATE Project), their arguments are prone to wild speculation and misinterpretation of scientific literature and procedures.
  • While the Dissent from Darwinism list that the Discovery Institute hawks has very few scientists that actually practice in fields that are relevant to evolutionary studies, the Global Warming Petition Project is chock full of climatologists, meteorologists, geophysicists, astronomers and environmental scientists, who all other things being equal, ought to know what they are talking about. It should be noted, however that eSkeptic does not agree, based on complaints similar to those listed above for the Dissent from Darwinism list. Having said that, there are others who are not convinced that the anthropogenic model best explains the data and have the credentials to argue persuasively.
As I said in a previous post, I do not have the background necessary to evaluate the arguments for or against global warming. I can only evaluate the comparison to creationism, which I don't think is valid.


  1. I follow both these topics daily.

    I find that there is some degree of similarity among some of the GW denial crowd and the Anti-Evolution crowd.

    But, if you wanted to follow some really great (at least to me) blogs on the Climate issue I would suggest:

    Watts Up With That
    Roy Spencer, PhD

    These two appeal directly to scientific principle of _evidence_ and not just flaming people.

  2. Thanks. I don't. That is part of my problem. I need to do a great deal of reading and hanging out with my environmental friends at the lab to get more of a feel for the problem and whether there are grounds for skepticism. I know that, among the more vocal new-oriented folks, there is quite a bit of similarity between how the two viewpoints are expressed. What nags at me are the seemingly large numbers of people who are educated in climatology and atmospheric sciences that are skeptical as well. I would appreciate your help with understanding that.