Thursday, February 15, 2007

Climate change is part of the Darwinian conspiracy?

As "Intelligent Design" has utterly failed as a way to insinuate creationist ideas into state school curricula, it seems that Uncommon Descent has given up all pretence that is any kind of science blog and is now openly promoting an obvious right-wing politico-religious agenda. The views of David Springer, expressed virtually unchallenged in this carefully moderated environment, would be less hilarious if they were to become part of a political party's manifesto.

The most worrying issue for me is how Springer and others can dismiss climate change in such a cavalier manner and in the face of evidence from many sources. So much evidence is available, in my own area, glaciers in the Pyrenees have disappeared. Mount Kilimanjaro glaciers have shrunk alarmingly over the last 80 years. The Antarctic , the Greenland ice shelf, the Arctic sea ice, everywhere one looks, the trend is clear. That people can still promote ID is no longer a problem after Dover, but why are the same people denying climate change? This is serious. Have these reality deniers no thought for their children's future?


blipey said...

I think you have touched on exactly why the touched keep posting their drivel. They really do have no thought for their children's future or for the present or future of anyone (themselves included).

It is less important for them to be right or for them to make good policy and life decisions than it is for them to have an enemy.

I do not believe that they need friends (see the ever-volatile ID Big Tent), but that they have a psychological need for enemies. The mindset that basically operates on negatives and is completely reactionary does not even allow them to pro-actively create enemies for themselves. So, they glam onto hating whatever segment/profession/ethnic group/etc that they are either told they should hate or think that they should.

This false sense of community gives them 2 things that they misuse:

1. a group to which they think they belong but would actually hate if they had to spend much time together (DaveTard and any true fundie), this allows them to think that if so many people are "just exactly like me" (even though this exactness is untrue) we must be right and someone out there must know what they're talking about since there are "so many" of us.

2. Staying power. Even if this power is marginal most of the time, there are times that it can real its head: Kansas School Board, Dover, etc. I personally don't believe that a "community" bonded by an agreement to hate other groups will ever be unified enough to do true lasting damage. However, they can do damage that can be hard to repair--much like having your identity stolen, it can be corrected but sometimes is a holy pain in the ass.

I think it funny that people who behave in this manner accuse everyone else of having no moral or ethical code. If only they would look at the others in the room they've chosen to lock themselves into.

Kristine said...

Well, I can’t believe that anyone would not be concerned for their children’s future. I simply do not believe that. They must be intentionally fooling themselves.

I understand preferring not to believe in global warming, but there’s no way I can dismiss it. I’ve been keeping track of it since the 1970s. Because I was interested in the space program and in astronomy, I read literature from Rockwell International on the possibilities of earth becoming warmer and NASA’s studies of Venus. Man, I was just a teen-ager then.

I don’t know how to make it more clear than I have that while I do not have children and while I am not a religious believer, I am committed to making this a better world for other people’s children. I guess some people are never going to believe that. All right—I have no control over what people chose to see and not see, but I think there’s something deeply wrong when someone trots out the conspiracy theory again and again. It’s one thing to call people boneheads but it’s another to believe that they’re out to get you (why?). For what earthly reason would whole populations of people—scientists, researchers, writers, teachers, librarians—perpetuate this “lie”? Because we’re mean?

It’s a weird feeling to escape my small town that did not want a smart girl, only to find that the United States has come to resemble that small town. I keep telling myself that this country needs people like me precisely because I feel that my country doesn’t want me.

I do think that will change in time, if we can all just tip-toe through this minefield of anger which just astonishes me.

Rich Hughes said...

They're trying to expidite the raputre, Alan.

Alan Fox said...

So, creationists think, because they are going to Heaven, they don't need to worry about what may happen to the Earth?

Is it worth suggesting they consider a sort of reverse "Pascal's wager"?

Chris Hyland said...

I think its generally a political view that people don't want the government telling them what to do. They think that if man-made global warming is real, then they do have to stop driving gas guzzling cars etc, so the science must be wrong.

This is similar to antievolutionism in the way that people think 'evolution = atheism, therefore the science must be wrong', or then the claim that if evolution is true then eugenics must be ok.

You don't hear many people say 'I dont believe in evolution even though it's completely compatible with the idea of the Christian God', or 'Even though manmade global warming is real, I dont agree with what the politicians are saying is the solution'.

blipey said...

I have some problem with thinking that it is a political thing with GW-deniers. Primarily because I don't see many politicians actually tackling the problem. This lack of political will must derive from some source.

Unless, of course, you mean that politicians are not addressing the issue becasue they feel their constituencies don't want them to.

This seems a bit circular, but maybe has some truth to it. Though my gov reps don't seem to care what we think on some other issues so I wonder what makes GW different in that respect.

Chris Hyland said...

I just mean that the solution that is offered, ie reducing energy consumption, offends some peoples political beliefs.

Alan Fox said...

Or maybe offends some people's political backers (such as the oil, gas and coal industries) ;)

blipey said...

Yes, I got to thinking that's what you meant as I was hitting enter. I do think that one's political backers make a few too many decisions. I'd like to think that my reps do actual investigation, but sometimes I just don't believe that they do.

Chris Hyland said...

To put it another way, I generally agree with the Penn and Teller Bullshit program, but in the global warming episode it was pretty obvious that they were anti-global warming because of their libertarian political beliefs. If someone came up with a solution that didnt impinge on peoples freedoms then I guarentee that they wouldn't question the science.

blipey said...

I have a hard time dealing with that sort of thinking as it is completely foreign to me. I have no idea why someone would live in that manner: assuming things are true and trying to remake the world to comply--strange.

Some people act as if this type of "materialistic" world-view shuts down creativity and artistic expression, or philosophical discussion. I believe it does no such thing. I make my living as an artist, making choices and having my projects change on a whim, a thought, an idea, a philosophical viewpoint. Yet I can still know that evolution happens, touching the stove will burn me, and the world is 6 billions years old.

I wul truly like to understand the mindset of IDCers that claim my support of evolution makes me immoral, over-analytic, or necessarily of a liberal political bent. Again, strange.

Chris Hyland said...

Because they think evolution = atheism, and if you read UD you see lots of posters who can't fathom how an atheist could possibly be moral, and atheists are generally liberal.