Tuesday, June 20, 2006

And they said...

We had some good comments on the "Change" piece. I can see that I didn't clearly state some things which is pretty normal for me. I admire the scientific rigor of technical papers and I admit to lacking that same rigorousness in my paltry musings here.

Anonymous seems to think I said human activity is the sole reason for global warming, but actually I don't think I've ever said any such thing. That is a straw man argument commonly used in attempts to discredit scientists. Climate change is too complicated for that and has changed many times hotter and cooler before humans arrived to mess with things. However, it does appear that the current trend is exacerbated and greatly accelerated by human generated greenhouse gas. There is no scientific argument against the conclusion that human activity is changing the composition of our atmosphere. The only questions are how much and how fast for the resulting changes.

The current rate of change is astonishing and unprecedented in the fossil record.

The parallel with the "evolution" of evolutionary theory may not be suitable enough to make an adequate comparison to global warming. Are you just comparing the scientific community's consensus between the two topics?

No, not at all...And on that I was very clear. I suggest you read it again. I'm comparing the resistance of the power bases to accepting the information. While it only took the church a few centuries to come to grips with the error in their astronomy, they still haven't accepted, as a whole, the actual manner in which species arise or the fact that large expanses of time, unguessed at and unrecorded by biblical writers, involved in speciation or geology.

Random factoid: The oldest mammal fossil to date is 220 million years old. This means mammals were around with the earliest dinosaurs, and lived alongside them until their extinction.

A. Dinosaur extinction was apparently due to drastic climate change.

And B...

I never said they didn't, but I could have been clearer...Let's don't argueanother nonexistant straw man. I said essentially no mammals but I should have added the word "significant". Dinosaur era mammals were rat like with few exceptions, but at least one fossil has been found of a mammal with a dinosaur juvenile in its belly, however, so exceptions did exist.

So here's the bottom line in all this...

The Earth's climate is changing, that we know, and it's getting hotter. Humans are doing things that in all likelyhood are contributing. At the very least, we ought to do as much as we can to make sure we don't screw up the planet. It would be like saying "Since nobody really knows for sure if Nuclear war will destroy the human race for sure so, since the nuclear weapons makers will make tons of money of of it, we should go ahead and have one."

And we should just "learn to live with it."

Armageddon, that is.



1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:58 PM

    I understand your parallel between Darwinistic speciation vs. religious power and the global warming vs. capitalism "enthusiasts'" denial.

    I can see the motive behind big energy (oil, coal, etc.) companies' denying the apocalyptic changes occuring as a result of their business interests, but I would like to expand more on why the religious sector continues to reject Darwin's theory? I believe science and religion CAN coexist, I've seen it happen first-hand in the mighty "Bible Belt's" UT biology classes. I have met and talked to several borderline "Talibaptists" that are being educated in the field of biology, ecology, chemistry, etc.
    Do you think the religious rejection is a result of mere undereducation?

    I have been seeing a lot of scientific/cultural literature on America's (specifically the Republicans) war on science as a whole. What are your thoughts regarding a solution to this?
    **The current war on science includes stem cell research, abortion/birth control, climate change, *Intelligent Design/Public Education*, etc.