Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ira Flatow correctly equates climate and evolution denialism

Public Radio's Science Friday program knows how to deal with science denialism -Ira correctly discusses climate denialism in the same way as evolution denialism. A while back I heard him say that he doesn't discuss whether creationism is right, because that's not a science question. Instead he discusses why people believe in it. Congrats to Ira for handling science denialism over climate change in the same way.

The one thing Ira didn't do was to explicitly make the comparison, but that's okay.


  1. I haven't listened to the program. But in my science denialism post on Bioblog ( I avoided lumping creationism in with all the other science denialism, because there is no disagreement at all among scientists on evolution - it is much more clearly and cleanly established than climate by default, because climate is a much more messy process. Of course that's because of the context of my essay, because it was about ignorant denialists exploiting squabbles about minor and often esoteric points to pretend that there is no scientific consensus when there is one. I still think creationism is a slightly different animal, because evolution is an easily demonstrable fact and the denialists have a deliberate agenda of trying to force an obviously religious position on others. So I think they are a narrower interest group with a more specific agenda than the climate change denialists. Is that parsing it too finely? Perhaps so.

    (OK, some of us would say that climate change is too, I think the current climate denialsm has to do with a conflation of whether climate change is actually happening, vs. are humans responsible.)

  2. That temps are warming is as well established as evolution. That CO2 is a greenhouse gas is equally established (and I believe known even before Darwin published, although I'm not 100% sure when scientists started to figure out which gases absorb IR).

    The only slight window on disagreement is on feedbacks, where 3% of climatologists researching climate change aren't convinced. I agree that 3% is larger than the number of practicing biologists who disagree with evolution. OTOH, I think most climate denialists dispute either warming or CO2 as a GHG, and that's not in scientific disupute.


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