Re: [asa] Climate change & Christianity

From: Cameron Wybrow <>
Date: Mon Nov 02 2009 - 11:19:40 EST

Since my name has been invoked in Janice's reply to John, I wish to clarify my views.

I don't think Janice can have read my book, since I made no application of my argument to global warming theory there. My book is a response to "the Lynn White argument" and to certain other arguments about the relationship of Biblical notions to modern ideas of nature and human mastery.

My own position on AGW is not to take a position; I regard it as a technical matter, and I don't have enough math and earth science to understand the models or the criticisms of the models. However, I loathe all remarks made in the debate, on both sides, which are politically partisan, and I don't exempt some of the scientists themselves (on both sides) from joining in the political fray. My impression is that most of the people on this list who write about AGW have chosen to dismiss all criticisms of AGW models, even those coming from very competent earth scientists (which is surprising to me, as it's unclear to me whether any AGW-supporter here has any formal training in any of the earth sciences, and without such training, I don't know how anyone could be sure whether or not the AGW models are sound). The critics of AGW may be completely wrong, but I don't like the way they are dismissed; it smacks too much of the way that critics of Darwinian mechanisms are dismissed. Theoretical arguments should be met with theoretical criticism, not with ridicule, with ad hominem charges that the critics are in the pockets of the oil companies, or with slogans like "the science is settled", which are nothing but appeals to authority. If the people on this list are competent to offer theoretical criticism of the criticisms of AGW, then by all means they should do so. But merely citing opinions of bloggers and establishment figures and partisan organizations who denounce AGW critics proves nothing. It's like going to a hundred Republican web sites and citing their opinion on the virtues of Obama.

But I've made this point before, and no one here has admitted to being even the slightest bit partisan or the slightest bit unfair to the opposite side, so I've vowed never to comment on AGW here again. It's like talking to a stone wall. I only wrote this comment because I did not want people to take Janice's remark as evidence for any view of my own regarding AGW. I'm not for or against AGW. I'm for open and rational criticism of all scientific opinions, and I'm against the tactics of intellectual tyranny.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: janice matchett
  Sent: Monday, November 02, 2009 10:23 AM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Climate change & Christianity (was: Associated Press Reporter Does Science and Peer Review)

  At 09:41 AM 11/2/2009, John Burgeson (ASA member) wrote:

    Thanks for the good references, Randy. ..... I am unable to understand those who deny AGW. ....I see no scientific reason (or theological reason either) for the arguments I have seen from them so far. ...AGW is something like evolution. Those that argue against either must cherry pick ad nauseum. ~ john


  So what do you make of Cameron's assertion (in his 'peer-reviewed' work he mentions below) that 'the true source of the spirit of environmental conquest is Renaissance humanism" ?

  Or - the 'cherry picking' reference (IMO) that was made regarding Roy Spencer, Ph.D, the Harvard meteorologist, climatologist, & former NASA scientist and his respondent Ferdinand Engelbeen, the retired engineer in process automation?

  See below for all references.


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Received on Mon Nov 2 11:22:16 2009

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