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Thursday, May 18, 2006

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Helian

"The problems start with the fact that - contrary to how he is presented in the media - Lomborg is not a scientist."

What problems? Exposing bad science? Are the lies and distortions exposed in "The Skeptical Environmentalist" no longer lies and distortions because they were not revealed by someone Hari has officially blessed as a "scientist?" Is it now "scientific" to wave your hands about global warming while smearing and insulting people who disagree with you? If Hari really wanted to "discredit" Lonborg, one would think he might start by actually addressing one or more of the many concrete examples of scientific dishonesty exposed in his book. There's good reason that he, the shameful Court of Star Chamber of "scientists" in Denmark who accused Lonborg of dishonesty, and the rest of the howling dogs never try to debate him on the merits of the actual arguments he presents in his book. They don't have a leg to stand on. The truth remains the truth no matter how many ad hominem attacks they pile on.

Apparently, Marx wasn't wrong about everything. He claimed that the problems scientists take up, the ways they go about solving them, and even the solutions they are inclined to accept, are conditioned by the intellectual, social, and economic environments in which they live and work. Lonborg demonstrated that this is decidedly the case among modern environmentalists. It's saddening, but certainly no surprise, that the people he exposed are howling with rage and throwing out politically loaded insults rather than contritely admitting their obvious distortions. After all, that's what high priests do, in science and every other field, and the high priests of environmentalism are every bit as vehement in shouting down global warming heretics as the church fathers were in condemning recalcitrant defenders of the Three Chapters.

Lomborg should take heart. He's not the only statistician who's been subjected to similar underhanded, politically motivated slander in the name of "science." People who are old enough will remember the books of Robert Ardrey, who dared to claim that human behavior was influenced by innate, genetic predispositions. Ardrey's lese majeste was compounded by the fact that he was a playwright for a good part of his career. He was similarly insulted and dismissed as a "pop ethologist" by leftist behaviorists who worried that innate predispositions would not work in the utopias they were creating for us. Ardrey, despite the many vile, politically motivated attacks he endured, was a thorough scholar, a great thinker, and a fine scientist in his own right for anyone who can grasp the notion that you don't necessarily have to publish 300 papers in highly respectable journals to be a "scientist." Few people remember him today. However, his ideas are absolutely triumphant. Today, when I read allusions to innate predispositions in the popular media thrown out in the most matter-of-fact tone as if they were never seriously in dispute, I can only smile and think of Ardrey. The truth will out, eventually.

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