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Rick Santorum, a Catholic who is also a Republican presidential candidate, says that Pope Francis should stop buying into global warming or climate change and “leave the science to the scientists.”

I agree that global warming is junk science, a tool of political propaganda, and there is very little if any evidence to suggest that it exists but I don’t think Rick Santorum should necessarily talk to Pope Francis as he did.

In the Vatican the Pope can turn to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences for questions regarding science.  In addition, the Pope probably has other advisers to guide him on the various science subjects so in my opinion treating the Pope as if he is clueless on matters to do with science is not the way to handle the situation or treat the Pope.

Obviously the Pope’s science advisers have bought into man-made climate change (global warming) and that is a shame but I just don’t think Santorum should treat Pope Francis’ positions on science in a similar manner as the Left treat the Pope’s views with regards to issues of morality.

What do you think?

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While I disagree with Morning’s Minion’s assertion that Rick Santorum ascribes to a “phony theology” I am not going to go pointing fingers and say that Morning’s Minion has a belief in a false theology even though we disagree in a number of areas politically. I believe that he is wrong in his accusation. He seems to think that certain matters of prudential judgement which aren’t infallible teachings of the Church are nevertheless obligatory for all Catholics to believe. This is nonsense. He makes unfounded accusations without providing any proof to back up his allegations. He makes the claim that Rick Santorum doesn’t believe in solidarity but didn’t offer any actions or statements by Santorum to back up his assertions. That may be Morning Minion’s perception, but it is a false perception. The fact that he points out that Santorum believes in American exceptionalism to somehow bolster his point when it is irrelevant brings out his progressive worldview which believes that America is simply another country amongst other countries, thinking America is no different or better than any other country out there. The implication from his words which shows that he doesn’t see America as being special speaks volumes. The success of America is exceptional. The only reason America may be a less exceptional nation than it used to be is due to progressives wanting to take down American successes a notch or two.
Morning’s Minion’s piece, Santorum is the one with the “Phony Ideology”, shows a lack of charity and good will on his part. His words reek of judgmentalism. He gives more due deference and charity to a non-Catholic than a fellow faithful Catholic and attributes a false characterization to him in defense of a non-Catholic just because of political differences. That is wrong. As brothers and sisters in Christ we are not supposed to be accusing our fellow brethren of not being good Catholics without any legitimate evidence to back up our claims. Disagreeing on a matter of prudential judgement is not a legitimate qualifier to make a declaratory statement that Rick Santorum is not Catholic and is following a “phony theology” just because he doesn’t believe in anthropogenic global warming.

Since the writers at Vox Nova are known for reaching out in solidarity of faith in finding common ground ecumenically among people of other faiths as well as people of no faith you would think that these fellow Catholics would have some understanding for who Rick Santorum was addressing, in that he was using the Bible as a basis for finding common ground among people of various Christian denominations and Jews. That is no basis for accusing Santorum of being a Sola Scriptura Protestant – nothing but a grave deficiency of charity would see the use of scripture in speeches as anything but a confirmation of his Catholicism. It’s OUR BIBLE for crying out loud! In addition Mornings Minion did not take into account the type of time constraints that Santorum has when giving interviews or when speaking in public. It isn’t like he was giving some type of symposium which only focused on our Creator, creation, and climate change.

We must not put creation above humanity. We must not worship creation like it is a God. This can lead to the belief of pantheism which is a doctrine that identifies God with the universe or regards the universe as a manifestation of God. Pantheism believes that nature is sacred, not that God is sacred. During the period between the 4th and 15th centuries pantheism was considered a heresy. in his encyclical Caritas In Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI focused on neo-paganism — pantheism — and pointed out that nature was given to us by the Creator to in order to “till it and keep it.” Here is a section from Caritas In Veritate:

“Nature expresses a design of love and truth. It is prior to us, and it has been given to us by God as the setting for our life. Nature speaks to us of the Creator (cf. Rom 1:20) and his love for humanity. It is destined to be “recapitulated” in Christ at the end of time (cf. Eph 1:9-10; Col 1:19-20). Thus it too is a “vocation”[115]. Nature is at our disposal not as “a heap of scattered refuse”[116], but as a gift of the Creator who has given it an inbuilt order, enabling man to draw from it the principles needed in order “to till it and keep it” (Gen 2:15). But it should also be stressed that it is contrary to authentic development to view nature as something more important than the human person. This position leads to attitudes of neo-paganism or a new pantheism — human salvation cannot come from nature alone, understood in a purely naturalistic sense. This having been said, it is also necessary to reject the opposite position, which aims at total technical dominion over nature, because the natural environment is more than raw material to be manipulated at our pleasure; it is a wondrous work of the Creator containing a “grammar” which sets forth ends and criteria for its wise use, not its reckless exploitation. Today much harm is done to development precisely as a result of these distorted notions. Reducing nature merely to a collection of contingent data ends up doing violence to the environment and even encouraging activity that fails to respect human nature itself. Our nature, constituted not only by matter but also by spirit, and as such, endowed with transcendent meaning and aspirations, is also normative for culture. Human beings interpret and shape the natural environment through culture, which in turn is given direction by the responsible use of freedom, in accordance with the dictates of the moral law. Consequently, projects for integral human development cannot ignore coming generations, but need to be marked by solidarity and inter-generational justice, while taking into account a variety of contexts: ecological, juridical, economic, political and cultural[117].”

Morning’s Minion asserts that Santorum doesn’t believe in climate change. Hogwash. Conservatives believe in climate change. We just don’t buy into the political propagandist consensus among scientists that humans are the primary cause of global warming. In a speech in which I was present I heard Rick Santorum state that people are to be stewards of the earth. Morning’s Minion believes in the doctrine of man-made science where all faithful Catholics must cede their intellectual curiosity to a dubious consensus maintained by silencing legitimate voices of opposition. There has been no Catholic doctrine defining man-made global warming theory as truth or commanding that all Catholics must believe in this in order to be considered faithful Catholics. The Pope advocating for solidarity and taking care of creation does not add up to his announcing a dictat which states that all Catholics must believe in anthropogenic global warming or else. To think that believing that the earth has experienced climate changing temperatures for many, many centuries and this temperature change is a normal trend in climate change not affected by human activity makes one Protestant is absurd. In recent years more and more scientists have awoken from a political propagandist trance, done research to find out the conclusions rather than allow their conclusions be a pre-determined by deference to the sacred cow of consensus. As a result of their investigative work and data gathering some have dissented from this fallacious consensus. My husband recently wrote an article, called On The Dangerous Naivete of Uncritical Acceptance of the Scientific Consensus, where he pointed out that dissent from consensus has proved to be true in a great number of instances throughout history, proving the consensus to be false or at least partially untrue.

There needs to be balance between preserving creation and preserving persons means to support themselves and their families. It is not right to put creatures needs above man’s need to survive. As a Catholic conservative I do not believe in anthropogenic climate change but I do believe that as people of God we are called to be good stewards of his creation. Believe it or not before there was the “green” movement and the belief in anthropogenic climate change there was recycling, a recognition for the necessity to reduce pollution for health safety, Adopt A Highway programs to pick up litter from streets, advocacy to reduce litter and pollution in our waters. Efforts to advance and fulfill these initiatives have been around for quite a few years. When environmental extremist watermelon types impede the farmers ability to earn a living all to save a 2-inch fish called The Delta smelt – a fish unsuitable for eating – now that is an example of putting creation above humanity. This is pure insanity. These farmers have been put out of work for over two years because of environmental extremism. And, now Obama has vowed to veto the Sacramento-San Joaquin Water Reliability Act which was introduced by Rep. Nunez. We have a moral obligation to ensure the safety of our citizens. I applaud Erin Brokovich for taking action to stop a California power company from continuing to pollute the city’s water supply. Another example, is highlighted in the movie A Civil Action which was based on the book and a real case in which an industrial solvent named trichlorethylene was contaminating a local aquifer and caused fatal cases of leukemia and cancer, as well as other health problems, among the citizens of the town. A case was mounted against the company which allowed this to happen. I am absolutely supportive of holding companies accountable for dumping harmful toxins, chemicals and other materials from being dumped into water supplies, along with preventing these type of harmful actions from happening in the future.

Romans 1:18-32 tells us that the people who suppress the truth in exchange for wickedness experienced the wrath of God. “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” The scripture passage mentions all the various ways that these people sinned against God and that it was God’s righteous decree that they receive due penalty for their error, that they deserved death.

Genesis 1:26-28 — And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them. And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.

In this scripture passage God says man will have dominion over the whole earth and every creature. This means we are supposed to be good stewards of the whole earth and every creature. This does not mean that humans should be subservient to creation. The belief in anthropogenic climate change can lead to the belief of Pantheism or even worse, believing that creation should be worshiped and given a higher priority than human needs. As you can see the scripture in Romans conveyed that God does not take kindly to people who put creation or any other object above him. Rick Santorum emphasized that we are to worship the Creator and not to make creation to be God-like or above the needs of all of humanity as some of the initiatives by the Left do. In Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict specifically states” …that it is contrary to authentic development to view nature as something more important than the human person.” This philosophy of nature is what Rick Santorum subscribes to, the belief that nature is not more important than either the human person or our Creator.

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Last November my old friend Kyle Cupp published a couple of blog articles about climate change and the scientific consensus:  A Question For Climate Change Skeptics at Vox Nova, and a follow-up on his own blog a day later entitled Climate Change, Consensus and Political Action.  They provoked me to write this article as an answer, but it has been slow going. First I procrastinated because of the research I knew it would require.  After that was done (and it did not take nearly as long as I thought it would), I stopped working on it because I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go from there and whether I could take the work I had already done and turn it into something worth reading. The immediate motivation to provide a response to Kyle’s arguments had faded as the days turned into weeks. Throughout that time, my wife has been very patiently prodding me to finish this piece, using various motivating ploys as leverage. Tonight she hit upon just the right motivator and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Before getting into the main body of my argument, I would like to share the following quote with you:

Honorable Colleagues,

An urgent matter has arisen which requires our fellowship to attend to it without delay. When the theories proposed by one man working within one specific field of scientific competence and no learning to qualify him to offer propositions touching on disciplines outside of that single area of authority threaten to overturn well established tradition across many fields of natural philosophy, that is a danger that cannot be ignored. When unanimity of opinion is forged among the most learned men across various bodies of knowledge such agreement must be protected against the threat of violent upheaval by one careless agent with only the most meager qualifications. A broad base of common agreement is necessary for the progress of scientific knowledge which alone carries the hope of civilization, thus it is no exaggeration to say that our very survival is at stake. It is imperative that we voice our united opposition to this threat to the common good posed by the irresponsible propagation of that one man’s abominable theories.

Pop Quiz time! Don’t worry, it will be a multiple choice. What is the source of the above?

A.   It is from the transcript of a speech before the faculty of CERN by Director Rolf-Dieter Heuer urging their support for a gag order to silence the fully science-based public dissent of Henrik Svensmark, Professor of Physics at the Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, from the “scientific consensus” on global warming, resulting from his discovery of the correlation between solar activity and climate change.
B.   A June 2004 letter to the Council of the Biological Society of Washington protesting the editorial decision of Richard Sternberg to allow peer-review publication of Stephen C. Meyer’s article “Intelligent Design: The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories”.
C.   From an internal memo of the American Psychological Association regarding the inexplicable and unwelcome success of the unorthodox acupressure-based therapeutic methods of Dr. Roger Callahan, founder of Thought Field Therapy®.
D.   H.J. Fulbright arguing for the dismissal and academic blacklisting of archaeologist V. Steen McIntyre Ph.D for the latter’s insistence on publishing the authentic data gathered by the team of diggers who worked with the professor on the dating of the ancient city of Hueyatlaco, which indicates far greater age than existing theories can permit. Dr. McIntyre’s reputation was destroyed and the professor’s career in archaeology ended.
E.   From a 1925 appeal by Leipziger geologist Franz Kossmat before American Association of Petroleum Geologists to ignore and suppress the findings of astronomer and then-amateur meteorologist Dr. Alfred Wegener regarding his widely rejected theories of Pangea and continental drift first published in 1912 (which now form the basis of the science of Plate Tectonics).
F.   From a 1943 appeal by George Gaylord Simpson published in the American Journal of Science, urging his colleagues to continue the academic blackout despite mounting evidence that the (by then) late Dr. Alfred Wegener was right all along (The appeal was heeded – the blackout continued well into the 1960s).
G.   An open letter by Albert Einstein to his colleagues in all the sciences urging them to ignore and suppress the then-fringe cosmological theory of Monseigneur Georges Lemaître, now known as the Big Bang Theory.
H.   A letter from the American Psychiatric Association to the American Medical Association justifying their mutual tacit support of the federal government of the U.S. seizing the equipment and research of Dr. Wilhelm Reich and destroying it in a government incinerator.
I.   Professor Carl Edvard Marius Levy speaking before the Danish Maternity Institute of which he was the head, regarding his support for the widespread rejection by the medical and scientific community of the discovery of Ignaz Semmelweiss that infant illness and mortality could be cut dramatically if physicians and midwives would simply wash their hands. Semmelweiss’s insistent promotion of the radical new “hand-washing protocol” in the teeth of the medical and scientific consensus led to his dismissal from his post at the hospital in Vienna where he worked, and eventually he was committed to an asylum where he died of sepsis (as a consequence of that institution’s rejection of the very basic hygiene he advocated).
J. Dr. Robert Pitt, from the proceedings of the College of Physicians, regarding William Harvey and whose bizarre “crack-brained” theory of the circulation of the blood was widely reviled and whose scientific work was marginalized, censored, dismissed and ignored by the physicians of his day.
K. Translated from Latin, it is an excerpt of address by the Jesuit astronomer Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc to the professors at the Roman College, with former rector and Cardinal Inquisitor Robert Bellarmine in attendance. The subject is Galileo, whose support of Copernican heliocentrism threatened to overturn the cross-disciplinary paradigmatic commitment to the theories of Aristotle.

And so on. The examples could be multiplied many times. I know of many more, and no doubt there are a host of others that I know nothing about. By now the astute reader realizes that the correct answer is Z. All and None of the Above. None of the above because I wrote that section of text myself, but All of the Above because they all reference genuine examples of the suppression of scientific knowledge by the scientific consensus (though I admit that I embellished a bit here and there on the precise details of who was involved and how it came about). You can Google any of them and confirm that.

To his credit, my old friend Kyle is quite up front and honest about his ignorance of climate change science, nevertheless he is inclined to trust the conclusions of the scientific consensus and support the urgent and coercive actions of the state to curb the carbon dioxide emissions of much of the industrialized world which would certainly lead to a catastrophic collapse of the global economy and a massive transfer of wealth into the hands of a very small club of billionaires who control most of the still highly ineffective, inefficient (and incidentally, environmentally destructive) “green jobs” technologies, all on the chance that anthropogenic global warming might be happening, and the even smaller chance that such drastic action might save us.

“I’m no climate scientist; I couldn’t construct a serious argument in support or in opposition to idea that human beings have caused significant changes to the climate. I have to defer to the experts if I’m to have any position on the matter, and as the matter here may be one of urgency and grave importance, I’m inclined to go with what those trained and active in the field of climate science have to say. From what I hear, the vast majority of actively-publishing climate researchers buy into the tenets of anthropogenic climate change, so I’m willing to take a stand and say, ‘Yeah, I suspect there’s something to this.’ “

The matter may be of grave importance, but I don’t know enough about it, so I’ll let the experts decide. If it turns out that the matter was not of grave importance, well, then, no harm no foul, right? Let’s take a chance. What have we got to lose besides our industrial civilization and our whole way of life? Heck, we can handle $30 a gallon gasoline and utility bills that dwarf second mortgage payments. Who is even going to miss ready access toilet paper? It will be fun to need to grow our own food instead of having the ability to go to a supermarket and buy produce and meat delivered by large trucks. And when the roving bands of cannibals come around, well, who doesn’t love to play hide and go seek?

What’s my point? My point is that consequences of certain proposed actions can be as devastating as any realistic scenario the chicken littles of global warming can depict as the consequences of inaction.

Kyle feels he is justified in throwing up his hands and saying, “Oh it is all too complicated for little old me, don’t ask me to think critically about it. Let me just trust what most of the experts are saying.” But the true examples I have given above should give the reader pause about the track record of trusting the scientific consensus and the wisdom of such an attitude of resignation (to say nothing about the subsequent retrieval and adjusted application of a critical attitude, now aimed at global warming skeptics). I do not grant that non-expertise excuses critical thinkers, especially self-styled skeptics of the establishment (which Kyle wants to believe he still is) from a grave responsibility to continue to contend with the data and hold consensus conclusions (and for that matter, the organized opposition to the latter as well) in suspicion when so much is on the line. Otherwise one cannot avoid taking “an irresponsible position” (his words), no matter what position one takes. If you abdicate your responsibility to draw your own intelligent conclusions based on all the evidence available while you yet retain the  ability to come to them on your own, you may accidentally end up accepting the sound argument as and its true conclusion as our own belief, but you do not do so responsibly.

I can understand the temptation to throw up one’s hands in despair of being able to come to one’s own conclusion about this subject responsibly. I am not without sympathy. I do not feel that I have the answer to the dilemma myself, and sometimes I feel that the more evidence I gather and the more arguments I read on both sides the more distant an ultimate resolution becomes.  But I am not giving up, and I don’t accept anyone else’s excuse to do so either.  So I would like to offer what help I can and address Kyle’s question to skeptics of anthropogenic climate change: “…if the idea that human behavior drastically affects the climate is a hurricane of hooey, why does it have the solid backing of consensus (or near consensus) among climate scientists?”

The reasons why a scientific consensus can and often does form in the teeth of the objective truth of the matter rather than in conformity with it are myriad, but they all come down to the same thing, and it didn’t start with science. It started with Adam. It is the corruption of the Fall. But that fact should not be a source of despair for us, but a cause for hope, because each of us, due to his own personal inclination to sin rooted in the fall and the concupiscence that remains even after baptism, has access to knowledge of what motivates people to make sinful decisions and give in to corruption.  A little thought along those lines can help us formulate certain rules of thumb that can guide us in helping to distinguish an innocent and licitly acceptable scientific consensus from the kind of established corruption with the advantage of power and the appearance of authority that cannot be licitly and responsibly accepted in the insufficiently critical spirit exhibited by Kyle.  I have applied that thought and found that it was not too hard to come up with the some useful heuristics.

How do we non-experts decide when to take the pronouncements of the scientific consensus with a grain of salt?  The reader may well find the following rules of thumb quite helpful. Be skeptical of scientific research, even that which supports, and is favored by apologists for, the scientific consensus, whenever:

1. …the people paying for the research have a vested interest in the results.  It’s called funding bias, also known as sponsorship bias, and it is not a trivial problem, it is huge.  It is not just a problem for global warming research (on both sides), but for all paid research – pharmaceuticals,  nutrition, food, cancer screening tests, you name it.  Experiment a little and see what you come up with.  Google some area of research along with the phrase “funding bias” in quotes and see what you come up with.

Here is another useful quote (this one is genuine):

The degree to which there is scientific agreement on climate change is still a subject of debate. Numerous highly reputable organizations have used the term “consensus” in official statements or reports in reference to the body of evidence on the subject.  One argument for why this term is not accurate is that scientists have had an incentive to promote, or at least not be publicly skeptical of, the threat posed by climate change in order to maintain their government funding. William M. Gray, an emeritus professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, is a leading proponent of this argument.  He has said, in reference to the idea that humans are causing global warming, “It bothers me that my fellow scientists are not speaking out against something they know is wrong. But they also know that they’d never get any grants if they spoke out,” (Lyttle (2007)).  Richard S. Lindzen, a professor of atmospheric science at MIT has expressed similar views on the subject, writing, “Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear,” (Lindzen (2006)).

The above was from an October 2008 paper by Daniel F. Stone of Oregon State University entitled Were Climate Change Research Funding Agencies Budget-Maximizing Bureaucracies?   The quotes from Lyttle and Lindzen were from Gore gets a cold shoulder. Sydney Morning Herald (October 14, 2007) and Climate of Fear The Wall Street Journal (April 12, 2006).

[Incidentally, in the above mentioned paper Mr. Stone ultimately argues against the position that funding bias has been a significant contributor to the consensus on climate change, but his argument is very weak at best: he analyzes a study that shows that grant recipients who signed the Oregon Petition opposing the Kyoto protocol were statistically much more likely to lose their funding than non-signers, but then he adds an additional data point, the age of the signers,  for no reason that he can justify (and he admits this openly) and not suprisingly, the results become inconclusive (“statistically no different from noise”).  But as he cannot justify this blatant manipulation of the data in order to muddy the waters, his argument has no obvious merit whatsoever that I can see.]

If the reader is beginning to suspect that if the argument about funding bias is sound most published research is to some degree tainted and bogus, know that such a position has been argued quite persuasively.  It has been cited in reference to global warming research while very important points have been raised.

Indeed, an entire book has been dedicated to arguing this position

(I haven’t been able to get a hold of it yet, so I have not read it.  YET!)

Now, when else can we be suspicious of the conclusions of the scientific consensus?  How about whenever…

2. …vast concentrations of wealth and power hang in the balance on the results. 

How do trillions of dollars sound?  Not billions with a b.  Trillions with a t.  1.9 trillion a year for 40 years – that comes to 76 trillion dollars.

Wow, a trillion here, a trillion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money!

A lot of money is on the line, and when that much is on the line, panic sets in.  People don’t think clearly, they just throw money at anyone who promises them the answer they are looking for.  Is this really how science ought to be done?

How about another cause for skepticism?  Try this one on for size: whenever…

3. .…a prominent scientist’s professional reputation and career is on the line.

Fraud in science follows not just funding sources, but career advancement opportunities and the need to make a name for oneself, to establish one’s reputation.   It happens time and again.

One more: whenever…

4. …the dominant paradigm is threatened.

Thomas Kuhn’s analysis in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions of how anomalous data is treated by scientists when it threatens established theories is useful at this point (see an excellent and helpful outline here), and while I do not accept all the conclusions he came to and their implications, there can be no serious dispute about the merit of much of his argument. If you know where to look, you can find scientists doing their part to protect a dominant paradigm from anomalous disconfirmatory data every day, and it is undeniably a big part of the history of science. In many of the examples I gave above, especially B through F and I, the anomalous data was rejected because the individuals who brought it to light did not contextualize it within a theory that was acceptable to established science.

Regarding example B, the phenomenon of exhibited irreducible complexity in biological organisms emphasized by Intelligent Design researchers is real. It is objectively present. It is part of the data. But because it cannot be explained within a Darwinian framework (and because the theistic implications of the phenomenon are hard to avoid) it is an official policy of established molecular biology to ignore the phenomena and blacklist those who talk about it.  I say that the theistic implications are hard to avoid, but I do not say that there is no logical way they can be avoided (though the motive within science to strictly limit itself a priori to secular explanations as opposed to following the data to the truth and accepting the truth no matter what it turns out to be is highly questionable from an ethical standpoint to say the least, and renders highly dubious the typical scientific excuse for atheism – that no evidence for the existence of God has been found. How can one find what one has decided to define out of existence and refuses in principle  to even  look at?)   A revived Lamarckianism of the sort advocated by cell biologist Bruce Lipton, Ph.D (who is, by the way, far from a traditional theist nor is he by any stretch a creationist) might be brought into service to help bring the data into an acceptably secular theoretical construct.  It could also help established molecular biology to move out of the 19th century neo-Newtonian paradigm and accept the findings quantum physics, which it has been deplorably slow to do. But that is for another post.

Moving on to C, an issue near and dear to my heart as an avid student and (self-) trained practitioner of an Energy Psychology technique known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), a generic acupressure meridian tapping algorithm invented by Gary Craig, one of Dr. Roger Callahan’s students and derived directly from Thought Field Therapy®, I can tell you exactly why established psychology has been very resistant to looking at the fast-growing body of data that absolutely confirms the therapeutic usefulness of TFT. Psychologists are quite up front about it, without an ounce of embarrassment. Their attitude can be summed up as this: “You have no acceptable theory to explain your data, so we reject it. You cannot explain the facts that you are reporting to us in a way that we can accept, so your facts aren’t facts. They are useless trivia.  They might as well be false, and we will treat them as such.” Callahan does indeed have a theory, but it is based on the chi meridians of traditional Chinese medicine which western psychology rejects in principle. Therefore the evidence of TFT, which could also be offered as evidence for the truth of the premises of acupuncture and other chi-based arts of traditional Chinese medicine, is rejected without a serious hearing.

In example D, Dr. McIntyre could not contextualize her anomalous results in the early dating of Hueyatlaco, but she naively published them anyway because that is what she found, assuming that in science the dominant interest is the truth per se, not shoring up established theories upon which academic careers are built. Now she knows better, and can apply that wisdom to her life outside of academic science now that she has ruined her career by insisting on publishing the true results of her work rather than changing them to fit the dominant paradigm.

For examples E and F, Dr. Wegener’s Continental Drift theory, which is now understood to be the established and proven truth confirmed by extremely precise measurements and tracking by sattelite, was rejected and marginalized for decades because he did not offer a theoretical mechanism to explain the movement of the land masses. It did not matter that his data was true and stood unrefuted. The answer by established science was To Hell With You And Your Data.

Similarly, when Semmelweiss published his findings of the strong and irrefutable connection between simple hygeine and the drop in infant mortality rates, established science did not say,”How wonderful, you have uncovered a new scientific truth which we can put into practice immediately to save lives and improve people’s health and well being!” No, the typical response was more along the lines of “What do you mean my hands are dirty? You’re the dirty one you filthy little Jew.  Maybe you need to wash your hands, Jew, but the rest of us are fine.”  The more dispassionate (read: passive aggressively anti-semitic) response was “What is the theoretical mechanism to which you attribute the transmission of disease from insufficiently washed hands to patients?”  Semmelweiss, of course, had no answer. Louis Pasteur had not come along yet, so we had no germ theory of disease transmission.  So his reply was, “I don’t know, but what of it? Just look at the data! What’s wrong with accepting the confirmed experimental results and working out a theory later?” And of course, their response was, “F___ you, Jew!  F___ your data!  F___ the horse your data rode in on!”

People are no different now. Anti-semitism was more socially acceptable then than it is now, but other prejudices which were unthinkable then are quite commonplace now, such as those targeting people with traditional religious beliefs and political views which are commonly associated with those who hold those traditional beliefs. So why should I, a skeptic of establishmentarian conclusions regarding anthropogenic climate change, be surprised at how firmly established they are? That is just what I would expect of people biased against beliefs associated with a traditional or conservative worldview.

When the results of research do not conform with those desired by its interested funding sources, or when they appear to falsify the dominant theory that those carrying out the research hoped to confirm, I believe we can accept those findings with some degree of confidence without suspending critical thinking.

In the meantime, we must be very careful, vigilant, critical and suspicious.  We must be willing to analyze the data, not merely blindly accept conclusions.  We must be willing to at least read articles, not just scan headlines.  There are too many liars out there out to fool us, and they cannot be trusted.

On that note, I close this article with one last long (and again, genuine, I promise), quote, this time from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study at berkeleyearth.org, a transparent data analysis approach – this is from their FAQ page:

Below is a joint statement by Judith Curry and Richard Muller:

In recent days, statements we’ve made to the media and on blogs have been characterized as contradictory. They are not. 

We have both said that the global temperature record of the last 13 years shows evidence suggesting that the warming has slowed. Our new analysis of the land-based data neither confirms nor denies this contention. If you look at our new land temperature estimates, you can see a flattening of the rise, or a continuation of the rise, depending on the statistical approach you take. 

Continued global warming “skepticism” is a proper and a necessary part of the scientific process. The Wall St. Journal Op-Ed by one of us (Muller) seemed to take the opposite view with its title and subtitle: “The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism — There were good reasons for doubt, until now.” But those words were not written by Muller. The title and the subtitle of the submitted Op-Ed were “Cooling the Warming Debate – Are you a global warming skeptic? If not, perhaps you should be. Let me explain why.” The title and subtitle were changed by the editors without consulting or seeking permission from the author. Readers are encouraged to ignore the title and read the content of the Op-Ed. 

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