Friday, May 4, 2007

A Man of Science

Well, it appears that Mr. Gore, the Goracle of the greenhouse, the transmitter of all canonical atmospheric science, may have some other interesting views to convey. This passage from a global warming devotee expresses some disappointment in one of Al's famous slideshows. It turns out that the interpreter of science to the American people is A CREATIONIST! While I do not have any problem with Mr. Gore being religous, it is alarming that someone who can wrap his mind around creationism (thus ignoring the gargantuan body of evolutionary biological science) is now the poster boy for Atmospheric science.

During his live slideshow today, however, he showed his true colors. One of his slides was a quote from Genesis, which he used to show that humans are the stewards of biodiversity. I have no problem with people quoting from the bible (as long as it makes sense), but I found it kind of funny that he went out of his way to announce that he did not mean to push his religious beliefs on people by using the scripture in his slideshow. I didn't really see the need for this disclaimer, because I actually agreed with the use of the scripture. The slide I found particularly interesting/shocking/sad, was his new(?) slide containing a graph of human population growth over the past couple hundred-thousand years. It started off good. He pointed at the beginning of the graph, showing the population of humans on Earth from 200,000 years ago, and referred to the "rise of humans."Cool beans. So he believes that Homo sapiens evolved from other hominid ancestors, right? Nope. In the very same breath, he then continued to explain that according to his religious beliefs, this "rise of humans" was God's creation of mankind - apparently 200,000 years ago. His graph then changed to include the caption "Adam & Eve" above this starting point.


Anonymous said...

Ah, new ground for the HRE (Holy Roman Emperor). The can of worms thus opened is as easily closed as Pandora's Box. Would we now divorce belief in God as either a) not compatible with Global Warming or b) a reason to prevent the assumed Global Warming? Are one's religious beliefs or lack thereof a logical reason to believe/disbelieve in either view?
While it is understood that you are trying to parse hairs quite finely and not with the blunt instrument that I have suggested, be careful of the logical conclusions reached by your statements.
I would suggest that it is simultaneously possible to believe in a God of Creation and doubt in the human contribution to perceived Global warming. And Vice Versa. Among other permutations of those two suppositions.

Dr.Charlemagne said...

Indeed, the combination you suggest is possible yet not intellectually honest, nor very consistent. The conviction with which Gore has embraced global warming alarmist theories IS consistent with faith in creationism over evolutionary biological science. This is precisely my concern. If Mr. Gore is in reality a faith based thinker, then he looses his credentials as arbiter of atmospheric science, at least to my eye. The man who who rejects evolutionary biological science does NOT garner my respect in deciding even much more controversial scientific issues.
My post is in no way a rejection of Religion. I believe an intimate knowlege of biological science expounds the beauty of "creation" and its physical mechanisms. Indeed, even the Catholic Church, as of Vatican II moved away from literal interpretation of the Biblical creation stories in favor of a church consistent with science. I would however go so far as to say that the biblical story of creation is a rougher approximation of the world's origins than modern biological theory. That is to say, the study of a human being's development from DNA to adulthood only magnifies the miracle. The study of evolution answer's no ultimate questions, those shall remain in the realm of faith.

Winston said...

The conduct of good science is to create repeatable results that are defensible in explanation. The belief of "science" in theories cloaked in scientific verbage is no more fact based than any other group of beliefs or "religion".

I do not feel that a belief in God discounts certain facets of evolution nor do I believe that the nine bones found in Africa, that are the basis of Lucy through extrapolation, are definitive either.

We approach a chair each day to sit and yet have no scientific proof that it will hold us when we do. We believe that it will based on previous experience with chairs, that is faith.

It is the "Black Swan Problem" of critical thinking. There is no way of disproving there is a Black Swan based on the fact that we never have seen one. In theory one might say that you could gather up all the swans to prove but when would you know that all the swans are gathered?

True intellect in my opinion is the ability to realize that all things are possible even when we doubt they are probable. Man in general seeks definitiveness through either science or religious faith in order to gain comfort and control over his existence. It is only when he holds one sacrosanct in exclusion of the other that he is truly lost.

Religion is a product of man and therefore flawed as man is, science is also a product of man and equally flawed. The Bible interpreted in the literal sense may be deficient but is still a pretty good guide to live by, science maybe subjective in some ways but is still valid process to gain understanding of our world.

I prefer to not think that man is the brightest being in the Universe, not fear that he is. I also prefer to not believe that God is a prankster and that he left fossils as a practical joke nor that he is so capricious that if one is not born to the right religion that he is doomed.

Most find the uncomfortable conflict when they try and define "God" through science or science as "God".

We are 100 years away from being the "flat earthers" of the next century and the same level of punchline. Intellectual arrogance is always rewarded but seldomly how we expect.