With God on our side

Climate change sceptics melt under spotlight, Columban priest reports. But no report from the meeting, sadly.


  1. #1 mugwump

    A man who believes a mythical being created the Earth in 7 days thinks skeptics are not credible. I guess he would know all about lack of credibility.

  2. #2 guthrie

    Given that the article does not say whether th epRiest is a YEC or not, thats going too far Mugwump.

    Nevertheless, you touch upon an interesting problem. You may be aware that many YEC’s and religious believers attack Evolutionary Biology because it conflicts with their religion. However, many biologists do perfectly good science, even although they have religious beliefs.

    So, the question to you is do you think religious believers can do good science? If not, why not?

  3. #3 mugwump

    Insert ridiculously improbable biblical story in place of YEC, and the argument is the same.

    It is one thing to hold irrational religious beliefs; it is quite another to dedicate your life to the dispersal of those beliefs. So while religious believers might be able to compartmentalize their thought processes enough to do good science, I doubt priests can.

  4. #4 guthrie

    HHmm, methinks I hear the sound of goalposts being moved.
    So, actually now people can compartmentalise things enough to do good science even if they have religious beliefs, but somehow if they want to spread these beliefs, that means you doubt they can still compratmentalise things. Well, whatever suits you. Just don’t try and use it as a reason to blow off some scientist they way you have done.

  5. #5 mugwump

    I seriously doubt the reasoning abilities of someone fanatical enough about their religious beliefs to become a priest.

    That line of argument is just a natural extension of “the more irrational beliefs a person holds the more skeptical you should be of their reasoning abilities”.

  6. #6 J Hamilton

    I’ll ignore the assault on people of faith, but the rest is simply too daft. Take this gem: “the more irrational beliefs a person holds the more skeptical you should be of their reasoning abilities”, and yet the author of these words promotes climate science where theory, observations, measurements and corroborating evidence are thrown out the window in favour of climate audit style drive by smears. Too rich.

  7. #7 Hugh

    Oh Lordy, does this mean that the findings detailed in the the Third Assessment report, the one that we were all so strident about until February, were in some way *tarnished* by having an evangelical mole on the panel??


  8. #8 guthrie

    You could just accept that many of them (I know one or two) have reasoned themselves into it, using their formidable reasoning powers.

    Or, could it be that reasoning ability counts for nothing when examining evidence? So, I wonder what the sceptics make of the evidence…

  9. #9 mugwump

    So AGW proponents are of the view that “the more irrational beliefs a person holds the less skeptical you should be of their reasoning abilities”. That explains a great deal.

    J Hamilton, you should read climateaudit sometime. It is McIntyre who is the more faithful scientist. His opponents are the obfuscators and evaders.

    As for Houghton, I think this from wiki speaks for itself:

    He is the chairman of the John Ray Initiative, an organisation “connecting Environment, Science and Christianity”.[1] where he has compared the stewardship of the Earth, to the stewardship of the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve


  10. #10 guthrie

    Ahhh, there’s nothing more fun than a religion hating atheist who claims therefore to be more rational than anyone else, yet signally fails to argue the evidence for global warming. So far all they have done is insinuate and complain.

  11. #11 mugwump

    “Hate” is a bit strong. “Disrespect” is closer to the truth.

  12. #12 guthrie

    OK, that’ll do.

  13. #13 mugwump

    To continue: “who claims therefore to be more rational than anyone else” is also well beyond what I claimed. I do claim to be more rational that most deeply religious people.

    “yet signally fails to argue the evidence for global warming”.

    I am not arguing against global warming, just questioning that its cause is beyond doubt. That said, recent threads on climateaudit have cast some doubt on the UHI dismissal and the general jiggery-pokery around adjustments to the raw temperature records. Nothing so egregious as the hockeystick….yet, but I reserve the right to revise my acceptance of recent warming if it turns out the true believers have been fudging the data.

  14. #14 guthrie

    “but I reserve the right to revise my acceptance of recent warming if it turns out the true believers have been fudging the data.”

    Leaving aside your assignation of religious fervour to perfectly normal scientists (The hallmark of someone with an entrenched minority position to defend) that is fine, we’re not bothered.
    However, merely claiming that climate audit has all the answers is a cop out. Its like tellign someone to go and read the bible to find what they are seeking, instead of actually telling them what it says and what your interpretation of it is.

    As for your being more rational than deeply religious people, *shrug*
    thats your opinion.

  15. #15 mugwump

    “Leaving aside your assignation of religious fervour to perfectly normal scientists”

    Because I used the term “true believers”? What’s the opposite of a sceptic? uk encarta agrees that “believer” is appropriate.

    I am not saying climateaudit has all the answers. As the name of his blog suggests, McIntyre conducts audits of climatological claims based on empirical data. He is very good at it, which is why I recommend him.

    I am well aware that there are plenty of wackos out there on the sceptic side, just as there are on the believer side, but he’s not one of them. At present he is looking into the UHI effect and the networks used to derive the global temperature estimate. You should check it out guthrie, you might learn something.

    McIntyre does not address other weaknesses in the AGW religion – eg he has nothing to say about the robustness of climate models. For that I conduct my own analyses.

  16. #16 Dano

    Most good staffers I know, when they brief their decision-makers, don’t use CA as part of their analysis. Their jurisdiction will have a channel to the electronic stacks, the staffer will read the Press Releases on EurekAlert, maybe a summary or two, an abstract, and be done with it. Just as they don’t read this blog for interpretation.

    The dumb and lazy ones will read whatever makes it easy.

    My point? Almost all the decision-makers in the US understand AGW is real and happening. What to do about adaptation and mitigation, zero understanding. The decision-makers on the rest of the planet? First World, vast majority know it’s happening. What to do? Not much clue.



  17. #17 Dano

    Well, I hit ‘Post’ accidentally.

    The point?

    The small minority of bitter-enders who don’t wish to believe in scientific evidence (it doesn’t comport with their beliefs, see) don’t make decisions, and few of this minority has access.

    IOW, who cares what they think wrt how we mitigate and adapt, because they have nothing positive to offer. Call us when you do.



  18. #18 guthrie

    Come now, most responsible adults realise that using the word “belief” instead of “According to the up to date scientific data” is a deliberate attempt to make someone’s position look shaky and weak, beacuse of the insinuation that it is based only upon their personal belief. I may believe that you are on Mars, but that has little to do with the evidence. (Such as lack of internet connections to Mars, manned missions etc)
    An insistence that you opponents have a religion demonstrates merely that you are incapable of reasoning with evidence. So, out of all your posts on this site so far, how many have actually addressed the science?

  19. #19 Dano

    When I see argumentation in this topic that uses ‘belief’, guthrie, that’s a red flag.

    Maybe we should start listing FUD phrases that are a red flag. We could number them, and just use the number when we reply.

    For example: “mugwump, you argued 16, 33 and 74. That particular argument in 16 was addressed in 2002 here and here, and has been recycled every three months since. Saying something over and over still doesn’t make it true.”



  20. #20 mugwump

    guthrie, this thread did not start out addressing any science; I merely continued in-kind.

    I addressed science on one of the other threads (El Nino proxies. Gotta get me some of that El-Nino fairy dust trees can detect).

    Dano, that sounds like a good idea. But judging from the intellectual timbre of your posts you’ll need some help from the other commenters here.

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