Thursday, December 10, 2015

Way too nice to Senator Markey

....was Dr. Judith Curry.  Now, watching the video, I will grant that she made a lot of good scientific points in responding to Sen. Markey, but given that Markey's position was more or less the basic logical error of "appeal to authority" or "appeal to popularity", I think she was far too gentle on him.  Here's how I would have responded:

Senator Markey, your question is a variant of the genetic fallacy called "appeal to authority", and as such it not only does not rise to the level of a compelling scientific argument, it also doesn't pass the basic logical tests that I was taught in elementary school as a way to recognize propaganda.  Now as a lawyer and Senator, you should be ashamed of yourself for using such an illogical line of thinking.

Speaking as someone who has learned a bit of the history of science myself, I would like to remind you that in 1884, Albert Michelson opened the Ryerson Physics laboratory by claiming that future discoveries in physics would be made in the sixth decimal place.  A couple of decades later, another Albert named "Einstein" shattered that idea.  Around the same time, the hypothesis of the luminiferous aether as a medium for light propagation was the consensus position, and before that, the consensus position was that fire had something to do with a substance called caloric. 

Obviously, scientific consensus has never defined truth and never will.  Now if you would like me to address the data and evidence, I shall be glad to do so, but I will require that you stop these illogical fantasies of a 97% consensus establishing truth.

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