The last thirty or so are becoming quite instructive. It’s a curious sleight-of-mind we’re being offered: The Science is Settled when evidence to the contrary is suggested or referred to, or when a conclusion is disputed. But point out that the data and conclusions have both changed greatly over time – from Global Cooling to Global Warming to Climate Change – and then, suddenly, Science is a Process and of course testing hypotheses and revising results is the order of the day. The High Holy Model works, unless it doesn’t, and then it’s clear that something even worse must be happening. And above all, THIS is the key thing, and can’t you agree that THIS is in fact happening? But it might not be happening, or might not be the key, or might actually be unavoidably happening… may not have a blessed thing to do with us either way… and these are questions that are not to be considered. Such doubts are just obscurantist dodges.
This in a nutshell is what I was talking about last post… the endless circle of madness that seeks to include others in its constricting ring. The denial of my conclusion that Zachriel made in the comments sounds hollow indeed when he immediately proves the point back at Morgan’s. It’s not a scientific point at all.
Leftist “debate” increasingly consists of:
A. Propose something.
B. Define evidence as only that which supports A.
C. Exclude anything that casts doubt on or refutes A.
D. Wonder why people can’t reach the Conclusion, A.
In vain does one point out that proposing a conclusion is a huge logical fallacy. Sentence first, trial afterwards! It saves so much time.
Thus also the assertion that climate-change skeptics are all on blogs and not in respectable peer-reviewed journals. The reputable journals are following the above process and as a result don’t accept the skeptics’ submissions. It’s as if I submitted a list of Ten Greatest Films Ever Made that didn’t have, say, Casablanca on it… and somehow everyone bought into this. Soon there isn’t a film critic alive who’ll put Casablanca in their own Top Tens.
Oh, but people love it? It’s always being remastered and selling a quadtillion copies? And it’s contributed dozens of common idioms to everyday English? Too bad! Not on any of the lists! Well, it’s on blog lists. Pffft. They’re not reputable, are they? They can’t get a real Ten Greatest Films list published with critical approval, not with a film like that on there.
That’s what is going on here – and quite openly too. If you’re skeptical or in the least questioning about Global Somethening, then you’re “not a real scientist” and you can’t get your skepticism published, no matter how rigorously you’ve tested your models, or checked your data, or scrutinized your calculations. You never get a peer review to begin with. It becomes impossible to apply actual science (attempting to duplicate results with the same data or conditions) to the issue: the “real scientists” are neither testing these new models or calculations, nor submitting their own original and raw data to others for cross-checking.
And pointing this out? That, too, requires a “scientist,” and if you’re not one, how can you question a Real Scientist on this?
Elsewhere, Morgan quoted someone as saying, “Modern Liberalism amounts to a lifelong struggle to make high school come out right.”* Indeed. All of us are trying to find ourselves back then. It’s seems that it’s in vogue to bow to that search as the whole point of life. Seems to me, however, that actually finding oneself is the point. The journey is important, but only if it’s actually a journey – which presupposes a destination. We don’t have to know when we begin exactly where we’ll end up, and a lot of us are still trying to get there, but we have to have a heading. Mentally and spiritually, if all we’re doing is treading in circles, then we’ve gone right back to the definition of madness at the top of the post.
*There’s some speculation that it might have actually been my line. I admit to hoping so, as I like the line, but I have no memory of coining it.
But even the restless to and fro is motion… and it’s always possible to jostle people out of the deep rut and back on course. The trouble is when you just stop. Then you’re well-nigh doomed, and that’s something that I’m seeing in alarming quantity. It’s become not only acceptable but even admirable to simply freeze in that attitude of rebellion and angst and superiority that marks adolescence, and never get farther. People enjoy too much the feeling that they already know everything and are unwilling to risk it. Hence the hostility towards others who dispute with them. Hence also the overwhelming need to control those responses, to rule things out of bounds – until such time as they want to cross those boundaries themselves, of course. Those lines weren’t drawn by mutual agreement or principle. Those things are, much like “science” above, merely tools. The supreme claim is nothing more or less than the impulse of the person staking out the position – not even the position itself is important, which is why you see so many “core beliefs” abandoned so blithely when they constrain what that all-precious Self wishes to do.
Higher principles and other people are just that, OTHER, and to the adolescent mind that’s a bug, not a feature. And for too long now, the adults have celebrated this and dumbed themselves down to match, agreeing not to notice that we’re raising a generation of Potemkin people with no substance to prop up their egos. It’s in the culture, it’s in the education (self-esteem über alles), it’s in the entertainment, it’s even in the religion (as Severian notes in this comment) – and it goes without saying that it’s deep deep deep in the politics. Government is largely the world’s most expensive day-care center: chock full of bleating, screeching, spoiled brats whose defintion of sharing is to be given all they want, the instant they want. If it isn’t enough, because what they’ve been given has broken or run out, they will demand more. This quote is, in fact, Morgan’s: “Angry people demanding things don’t stop being angry or demanding once their demands are met.”
Since I’ve written this, they’re up to 170, by the way. Will the circle be unbroken, by and by?