Climate change, evolution, and irrational scientism

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Climate is what we expect. Weather is what we get. — Mark Twain

I believe in climate change — at minimum, the climate in Georgia where I live changes four times per year. I call the phenomena “seasons.”

However, I don’t consider “climate change” as something humans understand anywhere near well enough to control.

Neither do I believe the sky is imminently about to fall because of human consumption of fossil fuels. Oil and natural gas seem to exist for a reason. Why shouldn’t we efficiently put our natural resources to good use?

As someone with a couple of decades worth of experience and formerly considered as something of an expert in the field of software development, I can say with complete confidence that only sheer hubris allows climate science experts to insist with any degree of certainty that their computer models can predict the future. The problem is simply too complex. There are far too many unknowns.

For example, the forecast in Atlanta today is calling for between 3 and 7 inches of snow…quite a margin of error, wouldn’t you agree? Now if the weather experts can’t even accurately forecast how much snow is going to fall later today, how can they possibly say with total confidence they know what the weather will be like several years into the future?

The butterfly effect is part of the chaos theory of mathematics. The term was coined by Edward Lorenz to describe his discovery that very slight changes to the input data for his weather models could produce a significant variations in the outcome, as if the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in a remote part of the world several weeks earlier had managed to redirect a hurricane.

Couple my personal experience and knowledge of computers with a few basic but important observations of current events, and the reasons for my skepticism that “climate change” represents some dire threat to humanity should become very clear.

There seems to be an inverse relationship between the complexity of a given system to be modeled and the ability of a programmer to even identify all the variables that might affect that system, much less accurately forecast what values should be assigned to them.

And in the case of climate modeling, it seems that raw data is never used. Personally, I don’t care how “expert” the human being involved may be, or how much integrity he or she has. Once manipulated data has been substituted for real raw data as input, there is garbage going into the model, so the output will naturally be garbage as well.

Of course, programmers have an acronym for this — GIGO, short for Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Chicken Little

Chicken Little

There are two types of “experts” involved in long term climate change modeling–there are sincere, dedicated, professionals who don’t behave like Chicken Little.

These people truly believe that the problems associated with heavy consumption of fossil fuels are causing significant harm to the environment because they trust their own work, and they know that the manipulations of the raw data have mostly been done to improve the reliability of the input to produce more accurate, higher quality output.

However, even the “good guy” climate scientists don’t want to give up their private planes. Nobody likes to fly commercial anymore. Then there are the corrupt charlatans, the hypocrites who see huge dollar signs in the form of new “carbon taxes” designed to do nothing but inflate the cost of energy, which of course, always hurts the poor and lower classes the most.

But now there is a brand new, HUGE credibility problem for the climate change fear mongers that has currently been underreported by the mainstream media.

Investors.com has reported that a recent press conference in Brussels, U. N. official Christiana Figueres revealed that the “goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from calamity but to destroy capitalism.

So the next time someone calls me a “climate denier”, I will reply that they are mistaken; I am a capitalism defender.

I don’t refuse to believe in good science. I’m simply refusing to be fleeced with the rest of the sheep.

At this point you might be wondering — what does climate change have to do with scientism, or being irrational? Well…wouldn’t it be irrational for me to believe that humanity is at great risk from “climate change” when one of the U. N.’s top officials involved in this movement has admitted the real motive for creating international panic is to cause the destruction of my way of life?

This morning’s little tirade on climate fraud was inspired by reading an article published in the Washington Post by Joel Achenbach titled, “Why Science is so Hard to Believe.

Achenbach’s somewhat lengthy piece appeared to chastise “nonbelievers” in certain scientific theories by conflating fear of chemicals like fluoride in water, or concerns that childhood vaccines could cause autism with skepticism about “climate change” or evolution theory, as if every belief deserved equal merit.

Since Achenbach talked about climate change as one of his so-called “facts” of science that people struggle to believe, it seemed reasonable to begin there, especially considering there has been this recent revelation by Ms. Figueres to say the whole scheme called “climate change” or “global warming” is actually a massive fraud focused on the destruction of capitalism.

Further responding to Mr. Achenbach’s somewhat disjointed but impersonal accusations: I believed in vaccinating my children. I also believe that my grandchildren should be vaccinated to prevent certain diseases — like measles, for example. I drink bottled water because I prefer not to drink chlorine, which is bleach I normally use in my laundry. Not because I’m afraid of fluoride, which is also conveniently in my toothpaste. I believe it’s safe to say that logic and observation both have heavily influenced my system of beliefs.

As a result, I also believe in evolution — at least in it’s vaguest definition, which simply means “change.” However, extrapolating Darwin’s observations of changes in offspring produced via sexual reproduction to say humans “evolved” from sea animals is not only counter-intuitive, as Mr. Achenbach suggested, it is downright stupid.

The “theory” can’t be stopped there, either. Darwinism must be extrapolated even further if it is to be used to explain the existence of every living organism on Earth. You’ll also have to cross the boundaries between biology and botany to include plants, trees, and fungi as well.

Your distant cousin?

Your distant cousin?

If life is related by descent, then all life must be related by descent. If that is really true, then consider your distant cousins, the mushroom and the mosquito.

With all due respect, to Mr. Achenbach, he was wrong to claim that “evolution theory” is the foundation for all modern science — that foundation would actually be DNA and genetics.

The study of genetics and application of the scientific method could theoretically establish that all life is related by descent, but that would mean beneficial mutations have accumulated enough over eons of time to the point the mushroom in this picture and you are related through sex.

The problem is the observational aspect of the scientific method — we don’t live long enough to witness such spectacular shape-shifting due to the limitations of time.

We can only assume this degree of physical metamorphosis is possible, even though current observations strongly suggest that it isn’t, because the alternative, which is design, implies the existence of a Designer, which is another way of saying “God”, and the atheistic advocates of scientism simply can’t have that.

So alternatively given enough of this magic ingredient called Deep Time, what we know is impossible in the short term simply becomes inevitable in the long term.

Human beings will always give birth to human babies…except sometime way back in the past, creatures that were not human gave birth to “Adam” and “Eve.”

We should also assume, if descent is truly the best explanation for how humans, seaweed, scorpions, and turtles came to exist, that two human beings will one day mate and give birth to a new species that is no longer human. Unfortunately, none of us will live long enough to see this spectacle before our own demise, because Deep Time is a cruel creator, indeed.

However, it seems that DNA analysis could just as easily lead one to an infinitely more logical conclusion: that design is a much better and more statistically probable explanation for how humans, apes, oak trees, and mushrooms came to exist on the same planet. Unique organisms deliberately shaped for some unknown reason, by a supernatural intelligence well beyond human comprehension.

Because all seem to form some sort of function in the world we observe. Trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, which humans breathe. Humans exhale carbon dioxide, which is food for plants.

In fairness to Mr. Achenbach, his article also included the following concession to truth, when he wasn’t insisting that climate change and evolution theory are indisputable facts:

“Science is not a body of facts,” says geophysicist Marcia McNutt, who once headed the U.S. Geological Survey and is now editor of Science, the prestigious journal. “Science is a method for deciding whether what we choose to believe has a basis in the laws of nature or not.” [emphasis added]

Quid est veritas? What is truth?

I can accept the concept that I’m related to a fish in the context of a grand design in a Big Picture. We both seem to serve some purpose with our existence, even though we may not know what that purpose might be.

I doubt that I’m ever going to believe that I’m literally related to the trout and flounder by descent, because it simply doesn’t make any sense and the evidence that’s argued to support descent actually supports the idea of design even better.

Metamorphosis, to any meaningful degree, is quite frankly unobservable, and therefore highly speculative. Therefore, it is quite irrational to believe humans, angler fish, rose bushes and tapeworms could all be related by descent.

Is such a relationship theoretically possible? Perhaps. But is it plausible, logical, or an absolute fact? Not just no, but hell no.

As I’ve documented in my Counterargument for God, we can set aside any religious beliefs we may have. If we simply accept most of what the scientists have told “us” on face value, soon we are able to recognize and potentially correct the following common misconceptions:

  • Evolution theory does not “destroy” the idea of a creator. Life cannot evolve until it exists.
  • The alternative to belief in God is not science, but belief in extraordinary good luck.
  • Atheistic beliefs rooted in science are far less logical than belief in a supernatural creator. Scientism becomes a belief in magic without a Magician.
  • Something, in fact this universe, came from nothing.
  • Inanimate matter became animated, simply because of chemical reactions.

Once the Big Picture becomes clear, the choice between a supernatural intelligence we can rightfully call “God” and unbelievable good luck gets rather easy to make. Of course, we never turn a blind eye to new evidence, that might make such stupid good luck look a little more appealing.

You know what I have the most difficulty understanding?

How people like Mr. Achenbach can be so gullible.

Counterargument for God

Counter_cover_smCounterargument for God was officially published on Easter Sunday, 2013.

It is currently available on Amazon and at Smashwords.

The print version will be available soon.

We are currently waiting to review the proof copy.

The ebook versions were released late Sunday after a long and arduous weekend of formatting by my wonderful wife, who also happens to be my publisher.

In the credits, three important contributors were not properly acknowledged. It is time to remedy that oversight.

First, I would like to specifically thank my friends Fred Kohn and Bill Wassner, who both slogged their way through an early, very difficult-to-read rough draft and offered valuable advice.

The contributions of Bill and Fred were crucial and significantly improved the final version of the manuscript. Mea culpa.

And of course, special thanks are owed to my lovely and talented wife Lisa, editor and publisher extraordinaire. Publishing this nearly 500 page book for me was most certainly a labor of love.

She strongly prefers editing my “Rocky Leonard” detective novels.

After all, novels don’t require footnotes.