Thursday, February 22, 2007

Global Warming As A Religion

Update and bumped: These people are making it really hard for me to deflate the religion comparison. Heed the "Goracle" indeed. How embarrassing. They are discrediting themselves.

There are those that are starting to use the meme of "The Church of Global Warming" and comparing the human-caused global warming to a religion. They cite the existence of global warming mythology, sin, purgatory, indulgences and apocalyptic scenarios. Even some of its most fevered proponents from outside of the scientific community could be described as fundamentalists, zealots and worse. Trust me, I know a few of them personally.

I first picked up on this meme while, by chance, catching the Rush Limbaugh show while in the car one day. Rush even went so far as to describe the human-caused global warming theory as totally lacking in science while making his comparison to religious doctrine. I had to laugh hearing Rush talk about science in comparison to religion. Rush wouldn't know a scientific principle if The Origin of Species slapped him upside the head.

Regardless of what I think of the theory, those that choose to compare it to a religion only do so because of their ignorance (yes, ignorance) of science, the scientific method and the scientific mindset. They hold a view of the world largely dependent upon superstition and faith. Thus, as a result of their own (flawed) thinking process of belief without evidence (faith), their minds are unable to comprehend that the scientific method is the best way to gather knowledge. Period. Bar none.

Make no mistake about it, my skepticism and questioning of human-caused global warming and its proponents is a perfectly legitimate part of the scientific process. Those that forward the theory are responsible for providing the proof of the extraordinary claim. They are responsible for integrating all the data - not just convenient data - into a viable theory that explains the observations. And as new observations are made that contradict the most current theoretical framework, science works even harder to modify and refine the theory such that the best explanation is arrived at. Through this iterative process, science is able to reach conclusions about the world that are far more precise and accurate than a faith-based approach. Science's track record describing and modeling the world in which we live is far stronger than those who fought the notion that the earth rotated around the sun. You owe your life and livelihood to the process of science, not faith.

A final word to those "Global Warming is a Religion" proponents: I find your ignorance-based skepticism as repulsive as those that use the tactics of repression and demonization to throttle legitimate, factual debate. If you want to play in this arena, best learn something about science first. When you learn the rules, you can play. Until then, butt out.

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