Dismissing Contrary Evidence by Beating the Strawman

Can we ignore the bad historical examples? Lets ignore the 19th century example, which is about a written document rather than observable evidence. Lets also ignore the “Earth being flat” example (which anybody watching a ship depart from a port could refute, so nobody believed it in the 15th century) or “the Earth doesn’t attract things” (which anybody can throw an object and refute). Oops, this doesn’t leave us with much.

OK, the main point of the meme is that a single snowflake doesn’t falsify global warming. That is true, the weather is a chaotic, unpredictable system. But it ignores some valid criticism:

  1. Scientific theories are, by definition, falsifiable. Under what criteria would global warming be falsified?
  2. If a single snowflake or a single cold winter does not constitute evidence against global warming, then a single hot summer does not constitute evidence for it.

h/t Joel C. Salomon

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s