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For the one quarter of our countrymen and women, who live in the reality free zone informed by Fox News and the right wing echo chamber, a righteous war is underway against science and science methods. One of the fronts in that war is the propaganda that scientists are often wrong. Hence, if the brain numbed audience for these ideas confronts an image like this:

Chart showing scientific consensus on global warming
their first reaction will be to doubt the consensus.  

FOX News got off a salvo in the War on Science today, charmingly titled: Oops! The 5 greatest scientific blunders, which supposedly lampoons the awful mistakes made by scientific luminaries the likes of Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin, Linus Paling, Fred Hoyle and Albert Einstein. The so-called blunders mostly just reflect the nature of the scientific method. Sometimes scientists defend hypotheses to long and too unshakably, and some times they give up too early. Scientific method has a record of general success sorting these things out.  

For those in the right-wing bubble who want reassurance from scientists on their own side of the conflict, the Wall Street Journal is always happy to oblige. LeftyCoaster's fine, recommended diary last week, Wall Street Journal tells its readers Climate Change is a GOOD thing we should welcome noted the appearance of climate change crackpot scientists on the Wall Street Journal Op-Ed page.

One of the 3 per-center crackpot scientists is Harrison H. Schmidt, an American geologist, retired NASA astronaut, university professor, and a former Republican U.S. senator from New Mexico. The other author was William Happer, Princeton physics professor and fellow climate change crackpot. They concocted a disgracefully misleading argument that increased atmospheric CO2 levels are a positive development that mankind should rejoice about because photosynthesis. These guys are the vanguard of the 3%, the best the other side can muster.  And they are completely full of crap with their cherry picked facts and specious theories. Their essay in the Journal is a political, not a scientific document, and all science discussed therein is noted to have been mentioned solely for purposes of political opportunism rather than scientific truth.

The War on Science wages on.


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Originally posted to SciTech on Sat May 18, 2013 at 11:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots and Science Matters.

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