Friday, January 07, 2011

WA Creationists Skeptics

C J O'Brien has an excellent post at Northstate Science discussing the pelvis of Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis) and how creationists attempt to use this to disprove paleontological arguments about it. The introductory discussion, however, could be applied verbatim to the WA Skeptics. Simply replace 'creationists' with 'climate deniers'.

Creationists go to great lengths to discredit the discovery and its implications, which is not a problem as far as it goes, but the total lack of any kind of intellectual honesty used in doing so just emphasizes how much of a scientific and philosophical corner these people are backed into. I mentioned in a previous post how infuriating it is to constantly correct the distortions, misinterpretation, quote mining and outright falsehoods regurgitated ad nausem by creationist proponents. It’s not that it’s difficult. Creationists rely on an audience that refuses to look critically at the information they are being presented and ask some simple questions: Is this true? Did the author really mean that? What evidence is not being presented? Most of us who have any claim to intellectual thought processes actually work at understanding an issue. We spend the (often considerable) time reading, reasearching and thinking about the issue. That includes reading creationist literature (we’re often accused of not reading the “other side” of the issue, but I can tell that’s one reason I don’t a lot of creationist argument in my Anthropology class – students learn really quickly I know the creationist literature much better they do!). I see no evidence that creationists actually make an honest effort to look at the information being presented. Instead, Creationist arguments have to be made by pimping the scientific data for the creationist cause: misquoting exports, cherry-picking information, ignoring information that doesn’t fit, using out-of-date information, and frequently just making stuff up!

Meanwhile, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has released its Annual Australian Climate Statement for 2010. It's certainly been a roller coaster year, with record breaking floods in the North and East, but with record breaking drought here in the Southwest.

Its been the coolest year since 2001, which is a rather unfortunate headline since it's still above the longterm average, and the decade has been the hottest on record. EoR expects the deniers to seize on that first point only, as they try to convince themselves that if they argue hard enough they can pull the planet into a new Ice Age. Alarmingly, sea surface temperatures also continue to rise.

Unlike the deniers, EoR urges readers to consider the full statement, all the facts and, if you care to, download the Bureau data yourself.

1 comment:

  1. Sigh re:'creationists' arguments reborn as 'climate deniers' arguments - someone should have broken that mold.

    Of course the Croatian professor may be half-right - his region may experience a freeze while the globally-warmed arctic melts.

    Amusing to watch deniers watch the weather: global warming equals bogeyman but an ice-age is always welcome.


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