WASHINGTON, April 23, 2017 — Galileo Galilei ran afoul of the Catholic Church’s Inquisition for championing the Copernican idea of a sun-centered solar system, which contradicted the ordered universe as dictated by religious dogma.
The church fathers would find Galileo “vehemently suspect of heresy,” requiring him to recant.
Galileo was a pioneer in astronomy, physics and credited for devising what is now called the “scientific method,” in which theories are tested by observation and experimentation in hopes of arriving at the truth.
But sometimes, even science gets it wrong.
For thousands of years, bleeding the sick was the preferred cure-all for what ailed you. It was, you might say, the scientific consensus.
130 years ago, one of paleontology’s great men, Othneil Charles Marsh, announced the discovery of fossilized bones belonging to a long-necked, 15 ton, 72-foot-long giant he called Brontosaurus excelsus, or “thunder lizard.”
Then in the late 1970s, it was discovered Brontosaurus was wearing the wrong skull. Embarrassing but fixable.
Medicinal bleedings and dinosaur misidentifications would never have been corrected if science were as rigid and unmovable an institution as the one that persecuted Galileo. True science is an open question; true scientists never cease to challenge the consensus, no matter how long established.
That is not the case when it comes to global warming. Sky-is-falling environmentalists marched around the world in what was dubbed the “March for Science,” with speakers in the nation’s capital railing “against policymakers they say are ignoring fact and research in areas including climate change,” reported CNN.
Bill Nye, who plays a geeky, bowtie-wearing scientist on T.V. (but is qualified as a science educator, not a scientist), condemned the congressional representatives of a skeptical public for “deliberately ignoring and actively suppressing science.”
What will now and forever be known as the March for Science began in 1970 as “Earth Day.”
Back then, Stanford University biology professor Dr. Paul Ehrlich wrote in Ramparts magazine that Americans would “probably be subjected to water rationing by 1974 and food rationing by the end of the decade,” and that “hepatitis and epidemic dysentery rates could easily climb by 500 percent in this country between 1970 and 1974 on account of crowding and increasingly polluted water.”
It was also a time when global cooling was the disaster scenario favored by the media’s go-to science celebrities.
“The amount of sunlight that is absorbed by the ground has been declining, and by changes in the land use we are lowering the surface temperature of our planet. Might this cooling increase the size of the polar ice cap, which, because it is bright, will reflect still more sunlight from Earth, further cooling the planet, driving a runaway albedo2 effect?”
Today, climate change guru James Hansen warns in a report issued by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that “sustained warming greater than a certain threshold above preindustrial would lead to the near-complete loss of the Greenland ice sheet (high confidence).”
As the Manchester Guardian noted, Hansen’s report “proved controversial because it was initially published in draft form … without undergoing a peer review process.”
Like Galileo’s papal nemesis, who spoke “ex-cathedra” (unquestioned on matters of morals and faith), climate Casandras demand we take their unproven theories and computer models as infallible.
And like Pope Paul V, whose flat-Earth views were beyond question, we are told climate change dogmatism is outside the scope of Galileo’s scientific method (peer review) and must be taken on faith.
Organizers for the March for Science say they wish to “promote sustained, coordinated science advocacy … to make policy and regulatory decisions.”
Like the pope’s 17th century enforcers, today’s climate inquisitors are no more worried about man-made global warming than Pope Paul V was concerned about Earth’s transit around the sun.
The issue then, as it is today, revolves around the question of raw, undisputed power.
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