September 7, 2011

I Don’t Know, and I Don’t Want to Know Department

NPR’s Morning Edition ran a segment this morning on the attitude of Republican presidential candidates toward science (hint: they’re against it).

What I found most interesting were the words of putative front-runner Rick Perry. NPR first ran a clip in which Perry said, “Scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that manmade global warming is what is causing the climate to change.”

Next was this clip from the candidate (Perry tripped up when getting the sentence out, which accounts for the words in brackets. You can listen to the statement for yourself.):
I don’t think, from my perspective, that I want America to be engaged in spending that much money on [a still] scientific theory that has not been proven and from my perspective is being put more and more into question.


  1. It is true that although the vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is taking place, there is disagreement about how much of it is man made and whether it can be reversed. Perry is using that uncertainty to stress the immediate economic effect of spending the money to try to reverse it, instead of showing any concern with the possibility that it could be stopped or reversed. I don't know what Perry is talking about in that last reference to "a..theory that has not been proven and is being put more and more into question." Is he talking about global warming in general, or whether it is man-made?

  2. Either way, it makes no difference; Perry is ignorant of science. Mathematical theorems are proven, scientific theories are only supported or not. Scientific theories are always theories, our best explanations until something better comes along.

    Even if climate change is not primarily driven by human activity, it represents a threat to our survival that we fail to study at our peril


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