Maggie Gallagher discerns an eerie parallel between James Cameron’s claim that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, and the IPCC's claim that anthropogenic climate change is real: You can make scientific-sounding arguments for either position.
Oh goody, another lovely round of that increasingly popular parlor game, "Science Says." And just in time for Lent! James Cameron, the masterful storyteller who directed "Titantic," is clearly banking on the special media power this game has when someone (preferably a scientist, but a Hollywood director in a pinch will do) asserts that what science says ... is that the Bible is wrong.Granted, James Cameron’s evidence is dubious, and his conclusions are unjustifiable. Still, the fact remains that he’s trying to appeal to the authority of science:
[T]he Science Says game works so well that people play it with the same dogmatic fervor they once played The Pope Says, and for a similar reason: Because if science really says something, you no longer need brook the irritation of tolerating dissent.Which is exactly what’s happening in the field of climate research, where dissenters are routinely burned at the stake, and broken on the wheel, and God only knows what else.
I’m speaking figuratively, of course. While they haven’t literally been killed or tortured, they have been denied a voice in the debate…except to the very limited extent that they’ve been able to churn out op-eds, and appear at will on television without revealing their ties to industry, and write countless books and articles full of deathless lies, and testify before Congress, and get fawned over by every conservatarian dingbat from here to Qeqertarsuaq.
What’s really interesting is how Gallagher frames “dissent” versus “orthodoxy” on climate change. In her column, the dissenting view is represented by Timothy Ball, a skeptical Canadian climatologist (and anarcho-capitalist loon) who’s just been interviewed by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (behold the MSM’s intolerance of dissent!).
By contrast, climate “orthodoxy” is represented by Ellen Goodman, a liberal columnist. For some reason, Gallagher can’t seem to find a single climate expert to present the actual evidence for climate change.
This is partly because it’s easier to ridicule someone like Goodman than an actual climate scientist. But it’s also because science has to remain idealized – like childhood innocence - for Gallagher's strategy to work. See, she isn’t undermining the authority of science through epistemological nihilism; she’s protecting it against the encroachment of crypto-Marxist social engineers:
Scientists are far more than 90 percent certain about most scientific truths. It is social scientists who aim for 90 percent (or 95 percent) certainty, and the large margin for error -- a 1-in-10 chance by the authors' own estimate that the report is simply wrong about the cause of global warming.A ninety-percent chance that we’re to blame for climate change is pretty serious (especially given the authoritative moral precedent of Dick Cheney’s One Percent Doctrine). It's not a large margin for error by any means, given what’s at stake. And needless to say, if Gallagher could dredge up statistics half that impressive to support her theory that feminism is to blame when men beat children to death, or blow up apartment buildings, she’d keep prattling about it until her jaw flew off its hinges.
[W]hat we have here is not a hard scientific fact, but a scientific judgment, a possibility, a probability perhaps, but hardly an undeniable fact like the Holocaust.Of course, there was a point in time when the Holocaust wasn't an undeniable fact.
Some people even think that more should've been done to prevent it.
(Photo by Akuppa.)