Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sagan against the current state of AGW

Immanuel Velikovsky promulgated theories that astronomical collisions and near misses had caused various Biblical calamities and other catastrophes. Certainly, when it comes to mass extinction, he may have had something of a point. Scientists, of course, are no strangers to the herd mentality, and Velikovsky’s publishers, Macmillan, was threatened with scientific boycott.

Carl Sagan in Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (ep. 4) noted:
There are many hypotheses in science which are wrong, thats perfectly all right, it’s the aperture to finding out whats right. Science is a self-correcting process. To be accepted, new ideas must survive the most rigorous standards of evidence and scrutiny. The worst aspect of the Velikovsky affair is not that many of his ideas were wrong, or silly or in gross contradiction to the facts, rather, the worst aspect is that some scientists attempted to suppress Velikovsky’s ideas. The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there is no place for it in the endeavor of science.

Modern Grotesque

Stephen Green compares, properly, San Francisco's Planning Commission to the Red Guards : “In a 5–0 vote, it ordered Johnston to build a...