A lot has been written about “Climategate” and if anyone has missed any part of it, they could start with this, this, and this. Mann’s and Jones’ emails about keeping skeptics out by “redefining” peer-review, and by “stop[ping to] consider” a particular journal as “legitimate” are here and here.
The left has achieved mastery over “intelligent” bullying, name-calling. Calling western countries imperialist while its the Asian ones that are annexing territories and worrying about “spheres of influence”; equating AGW skepticism with holocaust denial, belief in “intelligent design,” and the “flat earth” hypothesis etc is their way of confusing issues. Its probably because of their inability to differentiate between metaphysics, history and science. I don’t want to trivialize issues by debating “flat earth” and holocaust denial. If somebody believes that, good for them, though the latter position, as far as I am concerned, can only be held by people subscribing to a particular kind of politics.
Intelligent design, well, as I see it, it is the position that God created Man, which is what most religious people believe in any case, stated in the language of science. (The problem would have never arisen if idiots in the US had not brought their school system under government control. And parents could have taught their kids anything they wished.) As for the question of ID being science, science has nothing to do with telos. And telos, even if one finds it, is not proof of intelligence.
The theory and law of gravity can explain how it, gravity, works. The more precise the theory, the more precise its predictions. And that can enable man to send crafts to the moon, mars and beyond. But “why” is not the subject matter of science. Why does man exist? Why do mosquitoes? Why does the universe exist? Science cannot answer such questions, only how such and such thing occurred. They, if they can be answered at all, are the subject matter of philosophy in general, and metaphysics in particular. Everything that is outside the purview of causality, and therefore verifiability, is outside the purview of science. Like God, and teleology, and intelligent design. Popper had once called natural selection a “metaphysical research program.” He changed his views later on because he realized that the theory could be disproved, falsified. How do you scientifically prove the non-existence of God? By calling out of your window and confirming that you don’t receive an answer?
There’s a reason I wrote the above. This. Every time the interests of the right and liberty coincide, the right bring their God Stick along with them for the ride-
Outright lies and deception certainly seem to be the case with “Climategate.” The exposed e-mails reveal cherry picking; manipulating data; working behind the scenes to censor dissenting views; and doubting what the measurements say because they don’t fit their pre-determined conclusion. Matt Drudge headlined this yesterday as the “Greatest scandal in modern science.”
I actually think there is another great scientific scandal, but its misrepresentations are not quite as obvious. In this scandal, instead of outright lies, scientific conclusions are smuggled in as philosophical presuppositions. Such is the case with the controversy over the origin of life and new life forms. Did natural forces working on non-living chemicals cause life, or is life the result of intelligent activity? Did new life forms evolve from lower life forms by natural forces or was intelligence needed?
Why is it so hard for Dawkins and other Darwinists to see this? Maybe they refuse to see it. Maybe, like global warming “scientists,” they have their own political or moral reasons for denying the obvious. Or maybe they’ve never realized that you cannot do science without philosophy. As Einstein said, “The man of science is a poor philosopher.” And poor philosophers of science may often arrive at false scientific conclusions. That’s because science doesn’t say anything—scientists do.
The old watchmaker argument again. You know that an abandoned watch was made by a watchmaker because you must have seen a watchmaker make watches. Empiricism at work. The same goes for every analogy wherein you deduce after seeing a man-made object, that man made it. But the same doesn’t hold true for God or aliens. One has, I can’t help the sarcasm, never seen the universe fall out of God’s pocket, or an alien breathe life into the first known life form. One can, at best, say that the universe, and everything within it, is too complex to be the work of randomness, and something must be involved. But saying so is not proof. Telos is not proof. Complexity is not proof. An argument done to death.
Be it the left or the right, one cannot rely on them for consistent support. The former will gag you and bankrupt you, and the latter will let you to keep your assets but will gag you in a different manner plus send its vice squad to do the rounds. Both will claim, however, that they are the true torchbearers of liberty.