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Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 576

Creationism has a generally accepted meaning; special creation of all life. Now there are different kinds of creationists; Old World Creationists who accept the age of the Earth but will not accept that humans are more than 6,000 (or 10,000 depending on your Biblical numerology) old. Then there are Young Earth Creationists, which take Bishop Ussher's creation chronology literally, and thus everything is only 6,000 years old. Intelligent Design advocates are generally Creationists who are just trying to slip Creationism past First Amendment prohibitions on teaching what is fundamentally a religious position in public schools.

You may be referring to Theistic Evolutionists, people who accept evolution, but still believe God played some role in it. One of the greatest biologists who ever lived, Theodosius Dobzhansky, was such an individual. A devout Orthodox Christian who accepted evolution, rejected special creation, and most certainly rejected the idea that science should attribute any specific part of creation to God.

Comment Re: No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 576

Rising sea level, shifting rain belts leading to currently arable land becoming less productive or even completely unproductive, mass migrations, shifts in balances of power as the so-called "bread basket" zones of high agricultural yield move from where they are to new locations.

Yes, warming is not a good thing.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 4, Interesting) 576

There's precious little written evidence that can actually be linked to any contemporary of Jesus Christ. The Gospels are problematic, and the earliest of them can't be dated any earlier than decades after Christ's death, and the others appear to be rewrites of early versions, with inconsistenticies (like the two geneologies of Christ). The closest to a contemporary document is Josephus's writings, and when you get rid of the helpful "interpolations" of 2nd or 3rd century writers, you're left with what amounts to "there was a holy man named Jesus of Nazareth who had a number of followers, and was put to death by the Romans."

There's about as much evidence for Jesus healing the sick or raising the dead as there is for Thor causing thunder and lightning.

Comment Re:It's Politics, Not Conspiracy (Score 3, Insightful) 576

Which is why science has built-in processes to deal with bias. It isn't perfect, and it can take time, but eventually fraud or bad science is caught.

And really, at this point, with so many streams of evidence for AGW, to deny that human-caused CO2 emissions are having a significant impact on global climate really is no different than denying that all life evolved from some common ancestor, or that eating high amounts of refined sugar is hazardous to your health, or that smoking cigarettes leads to cancer and lung disorders.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 5, Insightful) 576

Also see Big Tobacco's decades-long war on research into the dangers of tobacco smoke and nicotine, or the more recently revealed sugar industry's war on research showing the dangers of refined sugars to human health.

Creationism was probably the first really sophisticated propaganda war on science, but it has inspired several later pseudo-scientific propaganda wars. Creationism's intentions were more to protect Christianity from the perceived threat that if science could provide answers to the life we see today, it was going to chip away at the edifice of Theism until Atheism reigned supreme. I'd also argue that for at least some branches of Protestant Evangelism, there was the more real threat that the vast amount of social control those churches wielded being undermined if they were forced to accept that vast swathes of the Bible became understood as being metaphorical, and not literal.

The story is a bit different for the tobacco, sugar, and fossil fuel industries. For them, a general acceptance of science has material costs. People reducing sugar consumption would lead to significant drops in profits. Of course, we know just how much damage the defeat of the tobacco companies has cost their investors. As for the fossil fuel industry, well it's the biggest beast of all. The entire global economy, and some of the greatest accretions of wealth ever known to humanity, are tied up in the continued exploration, extraction and use of hydrocarbons. If there is a significant shift to alternative energy sources, the fossil fuel industry will find itself a lot poorer for it, with the long-term outlook not exactly healthy.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 4, Insightful) 576

Why would you believe the Bible more than, say, Greek myth, Nordic paganism, or heck, an even older religion like Hinduism or Zoroastrianism?

And who said the Bible doesn't have motives attached to it? The entire book of Leviticus is about a pack of religious laws whose major purpose appears to have been social control. Seriously, do you think a law banning having sexual intercourse with your menstruating wife has no motive?

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 4, Insightful) 576

Whilie the tactics of the pseudo-skeptics certainly have borrowed heavily from the Creationists (and the tobacco company-funded pseudoscientists), the intent isn't really to tap into belief that AGW is some sort of religious heresy. Rather, it taps into two streams; the tendencies of certain groups, particularly in conservative circles, to adopt a sort of kneejerk contrarianism to anything that requires a significant shift in the way society thinks, and in part of pure selfishness (i.e. I don't want to have to pay more for gas).

Note that not just conservatives are guilty of contrarianism. You see similar views among antivaxxers, who are often liberal or left-leaning.

For the pseudo-skeptics, having identified the audience they need to convince, it's simply a matter of tapping into the contrarianism via the classic path; associating the science with a "Liberal agenda". It probably hasn't helped that some of the chief advocates of AGW on the public stage have been liberals like Al Gore. This gives the pseudo-skeptics the target they need. When you couple that with a general Libertarian-style of anti-regulation, in which any attempt to price carbon will immediately lead to cries of government interference, well, you have a perfect mix; AGW is a Liberal lie whose sole purpose is to increase the power of the State. Finally throw in the pseudo-science itself; find a few like-minded scientists in related fields, get them to write articles in friendly papers, go on speaking tours and the like, and when they are inevitably critiqued, declare those critiques as attacks by the evil liberal scientific cabal.

Again, this was all worked out a very long time ago when the Creationists began their own attacks on science. Tap into inherent contrariarnism in certain groups, attach nefarious motives (those evolutionists are trying to get rid of God), and throw in a few friendly scientists (Michael Behe, for instance, the intellectual forebearer of Frank Spencer), concoct some scientific sounding word salads, and voila, you have your Creationist attack on science.

The AGW pseudo-skeptic community is also progressing towards the Creationists final tactic; accepting just enough of the science not to look utterly absurd. For Creationists, this was the creation of Intelligent Design, for AGW pseudo-skeptics it involves memes like "climate is always changing", or the newer "well yes, it is warming up, maybe we have something to do with it, maybe we don't, but we shouldn't do anything about it and instead should deal with the effects:.

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Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long