More Black and White

How science becomes “fact” in conservative circles – Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money.

Another example of black and white thinking. SEK from Lawyers, Guns & Money talks about Rich Lowry from the National Review and his misunderstanding of science and logic. You should read the whole link (it isn’t that long!) but the point is contained in this paragraph:

Which is only to repeat myself: he’s writing about a science he doesn’t understand; moreover, he’s doing so from a position of ignorance so profound he doesn’t even realize his arguments might be entirely compatible. In the same way that I can be both an athlete and a writer, so too can carbon emissions be pushing temperatures up while aerosols drive them down. Arguing that X doesn’t do Y because A does B isn’t much of an argument.

It’s more all or nothing thinking. Since Lowry found some evidence published by climate scientists (who are apparently giving away the scam!) that there are mitigating factors in carbon emissions that help to dampen the effects of warming, he wants to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of science and applying an all or nothing logic to a shades of gray topic. Like usual.

You see this in spades in the fight over evolution, which I would bet Lowry doesn’t “believe” in either, like it is the tooth fairy or the Easter bunny rather than scientific fact. Not only is it just ignorance of the actual science behind these topics, it is a fundamental ignorance of how science and logic work, all in the name of fitting the evidence to your own preconceived “truth”. It is unfortunate that this sort of thinking is so influential.

It is also an example of trying to apply a political agenda to a decidedly non-political topic. An extension of the black/white error is that everything needs to be talked about in a left/right frame. Which will be the subject of the next thing I write.


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