Monday, March 10, 2008
Climate Change Deniers and Creationists
Many years ago, the philosopher Jerry Aronson convinced me that it was a mistake to even enter into debate with Creationists. To do so, he argued, was to grant them something that should not be granted in the first place: that they were bound by the communal rules of science … not just rules about the role of evidence but more importantly, rules about the structure of inference. Does the same hold true of those who deny climate change? For some of the most rabid perhaps. But I have come to think that for many the situation is different. For them the issue is whether anthropogenic climate change is certain enough to merit action. What is missing in this way of putting it though is the cost of being wrong. There may be disagreement there as well but it is not discussed nearly enough.