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Is the Science Over?

Sep 16, 2022

In recent years it has become more common for prominent officials, from former President Barack Obama, to President Joe Biden, to the President’s Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, to use the statement “The Science is Over.” Declaring the science is over is too often offered as evidence to influence policy on Covid vaccines, masking, climate change, natural events and other issues in our lives. If the science is truly over, maybe it is worth exploring what science really is.

A simple definition of science found by a Google search is: “the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.” The definition goes on to say that “scientific methodology includes the following: Objective observation: Measurement and Data (possibly although not necessarily using mathematics as a tool).” Professor Richard Feynman, a Noble Laureate in Physics and a widely cited Physicist noted for his work from quantum mechanics to the development of the nuclear bomb, provided a reference to the scientific method in his book, The Character of Physical Law (1965), “We compare the result of a theory computation directly with observations to see if it works. If it disagrees with the experiment, it is wrong.”

Simply said, a scientist develops a theory that is compared to actual observations. Whether observations agree with theory is the measure of scientific truth. For example, Sir Isaac Newton is credited with developing the theory of universal gravity, purportedly after an apple fell from a tree and hit him on the head. Gravity is now accepted as a scientific fact, for no reason other than no one has ever observed an apple fall up from a tree.

The scientific method needs to be contrasted with factors referenced by many people in attempts to be more persuasive in regard to their opinions or theories. True scientific knowledge is neither the consensus of any number of scientists nor public majority. Scientific proof is not government opinion, peer review of a theory or its model, computer modeling, or a Presidential declaration from the Rose Garden.

Copernicus was jailed because he disagreed with scientific consensus that the Sun revolved around the Earth. How did that work out? Maybe as well as President Biden’s statements that the science was over about the effectiveness of Covid vaccines and everyone needed to get vaccinated to stay safe. (I have been vaccinated, boosted, and still have had Covid three times – I am probably just reckless). Remember Dr. Fauci’s announcements that medical science said masks didn’t protect us against Covid, then they did? Now medical science says maybe masks aren’t so effective after all. None of that is science. It is all just theories or political rhetoric proven to be wrong after comparisons with actual observations and data.

Which brings us to climate change and whether the science is over on the issue. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) reports are the most commonly cited source of theory that dangerous warming is being caused by carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and the release of other greenhouse gases. The IPCC CMIP reports express a multi-model supported theory that the increase of today’s 415 parts per million (ppm) atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide to 830ppm by the turn of the century will raise temperatures by a disastrous 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

But, remember, actual observations are required to satisfy scientific method. Neither the IPCC nor the CMIP reflects or provides any explanation of why no single model of the 102 models used by the IPCC to create its theory accurately reflects the pre-industrial warming period between 1895 and 1946. That span is extremely similar to the most recent warming period between 1957 and 2008, which is prominently cited in support of IPCC theory. Get that – the models used by the IPCC to support the future don’t accurately reflect the past.

Also, Dr. John Christy, PhD. and Professor of Atmospheric Science at The University of Alabama at Huntsville, has recorded actual temperatures since the late 1970’s. The attached table compares those temperature observations with the IPCC CMIP6 modeling. Dr. Christy concludes the consensus of the models (the bold red line in the graphic) “fails the test to match real-world observations (the blue and yellow dots) by a significant margin.”

There are other inaccuracies between the IPCC theory and observations that I don’t have space to detail here.

Congress is on the threshold of passing a multi-billion dollar bill to save us from the ravages of climate change. McKinsey and Company estimates costs of the Net Zero carbon program will reach $275 trillion by 2050. That is a lot of money to spend on a theory being disproved daily by actual observations. The science of climate change is anything but over.   

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