Sunday, November 29, 2009

'Trust us -- we're scientists!'

As our teachers used to say in math class, "show your work":
SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.
It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.
The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.
(Via Memeorandum.) My Catholic friend Pete at Da Tech Guy knows how to push my Protestant buttons:
Q: What do the "Global Warming" people have in common with some forms of Protestantism?
A: Apparently they also are making the argument that the salvation of Global Warming should be a question of faith and not works.
Right, Pete. While we await your Ph.D. dissertation on the physics of transubstantiation -- zing! -- let's agree that there have always been religious overtones to environmentalism. One reason that abortion is such a sacred right to some Baby Boomers is that they were deceived by the "Population Bomb" hoax of the 1960s and '70s, when neo-Malthusians warned that the alternative to draconian population control was a Soylent Green-style dystopia.

For decades, elitists have sneered at those of us who are skeptical toward the claims of what I describe as the Temple Cult of Scientism:
The High Priests perform their statistical rituals and the cultists genuflect reverently before their idol, Science.
The federally-mandated triumph of secularism in public education -- Engel v. Vitale, Abington School District, Epperson v. Arkansas -- has steadily enlarged the credulous congregation of the Temple Cult.

These landmark Supreme Court decisions stigmatized religion as unconstitutionally subversive of the educational process, ensuring that future generations of American youth would be inculcated with a sort of neo-Manichean worldview, wherein traditional religious belief had nothing relevant to say about science, history, psychology or any other realm of human inquiry.

Ideas Have Consequences, as Richard Weaver famously observed, and this legally-certified declaration that there was no overlap between Faith and Reason has not merely marginalized Faith, it has also undermined Reason. When we behold the religious fanaticism of the Temple Cult in regard to Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), we must understand this irrational fruit as a natural product of the poisoned tree of Scientism.

Philip E. Johnson's Reason in the Balance demonstrated how Darwinism -- one of the bedrock tenets of Scientism -- inevitably perverts not only science but also education, law and many other intellectual endeavors. It is but one step from this sort of Scientism to the revolutionary terror of Jacobinism, for when men jettison the anchor of Faith, the selfish conceit of Reason makes them dangerous fools, as Edmund Burke explained:
A spirit of innovation is generally the result of a selfish temper, and confined views. People will not look forward to posterity, who will not look backward to their ancestors. . . .
We know that we have made no discoveries, and we think that no discoveries are to be made, in morality; nor many in the great principles of government; nor in the ideas of liberty, which were understood long before we were born, altogether as they will be after the grave has heaped its mould upon our presumption, and the silent tomb shall have imposed its law on our pert loquacity.
This temptation to think that we are morally superior to our ancestors, you see, is the road to hell that Scientism paves. You need not be a Bible-thumping fundamentalist (like me) to notice how the adherents of Darwin tend to smuggle into their arguments a predisposition toward Whig history, wherein humankind is relentlessly struggling upward on the road of Progress. Here it is best to recall the brilliant aphorism of G.K. Chesterton:
"My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday."
Exactly. If everything is Progress and Progress is everything, then decline becomes an ontological impossibility and -- by logical extension -- today's Congress is morally superior to the Founders who gathered at Philadelphia in 1776 and 1787.

Anyone who doesn't understand how such a worldview undermines the Rule of Law and puts our rights at the mercy of legislators and bureaucrats has forfeited any claim to intellectual superiority that would qualify them to lecture the rest of us about Science.

Christopher Hitchens is both intelligent and an atheist, but intelligent men who suppose themselves smarter than God are ultimately defeated by their own syllogisms. Man dies and God endures, and if man's conceptions of the eternal and infinite -- the Alpha and Omega -- are sufficiently flawed as to be vulnerable to literary criticism or scientific dispute, then this is merely because, as the Apostle Paul said, "now we see through a glass, darkly."

There are no accidents, you see, and those who seek God earnestly and diligently will not forever be frustrated in the search. In checking my citation just now, I was directed to I Corinthians 13, which rather famously addresses the relationship between faith and works:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
Read the whole thing, as they say. Truly there are no accidents, and by his seeming joke about Protestantism, my Catholic friend Pete has directed me by the roundabout route toward the passage that justifies a Protestant creed: Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia.

We end, then, with Paul's meditation on love and charity. Considering the season -- especially Mrs. Other McCain's decision to be a one-woman stimulus program on Black Friday -- I am tempted to declare myself a fit object of charity.

However, I am merely a greedy capitalist blogger, and this is a fee-for-service operation, so if you wish to show appreciation for my services in vindicating Faith and Reason, $5 or $10 in the tip jar might do the trick. If your prefer even more shameless capitalism, we'll count this as the latest installment of our second annual Holiday Book Sale. And don't forget: What to Give Your Wife for Christmas.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I think it's more than that, I think that the rejection of God causes people to look for other things to give them purpose.

    I submit that faith and reason are not and should not be in conflict.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. this legally-certified declaration that there was no overlap between Faith and Reason has not merely marginalized Faith, it has also undermined Reason. you'll be ghostwriting Papal encyclicals. Like, for example, Fides et Ratio, (John Paul II)...

  5. Dad 29 wrote:
    . . . next you'll be ghostwriting Papal encyclicals.

    Heh. Shortly after I become the first Gentile prime minister of Israel!

  6. Datechguy, St. Thomas Aquinas once said that when the Philosopher, Naturalist and Theologian disagree, one or more of them is wrong. It is all a whole and a mystery we've only begun to understand.

    Some people cannot accept that and want easy, quick answers. For them there is the realization of Screwtape's dream, the Materialist Magician. In AGW and the faith of Sciencism to which it belongs they have all they want. Figures of mystery and power with a mythology that is convenient to their prejudices all wrapped in seeming logic and SCIENCE. Instead of projecting original sin upon the most ancient origins of man they can blame their parents. They are given permission and encouraged to sneer at their fellow man. And for the small price of a hemp shopping bag and a new Prius they can find redemption.

  7. I maintain that the only reason to be Christian in general and Catholic in particular is because it is true. Otherwise we would just be an elk's club that happens to meet on Sundays.

    Since reason and Science for that matter is supposed to be a search for truth they should have a natural affinity.

    It is the willful discard for truth that is the biggest crime here. It makes the supposed scientists offenders against both science (false data) and God (the sin of lying).

    I've written on the subject a bit on my blog and I really want to avoid hijacking Robert Stacy's thread. So I'll be happy to post more on the link between faith and reason/truth later on in the week at my place.

  8. Shouldn't that be a dissertation on the Metaphysics of Transubstantiation? Or is it true that Protestants don't really believe in miracles anymore so their incredulity stops them cold at real mysteries?

  9. That the eco-tyranny movement has come so far is attributed to it being its own religion. Fanatical at that...fancying its own jihads. And no one dare second-guess Allah or Phil Jones lest they incur a fatwah.

    Michael Crichton said it so well when he spoke of the religion of environmentalism. If he had lived long enough to witness Climategate with its hoped-for results (and in this MSM-tilted world, nothing is a lock,) he might have had a reason to believe that we CAN distinguish reality from fantsay (mankind's major peril.)

    "Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths."
    "We know from history that religions tend to kill people, and environmentalism has already killed somewhere between 10-30 million people since the 1970s."
    (More at

    But now that the emperor is naked in the square, let's all point and laugh. Loudly.

  10. If you can't take me on intellectually, go ahead and take the coward's way by simply deleting my comment and declaring be to be a "God-Hater". I am a devout Catholic and can explain myself without wrapping myself in the self-righteousness that comes "special personal relationships with God" where God's will is channelled through people like you.

    You just can't handle what I said and don't know what else to do with them. You are an intellectual comment. I know you won't post this comment or restore my previous comment but I just wanted you to read this.

    I used to read your posts "religiously" and have posted very supportive comments here in the past. I won't be wasting any more time now that I know what you are about. A fraud who cites other frauds to support fraudulent points of view.

  11. pasadenaphil said...
    I used to read your posts "religiously" and have posted very supportive comments here in the past. I won't be wasting any more time now that I know what you are about.

    OK, Phil. I can't restore your previous comment, but I have deleted my insulting reply. Now, please explain why you, as a devout Catholic, originally felt the need to insult me and all Bible-believing Christians.

  12. Those arguing for a barrier between Faith and Reason have no comprehension of quantum physics or L-Space.