Thursday, June 10, 2010

Climate Change: Most Americans accept global warming according to poll

While this is positive, the way the story is framed bugs me. The existence of God or reincarnation is belief, something based on faith that is untestable. Our understanding of the physical world and processes, such APGW, is based on rational inquiry or science. If scientific study determines something is happening, then it is. People can either choose to accept or reject that reality. Use of the term belief implies that something such as global warming, or evolution, the germ mechanism of disease is something unknowable, uncertain and a matter of faith.

2 comments:

biglou said...

Just an observation: when I was working in central Illinois, I talked to a lot of farmers out in their fields, and they generally accepted global warming/climate change as a real phenomenon. However, they then went on to use it as an explanation for any strange weather they saw (unusually warm/cold/wet/dry/tornado-y weather). I think it's more of a human psychology issue, in that people want to believe that there is some sort of larger unifying principle that is organizing things. It's the same reason that people believe in conspiracies, I think: at least if it's a conspiracy, SOMEONE is in control. The idea that natural phenomena are simply random and you can't do anything about it is just too frightening to many people. Just a thought.

EdK said...

I have to agree with you there biglou. Of course we also have to keep in mind many people say they "believe" in scientific explanations such as evolution because of their political outlook, just as much as some who reject the science. I think S.J. Gould once lamented about this.