Choosing enemies?

The idea of an “enemies list” is interesting both because having one defines a win/lose paradigm and those put on it defines patterns in perceptions and views. One of the items to note in the CRU leak is that the top researchers in the field of climate research had an enemies list. That is worthy of note because science is not a win/lose paradigm but rather a learning and growth one. In this vein, The Island of Doubt at scienceblogs illustrates dissonance with its associations. That blog has recently indicated that Fox News and Governor Palin are in its enemies list to be humiliated, impugned, and otherwise attacked with ad hominem and straw men. That sort of attack is also outside of science.

As a contrast, consider the Ace of Spades HQ on Palin In Washington Post: Obama Should Boycott Copenhagen.

Palin’s Op-ed is a good primer of the ClimateGate scandal. Most interesting to me is not her recap or call for Obama to stay home but a few paragraphs on her personal experience with the issue.

This is worthy of note in that there is no claim of ‘scientific’ veracity yet an opinion is offered based on direct observation. Direct observation is a means of measure with known and accepted limitations in science.

One of the most troublesome phenomena in current science is the coupling of the concerns about science education and the parade of people like those at scienceblogs or Al Gore claiming the science mantra yet illustrating gross neglect of its principles and practice.

The Island of Doubt should perhaps express some doubt as appropriate in science. Al Gore and others should limit their use of logical fallacies and engage in soundly based educational efforts that demonstrate a focus on elucidation and education rather than denial and defense. The brouhaha and the issues raised should be seen as an opportunity to get the truth out rather than as an irritant requiring explaining away unpleasantness and creating dishonest defenses of established positions.

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