Pernicious comparisons

There are some who are comparing the creationist debate with the global warming debate. Even the AGW advocates have yielded to the temptation to label those who are skeptical of their methods and measures as equivalent to creationists in the denial of reality. Stephen Meyer has an example from the creationist side in Climategate Recalls Attacks on Darwin Doubters.

The e-mails show scientists from various academic institutions hard at work suppressing dissent from other scientists who have doubts on global warming, massaging research data to fit preconceived ideas, and seeking to manipulate the gold standard “peer review” process to keep skeptical views from being heard.

Does this sound familiar at all? To me, as a prominent skeptic of modern Darwinian theory, it sure does. For years, Darwin-doubting scientists have complained of precisely such abuses, committed by Darwin zealots in academia.

The comparison illustrates, more than anything else, how debate can be corrupted.

There are several keys to examine in this pernicious comparison of evolution and climate change. One is that skeptics of human caused global warming question the quality of findings and the implications of conclusions whereas creationists propose an alternate reality to evolution. There is no denial of climate change to compare with a denial of evolution as Meyer is trying establish.

What Meyer appears to be doing is to gain credibility for his creationist views by borrowing from a straw vox populi – i.e. create an authoritative population and then paint yourself as a part of it to show that you are not an oddball. It’s a sales job whose success in this and other arguments will have consequences.

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