The nature of debate

Farrel has a good example of the irrational manner of debate that seems to pollute many issues. He says Scientists Must Show Spine Against GOP Global Warming Skeptics and that should raise questions to start. The title demonstrates a grouping of his enemies as one as if there were a 1:1 correspondence between those skeptical of climate alarmism and a particular party. That is a presumption that should be skeptical.

Then he labels the investigation into misuse of research funds as a “witch hunt” which is judgmental as well as rather ignorant. Then there’s the attempt to smear by association when Farrel brings in the evolution debate.

His rationalization for the alarmists problems is that the “disdain the messiness of politics, stay snug in their ivory towers, and decline to fight back.” The problem, in truth, is that they can’t “be out there in the glare of the television lights on the Hill, giving righteous battle to the skeptics, exposing them as ignorant and shaming them before a national audience.” If they do get out there, they expose themselves as ignorant and shameful. When faced with honest questions about the data, the measure, the models, and uncertainties, the folks like professor Mann end up facing some very unpleasant realities.

This parade of logical fallacies and ‘put up your dukes’ type rhetoric does not do more than brand those who engage in that behavior as intellectually dishonest. That doesn’t help their cause.

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