The Battle For Free Speech In Science Has Begun


David B. Rivkin Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman

Galileo Galilei was tried in 1633 for spreading the heretical view that the Earth orbits the sun, convicted by the Roman Catholic Inquisition, and remained under house arrest until his death. Today’s inquisitors seek their quarry’s imprisonment and financial ruin.

As the scientific case for a climate-change catastrophe wanes, proponents of big-ticket climate policies are increasingly focused on punishing dissent from an asserted “consensus” view that the only way to address global warming is to restructure society—how it harnesses and uses energy. That we might muddle through a couple degrees’ of global warming over decades or even centuries, without any major disruption, is the new heresy and must be suppressed.

The Climate Inquisition began with Michael Mann’s 2012 lawsuit against critics of his “hockey stick” research—a holy text to climate alarmists. The suggestion that Prof. Mann’s famous diagram showing rapid recent warming was an artifact of his statistical methods, rather than an accurate representation of historical reality, was too much for the Penn State climatologist and his acolytes to bear.

Among their targets (and our client in his lawsuit) was the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think tank prominent for its skeptical viewpoint in climate-policy debates. Mr. Mann’s lawsuit seeks to put it, along with National Review magazine, out of business. Four years on, the courts are still pondering the First Amendment values at stake. In the meantime, the lawsuit has had its intended effect, fostering legal uncertainty that chills speech challenging the “consensus” view.

Mr. Mann’s lawsuit divided climate scientists—many of whom recognized that it threatened vital scientific debate—but the climate Inquisition was only getting started. The past year has witnessed even more heavy-handed attempts to enforce alarmist doctrine and stamp out dissent.

Assuming the mantle of Grand Inquisitor is Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.). Last spring he called on the Justice Department to bring charges against those behind a “coordinated strategy” to spread heterodox views on global warming, including the energy industry, trade associations, “conservative policy institutes” and scientists. Mr. Whitehouse, a former prosecutor, identified as a legal basis for charges that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, the federal statute enacted to take down mafia organizations and drug cartels. […]

Intimidation is the point of these efforts. Individual scientists, think tanks and private businesses are no match for the vast powers that government officials determined to stifle dissent are able to wield. An onslaught of investigations—with the risk of lawsuits, prosecution and punishment—is more than most can afford to bear. As a practical reality, defending First Amendment rights in these circumstances requires the resources to take on the government and win—no matter the cost or how long it takes.

It also requires taking on the Climate Inquisition directly. Spurious government investigations, driven by the desire to suppress a particular viewpoint, constitute illegal retaliation against protected speech and, as such, can be checked by the courts, with money damages potentially available against the federal and state perpetrators. If anyone is going to be intimidated, it should be officials who are willing to abuse their powers to target speech with which they disagree.

That is why we are establishing the Free Speech in Science Project to defend the kind of open inquiry and debate that are central to scientific advancement and understanding. The project will fund legal advice and defense to those who need it, while executing an offense to turn the tables on abusive officials. Scientists, policy organizations and others should not have to fear that they will be the next victims of the Climate Inquisition—that they may face punishment and personal ruin for engaging in research and advocating their views.

Full post at The Wall Street Journal, 23 March 2016

Democrats routinely accuse Republicans of being “anti-science” because they tend to be skeptical about claims made by climate scientists — whether it’s about how much man has contributed to global warming, how much warming has actually taken place, or scary predictions of future environmental catastrophes. There’s a scientific consensus, we’re told, and anyone who doesn’t toe the line is “denier.”

Yet even as deniers get chastised, evidence continues to emerge that pokes holes in some of the basic tenets of climate change. It is certainly possible then, that today’s climate change paradigm — and all the fear and loathing about CO2 emissions — could one day end up looking as quaint as Ptolemy’s theory of the solar system or Galen’s theory of anatomy. It’s possible. And anyone who believes in science has to admit that. –John Merline, Investor’s Business Daily, 22 March 2016

h/t to The GWPF

Note that the  Free Speech in Science Project is the antidote to this sort of Mannian nonsense:



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March 24, 2016 9:32 am

…But, but…I thought Big Oil and the Koch brothers paid for all that !! /sarc

Paul Westhaver
March 24, 2016 9:32 am

Galileo was not convicted of Heresy. He was suspected.
Nobody who scapegoats the Galileo trial actually knows what happened. The ignorance surround this myth is astounding. When you throw stones…
The Church was in favor of the advance in science. Ever heard of Copernicus? Nowadays, it is scientists themselves who have perverted science. So it is worse than you thought.

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 24, 2016 9:46 am

Here is the transcript of the condemnation, as cited in ‘the Crime of Galileo.

Reply to  Steve Fraser
March 24, 2016 12:54 pm

That document alone isn’t the full story because it doesn’t give the full context. Context includes that other scientists said he was wrong (which he was by the way), includes the fact that it was not actually considered heresy to say the Earth went around the Sun, and more. Multiple articles are vailable on this one, here’s a start:

Reply to  Steve Fraser
March 24, 2016 12:55 pm

Well, while the document is long and full of hot air, anything stated before the ACTUAL judgment and sentence is really just hot air and some bongo drum beating.
From the above link, we find right near the end the SENTENCE given, and you find this gem:
have rendered yourself in the judgment of this Holy Office vehemently suspected of heresy,
End quote
Ok, so he is SUSPECTED of something! Note how he not convicted of something! This also explains why Galileo received a VERY light sentence of house arrest. House arrest means he can have Christmas parties, friends, lovers and party like a rock star!
Galileo’s sentence would not some kind of incarnation or jail sentence (after all, the court only found him “suspicious” of something!).
The court sentence = you are suspicious guy.
Cardinal Belamny stated that he would accept Galileo’s ideas when enough evidence and proper mathematical and scientific proof was given. The fact Cardinal Belamny was able to make in public such a statement of position tells you that the church did not and could not have nor convicted Galileo of hearsay.
In other words Galileo was rejected by the high court because Galileo’s math and observations failed under scientific process. In other words that church court UPHELD good scientific process!
The first problem was why planets speed up, and slowdown in orbit. (we needed a new branch of math called calculus to explain this effect).
Even grade school children today know that the planets don’t go around the sun in circles. Yet this is what Galileo was teaching. (wrong!!!) So children in grade school today know the difference between a circle and an ellipse.
Furthermore Galileo’s claim that the sun is the center the universe is also a ridiculous claim. This is not even close to true!
And even more bad is Galileo as stated not only is the sun the center of the universe, but it also immovable (not moving). Once again, we all know that our solar system and the sun is moving through space, and such a claim is silly and wrong.
So the church court up-held good scientific process. The evidence presented could not show or prove the above points and claims. (and they are STILL wrong today!).
You have to ask yourself why Copernicus (who was a catholic priest) and is credited with what most books today call the Copernican motion system LEAVE OUT the fact that Copernicus was a catholic priest (so why did he not get in hot water?).
The fact the matter is that Galileo’s theory and proposals failed under mathematical and scientific scrutiny of the church. The church court upheld good scientific process, and rejected his claim and statements which were clearly wrong.
And since the church has no doctrine teaching that the earth was the center, then Galileo WAS NOT convicted of hearsay. This explains the VERY light sentence of house arrest. That meant Galileo was at home having wine, dinner, Christmas and New Year’s parties – and people could come and go as they please (a light slap on the wrist in terms of the sentence handed down by the court). He could party like a rock star!
In fact the church did not have a doctrine on the earth being the center, but from the time of Plato, Aristotle, and right up to the time of Galileo the SCIENCE consensus was the earth was the center.
The bottom line:
Galileo was wrong.
Galileo failed under science security by the church.
The consensus of the day that thought that earth was the center, was also wrong and was a SCIENCE consensus.
In fact the “supposed” consensus on global warming being wrong is a better example – the church in the case actually up-held the science process.
The church court never convicted Galileo of heresy for teaching the sun is a center of the universe because they could not!
Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Reply to  Steve Fraser
March 25, 2016 5:25 pm

<i."Even grade school children today know that the planets don’t go around the sun in circles. Yet this is what Galileo was teaching. (wrong!!!)"
Yeah, the man was a fool. He shoulda knowd everything we know today.

george e. smith
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 24, 2016 9:53 am

Nonetheless, Galileo Galilei did write his “Dialog on the two World Systems.” in which he clearly lampoons the pope as an imbecile, who can’t understand rational arguments.
One of the consequences of this book by Galileo, is that we now know (he proves it) that there are an infinite number of places all over the world which at any given moment will have a Temperature (any temperature) that has a value greater than the lowest Temperature on earth at that moment, and lower than the highest Temperature on earth at that moment. those two points of the Temperature extremes, can be joined by a continuous line (any continuous line) and every possible in between Temperature will be found somewhere along that line, and along every such line one might draw.
So in mid (northern) summer, we will find places with temperatures anywhere from as low as about -94 deg. C to about +60 deg. C surface Temperatures, with some blacktop spots as high as + 90 deg. C But I’ll settle for about 150 deg. C extreme range, all at the exact same moment. So much for a one deg. C (maybe) rise in the last 150 years

Eric Barnes
Reply to  george e. smith
March 24, 2016 12:04 pm

Variance of temps is going *down*. The Climate lunatics won’t mention that though as it doesn’t support the cause of environment statism. Sad.

empire sentry
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 24, 2016 10:00 am

The line reads: “…tried in 1633 for spreading the heretical view that the Earth orbits the sun, convicted by the Roman Catholic Inquisition…” nothing in there about convicted of heresy.
He was convicted of “suspected heresy” and was required to “curse and detest” the Copernican viewpoint.
The point is this, a well fed populist narrative is being used as the ‘consensus’ for what science is. Its only goal is to mold policy to benefit control and wealth by a few. This is Syndicalist Socialism, a corporate version of Marxism.
Since it is not based on any science, the conditions before and after said implementation cannot be measured, other than the direct impact from the policy itself on life. The C02 Rule and Endangerment claims reducing c02 to reduce deaths…yet they are incapable of scientifically measuring this…because hte risks do not exist. Removing all coal fired plants and reducing the US to the levels of energy starved North Korea will only produce human deaths.
The strong arm tactics are required to sustain a dying religion. The elites stand to lose a lot of cash, the politicians will lose their shakedown extortion money, fake scientist will lose their grant payolla and the baiters will lose their donations.
It smells a lot like desperation sweat from donkeys.

george e. smith
Reply to  empire sentry
March 24, 2016 11:23 am

I think your opening statement says he. ….. was tried for spreading the heretical view….. You’re absolutely correct it doesn’t say he was convicted or tried for heresy; merely for spreading a heretical view (in the eyes of the church).

Reply to  empire sentry
March 24, 2016 2:06 pm

Yes, quite a funny conviction. Let’s try another one:
You are suspicious of stealing a car! Have you ever heard such a weak sentence from such a court?
Too funny! As noted, the ONLY relevant issue here is the sentence based on the courts laws. They did not have law or doctrine to convict Galileo, so they settled by calling him a suspicious guy!
On the other hand, it possible you do think planets go around the sun in circles when grade 3 children know the difference between a circle and an ellipse.
Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada

John Harmsworth
Reply to  empire sentry
March 24, 2016 9:11 pm

We should sic the RICO act on the Catholic Church! Yeah! That’s the ticket!

george e. smith
Reply to  empire sentry
March 25, 2016 8:49 am

“””””….. On the other hand, it possible you do think planets go around the sun in circles when grade 3 children know the difference between a circle and an ellipse. …..”””””
But do grade 3 children know the difference between a circle, or an ellipse, which are fictional mathematical entities, and planetary orbits, which are real world observable paths, and do NOT follow the mathematical expressions for either a circle or an ellipse.
A circular or elliptical orbit is a possible solution of a hypothetical two body problem differential equation in Newtonian dynamics, involving two point masses, mutually attracting each other according to an inverse square distance law.
No such hypothetical two body system exists anywhere.

Reply to  empire sentry
March 25, 2016 5:47 pm

Sooo, umm. Today’s Grade 3 children were alive in 1633. I wonder what they thunk and when they thunk it.
Still stuck in your elliptical time warp loop Albert?

Reply to  Slacko
March 25, 2016 10:54 pm

No time warp here. We talking about failed math and observations BACK THEN under scrutiny of the church.
BACK THEN Galileo’s math and observations did not add up, and the church up-held good scientific process on this matter.
We are talking about the folks that brought you the Gregorian calendar – still in use today! You don’t think it was easy to rip apart what Galileo had?
Cardinal Bellameny of the court put it best when he stated flat out he would accept Galileo’s view WHEN a correct proof that would not fail under math and science scrutiny.
Are you defending that the church should have accepted incorrect science and observations? Too funny! So now tables are reversed here and in public you supporting that the church should accept and promote incorrect science!
As I pointed out grade school children know the difference between a circle and ellipses.
Galileo could have pulled this off with better math and observations and let go of his crazy idea of planet going around in “perfect circles”, but he insisted on this idea of perfect circles – a huge deal breaker. (again: INSISTED on perfect circles).
What really got your pants twisted up is you been misinformed all these years about the Galileo affair, and you now dealing with the sobering knowledge that the church up-held good scientific process on this matter.
Hey, just like schools teach global warming, what you do expect from schools and the mainstream press on these matters?
Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 24, 2016 10:05 am

Small difference. The Catholic Church had declared the Copernican theory heresy because it did not place the earth at the center of the universe and stationary. Galileo avoided conviction by recanting while supposedly saying under his breath “yet it (the earth) moves”. He was subject to house arrest for the rest of his life.
The Copernican theory had wide acceptance at the time among scientists due to the development of the telescope, but was not openly admitted due fears of being accused of heresy.
Copernicus lived in Poland hundreds of years earlier. In Poland the Sejm did not allow the Catholic Church to hold trials and had Muslims, Jews, and Christians all living in relative peace with each other.

Reply to  GTL
March 24, 2016 2:14 pm

So a devout catholic priest named Copernicus went around teaching against his faith? Might as well publish a book on rape and murder!
And why during Copernicus’s time when the pope received a presentation on that system did the pope give the presenter a sizable gift?
The issue of banning a book has near ZERO to do with doctrine. The church can put a book on a restricted reading list because they might not like the person, or perhaps the funds from the book are being used for something they don’t like.
The idea that some restricted reading index turns into something that is a doctrine of the church is beyond silly.
Cardinal Belamny of the court stated that he would accept Galileo’s ideas when enough evidence and proper mathematical and scientific proof was given. The fact Cardinal Belamny was able to make in public such a statement of position tells you that the church did not and could not have nor convicted Galileo of hearsay. If it was a doctrine of the church, then ZERO wiggle room exists on this issue. Clearly from Copernicus to Cardinal Belmany, they made clear statements and actions that showed flexibility on this issue.
Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Reply to  GTL
March 25, 2016 6:14 pm

albertkallal March 24, 2016 at 2:14 pm
“So a devout catholic priest named Copernicus went around teaching against his faith? Might as well publish a book on rape and murder!
And why during Copernicus’s time when the pope received a presentation on that system did the pope give the presenter a sizable gift?
The issue of banning a book has near ZERO to do with doctrine. The church can put a book on a restricted reading list because they might not like the person, or perhaps the funds from the book are being used for something they don’t like.
The idea that some restricted reading index turns into something that is a doctrine of the church is beyond silly.”

You know what’s beyond silly? That you seem to think Copernicus was ready to publish in paperback.
Your time warp loop must have been sucked in by a tractor beam.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 24, 2016 10:30 am

But as is made clear in the transcript provided by Fraser, Galileo was punished for being “suspected” of heresy. Further, his book was banned for not aligning with the official position. So, we can argue about the relative difference between the modern meanings of “suspected” and “convicted,” but the fact remains that he was severely sanctioned for daring to go against The Church.
What this post is all about is how those daring to question the orthodoxy today are threatened with punishment without being convicted of a crime.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 24, 2016 2:15 pm

What do you mean, modern meaning of suspicious? A group of law 101 students wold be on the floor laughing at such a sentence.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 24, 2016 10:38 am

Sorry for repeating, this belongs here but appeared lower.
The Catholic Church had declared the Copernican theory heresy because it did not place the earth at the center of the universe and stationary. Galileo avoided conviction by recanting while supposedly wispering under his breath “yet it (the earth) moves”. He was subject to house arrest for the rest of his life.
The Copernican theory had wide acceptance at the time among scientists due to the development of the telescope, but was not openly admitted due to fears of being accused of heresy.
Copernicus lived in Poland hundreds of years earlier. In Poland the Sejm (legislative body) did not allow the Catholic Church to hold trials and had Muslim, Jewish, and Christian faiths all living in relative peace with each other.

Reply to  GTL
March 24, 2016 11:36 pm

Extremely simplistic. Facts:
1. Heresy usually meant war and was taken very seriously. Around that time you had the Alibgensians, Hussites, and Adamites, along with the Protestant Revolt. All involved bloodshed. (If you want to read some interesting history, check out the Adamites, who ran around naked.).
2. Galileo was wrong. Ironically the model popular at the time, the rather cumbersome epicycles model, could tell you the position of Jupiter three months from now at 11 p.m. while Galileo’s model could not. As stated, he did not use elliptical orbits.
3. It’s in the official record, the lead investigator of the Church stated that if he could come up with the math, the Church would change it’s position.
4. So you have a guy present a theory which contradicts what mankind always believed, which contradicts a perfectly accurate existing model, and ends up wrong in his predictions. Why would he be doing this?
So they find him “suspected” of heresy.

Reply to  GTL
March 25, 2016 7:33 am

But it didn’t, James. There were discrepancies between current models and reality, and best model was actually picked up by Copernicus (who did use epicycles, though Kepler realized that they resolved to ellipses). The heliocentric model was the only way to resolve these issues.
The church has admitted this tacitly by using Copericus’s data in their calendar reform.
Again, you have good points, but you are going to far in the other direction.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 24, 2016 11:21 am

The Church was in favor of the advance in science.

Now, not so much.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 24, 2016 12:22 pm

Paul Westhaver: March 24, 2016 at 9:32 am
“Galileo was not convicted of Heresy. He was suspected.”
Yes, that was the key point that really needed more discussion. Well done, Paul.
/sarc, obv.

george e. smith
Reply to  Sleepalot
March 25, 2016 8:35 am

Somewhere up there was a statement, presumably a factual one which stated: “he was suspected of spreading a heretical viewpoint” Doesn’t say he was “suspected of heresy”.
All of you experts who attended the trial, can YOU get your facts straight. Just what did happen ??

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 24, 2016 12:44 pm

The fact that the majority of science funding comes from Government is the problem.
The gov not only control the social narrative through media and PC, allowing debate but only in a very narrow scope, the scientific narrative is also controlled through funding, things the gov don’t want said in science they fund, doesn’t get said.
Inconvenient truths are anathema to Politics

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 24, 2016 1:18 pm

Don’t forget Westhaver, that Copernicus’s On the Revolutions was banned too.
Galileo was also accused of believing in atoms (which was considered heresy against the concept of communion) and offending people in high places. However, Copernicus had none of those side issues and was too dead to offend anyone.
There are extreme accusations against the church that are baseless, but you are going too far in the other direction.

johann wundersamer
Reply to  benofhouston
March 24, 2016 11:42 pm

Galileo should’nt get the money for the prints. The people would hear the story some other day- no exorbitant costs for people which aint’ got time for learning to spell.

johann wundersamer
Reply to  benofhouston
March 25, 2016 12:04 am

Same enthusiasm throughout the people as with Eulers ‘Letters to a prussian Princess’: few bought the Book, everybody discussed the new physics on the marketplace.

Reply to  Paul Westhaver
March 25, 2016 4:36 am

The Catholic Church killed off astronomy in countries ruled by the Pope’s edicts.
Thus, nearly ALL astronomic activity moved to Protestant countries and states where is was dominant for several hundred years. The building of observatories took off like a rocket in Protestant lands.

Reply to  emsnews
March 25, 2016 11:03 pm

Really, then just exactly who is the Georgian calendar named after?

March 24, 2016 9:39 am

Read this in the WSJ this morning and applaud the concept of a defense fund for free speech in climate science. It is simply absurd that this is necessary, but the need for a way for skeptics to pool resources has been lacking for too long. What about an outlet to fund skeptical research?

george e. smith
Reply to  GTL
March 24, 2016 9:55 am

Why feed the lawyers ??

Reply to  george e. smith
March 24, 2016 10:19 am

So unfair! It is only 90% of lawyers that give the other 10% a bad name.

Reply to  george e. smith
March 24, 2016 10:41 am

Because no one will defend free speech….for FREE?

george e. smith
Reply to  george e. smith
March 24, 2016 11:27 am

97% actually. Gotta be pedantic when talking about parasites; excuse me, I meant para-legality.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  GTL
March 24, 2016 9:25 pm

We have a law firm in my neck of the prairie which loves the sport of class action law suits against deep pocketed respondents. I have often wondered if there is a case against Warmists leading light liars. He gets interested around the 100,000,000.00 mark.

March 24, 2016 9:39 am

It’s worse than what they did to Galileo because Galileo wasn’t even tried for spreading the view that the Earth went around the sun, he was tried for making scientific claims he couldn’t back up and speaking as if they were unassailable truth anyway, as if he were a prophet. IOW he was tried for acting like the GW establishment, only he didn’t have the powerful friends they do.
(Galileo’s math was wrong and he had a major prediction provably untrue. There were other flaws in his model. Yet he spoke about it as if it were divine revelation. That’s what got him in trouble. The fact that he offended his old friend the Pope also played into it. There’s some good articles on it if anyone’s curious.)

Reply to  Dean Esmay (@deanesmay)
March 24, 2016 10:59 am

That is a good summary of the events. It was not the Church vs. Science trial that it is so often portrayed.
Even his patron had asked him to leave Rome before publishing that book, but Galileo was a megalomaniac, and thought he was untouchable. Turned out he was close to untouchable, as his only punishment was house arrest at his friends massive estate; and that was in the days were heretics were usually broken on the wheel (or some other gruesome end).
Speaking of errors in his model, he was convince of the perfect circles idea. So much so that he argued that comets were an optical illusion. Their highly elliptical orbit just couldn’t fit into his perfect circle theory. He stuck to this belief to such an extent that he ruined the career of other astronomers who argued that comets were in fact heavenly bodies traveling around the sun on an elliptical orbit.

Chip Javert
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
March 24, 2016 12:24 pm

you said: “…It was not the Church vs. Science trial that it is so often portrayed.”
The quote from the papal condemnation is “…you confessed as above, have rendered yourself in the judgment of this Holy Office vehemently suspected of heresy, namely, of having believed and held the doctrine—which is false and contrary to the sacred and divine Scriptures—that the Sun is the center of the world and does not move from east to west and that the Earth moves and is not the center of the world; and that an opinion may be held and defended as probably after it has been declared and defined to be contrary to the Holy Scripture; and that consequently you have incurred all the censures and penalties imposed and promulgated in the sacred canons and other constitutions, general and particular, against such delinquents. ..”.
That sure looks like the church being against BOTH science and Galileo.
Personally I do believe in a god, and I have no problem reconciling that to science. However, this is pseudo-religious crap from a bunch of guys (aka: cardinals); it is only of interest because those fools would kill you for stating the obvious.

Michael J. Dunn
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
March 24, 2016 12:53 pm

My understanding is that the observational sophistication of the time was inadequate to prove Galileo’s assertion. It would have taken parallax measurements of the stars to determine whether the Earth was moving relative to the Sun. (Observation of Jupiter’s moons means nothing in this context, since that configuration could still have been consistent with a heliocentric system.) He had the right idea, but that was an inspired hypothesis, not a discovered fact.
And, in the context of Roman Catholicism, it was probably heretical to imply that the the divinely infallible Pope was an idiot.
Also, the fixation on circular motion led to the innovation of epicycles, which were actually not bad approximations to the variation of movement resulting from elliptical orbits.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
March 24, 2016 1:21 pm

People are bound and determined to take the most negative view possible and just ignore any fact not convenient to the antireligious or anticatholic narrative. So be it. Too bad the piece had to be made about this rather than its actual contents.

george e. smith
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
March 24, 2016 1:25 pm

Well they are neither circles nor elliptical. Nothing real is either of those; close but no cigar. I think Mercury’s “orbit” is more of a “rose” than an ellipse. Dunno what the rate of precession of Mercury’s “perihelion” is, but its Newtonian error rate is 43 seconds of arc per century.

george e. smith
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
March 24, 2016 1:33 pm

I once read a book about all of the planetary epicycles, had all the parameters worked out and drawn. It was an old book; not a modern reconstruction. I believe it also had numbers for the density and compressibility of the ether, in order to transmit waves at the velocity of light.
I would have thought that in Galileo’s day the mathematical expertise, specially in geometry would have allowed a mathematician, without any observations to have unscrambled the epicycles, and shown them equivalent to a sun centered assemblage; and do it without ever asserting that the earth moved.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
March 24, 2016 4:45 pm

Galileo observed the phases of Venus. That proved Venus orbited the sun. By inference so must the rest of the planets. Tycho Brahe’s model with a fixed Earth, orbited by the sun which in turn was orbited by all the rest of the planets, saved the Biblical view of a fixed Earth. But it seriously failed the test of Ockham’s Razor relative to the Copernican model.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
March 24, 2016 9:36 pm

Pat Frank,
It’s not the “Biblical view”, it’s YOU claiming it is.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
March 25, 2016 5:57 pm

1 Chronicles 16:30: Tremble before him, all the earth! 
 The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
Psalm 93:1: The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
Psalm 96:10: Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.” 
 The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; 
 he will judge the peoples with equity.
Psalm 104:5:He set the earth on its foundations; 
 it can never be moved.
Job 9:6: He shakes the earth from its place 
 and makes its pillars tremble.
Psalm 75:3: When the earth and all its people quake, 
 it is I who hold its pillars firm
1 Samuel 2:8: “For the foundations (translated pillars in the ESV) of the earth are the LORD’s; 
 on them he has set the world.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
March 26, 2016 1:00 pm

You’re not suggesting the Earth is not firmly established . . are you Pat? Perhaps physics is not stressed in the Evolution field, but honest, it’s firmly established. Try moving it, and you’ll see ; )
~ He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. ~ (Job 26:7)

Reply to  Dean Esmay (@deanesmay)
March 24, 2016 5:44 pm

Offending the Pope was his real problem, the character in his book who was postulating the Pope’s views was Simplicio (the idiot). This was apparent to anyone who read it and this upset the Pope.

george e. smith
Reply to  Phil.
March 25, 2016 8:53 am

So I’m glad to find out I’m not the only person who read the book. Thanx Phil.

Jerry Kirkpatrick
March 24, 2016 9:46 am

Bravo! Perhaps the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) can be enlisted to help. Most of the scientists, after all, work on college campuses and it is their First Amendment and academic freedoms that are being threatened.

March 24, 2016 9:47 am

I concur that the cartoon version of the Galileo story needs to stop being used. The real story is a complex one and one that does not reflect badly on the Church.

Janice Moore
March 24, 2016 9:49 am

Thanks for the in-your-face p0rn graphic, Misters Rivkin and Grossman. It’s “art.” Right.
Oh! That was the point! Got it.
Congratulations! It worked.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
March 24, 2016 9:50 am

The point being: make women like me leave the room.

Reply to  Janice Moore
March 24, 2016 10:20 am

Or perhaps the point was to push someones trigger point.

Reply to  Janice Moore
March 24, 2016 10:23 am

I have a hard time understanding what’s offense about the graphic. Are you really that offended by it?

Reply to  Janice Moore
March 24, 2016 10:25 am

“Women like you”? What is that, an über-prude? Do you avert your eyes when walking through the Louvre or MOMA in NYC too?

Reply to  Janice Moore
March 24, 2016 10:29 am

Aren’t you a bit sensitive here?

george e. smith
Reply to  Janice Moore
March 24, 2016 10:30 am

Slow down Janice; I’m leaving with you. “Art” seems to be whatever you think you can get away with.
Well way back when, wasn’t any different than today. In music, painting, writing whatever, most of what was produced was absolute trash back then, and it is still trash today. The reason we remark on the geniuses of the Arts worlds, is that their work demonstrates how truly trashy the rest of the bulk of such stuff is.
My local high profile name brand “classical” music station spends the whole day playing and replaying, bleeding chunks of significant music works, while wasting most of their listener’s time on obscure ancient junk by equally obscure persons; most of which deserves all the obscurity it can muster and then some. They have even (once) being a “no advertising” station stopped in the middle of a Brahms Symphony to play one of their advertisements. Well they do advertise their station all day long.
I have a standard test for musical junk. After listening to some mystery piece (usually ending in a vowel) and wondering why they are playing this, I simply hum a few bars of “Eine kleine Nachtmusik”, and then I try to hum ANY theme or tune from the previous mystery rendition.
Works every time; I can never recover any semblance of something musical from most of that trash, even right after listening carefully to it.
Some of the station’s favorite bleeding chunks. Vivaldi’s “one season” , Holst’s “Jupiter jollity”, Smetana’s “Moldau”. My all time favorite chunk is Elgar’s “#9”. The cognoscenti will recognize that as from Elgar’s Enigma Variations.
If they don’t like existing pieces of music that are too long for their attention span, why don’t they just write their own short pieces, and play those
G Sorry for the ramble.

Thomas Homer
Reply to  Janice Moore
March 24, 2016 10:39 am

Please don’t leave the room Janice, I enjoy reading your astute and pithy comments.
Here, I’ll add my Galileo tidbit in this response. Amazingly, Galileo did not make the gravitational connection that the moon influences the oceanic tides on Earth. He theorized that the tidal changes were due to sloshing of the oceans caused by Earth’s movement of orbit and rotation. Imagine the hysteria that a scientific consensus of Global Sloshing could have on human endeavors. How could we allow for the massive movement of mass of a freight train that could lead to untold calamities as it increased the devastating potential of runaway GLOBAL SLOSHING.

Reply to  Janice Moore
March 24, 2016 10:42 am

Oh grow up, Janice.

Reply to  Janice Moore
March 24, 2016 10:48 am


Reply to  Janice Moore
March 24, 2016 10:25 am

Which offends you more, the violence or the naked body?

Reply to  Janice Moore
March 24, 2016 10:36 am

I understand your point of view, but you cannot assume that your reaction was “the point” the image was intended to make. It’s also possible that Anthony chose the image as a header to the article that follows and not the authors themselves.
The standard, legal definition of p0rn involves: “scenes of s3xual behavior that are erotic or lewd and designed to arouse s3xual interest.” And while I am sure there are people who view images depicting torture as erotic, I believe society still views such people as deviants.
If it was a picture of a naked, or semi naked man being tortured, or painfully executed, would you still have labeled it p0rn? Because if you would, then I suggest avoiding almost every Christian Church building on the planet. ( And I mean that, and the rest of my words here with gentleness and all sincerity)

Chip Javert
Reply to  Janice Moore
March 24, 2016 12:36 pm

Not your usual quality (or tone) of response.

Reply to  Janice Moore
March 24, 2016 1:07 pm

You really don’t want to see some of the Inquisition pictures that I’ve seen. This one is rather tame.

Reply to  rw
March 24, 2016 6:50 pm

Yeah they had unlimited pain creativity back then, made water boarding look like a swim in the pool.

Chris Z.
March 24, 2016 9:57 am

If the transcript linked by Steve Fraser above approaches being a correct translation of the original, the more recent attempts to whitewash the church’s position, and to claim that there were “other”, better justifiable reasons to condemn Galileo, must be seen as barefaced lies – exemplified here by the wrong assertion of Dean Esmay that G. “wasn’t tried for spreading the view that the Earth went around the sun” (which indeed _was_ one of two accusations central to his condemnation), as well as Paul Westhaver’s hand-waving. Let’s call a spade a spade: The simple story as reflected in the head post is (as usual one might say) closer to the historical facts than later historians’ attempts to explain it away. Beware of “interpretations”, read the sources! In church history just as much as in Climate Science….

Steve Case
Reply to  Chris Z.
March 24, 2016 10:16 am

Chris Z. March 24, 2016 at 9:57 am
Beware of “interpretations”, read the sources! In church history just as much as in Climate Science….

B I N G O !
Yes, the raw data and observations versus the models and scare mongering.

Reply to  Chris Z.
March 24, 2016 10:29 am

Well said. I don’t think the authors were attempting a historical treatise there and were simply using a commonly held classical perception of authoritarian scientific persecution to illustrate a point. That we are now facing this rabid blend of institutionalised Lysenkoism and McCarthyism is a pretty frightening thing and I’m not much in the mood for stupid irrelevant historical pedantry.

Reply to  cephus0
March 24, 2016 10:53 am

“History repeats itself because no one was listening the first time.”

george e. smith
Reply to  Chris Z.
March 24, 2016 1:38 pm

Well Galilean science or not; it seems that “The Church” was plenty capable of delivering true misery to quite a lot of persons in those times.
Don’t use the Galileo story to unplug the whole swamp.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Chris Z.
March 24, 2016 9:46 pm

If I understand correctly the Church used models that “proved” that the earth was the centre of God’s universe. In order to defend this obvious “truth” they felt it was necessary to punish those who saw things differently or observed discrepancies with the Church’s “correct” model. Any apparent similarity with modern global warming inquisitors is entirely coincidental or else God’s honest truth. Those models were right! Weren’t they?

March 24, 2016 10:23 am


Reply to  kim
March 24, 2016 10:25 am

Compels curiosity and caricature.

March 24, 2016 10:27 am

The initial lawsuit citation in the article leaves out the estimable Mark Steyn, who continues to fight this legal battle in the best way possible – pushing for discovery.

March 24, 2016 10:30 am

The Catholic Church had declared the Copernican theory heresy because it did not place the earth at the center of the universe and stationary. Galileo avoided conviction by recanting while supposedly wispering under his breath “yet it (the earth) moves”. He was subject to house arrest for the rest of his life.
The Copernican theory had wide acceptance at the time among scientists due to the development of the telescope, but was not openly admitted due to fears of being accused of heresy.
Copernicus lived in Poland hundreds of years earlier. In Poland the Sejm (legislative body) did not allow the Catholic Church to hold trials and had Muslim, Jewish, and Christian faiths all living in relative peace with each other.

March 24, 2016 10:41 am

Everyone goes on about Galileo, but what about Giordano Bruno who was actually burned at the stake in 1600 in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori on trumped up charges.
If ever in Rome go to Campo de’ Fiori and pay homage to the man who lost his life for case of science.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  vukcevic
March 24, 2016 11:14 am

You ought to be more cautious regarding your supporting evidence. No wonder you try Dr. S’ patience. The article you linked to makes it ABUNDANTLY CLEAR that Bruno was burned for heresy, not for being a Copernican. The list of charges mentioned in the article don’t even touch on Copernican theory, which wasn’t even condemned by the Church until 16 years AFTER Bruno’s death! Feh! on your scholarship!

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
March 24, 2016 11:42 am

Nonsense. I linked to first article Google came across to check the year of his death, god knows who wrote the wikipedia article, which I didn and will not bother to read.
Here is Britannica, hopefully more realistic
I need not read that either because Bruno was in my university lectures (heard in the same University theatre where Milankovic held his lectures some decades earlier), and that is good enough for me.
Why do you think good catholic citizens of papal city of Rome erected thiscomment image
statue to Bruno in Campo de’ Fiori, just because he defied pope and the church?
Bruno was and is a true hero of medieval science, you may not like it, but that was cruel and tragic reality of the middle ages.
Good day to you, sir.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
March 24, 2016 12:09 pm

You are the poster-child for “invincible ignorance”. Your second link does you no more service than your first, although why you are so proud of having examined neither escapes me. Only a fool boasts of his ignorance. And it wasn’t “the good catholic citizens” who put up the statue, it was the Freemasons.

On April 20, 1884, Pope Leo XIII published the encyclical Humanum genus. As a response, the Freemasons decided to create a statue of the pantheist Giordano Bruno.

You should go back to your university and study Rhetoric. You are in desperate need of instruction.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
March 24, 2016 12:13 pm

p.s. Galileo lived comfortable life in Florentine villa, overlooking the royal palaces, and finally denounced his science (very wise decision). Bruno wandered from one European city to another, lectured at Universities and places of learning in order to earn living.
He, same as Galileo was asked to denounced his theories, but he refused (not so wise decision) and paid with his life for his convictions. If you are interested in history of science, try to find out more about Bruno, forerunner of modern thinking in number of aspects; cosmology, ethics, philosophy and religion if you wish, anone can only gain by knowing of Bruno.
Mr/Ms Hawkins, I do not desire to expand this discussion to personality, mine or anyone’s else.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
March 24, 2016 1:09 pm

I apologize for my intemperance. Blame my Irish heritage, if you wish. And it’s “Mr.”, if that matters.
No one even today can be a pantheist and claim to be a good Catholic. You might as well call yourself a radish; that won’t make you one. Bruno denied: Eternal Damnation, Transubstantiation, the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the Incarnation, and the virginity of Mary. He pretty much covered all the bases. It is sufficient that he would not recant these heresies. Grafting on the mantle of “Martyr to Science” postmortem is an affectation of the 19th and 20th centuries.

george e. smith
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
March 24, 2016 1:46 pm

Don’t see ANY reference in Vuk’s post about Bruno being burned for being a Copernican. Where did you read that ??
I take it that heresy is anything the church didn’t like, and that would perhaps include adhering to a Copernican theory.
So you are suggesting (are you) that Copernican theory per se was NOT heretical ??
I don’t read Wikipedia but maybe it was they who said that Copernicanism was not heresy, or whatever it was that Vuk didn’t say, that lit your fuze.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
March 24, 2016 2:53 pm

Hi big G, thanks for your remarks.
Trials of Bruno and Galileo on face of it may appear to be for their theological proclamations, but in reality they were strait forward ‘show trials’. The basic premise of a ‘show trials’ is that the home grown enemy has to be crushed by the force of the legal system application, a theory practised in many totalitarian systems to the present day.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
March 24, 2016 3:25 pm

Mr. Hawkins
I don’t think it is possible to discuss religion or politics at a widely red blog as this one is, without offending many (or even very many) people. It is of no interest to me whatsoever what did Galileo or Bruno think or said about the matters you itemized, the things I know very little about. It is their writings on matter of science that I am interested in and admire. I have visited Galileo museum in Florence of two occasions and ‘studied’ each item exhibited with lot of interest, I have walked up to his Florentine hillside house, but that doesn’t mean that by admiring Galileo’s greatness we should ignore and forget Giordano Bruno, who did burn after all.

Reply to  vukcevic
March 24, 2016 3:32 pm

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “Bruno was not condemned for his defense of the Copernican system of astronomy, nor for his doctrine of the plurality of inhabited worlds, but for his theological errors, among which were the following: that Christ was not God but merely an unusually skillful magician, that the Holy Ghost is the soul of the world, that the Devil will be saved, etc.” For more details see Catholic Encyclopedia at

Reply to  kaykiser
March 24, 2016 4:37 pm

also : “One thing at least is certain: instead of the 100,000 and more years formerly given, the age of mankind may with much greater probability be placed at about 10,000 years as the mean approximation.”

Reply to  vukcevic
March 25, 2016 9:27 pm

Burned at the stake. Think of that for a moment. Yeah yeah brutal times … but still the act alone is chilling. In the wiki link I read that a Cardinal as recently as 2000 defended the decision. That’s shocking.

Reply to  knutesea
March 26, 2016 1:13 pm

And for what? Not for a mass murder, not even for a single murder, not a rape or embezzling church money or burning down a monastery, but just for expressing his views on the universe and religion.
Fortunately piaca Campo de’ Fiori is far happier place nowadays, vegetable market in the mornings, but in the evenings numerous restaurants and coffee bars frequented mostly by young people, some using Bruno’s statue as a meeting place. href=”,12.4721174,3a,71.3y,140.67h,94.44t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1s-FUQE1Uqbxog%2FVjPgNJGFjGI%2FAAAAAAAAVfQ%2Fsxns7YdHx7k0jVZ7K9AewA3-HJHJWUJKw!2e4!3e11!!7i8704!8i4352!6m1!1e1″> (see here 3D panoramic view) Young people free to say and write for whatever they wish.

Reply to  vukcevic
March 26, 2016 1:32 pm

Yes, free … for now. Unfortunately, I fear that Italy is in the front lines of an immigrant fueled Trojan horse. This will not end well and will overwhelm the formal authorities. Trends like these create fertile ground for all kinds of neer do wells including organized crime.
Btw, can’t open the link you sent.

Michael Oxenham
March 24, 2016 10:47 am

Censorship is alive and well at the Veterinary Record. This is my letter in response to an editorial in the VR which urged members of the profession to encourage their farmer clients to eat less meat, which would help to stop global warming. Almost unbelievable if you did not see it. It makes me wonder whether it was based on the Editor’s own ideological reasons. There has been a history of this going back about 8 years.
The Editor
Veterinary Record
30 November 15
Dear Sir
Are we a Science-based Profession?
I feel bound to ask this question after reading the VR Editorial Comment (28th November). This stated, in effect, that the profession was in a good position to support the IPCC’s dogma on catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW), due to man’s emission of so-called greenhouse gases (mainly CO2 and CH4). There was a similar editorial (VR 5th October 2013) entitled “Curbing Emissions”, which was a response to the IPCC AR5 report. My letter was published (9th November 2013), in which I commented that “there was no published empirical data or verifiable experiments that suggested either of the gasses (CO2 and CH4) had ever caused or driven global warming”. I also suggested that curbing these emissions will have no measurable effect on global temperatures and the ‘economic effects’ are dubious. Recently Dr Patrick Moore, Ecologist (2015) gave a lecture in which he produced robust evidence which suggested that, far from causing CAGW, more CO2 would be highly beneficial to the biosphere and agricultural crops.
In order to clarify the scientific method, I need to refer to Dr Craig Idso and others (2013), quote, “The hypothesis implicit in all IPCC writings is that dangerous global warming is resulting, or will result, from human-related greenhouse gas emissions. In considering any such hypothesis, an alternative and null hypothesis must be entertained, which is the simplest hypothesis consistent with the known facts. The null hypothesis is that the currently observed changes in global climate indices and the physical environment, as well as current changes in animal and plant characteristics, are the result of natural variability. To invalidate this null hypothesis requires, at a minimum, direct evidence of human causation of specific changes that lie outside usual, natural variability. Unless and until such evidence is adduced, the null hypothesis is assumed to be correct”. I respectfully suggest, therefore, that the 28th November Leader does not follow the scientific method which was well defined by Popper (1965). If we are a science-based profession, it would make no sense to support the IPCC’s pseudo-scientific political dogma.
There are other disquieting aspects. Dr Tim Ball (2014) makes a compelling case that climate science has been, quote, “deliberately corrupted by deceptions, misinformation, manipulation of records and misapplying the scientific method and research”. Much of this is also revealed in the emails from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in November 2009, which have been fully recorded and analysed by Andrew Montford (2012). He shows, regrettably, evidence of international malpractice.
One of the main platforms of the IPCC hypothesis is its reliance on un-validated Global Climate Models (aka General Circulation Models) in projecting global temperatures about 100 years ahead. Global climate is far too complex and chaotic for GCMs ever to be programmed correctly. Furthermore many of the known natural factors affecting the global climate have been omitted from the GCMs. It is not surprising, therefore, that the projections made for the last 20 years differ wildly from the actual lower troposphere temperatures as shown by the RSS (Monckton 2015) and UAH (Spencer 2015) datasets. Both of these show there has been no statistical rise in global temperatures for nearly 20 years.
One is bound to wonder whether the Leader Comment exhorting us to “raise awareness of our clients to these issues” of a pseudo-scientific myth, will soon ask us to raise awareness of the importance of homoeopathy.
MOORE, P., (2015) GWPF Lecture
IDSO, C.D., CARTER, R.M., SINGER,S.F., (2013) Climate Change Reconsidered ll. Physical Science.
POPPER, K., (1965) Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge.2nd Edition: Harper and Row.
BALL, T., (2014) The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science. Stairway Press.
MONTFORD, A., (2012) Hiding the Decline. Anglosphere Books
MONCKTON, C., (2015) RSS Dataset
SPENCER, R., (2015) UAH Dataset
Yours sincerely
Michael Oxenham

Reply to  Michael Oxenham
March 24, 2016 11:10 am

Did they respond to that Michael?

D. J. Hawkins
March 24, 2016 10:51 am

Am I the only one sick to death of contributors who constantly post links to paywalled content, especially their own work? I understand if it’s a scientific journal, but I am not now nor do I want to be a subscriber to the Wall Street Journal. TWTW is a constant repeat offender in this regard.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
March 24, 2016 11:22 am

You are not alone. What is TWTW??

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Bubba Cow
March 24, 2016 11:39 am

The weekly production of Climate Energy and News Roundup by the Science and Environmental Policy Project; a sort of CAGW week-in-review that appears on this site regularly.

Reply to  Bubba Cow
March 24, 2016 11:52 am

the week that was – got it, thanks

Chip Javert
Reply to  Bubba Cow
March 24, 2016 12:28 pm

I second the feeling. At least preface the link with a “$” sign…

george e. smith
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
March 24, 2016 2:19 pm

Well I also (like you) don’t mind being given a reference to a paywalled scientific journal, and I also don’t subscribe to WSJ. But at least I know where to go to get to the original peer reviewed information if I want to. Often don’t want to, and if I do, I first write to one of the authors and request a reprint of their paper. Never once been turned down, and never had to pay.
TWTW is a regular reporter on climate related matters with people like Professor Emeritus Dr. Fred Singer. They post a lot of stuff in a relatively small message, and I can go and get whatever I want from that; or nothing at all if I’m not inclined.
But the alternative to paywalled peer reviewed science journal papers is MSM balderdash interpretations of what the science papers actually say.
I would like a dollar for every science/technology article published anywhere in the MSM, where I had personal first hand inside knowledge of the specific issues being written or spoken of (TV and radio media) where they got it WRONG.
Once it gets to the second edition (the first MSM to respond to the PR release), is is almost always garbled beyond recognition.
The one thing that NO MSM reporting medium or person understands, is that scientific terms have specific scientific meanings that are usually different from colloquial common language usage meanings, and cannot be substituted willy nilly for each other without turning the scientific content into garbage.
I once write a Tutorial paper for an Electronics Industry journal, that was a rewrite of a Company published application note, on a very specific aspect of a new technology.
Of necessity, that tutorial paper included scientific technical terms with highly specific internationally defined scientific meanings. It so happened that each such term also had 57 common daily usage names for common street usage.
The editor rewrote the paper, and everywhere one of these terms was used by me, he haphazardly replaced every one of them but the first usage, with street synonyms that have no such scientific meaning.
Then he sent me his draft for final approval, and asked me to check it for “Scientific Accuracy”.
I wrote him back: “My paper was scientifically accurate as I wrote it; your edited version is total balderdash.”
The journal published my original paper verbatim; even including all the commas. The editor apologized, and we were friends for life after that.
That is a problem that US voters are facing these days. It is virtually impossible for any factual information that is given to the MSM people to survive even the first editorial intrusion. The result is the public always gets total BS trash.

March 24, 2016 11:01 am

Is the picture supposed to represent Michael Mann (pre-hair loss) and Judith Curry?

March 24, 2016 11:03 am

Researched this a bit. Rivkin and Grossman are both litigation/appelate practice partners at BakerHostetler in DC. They are not cheap. Either this is a firm approved pro bono project for them, or they will have had to have already secured major (possibly contingent) financial backing. The project website indicates what services are offered, but nothing about backing or ability to make financial contributions. Hard to know whether this is more Baker client prospecting or real help offers despite appearing in WSJ opinion section today.

Ivor Ward
March 24, 2016 11:06 am

Talk about playing the fiddle while Rome burns. I cannot believe you are so up your own fundaments that the only thing you take from this post is whether Galileo was or was not tried/ convicted/ released for heresy/ blasphemy/ stealing lollies from children. It is like watching a bunch of old ladies in an old folks home arguing about the colour of the table cloth.
Get over it! The Climate catastrophists are walking to the finish line while you argue about irrelevancies. Did we lose? Dunno. We were too busy wrangling over a missing apostrophe.

Reply to  Ivor Ward
March 24, 2016 12:31 pm

Well said.

Reply to  Ivor Ward
March 24, 2016 2:35 pm

Yes, it’s unfortunate the authors led off with the case of Galileo, which though interesting in its own right, led the Comments completely off the topic at hand, which is: How are we going to combat the sinister aims of the modern theocrats of the Climate Cult to supress free speech and scientific inquiry?
/Mr Lynn

Pat Frank
Reply to  L. E. Joiner
March 24, 2016 7:07 pm

Every time Galileo is mentioned with reference to his persecution, the same people jump in to exculpate the Catholic Church, and then the discussion, whatever it was, gets derailed into the same argument.

March 24, 2016 11:09 am

“Democrats routinely accuse Republicans of being ‘anti-science'”
Not to mention people who are affiliated with neither party because they are disgusted with the political ideologies of both, as well as with those of the climate “science” camp.
The next time you hear a person use the “anti-science” ad hominem, ask the following question: Would you book a flight on a plane if its ability to take off, fly and land safely was as unreliable as weather forecasts more than 10 days out? In other words, ask to compare the reliability of the conclusions from the sciences of aerodynamics and materials with those from meteorology.
The person will, of course, immediately try to evade your question. But the implication is nevertheless true: some sciences are much less reliable than others and thus form a very poor basis for expensive public policy decisions. Any person who denies that is either a fool or dishonest (or both).

Michael J. Dunn
Reply to  RalphDaveWestfall
March 24, 2016 1:05 pm

Roger that. Here’s a maneuver that only some of us can use, but–what the hey!–it’s worth using if you have a degree in science, mathematics, or engineering:–
“Well I’M a scientist…what are YOU? An ignoramus?”
(Since they probably will not be a scientist, they will find it awkward to answer, because the “anti-science” meme is based on the idea that if one is not a scientist, one is necessarily an ignoramus.)
Yes, it is probably not the best example of Christian charity, but it is not un-Christian to rebuke a fool.

Clovis Marcus
Reply to  Michael J. Dunn
March 25, 2016 7:39 am

Are you advocating the logical fallacy of argument from authority?

george e. smith
Reply to  Michael J. Dunn
March 25, 2016 9:02 am

Is arguing from a position of total ignorance also a logical fallacy ??

Michael J. Dunn
Reply to  Michael J. Dunn
March 25, 2016 10:01 am

Clovis: No, I’m illustrating the fallacy of argument from authority by using argumentum ad absurdum. If the warmists want to hold an absurd premise, they are welcome to its fruits when it is applied against them. (I’m a big believer in the principle of reciprocity.) Hopefully, the less dim-witted will sullenly think “Uh, I’m not a scientist, but I don’t think I am ignorant. Oh, wait! Maybe that means that other non-scientists are not ignorant…?”
George: What? I think what you are touching on is covered by the witticism, “It’s not even wrong.” One does not have to ponder the presence of fallacy. Such argument is simply “ignorant.” Where there are no valid premises, logic is irrelevant.

Clovis Marcus
Reply to  Michael J. Dunn
March 25, 2016 6:19 pm

I apologise. I misunderstood your response.

March 24, 2016 11:18 am

The pendulum swings. When it reaches its extreme positions almost everyone recognizes that things have gone too far. I fervently hope we have reached that point.
Here’s a link to a story about Princeton students standing up against political correctness.
Here’s a zinger from HeterodoxAcademy:

At a California college, students had to go to court to vindicate their right to distribute copies of the Constitution on Constitution Day.

Folks are starting to fight back.

The same administrations that once embraced campus speech codes are now releasing robust statements defending free speech. In the wake of the Yiannopoulos incident, the President of Rutgers University put out a statement defending the right of students to invite “offensive” speakers to campus, defending the “right to speak freely” as “fundamental to our university, our society, and our nation.” link

It takes a lot to make a university administrator grow a spine.

William Astley
March 24, 2016 11:19 am

I completely support the assertion that free speech is a fundamental right that is necessary to stop fascism in its many forms. The fascists believe that their beliefs are true regardless of logic and reason. The fascists believe that lies and suppression of opposition are permissible if it supports their greater ‘good’.
I also support the assertions that are deep fundamental problems associated with the field of climate research, climate modeling, and climate predictions. The manifold of inappropriate climate data adjustments and manipulation is only one of the many observations that support that assertion.
The cult of CAGW has become part of the liberal doctrine which is sacrosanct. To present logic and evidence that disproves CAGW is to be a denier.

… And in order that a doctrine so pernicious might be wholly rooted out and not insinuate itself further to the grave prejudice of Catholic truth, a decree was issued by the Holy Congregation of the Index prohibiting the books which treat of this doctrine and declaring the doctrine itself to be false and wholly contrary to the sacred and divine Scripture.

…But whereas it was desired at that time to deal leniently with you, it was decreed at the Holy Congregation held before His Holiness on the twenty-fifth of February, 1616, that his Eminence the Lord Cardinal Bellarmine should order you to abandon altogether the said false doctrine and, in the event of your refusal, that an injunction should be imposed upon you by the Commissary of the Holy Office to give up the said doctrine and not to teach it to others, not to defend it, nor even to discuss it; and your failing your acquiescence in this injunction, that you should be imprisoned. In execution of this decree, on the following day at the palace of and in the presence of the Cardinal Bellarmine, after being gently admonished by the said Lord Cardinal, the command was enjoined upon you by the Father Commissary of the Holy Office of that time, before a notary and witnesses, that you were altogether to abandon the said false opinion and not in the future to hold or defend or teach it in any way whatsoever, neither verbally nor in writing; and upon your promising to obey, you were dismissed.

The planets revolve about the sun and more than a dozen different observations and analysis results support the assertion that the warming in the last 150 years was caused by solar cycle changes rather than the increase in atmospheric CO2. Furthermore there are half a dozen observations that support the assertion that no less than 66% of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 is due to the warming of the oceans and increased release of very low C13 CH4 from the deep earth.comment image
If the above assertions are correct global warming is reversible if there is a change in the solar cycle. It is a fact that there are cycles of warming and cooling (sometimes abrupt cooling) in the paleo climatic record that correlate to solar cycle changes. There continues to be observational support for the assertion that the solar cycle has been interrupted.

Michael J. Dunn
Reply to  William Astley
March 24, 2016 12:58 pm

I read this somewhere in the work of Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn:
“One word of truth shall outweigh the world.”
Always believe it.

Reply to  William Astley
March 24, 2016 2:10 pm

William Ast[ro]l[og]y
Yes the Pacific SST map does show marked cooling especially at high latitude. Don’t expect to see these blue areas for much longer. Even if cooling continues, the activists controlling this dataset will probably quite soon succumb – again – to the temptation to change the baseline map for ocean SSTs, so that it will return to reassuring and politically correct reds and yellows.

William Astley
Reply to  belousov
March 24, 2016 5:47 pm

In reply to belousov
It is not possible to hide significant planetary cooling. The public and media will demand an explanation for what is happening.
The reprieve we saw in the start of cooling was caused by increased solar wind bursts. The solar wind bursts create a space charge differential in the ionosphere which in turn causes there to be a current flow from high latitude regions to the equatorial regions. The current flow changes cloud properties at both locations which causes warming.
The highest sea ice in record history in the Antarctic and the recover of sea in the Arctic was the sign of the first start in cooling. The cooling was interrupted by the solar wind bursts which in turn was caused by extraordinarily large and weak coronal holes.

Jonathan T. Overpeck and Julia E. Cole
….Abrupt shifts between warm and cold states punctuate the interval between 20 to 75 ka) in the Greenland isotope record, with shifts of 5–15C occurring in decades or less (Figure 1). These alternations were identified in some of the earliest ice core isotopic studies [e.g., (22)] and were replicated and more precisely dated by subsequent work (23). Further analysis of diverse records has distinguished two types of millennial events (13). Dansgaard/Oeschger (D/O) events are alternations between warm (interstadial) and cold (stadial) states that recur approximately every 1500 years, although this rhythm is variable. Heinrich events are intervals of extreme cold contemporaneous with intervals of ice-rafted detritus in the northern North Atlantic (24–26); these recur irregularly on the order of ca. 10,000 years apart and are typically followed by the warmest D/O interstadials.
Both Heinrich and D/O events exhibit clear global impacts. These patterns have been summarized in several studies [e.g., (26, 34)]. Although the pattern of influence appears to differ between these types of anomaly, a clear interpretation of these differences, particularly in terms of distinguishing physical mechanisms, has not been developed. As Hemming (26) notes, different global patterns of impact may simply reflect proxy-specific or site-specific limitations such as sensitivity and response time. In general, however, a cold North Atlantic corresponds with a colder, drier Europe, weaker Asian summer monsoon, saltier northwestern tropical Pacific, drier northern South America, colder/wetter western North America, cooler eastern subtropical Pacific, and warmer South Atlantic and Antarctic. Table 1 summarizes the main impacts of a cold North Atlantic (stadial) on key regions and systems. …..
Cold-climate abrupt change occurs with a characteristic timescale of appro.1500 years, a feature that must be explained by any proposed mechanism. North Atlantic and the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) records exhibit a period of approx.1470 years (64, 65). However, the adjacent ice core isotope record from the Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) site exhibits periods closer to 1670 and 1130–1330 years, which is in agreement with the independently dated record from Hulu Cave (49, 66). Time series studies generally converge on a picture of a noisy climate system paced by a regular, perhaps external, forcing, with the sensitivity of the system to the forcing varying depending on background conditions or stochastic variability [e.g., (67– 69)]. Solar forcing, although subtle, is the leading candidate for external forcing and has been found to be consistent with either a 1450–1470–year period (70, 71) or the 1667- and 1130-year periods (66).
The roots of modern paleoclimatology have origins in studies of late Holocene climate variability in, and around, the eastern North Atlantic. The so-called Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Ages are etched into both the climate change literature and popular imagination. We now know that parts of Earth were nearly as warm as the mid-twentieth century between AD1000 to 1100 and that this generally warmer period was followed by colder temperatures at least in the Northern Hemisphere before giving way to the unprecedented global warming of the twentieth century (76–79).

Reply to  belousov
March 24, 2016 7:41 pm

@ William Astley March 24, 2016 at 5:47 pm
In reply to belousov “… It is not possible to hide significant planetary cooling. The public and media will demand an explanation for what is happening. …”
No, they just insist all the more that it’s CO2 induced “global warming” inducing the catch-all of “extreme weather”, and this is a sure ‘undeniable’ sign of “climate-change”, and that it is far worse than we’d ever thought possible. so now we must dig deep and give far more money than we ever thought we could possibly come up with, so they can save us.
And they’ve already proven time an again that this approach to crime does actually pay.

March 24, 2016 11:19 am

“The Climate Inquisition began with Michael Mann’s 2012 lawsuit against critics of his “hockey stick” research—a holy text to climate alarmists. The suggestion that Prof. Mann’s famous diagram showing rapid recent warming was an artifact of his statistical methods, rather than an accurate representation of historical reality, was too much for the Penn State climatologist and his acolytes to bear.”
I think the war against real and honest science in the USA began long, long before 2012, but I take the point that the latest round concerning climate “science” began with “Dr.” Mann’s suit against any criticism of his idiotic hockey stick. We are a long way from his publication but I seemed to have missed any full release of all data and methods required to be science. How can the results be replicated without full disclosure?
In a sane world of real science, “Dr.” Mikey Mann would have been stripped of his PhD and drummed out of academia. Instead, groups pay him to give inane talks about his con-artist work with one or two trees. My, my.

Reply to  markstoval
March 24, 2016 11:28 am

The ‘dangerous AGW’ scare is based on misinformation, and the perpetrators will use any tactic to advance their agenda.
Now it’s getting even worse than Mann’s pseudo-science. There’s technology in use that allows those behind the scenes to control facial expressions in real time.
You cannot even trust what your eyes see any more when electronics are involved.

Reply to  dbstealey
March 24, 2016 4:03 pm

The saying used to go “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.” With data manipulation, computer models and other electronic adjustments, it should now read “Don’t believe anything you hear or see until you verify it with multiple reliable sources.”

Reply to  dbstealey
March 24, 2016 4:13 pm

I should add that the Apple iPhone has an app that allows users to sound exactly like the President, among others.

Reply to  markstoval
March 25, 2016 7:56 am

The lawsuit doesn’t refer to criticism of the paper it refers to accusations of ‘fraud’. Mann didn’t sue Mc & Mc for their criticism of the statistical method for example.

Reply to  Phil.
March 25, 2016 9:19 am

It is obviously fr**d. Otherwise why not publish all data and methods? He used a few cherry picked trees to attempt to overturn all of the climate record previously known. Now he will not proceed with the case because “Dr.” Mann knows that we will be shown for the con-artist he is.

March 24, 2016 11:38 am

The new Center of Witch Burning Excellence will be located in Rhode Island, home of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. Funding for the new Center will be provided by the Obama Justice Dept.

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Resourceguy
March 24, 2016 2:02 pm


george e. smith
Reply to  Resourceguy
March 24, 2016 2:36 pm

Are you telling me that science pooh-bah extraordinaire Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is actually half of the Senate contribution of the Great State of Rhode Island ?
Does he know that his whole State that he represents, can fit in 20 different non-overlapping places in the Arctic National Wild Life Refuge in Alaska, and that those nasty big oil companies would like to drill in ANWR and chew up about 0.20 % of the land area of Rhode Island while they are at it (but in Alaska, not RI).
Rhode Island has been well deserved obscurity, ever since Dennis Connor lost the Americas Cup to Australia, and thus got the cup out of both New York, and Rhode Island. That is just about the most brilliant sporting coup in the history of sports.

Science or Fiction
March 24, 2016 11:39 am

So Sheldon Whitehouse called on the Justice Department to bring charges against those behind a:
“coordinated strategy” to spread heterodox views on global warming
On the other side Sheldon Whitehouse is perfectly fine with a:
“coordinated strategy” to spread orthodox views on global warming.
There can be no doubt that United Nations IPCC is dominated by a political process, and not a scientific process. Besides, IPCC was heavily biased from the very beginning.
United Nations, the pope, Obama, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse etc. are the ones who are performing the racketeering.
“A racket is a service that is fraudulently offered to solve a problem, such as for a problem that does not actually exist, that will not be put into effect, or that would not otherwise exist if the racket did not exist. Conducting a racket is racketeering.”

Reply to  Science or Fiction
March 24, 2016 4:23 pm

Science or Fiction,
That graphic leaves something out. IPCC lead authors can totally change what the scientists under them write. For example:
Each of the statements below are from the experts’ ‘reviewed and approved’ language in Chapter 8 of the 1996 IPCC Report. But they were deleted by the lead author, Ben Santer:
1. “None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.”
2. “While some of the pattern-based studies discussed here have claimed detection of a significant climate change, no study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed] to [man-made] causes. Nor has any study quantified the magnitude of a greenhouse gas effect or aerosol effect in the observed data-an issue of primary relevance to policy makers.”
3.”Any claims of positive detection and attribution of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced.”
4.”While none of these studies has specifically considered the attribution issue, they often draw some attribution conclusions, for which there is little justification.”
5.”When will an anthropogenic effect on climate be identified? It is not surprising that the best answer to this question is, “We do not know.”

Santer deleted those findings, and inserted his own language:
“The body of statistical evidence in Chapter 8, when examined in the context of our physical understanding of the climate system, now points to a discernible human influence on the global climate.”
It is now twenty years later. Santer’s propaganda pushed the IPCC in a direction totally contrary to what those scientists intended. Santer was thoroughly dishonest, changing the entire meaning of the chapter. Is there any doubt?
Yoo-hoo… to our alarmist commenters here: what do you think of that? Is that A-OK with you?? Is any means to an end justified? Is Noble Cause Corruption just fine with you?
Hell-o-o-o-o-o!! Is anyone there?…

Reply to  dbstealey
March 24, 2016 6:06 pm

That comment alone, if proclaimed far and wide, should be enough to completely demolish the Climate Cult. Unhappily, it will remain buried in this long discussion about Galileo, in one of hundreds of posts on this blog. It’s a popular blog, but only among skeptics. At the least, it should be a lead post. But somehow it has to be shouted to the rooftops, where it cannot be ignored.
/Mr Lynn

george e. smith
Reply to  dbstealey
March 25, 2016 9:11 am

Izzat engraved in the Great Pyramid anywhere DBS. I try to not read such international utterances myself, but maybe I should. That’s a great catch you found there.

March 24, 2016 11:59 am

Another innovative new revenue source would be a tax on dissenters. That is in addition to the main carbon tax prize that underlies most of the insane policy reach and statements.

Tom Halla
March 24, 2016 12:07 pm

Except for CephusO at 10.29, no one in this thread has mentioned Trofim Lysenko, a much more recent, and relevant case of “political science”. Sheldon Whitehouse, like Stalin, finds a certain group of researchers much more ideologically attractive, and does not know enough real science to tell the difference. Stalin was probably even sincere in his admiration for Lysenko.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Tom Halla
March 24, 2016 2:25 pm

Quite so Tom. Lysenko-ism is probably the most perfect parallel to the current CAGW dominance of “science”. Stalin loved Lysenko’s ideas because they so closely paralleled his (and all his colleagues’) idea that by forcing people to behave as good socialists, they would pass on to their descendants what they had “learned”. That was a guiding principle in Marxist theory, and it didn’t work very well either, did it?
We never hear much about sceptics of Lysenko’s theories. Probably because they were sent for re-education. So we are better off today, at least so far the worst that can happen to sceptics is losing their jobs.

March 24, 2016 1:42 pm

Mother Nature does not do politics. And speaks freely.

March 24, 2016 2:01 pm

The detailed account of Galileo’s interaction with the Pope, the Jesuits and the Catholic Church, in John Gribben’s “Science – a history” is excellent. There is fault on both sides. The pope himself was actually sympathetic to Galileo’s position and reached out to him but was rebuffed rather offensively by a boorish Galileo. The pope was left with no choice but to give the Jesuits what they wanted.

george e. smith
Reply to  belousov
March 24, 2016 2:45 pm

This is about as historically important as was the crusades; maybe even less so, given today’s news items. Shouldn’t we be discussing the scientific contributions of Timor the Lame. His experiments into medicine, such as brain surgery have given rise to uncountable thousands of practicioners of his methods, that have infiltrated the entire free world, including the USA.

March 24, 2016 2:12 pm

Back last October,
I suggested an organization, perhaps a Foundation that would

. . . financially support scientists who are willing to stand up against the establishment. “Can’t get tenure? Can’t find a post-doc job? We will support you and your family until we have turned the tide and re-established the rule of reason and the scientific method.”

Perhaps this ‘Free Speech in Science Project’ could see a way to encompass this goal as well.
/Mr Lynn

Reply to  L. E. Joiner
March 25, 2016 9:36 pm

This still an excellent idea.

March 24, 2016 2:48 pm

So, where is reference to Mark Steyn, who is also being sued by the Mann-child? Mark has put up more fight than any of his so-called co-defendants. He isn’t just trying to get it thrown out, he is attacking the mullahs that aim to silence any dissention. Sad that you chose to not include him in your story.

March 24, 2016 3:37 pm

It’s not just climate science. The fact is this anti scientific nonsense has been going across the board and all you have to do to witness that is review the number of ecologists that have signed in from wherever their field of specialty is. Nutrition, health, pathogens name it the infection is wide spread.

Reply to  fossilsage
March 24, 2016 6:49 pm

I’m afraid so and they seem to be getting more efficient at refining the over reach template every day.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy
March 24, 2016 5:18 pm

Ysterday [24th March 2016] one TV Channel [spread its network all over the globe] to get my view point on the current heatwave condition in Hyderabad and in the state. I explained him the scenario and also told him earlier the highest in Hyderabad in March is 42.2 oC and now it is less than 41.0 oC only. The reason for the heatwave condition is superposing on the natural seasonal change is associated with Western disturbance. When the heatwave was obstructed by low pressure system in the eastern parts, the heatwave moves to the south. This is the reality but the TV channel telecasted as usual the CD on global warming.
This is the type of media, we have in India.
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

March 24, 2016 9:27 pm

There are those who know the story
some were complicit in the crime
There are those whose pride
could not survive
any change of tribal mind.
She didn’t do it for glory
she did it because it was time
to smash ancient stained-glass windows
and tear aside culture’s barbed-wire.
When she broke through old tradition
when she cut through culture’s wire
she saved a thousand souls from hopelessness
and placed her life upon the line.
Then she danced with freedom’s partners
she danced around the fire
There deep in darkened forest night
the flames leapt higher and higher
And a thousand souls would gather there
to quietly admire
And they would wonder
what was the spark
that set their hopes on fire.
But power and envy watched from the dark
as she danced the burning coals
And they stood aghast as the flames would part
to never leave a mark.
And from the shadows they came for her
to tie her arms with wire
and bind her to the village stake
where they practiced the Inquisitor’s art.
Surrounded by the thousand souls
who could never make the break
the wire would hold her amidst the fire
and the flames they would not part.
So she danced
She danced amidst the fire
Clasped by her flaming partner
she danced in the burning pyre
all because she had made them see
through the encircling wire
And while she danced in agony
the thousand souls that she had set free
then turned away…
and walked back behind the wire.

March 25, 2016 3:27 am

In modern philosophical terms, Galileo was wrong and the church was right.
The church was trying to make the point that while the model of a heliocentric solar system worked, and made the maths much easier, to consider the model was Reality was a grave error, as only God had that privilege.
Galileo was really the first person to adopt what would become an atheistic perspective on Reality, that it was in the end, what the model said it was.
That wheel has turned full circle, and it is indeed the (intellectual) descendants of Galileo who are now claiming that Reality is what the model says it is, and not what it actually is.
The only way in which this resembles the Inquisition, is that in both cases there is no reference to physical; evidence.
What I mean is this. Galileo was wrong to claim his model was Reality, rather than it represented Reality. Climate change alarmists are the same, except their model – unlike Galileo’s – doesn’t even work to predict worth a damn.
The medieval Church didn’t mind science playing with models, even ones that worked and allowed prediction: What they objected to was having these models presented as Reality. Reality, was firmly in the hands of God, and the Church, and no counter-propaganda was allowed.
And bear in mind, that it is indeed the Christian religious world-view, that separated Spirit (soul) from matter and the body, that allowed the perspective of the ‘detached observer’ that gazed out on the material world and was able to thereby intuit things about it and construct models concerning its behaviour. Western Science is the child of Christianity, like it or not.
William of Ockham (Occam) was of course a friar…the Church was in those times the repository of all philosophical and scientific knowledge and very active in developing both.
Galileo always gets represented as some kind of hero, as standing up for Reason against Superstition. In reality he seems to have been a self righteous arrogant prick, who like many before and since, confused his, (or someone else’s) ideas, with reality itself.
Today’s example might well be Dawkins.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am no anti-science zealot, but in matters of the philosophy of science, we must make a clear distinction between what really IS, and what appears to be, and what constructions we place on what appears to be.
In the case of the first, we do not know and cannot know what really is, not in the normal sense of ‘knowing’.
In the case of the second, we can, armed with some kind of world-view, assemble a world of objects and events in space and time (phenomena) and call that the ‘perceived world’ (or what we commonly call the physical world) and insofar was we can agree on its constituents, we can call that a sort of reality, without realising that in fact it is already an anthropocentric model of the world, where we select certain features and ignore others, in order to simplify what is going on, and filter it into that which we are concerned with, and that which we are not. My point here is that even the ‘facts’ that appear at this level of experience, are actually the results of a considerable amount of anthropic interpretation. However we can’t escape that, so we must work with what we have, namely the shared assumption that the physical world we construct as a sort of group project from ‘whatever it really is’ is the starting point for our science.
So in the case of the third, we introduce yet another level of abstraction onto the model we build. Not content with having structured experience into events in space time (phenomena) we must needs relate them into ‘chains of events’ connected by ‘causality’ So that what has gone before determines what is yet to come.
In order to map causality onto the phenomenal world, we construct an abstract world full of noumenous (spiritual?) entities, be they Gods, Spirits, Daemons or Natural Laws, whose mediation and direction causes time to unfold the way it does.
And that is where Science comes in, as a class of explanations and models, it introduces two important elements, firstly that there are fixed eternal natural (and completely a-moral and inhuman) laws, and secondly that they operate with a mathematical exactitude. So that not only should a model constructed to posit the existence of a set of laws exactly map onto the past, it should exactly map the future.
The problem with alarmist climate science, is that it does neither. At which point it is no longer science as such, but religion.
If we define religion as stuff which is introduced for no reason and is not self-evident.
“For nothing ought to be posited without a reason given, unless it is self-evident (literally, known through itself) or known by experience or proved by the authority of Sacred Scripture.”
(The actual form of Occam’s Razor).
Galileo is important, but not for the reasons given. He marks the start of a long path of what in essence is atheism, a denial of (the ultimate authority of) religion, that ends in the likes of Marx and Dawkins, whose atheism is as untenable as the religious perspective it sought to replace.
The reality is we simply do not know and cannot know, and therefore all matters of religion – or indeed atheism – are matters of Faith, not Reason.
The onlyreasonable position is Agnosticism. And acceptance that it might or might not be so, and that therefore when discussing matters rationally, we should not extend into territory that lies beyond what reason itself is competent to assess. Namely the physical world, as it appears to us to be.
And it is here that we can use not Galileo, but Occam, to determine that first principles of science and what it is, that you do not introduce a model without it being either perfectly self evident that it fits the experience, or that it has a good reason (in terms of fore and hind-casting the phenomena accurately) or that it is an act of religious faith handed down by an Authority Beyond the Wit of Man to question 🙂
And that in the end is what AGW is seen to be. It’s not perfectly self evident, its not justified in terms of matching experience, because patently it doesn’t, and so it must belong in the third category. Divine Authority.
And then in a small sense, Galileo becomes the example, of Divine Authority smacking down competing ideas.
My point is however, that whilst in Galileo’s case, they had a reasonable point. In terms of AGW they dont. The situation is exactly reversed. Then the Authority challenged a model that worked because it wasn’t Reality: Today they enforce a model that doesn’t work, because they claim it IS Reality.
Worse, they have made the really stupid mistake of first of all couching it as science, so that it could actually be refuted by the data. Which is why there is so much frenzied activity ‘reinterpreting’ the data so as to ‘save the model’. Any proper political perspective, should, like religion, be couched in irrefutable terms, like say Marxism.
Proper metaphysical propaganda should be self reinforcing BS that has a proper emotional appeal. AGW is not in the end self reinforcing. It contains the seeds of its own destruction, because it claims to provide prediction, rather than explanation.

Reply to  Leo Smith
March 25, 2016 9:14 pm

Leo Smith,
I read every comment you write. I agree with most all of your thoughts, but in every case, you make me think. I very much appreciate that.
I have had a recurring dream for more than 30 years: I wake up; it’s night, and the room is dark. I get up and walk over to the light switch to turn on the bedroom light.
Nothing happens. The light doesn’t come on; the room stays dark. That dream is so repetitive that when dreaming it, I know what’s going to happen even before I turn on the light switch. The room stays dark.
I think I’m looking for knowledge. I don’t care if CO2 causes global warming or not. What I want are answers. I want knowledge. I don’t care about the politics, except when it diverts the search for answers.
Maybe some night, when I turn on the light switch, the lights will come on…

March 25, 2016 3:52 am

Slightly off topic.
You probably never heard of him, but Hilary Putnam was probably the most important philosopher of science in the last 50 years, and he died on March 13th.
I came across him with that sort of exited thrill you experience when you realise that something you have been struggling to understand, and no one else seems to, is totally understood by someone else, and you need no longer try to tell others where its at,. you can say ‘oh read/listen to/watch the video on you tube of’ Hilary Putnam!
I always think that what is cutting edge stuff in philosophy today, is where the mainstream of thought will be in 200 years time
The critiques of Kant and Schopenhauer, were largely ignored by the mainstream for 200 years because science proceeded happily along a set of reasonable, but false assumptions, perfectly well, until the dawn of the modern age, when quantum physics and the like shook things up a bit.
Popper, Kuhn, Quine and Putnam, have been the peole who attempted to point out to science what it was and what it was not, what it could do, and what it could not do.
Why should we care? Well in the last 20 years many things have very much became ‘in the news’ Creationism and the ‘science of intelligent design’, cannot be tackled without a clear philosophical analysis of why they do not compete on the same ground as science.
Then we have the sort of cultural Marxism, that claims also to be based on some ‘laws of social and economic facts’ That too needs to be shown to be at least not scientific.
And then there is of course AGW, and once again we have a suite of ideas – a world-view – being packaged up as ‘science’ when clearly it isn’t.
Finally, we have quantum physics. If anything disturbs us, in our complacent view that we ‘get’ what the world is, it’s that. The solid lumpy familiar world of objects is not, after all, solid and familiar at all. We have a model that works which is what science is all about, but that model appears to be utterly and completely preposterously different from the familiar world of our experience, that most scientists simply don’t even try to think of it as ‘real’ – just as a ‘model that works’ .
It is in precisely these areas that we need philosophers of science to try and work out what is valid in our thinking and what is illogical or internally inconsistent. Orwellian doublethink.
IN my opinion, Hilary Putnam was the greatest of our age.
If you feel like taking a glimpse into his thinking, the most accessible starting point is this
Its a series of TV chat show style talks, dumbed down just enough to make it to BBC2…fortunately when it was made, that wasn’t that much.
RIP Hilary.

Reply to  Leo Smith
March 25, 2016 3:24 pm

“Creationism and the ‘science of intelligent design’, cannot be tackled without a clear philosophical analysis of why they do not compete on the same ground as science.”
Why, one wonders, does that not say something like;
*Creationism and the ‘science of intelligent design’, cannot be tackled without a clear philosophical analysis of why they do not compete on the same ground as Evolutionism and happenstance design science.*
Just declaring one’s beliefs “science” is kinda silly, it seems to me.

Pat Frank
Reply to  JohnKnight
March 25, 2016 6:10 pm

There is no “happenstance design science.” Also, Evolutionary Theory is not axiomatic and therefore not an “ism.”
Some years ago I published a refutation of so-called intelligent design theory. Here’s the title and abstract:
On the assumption of design
Abstract: The assumption of design of the universe is examined from a scientific perspective. The claims of William Dembski and of Michael Behe are unscientific because they are a-theoretic. The argument from order or from utility are shown to be indeterminate, circular, to rest on psychological as opposed to factual certainty, or to be insupportable as regards humans but possibly not bacteria, respectively. The argument from the special intelligibility of the universe specifically to human science does not survive comparison with the capacities of other organisms. Finally, the argument from the unlikelihood of physical constants is vitiated by modern cosmogonic theory and recrudesces the God-of-the-gaps.

Reply to  JohnKnight
March 25, 2016 7:10 pm

“There is no “happenstance design science.” ”
What would you like to call it? You must have noticed that living things are extremity well . . organized . . constructed . .
“Also, Evolutionary Theory is not axiomatic and therefore not an “ism.” ”
I disagree.
“Some years ago I published a refutation of so-called intelligent design theory.”
And, therefore? Couldn’t be wrong?
Siantism marches on ; )

Pat Frank
March 25, 2016 11:43 pm

JohnKnight, you were wrong to deny the Biblical view of the fixed Earth, and you wrongly describe the evolutionary process as happenstance. It’s not.
In my article, I show that your claim that organization is evidence of universe design is merely circular. You see order and assert design, and having accepted design then assert order.
Ironically, your argument from organization recapitulates the circular logic of the classically religious argument about scripture. The Bible is true because god wrote it, and proof of god’s existence is right there in the Bible testimony.
Round and round we go.

Reply to  Pat Frank
March 26, 2016 1:44 pm

“In my article, I show that your claim that organization is evidence of universe design is merely circular.”
My claim? . . In your imagination?
“You see order and assert design, and having accepted design then assert order.”
Strange as this might sound, I never did any of that stuff, in reality-land. You imjagi8ned it . . What I said was about living things being extremely well organized/constructed or however you might like to put it. Even the simplest living things are comprised of billions of hyper-organized molecules (not just bubbles filled with goo). You ou8ght to ch3eck it out sometime . . when you’re not imagining things ; )

Pat Frank
Reply to  JohnKnight
March 26, 2016 3:38 pm

John, you claim it’s my imagination that you make a circular argument about order = design = order, and follow that up by making a circular argument about order = design = order (“Even the simplest living things are comprised … etc., etc.).
Good job.

Chuck Bradley
March 26, 2016 8:48 pm

A late comment on the Galileo controversy. He was very, very, very far less wrong than the opposition.
To put the circle vs ellipse issue in perspective, take a sheet of paper and construct a circle on it. Then, on another sheet construct an ellipse of the same area, with the eccentricity of the earth’s orbit. Show them to lots of people and note how few can tell the difference.

April 8, 2016 4:33 am

Seriously, you need to read what I wrote two years ago almost to the day where I’d already called this out. I even began with the same Galileo opener. “Begun” (as in this battle) started THEN. It was about the “Corrective Statements” U.S. District Judge Judy Kessler ordered the tobacco companies to make in the wake of the DOJ’s successful RICO case against the industry. You tell me if it sounds familiar:
Disagreement with Tobacco Control Now Punishable By Law
No issue is taken with the prescribed statements about primary smoking. That ship has sailed. What’s at stake here are the ordered statements about secondhand smoke…
…They begin with the major tobacco companies having to state that they “deliberately deceived the public about the health effects of secondhand smoke,” followed by a “The truth is…” list of [health] effects…
…Two branches of government acting in concert have just directed that not only will they not hear of disagreement but that one must be forced to speak the government line…
…Despite the stranglehold our modern day Prohibitionists’ have on the flow of information, effectively blacking or drowning out opposing views in the news, claims of effects on health by so-called secondhand smoke remains controversial. The science is not settled. In fact, the “undeniable” has crystal clearly been denied…
…Criticism of [studies that arrive at this different conclusion] doesn’t absolve any who force a confession of sin from a defendant who can provide tangible reason for honestly believing differently…
..Let it also be clear none of this is to defend the tobacco companies that are but a red flag exhibit, but to denounce the elimination of dissent…
…Despising the tobacco industry is no refuge for what the secondhand smoke portion of those “correctives” portend for everyone’s freedom to dissent when one is refused their honest belief, based on multitudes of material, that something remains genuinely open to debate.
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