Science and “The Emperor’s New Clothes”


Climate change is a serious debate, but also one that tickles the funny bone of detached observers.  Does it make sense for anybody to rely on what climatologists predict about the weather 100 years from now, when nobody relies on what climatologists predict about the weather 100 days from now?  On January 21, 2019, one of those in power (Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) insisted “The world is going to end in twelve years if we don’t address climate change.”  In less than twelve years, we either will be facing our maker or we will be laughing our asses off.

Those in power espouse climate change arguments, and deride those who don’t agree.  You know how it goes — you don’t agree with me, so you’re stupid.  The derision falls within the four walls of the derision hurled at Galileo, who disagreed with those in power who insisted that the sun revolves around the earth.  For his disagreement, he was sentenced to house arrest for life.  The possibility that he might be right (that the earth does revolve around the sun) was dismissed as heresy.

Predicting climate change is impossible, as is predicting the stock market.  Anybody who says otherwise either is somebody who makes money saying otherwise or is somebody who relies on somebody who makes money saying otherwise.

Those in power insist that Charles Darwin’s Theory Of Evolution is indisputable fact.  They deride those who believe in Creationism — that God created heaven and earth, including the fossils, about 6,000 years ago.  Has anyone videotaped the evolution of any plant or animal for a long enough period of time to prove the Theory Of Evolution is fact?  Darwin himself called it a theory.  Why do those in power insist Darwin’s theory is indisputable fact?  Do they fear religion as much as those in power during Galileo’s time feared the absence of religion?

Albert Einstein also must have been a heretic — a deplorable fool too stupid to appreciate the genius of those in power.  When he was born, those in power held dear the then-indisputable scientific axioms that the amount of matter in the universe is constant and the amount of energy in the universe is constant.  Einstein declared those axioms hogwash.  With his formula e=mc2, which he proved accurate with a sustained nuclear chain reaction, Einstein forced those in power to believe that matter can be converted to energy.  How many physics teachers gave failing grades to how many physics students for expressing the belief that Einstein subsequently proved true?

The world is flat.  The smallest particle is the atom.  The human body is not capable of running a mile in under four minutes.  Really?  Should we believe everything those in power tell us?  What happens when we don’t?  Why do those in power ridicule and try to stifle everyone who questions what they say?  Is the answer simply that those in power know the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, and it scares the bejesus out of them?

“Science is nothing but perception.” [Plato]

Stephen B. Benisch, September 13, 2019 (Revised September 16, 2019)


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