The march for junk science
Science | Christian scientists discuss the motives behind last weekend’s nationwide rallies
by Jim Henry
Posted 4/25/17, 01:12 pm
On Saturday, the 47th anniversary of Earth Day, a hodgepodge of researchers, activists, and B-list celebrities gathered in Washington, D.C., and around the world for the so-called “March for Science.”
The speakers at the Washington rally expressed their extreme displeasure with the Trump agenda in general and the president’s proposed budget cuts to federal research agencies and grants in particular. Former engineer and global warming pitchman Bill Nye, the famous host of the PBS series Bill Nye the Science Guy, gave a message in keeping with the ideological views of the rally’s organizers. He ignored what many Christian scientists call the dehumanizing message of evolution. He also didn’t address the many gloom-and-doom predictions of global warming in his message to the cheering throng.
The march came just one day after Netflix released the first season of Bill Nye Saves the World, a science-themed show for adults that has gotten mixed reviews from secular critics.
Geophysicist Stephen Meyer and other scientists from Seattle’s Discovery Institute also traveled to Washington to rebut many of the claims made at the March for Science rally.
Meyer said Nye was the perfect choice to co-chair the event because he shared with the organizers views that were more ideological than scientific.
“Science to them is not an open-ended search for truth,” Meyer said.
The six secular, humanist groups that co-organized the event put ideology before empirical research.
“They’re certainly anti-traditional religion, but they also think science either supports atheism or renders belief in God untenable or unnecessary,” Meyer said. “None of these positions are actually scientific positions. They’re not scientific findings or, in the latter case with the secular humanists, they’re not scientific theories. Those are philosophical or religious judgments on their part.”
Nye and the rally’s organizers presented global warming as settled science, meaning mainstream climate researchers all agree humans are causing dangerous temperature increases.
But many distinguished researchers are skeptical of human-caused global warming, including Richard Lindzen, chairman of the atmospheric physics department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Princeton University physicists Freeman Dyson and Will Happer; and John Christy and Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama.
Denis Hayes, the founder of Earth Day, also spoke at the rally and expressed his frustration that activists now must justify taxpayer funding for global warming research all over again.
“This is not conservative politics, this is the Inquisition gunning for Galileo,” Hayes said.
In 1970, Hayes made a dire prediction: “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.” Back then, many climate alarmists predicted another ice age, not global warming. Later, as more and more of the temperature data collected failed to show appreciable warming, global warming became “climate change.”
Meyer said hard data disproved climate change models that predicted worldwide catastrophe.
“In the early ’90s we had a few warm years and then, from 1997 to the present, the last two decades, the temperatures have flat-lined. There’s been no appreciable warming at all,” Meyer said.
There are also plenty of biologists challenging modern evolutionary theory, called neo-Darwinism. It’s called that because Charles Darwin knew nothing of DNA. Modern evolutionists have had to explain how the complexity of genetic coding, which fails utterly when even minutely altered, could result in new species. They do so with the notion of random mutation, the idea that every once in awhile DNA mutates and good things happen.
But Meyer compared that to computer binary code, where mistakenly typing a single one instead of a zero could cause an entire program to crash.
“So if you start randomly changing things, inevitably you’re going to fall into the nonfunctional abyss because there’s just so many more ways of arranging things that don’t do anything good for you. And biology has the exact same problem,” Meyer said.
Listen to Jim Henry’s complete report on the April 25, 2017, edition of The World and Everything in It.
Jim is a former WORLD reporter.