Consensus vs Scientific Method

In the Anthropomorphic Global Warming (AGW) debate the word ‘consensus’ has become very important. Little thought is given the idea of the scientific method. AGW skeptics are charged with ignoring science. So, for the intellectually honest it would seem understanding ‘consensus verses the scientific method’ would be a core point in any debate of AWG. In researching that point I came across a funny and informative video. 9 minutes.

Merriam-Webster defines CONSENSUS as:

a : general agreement : unanimity <the consensus of their opinion, based on reports … from the border — John Hersey>

b : the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned <the consensus was to go ahead>

Alternate: group solidarity in sentiment and belief

Notice that consensus is about opinion and belief. It may be informed opinion, even well informed opinion. But, it is still opinion.

Merriam-Webster defines the Scientific Method as:

Definition: principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

The National Academies of Science defines a scientific theory as: “a well-substantiated explanation of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.”

If you’re interested in learning about how well AGW theories are or aren’t standing up to scientific investigation, computer prediction, and other parts of the scientific method, check out this article on Ice Cap. The article does not link to all the supporting information for the points posited. But, each point is easy to Google. But, you do have to exercise some skepticism in what you read and look through both sides of the articles returned by Google and examine what’s being reported by each. Both sides of the AWG debate often fake or spin data. Often you have to dig down to the raw data before you can tell who is spinning what.

If you want to comment on the article here, please first consider this article and frame your comments in the context of what you learn there: Top 10 Science Mistakes and/or Top 10 Most Famous Scientific Theories (That Turned out to be Wrong).

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