Science Is a Process, Not a Set of Settled Conclusions

(p. A11) Are there any phrases in today’s political lexicon more obnoxious than “the science is settled” and “climate-change deniers”?
The first is an oxymoron. By definition, science is never settled. It is always subject to change in the light of new evidence. The second phrase is nothing but an ad hominem attack, meant to evoke “Holocaust deniers,” those people who maintain that the Nazi Holocaust is a fiction, ignoring the overwhelming, incontestable evidence that it is a historical fact.
. . .
. . . , the release of thousands of emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit in 2009 showed climate scientists concerned with the lack of recent warming and how to “hide the decline.” The communications showed that whatever the emailers were engaged in, it was not the disinterested pursuit of science.
Another batch of 5,000 emails written by top climate scientists came out in 2011, discussing, among other public-relations matters, how to deal with skeptical editors and how to suppress unfavorable data. It is a measure of the intellectual corruption of the mainstream media that this wasn’t the scandal of the century. But then again I forget, “the science is settled.”

For the full commentary, see:
JOHN STEELE GORDON. “The Unsettling, Anti-Science Certitude on Global Warming; Climate-change ‘deniers’ are accused of heresy by true believers; That doesn’t sound like science to me.” The Wall Street Journal (Fri., July 31, 2015): A11.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the article has the date July 30, 2015.)

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