First we need to understand what science actually is. There seems to be a confusion about science which we will clear up by giving some definitions.
“Science (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. In an older and closely related meaning (found, for example, in Aristotle), “science” refers to the body of reliable knowledge itself, of the type that can be logically and rationally explained.”
Did you notice that knowledge is built in the form of “testable” explanations?
Science has never been about consensus. It is had been then most of the advances and knowledge we have in science today would perhaps have never been discovered.
The Motion of the “Heavens”
If you watch the sky, it appears that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. It also appears that the stars and planets go around the earth as well. This observation led to the geocentric or earthcentric idea that all the heavenly bodies revolve around the earth and it does appear that way. However early scientists such as Copernicus and Galileo showed by mathematics that it was the sun that was the centre of our solar system and that all the planets revolve around it. That is called heliocentric.
Both Copernicus and Galileo in their day had a lot of trouble with most other observers of nature who we might call the brilliant minds of their day. If we used consensus [which means general agreement not testing and measuring and experimenting] then this error would have persisted for perhaps hundreds of years.
Science has never been about “consensus”. My speculation is that some people want to believe that science is determined by consensus in areas where one cannot test to prove a point such as evolution, or man-made global warming. Since there is no way of testing those ideas in a lab many have agreed that man is the cause of global warming. However there are observations that we know to be true show that man has little influence on the climate.
For example, if you look at climate graphs made up by scientists who have studied tree rings, sedimentary deposits and fossils going back tens of thousands of years, we know that there were times when the climate was MUCH warmer than today as evidenced by the plants which flourished at that time. All around Southern Ontario in various locations such as Toronto, scientists have found fossils of palm trees. Do palm trees grow naturally in Toronto today? Of course not. Why? It is much too cold. Therefore it had to be warmer many years ago in order that palms could grow. There were very few people and no cars nor factories. So what caused the climate to be warmer? It could not have been man. It must have been a natural cycle.
The best examples of palms in northern climates where they do not grow naturally today is the Schoharie Creek in New York State. This area is about the same latitude as Lake Erie, about 42 degrees, 55 minutes North and is the location of the former town of Gilboa, NY, now under water.
The second example is the various types of coral found around the Niagara Peninsula such as horn coral. Corals require a temperature no less than 18 degrees C. or 64.5 degrees F., lots of sunshine, and clear water so the sun is not blocked.
Here is some information which supports this idea:
“Another climate mystery that scientists have puzzled over in recent years is why during the the”middle Holocene” (roughly 7,000 to 5,000 years ago), temperatures seemed to be warmer than even present day temperatures. Indeed, some of the paleoclimatic data suggest that temperatures were several degrees Celsius hotter than today. Reference: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ctl/clisci10k.html
We are in a warm period now. Scientists have known for some time that the previous warm period started 130,000 years ago and ended 117,000 years ago, with the return of cold temperatures that led to an ice age.
The question bears asking: what caused global warming then? It certainly was not machines, men and carbon dioxide.
More could be said. However it appears that generalizing without evidence that humankind have created global warming is a bit too far to go.
Categories: Science, testing, testable, global warming, evolution, warmer, cooler, climate, man