Scientific Proof

The comments that Mark Fiser brings to your readers following the article “Not Up for Debate: Teaching Climate Science in Oregon” are intriguing (Letters, 3/28). They are either unintelligible or, when you can decipher what he is attempting to say, just illogical.

For example, there’s this sentence: “… to reference her boycott of any opposing positions would precluded [sic] her to accept any ability to ‘thrill’ her with alternative proof.”

Translation, please! I’ll give it a shot: I see a leap to an erroneous conclusion. The conclusion that Ruggiero, the science teacher at Churchill, is boycotting opposing points of view (to human climate change) is not based on what is quoted.

What is in the article is this: She would be thrilled to have a science-based theory backing “the other side,” and she adds, “I would be happy to preview it.” Is that a boycott on her part?

Explanation: She will not accept “opinions” backing the “other side.” Facts, yes. Opinions? No. There’s no time for that in a science class. 

Further on, to illustrate his belief that “consensus is utterly irrelevant to science,” Fiser quotes some “famous” words of no other luminary in science than Albert Einstein: “Why one hundred authors? If I were wrong, then one would have been enough.”

Good point! Again, we are on a slippery slope. The key is the phrase “if I were wrong.” What Einstein is saying, as much as I can understand, is: If one scientist, using scientific facts, can prove me wrong, why would I need a hundred of them? In fact, that is pretty much what Ruggiero says.

Besides, I have never heard that the peer review in science is irrelevant. 

Finally, thanking CO2 for the enjoyment in bathing “in the beauty of a field of wildflowers” is not a convincing argument that we should happily continue spewing more CO2 way past the 410 parts per million. We know from the fossil record what happens to life at 700 or 800 parts per million. It becomes extremely difficult.

Difficult enough to forget “the beauty of a field of wildflowers,” supposing there are any left.

Marco Elliott