On climate: no such thing as settled science

LaceyMarch 14, 2014 

Dr. Ruth W. Schearer’s recent letter complaining about Charles Krauthammer’s column on settled science is a fine example of unscientific criticism of a strawman. Krauthammer’s column is a cautionary piece about unquestioning belief in a prevalent scientific theory. A fundamental aspect of science is the continued questioning of accepted theory and testing against fact.

Krauthammer’s article is a criticism of the settled science of climate change. Schearer starts by setting up the strawman that Krauthammer is anti-science which even a surface read would show to be false. She then proceeds to imply that he doesn’t understand breast cancer.

I have spent years modeling electronic circuits and, while they are not climate models, the basic principles are similar. Computer models of any kind follow an old rule: garbage in, garbage out. Models can be built to produce any results you wish as long as you control the model and the data fed into it.

While I accept the opinions of experts in climatology (Schearer is a toxicologist), a healthy skepticism is warranted when the results drive significant political and economic policies. There is no such thing as settled science. Another name for that is religion.

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