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In challenging my recent sarcastic reprimand of Al Gore a pastor sent me a note chastising me for using "global warming" as a description of the Vice President's position. He said I should have said "climate change" because this is indeed what Mr. Gore is claiming happens as the result of human behavior and CO2 emissions.
Well, without knowing it my pastor friend has stumbled across the key point I'm trying to make in my admitted snarkiness?
Changing the target is indeed not something that has escaped my attention. In fact it is exactly this academic dishonesty that I am confronting. If I had used such terrible logic and methodological slight of hand in my doctoral research at Michigan State I would have been laughed out of the room.
Venture this: My hypothesis is that human behavior is causing temperatures to rise. My data shows the exact opposite of my hypothesis. Therefore my conclusion is that the data proves my hypothesis because what I meant to say was climate change not global warning?
This is simply absurd. Trying to cover one's research errors by changing the language from global warming to climate change is akin to saying whatever happens (cooling or warming, draught or flood, clouds or sun, darkness or light) proves my hypothesis because the "climate is changing"!!
This faulty reasoning should be obvious to everyone in the academy and yes even in the church but unfortunately political correctness and desires for popularity are proving to be more powerful than sound research and intellectual honesty.
CS Lewis' scold of the young scholar in The Great Divorce comes to mind: "Our opinions were not honestly come by" he said. "We simply found ourselves in contact with a certain current of ideas and plunged into it because it seemed modern and successful…"
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About Dr. Everett Piper
Dr. Piper is the President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Associated with Chuck Colson’s Breakpoint and Centurions programs, Dr. Piper is the author of "Why I am a 'Liberal' and Other Conservative Ideas" http://www.whyiamaliberal.com/. He has also authored "The Wrong Side of the Door: Why Ideas Matter. Piper is a frequent speaker on Christian education, Biblical worldview, and applied apologetics in both regional and national venues. For more information go to www.okwu.edu or go to www.everettpiper.com .
Recently by Dr. Everett Piper
- Rule of Law or the Rule of ManTuesday, January 22, 2013
- Debates on First and Second AmendmentsTuesday, January 22, 2013
- Calling Good Evil and Evil GoodThursday, January 03, 2013
- Interview on David Barton's Wall Builders RadioMonday, December 31, 2012
- Why I'm a 'Liberal' and Other Conservative IdeasSunday, December 30, 2012
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