One of the things that I find interesting about the meltdown concerning “global warming” and the climate change e-mails is how it symbolizes the cultural divide.
Way back in my HiWired blog days I wrote this to Glenn Reynolds concerning the Haditha debate.
Since the 60’s two unifying forces, for good or ill, were removed from the country: the removal of Judeo/Christian values as the semi-official moral code of the public schools) and the death of the draft/aka Vietnam. (actually ending in the 70’s). These two changes had one thing in common, it took two generations for them to have the following effect:
It is now unlikely that a student going to school today, had a teacher or parent who 1. Served in the military or 2. Was taught that moral code in school. To a whole generation now being born these are things that belong to outsiders. This makes the military and religious people outsiders and strange to one group and vice versa.
One important part of that moral code is truth and honor. Judeo/Christian values stress truth, lies are the work of the Devil. That is why contrary to the pop culture the Church’s role in the promotion and advancement of science and the University system looms large. It is a search for truth and as I’ve said before the only reason to be a Christian in general or a Catholic in particular is because it is true.
The concept of honor comes from the base of truth and is why it is so prominent in the military and also explains why the vast majority of people in the military come from Judeo/Christian backgrounds. The concepts of truth and honor are significant and the shame of violating those concepts are dreadful to a believer. Even if one didn’t believe in the religion itself the shared VALUES of truth and honor of the the Judeo/Christian system applied with great benefit to the culture as a whole.
One of the glories of Science is the reliance on truth. The best science consists of the gathering and measuring of data and the constant testing of it. The whole process of hypothesis, test and conclusion is a relentless search to confirm the known and discover the unknown truths of existence. This relentless search has improved the human condition beyond measure. When Christ says:
“you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
he is pronouncing the first commandment of science. The truth of knowledge frees the potential of the mind in as sure as the truth of Christ frees the soul.
What does this all have to do with the Climate Change e-mails? Just this: In two generations relativism and secular humanism rejection of Judeo/Christan values led to the idea that “truth” is relative and that one need to accept and even celebrate relative “truths” for the sake of various causes. This has been pushed culturally and politically with disastrous (and sometimes comical) results, but when that becomes the case in the sciences then bad things happen.
Would you want to be behind the wheel of a car who’s designer decided that he has his own different standard for how breaking and acceleration should work? Would you want to have him withhold his calculations or defend his actions by calling you a “friction denier”? How would you like to finance his production and have to drive your car under those same rules even if you don’t own one?
The subordination of truth for the sake of a cause and the abandonment of honor as a virtue is bad in any field, in science it leads to societal stagnation and decay. It is why daylight needs to be shined on this fraud and on the elites that decided they were going to protect it for the sake of money, stature and power. If it is rewarded or defended and or ignored then we condemn ourselves and our children to a world of superstition worse than any we have yet experienced.
Update: Nameless? Click on the link to the Glenn Reynolds letter I included in this post or on my amazon reviews and you will find my name very easily.