[UPDATE: Goldberg at the Corner invokes a variation on the skepticism theme: "Anti-clericalism was certainly partly driven from the suspicion that priests and other clergy were preaching their versions of the gospel simply to empower themselves. I’ve long argued that one of the reasons Washington-based reporters are liberal, or statist, is that if the subject they cover is considered hugely important, then they in turn will be considered hugely important." A reader responds with Cui bono.]
If climate scientists ever wonder why they are looked upon with suspicion among some people in society, they need look no further in their willingness to compromise their own intellectual standards in policy debate on the issue of disasters and climate change.
What he’s saying is that the scientific method involves both establishing an hypothesis, and making a diligent effort towards disproving that hypothesis to see whether one’s original assumptions still hold up.
I’m not sure many of the outstpoken global warming moralists in evangelical circles today get this. That’s because people of faith don’t normally operate like this.
Other than notables like McDowell who found Christ while trying to disprove him, Christians are geared from children’s church onward to absorb and apply church doctrine based on the concerted studies of biblical authorities, or in the case of Scripture, first-hand witnesses inspired by the Holy Spirit. While we might critically analyze biblical truth as it applies to our lives today, we rarely set ourselves toward disproving the Bible itself as a way to establish it’s veracity.
There is an important distinction, then, between aggressively promoting environmental stewardship as a God-ordained moral ethic (which it is), and aggressively promoting a particular area of human-derived environmental science as a moral ethic (which it is not).
Being salt and light in the world means making this distinction evidently clear to all.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world… — 1 John 4:1
[Don’s other habitat is The Evangelical Ecologist.]