February 16, 2007
Who's Afraid of Global Warming?
Science works by means of prediction. Once data is collected and evaluated, and a hypothesis formed, scientific method requires that certain predictions be made to act as tests of the overall theory. If the predictions work out, we can regard the hypothesis as proven. If not, we vow to do better next time. Take general relativity, for instance. (Full disclosure: this example is stolen in toto from Rush Limbaugh's program of February 2nd.) Einstein's theory was dismissed as lunatic by many classical physicists on its introduction in 1905. But he proposed a series of simple and straightforward tests, among them that starlight close to the sun's rim would be seen to bend during a total eclipse. In 1919, just such an eclipse was carefully photographed by Arthur Stanley Eddington, not yet the dean of British astrophysics. The photos showed that the stars closet to the sun had shifted a small but measurable degree, and the world was never quite the same thereafter....(Read Full Article)