Botkin: Absolute Certainty Is Not Scientific

Global warming alarmists betray their cause when they declare that it is irresponsible to question them, writes Daniel Botkin in the Wall Street Journal.

Botkin says,

One of the changes among scientists in this century is the increasing number who believe that one can have complete and certain knowledge. For example, Michael J. Mumma, a NASA senior scientist who has led teams searching for evidence of life on Mars, was quoted in the New York Times as saying, “Based on evidence, what we do have is, unequivocally, the conditions for the emergence of life were present on Mars—period, end of story.”

This belief in absolute certainty is fundamentally what has bothered me about the scientific debate over global warming in the 21st century, and I am hoping it will not characterize the discussions at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, currently under way.

Reading Mr. Mumma’s statement, I thought immediately of physicist Niels Bohr, a Nobel laureate, who said, “Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.” To which Richard Feynman, another famous physicist and Nobel laureate, quipped, “Nobody understands quantum mechanics.”

I felt nostalgic for those times when even the greatest scientific minds admitted limits to what they knew…

Read Botkin’s op-ed (subscription required).

One thought on “Botkin: Absolute Certainty Is Not Scientific”

  1. Declaring “the science is settled!” when it isn’t and attacking anyone that dares to question the conclusions is not science, it’s a cult mentality.

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