The invisible science of our future

Of all the aspects of America’s conservative culture that make me anxious, the most troubling is the fierce reaction that many traditionalists have to the science of our collective future.

We know from a vast body of research that the earth has entered into what a growing number of scientists call the anthropocene, the age of man.

This is an epoch where we collectively influence the nature of life on our globe, replacing natural phenomena (glaciers, volcanoes, solar cycles) as the most powerful force.

In large measure because of the conservative movement, a serious civil discussion of what this means has ground to a halt.  Democrats and Republicans who once talked productively about climate change have fallen silent.

Population growth is a taboo subject, even for many environmental groups.

The irony, of course, is that we know more and more about what our planetary civilization is doing to the planet we rely upon for, well, everything.

We know that fishing pressure and pollution are literally altering the bios of our oceans, making them more acidic, eliminating whole species with an efficiency that would be impressive if it weren’t so bleak.

We know that human commerce is rapidly spreading invasive species around the globe, so that the Great Lakes begin to look more like the Black Sea and whole forests in America fall prey to insects from Asia.

We also know that by the end of this century, there will be another 2.4 billion of us sharing this rock.

To put that in perspective, that population growth will require the construction of four additional New York City’s per year, every year, until the year 2100.

That’s four NYC’s this year.  And four NYC’s the next year.  And four more the year after.  And repeat.

Economists also expect the standard of living to rise for billions of humans.  That’s a good thing, except that it also means more consumption of resources and food, and likely far more emissions of carbon and other forms of pollution.

Balanced against these facts are two human traits that make it very difficult for us to confront what the science of the anthropocene will mean for our civilization.

First is the fact that for many of us our basic cosmology — the mental construct that we use to imagine our world — is still based on a world where humans weren’t such a big deal, at least in scientific terms.

In 1804, when the grand experiment of the United States was just hitting its stride, the population of the earth was one-seventh its current size.

It stood to reason that mankind could “use” and “master” the natural world around him without considering the wider consequences.   We like to think of that kind of behavior as “freedom” and a part of our “manifest destiny.”

When a pointy-headed bureaucrat, or an egghead scientist, suggests to us that it might be a bad idea, say, to dump a factory’s toxins into a river that now has tens of millions of other people living along its banks, that sounds to us like “big government” and “regulation.”

The second thing that makes it difficult to grapple with the new science of life on earth is what some researchers call “shifting baseline syndrome.”

This is our tendency as a highly adaptive species to see the world around us as “normal.”  Generations growing up now in China and India have no visceral sense of what their countries were like before human activity overwhelmed the natural world.

Here in the US, we like to tell ourselves that we’ve tackled some of these problems.  In recent decades, we’ve restored much of our environment.  We’ve protected forests and rivers to a remarkable degree.

But the truth is that we accomplished many of those gains simply by shifting the burdens we place on the planet to other places.  And we now know that what happens in China doesn’t stay in China.

There are also signs that our impact on the planet is entering a new, more unpredictable phase.

The Gulf oil spill was a vast science experiment in what happens when the anthropic system hiccups.  We still don’t know what the long-term impacts will be on the Gulf’s vast ecosystem.

The idea that we might generate energy for the next century by pumping caustic chemicals into the groundwater table is another big lab project.

And it’s inevitable that as our population grows the search for energy, and food, and other resources will force us to take bigger and bigger risks.

It’s also worth pointing out that the 2.4 billion population increase now projected could be wrong.  The best estimates suggest that population growth will begin to plateau, and reach some kind of long-term stability.

But if birth rates are just a tiny bit higher, and life expectancy grows just a little bit more, the number of humans relying on our world could easily double.

I suspect that for a while longer, we’ll avoid talking about the ramifications of all this.

The cosmology of a world where humans — beautiful, precious humans — must also be reckoned as a burden and a problem, is just too frightening.  It forces us to think hard about basic moral questions.

And the ramifications of what it might mean to be required to think globally are just too complex. We’ll have to re-examine what a healthy family looks like and what a healthy nation-state looks like.

But as scientists will tell you, it really doesn’t matter in the end what we believe, or what we want to talk about.  The earth is a closed system, finite and ultimately fragile.

As more and more of us look to share the world, we will sort out how to be good stewards, respectful of the facts of life.  Or we will watch in dismay as it breaks under our weight.

Tags: , , ,

230 Comments on “The invisible science of our future”

  1. Kathy says:

    PNElba: I lean toward a young earth theory and I think it’s possible man and dinosaurs existed together:

    As far as a scientifically testable hypothesis for creationism, I can’t answer that. However, consider this quote from an atheist and evolutionist:

    “Because we will never be able to explain everything, there will always be evidence for Design.” Jerry Coyne

    And this article:

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  2. JDM says:

    Walker: you should try comparing evolution with genetic science. Genetic information is lost, not gained.

    Here’s some good reading:

    No-one has ever observed any biological process adding information!

    A better explanation is that virtually all the necessary information was already there in the genetic makeup of the first bears, a population created by God with vast genetic potential for variation.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  3. Paul says:

    JDM, 4:33. That comment supports the fact that you do not unrated anything about evolution. That is clear support for the facts that define how we now understand that evolution works.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  4. Paul says:

    sorry, not unrated but ‘understand’. still getting used to this iPad!

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  5. JDM says:

    Gallup puts creation believers averaging 43% – 47% over a 26-year period.

    Secular evolutions only at 9% – 14%.

    I guess you guys are on the short end on this one.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  6. mervel says:

    Why do you guys think this is a competition?

    You can accept the science of evolution as it stands, which I do, and still believe that God created all of existence, which I also do.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  7. mervel says:

    Besides that we need solutions not debates, I like the idea of reflecting the suns rays back by using reflective surfaces in the stratosphere. It is kind of exciting.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  8. PNElba says:

    Kathy – I guess the pictures of dragons and unicorns proved their existence also. I’m sorry, but I really find it hard to take seriously anyone who thinks the earth is 6,000 years old. If you want a better site “proving” that dinosaurs and man co-existed, I suggest this one:

    Would you be kind enough to provide a reference for that Jerry Coyne quote?

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  9. oa says:

    Been gone a few days, but one thing is clear from the first half of the first page of this comment thread;
    JDM has no JOB.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  10. oa says:

    32 comments. One thread. JDM=force that spews more than any volcano.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  11. hermit thrush says:

    oh mervel! i can’t believe you’ve fallen for this:

    JDM, I thought you were going to simply refer to the respected Climatologists in England who actively spoke about covering up data that did no support climate change in their emails.

    So you see the scientists in England discussing how to slant the data to get the “correct” results.

    this stuff is totally, totally bogus:

    The most quoted soundbite in the affair comes from an email from Prof Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, to Prof Mike Mann of the University of Virginia in 1999, in which he discussed using “Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline”. The phrase has been widely spun as an effort to prevent the truth getting out that global temperatures had stopped rising.

    The Alaska governor Sarah Palin, in the Washington Post on 9 December, attacked the emailers as a “highly politicised scientific circle” who “manipulated data to ‘hide the decline’ in global temperatures”. She was joined by the Republican senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma – who has for years used his chairmanship of the Environment and Public Works Committee to campaign against climate scientists and to dismiss anthropogenic global warming as “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people”. During the Copenhagen climate conference, which he attended on a Senate delegation, he referred to Jones’s “hide the decline” quote and said: “Of course, he means hide the decline in temperatures.”

    This is nonsense. Given the year the email was written, 1999, it cannot be anything of the sort. At that time there was no suggestion of a decline in temperatures. The previous year was the warmest on record. The full email from Jones says: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith [Briffa]’s, to hide the decline.”The decline being referred to was an apparent decline in temperatures shown in analysis of tree rings, which have historically correlated well with changes in temperature. That relationship has broken down in the past half century. The reasons are still debated.

    The “trick” was a graphic device used by Mann in a 1998 paper in Nature to merge tree ring data from earlier times with thermometer data for recent decades. He explained it in the paper. Jones was repeating it in another paper. “This is a trick only in the sense of being a good way to deal with a vexing problem,” Mann told the Guardian. Clearly, this problem with modern tree data raises questions about older data – at least until the reason for the divergence is nailed down. But it is not clandestine data ­manipulation, or, as claimed by Palin and Inhofe, a trick to hide global cooling. That charge is a lie.

    i think it’s important to keep in mind that “climategate” is exhibit a for the anti-climate change brigade. that it’s a total, idiotic lie tells you a lot about their movement.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  12. knuckleheadedliberal says:


    There is no magic bullet that will solve all problems. There will be many small solutions, incremental improvements and some major advances but we have to work the problems.

    Luckily for the Apollo 13 astronauts they weren’t counting on God to set things straight. They had lots of engineers and pilots and technologists who worked together and used the minimal resources at hand to bring our brave heros home.
    They didn’t bring in the Flat Earth Society for an alternative point of view to make sure that all sides were represented and they didn’t say “hey wait a minute, how much is this going to cost us in taxes? Because if it costs us an extra several million dollars those guys can just stay up there.”

    When was the exact moment in our history when it became impossible for everyone to agree to do the right thing? If there are any dunderheads out there who think that improving average fuel economy is a bad thing to do please let me know.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  13. Larry says:

    One of the unfortunate characteristics of liberal orientation is the propensity to ridicule opposing viewpoints, or, worse yet, summarily dismiss them. That’s not debate. There’s nothing wrong with someone presenting their viewpoint from a religious perspective, if that’s their belief. And let’s stop with the semantics as well. Of course we’re running out of oil; we’ve been running out since the first drop was pumped. There’s no debate about the cllimate changing; the debate is about cause and effect. You can’t win these arguments on technicalities.

    In many ways we are better off now than we have been in many years and the trend is certainly positive. The DDT issue is a great case in point: we learned, corrected our mistake and are better off for it. There are many other positive examples of progress being made. It’s not all doom and gloom no matter how many want it to be.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  14. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    The unfortunate characteristic of conservatives is that they will not agree to the obvious and they keep changing their arguments when they are proven wrong.

    The DDT issue is a perfect case in point. The interests of the pesticide companies fought tooth and nail against Rachel Carson. Now they want to say that they were on the right side all along.

    Liberals aren’t the ones saying things are doom and gloom. Liberals are saying that we have problems to deal with. Conservatives keep saying they don’t see any problem. They say that liberals are all doom and gloom. Then the problem gets much worse and the conservatives finally come around to fixing the problem but they complain that it costs too much, when they could have saved a lot of money by dealing with the problem when Liberals first pointed out there was a problem.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  15. mervel says:

    hermit, I didn’t fall for it as some sort of debunking of climate change. I do think it shows some insight into some of the pettiness and motivations of scientists, who like all of us are simply human beings. In that regard when things become political that can impact the science, it can impact tenure, it can impact a whole bunch of things if you choose to study the “wrong” things for example. I do think research gets buried all of the time that is not popular.

    But that IS normal and as I said it does not mean that climate change is not happening. But this blog got me looking at what is going on in the field and there are some really interesting things happening in the world of geo-engineering, which is also controversial, but exciting.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  16. Kathy says:

    Luckily for the Apollo 13 astronauts they weren’t counting on God to set things straight.

    This is the kind of extreme thinking I am talking about. Hopefully, you were being facetious.

    We were discussing the natural processes of the earth. I believe in cause and effect; reaping and sowing. But I also believe in a God who has interjected within those processes the ability to replenish.

    We see it in the smallest of things: the body’s ability to heal itself, new growth after a wildfire, putting a seed in soil and watching it grow. Sure there are casualties in life – but even that is figured into the system.

    Does that mean a religious viewpoint does not acknowledge the issues? No. It just means we are willing to believe that the Creator not only figured in replenishment in the system, but has given mankind the ability to problem solve.

    Leave God out, and you have nothing but despair.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  17. Kathy says:

    Liberals are saying that we have problems to deal with. Conservatives keep saying they don’t see any problem.

    There are extremes in both camps for sure. Question is, how do we find balance? Anyone else out there tired of paying the $$$ to get your vehicle to pass inspection? And how come I can’t shoot a buck on my 250 acres anytime I want for meat in the freezer? I feed them!

    The over-regulation is oppressive. What’s next? Surely we see the absurdity in some of the environmental laws.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  18. mervel says:

    We are not going to be able to reduce carbon on a world wide basis, we (the US) don’t have the power and there is no consensus to do so. We could spend the next 50 years in endless talks and signing phoney treaties like Kyoto (which the signers of all produced MORE carbon after sighing the phoney treaty), or we can make bold moves to save the world.

    We will have to use big solutions that involve us changing he world atmosphere, which will not be that expensive, it will just be VERY risky but possibly needed.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  19. PNElba says:

    Kathy – Thanks for the link. One question though. Did you actually read the article to which you linked? There is no such quote (“Because we will never be able to explain everything, there will always be evidence for Design.” Jerry Coyne) in that book review article.

    Dr. Coyne does point out that in Behe’s book “There is the usual selective quotation of evolutionists (including to my horror, a remark of my own, both altered and taken out of context)……”

    Also, if you do an internet search for the quote, nothing comes up.

    I’m assuming you just provided me with the wrong link. A good Christian wouldn’t be dishonest.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. hermit thrush says:

    mervel, sorry that i wasn’t clear enough with my objection. you referenced the “climategate” scientists who purportedly covered up/slanted their data to get the “correct” result, as though this was something that actually happened. but it didn’t. it’s complete bs. there was zero — zero — funny business revealed in the hacked emails. the whole story is a concoction of a right-wing propaganda machine bent on distributing ideology, not accurate information.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  21. mervel says:

    Well I didn’t know that Hermit. I read some of the “purported” emails and it looked like there was some funny business to me, but who knows what is true?

    The whole thing I agree is a sideline, I was just surprised that no one brought it up, but maybe it is because it was debunked.

    But anyway what do you think about some of this geo-engineering work going on?

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  22. Kathy says:

    PNElba: page 2; 3rd paragraph.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. JDM says:

    Since we’re doing “science by consensus”, the creationists have it over the evolutionists 4 to 1.

    The debate is over. Everything was created.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  24. Kathy says:

    The leaders in Jesus’ day questioned him and his authority. There is an element of faith involved in our lives.

    The sun rises every morning. The sea does not overtake the land. The garden I just planted will produce vegetables. My brain communicates to my hands and feet. These are things we take for granted. Is there science behind it? Yes. Yet, if there wasn’t creationism, the wouldn’t be science.

    For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

    For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.

    Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

    For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

    Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

    For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

    God frustrates man’s intelligence and wisdom because he is well aware how mankind can be prideful in his ability and intelligence. Now before you jump at making the point that God is pretty cruel, let me remind you that any good parent may indeed use the same method in a benevolent way to show their child the parent’s wisdom is needed.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  25. Peter Hahn says:

    theology is a different topic

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  26. Kathy says:

    theology is a different topic

    Not when it’s your world view and are invited to participate in debate.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  27. hermit thrush says:

    sorry mervel, i don’t mean to come on too strong, but i really despair when reasonable people like you are caught up in the lies! i agree that to non-specialists like you and me those emails can come off as fishy sounding. but you just have to learn a little bit to see that they’re not. check out the link i gave above (there’s more there) — it’s not a he-said she-said, it’s not murky, it’s open-and-shut.

    can’t say i know anything about geo-engineering, though.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  28. PNElba says:

    Kathy – again thank you for pointing out where that sentence is in the article. I completely missed it.

    But did you read the very first sentence of that paragraph? If one accepts Behe’s idea that both evolution and creation can operate together, and that the Designer’s goals are unfathomable, then one confronts an airtight theory that can’t be proved wrong.Don’t you see how that single sentence you quoted is taken out of context? The meaning of that single sentence, taken in isolation, is completely different when read in context. Dishonesty.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  29. PNElba says:

    Kathy –

    I think many pretty good argument have been made that your god is cruel, petty, and jealous. You just wrote several quotes showing how your god frustrates the wise and the intelligent and made them foolish. You then go on to point out the “wisdom” used by parents to teach their children. The nice thing about the religious is that they can have everything everyway, and they have the bible to prove it.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  30. Kathy says:

    PNElba: Yes, I see the contextual meaning. Glad you actually read the article. : )

    Using Coyne’s own methodology in examining Behe’s view, even science cannot explain everything, true? So does that mean there is evidence for design? Seems it works both ways.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  31. PNElba says:

    Kathy – Science may not be able to explain everything at this moment in time. One hundred years ago we couldn’t explain DNA or build nuclear reactors either. But, that doesn’t mean a magik man is responsible for stuff we don’t understand.

    You, or anyone else for that matter, has yet to propose a testable experiment supporting intelligent design. Yet you insist that intelligent design (creationism) is science.

    Of course I read the article. Unlike most science deniers, I am willing to go to ridiculous creationist websites and read Dr. Behe’s disproven “intelligent design” evidence.

    The big problem here is mixing religion which isn’t falsifiable, with science which is falsifiable.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  32. Kathy says:

    PNElba: To stay in context, here is the rest of Boenhoffer’s quote: We are to find God in what we know, not in what we don’t know.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  33. PNElba says:

    Kathy – Using Coyne’s own methodology in examining Behe’s view…. I’m not even sure what that means.

    Behe, with his disproven theory of irreducible complexity is an embarrassment to scientists everywhere.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  34. PNElba says:

    Who cares what statement about god some Lutheran pastor made? What does that have to do with science, the scientific method, and evidence?

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  35. mervel says:


    Yeah in today’s world maybe always, a person has to be ready and aware that a good portion of what is out there really is propaganda, so that may have been the case in the England case, it seems to have really died down so you are probably correct.

    There is an article on geo-engineering in last week’s New Yorker. Basically it is all of these pretty wild, but very doable large scale projects to intentionally change the world’s climate. The big risk of course is that we all die due to unintended consequences. But they are things like putting these reflective particles in the stratosphere, which most believe would indeed reduce the world’s temps, but of course would it cause massive consequences that we don’t understand. The other was designing these huge methods of capturing carbon in the ocean etc.

    It is pretty neat stuff, I would like to see us spend the money we used to throw away on the space shuttle and put it toward these sorts of real solutions to this problem.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  36. mervel says:

    Reducing Carbon is good I am for it, but basically its too late, we need bold solutions.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  37. hermit thrush says:

    There’s no debate about the cllimate changing

    larry, meet jdm:

    The earth isn’t melting due to man-made activity. It’s cooling because of things bigger than man. (link)

    I predict that we will have more people, more fossil-fuel use, and a cooler climate by 2020! (link)

    i think there’s more of a “debate” than you realize.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  38. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Kathy: “Anyone else out there tired of paying the $$$ to get your vehicle to pass inspection? And how come I can’t shoot a buck on my 250 acres anytime I want for meat in the freezer? I feed them!”

    The state mandates that your vehicle get inspected because in the past there have been too many people who would not do important repairs and preventive maintenance which put everyone on the road in jeopardy.

    As for the deer, unless you own a deer farm the buck is a wild animal that is essentially owned by everyone. You do not own it but you are permitted to kill it if you have the proper license and you kill it in the manner that has been approved by the elected representatives of the people.

    If you feed them you should stop because they are wild animals, not pets. And isn’t it illegal to feed deer?

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  39. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I know lots of people enjoy debating about religion but discussions of religion have no business in a discussion of science. Religion is faith based and not science based. Religion is not provable in a rigorous scientific method.

    The ONLY argument that would be valid would be to say that God created all the physical laws that science reveals. But at that point you must leave mythological figures out of the discussion. People have a right to believe anything they want, but when there is a fact based debate any discussion of God is nonsense, a non sequitur, ignorant of the process of reasoned debate.

    If you want to talk about religious beliefs in a post that isn’t about science I will be happy to join you. It will remind me of the old days in college doing bong hits and thinking deep or maybe stupid thoughts.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  40. Larry says:

    Knuckelhead, I read nothing about pesticide companies fighting Rachel Carson “tooth and nail”, which would have been something inasmuch as she died in 1964. In fact, the EPA banned most use of DDT in the early 70s, an action that was affirmed by the courts shortly thereafter.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  41. Walker says:


    …even before Silent Spring was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1962 there was strong opposition to it:

    Carson was violently assailed by threats of lawsuits and derision, including suggestions that this meticulous scientist was a “hysterical woman” unqualified to write such a book. A huge counterattack was organized and led by Monsanto Company, Velsicol, American Cyanamid – indeed, the whole chemical industry – duly supported by the Agriculture Department as well as the more cautious in the media.

    In the 1960s, biochemist and former chemical industry spokesman Robert White-Stevens stated, “If man were to follow the teachings of Miss Carson, we would return to the Dark Ages, and the insects and diseases and vermin would once again inherit the earth.”

    Industry and agribusiness advocates continue to criticize Silent Spring, and in the 2000s Carson and her book have come under increasing attack from authors and libertarian groups who claimed that restrictions placed on DDT have caused millions of deaths, and more generally that environmental regulation unnecessarily restricts economic freedom.”

    More at Wikipedia: Silent Spring

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  42. mervel says:

    Knuckle it is a different topic, I would not say it about mythological creatures, but it is in the realm of philosophy which is not the realm of science.

    We have pretty distinguished scientists who are also Christians (Collins comes to mind) who do a good job of being scientists without wandering into a different topic.

    But anyway the inherent problem is the ability to make global changes in a global society that is fragmented that does not trust one another (often for very good reason), and has different goals.

    The fact is the science would say as I read it that we need to make pretty dramatic decreases in carbon emissions now, not 50 years from now. But we can’t even stop the growth in carbon emissions let alone achieve a net decrease. China the worlds largest producer of carbon is not going to listen to us, developing countries certainly would eye this whole thing as a plan to slow their growth.

    We need other solutions and they do exist.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  43. Kathy says:

    Khl: I don’t feed them. I provide the meadows that do. That’s what I meant.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  44. Kathy says:

    It’s quite informative for me to hear the viciousness toward God and Christianity – or religion.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  45. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Kathy, stop trying to be a victim. There is no viciousness toward God here.

    Where was it I once read “You shall not bear false witness”? Oh, that is right! It is one of the 10 Commandments. God told you not to misrepresent what other people said and yet you keep doing it.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  46. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    And it is nice that the deer get to feed in the meadows but all the glory should be going to God. He provided the meadows not you.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  47. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Mervel, I never said that science and religion are mutually exclusive but they do occupy different realms. A person can be a scientist and devoutly religious without conflict.

    Let me quote myself: “The ONLY argument that would be valid would be to say that God created all the physical laws that science reveals.”

    If you want to say that God created all the rules and laws that run the Universe there is no conflict with science. That is beyond the purview of science. If you want to insist on a literal reading of Genesis I believe you are falling into the territory of bearing false witness because the Bible is very clearly NOT literal truth because it uses metaphors profusely.

    Enough now, I have to go smoke a bone.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  48. myown says:

    A very effective chart showing the weight of scientific opinion on the issue of anthropogenic climate change:

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  49. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I want to take what I said back. I want to debate about religion and science.

    I submit to you that if God created all things then the laws of science must be among those things. So if you deny science you are not only breaking the Commandment to not bear false witness but you are bearing false witness against God Himself. That makes you a BLASPHEMER.

    And it is not your place to invent a half baked science to try to explain God’s creation in a way that will fit the writings in the Bible because the Bible is not literal. It is easily shown that Jesus Himself used parables and metaphors. Parables are not literal truth. They may speak to a truth, but they are not literal.

    So God has given us eyes to perceive the world, a brain to contemplate existence, and science to divine His plan. Therefor it is obvious that God wants us to divine all the intricacies of His plan, His ultimate Revelation. That makes denial of science a sin against God.

    If global warming is real and if CO2 emissions from Man contribute to global warming then every good Christian must bear witness. Or they are sinning against God.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

Comments are closed.