Coming back to our conversation in January about the lack of respect and consideration afforded to academic types — this very thoughtful analysis of a problematic Forbes published blog post demonstrates exactly why we have to change our attitudes about the “knowledge creators” in our society.
Yes, I know that’s a silly sounding play on the popular term “job creators”, but we place so much emphasis on corporations, making money, and supporting anti-intellectual values in the US that in the face of strong evidence people resort to logical fallacies to sway the masses. Unfortunately, logical fallacies are persuasive and compelling to people who don’t know any better. And a double dose of unfortunate circumstances is that the ‘knowledge creators’ (i.e., academics, researchers, and scientists) are viewed suspiciously in modern American society — like we’re trying to pull one over on the people with our wacky liberal agendas and complex analyses.
Welcome to Idiocracy — American style!
On February 13, James M. Taylor of The Heartland Institute published a deceptive and dishonest blog post at Forbes in which he falsely claimed that a new study rejected the overwhelming scientific consensus about the human causes of climate disruption. On February 20, Taylor dedicated a second Forbes blog to the same study, and instead of admitting his factual errors and correcting his original post, he chose to attack both his critics and the study’s authors. However, his second post was filled with yet more false claims that demonstrate yet again Taylor’s habit of deception and dishonesty.
Taylor attacks a straw man
According to Taylor, climate disruption realists (those who accept the reality that human activity is the dominant driver of climate disruption) supposedly feel that “only atmospheric scientists are qualified” to comment on climate disruption and that geoscientists and engineers are not qualified. While having an understanding of atmospheric…
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