May 02 2012
History is replete with the social upheaval of scientific revolution. In this repeating saga of humanity, there are always two camps: the established ‘consensus’ and the heretical new thinkers.
The most infamous of these upheavals was the debate between the terra-centric (flat earth types) and heliocentric camps of the renaissance. The consensus was held by the Catholic Church who had determined (with loose and unfounded logic) that the Earth was the center of the universe – and they it’s smartest and most wise (of course)
The heretics were those watching and measuring reality: Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Nicolaus Capernicus and Galileo Galilei – some of humanity’s most brilliant and open minded scientists. As these people began to observe the heavens and make precise measurements night after night, they began to unravel the mysteries of the night sky. They discovered planets, theorized about them orbiting a large mass, and finally discovered the Earth actually revolved around the Sun.
For these amazing achievements these people were prosecuted by the naysayers of the Church:
Nicolaus Copernicus (German: Nikolaus Kopernikus; Italian: Nicolò Copernico; Polish: Miko?aj Kopernik (help·info); in his youth, Niclas Koppernigk; 19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance astronomer and the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe.
Copernicus’ epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), published just before his death in 1543, is often regarded as the starting point of modern astronomy and the defining epiphany that began the scientific revolution. His heliocentric model, with the Sun at the center of the universe, demonstrated that the observed motions of celestial objects can be explained without putting Earth at rest in the center of the universe. His work stimulated further scientific investigations, becoming a landmark in the history of science that is often referred to as the Copernican Revolution.
By 1616 the attacks on the ideas of Copernicus had reached a head, and Galileo went to Rome to try to persuade the Catholic Church authorities not to ban Copernicus’ ideas. In the end, a decree of the Congregation of the Index was issued, declaring that the ideas that the Sun stood still and that the Earth moved were “false” and “altogether contrary to Holy Scripture”, and suspending Copernicus’s De Revolutionibus until it could be corrected. Acting on instructions from the Pope before the decree was issued, Cardinal Bellarmine informed Galileo that it was forthcoming, that the ideas it condemned could not be “defended or held”, and ordered him to abandon them. Galileo promised to obey. Bellarmine’s instruction did not prohibit Galileo from discussing heliocentrism as a mathematical fiction but was dangerously ambiguous as to whether he could treat it as a physical possibility. For the next several years Galileo stayed well away from the controversy.
The sentence of the Inquisition was delivered on June 22. It was in three essential parts:
- Galileo was found “vehemently suspect of heresy”, namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the centre of the universe, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture. He was required to “abjure, curse and detest” those opinions.
- He was sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of the Inquisition. On the following day this was commuted to house arrest, which he remained under for the rest of his life.
- His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.
I snipped these passages from the Wikipedia pages on Capernicus and Galileo. It is a disgusting and disturbing part of humanity’s history. These people looked at the world in open and objective ways and saw what was there, transpiring right in front of them. Yet the ‘consensus’ crowd was so afraid of the real facts they censored the real results and ruined the careers of these ‘deniers’ of doctrine.
Fast forward to today and you see the Church of Al Gore/IPCC replaying history. But this time they do not have the reigns of law, nor the ability to shut down and censor dissent so coldly and easily.
For a while they were able to abuse the scientific review process and stamp out contrary studies, but that could not hold and someone with a more refined conscience and a true sense of the scientific method let leak the emails that proved the conspiracy to shut out the heretics of AGW. The milder inquisition in hiding was exposed. Though some still hold out for a more violent response:
We know who the active denialists are – not the people who buy the lies, mind you, but the people who create the lies. Let’s start keeping track of them now, and when the famines come, let’s make them pay. Let’s let their houses burn. Let’s swap their safe land for submerged islands. Let’s force them to bear the cost of rising food prices.
This person needs help.
As with the Heliocentric Revolution, it takes time to finally wash away the chains of consensus and once again walk in the light of discovery. But with so many more scientists today, much more capable tools and global data banks this round of cleansing won’t take centuries.
The following story at WUWT is a harbinger of new scientific enlightenment, and recalls one of the last scientific revolutions to sweep Mother Earth:
Today the Royal Astronomical Society in London publishes (online) Henrik Svensmark’s latest paper entitled “Evidence of nearby supernovae affecting life on Earth”. After years of effort Svensmark shows how the variable frequency of stellar explosions not far from our planet has ruled over the changing fortunes of living things throughout the past half billion years.
By taking me back to when I reported the victory of the pioneers of plate tectonics in their battle against the most eminent geophysicists of the day, it makes me feel 40 years younger. Shredding the textbooks, Tuzo Wilson, Dan McKenzie and Jason Morgan merrily explained earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain-building, and even the varying depth of the ocean, simply by the drift of fragments of the lithosphere in various directions around the globe.
The consensus of a rigid solid crust was blown away – again by a few out-of-the-consensus-box thinkers who pulled together data into a new picture of the world around us. The story Svenmark shows is how this Earth interacts with the galaxy around us. And how that galaxy can cause conditions that increase clouds, and thus decrease global temps as we are shielded from the Sun’s life giving energy. It shows how a cool Earth with lowered sea levels loses diversity and threatens life, while a warmer Earth with higher seal levels allows diversity and evolution to explode.
It also shows how CO2 is not a driver of temperature, but a result of higher temps and more water (sort of a “duh” moment in my opinion).
There have been many other studies out recently, showing how polar ice extent today is not much different from the 1930-1940 period (which is consistent with RAW temperature records which show a similar global temp as today). Another shows how satellites have disprove the climate models, and we all know how temperatures have not increased with CO2 for going on two decades (on average).
The theory of AGW is busted and dead. Now it is just a matter of time for the media to grow up and report on it, and the politicians to disconnect themselves from the mess. And it is a mess. You would think the CRU emails would have sent a shudder through all respectable and honorable men and women of science. But the group-think surrounding CO2 is so engrained it has taken even grosser events to begin to rattle the zealots. As with the Church and Galileo, there have been outright forgeries and fakes used to try and hide the reality.
But the truth of reality will break through the fiction of zealotry. At least we can say we are getting better at getting through these disturbing moments of lax judgement.