Friday, 18 December 2009

Crank magnetism revisited

Not so long ago I wrote about crank magnetism, the origin of the word, and its meaning. In short it refers to the propensity of cranks in one area to support cranks spouting unrelated nonsense. Their shared dislike of science appears to instill a mutual attraction, which was recently coined vindication of all kooks. Or, put differently, if science can be proven wrong in case of evolution, that alone proves it is also wrong on global warming. Needless to say there is some sort of logical fallacy hiding in there. Today I realised another meaning of the concept: being a crank renders the most notorious sceptics impotent in repelling hogwash and, like moths to a flame, turns them into their disciples.

That is, the "climate sceptics" have converted Randy. Because he was previously being regarded The Master of the Known Universe of Scepsis, Orac notes that Randy's recent adoption of a less sceptical worldview is already being used by the anti-science movement to discredit the current scientific consensus.

Should you still need more information showing why there is no real scientific debate on this topic just read, and study, the following articles: How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic, Seven Answers to Climate Contrarian Nonsense, 50 reasons why global warming isn't natural, The Global Warming Skeptics vs. The Scientific Consensus.

Update. Clearly the "controversy" surrounding global warming is linked to scientists refusing to "teach the controversy" regarding evolution. Yet another incarnation of the classic form of crank magnetism.

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