The art of science has certainly changed since I was in school. Back in the old days, it was a hypothesis that was tested and proved by controlling variables, along with repetition of experimentation, producing similar results. Hypotheses or theories were always subject to challenge and skepticism.
Today, one does not even need to be educated in a designated area to declare himself an expert in a specific subject matter.
Take global warming, for example. One would think that a climatologist would be the most qualified to discuss this area of expertise. There are only about 80 Ph.D. climatologists in the entire country, and most remain silent on the subject. You see, to speak out against the state's new religion could lead to a reduction in grant money, and no one wants to be in that position or be declared a heretic (Ref: Hansen - pretty good, eh?)
The following are the rules of the "new" science:
First of all, expert training is unnecessary. As a matter of fact, no scientific background may actually be an advantage in declaring one's expertise. A college dean, a politician who dropped out of law school, a movie actor - even a landscaping engineer will do just fine.
As long as one believes that humans are the cause of climate change, their credentials are impeccable.
Secondly, correlation is now causation.
For example, carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere, and the earth is supposedly getting warmer, although some climatologists have been disputing that this is still happening since 1998.
Therefore, one causes the other.
Those of us from the old school know that correlation is not causation, and that this type of reasoning can lead to faulty conclusions.
For example, did you know that 99.8 percent of convicted murderers in San Quentin, as children, chewed bubble gum and drank water from a glass? One must conclude that these activities cause violence in adulthood!
Thirdly, one does not need to support conclusions with facts. Simply quoting an organization that sounds authoritarian will do. How about: "The World Council on Global Climate Change" or the "Intergalactic Body on Planetary Warming?"
The titles are enough to make anyone look foolish who tries to question the credentials of those behind such lofty organizations.
Fourthly, "consensus" is now indisputable proof. If "most scientists" agree, then the premise under discussion is a fact. Did you know that "most psychiatrists agreed" that homosexuality was a "sexual orientation disturbance" during the 1970s?
Or that "global cooling" was the consensus during the same time period? How times change!
The whole basis of "old school" science was to remain skeptical, and those who made the outlandish claims held the burden of proof - but no more.
Actually, the "new science" is so much easier to do. Just make your claims and call those who disagree with you "deniers."
Maybe the new system is superior. To prove it, all one has to do is: "follow the money."
Steve Hansen is a Lodi Writer and satirist.