The Age of Unreason: creationism and climate change denial travel hand-in-hand

Increasingly it is become clear that we are entering the Age of Unreason.  

For proof look no further than the growing links between Creationism and climate change denial. 

Christopher Booker, one of the UKs most prominent climate sceptics has announced his support for the anti-Evolution cause:

“…Academics who dare to question the scientific establishment’s consensus on Darwinism or global warming increasingly find themselves ostracised and demonised

Three months ago I spent a fascinating few days in a villa opposite Cap Ferrat, taking part in a seminar with a dozen very bright scientists, some world authorities in their field. Although most had never met before, they had two things in common. Each had come to question one of the most universally accepted scientific orthodoxies of our age: the Darwinian belief that life on earth evolved simply through the changes brought about by an infinite series of minute variations.

The other was that, on arriving at these conclusions, they had come up against a wall of hostility from the scientific establishment. Even to raise such questions was just not permissible. One had been fired as editor of a major scientific journal because he dared publish a paper sceptical of Darwin’s theory. Another, the leading expert on his subject, had only come lately to his dissenting view and had not yet worked out how to admit this to his fellow academics for fear that he too might lose his post.”

One wonders what the likes of Ian Pilmer, the Australian scientists who fraught creationism but believes global warming is a “scam” would make of this?  

Booker also doubts asbestos is dangerous, calling it “chemically identical to talcum powder” and poses a “non-existent” risk to human health”.  

Clearly Booker must be a genius – he can see the faults in not only climate science, but evolution and contemporary medicine.  

A fool, a liar or a genius? I’ll leave that for you to decide…  

Creationism helped sow the seeds of denial  

As I’ve said since the inception of this blog, creationism and climate change denial go hand-in hand.  

Indeed, I regard climate change denial is the “bastard” child of creationism.  

In the US creationists have argued against the science for decades, claiming there was “no real evidence” and that evolution as a “liberal conspiracy”. So effective are their attacks on science that 50% of the US population thinks the world is less than 10,000 years old and distrust mainstream science.   

Climate change denial fell upon this fertile, anti-science  ground.  

Creationism has provided the template for the denial movement, as their strategies are almost identical. Generations of Americans, Australians and people around the world have been taught to distrust science, and place their faith in fast-talking intellectual hucksters.  

Is it no surprise that the Herald Sun, home to Andrew Bolt, gave over two full pages to disgraced former footballer Gary Ablett to attack evolution?  

Isn’t any wonder that Christopher Monckton, the pompous self-styled “Lord” speaks the language to Creationism?  

Are we not surprised that (now former) Family First Senator Steve Fielding not only doubts climate change, but also rejects evolutionary theory?  

Is there not a pattern emerging?  

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

21 thoughts on “The Age of Unreason: creationism and climate change denial travel hand-in-hand

  1. Reading Booker’s piece, he also makes a point about passive smoking. However, let’s not write a book on his nonsense.
    The only “expert” that he actually names is a atmospheric physicist. Now, excuse me if not everyone agrees, but I certainly wouldn’t want this “leading expert” preforming a by-pass surgery on me. It’s easy, even for scientists of other fields, to get confused by biology and ecology; it all depends on what anyone of us has learnt about the subject at hand, not how much they know of another subject.
    I happen to agree with what this atmospheric physicist apparently states: CO2 emissions are unlikely to lead to a runaway greenhouse effect. That’s a very sensible conclusion, for we’re only talking about a small concentration change in the atmosphere. However, that small concentration change is enough to alter the global temperature anomaly by a couple degrees (say, if we keep it under 450ppm). That is enough to shift our climate stability to a new equilibrium – one which many current species will be unable to adapt to, leading to an even greater extinction rate (it’s already higher than background rates due to other human impacts) which will create extra hardship to our own species as well.
    It’s a pathetic twist of words to make a mountain out of this physicists conclusion.
    As you’ve no doubt noticed – I’ve been also looking into the religious relationship to climate denial. It’s all too obvious that religion is on the back foot – and has been for some time. The scary thing is that it’s gaining ground. So much so that more people of the US than not think that their country was founded on Christian ideals, not secularism.. That’s frightening.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      We are seeing an ideologically inspired historical revisionism that seeks to recast the last 250-300 years of secularisation as either a fiction or a terrible mistake.

  2. Fred Orth says:

    Among the population in my little corner of the World, I know that your analysis rings VERY true. It is lonely out here!

  3. Des Carne says:

    El sueño de la razón produce monstruos:

    The greatest crisis through which the European destiny has ever passed [sofar…] ends with Galileo and Descartes—a crisis which began at the end of the fourteenth century and did not taper off until the early years of the seventeenth century.

    An historical crisis is … a predicament of history… an historical crisis occurs when … the world, the system of convictions belonging to a previous generation, gives way to a vital state in which man remains without these convictions, and therefore without a world. Man returns to a state of not knowing what to do for the reason that he returns to a state of actually not knowing what to think about the world. Therefore the change swells to a crisis and takes on the character of a catastrophe…. Since that system of convictions, that world, was the map which permitted man to move within his environment with a certain security, and since he now lacks such a map, he again feels himself lost, at loose ends, without orientation. He moves from here to there without order or arrangement; he tries this side and then the other, but without complete convictions; he pretends to himself that he is convinced of this or that…. During periods of crisis, positions which are false or feigned are very common. Entire generations falsify themselves to themselves; that is to say, they wrap themselves up in artistic styles, in doctrines, in political movements which are insincere and which fill the lack of genuine convictions.

    Crisis man has been left without a world, handed over to the chaos of pure circumstance, in a lamentable state of disorientation. Such a structure of life opens a wide margin for very diverse emotional tonalities as a mask for life; very diverse, but all belonging to the same negative type. On feeling himself lost, man may respond with sceptical frigidity, with anguish, or with desperation; and he will do many things, which though apparently heroic, do not in fact proceed from any real heroism but are deeds done in desperation. Or he will have a sense of fury, of madness, an appetite for vengeance, because of the emptiness of his life; these will drive him to enjoy brutally, cynically, whatever comes his way— flesh, luxury, power. Life takes on a bitter flavor—we will soon meet the acidity of Petrarch, the first man of the Renaissance.

    An excess of sudden dread, a period of many changes, plunges man back into nature, makes him an animal, that is, a barbarian. This was a very serious feature of the greatest crisis in history, at the end of the ancient world. Barbarity followed Roman culture in that very period which is perhaps the highest that humanity has yet achieved—the century of the Antonines in which an emperor with a beard in the Stoic style, Marcus Aurelius, the best man of his age, wrote a book entitled “For Himself” as a symbol that humanity was living on a pinnacle of immersion in self. We know today that that ferocious crisis was not simply an eruption of barbarians flooding over Roman culture, but that on the contrary, cultured men turned into barbarians. It took nine more centuries—from the third to the twelfth—for man to reorganize his environment in such a fashion that he could again remove his attention from it and again withdraw within himself.

    It is not easy to doubt that the phenomenon of rbarbarisation has repeatedly recurred throughout history. The symptom is not lacking in the Renaissance crisis, which was much deeper and more serious than the Roman one. What the generations immediately prior to mine— Burckhardt, Nietzsche, and so on—enthusiastically called “Renaissance man” was for the moment a rebarbarised man. The Thirty Years’ War, which left the centre of Europe destroyed for a century, was the basin into which the resurgence of that barbarism arising at the beginning of the sixteenth century overflowed. Read what that war was like in detail and you will see that nothing similar occurred in the Middle Ages. Cesare Borgia was the prototype of the new barbarian who suddenly bloomed in the midst of an old culture. He was the man of action. In history, as soon as the man of action puts in an appearance and is discussed and pampered, it means that a period of re-barbarisation looms. Like the albatross on the eve of a storm, the man of action appears on the scene at the dawn of every crisis. (Jose Ortega y Gasset, Man & Crisis 1942/1958. 11, 85-6,95-7)

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Thanks for those passages Des. Thus of us championing the “Enlightenment project” take the long view and wonder just where “we” are heading.

  4. tomfarmer says:

    Increasingly it is become clear that we are entering the Age of Unreason.

    How very kindly put.

    Myself, I see willfull idiocy.

    And, yes, perhaps, per another commenter, possibility (if not as yet unrevealed probability) the body of action to lead a blighted world.

    But what do you suppose such a body will sustain leadership with — ignorance.? If yes, then destined to short life. If no, then.. we have the immanent question. Do we not?

  5. Nick says:

    Booker is one of those supremely confident idiots blighting the over-stuffed ranks of opinion writers.Nothing he claims can be regarded as reliable.

    This article is his stock paranoid whinge about what some nameless individuals are suffering at the hands of some vaguely described bloc or another. The ‘seminar’ he describes in southern France may just as well be a complete invention: a general location,no dates,no names,no references,no footnotes.Not a bloody thing that normal,sane people could use to engage with the subject.

    File under worthless bullshit.

    • I couldn’t agree more – he was extremely vague on the details… however, like Nova, Bolt and a whole host of other bozos, they have a readership that trust what they have to say. That’s the scary thing – people out there have read this stupid article of Booker and have walked away feeling that it’s yet another example of how the truth is being suppressed by an overwhelmingly interwoven communistic pseudo-science community out to take over the world. That some physicist (the only named individual) is upset that the truth about evolution is being crushed by “radical liberals” to undermine Christian morality is enough of a basis for some to scream out in outrage…
      He needs no evidence when he’s simply reinforcing already confirmed bias

  6. Michael says:

    In 2009, 1079 e-mails and 72 documents were leaked to the internet by a hacker from the inside…

    One of the e-mails, gloats over John L Daly (one of the first to disagree with global warming), founder of the Still Waiting For Greenhouse site) said…

    “In an odd way this is cheering news.”

    Climate gate revealed a lot of communications on how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process…

    “This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?”

    “I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”“It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice !”

    And that’s not all, CRU’s researchers were exposed of “cherry-picking” the data in order to support their claim that man-made CO2 was the cause of warming trends. Observational data shows the world going through a cooling period the last 10 years.

    As far as creationists, we support science as defined as; “a structured discipline of systematic examination for the purpose of obtaining knowledge.” We do not support the story of evolution. For example, the idea of the Universe creating itself out of nothing with zero energy like Steven Hawking who is a British theoretical physicist and cosmologist suggested in his new book. Steven wouldn’t believe nor suggest a cloud can be produce from nothing with zero energy. Claiming the universe can do that is not logical.

    Let’s look at the big bang, the universe is suppose to form naturally step by step, however, astronomers do not find a heirarchy of development of galaxies from large and complex nearby to the small and simple at great distance, but they find large complex galaxies at all epochs in the cosmos.

    Scientists are often oblivious with their assumptions while spending time on paradigms. Faith without evidence is invoked with the anomalies which are mere puzzles to them that will be solved within a approved consensus.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Michael, surely your genius entitles you for a Nobel prize. A single blog post to dismiss 400 years of scientific achievements?

      Climate change denial. Creationims. Vaccine denial. 9/11 Truthers.

      The world is awash with wilful ignorance.

      Now, what as I saying about the age of unreason?

      Happy for others to engage, but beware feeding the troll!

      • Surely Michael is merely being ironic? Otherwise he stands as a perfect example of yet another ignorant dolt who would return us to an age suppressed by religious superiority.

      • Michael says:

        Thanks! Your post is just building a strawman’s argument with trying to connect creationism with those who oppose man-made global warming. Not all skeptics are creations. Historically the weather conditions have changed, Greenland was once a warm place where the Vikings once lived then they had to leave because it got cold there. Surely, you think man’s CO2 is going to control those trends? Do you really believe those trends have ceased? If man is causing climate change as some claim then why the climate gate?

        How much green energy to you use? Since you believe man is the cause of trend, and tell people there is much ignorance on the subject. I think you in over your head….lol

      • How tired and outdated Michael’s tripe is.
        Not all who concur with the evidence for anthropogenic climate change are atheists. Mike just demonstrates the parallels here – those who have cross agendas simply because their real fight is against reason.

        “Historically the weather conditions have changed, Greenland was once a warm place where the Vikings once lived then they had to leave because it got cold there. Surely, you think man’s CO2 is going to control those trends? Do you really believe those trends have ceased? If man is causing climate change as some claim then why the climate gate?”

        Man you live under a rock.
        Climate does indeed change – we know this because of a wonderful little thing called science. Science also goes on to demonstrate that there are a number of different forcings behind climate change. The currently changing climate has all the hallmarks of a climate that is changing in response to an amplifying greenhouse effect.
        And this has been shown to relate with increasing atmospheric absorption of CO2 and CH4.. so yes, man’s CO2 really can assist with climate trends.

        Oh and climategate – no matter how many times that will be proven as a non-event, I suspect that you will not change your views. A handful of mined quotes, taken out of context does nothing to undermine of nearly a century and a half of study.

        Green energy – now that’s a can of worms that is at this point, in most countries a nonsensical argument because very little is being done.

        Sorry Michael, but I’m affair you’ve already demonstrated you’re over your head on the subject. Inform yourself or move on.

  7. […] the original post: The Age of Unreason: creationism and climate change denial travel … This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged booker, consensus-on-darwinism, darwinism, […]

  8. It seems to pander to a sort of self-indulgent day-dreaming whereby those who do not have a good education can fool themselves that they have just as much to say on a given subject as those who do. One can sympathise with the very real human reaction of those who find themselves in that unfortunate situation.

    What’s harder to sympathise with is those educated scientists who start to make grand sceptical pronouncements about areas that they are not trained or well read in, and who are then widely quoted by the uneducated as being “dissident” scientists who have been frozen out by the scientific “establishment”.

    The most important education is the ability to know what we don’t know. Many people seem to leave school without that essential faculty.

  9. Nescio says:

    The propensity of cranks in one area to support cranks spouting unrelated nonsense has been called “crank magnetism.” Their shared dislike of science appears to instill a mutual attraction, which was coined “vindication of all kooks.” For details see:

  10. klem says:

    I haven’t observed this pattern. All of the people I know are AGW deniers but none are creationists, they are all evolutionists.

    Now that you bring up the subject perhaps it’s time I reviewed the evidence for evolution. I will never be a creationist, I’m not religeous, I’m actually closer to pagen, so creation nor intelligent design are not on the table. But I could be an anti-evolutionist. I mean, biologists can’t yet agree on the definition of what a species is so how can they say one species incrementally evolves into another? And when does one species incrementally cross the line and become another? Wow, I’m digging this evolution denialist thing. Wahoo!!

  11. J Bowers says:

    What is science without religion?

    From The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
    Can science function without religion? Science would like to think so. And yet … and yet.
    Perhaps, therefore, no one should be allowed to practice in any of the sciences, particularly in those sciences that have become the mere political footballs of the leading pressure-groups, unless he can certify that he adheres to one of those major religions – Christianity outstanding among them – that preach the necessity of morality, and the reality of the distinction between that which is so and that which is not. For science without the morality that perhaps religion alone can give is nothing.

    How to take us back to the Dark Ages in one pretentious fell swoop.

    • It truly is an absurd statement when you’re looking at religion from the outside, isn’t it?

      “…unless he can certify that he adheres to one of those major religions”
      I suspect the major religions would, in Monckton’s view, largely focus on those resulting from Abraham? Gee, now there’s a great source of morality, isn’t it? The stories of the Old Testament do nothing but promote child abuse, mutilation of the body, humiliation of women, genocide and racism.

      Personally, I fail to see how good science can be achieved with a strict adherence to any faith – living a life by the writings of someone’s imaginary friend while pursuing evidence based clarity would require more doublethink than Winston Smith was eventually able to achieve.

      This is yet another detrimental mark at the credibility Monckton (yet by now, unneeded). If he asserts his morality on the basis of any faith, this exposes the man for maintaining a disturbing lapse of judgement (again, not require at this point with all other evidence previously supplied).

  12. Watching the Deniers says:

    @ JB and Moth…

    Methinks I see a pattern 😉

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