Bill Nye, the Science Guy, was a pseudo hero of mine, especially when I was raising my kids and during the early years of teaching. It was amazing to me how some nerdy guy could capture the attention by being odd and weird, but he did and for that I am grateful.
He saved me hours of trying to figure out what to do and how to fill precious minutes with my school students and my own kids, so thank you, Bill Nye.
He’s not my hero now. He has adopted the position similar to a religious zealot with his belief in science and his faith in global warming. His position is clear and concise, you either believe like he does or you’re a denier, a heretic, a Global Warming Sinner.
Science attempts to understand the natural and the physical world through observation and experimentation, a process that has no practical end unless you can prove, without question that all of your questions, future questions, past and present have been answered. There will no longer be a debate because there is no reason to question what is now the truth.
The position taken by Bill Nye is that Global Warming is a foregone conclusion and any further descent from the issue is akin to sacrilege or as he put it “cognitive dissonance” or in other words, a conflict between cognitions or conflicting beliefs. It should be mentioned here that this psychological issue does not claim to conflict with the truth but with belief. I would also like to mention that the belief in science often has conflicting scenarios that cause scientist great concern, especially when their hypothesis has been threatened with extinction due to faulty, manufactured or just wrong information.
When there is insufficient reward there is dissonance…there is a tendency to avoid information that would create cognitive dissonance because it is incompatible with their current beliefs. Inconsistencies between our beliefs and the facts that surround us create a cognitive discord. In order to balance that discord one of four things needs to occur:
1. Change one of the conflicting thoughts to restore your consistency.
2. Change a behavior to restore balance.
3. Add new thoughts, justifications or excuses to reduce the cognitive dissonance or to more effectively rationalize the behaviors and or justify the decisions to maintain the dissonance.
4. Trivialize the inconsistencies.
Peace within is the ultimate cure for cognitive dissonance. Psychology suggests that the 4 points above are attempts toward restoring balance or peace. When science encounters cognitive dissonance they simply change the parameters of their experiments or alter their theory but when the common man deals with conflicts of cognition they must come back into balance through one of the four prescribed methods. There really isn’t that much difference between the common man and the sciences when it comes to creating a balanced view of our world but add a little Global Climate Change and all the rules are thrown out the window.
Bill Nye is emphatic about the “settled science”. Have you ever heard of a science that is settled? Mammograms was a settled science until they found that in a study of 90,000 women Mammograms did not affect the number of breast cancer incidents. Settled to unsettled in just over 25 years. If climate science is settled, why do its predictions keep changing? Settled or unsettling?
Leeches were used universally years ago and are still used today for very specific cases. But the settled science of bloodletting was considered a standard practice and was considered the order of the day, a day that lasted for over 2000 years. If anything was considered settled one would have to include bloodletting. That practice is almost completely abandoned now and has no place within our present day system of medicine. Who knows what will change in the future.
Science that is settled is no longer science since science is the process of discovery through experimentation and observation. Settled science is then an unmitigated fact with no need to experiment or observe for the purpose of discovery. As it pertains to Global Climate change, settled science implies no need for argument or discussion, especially for those who don’t agree. (A Pew study done in October of 2016 showed a stark contrast between what has been reported and what was recently observed. Three-quarters of Americans have doubts about the effects of climate change due to human behavior.)
To me, that is not science but a form of fascism that would severely curtail the free speech of those who dissent from the governmental position. The use of force to limit those voices is encouraged as is violence and abuse of those who disagree. “Settled science” has taken up those fascist ideals and they claim they should be the only voices, the only solutions and theirs should be the only means to their ends, leaving the rest of the country to accept, willing or not.
There are numerous issues, not scientific in nature but controversial areas of belief that have galvanized this country. Abortion, immigration, gun control, minimum wage, gender Identity, the death penalty and many others. These issues are far from settled and still hold the country apart. Who is to say what is right or wrong? I would vote for myself to be the arbiter of what is right or wrong but that might cause even more issues than we already have.
In order to solve these issues we need to solve the most basic problem of how we feel about each other, we need to love more, care more and serve more, then and only then can we be in a position to want to help those around us despite their political views, and only then will we be able to discuss those divisive topics without the overwhelming need to end the discussion with violence…You go first and I’ll see how you do…