Rick Perry Fears The Lord. I Fear Rick Perry.

Republican presidential wannabe Rick Perry has no regard for science, alleging that man-made global warming is a hoax, and that creationism ought to be taught in classrooms. Here are some of his Godly ravings. Let them be a warning. And what does it say about the US political system that things get so bad that (nearly) every Republican front runner has to be a moron and that the Republicans aren't political pariahs despite this? Amongst the Republican candidates the only ones that believe in global warming and evolution are Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich (although some of the lesser-known candidates might also - but info can be hard to track down). Both God-fearing, mind. "Dear Lord, save us from your followers."


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Comment by Luke Scientiae on August 19, 2011 at 12:38pm

Comment by Alejandro M on August 22, 2011 at 7:48am

Hello Luke Scientiae, for the record, I am a Libertarian. And I oppose Rick Perry vehemently. However, what you are doing is a fallacy: grouping all the things Rick Perry believes, and because one of them (at least) is silly, giving all his beliefs the same "stupid" aura.


Eg: Rick Perry believes in Creationism. Rick Perry believes the Earth is round. Ergo, the Earth is NOT round.


You are committing this same fallacy with the AGW (or Global Warming). The fact he believes it doesn't exist, doesn't make it stupid. Many people see the Global Warming "theory" as nothing but the attempt by left-leaning humans to control the rest - by telling them what they can and can't do (and of course, by funding costly "green" and inefficient energies and programs, like the one owned by the famous Reverend Al Gore).


Global Warming is as myth as is creationism. And while I don't want to get this topic off-topic, I just wanted to warn you of your fallacy.


Have a good day.

Comment by Luke Scientiae on August 22, 2011 at 8:32am


It seems you're keener to assert AGW is a scam than to read what I put.

In your comment you say that I fallaciously alleged all of Perry's beliefs are stupid. I didn't.

I specifically mentioned which of his beliefs I object to: his fundamentalist christianity, his anti-evolution stance and his denial of AGW. Your example with the Earth being round is completely irrelevant. I never made that move.

You're right that just because Perry "believes it [AGW] doesn't exist, doesn't make it stupid." No, it's the science and the evidence that does that. Perry's claim that the data is being manipulated is unsubstantiated; you always find that climate deniers invent utter nonsense to pretend this is so, and quite besides that Perry mentions no specifics anyway.

If you start predisposed to a particular ideological position (you said Libertarianism in your case), and interpret everything through it, you're much more likely to start filtering out what offends that starting position, rather than looking at evidence the way it deserves to be seen. Think about that. Data isn't "libertarian" or "authoritarian". It's data.

Climate deniers routinely re-hash all kinds of ridiculous nonsense, like that there's been no warming since 1998, that it's warming but it's solar forcing, that CO2 trails tempterature... all of these are guff. And so was the hysteria over "Climategate", where no evidence of scientific misconduct was found by six independent investigations. AGW-deniers allege a collection of silly things because they don't have a knock-down argument - they don't have something that shows "there: the data is rotten" or "the logic is wrong" or "the measurements are inaccurate". Just like the creationists don't have anything concrete that shows evolution to be wrong. That's why they go round in circles with the same old bunk "arguments" (crockoduck, why are apes still around, you can't be moral without God, ID, etc etc.) Both AGW and IDers love to claim they are an oppressed minority whose jobs are threatened if they step out of line, but who are actually on righteous quest for truth and scientific excellence. Many pseudoscientists claim the same thing. See Alex Jones or Lloyd Pye, or any of the others...

Independent studies show that 97-98% of climate scientists agree that AGW is real, and that is indeed what the evidence points to. An alternative route round this - also a favourite with some deniers - is to assert there's some giant world-wide conspiracy of scientists, which anyone working in any scientific field would tell you is baloney: no such thing could be organized any more than 9-11 could be an "inside job" requiring thousands of people to keep it all schtum. 9-11 truthers are another minority that love to think they're oppressed but on a moral quest for truth. Just like creationists and AGW-deniers. AGW-denial is scientific illiteracy most of the time, and some of the time it spills over into pure conspiracy theory fantasies.

You can look at the science, instead of filtering it out because of your a priori libertarianism, or not.

But in either case you're wrong about the Perry inference: I never made it and all three things: the fundie christianity, the AGW-denial and creationism are nonsense.

Comment by Alejandro M on August 22, 2011 at 9:46pm



Funny, for a comment full of condescension, you don't put any hard data to prove your so-called "consensus". 


This article with data from the far-right organization NASA shows that it's all bollocks.


Also, the scientist who propagated the image of the polar bears dying due to the melting of their ice-caps is being put under investigation by his boss (not by George W) due to, basically, forging data. 


Also Luke, is this the same consensus of scientists who in 1974 thought the Earth was cooling(Right-wing magazine "TIME", title "Another Ice Age?"). Or were they wrong then but now they are 100% right?


Stop believing everything the reds (disguised as greens) tell you.

Have a good day.

Comment by Luke Scientiae on August 23, 2011 at 2:48am


For two recent independent studies on the consensus amongst climate scientists see Doran 2009 and Anderegg 2010.

All your remaining links are from news articles. You should really learn to read some science instead of having it pre-digested for you by news organizations. The best and most comprehensive studies are showing massive species migration towards the poles due to temperature increases: Chen, Science, 2011, 1024-1026. In fact it's happening much faster than previously thought. Have the animals also been unduly persuaded by lefty media? Lefty media, like, what Fox News? In fact, right-wing media like Fox manufacture bullshit science to lie to the public about science. Take this, for example, where they tell the public complete nonsense about Le Chatelier's principle and thermodynamics just so they can pretend to temps aren't going up. I know something about both - I have a chemistry PhD; I know they're lying about Le Chatelier and the 2nd law; it's basic stuff. This is what happens when you have a scientifically illiterate public. (Polar bears, btw, live entirely on ice, which is disappearing, and this is a threat to their environment).Ask yourself why a riight-wing, pro-Bush, Murdoch-owned media outlet would knowingly distort even college-level science? In physics/chemistry terms what they describe in this example (and there are many others), is the intellectual equivalent of telling people the wheel is square.

Your point about global cooling is a classic bit of nonsense too. The 1970s cooling alarmism appeared mostly in popular media (thanks for the link to Time magazine to demonstrate my point - again, no scientific literature). The volume, variety and accuracy of data - from multiple, independent sources - we are able to collect now about the climate utterly, utterly dwarfs what was possible in the 1970s. Rather than repeating old chestnuts, watch this, which summarises the source of the 1970s alarmism. Note also that in your original comment you were keen to tell me how I'd committed a logical fallacy (which I hadn't). If you're so worried about avoiding fallacies, note that it's a non-sequitur to claim that something Time magazine told you in the 1970s means global warming isn't happening today.

It's noteworthy that you're keener to call people left-wing than to read the data, and that you regurgitate fallacies that form the staple of ridiculous climate denialism. In your comment you complain I don't provide "hard data". I have now. And your links to Forbes and Time from 1974 are not hard data, so you fail on your own criterion. I really don't mean this aggressively; that's just a fact. Time and Forbes are not hard data.

You also mentioned George W. We know from leaked White House memos that he acted on behalf of Exxon to oust IPCC leaders that the oil company didn't like. It  has nothing to do with science. Nor is Exxon's funding of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who put out those ridiculous "CO2 is life" propaganda videos to lie to the US public about basic facts relating to CO2. The denial industry is massive, has a lot of money behind it and clearly you've been suck

Comment by Alejandro M on August 23, 2011 at 4:25am

Luke, you sound like an intelligent person (though you can't avoid the fallacy by authority "I know about them because I have a Chemistry PhD"). I am an Engineer myself, not that there's anything wrong with that.


The non-sequitur I pointed out above aimed at showing that, as there was a cooling frenzy in the 70s, there is now a (much discredited, luckily) frenzy about global warming.


The chutzpah of believing that the human race, a speck in the Earth, can actually influence its weather, never ceases to amaze me. A single volcano emits more pollutants in one deadly puff that many countries do in one year - and you know this.


In any case - what the AGW fanatics don't say is what Isaac Asimov pointed out so brilliantly some decades ago: if there is a global warming, at least as many lands will become fertile as will become unusable. If there is anything to worry us, is the global cooling in which the earth is going towards - a mini-Ice Age would certainly be the end of the world as we know it.


Global Warming? According to the Prophet of Doom Al Gore, around 100 million people would have to move. And that's in 100 years' time! So... a 1.6% of the total Earth population would need to move in 100 years if we don't spend trillions of dollars per decade to possibly avert this... forgive me while I yawn a little bit.


So Rick Perry, in this, is right: to recap, AGW is a scam, a manipulation by the Left to try and control, and go back to the pre-Industrial eras... to avoid a potential future (which they of course cannot predict fully) which would mean, by their own admission, that 1.6% of the population would need to move (I know, scary, right?!)... give-me-a-bloody-break.

Comment by Alejandro M on August 23, 2011 at 4:41am

A link that makes exactly the same points as I do, but much better, of course. Watch it and see why we are so against the AGW crowd...


Comment by Luke Scientiae on August 23, 2011 at 5:40pm


I don't doubt that you are sincere, but you are mistaken. I do doubt that you can be persuaded.

My reply this time will be in two parts: evidence considerations and your new points. However, I don’t intend to continue this exchange interminably.

On evidence:

I’d bet you already acknowledge the importance of evidence, and I’d further bet this is the reason you are on Think Atheist. There is no atheist I know who denies the existence of gods whilst nonetheless thinking that good evidence for them exists. On some level at least, then you acknowledge the importance of evidence. And yet, this is not how you come across in our discussion. Here is why:

1a. You said that I “don’t put any hard data to prove [my] so-called “consensus”.” Here you are demanding the evidence. In my previous comment I provided it – links to two independent mutually corroborating studies showing 97-98% of climate scientists agree on AGW. You challenged me on data and I provided it. And in your last comment you completely side-stepped this. You ignored the evidence. You’re interested in asserting its non-existence, and you stop being interested the moment the data is shown but disagrees with you.

2a. Evidence of global cooling: You mentioned global cooling, as described in a 1974 Time article. The following are true:

i) a Time magazine article does not contain scientific data.

ii) global cooling did not present a consensus view in the 1970s amongst climate scientists.

iii) because of this it is completely false to claim that scientists were aiming at alarmism then.

iv) it is false to infer that anything said in the 1970s undermines the reliability of present-day data or says anything about present-day consensus. That would be a complete non-sequitur.

v) modern climate data is infinitely more voluminous, accurate, and corroborated (by multiple data sets) than 40 years ago. This is due not least to huge technological advances regarding the measurement of gas concentrations, decades of better and better satellite measurements, ocean pH measurements, measurements of isotope distributions in atmospheric gases, more and more accurate weather stations… it goes on and on…

vi) simply, the 1970s Time article is completely irrelevant to what is known about climate today, in particular w.r.t. what can be inferred about GHG influence on AGW.

vii) despite this, it’s a popularized myth intended to prop up a denialist agenda, which you have faithfully reproduced. More than that, when I pointed you to all of the above, you ignored what I said. To mention evidence again, I produced it: you ignored it.

3a. You have also roundly ignored – perhaps you didn’t even ask yourself – the point about why right-wing media, think tanks and big oil would knowingly manufacture and spread complete scientific mumbo-jumbo of the sort a college-level science students can know to be wrong.

On this subject I referred you to a (just a tiny) selection of relevant evidence. I referred you to blatant instances of Fox broadcasting bullshit pseudoscience, to pseudoscience propaganda spread by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and a leaked White House memo showing Exxon exerting influence over Bush Jr. to oust scientists Exxon doesn’t like from influential positions. Yet again, you ignored all of this.


4a. Polar bears and ice. The evidence you drew on for your assertions was a very short article, which said nothing of any substance about the putative indictment of one scientist. Just look at what the article says:

“A watchdog group believes it has to do with the 2006 journal article about the bear, but a source familiar with the investigation said late Thursday that placing Monnett on leave had nothing to with scientific integrity or the article.

Investigators have n

Comment by Luke Scientiae on August 23, 2011 at 5:41pm

(continued from previous comment...)

Investigators have not yet told Monnett of the specific charges or questions related to the scientific integrity of his work, said Jeff Ruch, the watchdog group's executive director.”

“Members of both sides, however, said that it was too early to make any pronouncements about the case, particularly since the agency has not yet released the details of the allegations against him.

In short, there’s absolutely nothing to this story as it stands, but despite this it was the source you chose in support of the insinuation that scientists working on climate are not to be trusted. Shame on you.

More than that, look at who the article cites for the denier’s angle:

“Myron Ebell, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said the case reinforces the group's position that people should be more skeptical about the work of climate change scientists.”

The CEI, as I already discussed previously, are one of the groups who want deregulation for the energy industry, who are being paid by Exxon and others, who are broadcasting science that is so patently wrong it’s embarrassing even to reply to it. They are very far from interested in reality; they are pushing an economic ideology, that is all, and they will go to any lengths to do it. See my previous references for details – I can provide more, but you have systematically ignored the one’s I already gave.

In the rest of the article the suggestion is mentioned that the allegations against Monnet are politically motivated. You didn’t mention this. You cherry-picked the unsubstantiated allegations, that is all. Again, this shows you don’t really care about evidence or what is fact. I don’t mean to say that to insult you – it’s just what you did with your own (extremely poor) source.

Comment by Luke Scientiae on August 23, 2011 at 5:42pm

(continued from previous comment...)

At the start of this comment I mentioned that you presumably value evidence when it comes to atheism and religion. It seems that is as far as it goes, which is terribly inconsistent of you. My impression is that whatever evidence is produced, you will be far more concerned with interpreting it negatively if it disagrees with you, just as you’re keen to assert baseless notion backed by cherry-picked articles from Time, Forbes, AP and cartoons you found on YouTube. Futhermore, you have repeated to me fallacies it takes literally seconds to find out that are false. I’m sorry to say, but that betrays just in what contempt you hold views that disagree with you. You also ignored the paper I sent you on the climate change-driven migration of thousands of species, instead pasting in a link that very poorly discusses vague and unsubstantiated allegations against one scientist whose work is only on polar bears. Really? Is this how you form your opinions about the real world? By ignoring the evidence so flagrantly?


Finally, let me address the new points you have made:


You wrote:

“you can't avoid the fallacy by authority "I know about them because I have a Chemistry PhD”

Yet again you’re accusing me of a fallacy I’ve not committed. It is a fact that I am qualified to assess the arguments Fox put forward on the basis of the 2nd law of thermodynamics and Le Chatelier’s principle. I didn’t say that I’m right because have a PhD in chemistry. I directed you to a clear discussion of the reasons why the Fox news nonsense is wrong. You know this full well.



You said in your last comment:

“A single volcano emits more pollutants in one deadly puff that many countries do in one year - and you know this.”

This is not true.

Again, you fail by your own criterion: where is your data? My guess is that you heard this ridiculous claim and now you just repeated it without any regard for the evidence. (Again!)

Well here is the evidence:

Volcanoes (both surface and underwater combined) emit 145-255 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually (Gerlach, 1991). Up to 2003 anthropogenic CO2 by human activities, including fossil fuel burning, cement production, and gas flaring, amount to 30 billion tons ( Marland, et al., 2006). That means anthopogenic CO2 is 130 times greater than CO2 emitted by volcanoes. And two more things about that: firstly, it’s using the higher CO2 volcano value (255 million), and secondly, since 2003 anthropogenic emissions of CO2 have risen and risen and risen.

If you’re such a ‘skeptic’, why haven’t you looked into this? Why have you trawled the internet for demonstrably nonsensical fallacies and merely regurgitated them (e.g. irrelevant global cooling scare-stories from Time, unsubstantiated allegations about a single scientist and instantly debunkable bullshit about volcanoes)? C’mon, Alejandro. Can’t you see how ridiculous is the position and the arguments you are presenting? How it’s all bereft of any scientific evidence?


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