Climate & Climate Politics

  • Doomsday Clock Moves to Five Minutes to Midnight — Thanks in Part to Inaction on Climate Change | ThinkProgress
  • Friedrich Hayek on the Conservative Denial of Science–50 Years Ago

    Here’s something that the evolution skeptic and Hayek admirer Ron Paul ought to pay attention to.

    What is astonishing about the quotation below, from Hayek’s “Why I Am Not a Conservative” essay, is just how much it seems to stand outside of time, as if it could have been written now, rather than when it was written, in 1960:

    Personally, I find that the most objectionable feature of the conservative attitude is its propensity to reject well-substantiated new knowledge because it dislikes some of the consequences which seem to follow from it – or, to put it bluntly, its obscurantism. I will not deny that scientists as much as others are given to fads and fashions and that we have much reason to be cautious in accepting the conclusions that they draw from their latest theories. But the reasons for our reluctance must themselves be rational and must be kept separate from our regret that the new theories upset our cherished beliefs. I can have little patience with those who oppose, for instance, the theory of evolution or what are called “mechanistic” explanations of the phenomena of life because of certain moral consequences which at first seem to follow from these theories, and still less with those who regard it as irrelevant or impious to ask certain questions at all. By refusing to face the facts, the conservative only weakens his own position. Frequently the conclusions which rationalist presumption draws from new scientific insights do not at all follow from them. But only by actively taking part in the elaboration of the consequences of new discoveries do we learn whether or not they fit into our world picture and, if so, how. Should our moral beliefs really prove to be dependent on factual assumptions shown to be incorrect, it would hardly be moral to defend them by refusing to acknowledge facts.

    Source here. Hat tip to Robert Joshi who sent me the quote on Twitter.

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