WND Touts Apollo Astronaut’s Climate Change Denialism

Posted: August 17, 2013 in climate change, science
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Continuing my logical fallacies -oriented posts (see non sequitur for the “A Non Sequitur Experiment Over 100 Years Old Somehow Refutes Evolution” article), we have argument from authority in WND’s posting of a CFACT article that they headline: “Astronaut: Restore Climate-Science Integrity, Please!

Heck, the first word sets up the argument from authority.

For those new to this logical fallacy, it’s when you get a supposed authority figure (regardless of whether their subject of authority is the subject at-hand) to say something. Because that figure is an authority, you’re supposed to trust their opinion. This is the entire concept behind celebrity endorsements, just to name one practical application.

In this case, you have an astronaut who, in 1960, received a B.A. and literature degree in physics (bachelor of arts and literature in … physics? WTF does THAT mean?) and in 1961 also got a M.A. in physics (source). He pursued a doctorate, and WND claims he completed all the coursework for said doctorate, which, having gone through a Ph.D. program in astrophysics, that really just means he stayed there for two years or so and then got out before he had to do any research. And then he was an astronaut, selected in 1963, and was on Apollo 7. Cool.

Notice that doesn’t say anything about an extensive background in atmospheric science or climate modeling. If I wanted to consult someone for what it’s like being an astronaut, he’d be a great guy to ask. If I wanted to consult someone about climate science, then he would not be. But WND praises it:

Col. Cunningham, like many other scientifically and technologically experienced space program professionals, is an outspoken critic of pseudo-scientific climate alarmist claims. In this interview he explains why.

It should be said that Cunningham is a well known denier of climate change science, having written about it and spoken about it for many years. (source)

I wonder why they don’t take any single one of the thousands of climate scientists who say that global climate change is real? Individually, they’re just as singular an authority figure as Cunningham. And they’re even more of an authority (hey — more than zero is still more!) than him on climate science.

WND’s commenters of course happily believe in the “liberal” conspiracy of climate change. “handy” has a delightful little rant:

Col. Cunningham is absolutely right. During the past decade, it seems that scientific integrity and accuracy has been corrupted by money and politics. Some scientists have been persuaded to sell their souls for research grant money or positions of power in industry or government. In doing so they have destroyed the credibility of all scientists and corrupted the database that others use to continue the quest for knowledge. Such people do not deserve the title of “scientist” and should be expelled from the scientific community.

Yeah, we’re rolling in the dough here as scientists.


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