In the light of the catastrophic floods on the east coast, it’s time to talk about ‘climate science’. Not the ‘climate’ part but the ‘science’ part. The word ‘science’ has been part of the English language since the 14th century and behind it is the Latin word for ‘knowledge’ scientia. But ‘science’ means a very special sort of knowledge, exactly what sort was spelled out by Karl Popper in his classic The Logic of Scientific Discovery. By closely examining the history of science with logical rigour he showed that for a theory to count as ‘science’ it must be tested – the proponents of a theory must specify what evidence would falsify the theory, then search rigorously for such evidence. If, said Popper, you can’t tell us what would falsify your theory, then your theory is not science. And it turns out that nothing is allowed to falsify the ‘global warming/climate crisis’ theory: if it’s too hot, that’s climate change at work; if it’s too cold, that’s also climate change at work; if it’s too dry again it’s climate change; but if it’s too wet that’s also climate change. If nothing will falsify it, then it is not science. In 2007 Tim Flannery said that climate change theory confidently predicted a permanent drying up of our weather: ‘even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems,’ he famously said. We are waiting for Flannery to admit that the ‘global warming/climate crisis’ theory has now been falsified by these catastrophic floods. But he won’t. Under Popper’s principle so-called ‘climate science’ is not science and doesn’t behave like a science. It may be an ideology, but it’s not a science. Case closed.
The NSW Department of Education is running a program called ‘Racism No Way’ which (according to the Daily Telegraph) is teaching children about ‘white privilege’ and ‘unconscious bias’. This involves running a ‘privilege for sale’ game which education bureaucrats admit can cause emotional harm to children by creating feelings of shame – leading some children to need the help of a counsellor. At the same time a Deputy Mayor of Paris, Audrey Pulvar, has called for a ban on white people in France talking about racism. These progressive ideas about race and ‘whiteness’ are based on a spurious expression ‘collective guilt’. This is a linguistically incoherent expression –which might explain why ‘collective guilt’ does not appear in either the Oxford or Webster’s dictionaries. In fact, all dictionaries define guilt as being personal – as something that applies to one person: the person who has done something wrong. Even people who act in groups (gang rapists, guards at Auschwitz) are guilty because of their own actions, not because of their group membership. All this talk of ‘white privilege’ is based on the unexamined assumption of ‘collective guilt’. But there is no such thing as ‘collective guilt’ – it does not exist. This unexamined assumption needs to be dragged into the light of day, critically examined and exposed for the oxymoron it is: if it’s ‘collective’ it can’t be ‘guilt’; and if it’s ‘guilt’ it can’t be collective. And any program or campaign based on this silent assumption must be exposed and stopped as the dishonest twisting of language that it is. Website Strategic Culture says that ‘Collective guilty is the new witch hunt’. Sometimes abuse of language can be poisonous. ‘Collective guilt’ is an instance of that. Contact Kel at ozwords.com.au
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