Over the years, I have done a bit of thinking about evolution, on the issue of the origins of life. I have also followed the issue of anthropogenic global warming, albeit not nearly so closely. I find some interesting parallels between the two issues.
First, there is an amazing plasticity to both. It seems that evolution explains everything. Ultimately, and painting with broad strokes, the declarations of evolutions veracity do not ultimately rest on observed phenomena. The theory is so plastic in its ability to predict that any observation can be made to fit the theory; ultimately, it is not falsifiable. If “A” is observed to occur, a reasonable evolutionary explanation can be made to fit the observation. However, if the inverse of “A” is observed, or “A” is not observed, another reasonable evolutionary explanation for such can be made. It is a malleable template that can conform to whatever it is laid upon. If we had found in the fossil record a gradual progression of speciation, such would dovetail nicely into an evolutionary theory. If the fossil record does not reveal a gradual progression of speciation ( and it does not…think about the Cambrian explosion), then we can formulate a hypothesis to explain that, also. In fact, we a have the theory of punctuated equilibria to explain the fossil records paucity of transitional forms.
The same seems true, albeit to a lesser degree, for global warming enthusiasts. I read an article this morning wherein, ironically, the record cold temperatures observed in many areas is an indication, an effect, of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). AGW theory is still a youngster on the scene compared with evolutionary theory, but it too is developing a dogma that fits any observation, no matter how contradictory to its overarching premise. I remember hearing reports of global warming induced localized increases in sea level that has forced thousands to flee their homes.
Second, both are, in essence, a potential breeding ground for hubris. By way of impersonal natural processes, we arrived on the scene and are now the dominate species because of our fitness, our ability as a species, as essentially apex predators, to survive and surmount. Because of our ability to compete for natural resources, we have apparently developed the ability to outstrip the sun’s influence on the global climate system.
Third, both evolutionary theory and AGW theory are beyond question by their academic and political high priests and adherents. Both resort to ad hominem attacks on those who question the prevailing dogma. Both have vested interests in perpetrating their dogma because so many for so long have based careers and reputations on sustaining dogma. They cannot turn back. Countervailing data, not matter how inditing, is reduced to anomaly.
Finally, both are, to some degree, wrapped around the specter of extinction. What we end up with in the end, when it is all said and done, is essentially the deification of nature.