email scandal

I first discussed this issue a few weeks ago. Since then, the information has grown exponentially. Now the partisanship of major scientific journals has been called into question, as well as the validity of actual global temperature records.

A story published  at the BBC mentions that som

e journals in the US may have kept climate change denouncers out of print. The story concludes with a remark which hopes that US journals will adopt the open stance to peer-review which some European journals have enacted.

Meanwhile, the organization (CRU) which “has possession of the climate data” admitted that it no longer had the raw data on the global temperatures, according to the timesonline  story (UK based agency).

At the same time, it has been revealed through these stolen e-mails that scientists were speaking of physically harming those who opposed their view, or calling them profane names. This is a sort of behavior which admittedly happens in personal conversations within a group of people who dislike another group. But, these are supposed to be reputable scholars who are searching for the truth. Truth it would seem that they have and do not want anyone to question…

It seems, the BBC will be launching an investigation into the email scandal. It appears that it will address three main issues: 1) How did the leakage occur – was there any payment in the process? 2) The alleged behavior of the scientists indicated by the e-mails. 3) Does this have any impact on the scientific conclusion?

This issue has caused me to think through some issues as a Christian who cares about the environment. Since, I want to honor God’s creation, I have a different view than many environmental scientists. Hopefully these conclusions are something that all scholars and Christians can agree are valuable.

I think that anyone who engages in calling their opponents some sort of derogatory name (also known as an ad hominem argument) should know that it will ultimately damage the validity of their research or believability.

Scholars – like Christians – should be open and transparent. Hiding the reasons for one’s decision makes it seem like a shady deal or an externally motivated decision.

Humility should be foremost. We should acknowledge the possibility that we could be wrong, even as we are committed to our ideas and conclusions. If shown to be in error one should be willing to admit their error and move forward.

The community of scholarship should exist to help each other advance knowledge. Similarly, Christian communities help each other advance in holiness. Neither of these can be accomplished without the humility and willingness to accept helpful criticism.

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