Science & Faith
2/23/12 at 09:44 AM 0 Comments

New Climategate-Heartland Scandal: How a Darwin-Lobbying Group is Connected

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This week a new Climategate scandal has surfaced, and the leading Darwin-only educational advocacy group (the National Center for Science Education) has been tarnished by the affair. First, a little background from January 2012 before we focus on this week's blowout.

The politically correct viewpoint of catastrophic anthropogenic (human-induced) global warming (CAGW) received a boost on January 16th when the National Center for Science Education (NSCE), known for its Darwin-only educational advocacy in the USA, announced "the launch of its new initiative aimed at defending the teaching of climate change." This was a political, not evidential, boost for CAGW. Evidence for CAGW continues to erode in the wake of new studies and the unveiling of Climategate, which demonstrated how climate alarmists systematically suppressed data supportive of CAGW skepticism.

On January 18, 2012 the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation posted an important blog critiquing the expansion of the NSCE's advocacy work form "Darwin-only" to "CAGW-only" public education. Cornwall authors Douglas Gregory and E. Calvin Beisner clearly explained how these two issues share certain ideological traits. In the executive summary of this earlier lengthy Cornwall report, E. Calvin Beisner and his associates make this important point about the naturalistic and anti-theistic viewpoints that underwrite much of the CAGW movement.

Our examination of theology, worldview, and ethics ... finds that global warming alarmism wrongly views the Earth and its ecosystems as the fragile product of chance, not the robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting product of God's wise design and powerful sustaining. It rests on and promotes a view of human beings as threats to Earth's flourishing rather than the bearers of God's image, crowned with glory and honor, and given a mandate to act as stewards over the Earth—filling, subduing, and ruling it for God's glory and mankind's benefit. It either wrongly assumes that the environment can flourish only if humanity forfeits economic advance and prosperity or ignores economic impacts altogether. And in its rush to impose draconian reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, it ignores the destructive impact of that policy on the world's poor.

Given that many people see Darwinism as supportive of naturalism and other anti-theistic causes, it makes sense that the NSCE officially expand its mission to include ideologically-driven climate change education. The NCSE aims to shut down genuine inquiry in science education and replace it with politically correct dogma. A shame indeed, given that students learn so much more when they are allowed to examine the evidence both pro and con in the Darwinism and CAGW debates.

Three days before their official January 16th climate initiative rollout, the NCSE had proudly announced "Leading Climate Change Expert Joins NCSE Board":

Dr. Peter Gleick, president and co-founder of The Pacific Institute, has joined NCSE's board of directors. Gleick, a world-renowned water expert, will advise NCSE on its new climate change education initiative. Gleick is certainly the right man for the job. A noted hydroclimatologist, Gleick has devoted his life's work to the impact of climate change on water resources.

On Monday or Tuesday of this week the NCSE uploaded this "update" to the webpage quoted above: "UPDATE: Dr. Gleick will not be joining the NCSE board. See Source of Heartland leak steps forward." Why did they drop the man that the thought was "certainly the right man for the job"?

Last week internal documents detailing Heartland Institute's fundraising for their CAGW skepticism initiative became public through an unknown source. Megan McArdle, senior editor for The Atlantic and a human-induced catastrophic global warming believer, concluded that the supposed Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy was phony.  Some global warming alarmist probably invented the memo to make the Heartland climate-skeptic folks look anti-scientific.

On Monday, February 20 Peter Gleick identified himself on the Huffington Post as the Heartland document leaker (probably because he was on the verge of being exposed). He ignored the issue of the faked memo, which is even more serious than telling lies to get authentic Heartland documents (which he admitted doing). The NCSE dropped Gleick from their Board of Directors the same day as the "update" mentioned above explained in its linked document. So the NCSE at least acknowledges that Gleick was dropped from their Board because he lied to obtain the Heartland documents. The NCSE has not ventured into the clues that suggest Gleick was also involved in the forged document.

For more information about the evidence for forgery and Gleick's role in the whole affair, see David Klinghoffer's three blogs (in this order): here, here, and here. Klinghoffer also documents how the NCSE has attempted to downplay its early association with Gleick.

What does all this say about the credibility of the NCSE and its Darwin-only and CAGW-only educational activism?  Isn't education all about honesty and carefully weighing the evidence on both sides of every major theoretical dispute?

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