Maurizio – Omnologos

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New Logical Fallacy: ‘Argument Ad Providentiam’

with 5 comments

Only the most careful readers of my quasi-live blogging about President Vaclav Klaus’s GWPF Inaugural Annual Lecture in London on Oct 19 will have noticed a quick remark I wrote, inspired by what Pres. Klaus was saying at the moment: argument ad providentiam.

That’s a concept I have mentioned sometimes in the past in some part of the web, not under that name of course. Very briefly, it goes like this: philosophically speaking, an interpretation of the world is fallacious when it implies the existence of divine, or divine-like intervention.

And so for example, AGW is logically fallacious as it has providential undertones.

Why? Because for (catastrophic) AGW to be happening right now, several amazing coincidences must have recently happened:

  1. Relatively widespread availability of computer power just enough strong to simulate the right climate projections on a multi-decadal scale
  2. Climate science developed just beyond the minimal level needed to understand how to simulate the right climate projections on a decadal scale
  3. Novel statistical approaches devised just in time, and correct from the get-go, for Mann’s Hockey Stick to emerge from the jumble of dendro- and other proxy data
  4. Governmental willingness to co-operate together all over the world (after the end of the Cold War) just in time for a worldwide problem like AGW to happen
  5. AGW recognized as an issue just as heavily-populated places such as India and China start getting their living standards on track to reach the Western world’s

I am sure one could continue a lot longer.

So in a sense, belief in AGW implies belief in a highly-improbable series of lucky discoveries and developments to happen just at the right time. That is called “Providence” and it is strong evidence for the existence of a Divine Being. But since such “evidence” is a contradiction in terms, then catastrophic AGW to be happening right now, that’s a logical impossibility.

Written by omnologos

2010/Oct/20 at 10:19:07

Posted in Climate Change, Religion, Science

Tagged with ,

5 Responses

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  1. Brilliant. Why isn’t it at Omniclimate where I always look?
    Can I add:
    – Western Governments discovering that there’s no money to be made out of making poverty history, just when poverty is discovered to be caused by taxable carbon
    – Invention of satellites capable of photographing the poles, just at the moment they start to melt

    geoffchambers

    2010/Oct/20 at 18:12:20

  2. […] AGW Is Logically Impossible 1 11 2010 I recently started a list showing the incredible (supernatural?) number of coincidences that have to have happened (or have to be happening) for (catastrophic) AGW to be a concern. Well, […]

  3. […] October and November Omnologos created a list of events and circumstances related to climate change and […]


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