You can win most arguments among well-educated people by invoking the name of Karl Popper. Popper published Conjectures and Refutations in 1963. Since then Popper’s definition of scientific has been unassailable. Karl Popper argued that the definition of a scientific theory was that it was falsifiable either because it could not explain centrally important data or because its predictions were wrong. If a theory couldn’t be falsified it was something else, not science.
The theory of creationism has been falsified many times, there it no need to treat it as science. The theory of intelligent design is not falsifiable so it isn’t science either.
I wondered and then answered my own question: why don't the majority of scientists on the planet get together and denounce false theories that pose as science, and use Popper as the reference point? The reason is that most of the scientists in the world hold ideas and theories that are not scientific.
Michael Crichton gives the two best examples in his latest book State of Fear. In the afterward, Crichton points out that the scientists of the world were in agreement on the theory of eugenics for forty years. Eugenics postulated that mixed races were degenerate and that some races were superior to others. With the liberation of Auschwitz, and the visible consequences of eugenic theory, the multitude of scientists who supported eugenics disappeared and erased their past.
The problem today, as governments all over the world pressure the U.S. to comply with the Kyoto Accords, is that the theory on which Kyoto is constructed, global warming, is not a scientific theory. Global warming is not a falsifiable theory.
Data shows that CO2 in the atmosphere has risen due to human activity.
That is falsifiable data, but the data doesn’t connect to any predictions about greenhouse gases or global warming.
All of the computer-generated predictions based on CO2 and global warming, since 1990, have been falsified but the theory won’t go away. Massive amounts of contrary evidence about core material in global warming theory have been accumulated, but this falsification of the theory doesn’t shake the religious fanaticism of global warming advocates.
To understand the religious nature of global warming theory, one needs to read a few reviews of the Crichton book. Venom is the only word to describe the anger the book has evoked among eco-fundamentalists. One reviewer says the book “is politically, narratively and all but grammatically incorrect.” Another (New York Times) says “The novel itself reads like a shrill, preposterous right-wing answer to this year's shrill, preposterous but campily entertaining global warming disaster movie ''The Day After Tomorrow.''
I think you’ll love the book unless you are leaning toward eco-fundamentalism and anxiously awaiting the coming armagedon.