In Response to: Science Under Attack

I never heard of good science being done by voting, but Mr. Shostak tells us that we should believe that climate change “is largely wrought by man” because 87 percent of “experts” say so. The major causes of climate change are sunspot activity, the unstable orbit of the Earth around the sun, and unstable rotation on its axis. These have been causing climate change, both significantly warmer and colder than today for periods of millions of years, long before we hominids even appeared on Earth during the last ice age. The only “evidence” cited to the contrary is 16 years of temperatures marginally higher than average in the very recent years (in geologic time) since records have been kept — a meaningless sample in the life of a planet some 4.5 billion years old. 

Science does tend to autocorrect, but it can take a long time and is generally done, not by “10,000 specialists” and billions of dollars, but by individuals like Galileo, Darwin, and Einstein with the imagination and courage to question and challenge herd-thinking. Meanwhile, we non-experts would do well to be skeptical and not yield adulation to those who think so highly of their own “intellect, status, tenure, and subject matter.”

William J. Jones ’57
Warren, N.J.