Vail Daily letter: Logical fallacies in Squires’ reasoning on climate change
In her letter of May 18, 2017, Jaymee Squires says, “As a science teacher for more than 20 years, I tell my students: In science, you can’t make something up because you think it is true. You need to support your ideas with observation and evidence. And in this case, the evidence is pretty clear.”
This writer would add that it should be noted that your conclusions from those observations must be arrived at through sound reasoning.
Ms. Squires commits two glaring logical fallacies (or perhaps just repeats them) in her presentation. The more important of these is a case of circular reasoning. One can’t properly cite computer climate models’ outputs as evidence of anything since their reasoning is circular in that the conclusion (changes in carbon dioxide levels are a significant driver of climate change) is also a premise that the model is built around.
A second error in Ms. Squires’ reasoning is what some call the bandwagon fallacy. The form of this argument is, nearly everyone believes this so you should believe it, too. Neither of these errors has any place in science or any discussion of that topic.
If Ms. Squires is truly interested in evidence, perhaps she should Google Dr. Patrick Moore (a co-founder of Greenpeace) or go to http://www.petitionproject.org and see what these sources have to say on the subject. She will find that the evidence she cites is not at all clear after all and that most so-called modern climate scientists who promote anthropogenic global warming are on a par with medieval alchemists seeking to transmute computer models into gold.