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How to kill the scientific method the reddit way

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Moderators at reddit.com have a new edict: ban climate change skeptics from commenting in the /r/science forums. Reddit, like Digg.com, aggregates news by popularity, voting, and user submissions, while moderating a range of forums.

As Digg's ugly stepsister and far less user friendly, reddit claims to be the "front page of the internet." It also bills itself as the science forum, where adhoc, unsalaried moderators decide what can and can't be posted in their fragile forums. Ironically, the "online" magazine Huffington Post, which was the first to praise Reddit's decision, has also been banned by reddit.

Even Al Gore commended the site for "locking" out comments that are in any way skeptical of the theory of global warming. If Gore thinks you've done something right, that should give anyone pause.

It all began when a chemist, Nathan Allen, made the announcement via Grist.com that the /r/science forum's moderators would start deleting comments made by "deniers." Apparently Mr. Allen is unfamiliar with the long history of theories being disproved later by facts, or maybe he missed that class in Organic Chemistry. He's certainly familiar with using Holocaust terminology when calling out skeptics of global-warming theory.

Using the fallacious appeal to authority, Allen writes:

"On our little page, scientists and nonscientists can connect through discussions on everything from subatomic particles to interstellar astrophysics.

"I consider it a microcosm, representative of the vast range of views that can be supported by empirical evidence. Importantly, it provides the same window for those who are not scientists, who do not regularly talk with PhDs, and who may be unfamiliar with how science is discussed by scientists."

According to Allen, users normally link to peer-reviewed studies to support their argument, but global warming skeptics do not. A rather bold statement in lieu of the fact that there are currently over 1100 peer-reviewed papers supporting skeptical arguments against AGW/CAGW.

He continues in the same ignominious tone, upping the ante with wrist- and knee-slapping declarations:

"As a scientist myself, it became clear to me that the contrarians were not capable of providing the science to support their 'skepticism' on climate change. The evidence simply does not exist to justify continued denial that climate change is caused by humans and will be bad.

"There is always legitimate debate around the cutting edge of research, something we see regularly. But with climate change, science that has been established, constantly tested, and reaffirmed for decades was routinely called into question.

"Over and over, solid peer-reviewed science was insulted as corrupt, while blog posts from fossil-fuel-funded groups were cited as objective fact. Worst of all, they didn't even get the irony of quoting oil-funded blogs that called university scientists biased.

"So if a half-dozen volunteers can keep a page with more than 4 million users from being a microphone for the antiscientific, is it too much to ask for newspapers to police their own editorial pages as proficiently?"

Wikipedia defines people who are antiscientific as, "holding views [which] do not accept that science is an objective method, as it purports to be, or that it generates universal knowledge."

Any person who labors to find the underlying passion behind a global-warming skeptic's position will find an unassailable, strict adherence to the scientific method.

Allen has now bestowed upon himself judge and jury of what is antiscientific, willing to forget that science is littered with the skeletons of what was once considered anti-establishment, only to be disproved later by facts and observations. From washing hands before surgery to tectonic plate movements to landing on the moon and so forth.

He makes the ridiculous claim that global warming, a.k.a. climate change, is settled science and that, "as a site, reddit is passionately dedicated to free speech…" Even Telegraph columnist Brendan O'Neill said reddit has "ripped its own reputation to shreds" for denying the skeptics a voice, however small Allen may think it is.

As seen throughout history, banning dissenting views does not move science forward. If your science is sound and you have actual evidence based on real-world observations that are correct 100% of the time, then global warmists need not resort to derogatory terms such as denier and antiscience.

The only people killing the scientific method are the reddit forum moderators at /r/science. Global-warming skeptics have idly watched as the green-funded machinations of climate science entered the realm of distortions, politics, ideologues, and religious fervor.

As Einstein correctly said, "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong." How many more experiments must be done to show that the man-made global-warming theory is false and predicated on a erroneous hypothesis?

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