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Friends of Science: Where is Your Debate


Dear FoS,
You persistently demand public debate between your representatives and scientists. Here, in this blog, you have the opportunity of a debate, but so far you have remained silent. This creates a contradiction which is only too apparent. Your debate has to be oral, and you shy away from a written debate, for the following good reasons:
  • You amateurs debating an expert gives you undeserved legitimacy.
  • You and the experts play by different rules: while you cheat the system by lying and distorting, the experts do not. This is an unfair advantage similar to doping in sports (so long as it goes unnoticed).
  • Your goal is to create uncertainty in the scientifically unsophisticated listener; this is done by catchy, simple statements, which can be hard to fact-check in the tight timeframe of a public debate.
  • Even if the expert catches the fallacies and deceptions, it takes a lot or rambling to debunk these simple statements as the climate is not as simple as the Friends of Science.
  • You use seductive debaters with good rhetorical skills hoping for an advantage over the expert. Physics and science do not rely on rhetoric.
  • You get support by an audience with preconceived ideas: your other friends of science.
In a written debate, there is enough time time to check facts and cite peer-reviewed literature. It is much harder for you to get away with lying, distorting, cherry-picking, and cheating. You have to be accurate to win - and honest!