|It isn't flat any more|
The answer in general is "yes."
By that I mean that scientists can only tell "the world" (a place which the mass media has created inside "the growing skulls") things that flatter them.
For example, telling the world "you can work out and solve any problem with science, democracy, and technology" is cool.
But, telling them "you are on a path to destroy the world" brings up the deeply embedded "end of the world" meme which is not flattering, and to say the least, is not acceptable.
Thus, you become a persona non grata like Sigmund Freud, Arnold Toynbee, and a host of others:
"Sigmund Freud is out of fashion. The reason? His heroic refusal to flatter humankind ... Freud’s ideas are rejected today because they imply that the human animal is ineradicably flawed. It is not Freud’s insistence on sexuality that is the source of scandal, but the claim that humans are afflicted by a destructive impulse." - John Gray, Prospect Magazine (emphasis added)This, for the most part subconscious, reality in our matrix society has often tended toward intellectual constipation within the scientific community at large:
"In other words, a society does not ever die 'from natural causes', but always dies from suicide or murder --- and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown." - A Study of History, by Arnold J. Toynbee (emphasis added)
Mayr, from the point of view of a biologist, argued that it's very unlikely that we'll find any [extraterrestrial intelligence]. And his reason was, he said, we have exactly one example: Earth. So let's take a look at Earth. And what he basically argued is that intelligence is a kind of lethal mutation ... you're just not going to find intelligent life elsewhere, and you probably won't find it here for very long either because it's just a lethal mutation" - Dr. Noam Chomsky paraphrasing Dr. Ernst Mayr
“One would say that [man] is destined to exterminate himself after having rendered the globe uninhabitable.” - Lamarck (1817) (emphasis added)
(See Genesis: The Evolution of Biology, by Jan Sapp, p. 274, fn. 14; quoting from Lamark's writings)
“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson (emphasis added)
"In 1973, Ernest Becker, a cultural anthropologist cross-trained in philosophy, sociology, and psychiatry, invoked consciousness of self and the inevitability of death as the primary sources of human anxiety and repression. He proposed that the psychological basis of cooperation, competition, and emotional and mental health is a tendency to hold tightly to anxiety-buffering cultural world views or "immortality projects" that serve as the basis for self-esteem and meaning. Although he focused mainly on social and political outcomes like war, torture, and genocide, he was increasingly aware that materialism, denial of nature, and immortality-striving efforts to control, rather than sanctify, the natural world were problems whose severity was increasing. In this paper I review Becker's ideas and suggest ways in which they illuminate human response to global climate change. Because immortality projects range from belief in technology and materialism to reverence for nature or belief in a celestial god, they act both as barriers to and facilitators of sustainable practices. I propose that Becker’s cross-disciplinary "science of man," and the predictions it generates for proximate-level determinants of social behavior, add significantly to our understanding of and potential for managing the people paradox, i.e., that the very things that bring us symbolic immortality often conflict with our prospects for survival. Analysis of immortality projects as one of the proximate barriers to addressing climate change is both cautionary and hopeful, providing insights that should be included in the cross-disciplinary quest to uncover new pathways toward rational, social change." -The People Paradox, Ecology and Society 14(1): 34 (emphasis added)
Science is a conservative industry that classically understates fact. One of the big reasons is that old maxim, "Publish or perish." If a scientist is wrong in his or her published findings, the scholarly journals will think twice about publishing that scientist's work again. Science therefore systematically understates evidence.(Arctic Warming and Increased Weather Extremes). We are in a constant cultural trance to some degree because of all this.
The wiring of our brains by our culture and nature, both at most times beyond our control, tends to be put "out of sight out of mind."
Therefore, the reality outside of our trance is not generally part of our personal, conscious cognition (Hypothesis: The Cultural Amygdala).
That is why civilization has not only damaged the global climate system, but is also in denial in some degree or another about having done it.
The heavy denial is "global warming is the greatest hoax ever fostered on humanity", medium denial is "ok, so the globe is warming but humans did not and are not doing it", and light weight denial is "ok, so anthropogenic global warming is real, but there is no extinction danger because we can handle it with our science, technology, and democracy."
All flattery aside, the bad news is that all three of these degrees of denial will end with the same result (i.e., "Failing The Test").
The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.
Use the video below (from circa 2007 by Dr. Naomi Oreskes then of U.C.S.D., now at Harvard) to enjoy a free class lecture at a very well respected American university, or, read the history here.
Note: (Left Col=Key times in the video - GW = global warming; GG = greenhouse gas, CC = climate change):
00:40 - Schwarzenegger: no debate, GW is happening.
06:20 - Proper amount of GG is good, keeps us warm.
07:00 - Too much GG is a bad thing.
07:09 - Tyndall in mid 1800's began research into GG.
07:45 - Arrhenius did first degree calculations re: CO2 content.
08:25 - Callendar discovered GG increases in 1930's.
09:02 - Hulburt accord in 1930's.
09:43 - Depression / war stopped GG research.
10:00 - Gilbert N. Plass developed CO2 atmospheric calculations.
10:49 - Suess & Revelle do paper in 1957 warning of GW dangers.
12:30 - Dr. Revelle warned of polar ice cap melt in TIME interview.
13:25 - CO2 levels discovered to be high.
16:30 - Lyndon Johnson in 1965 says fossil fuels causing GW.
17:00 - GW, CC not political originally.
18:20 - White of NOAA, 1978, warns of GW dangers.
20:52 - Polar Areas to be impacted 4 times more than other areas.
24:20 - IPCC formed in 1979 with consensus on GW.
26:00 - Bush I signed GW treaty.
26:45 - Denial of GW begins.
27:40 - Luntz injects GW denial propaganda into political debate.
28:25 - Oil baron Cheney propagates GW denial.
29:00 - Oil companies do massive scale denial propaganda.
29:30 - Marshall Institute
30:30 - Marshall Institute formed to support Reagan SDI (star wars)
32:50 - Marshall Institute "cigarettes not related to cancer".
36:50 - Marshall Institute does GW denial campaign.
42:54 - Marshall member Seitz worked for big tobacco.
47:20 - Singer of Marshall Institute politically attacks GW.
53:35 - Cigarette smoking is ok rhetoric applied to GW science.