Ted Cruz might first of all want to get his facts straight.
Speaking to the Texas Tribune on Tuesday, Cruz said that contemporary “global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers.”
“You know it used to be it is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat, and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier,” he said.
Nuh-uh-uh. It was not accepted scientific wisdom that the Earth was flat in Galileo’s day. (Think about it. If it had been, why the hell would Cristoforo Colombo have sailed west in the expectation of reaching China?) It hadn’t been for a long time.
In Cruz’s opinion, when it comes to climate change, his denier position places him alongside 17th Century scientist Galileo Galilei, who was also considered to be denying the mainstream knowledge of his day. According to Cruz’s logic, he is taking the minority view that human-caused climate change is not happening, just as Galileo took the minority view that the scientific method should be trusted over the Catholic Church.
Yeah well, that’s related to the old “they laughed when I sat down at the piano” fallacy, aka the “they laughed at Beethoven” fallacy. In the demotic: just because they laugh at you doesn’t mean you’re Beethoven. A minority view isn’t automatically true by virtue of being a minority view. Also, of course, it’s highly debatable how “mainstream” the idea of climate change is.
As the website Skeptical Science points out, “the comparison is exactly backwards.”
“Modern scientists follow the evidence-based scientific method that Galileo pioneered,” the website reads. “Skeptics who oppose scientific findings that threaten their world view are far closer to Galileo’s belief-based critics in the Catholic Church.”
President Obama seems to have gotten the analogy correct when he said in 2013 that “we don’t have time for a meeting of the flat-Earth society” when it comes to doing something about climate change.
It’s more amusing, too.