President Obama talks a lot about the scientific method. On climate change, he has often invoked the idea of a great divide between those on the progressive left, such as himself, who believe in “settled science” and thus a looming man-caused climatological disaster, and those, presumably on the Neanderthal Right, who are slaves to superstition, ideology, prejudice, and self-interest—and thus deny that the planet is rapidly warming due to inordinate human-induced releases of excessive carbon.
Obama’s view of science is reductionist. It relies on count-em-up numbers: if more university professors (not known to be an especially independent or courageous cohort) believe in dangerous man-caused climate change than doubt it or its seriousness, and if climate change fits a larger progressive agenda, then it becomes factual.
Would we assume thereby that Newton, Galileo, and Darwin were all exemplars of groupthink, and worked through consensus and collegiality, especially with the support of status-quo institutions and universities, in advancing majority-held theories?