Science proceeds from the observation of some phenomenon to an hypothesis about it, on to predictions that flow from the hypothesis and finally to their testing. The results of the latter are then compared to the former. The strength or validity of the original hypothesis is then gauged by the frequency with which test results are in accord with predictions. Eventually, the hypothesis is replaced by a more elaborate model that provides greater explanatory detail about the phenomenon under investigation. The model then generates additional predictions that are tested with the results held up against them. If those findings are consistent with the predictions, the validity of the model is strengthened. When that happens over and over again, we have moved beyond the realm of “hypothesis” and approach FACT. If there are infrequent occasions when a credible, replicable test result does NOT fit the predicted outcome, then the model is not discarded or even said to have been proven INvalid. Rather, the model-maker uses this opportunity to expand or otherwise revise the model to account for the discordant data. This highlights one of the best features of the scientific method; i.e. it provides the opportunity for endless self-refinement. What is important to understand in this entire process is that an existing model that has already been supported by a wealth of data does not get tossed aside by one or two bits of contradictory evidence, but by a superior model that accounts for all the data, including that which contradicts the model to be replaced.

It is the crux of the italicized statement that climate change and evolution-deniers simply do not understand. Whatever their reason(s), they want to get rid of proven models of both because of a small handful of contradictory evidence. Sorry, but science doesn’t work that way.  Rather, the challenge to the naysayers is to come up with better explanatory models that account for all the data that have been collected, and that generate still more testable predictions. Nothing the climate change and evolution-deniers have offered thus far meets this standard; certainly not “Intelligent Design” which has never led to a single testable forecast. Indeed, that stands as the very best justification for never teaching that notion in any science class at any educational level. Intelligent Design can be taught in houses of worship which is where that formulation properly belongs. As for opponents of climate change, come up with a better explanatory model if you expect to be taken seriously by the scientific community at large.

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