Home > climate change, philosophy > >A theory that explains everything explains nothing

>A theory that explains everything explains nothing

> I have been a little ticked at the number of times global warming is mentioned in connection with particular events when there is no association even reasoned. I guess, instead, I should be amused at the foolishness of men, except their political aspirations are too great and intentioned policies too invasive.

The associations of events with (non-existent) global warming remind me of the evolutionists just-so stories, people passing off their fantasies as fact. The concept that completely-fictional-stories-that-people-imagine-could-have-possibly-happened is even remotely representative of proper scientific investigation is ridiculous.

The claim that global warming is causing any current crisis is also ridiculous. The concern is future warming (albeit the near future). There has been no significant warming effect that one can currently blame CO2 for, and it looks like there may have been some cooling over the last few years.

John Brignell has compiled a list of all the things attributed to global warming, from acne to yellow fever. His list includes contradictory examples such as more and less hurricanes, more and less coral growth, warming and cooling, more and less maple syrup. (Some of the links are not effects, rather actions that people have advocated to halt global warming).

Now a cause can have more than one effect and even opposite effects depending on the conditions, but when a cause is claimed to result in every possible event it cannot true—based on the Law of Non Contradiction. A theory that explains everything really explains nothing. It is not predictive and it is not falsifiable. If global warming is claimed to cause everything how can it possibly be disproved?

Categories: climate change, philosophy
  1. 2009 January 11 at 02:37

    I can only agree. Just this week in the ODT there was a scientist getting very heated about the idea that some other correspondent had put forward that perhaps not all science on the subject is as well-founded as scientists claim.
    Scientists don’t like to think they can ever be wrong, I suspect…!

  2. Mike
    2009 March 2 at 04:36

    Good post. i came upon it while surfing for “A theory that explains everything explains nothing”. i think it is attributable to a famous person. Do you know who?
    i’m writing a book about substance abuse. the field is dominated by biological reductionistic theories, which, of course, explain everything…and nothing.

  3. 2009 March 2 at 04:59

    Hi Mike. I am uncertain who, if anyone, made that comment. It sounds like something Karl Popper may have said. Or you could search wikiquote to get a lead.
    It is quite a common sentiment and I imagine the concept is alluded to frequently.

  4. 2009 March 9 at 20:47

    If it wasn’t Karl Popper he gets the attribution more often than anyone else! Thanks for introducing me to wikiquote….I’d never come across it until now.

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