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Theories are Theories

A meteorologist said recently: "[our] dataset goes back to 1940. When we combine our data with the IPCC, then we can say that this is the warmest year for the last 125,000 years."

Am I the only one who sees a problem here with this massively prideful presumption? Think about that presumption. The speaker is assuming that he can know the actual temperatures of the distant past accurately enough to determine a trend which can be compared with current trends. He admits that his "dataset" only goes back about 80 years, but presumes that he can still make a specific claim about something 125,000 years ago, which he has little to no information about.

Once again, we have the scientific community making claims about theoretical ideas as though they were established fact. I once told someone that my limitation on believing scientists is 500 years. If they claim something that has been a proven fact for at least 500 years I might believe it; otherwise, not likely. I am only exaggerating a bit for the sake of making a point. This has always been the Church's position: do not claim that theories are facts. It dealt with it a few centuries ago, but does not today seem to do much to remind people of this important principle.

Just consider your own speech for a while. Do you speak about, or (worse) live like, certain theories are factual? Depending on the theory, it can be a big problem. Some theories are decidedly anti-Catholic and will influence our thinking in many other areas. It does not make a difference whether we are speaking about an economic theory, a scientific theory, or a theory about the interpretation of a prophecy given by the Blessed Virgin; theories are theories and we should not presume otherwise.


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