It’s real … and it’s fabulous. Well, it’s real anyway.
That seems to be part of what the article is saying.
Science ain’t what it used to be. Our ideal of science is of a highly structured activity for establishing cause-and-effect relationships that can be tested in the field and the laboratory. Now the focus is increasingly on computational models and scenarios aimed at exploring complex phenomena (such as climate change) that unfold on scales from the global to the molecular.
You see, the “science” which treats 300 years worth of data as if it can make predictions on a geological time scale, can’t be accomplished via the scientific method, but only through computer models created by people in order to prove (not test) their anthropogenic global warming theory. The old computer jargon of garbage-in-garbage-out still applies.
The complexity of the Anthropocene—in which, for example, climate change is an emergent phenomenon of 300 years of industrialism—is not subject to the sort of verifiable and predictive understanding that characterized science of the sort that Copernicus, Newton, or even Einstein practiced.
They’re basically saying we can’t verify it through science, so let’s redefine what science is in order to give our ideas authority—even though they can’t be scientifically tested.
The Slate analogy is appropriate. We’re not in Kansas anymore. In Kansas we’d want to find a way to test extraordinary scientific assertions. Instead we’re in Oz—a fantasy land where wishing something to be true makes it so. The party of reason and intellect calls that fantasy “science” now.
Their argument is that their fiction is very special and arbitrarily deserves to be treated as fact.