Looking through some past opinion columns I came across this beauty of a False Analogy by Terry McCrann in the Herald Sun - Global warming's core flaw.
GLOBAL warming – or `climate change', as it now tends to be called by its acolytes, in case it inconveniently cools things along the way – is as theological as any religion.That's to say, it rests on a series of beliefs, which might or might not have some relationship to objective fact. But in any event, the key is the belief.
Now I don't wish to Appeal to (lack of) Authority, make an Unfounded Generalization, Impugn his Motives, use Special Pleading or engage in Personal Abuse – but generally, asinine and opinionating economists such as McCrann lack any expertise (authority) in matters of science and theology. Not only that, they are always motivated by money. Whereas, given my background in philosophy of science, my expertise as a science teacher and the fact that my first name is Theo, I can claim insight into both Science and Theology!
McCrann's analogy is inept. (This is not to say everything he says is inept - though he does engage in other fallacies in his opinion piece such as false positioning.) Scientific knowledge is a set of beliefs, but it is belief based on physical evidence and repeatable (thus verifiable) experiments. The domain of science is physical. Given the right education and required mental faculties – anyone can comprehend and access the evidence for scientific claims. Religious knowledge is a set of beliefs, but it is belief based on revelation. The domain of religion (should be) non-physical. But religious belief is not based on any physical evidence – it is a matter of personal faith.
Thus his comment: " But in any event, the key is the belief." is without any foundation. The key is empirical data. Different theories for the data will be proposed and argued over, but this is how science proceeds. New experiments, studies and procedures will eventually resolve which theory "wins".
If I were an economist, the last area of human inquiry I would compare something to is religion. Economic "science", playing the stock market etc., conforms much more closely to this description than does science: "…it rests on a series of beliefs, which might or might not have some relationship to objective fact. But in any event, the key is the belief."