David White provides examples of various ideas that were once considered scientific but were later proven to be incorrect. These include beliefs in a flat Earth, bloodletting, geocentrism, the existence of a planet called “Vulcan” orbiting Mercury, spontaneous generation, and Einstein’s cosmological constant. These ideas originated from misinterpretation, religious beliefs, mythology, folklore, and pure speculation. Importantly, none of these examples can be considered proven science.
According to David, the issue with global warming is that research that goes against established beliefs is often disregarded and rejected. In contrast, the scientific method, which has been refined over many years, is now widely used for testing and evaluating new ideas. This involves repeated observation or experimentation, collection of data, statistical analysis, and publication in scientific journals. The submitted research is sent to other experts in the field for evaluation, ensuring that scientific conclusions are based on the reality of the natural world. Only poorly conducted research or research unsupported by data is rejected.
Notably, a recent study analyzing 88,125 English-language climate-change research papers written between 2012 and 2020 found that only 28 of them expressed skepticism towards human-caused climate change. These skeptical papers were published in minor journals, suggesting that the overwhelming majority of scientific research supports the understanding that climate change is caused by human activities.