The Paradox of Consensus – a novel argument on climate change

I was going to write about this, but now I don’t have to…

Watts Up With That?

Theories that can be easily tested should have a high degree of consensus among researchers. Those involving chaotic and less testable questions – climate change or economic growth, physiology or financial markets – ought to have a greater level of scientific disagreement. Yet this is hardly the case for climate science. In the Paradox of Consensus, we illustrate that the greater the level of consensus for certain classes of hypotheses (those that are difficult to test) the less truth we should assign to them.


The moon is not made of cheese, the earth is not flat, and lightning may strike the same place twice. We believe these claims to be true, yet it is unlikely that most readers have personally confirmed each of them. Because it would be nigh impossible for anyone to verify all they take as true, most individuals arrive…

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