On both sides

Trump made a particularly absurd claim in his interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday.

He added: “I have a natural instinct for science…”

No. No no no. Oh no, not at all.

He has the opposite of that. Without even delving into details of his ignorance, we can say with great confidence that he has no such thing, for the simple reason that he constantly claims to know things that he can’t possibly know. That’s a dead giveaway. No one with “a natural instinct for science” does that. People with a natural instinct for science know how limited human knowledge is, how provisional most of it is, how necessary caution is, and so on.

Ironically, he made that claim in aid of invoking scientific doubt in the form of pseudo-skepticism. Climate change: oh, nobody knows, it’s all a toss-up, there’s no more evidence one way than another.

Trump again cast doubt on climate change, suggesting, incorrectly, that the scientific community was evenly split on the existence of climate change and its causes. There are “scientists on both sides of the issue,” Trump said.

“But what I’m not willing to do is sacrifice the economic well-being of our country for something that nobody really knows,” Trump said.

He added: “I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture.”

In the sense of three on one side and several million on the other, yes. In the sense of evenly split, no.

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