Notice that Tolosani “refutes” Copernicus by referring not to the observations — in predicting planetary positions, Copernicus was twice as accurate as Ptolemy — but to the opinions of Aristotle. What is striking about the AGW controversy is that the believers in human-caused warming do exactly the same: they cite the opinions of the authorities rather than the evidence.

Al Gore, in his recent op-ed for the New York Times, cites “every major National Academy of Sciences report on climate change” and “the thousands of pages of careful scientific work over the last 22 years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” Even when Gore cites actual data — “from a global perspective, it was the second-hottest January since surface temperatures were first measured 130 years ago” — he always cites the manipulated temperature data, never the raw data (which show no significant warming).

Who are you going to believe: Gore, or your lying eyes? Gore writes: “January was seen as unusually cold in much of the United States.” Yeah, it was. We Americans saw it. Sadly, Gore was just following the example of the leading climate “scientists,” who themselves never ask us to look at the raw data, but instruct us to read — and bow down before — the “peer-reviewed papers.”

The motto of the Royal Society of London, the world’s premier scientific society, is Nullius in verba – which they translate as: “Take nobody’s word for it.” Yet these days the Royal Society itself is asking us to accept AGW, and the only evidence they give is — you guessed it — “peer-reviewed papers.”

Hopefully the Royal Society and the National Academy of Sciences will one day return to their roots and behave as scientific academies.