In his letter of Aug. 6, Jack DeBaun commits the same ad hominem fallacy using almost exactly the same language that he did in his previous letter to attack the character and reliability of Roger Roots. Perhaps a class in the fundamentals of logic is in order?
It isn’t the character or reliability of a person that determines the truth of a statement. It matters not, for example, if a 4-year-old, a construction worker, or an experienced meteorologist says that the sky is blue. If the sky is blue, then it is blue regardless of who says so or what their qualifications are. The same reasoning applies to glaciers. Whether they are shrinking or growing does not depend on anyone’s qualifications, it depends only upon the facts themselves.
Mr. DeBaun can argue all he wants about Roots’ qualifications or lack thereof, but that will not affect the truth of the situation in Glacier National Park. Mr. Roots offers photographic evidence and independent research that the park’s glaciers are growing, but DeBaun has failed to deal with that evidence other than to call it “amateurish.” And the USGS website that DeBaun cites as a refutation nowhere mentions Roger Roots, his photos, or his independent research. So where is the supposed refutation?
If certain qualifications are necessary before we can believe that something is true, then we ought to ask what Mr. DeBaun’s qualifications are for passing judgment about the reliability of others instead of dealing with the facts.