Science’s Ordinary Magisterium
“Scientists have found two large leaks in Earth’s magnetosphere, the region around our planet that shields us from severe solar storms,” Space.com reports:
The leaks are defying many of scientists’ previous ideas on how the interaction between Earth’s magnetosphere and solar wind occurs: The leaks are in an unexpected location, let in solar particles in faster than expected and the whole interaction works in a manner that is completely the opposite of what scientists had thought.
Laymen may be confused by the notion of a scientific discovery “that is completely the opposite of what scientists had thought.” After all, we keep reading that all scientists agree about global warming and no one may question it. Is science infallible or isn’t it?
The answer is: It depends. Scientific teachings that are part of the “ordinary magisterium,” such as those involving the interaction between Earth’s magnetosphere and solar wind, are not infallible. But global warming is what scientists call an ex cathedra doctrine.
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