So if the same thing happened with biologists studying animal adaptations, would the same sentiments hold for evolution?
No. I was actually thinking about this yesterday. I was thinking about how to open people's eyes to evolution.
My first thought was "have them subscribe to the new scientist and natgeo rss feeds for a month, and realize what an integral part of every day science evolution is". Not a week goes by that I don't see a story that adds more the mountains of evidence behind evolution. Some minor, some fantastic.
On the other hand, substantive AGW stories are few and far between. NatGeo and NS both have a tendency to run AGW alarmism stories with little basis in observed phenomenon. "Global warming will unseat 8000000000 hottentots by 2020" type stuff. Or "global warming will cause viagara stop working".
Anyways, after thinking about showing people how integral evolution was to modern science, I decided maybe the best route would be relating the news they read or see on TV instead. MRSA, influenza, etc. There are so many health related topics that are basically "evolution is true is why this is occurring".
Meanwhile, when we had a bad hurricane season. Global warming was blamed. Al Gore put the picture of Katrina on the poster for his movie. Dire predictions of "it will only get worse too" were floated.
Now we have had light hurricane seasons since. There is no retraction.
We had mild winters in the US. Global warming was blamed. Now that we have a cold winter. Global warming is also blamed.
How do I relate the truth of AGW to person with no scientific background through example?
Now the alarmists, neo-comms, and profiteers in the AGW community are being found out. Evolution can not be discredited in the same way since evolution is so observable. With AGW, we are told to only observe it on warm days. And then the cold days are proof too. Dry days as well. Stormy ones.
I guess what it comes down to is, good science makes a good predictor. Such is the case with evolution. Such is not the case with AGW. If the science of AGW is ever as sound as that behind evolution, there won't need to be worries about the "damage to the movement" when it turns out some UN official is a corrupt activist.