No the Pope doesn’t have a Masters degree in Chemistry.
I only mention it because the usual suspects have been making such a big deal of Pope Francis’s scientific credentials, as part of their inevitable campaign to persuade us that his controversial encyclical on “climate change” is rooted in deep wisdom and knowledge.
When, for example, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum suggested on the radio earlier this month that the pope should leave science to the scientists, the greenie-lefties couldn’t contain their glee.
Indeed, for a period, the Pope’s science qualifications underwent massive grade inflation. The meme spread – possibly originating in this Catholic Herald article when he was still the all-but-unknown Cardinal Bergoglio – that the Pope actually had a Master’s degree in Chemistry.
Which he doesn’t. What the Pope in fact has is the equivalent of a something one notch above a high school diploma:
What he did do was graduate with a título in chemistry from the Escuela Técnica Industrial No. 12, which is a state-run technical secondary school.
In the Argentine system, “the título (same word used for a secondary diploma or a university degree) was earned at about age 19 after an extended secondary program,” Liebscher said. “Not everyone who goes to secondary school gets one of those diplomas, and the título really represents something beyond our high-school diploma, something akin a certificate from a community college in the U.S.”
Does it really matter either way? Not in my view, no. On the contrary, it seems all too depressingly symptomatic of the fatuous “credentialism” with which the left is so obsessed and which goes such a long way to explaining how the great global warming scam became such a dominant part of our culture.
You only have to look at the way organisations like the BBC, The Guardian and The New York Times now deploy the word “scientists”: with the kind of reverence which only a few centuries earlier might have been reserved for the pronouncements of the Pope himself.
“Scientists say…” they begin their reports on the latest health/global warming scare. And just because it’s “scientists” saying this we’re expected to take it on trust that it must be true.
Well, not wishing to rain on anybody’s parade, but I ought to point out that every single one of the shysters pumping out hysterical, corrupt, often heavily doctored, alarmist drivel at institutions like the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and NASA and the British Antarctic Survey and the National Academy of Sciences and Penn State University and NOAA and CSIRO also happens to be a “scientist”, most of them educated to levels way beyond that of the Pontiff.
Doesn’t seem to have made much difference to the quality of their expertise, though, does it?