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  #1  
Old 01-29-2011, 10:22 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

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  #2  
Old 01-29-2011, 10:58 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Thule AFB temperature

here is the site to go to for a sample of daily artic temperature readings. Thule AFB, Greenland.

http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/BGTL.html

currently it is -19 american.
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  #3  
Old 01-29-2011, 11:53 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Thule AFB temperature

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
here is the site to go to for a sample of daily artic temperature readings. Thule AFB, Greenland.

http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/BGTL.html

currently it is -19 american.
Hey, Steve! Here's something from the same channel.

Look at the maps with the red and blue dots halfway through the page.
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  #4  
Old 01-29-2011, 12:05 PM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Thule AFB temperature

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Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
Hey, Steve! Here's something from the same channel.

Look at the maps with the red and blue dots halfway through the page.
I don't trust establishment scientists. They make stuff up. That is how they get more money. Think of the number of children the democrats killed by making up the connection between vacines and autism.

Still waiting for evolution believers to credibly explain why humans are the only animals in the history of the earth to have evolved intelligence.
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2011, 12:17 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Evolution untrue?

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Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
Still waiting for evolution believers to credibly explain why humans are the only animals in the history of the earth to have evolved intelligence.
It makes sense to me. We are simply the first to evolve a high level of intelligence. Other animals do have some lesser amounts of intelligence.

What is your explanation?

Last edited by Simon Willard; 01-29-2011 at 12:33 PM..
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2011, 01:29 PM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Evolution untrue?

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Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
It makes sense to me. We are simply the first to evolve a high level of intelligence. Other animals do have some lesser amounts of intelligence.
that implies that other species are also evolving increased intelligence over time. that humans have only evolved increased intelligence at a faster rate. Is there evidence that squirrels or dolphins are smarter today than they were 10 million years ago? Is the 21st century squirrel smarter in regard to crossing the road than one back in 1970?

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Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
What is your explanation?
Don't know. I definitely don't rule God out of the process, however.
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2011, 07:01 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Evolution untrue?

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Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
that implies that other species are also evolving increased intelligence over time. that humans have only evolved increased intelligence at a faster rate.
Well, no, I think you're jumping to conclusions. There's no mandate for evolutionary change, just the possibility. I think mice will still be mice after 50 million years. That we can trace our own history back to small mammals is a different observation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
Is there evidence that squirrels or dolphins are smarter today than they were 10 million years ago? Is the 21st century squirrel smarter in regard to crossing the road than one back in 1970?
I really don't know. I don't think it's relevant. But evolutionary change is apparent all over the place. Just look at dogs.

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Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
I definitely don't rule God out of the process, however.
As a deist, I see God embedded in every process, but in a most abstract and impersonal way. I do share the physicist's desire for a beautiful and elegant explanation for everything. Most scientists see the stories of an anthropomorphized God who intervenes in a miraculous way (outside the immutable laws of physics) as an unappealing and inelegant explanation. My own opinion is consistent with this scientific-majority view.

Last edited by Simon Willard; 01-29-2011 at 07:04 PM..
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2011, 01:30 PM
SWHansen SWHansen is offline
 
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Default Re: Evolution untrue?

Very elegant and tactful response. Well stated.
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2011, 08:25 PM
Tara Davis Tara Davis is offline
 
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Default Re: Evolution untrue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
that implies that other species are also evolving increased intelligence over time. that humans have only evolved increased intelligence at a faster rate. Is there evidence that squirrels or dolphins are smarter today than they were 10 million years ago? Is the 21st century squirrel smarter in regard to crossing the road than one back in 1970?
I feel no compulsion to do your homework for you, but countless studies have shown that animals DO get slightly more intelligent over just a few generations if you create an environmental condition which demands it.

If animals couldn't evolve to be smarter and more well-socialized over time, my dog would be too feral to keep in the house. All domestic pets and livestock are the product of the world's smartest animal (humans) guiding their evolution over the course of thousands of years in order to better suit our purposes.

The evolution of intelligence, like all types of evolution, is not an inevitable process of biology, but rather it's simply one trait which will (under some circumstances) increase the survivability of a gene. An ape which is more clever has a better chance of getting adequate food, of avoiding predators, and of mating, than one which is less clever. But there's more than one way to skin a cat. The LESS clever ape's gene might survive just as well, for tens of thousands of years, by being stronger and faster.
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2011, 01:49 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Evolution untrue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
that implies that other species are also evolving increased intelligence over time. that humans have only evolved increased intelligence at a faster rate. Is there evidence that squirrels or dolphins are smarter today than they were 10 million years ago? Is the 21st century squirrel smarter in regard to crossing the road than one back in 1970?



Don't know. I definitely don't rule God out of the process, however.
Have you ever studied biology? Animals "not getting smarter" is both untrue and not entirely relevant to the theory of evolution. Animals do, however, adapt to their environment. Can you explain this without natural selection?
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2011, 12:13 AM
BornAgainDemocrat BornAgainDemocrat is offline
 
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Default Re: Thule AFB temperature

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Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
Still waiting for evolution believers to credibly explain why humans are the only animals in the history of the earth to have evolved intelligence.
And how they all evolved to have the same intelligence.
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  #12  
Old 02-01-2011, 04:07 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Thule AFB temperature

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Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
I don't trust establishment scientists. They make stuff up. That is how they get more money. Think of the number of children the democrats killed by making up the connection between vacines and autism.
Oh, good grief. It was establishment scientists who debunked the vaccine-autism claims. To claim that "establishment science and democrats" are behind the nutty anti-vaccine movement is, at best, stupid.
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2011, 11:43 AM
fred66 fred66 is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

Regarding the climate skeptics, I have no idea how these people get so much airtime, or credibility. It's unusual for interest groups with so little credibility to gain so much traction. I can only assume it's because of the significant financial interests that like to have that particular message heard. An American congressional committee interviewed Monckton for Gods sake. May as well have asked Lady Gaga what she thinks.
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  #14  
Old 01-29-2011, 11:59 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

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Originally Posted by fred66 View Post
Regarding the climate skeptics, I have no idea how these people get so much airtime, or credibility. It's unusual for interest groups with so little credibility to gain so much traction. I can only assume it's because of the significant financial interests that like to have that particular message heard. An American congressional committee interviewed Monckton for Gods sake. May as well have asked Lady Gaga what she thinks.
there is nothing Americans can do to stop global warming. Whether it is caused by the Sun or by CO2 emissions. Democrats want to control people. The tea party ticks them off because those people have the nerve to tell the goverment to FO. As Rahm Emanuael says, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. Democrats see global warming as the vector with which to raise taxes on energy usage.
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2011, 12:48 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

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Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
there is nothing Americans can do to stop global warming. Whether it is caused by the Sun or by CO2 emissions. Democrats want to control people. The tea party ticks them off because those people have the nerve to tell the goverment to FO. As Rahm Emanuael says, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. Democrats see global warming as the vector with which to raise taxes on energy usage.
Yes, it's a secret plan to raise taxes on energy. Why do Democrats have a secret desire to raise taxes on energy, given that they don't actually believe what they say about AGW? Who knows? Who cares? It's not like it actually has to make sense, given that the only goal is to create the illusion of real scientific controversy.
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2011, 02:02 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Yes, it's a secret plan to raise taxes on energy. Why do Democrats have a secret desire to raise taxes on energy, given that they don't actually believe what they say about AGW? Who knows? Who cares? It's not like it actually has to make sense, given that the only goal is to create the illusion of real scientific controversy.
Interesting to compare this ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
there is nothing Americans can do to stop global warming. Whether it is caused by the Sun or by CO2 emissions. Democrats want to control people. The tea party ticks them off because those people have the nerve to tell the goverment to FO. As Rahm Emanuael says, a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. Democrats see global warming as the vector with which to raise taxes on energy usage.
... and this ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
I don't trust establishment scientists. They make stuff up. That is how they get more money. Think of the number of children the democrats killed by making up the connection between vacines and autism.

Still waiting for evolution believers to credibly explain why humans are the only animals in the history of the earth to have evolved intelligence.
... and this ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkin View Post
... and this ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkin View Post
Does he differentiate the science he trusts from the proven charaltans in the science community who have actively encouraged fraud, bad science, supression and strong-arming to silence AGW skeptics?

... with this, from an Alex Jones fan quoted in the column about Harrison Schmitt that George gave ...

Quote:
"Schmitt actually blamed the horrible education system in this country for people believing that the Apollo Moon missions were faked," railed a website called RogueGovernment.com in an article posted in August 2009. "In actuality, it is the horrible education system in this country that has led most people to believe that the Apollo Moon missions were real. ... It is sad to see somebody like Jones serving as a gatekeeper and providing credibility to the official story of the Apollo missions by giving a softball interview to Schmitt who like all the other Apollo astronauts are liars and frauds."
... and this, describing the beginning of a commercial* that ran during the Alex Jones show while Schmitt was on:

Quote:
The interview pauses for a commercial for a company called Survival Seed Bank.com, which begins, "The New World Order beast is genetically modifying your food, mixing vegetables with animals and now experimenting with viruses. Without a long-term food solution, you will have just two options: Starve or surrender."
==========
* Watch the commercial here. (That link should start the video at 05:45.)

[Added] It's worth listening to the rest of that vid and then the continuation. Not at all hard to see why a Sarah Palin-type Republican would have picked this guy to be her Secretary of Energy. It's really sad to hear how far off the deep end Harrison Schmitt has gone. He was pretty admirable back in the Apollo days.
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2011, 11:55 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post

... Not at all hard to see why a Sarah Palin-type Republican would have picked this guy to be her Secretary of Energy. It's really sad to hear how far off the deep end Harrison Schmitt has gone. He was pretty admirable back in the Apollo days.
you are the one who is off the deep end. Schmitt is bad because he was on a radio show that ran a commercial that says the goverment is going to do something with the food supply. The only quote I saw that was attributed directly to Schmitt was he thinks the lefties have taken over and destroyed the education system. A lot of validity to that.

A good way to get people to calm down regarding their fears and conspiracy theories is to stop the goverment from putting us a great risk of a financial calamity. The debt crisis is very, very real. There could easily be a breakdown of social order when the funding of urban areas is cut off.
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  #18  
Old 01-30-2011, 01:50 PM
chiwhisoxx chiwhisoxx is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

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Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
you are the one who is off the deep end. Schmitt is bad because he was on a radio show that ran a commercial that says the goverment is going to do something with the food supply. The only quote I saw that was attributed directly to Schmitt was he thinks the lefties have taken over and destroyed the education system. A lot of validity to that.

A good way to get people to calm down regarding their fears and conspiracy theories is to stop the goverment from putting us a great risk of a financial calamity. The debt crisis is very, very real. There could easily be a breakdown of social order when the funding of urban areas is cut off.
I think bizarre conspiracy theories predate the financial criss, and will probably continue once the economy turns around. Just a guess.
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  #19  
Old 01-30-2011, 04:06 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

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Originally Posted by chiwhisoxx View Post
I think bizarre conspiracy theories predate the financial criss, and will probably continue once the economy turns around. Just a guess.
I think that responding to Steve is an error. I keep finding myself tempted to skim off a manageable amount of his crazy to deal with, but there's no way not to be drawn farther into the abyss once you start.
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  #20  
Old 01-31-2011, 08:38 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
I think that responding to Steve is an error. I keep finding myself tempted to skim off a manageable amount of his crazy to deal with, but there's no way not to be drawn farther into the abyss once you start.
oh, come on. give it a try.

You think the US government will not destroy the country by growing our collective debt to a crushing level? if so, explain how the deficit is brought under control.

You think the current level of population growth due to immigration will not cause the country to have less and less open space and less and less capacity for producing renewable natural resources? If yes, is there any level of population in the country beyond which we all collectively will suffer from chronic shortages of life sustaining resources?

You think the US can lessen global warming by reducing its burning of fossill fules. If so, how do you account for the increase in fossill fuel use abroad which dwarfs any decreases achieved in the US?
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  #21  
Old 02-02-2011, 05:49 PM
handle handle is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

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Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
oh, come on. give it a try.

You think the US government will not destroy the country by growing our collective debt to a crushing level? if so, explain how the deficit is brought under control.

You think the current level of population growth due to immigration will not cause the country to have less and less open space and less and less capacity for producing renewable natural resources? If yes, is there any level of population in the country beyond which we all collectively will suffer from chronic shortages of life sustaining resources?

You think the US can lessen global warming by reducing its burning of fossill fules. If so, how do you account for the increase in fossill fuel use abroad which dwarfs any decreases achieved in the US?
eliminating hills and curves on US hiways wood reduce fossill fules, and lesson the need for oil imports.

Global warming wood still hapen, but democrats will still believe it's man made.

Put busy hiways next to the borders, and immigrants would get run over trying to enter the US.
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  #22  
Old 01-30-2011, 04:04 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

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Originally Posted by DenvilleSteve View Post
you are the one who is off the deep end. Schmitt is bad because he was on a radio show that ran a commercial that says the goverment is going to do something with the food supply. The only quote I saw that was attributed directly to Schmitt was he thinks the lefties have taken over and destroyed the education system.
Given everything you have said in this thread alone, I am not at all surprised that was the only thing Schmitt said that jumped out at you.

Quote:
A lot of validity to that.
Nor am I at all surprised that you'd say that.

I won't bother elaborating further. Clearly, you're not interested in reason and you've decided to embrace idiotic beliefs in conspiracies to explain the world to yourself. When you're not just wallowing in willful ignorance, that is, as with your thirty-seventh repetition of your crank views on evolution.

I think it's sad, but watching your descent since you've joined this board tells me that you're not interested in getting better. Without that desire, there is nothing any of us can do to help.
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  #23  
Old 01-31-2011, 12:39 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

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Originally Posted by fred66 View Post
Regarding the climate skeptics, I have no idea how these people get so much airtime, or credibility. It's unusual for interest groups with so little credibility to gain so much traction. I can only assume it's because of the significant financial interests that like to have that particular message heard. An American congressional committee interviewed Monckton for Gods sake. May as well have asked Lady Gaga what she thinks.
I'm reminded of a recent critique I heard of the Koch brothers financing anti-regulatory campaigns - that they were doing this because they stood to lose on investments they held, were regulations to go forward.

While that may be true, I also think it does great disservice to the threat their principles present. Were it only the case that those in opposition to regulation were only in it for the money. That's at least a case of simple logic, and can be argued against with an appeal to integrity and human decency.

But a principled case against government regulation is a much more complicated beast, and one that in and of itself is entirely consistent with ethical behavior. The problem is - form the pro-regulation point of view - is that a moral harm is occurring, and that the case goes from a simple appeal to righteousness, to larger themes of liberalism, tragedy of commons, etc.

Now, I do think there is a glaring inconsistency in the contemporary right's anti-climate change stance. The science is not complex, nuanced political philosophy but hard data from very real and distinguished authorities. I think this is a case where an appeal to human decency and integrity needs to be made. Yet not on the merits of regulation in general, but in having the integrity to acknowledge when you have lost an argument.

Only the most insane libertarian believes in no regulation at all. So the debate becomes about the evidence of harm. We need to get these people to accept that continuing to pump the atmosphere full of CO2 - even if currently legal - is just as immoral as dumping 500 gallons of toxic sludge on to your neighbor's lawn. They've gone from denial of the process, to denial of the human element, to denial of the damage, to denial of our ability to end it. At his point it seems merely a matter of intellectual honesty and ideological integrity. You can be opposed to unnecessary regulation, and be for necessary regulation. Therefore, you can be for reduction in CO2 emissions.

Of course, the dodge will be "but the reduction is unnecessary". Well, then return to the science. I think many are afraid to really do this right because they (probably unconsciously) fear it will require a compromise in their ideology. But that's what being a "bigger person" is about. The left at one point had to give up on communism, despite how much they hated the thought of having to accept the many cruelties of the capitalist system. Yet one can still be against those cruelties - not having to relent in criticism, while still acknowledging the facts. This is how ideology evolves. And hopefully something better emerges. The left has probably given up much in its neoliberalism, but it has also gained much legitimacy, not least of which is its demonstrated ability to be serious. Conservatism used to have more of that levity within its grasp. Hopefully it will emerge sooner rather than later.
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  #24  
Old 01-31-2011, 09:39 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

There is no such thing as modelless data. Our preconceptions affect what we measure, how we choose to measure it, & finally how we interpret the data aquired. The real world isn't so clean as to permit anything as simple as what I think you mean when you refer to "hard data"
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  #25  
Old 01-31-2011, 09:48 PM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

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There is no such thing as modelless data. Our preconceptions affect what we measure and how we choose to measure it. There are ambiguities. There are gray zones. "Hard data"? There is no such thing my friend.
Fair enough. That's why my slippery slope slides right into the expert halls of the IPCC. I know my liberal bias is perfectly in sync with climate change, just as conservatives' bias is not to trust it.

I'm no expert, so I guess I'm fortunate that the consensus is overwhelmingly in my favor, and I don't have to rely on cherry-picked fringe views. I have no idea if they are right or not. But I do have house odds.
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  #26  
Old 01-31-2011, 10:24 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

Quote:
Originally Posted by eeeeeeeli View Post
Now, I do think there is a glaring inconsistency in the contemporary right's anti-climate change stance. The science is not complex, nuanced political philosophy but hard data from very real and distinguished authorities. I think this is a case where an appeal to human decency and integrity needs to be made. Yet not on the merits of regulation in general, but in having the integrity to acknowledge when you have lost an argument.

Only the most insane libertarian believes in no regulation at all. So the debate becomes about the evidence of harm. We need to get these people to accept that continuing to pump the atmosphere full of CO2 - even if currently legal - is just as immoral as dumping 500 gallons of toxic sludge on to your neighbor's lawn. They've gone from denial of the process, to denial of the human element, to denial of the damage, to denial of our ability to end it. At his point it seems merely a matter of intellectual honesty and ideological integrity.
I think you are mixing a lot of very different things into a single ideological pot. There is the simple, very hard science: CO2 is on the rise. There is the almost-hard science: CO2 is causing the earth to warm. There is the very complex, opaque science from computer simulations: Warming leads to "more severe" weather. There is the soft science: This is a very bad thing that will hurt the flora and fauna. There is the religion: It's immoral to generate CO2. There is the fantasy: We can fix this if we all drive Chevy Leafs.

OK, I know you didn't say the last one. My point is these things have different levels of certainty. I'm on board with the hard science, but not with the softer science. While my preference would be not to rock the boat, I really don't know if a warmer planet is a bad thing. Really, I don't. I'm pretty sure that a colder planet would be a bad thing. But if you look at a map of where humanity lives, it's clear that we thrive in the warmer climes.

If you take the leap to declaring CO2 emission immoral, you are really painting us all into a moral corner. This train cannot be turned around without extreme changes that will be rejected by everyone (and not just Americans). Maybe, just maybe, a massive effort to convert completely to nuclear power generation could slow the train down. Or a drastic reduction in the human population. Just what is it that you expect us to do?
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  #27  
Old 01-31-2011, 10:42 PM
SkepticDoc SkepticDoc is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

I think it is the Nissan Leaf, Chevy volt...

http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electr...cc=0.216878497
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  #28  
Old 02-01-2011, 10:25 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

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Originally Posted by SkepticDoc View Post
I think it is the Nissan Leaf, Chevy volt...

http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electr...cc=0.216878497
Thanks! accuracy is what is needed in times like these.
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  #29  
Old 02-01-2011, 11:18 AM
SkepticDoc SkepticDoc is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

We all have to be a little "dickish" to be here...
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  #30  
Old 02-01-2011, 12:06 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
I think you are mixing a lot of very different things into a single ideological pot. There is the simple, very hard science: CO2 is on the rise. There is the almost-hard science: CO2 is causing the earth to warm. There is the very complex, opaque science from computer simulations: Warming leads to "more severe" weather. There is the soft science: This is a very bad thing that will hurt the flora and fauna. There is the religion: It's immoral to generate CO2. There is the fantasy: We can fix this if we all drive Chevy Leafs.

OK, I know you didn't say the last one. My point is these things have different levels of certainty. I'm on board with the hard science, but not with the softer science. While my preference would be not to rock the boat, I really don't know if a warmer planet is a bad thing. Really, I don't. I'm pretty sure that a colder planet would be a bad thing. But if you look at a map of where humanity lives, it's clear that we thrive in the warmer climes.

If you take the leap to declaring CO2 emission immoral, you are really painting us all into a moral corner. This train cannot be turned around without extreme changes that will be rejected by everyone (and not just Americans). Maybe, just maybe, a massive effort to convert completely to nuclear power generation could slow the train down. Or a drastic reduction in the human population. Just what is it that you expect us to do?
Well, just taking your last point: if climate change is the really bad problem that it is largely predicted to be, and we can take steps to slow it if not reverse it with varying levels of coordinated effort.

Assuming that's all true, I think this situation might do better with another, more concrete example. I think the problem a lot of people have with climate change is that is seems so nebulous and remote. So let's say a massive meteorite is heading right for a major population center, with impact in say, 40 years. If each of us could simply make a few alterations in the way we live (here is one practical, if stern path), we could prevent it. Wouldn't we do it?

Now, that may be too much to ask for something so seemingly distant. Humans are notoriously bad at moral imagination over distances. But that doesn't make any of it right. It just makes us all really stupid and self-absorbed. I think we are all acting like free-riders right now, and that some extreme government measures are called for. Given the original assumption, what would you have us do?
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:52 AM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Well, just taking your last point: if climate change is the really bad problem that it is largely predicted to be, and we can take steps to slow it if not reverse it with varying levels of coordinated effort.

Assuming that's all true, I think this situation might do better with another, more concrete example. I think the problem a lot of people have with climate change is that is seems so nebulous and remote. So let's say a massive meteorite is heading right for a major population center, with impact in say, 40 years. If each of us could simply make a few alterations in the way we live (here is one practical, if stern path), we could prevent it. Wouldn't we do it?

Now, that may be too much to ask for something so seemingly distant. Humans are notoriously bad at moral imagination over distances. But that doesn't make any of it right. It just makes us all really stupid and self-absorbed. I think we are all acting like free-riders right now, and that some extreme government measures are called for. Given the original assumption, what would you have us do?
Yes, I would work to steer the meteor away to save my life. This example is quite different from the global warming situation. (1) GW is not a matter of life and death (2) It's harder to predict the effects of GW than it is to predict the trajectory of a rock in the vacuum of space using Newtonian mechanics. (3) The piddling changes we could make, even with your "stern path" will not solve the problem the way deflecting a rock solves the problem.

What would I do? When I don't know how to solve a problem, I have learned it is best not to try to fix it. My plan is to do nothing other than talk to people about the benefits of nuclear power, and remind people of the grave changes 6 Billion people make to the planet that have nothing to do with to global warming. Perhaps time will clarify the GW threat and its solution. I'm interested, but I consider it a detail.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:48 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Yes, I would work to steer the meteor away to save my life. This example is quite different from the global warming situation. (1) GW is not a matter of life and death (2) It's harder to predict the effects of GW than it is to predict the trajectory of a rock in the vacuum of space using Newtonian mechanics. (3) The piddling changes we could make, even with your "stern path" will not solve the problem the way deflecting a rock solves the problem.

What would I do? When I don't know how to solve a problem, I have learned it is best not to try to fix it. My plan is to do nothing other than talk to people about the benefits of nuclear power, and remind people of the grave changes 6 Billion people make to the planet that have nothing to do with to global warming. Perhaps time will clarify the GW threat and its solution. I'm interested, but I consider it a detail.
You've missed my point. Notice I the assumption I made at the beginning of my post (it is a problem, it is fixable). We can argue over that assumption. But I was responding to your question of, granting that assumption, what I would do.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:05 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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You've missed my point. Notice I the assumption I made at the beginning of my post (it is a problem, it is fixable). We can argue over that assumption. But I was responding to your question of, granting that assumption, what I would do.
Right. I did argue that it's not fixable. I see a strong connection between "not gonna be fixed" and "not fixable", so it's a struggle for me to rigorously run with your assumption. My bad. But I can't refrain from asking questions like: How difficult will this be? How much will this cost? How much does it hurt people? How do we get everyone on board? What's the downside if we don't fix it? Does a partial fix have a partial value?

When a problem is so vast, with so many unanswered questions, logical argument falters. We fall back on intuition, and I have offered mine in the previous posts.

I'm hoping you'll agree that these are difficult questions and that you and I don't have the answers.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:07 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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If each of us could simply make a few alterations in the way we live (here is one practical, if stern path), we could prevent it. Wouldn't we do it?
That's a very good link. Thanks. I encourage everyone to look around that site.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:36 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Regarding the climate skeptics, I have no idea how these people get so much airtime, or credibility. It's unusual for interest groups with so little credibility to gain so much traction. I can only assume it's because of the significant financial interests that like to have that particular message heard. An American congressional committee interviewed Monckton for Gods sake. May as well have asked Lady Gaga what she thinks.
Please! It's not at all unusual for interest groups with little credibility to get air time . And I hate to break it to you but there are lots of sceptics with a lot of credibility. Like, for instance this guy

Quote:
APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?
As long as climate change fans refuse to admit that there are legitimate questions to be answered they're never going to be able to sell their ideas.

Thanks goodness.
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:49 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Please! It's not at all unusual for interest groups with little credibility to get air time . And I hate to break it to you but there are lots of sceptics with a lot of credibility. Like, for instance this guy
I'm fascinated that you are so proud of yourself for denying the consensus view of thousands of the most qualified people on a given topic, yet instantly accept as gospel the supposed authority of a single individual.

Then again, you read James Delingpole (and as I see down-thread, you also parrot Michael Crichton), so I suppose reason is not something that infects the activity between your ears.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:54 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

It would be interesting to see something that attempted to show the proportions of informed individuals that are skeptics to both the IPCC's estimation of the likely climate sensitivity to various levels of radiation imbalances and also it's predictions of the economic costs associated with estimated climate sensitivity compared to the proportion of informed individuals that are skeptical of other scientific issues that are to the mainstream scientific establishment considered settled science (evolution, QED, germ theory, etc.).
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:38 PM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Like, for instance this guy
"The global warming scam.... is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist."

Wow. Is that because the evidence for it is so overwhelming and accepted by such massive numbers of respected scientists? It is almost as if the more evidence and acceptance it receives, the greater the fraud becomes!

"What is this, more evidence? They are even bolder than I once thought!"
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:40 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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"The global warming scam.... is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist."

Wow. Is that because the evidence for it is so overwhelming and accepted by such massive numbers of respected scientists? It is almost as if the more evidence and acceptance it receives, the greater the fraud becomes!

"What is this, more evidence? They are even bolder than I once thought!"
Lol.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:59 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Reasonable Skepticism

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"The global warming scam.... is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist."

Wow. Is that because the evidence for it is so overwhelming and accepted by such massive numbers of respected scientists? It is almost as if the more evidence and acceptance it receives, the greater the fraud becomes!

"What is this, more evidence? They are even bolder than I once thought!"
Sarcasm, eh? This forum is changing you!

Of course you think the evidence is overwhelming. I bet you read that somewhere. Did you read the article? It should at least give you the impression that things aren't at all settled.

But you're right, this fellow must be a hack. Probably on the Koch payroll.

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