The anti-science battle of Green -vs- Mooney

Heh, gotta love this. Get popcorn. I was tipped off to this by Chris Mooney in a Tweet where he’s calling for reinforcements:

Kevin Green of the American Enterprise Institute got the war of words rolling with these comments at Mooney’s new digs at scienceprogress:

Ken Green ·
Right, so let’s continue on your dismiss-a-thon of leftist anti-science, shall we? DDT and cancer, BPA and phthalates as carcinogens and endocrine disruptors; claims that organic food are safer because they have less pesticides/contaminants; claims that eating local foods are better for the environment than foods from elsewhere; claims that re-usable cloth bags are better for the environment than plastic or paper bags; false claims of species endangerment; pseudo-scientific claims about species loss treated as gospel; claims that climate models have predictive power; claims that individual weather events represent climate change…I think you missed a few.
Ken Green ·
Oh, wait, I forgot a few: frogs dying from climate change, alligator penis malformations from endocrine disruptors, bees dying from climate change (or is it cell-phones this week?), butterflies dying from BT crops…And, let’s not forget Alar, or cancer from video displays, or cell phones, or anything vaguely reminiscent of modernity.
Ken Green ·
Oops! Oh yes, then there’s the giant plastic ocean graveyard that was never seen again, and, let’s not forget the now-famous drowning polar bears.

Chris Mooney replied, though it is hardly much of one, which is why I suppose he’s trying to get Revkin and Kloor interested in it for defense. 

Chris Mooney · Top Commenter · Yale University
This is quite a grab bag of claims. Many are misleading, some might be valid, some are wrong claims that have been made sometimes on the left but refuted just as vigorously by fellow liberals….including me.

I was pretty amazed (as were other commenters on other issues) that Mooney didn’t bother to address the totally bogus and overhyped  “frogs dying from climate change” issue, because that was one of the worst blunders in climate science ever.

It turned out to be totally unrelated to climate, as I’ve addressed here on WUWT. The frog decline was definitively linked an infection of the chytrid fungus. The PNAS peer reviewed paper slapping down this nonsense said:

Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis.

Even Hansen’s buddies at Columbia agree. See this: Global Warming not to blame for toad extinction

Mooney was undeterred by the rebuttals, and the war was on. Green made a full post out of it at the AEI blog:

====================

So Who’s Anti-Science?

Over at scienceprogress, Chris Mooney opines that the political Right is more “anti-science” than the political Left. He points to climate change and evolution as areas where the Right is anti-science, and dismisses the idea that the Left is anti-science when it comes to things like their exaggerations of the risks of genetically modified crops, nuclear power, and vaccines.

His reasoning seems to break down into two arguments:

1) Chris argues that one can’t really tag the Left as being anti-science on things like vaccines and nukes because he (and a few other environmental journalists) have done their own policing on the issues, or, at least, walked away from actively shilling them. Chris actually says that he and journalists on the Left have “chased vaccine denial out of the realm of polite discourse.” That’s going to come as a shock to virtually every social-network user, who probably sees half-a-dozen anti-vaccine posts a week.

2) Chris argues that the anti-science issues usually associated with the Left (vaccines, nuclear-danger exaggerations, GMO danger claims) aren’t really left-wing issues, but rather, are held by people on both sides of the political spectrum.

Read it all here at So Who’s Anti-Science?

The “anti-science” label (which I think was coined by Joe Romm, if not he’s the worst serial user of the phrase) is no different that the “denier” label. The idea is to denigrate your opponent by applying ugly labels.

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181 thoughts on “The anti-science battle of Green -vs- Mooney

  1. So he says that the left can’t be anti-science because some liberals chastise the others when they make exaggerations. But he also says the right is anti-science because some of them don’t believe in evolution, even though some conservatives chastise the others for that……

  2. Should be obvious…anti-science is whoever tries to frame science in the political discourse. But then, everybody does it, so…

    Anyway, I can see the trouble with the Left is their living in terror that capitalism and liberal democracy are the way forward indeed, rather than socialism. So whatever results from capitalism and liberal democracy is automatically labeled as “bad”, including most of the material progresses of the past decades.

    Therefore rather than saying the average Left Person is more or less anti-science than the average Right Person, I am inclined to think that the former is more trapped than the latter in a frame of mind that will forever push away from science. Unless socialism comes back and then perhaps the roles will reverse.

  3. If you are looking at contemporary US politicians the right has the lead in anti-science nonsense. This is certainly true among the presidential candidates and in the US House and Senate. If you look at pseudo-scientific beliefs in the population at large the picture is more mixed. There have been plenty of times is history when parts of the left were anti-science, from the Scopes Monkey Trial to the Lysenko Affair. But Stalin is not running for president.

  4. Reason.com, CATO.org, Spiked or The Register could never be called rightwing or conservative yet all are skeptical and critical of climate alarmism, apocalypticism and green thinking.

  5. Latitude says:
    September 24, 2011 at 3:05 pm
    “On the whole, the most scientifically literate and numerate subjects were slightly less likely, not more, to see climate change as a serious threat than the least scientifically literate and numerate ones.”

    …And I would expect that almost all people with an ounce of common sense would realise that climate has always changed and people will have to learn to adapt or die. Shame that common sense seems to be such a scarce commodity amongst the pro-CAGW believers!

  6. Frogs! Deformed FROGS! In the 1970’s it was the Hanford River and RADIOACTIVITY from the Hanford Nuclear facility.

    Then in the 1990’s it was PESTICIDES!

    OH MY!

    In like 2001 an obscure biology Prof from a small Iowa College (Luther?) found a Nematoad, about the size of the largest bacteria (200X needed to see) which he found infected all the deformed frogs.

    Turns out it runs throught the leapord frog population, about once every 20 to 30 years.

    Dang, MAN NOT TO BLAME AGAIN!

  7. None of these are anti-science, but it is like the label “denier”, it is an attempt to take the high ground. In the case of Evolution and Climate change it is not the science that it the main question, in reality it is the world view that is typical of each side, and especially the various agenda in strengthening these particular world views. Anti-evolutionism and Climate Skepticism have a lot in common in that they challenge the unchallengable othodoxy. The film by Ben Stein “Expelled!” about Intelligent Design and creationism could easily be remade about climate change skepticism and it would receive the same reaction from those who deny that any of the content is true. Indeed, Heartland already has similar videos online (very good too). In the case of Evolution, it is not about science at all but about naturalism, supernaturalism is ruled out regardless of the evidence, because God must be eliminated. At least this is not the same in Climate science, it is rather an attempt at being god that is being thwarted by the skeptics, and it cannot be allowed.

  8. Too many non-scientists fail to understand one of the most important fundamentals of science – that science doesn’t provide answers, it only provides methods that allow scientists to guess where the truth might lie. This is especially true in the natural sciences where data to support those guesses are sparse and usually of questionable quality.

  9. Latitude says:
    September 24, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    “On the whole, the most scientifically literate and numerate subjects were slightly less likely, not more, to see climate change as a serious threat than the least scientifically literate and numerate ones.”
    ======================================================
    Damn! Beat me to it.! And Green didn’t even pull out the obvious intentional deception by leftist groups parading as science organizations, such as the bogus polar bear ice floe, and the bogus flooded house.

    Of course, the problem is the definition of what “science” is. Climatology is the most anti-science field of study I’ve ever witnessed. I mean really. Some dimwit thinks he can read tree rings and tell us what the temperature was 500 years ago to the tenth of a degree? And they call that science? lmao! Modern phrenology. They find missing heat with out observation or measurements? I love that stuff! Go science! They won’t tolerate other opinions. Another win for science!! But that’s just climatology. There are plenty of fields they’ve hijacked, bastardized and then claim scientific certitude. Paul Ehrlich comes to mind. Yeh, we’re all dead by now.

    The left defines science as soiling your pants about every imaginable event and paying some basement dwelling rent seeker to write a paper about it. That’s science in their world. Of course, the eventual side effect of such science is that we get to pass laws that lessen the liberties of the individual and markets and centralizes control in the federal government, all the while confiscating our earned wealth and redistributing it to the people made less advantaged by the very idiocy of the science they hold so dear and claim as their banner.

    Did I miss any connecting logic?

  10. I don’t see where “believing” in evolution has any effect on the welfare of the world population. This is a long way economically from “believing” in catastrophic global warming where the lives of millions will be put in danger because of an unscientific belief in effect of carbon dioxide on the climate.

    Both a belief in God, and a belief in catastrophic global warming are religious endeavors.

  11. Mike says:
    September 24, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    If you are looking at contemporary US politicians the right has the lead in anti-science nonsense.
    ====================================================
    Mike, by conservative definition, it isn’t pro-science to believe in scary bedtime stories.

  12. Second hand smoke rules and the ban on DDT are perfect examples. Neither had the science to support the bans. AIDS — Govt scientists, at the behest of the left, deliberately choosing to hype the very small threat of straights getting HIV in order to scare the hell out of the public into spending larger sums for research.

    John Edwards.

  13. Equating rightwing and religious is dishonest.

    Christianity and socialism have a long history together that continues to this day. Just listen to the pronouncements of mainstream religious leaders, Yet you never hear the term Religious Left.

    And as for evolution, it’s my experience that many on the Left who ‘believe in evolution’, simply don’t understand it.

  14. Ken Green ·

    Oops! Oh yes, then there’s the giant plastic ocean graveyard that was never seen again, and, let’s not forget the now-famous drowning polar bears.
    ==============
    About 2 years ago I did a google search for “the giant plastic ocean graveyard”, figuring there would be some pictures. I found none. Anyone got any pictures ?

  15. One of my favourites is the giant floating mountain of plastic bags somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Of course no one has ever been able to find this island, despite it being the size of Texas (or is it almost half the size of the continental USA this week?). Tons o’ fun. :->

  16. James Sexton says:
    September 24, 2011 at 3:29 pm
    Damn! Beat me to it.!
    ================================================
    It’s from your blog ……………..LOL
    You already blogged about this very thing…………..
    …..I just have faster fingers

    BTW James has an excellent blog on this very subject……..shameless plug…..because I’m shameless

  17. I have no problem accepting evolution. God created me as a scientifically-minded reasoning creature who is meant to make observations and subsequent verifiable conclusions. He wants me to know rocks are hard, electricity can shock me. There are all these fossils and even genetic material around that shows progression patterns. Accepting evolution isn’t an issue.

    It’s when I refuse to sign the Atheist Addendum, that God was in no way ever involved in the process, which logically must follow from there being no God at all, that I suddenly become an anti-science creationist, presumably a 6000-yr 6-day type. At best I become one of those “Intelligent Design” people. I’m also one of the anti-science Christian right (last two are correct), a redneck (yeah I have a 4×4 pickup, because we have deep snow in winter). I also often become a racist (only white people can be racists), anti-women’s rights, a homophobe, etc.

    And these “liberal loons” wonder why I normally find it too exasperating to converse with them and try to find common ground, especially when “common ground” inevitably becomes defined as whatever ground they themselves are rooted to. Go figure.

  18. In Australia, as in other western nations. socialism has been tried and is at present out of favour. But we don’t denigrate it like ‘deniers’, because we have retained many of its better features and we know that they work. I am still amazed that many Americans seem to believe in their bones that ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ are somehow one and the same. They ain’t! One day we will have an elected government that swings furtehr back towards socialism, and we’ll all (in Australia) benefit from it, except for a few die-hard laissez-faire rich basterds, who might (horror!) have to pay more tax for government services to the whole community. That’s socialism.

  19. If you’d sign a petition to ban DHMO (Dihydrogen Monoxide), then you’re anti-science or at least gullible; and I’d bet more liberals would sign such a petition than conservatives.

  20. Latitude says:
    September 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    James Sexton says:
    September 24, 2011 at 3:29 pm
    Damn! Beat me to it.!
    ================================================
    It’s from your blog ……………..LOL
    You already blogged about this very thing…………..
    …..I just have faster fingers

    BTW James has an excellent blog on this very subject……..shameless plug…..because I’m shameless
    ———————————————————————————————
    I’m putting you in for a cut of my big oil money!

  21. PaulH says:
    September 24, 2011 at 4:08 pm
    “One of my favourites is the giant floating mountain of plastic bags somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Of course no one has ever been able to find this island, despite it being the size of Texas (or is it almost half the size of the continental USA this week?). Tons o’ fun. :->”

    How many Manhattans is that? How many areas the size of Wales? How many Belgiums?

  22. Doug in Seattle says,
    “Too many non-scientists…”

    I have to vehemently disagree with this statement. Science is the search for knowledge and understanding on a particular subject then be able to apply it.
    It is basically a question of ” How does this work?”

    Politics and self serving morons get in the way of this process.

  23. This is all just an exercise in trying to attribute ill will to the “rightwing,” Christian voting population. Any one could believe that CO2, generated by mankind, might be causing the warming of the earth. I don’t, I don’t see how you could think that given just a few pieces of technical data. I can understand how the un-inquisitive could “believe” that…

    But, when the ex-Communist politico’s, Socialist dictators, the UN, the Democratic political leadership, the Hollywood brain trusts, nose-fixed rock “stars” & the MSM, all want to raise our taxes & redistribute the wealth of the world… isn’t it obvious that this has nothing to do with CO2?

    “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” “Unless you agree to pay tribute to the small islands of the South Pacific… then we can arrange for the sky not to fall.” Dah!

  24. Guys & Gals,

    Its Saturday night (at least in easter USA), and we do get older incrementally.

    Freedom is simple, the othe stuff is irrational.

    Good night.

    John

  25. Malcolm Miller says:

    “I am still amazed that many Americans seem to believe in their bones that ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ are somehow one and the same.”

    The main difference between communists and socialists is that communists are socialists in a hurry.

  26. Latitude says:
    September 24, 2011 at 3:05 pm
    “…the most scientifically literate…”
    ===========================
    I wonder what that really means? Most PhDs I know couldn’t plan a BBQ let alone read a thermometer.

    Speaking of honey bees, I had a large nest in my house this summer (maybe up to 10,000). Feeling a bit “green” about the whole thing I phoned around to various bee-keepers to have them safely removed (the bees). Not one bite. Apparently bee-keepers don’t like “natural” bees because they might infect their imported hives. So I called an exterminator and had the hive killed and then removed. The guy used a poison so I couldn’t even eat the honey. So much for my dreams of infinite mead. Oddly I feel mad at the bee keepers.

  27. For those accusing the right of “anti-science” (sic), try some real data and thoughtful analysis instead of red herring emotional politically charged ad hominem attacks.
    e.g. See: Politics & Global Warming, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and the Tea Party
    George Mason University, Center for Climate Change Communication, Sept. 2011.
    Note that the “Tea Party” is the most informed about “global warming” and “climategate”.
    .. Tea Party members are much more likely to say that they are “very well informed” about global warming than the other groups. Likewise, they are also much more likely to say they “do not need any more information” about global warming to make up their mind. . . .
    most Tea Party members say (“global warming”) is either naturally caused (50%) or isn’t happening at all (21%). . . .
    Tea Party members are far more likely to have heard about the “climategate” email controversy (45%) than Republicans (20%), Independents (27%), or Democrats (16%). . . .
    Over half (51%) of Tea Party members say they are not at all worried about global warming.
    See also: Gallup poll: Tea Partiers Are Fairly Mainstream in Their Demographics
    Pew Poll: The Tea Party, Religion and Social Issues
    Tea Party Anger Reflects Mainstream Concerns
    Polls on global warming
    Pew Poll: Little Change in Opinions about Global Warming
    General population vs (tea party)
    59% solid evidence the earth is warming
    34% because of human activity (21%)
    18% natural patterns (14% )
    9% mixed/don’t know (6% )
    32% serious problem (5% )
    31% somewhat serious (18% )
    16% not too serious (24% )
    18% not a problem (50% )
    46% requires government action (8% )
    29% not require “ (39% )
    21% not a problem (50%)
    44% Yes: scientists agree earth is getting warmer because of human activity (19%)
    44% No: “ (71%)
    The ambiguous query on belief in “global warming” is a badly posed since it does not specify the TIME PERIOD. E.g. global temperature records show:
    No/little warming since 2000
    Warming from 1977-1998
    Cooling from 1934-1977
    Warming from Little Ice Age to 2000
    Cooling from Medieval Warm Period to Little Ice Age
    Warming since the end of the last glaciation
    Cooling for the last 5 million years.

    Furthermore, “global warming” is often an equivocation for “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”.
    i.e. if one queries IPCC’s 90% “anthropogenic global warming’ they are accused of being “anti-science” for rejecting “obvious” evidence (implying evidence of the earth was warming between 1977 and 1998.)
    Yet when the null hypothesis of the full range of natural variations has not been quantified, how can the “anthropogenic” component be quantitatively determined.
    So an unspecified “Do you believe in ‘global warming’ is meaningless”.

    Dr. Nigel Fox, head of Earth Observation and Climate at NPL, has observed “Nowhere are we measuring with uncertainties anywhere close to what we need to understand climate change and allow us to constrain and test the models.” e.g. Cloud uncertainty is about 93% of the total uncertainty.
    For some skeptical perspective on scientific evidence see:
    Skeptic Strategy for Talking About Global Warming Ira Glickstein, PhD (see Glickstein’s slides)

  28. I think it is a mistake to equate pesticide alongside the AGW scam.

    As a practical observation, in the UK frogs were very common when I was a child. This continued until pesticides came into common useage since when they have declined to such an extent that they are now – by my observation – very rare. I have lived in the countryside all of my life and farmed for the last 30 years (I was a late entrant into farming in my 30s) although my land has no ponds or wetland habitat for frogs neighbours of mine do. Ponds which 50 years ago would have been alive with tadpoles are now without any normal pondlife because of pesticides; after harvest on their land it is not uncommon to find the skeletons of a litter fox cubs which had entered the corn shortly after spraying and succumbed to the pesticide.

    I have a dog (a Jack Russel), 3 years old now, who was hit by pesticide spray drift from one of my neighbours when he was 15 months old. He was intensive care for 5 days, died twice after coming home (had kiss of life and heart massage to bring him back) , was on atropine injections for a month. Now two years later he cannot bark as the nerves to his vocal chords were affected, has very poor co-ordination and damage in other ways.

    I know and know of sheep farmers who have suffered very severe effects from sheep dip.

    AGW is a scam – pesticides are a real and present danger – they should not be conflated.

  29. The problem with Ken Green’s list is that he can’t differentiate those risks that are real from those that are not. Science is not easy, but deciding all science is wrong is not the way forward.

  30. Of course the Great Garbage Patch exists! It must exist, it has its own website!

    http://www.greatgarbagepatch.org/

    Gaze upon the nigh-unbearable Absolute Truth of Un-debatable Science!

    Most of our waste today is comprised of plastic. Plastic, which is made from petroleum, is a material that the Earth cannot digest. Every bit of plastic that has ever been created still exists, except for a small amount that has been incinerated, releasing toxic chemicals.

    The Earth cannot digest plastic. Really?

    Published online 28 March 2011 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news.2011.191
    Marine microbes digest plastic
    Gwyneth Dickey Zaikab

    Specialist bacteria seem to be eating the plastic garbage we throw into the ocean. But whether they’re cleaning up our poisons or just passing them back up the food chain remains to be seen.

    The ocean contains vast amounts of plastic, mostly as tiny shards floating just beneath the surface. Under an electron microscope, each scrap of “plastic confetti” becomes “an oasis, a reef of biological activity,” says marine microbiologist Tracy Mincer of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

    Mincer and his colleagues examined bits of fishing line, a plastic bag and a plastic nurdle (a pre-production plastic pellet) fished out of the Sargasso Sea, an area of the North Atlantic where currents cause debris to accumulate. The region as a whole contains more than 1,100 tonnes of plastic1.

    Scanning electron microscopy revealed bacteria-like cells living in pits in the plastic, as if they were eating the surface away.

    “They look like you took a hot barbecue briquette and threw it into snow,” says Mincer. “You see this melting bit all around the outside of the cells, and they’re just burrowing into the plastic.”

    Microbes have been found digesting plastic in landfills, he says, but this is the first evidence of marine bacteria breaking down plastic in the ocean. The work was presented the 5th International Marine Debris Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, on 24 and 25 March.
    (…more…)

    The Earth cannot digest plastic. These microbes are digesting plastic.

    Therefore these microbes cannot be of Earth! Extraterrestrials must have sent these microbes to our planet. But why, why, do aliens want our old plastics digested?

    But wait! All the plastic ever created, save that incinerated, is still on Earth somewhere. Therefore these alien microbes are only pretending to digest, they are actually somehow incinerating the plastic! That would generate heat. These microbes are found all over the globe. Ah-ha! The aliens sent the microbes to cause global warming!

    Ah, science. Isn’t it wonderful?

  31. Malcolm Miller says:Malcolm Miller says:
    “Australia tried socialism”
    Yes and the effects are still damaging this country. Australia is the home of crony capitalism. You are confusing the effects of crony capitalism with those of freedom and free enterprise, something that has yet to be tried in Australia, a nation of sheep who need permission or direction from authority before they feel comfortable doing anything.

  32. “In the case of Evolution, it is not about science at all but about naturalism, supernaturalism is ruled out regardless of the evidence, because God must be eliminated.”

    No, it’s because the concept of a “god” is not evidence-based.

  33. “Kevin Green of the American Enterprise Institute got the war of words rolling”…. Shouldn’t that be Ken (or Kenneth if you want to keep the 2 syllables) Green?

  34. Bob (September 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm) said:
    “I don’t see where “believing” in evolution has any effect on the welfare of the world population. This is a long way economically from “believing” in catastrophic global warming where the lives of millions will be put in danger because of an unscientific belief in effect of carbon dioxide on the climate.”
    That may be true up to a point. Nevertheless, “evolution” is often used as a pseudo-scientific cover for “biologism”, the reduction of every phenomenon of human life to some biological (nowadays usually neurological) function. This implies animalizing humans, first as a pseudo-scientific proposition (“We are really only animals”) and then as a justification for treating people as animals to be controlled and “trained” by experts (for their own good, of course). This is NOT a long way from believing that mankind is doomed, unless the AGW thesis is accepted as a framework for policy.
    By the way, I would not qualify AGW as “a religion.” If we are justified in distinguishing between true science and pseudo/false/junk/mad science then we should be prepared to make a similar distinction where religion is concerned. AGW is a pseudo-religion far more than a pseudo-science.
    I see science and [theïstic] religion as complementary undertakings: science aims to discover the object (“Nature”) as it is in itself by eliminating as far as possible all contaminating factors, in particular all subjective, ideological and cultural factors that stem from the fact that science is a human undertaking. Religion, likewise, aims to get at the essence of personhood (“God”) by eliminating as far as possible all contaminating physical, subjective and ideological factors. It is surely unwarranted to claim that only the first endeavour is rational or legitimate.

  35. And while we’re at it, let’s address Adam Shaw’s contribution to weighting the scientific errors.
    So, if a person believes the earth is 6000 years old…….. so what.
    But, if the wrong person believes in the CAGW scam, we get this…….. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/22/world/africa/in-scramble-for-land-oxfam-says-ugandans-were-pushed-out.html?_r=3&scp=3&sq=uganda&st=cse (thanks Tom, I had lost that link)

    Well, that’s leftist science for ya! Those ultra-smart, caring souls.
    See, they needed the land to grow trees so companies could buy carbon off-sets to save the world from climate change, because climate change, among many other things could cause climate refugees. And we wouldn’t want that now, would we. So, we caused refugees because we didn’t want them to be refugees.

    How many have to lose their freedom, wealth, property, and lives for us to see what the climate hysteria is about?

    They can call it science if they want, I call it totalitarian misanthropic socialism. And, if that’s science, I’m definitely against it.

  36. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    September 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Of course the Great Garbage Patch exists! It must exist, it has its own website!
    ============================================================
    lol, its true about the aliens!!!! Lefty science was right after all!!!

  37. Tom Harley says:
    September 24, 2011 at 5:33 pm
    Found this,
    Charles Moore: Sailing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

    http://www.youtube.com

    Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — an endless floating waste of plastic trash…
    ======
    Seems like a bad link, do you have a direct link.

  38. Brad says:
    September 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    The problem with Ken Green’s list is that he can’t differentiate those risks that are real from those that are not. Science is not easy, but deciding all science is wrong is not the way forward.
    ============================================================
    Brad, you’re missing the point of Mr. Green’s comment. He’s not saying all science is wrong. He’s saying that leftists have wrapped themselves in these issues where the science behind them was demonstrably wrong or the alarm out of proportion to the potential harm. So, perhaps anti-science isn’t the proper verbiage when describing the left’s embracing of non-issues, perhaps pro-psuedoscience would be more apt.

  39. I don’t know why evolution skeptics have to brought up on this blog as anti-science. Here is a good place to consider being skeptical.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v437/n7055/full/nature04072.html

    “Through comparison with the human genome, we have generated a largely complete catalogue of the genetic differences that have accumulated since the human and chimpanzee species diverged from our common ancestor, constituting approximately thirty-five million single-nucleotide changes, five million insertion/deletion events, and various chromosomal rearrangements.”
    >That’s over 40 million “differences” that evolved randomly in 6 millions year so the theory goes.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7280/abs/nature08700.html – another one on how different the Y chromosomes are btn chimps and humans.
    We don’t have a clue on how this could have happened.
    I’m no creationist, it is just that I don’t feel I have to think I know what we really don’t.
    Then read both books titled Bones of Contention (two different authors).

  40. BorgHumer above says, “In the case of Evolution, it is not about science at all but about naturalism, supernaturalism is ruled out regardless of the evidence, because God must be eliminated.” Sorry, but all the Prostestant main line churches, the Catholic Church, and many of the evengelical churches accept evolution as a fact and as the organizing principal in biology. Take your head out of the sand. Bob, above, says, “I don’t see where “believing” in evolution has any effect on the welfare of the world population.” Yeh, right, medicine and everything else based on biological science hasn’t effected the welfare of the world population. Get real!
    Sadly, there’s a lot of anti-science among the skeptics and critics of the IPCC and the “team.” Those anti-science global warming critics make it much more difficult for those of us who base our critical arguments on the empirical data and on science. A bit unfair-maybe- Newton had a lot of anti-science beliefs- but the left and the right both are guilty of ad hominem thinking, and that’s part of the reason for climate change confusion, and why it’s so difficult to convince anyone to think outside of their tribal groupthink.

  41. I have found that it is the extreme of both the right and the left who are “Anti-science” or perhaps I should say the religious fanatics, whether the religion is Christianity, Islam or the worship of the “Earth-Mother” (Gaia)

    The Holy Land: the ecological turning point of the three religions
    “A Joint Declaration by Christians, Jews and Muslims is to be presented in Jerusalem, in which religious leaders will be asked to get involved in the fight against climate change
    Giorgio Bernardelli
    rome

    That the three great monotheistic religions in Jerusalem should agree on anything these days, is a miracle. But that they should choose to launch a joint appeal to world leaders on climate change – in other words, on one of the issues that have diplomats from all over the world struggling – is definitely incredible. Yet this is the aim of an initiative that will be presented in Jerusalem on 25 July. With the support of highly respected names from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities….” http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/homepage/world-news/detail/articolo/cambiamenti-climatici-climate-change-cambio-climatico-6046/

    Religion has always been a very good way of controlling the masses. Science and logic allows individual to think for themselves so it is a threat to those who want power over the masses, therefore science, logic and the ability to think for yourself is not taught to modern students.

    Dr. Samuel Blumenfeld identified the “deliberate decisions made by our educational leaders” to dumb down our education system to produce unthinking followers instead of individualists.

    “…..the purpose of the school [Dewey's 1896 famous experimental Laboratory School] was to show how education could be changed to produce little socialists and collectivists instead of little capitalists and individualists….

    In order to do so he analyzed the traditional curriculum that sustained the capitalist, individualistic system and found what he believed was the sustaining linchpin — that is, the key element that held the entire system together: high literacy. To Dewey, the greatest obstacle to socialism was the private mind that seeks knowledge in order to exercise its own private judgment and intellectual authority. High literacy gave the individual the means to seek knowledge independently. It gave individuals the means to stand on their own two feet and think for themselves. This was detrimental to the “social spirit” needed to bring about a collectivist society…..” http://www.ordination.org/dumbing_down.htm

    As if the deliberate dumbing down of our schools is not bad enough,we now have the US schools systems labeling the bright gifted – bored to tears – students as having ADD or ADHD. Up to 20% of the boys in some grade schools are now medicated with dangerous drugs such as Ritalin. (The street names for Ritalin include “speed” and “west coast”)

    William Schmidt, a statistics professor at Michigan State University, determined how US students compare to others in math and science. “…by 12th grade, we’re at the bottom of the heap, outperforming only two countries, Cyprus and South Africa.” http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0804/0804textbooks.htm

    No wonder Americans are so prone to fall for CAGW and other propaganda, we no longer have the intellectual tools needed to do critical thinking for ourselves so we allow the Mass Media to do our thinking for us.

  42. Doug Allen says:
    September 24, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    BorgHumer above says, “In the case of Evolution, it is not about science at all but about naturalism, supernaturalism is ruled out regardless of the evidence, because God must be eliminated.” Sorry, but all the Prostestant main line churches, the Catholic Church, and many of the evengelical churches accept evolution as a fact and as the organizing principal in biology. Take your head out of the sand. Bob, above, says, “I don’t see where “believing” in evolution has any effect on the welfare of the world population.” Yeh, right, medicine and everything else based on biological science hasn’t effected the welfare of the world population. Get real!
    Sadly, there’s a lot of anti-science among the skeptics and critics of the IPCC and the “team.” Those anti-science global warming critics make it much more difficult for those of us who base our critical arguments on the empirical data and on science. A bit unfair-maybe- Newton had a lot of anti-science beliefs- but the left and the right both are guilty of ad hominem thinking, and that’s part of the reason for climate change confusion, and why it’s so difficult to convince anyone to think outside of their tribal groupthink.
    =======================================================
    Holy crap!!! Doug you’re attributing all the advances to medicine and biological science to the belief in evolution? I won’t even bother posting some of the countless examples of advances not pertaining to the evolutionary theory. Your example of Newton contradicts your point! Read his Optiks.

    What really gets me is the idea of rejecting current thought is somehow anti-science. It isn’t. And thank God we had and still have people willing to publicly do so and set about set about scientific work to come to a better understanding of the subject rejected.

  43. jim says:

    “Gentlemen, please! Please stop and ask yourselves: What would Arrhenius do?”

    Arrheius already did it, but the alarmist crowd deliberately ignores his own recanting of his 1896 paper in his 1906 paper, in which he drastically reduced his sensitivity estimate to ≈1.6°C. Still somewhat high, as we are finding out. But far below the IPCC’s and Trenberth’s preposterous assumptions of 3°+ per 2xCO2.

  44. looks like the discussion is about sanity and how it correlates with a person’s location on the political axis ‘red.statist vs blue.statist’, really. that’s not a real dimension.
    for ‘science’, read ‘the ability of man to make sense of his observations’. or just say ‘sanity’.
    it is a historical agenda of the statists to enslave men, having defined him as chattel of the state.
    they especially go after man’s ability to reason – knowing that if they cripple that, he may be enslaved easily.
    i’ll submit that they are all nutso and identically rely on victims for their livelihood. none of them wish for others not to care – they all want a job calling for, standing behind, elevating the awareness, licensing, regulating and monopolizing – at whose expense?
    so there certainly is an idealogical component but it’s hardly a qualitative difference that can distinguish one rent seeking policy making taxing trough guzzler from another.
    although i did hear it said once that republicans at least know that when shearing sheep, they should stop at the skin.
    to the list, therefore, i’ll add ‘belief in the state as omniscient omnipotent distributor of causeless wealth”. the repetetive indoctrination in the santa myth prepared you to prepare your kids’ malleable psyches for that to be indelibly imprinted. remember, you are on the list – they know where you live – they know who’s naughty and nice. that’s how we learned coal was bad.
    maybe it wouldn’t hurt to outgrow that childish insanity.
    i’m sure we go nowhere but downhill until the opposite is instilled from infancy and repeated annually.

  45. Malcolm Miller says:
    September 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    In Australia, as in other western nations. socialism has been tried and is at present out of favour. But we don’t denigrate it like ‘deniers’, because we have retained many of its better features and we know that they work. I am still amazed that many Americans seem to believe in their bones that ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ are somehow one and the same. They ain’t! One day we will have an elected government that swings furtehr back towards socialism, and we’ll all (in Australia) benefit from it, except for a few die-hard laissez-faire rich basterds, who might (horror!) have to pay more tax for government services to the whole community. That’s socialism.

    You get to facism, nazism, communism, and all sorts of other statisms through socialism. It’s the common thread to them all. Rich basterds, I suppose, is Australian for rich bastards, but just try to run socialism of any sort without ‘em. Someone has to provide the money for redistributionist fantasies, and the rich are where the money is.

    As far as Laissez-faire goes, I doubt it has ever really existed anywhere on the planet at any time. So, it is a lot like the continent of plastic in the Pacific. Maybe Hong Kong before 1999 came closest to Laissez-faire. Government has to find a way to finance corruption (think crony capitalism here) and continual interference in, and regulation of, the economy is how it’s done.

    I’ve often wondered what is the indisputable principle that says it’s right for the majority to vote benefits for themselves, and force a minority to pay for them. I’ve never gotten a reasoned response from any leftists, except for some sparkled-headed ideas about maximizing happiness. Maximizing welfare, though, requires meaningful jobs, which come not from central planning, but from free markets.

  46. People are talking about “the left” and “the right” of politics.
    I was wondering, is that measured against a base line of 1911-1950 politics or 1951-1990 politics?
    Indeed, does this baseline shift at predetermined timescales (a la global temps)?
    What is the length of a political baseline? (30 years for climate)
    Or maybe the length depends on major events (Great Wars, The Berlin Wall etc) and is variable (like the solar cycle)

    Funny how, the once solid lefties (East Europe, Russia, China) are rushing towards the right, whilst the righties (Europe, Nth America etc) seem to be rushing towards the left.
    Does this mean humanity has natural balancing systems?
    Indeed, is there a “tipping point”?
    In view of the failure at Copenhagen, is it a travesty that we can’t find the missing lefties?
    Has anyone else noticed the flood of papers from the left? (Greenback, Euro etc)
    Could these papers be junk, just like climate science papers?

    Quveschins quveschins; so many quveschins.

  47. Kevin Kilty says:
    September 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Nice response……. they do love to hate the rich people but believe the wealth they acquired seems to be some path towards happiness. Never mind who earned it. It is a self defeating circle that leaves nothing in its wake except misery.

    I would quibble with the term “crony capitalism”. As in the case of Solyndra, for example, I think it wuold be more apt to call it crony socialism. They took wealth from the public and gave it to one of their buddies. Of course that was scandalous enough, but the real scandal will be the loan restructuring that the Dept. of Energy signed off on, allowing the private investors be paid first before the public in case of default. Six months later, bankruptcy is filed. I wish they’d hurry with the indictments.

  48. “In the case of Evolution, it is not about science at all but about naturalism, supernaturalism is ruled out regardless of the evidence, because God must be eliminated.”

    Funny… Darwin didn’t eliminate God, and the Catholic church has accepted Darwinism as a plausible way in which God works His way in the world.

    Anti-Darwinists keep harping on the idea that Darwin didn’t explain the origins of life. Well, he never claimed to have the answer to that mysterium tremendum, so it’s a strawman argument. His book, after all, was titled “The Origin of SPECIES”, not the Origin of Life.

  49. Given that there are people familiar with the technical side of these issues, what is the actual state of understanding of the really big scientific hysterias: acid rain (silent spring?), the CFC-induced ozone hole, and whatever it was that caused the world-wide ban on DDT? (I don’t remember it being cancer; but whatever it was, it sure didn’t do Africa any favors.)

  50. “AGW is a scam – pesticides are a real and present danger – they should not be conflated.”

    Lemme help you out here….. does the phrase “the poison is in the dose” strike a familiar note?

    Of course large doses of pesticides can harm living things. But that’s the not the argument Greens make. Their claim is that trace amounts are harmful as well. If that were true our lifespans would be shortening, and we should be seeing illness and disease everywhere.

    We don’t. For example, there’s never been any epidemiological evidence that anyone living at Love Canal got sick, developed a disease, or died early.

  51. I don’t see the disconnect that is supposed to exist between a belief in God and embracing science. When I learn of some exciting new thing science is revealing about the origins of the universe I think to myself “so, that’s how God must have done things.”

  52. Kevin Kilty says:
    September 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm
    Malcolm Miller says:
    September 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm
    Rich basterds, I suppose, is Australian for rich bastards, but just try to run socialism of any sort without ‘em. Someone has to provide the money for redistributionist fantasies, and the rich are where the money is.
    =================================================
    …. so true. Unfortunately though, the mega-fake-socialists only provide enough money to tell other people to redistribute the wealth (taxpayer money, not their own). Which is why the end result is redistribution of poverty mostly. (Poor Obama’s almost done his on-the-job-training, but he still hasn’t figured it out).

    In their world though, more poor people is good. Less Arctic ice is good. All the more reason for poor human-saving and planet-saving.

    Morons

  53. Ok, in the spirit of compromise, but not to include increasing gov’t spending, I can accept the Leftist “CO2=CAGW” = “climate change”, er, Science that places the beginning of the very Climate itself at about 1000 yrs. ago, hasn’t gotten a relevant prediction right yet, and now makes it definitional that any “climate change” whatsoever must be Anthropogenic. But only if the Killer Bees remain held at bay! You may have not noticed that the ipcc Climate Scientists don’t seem to have acknowledged this all important benefit as currently achieved! Or any possible benefit of “climate change”, come to think about it.

    But for that certainty alone, I’d even concede the most basic scientific tenet of the Left’s favorite Religion – of course secondary to Progresssivism itself: “Mecca is the center of the World!”

  54. Gail Combs says on September 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    No wonder Americans are so prone to fall for …

    Oversell; hyperbola; overly broad generalization painting all with the same brush; indicates an inability to dissect the subject ‘population’ and note the significant differences; exhibiting signs of stimulus generalization, cannot differentiate significant constituent components; throwing baby out with bath-water …

    .

  55. u.k.(us) says: September 24, 2011 at 3:51 pm
    Ken Green ·

    Oops! Oh yes, then there’s the giant plastic ocean graveyard that was never seen again, and, let’s not forget the now-famous drowning polar bears.
    ==============
    About 2 years ago I did a google search for “the giant plastic ocean graveyard”, figuring there would be some pictures. I found none. Anyone got any pictures ?

    Yep, but not verified.
    The ghost nets and Aboriginal Ranger program that has developed over some years in northern Australia. A precursor to a carbon exchange or indigenous carbon pollution reduction scheme (CPRS).

    http://www.ghostnets.com.au/pdf/Kimberley%20post%20trip%20Media%20Release.pdf

    http://www.ghostnets.com.au/ (likely they run a database as the images demonstrate they code and classify the nets according to the WWF Netkit) see:- http://www.wwf.org.au/about_us/404_error.cfm But a specific Northern Australia kit remains avail here: – http://www.wwf.org.au/news_resources/resource_library/?1698/The-Net-Kit-A-Fishing-Net-Identification-Guide-for-Northern-Australia
    The data may feed into such agreements eg http://www.ioseaturtles.org/electronic_lib2.php?cat_id=10&sort=title&order=desc and provide ?evidence to international sea treaties etc.

    Many of the nets were previously collected and used for shade awnings, hammocks, sandhill stabilisation etc.This was in the days of ‘being a conservationist’.
    Trade in illegal shark-fin and others predominate in these waters. Customs and Navy may have further information.

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/black-market-in-dugong-and-turtle-meat-in-far-north-queensland-opposition-says/story-e6freon6-1225853299845

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/conservation/dugong-killed-in-illegal-nets-20100426-tmu9.html

    Also a few mentions and 1-2 photos here:-

    http://www.australianwalkingholidays.com.au/index.php?section=trips&id=58736

    http://www.antar.org.au/sea_of_hands

    http://www.tapirback.com/tapirgal/gifts/friends/marsupials/aboriginal-ranger-plastic-f1763.htm

    Smokey @3.22 and 5.07
    Thanks for the neat youtube link and apt comment re: communists.

  56. Speechless in Seattle says:
    September 24, 2011 at 5:45 pm
    ==========================================
    Just wanted give kudos to your comment. Science is a wonderful thing and has led us to many answers, and when we get all of this psuedo-science sorted out, it will again. But, it won’t answer the original questions.

  57. SteveB:

    You are right about the “How does it work?” part. But you missed my point. Science is the method used to investigate the question. It does not however provide any absolute answers, only clues as to whether you have asked the right question.

  58. Malcolm Miller [September 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm] says:

    “I am still amazed that many Americans seem to believe in their bones that ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ are somehow one and the same. They ain’t!”

    Socialism is the religion of legalized theft. Communism and Fascism are just recent implementations of this long running human foible. Translated to modern speak, Socialism is merely ‘government’ camouflaged as Robin Hood or Santa Claus benefiting the ‘have nots’ at the expense of the ‘haves’. The modern twist is using elected governments to place the stamp of legalization of this theft as democratic socialism.

    Coveting thy neighbors private property is one of the world’s oldest professions. In the past the perps were quickly flogged or stoned, lately they are given welfare checks, political offices and golden parachutes. But they’re still criminals. Those that vote for them and promote glorious theories of this enterprise are also criminals or at the minimum, promoting criminal activity.

    Even though you seem to think that the consensus is at your back and that Socialism is partially good because it has some degree of rationalization and voter approval, you haven’t done the math. Furthermore, and rather ironically, if you were in a ‘Survivor’ situation, you would be among the first voted off the island.

  59. On the frog claims – there was also the bogus and hugely over hyped Man Causes Deformed Frogs with Missing or Extra Limbs fiasco. Alternately, claims were either ‘chemicals cause frog deformities and missing limbs’ – or ‘elevated UV-b from thinned ozone layer causes…’ In other words, we were at fault, not nature. Turned out, however, that the real culprit was both dragon flies eating the limb buds off tadpoles, and Ribeiroia parasite infections which can cause not only missing legs, but also extra or multiple legs (http://www.colorado.edu/eeb/facultysites/pieter/malformationgallery.html).

    From BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8116000/8116692.stm:

    Legless frogs mystery solved
    Matt Walker, Editor, Earth News

    Scientists think they have resolved one of the most controversial environmental issues of the past decade: the curious case of the missing frogs’ legs.

    Around the world, frogs are found with missing or misshaped limbs, a striking deformity that many researchers believe is caused by chemical pollution.

    However, tests on frogs and toads have revealed a more natural, benign cause.

    The deformed frogs are actually victims of the predatory habits of dragonfly nymphs, which eat the legs of tadpoles.

    In the late 1980s and early 1990s, researchers started getting reports of numerous wild frogs or toads being found with extra legs or arms, or with limbs that were partly formed or missing completely.

    The cause of these deformities soon became a hotly contested issue.

    Some researchers believed they might be caused naturally, by predators or parasites.

    Others thought that was highly unlikely, fearing that chemical pollution, or UV-B radiation caused by the thinning of the ozone layer, was triggering the deformations.

    Once they grab the tadpole, they use their front legs to turn it around, searching for the tender bits, in this case the hind limb buds, which they then snip off with their mandibles
    Biologist Stanley Sessions describes the dining habits of dragonfly nymphs

    “Deformed frogs became one of the most contentious environmental issues of all time, with the parasite researchers on one side, and the ‘chemical company’ as I call them, on the other,” says Stanley Sessions, an amphibian specialist and professor of biology at Hartwick College, in Oneonta, New York. (continued online)

    “There was a veritable media firestorm, with millions of dollars of grant money at stake.”

  60. Gail Combs [September 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm] says:

    “Religion has always been a very good way of controlling the masses.”

    That is a rather cynical description. I got you pegged as a glass half-empty kinda gal. Others would describe religion as a very good way for the masses of controlling themselves. You know, a method of differentiating themselves from the 99.999% of other species on Planet Earth that steal, rape, murder, etc, amongst themselves as a matter of Darwinian daily routine.

    Historically, two of the most well-known religions are known NOT for ‘controlling the masses’, but instead, for being practiced by minorities of those masses that were under the control of ‘controllers’ (Egypt, and later, Rome). At least in these two instances, religion was the enemy of the controllers of the masses.

    However in more modern times, if we can establish that Communism and Fascism are in fact religions, then your quoted comment makes really great sense. The 20th century is chock full of masses being controlled and body bags being filled by these two religions.

  61. JPeden says:
    September 24, 2011 at 7:49 pm
    But for that certainty alone, I’d even concede the most basic scientific tenet of the Left’s favorite Religion – of course secondary to Progresssivism itself: “Mecca is the center of the World!”
    =====================================================

    The first clue that they were regressive totalitarians should have been when they started calling themselves progressive liberals.

  62. First, I want to apologize to readers of this blog for bringing evolution into the discussion. I should know better.

    Now, for the rest of the comment.
    James Sextson said.“Bob, above, says, “I don’t see where “believing” in evolution ….” Yeh, right, medicine and everything else based on biological science hasn’t effected the welfare of the world population. Get real!”

    Just why do you think you can put words in my mouth. Just why do you think that a belief in God precludes the acceptance of medicine or science? What we are hearing from you is a summary of your ignorance and prejudice. Cool it, dude. Most of us Christians love going to the doctor, and praise His Name that science is letting us to live longer to propagate His Word.

    Now that I have your attention, pay heed to the fact that there are problems with evolution as other sciences. I am ashamed that I ever thought connecting fossils in the Leakey manner as a proof of evolution was scientific, but also recognize the message genetics is presenting. What it really means is that evolution may be the mechanism that explains life on earth, but so far nobody understands the exact mechanism. Even so, what ever I think about evolution will not spin the earth off its axis, nor will you knowledge of religion, history, or of science win any awards.

  63. @u.k.(us) says: September 24, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    You can find related photos here: ://www.bing.com/images/search?q=ocean+plastic+patch&qpvt=ocean+plastic+patch&FORM=IGRE

  64. To James Sexton: I apologize for my previous comment that I addressed to you. I jumped to the wrong comment and it should be addressed to Doug Allen.

    Please accept my apology, James.

  65. And NOW that staple cautionary tale of the Left, the demise of Easter Island society due to the destruction of their forests to build their giant statues, is in question. See Judith Curry’s Blog.

    [TIP: cutting and pasting the link into your comment would be doing other interested readers a favor.... and that thread at Curry's is worth the read. It can be found here. -REP, mod]

  66. Kevin Kilty says:
    September 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Well said, also:
    “You get to facism, nazism, communism, and all sorts of other statisms through socialism. It’s the common thread to them all.”

    These are all forms of collectivism, and that is the crux of the whole political debate: Collectivism vs. Individualism. IMO, it is also a main difference between alarmists and skeptics. I have always considered myself an individualist; you might guess which side I stand on. I’ll put it this way: I don’t rely on the weather report to tell me it’s raining, I go outside and look.

    James Sexton says:
    September 24, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    …. they do love to hate the rich people but believe the wealth they acquired seems to be some path towards happiness. Never mind who earned it.

    Bingo. They also hate the good for being good, and I really think they don’t believe people who achieve success for themselves actually earned it but rather got lucky because of circumstances and factors outside of their control, or they somehow gamed the system (of course there is a bit of that going on, but I blame government for that; they provide the system to be gamed). Likewise they believe poor people are poor for the same reasons – only it’s bad luck. That may be true to some extent, but it doesn’t mean they have to stay poor or will always be poor. If they have freedom it’s their call. If they rely on government programs, they will remain poor.

    I have to say I have been engrossed by this struggle for more than two years now. It is a struggle that encompasses everything about being human and it is quite compelling. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t check up on the debate here and other sites on the blog roll, and I have to say I feel I am getting quite an education. Just saying a general “thank you” here to the blogosphere, Anthony, your moderators and contributors, and even the alarmists.

    Cheers.

  67. The Left is anti-science on evolution because they have a prolonged and turbulent hissy fit at the mention of any criticism of Darwin. They want to preach that Darwin proved that man evolved from chimpanzees and many similar matters but will brook no criticism whatsoever.

    Because Darwin is taught in high schools, it is absolutely essential that any one teaching Darwin use the critical tools of science on Darwin’s work. Perhaps Darwin’s greatest gift to biology was the insight that similar morphology is the best evidence that two species have a common ancestor. It remains a powerful heuristic in biology today. However, as a physical hypothesis it is false. There are species whose morphology are all but identical yet they have no common ancestor. Does any one graduate from high school knowing that? I cannot find them among my students. Criticism of Darwin is forbidden by the Left because it threatens their faith that Darwin displaced God. And they are terrified that God’s voice might return to the public square.

  68. Bob says:
    September 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    To James Sexton: …………..
    =========================================
    No need Bob, I understand how contentious these topics are and how it causes us to rush. I’ve been guilty myself. For me, it is usually a sign that I’m probably not presenting my case in the most rational manner. And, in this arena, it is paramount that we Christians do so.

    My best,

    James

  69. Anna Lemma says:
    September 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    “Anti-Darwinists keep harping on the idea that Darwin didn’t explain the origins of life. Well, he never claimed to have the answer to that mysterium tremendum, so it’s a strawman argument. His book, after all, was titled “The Origin of SPECIES”, not the Origin of Life.”

    Darwin’s fundamental posit is unique among scientific Laws because it contains by necessity an exception clause. It reads: “All species evolved from some other species, except the first one.” That states the problem of life largely and clearly. Some special explanation is needed for the first species because it did not come from a living thing.

  70. Theo:
    “Darwin’s greatest gift to biology was the insight that similar morphology is the best evidence that two species have a common ancestor.”
    that’s just wrong. it’s the shallowest gloss over what he wrote and dumbed down past distortion.
    his greatest idea was the proposition that ‘the fit survive and the unfit -not so much’ and that there are natural criteria – values- that each creature must pursue, by its nature – in order to survive. and that variation is natural and subject to natural selection.

    then you actually quote darwin as saying “All species evolved from some other species, except the first one.”
    i have sincere doubt that he ever wrote any such thing – but i’ll be pleased to have a wrong idea corrected. plz provide a reference so i can check that.

  71. The question of who is anti-science is framed in the context under which the question is being asked. The people who identify someone as being anti-science are really saying that that person doesn’t understand the science and makes a foolish claim based on their lack of understanding. Of course, the person making the accusation believes that they understand the science fully and view themselves as an expert otherwise how could they judge the person being accused? To my way of thinking, these accusations from either side are made in a mental state of arrogance and without humility that characterizes real scientific endeavors. Climate change has brought out the worst in people that character assignations, put downs, and one up man ships dominate the climate BLOG pages. The tone of what is being written is very unfriendly, high toned, and generally arrogant. I am getting tired of reading it.

  72. Malcolm Miller [September 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm] says:

    “I am still amazed that many Americans seem to believe in their bones that ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ are somehow one and the same. They ain’t!”

    Right, Malcolm, not even according to the great Karl Marx himself, who saw the perfected Socialist State as merely the closest form of government to the Communist Utopia, where instead there simply wouldn’t be any need for the State anymore due to its own irrelevance, with only the perfected Communists left over who had managed to make the State into their Selves and would then apparently be able to finally access the Horn of Plenty, for about half of each day then spend the rest of it fly fishing and such!

    Well as we know, the Soviet Socialists silmply gave up on the whole idea of perfecting Socialism, but just try telling that to Kim Jong Il and the Castro Bros, not to mention Greece! After all, “they are the people they’d been waiting for”. And I did notice today that in “Boy on a Dolphin”, Sophia Loren made her money mostly by tending a Windmill with cloth blades, so that there was at least some reason for hope in Greece around 50? years ago, if that would have indeed given us more Sophia Lorens. But instead all we got was Winona Rider, to introduce the damn movie! And a bunch of dead monoliths as more testimony to the “future of an illusion”.

  73. On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection is the title of a joint presentation of two scientific papers to the Linnean Society of London on 1 July 1858; On The Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type by Alfred Russel Wallace and an Extract from an unpublished Work on Species from Charles Darwin’s Essay of 1844, together with an Abstract of a Letter from Darwin to Asa Gray. This was the first announcement of the Darwin – Wallace theory of evolution by natural selection; the papers appeared in print on 20 August 1858. The presentation of the papers spurred Darwin to write a condensed “abstract” of his “big book” on Natural Selection. The abstract was published in November 1859 as On the Origin of Species.

    this is what darwin was on about – the scandalous heresy was the idea that everything didn’t come straight off noah’s ark.

  74. “2) Chris argues that the anti-science issues usually associated with the Left (vaccines, nuclear-danger exaggerations, GMO danger claims) aren’t really left-wing issues, but rather, are held by people on both sides of the political spectrum.”

    There are people on both sides of the political spectrum on any issue. It’s just a matter of degree. Catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is predominantly a liberal cause-celebre but that doesn’t mean there aren’t conservatives who embrace it. And there are certainly a very great many conservatives who swallow have faith in blindly accept don’t doubt the bandwagon pseudo science underwriting the neo-atheistDarwinian narrative dogma account of creation life.

    Just sayin…

  75. Mike says:
    September 24, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    If you are looking at contemporary US politicians the right has the lead in anti-science nonsense. This is certainly true among the presidential candidates and in the US House and Senate. If you look at pseudo-scientific beliefs in the population at large the picture is more mixed. There have been plenty of times is history when parts of the left were anti-science, from the Scopes Monkey Trial to the Lysenko Affair. But Stalin is not running for president.

    Many would plausibly claim that a follower of Lenin-Marx IS in the White House now, IS running desperately for re-election, and that Marx’s followers ARE common through the federal, state, and local “bureacrazies” and academic circles. (The members of the democrat House of Representatives are now (by majority) also members of the socialist party and their partners, and all members of the Congressional Black Caucus are socialists by membership in that group. Hence the fear and crazed hatred of the “right” who do not follow their scriptures (er, scripts) about destroying capitalism and freedom. The left’s propaganda about science is very effective – and not exaggerated.

    Now, what do you claim is “anti-science” nonsense?

  76. HankH says:
    September 24, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I don’t see the disconnect that is supposed to exist between a belief in God and embracing science. When I learn of some exciting new thing science is revealing about the origins of the universe I think to myself “so, that’s how God must have done things.”

    To all readers who claim religion, or the “religious right” are anti-science:

    A simple challenge: Please read the following description of the world’s creation.

    Then tell me where it came from: an obscure word-of-mouth tradition starting some 5000-odd years ago by itinerant shepherds who didn’t even have a “zero” to count upon, much less decimal points to keep track of time; or the latest 20th century particle physics textbooks, archeology, geology and oceanographic references, biology and taxology theories, and astronomical discoveries.

    ————

    Everything was created. Suddenly and with great violence, but with uncalculable forces in the darkness. From this energy, light condensed a short while later. Then matter was created as the light energy further cooled. A period of time passed.

    The earth and solar system was formed from the galactic dust and interstellar plasmas, gathering together and cooling into the individual spheres (the planets and their atmospheres) and the sun we see rotating around our sky today. Another period of time passed.

    Down here on the earth itself, one continent was formed surrounded by one single massive sea, later breaking up and re-connecting by continental drift into the continents and seven seas everybody is familiar with today. Once dry, cool (non-volcanic) land appeared, the first plants began growing, changing the original inhospitable and deadly atmosphere of toxic and light-absorbing gasses into the clear and viable combination of oxygen, nitrogen, water vapor and carbon dioxide we need (the balance of gasses that all life needs on earth!) to survive today. These first plants kept growing for another while longer.

    Well, the atmosphere was finally clear enough for visible light to be transmitted through the previously dark atmosphere, and suddenly the available energy on the surface grew large enough to support more life, higher forms of life above simple plants.

    So animal life grew – first in the warm tropic seas as fish and amphibians, then on land with dinosaurs (who evolved into birds) and then modern large mammals. Domesticated animals and Man finally straggled onto the scene, very late behind everything else.

    —–

    Now … to repeat my question: What is “anti-science” about religion, if religion could “discover” and correct use the principles of twentieth century nuclear physics, paleontology, biology, evolution sequences, geophysics, and continental drift before they invented writing?

  77. The basics of this argument, when we really get down to it, is this, the right, by which they really mean the Christian Right (if such a thing exists) is anti science and has been so for some time because it is against evolution, because evolution equals science (last I heard, it was only one small branch of science, but that is the argument). I then looked into this, from a scientific point of view, is Christianity, as originally given (often different from the way it is presented now) actually anti evolution, and thus “anti science”? In short, what if we look and see if what they are saying the bible says is what it actually does say, and does it actually deny evolution, if we look at it from the point of view that, say, people who read this blog do, from a scientific method point of view? I have found out that the very basics of this argument, “the right is anti science”, by which they mean the Christian right, by which they mean the bible, by which they really mean the bible as interpreted by many moderns which is different than what it actually says originally, using the original language and strict literal and scientific parsing of the words as written, does not deny evolution at all, nor does it deny science. That is because neither the “right” nor the “left” actually ever seen to look at it from a strictly logical, scientific point of view, but instead both sides are only looking at it to find in it talking points for their particular desired point of view (which is often, “those other guys are eeeevil, listen only to ME”). In this way, it is rather like CAGW, so politicized that the actual original science is often all but ignored but is twisted to suite ones particular point of view (usually, the point that grant money is good).

    So, does the Christian right, by which I mean the original bible, ACTUALLY deny evolution? Lets look at it, from a WUWT sort of view:
    First, the pre evolution stuff, before you can have evolution or anything else, you kind of need a universe and an earth to have it on. The bible starts out by saying the universe had a beginning, and other parts describe an expanding universe. Furthermore, it appears that the universe as we know it is so statistically impossible that the chance of it appearing randomly, without aid from an intelligent designing being, are 1 chance in 10*10*123 (10 to the power 10 to the power 123, 2 exponents). You can check this out, at the following links
    http://www.youtube.com/user/IDquest#g/a http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTS5ZVuK6Jw , warning, science, and lots of it (science alert!). The bible then goes on to describe the creation of earth in space, the oceans outgassing from the early hot earth and forming a complete cloud cover and “thick darkness”, the planet cooling enough that rain can fall on the surface without instantly evaporating, the cooling crust starting to wrinkle and thus dry land appearing out of these early seas, and, after the first early plants started their work changing the atmosphere, the clearing of that atmosphere so that one could see the sky through it. Up to this point, we see a literal description of the formation of the universe and early earth that is in complete agreement with science as we know it. You can read more about this here http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/creation.html . Note also, it says nothing about six days, the exact word used is YOM, which means a period of time, length unspecified.

    Then, it gets to the part we are primarily interested in here, the part that seems to be at the center of the whole “science versus religion” idea, and thus the whole “secular left versus Christian right” thing. “Gen 1:11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation”: etc. Note what it does not say, it does not say “and God formed clay into vegetation, and breathed life into it and it became living grass” or anything at all like that. It does not say that any miracle, “breaking of natural law” or anything like that, happened. First, it says that God did a saying, a transmitting of information, not a direct doing. This is also consistent with the creation of the universe as described in the utube links above, the universe started out with an impossibly huge amount of order and information, and “then God said” indicates a transmitting of information, exactly as the science demands. While God is at it, why not include in the big bang, the information that will eventually result in evolution and life? That is to say, information what will result, rather like a fall of a loooooong string of dominoes, in a series of extremely improbably events all happening in one place in one short time frame in a very specific order, the chance of which happening by random chance is extremely small even for just a few of them, much less all at once and in just the right order, as you can read about here http://www.lifesorigin.com/chap9/Prebiotic-synthesis-DNA-RNA-Protein-1.php (science alert!, good news, well and clearly written). This is further specified in genesis when it says “let the land produce”, which specified that it was the land that produced it, not God doing it by some form of direct magical creation, but the plants forming from the land, method unspecified, exactly as evolution states (right down to the method unspecified part). It then goes on to describe exactly what the fossil record shows, the evolution of creatures in the sea first, then birds (from dinosaurs), then mammals and land critters of all kinds, and finally mankind. The creation of mankind and the specific place prepared for the first people is then described in the second chapter. This is not, as many say, at odds with the first chapter, since it only describes the conditions in “the garden”, which, being a garden, is different than the non garden outside of it, and the specific creation of mankind, which is not at odds with what the first chapter says since the first chapter specifies no specific method for the creation of mankind. This creation of mankind is the only place where evolution is very clearly NOT stated to be involved, instead, a clearly non natural method is specified, which makes sense when you think about it, if sentient creatures are given souls which can go to heaven or hell, what do you do with half sentient creatures if mankind gradually evolves to sentience?

    So, if the bible is not against evolution, but, in fact, actually demands it, why are all these “religious right” types so dead set against evolution? Well, for one thing, because few actually know much about it, if they did, they would realize that for evolution to happen, one needs a God to set up that extremely improbably event (also true of a universe coming into being). However, the main reason seems to be the same reason that the UN can present a non peer reviewed non scientist created article in a skiing magazine as ‘settled science” (see “glaciergate”), because they wish to oppose those “evil, godless evolutionists”, and they will seize on ANY idea to do so. In other words, the whole anti evolution idea is not science, OR the bible, but is simply based on emotion. It is based on that great feeling of superiority you get from being better than “those evil, godless evolutionists”, exactly similar to the feeling you get from being superior to those “denialists”, and that great feeling you get when ‘saving the planet”.

    Finally, about that whole “global flood” thing so near and dear to the anti evolutionists hearts (but not, unfortunately, their minds), one should realize that, if there is a beginning for mankind, well, then one can indeed have a flood which will effect all of mankind, if mankind is all in one place. The bible states that the flood was, in fact, local http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/localflood.html , that mankind was “east of Eden”, and thus, the flood appears to have happened where the people were, that is to say, here http://www.livescience.com/10340-lost-civilization-existed-beneath-persian-gulf.html . So much for ‘the flood”.

  78. “Furthermore, it appears that the universe as we know it is so statistically impossible that the chance of it appearing randomly, without aid from an intelligent designing being, are 1 chance in 10*10*123″

    love those statistics, eh.
    no better way to make nonsense sound authoritative, non?

    here’s what the abrahamic goat herders contributed to ‘civilization’ –
    they practiced animal husbandry.
    then they immediately applied it to each other.
    the simpleminded notion of men as chattel became the divine order.
    the fossil mindset is preserved in the language, my lamb.
    but anton lavey has written much cleverer essays on this sort of thing.

  79. I love the garbage peddled on National Geograhic promos (Foxtel), words to the effect ” … every year a 1/2 million species will become extinct …. scientists are finding 18,000 new species each year … ”

    Exactly how do they know that 1/2 million species are being wiped out each year? And then these same ‘scientists’ claim to find 18,000 new species each year … exactly what do they know and what are they guessing? Looks to me like leftist environmentalists just guessing.

    I’d love somebody to bring a legal action requiring them to prove these claims.

  80. Legatus says:
    September 24, 2011 at 10:43 pm
    ==================================
    Very nice. I can appreciate the effort you’ve gone through. I would only quibble on one issue. That would be why some Christians are repulsed by the thought of evolution. It is because of the way it is presented. While the theory doesn’t state this, it is often implied by the presenters that evolution takes the requirement of God out of the origins of life. Which, I find laughable because it doesn’t answer the original questions.

    Further, while I agree with your general description, Christianity is a matter of faith. It isn’t necessary to find scientific evidence for our origins. God said for it to happen, and so it was.

    Presented properly and taught properly and resistance to such ideas would wither. But, as Theo points out, it isn’t, and it is incomplete. Obvious questions arise and no answer is given. And the questions are usually not allowed. This is why some bristle that the mention of evolution.

    In your quest to enlighten, be sure not to become a stumbling block. Its a tricky subject to approach one with.

    Kindest regards,

    James

  81. RACookPE1978 says:
    “Now … to repeat my question: What is “anti-science” about religion, if religion could “discover” and correct use the principles of twentieth century nuclear physics, paleontology, biology, evolution sequences, geophysics, and continental drift before they invented writing?”

    What is “anti-science” about religion?

    one of the distinguishing characteristics of religion is belief in an afterlife, right?
    science is the process of verifying a logical proposition.
    the statement ‘death is (everlasting) life’ is a logical self contradiction.
    therefore a basic tenet of religion is anti-science.

    a proposition which can not be falsified, such as an invisible supernatural entity that’s omniscient and omnipotent and wants to be friended on facebook, is not to be accepted as true.
    accepting as true, that which is not susceptible to verification at all – that’s anti-science.

    religion requires faith. faith means belief because of no proof. that is anti-science.

    the rest of your sentence is just really silly.

  82. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    September 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I find full agreement with what you have said but I could never have said it so well. Bravo!

  83. Um, I consider myself to be a conservative but I do not believe in gods and I do not believe in creationism. How many people here actually do not beleive in evolution?

    It is a somewhat nuanced subject in regards to that I suspect that most people accept evolution as a grand process but dispute elements of it? Yes, No??

    There are many areas of evolution that science has not yet totally figured out. Doesn’t mean its wrong, just that we still remain ignorant, just a little bit less so.

    Most people have a polyglot of beliefs that run the whole spectrum of left to right. I really dislike it when they try to lump people into polar camps, implying an either or rather than wide spectrum.

    So seriously, how many people around these parts reject evolution?

  84. From gnomish on September 24, 2011 at 11:12 pm:

    but anton lavey has written much cleverer essays on this sort of thing.

    Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan? You enjoy his “cleverer essays” that expose The Truth about the “abrahamic goat herders” and that which descended from them, coming from someone who, implicitly if not explicitly, was a sworn enemy of the religions that came from them?

    Such a wonderful concept! Why, it makes perfect sense to find out The Truth about conservative Republicans by checking with the liberal Democrats! Heck, to find out The Truth about what’s posted on WUWT, obviously one would be well served by seeing what RealModeledClimate and SkepSci have to say about it, especially to form one’s opinion of what is The Real True WUWT!

    Thanks for the laugh.

  85. Malcolm Miller says:
    September 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm
    “One day we will have an elected government that swings furtehr back towards socialism, and we’ll all (in Australia) benefit from it,[...]”

    Milton Friedman: The Most Persistent Economic Fallacy of All Time.

  86. Blade says: September 24, 2011 at 8:16 pm
    Gail Combs [September 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm] says:

    “Religion has always been a very good way of controlling the masses.”
    That is a rather cynical description. I got you pegged as a glass half-empty kinda gal. Others would describe religion as a very good way for the masses of controlling themselves.

    Thanks for this commentary Gail.
    I do not know what [Gail] may describe as the masses, however I assume referring to religions with the attendant ‘witchcraft/sorcery’ being well established in the populations of Sth & Central America; Africa, Asia-Pacific and vast regions of indigenous US of A, Canada and Australia. The former having a written historical weighting, in explorer and missionary endeavour, and later in embedded forms of Catholicism.

    This ‘religion’, has economic and social policy implications in GDP funding aka medicare (10-20% GDP), VAST aid $ and VAST research fund alternate health care practices. NOT science.

    And that BOTH private and govt practices employ under various awards; a variety of health care practitioners, regulatory and telecommunication directions and policy hecklers.

    That’s me having a (half-educated) guess at Gail’s post. And that it is predominantly men that control treasury expenditure and can who read and decide on that ‘evidence-base’ to inform policy which directly informs that expenditure!

    Heck, even here in Australia we had the ‘health practitioners’ crawling out from the woodwork following the Victorian bushfires and then the Brisbane floods. Aided and abetted by the lure of govt subsidised medicare recompensing their post-facto socialised diseases coded under ICD’s and DSM’s.
    Maybe we will see a DSM coded directly under ‘climate change’ soon? Though I note posts on the FBI website posts articles on fraud post Katrina.

    It was the local community, Churches and their families that supported the war veterans in decades past.

    The Marxists Alinsky and Freire are well established education movements within the Catholic religion in Sth America. cf Gail Combs says: September 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    That’s some equation of grab in developing nations GDP and the investment by and by others!. History tells us they did that for a few ‘leader’ notables but doubtful they would do so for the masses. We have yet to see results from crony capitalism and the dark green lock up of productive areas (though much the same end game), AND foreign AID $ and media/entertainment types under the current ideology of ‘economic development through the education principle’ lately touted for the developing nations. Basically 0-25 years, a substantial mass of a population are provided with extraneous $ (special schools and funding, endless training and EEO legislation) to re-develop themselves?

    The Constitutions can not escape the diaspora of this vileness, in lands they once visited, traded with, colonised, de-colonised and now support. One has to wonder whether it is dishonouring a tradition, a family, an individual, or being a [reproductive] pawn in a free society they thought heading to an individual light on that individual hill titled ‘freedom’.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/murder-wave-that-shames-the-world/story-e6frg6z6-1225928867204

  87. Dirk @2.06, thanks for that.

    Blade says: September 24, 2011 at 8:16 pm
    Gail Combs [September 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm] says:

    “Religion has always been a very good way of controlling the masses.”
    That is a rather cynical description. I got you pegged as a glass half-empty kinda gal. Others would describe religion as a very good way for the masses of controlling themselves.

    Thanks for this commentary Gail and Blade.
    I do not know what Gail may describe as the masses, however I assume she is referring to religions with the attendant ‘witchcraft/sorcery’ being well established in the populations of Sth & Central America; Africa, Asia-Pacific and vast regions of indigenous US of A, Canada and Australia. The former having a weighting in written history of explorer and missionary endeavour, and later in embedded forms of Catholic-founded governance.

    This ‘religion’, has economic and social policy implications. Social justice in the form of GDP funding aka medicare (10-20% GDP), VAST aid $ and VAST research funded alternate health care practices. NOT science.

    And that BOTH private and govt practices employ under various awards; a variety of health care practitioners, regulatory and telecommunication directions and policy hecklers.

    That’s me having a (half-educated) guess at Gail’s post. And that it is predominantly males that control treasury expenditure and can who read and decide on this ‘evidence-base’ that which informs policy which directly informs that expenditure! That’s some scope in steps to decisions and gross expenditure.

    Heck, even here in Australia we had the ‘health practitioners’ crawling out from the woodwork following the Victorian bushfires and then the Brisbane floods. Aided and abetted by the lure of govt subsidised medicare recompensing their post-facto socialised diseases coded under ICD’s and DSM’s.
    Maybe we will see a DSM coded directly under ‘climate change’ soon? Though I note posts on the FBI website posts articles on fraud post Katrina.

    It was the local community, Churches and their families that supported the war veterans in decades past.

    The Marxists Alinsky and Freire are well established education movements within the Catholic religion in Sth America. cf Gail Combs says: September 24, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    That’s some equation of grab in developing nations GDP and the investment by and by others!. History tells us they did that for a few ‘leader’ notables but doubtful they would do so for the masses. We have yet to see results from crony capitalism and the dark green lock up of productive areas (though much the same end game), AND foreign AID $ and media/entertainment types under the current ideology of ‘economic development through the education principle’ lately touted for the developing nations. Basically all 0-25 years + biological and kin adults, a substantial mass of a population, are provided with extraneous $ (special schools and funding, endless training and EEO legislation) to re-develop themselves?

    The Constitutions can not escape the diaspora of this vileness, in lands they once visited, traded with, colonised, de-colonised and now support.
    One has to wonder whether it is dishonouring a religion, tradition, a family, an individual, or, being a [reproductive] pawn in a free society they thought heading to that individual light on that individual hill titled ‘freedom’.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/murder-wave-that-shames-the-world/story-e6frg6z6-1225928867204

  88. I have been examining the hormone disruption capabilities of a number of man-made chemicals for two years, in human cells. I am in the process of drafting a manuscript at the moment.
    Work that is already published shows that DDT is an estrogenic chemical and has anti-androgenic activity. DDE is an estrogen mimetic, and though DDE is a very poor androgen mimetic toward the wild-type androgen receptor, it is potent androgen in the common mutated forms of androgen receptor found in prostate cancer. Estrogen sensitive breast cancer cells show very significant changes in their proliferation following exposure to a wide range of lipophilic hormone disruptor’s.
    Bis-Phenol A and Nonyl-phenyl are both synthetic estrogen’s. No if’s and no but’s.
    Want science?
    Take human cells that have estrogenic/androgenic control and grow in hormone striped media. Compare them to cells where you add DDT/DDE/BPA or NP, then compare their growth and mitochondrial levels. Mitochondrial levels are of course partially modulated by the ERbeta2 receptor element of the mtDNA genome.
    You get a complex array of effects which point to the activation of both nuclear and non-nuclear estrogen/androgen signaling, using a large number of hormone disruptor’s.
    In the case of organochlorines, like DDT/DDE, one also has to make sure that one has the correct temporal study time. At steady state, the degradation products of these compounds are more potent estrogens than are the parental compounds. Therefore a 12 hr incubation gives you almost nothing, whereas after 96 hours you can observe wide scale effects, within a cell population or within individual cells.
    Add to this the steroidal epigenetic imprinting that neonates undergo in the womb that changes an individuals linage’s response to these signals and you can then understand why some people see an effect and some people don’t.
    The potential for man-made hormone disruptor’s to cause large scale, long term, changes in the phenotypes of animals is very real.

  89. Kozlowski says:
    September 25, 2011 at 12:28 am

    “Um, I consider myself to be a conservative but I do not believe in gods and I do not believe in creationism. How many people here actually do not beleive in evolution?”

    If all we observe wasn’t created then how did it get here?

    Why did you choose to phrase your question about evolution as one of belief?

    I would ask how many here are certain that they are just the purposeless result of a random dance of matter and energy that began billions of years ago.

    Personally, I’m not at all certain. Having spent years investigating what math, science, and engineering can tell me about why and how the universe is what it is I keep coming back to the incredible complexity of it all. There is such a huge degree of interdependent laws, order, and initial conditions in the universe that, as an engineer, it’s absolutely absurd to think it all just happened by accident. If it didn’t happen by accident then it happened on purpose.

    So how strong is your faith that the universe and living things is an accident? Faith is all you can possibly have about this. What I believe is that if you have faith in the accident scenerio then it’s a misplaced faith. What we observe in the universe today is a massive feat of engineering. It’s really the only satisfactory explanation. Exactly who or what engineered it is a different question and I have nothing objective upon which to base speculation about that.

  90. Dave Springer says:
    September 25, 2011 at 6:13 am

    If all we observe wasn’t created then how did it get here?

    ——————

    The religionist’s answer to this is: Don’t know, let’s make something up.

    The scientist’s answer is: Don’t know, let’s try and find out

    We don’t (yet) know why the universe exists, or how life first started, or why or how we are conscious of it, but we do know this: All the evidence points to life as we know it being the product of billions of years of evolution, directed by natural selection and other natural factors. If some “intelligence” played a part, he/she/it/them have hidden their tracks very successfully.

  91. gnomish says:
    September 24, 2011 at 11:54 pm
    “… that which is not susceptible to verification at all – that’s anti-science.”

    Well, I guess you just made the case for AGW skeptics since CAGW cannot be scientifically verified.

    We all have faith in something, whether it is verifiable or not. Doesn’t your scientific model tell you that you can verify an hypothesis over and over and still prove nothing? Don’t you have to have a falsifiable hypothesis in science? By definition, faith is not provable nor falsifiable.

    You probably accept the physical view of the string theorists, and yet there aren’t many people in the world who can understand it, much less verify the notion. It may never be verifiable to most people.

    Science is only a handy process for measuring the physical world. Even that notion takes a certain faith.

    You have to have faith in something, and you have placed your stake in the ground of having faith in the words of other people, and maybe even yourself.

    I hope you believe in luck. You will need it.

  92. I know this is a tangent to the main topic of Mooney being a flake.

    At least someone in the forest service paid attention to the whole frogs vs climate debate. The US Forest service has an active ban on entering caves and mines in their care up to putting grates across them. This is an effort to stop the spread of the bat white nose disease (or is it a fungus).

    On topic… if I act conservatively and disagree with AGW, how come that makes me the religious right? Who is jumping to conclusions again without evidence? Oh, wait, I see a pattern.

  93. DocMartyn says:
    September 25, 2011 at 5:34 am
    “The potential for man-made hormone disruptor’s to cause large scale, long term, changes in the phenotypes of animals is very real.”

    I guess this means that DDT is bad?

  94. Doc Martin,

    It is, of course, prudent to understand the effects of widely used chemicals on humans, plants and animals. DDT is a special case because of its life saving potential. Many are critical of it’s continued ban in light of the numbers of annual deaths due to mosquito transmitted diseases. The issue long ago became political rather than scientific. Science always has and always will take a back seat to politics because truth is not important, only rhetoric is.

  95. It seems to me that most of the arguments in this thread which involve AGW, Creationism and socialism, all seek to justify the world view of the one posting. Then there are those who think that pure science exists and is somehow independent of a world view – “facts is facts” you know. Unfortunately, it shows only how conditioned and strangely nieve we all are. In this thread the theology is mangled, the science is not “facts” and the politics is normal politics. Clarifying a creationists world view is as follows:

    The creationists believe that Adam was real and that there was a fall and this fall was the reason why Christ came. WIthout the fall there is no need for Christ, so any arguments that remove the fall also remove Christ. It is possible to hang on to a religious world view like it is possible to hang on to a corpse, but if the heart is dead, it is just a shell that is left. The curse is removed by the one sent to remove it.

    The creationists (even young earth types) believe Darwin made improtant discoveries and that variation by natural selection is real, indeed they see it as a built in mechanism but they don’t see this mechanism as being sufficient for innovation to any extent which is where the problem arises, and the design argument is a very strong one. Unnatural selection had been practiced for thousands of years so there was no suprise in this anyway. Fixity of species was never a Biblical principle.

    “Survival of the fittest” is an easy concept which is why many people believe it today and spout it but it is a tautology. Fitness really only means being in the right place at the right time to leave offspring that surive, and so it is just the “survial of the surviors” and is really nothing about being best fitted, and certainly not enough to drive innovation.

    In terms of the Earth and it’s climate, the creationinsts believe that God created the Earth as a special place for man to dwell. It is therefore likely that he designed it as a negative feedback based controlled system and though it may not be understood, creationist have faith that it is so. This does not mean creationists are less concerned about finding out or acting on what they find out, but they do expect to find it under control whereas the athiestic types expect a more random and threatening system, as though they woke up in a car hurtling down a winding road on the edge of a deep ravine but without a driver – they must take control. This also explains part of the political side of the argument too, simply put that if God is not in control who is? We must do something quick, before it is too late, whatever it costs!!! etc., and all this witn no self interest! For the Christian and creationist, the concept of sin in every man (and woman – sorry feminsts) ensures that corruption and self interest will preveail.

    I think this is a fair summary in context for those who want to understand it properly from the creationist point of view.

  96. gee, bob –
    “Well, I guess you just made the case for AGW skeptics since CAGW cannot be scientifically verified. We all have faith in something, whether it is verifiable or not. ”
    is your epistemology so badly broken you don’t even get that you just confessed to the same irrationality you remark upon?
    look up epistemology if you are interested in how it is possible to know something.
    it’s what the brain does – it’s adequate for the task unless it’s been crippled by indoctrination with anti-concepts made for the purpose.
    the world has been around a lot longer than you – take a couple walks around the block. wisdom is out there, not in your navel.

  97. I think the attack on Christians is purely political, in most cases. The left simply want people of religion to have no say or vote. It is clear from these conversations that 1) not all Christians believe evolution is incompatible with their religion 2) the TOE deals with species, not the origin of life, so is a straw man 3) no one knows how the universe came about. One shouldn’t foist their atheistic view upon others.

    The point of view of atheism is like a penis.
    It’s fine to have one.
    It’s fine to be proud of it.
    But please don’t whip it out in public and start waving it around.
    And PLEASE [SNIP: Sorry, that was just a bit too graphic, -REP, mod]

  98. kadaka (KD Knoebel) –
    you’d have to read some of lavey to actually know what you’re talking about.
    not only was he not religious, he was an excellent satirist. he simply chose particular institutional taboos to ridicule because there are so many lulz for so little effort when you yank the chain of a zombie worshipper. they don’t own themselves and have virtually no control over their actions- their decisions having been preset by indoctrination. thus they are both easy and worthy targets of mockery. the best name i know for them is ‘lulcow’. thanks for the moue.

  99. gnomish says:
    September 24, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Max Planck says
    1932
    “Anybody who has been seriously engaged in scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: Ye must have faith. It is a quality which the scientist cannot dispense with.”

    Perhaps you should endeavor what he meant by that.

    James

  100. gnomish says:
    September 25, 2011 at 9:44 am
    “gee, bob –
    is your epistemology so badly broken you don’t even get that you just confessed to the same irrationality you remark upon?”

    Actually, it was a mistake in logic. Let’s complete your epistemology tour. You don’t know what you don’t know. It’s a tautology you can take on faith.

    Getting back to the anti-science issue, I made the statement that science is a process. Science is not a thing, person, or ideology. You cannot go to a store and buy a pound of science. You can buy scientific research, but science in and of itself is not object or objective. It is a process, or method. A scientific explanation of physical things and processes is the goal, or objective.

    Your supposition that a disagreement with a given branch of scientific inquiry is anti-science is not only a poor implementation of language and logic, it speaks volumes about your beliefs. You have chosen to believe in science. A monolithic, unchanging science does not exist. Perhaps you can use the scientific method to prove that science, as a thing, God, or person, exists.

  101. jim says:
    September 25, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I think the attack on Christians is purely political, in most cases.
    ===========================================================
    It goes beyond that. It is the absolute refusal of accountability and the pursuit of relative morality.

    Here’s a quick read that just scratches at the subject relating to some of the topics here. And a very brief coverage of a few contributions to modern science by Christians.

    http://suyts.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/christians-have-been-and-are-great-contributors-to-science/

    There is, of course, much more to sate, but I’ll do it piecemeal.

    James

  102. gnomish says on September 24, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    the rest of your sentence is just really silly.

    Sans (your) non-use of proper capitalization (yes; Stasi-grammarian here), sadly, that is my thinking too (write for those who read pls! Semi-regardless of content.)

    .

  103. “Grant says
    Doc Martin,
    It is, of course, prudent to understand the effects of widely used chemicals on humans, plants and animals. DDT is a special case because of its life saving potential.”

    Well yes and no. The complete ban, including home spraying was too much, but the general spraying was prudent.
    There are three properties of DDT that should give one pause for thought to its wide spread usage in the biosphere.
    1) It is very long lived. The t 1/2 is very long both inside of and outside of biotica.
    2) It is highly lipophillic and as such it will be transferred from maternal fat to neonates/infants during gestation/lactation.
    3) It bypasses the natural xenophobic oxidation pathways of fish, amphibia and birds.
    Mammals can both oxidize and conjugate DDT, but our pray species can’t. Cows are a special case as they deliver all the DDT they can find into milk.
    So we have concentration food webs which deliver high levels of persistent organochlorines like this:-
    DDT in soil from 1950’s enter soy.
    Soy fed to chickens.
    Chickens can’t metabolize DDT/DDE and so it partitions into fat/feathers
    Rendering plant takes chicken fat and feathers which is hydrolyzed and pelleted into fish food. Concentrated DDT fed to fish where it concentrates in their lipid.
    Pregnant women want child with high IQ and slim figure so undergo calorific restriction and high fish diet.
    Mothers transfer DDT from own fat and fish into largest lipid reserve of fetus; brain.
    Brain development linked to astrocyte/neuronal sculpting and is dependent on estrogen/androgen levels.

    Lucky that brain developmental mechanism is so robust and we have no indications of any rises in disease states that may be linked to disruption of hormone signaling isn’t it?

  104. Hey, you left out that power lines cause cancer. Another idiotic claim that was even made into the plot of an Eddie Murphy movie.

  105. Bob-
    “Perhaps you can use the scientific method to prove that science, as a thing, God, or person, exists.”

    That existence exists is an axiom, not an article of faith.
    Yes, it is easy to prove the existence of something which exists.
    No, science is not a matter of faith.
    No, irrationality is not to be characterised as ‘disagreement’ as if it were merely a choice of flavored bubblegum. It is a contradiction of reason and therefore has negative adaptive significance because reason is man’s means of survival.
    There is a distinction to be drawn between ‘unproven’ and ‘unprovable’. Religions are special collections of ‘unprovables’. Science is the opposite. All ‘unprovable’ statements are false.
    That’s the nature of the ineffable ‘mysteries’ – they can’t be effed – they are lies.
    There is no such thing as divine revelation.
    Bob- did you ever read Woody Allen? He has been over this ground many times. Irrationality is the fountainhead of satirical grist. One of his little parables went something like this:
    “A brooding person went to the rabbi and told him “I’m not sure what’s real – I’m not even sure if I exist!”. The rabbi punched him in the nose and asked “So, what hurts?”

    I’m pretty much convinced that it takes at least a broken nose to wake a zombie worshipper from his trance.

    Jim – just for you this once – not that I admire ee cummings style or anything, but this is more or less grafitti by anonymous in the style of Steinbeck’s stream of unconsciousness – it’s not that critical. I only hope it’s engaging enough at some level to be considered worth the bother.
    I can spell and punctuate perfectly when I wish, but it’s casual Friday for me every day. I don’t wear a double windsor Brookes’ Brothers’ tie most days either, though i’m not allowed in certain restaurants… lol – but i eat to get fed – not to make friends and influence people. I’m old enough so I’m allowed. :) I’m past the finger.exercises phase of learning English. I’ve corrected my share of library books. That’s how come I’m not so particular and don’t feel a need to draw attention to poor syntax.
    Misuse of the word ‘endeavor’ might be bad enough to remark on, though. But no big deal – I understand what the man was trying to say despite his poor attempt to create the appearance of erudition.

    James- there is no such thing as irrational belief in the rational nor is there a rational belief in what is irrational. Exorcise that little demon and study its etiology. It didn’t spring up by spontaneous generation. Faith is not reason. That’s why we have 2 different words, eh. We also have a word ‘antonym’ just for the relationship between word pairs like that. Logical self contradictions are the loaves and fishes, I understand. Understanding is not divine revelation. No heretics were ever burned at stake in support of science.

    David Ball – yah – so simple any 3 yr old child of 2 can do it, eh. Without an army of liars to confuse kids, they’d still be able to do it as adults.
    But just because i pick up after some litterbug once, doesn’t make me the appointed garbage man forever.
    i wrote more than 20,000 words about ismism so i’m not gonna be able to avoid reruns – and i hate reruns. time for me to move along to something new, for i have the novelty seeking gene. :)

  106. gnomish says:
    September 24, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    one of the distinguishing characteristics of religion is belief in an afterlife, right?
    science is the process of verifying a logical proposition.
    the statement ‘death is (everlasting) life’ is a logical self contradiction.
    therefore a basic tenet of religion is anti-science.

    a proposition which can not be falsified, such as an invisible supernatural entity that’s omniscient and omnipotent and wants to be friended on facebook, is not to be accepted as true.
    accepting as true, that which is not susceptible to verification at all – that’s anti-science.

    religion requires faith. faith means belief because of no proof. that is anti-science.

    I can’t help but notice that you very neatly encapsulate all of science into one single tenet of experimental science – verification and proof. In doing so, I believe you turn a cold shoulder to the many disciplines of the theoretical sciences where there simply exists no proof or falsification of a proposition.

    Practically speaking, science doesn’t really work so narrowly confined as you make it. It necessarily engages quasi-religion and philosophy to formulate hypothesis on very deep and profound questions that seek answers far beyond our understanding. Such questions involve a form of faith on the part of the scientist to consider the possibilities of other dimensions, states, and continuums that, in reality, may or may not exist. Because a proposition is neither provable nor falsifiable doesn’t mean that in reality, it can’t exist.

    You seem to point to the notion of “eternity” as a problem for science and therefore anti-science. Leon Lederman, the brilliant Nobel Laureate of experimental physics, and a man who’s work I admire, made the following statement, which I find very insightful. He is quoted as saying “In the very beginning, there was a void, a curious form of vacuum, a nothingness containing no space, no time, no matter, no light, no sound. Yet the laws of nature were in place and this curious vacuum held potential. A story logically begins at the beginning, but this story is about the universe and unfortunately, there are no data for the very beginnings – none, zero. We don’t know anything about the universe until it reaches the mature age of a billion of a trillionth of a second. That is, some very short time after creation in the big bang. When you read or hear anything about the birth of the universe, someone is making it up – we are in the realm of philosophy. Only God knows what happened at the very beginning.”

    To the best of my knowledge, Dr. Lederman is an atheist or possibly an agnostic – I don’t know as I’m not him. I am certain his reference to God wasn’t intended to be a statement of belief but rather to put the limitations of science into a proper context. But what I find most interesting in his statement is the notion that the “laws” which govern the clockworks of our universe existed before matter and before time. Following that assertion, the laws will exist after these things ceases to exist. They are “eternal”. I see nothing anti-science about that and I see nothing anti-religious about it either.

  107. mercy! a whole long comment vanished and i’m not ready to rewrite it… it was even properly punctuated just to accommodate Jim… and so James could endeavor better…lol

    HankH –
    “I believe you turn a cold shoulder to the many disciplines of the theoretical sciences where there simply exists no proof or falsification of a proposition.”
    yes, i am saying that the definition of science does not admit its antonym- faith, period.
    any proposition which is not susceptible to validation or invalidation is false. this is a tautology. it is always true. the identity it refers to gets one of the prime turf, single syllable 3 letter words for itself. a lie is a lie, period.
    when you propose that reason alone is neither necessary or sufficient to know something – you are being self contradictory. you can’t disprove reason by reason and you can’t prove or disprove any thing by any other means.
    i think one scotoma you’ve not yet resolved is the self contradictory proposition that nothing is something. there is no such a thing as nothing – that is what nothing means – no.thing.
    so your issue resolves to ‘one must have faith that nonexistence exists’.
    it is anti-science to assert a self contradiction is true. it’s called lying, actually.
    there is but one use for a lie – to confuse. it’s the only way to cripple an intellect.
    the technique is the reliable tool of the confidence man. not nice.

  108. “…Left is anti-science when it comes to things like their exaggerations of the risks of genetically modified crops, nuclear power, and vaccines.”

    Don’t forget the left’s disdain for ICBM defense technology

  109. gnomish says:
    September 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    mercy! a whole long comment vanished and i’m not ready to rewrite it… it was even properly punctuated just to accommodate Jim… and so James could endeavor better…lol

    Now you have me feeling like I really missed out on something.

    any proposition which is not susceptible to validation or invalidation is false. this is a tautology. it is always true. the identity it refers to gets one of the prime turf, single syllable 3 letter words for itself. a lie is a lie, period.

    Again, you summarily dismiss the formative thinking of most theoretical work. The scientist puts fourth postulations (propositions or beliefs) that seek justification about things far beyond our understanding. They are not yet susceptible to validation or invalidation because we lack the understanding to know how validate or invalidate them. That does not make the postulation false. It does not make the postulation invalid. It does not change the reality of whether what the postulation addresses exists or doesn’t exist. It makes the knowledge to be gained by the proposition unattainable and therefore stuck either temporarily or permanently in the realm of philosophy. Because we lack the knowledge to un-stuck it, forcing us to deal with it philosophically, doesn’t make such endeavor anti-science.

    Your introduction of the “lie” at this point is a moral judgement which attempts to paint science into a corner of strict black and white logic with no grays to ponder. That is a form of science that I find unimaginative and creatively stifled from unnecessary and self imposed rules that are, themselves, anti-science.

  110. gnomish says:
    September 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm
    =====================================================
    lol, I’ll endeavor to ensure I write properly. No assurances, beer has a nasty effect.
    That stated, the lie is that dichotomy doesn’t exist. Provable? Not a chance, and for the reasons you’ve stated. Well done. In the end, it all boils to, “You must have faith”. Its just a matter of which way you’re gonna jump.

  111. gnomish says:
    September 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    i think one scotoma you’ve not yet resolved is the self contradictory proposition that nothing is something. there is no such a thing as nothing – that is what nothing means – no.thing.

    I sense a circular argument. Define nothing.

  112. To James Sexton
    “Further, while I agree with your general description, Christianity is a matter of faith. It isn’t necessary to find scientific evidence for our origins. God said for it to happen, and so it was.”
    Incorrect, the bible actually states the exact opposite, here:
    Rom 1:19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
    Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    Note what it says, that God’s invisible qualities are shown by the visible world, by observation of nature, in other words, by science. In other words, that which cannot be proved, because it is invisible, can be proved by what IS visible, thus, we need NOT rely purely on faith. It specifically states “since the creation of the world”, which means we can then look at Genesis the first chapter, where this is specifically covered, and compare it with what we know from science, and see if they match. In other words, the bible is specifically stating, in no uncertain terms, that it is scientifically falsifiable, like any good scientific hypothesis. So the hypothesis is, there is a God, who spoke personally to a man called Moses, and described the creation of this universe and this world in particular, and we can test this hypothesis by comparing what is written in Genesis with what science knows (not just believes, KNOWS) about the big bang and planetary formation as it specifically relates to the planet earth, and the evolution of life in the correct order (how would they know?) and see if science matches the bible. If it does, we have to ask ourselves, how did those folks almost 4000 years ago know all these scientific details if they were not themselves a witness and had no science to tell them anything, could they have had it described to them by an actual witness? The links I gave are the science, big bang http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTS5ZVuK6Jw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDY6o-VP8Lo&feature=related , Genesis and science http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/day-age.html and a page of stuff here, look specifically at the Genesis stuff http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/creation.html .

    Then, looking at this, we see two statistically impossible things that appear to have happened anyway, the big bang making a universe like this one (anyone who actually KNOWS about the big bang knows how improbable this universe is), and life appearing from non life. It appears that such things cannot happen by random chance, and that therefor they must have happened by planned chance. The only being who could plan such a thing must have infinite intelligence. No being subjected to the natural laws of this universe can have infinite intelligence any more than a computer of infinite speed can be made, therefore, there must be an extra dimensional being of infinite intelligence. Such a being, who can unaided by us dream up and create an entire universe, does not need us to do anything to please it or get in it’s good graces, since nothing we can do can effect such an interdimentional being in any way, either pro or con, thus, we cannot do anything “for” such a being. All religions say that we can get God to love us by some actions of ours except Christianity, which says that we are simply to accept what that God did for us, thus, only Christianity possibly can be true, the others are denied by the physical fact of this universes existence. We also see that this God must be love, the opposite of love is hate, hate comes from fear, fear that I can hurt you, God has nothing to fear, being an interdimentional being that I cannot even reach, therefore God does not fear, does not hate, and can only love. In other words, starting with the big bang, one must, in a logical and scientific and fact based progression, come to Christianity.

    Or…you can go the other way, as many scientists have, and propose an infinite number of extra dimensions and universes to try and explain away the impossibility of this one. However, to do so, you must do so simply on blind faith. There is not one single shred of evidence that any such universes exist, nor is there any possible way to do so. And, realize what you are doing here, you ae saying that science, based on what we know, in this universe and it’s natural laws, is all that there is and all we should base what we believe on. Then you propose other universes, undetectable, with different natural laws, universes that spring into being out of nothing, do you see the contradiction here? Which is it, science based on what we know, or not? And in these different, possibly very different, universes, what might exist, might there be other intelligent beings? What if the laws in that other universe are very different, could there be a thing we would call God? Are you trying to replace faith based belief in magical beings with faith based belief in magical universes with magical beings, have you even really replaced anything here? Seems to me you have come full circle, from God back to God.

    Thus, to believe this universe exists (you do, right??), you are stuck with infinite universes or God. Some quotes about that:
    To believe string theory you must believe:
    1 There is such a thing as an inflation field.
    2 A potentially infinite number of bubble universes exist.
    3 Strings exist.
    4 Six additional hidden spatial dimensions (7 in m-theory).
    5 An infinite number of compactivations of these six additional spacial dimensions exist and EACH corresponds (via inflation) to a potential infinity of ACTUAL universes.
    6 That the string landscape, when combined with inflation, explains away the problem of our universes finely tuned initial conditions, laws, and constants.
    And
    In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all
    in other words, a materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as an explanatory principle (to not believe in non random miracles).
    In a theistic universe, noting happens without a reason, miracles are intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities and are expressions of rational propose
    Thus scientific materialism is self-defeating and makes scientific rationality impossible.
    And finally, about the chance that the universe is simply random:
    Roger Penrose’s probability for low entropy calculated on the order of 10*10*123 (10 to the power 10 to the power 123, 2 exponents). That is as close to infinity-to-1 probability as any number can get, and again, that is irrespective of the number of universes.
    That above number is the chance against this universe coming into being by purely random chance, and that is only considering it’s state of entropy, not even counting all the other things mentioned in the “anthropic principle”, where many other aspects of this universe and it’s laws are also very very improbable.

  113. gnomish says:
    “Furthermore, it appears that the universe as we know it is so statistically impossible that the chance of it appearing randomly, without aid from an intelligent designing being, are 1 chance in 10*10*123″
    love those statistics, eh.
    no better way to make nonsense sound authoritative, non?
    Well, I suggest you take it up with Roger Penrose,
    Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS (born 8 August 1931) is an English mathematical physicist and Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford and Emeritus Fellow of Wadham College. He has received a number of prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their contribution to our understanding of the universe.[1] He is renowned for his work in mathematical physics, in particular his contributions to general relativity and cosmology. He is also a recreational mathematician and philosopher.
    His quote:
    Quote from:’The large, the Small and the Human Mind”-Cambridge University Press-1997 from Tanner Lectures 1995″; page 45-46:
    “I want to introduce a hypothesis which I call the ‘Weyl Curvature Hypothesis’. This is not an implication of any known theory. As I have said, we do not know what the theory is, because we do not know how to combine the physics of the very large and the very small. When we do discover that theory, it should have as one of its consequences this feature which I have called the Weyl Curvature Hypothesis. Remember that the Weyl curvature is that bit of the Riemann tensor which causes distortions and tidal effects. For some reason we do not yet understand, in the neighbourhood of the Big Bang, the appropriate combination of theories must result in the Weyl tensor being essentially zero, or rather being constrained to be very small indeed.
    The Weyl Curvature Hypothesis is time-asymmetrical and it applies only to the past type singularities and not to the future singularities. If the same flexibility of allowing the Weyl tensor to be ‘general’ that I have applied in the future also applied to the past of the universe, in the closed model, you would end up with a dreadful looking universe with as much mess in the past as in the future. This looks nothing like the universe we live in. What is the probability that, purely by chance, the universe had an initial singularity looking even remotely as it does?
    The probability is less than one part in (1010)123. Where does this estimate come from? It is derived from a formula by Jacob Bekenstein and Stephen Hawking concerning Black Hole entropy and, if you apply it in this particular context, you obtain this enormous answer. It depends how big the universe is and, if you adopt my own favourite universe, the number is, in fact, infinite.
    What does this say about the precision that must be involved in setting up the Big Bang? It is really very, very extraordinary, I have illustrated the probability in a cartoon of the Creator, finding a very tiny point in that phase space which represents the initial conditions from which our universe must have evolved if it is to resemble remotely the one we live in. To find it, the Creator has to locate that point in phase space to an accuracy of one part in (1010)123. If I were to put one zero on each elementary particle in the universe, I still could not write the number down in full. It is a stupendous number”. End of Quote

    Roger Penrose’s probability for low entropy calculated on the order of 10*10*123 (10 to the power 10 to the power 123, 2 exponents). That is as close to infinity-to-1 probability as any number can get, and again, that is irrespective of the number of universes.

    Now what was that you were saying out nonsense and sound authorative again? Can you match this kind of authority on this area of science that Roger Penrose does, can you even come close? Do you always respond to such posts with such off the cuff, ad hominum attacks without first ever bothering to find out whether what you are responding to is fact based?
    The answer is, yes you do, as seen below.

    here’s what the abrahamic goat herders contributed to ‘civilization’ –
    they practiced animal husbandry.
    then they immediately applied it to each other.
    the simpleminded notion of men as chattel became the divine order.
    the fossil mindset is preserved in the language, my lamb.
    but anton lavey has written much cleverer essays on this sort of thing.

    Ad hominum attacks:
    “Civiliszation” in quotes, as if to say, their “civilization” is in question.
    Applied animal hustbandry to each other, exactly what are you implying here?
    “Simpleminded”, “chattel”, “fossil mindset”, “my lamb”, my my, sure sounds like old fashioned ad hominum attacks to me.
    Ad Hominem (Argument To The Man):
    attacking the person instead of attacking his argument. For example, “Von Daniken’s books about ancient astronauts are worthless because he is a convicted forger and embezzler.” (Which is true, but that’s not why they’re worthless.)

    Question, why was this post by this person allowed on this site? is that what this site stands for, personal attacks, ignoring, even denying evidence, and denigrating people who you know nothing about without even bothering to find out who they are or what their credentials are?

  114. John B says:
    Dave Springer says:
    If all we observe wasn’t created then how did it get here?
    ——————
    The religionist’s answer to this is: Don’t know, let’s make something up.
    “Lets make something up” assumes, prior to any evidence, that there is no God, and that God did not tell anyone how those things were made. Is it now science to believe stuff like that without ever bothering to find out if it is true or false? Do we just assume that they made it up, well, why, exactly? Do you have a working time machine, and so went back in time, and thus can show us actual EVIDENCE that they just “made it up”? Is just assuming things like that without any evidence at all scientific? Do you know what the scientific method is? Do you use it?
    My scientific hypothesis (because I will NOT just decide something without evidence), there may be a God (or, of course, may not be). One possibility, the book of Genesis may be exactly what it claims to be, a man called Moses wrote something that God personally told him about the creation of the universe and the earth, it’s planetary formation, the change of it’s atmosphere from what it started out initially to what we know now, the evolution of life starting from plants, then sea creatures, then dinosaurs (which have become birds by the time the reader sees them), then mammals, then us. Read about it here http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/genesis1.html and here http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/day-age.html .
    The scientist’s answer is: Don’t know, let’s try and find out
    Odd, what they found out looks exactly like what they wrote in Genesis, now, how could that be?
    We don’t (yet) know why the universe exists, or how life first started, or why or how we are conscious of it, but we do know this: All the evidence points to life as we know it being the product of billions of years of evolution, directed by natural selection and other natural factors. If some “intelligence” played a part, he/she/it/them have hidden their tracks very successfully.

    Or…you could just be doing everything you can to ignore any evidence that you don’t wish to see. What are the chances that you will click on the links above? The likely chance, very slim, you will decide that it is “just all that religious nonsense” and NEVER LOOK, and then tell yourself, “well, there is no evidence for all that religious stuff” Is that honest?

    Come one people, if you believe in the scientific method, well, USE IT. Turn the idea “there may, or may not, be a god” into s scientific hypothesis, and then proceed from there. The people who claim there certainly is no God are doing so without EVER bothering to use the scientific method to look into it all all, instead, all I see is a bunch of non fact based opinions and emotional arguments, and ignoring of large swaths of evidence. Do you believe in this science stuff at all? SHOW ME.

  115. I’ve met Ken at a seminar. I enjoy Ken Green: GO Ken GO!
    Mooney has needed this dressing down for many years.

    In fact, I’ve considered writing the riposte to Mooney’s initial serving as a “science” writer to be entitled “The Democratic Secular War Against Science.” It needs to be written if only to force the playing out of arguments in public in oder to re-educate the ignorant, self-righteous sanctimony, false-consciousness, and pompous blathering my fellow humanists love to indulge themselves in.

    Perhaps this flurry of salvos can lead to that noble end.

  116. Mike says at 3:16 pm:
    If you are looking at contemporary US politicians the right has the lead in anti-science nonsense. This is certainly true among the presidential candidates and in the US House and Senate. If you look at pseudo-scientific beliefs in the population at large the picture is more mixed. There have been plenty of times is history when parts of the left were anti-science, from the Scopes Monkey Trial to the Lysenko Affair. But Stalin is not running for president.

    Actually, THIS is very much debatable. For example, who among Left leadership, Obama and Democrats are a well-informed about climate science astrology as 50% of the posters here? Same with oil and energy policies and renewables and “Green Jobs” mantra seen everywhere but totally unrealistic in practice.

    The Left’s biggest sin in the 20th century was its widespread embrace of eugenics. This chapter sordid pseudo-scientific fad has been air-brushed from American history, post World War Two and Nazi Germany (SEE “American Socialists and Evolutionary tThought, 1870-1920,” by Mark Pittenger).

    Today it lives on in social media web sites and in places like “OKcupid” dating sites, which asks people questions like “Do you think it would be better for people with lower IQs to simply not reproduce?” – which most answer “Yes.” (OKcupid is often touted as the free online dating site for “progressives.”) It is an unspoken Truth for the Left. And it calls up an ugly past.

  117. Wow! You take a break for dinner and a football game, and the blogosphere gets away from you.

    Let me try to catch up.

    gnomish: Please try to focus. Your stream of thought is not as lucid as you would have it. It is tough to edit your own work, but you really need to try. Just because you are old doesn’t mean you should be excused from polite discourse, or decent punctuation and capitalization. Your refusal to observe those courtesies conveys a disrespect whether it is intended or not.

    In all your hopscotching over your philosophical map, you still stumble, and have not addressed the issue of what, exactly, is the source of your beliefs.

    For example: “… science is not a matter of faith” OK. I believe you believe that. This infers that you believe all science is true, and science is the only way to arrive at truth. What do you do when today’s scientific truth is overturned by tomorrow’s? What was provable is no longer probable. Where does that leave you? Science does require faith because you are taking someone else’s word for something for which you are incapable of proving or understanding. That is obvious.

    One other example: ” Science is the opposite. All ‘unprovable’ statements are false.” I don’t think there is an opposite of science. You are making things up as you go. Science, as I have observed, is not one thing as you seem to believe, and portions of it are not provable, and much of it is under challenge. Have you, in the last few hours, been able to prove string theory? Who has empirically proven string theory? I am sure you have faith that it is provable, otherwise it is a lie in your parlance. Welcome to science.

    You have gone a long way and to a lot of trouble to not tell us about your beliefs. We know that science cannot prove everything, and it is possible that not all things are provable, or falsifiable. You are clearly on unstable ground.

    Can you, without depending on quotations from others, give us an elevator speech on what you believe? Try brevity, and articulate it in you own words.

  118. hi Hank.
    “I sense a circular argument. Define nothing.”
    ok
    nothing is the negation of an absolute, existence.
    the negation of an absolute is not an absolute.

    remember that cowboy joke about ‘ima fill ya full of holes’?
    that illustrates the nature of interpreting the negation of an absolute as if it were an absolute.
    if somebody fails to destroy a tree, does not mean he created one.

    Legatus-
    “Can you match this kind of authority on this area of science that Roger Penrose does, can you even come close?”
    no, because i’m nobody. everything i say is false.

  119. Hank-
    “Your introduction of the “lie” at this point is a moral judgement which attempts to paint science into a corner of strict black and white logic with no grays to ponder. That is a form of science that I find unimaginative and creatively stifled from unnecessary and self imposed rules that are, themselves, anti-science.”

    truth or falsehood is hardly a moral judgement. it’s pure logic. the choice to use logic or not is a moral choice.
    i understand the motivation for post normal relativism, the need for shades of gray – for shadows to lurk in, where the supernatural powers are conjured from to do the bidding of the sorcerer.
    your black/white and no gray metaphor is faulty, of course – i’ll use it to make run you around the palm tree till you’re butter for my pancakes. gray IS black and white – and when you look closely enough you can resolve the dots.
    but no- there is no gray area of truth any more than there is a partial pregnancy. it is or it is not.
    science is about resolving the dots.

  120. Well, I guess my opinions are unworthy of gnomish’s considerations. His mind is like a mechanical ping-pong game hopping from one idea to another without foundation.

    He obviously believes in his own capacities as the ultimate authority.

  121. Dear Bob,
    “Can you, without depending on quotations from others, give us an elevator speech on what you believe? Try brevity, and articulate it in you own words.”

    with respect to the topic of science vs anti-science, i did just that.
    i made some comments about the metaphysical distinctions.
    i defined some terms – always helpful for meaningful dialog.
    always happy to discuss the topic. :)
    i do believe in the kitchen sink, if that’s what you were really after.

  122. I am trying to think of other nations where the candidate for head of State has to repudiate the common ancestry of humans and chimps and the role of the anthropogenic 30% increase in CO2 in warming the climate. Both are acknowledged by even the most ‘skeptical’ scientists, Behe recognises the evolution of man and chimps from a common ape ancestor and Lindzen, Spencer and Christy all accept the role of CO2 in the warming – they just dispute the magnitude of the effect…

    There are a few fundimentalist Islamic theocracies where this level of anti-science is not just acceptable but nessecary, and probably a couple of backward African States where such dogmatism is obligatory.
    But it is strange that a world superpower which derives its preminence from scientific advances now requires from at least one of the political parties such a level of rejection of science that it puts it on par with Somalia or Zimbabwe.

  123. I am sure it is unwise for people with a healthy scepticism about CAGW to casually dismiss concerns about a build up of plastic and other floatable crap in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or anywhere else, for that matter. It seems to be a legitimate issue to.

    That some little neat beasties – plastic munching microbes or whatever – seem to enjoy snacking on our garbage is quite beside the point.

    This casual dissing of what may be legitimate concerns about environmental damage through failing to pick up after ourselves, plays straight into the hands of zealous lefties, such as Chris Mooney, who is, in the Bear’s humble opinion, an overinflated prig. To be sure.

  124. Malcolm Miller says:
    September 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    YOu are correct. Socialism is rich bastards paying so that the leeches don’t have to work.

    Which is why it always fails. Eventually you run out of rich bastards to sacrifice.

  125. gnomish says:
    Legatus-
    “Can you match this kind of authority on this area of science that Roger Penrose does, can you even come close?”
    no, because i’m nobody. everything i say is false.

    I would not say that, just because you are not Roger Penrose, everything you say is false, to do so is not a scientific attitude. However, it is clear that Roger Penrose has put a wee bit more work into looking at the science of the big bang and cosmology than you have, thus I am more inclined to beleive that what he says may piossibly be true than what you say. he, at least, backs up what he says with testable, at least to some extant, facts, you, however, have yet to state one thing that is even remotely testable, or even try to, its all just jargon and slogans.

    And when it comes to being anti-science, well, Gnomish, you are IT. Frankly, I have yet to see you make one scientific, fact based argument. Instead, I see illogic (such as ad hominum attacks, and many other such logical falicies), rhetoric (rhetoric, non fact based, is not science, no matter how clever that rhetoric may be), philosophy (sort of, more like simple jargon and sloganeering), and a LOT of attempting to make the other side look follish or funny. Is that the scientific method you believe in? If you say you are all for science, and all those religious types are all anti scinece, why is your attitude so very VERY far from the scientific method? If you are going to assume the moral high ground of being pro science, you need to start sounding scientific. Instead, you sound religious, since you seem to BUHHHH-LEEEEEVE so much that you will use any illogical argument and personal attack to support your beleif. In fact, many people you would call “religious” do not use such tactics to defend or support their beleifs, even with themselves, much less others. In other words, you do not believe in science because you have seen the facts, you beleive in science as blind faith, while, apperently, not even knowing what it is. Science is not just the opposite of religion, science is the application of the scientific method. It is simply a method to arrive at the truth, or at least screen out falsehood.

    And when you get right doen to it, the scientific method and Chrisianity are based on the same world view. The Chrsitian beleif is that mankind is basically fallable and sinfull, and needs God to fix that. The scientific method beleives that mankind is basically fallable and sinfull and needs to use a very carefull method to screen out bias and eror, including deliberate error, and error caused by such things as stubborn pride (or, say, the desire for grant money, greed, a classic sin). We this see that the scientific method is based at it’s core on the same basic beleifs as Christianity, and without those beleifs, the scientific method would be discarded. After all, if mankind is perfect and infallable, what do you need such things as repeatability for, so that one scientist can chack up on another? Without this basic beleif in mans fallability, we would just use “argument from authority” every time, all science would be pretty much the gnomish style of speaking, it is true because I said so, there is no need to double check it. Thus we see that science IS based on “belief”, and the same “beleif” as religion (at least in the case of Christianity). It also has other beliefs in common, such as that the universe will have the same natural laws throughout (in the case of religion, because it was made by one being with one idea), and I have already gone into some of the basic science that they also have in common, such as that the universe had a beginning, that it is expanding, the sequence of planatery formation, the sequence of evolution (what came first, then second, etc), and many others. Or are we to say that, because the bible says that the universe had a beginning and is expanding, we must say, “oh, thats just religion”, automatically discount it, and decide that the big bang never happened? Are we to simply put everything into two labels, one, scientific, good, and the other, religion, all bad, and do so even with things that are firmly in both camps at once? Are we now to decide whether something is true or false not on the basis of testable facts, but simply whether it is called “scientific” or “religious” by someoe, without any presentation of why they are labaled as such, but simply because someone says so? Is that the scientific method now, has it been reduced to nothing but labeling?

    Are we, in the name of ‘science”, going to give up science? Are we going to reduce science to nothing but name calling?

  126. Kozlowski says:
    September 25, 2011 at 12:28 am
    So seriously, how many people around these parts reject evolution?

    That depends on how you define “evolution”.

    There are as many definitions for that term, as their are debaters in the field.

    What does one have to do in order to “reject evolution”?
    I’ve seen some who declare that unless you believe that random mutation is sufficient to explain all eveolution, then you don’t believe in evolution.

  127. John B says:
    September 25, 2011 at 7:04 am
    The religionist’s answer to this is: Don’t know, let’s make something up.

    You know for a fact that the regionist made up their answer?
    If so, please present your proof.
    If you can’t in fact, prove your contention, please apologize for being an a**hole.

  128. TBear (Warm Cave in Cold-as-Snow-Sydney) says:
    September 26, 2011 at 3:46 am
    I am sure it is unwise for people with a healthy scepticism about CAGW to casually dismiss concerns about a build up of plastic and other floatable crap in the middle of the Pacific Ocean,

    We casually dismiss it, because it isn’t happening.

  129. legatus-
    your argument – your howl of outrage – rests on nothing but appeal to divine authority. gaze in terror as it whirls down the vortex with a whoosh and a gurgle. you show yourself to be disturbed to the point you’ve even lost muscular control. exposing yourself to the public is probably a bad idea just now. everybody will see how easy it is to pwn a fanatic. they’ll make sport of you forever. you know how cruel people can be.
    but obviously you can expect no sympathy for your panic. it’s what you paid for when you chose to stop thinking for yourself. you get what you settle for.

  130. “legatus-
    your argument – your howl of outrage – rests on nothing but appeal to divine authority. gaze in terror as it whirls down the vortex with a whoosh and a gurgle. you show yourself to be disturbed to the point you’ve even lost muscular control. exposing yourself to the public is probably a bad idea just now. everybody will see how easy it is to pwn a fanatic. they’ll make sport of you forever. you know how cruel people can be.
    but obviously you can expect no sympathy for your panic. it’s what you paid for when you chose to stop thinking for yourself. you get what you settle for.”

    This entire post is an Ad Hom. You may think you’re being clever. You aren’t. You’re being rude.

  131. Late on this thread, but let me just say that those who paint the anti-vaccine types as nutso religious fanatics have an all too blind faith in scientists and WAY too much faith in Big Pharma. They are under the mistaken notion that Big Pharma wouldn’t fudge test results in order to get a multi-billion dollar product to market. Especially one that is mandated by the state.

    They are also under the mistaken assumption that all vaccines react exactly the same way in every single person on earth the same way they did with the study group or that every single vial of vaccine is an exact copy of the study vaccine and/or manufactured to the same tolerances.

    Not saying I agree with the anti-vaccine types (especially not the ones playing it strictly for political gain) but their are reasons for some precautions.

    Let’s not forget how many perscription drugs have been recalled for deathly side-effects that were not detected in trials.

  132. gnomish says:
    September 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    i think one scotoma you’ve not yet resolved is the self contradictory proposition that nothing is something. there is no such a thing as nothing – that is what nothing means – no.thing.

    gnomish says:
    September 25, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    nothing is the negation of an absolute, existence.
    the negation of an absolute is not an absolute.

    There is no such thing as nothing? Now, there’s a logic puzzle. Allow me to refer you back to my earlier quote from Nobel Laureate, Dr. Leon Lederman:

    In the very beginning, there was a void, a curious form of vacuum, a nothingness containing no space, no time, no matter, no light, no sound. Yet the laws of nature were in place and this curious vacuum held potential. [My emphasis]

    Dr. Lederman doesn’t seem to have a problem with the universe being nothing then something. Nor do I or most other scientists although it is cause for much head scratching. For now, the questions of what caused it to happened and how it happened remains philosophical ones as we lack the the understanding to know how validate or invalidate any scientific proposition about it. By your strict logic, any conjecture put forth would be anti-scientific. I remain in disagreement.

    truth or falsehood is hardly a moral judgement. it’s pure logic. the choice to use logic or not is a moral choice.
    i understand the motivation for post normal relativism, the need for shades of gray – for shadows to lurk in, where the supernatural powers are conjured from to do the bidding of the sorcerer.
    your black/white and no gray metaphor is faulty, of course – i’ll use it to make run you around the palm tree till you’re butter for my pancakes.

    You used the term “lie”. A lie is where one states something to be accepted as truth when they know it to be patently untrue. All cultures, as far as I know, judge a lie as immoral. False is a boolean state. In the context of your usage, they are not interchangeable and thus, your point confused.

    Post normal relativism? That came out of left field. I don’t know how to begin to respond to the bunny trail that follows as it seems you want to chide and dance around metaphors. I’m not so good at innuendo and double entendre so I’ll respectfully acknowledge that you certainly did run me around the palm tree to the point of being dizzy from changing direction so many times. Enjoy them pancakes.

  133. @Legatus says:
    September 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Wow, such prodigious writings! I understand the scope of the topic is the enemy of brevity, but, you should chop those up a bit. The responses would require even more writing. If we were to engage in a dialogue, in the end we would both be writing books.

    I agree with your quote of Romans, but I don’t agree with the interpretation. It states all that is necessary is already shown. But you seem to be arguing we must look for what is already shown and thus known? Please remember the lesson of Thomas. (doubting) Further, I was more speaking towards the greater aim of Christianity rather than attempting to scientifically answer the original questions.

    I haven’t read the read of your comments to others here, but for the most part, I agree with your response to me, save for the introduction. And assuming your questions such as this, “Are you trying to replace faith based belief in magical beings with faith based belief in magical universes with magical beings, have you even really replaced anything here?” Aren’t directed at me and are rhetorical in nature. Because, I certainly haven’t advocated the existence of alternate universes.

    Faith and belief in God’s grace are the requirements to Christianity. While endeavoring to find answers to questions to satisfy people that won’t listen anyway may be a lofty goal, it isn’t required.

    James

  134. gnomish says:

    Unbearable form of writing, sans caps in the proper place; is this “sod” in a different incantation?

    It would explain a lot. Speaking of which, how’s that blog “Seed of Doubt” (from whence ‘sod’ comes from) coming along?

    .

  135. “Dr. Lederman doesn’t seem to have a problem with the universe being nothing then something. Nor do I”
    -nailed it, didn’t i?

    no big quibble. when you use the word ‘lie’ next time i’ll know what you mean by it. remember, the definition of truth, which anybody who knows what truth is can state explicitly in a single sentence, requires that the context of the proposition be defined.
    words are our tools of cognition. logic can’t be without them. reason can’t be done without logic. rationality is out of reach without reason. definitions lead to rationality.
    i know you are being rational because you can handily define any word you use at any time so whatever you say can be evaluated as logically as you strive to present it, amirite?

    still, if your grammar parses ‘nothing’ as equivalent to ‘something’ – it definitely needs a syntactical tune-up.
    logic begins with the law of identity, a = a
    that means ‘a thing is itself’
    now you, victim of the oldest trick in the Book of Lies, state that you believe nothing exists.
    that’s represented as a = -a
    that happens to be the very definition of falsehood – self contradiction. logic has no gray areas. self contradictory statements are false.
    so you are proposing a self evident falsehood as true. do you take no responsibility for uttering falsehood in this way on the grounds that you believe it yourself? do you demand that anybody overlook, immunize or grant you absolution for irrationality? is it rude or is it remedial to correct you on such a fundamental error?
    i mean- that bug is so bad that you may actually need a reset to fix. the prognosis, in my experience, is seldom positive.

  136. gnomish says:
    September 26, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    “Dr. Lederman doesn’t seem to have a problem with the universe being nothing then something. Nor do I”
    -nailed it, didn’t i?

    Huh? Are we saying the same thing in different languages? I’m really not sure what you think you nailed.

    no big quibble. when you use the word ‘lie’ next time i’ll know what you mean by it.

    Double Huh? Go back and follow our dialog, I didn’t use the word, you did.

    still, if your grammar parses ‘nothing’ as equivalent to ‘something’ – it definitely needs a syntactical tune-up.

    At no time did I ever say that nothing is equivalent to something. That is something you interjected into the conversation and now make it my point to defend. It needs no defense as it wasn’t my point.

    May I call your attention to your rather pendular swings:

    i know you are being rational because you can handily define any word you use at any time so whatever you say can be evaluated as logically as you strive to present it

    and only a few malformed sentences later:

    do you demand that anybody overlook, immunize or grant you absolution for irrationality? is it rude or is it remedial to correct you on such a fundamental error?

    Who’s being irrational?

    gnomish, you’re an overflowing fountain of enigmatic quips. Yes, you are rude and impossible to connect with in any way that creates common ground for a meaningful exchange. I’m packing it in.

  137. James Sexton says:
    September 26, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    @Legatus

    Sorry, upon reflection, I see where I should have expanded on why I disagreed with your interpretation of Romans 1:19 and 20. It is because you took it out of context. You must read the prior and subsequent verses for proper context. I was hesitant to do this because I don’t like to interpret the Bible for other people, but, I don’t believe the interpretation should be left as you put it. And so, as not to become a stumbling block……… (This passage should be used often in the greater cli-sci discussion.)

    “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.
    Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,…”

    Again, I’m sorry for not clarifying earlier. I let time be my master instead of doing what was right.

    My best wishes,

    James

  138. Dear HankH,
    i’m used to it. the job of making sense of things often falls to me and not the other guy – because i can.
    you’re welcome for the ‘malformed’ sentences. i understood that without some endearing infirmity you’d find me intolerable.
    lack of tags does make it hard for someone who isn’t clever enough to recognize it – but that’s deliberate. i like to see who is smart enough to recognize it on his own. it’s economical and reasonably accurate. unlike clothes or titles, smart can’t be counterfeited well enough to pass scrutiny.
    the main implication of my statement, when properly parsed, is that without proper definitions, one lacks the most basic cognitive tools and therefore can not parse reality correctly much less do an accurate semantic analysis on somebody’s statements and that until a person is able properly to perform logic – the act of non.contradictory identification, he can’t trust his own attempts at reason – but you will have proven this to yourself many times and need no chafing reminder from me, i think. getting the law of identity wrong is cause for great shame to any man who claims the title sapiens. it’s not timor domini that’s principia sapientiae, eh. it’s the law of identity which is.

    to your credit, you didn’t go completely off in the ozone but maintained a certain stability.
    that parses out: a couple fellows went on a psychotic fugue, but you didn’t lose it. plz consider that a compliment.

    i don’t really love pancakes so much, you know…lol definitely not a substantial diet.
    put tags where you need them. they are different than . no sarc here.

  139. @- gnomish says:
    September 27, 2011 at 12:39 am
    “the main implication of my statement, when properly parsed, is that without proper definitions, one lacks the most basic cognitive tools and therefore can not parse reality correctly”

    Its a common mistake to think that accurate definitions are a primary factor rather than a possible but unlikely contingent result.
    The whole idea of a ‘proper’ definition is a Procrustian fit of meaning to word that gains less than is lost. The idea that a word can HAVE a absolute precise definition is always the sign of an arrested mental development!

  140. Izen says:

    “The idea that a word can HAVE a[n] absolute precise definition is always the sign of an arrested mental development!”

    Wrong. Words have specific meanings, which is why Trenberth tries to change the meaning of the null hypothesis. “Arrested mental development”?? That is pure psychological projection. The alarmist crowd cannot win the debate by using honest terminology, so they distort the meaning of words. No wonder they run and hide out from any real debates – which they invariably lose. The whole CAGW edifice is based on unscientific BS, from pal review to models to UN/IPCC horse manure.

  141. Yes gnomish, you have certainly proven that statement.
    ———–
    unlike clothes or titles, smart can’t be counterfeited well enough to pass scrutiny.

  142. @- Smokey says:
    September 27, 2011 at 3:52 am
    “Wrong. Words have meanings….”

    Yes of course they do….
    Just not fixed, absolute and singular meanings!

  143. Izen, deconstructing your arguments is child’s play.

    The closer a word is to having a ‘fixed, absolute and singular meaning’, the more useful the word is.

    But what you want are post-normal science words which, like Humpty Dumpty’s words, mean whatever you want them to mean. That’s the only way you can win an argument. However, this is a science site, not a fantasy blog, where you should probably be posting your meaningless words.

  144. “The idea that a word can HAVE a absolute precise definition is always the sign of an arrested mental development!”

    nice job, izen – you delivered the anti-intellectual manifesto in a single sentence. have you been able to convince your children of it? what about other people’s children? most effective if you start on them when they are just learning to speak, btw. it’s a root exploit- you must cripple a human’s cognitive ability before it really develops, as you know, or else critical thinking can happen.

    care to explain the real nature of your objection to absolutes? are you on the verge of insisting there are absolutely no such things?

  145. This/ these discussions are very reason i love this blog. And the premise is most certainly a fun however the inital dicussion is plagued by problems of definition. Firstly what is ‘Science’ and then what is ‘antiscience’? If science is ‘a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.’ Then anti-science must be the belief in unknowable, untestable explainations for the universe. A disbeleif in the face of results contradictory of said tests could also construe being anti-sceince on one level but this must not be confused with healthy skepticism on another. A beleif in god, could therefore seen as antiscience, but then a beleif in something being harmful (such as low level rediation) against all contrary evidence could be seen as antisceince until such time as this beleif is empriically proven. Im not saying I beleive that low level radiation is harmful to human life but sceince would be the lesser without the sceptics and the heretics, i would go so far as to say sceince relies upon heretics to move forward, like the guy who proved ulcers were causedby bacteria in the gut or einstein himself (who may be in the process of being empirically undermined as we talk). So, some antisceintists are indeed sceintists in that they are neccessary to sceince. (if i could spell the word it would help) and THATS the easy part.
    In the UK we have a very different view upon the Left/ Right political spectrum than you in the US, with some of what you call ‘liberals’ over here seeming more like what I would regard as freemarket rightwingers. This only demostrates the uselessness of the left/right political spectrum in describing political beleif and discourse. It was after all invented to describe one french parliament of the 17th century. i would advocate adherence to something more like the hans slomp projection which uses cross combination of four terms Authoritarian, Libertarian, Right and Left as more specific, but even this has difficulties in placing any given individual and would face similar problems in descriptive power against the US/ UK example i gave earlier. To then supplant beleifs about sceince upon all this is just plain confusing. And im pretty sure the ‘right’ didnt have a monopoly on religious conviction last time I checked.
    For the record im a socialist libertarian atheist who is sceptical about the impact of climate change but wants to be innoculated against low level radiation.

  146. izen says:
    September 27, 2011 at 3:35 am

    The idea that a word can HAVE a absolute precise definition is always the sign of an arrested mental development!

    Then what conclusion are we to have about the semantical systems that we have devised and use in order to give a single meaning to a word in its usage? Natural language is built upon morphemes, the least common denominator of words. For example the bound morpheme “non” conveys only one meaning. For it to convey more than one meaning makes it useless in the construction of words. Does the fact that we have over the years added more such morphemes in language mean we, as a species, are headed towards arrested mental development?

    In communications the speaker and the listener (or writer and reader) understand the same syntactical and contextual rules. The more precise the communications must be, the more selective the words and semantical rules. In science the meanings of words must be more precise than say construction work. As such, the scientist will carefully choose the word and the context of its usage to convey exactly one precise definition. Are we then to say that scientists are more developmentally arrested than construction workers?

    Going further, how many meanings a word can have is language dependent. In English, we use some 180,000 commonly spoken words. Spanish speaking individuals use almost 320,000 commonly spoken words. For this reason, Spanish words have fewer meanings – one of the reasons I enjoy reading poetry in Spanish. Are we to say that on this basis, the Spanish are more arrested in their development than the English?

    Finally, in our advanced learning we had to invent languages where words can have only one precise meaning, syntactical rules are rigid, and there exists no contextual rules. It’s called computer languages. Mathematics is another such invention. That we saw the need to invent such languages to convey more complex meanings, does it suggest we are becoming more developmentally arrested? No, the logic of language works against your assertion.

  147. muy bien dicho Hank.
    another nice thing about spanish is that subjunctive tense is alive and well – so it’s hard to be ambiguous about what is a fancy and what is a fact.

    ( straying slightly off topic…)
    did you know about king sejong’s invention, hangul?
    the original characters were actually maps of tongue, lips and teeth in the position to pronounce the characters. a child could learn to read in a day.
    o.t., i know, but it was really brilliant.

  148. ooh- Hank – did you notice that if you transliterate spanish it comes out almost chaucerian english?
    i know, o.t., again…

  149. “Wow, such prodigious writings!”
    The scope of my writing is that God may be known by the physical world, by all of science. Obviously, if I am talking about all of science, I should at least mention some of it, and post links to it, which I did (try clicking some of them to see). The entire universe and the science of it cannot be a small subject, and this is the very edited and chopped version.
    “I agree with your quote of Romans, but I don’t agree with the interpretation. It states all that is necessary is already shown.”
    Look at it again, really LOOK, look at the very specific wording, and the order of those words, lets see the context:
    Rom 1:18 Some guyz are bad and they are gonna git whats comin’ to em. Ah, but perhaps they have an excuse, you say, perhaps they do not know, even cannot know, that there is a God, and that thus they may be doing wrong and may be punished. After all, how can they know of the existence of an invisible, extra dimensional being? Good question, answered in…
    Rom 1:19 Ah, but they do know, God has shown then. But, you say, God is invisible, how can they be shown something that they cannot see?
    Rom 1 :20 Gods existence and qualities, even though God is pointedly stated here to be invisible, are clearly seen from that which is made and is visible, as specifically contrasted here to Gods invisibility. Well, what is “that which is made? Look around you, can you see anything, as in “clearly seen” that qualifies as “that which is made”, things that are “visible”? It further qualifies it by stating “from the foundation of the world”, thus including ALL the things that are visible, are “made”, can be “seen”, and have existed throughout all of time to the beginning of that time. Thus, it is clearly stating here that Gods invisible qualities and existence can be seen by the entire visible universe.
    Rom 1:21-22 But, we are fallible and prone to error, how will we be able to see what the physical world, “the things that are made’, the visible, material world, shows about God? After all, we may decide we don’t want to see God, and therefore don’t want to look too closely at the physical world, and see what it tells us. We may become vain in our imaginations, may think ourselves wise, yet become fools.
    Soooo, what method is there to accurately see what the physical world is really like, especially all the way back to “the creation of the world’, despite human fallibility? May I suggest “The Scientific Method”, specifically designed to get at the truth of what is or is not true about the physical world despite the acknowledged fact that human beings are prone to error and even lying to themselves or others about this physical world (hence, this site). And when we look at this universe all the way back to “the creation of the world”, specifically, the big bang, we see a very odd thing. That is, that a big bang should not be able to create a universe such as this one, in fact, science says that this universe is so very VERY unlikely to be created by a big bang that they now have to invent an infinite number of universes (all invisible since we cannot detect them) to get around the fact that otherwise, we are forced to conclude that it was created by an infinitely intelligent being. Such luminaries as Steven Hawkins admit that this entire universe, especially all that big bang stuff, sure makes it look like there is a God, however, he then goes on to state that it is the job of scientists to try and explain that away (and since when did that become the job description of scientists, I thought they were to concentrate on the physical world, not religion one way or the other?). His and others method to try and explain how this universe can come from a big bang necessitates their “infinite universes”, for which there is not the slightest evidence. Thus, they substitute for God invisible magical universes, magical because somehow things can happen there that cannot happen here, and they can suddenly spring into being by methods we know nothing about and cannot test even if we think we do. Example, the very very low entropy state at the moment of the big bang, which is so very unlikely that it has been given the chance to happen randomly as one chance in 10*10*123, a number so big that it essentially makes it impossible. Creating more (invisible, imaginary) universes to solve this problem does not help, as the universe that this one sprang out of would then have to start at an even lower state of entropy, and thus be even more unlikely than this one. And it gets worse if you add even more universes. Hence why I say “magical” universes, universes where things somehow are said to happen that we can prove are impossible, and yet are now said to be not just happening once, but over and over, and sequentially. Basically the old argument of turtles all the way down http://theolarch.tripod.com/turtle.html
    So, to replace an invisible, magical God, these scientists, who are against the invisible and magical, first admit that, yes, the universe sure does look like it could only be made by just such a God, and then invent multiple invisible, unproven and improvable universes (thus departing from the scientific method and going into the realm of fantasy and, dare I say it, perhaps even religion), and not only that, magical ones at that, where things can happen that we can prove, scientifically, are not possible. So we have the choice, the idea God, which cannot be proven directly to not exist, or the idea of magical universes, where things happen what we can prove are impossible. When we have eliminated the impossible, whatever is left, however unlikely, must be the truth.

    And a question, an object at rest will tend to remain at rest unless acted on by an outside force, right? So there was this pre big bang singularity, what made it go bang, what was that outside force? Outside what? And do you know what the universes initial “low entropy state” means? It means that the universe contained information. So, now we have a force, outside this universe, which acted on this universe as the outside force, and contained nearly infinite information. What does that sound like to you?

    Faith and belief in God’s grace are the requirements to Christianity. While endeavoring to find answers to questions to satisfy people that won’t listen anyway may be a lofty goal, it isn’t required.
    Incorrect:
    1 Pet 3:15 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
    Note what it says, “always”. This is a command, therefore it IS required. It is basically the same as Jesus’ “great commission”, also a command. Note also the word REASON (not just emotionally, what REASONS you have to believe this stuff). Note also the “gentleness and respect” part, if they don’t want to hear it, you are not to beat them over the head with it. Present it, and they can take it or leave it. If they “won’t listen anyway”, that is not your concern, they asked, you answered, and you at least have done what was required of you. Go to someone who will listen, who actually wants the answer to their question, instead of a liar who may ask a question but does not really want to hear the answer, which makes their very questioning a lie.

  150. gnomish
    What is “anti-science” about religion?

    First, what is anti, to begin with? Well, if we are anti science, shouldn’t we be against science? One might call it non science, but that is a very differtent kettle of fish than calling it anti-science. There are things that scientist say now, but cannot prove, is that also anti-science? I see no evidence that religion is itself anti science simply because they may or may not be able to prove any of it. To actually be anti-science, you would have to be anti, against, science, to actively oppose it. Simply saying something which science may (currently) not be able to prove is not active opposition.

    Note, also, at least for the Christian religion, it itself is based on evidence that they say is, in fact, evidence, Acts 4:20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”. And, they further go on to say that there is even now extant evidence http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shroud_of_Turin http://castroller.com/podcasts/FocusOnThe/1415285 , in case you decide to automatically discount the original eye witness accounts (despite not being able to prove your assertion, which would make you anti-science, right?).

    one of the distinguishing characteristics of religion is belief in an afterlife, right?
    science is the process of verifying a logical proposition.
    the statement ‘death is (everlasting) life’ is a logical self contradiction.
    therefore a basic tenet of religion is anti-science.

    Uh, your argument was one wee little problem, at least in regards to the Christian religion. The Chrsitian religion does not deny death of the body. In fact, it admits that death is, well, death, bleedin’ demised, is no more, is an ex person http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vuW6tQ0218 (sorry, got carried away there). In other words, it say, yes the BODY dies. However, it then says that this thing called a soul, the software if you prefer to the bodies hardware, gets saved, in much the same way you might save software by transfering it to a new computer if the old one dies. This soul (or more specifically spirit) is said to be essentially the same sort of extra dimentsional being as God, also called a spirit, and thus, not being material, cannot die. However, it freely admits that the body can and does die. Thus, one can be dead, even very dead, bleedin’ demised, oh, sorry, there I go again, anyway, they can be both dead one way and “alive” in another. Their hardware, their body, can die, while their software, their soul (their “you-ness”) can continue to exist, although in another form. Thus to say that “death” and “everlasting life” are a contradiction is to ignore the fact that they are in fact two different and sperate catagories, the first talking about the physical body, the second one NOT talking about the physical body. And that is not even mentioning people who have died on the operating table and been revived and then reported going to heaven, or hell…

    Your argument here is basically assuming that “life” and “eternal life” are the same thing and can be compared, and thus one must be the opposite of the other. This is known in logic as the fallacy of:
    Bad Analogy:
    claiming that two situations are highly similar, when they aren’t. For example, “The solar system reminds me of an atom, with planets orbiting the sun like electrons orbiting the nucleus. We know that electrons can jump from orbit to orbit; so we must look to ancient records for sightings of planets jumping from orbit to orbit also.”
    Or, “Minds, like rivers, can be broad. The broader the river, the shallower it is. Therefore, the broader the mind, the shallower it is.”

    a proposition which can not be falsified, such as an invisible supernatural entity that’s omniscient and omnipotent and wants to be friended on facebook, is not to be accepted as true.
    accepting as true, that which is not susceptible to verification at all – that’s anti-science.

    You call it anti-science, you say we should eccept this definition, why?? Why should we just accept your definition, simply be cause YOU say it? Do you realise what you are doing? You are reverting to the pre scientific way of thinking. In that method, to “prove” whether something was true or not, you invoked the authority of some famous old dead greek guy, and what was considered “true” was the winner of an argument who could “prove” that their famous old dead greek guy was more famous and more to be beleived. Deciding what was true was thus more tricks of rhetoric and clever speaking than actual evidence of any type. So, in this age of science, why should we buy your definition of “anti-science”, simply because YOU said it? The only way I can beleive it simply because YOU said it is if you can prove that EVERYTHING you say is true, that you are, in fact, all knowing. So, when we really look at it, your argument is this:
    There is no God.
    And you should beleive me because…
    I am God.
    Well, sorry, you just told me that you don’t exist, so I don’t have to beleive you.
    Religion requires faith. faith means belief because of no proof. that is anti-science.

    Well, lets look at this, another typically unsupported statement which we are to believe simply because you said it, to accept your word on faith, despite the fact that to do so would be “anti-science”. Scientists looking at the big bang, specifically Steven Hawkins, admit that the big bang cannot result in a universe like this one except in a very very unlikely coincidence, so unlikely that the only scientific way to explain it is to say that it must have been planned. So, to get around the necessity of believing in a God, which we know Steven Hawkins does not want to do (he having said so), he and others have invented a way around this, saying that there are an infinite number of universes, thus thinking that they will thus get around the problem of needing a God for this one. However, there is not a smidgeon of evidence for any of these universes, zip, zilch, zero, nada. Soooo, Steven Hawkins is anti-science, right? Since he and other “scientists” (can they still be called that?) believe this without proof, they must be using blind faith, right? So, to get rid of religion, they invent yet another religion??
    So we are left with this, according to scientists:
    The big bang created a universe like this one, which says that there must be a God, the evidence, the entire universe, which we can see.
    The big bang created a universe like this one, which says that there must be an infinite number of universes, which we cannot see, the evidence, the evidence…well, we have to admit, there isn’t any.

    And finally, not really on topic, but you brought it up, Anton Lavey and his “clever” writing? He is a Satanist, as a Satanist, obviously, he must believe in Satan, right? But where is there a source to say that there even is a Satan? Well, the bible. So Anton Lavey must believe the bible. If he does, and he must to even believe that there is a Satan, he will read in that bible that Satan is a liar and, ultimately, a loser. So Anton Lavey is against God even though he must believe in the bible to believe in Satan, and he follows Satan who is said to be a liar and a loser. And I am supposed to think his writing will be clever when he states that he follows a liar and a loser?? Or, perhaps he is following what he knows to be a purely imaginary Satan, well, if he knows what he is following is false, I am supposed to believe him?

    As far as I can see, he espouses “personal freedom and individualism”. Well, why would one have to give that up simply to believe in God? After all, I believe in other things, things that I have evidence for, if I see evidence that there is a God, and further evidence of which God it specifically is, am I free to, you know, go with the evidence? How would doing that cause me to lose my “personal freedom and individualism”? Am I not free to believe things that have been proven true? If I chose to not believe in things that have been proven by science, am I not being “anti-science”?

    I see no reason, simply because you believe in God, to give up the ability to think critically, even about God. In fact, I see no reason why you should not even, dare I say it, question God. I believe that if you do, you will get something many don’t expect.
    Answers.

  151. ” another typically unsupported statement which we are to believe simply because you said it, to accept your word on faith”
    it seems we agree on the definition of faith, at least- accepting unsupported statements as truth.
    happily enough, you also seem to agree that it is not required to choose faith. given that faith must not depend on reason, do you consider it virtuous for a person choose against reason?
    (indeed- do you not consider faith The Primary Virtue?)

    this thing you have about appeal to authority- plz note that i’ve cited none for logic requires no man to vouch for it. whereas, if you forgo your appeals to authority, what do you have left?

    when i define a term i use, you should accept my definition as the meaning of the word when i use it. feel free to make your own meaning clear by defining your terms.
    it’s really hard to be confusing that way – if your purpose were not to confuse.

    anti- is a prefix meaning ‘against’. a synonym is contra-. the word ‘contradict’ derives from words that mean ‘speak against’ which means repudiate. anti-science is that which contradicts abstraction of truth by means of logic and experiment which is science.

    those ‘commands’ you speak of- this is some supernatural authority issuing the ‘command’?
    you say it requires obedience?
    obedience is to substitute the judgement of another for your own – it’s a default of reason – that’s anti-scientific. it’s worse. for a creature who depends on reason for his survival, obedience is a way to repudiate his own nature. can you picture a bird struggling to rip off his own wings? a creature that contradicts its nature receives the name ‘monster’.

    i’m certainly not certified as any authority – i’m not even peer reviewed like the bible is.
    i’ve never issued any commandments, for sure. i merely know what i know.

    you know, halloween is coming up. kids will dress as ghosts and devils and witches and try to scare people. are they satanists?
    lavey was an entertainer like billy graham. he yanked the same chains – but in the opposite direction. he believed in giving a show.

  152. Forgive me for coming 4 days late to this party I hope the topic not too stale.

    As an engineer I’m always curious and a bit befuddled when I’m told that because of my religion I’m defacto ‘anti-science’. That a belief that God created man in his image somehow invalidates my analysis of a given data set. Never mind that so called ‘Creationism’ didn’t prevent or even arguably delay the discoveries of Louis Pasteur, epidemiology, penicillin, and the like.

    Please understand, I’m empirical by nature, an experimentalist. I’ll prove it myself. How then can I be a ‘man of faith’? After all, as gnomish posited:

    “religion requires faith. faith means
    belief because of no proof. that is
    anti-science.”

    Forgive me if this was addressed earlier, but gnomish doesn’t understand what faith is or how someone gets faith.

    From the source documents we find:

    Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    As Tonto might say, “Where does it say ‘no proof’ white man? ” Faith IS the substance, faith IS the evidence. One exercises faith because faith is an action word.

    I can, an have, used the Scientific Method on the hypothesis of the existence of a Supreme Being. I put ‘Christianist mythology’ to the test with my skeptical eye. The test subject was me, and I injected the serum into my veins. I tested prayer, scripture study, and living the Gospel the best I could. I will unambiguously testify that my data (evidence) of things not seen is an unequivocal yes, He lives. I have complete faith in that.

    Just because I can’t see God doesn’t mean I can’t SEE how He’s blessed me & my family. Just because I haven’t touched the Resurrected Christ doesn’t mean I can’t FEEL Him touch me & my family. And my list of data (blessings) could go for pages. I have thus published my results, and if anyone wants access to my faith based data archive send me an FOI request. ;-)

    However, as a good engineer I must point out that faith (and by extension belief & testimony) are intensely personal/individualistic results. Therefore the data is non-transferable/applicable to others. I can & will witness to it’s veracity, but each individual must verify/prove the hypothesis by doing the experiment for themselves.

    The idea that any given science factoid proves or disproves the existence of God is laughably absurd. Faith is fundamental, Ephesians 2:8 For by grace ye are saved though faith…
    Hence, a deterministic knowledge of Him is not going to happen, that will only occur through faith.

    Lastly I’d like to talk to the source document we’ve been referencing. Remember, the Bible of Judeo/Christian tradition is NOT a science book, and it’s NOT a Political Science reference. What we know as the Bible is a compilation of religious texts to document God’s dealings with his children on earth. That’s it. Anyone that tries to justify or rationalize this or that science theory is just fooling themselves.

    I feel pretty confident in saying that God did not look for a PhD in Astrophysics to author Genesis. Obviously the author had no knowledge of celestial mechanics, and to him a black hole was a deep hole in the ground. The author is describing events the best way he can given his experience and knowledge that what’s important is the religious. Come’on folks, think critically, not dogmatically!

    By having faith I know I’m a better engineer because I know we humans don’t know everything. I have faith in God, all others bring data. And a computer model is not data, it’s a simulation. Just sayn’…

  153. Legatus says:
    September 27, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I would implore you to re-examine the meaning of the verse, I Peter 3:15.

    That we are able to adequately and rationally explain some of God’s wondrous ways founded in sound science and theory isn’t what gives us Hope. Our cause for Hope is Christ’s victory over death and God’s Grace to share this gift with mankind. It is this that is the basis of our Hope. And this is the instruction of Peter.

    Legatus, this has been most interesting. I thank you for sharing your thoughts on some of the passages. Perhaps we can pick up this conversation in another time or another place.

    James

  154. Sparkey said:
    “Forgive me if this was addressed earlier, but gnomish doesn’t understand what faith is or how someone gets faith… I injected the serum into my veins.”

    is that you algore? that’s quite the relattsio.
    your references now include Tonto and Quien.No.Sabe?

  155. There’s silliness in the exchanges reported in this thread.
    Certainly climate alarmists are almost always environmentalists, and environmentalists often believe Marxist economic presumptions as well as the various irrational notions chronicled in the book “Higher Superstition: the academic left and its quarrel with science”.
    But many environmentalists are religious – for example, Elizabeth May, “leader” of the Green Party of Canada is studying to be an Anglican Minister. (Apparently common in the Anglican Church of Canada to be environmentalist, and neo-Marxist. I forget the name of the US sect that is equivalent.) And keep in mind that many religious people have odd notions of how to acquire knowledge, such as “discernment”.
    I’d expect many skeptics of AGW etc. are in the more fundamentalist Christian category, but other individuals are definitely not religious – notably Objectivists. (Alex Epstein, Keith Lockitch, and Yaron Brook come to mind as public speakers on energy and environment, there are many others.)
    I think there are a few skeptics who are racist, which is an irrational position. (Of course many alarmists are fundamentally against human life.)

  156. Sparkey says:
    September 28, 2011 at 10:24 am
    The idea that any given science factoid proves or disproves the existence of God is laughably absurd. Faith is fundamental, Ephesians 2:8 For by grace ye are saved though faith…
    Hence, a deterministic knowledge of Him is not going to happen, that will only occur through faith.

    You are confusing faith and belief here, the devil beleives in God, but he certianly does not have faith. It is indeed possible to aquire a BELIEF in God from a “science factoid “, faith is another matter. This is also in answer to James Sexton’s latest post.

    It is stated in Rom 1:20 that the visible world DOES show that there is indeed a God, “so that they are without excuse”. Now, you say you believe the bible, well, do you beleive Rom 1:20? You either believe this stuff or not, if you do, you believe Rom 1:20, which directly contradicts this statment “the idea that any given science factoid proves or disproves the existence of God is laughably absurd”. I have already covered Rom 1:20 and it’s context above, I suggest you look there. The idea that the nessissary existance of God cannot be shown by science is just jargon, it has no basis in fact. I mean, ask yourself, where did you get that idea? What sort of backing does it have, is it just “everybody knows”? The question I am asking is, how do you KNOW this? If you say “well, I just know it”, ask yourself, am I all knowing, or does my “knowing” something make it true simply because I “know” it? Simply ask yourself why you “know” this, and ask yourself what is the basis of that belief, I suspect you will find that there is no real basis that you can find.

    “I feel pretty confident in saying that God did not look for a PhD in Astrophysics to author Genesis. Obviously the author had no knowledge of celestial mechanics, and to him a black hole was a deep hole in the ground. The author is describing events the best way he can given his experience and knowledge that what’s important is the religious. Come’on folks, think critically, not dogmatically!”

    I am thinking critically, simply read the text. Where did Moses get the ideas he wrote in Genesis, was he an eyewitness to these events? No, of course he was not, using, actually using, critical thinking says of course he could not be 4.5 billion years old. Well, then, where did he get the idea, folklore? How could there be such folklore since non one else was present to witness those events either? And yet it accuratly describes the big bang, planatery formation, evolution in the correct order, and other verified facts, therefore we cannot say it is just folklore http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/genesis1.html . However, we can see, if we READ THE TEXT, that Moses spoke to God directly in his tent. Now God WAS an eyewitness, hence, the problem of it’s accuracy is solved. And if God is going to tell him about this, what will he tell him, some untrue fable, or the truth (in simplified form obviously, I doubt there is room for all the physics or math)? There is no reason at all for God to not tell Moses the simple truth here. Moses did not need to have a PhD, he simple needed to be able to write what God told him, hear the words, write the words, simple, a child could do it. Or do you think he just dreamt all that stuff up out of his imagination, made up a fable or story (somehow dreaming up a scientifically verified fable, odd that)? If you beleive that, well, than that statement about your faith is false, and your faith has no basis in fact. “The author is describing events the best way he can given his experience and knowledge” is, using critical thinking, obviously a false statement, Moses had no experience or knowledge of the big bang, planatery formation, evolution, or any of that, and yet he wrote about it.

    Therefore, your statements here show that you have not actually read the text, and then applied critical thinking to it, you are, in fact, simply expressing dogmatic opinions. You would do well to ask yourself “where did these opinions come from, how did I come to beleive them, why do I beleive they are true?”. THAT is called CRITICAL THINKING.

  157. gnomish says:
    September 27, 2011 at 11:22 pm
    ” another typically unsupported statement which we are to believe simply because you said it, to accept your word on faith”
    it seems we agree on the definition of faith, at least- accepting unsupported statements as truth.

    We do NOT agree on that definition. It is very possible to have faith in something that IS supported. I have faith that when I flip the switch, the light will come on, that is very defiantly a supported faith. The Christian religion at least (other religions differ) specifically states that it IS a supported faith, supported by eyewitness accounts and by the facts of the visible universe and this world. It is specifically stated, for instance, that if a real live Jesus who was killed very very dead did not then come back to life and was witnessed by many to have done so, then the entire faith is unsupported and is in vain. You should also note that there is at least some difference between belief and faith, it is possible to believe that there is a god without putting your faith in that god. It is possible to believe in a god, what you do about that is where faith comes in. This latter is more of a biblical definition of faith, and may not be what you mean by faith.

    happily enough, you also seem to agree that it is not required to choose faith. given that faith must not depend on reason, do you consider it virtuous for a person choose against reason?
    (indeed- do you not consider faith The Primary Virtue?)

    The Christian faith, at least (other faiths differ) states the exact opposite. It states that it is entirely supported on reason, on witnessed facts, and that without those facts it is entirely groundless. Paul said to “give a REASON for the hope that lies within you”, note the word REASON, you cannot give them something you do not have. It is NOT virtuous to choose against reason. Also, if you choose against reason, then you have no basis to believe the Christian religion, which is entirely based on reason from observed facts. Faith is stated not to be the primary virtue, it is stated that if you have faith to move mountains, but do not have love, you are nothing. Of course, that includes love of God, which requires reason-from-fact based faith that God exists, of course.

    this thing you have about appeal to authority- plz note that i’ve cited none for logic requires no man to vouch for it. whereas, if you forgo your appeals to authority, what do you have left?

    Well…science. Science tells me about the big bang. The big bang tells me that this universe started at such a low state of entropy that it is impossible to have done so unless it was planned that way (as does the anthropic principle, evolution from non living matter, etc). Therefore, reason based on science, tells me there is a God, and even tells me which one it must be (the others are not supported by these facts). Therefore, it is possible to believe in God the authority, not based on direct “appeal to authority”, but based on science and reason from observed and eye witnessed facts.
    Logic may need no one to vouch for it, but the underlying premises on which you base your logical statements do. If the premise is false, it doesn’t matter how correct the logic is.
    Also, note that some people may have faith in God, but not do so based on scientific facts. Just because they believe something in a non fact based way does not automatically make it not true, any more than my believing that the light will come on if I flip the switch will not be true if I know nothing about electricity.

    when i define a term i use, you should accept my definition as the meaning of the word when i use it. feel free to make your own meaning clear by defining your terms.
    it’s really hard to be confusing that way – if your purpose were not to confuse.

    I will only accept that your definition is your definition, I do not see, nor have you given me reason to see, why I should just change my definition of a word to what you wish it to be. Or are you claiming now that I should “appeal to authority”, in this case, you, for my definition of the word, is that not illogic, unreason, anti-science? I feel perfectly free to state that your definition is a false one, and the reasons why. Or am I now to give up reason?

    anti- is a prefix meaning ‘against’. a synonym is contra-. the word ‘contradict’ derives from words that mean ‘speak against’ which means repudiate. anti-science is that which contradicts abstraction of truth by means of logic and experiment which is science.

    There are religions that are, indeed, anti-science, they state that you must have faith, unsupported, in everything. Christianity is not one of them, being a religion that specifically states that it is entirely fact based. Therefore you can be said to be partially correct, SOME faith (based on some religions) is anti-science, but not ALL.

    those ‘commands’ you speak of- this is some supernatural authority issuing the ‘command’?
    you say it requires obedience?
    obedience is to substitute the judgement of another for your own – it’s a default of reason – that’s anti-scientific. it’s worse. for a creature who depends on reason for his survival, obedience is a way to repudiate his own nature. can you picture a bird struggling to rip off his own wings? a creature that contradicts its nature receives the name ‘monster’.
    i’m certainly not certified as any authority – i’m not even peer reviewed like the bible is.
    i’ve never issued any commandments, for sure. i merely know what i know.

    Well, lets look at this idea, “supernatural authority”. Scientists tell us that there is really only two possible explanations for this universe coming out like it did, God, a supernatural authority, or there being an infinite number of universes (which latter doesn’t really solve the problem, see my earlier posts). If you have faith in these infinite other dimensions (there being no evidence, that is all you can have), then, in an infinite number of dimensions, there could be other beings. Since they are not part of this nature, they are by definition “supernatural”. Thus, science tells us we can either believe in the supernatural, or we can believe in the supernatural (natures other than this one). Either way, we must believe in the supernatural, and in the latter case, entirely on blind faith. So, do you believe in the supernatural, or the supernatural?
    How is it a default of reason to, by a chain of reason, which tells me that there is a God (from science), which one it is, that that God is, in fact, the authority (having created all the rules, such as the laws of nature), and that therefore it would be wise to listen to that authority? That is not anti-scientific, it is, at it’s core, based on science and fact. To substitute the judgment of someone who has demonstrated that their judgment is always correct is not anti-reason, it is the height of reason. To admit that my judgment, in contrast, is prone to error, that I am not all knowing, is also the height of reason, based on observation and personal experience. Your belief that you CAN base all your judgment on only your own knowledge is anti-reason. And to make a statement such as “i merely know what i know”, is to state that you, yourself, must be all knowing, since you know it simply because it is YOU doing the knowing. Thus you are making the illogical statement:
    There is no God.
    And I know because.
    I am God.

    you know, halloween is coming up. kids will dress as ghosts and devils and witches and try to scare people. are they satanists?

    Nope, just kids having fun. I am able to tell this by reason, by observing them, and by having been them once. Some people who call themselves Christians seem intimidated by anything that might even remotely be called “Satanism”, however, that shows that they don’t know much. In the bible, Satan comes out the loser, and also, God, with infinite power, must therefore be more powerful than Satan. So, if God is on you side, what, exactly, are you intimidated about? Chill out and go out and have fun this Halloween.

    lavey was an entertainer like billy graham. he yanked the same chains – but in the opposite direction. he believed in giving a show.

    He certainly seemed to be an entertainer. I don’t usually choose entertainers as my arbiters of truth. And, unless he can back up HIS statements with proof, they are “anti-science” (by your definition).

    May I point out something?
    The statement “you cannot prove there is a God” may be considered true if you only stick to direct detection of a non material being, which, by definition cannot be detected directly (assumes it did not create a universe and thus leave evidence of it’s existence).
    However, the statement “you cannot prove there is no God” would then also be true.
    Is the latter statement also, then, anti-science?
    Therefore, the only statement science can make about direct (as compared to indirect) detection of God is “we don’t know”.
    Which sometimes is the smartest thing a scientist can say.

  158. Dear Moderators:
    Aren’t the last two posts (“continental free sports” and “Freaky Download (dot com, visit my site)”) the sort of fake likely-auto-generated no-content link-spamming posts you normally just delete?

    (BTW I saw the last one in Recent Comments, wondered why someone was at this old post. Seen this type of late comments on forgotten posts before, seen them deleted too.)

    [well spotted - will investigate ~ac]
    [Fixed. Thanks for the notice. Robt]

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