Science Publisher Calls for Better Communications – But Not of Science

Guest post by E. Calvin Beisner

Alan I. Leshner [Photograph by Colellaphoto.com]

Alan I. Leshner aaas.org

Alan Leshner is worried. It seems scientists are having a hard time getting the public to understand science, and since “Public understanding of science … contributes to the extent of support for scientific research,” something must be done.

Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Executive Publisher of its flagship publication, Science, wrote in a recent editorial, “There is no shortage of topics where policy-makers or other members of the public seem to persistently misunderstand, misrepresent, or disregard the underlying science: climate change, genetically modified foods, vaccines, or evolution, among others.”

Well, I guess two out of four isn’t too bad. I imagine his and my understandings of GMO and vaccines are reasonably alike. But on climate change and (naturalistic macro-) evolution (not to oversimplify and distort), I suspect his conclusions and mine differ dramatically—and I have a feeling that, in question-begging style, he assumes that my conclusions are wrong and his are right, and what’s needed is for him and other scientists to help me understand the science better.

Trouble is (focusing here just on climate change), the better I’ve understood the science on climate change (having read over 40 books on the science and over 30 on the economics, and scores of major papers and thousands and thousands of articles on each), the more convinced I’ve become that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) is false.

In fact, a careful scientific survey found that the more people know about the science, the less likely they are to believe in CAGW.

It seems likely, therefore, that Leshner will be disappointed in the results if scientists do become any better at communicating the science of climate change.

But a careful reading of his editorial suggests that that’s not what he’s really after anyway. After decrying scientists’ ineffectiveness at enlightening the public about the science of climate change, he writes,

Valuable studies have been carried out to discover what determines public attitudes toward science and technology, and some … point to an individual’s ideological views or cultural identity as having greater influence … than an understanding of the facts. Often, simply increasing public knowledge about an issue will not move the debate …. Instead, the way an issue is framed can have a larger effect on people’s views. As a case in point, many people will give more credit to the scientific claims about climate change when the issue is cast as a technological challenge than as a regulatory problem.

(I.e., with regard to that last sentence, if we beg the question of the reality of CAGW and just present people with the technological challenge of how to deal with it, we can avoid the problem of convincing them of its reality in the first place.)

It appears that what Leshner is really after is not better public understanding of science but particular public opinions about climate change and that he would be content to see scientists turn from facts to ideology, cultural identity, and framing to move public opinion on global warming—a dangerous but not uncommon view in our postmodern times, even in the science community, as I discussed in “Wanted for Premeditated Murder: How Post-Normal Science Stabbed Real Science in the Back on the Way to the Illusion of “Scientific Consensus” on Global Warming.”

That this would indeed satisfy Leshner his very next sentences confirm:

Science is complicated and often jargon-laden, so scientists may need help from a ‘translator’ to help tell a story simply and cogently. In doing so, the gist of the message is what matters. Here there is a lesson to be learned from antiscience [sic—note the question begging] forces, who regularly oversimplify science in very effective ways, even when distorting it.

Noting that “people care primarily about things that affect them personally or locally,” he adds, “thus, a useful approach is to determine what matters to a specific audience and seek a way to make the message relevant to them.”

Yes. Like telling kids who like furry polar bears that global warming is driving them extinct; or people on low-lying islands and seacoasts that global warming is driving sea levels upward faster than ever; or biodiversity champions that global warming threatens to drive half the world’s species extinct; or allergy-prone people that global warming’s cause, rising CO2, will cause the pollen that irritates them to multiply (to mention just four such tactics)—when the first three are false and the last is offset by the fact that pretty much all plants will grow better, meaning food will be cheaper.

The fact is, in my constant reading and conversations, I’ve found it far more common for CAGW true believers than critics to oversimplify and even distort the science. It’s the true believers who so readily resort to the claim, “Look, it’s basic physics. Greenhouse gases warm the planet, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, so more CO2 means more warmth.” They’re the ones who don’t like to get into the weeds of quantifying “climate sensitivity,” CO2’s logarithmic warming curve, the sign and magnitude of climate feedbacks, the multiple natural drivers of climate, whether and how much local land use change (especially urbanization) distorts “global” temperature readings, or any number of pesky details that falsify their intuitively sensible but false conclusion. They’ll discuss them, reluctantly, if pressed, but only then.

“Public understanding and support of science and technology have never been more important, but also never more tenuous,” Leshner says. Perhaps he’s right about the support, but I have a hunch public support for “science” (in this context, code for global warming alarmism) is tenuous precisely because public understanding of science is growing—thanks to “climate skeptics.”

E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., is Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, author of three books on environmental science, economics, ethics, and policy, and a member of the AAAS.

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154 thoughts on “Science Publisher Calls for Better Communications – But Not of Science

  1. To many times in my life have I been forced to debate Scientists in many fields and in the end those that support CAGW are chasing GRANT MONEY SO THEY CAN CONTINUE THEIR INCOME STREAM. Universities and NOAA, NASA all depend on grant money or they would be forced to lay off many PhD employees. There are zero private sector jobs for these individuals and they all know that fact. This is why they are so dogmatic.

  2. When it comes to the inability of scientist’s views to be transmitted to the public, Leshner is
    aiming at the wrong folks – it’s not the scientists as much as his fellow publishers of media or print that don’t even know enough about the science they are covering to ask intelligent questions of those scientists. And thoughtful scientists, regardless of their discipline, know that their particular science seldom has sufficient knowledge to enable positive, unequivocal statements, which
    is, of course, what media types are looking for.

  3. There is a host of self-centred and greedy ulterior motives different people have for supporting the AGW paradigm.

    1- For researchers, once a paradigm becomes popular and dominant, it is career limiting to oppose it.

    2- If the climate is presented as something about which governments can make policies, then government money will flow for research. If climate is something that we cannot affect, funding is not going to be as forthcoming.

    3- Plus of course it gives researchers a good feeling to imagine that they’re working to save the world instead of, say, developing a new scent for feminine hygiene products.

    4- Environmentalists see carbon emission control as a means to reduce real pollutants like NOx, SO2, Hg, etc. as a side effect.

    5- Luddites see carbon strangulation as a way of dismantling the industrial economies to force everyone to a much reduced subsistence.

    6- ‘Personal isolationists’ try to use AGW as a way to eliminate big utility companies, with power generated at home from wind, solar, or even car batteries, and even sold to the local grid at retail (or higher) rates.

    7- EU trade isolationists see carbon regulation as a way of increasing the energy cost, and thus decreasing the competitiveness, of North American economies _vis a vis_ EU ones.

    8- Opportunities to use carbon emissions as pretexts to block or heavily tariff imports abound, thus degrading international trade even further.

    9- Local trade isolationists like the idea of overseas products becoming more expensive, and if they can’t do that by punitive tariffs and quotas, they hope to do so by artificially driving up shipping costs.

    10- Various people see Kyoto-type agreements as a way of transferring wealth from developed economies to lesser ones, as our one-time Liberal cabinet minister Stewart once claimed.

    11- Some also envision carbon strangulation as a pretext for involving governments deeply into the economy, via direct and indirect subsidies for energy alternatives that can claim to be ‘green’. Naturally, those who are involved and invested in such industries have their own greed factor.

    12- Believers in Big Government also love the idea of sending governments even more of our money under any pretext, and use carbon taxes as a way to transfer even more money to people in lower income levels.

    13- Some politicians see taking ‘the west’ off oil as a means of removing the dependence the US in particular has on politically uncertain sources.

    14- Other politicans see ‘cap & trade’ or other quota management as a way to direct corruption to their buddies and relatives.

    15- Nuclear energy proponents see carbon strangulation as a way to promote nuclear power.

    16- Some people imagine that energy cost reductions will magically pay for, and even squeeze profit from, expensive carbon control technologies whose payback times are actually measured (when they aren’t just dead costs) in decades.

    17- Opportunistic “businessmen” see the panic of the masses as an opportunity to solicit donations to so-called “non-profit” organizations or to operate carbon credit companies in order to enrich themselves financially.

    18- Financial trading corporations like Goldman Sachs see carbon trading as an opportunity to generate a new financial bubble out of an inexistant commodity (carbon credits) with which to justify huge profits and staggering executive bonuses.

    19- In politics it is generally held far more important to be consistent than it is to be right. Lies and errors about warming are thus propagated further, instead of being squelched, in order to bolster the political optics.

  4. This could be 1499:

    The Malafica Malificarum has been published, and the world is both alerted to the prevalence of witchcraft and its alarming spread. Other authors, like King James I of Scotland, write supportive work. Bishops, mayors and celebrity personalities insist that the non-witchcraft believers are themselves the enemies; lawyers who attempt to defend their clients are themselves persecuted. The word is out: we must explain clearly to the populace the dangers and get their active support in punishing the perpetrators.

    Was there witchcraft? Certaintly there was. Was it significant? With some communities where the devil was a social reality, the “witches” were problematic. Today, is there a problem with fossil fuel plants? Near some coal mines and powerplants, certainly. If temperatures rise by 04C from the extra CO2 in the atmosphere? In places, yes. But like witchcraft, is the danger of CO2 more in the mind and hearts than in their lives of the world? Certainly.

    The liberal, warmist appears to be a humanist without an understanding of history or the nature of personality, passion and proclivity to believing that which has a popular draw. Especially one that identifies an enemy Other. When the enemy Other turned to one’s own family and then, oneself, the witchcraft mania turned on its promoters. We can’t all be the bad guys. So, too, with the CO2 scare: when the Big Oil/Big Coal “Others” expands to include not just the Others who are rich (as it is starting in France with its proposal to tax based on wealth and energy usage) but each of us (as in the UK, where green energy stops the working poor from heating their homes), there will be no one left to be the Other. That is when this foolishness will stop.

    I’m looking forward to the day when Al Gore and Jimmy Swaggart, Harold Camping and Jim Jones are considered in the same league – with the exception of Jim Jones, of course, who took his falsehoods beyond the grave. I don’t see Big Al doing the equivalent, which would be to put all his wealth in anti-CO2 projects To Save the World, because taking yourself as seriously as you want your followers to do is generally not done, even by prophets.

  5. It seems that the more I learn about things, the less seriously I take mainstream academia. That’s where the problem starts… they start to complain and that they have PhD and that we should just listen to them and nothing else. I found out the hard way in my sophomore year in college back in 1995-1996. Nutrition is my main thing so it’s pretty easy one for me to check into. For example, GMO wheat… they seem to do funky stuff to certain people. They send their blood sugar level skyrocket. See Wheat Belly Diet by cardiologist Mike Davis. If you don’t want to get plaque build up in the arteries, avoid wheat based food… There are plenty others that most don’t know about such as traditional cholesterol test being not very accurate and chronic high sugar blood directly responsible for heart disease.

    For vaccines, I’ve spent many hours looking into them regarding autism, etc. It was a few years ago when someone brought up vitamin D deficiency. That made things much more clear… at last for me. I’ve always wondered by why a lot of parents claim that whenever their kids gets MMR shots, they notice that the kids’ health dramatically got worse but it’s only in small percentage so it wasn’t till recently that it was brought up that very low vitamin D deficiency may have had to do with that. Vitamin D is needed for proper immune system function. It has been shown that autism kids and their mothers have severe vitamin D deficiency. One big question… Is widespread vitamin D deficiency responsible for so many vaccines? Sun Scare and Saturated fat and cholesterol consumption scare is just as bad as CAGW, that’s for sure. Ironically, it all started with infant jaundice with my daughter. Turns out that pregnant mothers need much more vitamin D than recommended daily amount. (4000-5000 IU a day for pregnant mothers, for lactating mothers 6000-8000 IU a day; 600 IU a day is what is currently recommended; a cup of milk contains only 100 IU; full body exposure to midday summer sun for causausian gets 10,000-20,000 iu after 15-30 minutes without sunblock lotion ).

  6. These valuable studies are not referrenced to as far as I could see ,I followed the links from the original article, no studies listed.I see a social scientist wondering why propaganda only works in the short term.Proving to my satisfaction that any disipline calling itself science usually ain’t.

  7. I saw the picture to the right before starting to read the article and immediately recognized it as Alan Leshner. I saw him present at a conference held by the EPA 3 years ago. That presentation was such a joke…basically a bunch of propaganda about countering CAGW skeptics and the Intelligent Design movement. The only piece of science that I remember actually being shown in the presentation was the GISS global temp plot…nothing else. That talk of his was actually a major driver for me to start looking into the truth on these sorts of topics. If all the head of the AAAS could manage was a bunch of backbonelesss propaganda, then there had to be serious issues with the science.

    -Scott

  8. It’s really about respect for evidence and science’s core idea: no bullshit.

    People don’t like evidence interfering with their favorite beliefs and will typically find 50 million excuses to ignore the evidence if it does.

    A lot of people can’t handle the truth, they just wanna feel good.

  9. Leshner’s degrees are in Psychology, although his Ph.D. is in physiological psychology so I guess that counts as a real science degree. This may explain his focus on how to get people to be convinced, i.e. his focus on psychology.

  10. The problem for Alan Leshner and his fellow scientists is that taxpayers have been BS’ed for years by true masters of the art, the professional politician.

    Science has no chance as soon as the start spouting opinion and policy in place of facts; it has stopped being science and become politics. With scientists then seen to be as honest as politicians.

  11. The main problem that Leshner and his ilk face is the sheer scale of scientific knowledge itself, quite apart from the range of inevitable disagreements in any given field. If you think back in time to, say, five centuries ago, it was possible for one educated man (pace those of a feminist persuasion, but it was men in those days) to hold in his mind the whole of human knowledge of scientific matters. Nowadays, it is virtually impossible for any of us even to keep fully up to date in our own particular interest, so great is the quantity of data and the variety of possible interpretations of it. To expect non-specialists to comprehend enough to make “intelligent” decisions about which projects are, or are not, worthy of public support is, simply, to ask too much. It just isn’t possible.

    Allied with this – or maybe a direct consequence of it – is another human characteristic, namely the urge of those in power to use any and every lever in their reach to make the “ignorant masses” comply with their orders. Climate science is an obvious example of this, in that the negligible (IMO) effects of carbon dioxide acting to warm the surface of the planet are being amplified by monstrous exaggeration, so as to enable the Powers That Be to acquire a grip on the perfectly natural human requirement for energy and thereby increase their control over what goes on. For primitive societies, energy requirements amounted to little more than a campfire to cook food and animals for transport; for modern technological societies vastly more energy in various forms is required, for heating/cooling our buildings, keeping our transport and economic infrastructure running, ditto our newfound information infrastructure, and, and … By demonising “carbon”, all of this activity is suddenly controllable: it’s too good to ignore for the power-hungry.

    The “precautionary principle” – if there might be an undesirable consequence of some activity, then ban it or control it with an iron rod – is the inevitable result. Few of us are in a position to question the underlying science in any field, and all the PTB need do is to ensure that the media and the scientific world amplify one alarmist view and suppress dissent. Given the ready availability of money at the “top”, this is trivially easy, and the rewards are immense in the amplification of their power. Any scientist who dares mention honest doubt is demonised, and won’t get the money to do the research which might prove him right. Get a few celebs on message, and the “Do As We Say Or You Will Destroy The Earth” message becomes universal in the culture. The PTB approach godhood; the rest become slaves.

    So, Dr. Leshner, if you honestly want to improve science communication and encourage the flow of money into it, you need to start by making the availability of money for research completely independent of what that research shows – no matter that such independence must inevitably (and rightly) decouple science from the politics of control. You need to recast popular media coverage to show the public that all scientific knowledge is more or less tentative, and that there is considerable uncertainty in most fields. You need to re-educate the public, away from simplistic beliefs that A is Good and not-A is Evil and towards the open-minded view that there is infinite wonder and fascination in just “finding things out”, as the excellent Richard Feynman put it. That’s where science came from, and that’s where it must remain: all else is the technology and engineering of putting whatever effects are positively identified to use – and, in that process, to the potential benefit of both the human race and our economy. Should there be genuine ill effects, as inevitably there will be, don’t panic, but admit them, discuss them widely and honestly, and let us work out how best to do something to reduce them. Something will turn up.

    In my own field – electronics – Maxwell started us off by just playing with mathematics. Hertz showed that his equations did, indeed, seem to relate to something real in the world. There followed spark communications, tuned circuits, the generation of stable carrier signals and their modulation with sound, then pictures, AM, FM, radar, digital … meanwhile, the underlying technology moved on from spark gaps to crystals, “firebottles”, semiconductors, chips – and the whole vast electronic infrastructure we enjoy today. Nobody a century or so ago could have foreseen the mindblowing expansion of electronics, yet today we take for granted stuff which would probably have got us burned at the stake in earlier times. Did I mention that it has become a huge sector of the world economy? If scientific research had been confined then to mere confirmation of some preconceived picture of How Things Have to Be, none of this would have happened, and We The People wouldn’t be talking here now, from around the world, about how to communicate science.

    Let the scientists play, as freely as possible. Let the engineers and technicians enjoy improving things and adding “bells and whistles”. Let the public watch, wonder and want to know – and finance! – more, even join in if they have a talent or skill. Then, perhaps, science will flourish and all will benefit. Proceed with caution, sure, but realise that, by definition, we cannot know what is going to turn up next. In short, promote total openness, discard dogma and let’s see what happens. Make science fun, and it will communicate itself.

  12. john robertson at 3:16 pm wrote (in part):

    “I see a social scientist wondering why propaganda only works in the short term. Proving to my satisfaction that any disipline calling itself science usually ain’t.”

    I read a persuasive short article that claimed that the word “social” negated the word that it modified, such as “social worker” and “social science”. The word “climate” is taking on some of these characteristics, such as “climate scientist”.

    IanM

  13. Gees, another darn phylospher/ psychologist..

    Lewindowsky Mk II

    Hint.. Learn some science, maths, physics etc…… then get back to us in a few years. !!

  14. LinkedIn: Rosalind Pidcock: Science Writer – University of the West of England
    I currently write news articles and special reports on emerging areas in science and environmental research, as part of several European Commission projects. I also write freelance, most recently for BBC online and AAAS Science Careers.
    I am also a freelance copy editor, specialising in the preparation of primary scientific and medical research papers for journal submission…
    April 2011 – Present (1 year 7 months)
    Researching and writing regular news articles, features and reports for Science for Environment Policy – a free European Commission news service for researchers and policymakers.

    http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/rosalind-pidcock/38/758/a75

    since David Rose’s Daily Mail/Met Office article appeared, virtually no MSM has covered the story, but all the usual suspects get prominence in google searches attempting to debunk what the Rose article reported and the Met Office, Phil Jones and Judith Curry agreed on.

    on “The Carbon Brief” website, Roz Pidcock points to the following – ThinkProgress, Guardian, SkepticalScience, Media Matters, Bob Ward, Potholer – in an attempt to debunk the Met Office’s own data. only one comment below the article:

    19 Oct: Carbon Brief: Roz Pidcock: This week’s top six rebuttals to David Rose’s “warming has stopped” claim
    COMMENT: Terrible Carbon Brief. These are a collection of ad hominem attacks – potholer for instance doesn’t even look at the technical details of the graph, and why don’t you quote Judy Curry who writing in her blog says that the Guardian’s analysis is shallow, or that in their blog the Met Office actually agreed with David Rose.
    Shallow, partisan, biased, uninformed, one-sided. Judy Curry is right – you ought to raise your game, though I don’t suppose many people read this anyway.

    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2012/10/this-weeks-top-six-rebuttals-of-david-roses-warming-has-stopped-claims

    The Carbon Brief – About Us
    We are grateful for the funding and support provided by the European Climate Foundation. Carbon Brief’s Director, Tom Brookes, is director of the Energy Strategy Centre (ESC) the communications unit funded by the European Climate Foundation (ECF)…
    Christian Hunt heads up Carbon Brief and writes about science and energy in the media. He previously worked as an editor for Greenpeace and as a researcher for the Public Interest Research Centre. He holds an MA in Conflict Resolution, and a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of York.
    Robin Webster covers energy policy and analysis. She holds an MSc in Conservation from University College London (UCL) and previously studied biology at Bristol University. She worked for Friends of the Earth for six and half years, including as a Senior Campaigner on Climate and Energy, and has worked as a freelance environmental researcher…ETC

    http://www.carbonbrief.org/about

  15. Excellent comments above.

    Might I add, I agree with Anthony that the examples he chose are tendentious. The reason that vaccination is widely accepted in the general and scientific community is that it demonstrably works. Not 100%, not in every individual example, but overall. People believe their ‘lying eyes’, not what some charlatan or nutcase with an axe to grind is spouting. That doesn’t mean that vaccination science shouldn’t be kept under a laser beam of scrutiny, as there have certainly been mistakes in the past (and will be in the future).

    The problem with the brand of climate science that he espouses is that it doesn’t ‘work’ in that way, at all. Pretty much every major prediction – accelerating sea level rises, more extreme weather events, even noticeably rising temperatures – has not happened.

    As a long time observer of politics, the sign of a failing government is always that it blames poor communication for its slumping fortunes. As soon as they start talking like that, you know they are on the way out. They have lost the plot, and the battle for hearts and minds.

  16. So the boss of a scientific publication want to imply certainty for a science that only started recently.
    That is very unscientific.

  17. This attempt to colour skeptics as being somehow “defective” is frightening to the core. They want skeptics silenced, whereas I just want them to provide convincing scientific evidence. Evidence that when examined doesn’t have;
    a)-giant gaping holes or umpteen weasel words in it,
    b)-cherry picked time series,
    c)- foreshortened graphs that mislead as to severity of warming,
    d)-ignores other long established evidence (historical records or geologic evidence)

    Why do they so desperately need us to be silenced? History shows that people who want to silence others do not have good things in store for anyone. We are not as civilized or advanced if this is what academia and politics is trying to do. Free speech is more precious and tenuous than many understand.

  18. The premise of the desire to communicate effectively with the public is well-founded. The problem with the current debate is that those who communicate have decided what the message should be, and the spin often loses the “science”. It is sad to see those who are in charge of science groups and organization feel compelled to become the spin-doctors. The most disconcerting aspect of the CAGW issue is that the academies and other “scientific” organizations have taken a position and have been used by those with other agendas to forward political goals. I was most dismayed with recent article on how many major U.S. universities have made the teaching of “sustainable development” a core thread that runs throughout their curriculums. The concept itself is fine, but lends itself to political machinations that completely over-ride the science involved. We used to teach “conservation”, or the wise use of resources. It was done without installing the fear that pervades the same subject matter today. Yet, it involved the same basic principles. Further, it instilled in students the need to continue learning because they were aware of the outcomes of poor management of resources. What is happening today teaches students that we have all the answers and must act now. One can quit learning when they have all the answers.

  19. hard to communicate well when you are too afraid to even state the amount of money involved and WWF is doing the maths:

    20 Oct: AFP: World pledges more money to protect biodiversity
    HYDERABAD, India — Efforts to stem the worrying loss of Earth’s dwindling natural resources received a boost Saturday when a UN conference in India agreed to double biodiversity aid to poor countries…
    No figures were mentioned, but there was consensus among observer groups that a doubling of government biodiversity aid from developed countries to poor ones should yield an annual figure of about $10 billion (8 billion euros)…
    Green group WWF said about $200 billion must be invested in biodiversity every year if the targets are to be met.
    ***”What’s been agreed in Hyderabad represents less than half this number,” it said in a statement and called the deal “disappointing”.
    The conference awarded the next CBD meeting in 2014 to South Korea…

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jfeCvOgAeqWJrFUWU1wbrww7MQMw?docId=CNG.b7dfa8827efa1304946f2c4bf11836b5.e91

    20 Oct: Economic Times: UN meet: Developed countries agree to double funds for biodiversity
    Using a baseline figure of the average annual national spending on biodiversity between 2006 and 2010, developed countries said they would double biodiversity-related international financial flows by 2015.
    According to sources, this means $12 billion would be available every year for biodiversity conservation as against the average $6 billion per annum earmarked between 2006 and 2010…
    However, the task on hand is still huge with India-UK High Level Panel chaired by environmental economist Pavan Sukhdev, estimating that $150 billion to $440 billion per annum is required to meet the targets…

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/environment/developmental-issues/un-meet-developed-countries-agree-to-double-funds-for-biodiversity/articleshow/16888597.cms

  20. “But on climate change and (naturalistic macro-) evolution (not to oversimplify and distort), I suspect his conclusions and mine differ dramatically”

    Ah, that’s because his conclusions are based on the best scientific evidence and yours are based on your ideological and religious beliefs.

    How much, I wonder, do Anthony and the commenters here agree with the statement of the group that Beisner has founded: “We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.” ( http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/ )

    Interesting bedfellows you have! And, to think that people around here object so strongly when I note the obvious connections and analogies between “AGW skeptics” and “evolution skeptics”!

  21. Noting that “people care primarily about things that affect them personally or locally,” he adds, “thus, a useful approach is to determine what matters to a specific audience and seek a way to make the message relevant to them.”

    Yes. Like telling kids who like furry polar bears that global warming is driving them extinct; … or biodiversity champions that global warming threatens to drive half the world’s species extinct; or allergy-prone people that global warming’s cause, rising CO2, will cause the pollen that irritates them to multiply…”

    I think the author caught Leshner with his hand in the cookie jar here. It is a call for focused advertisement to targeted audiences. So if a climate scientist wants to know, “Soooo, what’s your worst nightmare? Got any weaknesses? Any weird phobias?” just don’t answer him.

  22. Alan Leshner needs to more clearly articulate his concern, his worry. The RealClimate blog which is a who’s who of climategate and climategate connected scientists and the media parrots are having a hard time getting people to believe the propaganda message. The real problem, the 1000lb guerrilla in the room, is the science does not support the extreme warming paradigm. That is the reason for climategate. The lack of observational evidence to support the extreme warming paradigm is the reason for the recent attempt to appeal to extreme weather (hot, cold, wet, dry, windy, and so on) as evidence for extreme AGW.

    Sensitivity and Its Implications
    The extreme AGW movement has a significant logical problem and a media message problem. Unaltered data and unbiased analysis does not support the extreme AGW paradigm. Lindzen and others, have unequivocally shown that the planet resists warming due to increased CO2 in the atmosphere by increasing cloud cover in the tropics thereby reflecting more sunlight off in to space, which is called negative feedback. If there is negative feedback as opposed to amplification (positive feedback) a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will result in less than 1C warming. The IPCC have stated that there goal is to limit the planet’s warming due to atmospheric CO2 increases to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 to 2C. Mission accomplished. A doubling of at atmospheric CO2 will result in less than 1C warming.

    http://www.johnstonanalytics.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/LindzenChoi2011.235213033.pdf

    On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications
    Richard S. Lindzen and Yong-Sang Choi
    We estimate climate sensitivity from observations, using the deseasonalized fluctuations in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and the concurrent fluctuations in the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) outgoing radiation from the ERBE (1985-1999) and CERES (2000- 2008) satellite instruments. Distinct periods of warming and cooling in the SSTs were used to evaluate feedbacks. An earlier study (Lindzen and Choi, 2009) was subject to significant criticisms. The present paper is an expansion of the earlier paper where the various criticisms are taken into account. … …We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zerofeedback response thus implying negative feedback. In contrast to this, the calculated TOA outgoing radiation fluxes from 11 atmospheric models forced by the observed SST are less than the zerofeedback response, consistent with the positive feedbacks that characterize these models. ….

    …The heart of the global warming issue is so-called greenhouse warming. This refers to the fact that the earth balances the heat received from the sun (mostly in the visible spectrum) by radiating in the infrared portion of the spectrum back to space. … ….However, warming from a doubling of CO2 would only be about 1oC (based on simple calculations where the radiation altitude and the Planck temperature depend on wavelength in accordance with the attenuation coefficients of well mixed CO2 molecules; a doubling of any concentration in ppmv produces the same warming because of the logarithmic dependence of CO2’s absorption on the amount of CO2) (IPCC, 2007). This modest warming is much less than current climate models suggest for a doubling of CO2. Models predict warming of from 1.5oC to 5oC and even more for a doubling of CO2. Model predictions depend on the ‘feedback’ within models from the more important greenhouse substances, water vapor and clouds. Within all current climate models, water vapor increases with increasing temperature so as to further inhibit infrared cooling.

    Planetary Observations do not support the extreme AGW paradigm.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/10/man-made-global-warming-disproved/

    Observations show major flaws
    1. The missing heat is not in the ocean 8 – 14
    2. Satellites show a warmer Earth is releasing extra energy to space 15 -17
    3. The models get core assumptions wrong – the hot spot is missing 22 – 26, 28 – 31
    4. Clouds cool the planet as it warms 38 – 56
    5. The models are wrong on a local, regional, or continental scale. 63- 64
    6. Eight different methods suggest a climate sensitivity of 0.4°C 66
    7. Has CO2 warmed the planet at all in the last 50 years? It’s harder to tell than you think. 70
    8. Even if we assume it’s warmed since 1979, and assume that it was all CO2, if so, feedbacks are zero — disaster averted. 71
    9. It was as warm or warmer 1000 years ago. Models can’t explain that. It wasn’t CO2. (See also failures of hockey sticks) The models can’t predict past episodes of warming, so why would they predict future ones?

    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/McKitrick-hockeystick.pdf

    What is the ‘Hockey Stick’ Debate About?
    … At the political level the emerging debate is about whether the enormous international trust that has been placed in the IPCC was betrayed. The hockey stick story reveals that the IPCC allowed a deeply flawed study to dominate the Third Assessment Report, which suggests the possibility of bias in the Report-writing… …The result is in the bottom panel of Figure 6 (“Censored”). It shows what happens when Mann’s PC algorithm is applied to the NOAMER data after removing 20 bristlecone pine series. Without these hockey stick shapes to mine for, the Mann method generates a result just like that from a conventional PC algorithm, and shows the dominant pattern is not hockey stick-shaped at all. Without the bristlecone pines the overall MBH98 results would not have a hockey stick shape, instead it would have a pronounced peak in the 15th century. … ….Of crucial importance here: the data for the bottom panel of Figure 6 is from a folder called CENSORED on Mann’s FTP site. He did this very experiment himself and discovered that the PCs lose their hockey stick shape when the Graybill-Idso series are removed. In so doing he discovered that the hockey stick is not a global pattern, it is driven by a flawed group of US proxies that experts do not consider valid as climate indicators. But he did not disclose this fatal weakness of his results, and it only came to light because of Stephen McIntyre’s laborious efforts…. … In other words, MBH98 and MBH99 present results that are no more informative about the millennial climate history than random numbers. …

  23. More Joel Shore projection: labeling WUWT readers as ‘ideologues’. Shore is, and has always been the ideologue. Too bad his boy is going down in flames. ☺

  24. I don’t think it is possible to legitimately claim any “parallel” in discussions on two entirely different sciences at very different stages of development and knowledge.

    Knowledge in the one area commenced with recorded observations and statistical records going back at least three centuries. From that a basic but risky solution evolved, which was in use for almost a century. Statistics of risk and success were researched, recorded and discussed. Further observations led to further experimentation which provided a much better solution with a much more acceptable level of safety. Since then the science has evolved hugely, with a massive amounts of statistical data from controlled trials and epidemiological studies and in almost every situation, responses, protection rates, risks and side effects can be known with reasonable precision.

    In the above case, people who argue against the benefits of ‘the science’ must ignore the vast amount of statistical data and the detailed scientific knowledge of the mechanisms involved.

    On the other hand, with the topic of AGW and climate change, we have a science which has put forward a plausible theory, ‘proven’ it by computer modelling, and is in the early stages of data collection.

    In this second case, people who argue ‘the science is settled, we already know this to be true’ must rely on circumstantial evidence and ignore the fact that little has been proven.

    And that does not lead me to think we should at this stage do nothing, but we certainly won’t benefit from simply acting for the sake of acting.

    If the science is strong enough it will benefit by its discussion and soon enough provide sufficient evidence under the focused gaze of researchers.

  25. I’m here for information.
    How it is processed is beyond my control.

    Synapses can not be reasoned with.

  26. …..But given my background in biological sciences and my understandings of genetics and evolution, the original author and I would likely disagree quite strongly on some other areas of science:

    E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., is Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation,

  27. Actually, Leshner’s idea of “communication” is fear mongering:

    Leshner hyperventilates to all AAAS members in 2007

    date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 04:13:11 -0400 (EDT)
    from: “Alan I. Leshner, CEO, AAAS”
    subject: AAAS Advances

    …..

    Message to Members
    ADDRESSING CRITICAL CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES
    [emphasis added]

    Dear AAAS Member,
    Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, extreme weather is increasing–scientific
    evidence is clear and scientific leadership is critical to dealing with global energy and
    climate problems.

    p.s. Leshner’s warm endorsement of John Holdren’s “tithing” 10% proposal (see email at link), a religious practice being introduced to the AAAS membership, is a reminder that enviro-activists are often religious in orientation, not scientific

  28. D Boehm says

    More Joel Shore projection: labeling WUWT readers as ‘ideologues’.

    So, are you saying that you agree with Beisner’s assessment regarding the science of evolution? Or, does he just happen to be completely off-base on evolution but right about AGW?

  29. Joel Shore writes of: “… God’s intelligent design…”

    Not many people anywhere believe in that kind of stuff, and among those intelligent enough to examine critically the state of ‘climate science’, an even lower percentage.

    The reality remains that the predictions of the CO2 alarmism are simply not coming to pass. Global temperatures are just not rising as CO2 rises, much less at rates that might be seen as alarming.

  30. GlynnMhor says: October 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    “…..There is a host of self-centred and greedy ulterior motives different people have for supporting the AGW paradigm. …..”

    Brilliant post Glynn, and very important.

    Every time I get involved in a debate on this it soon devolves into; “So you think all the world’s climate scientists and governments are involved in a giant conspiracy to …etc…”

    And I always answer; “No, I don’t believe there is a conspiracy at all, or that it wold be possible to make one on that sort of scale. All it takes is a whole lot of parallel self interests which will benefit from the solutions and actions which are proposed”.

    And Glynn lists them all very nicely.

  31. E. Calvin Beisner
    Thanks for shining the light on Alan Leshner’s assertions that foundationally undermine the very science he purports to support. We the People retain the right of nullification – of ignoring or “nullifying” policies or laws contrary to foundational unalienable rights and constitutional protections. Dressing tyranny up in scientific sounding garb does not make it any less tyrannical.

    PS Thanks for the Cornwall Alliance and the articles posted.

  32. GlynnMhor says: October 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    “…..There is a host of self-centred and greedy ulterior motives different people have for supporting the AGW paradigm. …..”

    Brilliant post Glynn, and very important.

    Every time I get involved in a debate on this it soon devolves into; “So you think all the world’s climate scientists and governments are involved in a giant conspiracy to …etc…”

    And I always answer; “No, I don’t believe there is a conspiracy at all, or that it wold be possible to maek one on that sort of scale. All it takes is a whole lot of parallel self interests which will benefit from the solutions and actions which are proposed”.

    And Glynn lists them all very nicely.

  33. Time and time again I have noticed that those who lean to port (in science, politics, or whatever) invariably believe that any and all dissent from their position is due to the failure of the dissenter to comprehend the message.

    The consensus of the anointed who support the position is considered to be an inviolate and unquestionable proof of the fact.

    Once it becomes clear the dissenter is both informed and competent, he or she much be awarded a derogatory label. Favorites are denier, racist, Nazi, etc.

    It’s really, really, tiresome.

  34. There is a big difference between “telling” people that the planet’s temperature is increasing at an accelerating rate and “showing” people that it is. One is propaganda and the other is science. So many of these advocates look for an easy way to do the former without having to do the latter. Either they can’t do it, or they’re too lazy to do the work required. People would believe them if they could provide solid evidence. But they say that waiting until warming becomes obvious to everybody will be too late. They just want us to trust them. But I’m not willing to do that because it’s clear that they want us to believe in the catastrophic nature of global warming whether it’s true or not.

    It’s also clear that many of them (e.g. Hansen, Gore, Mann, etc.) are using global warming as a means to an end — It’s for “the cause” (whatever that is). It makes me very suspicious that they are using global warming as an excuse to thrust extreme environmentalism, global governance, or some other pet cause down our throats. Even for those without a “cause”, if they make their living off government, they will naturally want more of it.

    They want us to believe that the choice is between allowing government, under their expert direction, to do something to stop global warming, or allowing millions to die in warming related catastrophes. If those are my only choices, I still choose the latter. Doing something to stop global warming means placing severe limits on the use of fossil fuels. That is a certain prescription for the death of millions, especially if the climate cools. So until I know that warming will do more harm than good, I’ll place my bet on a warming planet. And rather than spend trillions to stop something that may be unstoppable or may even be beneficial, I’d rather wait and see what happens. Then, if necessary, we can use that money to help us adapt to whatever comes our way. That seems to be a more prudent path than the one people with vested interests want to sell us.

  35. Well markx why don’t you complete the job and look at his book titles as well.

    “Science” has long been dedicated to a paradigm which essentially says that blind chance working through chaos and deep time are the highest laws which give the order we see around us, and on which our lives depend.

    Others believe that the highest laws which govern reality are Good and Truth. These give order as well as a constant, wonderful progress to the material world and to our own lives. Inexorably.

    It is neither unscientific nor irrational to regard the Laws of the Universe differently than we are taught in school. In fact, it is a protected right, enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

  36. markx suggests: “… a plausible theory, ‘proven’ it by computer modelling…”

    Computer modelling tells us about the assumptions and hypotheses built into the algorithms of the models… but models cannot ‘prove’ anything about the real world.

    At best a model whose predictions continue to come to pass means that the underlying science has not been disproved by the comparison.

    In Science, hypotheses make predictions (possibly via model results) and are tested against those predictions.
    When the predictions fail, however, the hypotheses, assumptions and/or algorithms of the models need to be re-examined.

    At present things are so bad with the CAGW hypothesis that what sustains the paradigm is more Political Correctness than actual science.

  37. GlynnMohr@3:12 gives a thoughtful list . Well done.
    Recently I have been thinking about:
    (1) The more science depends upon government funding and approvals the more science will function like government.
    (2) The essence of government is to rule, not to discover.
    (3) We are rapidly approaching (1) in nearly every field.

  38. Joel Shore,

    I am saying that if it were not for psychological projection, you wouldn’t have much to say. You impute your own faults onto everyone else, like a thief believing everyone else is a thief, or a liar believing everyone else is lying.

  39. GlynnMhor says: October 20, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    markx suggests: “… a plausible theory, ‘proven’ it by computer modelling…”

    Glynn, note proven was in inverted commas … we are in agreement…

  40. D Boehm says:

    I am saying that if it were not for psychological projection, you wouldn’t have much to say. You impute your own faults onto everyone else, like a thief believing everyone else is a thief, or a liar believing everyone else is lying.

    In other words, you don’t want to answer my simple question. The author of this article believes certain things about evolution and God that are, as the Cornwall Declaration makes abundantly clear, fundamentally linked to his views on AGW. All I am asking is for you to explain what parts of his viewpoint you agree with and what parts you reject and why, if you reject part of his viewpoint so strongly, you think that it doesn’t fundamentally undermine the rest of what he has to say?

  41. I think Alan Leshner is worried because he no longer controls the dialogue about climate; none of the “climatologists” do. Check out the blog stats for WUWT which currently shows 128,741,735 views. I come here frequently, but I haven’t picked up a copy of Science in years–and don’t plan on it, either–and I’m sure I’m not alone.

    I don’t even bother to check out their site ’cause this is far more interesting. So I think this is audience envy–I’m not sure what Science even talks about nowadays but I bet they haven’t had 128 million readers since WUWT started.

    I also get the impression that Mr. Leshner would use an editorial whip to keep us all on The Path to Climate Enlightenment–his path, if he could. Let’s hope he doesn’t find or isn’t given one.

  42. Zeke says: October 20, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    “Well markx …..”

    Zeke. Thank you for your Viewpoint. Viewpoints I can respect. But there are some I do not necessarily see any logic in, nor agree with.

  43. GlynnMohr says:

    Not many people anywhere believe in that kind of stuff, and among those intelligent enough to examine critically the state of ‘climate science’, an even lower percentage.

    Well, then why publicize the views on climate science of those who do and who in fact explicitly link their views on climate science and intelligent design together? And, you might want to look at the list of the signers of the Cornwell Alliance statement ( http://www.cornwallalliance.org/blog/item/prominent-signers-of-an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/ ), who include such illustrious scientists of the AGW skeptic movement as Roy Spencer and David Legates.

  44. Re: Evolution
    It is possible to have doubts. E.g. Famous atheist Dawkins eventually arrive titled on the premise that alien creators were as likely as random chance. I’m not a fan anymore, but I was for a time. To reach the conclusion that theological creationists are morons, you must begin with the assumption that there is no reasonable creator. Then you must simplify away non-theological creators with philosophical concepts like Occam’s razor. Foresight of the desired result drives trade offs from the start. Let’s stop labeling others stupid because they start with different assumptions.

  45. Joel Shore says:
    October 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm


    Ah, that’s because his conclusions are based on the best scientific evidence and yours are based on your ideological and religious beliefs.

    Oh, baloney, Joel. CAGW is one of the biggest religions on the planet, and one of the best funded! A real scientist, by definition, is a skeptic. Anyone who studies climate and claims otherwise is a religious acolyte of CAGW.

    (You can always tell the worshippers–they hide their data and methodology. Does anyone come to mind?)

  46. Rocky Road says:

    “Oh, baloney, Joel. CAGW is one of the biggest religions on the planet, and one of the best funded! A real scientist, by definition, is a skeptic. Anyone who studies climate and claims otherwise is a religious acolyte of CAGW.”

    Repeated for effect.

  47. Interesting bedfellows you have! And, to think that people around here object so strongly when I note the obvious connections and analogies between “AGW skeptics” and “evolution skeptics”!

    Non-sequitur.

    I am a CAGW skeptic (note the “C”), but I find Evolution plausible. I’m sure on the other side of the fence you have those who don’t find Evolution plausible (or believe strongly in God) but feel CAGW is happening now. One stance doesn’t obviate the other.

  48. Joel Shore says: October 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    “…..Ah, that’s because his conclusions are based on the best scientific evidence and yours are based on your ideological and religious beliefs…..”

    C’mon Joel. You know that is a lazy approach to debate. Just because a man holds some weird, dogmatic, ‘religious’ beliefs in one area does not mean he cannot perceive the scientific evidence clearly in another field.

    In fact, most CAGW proponents show exactly the same kind of belief in dogma, not even taking the reasonable approach of, “Hey, CAGW is one plausible theory, let’s monitor and assess it fully!” Instead, all we get is; “This is a fact, “proven” by …. computer modeling!”

    Followed by; “We must do something! Anything! But we must do it now!”

  49. Joel Shore says:
    Interesting bedfellows you have! And, to think that people around here object so strongly when I note the obvious connections and analogies between “AGW skeptics” and “evolution skeptics”!
    =================================================
    The CAGW enthusiasts use just every available logical fallacy.
    This one is a form of ad hominem fallacy called ‘guilt by association’ as in “My opponent for office just received an endorsement from the Puppy Haters Association. Is that the sort of person you would want to vote for?” (Wiki).
    It’s difficult to fathom whether these fallacies are use cynically (in order to fool the unwary) or they are blissfully unaware of their paralogisms.

  50. Doug Proctor
    Quick point 1499 James IV was King of Scots, later to die at Flodden Field (Flowers of the Forest and all that)

  51. Jeff Alberts says:
    but you must remember Joel is coming from his own deeply held religious belief and in that belief he is as fanatical as the most crazed “christian” zealots.

  52. One good test of any science theory is to see how many paradoxes it contains, as they only occur when wrong assumptions have been made.

    Any single paradox should make the scientific mind start to be suspicious that understanding is incomplete. Multiple paradoxes should make the scientific mind start looking for a new theory to test.

    The above is the gist of a lecture by Edward de Bono, which I attended many years ago. For those who have read his book, “The Edward de Bono Code Book”, improvements in the conduct of climate science could be made by adopting a 6/2 strategy – ‘you tell me my point of view and I’ll tell you your point of view’. This can be very useful when one or both parties in a dispute are not making enough effort to understand each other’s view point, and.allows for real debate based on facts rather than belief systems.

  53. GlynnMhor says:
    October 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I’d add to your list.

    The United Nations sees carbon credits and taxes as a way to generate a large revenue stream and it’s own tax base.

  54. Although what E. Calvin Bliesner writes on this article is well argued as regards to scientific communication in the case of CAGW, I wholly reject his claims regarding religion and evolution. The irony is of course that the AGW scare is a mirror image of his own religious beliefs regarding the fate of the earth, salvation and the coming Apocalypse.

    In the case of the Theory of Evolution, there is more than enough evidence both inside and outside the Laboratory that a) the Earth is at least 4 billion years old b) that fossil records show increasing complexity from simple to complex organisms, speciation, specialisation, natural selection because of environmental changes, both sudden and slow, which affect populations of organisms, and many other things besides. Even if the Theory of Evolution were overturned tomorrow, it would not make Creationism any less false.

    As has been seen in court case after court case, Creationism and it’s bastard daughter Intelligent Design, are religious beliefs and not scientific theories. The Earth and the Universe are not thousands of years old but many magnitudes older, there is no evidence of a global flood nor any mechanism for such a flood to take place, no evidence that human beings descended from a single pair of humans, no evidence that humans are distinct from the rest of the biosphere, copious evidence retained within our own bodies the vestiges of our evolution as mammals and primates and composed of the same form of blueprint in the form of DNA as every other living thing on the planet.

    When there is a scientific controversy, one can always find instances of religious people siding with one side or the other claiming that this or that controversy is part of a more generalised “Crisis of Science” itself. In the case of E.Calvin Bleisner, his organisation is pitted against other evangelical Christian organisations who do support the AGW scare and the environmental crisis suppoosedly caused by the same, all the while flinging Bible texts at each other.

    In the early days on Climate Audit, a commenter posted a link to an article about bristlecone pines showing scientific research that the trees can produce false extra rings because of environmental stress giving in some cases a false reading of the age of the tree. While this was interesting, I found that it was used by the commenter to show that the ancient age of bristlecone pines was an artefact of this phenomenon and therefore the Young Earth hypothesis of Creationism was not violated. I rejected the comment and Steve agreed with me.

    I do not agree with posting articles by people who support my position on something, if those people are also conduits of religious or other anti-scientific beliefs I want to have nothing to do with. Such people pollute the scientific discourse and create an impression of commonality of purpose to our opponents where none exists.

  55. joeldshore:

    This is a brief answer to your silly question at October 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm because I am in a rush to fulfil my Christian duties this morning. You wrote

    GlynnMohr says:

    Not many people anywhere believe in that kind of stuff, and among those intelligent enough to examine critically the state of ‘climate science’, an even lower percentage.

    Well, then why publicize the views on climate science of those who do and who in fact explicitly link their views on climate science and intelligent design together? And, you might want to look at the list of the signers of the Cornwell Alliance statement ( http://www.cornwallalliance.org/blog/item/prominent-signers-of-an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/ ), who include such illustrious scientists of the AGW skeptic movement as Roy Spencer and David Legates.

    Firstly, it is good that you acknowledge Roy Spencer and David Legates are “illustrious scientists”. Yes, they truly are.

    But your acknowledgement answers your question by showing it to be a falsehood. Religious and scientific views of the world differ because they are based on different tenets, but they are NOT mutually exclusive. So, the fact that a person has both religious and scientific understandings does NOT indicate that he or she “links those views together”.

    Only a bigot claims there is only one valid way to view the world. An open-minded person can explore different aspects of reality by using the different methods of religion and science. Your question says much about you and nothing about anyone else.

    And, before you jump to one of your typical unfounded assumptions, I point out that I completely accept the science of evolution and all its findings. Indeed, I use the processes of evolution as sermon illustrations.

    Richard

  56. GlynnMhor;
    Well done.
    Concerning #7, it’s ironic justice that the EU Energiewende and siblings are pushing EU business to the wall, and often overseas. The Continent is becoming toxic for them.

  57. Jeff Alberts;
    I have a clever resolution of the Intelligent Design conundrum, if I do say so myself.
    The “junk” DNA in our and most genomes is persistent, conserved. It has many characteristics of a data and policy library. It is accessed by and intervenes in many activities of the cell.
    To make a long story short, it may well be a mutation/evolution handbook for the cell. Consider how powerful even simple guidelines would be compared to random variation. Accumulated “guidelines” would self-organize, by the same leveraged “advantage” process,

    The intelligence apparent in evolutionary trends is internal.

  58. joeldshore says:
    October 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    All I am asking is for you to explain what parts of his viewpoint you agree with and what parts you reject and why, if you reject part of his viewpoint so strongly, you think that it doesn’t fundamentally undermine the rest of what he has to say?

    Joel, that is truly ludicrous. You are suggesting (for example) that if one likes a person’s politics, one must automatically love the football team he supports, his dress sense and his taste in food. That is such nonsense that, imho, it fatally undermines any credibility you may think you have. It’s perfectly possible to agree with someone on certain issues whilst fundamentally disagreeing on others: it doesn’t in any way diminish one’s views on either. It also doesn’t diminish that person’s views.

  59. ROFL!

    http://ecalvinbeisner.com/

    E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., is spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and is also an author and speaker on the application of the Biblical world view to economics, government, and environmental policy.

    No further comment is needed indeed.
    The guy is a straight anti-science.

    His presence on blog that pretends being science-related is just bizarre.

  60. At least give Beisner credit for ‘balance’ in conventional political terms. Climate and evolution are disputes where the skeptics have a right-wing flavor, while GMO and vaccines are disputes where the skeptics have a left-wing flavor.

    (Unlike Lewandowsky, who lives so completely in a Stalinist bubble that he didn’t even know any of the standard right-wing conspiracy theories; he only knew the Stalinist versions of everything.)

  61. This discussion can be clarified. If Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Executive Publisher of its flagship publication, Science, is convinced of a need to communicate Science better, look at 2 extremes.
    There would be very few people whose medical treatment would be improved if ‘Science’ had undertaken a massive public education program with topics such as self diagnosis, use of the Internet, self administration, etc. Most of us have a broad trust in the medical profession and know that there are active ‘auditors’ paid to maintain a high standard.
    OTOH, there are many people, including increasing numbers of scientists, who simply do not believe that climate research has the maturity to be named a science. People have seen frequent and horrible examples of deception, fraud, scheming, subversion of peer review – and the lack of internal quality control ‘auditors’. These citizens do not generally believe that they can trust future action to be informed, diligent and in their best interests.

    There is hardly a case for the AAAS to emphasise that people should be better educated about remedial medicine. There is a very strong case that the AAAS should educate itself about the lamentable state of the climate work and its lack of public commitment to ‘do no harm’.

  62. The blind eye and the deaf ear turned toward ‘the Teams ‘ poor scientific practice and overt advocacy but the rest of the scientific establishment has been one of the most shameful aspects of ‘the cause ‘
    Its hardly surprising that public trust is being lost this way , when Dr Doom is spouting such utter nonsense while Mann duck and dives in refusing to release publicly paid for information while like others in ‘the Team ‘ acting like a naughty two year old throwing a tantrum.

    The need to tie AGW sceptics in with creationists is partly due to the desires to paint them as not just wrong , but mad or bad . And partly as way to shut down that very scientific idea of critical review when it comes to AGW .

  63. I knew the Warmist team had lost the plot, scientifically, when they started conflating ideas about CAGW skepticism, smoking, evolution etc… They long ago left the scientific principle behind (if they had any) and replaced it with CAGW ideology and political mumbo jumbo…

  64. GlynnMhor says:
    October 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm
    “There is a host of self-centred and greedy ulterior motives different people have for supporting the AGW paradigm……. ”

    Excellent summary.
    Thanks for that.

  65. Steve C says:
    October 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm
    “The main problem that Leshner and his ilk face is the sheer scale of scientific…….”

    Another excellent piece.
    Well said Steve..

  66. Joel Shore asks if commenters agree with ““We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.””

    None of us can know if God has made the earth with a robust and resilient ecosystem or not. We can say with certainty that mankind has developed the ability to seriously damage the earth’s ecosystems. The destruction of the environment can come from malice or evil, or greed, or very simply the struggle to survive (e.g. Haiti). It is not necessary for us to prove that God does or does not exist to understand and empathize with the needs of our fellows and protect them from those few others who would harm them through sins or a selective world view. I suspect that a coal mine operator who doesn’t care about his miners is quite rare. Should we penalize that coal mine operator for adding CO2 to the global atmosphere? You would say “yes” because obviously you know everything.

  67. How can any person comment on climate change when they can’t look back beyond 4004 BC.

    A huge disservice to this site having this person given a guest blog. It will be grist to the mill for any who wish to deride any issues that this site raises.

    If you lay down with dogs…

  68. One can only chuckle at the ad hom approach by folks like Joel and alex. If only they truly understood how poorly their comments reflect on themselves.

    I’m a bit of a different duck. I don’t happen to believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful God yet I find the evidence for macro-evolution very questionable. In fact, I believe those who call themselves “atheists” and totally believe in macro-evolution are doing EXACTLY the same thing as the intelligent design folks. They are simply basing their views on their religion (atheism).

    So, I guess by the logic of folks like joel and alex we can disregard anything they say. They are clearly unable to separate facts from their religion. ;)

  69. It mystifies and saddens me why this otherwise excellent site will carry posts by people associated with The Cornwall Alliance. It is hard to think of anything more damaging to the quest for scientific understanding. Apparently this guy believes that we can just do anything we like to the ecosystem because “His faithful providence” will clean up after us with Magic. This is way beyond that 10:10 video on the gun-shoots-foot scale.

    Why?

  70. KnR says:

    The need to tie AGW sceptics in with creationists is partly due to the desires to paint them as not just wrong , but mad or bad . And partly as way to shut down that very scientific idea of critical review when it comes to AGW .

    beesaman

    I knew the Warmist team had lost the plot, scientifically, when they started conflating ideas about CAGW skepticism, smoking, evolution etc… They long ago left the scientific principle behind (if they had any) and replaced it with CAGW ideology and political mumbo jumbo…

    Ah, last I checked it was Anthony, a noted AGW skeptic, not myself or some other AGW adherent, who decided to publish here a diatribe against AGW science by someone who very explicitly links his beliefs against AGW with his beliefs against evolution and in favor of intelligent design. He does so with such fervor that he could not even resist taking a pot-shot at evolution in this very piece that Anthony published even though it is not the focus of his discussion. In the Cornwall Alliance that he founded, the link between his too beliefs is stated clearly and explicitly.

    So far in these comments, there is only one AGW skeptic, [b]John A[/b], who has gone on record as saying, “I do not agree with posting articles by people who support my position on something, if those people are also conduits of religious or other anti-scientific beliefs I want to have nothing to do with.” The rest of you have just cheered the logic of this article or tried to argue why we should simply ignore the other anti-scientific beliefs of the author of this piece.

    Joel, that is truly ludicrous. You are suggesting (for example) that if one likes a person’s politics, one must automatically love the football team he supports, his dress sense and his taste in food. That is such nonsense that, imho, it fatally undermines any credibility you may think you have. It’s perfectly possible to agree with someone on certain issues whilst fundamentally disagreeing on others: it doesn’t in any way diminish one’s views on either. It also doesn’t diminish that person’s views.”

    It is your analogies that are ludicrous. The whole premise of this article requires that we agree with the judgement of the author on a scientific issue. If that scientific judgement has been shown to be totally wrong on another scientific issue, why on Earth would we give any stock to his scientific judgement on this issue? The matter is made worse by the fact that he has explicitly linked his judgements together. I.e., he feels so strongly about the relationship between the two that he has founded a movement to express this linkage with a declaration that states:

    We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.

  71. polistra says:

    At least give Beisner credit for ‘balance’ in conventional political terms. Climate and evolution are disputes where the skeptics have a right-wing flavor, while GMO and vaccines are disputes where the skeptics have a left-wing flavor.

    Why does he get credit given that he says that he agrees with the two that have a right-wing flavor and rejects the two that have a left-wing flavor? To me, that simply reveals the extent to which he bases his scientific beliefs on his right-wing ideology.

    Someone should get credit as a straight-shooter if they take both left-wing and right-wing anti-science notions to task. Such a straight-shooter is someone like Robert Park of the American Physical Society, who I have quoted here before.

  72. Okay, I’ll add [b]pax[/b] to the list of now 2 skeptics here who are willing to stand up for scientific principles and reject people who are anti-science even when they happen to agree with you on AGW.

  73. PaulID says:
    October 21, 2012 at 12:29 am
    Jeff Alberts says:
    but you must remember Joel is coming from his own deeply held religious belief and in that belief he is as fanatical as the most crazed “christian” zealots.

    Joel Shore is more of a zealot and an anti-science ideologue than the author. CAGW is his religion, and it is every bit as scientifically baseless as creationism.

  74. To be fair, the editorial got quite a long way before betraying itself in the usual manner with:

    “Often, simply increasing public knowledge about an issue will not move the debate, as seen with embryonic stem cell research.”

    This appears to be suggesting that the science is actually of secondary importance to some other end, as in ‘the end justifies the means’.

    The next sentence confirms this:

    “Instead, the way an issue is framed can have a larger effect on people’s views.”

    So. Framing. In other words, ask the right questions to get the answer that you want. DO NOT mention anything that might lead the reader to consider both sides of an argument. Every politician worth his or her salt knows this.

    Next sentence:

    “As a case in point, many people will give more credit to the scientific claims about climate change when the issue is cast as a technological challenge than as a regulatory problem.”

    This is an excellent example of political framing. The writer goes straight to the issues of how we can physically mitigate this [probably non-existent] problem, and what laws must be made to achieve the goal of fixing this [non-existent] problem. The possibility that the science may NOT be settled is ignored completely. It is simply not up for discussion in the author’s mind. And it appears he doesn’t want it in the mind of the reader either.

    Those are three astonishing sentences from the head of an organization claiming to be an Association of Americans for Advancing Science.

  75. Mr Watts,

    I am a scientist and enjoy reading your blog. I think the case that observed warming is mostly caused by anthropogenic global warming is far from proven,and enjoy your often hilarious and well reasoned examples of junk science, dishonesty and absurd alarmism from various climate scientists. So please take it in the manner intended when I say that you really do yourself a disservice by having statements like the below posted on your blog:

    “But on climate change and (naturalistic macro-) evolution (not to oversimplify and distort), I suspect his conclusions and mine differ dramatically”

    It’s like having someone discuss their support for a particular economic theory while believing that money is deposited in the Treasury by God.

    Mr Beisner is a former Professor of Social Ethics at Knox Theological Seminary, and spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. He has no business guest posting on a climate blog that is supposedly serious and based on science.

    REPLY: Thanks for the comment. Just because it is posted, doesn’t mean I endorse it. I’ve also posted many ‘warmist’ essays and press releases that I also don’t endorse. – Anthony

  76. I think that the problem of the credibility of AGW is being made to seem far more complex than it really is. We are told that studies have discovered facts that are of vital interest to us. This is interesting, but when we ask “How were these conclusions reached?”, we are told that a vast amount of data was gathered, it was thoroughly analyzed, and here are the results. This is totally at odds with my experience in scientific and technical matters where my question would have triggered an avalanche of information on how the data was gathered, how it was verified, how it was incorporated into the model, and how the model was analyzed. The process is usually seen as more interesting to discuss than the results. In my experience with electrical engineering, an engineer is usually apt to be more interested in a new and innovative way of analyzing a problem, than in the actual results.

    A reluctance to show the original data and discuss the details of how that data was used raises a big red flag. If more direct pertinent questioning does not produce pertinent answers, the individual is simply not credible. It does not really matter what his results are or how dire they appear to be because they do not come from a credible source. If the results are vouched for by prestigious individuals or institutions their credibility is tarnished unless direct pertinent answers are furnished to direct pertinent questions.

    The way to improve communication about climate science does not involve modifying the discussion of the results. It requires demonstrating the credibility by long and laborious expositions on how the data was collected, how it was altered, why the alterations were justified, how the models are constructed, what assumptions went into the models, why those assumptions went into the models, how the models are operated, what the results of the models are, how well those results compare to actual measured climate, how those results have been combined for presentation, and why they were combined in that manner. A point that needs very careful explanation is combining many models into a mean result when it is obvious that a significant number of them do a very poor job of actually predicting climate. It makes it look like you are more interested in the feelings of the lousy modelers than the accuracy of the results.

    Another point you need to address is the problem of short term predictions. Why should I believe that while you cannot predict short term or even decadal variations, you are much more accurate 50 years out and will be dead on several hundred years out. I have built models of a number of physical processes and my experience has been that the errors grow with time. How would you react to someone who wanted to manage your pension funds and explained that he could not be very sure about the results of the next few years or even a decade, but 50 to 100 years from now he would have done very well?

    In short, the problem that needs to be addressed is not climate science, but the credibility of climate scientists.

  77. GlynnMhor says:
    October 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    There is a host of self-centred and greedy ulterior motives different people have for supporting the AGW paradigm.

    Exactly on all points! The lie is catching up to the liar.

  78. “scientists may need help from a ‘translator’ to help tell a story simply and cogently”. Where I come from, “to tell a story” is to lie. Well the warmists and alarmists are good at that, they shouldn’t need help from a translator.

  79. I spent a couple of years in the talk.origins USENET group, where the creation-evolution wars are fought. There were people in there who had perfectly mainstream opinions on many scientific topics (vaccines and germ theory in general, physics, chemistry, etc.), but yet believed in young-earth creationism. Here we have an article by a similar soul, and he is attacked on his anti-CAGW position on the basis of his creationist position.

    Would it not be just as proper to attack his opinion on vaccines and GMO’s because of his creationist leanings? Falsum in uno, falsum in omnibus, as it is said. I suspect that Joel Shore and others would say “No,” because vaccines are proven and GMO’s are… well we know they have the same opinion about them, so that’s OK.

    It’s not a long walk from saying that a belief in creationism disqualifies one from having scientific opinions on other, non-creationist, topics to claiming that a belief in God at all does the same. I’ve already seen this concept in non-science blogs where it’s been said that a belief in God is prima facie evidence of a mental illness or delusion.

    Rather, we should judge a person’s scientific opinion based on what he’s saying about the topic at hand, not on what he believes regarding other topics. After all we don’t despise a person’s knowledge of, say, chemistry, just because he’s delusional about the existence of CAGW, do we?

  80. Apparently since the death of Carl Sagan there are no more “popularizers” of science, as there used to be. Once upon a time we had Sagan and Isaac Asimov, but today there seems to be no one filling that niche they occupied for so long. We are all the poorer for our loss of them.

  81. I wonder if Joel Shore would agree with Mr. Beisner’s statement if it were thus:

    “We believe Earth and its ecosystems are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, and admirably suited for human flourishing”

    IOW, exactly the same except for any mention of God. Surely Mr. Shore doesn’t believe that the Earth and its ecosystems need constant tending by humans to function, or that they are not well-suited for humans?

  82. Joeldshaw or whoever you are pretending to be today (your facebook link is a fake, no doubt like yourself) try looking up the word conflation or better still get something more than a basic education and a thicker skin while you’re at it. Warmists come across tetchy and miserable, must be all the guilt…

  83. Mr Shore states: “Interesting bedfellows you have! And, to think that people around here object so strongly when I note the obvious connections and analogies between “AGW skeptics” and “evolution skeptics”!”

    Debate over religious belief is not the real issue. The disagreements are in the CAGW zealotry is using their ideology to tax, control, demonize mankind, and redistribute wealth based on a false fear; similar to some other religious entities. That is where I personally draw a line. The evil is in using any ideology to promote their greed driven agenda and pad their pocket books. The personal attacks to categorize the opposition is the first clue to recognize their motive and lack of substance..

  84. Friends:

    Joel Shore has convinced me.

    Friar Mendel’s seminal work on genetics conducted in his monastery garden must have been wrong because he was a Roman Catholic.

    Michael Faraday’s works on electromagnetism, surface properties of ice and etc. must have been wrong because he was a Protestant.

    Copernicus’ revision of the model of the Solar System must have been wrong because he was an astrologer.

    But
    Joel Shore is right about everything because he believes in CAGW.

    /sarc off (just in case)

    Richard

  85. Rather, we should judge a person’s scientific opinion based on what he’s saying about the topic at hand, not on what he believes regarding other topics. After all we don’t despise a person’s knowledge of, say, chemistry, just because he’s delusional about the existence of CAGW, do we?

    There’s a reason argumentum ad hominem is used by the likes of Joel Shore…

    Mark

  86. sibeen says:
    October 21, 2012 at 5:15 am

    How can any person comment on climate change when they can’t look back beyond 4004 BC.

    Seems like many (most?) climate scientists can’t look past 1500CE, or don’t want to, since it deflates their narrative of unprecedented warming. Hell, some won’t even look past the last 20 years.

  87. D Böehm says:
    October 21, 2012 at 6:16 am

    PaulID says:
    October 21, 2012 at 12:29 am
    Jeff Alberts says:
    but you must remember Joel is coming from his own deeply held religious belief and in that belief he is as fanatical as the most crazed “christian” zealots.

    Joel Shore is more of a zealot and an anti-science ideologue than the author. CAGW is his religion, and it is every bit as scientifically baseless as creationism.

    You have successfully failed to include anything I said. Not sure why my name is in there.

  88. I am convinced. Earth is only rotating along its axis and orbiting the Sun because the roman catholic church of the 17th century was lacking in communication skills, right? The other side of the coin might have been that people just didn’t care because purported movement of the Earth had not affected them personally and locally.

  89. LazyTeenager says: October 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    It’s really about respect for evidence and science’s core idea: no bullshit.

    People don’t like evidence interfering with their favorite beliefs and will typically find 50 million excuses to ignore the evidence if it does.

    A lot of people can’t handle the truth, they just wanna feel good.

    LazyTeenager, your last two points are perfect descriptions of most CAGW believers that I know. They ignore any and all evidence that contradicts the CAGW meme; and by wailing about CAGW they demonstrate (at least to themselves) that they “care” about the environment, and by “caring” they can feel good about themselves.

  90. I have to apologise to Joel Shore, his facebook page only seems to work on my pc not my ipad (and yes I’ve logged on!) so a thousand apologies. But not to joeldshore as I can’t abide mutliple identities on blogs. Now there’s two things Warmists can’t do, own up to being wrong and be consistent. But then I guess being consistently wrong is one thing they can do… (no that wasn’t sarcasm!)

  91. 3- Plus of course it gives researchers a good feeling to imagine that they’re working to save the world instead of, say, developing a new scent for feminine hygiene products.

    Now I have snot and coffee all over the place . ;>)

  92. As I read Joel Shores bloviating this is his argument, The child in the Emperors New Clothes is not qualified to point out that the idiot is naked? Because he is a christian/yokel/underage/….This is the mark of the despot, to disregard the message and shoot at the messenger.

  93. did you know i tried to twitter this this on George Monbiot’s, of the bankrupt Guardian newspaper, account and was blocked,

    what does Phil Jones mean by this:

    “the no upward trend has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.”

    worried about what?

  94. Richard Courtney, “you are my most complete man” (Chariots of Fire, Harold Abrahams to Aubrey Montague). I know now why you and Monckton are joined at the heart, though apparently not at the voting booth.

    GlynnMhor: fabulous compendium! Your motivation 3 hints at what should be cried from the rooftops, that self- and by derivation tribal- validation/justification/congratulation (virtue) trumps all the other motivations (not just for warmists) and causes us to lie deeply and repeatedly to ourselves rather than.face the humiliation of being proven ultimately wrong, unless we consider honesty to be the highest of virtues.

    Dr. Brown, your contribution is rich as always.

    Joel Shore, FWIW, up until now I maintained a remnant of respect for your intellectual integrity.

    Zap.

    Also, some who criticize ID ignorantly confuse it with young-earth Creationism, thanks in part to propogandists like Leshner and apparent bigots like Shore. Many ID advocates (e.g. Behe) are in fact evolutionists to some degree and reject the young earth idea for good and obvious scientific reasons. Their ideas deserve a more accurate portrayal here than they typically receive.

  95. Glynn Mhor says: October 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Excellent list. May I add some more:

    20 (already said by Philip Bradley) The United Nations sees carbon credits and taxes as a way to generate a large revenue stream and it’s own tax base.

    21 (Mencken) for politicians: keep people worried about an “enemy” and they will jump to do what the government ask.

    22 The MSM make money from reporting scare stories, not from reporting business-as-usual.

    23 This is the ultimate threat because it’s global in scale, CO2 leaks everywhere.

    24 There really were some strange coincidences in the data that were misread by secondrate scientists eg the correlation between the CO2 rising curve and our emissions curve; the ice core hockey sticks (these are IMHO some of the items of seriously bad science that still need more exposure here).

    25 Major coincidence: the 800-year ocean thermohaline which goes back to the MWP, coincides with the recent century of warming, thus CO2 rise from the oceans is amplified and looks steady.

    26 THE UN IPCC is beholden to no government therefore is an instrument for its own survival and for the UN

    27 Those who want world government can use AGW to drive attempts to implement it (thankfully Monckton was alerted by Willie Soon to the footnote-within-a-footnote in Copenhagen, which was all about this).

    28 A new generation of greenshirt “pushycologists” and “saucyologists” have been co-opted by some of the above, with the goal of selling the faux science while finding sciency ways and means of avoiding dealing with the actual science.

    29 It’s the Vengeful God sneaking in by the back door: we won’t roast in Hell but we will roast in Global Warming. It will also be because in the eyes of the Sky God’s priests, we have sinned. It’s an old archetype, easy to sell again in new fancy dress.

    30 Many of the best scientists have done one of two things. Either they’ve joined the people developing this marvellous thing called the computer, or they’ve gone underground because they know about the reverse-engineering from Roswell, the cover-ups, the suppression of certain inventions, etc. So only the secondraters were left to populate the UEA CRU and other traditional areas of science.

    31 Since WW2, government-funded science has been a disaster waiting to happen, as Eisenhower foresaw.

    32 It’s often tough times that bring out the spirit of innovation, commonsense, and good science the best; and the West has been too comfortable for too long, in that respect.

    33 The declining power of traditional religion has left the door open for the development of new irrational and fundamentalist belief systems including scientism. Some people need a fix.

  96. JamesS says:
    October 21, 2012 at 8:17 am
    I wonder if Joel Shore would agree with Mr. Beisner’s statement if it were thus:

    “We believe Earth and its ecosystems are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, and admirably suited for human flourishing”

    IOW, exactly the same except for any mention of God. Surely Mr. Shore doesn’t believe that the Earth and its ecosystems need constant tending by humans to function, or that they are not well-suited for humans?

    ———————

    No James.
    It is the humans, who are suited to live on the Earth as it is. Not vice versa.
    And, the same humans have the ability to destroy the Earth… and themselves.

  97. alex says:

    “…the same humans have the ability to destroy the Earth… and themselves.”

    Only half right. Humans can destroy themselves, but the Earth will abide.

  98. richardscourtney says:

    Friar Mendel’s seminal work on genetics conducted in his monastery garden must have been wrong because he was a Roman Catholic.

    Michael Faraday’s works on electromagnetism, surface properties of ice and etc. must have been wrong because he was a Protestant.

    A complete strawman. The problem is not that Beisner is religious. The problem is that his religious zealotry causes him to have extremely poor scientific judgement. Unless you think that believing in intelligent design over evolution shows good scientific judgement?

    Why should we believe that his ideological zealotry doesn’t lead him to have similar poor judgement in regards to AGW, particularly when the arguments for the two seem to be inextricably linked in his own mind, as expressed in the Cornwall Alliance statement? I can’t believe so many people here are so willing to defend such nonsense just because it agrees with their own prejudices about AGW.

    Do you really think you are ever going to be seen as anything other than jokers by the scientific community when you align yourself with such extreme anti-scientific views?

  99. This lament is common in virtually all communication. There seems to be the belief that if the listener just paid more attention to the earnestness of the speaker and how important this belief is to the speaker, the listener would agree. It’s interesting the non-believers are painted as having more simplistic views of AGW. Perhaps that’s because of the constant retort: “It’s too complicated for you to understand” when people ask questions about climate change and science. It seems the problem is not the listener (skeptic) but rather the speaker (believer) who has the problem. They are incapable of explaining their viewpoint, so instead, they just put on a really sincere face and hope that works. It works for con artists of all types, so with a bit of practice, maybe they can pull it off. Perhaps a “mommy” face would work, followed by “Because I said so!”

  100. Leshner: We need to communicate better the importance of our work so we get more money

    Me: Stop assuming that because I do not like bad or wrong science, I am a creationist, anti-evolutionist, truther, birther or whatever political monika you try to smear me with. It is because I follow the scientific method, I do not buy the Warmista argument. Go hungry you dratsab Lysenkoist.

  101. Why do people always say that “intellegent design” and “evolution” are contrary?

    If there were such a thing as intellegent design, surely evolution would be part of that design.

    That would be the sensible thing to do if you were to design something to exist in an ever changing environment. Design said item in such a way that it could change with the environment. Now that would be truly intellegent design.

  102. joel shore says:

    “The problem is not that Beisner is religious. The problem is that his religious zealotry causes him to have extremely poor scientific judgement.”

    No different than Joel Shore’s anti-science religious climate zealotry. Pot/kettle.

  103. JamesS says:

    I wonder if Joel Shore would agree with Mr. Beisner’s statement if it were thus:

    “We believe Earth and its ecosystems are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, and admirably suited for human flourishing”

    IOW, exactly the same except for any mention of God. Surely Mr. Shore doesn’t believe that the Earth and its ecosystems need constant tending by humans to function, or that they are not well-suited for humans?

    I believe that they are well-suited for humans not because of any divine providence but because humans would not have evolved under conditions that were not at least reasonably well-suited to them. Hence, there is no magical reason to believe that we can do whatever we want to the chemistry of the atmosphere and not have a significant impact on the earth’s climate system, ecosystems, and human civilization.

    As for the robustness and resilience of the Earth and its ecosystems, I don’t think there is any really hard and fast answer on this. In many ways, they often turn out to be more robust than we expect; in other ways, they turn out to be more fragile than we could even imagine. The history of the Earth is not a particularly pleasant one, rife with dramatic and cataclysmic changes in climate, dramatic extinction events, and the like.

    Unlike other creatures, we humans now have the ability to predict, to a significant degree, what effects we might have on the Earth and its ecosystems by our actions, and hence to avoid significantly damaging these systems. It would be a shame if we did not use that ability because we let ideology and religious dogma prevail over science.

  104. joeldshore:

    re your post at October 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm.

    Please read ALL of my post from which you quote. Then try to learn (yes, I know that is hard for you).

    I did NOT post a ‘straw man’. You have been posting illogical nonsense.

    Richard

  105. D Boehm says:

    No different than Joel Shore’s anti-science religious climate zealotry. Pot/kettle.

    Science…and the use of science to inform public policy… has been successful because, across a reasonably wide range of political ideology, there has been a general agreement that the scientific community are the best ones to decide what constitutes good science (and what constitutes religious or ideological zealotry masquerading as science). And, there has even been agreement on what scientific institutions are best able to inform the public and policymakers in regards to science. In the U.S., it has been generally agreed that the National Academy of Sciences fulfills this role primarily, although professional scientific societies often also have a role.

    While there have always been fringes on both the Left and Right who oppose listening to these scientific institutions when their conclusions disagree with what these ideologues want to believe is correct, these extremist groups have been the most part marginalized. Unfortunately, recently on the right side of the political spectrum, the ideologues seems to have infiltrated into the political sphere to such a degree that we are in danger of no longer letting science be decided by scientists and instead are having it decided by the ideologues and politicians (who trot out a few “pet” scientists who share their point of view).

  106. It’s always nice to see those who declare themselves the most enlightened play the role of the bigot.

    Well, not “nice,” more like the comfort of the banal.

  107. AndyG55 says:

    Why do people always say that “intellegent design” and “evolution” are contrary?

    If there were such a thing as intellegent design, surely evolution would be part of that design.

    That is not what “intelligent design” means as used by the promoters of this notion themselves. You are expressing something more along the lines of what religious organizations, like the Catholic Church, say in regards to evolution: The Church basically accepts that science tells us how the universe works and religion is the why.

    It is of course never possible to eliminate the existence of a Creator on the basis of science because science cannot ultimately adjudicate one way or another on something which is outside the naturalistic purview of science. Many religious people have learned not to challenge science in science’s own purview but just to say they deal with different questions. However, I think this produces some tension among some religious people because they realize that, as science explains more and more of the natural world, it leaves less and less that we don’t know and hence less and less role for God. This is presumably why some religious folks decide that they must challenge the science of evolution, rather than accept it. This is what the proponents of “intelligent design” do.

  108. joel shore says:

    “Unfortunately, recently on the right side of the political spectrum, the ideologues seems to have infiltrated into the political sphere to such a degree that we are in danger of no longer letting science be decided by scientists and instead are having it decided by the ideologues and politicians (who trot out a few ‘pet’ scientists who share their point of view).”

    The extent of psychological projection in that single sentence is astounding.

  109. Joeldshore:

    At October 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm you say

    While there have always been fringes on both the Left and Right who oppose listening to these scientific institutions when their conclusions disagree with what these ideologues want to believe is correct, these extremist groups have been the most part marginalized. Unfortunately, recently on the right side of the political spectrum, the ideologues seems to have infiltrated into the political sphere to such a degree that we are in danger of no longer letting science be decided by scientists and instead are having it decided by the ideologues and politicians (who trot out a few “pet” scientists who share their point of view)

    Yes! The process has been usurped by ‘green’ activists who have ‘taken over’ the Executive Committees of major scientific institutions.

    Richard Lindzen explains this in a shocking – and very readable – paper which names individuals and their actions, It can be read at

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.3762.pdf

    Richard

  110. But on climate change and (naturalistic macro-) evolution (not to oversimplify and distort)…

    Oh dear, macro-evolution? Whilst I suspect Mr Beisner & I agree on the other 3 topics mentioned (vaccines, AGW & GM foods), might I suggest in future simply not mentioning evolution at all if you don’t support it*? You’ll sound a lot less like someone who fundamentally misunderstands science that way, which on a blog focused on science (okay, and the politics of science) is probably a good idea.

    It is of course, a fallacy to assume that, because you believe in X, which is wrong (or right), your views on Y must also be wrong (or again, right)… but on many matters it’s often well known that people do this kind of thinking all the time. “You’re pro-choice? You must support gun control too, and vote for the Democratic Party.” “You believe in balanced budgets? Yep, Republican, and I bet you’re an ardent Christian faith too.” Better in these circumstances to not mention the divisive issue, because you’ll get more support on issue Y (ie, the one you’re actually writing about) from across the whole spectrum of views / beliefs.

    A final thought, this time for Anthony Watts: what I’ve said above applies equally to letting people post on this blog too. “Hey, WUWT had some crazy creationist denier’s post up yesterday,” “God, how can anyone take them seriously?” etc. The AGW debate is very much a PR war between alarmists and realists: handing them ammunition is never a good idea :P .

    * I’ve only ever heard of macro-evolution as a phrase used by creationists & their ilk, as opposed to people who accept (I’m not sure “believe in” is the right phrase here) the theory of evolution.

  111. richardscourtney says:

    Yes! The process has been usurped by ‘green’ activists who have ‘taken over’ the Executive Committees of major scientific institutions.

    Richard Lindzen explains this in a shocking – and very readable – paper which names individuals and their actions, It can be read at

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.3762.pdf

    The oldest trick in the book…When you don’t like the result., blame the refs.

  112. Mark:
    If WUWT will not allow people to present controversial ideas, even the “unscientific” ones, how would that make this blog any different from say, SKS? “Intelligent design” may not be mainstream, but refusing to allow it to be discussed is really no different that shutting out those that disagree with the consensus of climate science. To said scientists, skeptics are just as unscientific as those who believe in intelligent design. The “majority of scientists reject intelligent design” sounds an awful lot like “the majority of scientists believe in global warming”. Let’s not go there.

  113. joeldshore says:
    October 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Science…and the use of science to inform public policy… has been successful…

    Science, yes. But not the secret science practiced by Mann, the CRUgang, and their ilk. Why were Gergis and Karoly so against providing data to someone outside their group of backslappers? We saw why. If these “scientists” are confident of their results then they can comply with requests for publicly funded data as they’re required to. If they don’t, their papers can and should be ignored when it comes to policy.

  114. Jeff Alberts says:

    Science, yes. But not the secret science practiced by Mann, the CRUgang, and their ilk. Why were Gergis and Karoly so against providing data to someone outside their group of backslappers? We saw why. If these “scientists” are confident of their results then they can comply with requests for publicly funded data as they’re required to. If they don’t, their papers can and should be ignored when it comes to policy.

    More excuses and smokescreens. If you guys actually applied your belief in the open access of data and programs uniformly then you might have an argument. But you don’t by a long shot. Mann is still lambasted for hiding stuff even though he archived his 2009 paper so completely that even Steve McIntyre can find nothing to complain about. In the meantime, not one iota of code has ever been publicly released by Spencer and Christy. (I could give other examples that hit even closer to home here but will refrain from doing so.)

    You are just coming up with excuses to ignore science evidence that goes against what you want to believe.

  115. More excuses and smokescreens. If you guys actually applied your belief in the open access of data and programs uniformly then you might have an argument. But you don’t by a long shot. Mann is still lambasted for hiding stuff even though he archived his 2009 paper so completely that even Steve McIntyre can find nothing to complain about. In the meantime, not one iota of code has ever been publicly released by Spencer and Christy. (I could give other examples that hit even closer to home here but will refrain from doing so.)

    You are just coming up with excuses to ignore science evidence that goes against what you want to believe.

    And Mann’s 09 paper is a far cry from the alarmism of most of his papers up to that point.

    However, two wrongs don’t make a right. Are Spencer and Christy’s datasets being used to form public policy? If they are, they should be open and transparent. They’re not doing so in no way excuses the multitude of climate scientists who obstruct legitimate requests for data.

    And we’ve learned from McIntyre’s efforts that we have zero evidence of unprecedented warming in the last thousand plus years.

  116. Jeff,

    There is a connection, a similar overreaching in fields of evolution and climate.
    The impetus that caused one may have caused the other.

    History written by the victors such that it fully included the propagandizing of science.
    It is time to stop gesticulating before Darwin’s awkward self-creating design theories. I can see how it fits our “me” psychology better than admitting the unknown factors of life.

    Steven Hawkings recently pontificated on the non-existance of God; do scientists even remember what their job is? Let me hint: It’s not wild guesses with no evidence. Or is it? If you follow your own rules you should have scolded him.

    And the fact that religionists say some off the wall things about this topic too doesn’t excuse the science people from bucking their job. Get to work folks. Evolution: take two.

    There is a big science mental block about creation of the world and the vast types or beings.
    There is a similar mental block about how the world functions, climate, etc. Assumptiveness is the bane of of a weak mind.

  117. “So, are you saying that you agree with Beisner’s assessment regarding the science of evolution? Or, does he just happen to be completely off-base on evolution but right about AGW?”
    .
    Are you a 6 year old and not very smart even to know that “guilty by association” is a well know discussion tactic that only catch….well ….people like you?
    .
    If you say that 24ºC is a confortable temperature and i agree that implys for you that you agree with me that AGW certainty only exists in mind of some people by peer/political/economic pressure and as such it is exclusively a social construct with no science ?

  118. Poems of Our Climate says:
    October 21, 2012 at 8:08 pm
    Jeff,

    There is a connection, a similar overreaching in fields of evolution and climate.
    The impetus that caused one may have caused the other.

    I agree; keep smiling.

  119. One more comment concerning “intelligent design”: “The relentless, weather-gone-crazy type of heat that has blistered the United States and other parts of the world in recent years is so rare that it can’t be anything but man-made global warming, says a new statistical analysis from a top government scientist.” The comment is from Hanson. This is very, very close to the intelligent design idea that the world shows too much order to have happened at random. Hanson is saying there is no other explanation, so it must be us. ID is saying there is order and evolution does not adequately explain it. While I don’t fully endorse intelligent design (or more exactly, I don’t find evolution as creation a defensible explanation), with Hanson resorting to a similar argument, one can hardly claim no legitimate science considers it, though whether or not Hanson is legitimate is a real question. However, maybe consensus will swing around, especially if it’s the only way to hang on to climate change dogma.

  120. joeldshore:

    re your comment to me at October 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm.

    OK. If you think that factual, peer-reviewed paper from Lindzen is “the oldest trick in the book” then you will be able to tell me why none of the persons named in that paper have sued him. And you will be able to cite some significant flaws in the paper.

    I have no reason to doubt anything in Lindzen’s paper ( which can be accessed by anybody from
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.3762.pdf )

    Clearly, you think I have been misled by the cogent and referenced information in the paper. Therefore, I would be grateful if you were to enlighten me on what you think is in the paper which may have misled me.

    Or are you merely putting your hands over your ears, closing your eyes, and shouting, “Lah! Lah! Lah!” in hope that the evidence will not affect you?

    Richard

  121. I don’t know why Joel Shore’s getting so hysterical.

    Joel, calm down. The article is a light weight piece, like an op-ed. It’s not supposed to be a scientific research paper for goodness sake. All it seems to be saying is that if the science was more openly discussed, less people would believe in global warming. Nothing new at all in that.

    Lighten up, dude!

  122. richardscourtney says:

    OK. If you think that factual, peer-reviewed paper from Lindzen is “the oldest trick in the book” then you will be able to tell me why none of the persons named in that paper have sued him. And you will be able to cite some significant flaws in the paper.

    (1) This sociological paper appears in some conference proceedings or other. If you have evidence that submissions to that proceeding were peer-reviewed and the details of what such peer review actually involved (which is kind of dicey for a paper in the field of sociology of science), then I would be interested in hearing it.

    (2) You may not be aware of this, but the bar for showing slander in the U.S. is much higher than it is in Great Britain (or Canada). And, as you might be aware, not every statement about someone that has not prompted a lawsuit is true even in Great Britain. That is even more true in the U.S.

    (3) As for the flaws, I really don’t have much interest in delving into these sociological aspects of science that Lindzen has taken so much interest in. However, my guess is that one of the biggest flaws is simply that he has cherry-picked. E.g., he has identified people who have links to on the environmental side that are involved in the NAS but had ignored any that have links that might be in to the anti-environmental side.

    I have no reason to doubt anything in Lindzen’s paper ( which can be accessed by anybody from
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.3762.pdf )

    Actually, you have no ***motivation*** to doubt anything in Lindzen’s paper since it tells you exactly what you want to hear!!!

    Let’s summarize the point of view of most reality-based people vs you and Lindzen.

    Reality-based people believe that there are left-wing environmentalist groups that have a left-wing/ environmentalist bias, there are right-wing anti-environmentalist groups that have a right-wing / anti-environmentalist bias, and then there are respected scientific organizations like the NAS and analogous organizations in all the G8+5 countries, as well as other organizations like AAAS, and the various professional societies like AGU, AMS, APS, etc. that overall don’t have any strong bias.

    What you and Lindzen and other conspiracy theorists believe is that there are left-wing environmentalist groups that have a left-wing/ environmentalist bias, there are respected scientific organizations like the NAS and analogous organizations in all the G8+5 countries, as well as other organizations like AAAS, and the various professional societies like AGU, AMS, APS, etc. that have ALL miraculously been so captured by these groups that they display a similar bias. And, then finally, there are right-wing anti-environmentalist groups that are so remarkably unbiased that they are the ones that we should trust.

    [In fact, it is worse than this in your case, since many of the right-wing anti-environmentalist groups like Heartland and CO2science concede basic points of the science that you yourself don't concede, like the fact that our burning of fossil fuels are responsible for the rise in CO2. So, the truth is that you seem to believe that the scientific truth lies further out beyond what even most of the right-wing anti-environmentalist groups claim!]

    And, you wonder why your point-of-view isn’t shared by many scientists?

  123. Joel:
    “as science explains more and more of the natural world, it leaves less and less that we don’t know”

    I don’t suppose you can provide us with a ratio of known/unknown?

  124. Don Worley,

    Joel Shore has it exactly backward as usual. The more knowledge we gain, the bigger the unknowns. Knowledge is like a balloon. What is inside is what we know. The outside surface of the balloon is the unknown. As the balloon expands, the unknowns get bigger. Newton thought he had the universe figured out. Then Einstein came along.

    Joel Shore says:

    “Let’s summarize the point of view of most reality-based people vs you and Lindzen.” Thus cementing his reputation as a complete ass. He goes on:

    “Reality-based people…” don’t “…have a right-wing / anti-environmentalist bias…”. And then Shore makes the preposterous claim that his organizations are not biased. As if. Shore goes on:

    “What you and Lindzen and other conspiracy theorists believe…”

    Prof Richard Lindzen is an internationally esteemed MIT Professor, more level-headed than anyone this side of John Christy. The fact that Joel Shore demonizes Prof Lindzen as a “conspiracy theorist” tells us plenty about Joel Shore — who continues his rant:

    “…many of the right-wing anti-environmentalist groups like Heartland and CO2science…”

    Joel Shore sees everything through his far Left prism. He is blinkered by his communist ideology. Shore wraps it up with:

    “And, you wonder why your point-of-view isn’t shared by many scientists?”

    Wrong again. Most real scientists reject the belief that CO2 is harmful, as proved by the OISM Petition Project. Shore’s clique has not been able to get more than a small fraction of the number of OISM co-signers to try and demonize harmless, beneficial CO2. And of course, the planet itself is falsifying Joel Shore’s belief. Maybe that’s why he’s gone off the rails here.

  125. Joel: Thank you for doing exactly what you complain about Lindzen doing. You ASSUME that anyone who disagrees with climate change must be a right wing nut job that believes in conspiracies and has no knowledge of science. IE, huge generalization with only a couple of not-yet-published papers on the subject to in any way back up the allegation. Your entire premise falls apart if “skeptics” are not right wing nut jobs, and most notably if there are no right wing nut jobs as you claim. Believe it or not (and I’m pretty sure you won’t because it would disturb your happy little fantasy), some people actually read the science and make decisions based on the science. Their political leanings have nothing whatsoever to do with it. NOTHING.

  126. Joel Shore:

    I am only bothering to answer your long-winded and silly rant at me which you provide at October 22, 2012 at 10:12 am because it accuses me of a falsehood.

    I wrote saying to you

    OK. If you think that factual, peer-reviewed paper from Lindzen is “the oldest trick in the book” then you will be able to tell me why none of the persons named in that paper have sued him. And you will be able to cite some significant flaws in the paper.

    Your reply did not query that it was peer-reviewed but said

    (1) This sociological paper appears in some conference proceedings or other. If you have evidence that submissions to that proceeding were peer-reviewed and the details of what such peer review actually involved (which is kind of dicey for a paper in the field of sociology of science), then I would be interested in hearing it.

    Perhaps I should have linked to the peer-reviewed version. That may have misled you and – if so – then I apologise. However, I linked to a version of the paper which I consider to be formatted for the easiest read. That is not a reason for you to assume I would claim it was peer-reviewed if I was not certain that it is. Indeed, if you knew anything of what I post then you would have asked me for the peer-reviewed reference because you would have known I have it I say I have it.

    This is a link to the peer-reviewed version of it that was published in Global Research

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/climate-science-is-it-currently-designed-to-answer-questions

    It is identical to what I posted except for formatting.

    I consider an expression of doubts about standards of peer review from you to be astonishing when you are on record as supporting the usurpation of the peer-review process by the ‘Team’. Only this past week another scandal about such pal-review has occurred; see

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/18/gergis-et-al-hockey-stick-paper-withdrawn-finally/

    You then go on about the difference between libel laws in the US and UK. That is total irrelevance because some of the named persons live and work in the UK and are UK subjects (e.g. Phil Jones). But, of course, you don’t know that because your fears and prejudices prevented you from reading the paper.

    You say

    (3) As for the flaws, I really don’t have much interest in delving into these sociological aspects of science that Lindzen has taken so much interest in. However, my guess is that one of the biggest flaws is simply that he has cherry-picked. E.g., he has identified people who have links to on the environmental side that are involved in the NAS but had ignored any that have links that might be in to the anti-environmental side.

    That is astonishing! You say you have not read the paper. You say you know of no flaws in it. You presume it contains flaws which it does not. And you presume it does not contain information which it does.

    The remainder of your post is similar childish tantrum which includes untrue and infantile insults of me..

    My post you claim to be answering concluded saying

    Clearly, you think I have been misled by the cogent and referenced information in the paper. Therefore, I would be grateful if you were to enlighten me on what you think is in the paper which may have misled me.

    Or are you merely putting your hands over your ears, closing your eyes, and shouting, “Lah! Lah! Lah!” in hope that the evidence will not affect you?

    Your reply to that consists solely of a loud and long shout of “Lah! Lah! Lah! …”

    Richard

  127. Well, I’ve tried to restrain myself from replying to Joel Shore on the grounds that it’s a waste of time to argue with someone who commits as many logical fallacies as he does, but I can’t resist now. He says, “I really don’t have much interest in delving into these sociological aspects of science ….” Rather ironic, since the sociological aspects are about the only thing he’s written about in all his posts!

    Joel, let me know when you’ve finished reading the entire discussion of informal fallacies in H.W.B. Joseph’s classic INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC (one of the texts from which I’ve taught logic at the graduate level), and give me a list of at least 10 informal fallacies in your posts above, not only identifying but also acknowledging them, and then perhaps I’ll devote time to replying to you. Until you’ve done that, I’m perfectly satisfied with the refutations offered you by others.

  128. Reality Check says:

    You ASSUME that anyone who disagrees with climate change must be a right wing nut job that believes in conspiracies and has no knowledge of science. IE, huge generalization with only a couple of not-yet-published papers on the subject to in any way back up the allegation. Your entire premise falls apart if “skeptics” are not right wing nut jobs, and most notably if there are no right wing nut jobs as you claim.

    Since my premises or assumptions are not what you claim they are, none of what you conclude here is correct.

    Believe it or not (and I’m pretty sure you won’t because it would disturb your happy little fantasy), some people actually read the science and make decisions based on the science. Their political leanings have nothing whatsoever to do with it. NOTHING.

    Well, I tend not to believe it in the case of most people simply because the data suggests it is not true. What data, you may ask? Well, the very data presented in the paper ( http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1871503 ) that E Calvin Beisner cited in the above post. Of course, he cited it because he was excited by the fact that in their entire sample there was a small positive correlation between scientific / mathematical literacy and skepticism about climate change. However, the much stronger conclusion of that study is that a person’s views on climate change are most strongly correlated with their cultural values (on the scale of hierarchical /individualists vs egalitarian communitarians) and that as scientific / mathematical literacy increases, the gap in perceptions about climate change due to these different cultural values only widens.

  129. richardscourtney says:

    This is a link to the peer-reviewed version of it that was published in Global Research

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/climate-science-is-it-currently-designed-to-answer-questions

    It is identical to what I posted except for formatting.

    I could find nothing on that website that spoke to the issue of peer-review of the papers that they publish, let alone what sort of peer-review is involved and how highly respected the journal is.

    You then go on about the difference between libel laws in the US and UK. That is total irrelevance because some of the named persons live and work in the UK and are UK subjects (e.g. Phil Jones). But, of course, you don’t know that because your fears and prejudices prevented you from reading the paper.

    Well, I am not sure how libel laws work. Even if Phil Jones is a UK subject, does he have the standing to sue Richard Lindzen in a UK court? Maybe he does, but you’d have to provide evidence of that before I’d accept it. At any rate, as I mentioned, even in the U.K. with your more aggressive libel laws, I am sure that there are plenty of lies that go uncorrected.

    By the way, Iwhy you are so sure that I haven’t read Lindzen’s paper. I certainly have read at least a reasonable fraction of it…although admittedly that was a little while ago.

    Your reply to that consists solely of a loud and long shout of “Lah! Lah! Lah! …”

    No…It is an objective fleshing out of what your full conspiracy theory would involve. You clearly want to avoid that, which is understandable given how ludicrous your conspiracy theory is.

  130. Joel: That study also says you believe what your friends, business associates, etc. believe, leading to the conclusion that if you are right, it’s just random chance that your friends followed the correct belief. It says you got your ideas from the radical liberals you pal around with (or whomever, not so radical, whatever). Basically, it results in the conclusion that to convince people an idea is right, you just skip the data and surround them with people who have the idea you want to be believed. If you want people to believe in climate change, surround them with liberals who love Al Gore. This whole “you believe this because” applies to ALL sides. If my friends and politics talked me into this, so did yours. This is NOT proof of the correctness of the theory, only a look at what MAY cause it. If you agree with the paper, you just admitted you are not looking at the science, you’re just following your group.

  131. joeldshore says:
    October 21, 2012 at 6:01 am

    “The whole premise of this article requires that we agree with the judgement of the author [Dr. Beisner] on a scientific issue.”

    Not with his judgment, but with his reasoning and conclusions. We’re not being told to accept those because of who his is. The article could have been posted by Mr. Anonymous.

    “If that scientific judgement has been shown to be totally wrong on another scientific issue [Intelligent Design], why on Earth would we give any stock to his scientific judgement on this issue?”

    Attempted equivocation (the deceptive or “switcheroo” use of a word, “judgment,” in two senses: first as a conclusion he’s reached, and second as his degree of sanity / rationality / common sense) & Ad hom.

  132. joeldshore:

    Everything you write is worthy of laughter but not of response.

    However, I am again forced to rebut a falsehood about me that you post. Please note that I am continuing my practice of only refuting blatant falsehoods and not your delusional opinions.

    At October 22, 2012 at 5:20 pm you ask me

    By the way, why you are so sure that I haven’t read Lindzen’s paper. I certainly have read at least a reasonable fraction of it…although admittedly that was a little while ago.

    I was “so sure” because I was replying to what YOU said. I was NOT – as your question suggests – making things up. At October 22, 2012 at 10:12 am you wrote

    (3) As for the flaws, I really don’t have much interest in delving into these sociological aspects of science that Lindzen has taken so much interest in. However, my guess is that one of the biggest flaws is simply that he has cherry-picked. E.g., he has identified people who have links to on the environmental side that are involved in the NAS but had ignored any that have links that might be in to the anti-environmental side.

    1.
    You said you “don’t have much interest in delving into these sociological aspects of science that Lindzen has taken so much interest in”.
    2.
    You said you “guess” Lindzen’s paper contains information which it does not.
    3.
    You said you “guess” Lindzen’s paper does not contain information which it does.

    My post – which you claim to be answering – mentioned each of those three points which each says you have not read the paper.

    The remainder of your blather is equally ridiculous.

    Richard

  133. Roger Knights: Thank you. People just cannot understand that in science, who makes a claim is not a relevant factor. In science, it is the claim itself that counts. The truth in science comes from the data, not the speaker.

  134. Joel Shore sez:
    Interesting bedfellows you have! And, to think that people around here object so strongly when I note the obvious connections and analogies between “AGW skeptics” and “evolution skeptics”!

    GlynnMhor sez:

    Joel Shore writes of: “… God’s intelligent design…”
    Not many people anywhere believe in that kind of stuff, and among those intelligent enough to examine critically the state of ‘climate science’, an even lower percentage.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/horses/horse_evol.html

    This pro-evolution page attempts to lay out the basics of the horse evolutionary line/equus lines.
    The citations are all more recent than when I was taught evolution. we are buying the evolution idea when the data are not that extensive or complete. The experts say, ‘trust us.’ The evolutionary trees are acknoweldged to be wrong, but improving. Fair enough.
    That website has this quote at the end:

    “When asked to provide evidence of long-term evolution, most scientists turn to the fossil record. Within this context, fossil horses are among the most frequently cited examples of evolution. The prominent Finnish paleontologist Bjorn Kurten wrote: ‘One’s mind inevitably turns to that inexhaustible textbook example, the horse sequence. This has been cited — incorrectly more often than not — as evidence for practically every evolutionary principle that has ever been coined.’ This cautionary note notwithstanding, fossil horses do indeed provide compelling evidence in support of evolutionary theory.” (MacFadden 1988, p. 131)

    All the species on the planet, and our best evidence for transitional fossil record is one genus, where things are still sketchy? One genus? And we have to keep making up refinements – punctuated equilibrium, bushiness, etc.?

    This is starting to sound like the global warming gang. ‘Trust us. It is warming over here, glaciers are melting over there, and we have a great sounding theory (although we keep moving the goalposts). We have a little illustration that is fake (Al Gore’s goofy CO2 Mr. Science experiment where thermometers were switched), but tells the story anyway. Isnt that enough to be fact?’

    Christian critics, if criticisms are taken seriously, will only strengthen evolutionary theory, if it is correct.
    Already, Christian critics have had a great influence in the least 20 years. Arguments are more sophisticated – some Christians have noted that evolutionary theory depends upon the life-from-no-life-primordial-soup theory, and as a result, it has gotten more common for evlolutionists to clarify which phase of evolution they are talking about: origin of universe, formation of planet, spark of life in primordial soup (or falling from outer space), macro-evolution, micro-evolution.
    The emergence and sustenance of the first few compounds – whehere proteins or RNA – is so unclear that often evolutionary advocates clarify that by ‘evolution’ they are going to skip the emergence of life issue, and skip micro-evolution, which is pretty obvious form dog-breeding and agriculture, to focus just on macro-evolution.
    This advancement in sophistication has been pushed, in a hegelian-dialectic way, by critics, including Christians.

    For many reasons, it is probably not that wise to be so smugly dismissive of Christian critics of evolution. When we believe we have all of the answers and are above criticism, we will end up like the global warming alarmists.

  135. Reality Check: Yes, it works both ways (or on both sides, if you will). You are absolutely correct: Most non-experts in a field will arrive at the conclusion regarding it that fits their cultural values.

    So, what is the solution to this? I think it is to respect the opinion of the experts in the field. I know that strikes most here as an appeal to authority, but the fact is, if you believe that science is capable of making any progress, then the authorities in science are usually the best that we have to go on.

    If you decide instead to look at the evidence yourself, then great, but you should be well-aware that the conclusion that you arrive at about the evidence is likely going to have more to do with the biases you bring to the table (your cultural values) than the science itself. This is not to discourage people from exploring the evidence involving climate change, but just don’t fool yourself into believing that your exploration is likely to come to a conclusion that is more reliable than the conclusion of the experts in the field!

    [Note: Implicit in this is the notion that science as a whole still works. I.e., I suppose one could hypothesize that even the experts could end up with conclusions that reflect more their cultural values than the scientific evidence. However, that seems dubious unless you hold a completely post-modernist view of science as being so captured by cultural values that it is unable to make any progress...basically, an anti-science view. Also, since the scientific community will include lots of scientists with different cultural values, it seems unlikely that one set of cultural values will hijack the whole scientific field.]

  136. Joel: Your assumption that science is “pure” has little evidence in the climate change field. When a field is narrowed to only those who publish in anointed journals (your idea that the “science community has a lot of scientists with different cultural views is completely false since no diversity in opinion is allowed), that is not science. That is very bad behaviour. It’s also argument from authority, no matter how many times you say it isn’t. Worse, it’s using a very, very, very tiny number of scientists of your own choosing to define the authority. It’s like saying only people who have written platforms for the Democratic party can be interviewed on politics because they are the only people who understand politics. You can claim Republicans don’t, because they have not published in Democratic platforms. No, it’s not ridiculous, it’s accurate. One could also say only women who have been pregnant can understand pregnancy, meaning unless the doctor is female and has children, they cannot comment on or understand pregnancy and therefore cannot treat pregnant women. Only cancer survivors can comment on the effects of cancer. Only electricians can understand how wiring works. Only plumbers know how pipes work. Only university professor who are on Ancient Aliens are qualified to comment on aliens. Only architects can build buildings that are safe and useful. It’s all totally ridiculous.
    If there is consensus, there is NO science. We only learn from disagreement, not agreement (and we should be learning a whole bunch on this forum…). So your idea of consensus just says there is no science in climate change.
    I did not note in the psych paper where the writer excluded scientists from the phenomena. Actually, he probably did not include any. Might not get the results he wanted. Realistically, scientists are quite probably just as vulnerable. How do you work in a lab for a company that supports climate change and then tell your coworkers you don’t believe in climate change. I cannot see that happening.
    Rest assured I make it a point not to fool myself. :)

  137. Wow, Reality Check! That’s quite a bunch of bizarre statements. Let me try to handle the various things in turn:

    (1) I never claimed science is “pure” but only that it is the best way that we know of for discovering the truth about the physical world.

    (2) In all areas of science, there are better or worse journals and there are papers that would be difficult to get into good journals because scientists would not find them to contain good science. Your analogy to Democrats and Republicans is ridiculous because you assume your conclusion: that all the respected scientific institutions and journals have been corrupted so that they are all biased.

    (3) Authorities in science get to be authorities largely on the basis of merit. It doesn’t mean that other people can’t have opinions, but if you went to the hospital with neorological problems, would you really trust the diagnosis of the custodian as much as that of neurologist?

    (4) “If there is consensus, there is NO science?” That’s just silly. There’s a consensus in biology in regards to evolution. Does that mean it’s not science? There’s a consensus in physics in regards to gravity. Does that mean it’s not science? There’s a consensus in geology in regards to the Earth being about 4.5 billion years old. Does that mean it’s not science?

    (5) As for the paper, it is not necessary to exclude or include scientists since they would make up a tiny enough part of the total sample of people as to have little weight on the results. To study the effect of cultural biases on scientists specifically, I think you would need to have a sample of just scientists.

    (6) If you really think that science as a whole is just as plagued by cultural biases then you are in essence saying that you think science is a worthless enterprise for discovering the truth about the natural world (let alone informing public policy)…at least on issues where such cultural biases might play a role. That is a very anti-science position and I wonder if you would really subscribe to all the implications of it: Do you believe that science should have no role in informing public policy? And, if you believe that it should have some role, how do you propose it be used to do so given that you haven’t prescribed any way to determine what the best science is? I have never gotten a straight answer to this question from anyone here.

  138. joelshore says:

    “There’s a consensus in biology in regards to evolution. Does that mean it’s not science? There’s a consensus in physics in regards to gravity. Does that mean it’s not science? There’s a consensus in geology in regards to the Earth being about 4.5 billion years old. Does that mean it’s not science?”

    And, there is a consensus in the climate debate. That consensus is — provably — on the side of skeptical scientists. The false-alarm clique is actually rather small.

  139. D Boehm says: “And, there is a consensus in the climate debate. That consensus is — provably — on the side of skeptical scientists. The false-alarm clique is actually rather small.”

    It is kind of hard to make the claim that the consensus is in that direction given that essentially all the major scientific organizations on the planet that are charged with advising governments and the public on science (IPCC, NAS, Royal Society, …) say just the opposite. As do scientific polls of scientists in the field.

    All you have is the “Oregon petition”…Soviet-style elections at their best: Bombard people with a bunch of propaganda and then only count the “YES” votes (with utter disregard for the qualifications of the “scientists” voting too).

  140. Joel:
    I do not assume ALL science journals are corrupted and biased. I find through research that climate science journals merit that title. Unless you are saying climate science is ALL of science, you misrepresent my claim.
    If the custodian had a high level of medical understanding and had read throughly on the subject, or if the custodian made a valid argument using data and facts, I might. I certainly would question the opinion of the neurosurgeon if a custodian can make a well-reasoned argument against what the neurosurgeon said.
    Actually, consensus on evolution would constitute NO science. I do not think there is complete consensus and the news media and educators seem more to the mind of insisting there is. Gravity is not the same as predictive or historic scientific data. You might check my other blog for a write up on that (the science one, not the wind). The consensus of 4.5 billion years old has had the number changed over and over and over. If that is what you mean by consensus—changes on a daily basis, then maybe consensus is okay. It’s just that I always thought that updating a theory to reflect new data indicated there was not consensus. Otherwise, the new data would be hidden in secretive emails and squashed by the “IT’s 4.5 Billion Years Old and that is Final” science crowd.
    Again, I did not say science as a WHOLE. I was writing about one branch. I do believe science is in danger of destroying its own credibility definitely. Science should not be funded by the government unless there is an oversight committee that assures equal funding for all theories. It’s not ideal. Perhaps public donations to the research of your choice. Fact is, if someone has a theory and wants to prove it, they will find funding and a way to make it happen. Historically, it’s worked well. That’s what makes scientists scientists. They have drive. Government funding encourages the slackers. I do not have time to write a whole diatribe here on science. Perhaps later.
    As for who should guide public policy, I cannot see how corrupted science is any better than no science. We already have MD’s on television calling herbal remedies “a miracle weight loss products” and hosting psychics. I really don’t see how snake oil and random chance are better. After all, random chance made the universe.

  141. I am pretty sure that Joel is not going to ever understand this whole situation. Joel seems uncomfortable with the idea that large groups of people can and are wrong. However, if we remove our undying faith in these groups, then we are left to use our own intelligence and ability to reason to find the truth in things. This is a terrifying idea to many. Joel seems unlikely to be ready to take that leap, but perhaps one day he will find that he is capable of thinking on his own and let got of the authority and consensus ideas. Maybe not. Some follow, some lead.

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