Why ‘Deniers’ are Always Wrong – Models can’t be falsified

Story submitted by Eric Worrall

How do we prove climate alarmists are wrong? Let us count the ways
If the temperature goes up, this is just what the models predicted – watch out because …

…soon it will get a lot worse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runaway_climate_change
If the temperature goes down, the deep ocean is swallowing the heat – even though the heat can’t be measured, we know it must be there, because that is what the climate models tell us. Global warming prevails! http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/pacific-ocean-and-climate-change-pause/
If the global temperature crashes, its because global warming induced melting of arctic ice shut down the ocean currents. http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/05mar_arctic/
If the snow disappears, this is just as models predicted – snowfall is a thing of the past. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html
If there is an unusually heavy snowfall, this is just as models predicted – global warming is increasing the moisture content of the atmosphere, which results in increased snow cover. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/10/2010-snowmageddon-explained-sans-global-warmingclimate-change/
If there is a drought, that is because of global warming. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/21/causes-of-midwest-drought-2012_n_1690717.html
Except of course, when global warming causes heavy rainfall. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/13/global-warming-the-incompetent-politicians-excuse/
No matter what the observation, no matter how the world changes, we can never falsify alarmist climate theories. Any possible change, any possible observation, can always be explained by anthropogenic global warming.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/22/occams-razor-and-climate-change/

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227 thoughts on “Why ‘Deniers’ are Always Wrong – Models can’t be falsified

  1. The models cannot predict frost and are based on a premise of no air circulation and do not model the atmosphere from sea level to 80,000 feet.

    An incomplete model is not a model, it is a painting.

  2. You omitted one – “When the temperature remains constant (relatively), that is due to natural cooling offsetting the human induced warming”

    • Yes it is amazing how ‘lucky’ it is that natural cooling perfectly balanced out AGW. I mean what are the chances of that?

  3. Any hypothesis which has no possibility of falsification is not a scientific hypothesis, and is a defacto pile of doggy doos.

    Climate alarmists need just enough research funding to complete a “Science 101: The Scientific Method”. course

    Whether the climate gets hotter, drier, colder, wetter, according to a model, is merely a contrived result based upon flawed assumptions from a falsified hypothesis coded into a poorly written and incomplete computer model.

    In short, here is a simple tip for the climate alarmists… THAT IS NOT REALITY! STOP TREATING IT AS IF IT IS!!!

  4. I am reminded of a Monty Python sketch where a political commentator is saying “well, the election results were pretty much as I had predicted – except that the other party won”.

  5. Straight out of Paul Daniel’s Bunco Booth: “Heads I win, tails you lose.”
    As Daniels says, “You WILL lose – it’s a CON”

  6. Mr Worrall, Sir.

    A rather good synopsis of the conundrum faced in countering the naysayers but may one please direct one to the following by Mr Sean Thomas. I feel this gives a much deeper “feel” for the problem…

    .
    “First, I asked Stephen Belcher, the head of the Met Office Hadley Centre, whether the recent extended winter was related to global warming. Shaking his famous “ghost stick”, and fingering his trademark necklace of sharks’ teeth and mammoth bones, the loin-clothed Belcher blew smoke into a conch, and replied,

    “Here come de heap big warmy. Bigtime warmy warmy. Is big big hot. Plenty big warm burny hot. Hot! Hot hot! But now not hot. Not hot now. De hot come go, come go. Now Is Coldy Coldy. Is ice. Hot den cold. Frreeeezy ice til hot again. Den de rain. It faaaalllll. Make pasty.”

    Startled by this sobering analysis, I moved on to Professor Rowan Sutton, Climate Director of NCAS at the University of Reading. Professor Sutton said that many scientists are, as of this moment, examining the complex patterns in the North Atlantic, and trying to work out whether the current run of inclement European winters will persist.

    When pressed on the particular outlook for the British Isles. Professor Sutton shook his head, moaned eerily unto the heavens, and stuffed his fingers into the entrails of a recently disembowelled chicken, bought fresh from Waitrose in Teignmouth.

    Hurling the still-beating heart of the chicken into a shallow copper salver, Professor Sutton inhaled the aroma of burning incense, then told the Telegraph: “The seven towers of Agamemnon tremble. Much is the discord in the latitude of Gemini. When, when cry the sirens of doom and love. Speckly showers on Tuesday.”

    It’s a pretty stark analysis, and not without merit.”

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/seanthomas/100222487/when-it-comes-to-climate-change-we-have-to-trust-our-scientists-because-they-know-lots-of-big-scary-words/

    I am, as always, ready to listen to alternative viewpoints.

    Jones

  7. And of course ALL warming is caused by mankind and all of it is beyond just bad, it is absolutely catastrophic in every way. there is no place for an improvement in ANYTHING if the earth warms.

    What will they say when the serious cooling begins?

  8. Interestingly, “great rain god Oonga-Boonga, himfella plenty angry” also fully explains those same phenomena.

  9. Bingo!

    Science made to order. A dream for would-be architects of a new social / economic order.
    Or as Andrew Montford over at Bishop Hill succinctly put it: “Policy-based evidence-making.”

  10. Murph says;

    “You omitted one – “When the temperature remains constant (relatively), that is due to natural cooling offsetting the human induced warming””

    Except, of course,when human induced warming is offsetting natural cooling.

  11. ‘If the temperature goes down, the deep ocean is swallowing the heat – even though the heat can’t be measured, we know it must be there, because that is what the climate models tell us. Global warming prevails! ‘. Not quite true I’m afraid. We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space. This is observational evidence and of that there is no reasonable doubt. By the law of the conservation of energy it is going somewhere. If it is not showing up as atmospheric warming then it’s either being stored in the land or the oceans. The oceans have vastly more heat capacity than the land. So somehow it’s the oceans. None of this explains the reason for the energy imbalance – that’s the attribution problem. Climate science is riddled with bad science, poor method and bad manners but that doesn’t disguise the fact that there is a real issue.

  12. professor ryan do you have any measurement of energy balance precise enough to support your claim …and the global warming?
    I think if we d have this measurment it would be the dirst thing to show sceptic!

    I am more prone to believe that even the models are not able to deal with energy balance by themselve and need to ne force to be balanced excpet for some part like albedo reaction wich is suposed to be a right way to unbalance the system at a given time.

  13. Professor Bob Ryan:

    I quote all of your post at August 15, 2014 at 12:50 am so it is clear that I am replying in context.

    ‘If the temperature goes down, the deep ocean is swallowing the heat – even though the heat can’t be measured, we know it must be there, because that is what the climate models tell us. Global warming prevails! ‘. Not quite true I’m afraid. We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space. This is observational evidence and of that there is no reasonable doubt. By the law of the conservation of energy it is going somewhere. If it is not showing up as atmospheric warming then it’s either being stored in the land or the oceans. The oceans have vastly more heat capacity than the land. So somehow it’s the oceans. None of this explains the reason for the energy imbalance – that’s the attribution problem. Climate science is riddled with bad science, poor method and bad manners but that doesn’t disguise the fact that there is a real issue.

    Yes, there is a real issue and you have misrepresented it.

    We do NOT ” know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space.” We interpret observations by means of existing theory and hypothesis. If the observations do not agree – as they don’t concerning the Earth’s energy balance – then one or more of the observations, theory and hypotheses is flawed. Of this there is no doubt.

    Your lack of doubt in the observations, theory and hypotheses is superstitious belief which rejects the scientific method.

    And in science empiricism trumps theory. Therefore, the existing scientific indication is that ‘missing’ energy is NOT “being stored in the land or the oceans”. Until you can provide evidence that the energy storage is occurring then the scientific conclusion is that the theory and/or hypothesis requires amendment.

    As you say,”there is a real issue”. I agree, and I think it is a serious problem, but you do not mention it so I shall.

    You say you are a Professor; i.e. you teach. The problem is that many teachers are attempting to indoctrinate the young with superstitious nonsense of the kind you have posted here.

    Richard

  14. Is there an energy balance? Is it at all times balanced? Is it always uniformly in balance or are there places of under and over energy?

  15. “Any possible change, any possible observation, can always be explained by anthropogenic global warming.”

    Well, except for:

    (1) The lack of temperature rise that was predicted by the IPCC

    (2) The absence of anomalous global sea level rise predicted by the IPCC

    Whatever shall we do?

  16. David Schofield says:
    August 15, 2014 at 12:22 am
    “Spherical chickens in a vacuum. Says it all”
    ——————————————————–
    Ah ze old phyzics joke…

    Chickens do become spherical when exposed to the hard vacuum of space. They just don’t stay that way for long…

    It’s high time climastrologists stopped searching for their chickens and took note of the pink ice crystals on their space suit visors.

    AGW only works for spherical chickens in a vacuum? Not even then…

  17. Imagine if you were a stockbroker and you told your client that a stock called CAGW, at $100 a share, was a steal. It’s sure to go up. So your client invests $10,000 and it stays at $100 for 18 years. During that period you give your client 30 different excuses for why the stock has stagnated. You point your client to the SkepticalStock website and they have a running blog on the stock, claiming that despite what the stock price shows in the market, it has actually gone up in price. The people who look at the selling price just don’t get it. They then start attacking your client for daring to doubt their integrity.
    It’s essentially the same idea. But in the financial markets people would be taking a huge risk, the policing is very strict. In the CAGW community there is little or no risk, the government and media have your back. Cherchez d’argent.

  18. “No matter what the observation, no matter how the world changes, we can never falsify alarmist climate theories”

    False.

    The very foundation of the global warming hoax depends on the calculation that the surface of the planet would be at 255K in the absence of an atmosphere. The simplest empirical experiments proves this absurd claim utterly false.

    So what’s the problem? Fearful little quisling lukerwarmers, that’s what.

    Do you believe CO2 will cause “some” warming? Have you personally empirically checked? No you haven’t, have you? Therein lays the problem…

  19. Professor Ryan;

    The energy imbalance you describe can come about because incoming energy has risen or because outgoing energy has fallen (or of course both). Outgoing energy is measured as Outgoing Longwave Radiation or OLR for short. The CAGW hypothesis claims earth is warming becuase rising CO2 is acting as a “blanket” reducing OLR. NOAA publish a historical record of OLR from 1970 to 2010 and this shows OLR has been on average rising. It seems to me this entirely by itself falsifies the CAGW hypothesis. If there is an energy imbalance and OLR has been rising then incoming energy must have been rising even faster and that is either due to solar changes or changes in Earth’s albedo. The latter is of course in line with the Svensmark theory.

  20. Dear Professor Ryan,

    When a late Venezualan Socialist Dictator turns up at Copenhagen in December 2009, & stands before 4000 delegates at a UN meeting on Climate Change, & proclaims “Capitalism has caused Climate Change!”, & he gets a standing ovation, we know just how scientific the science of AGW really is! When African dictator Robert Mugabe turns up & stands before the same rent-a-mob, & proclaims that “Western Countries have caused Climate Change!”, & he gets a standing ovation, the science is definitely settled!!!! If the “final solution” to manmade global warming is the creation & establishment of a Global Government (as French President Mitterand admitted after the Kyoto agreement at the time), run by the UN, on Socialist lines, an overly bureaucratic, un-elected, undemocratic, unaccountable, & unsackable, GUVMENT, then we know just how settled the science really is! I have nothing against true Socialists, they want equality all round, it just depends upon who the OCD manipulating control freaks are who claim they’re Socialists who end up running things, enriching themselves at everyone else’s expense! Tony Blair is doing very nicely thank you, & he’s a lawyer by training, go figure!

    Please provide evidence of the problem we are supposed to have, once you have fully explained the exact range of Natural Variability of the Earth’s Climate, with a totally complete & infallible explanation of how the Sun works, & it’s small & or large affects upon the Earth’s Climate, with absolutely no “may”, “could”, “possibly”, “potentially”, “likely”, & with absolutely no “unknown”, “uncertainty”, & “just don’t knows”, please don’t leave anything out, & I will listen to any argument you wish to put forward, willingly! Long live the bloodsucking lawyers & the Precautionary Principle!

    Yours sincerely

    Alan Hannaford, CEng, MIStructE

  21. ” Not quite true I’m afraid. We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space. This is observational evidence and of that there is no reasonable doubt. By the law of the conservation of energy it is going somewhere. “

    Of course it never occurs to those grant funded scientists that there may be an error in their measurement…

  22. Prof Ryan, you say “We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space. This is observational evidence and of that there is no reasonable doubt”

    How do we know this? When, where and with what precision were the measurements made, and are the measurements continuing as we speak.

    Evidence of the Earth’s Radiation Imbalance (ERI) seems to lacking according to NASA. “ERI is too small to be measured by previous, current or planned future space assets,” says co-investigator Warren Wiscombe, a climate scientist at Goddard.” here. http://www.jhuapl.edu/newscenter/pressreleases/2013/131210.asp

  23. Professor Ryan. I am not an academic. However, I do have a good working knowlege of a thing known as the scientific method. And, correct me if I am wrong, but as I understand it, for any scientific theory to remain valid, it MUST conform to the strict rules of that scientific method.

    Your being a professor means that you should be very very well aware of the scientific method, but the piece you wrote above strongly suggests that you have forgotten it.

    I only say this out of respect, but in applying my area of expertise, martial arts, I can tell you from experience that I have seen lots of people with black belts who practice very shoddy martial arts.

    They begin as a white belt. they learn the beginners Katas (a series of martial techniques applied in a pattern to demonstrate martial ability) and as they progress up through the ranks to try to master martial arts, they literally forget to apply what they learn at the higher levels, to the “beginners stuff”. A really competent martial artist will always go back and re-learn the beginners stuff, applying new knowlege and skill to that, to master those beginners techniques as well.

    I feel too many academics get too focused on the intricate, complexity of their research study that they forget to apply the most basic, simple test. Does this still comply with the scientific method?

    Clearly, in climate science where observation does NOT match prediction, the sceintific method is not being applied, or if it does, you are not asking “why?” or “Is this still correct?” or “What else could be causing this?”. IF there is a problem with some observations not matching, ie the “energy imbalance is not showing up in the global temperature measurements” then you MUST question the assumption about the energy imbalance. Is it being observed or measured correctly? are the global temperature measurements being measured correctly?

    There are so many assumptions being made, which may be wholly incorrect. The whole CO2 driven global warming hypothesis, is built upon a massive collection of assumptions which are then modelled in many different ways, which may be utterly incorrect too. Then scientists (who have a financial stake) in promoting the alarm, are placing way way WAY too much certainty on the output of those assumption based models. The earth has not warmed for almost 2 decades in a direct contradiction of the hypothesis, so alarm funded scientists are gripping desperately to the “energy imbalance” assumption.

    It is time to look again at all the assumptions, because it is clear that the scientific method demands that the actual observation of the earth NOT warming up, trumps the hypothetical models upon which the false certainty of global warming alarm, currently rests.

  24. The energy balance is total energy in V total energy out as measured from space, Within the system there is no ”balance” and this causes weather as the energy tries to balance

  25. Eric Worrall pulled his punches. I mean by this that he made his point that AGW cannot be falsified without saying what this signifies.

    Karl Popper said, “The criterion of falsifiability is a solution to this problem of demarcation, for it says that statements or systems of statements, in order to be ranked as scientific, must be capable of conflicting with possible, or conceivable, observations.”
    .
    Richard Feynman said something like this in different words, “No matter how smart you are, who you are or how beautiful your theory, if data doesn’t support your theory, it is wrong.”

    I prefer Karl Popper’s elaboration. In his Conjectures and Refutations (1963), Popper said

    “The problem which troubled me at the time was neither, “When is a theory true?” nor “When is a theory acceptable?” my problem was different. I wished to distinguish between science and pseudo-science; knowing very well that science often errs, and that pseudoscience may happen to stumble on the truth.”

    By the criterion of Karl Popper, much of climate science is pseudoscience.

  26. No point attacking Professor Bob Ryan on what he wrote because he is essentially correct. More CO2, more warming. Maybe there are negative feedbacks and maybe they manage to reduce the effects of CO2 instead of enhance them. It’s possible. Although it’s likely that the feedbacks are at least slightly positive. But that’s not the point. Maybe we get 1.5C of extra warming over the next 100 years, all else being equal. You have to argue that’s a bad thing, which is not an easy thing to do, although the IPCC has tried very hard. In the grand scheme, 1.5C is likely meaningless. We’ve already seen .5C-1C of warming over the last century and all the effects appear to have been positive.

  27. Professor Bob Ryan on August 15, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Says: We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space. This is observational evidence and of that there is no reasonable doubt.

    These stetements are quite incorrect.

    We can’t and don’t accurately measure the balance between downwelling and upwelling radiation.

    We DO measure atmospheric CO2 levels, and we attempt to measure lower atmospheric temperatures world wide, and we very recently have begun measuring a substantial slice of the upper 2000 metres of the oceans with Argo bouys…..

    …… And then ‘the imbalance’ is theorized from knowledge of raditive physicsand from those sparse measures, and ‘substantiated’ from modelled but largely unknown feedback and requlatory mechanisms and their interactions.

  28. Will Nitschke:

    The first two sentences in your post at August 15, 2014 at 2:54 am are each wrong.

    You begin

    No point attacking Professor Bob Ryan on what he wrote because he is essentially correct. More CO2, more warming.

    People have been correcting – n.b. not “attacking” – Professor Bob Ryan on what he wrote because he is plain wrong. And he did not say, “More CO2, more warming”: in fact, he did not mention CO2.

    Please make your points without misrepresenting other people.

    Richard

  29. Any professional scientist or engineer can show the models are false just by looking at the energy balance. The key is the false assumption, by Hansen et al in 1981, that OLR comes from a single upper atmosphere source at -18 deg C. That in turn predicts with 360 degree emission, as much down as goes to Space; negative heating in the two-stream approximation.

    So the energy balance is 238.5 W/m^2 SW thermalisation + 333 W/m^2 ‘back radiation’** – 238.5 W/m^2 = 333 W/m^2. 100×333/238.5 = 140%: that’s right folks, the scam has existed for 33 years – a 40% increase in energy to the system, a Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind.

    They then do fine tuning using c. 30% extra low level cloud albedo in hindcasting. This offsets the extra warming in excess of the imaginary latent heat needed for the ‘hot spot’ and the extra lapse rate warming.

    This has been criminal fraud. Leave out the science fraud bit; it was always to boost careers and enrich carbon traders like Gore.

  30. @Will Nitschke: today’s Arctic Ice is near the 1979 – 2000 mean. By 2020, the Arctic will be frozen solid. There is no CO2 – AGW. By 2045 we’ll be -1.5 K and 100s of millions will starve as Canada and northern Europe cease to be able to grow grain.

  31. I am surprised we have not heard that climate is dead, dying or in a coma to explain the pause i warming.

  32. You forgot to mention the most important form of “climate change”, the most prevalent and violent of them all, the only one that in fact exists, namely the one that affects no one but alarmists.

  33. Professor Bob Ryan says:
    August 15, 2014 at 12:50 am

    … We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space. This is observational evidence and of that there is no reasonable doubt. …

    Could you please supply a reference.

  34. Tree rings providing temperature proxies is just like the punch line of the old joke about a CEO interviewing for a CFO. When asked the question, “How do you compute profit?”, the candidate replied “What would you like it to be?” By this gauge, tree rings are perfect!

    Obtw, this has been pointed out several times on over the the years and underscores the adage “it’s not what’s reported but what’s repeated”. This is only repeated at sites like WUWT.

  35. Willis did a good post on the difficulties of computing energy imbalance from ocean temperature measurements. According to Willis, amount of heating claimed by James Hansen translates to an ocean temperature change of 0.0016c / year.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/30/losing-your-imbalance/

    Even if you convince yourself that one argo float per 100,000 square kilometres (the average area measured by each float) can provide a meaningful representation of the temperature of such a vast area (not to mention volume) of sea water, a precision of 0.0016c / year is beyond credible.

  36. My belief is it will be the fraudulent adjustments to historical temperature records around the world that will eventually bring them undone.
    In Australia Jo Nova and her independant team have uncovered substantial evidence that our records have been adjusted to enhance the fraud.
    In some sites turning a cooling trend in data to a warming trend.
    Probably the biggest expose by her would be that if you were to remove those adjustments.
    You would nearly halve the alleged temperature rise of 1.3(C) last century in Australia.
    Which in turn would leave our temperature at nothing more than natural temperature variation.
    No big deal, except for the billions these fraudsters have pocketed.

  37. the ever-amusing Readfearn has his “facts” to prove a sceptic wrong. the comments tell u a lot about the climate expertise of his readers:

    15 Aug: Guardian: Graham Readfearn: Fact check: How Maurice Newman misrepresents science to claim future global cooling
    Picking over the climate science denialist claims of Tony Abbott’s top business advisor
    Maybe Maurice Newman was hoping nobody would check…
    Given we’ve been here before, I’m starting to think that Newman might actually have written some clever computer code that first scrapes climate science denial blogs for conspiracy theories and common misrepresentations and then turns them into 950-words for The Australian newspaper…
    When you start to test Maurice Newman’s claims you find the whole case is about as sturdy as a house made of playing cards placed on a poorly constructed raft made of rolled up copies of The Australian floating on the ocean… in a tropical cyclone…
    I apologise for the length of this post by the way and some of the overly technical stuff, but every once in a while I think it’s worth picking at the claims made by people in influential positions…

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2014/aug/15/fact-check-how-maurice-newman-misrepresents-science-to-claim-future-global-cooling

  38. “We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space.”

    Absolutely we do NOT know that. It is NOT a ‘fact’ of observation. True, last ‘calculation’ of the earth’s ‘energy budget’ I’ve seen showed a .6 w/m^2 ‘excess’. The only problem with that ‘observation’ is the error range that went along with it —– +- 17 w/m^2. Yes, the error range was roughly 28 times the ‘measurement’, which, as far as I’m concerned, makes it no measurement at all.

  39. Monty Python created a whole character, Sir Bedevere the Wise, for the logic the alarmists have now recycled in cAGW. Prof Ryan obliged us a classic example by assuming Earth’s energy to be measurable in all it’s forms at all times. No wonder the alarmists seem to be in a quest of the elusive perpetual motion machine.

    More generally speaking, if Earth emitted more heat into the space than it receives, it would be a star and not a planet. So what are these measurements trying to prove exactly?

  40. David Schofield says:
    August 15, 2014 at 12:22 am
    “Spherical chickens in a vacuum. Says it all”
    ——————————————————–
    Ah ze old phyzics joke…

    Well, personally I prefer the ‘phyzics’ joke

    Why didn’t the quantum chicken cross the road?

    Because he was already on both sides…

  41. jorgekafkazar says:
    August 15, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Interestingly, “great rain god Oonga-Boonga, himfella plenty angry” also fully explains those same phenomena.
    ====================

    And it cannot be falsified either.

  42. A theory that can’t be tested is like a toilet that can’t be flushed.

    Neither one is good for sh!t.

  43. @richardscourtney
    “The first two sentences in your post at August 15, 2014 at 2:54 am are each wrong.”

    Yes, he wrote “observational evidence” and who knows what he meant by that. If he’d written “we know from the basic physics” instead, the point he made would still be correct. Once you start arguing silly semantics you start sounding like the Alarmists.

  44. “No point attacking Professor Bob Ryan on what he wrote because he is essentially correct.”

    No one is ‘attacking’ Prof Ryan, what people are doing is taking issue with his definitive statement that the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting and that we KNOW this to be true based on observational evidence. The idea that disagreement with a statement made by an academic constitutes an ‘attack’ upon that person and therefore it should be dismissed is a very dangerous idea. It leads directly to a scientific elite dictatorship and all of science will come to a crashing halt as we substitute ‘Imam’ like proclamations of ‘fact’ for true scientific effort.

  45. The warmists can explain away any phenomena except for global cooling. Significant, unequivocal global cooling breaks their paradigm.


    Song, Captain
    Captain:
    I am the Captain of the Pinafore.
    All:
    And a right good captain, too!
    Captain:
    You’re very, very good,
    And be it understood,
    I command a right good crew.
    All:
    We’re very, very good,
    And be it understood,
    He commands a right good crew.
    Captain:
    Though related to a peer,
    I can hand, reef, and steer,
    And ship a selvagee;
    I am never known to quail
    At the furry of a gale,
    And I’m never, never sick at sea.
    All:
    What, never?
    Captain:
    No, never.
    All:
    What, never?
    Captain:
    Well, hardly ever!

    http://www.solen.info/solar/polarfields/polar.html

  46. @dccowboy

    “No one is ‘attacking’ Prof Ryan, what people are doing is taking issue with his definitive statement that the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting and that we KNOW this to be true based on observational evidence.”

    So you don’t believe CO2 warms the atmosphere? Because you’re either on the side of science, or you’re a crank.

    “The idea that disagreement with a statement made by an academic constitutes an ‘attack’ upon that person and therefore it should be dismissed is a very dangerous idea. It leads directly to a scientific elite dictatorship and all of science will come to a crashing halt as we substitute ‘Imam’ like proclamations of ‘fact’ for true scientific effort.”

    A little paranoid don’t you think?

  47. “Climate Disruption”, their latest fave phrase explains all. CO2’s already-extraordinary powers have now morphed to becoming akin to magic. With Climate Disruption as the new meme, warming is irrelevant, except that they “know” it’s there, just waiting to get us like a climate bogeyman. “Climate Science” has become such bogus nonsense that one wonders how those in the Clim-scifi industry can live with themselves. They are nothing more than charlatans and prostitutes to an ideology. It is shameful.

  48. “Climate science is riddled with bad science, poor method and bad manners but that doesn’t disguise the fact that there is a real issue. ” – Professor Bob Ryan

    If it is bad science, poor method and bad manners (maybe to the point of fraud), how do we find any issues, never mind the real issue?

    I went off the Global Warming bandwagon for a few reasons.
    – As this article states, lack of falsibility – hot,cold, wet, dry, it is all due to global warming apparently.
    – Data is awful – incredible amount of massaging, interpolation, cherry picking sources, time periods, etc. That part is improving, though no where where it needs to be.
    – If there is a warming of the planet, while certain regions may suffer, many other regions may benefit, a net plus for humanity. The constant doomsday message has gone past rediculous.
    – Climate scientists are miserable at the computer science, forecasting and statistics at the core of their findings. This part is not improving.
    – Science + politics = garbled science if not garbage science. Maybe thats why global alarming websites have an odor

  49. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 4:48 am “If he’d written “we know from the basic physics” instead, the point he made would still be correct. ”
    ————————————————————————
    I don’t understand this statement. Can you elaborate?

    The point he made is not correct, regardless of the qualifiers used to strengthen it. Both qualifiers (his and yours) are dangerously close to Argumentum ad Verecundiam.

  50. Will Nitschke
    How do you test evolutionary theory?

    By using the theory to make non-trivial predictions, and validating the predictions with observations.

    In 1862, Charles Darwin, upon receiving samples of a flower with a spur which was a foot long, predicted that there must exist a moth which had evolved a 12 inch tongue. In 1903, Darwin’s moth was found in the wild.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xanthopan_morgani

    If alarmist climate models were capable of making predictions of comparable quality, then there would be much greater acceptance of their premises.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-hans-von-storch-on-problems-with-climate-change-models-a-906721.html

  51. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 4:54 am

    @dccowboy

    “No one is ‘attacking’ Prof Ryan, what people are doing is taking issue with his definitive statement that the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting and that we KNOW this to be true based on observational evidence.”

    So you don’t believe CO2 warms the atmosphere? Because you’re either on the side of science, or you’re a crank.

    “The idea that disagreement with a statement made by an academic constitutes an ‘attack’ upon that person and therefore it should be dismissed is a very dangerous idea. It leads directly to a scientific elite dictatorship and all of science will come to a crashing halt as we substitute ‘Imam’ like proclamations of ‘fact’ for true scientific effort.”

    A little paranoid don’t you think?

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

    Excellent demonstration of what you are accusing others of doing to Prof Ryan. Nice ad hominems wrapped up in a ‘strawman argument’. If I don’t agree with you I’m a ‘crank’ and I’m ‘paranoid’?

    Please reference anything in Prof Ryan’s statement that says anything about CO2 (he doesn’t) and its effect on the atmosphere. Please reference anything I’ve stated about CO2 and its affect on the atmosphere.

  52. @dccowboy
    “I don’t understand this statement. Can you elaborate?”

    His post was vague. Don’t attack what you image he meant. Common courtesy, attack the fairest possible interpretation. Do greenhouse gases warm the planet? Yes? Agreed? Does increasing greenhouse gases warm the planet? Yes? Agreed? Will this therefore alter the energy balance, assuming all else is equal? Yes? Agreed? So why are you claiming his statement is wrong?

    “The point he made is not correct, regardless of the qualifiers used to strengthen it. Both qualifiers (his and yours) are dangerously close to Argumentum ad Verecundiam.”

    Sorry, not much impressed with someone telling me I’m wrong because I’m wrong. Throwing in same Latin doesn’t make the argument sound smarter.

    Look, the guy is wrong not because of what he said, but because of what he didn’t say. Maybe he was being disingenuous. Maybe he is not very bright. I’m open to either possibility. But don’t attack straw men either.

  53. @dccowboy

    “Excellent demonstration of what you are accusing others of doing to Prof Ryan. Nice ad hominems wrapped up in a ‘strawman argument’. If I don’t agree with you I’m a ‘crank’ and I’m ‘paranoid’?”

    I suggested you post was paranoid because it sounded paranoid. I wasn’t personally attacking you. An ad hominems is when I call you shorty. If I say your argument is rubbish and suggest a reason why, that’s not ad hominen.

    “Please reference anything in Prof Ryan’s statement that says anything about CO2 (he doesn’t) and its effect on the atmosphere. Please reference anything I’ve stated about CO2 and its affect on the atmosphere”

    Sorry I missed the part where all claims must be phrased precisely in the way you say they must be framed, because you say so. ;-)

  54. @Eric Worrall
    In 1862, Charles Darwin, upon receiving samples of a flower with a spur which was a foot long, predicted that there must exist a moth which had evolved a 12 inch tongue. In 1903, Darwin’s moth was found in the wild.”

    I would exactly agree with you, so long as everyone, or at least us two, acknowledge that testing a theory does not require an experimental framework. Predictive novelty is enough.

  55. This whole issue of energy imbalance and its measurement would be a great topic for a post with lots of references and discussion. I am not an expert, but would like to understand better, so perhaps the professors can consider me the student. Of course energy conservation must be maintained, but I have a few questions:

    Why do we assume that the energy has to balance at the margin of the earth’s atmosphere? Doesn’t it have to balance over the whole universe, not just our earth?

    Aren’t there different forms of energy that have to be considered in the balancing equation? What about heat being converted to kinetic energy, etc? Is there kinetic energy at the margin of the atmosphere that we are not measuring?

    Aren’t there a whole lot of assumptions about other forms of energy remaining stable (a useful assumption since we can’t measure them?) Do we know that the earth’s crust or internal termperature is always stable?

    How much would sea level rise for a .016 degree C change in ocean temperature (due to thermal expansion)?

    Sorry if these sound like stupid questions, but I was taught that you had to rule out other explanations as a part of the exercise. Any comments or a post would be appreciated.

  56. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 4:54 am

    So you don’t believe CO2 warms the atmosphere? Because you’re either on the side of science, or you’re a crank.
    Strawman argument, followed by circular reasoning. Either you believe in rational arguments or you’re an idiot.

  57. “Why do we assume that the energy has to balance at the margin of the earth’s atmosphere?”

    The reason why we know that there is an energy balance is that the Earth is not steadily cooling or warming up. Now it does vary a little in one direction and then the other, but does a remarkable job of reaching a new equilibrium state over time. But the equilibrium state must always be in a state of flux, because it’s just a physical impossibility that the balancing could be perfect. The Earth is billions of years old, and it has not frozen into an ice ball and the oceans have not boiled away. At least not yet. Although we expect both events will happen eventually, due to changes in the sun’s life cycle.

  58. @Bruce Cobb
    “Strawman argument, followed by circular reasoning. Either you believe in rational arguments or you’re an idiot.”

    OK, now this is an example of an ad hominen proper. ;-)

  59. Has anything really changed in the climate?

    Your backyard has some cool years, some warm seasons, a rainy day, a warm week, a record-breaking cold day. Nothing has changed.

  60. @Eric Worrall

    Also, I want you another question since it’s premised in your topic heading and relevant to the issue. How does one falsify the theory of evolution?

  61. Any theory that predicts both warming or cooling from rising CO2 may be perfectly correct, but it has no scientific value. You can get the exact same result from a pair of dice at a lot less cost..

    To be of value, a theory must predict the future better than can a pair of dice or a toss of the coin. Otherwise, we should use a coin toss or a pair of dice to predict the future, as they are considerably cheaper than computer climate models; more reliable and no less accurate.

  62. A theory of everything can predict nothing.
    Unless it is used to predict a complex non-linear process (climate).
    Then, of course, every prediction must be correct :-)

  63. “What do you want the results to be”? is certainly a question I’ve asked many, many times. It was my job (working for the government, natch) to ensure that our answer was correct, in that it could not be easily proven incorrect. It is an art, let me tell you. You simply come up with a reason why you can’t use good data (its too old and irrelevant, its too new and unstudied, etc), sell the reason you are using bad data (its all we have, we have budgetary constraints, etc.). Repeat as needed.

    I’m afraid that most civil servants will tell you that the British series “Yes, Minister” (and “Yes, Prime Minister”) is more a training film and documentary than it is a scripted comedy…

    BTW, this is a rather large list of what the alarmists will use as proof, much of which are of course due to modelling:

    http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

  64. Will Nitschke says:

    “His post was vague. Don’t attack what you image he meant. Common courtesy, attack the fairest possible interpretation. Do greenhouse gases warm the planet? Yes? Agreed? Does increasing greenhouse gases warm the planet? Yes? Agreed? Will this therefore alter the energy balance, assuming all else is equal? Yes? Agreed? So why are you claiming his statement is wrong?”

    I have to assume by ‘his’, you meant Prof Ryan. Based on that assumption I would respond:

    Prof Ryan’s statement (that I do disagree with)
    “We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space. This is observational evidence and of that there is no reasonable doubt.”

    Attack the ‘fairest possible interpretation’? Really? Who is the arbiter of what the ‘fairest possible interpretation’ is? You? Me? I’m not sure it is ‘fair’ for you to supply your interpretation of what Prof Ryan meant to be the cause of his proposed ‘imbalance’.

    Why do I disagree with his statement? I posted my reason above and will repeat it below.

    dccowboy says:
    August 15, 2014 at 4:24 am

    “We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space.”

    Absolutely we do NOT know that. It is NOT a ‘fact’ of observation. True, last ‘calculation’ of the earth’s ‘energy budget’ I’ve seen showed a .6 w/m^2 ‘excess’. The only problem with that ‘observation’ is the error range that went along with it —– +- 17 w/m^2. Yes, the error range was roughly 28 times the ‘measurement’, which, as far as I’m concerned, makes it no measurement at all.

    I disagree with the statement that ‘We know” because we do not ‘know’. Doesn’t have a thing to do with the causes of any imbalance, just the certitude.

  65. Will Nitschke:

    Your post at August 15, 2014 at 4:48 am says in total

    @richardscourtney

    “The first two sentences in your post at August 15, 2014 at 2:54 am are each wrong.”

    Yes, he wrote “observational evidence” and who knows what he meant by that. If he’d written “we know from the basic physics” instead, the point he made would still be correct. Once you start arguing silly semantics you start sounding like the Alarmists.

    Will Nitschke, when you distort and misrepresent the words of others then proclaim yourself to be an egregious troll.

    I did NOT “start arguing silly semantics”.
    I objected to you misrepresenting words of me and of others.
    My post at August 15, 2014 at 3:06 am said in total

    Will Nitschke:
    The first two sentences in your post at August 15, 2014 at 2:54 am are each wrong.
    You begin

    No point attacking Professor Bob Ryan on what he wrote because he is essentially correct. More CO2, more warming.

    People have been correcting – n.b. not “attacking” – Professor Bob Ryan on what he wrote because he is plain wrong. And he did not say, “More CO2, more warming”: in fact, he did not mention CO2.
    Please make your points without misrepresenting other people.

    Your response to my request is additional misrepresentation.

    Richard

  66. Konrad says:

    August 15, 2014 at 1:39 am

    “No matter what the observation, no matter how the world changes, we can never falsify alarmist climate theories”

    False

    Well, actually it is true – at least in the minds of the Alarmist/Warmists, which I believe is the point of the OP.

  67. How does one falsify the theory of evolution?
    ============
    the theory of evolution predicts certain things that can be tested. For example, if we add a low level toxin to the environment, the theory predicts that over time the population under study will adapt to the toxin such that it is increasingly less harmful to the population. And that is in fact what is observed, which is evidence (not proof) that the theory might be correct.

    however, if evolution predicted that the toxin might become more harmful or less harmful over time, the theory might well be correct, but it has no scientific value because a coin toss tells us the same thing.

  68. “Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 4:54 am
    @dccowboy

    “No one is ‘attacking’ Prof Ryan, what people are doing is taking issue with his definitive statement that the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting and that we KNOW this to be true based on observational evidence.”

    So you don’t believe CO2 warms the atmosphere? Because you’re either on the side of science, or you’re a crank.”

    It is true that CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere and that alone does cause an increase in the kinetic energy of the molecules of the atmosphere, i. e. warming, but that in no way requires that the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting. There are many other factors on both sides of the energy imbalance equation that contribute to the energy balance of the earth. All of them are in flux, and since the atmospheric temperatures are not warming, then it is quite obvious that these other factors are at least as influential and having an opposite affect as increasing CO2.

    One can certainly be on the side of science, believe CO2 is a greenhouse gas and believe that, at the moment, the earth is not absorbing more energy than it is emitting. None of these statements are mutually exclusive. Suggesting that they are is illogical. Suggesting that someone is a ‘crank’ is an ad hominem attack.

    You can do better.

    The idea that the ‘extra’ heat must be in the oceans, can only be maintained by imagining wild energy transfer processes that have never been observed in nature, while ignoring the many natural processes of climate regulation that are continually being observed. This willful ignorance is not only endemic at the IPCC, it is actually implied by their Charter. The human influences on climate can not be quantified without a thorough understanding of the natural influences on climate, but the IPCC is tasked to do just that: quantify the human influence while pretending the natural influence is inconsequential (despite all evidence to the contrary).

  69. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 5:57 am

    @Eric Worrall

    “Also, I want you another question since it’s premised in your topic heading and relevant to the issue. How does one falsify the theory of evolution?”

    Well the null hypothesis is it was the work of a creator, much like a mosaic tile or other art. The difficulty with this is that it might be argued that a more creative creator created life with a built in adapter to survive changes to the environment by diversifying and changing itself…er…. evolution. Also, you are faced with the problem of falsifying the existence of God. Yes it is difficult. It’s difficult also to falsify general relativity – this theory was hated so much at the beginning that trying to falsify it was the main occupation of physicists for some time.

    Re climate science, it has falsified itself. It has predicted nothing that has come to pass and all it has predicted has been wrong. The point of the article is that climate science keeps moving over to stomp on falsifying events in contradictory fashion. The remarkable thing to me about the science is that there are so relatively few questioners and hoards of believers. We have now had a non-warming period about as long as the so-called anthropogenic warming period was, even though the gatekeepers keep fiddling an upward slope to the temperature record.

  70. No matter what the observation, no matter how the world changes, we can never falsify alarmist climate theories. Any possible change, any possible observation, can always be explained by anthropogenic global warming.

    That’s why I call it Climastrology. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard “it’s not entirely inconsistent with…….”. Therefore I ask what would be inconsistent with AGW? There is usually great silence.

  71. How do you test evolutionary theory?

    By using the theory to make non-trivial predictions, and validating the predictions with observations.

    In 1862, Charles Darwin, upon receiving samples of a flower with a spur which was a foot long, predicted that there must exist a moth which had evolved a 12 inch tongue. In 1903, Darwin’s moth was found in the wild.

    That’s exactly what I would expect God to have done. The mere existence of the moth says nothing about it’s origin. Theory that is not subject to experimentation can never be proven scientifically. Would the absence of the moth have disproven evolution? Falsifiability, the point of this article, is the key. Without experimentation there will always be a way to explain away any observation or to make any observation fit the “theory”.

  72. Jim Clarke:

    In your post at August 15, 2014 at 6:27 am you say to Will Nitschke

    One can certainly be on the side of science, believe CO2 is a greenhouse gas and believe that, at the moment, the earth is not absorbing more energy than it is emitting. None of these statements are mutually exclusive. Suggesting that they are is illogical. Suggesting that someone is a ‘crank’ is an ad hominem attack.

    You can do better.

    Really?! He “can do better”? I am willing to accept your word that he can, but so far I have yet to see any evidence of it. On the contrary, the evidence I have is his posts directed at me which indicate he is an egregious, abusive and illogical troll so – having been refuted – he should be ignored.

    Richard

  73. AGW is in large part based on the notion that recovery from the Little Ice Age ended in 1850. That temperature increases BEFORE 1850 were due to recovery from the LIA, while temperature increases AFTER 1850 must be due either to humans or natural variability. AGW rests on the assumption that long term, temperatures should not change, except for human causes.

    What is remarkable about 1850 is that it marks the beginning of the modern temperature records. What are the chances that recovery from the LIA actually did end at the exact same time we started recording temperatures? Realistically, the odds are zero. It would be a fantastic coincidence.

    Yet, Climate Science believes that recovery from the LIA ended at the exact same time (+/- 10 years) we started recording temperatures, and has built a large body of science on this single assumption. In spite of the fantastically long odds against the assumption being correct..

  74. Professor Bob Ryan Says:
    ”We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space. This is observational evidence and of that there is no reasonable doubt.”

    In “An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations” Stephens et al. puts the surface imbalance at 0.6 … (wait for it) … +/- 17 W/m^2. LOL.

    ”That said, the Stephens et al. analysis highlights the uncertainties in our ability to observe and simulate the global mean surface energy balance.” — Judith Curry

    But more to the point Stephens et al. also puts the TOA imbalance at 0.4 +/- 0.2 W/m^2, which agrees with what Prof. Ryan said, although “reasonable doubt” is somewhat subjective and I would characterized it as “little” as opposed to “no”. (But I digress) Such a tiny energy imbalance over a snippet of time is hardly reason to automatically assume from the Law of Conservation of Energy that we have a global problem. For one thing the internal energy of a system includes chemical energy such as the energy converted from sunlight (radiant energy) into sugar (chemical energy), one could just as easily assume that due to the increase in CO2 that plant life had gained biomass thus increased chemical energy stored in the system inducing the tiny radiant energy imbalance temporarily or a myriad of other possibilities that have been ignored in favor of the one that aligns with certain political agendas.

  75. Professor Bob Ryan says: August 15, 2014 at 12:50 am

    ‘If the temperature goes down, the deep ocean is swallowing the heat – even though the heat can’t be measured, we know it must be there, because that is what the climate models tell us. Global warming prevails! ‘. Not quite true I’m afraid. We know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space.

    How do we know this?? We know the TSI at TOA. We have a vague idea of LW back to space. We really have no idea what amount of SW reaches the surface to be converted to LW. That is calculated by “models” as well.

    We don’t know that there is any “Missing Heat”, as for all we know, that missing heat never got converted to missing heat, but was reflected back to space as SW by clouds.

    The problem is assumptions.

  76. “Any possible change, any possible observation, can always be explained by anthropogenic global warming.” This is so comforting, like a warm blanket one can pull over one’s head on a stormy Monday!

  77. Professor Bob Ryan says:
    August 15, 2014 at 12:50 am …………….

    Here is a interesting observation from 2011 and covered on wuwt recently.

    A paper published in the Journal of Climate finds from 800,000 observations a significant decrease in longwave infrared radiation from increasing greenhouse gases over the 14 year period 1996-2010 in the US Great Plains. CO2 levels increased ~7% over this period and according to AGW theory, downwelling IR should have instead increased over this period.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/05/bombshell-study-shows-greenhouse-gas-induced-warming-dropped-for-the-past-14-years/

  78. Professor Bob Ryan says:
    August 15, 2014 at 12:50 am …………….

    Professor, dig into this link, very interesting observations.

    December 17, 2013
    AGW Falsified: NOAA Long Wave Radiation Data Incompatible with the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming
    ANTHROPOGENIC Global Warming (AGW) theory claims the earth is warming because rising CO2 is like a blanket, reducing Earth’s energy loss to space. However, data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that at least for the last 30 years, Earth’s energy loss to space has been rising. The last 30 years of NOAA data is not compatible with the theory of AGW. It would appear that either 30 years of NOAA data is wrong or the theory of AGW is flawed. This is Michael Hammer’s conclusion following analysis of the official outgoing long wave radiation (OLR) data.

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/2013/12/agw-falsified-noaa-long-wave-radiation-data-incompatible-with-the-theory-of-anthropogenic-global-warming-2/

  79. Richard Wright
    By using the theory to make non-trivial predictions, and validating the predictions with observations. … there must exist a moth which had evolved a 12 inch tongue.

    That’s exactly what I would expect God to have done. The mere existence of the moth says nothing about it’s origin. Theory that is not subject to experimentation can never be proven scientifically. Would the absence of the moth have disproven evolution? Falsifiability, the point of this article, is the key. Without experimentation there will always be a way to explain away any observation or to make any observation fit the “theory”.

    The problem with the god theory is it doesn’t lead anywhere. If God personally assigns tasks to every particle in the universe at every moment of existence, then order is an illusion, and our experience of the universe is the whim of a power we can never hope to comprehend.

    Of course, if God created the universe as a more hands off affair, then God becomes almost irrelevant to the physical explanation of Darwin’s moth – God may have laid the foundation of physical laws from which evolution arose, but he didn’t make the moth – the laws by which the moth evolved are equally valid, whether God laid down the laws, or whether the fundamental laws which constrain our universe arose from something more spontaneous.

    As an atheist I tend towards the theory that there is no need for a god particle to explain any physical phenomena yet encountered, regardless of the underlying reality, the universe behaves in many ways as a predictable artefact, and even the unpredictable appears to be constrained in predictable ways – but there are certainly questions to which I don’t have the answers.

    I once heard a beautiful logical argument that we all live in a computer simulation, like the film The Matrix. If you imagine that computers will grow ever more powerful into the future, then eventually World of Warcraft will develop into a simulation which is indistinguishable from reality, populated with fantasy characters which are indistinguishable from living beings, which are fully conscious, and which believe in the reality and integrity of their environment. Since there are likely to be an enormous number of computer simulations built on the computers of the future, but there is only one real world, probability suggests that we are more likely to inhabit one of the untold myriad of fabulous simulations, than the one in a billion possibility that we inhabit the real world.

    But like many beautiful theories, the logical argument I just described lacks the one ingredient which it should require to become an accepted part of our experience – some solid evidence to support it.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/10/why-a-compelling-theory-is-not-enough/

  80. It is very difficult to find a feedback mechanism in nature that is positive. Virtually every one is negative which stops runaway anything. Yet every one of the climate models has a positive feedback variable. Start there if you want to make models that actually model the planet.

  81. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 4:51 am

    “A theory that can’t be tested is like a toilet that can’t be flushed.”

    How do you test evolutionary theory?

    You take a look?

    Abstract
    Dormant eggs record rapid evolution
    Nature 401:446. 1999
    Natural selection can lead to rapid changes in organisms, which can in turn influence ecosystem processes. A key factor in the functioning of lake ecosystems is the rate at which primary producers are eaten, and major consumers, such as the zooplankton Daphnia, can be subject to strong selection pressures when phytoplankton assemblages change. Lake Constance in central Europe experienced a period of eutrophication (the biological effects of an input of plant nutrients) during the 1960s-70s, which caused an increase in the abundance of nutritionally poor or even toxic cyanobacteria. By hatching long-dormant eggs of Daphnia galeata found in lake sediments, we show that the mean resistance of Daphnia genotypes to dietary cyanobacteria increased significantly during this eutrophication. This rapid evolution of resistance has implications for the ways that ecosystems respond to nutrient enrichment through the impact of grazers on primary production.
    Hairston, N.G., Jr., W. Lampert, C.E. Cáceres, C.L. Holtmeier et al

    http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~post/abstracts.html

    ———————-

    Abstract – 2000
    Rapid Evolution of Reproductive Isolation in the Wild: Evidence from Introduced Salmon
    …..Using DNA microsatellites, population-specific natural tags, and phenotypic variation, we tested for reproductive isolation between two adjacent salmon populations of a common ancestry that colonized divergent reproductive environments (a river and a lake beach). We found evidence for the evolution of reproductive isolation after fewer than 13 generations.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/290/5491/516.short

    ———————-

    Abstract – 2003
    Rapid Evolution of Egg Size in Captive Salmon

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/299/5613/1738.short

    ———————-

    Brief Communications – 2006
    Nature
    Invasion and the evolution of speed in toads
    ……Here we show that the annual rate of progress of the toad invasion front has increased about fivefold since the toads first arrived; we find that toads with longer legs can not only move faster and are the first to arrive in new areas, but also that those at the front have longer legs than toads in older (long-established) populations…….

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v439/n7078/abs/439803a.html

    ———————-

  82. The process is called ‘rationalization’, and it leans heavily on rhetorical skills – the ability to persuade with words regardless of their veracity or lack thereof – and also on the absence of critical thinking skills in the audience. Fact-checking and empirical verification are strictly forbidden.

  83. John West says:
    August 15, 2014 at 6:50 am

    … But more to the point Stephens et al. also puts the TOA imbalance at 0.4 +/- 0.2 W/m^2, which agrees with what Prof. Ryan said, although “reasonable doubt” is somewhat subjective and I would characterized it as “little” as opposed to “no”. …

    Stephens’ diagram shows an input (at the top of the atmosphere) of 340.2±0.1 and outputs of 100.0±2 for reflected solar and 239.7±3.3 for longwave radiation. That does not support a radiation imbalance of 0.6±0.4. There are a couple of ways to deal with the errors but the easiest is just to add them. Thus we get a radiation imbalance of 0.6±5.4. The error is about ten times as great as the claimed imbalance.

  84. Cold in Wisconsin, a partial answer that also deals with some misinterpretations in other posts.
    Since Earth is bounded by the vacuum of space, planetary energy can only be gained or lost via radiation (not convection or conduction). Incoming is mostly shortwave SLR (visible and ultraviolet frequencies) from the sun. Outgoing is whatever portion of SLR is reflected by net albedo, plus whatever OLR (infrared) is generated at and then radiates away from the top of the atmospheric ‘fog’ caused mainly by water vapor and CO2. OLR transparency increases with altutude because Water vapor quantity declines with temperature, and because CO2 quantity declines with pressure.
    Both inbound and outbound radiation are measured by satellite radiometers above ‘TOA’ top of atmosphere. The present imbalance is indeed about 0.6 W/m^2 +/- 0.4 more incoming than outgoing. That is less imbalance than climate models predict.
    That net energy gain can go three general places. 1. Warming the atmosphere. Since about 2000 it has not. 2. Warming the oceans, or equivalently melting icecaps. ARGO, ice mass, and sea level rise suggest there has been some, but not as much as models predict. Hence Trenberth’s deep ocean missing heat speculation without a mechanism. 3. Into stored energy in the biosphere ( e.g. Increased wood mass, increased seafloor kerogen from marine algae,…). The unexpected greening of the Sahel thanks to beneficial rising CO2 impact on C3 plants indicates that some of this is also certainly happening. I have seen no studies attempting a quantitative estimate.

    The most recent planetary energy budget (Stephens et. al. An Update on Earth’s energy balance…, Nat, Geos.5: 691-696 (2012)) attempts to reconcile estimated planetary processes to the TOA measurement, and comes up with a surface imbalance of 0.6 +/- 17. The biggest individual uncertainties are atmospheric absorption (SLR and OLR) and latent heat, both related to water vapor, clouds, and precipitation. Hence the feedback uncertainties, and therefor the sensitivity uncertainty.

  85. Regarding energy imbalance…. just because energy out does not equal energy in doesnt mean the earth must be warming. If more work is being done by the energy coming in, then the measurement can be true without warming. Since the earth is 11% greener now than before, and possibly a thousand other “unkonwn” or not accounted for effects, this would be consistent more energy in, less energy out… and zero temperature change.

  86. A model is falsified when the predicted relative frequencies of the outcomes of the events fail to match the observed relative frequencies. In AR4 and prior assessment reports, there were no events or relative frequencies making it impossible to falsify (or to validate) the models. In AR5, this has changed. Chapter 11 of the report of Working Group I describes events and outcomes (called “bins”) and compares the predicted to the observed relative frequencies of one of the outcomes.

    All is not well however. Global warming climatology faces a severe shortage of statistically independent observed events but this is not reflected in the results that are presented in Chapter 11.

  87. Hrm. Anybody else flashing back on H.L. Mencken? Gathered into Minority Report (1956):

    Not many men can grasp the concept of the irremediable, or take in the fact that what happens in the world is only seldom modified by human volition. Most men even go beyond believing in volition; they actually hold that there is some mystical potency in mere faith. The resultant fallacies are innumerable, and only too painfully familiar. Uncle Julius has come down with cancer and the doctors have given him up; ergo, we must try chiropractic, or Christian Science, else we be accused (and in our own eyes, convicted) of abandoning him to his doom. From this nonsense flows a very common corrollary, to wit, that quack remedies must be somehow better than rational ones, since they at least promise to cure. The belief in such promises is the great curse of man. More than anything else, it impedes the progress of the race. Its chief beneficiaries are all enemies to mankind.

  88. And mild winters and cool summers are “extreme” weather. I need the quotes because using extreme in that way is an extreme definition of extreme.

  89. Jimbo says:
    August 15, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Jimbo, I’m going to disagree with you here, but that doesn’t make me a creationist. The problem with evolution is with macro-evolution. For example, how did dinosaurs evolve into birds? How did the small shrew-like mammals evolve into humans, horses, whales, etc.? The fossil record is incomplete and it is unclear how the intermediate stages would be advantageous.

    Just so we’re clear, having legitimate questions regarding a theory doesn’t prove that creationism or intelligent design are true.

  90. First off, the reason the models cannot be falsified is that they are not science in the first place. They are programmers’ wet dreams and do exactly what they are programmed to do, show global warming, as they are based on only CO2 in the atmosphere.

  91. My problem with the argument about energy imbalance is conveniently illustrated by the side discussion on creation vs evolution. In the creation vs evolution discussion, we have boiled the question down to only two (widely accepted) alternatives:
    – If life, then God (creator)
    Or
    – If life, then evolution (natural processes)

    We observe life, so we can reasonably conclude one of the two options above. From this, we can have a meaningful discussion on the relative merits of the two. Note, since we only have the two options, we can generate a very sound and logical discourse. For example, since most reasonable people agree that the existence of God/creator is not falsifiable, we don’t bother trying to decide the argument from that angle. Rather, we approach it from the evolution/natural process side, that is, the side that is falsifiable.

    Thus, the argument is further reduced to whether we can disprove the theory of evolution. In this case, looking for examples or observations that would seem to defy the theory of evolution becomes relevant and should produce meaningful conclusions. This is only possible because we’ve identified all reasonable possibilities.

    This leads directly to my problem with the energy imbalance theory. The argument seems to be: If energy imbalance, then global warming. And the discussion that follows is mostly over whether or not we’ve observed an energy imbalance. Well, my problem is that the argument is not complete, in that we haven’t (to my knowledge) explored the alternatives. An energy imbalance could mean more than just GW, right? For example, all life on earth is fueled by solar energy, so energy imbalance might mean increase in life. Or maybe it means decrease in albedo. Or maybe it’s . The point is, in order to discuss the meaning of an energy imbalance, we first have to identify all the possible meanings.
    The AGW theory may predict an energy imbalance, so it’s reasonable to look for one. However, upon detecting one, it’s not reasonable to hold it as “proof” of the theory without exploring the possible alternative explanations for it. Only after ruling out all possible alternative explanations, can it be used as evidence/proof.

    rip

  92. more soylent green! says:
    August 15, 2014 at 9:51 am

    …and to follow that thought further, and in consideration of the general condition that science is falsifiable, we should be looking at those questions the most. We can’t just rest on the observations that are in-line with the predictions. We have to look for the holes, the problems, the inconsistencies and then deal with them appropriately. This would also include devising experiments or tests to try to disprove the theory. Only by doing so can we satisfy the scientific standards required to hold up a theory as observably true.

    To follow that to it’s logical conclusion, I suppose that if we can’t devise tests/experiments, if we can’t falsify the theory, we can’t call it a theory. It would be more of an untestable hypothesis. Furthermore, I’ve never really thought of it this way, but I guess we can also consider that “creationists” (or whatever the correct phrase is) are scientifically contributing when they present counter arguments, or examples where evolution fails to provide a satisfactory explanation. That actually leads us to the conclusion that, barring an alternative explanation for life (i.e. not created, or not evolution), the question of a creator could fairly be considered a scientific question.

    [I'm basically "thinking out loud" here...noting that I may have a gazillion rhetorical fallacies included in the above. As context, I'm personally agnostic on the theory of evolution.]

    rip

  93. “ferdberple says:
    August 15, 2014 at 6:24 am
    How does one falsify the theory of evolution?
    ============
    the theory of evolution predicts certain things that can be tested. For example, if we add a low level toxin to the environment, the theory predicts that over time the population under study will adapt to the toxin such that it is increasingly less harmful to the population. And that is in fact what is observed, which is evidence (not proof) that the theory might be correct.

    however, if evolution predicted that the toxin might become more harmful or less harmful over time, the theory might well be correct, but it has no scientific value because a coin toss tells us the same thing.”
    ………………………

    No, Fred, what you described is simply survival of the fittest. For any of the population to survive, some must have had a natural immunity to the toxin. Those that did survived passed their immunity on to their offspring. The population could rapidly grow since the smaller population would be less restrained in resources. In short, nothing evolved, a subset became extinct. There was no DNA change between the new population and the drug-resistant organisms of the old population. That’s far different from an organism evolving, with new characteristics or abilities, like fins evolving into legs.

    Eric Worrall, I fear you missed the point. Since other theories, from God to little green men from Alph Centauri, could explain the flower and the moth, then that example “proves” no theory. It is simply consistent with various theories.

    The flower and the moth example highlights what I think is a weakness in evolution. Which came first, the plant or the moth? I could see the advantage of the moth evolving to take advantage of the flower, but why would the flower evolve to suit the moth? If the flower was the result of a random mutation, how and why did it survive until the moth evolved? If it were a gradual process involving both, the question is why? What advantage did it provide? Clearly both organisms were surviving before, and during, those mutations.

    I am sure you are familiar with a keystone arch – an arch that would collapse without a center top-stone, but that stone requires the others to support it. It requires exterior support while being constructed, and only after construction can those supports be removed. I have studied many biological processes that would require dozens of independent mutations to create, but there would be no benefit to the organism until a key mutation toward the end of the process. Why didn’t those mutations ‘collapse’, i.e. not be maintained since they provided nothing for the organism, before that ‘keystone’ mutation occurred? I won’t even pretend to know the answer.

    I haven’t seen any theory that satisfies me, and likely won’t.

  94. Nice post, but this could be greatly expanded to drive the point home. There are alarmist’s predictions of more El Ninos, less El Ninos, more mild winters on the east coast, more severe winters on the east coast, Antarctic sea ice will decrease, Antarctic sea ice will increase, deserts will expand, deserts will contract, there will be more tornadoes, there will be less tornadoes, monsoons will increase in intensity, monsoons will decrease in intensity, unprecedented record highs will be set due to global warming, record lows will become more common from climate disruption, the world will be doomed when Arctic methane in permafrost suddenly sublimes, the Arctic will become a net carbon sink, global warming will increase the number of hurricanes, global warming will decrease the number of hurricanes…and I’m sure there are more.

  95. Met Office, Hadley no longer show temperature time series, preferring to show maps of last months “anomaly” against 1961-90/

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/crutem3/index.html

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadsst3/

    The time series are now tucked away under a very discrete heading of “Other information” subheading: “Various diagnostics”

    For years they have proudly displayed their monthly time series showing the “alarming” warming.

    Now the lack of rise since around 1997 is a bit of drawback to “outreach” and “communicating”. So they’ve backed off to showing a graph that tells us no more than it is warmer ( on average ) now than it was 40 years ago

    Good strategy, that approach should be good to potentially avoid showing what’s happening even if it cools for the next ten years.

  96. Re Prof Ryan:

    Heat loss of Earth interior is a subject of conjecture mainly because the heat model of earth is inconsistent with, you guessed it, observations. The quantity is an estimate from point measurements.


    Global internal heat flow
    Estimates of the total heat flow from Earth’s interior to surface span a range of 43 to 49 TW (TW = terawatt = 10^12 watts). The closest estimate is 47 TW, an average crust heat flow of 91.6 mW/m2, and is based on more than 38,000 measurements. The respective mean heat flows of continental and oceanic crust are 70.9 and 105.4 mW/m2.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_internal_heat_budget

    Thus Earth’s energy budget will remain an estimate for as long as the heat of earth can not be precisely nailed down. But Earth is a NET emitter. If it weren’t radioactive decay would increase heat until it melted crust and mantle. But it melts only a infinitesimal fraction of the upper mantle as magma each year which represents ~0.08% of Earth’s internal energy expenditure. Smaller than you’d think, right?

    The bulk of earth’s energy is instead used to bending rock, which of course heats it up, but not to its melting point. By bending rock I mean continuous internal geodynamic ductile flow deformations of individual crystal lattice unit-cells within the mantle and crust.

    As a result, the more deformation occurring below the surface, the higher the heat flow will be at the surface. So you have to measure many types of crust and terrains to arrive at an accurate estimate of the global heat energy escaping from the surface.

    Naturally the faster the deformation of lattices, the more likely they are to heat to melting point, especially if molecular water is present, as it dramatically lowers the melting point of common mantle minerals. Earth’s mantle consists of about 5% water, and the mantle is thousands of kilometers thick, so there are many times more water molecules in the mantle and crust, than in all oceans.

    So high deformation and high water content equates to higher heat flow, and volcanic extrusions. High deformation also means some energy is released as earthquakes. Naturally the slowest deforming areas have the coldest heat flow values. High mountains are young deformation terrains hence they are the hottest. Old low eroded mountains are colder. The same applies within the ocean basins, generally the higher the terrain the hotter and younger is the rock, thus deep ocean is colder crust, however the hottest crustal heat flow is above the deep trenches, because the deformation rate is the highest of all.

    Well guess what? We have nowhere near enough measurements and observations within the deep oceans. We still don’t know what we’ll find there, but what we do know is that the geodynamic activity within the oceans is several times greater than we see on land.

    So anyone pretending “the science is settled”, has not got one damned clue about what we don’t know! And the part that we don’t know the most about is the very part that’s most implicated in climate variability!

    “Hey, no problem! Let’s just make sh_t up again!”

    /this does not compute

  97. Jimbo says:
    August 15, 2014 at 7:58 am
    Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 4:51 am

    “A theory that can’t be tested is like a toilet that can’t be flushed.”

    How do you test evolutionary theory?

    You take a look?

    Nobody questions the presence of variability in species and that that variability allows organisms to adapt to their environment. But that’s not evolution. That’s not the creation of new species and new genetic information. It’s one thing for a toad with longer legs to be able to move faster and it’s quite another thing for a toad to grow wings and learn how to fly in order to survive.

  98. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 4:51 am

    The theory of evolution could easily be falsified. To paraphrase Haldane, “Find a rabbit fossil in Precambrian rocks”.

    The fact of evolution & theory as to how it works have always been confirmed & never shown false.

    Richard Wright says:
    August 15, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    There is no governor on change within populations of organisms that stops adaptation from becoming evolution. It’s the same process.

    Animals have developed wings repeatedly. Non-flying insects developed wings in the Carboniferous, about 350 million years ago. Non-flying archosaurs developed wings in the Late Triassic, about 228 Ma, to become pterosaurs. Non-flying dinosaurs developed wings in the Jurassic, about 150 Ma or earlier. Non-flying mammals developed wings in the Early Eocene, about 52 Ma, to become bats. Non-“flying” fish first developed wings during the Middle Triassic, about 235 to 242 Ma, to become “flying” or gliding fish, but that line went extinct. Modern “flying” fish evolved shortly after the K/T extinction event, about 66 Ma. No obvious reason why frogs could not evolve wings. Gliding flight has evolved independently among 3400 species of frogs in both the Old & New World families. Many other mammal & reptile groups have also evolved gliding.

    New genetic information arises all the time, although evolution doesn’t always need new information. It often takes very little mutation to make big changes, as in the evolution of nylon-eating bacteria from a point mutation. New species also arise in a single generation from duplication of existing info, as has been common in the evolution of polyploid plants.

  99. more soylent green! says:
    August 15, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Jimbo says:
    August 15, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Jimbo, I’m going to disagree with you here, but that doesn’t make me a creationist. The problem with evolution is with macro-evolution. For example, how did dinosaurs evolve into birds? How did the small shrew-like mammals evolve into humans, horses, whales, etc.? The fossil record is incomplete and it is unclear how the intermediate stages would be advantageous.

    Just so we’re clear, having legitimate questions regarding a theory doesn’t prove that creationism or intelligent design are true.
    ——————————————–

    Creationism & ID are readily shown false. The problem is that every time yet another of their predictions fails, they claim, “Aha! Now you have two gaps where before there was but one!” ID is just like CACA, ie antiscientific because they’re not falsifiable & their advocates aren’t interested in trying to find genuine explanations.

    Micro-evolution is the same process as macro-evolution. The latter just usually takes more time, but not always. No boundary exists in genomes to keep them from changing a lot after changing a little.

    Of course the fossil record is incomplete, but for the transitions you mention, it’s plenty good enough & always getting better. For horses, it has been good for a long time. For whales, it has gotten better more recently.

    But understanding evolution doesn’t rely only on fossils. The genomes of related groups of organisms can show precisely which mutations occurred to produce observed evolutionary changes, & to work out the order of evolution & degree of relatedness of the studied groups.

  100. @Jim Clarke

    “One can certainly be on the side of science, believe CO2 is a greenhouse gas and believe that, at the moment, the earth is not absorbing more energy than it is emitting. None of these statements are mutually exclusive. Suggesting that they are is illogical. Suggesting that someone is a ‘crank’ is an ad hominem attack.

    You can do better.”

    Jim there is nothing much in your post I disagree with. It’s basically the same thing I’m noting. But you missed the point of my criticism entirely, which is that a lot of commentators are attacking straw men by imagining what this fellow ‘must have’ meant, rather than what he wrote. Unfortunately, you fall into the same trap by distorting the simplest statements in order to make a false point. I’m not attacking anyone personally, but I would describe anyone who denies that GHG’s warm the atmosphere, as cranks. As I hope, would you. You can do better. ;-)

  101. @Gary Pearse
    Me: “How does one falsify the theory of evolution?”

    You: “Well the null hypothesis is it was the work of a creator,”

    No, that’s not a null hypothesis. That’s just another hypothesis.

  102. @Richard Wright
    “Falsifiability, the point of this article, is the key. Without experimentation there will always be a way to explain away any observation or to make any observation fit the “theory”.”

    So you’re claiming evolutionary theory and much of cosmology, to use two examples, are not science? You’re welcome to that opinion, but it puts in you in a very tiny minority.

  103. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Both evolution & cosmology make testable predictions, so are scientific. Evolution is as subject to test by experiment as any other science, & has always been confirmed when so tested, never falsified. Cosmology is currently in more need of further testing than evolution, but no theory is ever settled in all its details, except when finally directly observed, as in the case of the heliocentric theory of the solar system, as refined.

  104. Evolution too of course has been directly observed repeatedly, but its details can always be clarified, as with the theory of gravitation.

  105. Will Nitschke:

    In your post at August 15, 2014 at 3:22 pm you have the gall to write Jim Clarke

    But you missed the point of my criticism entirely, which is that a lot of commentators are attacking straw men by imagining what this fellow ‘must have’ meant, rather than what he wrote.

    Say what!? That takes some beating as an example of psychological projection!
    YOU misrepresented what Ryan wrote by introducing YOUR assumption that he was talking about effects of CO2 which he did not mention.

    In my reply to your post which is at August 15, 2014 at 3:06 am and can be read here I objected to your doing what you now have the ‘brass neck’ to wrongly assert others did!

    Clearly, you are an egregious troll.

    Richard

  106. OK final comment for now. Too many replies to some of my points so I want to just reply with a general one to cover them all.

    One can courteously read Professor Ryan’s post as pointing out that assuming all else being equal, GHG’s will warm the atmosphere, hence it will change the energy balance, eventually to a new equilibrium state. This is not controversial. Nothing here that any skeptic would or should disagree with. And yes, some of that extra energy will no doubt have to end up in the oceans. (Perhaps by an unmeasurably small amount, but there is no way you can shift the energy balance and not affect the oceans too.)

    The relevant question is, is this something to be worried about? Is it actually a bad thing or something actually trivial given the size of the energy imbalance? Or perhaps this is actually a good thing. A slight gradual warming of the planet, based on the empirical evidence to date, has been positive.

    Yes you can argue until you’re blue in the face as to what the current energy budget equations work out to, right now, but at the end of the day their accuracy is limited because our sampling is limited, and the energy balance changes over time. Looking at the big picture, the planet has warmed gradually for around 300 years now, so things are moving in one direction, but not always consistently. Nothing even slightly controversial here. More along now.

    So the ‘correct’ approach to a criticism of Professor Ryan’s post would have been to point out all these things, and other things of like nature, in a calm, considered way. The feral attacks on the uncontroversial things that he did write, frankly, just makes those commentators look really dumb.

  107. @milodonharlani
    “Both evolution & cosmology make testable predictions, so are scientific. Evolution is as subject to test by experiment as any other science, & has always been confirmed when so tested, never falsified. Cosmology is currently in more need of further testing than evolution, but no theory is ever settled in all its details, except when finally directly observed, as in the case of the heliocentric theory of the solar system, as refined.”

    What’s the test for the claim that a fish evolved into an amphibian?

    What’s the test for the big bang theory?

    Which laboratories ran those tests and which papers can the test results be found in?

  108. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 4:51 am

    The theory of evolution could easily be falsified. To paraphrase Haldane, “Find a rabbit fossil in Precambrian rocks”.

    I doubt it. The theory of Evolution does not predict the Cambrian explosion or when any type of species should occur. The fossil record simply shows what it shows. If a rabbit fossil were found in Precambrian rocks then it would be dismissed as an anomaly; the rock would probably be reclassified. But if many rabbit fossils were found then it would be proposed that a previously unknown parallel line of evolution took place.

    Creationism & ID are readily shown false

    Go for it. Prove ID false.

    There is no governor on change within populations of organisms that stops adaptation from becoming evolution. It’s the same proces

    No, the mechanism of micoevolution (innate variability within the genome) is different than macroevolution (mutation of the genome). Mutations of any significance are almost always harmful. Death is the governor. Innumerable small probabilities multiplied together yield an impossibility.

    The genomes of related groups of organisms can show precisely which mutations occurred to produce observed evolutionary changes, & to work out the order of evolution & degree of relatedness of the studied groups.

    That’s what you call reading your theory into the evidence.

  109. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    A recent one of the many tests of the hypothesis that fish evolved into amphibians is the discovery of fishapod Tiktaalik roseae. Based on the location of prior finds of fossils both more fish-like & more tetrapod-like, & with knowledge of the arrangements of land masses during the Late Devonian, Tiktaalik’s discoverers decided to look for intermediate fishapod fossils in the Canadian Arctic. Lo & behold, they found them.

    Evolution makes the prediction that the genomes of lobe-finned fish like lungfish & coelacanths will be closer to those of amphibians than to those of ray-finned fish. Lo & behold, that’s exactly what a test of this predictions shows.

    Cosmologists Ralph Alpher & Robert Herman predicted in 1948-50 the existence & temperature of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) discovered accidentally in 1964 by American radio astronomers Arno Penzias & Robert Wilson. Other predictions made on the basis of the BBT have since been confirmed observationally.

  110. @Richard Wright

    I never wrote the quotes now being attributed to me. My speculation is that poor formatting of text by milodonharlani has created this confusion.

  111. @milodonharlani

    “A recent one of the many tests of the hypothesis…”

    What you are describing is not experimental science. It’s not even, strictly speaking, a ‘test’ in any experimental sense of the word. What you’re describing are scientific observations, e.g., discoveries.

    It should be notes I’m not arguing against the possibility of scientific knowledge. I’m pointing out that the endlessly asserted claim that the only true science is experimental science, is a breathtakingly dumb thing to claim. As a criticism of climate models, it’s also a breathtakingly dumb criticism to make (especially when there are so many good and obvious ones, one could make instead).

  112. Models can be proven wrong. I would say if you can’t predict an El Nino 6 months in the future then you can’t predict global climate for the next 20 years in the future.

  113. Richard Wright says:
    August 15, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    No, that is not what would happen. If the rocks were reliably dated to the Precambrian & the fossils clearly in the rocks, then evolution would be falsified. There is no possible way to presume an alternate line when evolution predicts nothing even remotely like a rabbit in the Precambrian.

    At least a dozen predictions made by ID Creationism have easily been shown false. For instance, ID predicts that a bacterial flagellum (among the many that have evolved independently) is “irreducibly complex”, yet its evolutionary pathway has now been mapped. ID is like CACA because its practitioners behave opposite to the scientific method. When confronted with a problem, they throw up their hands & ask, “What else could it be (but a Designer or man-made CO2)?”, rather than trying to find out what else could explain observations.

    Just as Creationists predicted that paleontologists would never find a proto-mammal with both the reptilian & mammalian jaw joints, ID advocates keep suffering failure after failure, while the fact & theory of evolution are repeatedly confirmed by new discoveries, not that further confirmation of the reality of both be needed.

    The mechanism of micoevolution is exactly the same as macroevolution. Mutations are often harmful or neutral, but they are so common that some cannot help but be helpful in changed or unchanged environments. As I mentioned, the evolution of a bacterium from eating sugars to eating nylon resulted from a single point mutation, replicable in the lab. Death is not the governor. Before the development of nylon, this mutation would have led to the death of the bacteria suffering it. But after nylon, the same mutation opened up a whole new realm for microbes to exploit. Many such examples of minor mutations causing significant developments exist in nature & the lab.

    Your statement that “Innumerable small probabilities multiplied together yield an impossibility” shows that you don’t understand molecular biology or genetics. You really ought to study biology before presuming to comment on it.

    It is not reading assumptions into the evidence to note the similarities & differences in genomes & chromosomes of more closely & distantly related organisms. Sometimes surprises arise that lead to different conclusions about relatedness. But if you have a better explanation than evolution for, for instance, the telomeres in the middle of human chromosome #2 than that it arose from fusion of two standard ape chromosomes, which is why we have only 23 pairs instead of 24, then please by all means propose it. (As you may know, all members of the Hominidae except modern humans, Neanderthals & Denisovans have 24 pairs of chromosomes.)

    Furthermore, this gross chromosomal mutation is associated with our bipedalism, since the fusion arguably affected the function of Hox B genes found on our chromosome two, which specifically control the way the pelvis, lower spine & genitalia develop. Humans have five lumbar vertebrae but chimps three, so it’s a highly plausible hypothesis that the fusion was one of the changes that led to walking upright.

  114. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    By poor formatting do you mean pasting your name & date of comment at the head of my reply to it. IMO that’s pretty standard.

    Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Apparently you don’t understand what an experiment is. It’s a test of an hypothesis. Predicting where to find fossils & then finding them there is a test of an hypothesis. The standard, textbook definition of an experiment is “an orderly procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, refuting, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis”.

    Thus all the examples I gave of successful tests of predictions were experiments. You don’t get to invent your own definition of what counts as an experiment.

  115. @milodonharlani

    “By poor formatting do you mean pasting your name & date of comment at the head of my reply to it. IMO that’s pretty standard.”

    Not when any reasonable person would read your post as quoting me, when in fact you’re writing your own comments. Anyway, I’ve pointed out the mistake, so let’s move on.

    “Apparently you don’t understand what an experiment is. It’s a test of an hypothesis. Predicting where to find fossils & then finding them there is a test of an hypothesis. The standard, textbook definition of an experiment is “an orderly procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, refuting, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis”.”

    An experiment is not a merely ‘a test of a hypothesis’. An experiment must have an experimental design. One of the reasons why it has a design is so that you can run the experiment again to confirm the result. This is called replication. Nothing you are describing has any of these essential properties.

  116. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    You mention only one essential property, which all of my examples have in spades, ie repeatability.

    Of course the results of the experiment of looking for fishapods in Late Devonian rocks from then equatorial coastal shallows are repeatable. Eminently so. Tiktaalik was found as a result of repeating prior results.

    Wherever they look for the CMB, astronomers repeat the results of Penzias & Wilson, although lately with more detail they’ve found interesting irregularities in it.

  117. Professor Ryan

    Can you explain exactly what observational techniques were used to determine the energy imbalance observed from your statement?

  118. milodonharlani says:
    August 15, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    —————————–

    I’m reminded of a party when I was a doctoral student in the history of science at Oxford. Another American, an economics grad student (& Yale Snow Prize winner), who liked to quiz me, asked what makes science science. The first thing I said, even before “predictions which can be shown false”, was “results are repeatable”.

  119. prjindigo said: “An incomplete model is not a model, it is a painting.”

    Any model is always incomplete. If it was not so, the model would be ‘real life’.

    It’s a bit like finding some old bones and then constructing a crude approximation of how the creature may have looked.

    A Dali painting of the same is most likely more accurate ;-)

    And to be on topic: nice laundry list of excuses, reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFvujknrBuE

  120. @milodonharlani
    “You mention only one essential property, which all of my examples have in spades, ie repeatability…”

    An experimental test without the ability to replicate the result is not considered an experimental test. But there are other kinds of tests which remain scientific. So the point you’re making is the same point I’m making. Thank you for making it.

    @Bob Boder
    “Can you explain exactly what mechanism causes the oceans to warm from GHG when at the same time the atmosphere is not?”

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/08/how-deep-ocean-warming-can-bypass-the-surface/

  121. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    What you incorrectly consider an experimental test doesn’t matter.

    What actually constitutes an experimental test does, as do the examples I cited. I’ve shown that the tests of hypotheses which I mentioned in response to your request are indeed experiments with repeatable results, meeting every requirement.

  122. Nitschke says

    Roy’s post that you linked explain how potentially deep oceans can warm without surface warming from GHG. Even he states that this only a possibility. This doesn’t explain how the oceans could warm from GHG without atmospheric warming.

    Try again

  123. For an example of a scientist whose opinion does matter:

    http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/searching4Tik.html

    The search for Tiktaalik put our scientific theory to the test

    Scientific theories are powerful because they allow us to make predictions about our world. We look at all the evidence we have gathered to date and predict what we might find if we do certain experiments. If the results of these experiments confirm our predictions, we know we have a solid theory. If not, we revise our theory and keep asking questions. That’s what science is all about.

    How did we know where to look for Tiktaalik?

    As paleontologists, we can’t go to a lab and use beakers and test tubes to gather evidence to test our theories. Instead, we look at the fossil evidence that exists today to make predictions about what we might find in the field tomorrow. Lucky for us, there is a bounty of evidence scattered all over the world, and more turns up every day. To find a transitional fossil between land animals and fish, we start by looking at the very first tetrapods to show up in the fossil record. Then, we look for fish which had a similar pattern of bones in their fins as the tetrapods had in their limbs.

    STEP 1: We used the distribution of known fossils to determine where there was a gap in the fossil record

  124. @milodonharlani

    “What you incorrectly consider an experimental test doesn’t matter.”

    It does matter when it’s the actual definition. One example among countless –

    “An experiment is an orderly procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, refuting, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis. Controlled experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated. Controlled experiments vary greatly in their goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experiment

    “What actually constitutes an experimental test does, as do the examples I cited. I’ve shown that the tests of hypotheses which I mentioned in response to your request are indeed experiments with repeatable results, meeting every requirement.”

    None of your examples are controlled, and none of them are repeatable in a controlled fashion. So you’re just being very very silly now.

  125. @Bob Boder

    “Roy’s post that you linked explain how potentially deep oceans can warm without surface warming from GHG. Even he states that this only a possibility. This doesn’t explain how the oceans could warm from GHG without atmospheric warming.”

    Actually it does explain it. Read it again. If you don’t understand what you’re reading, I cannot help you with that, as I suspect you don’t like to be contradicted, so now all your responses will be pointlessly adversarial.

  126. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Willful ignorance is silly.

    The examples I cited fit the definition perfectly. Your understanding of what constitutes the scientific method is faulty.

    The quest for Tiktaalik was a controlled, repeatable experiment, meeting every term of the definition. Ditto testing the Big Bang Theory by looking for the predicted CMB (although first found by accident).

  127. @milodonharlani

    A final observation. By your definition heat waves, droughts, glacier ice loss, and pretty much every correlation and “consistent with” claim is a scientifically repeatable experimental proof of climate models. Now you’ve painted yourself into a corner you can’t get out of. Of course, you may actually believe all that, but I suspect not. Have a great day, anyway.

  128. Nitschke says

    Read it many times before and again it doesn’t as I have ask him myself. He also suggests this as a possible method he is not suggesting this is fact or theory.

    I also don’t care if I am contradicted, why would i waist time here if I didn’t want honest debate, i have been wrong many times before in my life and it has not hurt me yet? If you have something to teach me go ahead and teach, I will be happy listen and learn if there is value in what you say.

  129. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    No, that is far from by my definition. Are you really this obtuse, or simply unwilling to admit you were wrong?

    The scientists I cited from the U. of Chicago, Drexel & Harvard disagree with your ill-informed opinion, as do philosophers & historians of science. You’re entitled to your opinion, no matter how insupportable. But be aware that real scientists of great achievement in their fields, conducting actual, controlled, repeatable experiments to test the predictions of their hypotheses, totally disagree with your warped view.

  130. @Bob

    “Read it many times before and again it doesn’t as I have ask him myself. He also suggests this as a possible method he is not suggesting this is fact or theory.”

    Correct. You asked for a method, I pointed you to a method. If you’re moving the goal post could you at least explain where you’ve moved it to? ;-)

  131. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    “What’s the test for the big bang theory?”

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    Here’s a confirmation of a test of a prediction of the Big Bang Theory:

    http://www.universetoday.com/10600/neutrino-evidence-confirms-big-bang-predictions/

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    “@milodonharlani

    A final observation. By your definition heat waves, droughts, glacier ice loss, and pretty much every correlation and “consistent with” claim is a scientifically repeatable experimental proof of climate models. Now you’ve painted yourself into a corner you can’t get out of. Of course, you may actually believe all that, but I suspect not. Have a great day, anyway.”

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    Look around, pal, and take a deep breath, but not too deep. You’re the one in the corner with the paint fumes melting your brain. You’ve got it bassackwards.

    The whole point about the “climate (anti-)science” Team is that they do not make specific predictions about “heat waves, droughts, glacier ice loss” & then test them by observations. They try to make any & all observations fit their “theory” by hook, crook & GIGO model, plus media, PR and lawsuit. That’s precisely opposite to the procedure of the experimental evolutionary biologists and cosmological astrophysicists.

    Sorry, but I hope you just sound dumber than you really are.

  132. Sturgishooper says

    Don’t praise me to much I didn’t say what education I received. It wasn’t what was intended. Any education has value though.
    Sorry to let you down.
    Thanks (I do mean that)

  133. Bob Boder says:
    August 15, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Life is education, if I can learn from it.

    Some graffiti wag once painted, “Education is the destruction of innocence”.

  134. See even when you [waste] your time debating with someone that has nothing worth saying there is always some else that does right around the corner. I have read many thing s you have wrote and they are always worth the time, just like RGB, DBstealey and Greg Goodman and others.

  135. milodon: I agree with your position – with some variations. I can’t see how an “intelligent design” can be shown false; it is flexible enough to survive any attack by mere facts. So are climate models.

  136. One more thing .. an immunity of facts comes at a price: these “theories” have to have a zero predictive power.

  137. Suppose I paint some boards and leave them outside for a few years and observe that the paint eventually peals, cracks and falls off. I create a theory about why, how and when this happens and continue to paint boards and make observations. For years, every observation confirms my theory. Then, after a few years I notice that the paint no longer behaves the way it used to yet everything that I know of has remained constant. Same paint, same wood, same environment etc. How do I explain this new behavior? Is my theory wrong or did something about the paint, wood or environment change? Maybe all of the above. At the very least my theory is incomplete but maybe it’s completely and utterly wrong. After a few more years I notice that the paint behaves the way it did originally. Experimentation is not allowed. We have only one can of paint, one brush and the only wood that exists came from one tree.

  138. Nitschke says

    Oh ya

    I asked for a “mechanism” not a “method”. In fact “exactly what mechanism”.
    You don’t have that answer clearly because you relied on an answer from someone who is only suggesting a possibility. Hopefully you are not building your understanding of how things work on such conjectures and expecting to get repeatable scientific conformation of its validity.

  139. @sturgishooper
    “Here’s a confirmation of a test of a prediction of the Big Bang Theory:”

    You seem to be getting confused over the same point that milodonharlani is getting confused over. This is not a cause and effect experimental test. You posit a theory, you make predictions, that’s all fine. That’s science. But it’s not experimental science. You predict ripples in the cosmic neutrino background. You find it. But that’s a very very long way detached from ‘proving’ the big bang theory. It’s consistent with a particular model, though. Or many other theories might be compatible with those ripples too. This is no different from climate model X predicting increased rainfall over region Y. If that turns out to be true, how likely was that to happen by chance anyway?

    And let’s say those ripples weren’t discovered. Would the big bang theory have been thrown out? Of course not. Some aspect of the theory would have been modified perhaps, or perhaps the results would just be yet another “anomaly” to be explained later. Either way, and here is the key point, using the kind of evidence both of you are presenting, the big bang theory is non falsifiable.

  140. About the ‘record’ rainfall this year, it’s just what they didn’t predict but took credit for. ( warm air holds more moisture) Of course last year they were taking credit for the drought. They were showing a parched reservoir near Pueblo, CO as the downtown was flooded and water had to be released from 2 dams. Is there any weather that can’t be explained by global warming?

  141. @Bob Boder

    “I asked for a “mechanism” not a “method”. In fact “exactly what mechanism”.

    I’m not sure my brain is subtle enough to distinguish between what you mean by “method” and what you mean by “mechanism”. But be that as it may, let’s persist. I put a big pot of water on the stove. I turn the gas on and the temperature of the burner is 250C. I don’t turn the temperature up or down. The temperature hasn’t increased in 17 minutes and 9 seconds. How is it possible that the water temperature hasn’t increased?

    What I’m suggesting here is that at face value your original question makes no sense. Perhaps you can phrase it differently?

  142. Nitschke says

    However the Big Bang theory doesn’t postulate that every possible observable fact is validation of the theory. If it was determined that the universe is not expanding or contracting the theory would most certainly be thrown out.

    However in AGW theory even if the earth cools this is proof it’s warming.

  143. Curious George says:
    August 15, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    As you may have read, I agree with you that ID & CACA advocates both suffer from the same anti-scientific afflictions.

    However, ID advocates, like other creationists, do make specific predictions which are subject to test. Perhaps chief among these are those associated with Behe’s concept, if it warrant such an exalted description, of “irreducible complexity”. His examples have been shown “reducible”, ie that they can be explained by natural evolutionary processes without resort to a supernatural Designer. Hence, falsified predictions. Among these are his Exhibit A, “the” bacterial flagellum. Actually, there are a number of different, separately evolved bacterial flagella, & that which he cited has been quite well explained as a result of real scientific work, rather than lazy, special pleading, false religion masquerading as pseudoscience.

    Besides which, why does the Designer want to make pathogenic microbes more mobile & effective. Maybe it was the Fall.

  144. Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    You are still confusing yourself.

    It’s simple. The Big Bang Theory makes predictions. Tests of those predictions are confirmed rather than falsified, thus the theory is likewise supported. That it makes testable predictions means it is falsifiable.

    You’re a hopeless case.

  145. Nitschke says;

    Try putting the pot over the burner that is on.
    Or the water was already boiling when you put it on the burner.
    Or your thermometer is broke.

    Now try heating it in the pot with no burner and only an increasing in the co2 content in your room you can go to 100 percent co2 if you want. Heck I’ll let you turn on a light try that. See how long it takes to heat up and get back to me.

  146. Richard Wright says:
    August 15, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Experimentation is not only allowed in biology, but required. The results of all experiments show that evolution results from reproduction. As long as living things have reproduced, there has been evolution. And to be a living thing, you have to reproduce.

  147. Milodonharlani says;

    Ask Nitschke to make specific prediction based on The Climate Models that will happen in the future. Since he seems to think that they have predicted past events.

    I will lay you an amount you want he will refuse.

    • The climate models can’t recreate what has already happened with the extensive data that AGW has on hand for the last 20 years. They can’t even cherry pick a beginning date to approximate a reasonable outcome.

  148. milodonharlani says:
    August 15, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    And to be a living thing, you have to reproduce.

    That’s a novel definition of life.

  149. Bob Boder says:
    August 15, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    OK. Mr. Nitschke, please make a specific prediction based on the GIGO, CACA GCMs, if you truly believe they have successfully predicted past events.

    I’m on record with my prediction that the 30 years from 2009-2038 will be cooler than 1979-2008.

  150. Richard Wright says:
    August 15, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Why on earth would you imagine that the standard definition of life is novel? One of the two prerequisites for life is replication. The other is metabolism. Some forms, like viruses, are dubiously alive, but for everything from bacteria, archaea & single celled eukaryotes on up, those two requirements apply. Evolution is simply a consequence of reproduction.

    I guess you do indeed have everything to learn about biology, which explains why your misguided religious beliefs have blinded you to objective, scientific reality. As the devout Orthodox Catholic geneticist Dobzhansky titled his famous 1973 essay, “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution”.

  151. milodonharlani says:
    August 15, 2014 at 9:36 pm
    Richard Wright says:
    August 15, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    One of the two prerequisites for life is replication.

    Really. If you were unable to reproduce but existed forever would that mean you were not living? (Waiting for the next ad hominem attack by “Mister Brilliant and anyone who disagrees with me is ignorant, blind, unobjective, an living in a fantasy world”.)

  152. Richard Wright says:
    August 15, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Why is this hard for you to understand? If you don’t replicate & don’t carry on metabolic functions, then you’re not a living thing. If you replicate but don’t have metabolism, you’re not a living thing. If you don’t replicate, but conduct metabolism, you’re not alive. There are grey areas, as I noted with viruses. Also prions, etc.

    It’s not that you disagree but that you display such profound ignorance of the most elementary principles of biology, yet presume to comment upon biological issues. I don’t have to be Mr. Brilliant to have been educated in the scientific discipline in which I earned a degree from Stanford in 1973.

    I’d be pleased if this discussion leads you to educate yourself on biology.

    For instance, the “Cambrian Explosion” of larger, calcareous living things is now known to be a natural development from small, less mineralized Precambrian lifeforms, thanks to discoveries in recent decades.

  153. @Bob Boder

    “However the Big Bang theory doesn’t postulate that every possible observable fact is validation of the theory. If it was determined that the universe is not expanding or contracting the theory would most certainly be thrown out.

    However in AGW theory even if the earth cools this is proof it’s warming.”

    While you’ve made a key point here – about how one would go about falsifying the big bang theory – at least in principle – I think there is a second confusion here that needs to be unpacked. There is AGW theory as imagined by advocates, and AGW theory as promulgated by scientists. Of course there are scientists who are also advocates. (These are the particularly annoying ones such as Mann, Trenberth, Gavin Schmidt, et al.)

    AGW theory as science can be disproven, Although this is not simple to do, just as big bang theory is not simple to disprove. AGW theory as ideology, of course, cannot be disproven, in the same sense that something like Freudian Psychoanalytics cannot be disproven.

  154. @Bob Boder

    “Now try heating it in the pot with no burner and only an increasing in the co2 content in your room you can go to 100 percent co2 if you want. Heck I’ll let you turn on a light try that. See how long it takes to heat up and get back to me.”

    Unfortunately none of your examples make sense, because the sun doesn’t switch off, etc. The example I provided was at least analogous to something happening to the Earth.

    Now, I’m happy to chat with you about this if you’re being genuine, but if you’re just going to throw out random thoughts for the sake of being argumentative, then the discussion ends here and I stop reading your posts, as I’ve done with a few others here. But I’m happy to keep chatting if you’re prepared to be serious.

  155. THERE SIMPLY IS NOT A SINGLE CLIMATE MODEL worth the name, in existence anywhere, as I tried to illustrate in

    http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/snippets-questions-2-climate-models.html

    http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/snippets-questions-2-comments.html

    http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/snippets-questions-2-some-answers-re.html

    or in

    http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/blog-post.html

    or

    http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/eating-sun-fourth-estatelondon-2009.html

    That said, I am now rueing that I allowed myself to fall into the trap I should have avoided in line with an earlier comment I made elsewhere:

    “I am getting bored. The globe can be getting warmer or colder, but the idea that the human contribution from burning carbon fuels has anything to do with it is not only IMHO the biggest political and intellectual fraud ever – but so says the IPCC itself: http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.com/2011/10/west-is-facing-new-severe-recession.html. The ongoing discussion pro and con is becoming akin to the scholastic argument as to how many angels can dance on the head of a needle. Which is, of course, exactly what is intended to achieve worldwide disorientation away from the actual IPCC aims of monetary and energy policies, i.e. helotization and de-democratization – and bringing a whole, if not all, of science into disrepute.

    And if you want to see how big that trap is, try those two TYGER reads, as in http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/tyger-spoors.html and

    http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/tyger-lair-from-edenhofer-interview-1.html

    Warning: you read these at your own risk!

    Now, after five years of my bloggery I put together a BLOG LOG http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/blog-post.html
    of all my postings, after which I consider that my first blog is still as valid as ever

    http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/clean-energy-primer-quousque-tandem.html

    Many things I learned since during my meanderings, above all the recipe book for the way ahead by the incomparable Hermann Scheer:

    http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/at-risk-of-boring-you-i-must-quote.html

  156. milodonharlani says:
    August 15, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Will Nitschke says:
    August 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm
    Both evolution & cosmology make testable predictions, so are scientific. Evolution is as subject to test by experiment as any other science, & has always been confirmed when so tested, never falsified. Cosmology is currently in more need of further testing than evolution, but no theory is ever settled in all its details, except when finally directly observed, as in the case of the heliocentric theory of the solar system, as refined.

    Don’t be bamboozled by claims that cosmology has become and observational science. The observation part has always has been Astronomy. Cosmology is never astronomy, and astronomy is not cosmology, one is purely observation and the other is purely mental construct.

    The only thing that has changed is that the astronomical observational sensors and field of view now permits cosmological theories to be falsified with actual observations, rather than just replaced with more theoretical constructs.

    Cosmology isn’t just in need of a bit further testing, it has barely begun to be tested at all. Come back in one century and cosmology of 2114 will be radically different to that of Aug 2014, just as it was in 1914, compared to today.

    With evolution it was entirely the other way around, there were an existing plethora of observations that could no longer be just ignored and denied. The theory came next but the observations defined the theory in that case, rather than a theory drove exploration and demand for new observations. So Evolution basically became blindingly obvious early on, and it was only the processes and mechanism of it that took until mid last century to identify.

    With Cosmology its almost exactly the reverse, they propose initial conditions and a mechanism, then the processes, then wait for instruments to be built which might be able to falsify the lot.

    Mostly they forget that falsification is what you’re really shooting for. If it’s impossible to reject on observational grounds then it might be valid – but only MIGHT be. Because other confounding and contradictory observations always spring up to spoil the gush of hubris and back-slaps. Incomprehensible observation of an accelerating cosmos for instance.

    Place a peg on your nose and wear rubber gloves before coming into contact with any theory, and regard all theory fans as potentially leprous.

  157. Nitschke says;

    AGW theory is not a theory at all. It is set of computer models set up to try a predict climatic change based on a SWAG. Somewhere a long the line some “scientist” noticed that there was an increase in the co2 content in the atmosphere and there also happened to be a increase in atmospheric temperature (energy content). Now taking these observations and plotting a linear increase it was determined that if this continued life as we know it would be greatly and adversely effected.
    So this scientist goes to some of his bodies a they get together and develop a theory on why this happens and apply for some grants to study it. Some politician looks at it says this makes sense to me at gets them the grant money and also starts telling everyone the world is going to end unless we fix this problem (which of course only he can do). Meanwhile the scientist go back their university and talk to some off the computer guys running the WEATHER modeling software and they start playing around. They take these ideas and play for a while with software till the have something that they think accurately represents how the atmosphere behaves. They then run the software and it predicts they end of the world and they go tell everyone the world is going to end.
    Unfortunately for them someone else along the way says what happens if you run the software backwards? The answer is it does not come close, but it seems to be working going forward ,heck it has correlated pretty well with five or six years of actual observation. So they play with this idea and that idea to try and figure out how to make it work going backwards but nothing they do works. They at this point assume the model works so they question historical facts because their model says it must be so. They make a lot of head way here baffling people with BS and more SWAG and everyone jumps on board and buys in, but then something funny happens the models go complete of the rails going forward too.
    Now they have to figure out a way to explain this. Even though they know according to their model and in fact what they based every aspect of the theory on temperatures must rise in relation to co2 content.
    I know it must be in the ocean, ok let’s figure out how this works. Energy from the sun shines down on the earth and is reflected in to the atmosphere and the temperature rises as the co2 absorbs and energy and re directs back down as IR energy. So the temperature should continue to rise as long as the co2 content rises. But it’s not. What if they energy is being absorb by the ocean and stored? Sounds good and you know the oceans have been warming (I know they were warming before the co2 thing but don’t worry about that) must be the answer. Hey I have a question why wasn’t this also happening for the last 100 years? Also IR energy doesn’t real penetrate into the oceans real well, so wouldn’t it still warm the atmosphere. Oh ya and co2 content is still rising too wouldn’t there have to be a continual increase in the amount of energy the oceans absorb for the atmosphere not warm. And since according to these same scientist the surface ocean temps have been warming all a long wouldn’t it makes that adding more energy would increase this process? Wouldn’t the warmer oceans warm the colder atmosphere? Oh ya when you warm the top layer of the ocean how about that evaporation thing.

    So again how does the oceans warm with out the atmosphere warming too?

    It can’t

    AGW theory is not a Theory at all because it doesn’t stand up to any actual scrutiny. Changing history and ignore facts is not adjusting a theory it trying to stretch out founding. Oh ya it’s also called lying.
    Most of these people are pretty old though so I guess they are not too afraid of their mothers any more so that part doesn’t bother them. Climate is not weather.

  158. Bob, I think nitschke is just saying that while the current AGW theory is full of holes, there is some scientific basis for parts of it. I didn’t get the sense that he/she was in anyway arguing for the current mess that proponents like to call theory, just that certain mechanisms could/do exist in nature.

    Re: evolution discussion, while I can certainly see the elegance of the evolutionary theory, and the many observations that seem to confirm it, what would really intrigue me is a robust attempt to address some of the holes in the theory…trying to find examples that falsify is where a theory is ultimately tested. As I understand it, the problems (or unanswered questions, rather) with the theory include the following:
    – how do sexually reproducing organisms evolve…seems highly improbable
    – I’m not sure I agree that micro – evolution, which can easily be described by natural variability, is the same mechanism as macro evolution. The genetic codes already include variability, but to randomly generate new variability is certainly a different mechanism.
    – I think we need to come up with some plausible explanation for certain lifeforms that do not easily fit into the evolutionary explanation. The caterpillar/butterfly is a good example. It’s difficult for me to wrap my head around a random mechanism that induces an organism to dissolve itself and reform in a entirely new structure. (What a fascinating organism!!!)
    – I don’t think we observe new information randomly being created in nature. This is maybe the most difficult aspect of evolution to justify. We really need to conduct some controlled experiments to see if we can observe this phenomenon.

    Anyway, these are just my thoughts.

    rip

  159. Nitschke say
    Rip

    “That anyone that believes GHG cause the atmosphere to warm and anyone who doesn’t believe that is a crank.”

    What if i was to say that as soon as the energy enters the atmosphere it is there and when it leaves its gone. GHG absorb and redirect energy that is already in the atmosphere back into the atmosphere thus not causing any increase in energy. The only way energy stays in the atmosphere in a greater quantity is if the atmosphere retains more energy. Now what if I told you CO2 has less of an ability to retain energy on a mass for mass basis then atmospheric air? What if i was to say you can only retain more energy by increasing the mass of the atmosphere or by finding a way to increase the amount of energy coming into the atmosphere thats it.

    Because this is what quite a few scientist are starting to say, are they cranks?

    Nitschke believes that he is some kind of expert and that he determines what makes sense or not, but if you read what he writes he never actual says what is going on, he isn’t brave enough to. He just tries to redirect and confuse.

    Nitschke, by the way I really don’t care if you read my posts and I am pretty sure that there aren’t a lot of people sitting home just waiting for you to read theirs either.

    By the way have you came up with a prediction based on your understanding of AGW theory yet?

  160. milodonharlani says:
    August 15, 2014 at 10:38 pm
    Richard Wright says:
    August 15, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Why is this hard for you to understand? If you don’t replicate & don’t carry on metabolic functions, then you’re not a living thing. If you replicate but don’t have metabolism, you’re not a living thing. If you don’t replicate, but conduct metabolism, you’re not alive. There are grey areas, as I noted with viruses. Also prions, etc.

    It’s not that you disagree but that you display such profound ignorance of the most elementary principles of biology, yet presume to comment upon biological issues. I don’t have to be Mr. Brilliant to have been educated in the scientific discipline in which I earned a degree from Stanford in 1973.

    I was wondering how long it would take before you touted your own credentials. Appeals to authority and ad hominem attacks are sure signs of a lost argument. But it is a very common occurrence throughout the history of science. Anyone who questions the dogma is ignorant. You know you’re right, and anyone who disagrees with you is either ignorant or an idiot. What’s interesting to me is how many “scientists” are so intolerant of questioning and so adamant about their own beliefs.

    There’s a difference between ignorance and not accepting dogma. Just because you read something in a textbook doesn’t make it true. There is no reason why a living thing has to reproduce or be able to reproduce. Is reproduction essential to life? No. It is only essential to the continuation of the species because all physical life dies. I’ll ask again, if you, yourself, were incapable of reproducing, would that mean you were not alive? If all the cells of your body were eternal, not only would they have no need to reproduce, their reproduction could be a real problem. There is a difference between reproduction being a characteristic of all known physical life forms and it being an essential characteristic of life itself.

    Explain to me why life must reproduce, i.e., why you consider it to be an essential characteristic of life. You’re a biologist. You studied at Stanford. Surely this will be easy for you. I’m not interested in a textbook definition. The textbook was not written by the hand of God on stone tablets.

  161. ripshin says:
    August 16, 2014 at 7:14 am
    “– how do sexually reproducing organisms evolve…seems highly improbable”
    __

    I’d say the probability of a brain being an integral emergent product of weathered silicate rock crystals is also rather improbable.

    But it happened.

  162. Jtom
    … Eric Worrall, I fear you missed the point. Since other theories, from God to little green men from Alph Centauri, could explain the flower and the moth, then that example “proves” no theory. It is simply consistent with various theories.

    The flower and the moth example highlights what I think is a weakness in evolution. Which came first, the plant or the moth? I could see the advantage of the moth evolving to take advantage of the flower, but why would the flower evolve to suit the moth? If the flower was the result of a random mutation, how and why did it survive until the moth evolved? If it were a gradual process involving both, the question is why? What advantage did it provide? Clearly both organisms were surviving before, and during, those mutations.

    I am sure you are familiar with a keystone arch – an arch that would collapse without a center top-stone, but that stone requires the others to support it. It requires exterior support while being constructed, and only after construction can those supports be removed. I have studied many biological processes that would require dozens of independent mutations to create, but there would be no benefit to the organism until a key mutation toward the end of the process. Why didn’t those mutations ‘collapse’, i.e. not be maintained since they provided nothing for the organism, before that ‘keystone’ mutation occurred? I won’t even pretend to know the answer.

    I haven’t seen any theory that satisfies me, and likely won’t.

    Evolution isn’t a clean affair. Our genes contain a lot of detritus, genetic codes for useless or even harmful features like the appendix which in humans. Or the hair on our heads, or other places, which serves very little useful purpose. But many elements in this library of useless features carried by our genes are probably one mutation away from doing something useful, should the human race ever face the kind of selection pressure required to force a change from our current pattern.

    There have been cases of humans adapting unusual features to survive harsh environments – its rare, but it happens. African Bushmen in Africa or Australian Aborigines, for example, tend to have metabolic adaptions to extreme temperatures found in deserts, they have far greater ability to endure harsh desert conditions than say Europeans.

    Then you have humans born with webbed feet and hands, and other more extreme mutations. In humans, these mutations are usually a nuisance, but you can easily imagine a series of similar mutations in other species, which produced a more beneficial outcome – for example, the webbing which led to the earliest bats developing a rudimentary ability to fly, or the mutations which took the land living ancestors dolphins and whales back into the sea.

    As for your example of insects and flowers – the flowers came first of course. They were a mutation, something as useless as the human appendix or the webbing on an unfortunate child’s feet – except that when insects started to feed from them, they offered a drastic evolutionary advantage to the plants which had this mutation.

    All these events are very low probability – its difficult to comprehend just how many throws of the dice nature gets to try in a billion years.

  163. When Algore says something stupid, it’s global warming’s fault.
    When Algore…. never mind.

  164. Eric Worrall :
    August 16, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    re: appendixes, heads of hair and evolution.

    There are theories about what the appendix does, e.g., harbor “good” bacteria in the gut. And I find the hair on my head prevents sunburn. In any case, just because we can’t think of a use doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

    In my opinion, the biggest problem with evolution is the premise that incredibly complex and highly organized life forms, more complex than anything man has made, arise out of random, meaningless processes. Just what is it about the laws of physics and chemistry that cause this to happen? There has never been any explanation of this that I know of. Complex codes, e..g, computer algorithms, architectural plans, etc., are not in the habit of creating themselves much less improving upon themselves by acquiring knowledge they didn’t have before.

    The origin of life itself is a complete mystery. For 100 years scientists have tried to figure it out and create life in the laboratory with complete failure. If it is a natural result of the laws of nature than it should not be so hard to watch it happen. Lots of conjecture but nothing else.

    The equilibrium of every chemical reaction concerning the molecules of life lies in the wrong direction, i.e., towards the precursor, not towards the end product. There’s a very good reason why we don’t see life popping up all over the place – because the laws of chemistry prevent it. The natural thing for proteins and DNA to do is to fall apart, not self assemble. It is only the knowledge embedded in DNA that makes life possible and there is no scientific explanation of where that knowledge came from that rises beyond pure conjecture.

  165. Richard Wright:

    At August 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm you say to Eric Worrall

    In my opinion, the biggest problem with evolution is the premise that incredibly complex and highly organized life forms, more complex than anything man has made, arise out of random, meaningless processes. Just what is it about the laws of physics and chemistry that cause this to happen? There has never been any explanation of this that I know of. Complex codes, e..g, computer algorithms, architectural plans, etc., are not in the habit of creating themselves much less improving upon themselves by acquiring knowledge they didn’t have before.

    DNA contains information.
    Transcription errors and exposure to chemicals and radiation modify DNA.
    Modified DNA provides mutations.
    Survival of the fittest for an environment selects for some mutations and selects against others.
    Thus, mutations and natural selection have evolved “incredibly complex and highly organized life forms, more complex than anything man has made”.

    And systems “more complex than anything man has made” which are not biological organisms have also evolved; for example, the Sun.

    What is the “knowledge” that you say evolving organisms are “acquiring”?

    Richard

  166. Richard Wright says:
    August 16, 2014 at 9:10 am

    There is no argument. You already lost it by being unable to reply to any of the explanations I provided in answer to your questions. All you have are your religious beliefs, not a shred of science supportable by evidence or reason.

    There is no universally agreed-upon textbook definition of life. Observation by scientists & laymen alike has however led them to conclude that all living things yet found display replication & metabolism. Non-living things don’t. A few forms constitute a grey area, as noted, like viruses.

    Even very long-lived clonal plants like Pando replicate their constituent cells.

    Eric’s examples of head hair & the appendix aren’t valid instances of what he is trying to describe, but humans do have lots of vestigial relicts of our evolutionary ancestry. Some are so on their way out that not everyone even has them today, like the Woolnernian tip or Darwin’s tubercule, which I have but you might not. It’s a vestige of when our ancestors had pointy ear tips. The gene for it is inherited as an autosomal dominant, but with incomplete penetrance, hence not everyone with the gene will necessarily display the phenotype. Evolution is also reducing the incidence of wisdom tooth eruption, although dentistry & medicine might be slowing down this development.

    Other genuinely vestigial structures in humans include the plica semilunaris on the inside corner of the eye (a remnant of the nictitating membrane), muscles to move our ears for better sound location, which still function slightly in people able to wiggle their ears, & other muscles found on the head, face, arm, torso, leg, breasts & tongue with varying degrees of occurrence in different populations. Other structures (such as the occipitofrontalis muscle) have lost their original functions (in that case to keep the head from falling) but have been coopted by evolution for other purposes (facial expression).

    Humans also bear some vestigial behaviors & reflexes. The formation of goose bumps in humans under stress is a vestigial reflex; its function in human ancestors was to raise the body’s hair, making the ancestor appear larger and scaring off predators, & to make space for more heated air to keep them warmer. Humans have the same number of hairs per square inch of skin as chimps, but ours don’t grow as long.

    Infants will instinctively grasp any object which touches the palm, in some cases strongly enough to support their own weight. This palmar grasp reflex harkens back to when our young ancestors clung to their mother’s fur.

    There are also vestigial molecular structures in humans, which we no longer use but show our common ancestry with other species. An example is L-gulonolactone oxidase, a gene–functional in most other mammals–which produces the terminal enzyme to make vitamin C. A mutation deactivated this gene in an ancestor of the haplorhine (“simple or dry nose”) primates (tarsiers, monkeys & apes), while the strepsirrhine (“curved or wet nose”) prosimians, like most other orders of mammals, have retained this enzyme’s function & hence the ability to manufacture vitamin C. But the broken gene still remains in our genomes as a vestigial sequence called a pseudogene, of which humans, like most mammals, have a lot, which help reconstruct phylogenies. Guinea pigs, Indian fruit bats & a handful of other species are the only mammals who cannot make their own vitamin C, but their genes are broken in different ways from that of us dry-nosed primates.

    Conversely, sometimes the genetic controls that suppress genes we still retain for traits now not normally expressed fail to stop the development of atavistic features such as tails.

    Before you decide what you imagine to be the biggest problem for evolution, you really ought to study the subject. Doing so would require work, but the scales would fall away from your eyes wondrously, if your mind is open. I mention that I have studied biology for over 40 years because even after having objective reality explained to you, you continue preferring the ignorance upon which you so pride yourself.

    The laws of physics & chemistry not only allow life to develop under certain circumstances but may well require it to solve energetic problems. However abiogenesis, the origin of living things, is a different process from evolution, the origin of new life forms from existing ones. Evolution isn’t always driven by random processes, as you falsely suppose. Its processes are “directional” in the case of selection & stochastic in the case of “nondirectional” evolution, such as genetic drift from reproductive isolation or some other barrier separating formerly interbreeding populations. Mutations arise more or less randomly (although organisms can increase their frequency when needed), but selective pressure on genetic variation arising from mutation & other sources isn’t always random. Mutations cannot help but happen from the process of replication, passing cosmic rays, mutagenic agents in the environment or other regularly occurring natural causes. As noted, there are other sources of genetic variation, such as the inclusion of viral or bacterial genomes into those of eukaryotic organisms, like humans.

    The history of accumulated genetic variation is, as I told you, used to work out relationships among different species, genera, families, orders, classes, phyla, kingdoms & domains, to use old-fashioned Linnaean nomenclature.

    Remarkable progress is being made on origin of life research. Instead of just assuming abiogenesis is impossible, why don’t you read up on the great strides made in recent decades in understanding how it could occur, & in some phases of the process probably did? Many issues have been resolved satisfactorily. It’s yet another fascinating subject which you have not allowed yourself to study for fear of what you might find. I don’t have time on a fine summer afternoon to list all the important breakthroughs, but some are breathtaking.

    There is nothing miraculous about the increasing complexity of life on earth over its nearly four billion year history. Unless earth somehow avoids the fate of other planets around sun-sized stars, life here will start getting less complex again in another 500 million to billion years. Then it will go extinct when the sun goes red giant in a few billion years, although life probably will do so long before then, unless humans or other capable future species manage to engineer the solar system to avoid that fate, or colonize the solar system or the galaxy. The fossil record & genomics allows science to observe & figure out when various groups diverged from each other & developed greater complexity. You could observe developments in the history of life on earth, too, if you had not willfully blinded yourself to reality.

  167. PS: Insects are older than flowering plants, but after the appearance of angiosperms, those plants & insects co-evolved, sometimes into remarkably specific relationships.

  168. Richard Wright says:
    August 15, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    One of the two prerequisites for life is replication.

    Really. If you were unable to reproduce but existed forever would that mean you were not living? (Waiting for the next ad hominem attack by “Mister Brilliant and anyone who disagrees with me is ignorant, blind, unobjective, an living in a fantasy world”.)

    ~ I assume you mean, existing forever as a human being without the ability to reproduce? Counting a human as a stand-alone ‘unit of life’ is hardly accurate. Living cells which make up the human body must continuously ‘reproduce’ (divide via mitosis) or the body would quickly wear out and death would result.

  169. Dylan says:

    August 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Richard Wright says:
    August 15, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    One of the two prerequisites for life is replication.

    Does that mean “life, as we know it”?

  170. milodonharlani says:
    August 16, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Nice story. It’s really wonderful how you present everything so dogmatically. You stipulate everything and there is supposed to be no debate. And, once again, because you can not debate, you resort to personal attacks; “Before you decide what you imagine to be the biggest problem for evolution, you really ought to study the subject.” and “you continue preferring the ignorance upon which you so pride yourself.” and ” you have not allowed yourself to study for fear of what you might find.”.

    You claim that I don’t answer your questions but when I ask you one simple question about whether reproduction is a necessary characteristic of life you don’t even make an attempt to answer it but just spin a yarn of all sorts of unrelated supposed proofs of evolution.

    Let’s just leave it at you’re a genius and I’m an ignorant idiot religious nut with no scientific eduction. That’s what you want to believe, I guess because it makes you feel better about yourself. Clearly that believe is an objective, rational scientific analysis. The amount of disdain you have for me is truly remarkable. What an idiot I am that I don’t just accept all of the wonderful, incontrovertible truths that you have so kindly bestowed upon me. How ungrateful I am!

    I do love the line about all of the “breakthroughs” in abiogenesis. Set up an experiment and watch life create itself in the laboratory given the right conditions. That would mean something. How hard can it be? After all we’re told the universe is full of life! It’s just a normal outcome of the laws of physics and chemistry. When you’ve done that then perhaps I’ll change my mind. Basic experimental verification. That’s all I ask. I am ignorant but I think that that’s a reasonable scientific request.

    • Mason I Bilderberg:

      I’m happy to hear from a person (you) who seemingly understands the logical implications of the use of weasel words (aka polysemic words) in climatological arguments. When a climatological argument is made in terms of weasel words and a weasel word changes meanings in the midst of this argument then this argument is an example of an “equivocation.” An equivocation looks like an argument that has a valid conclusion aka a syllogism but isn’t one. Hence the rule that one cannot draw a valid conclusion from an equivocation. To draw such a conclusion is an “equivocation fallacy.” Through applications of this fallacy, climatological “scientists” have deceived journalists, politicians and many others into thinking that there is a scientific basis for regulations on CO2 emissions when there is not such a basis.

  171. richardscourtney says:
    August 16, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    DNA contains information.
    Transcription errors and exposure to chemicals and radiation modify DNA.
    Modified DNA provides mutations.
    Survival of the fittest for an environment selects for some mutations and selects against others.
    Thus, mutations and natural selection have evolved “incredibly complex and highly organized life forms, more complex than anything man has made”.

    And systems “more complex than anything man has made” which are not biological organisms have also evolved; for example, the Sun.

    What is the “knowledge” that you say evolving organisms are “acquiring”?

    The “knowledge” is the information contained within DNA. The knowledge to polymerize the molecules of life into proteins, DNA, RNA, build the cell and govern it’s machinery. The knowledge to organize countless billions of cells into a mutl-cellular organisms, turn on and off regulatory genes at just the right time to differentiate cells and govern their distinct roles. Etc., etc.

    I suggest you try mutating the computer code that runs your web browser and try to produce at better version.

    I am at a loss to understand your point about the complexity of the Sun. It’s disorganized complexity is very different than the ordered complexity of a cell or the space shuttle. Cells contain incredible complex organized molecular mechanisms. Not just a bunch of hydrogen molecules bumping into each other.

  172. Dylan says:
    August 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    When Richard produces evidence of an RNA- &/or DNA-based form of “life” existing forever without replicating itself in any way, yet carrying out biochemical metabolism, then his alternative world hypothesis might have some support. Living things as observed on earth don’t work like that.

    So far scientists have not found a life form on earth (or anywhere else) that doesn’t use RNA or DNA for replication & biochemicals synthesized by instructions contained in those molecules to conduct metabolism from which processes to derive energy. This observation offers fundamental support to the theory of common descent. It is possible however that two different cellular membranes evolved separately, in bacteria & archaea, to contain these chemical reactions & house the genetic material which controls replication.

    He’s also wrong that scientists can only conjecture how RNA arose.

    http://phys.org/news/2013-12-scientists-closer-rna.html

    It’s not at all uncommon for chemicals & minerals to self-assemble. No mystery, & no conjecture.

    Then there is the somewhat older hypothesis, supported by observations, that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which abound in the universe, helped mediate the synthesis of RNA molecules. It is no coincidence that in a self-ordering stack of PAH, adjacent rings are separated by 0.34 nm. This just so happens to be the same separation distance found between adjacent nucleotides of RNA & DNA. Moreover, smaller molecules will naturally attach themselves to the PAH rings, but PAH rings, during formation, tend to swivel around on one another, which can cause attached compounds to collide with those fixed above and below them to dislodge. Therefore the attachment of flat molecules such as pyrimidine & purine nucleobases, the key constituents (& information carriers) of RNA & DNA, is preferentially encouraged. These bases are similarly amphiphilic, so also tend to line up in similar stacks.

    More recent research further explodes the lies he repeats. Among other substances which can act as a substrate to promote RNA synthesis through self-assembly is water ice, also common in the universe:

    http://www.nature.com/nchem/journal/v5/n12/full/nchem.1781.html

    I could go on, but better that Richard study origin of life research on his own, in hopes he’ll quit making baseless assertions gleaned from the blatant lies of paid ID Creationism advocates.

  173. Richard Wright says:
    August 16, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    You don’t know enough to be able to debate. No dogma, just facts.

    I answered your question repeatedly. Yes, replication is characteristic of all life forms yet observed. How many times do I need to repeat myself?

    Nothing I said was unrelated. I was responding to your questions. Science doesn’t do “proof”. It does showing predictions false. Prediction made by ID Creationism is false & it’s incapable of explaining anything. The predictions made by evolution are confirmed & it explains the history of life on earth.

    It is indeed idiotic to make dogmatic assertions as you do out of total ignorance.

    As in comment above, important steps in the development of life from complex, self-organizing organic compounds have indeed been reproduced in the lab. There have been lots of others. But instead of reading up on the subject, you just make baseless claims.

    Cellular mechanisms have evolved over billions of years on earth from simpler mechanisms, which in turn arose abiogenetically from complex organic chemical constituents, without any need for a Designer’s intervention, although you can insert It at any point you want. If living organisms were designed, then their Designer is incompetent, cruel & deceptive.

  174. Dylan says:
    August 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    That this blog is infested with creationist trolls like Richard, who can’t take an answer for an answer because it doesn’t jibe with their voodoo beliefs and who pick a fight on a tangential issue when they lose on every substantive point, does a great disservice to skepticism about “climate change”. To his credit, John Christy, to whom condolences on his loss, keeps his religious faith out of his science. Roy Spencer should follow his lead, instead of proposing apparently seriously that the earth is self-regulating because of God.

  175. Richard Wright says:
    August 16, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Why am I not surprised that among the many things you don’t know is that RNA and lipid bubbles, like cell membranes, self-assemble, and that RNA can function both as a repository of genetic information and as an enzyme to catalyze and synthesize biochemical reactions?

    The organic compounds which are the precursors to and constituents of RNA and lipids exist throughout the solar system. One meteorite contains dozens of amino acids and peptides (of which polypeptides, ie proteins, are composed), many of which don’t occur naturally on earth now that organisms are around to metabolize them.

  176. Richard Wright:

    Your entire post at August 16, 2014 at 6:46 pm says

    richardscourtney says: August 16, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    DNA contains information.
    Transcription errors and exposure to chemicals and radiation modify DNA.
    Modified DNA provides mutations.
    Survival of the fittest for an environment selects for some mutations and selects against others.
    Thus, mutations and natural selection have evolved “incredibly complex and highly organized life forms, more complex than anything man has made”.

    And systems “more complex than anything man has made” which are not biological organisms have also evolved; for example, the Sun.

    What is the “knowledge” that you say evolving organisms are “acquiring”?

    The “knowledge” is the information contained within DNA. The knowledge to polymerize the molecules of life into proteins, DNA, RNA, build the cell and govern it’s machinery. The knowledge to organize countless billions of cells into a mutl-cellular organisms, turn on and off regulatory genes at just the right time to differentiate cells and govern their distinct roles. Etc., etc.

    I suggest you try mutating the computer code that runs your web browser and try to produce at better version.

    I am at a loss to understand your point about the complexity of the Sun. It’s disorganized complexity is very different than the ordered complexity of a cell or the space shuttle. Cells contain incredible complex organized molecular mechanisms. Not just a bunch of hydrogen molecules bumping into each other.

    Thankyou, that does explain your confusion: i.e. you fail to understand the difference between ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’.

    Information is a statement or set of statements that has some meaning for its recipient.
    Knowledge is awareness and understanding of information.

    I know my endocrine system exist but – other than that – I have no knowledge of it. And I certainly have no knowledge of information by and from my endocrine system, but that information has great meaning for parts of me because I would be dead if it did not.

    The important point is that the information exists whether or not an organism it affects ‘knows’ (i.e. is aware) of its existence.

    As I explained and you quoted, information can be altered by random effects.
    Some alterations can increase complexity of the information; e.g. replication error duplicates parts of a DNA molecule so the molecule contains additional code. And natural selection determines whether this alteration will increase in a population or be destroyed.

    Contrary to your assertion, this is also demonstrated by computer programs. Copying errors may alter the behaviour of a copied program. If this is noticed by the program’s user then the copied version will be destroyed (i.e. natural selection) but if it is not noticed then the error may be transcribed into other copies of the program (i.e. natural selection).

    The point of my solar illustration was to demonstrate that evolution is not unique to living organisms that utilise DNA. Energy, matter, atoms, molecules and living organisms have each evolved since the Big Bang.

    It is NOT necessary to invoke a Creator for evolution to have formed Creation.
    If a Creator was involved then it is obvious that evolution is the tool He has used and is using to form His Creation.

    Incidentally, I declare an interest in that I believe a Creator was and is involved.

    Evolution uses random chance. Perhaps you need to consider the importance of this. Assuming the existence of a Creator, then ‘free will’ is enabled to exist within the Creation of an omniscient Creator as a result of random chance operating within the duality of the macro-world and the quantum world. It is a solution to the paradox of an ‘all knowing’ being not knowing what you will choose to do within the space-time continuum.

    Richard

    PS Please note that I am not discussing religion in this post. I am comparing evolution and creationism (aka ‘intelligent design’).

  177. richardscourtney says:
    August 15, 2014 at 1:21 am

    We do NOT ” know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space.”

    Indeed don’t we know rather the opposite? Since OLR seen by sats varies in lockstep with surface temperatures, it is the default conclusion that any “additional” heat is radiated away more or less immediately

  178. Brian H:

    At August 17, 2014 at 1:17 am you say

    richardscourtney says:
    August 15, 2014 at 1:21 am


    We do NOT ” know the earth is absorbing more energy than it is emitting back to space”

    Indeed don’t we know rather the opposite? Since OLR seen by sats varies in lockstep with surface temperatures, it is the default conclusion that any “additional” heat is radiated away more or less immediately

    Yes, indeed so.

    And your point draws attention to the reprehensible nature of the series of disingenuous posts by Will Nitschke in this thread. My first reply to him was at August 15, 2014 at 3:06 am and is here.

    Richard

  179. In my opinion ‘Den1ers are Always Wrong’ TM, because anthropocalypticians throughout human history have perceived skepticism as a attack against The Noble Cause. Fortunately the modern times have the biggest enemy of anthropocalypse – fundamental rights.

  180. Konrad says:

    The very foundation of the global warming hoax depends on the calculation that the surface of the planet would be at 255K in the absence of an atmosphere.

    I’ve seen a figure of 274K for Luna based on distance from Sol.
    How could Earth, without an atmosphere, possibly be cooler?

  181. Regarding the meanings of “knowledge” and “information,” Claude Shannon left us with a widely accepted mathematical definition of “information.” It is a concept in the probabilistic logic. This is the logic that is formed by that generalization from the classical logic in which the rule that every proposition is true or false is replaced by the rule that every proposition has a probability of being true. In this logic, an inference has the unique measure that is called its “entropy.” The entropy is the missing information in this inference for a deductive conclusion per event.

    “Knowledge” lacks a widely accepted mathematical description. However, it matches the description of the mathematical function that is called the “mutual information.” The mutual information is the information that is not missing for a deductive conclusion per event. The mutual information varies inversely with the entropy. At the peak, the entropy is nil and the mutual information is called “perfect information.”

  182. The vitriolic hatred that some evolutionists have for anyone who challenges their world view is matched only by the hatred that the warmists have for the skeptics.

  183. sturgishooper says:
    August 16, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Why am I not surprised that among the many things you don’t know is that RNA and lipid bubbles, like cell membranes, self-assemble, and that RNA can function both as a repository of genetic information and as an enzyme to catalyze and synthesize biochemical reactions?

    The organic compounds which are the precursors to and constituents of RNA and lipids exist throughout the solar system. One meteorite contains dozens of amino acids and peptides (of which polypeptides, ie proteins, are composed), many of which don’t occur naturally on earth now that organisms are around to metabolize them.

    To compared a self-assembled bubble of lipids to a cell membrane is like comparing a collections of wires and semi-conducters to a computer. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK9898/).

    The nucleotides of RNA do not self-assemble in water, not to any useful degree. Experimenters talk of RNA-like molecules, proto-RNA,nucleotides which have been modified or activated but, no, RNA nucleotides do not self-assemble. And try synthesizing the nucleotides themselves. Lots of conjecture.

    Are the amino acids found in meteorites a racemic mix or are they all left-handed, the only kind used by life? Anyone ever succeeded in producing only the left-handed kind or separating them out by any natural mechanism?

    Regardless of the dogmatic proclamations of some, scientists have no idea how life arose. It’s really simple, go make like in the laboratory, if you know how. Synthesize the left handed amino acids and nucleotides. Throw them into a beaker with phospholipids and water and see if something comes walking out. Take all of the conjecture and proposed mechanisms and try them. Produce life. Make the DNA, RNA and proteins. Watch the DNA naturally encode itself with the instructions to create proteins and turn them on and off, to replicate itself, create the cellular membrane and all of the structures of the cell. Use all of the meteorites, crystals, clays and ice that you want.

    I know, I know. It’s all just lies that I’m spewing. Scientists create life in the laboratory everyday. We read about the new life forms in the daily paper. And computers also self-assemble and create their own programming.

  184. Richard Wright says:
    August 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    You are incapable of challenging the “world view” of biologists because you are totally ignorant of the science. It’s not hatred. It’s contempt for the presumption of a total ignoramus presuming to repeat ID lies without having done even a tiny smidgen of the work needed to understand what in the hell you’re talking about.

    If only you had studied biology, you’d see why your lunatic ravings are held in such utter contempt.

  185. richardscourtney says:
    August 17, 2014 at 1:00 am

    Thankyou, that does explain your confusion: i.e. you fail to understand the difference between ‘information’ and ‘knowledge’.

    I didn’t mean to imply that DNA or cells were self-aware when talking of “knowledge”. I was trying to make the correlation between knowledge and information, that information does not just create itself. DNA is a code that contains the instructions to build the cell, govern it’s operation and replication. Codes are created by intelligent beings and represent their knowledge.

    Contrary to your assertion, this is also demonstrated by computer programs. Copying errors may alter the behaviour of a copied program. If this is noticed by the program’s user then the copied version will be destroyed (i.e. natural selection) but if it is not noticed then the error may be transcribed into other copies of the program (i.e. natural selection).

    Absolutely copying errors alter the behavior of the program and you are right to say they are destroyed or the original programming is restored if discovered. The reason is because the random alteration is detrimental. Anyone who deals with codes goes to great length to preserve their accuracy and prevent alteration. Send a coded nuclear launch message to a nuclear submarine and you ahd better hope the message comes through unaltered.

  186. Richard Wright says:
    August 17, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Your capacity to ignore reality is unplumbed, even when it’s set before you.

    RNA self-assembles far better in water ice than in liquid water. How did you miss that one, posted here by at least one other commenter.

    Why would the original lipid membrane have to have all the functionality of its modern descendants in the eubacteria, archeabacteria and eurkaryotes? Your antiscientific lies and drivel have been blasted out of the water, but still you continue embarrassing yourself. Your false religious faith must be very important to you.

    The objective fact is that a simple Ur-cell containing RNA surrounded by a minimal lipid membrane would be capable of both replication and metabolism, especially in the rich biochemical environment of early earth. Science doesn’t need to create such an organism from scratch to show how it might have developed under the conditions prevailing on earth c. 3.8 billion years ago.

    You are blinded by false belief.

  187. Richard Wright says:
    August 17, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    Random alterations are not always detrimental. Why can’t you get this?

    Take the human population for an example. Every human is born with a few mutations, and acquires more during his or her life, some of which occur in sperm and egg cells. Those in sperm are especially effective in providing genetic variation to the human population, which is why old fathers are an important source of new material upon which human evolution can work.

    Not all seven billion humans will reproduce, of course, so let’s just look at the, say, five billion who might do so or have already done so. On average, each of them (us) might have about five (probably more) mutations. Those which were lethal to start meant their bearers weren’t born. So we’re talking maybe 25 billion mutations. Deleterious ones are masked by the matching genes on the other chromosome from the other parent, which is another advantage of sexual reproduction (one reasons why males are less “fit” than females, when the risks of child-bearing are detrended).

    So, if just one mutation in a million is favorable (it’s actually more), then people walking around today are going to pass on 25 million beneficial mutations.

    Maybe if you had ever taken a course in genetics or any other biological subject you wouldn’t humiliate yourself so hilariously. But I doubt it, so benighted is your brain by its false belief system.

  188. sturgishooper says:
    August 17, 2014 at 6:51 pm
    Science doesn’t need to create such an organism from scratch to show how it might have developed under the conditions prevailing on earth c. 3.8 billion years ago.

    Spoken like a true scientist! Experimental proof is unnecessary!

  189. sturgishooper says:
    August 17, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    You are incapable of challenging the “world view” of biologists because you are totally ignorant of the science. It’s not hatred. It’s contempt for the presumption of a total ignoramus presuming to repeat ID lies without having done even a tiny smidgen of the work needed to understand what in the hell you’re talking about.

    If only you had studied biology, you’d see why your lunatic ravings are held in such utter contempt.

    You know nothing about me yet proclaim with dogmatic certainty that I have never studied biology or been gainfully employed as a scientist. But you are completely wrong about this. I hope you are more objective in your own scientific pursuits. There is really no point in carrying this on because your are seemingly unable to respond without resorting to insults. Best of luck.

  190. Richard Wright says:
    August 17, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    There is no such thing as “proof” in science, ignoramus, as you’ve been corrected before. I see you’re just as ignorant of science in general as biology in particular.

    This from the ID liar who asserted without any evidence whatsoever that origin of life research had nothing, that it was all mysterious. What a buffoon!

    You have been shown the evidence, fool, but you’re too scared of reality even to have clicked on the links provided. It has been shown experimentally that RNA self-assembles in ice and when assisted by PAHs. It has been shown that lipids form bubbles. What force do you imagine could keep bubbles from forming around self-replicating, protein-synthesizing RNA strands in the environment of earth 3.8 billion years ago, when the chemical signature of metabolic processes has been found in rocks of that age?

    All the totally baseless, evidence free, religiously driven lies and cant are in your court.

  191. Richard Wright says:
    August 17, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Your clueless comments show that you obviously have never studied biology, or if you have, that it didn’t sink in.

  192. Moderators:

    It’s your blog, but do you really think it’s wise to let scientifically illiterate religious fanatics to stink up your site, contributing to the Team’s meme that climate skeptics also deny the reality of evolution?

  193. Curious George says:
    August 15, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    milodon: I agree with your position – with some variations. I can’t see how an “intelligent design” can be shown false; it is flexible enough to survive any attack by mere facts. So are climate models.
    ——————-

    Au contraire. It’s easy to show ID ludicrously false. This Wiki summary of the Dover trial leaves out certain trenchant points, such as the demonstration that “ID” literature had crudely reworked earlier creationist tracts and that Behe, originator of the ID scam to try to sneak creationism into the public schools by the back door, was forced to admit that natural selection and other evolutionary processes most certainly do produce new species, genera, families, orders, etc.

    “In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, the first direct challenge brought in United States federal courts to an attempt to mandate the teaching of intelligent design on First Amendment grounds, Behe was called as a primary witness for the defense and asked to support the idea that intelligent design was legitimate science. Some of the most crucial exchanges in the trial occurred during Behe’s cross-examination, where his testimony would prove devastating to the defense. Behe was forced to concede that “there are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred”[43] and that his definition of ‘theory’ as applied to intelligent design was so loose that astrology would also qualify.[44] Earlier during his direct testimony, Behe had argued that a computer simulation of evolution he performed with Snoke shows that evolution is not likely to produce certain complex biochemical systems. Under cross examination however, Behe was forced to agree that “the number of prokaryotes in 1 ton of soil are 7 orders of magnitude higher than the population [it would take] to produce the disulfide bond” and that “it’s entirely possible that something that couldn’t be produced in the lab in two years… could be produced over three and half billion years.”[43][45][46]

    “Many of Behe’s critics have pointed to these exchanges as examples they believe further undermine Behe’s statements about irreducible complexity and intelligent design. John E. Jones III, the judge in the case, would ultimately rule that intelligent design is not scientific in his 139-page decision, citing Behe’s testimony extensively as the basis for his findings:

    “Consider, to illustrate, that Professor Behe remarkably and unmistakably claims that the plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”[47]
    “As no evidence in the record indicates that any other scientific proposition’s validity rests on belief in God, nor is the Court aware of any such scientific propositions, Professor Behe’s assertion constitutes substantial evidence that in his view, as is commensurate with other prominent ID leaders, ID is a religious and not a scientific proposition.”[47]
    “First, defense expert Professor Fuller agreed that ID aspires to ‘change the ground rules’ of science and lead defense expert Professor Behe admitted that his broadened definition of science, which encompasses ID, would also embrace astrology. Moreover, defense expert Professor Minnich acknowledged that for ID to be considered science, the ground rules of science have to be broadened to allow consideration of supernatural forces.”[48]
    “What is more, defense experts concede that ID is not a theory as that term is defined by the NAS and admit that ID is at best ‘fringe science’ which has achieved no acceptance in the scientific community.”[49]
    “We therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large.”[50]
    “ID proponents primarily argue for design through negative arguments against evolution, as illustrated by Professor Behe’s argument that ‘irreducibly complex’ systems cannot be produced through Darwinian, or any natural, mechanisms. However, … arguments against evolution are not arguments for design. Expert testimony revealed that just because scientists cannot explain today how biological systems evolved does not mean that they cannot, and will not, be able to explain them tomorrow. As Dr. Padian aptly noted, ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.’… Irreducible complexity is a negative argument against evolution, not proof of design, a point conceded by defense expert Professor Minnich.”[51]
    “Professor Behe’s concept of irreducible complexity depends on ignoring ways in which evolution is known to occur. Although Professor Behe is adamant in his definition of irreducible complexity when he says a precursor ‘missing a part is by definition nonfunctional,’ what he obviously means is that it will not function in the same way the system functions when all the parts are present. For example in the case of the bacterial flagellum, removal of a part may prevent it from acting as a rotary motor. However, Professor Behe excludes, by definition, the possibility that a precursor to the bacterial flagellum functioned not as a rotary motor, but in some other way, for example as a secretory system.”[52]
    “Professor Behe has applied the concept of irreducible complexity to only a few select systems: (1) the bacterial flagellum; (2) the blood-clotting cascade; and (3) the immune system. Contrary to Professor Behe’s assertions with respect to these few biochemical systems among the myriad existing in nature, however, Dr. Miller presented evidence, based upon peer-reviewed studies, that they are not in fact irreducibly complex.”[53]
    “In fact, on cross-examination, Professor Behe was questioned concerning his 1996 claim that science would never find an evolutionary explanation for the immune system. He was presented with fifty-eight peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology textbook chapters about the evolution of the immune system; however, he simply insisted that this was still not sufficient evidence of evolution, and that it was not “good enough.”[54]
    “With ID, proponents assert that they refuse to propose hypotheses on the designer’s identity, do not propose a mechanism, and the designer, he/she/it/they, has never been seen. … In addition, Professor Behe agreed that for the design of human artifacts, we know the designer and its attributes and we have a baseline for human design that does not exist for design of biological systems. Professor Behe’s only response to these seemingly insurmountable points of disanalogy was that the inference still works in science fiction movies.”[55]

    “Jones would later say that Eric Rothschild’s cross examination of Behe was “as good a cross-examination of an expert witness as I have ever seen. It was textbook.”[56][57]“

  194. “No matter what the observation, no matter how the world changes, we can never falsify alarmist climate theories.”

    No, but because these “theories” cannot be falsified any more than other equally superstitious ideas, we do have the choice to simply ignore them.

  195. @ sturgishooper says: August 17, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Trolls need to be fed. If they get no food, they go somewhere else to get it. The only reason the blog is ‘stunk up’ is because you keep feeding them. The stink comes from both sides. Drop it and move on.

  196. philjourdan says:
    August 19, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Let me get this straight. You think that a creationist troll who tries to promote his false religion on a science blog stinks it up as much as a scientist who tries to correct the troll’s errors, in order to maintain the blog’s credibility on scientific reality.

    Interesting.

    • @sturgishooper – No. I said the debate stinks it up. And if you did not succumb to his trap, then he would go away. Or at least not keep bringing up the subject. The debate is mindless. One is faith, and the other science. So why are you debating faith? You cannot win to them. So just ignore them!

      I would prefer to read your more insightful posts. As it is, I am skipping your posts now because I do not care to see religion and science debated anywhere.

  197. That is, and always has been, my problem with the theory of anthropogenic global warming. A true theory is falsifiable. A true scientist will define some set of experimental outcomes that will prove his theory false. And if one or more of those outcomes is realized, the theory will be rejected. No falsification criteria has ever been established for anthropogenic global warming. Instead, anything that occurs, they come up with some new twist on the theory that makes this outcome “fit right in” with the theory. And it doesn’t seem to bother them at all that this new twist on the theory contradicts the last twist they put on the theory to explain what happened last week.

    Now, I understand that weather is not climate, and a freak snowstorm here or a low temperature now doesn’t prove anything about climate. But seriously, we need to hold these guys’ feet to the fire and FORCE them to tell us exactly what they would accept as proof that all their theories, all their models, are dead wrong. And since I understand that “climate” is based on long-term trends, it doesn’t have to be some one-time event, or some short-term average. I’ll accept any realistic criteria based on events that occur over some FINITE time period, provided no action is taken, based on the notion that the theory is correct, until that time period has expired and unless the falsifying data has failed to materialize.

    But the way it stands, now, it’s like medieval science (i.e., religion). They put out a theory because it jives with their own dogmatic beliefs, and every fact that comes up to contradict the theory is explained away by spontaneous, ad-hoc additions to the theory (often contradictory to each other), or just plain-old denial of the facts.

    Actually, now that I think about it, it’s a lot like a kid trying to get away with a lie. I remember an event from my childhood, in which my brother “pretended” to be dead. He was lying, unmoving on the trampoline after I accidentally bumped into him and knocked him down. It didn’t take me long to realize the game he was playing, and I said, “get up, you’re not dead”, to which he replied “I am too”. I said, “but your eyes are closed; dead peoples’ eyes are open”, and he said “no, if you die with your eyes closed, then they stay closed”. I said, “why would your eyes have been closed when I knocked you down?”, and he said, “because I just happened to be blinking at that precise moment”. “Okay, but you’re breathing”; “No, I’m not” (at which point began a short-lived attempt for him to hold his breath until, I can only surmise, I gave up and pronounced him dead, which did not happen in the 20 seconds the atttempt lasted). Then he said “that’s gas building up inside my body”. “Okay, but you’re exhaling too”; “That’s gas escaping through the pores”. “But you’re TALKING. Dead people don’t talk”; “That’s my ghost talking to you”. “But your lips are moving”; “that’s from the gas escaping my body”. “I thought you said the gas was escaping through your pores”; “Well, not all of it, some is coming out of my mouth”. “But I didn’t bump into you hard enough to kill you”; “But you hit my nose, and everyone knows that it doesn’t take a lot of force to drive that bone up into your brain causing instant death”. At that point, tiring of the game, I just punched him in the shoulder, whereupon he screamed “ow”, and grabbed his shoulder with his other hand. I said “Gotcha”; he said, “That was just reflexes”. Reflexes always seemed to be the go-to argument in cases of pretend death, and I knew when I was beat. So finally, I said, “well, if you’re really dead, I guess I better go pack some clothes and leave before the cops come and arrest me for murder”, then I walked in the house and played Asteroids for the rest of the afternoon. To his credit, he held onto the pretense for another hour, lying on the trampoline, no doubt bored as hell. I wish I had known at the time that the human body, upon death, immediately evacuates its bowels and bladder. Sure would have been fun to watch him wet and soil himself just to prove he really was dead. And that is pretty much the equivalent of what the global warming alarmists are doing right now holding on to their pretense.

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