The logical case against climate panic

How the profiteers who market Thermageddon offend against the principles of formal logic

Guest post by Monckton of Brenchley

LOGIC is the heartbeat of all true learning – the soul of the Classics, the Sciences and Religion. Once everyone studied the Classics, to know that in logic there is a difference between true and false; the Sciences, to discern where it lies; and Religion, to appreciate why it matters. Today, few study all three empires of the mind. Fewer study the ordered beauty of the logic at their heart.

Is Private Fraser’s proposition that “We’re a’ doomed!” logical? I say No. G.K. Chesterton once wrote: “When men have ceased to believe in Christianity, it is not that they will believe in nothing. They will believe in anything.” The belief that Thermageddon will arise from our altering 1/3000th of the atmosphere in a century is in-your-face illogical, rooted in a dozen fallacies marked out by Aristotle as the commonest in human discourse.

“Consensus” is the New Religion’s central fallacy. Arguing blindly from consensus is the head-count fallacy, the argumentum ad populum. Al-Haytham, founder of the scientific method, wrote: “The seeker after truth does not put his faith in any mere consensus. Instead, he checks.”

Two surveys have purported to show 97% of climate scientists supporting the supposed “consensus”. In both, 97% agreed little more than that the world has warmed since 1950. So what? One involved just 79 scientists, hardly a scientific sample size. Neither was selected to eliminate bias. Neither asked whether manmade global warming was at all likely to prove catastrophic – a question expecting the answer “No.”

Claiming that the “consensus” is one of revered experts is the argumentum ad verecundiam, the fallacy of appeal to authority. T.H. Huxley said in 1860, “The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties: blind faith the one unpardonable sin.”

Believers talk of a “consensus of evidence”. Yet evidence cannot hold opinions. Besides, there has been no global warming for 18 years; sea level has risen for eight years at just 1.3 in/century; notwithstanding Sandy, hurricane activity is at its least in the 33-year satellite record; ocean heat content is rising four and a half times more slowly than predicted; global sea-ice extent has changed little; Himalayan glaciers have not lost ice; and the U.N.’s 2005 prediction of 50 million “climate refugees” by 2010 was absurd. The evidence does not support catastrophism.

Believers say: “Only if we include a strong warming effect from CO2 can we explain the past 60 years’ warming. We know of no other reason.” This is the argumentum ad ignorantiam, the fundamental fallacy of argument from ignorance. Besides, natural variability is reason enough.

They say: “Global warming is accelerating, so we are to blame.” Even if warming were accelerating, this non sequitur is an instance of the argumentum ad causam falsam, the fallacy of arguing from a false cause. They go on to say: “CO2 concentration has risen; warming has occurred; the former caused the latter.” This is the post hoc ergo propter hoc sub-species of the same fallacy.

They say: “What about the cuddly polar bears?” This is the argumentum ad misericordiam, the fallacy of needless pity. There are five times as many polar bears as there were in the 1940s – hardly, as you may think, the profile of a species at imminent threat of extinction. No need to pity the bears, and they are not cuddly.

They say: “We tell the models there will be strong CO2- driven warming. And, yes, the models predict it.” This is the fallacy of arguing in circles, the argumentum ad petitionem principii, where the premise is the conclusion.

They say: “Global warming caused extra-tropical storm Sandy.” This inappropriate argument from the general to the particular is the argumentum a dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid, the fallacy of accident. Individual extreme events cannot be ascribed to global warming.

They say: “Melting Arctic sea ice is a symptom of global warming.” This unsound argument from the particular to the general is the argumentum a dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter, the fallacy of converse accident. Arctic sea ice is melting, but the Antarctic has cooled for 30 years and the sea ice there is growing, so the decline in Arctic sea ice does not indicate a global problem.

They say: “Monckton says he’s a member of the House of Lords, but the Clerk says he isn’t, so he’s not credible.” This is the argumentum ad hominem, a shoddy sub- species of ignoratio elenchi, the fundamental red-herring fallacy of ignorance of how a true argument is conducted.

They say: “We don’t care what the truth is. We want more power, tax and regulation. Global warming is our pretext. If you disagree, we will haul you before the International Climate Court.” This is the nastiest of all logical fallacies: the argumentum ad baculum, the argument of force.

These numerous in-your-face illogicalities provoke four questions: Has the Earth warmed as predicted? If not, why not? What if I am wrong? And what if I am right?

Q1. Has the Earth warmed as predicted? In 1990 the IPCC predicted that the world would now be warming at 0.3 Cº/decade, and that by now more than 0.6 Cº warming would have occurred. The outturn was less than half that: just 0.14 Cº/decade and 0.3 Cº in all.

In 2008 leading modellers wrote:

“The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 years or more, suggesting that an absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the observed warming rate.”

Yet the linear trend on the Hadley/CRU monthly global temperature anomalies for the 18 years 1995-2012 shows no statistically-significant warming, even though the partial pressure of CO2 rose by about a tenth in that time.

The modellers’ own explicit criterion proves their scary predictions exaggerated. Their vaunted “consensus” was wrong. Global warming that was predicted for tomorrow but has not occurred for 18 years until today cannot have caused Sandy or Bopha yesterday, now, can it?

Q2: Why was the “consensus” wrong? Why do the models exaggerate? The climate-sensitivity equation says warming is the product of a forcing and a sensitivity parameter. Three problems: the modellers’ definition of forcing is illogical; their assumptions about the sensitivity parameter are not falsifiable; and their claims that their long-term predictions of doom are reliable are not only empirically disproven but theoretically insupportable.

Modellers define forcing as the net down-minus-up flux of radiation at the tropopause, with surface temperature fixed. Yet forcings change surface temperature. So the definition offends against the fundamental postulate of logic that a proposition and its converse cannot coexist. No surprise, then, that since 1995 the IPCC has had to cut its estimate of the CO2 forcing by 15%. The “consensus” disagrees with itself. Note in passing that the CO2 forcing function is logarithmic: each further molecule causes less warming than those before it. Diminishing returns apply.

Direct warming is little more than 1 Cº per CO2 doubling, well within natural variability. It is not a crisis. So the modellers introduce amplifying or “positive” temperature feedbacks, which, they hope, triple the direct warming from CO2. Yet this dubious hypothesis is not Popper- falsifiable, so it is not logic and not science. Not one of the imagined feedbacks is either empirically measurable or theoretically determinable by any reliable method. As an expert reviewer for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, I have justifiably excoriated its net-positive feedbacks as guesswork – uneducated guesswork at that.

For there is a very powerful theoretical reason why the modellers’ guess that feedbacks triple direct warming is erroneous. The closed-loop feedback gain implicit in the IPCC’s climate-sensitivity interval 3.3[2.0, 4.5] Cº per CO2 doubling falls on the interval 0.62[0.42, 0.74]. However, process engineers building electronic circuits, who invented feedback mathematics, tell us any loop gain much above zero is far too near the singularity – at a loop gain of 1 – in the feedback-amplification function.

At high gain, the geological record would show violent oscillations between extremes of warming and cooling. Yet for 64 million years the Earth’s surface temperature has fluctuated by only 3%, or 8 Cº, either side of the long- run mean. These fluctuations can give us an ice-planet at one moment and a hothouse Earth the next, but they are altogether inconsistent with a loop gain anywhere near as close to the singularity as modellers’ estimates imply.

Surface temperature changes little, for homoeostatic conditions prevail. The atmosphere’s lower bound, the ocean, is a vast heat-sink 1100 times denser than the air: one reason why 3000 bathythermographs deployed in 2006 have detected no significant ocean warming. The atmosphere’s upper bound is outer space, to which any excess heat radiates harmlessly away. Homoeostasis, then, is what we should expect, and it is what we get. Thus the climatic loop gain cannot much exceed zero, so the warming at CO2 doubling will be a harmless 1 Cº.

Yet the overriding difficulty in trying to model the climate is that it behaves as a chaotic object. We can never measure the values of its millions of defining parameters at any chosen moment to a sufficient precision to permit reliable projection of the bifurcations, or Sandy-like departures from an apparently steady state, that are inherent in the evolution of all objects that behave chaotically. Therefore, reliable, very-long-term modelling of future climate states is unattainable a priori.

The IPCC tries to overcome this actually insuperable Lorenz constraint on modelling by estimating climate sensitivity via a probability-density function. Yet PDFs require more, not less, information than simple estimates flanked by error-whiskers, and are still less likely to be reliable. The modellers are guessing. Their guesses have been proven wrong. Yet they continue to demand our acquiescence in an imagined (and imaginary) consensus.

Q3: What if I am wrong? If so, we must travel from physics to economics. Pretend, ad argumentum, that the IPCC’s central estimate of 2.8 Cº warming by 2100 is true, and that Stern was right to say that the cost of failing to prevent warming of that order this century will be about 1.5% of GDP. Then, at the minimum 5% market inter-temporal discount rate, the cost of trying to abate this decade’s predicted warming of 0.15 Cº by typical CO2-mitigation schemes as cost-ineffective as Australia’s carbon tax would be 48 times greater than the cost of later adaptation. At a zero discount rate, the cost of acting now exceeds that of adapting in the future 36 times over.

How so? Australia emits just 1.2% of Man’s CO2, of which Ms. Gillard aims to cut 5% this decade, abating 0.06% of global emissions by 2020. Then CO2 concentration will fall from a predicted 410 μatm to 409.988 μatm. In turn predicted temperature will fall by 0.00006 Cº. But the cost will be $130 billion ($2 quadrillion/Cº). Abating the

0.15 Cº warming predicted for this decade would thus cost $317 trillion, or $45,000/head worldwide, or 59% of global GDP. Mitigation measures inexpensive enough to be affordable will thus be ineffective: measures expensive enough to be effective will be unaffordable. Since the premium vastly exceeds the cost of the risk, don’t insure. That is a precautionary principle worthy of the name.

Q4: What if I am right? When I am proven right, the Climate Change Department will be swept away; Britain’s annual deficit will fall by a fifth; the bat-blatting, bird- blending windmills that scar our green and pleasant land will go; the world will refocus on real environmental problems like deforestation on land, overfishing at sea and pollution of the air; the U.N.’s ambition to turn itself into a grim, global dictatorship with overriding powers of taxation and economic and environmental intervention will be thwarted; and the aim of science to supplant true religion as the world’s new, dismal, cheerless credo will be deservedly, decisively, definitively defeated.

Any who say “I believe” are not scientists, for true scientists say “I wonder”. We require – nay, we demand – more awe and greater curiosity from our scientists, and less political “correctness” and co-ordinated credulity.

To the global classe politique, the placemen, bureaucrats, academics, scientists, journalists and enviros who have profiteered at our expense by peddling Thermageddon, I say this. The science is in; the truth is out; Al Gore is through; the game is up; and the scare is over.

To those scientists who aim to end the Age of Reason and Enlightenment, I say this. Logic stands implacable in your path. We will never let you have your new Dark Age.

To men of goodwill, lovers of logic, I say this. It is our faculty of reason, the greatest of the soul’s three powers, that marks us out from the beasts and brings us closest in likeness to our Creator, the Lord of Life and Light. We will never let the light of Reason be snuffed out.

Do not go gentle to that last goodnight – Rage, rage against the dying of the light!

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Theo Goodwin
January 6, 2013 10:12 am

Wonderful essay. Thanks for the “shout out” to logic.

Dajake
January 6, 2013 10:22 am

Nice.

grumpyoldmanuk
January 6, 2013 10:22 am

When you have a good strong message, keep saying it. Very well spoken, My Lord.

anarchist hate machine
January 6, 2013 10:25 am

Excellent. A wealth of knowledge.

ancientmariner
January 6, 2013 10:25 am

I had to agree with Huxley, but then found myself in a feedback loop…….

Bloke down the pub
January 6, 2013 10:25 am

If the warmists were logical beings, we would never have gotten into this mess in the first place.

Ed_B
January 6, 2013 10:34 am

I still think Willis nailed it, ie, the belt of thunderstorms around the equator act to cool the earth. The heat gets lofted above most of the CO2 so it radiiates straight out. Thus the 1 C warming due to AGW doubling the CO2 is only hypothetical. The dynamics of the earths thermostat might reduce that from 1 C to 0.3 C for example. We probably will never know, as it is too small to measure.

Colin Gartner
January 6, 2013 10:35 am

Brilliant essay, Lord Monckton. I have long bristled at the endless parade of fallacies trotted out by believers in cAGW. This essay wonderfully summarizes the lot of them, even a few I wasn’t aware of. Thank you, and best wishes for a 2013 where we, hopefully, see the death spiral of cAGW continue.

oldseadog
January 6, 2013 10:35 am

Good paper.
I am familiar with the survey of 79 people, 77 of whom gave the 97% answer, but would be interested in knowing the origin of the other survey you talk about.
Thanks, and keep up the good work.

Doug Huffman
January 6, 2013 10:36 am

Rage, rage against the dying of the light! Goodly direction on Epiphany.

mpainter
January 6, 2013 10:38 am

“For there is a very powerful theoretical reason why the modellers’ guess that feedbacks triple direct warming is erroneous. The closed-loop feedback gain implicit in the IPCC’s climate-sensitivity interval 3.3[2.0, 4.5] Cº per CO2 doubling falls on the interval 0.62[0.42, 0.74]. However, process engineers building electronic circuits, who invented feedback mathematics, tell us any loop gain much above zero is far too near the singularity – at a loop gain of 1 – in the feedback-amplification function.”
In fact, the whole of AGW is theoretical with nothing behind it but the absorbency spectrum of CO2 -thin soup, indeed. The so called “climate sensitivity” factor is a theoretical pretension in view of the incontrovertible fact that the true metric of global warmth is ocean heat content. Once again, global climate modeling is nothing but a feed trough for AGU types.

Vince Causey
January 6, 2013 10:38 am

Always good to read Lord Monckton’s writings.
It’s not that the argumentum ad populum is deployed by agenda pushers, but that it ain’t true in any case. The 97% is a well known figure from a manipulated poll based on a sub-sample of 79 chosen from a larger sample. And in the argumentum ad verucundiam one often hears statements like “all the great scientific bodies agree that . . . is true,” as if that alone is sufficient to make it true.
But pull away the curtains, and you see how these pronouncements, instead of being the distilled wisdom of thousands of experts, are just statements made by committees of a few individuals, mostly echoing similar statements made by other committees. Nowhere does one find anything more than opinion – and normally that which follows a particular fashion that happens to be the force de jeur.
Sometimes, these statements are so outrageously anti-science, that member of those bodies – the actual scientists who should be counted as the true experts – protest against this tarnishing of their august bodies. This has happened within the American Physical Society and the Royal Society. But, by and large, nothing much changes, and the fascade of consensus of experts continues to echo down through the media and the various government apparatchiks whose jobs it is to push their bureaucratic agendas.
There is nothing so bad as the argumentums ad populum and ad verucundiam.

January 6, 2013 10:45 am

After all your rambling, you still do not answer the most basic of questions: Why is it not a good thing to develop alternative energies? What is the harm in cleaning up the environment? Surely you do not deny that there are serious ill health effects of fossil fuel mining and use? That we are still burning up the house to keep the family warm? That fossil fuel supplies are finite? That there are readily available alternatives which are economically scalable if only they were adequately supported? Development of clean, renewable energy will stimulate the economy and improve the quality of life for all living things on the planet. So please explain why you oppose an orderly, economical transition to readily available alternative energies? You say the “alarmists” are motivated by profits. Yet it is you who are affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a noted man cave for fire-breathing fossil fuel behemoths. Anthony and friends, you can parse the particulars until kingdom come, but fossil fuels are still the Earth’s Goliath. Humanity is still David. The only question is what are we going to put in our slingshot, and why are we so slow in getting about the business so clearly at hand? Need leadership is needed now. Join the good guys.
REPLY: Instead of making assumptions from your personal biases, you might want to read my about page Pat, and note what alternative energy and conservation measures I actually do.
I look forward to you demonstrating how you’ve done similar things of substance in your own life rather than just bloviating about what everyone else should do, while proclaiming yourself to be “one of the good guys”. Please do demonstrate your own personal actions in these areas, or kindly shut up. – Anthony

Reply to  Pat Ravasio
January 6, 2013 11:21 am

@Pat Ravasio ..and another thing. I’ve never taken a dime from any fossil fuel interests, and your smear by association is just that: a smear. Prove it or shut the hell up as I’m really getting tired of this sort of crap. Maybe it is time I make an example out of somebody. I’m also not a “denier” as you claim in your blog. The greenhouse effect from CO2 exists, I and many others simply think it is oversold and far less of a problem than it is claimed to be. Over a decade of no warming seems to back that up.
So per my comment addendum to your comment above, man up, show you’ve done something of substance (like install alternate energy you preach about) other than lecture to other people about how they should conduct their lives and their affairs.
Otherwise, if you can’t/won’t, it will be the permanent bit bucket for you, as I don’t want to waste time on your baseless taunts any further. – Anthony

richardscourtney
January 6, 2013 10:49 am

Christopher:
The above article is – even by your high standards – a tour de force of logical argument. It is worth copying and filing for reference. Thankyou.
I write with reference to your answer to your ‘Question 1’ that begins

Q1. Has the Earth warmed as predicted?
In 1990 the IPCC predicted that the world would now be warming at 0.3 Cº/decade, and that by now more than 0.6 Cº warming would have occurred. The outturn was less than half that: just 0.14 Cº/decade and 0.3 Cº in all.
etc.

I know why the climate models do not – and cannot – predict climate of the real Earth.
At most only one of climate models emulates the climate system of the real Earth and it is probable that none of them does.
It seems appropriate for me to explain this again for the benefit of people who may not have seen it.
None of the models – not one of them – could match the change in mean global temperature over the past century if it did not utilise a unique value of assumed cooling from aerosols. So, inputting actual values of the cooling effect (such as the determination by Penner et al.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/07/25/1018526108.full.pdf?with-ds=yes )
would make every climate model provide a mismatch between the global warming it hindcasts and the observed global warming for the twentieth century.
This mismatch would occur because all the global climate models and energy balance models are known to provide indications which are based on
1.
the assumed degree of forcings resulting from human activity that produce warming
and
2.
the assumed degree of anthropogenic aerosol cooling input to each model as a ‘fiddle factor’ to obtain agreement between past average global temperature and the model’s indications of average global temperature.
More than a decade ago I published a peer-reviewed paper that showed the UK’s Hadley Centre general circulation model (GCM) could not model climate and only obtained agreement between past average global temperature and the model’s indications of average global temperature by forcing the agreement with an input of assumed anthropogenic aerosol cooling.
The input of assumed anthropogenic aerosol cooling is needed because the model ‘ran hot’; i.e. it showed an amount and a rate of global warming which was greater than was observed over the twentieth century. This failure of the model was compensated by the input of assumed anthropogenic aerosol cooling.
And my paper demonstrated that the assumption of aerosol effects being responsible for the model’s failure was incorrect.
(ref. Courtney RS An assessment of validation experiments conducted on computer models of global climate using the general circulation model of the UK’s Hadley Centre Energy & Environment, Volume 10, Number 5, pp. 491-502, September 1999).
More recently, in 2007, Kiehle published a paper that assessed 9 GCMs and two energy balance models.
(ref. Kiehl JT,Twentieth century climate model response and climate sensitivity. GRL vol.. 34, L22710, doi:10.1029/2007GL031383, 2007).
Kiehl found the same as my paper except that each model he assessed used a different aerosol ‘fix’ from every other model. This is because they all ‘run hot’ but they each ‘run hot’ to a different degree.
He says in his paper:

One curious aspect of this result is that it is also well known [Houghton et al., 2001] that the same models that agree in simulating the anomaly in surface air temperature differ significantly in their predicted climate sensitivity. The cited range in climate sensitivity from a wide collection of models is usually 1.5 to 4.5 deg C for a doubling of CO2, where most global climate models used for climate change studies vary by at least a factor of two in equilibrium sensitivity.
The question is: if climate models differ by a factor of 2 to 3 in their climate sensitivity, how can they all simulate the global temperature record with a reasonable degree of accuracy.
Kerr [2007] and S. E. Schwartz et al. (Quantifying climate change–too rosy a picture?, available at http://www.nature.com/reports/climatechange, 2007 ) recently pointed out the importance of understanding the answer to this question. Indeed, Kerr [2007] referred to the present work and the current paper provides the ‘‘widely circulated analysis’’ referred to by Kerr [2007]. This report investigates the most probable explanation for such an agreement. It uses published results from a wide variety of model simulations to understand this apparent paradox between model climate responses for the 20th century, but diverse climate model sensitivity.

And, importantly, Kiehl’s paper says:

These results explain to a large degree why models with such diverse climate sensitivities can all simulate the global anomaly in surface temperature. The magnitude of applied anthropogenic total forcing compensates for the model sensitivity.

And the “magnitude of applied anthropogenic total forcing” is fixed in each model by the input value of aerosol forcing.
Thanks to Bill Illis, Kiehl’s Figure 2 can be seen at
http://img36.imageshack.us/img36/8167/kiehl2007figure2.png
Please note that the Figure is for 9 GCMs and 2 energy balance models, and its title is:

Figure 2. Total anthropogenic forcing (Wm2) versus aerosol forcing (Wm2) from nine fully coupled climate models and two energy balance models used to simulate the 20th century.

It shows that
(a) each model uses a different value for “Total anthropogenic forcing” that is in the range 0.80 W/m^-2 to 2.02 W/m^-2
but
(b) each model is forced to agree with the rate of past warming by using a different value for “Aerosol forcing” that is in the range -1.42 W/m^-2 to -0.60 W/m^-2.
In other words the models use values of “Total anthropogenic forcing” that differ by a factor of more than 2.5 and they are ‘adjusted’ by using values of assumed “Aerosol forcing” that differ by a factor of 2.4.
So, each climate model emulates a different climate system. Hence, at most only one of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth because there is only one Earth. And the fact that they each ‘run hot’ to a different degree unless fiddled by use of a completely arbitrary ‘aerosol cooling’ strongly suggests that none of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth.
Richard

January 6, 2013 10:49 am

Excellent summary of the state of logic in our new post-sentient times.
Note: needs a break-point somewhere near the initiation so it does not dominate main page, even though it is good that it does.

Polentario
January 6, 2013 10:51 am

There is one aspect often left out in this sort of lists – if we really knew what human contribution to climate would look like, AGW adherents would have no problem to discuss geoengineering against it.

e. c. cowan
January 6, 2013 11:01 am

“They say: “We tell the models there will be strong CO2- driven warming. And, yes, the models predict it.” This is the fallacy of arguing in circles, the argumentum ad petitionem principii, where the premise is the conclusion.’
I think it’s also called ‘GARBAGE IN — GARBAGE OUT’

michael hart
January 6, 2013 11:02 am

Unfortunately, Chris, I fear you are going to have to say it a few more times yet. When these people start cursing the darkness they probably won’t remember your words.

January 6, 2013 11:07 am

The Good Lord has spoken in a wonderful manner. As to who will rise to the challenge and how they will do it? May I offer some advice:
http://www.irishexaminer.com/archives/2012/1221/business/engineer-to-challenge-governmentaposs-renewable-energy-programme-217634.html
One passage in the introduction section of the site entitled “The Citizen’s Handbook; [14] A bridge to strong democracy” reads as follows;
“When citizens get together at the neighbourhood level, they generate a number of remarkable side effects. One of these is strengthened democracy. In simple terms, democracy means that the people decide. Political scientists describe our system of voting every few years but otherwise leaving everything up to government as weak democracy. In weak democracy, citizens have no role, no real part in decision-making between elections. Experts assume responsibility for deciding how to deal with important public issues. The great movement of the last decades of the twentieth century has been a drive towards stronger democracy in corporations, institutions and governments. In many cities this has resulted in the formal recognition of neighbourhood groups as a link between people and municipal government, and a venue for citizen participation in decision-making between elections.”
Lord Monckton has hit the nail on the head – we have a weak democracy. Those of us qualified in logic and reason need to get active. A Scottish Grandmother can rise to the challenge; 2013 will be interesting for the above. It will be even more interesting if more rise to the challenge:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/argyll-grandmother-takes-uk-and-eu-to-the-united-nations-over-plans-to-turn-scotland-into-windfarm-hedgehog-8399574.html

David Chorley
January 6, 2013 11:13 am

For the non British readers of Lord Monckton’s article, Private James Frazer, a character in the TV show “Dad’s Army” can sum up all the warmist’s statements succinctly: see.
http://m.youtube.com/index?&desktop_uri=%2F#/watch?v=w7RIgs3eygo
David

Clay Marley
January 6, 2013 11:20 am

Thank you Lord Monckton. Most of the Latin I know I have learned from you.
“They say: “We don’t care what the truth is. We want more power, tax and regulation. Global warming is our pretext. If you disagree, we will haul you before the International Climate Court.” This is the nastiest of all logical fallacies: the argumentum ad baculum, the argument of force.”
Fallacy possibly, but it is at least the truth.
As the CAGW excuse collapses, another must take its place. The desire for global power and socialist redistribution will never vanish. If I were a warmist I would be working vigorously behind the scenes to develop an alternate excuse for global socialism. A non-anthropogenic global cooling might be effective. Although true they couldn’t blame Man, they could argue it will take the same global effort to prevent the catastrophe.
So even after the demise of CAGW, WUWT will still be here, fighting the good fight.

January 6, 2013 11:30 am

I liked it until you started talking about religion… Just like the last article. It simply isn’t necessary and detracts from the scientific and logical merit of your case. “Closest in likeness to our Creator?” Ugh.

davidmhoffer
January 6, 2013 11:33 am

That there are readily available alternatives which are economically scalable if only they were adequately supported?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Ah yes, the magic of adequate support. The notion that if alternatives were economical they wouldn’t need support in the first place seems to have eluded the troll. She thinks that “support” is free, and has no impact on the economy. In brief, she believes in magic.
That is the problem we face today. People believe in magic. With apologies to Arthur C Clarke, any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from science.
An excellent essay Christopher Monckton. But the sad fact is that the answer to the troll’s question is contained in the article itself, yet still she demands the adoption of magic as being logical.

Mike Bryant
January 6, 2013 11:34 am

Lord Monckton,
I’m wondering if Australia is really cutting CO2 emissions at all in view of their huge coal exports to many countries. I’d love to hear your take on this question.
Mike Bryant

Jeff Alberts
January 6, 2013 11:36 am

If, as you say, logic is a cornerstone of religion, and CAGW is a religion, then logic must be a cornerstone of CAGW. No?
Personally I don’t think religions use much logic. Making proclamations without evidence is not logical. That’s religion in a nutshell, IMHO.

Editor
January 6, 2013 11:41 am

Just to fill in a citation for Lord Monckton (the “believers” in his following statement):

Believers say: “Only if we include a strong warming effect from CO2 can we explain the past 60 years’ warming. We know of no other reason.”

This is almost an exact quotation from the official APS statement on climate change, as clarified in 2010:

While there are factors driving the natural variability of climate (e.g., volcanoes, solar variability, oceanic oscillations), no known natural mechanisms have been proposed that explain all of the observed warming in the past century.

In particular, they are talking about post-1980 warming, as their next sentence makes clear:

Warming is observed in land-surface temperatures, sea-surface temperatures, and for the last 30 years, lower-atmosphere temperatures measured by satellite.

This warming cannot have been caused by the sun, you see, because as numerous “consensus” scientists have noted, solar activity was not going up over this period, but only persisted at a high level (whether extraordinarily high, as Usoskin estimates, or merely high, as Muscheler estimates). A persistent high level of forcing can’t cause continued warming. That is their so-called “physics.” I call it “Newton’s fourth law”: that temperature is driven not by the level of the forcing but by the rate of change in the forcing. Affirmed by the APS itself!
Note also how the APS statement inverts the scientific method. “No known natural mechanism.” They don’t know what the mechanism is, so they are going to ignore the strong evidence, now admitted by the IPCC itself, that SOME substantial mechanism of solar amplification seems to be at work. Argument by exclusion, Newton’s 4th law, and inversion of the scientific method. This is our new APS, as transformed by government funding of climate alarm.

January 6, 2013 11:45 am

Global warming, the tool of the West
By Stanislav Mishin
For years, the Elites of the West have cranked up the myth of Man Made Global Warming as a means first and foremost to control the lives and behaviors of their populations. Knowing full well that their “produce in China and sell in the West” model and its [consequent] spiral downward in wages and thus standards of living, was unsustainable, the elites moved to use this new “science” to guilt trip and scare monger their populations into smaller and more conservatives forms of living. In other words, they coasted them into the poverty that the greed and treason of those said same elites was already creating in their native lands.
What better way to staunch protests at worsening economic and life conditions than to make it feel like an honourable job/duty of the people to save “Gaea”. At the same time, they used this “science” as a new pagan religion to further push out the Christianity they hate and despise and most of all, fear? Gaea worship, the earth “mother”, has been pushed in popular culture oozing out of the West for a better part of the past 1.5 decades. This is a religion replete with an army of priests, called Government Grant Scientists.
Various groups have fought back. This is including Russian hackers, who published a huge database of UK government, scientific and university emails depicting the fixing of data to sell Global Warming, er Climate Change (as if it never changed on its own). And while taking hit after hit, the beast, like Al Quida, will not die. As a matter of fact, the beast is on a steady come back, as it is quite useful during the down times recession. The US alone spends $7 billion each year on warming “studies”, which is, in truth, nothing but a huge money laundering operation, as no real science is conducted and vapid alarmist reports the only product generated.
http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/04-01-2013/123380-global_warming-0/

January 6, 2013 11:51 am

All in all a nice essay, but it seems confused about the subject of “formal logic”. Modern formal logic, as developed by Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, and others, does not contain a classification of fallacies or concern itself with questions of consensus, authority, and ignorance.
Modern logic is just a part of mathematics. Einstein summed it up best: “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” This applies to logic also – on its own, logic alone does not allow us to mount a case against some contention of empirical science (such as “thermaggedon”). Only if such a contention could be shown to logically contradict itself would there be “a logical case” against it.

mpainter
January 6, 2013 11:52 am

Pat Ravasio says: January 6, 2013 at 10:45 am
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
You got what you asked for Pat. You reveal yourself as one who has uncritically swallowed the whole bucket of swill. There is no room here for you until you get an education, and you can’t get an education until you learn how to tell an education from an indoctrination. Good luck.

Zeke
January 6, 2013 11:53 am

Christopher Monckton says: “Believers say: “Only if we include a strong warming effect from CO2 can we explain the past 60 years’ warming. We know of no other reason.” This is the argumentum ad ignorantiam, the fundamental fallacy of argument from ignorance.”
We see very few scientific unions, academic institutions, publications, journals, or societies were able to recognize this problem with the AGW hypothesis. May I suggest that one reason for the collective blindness to this methodology in climate science is because it has been an argument used by all of the sciences for so long, that it is not recognized for what it is?
What made all of science plunge past the tipping point into the doctrine of global warming? Perhaps it wasn’t just the sudden funding and the glamour, the glories and perks of advocacy, the hazy halcyon idea of doing “public good” and “saving the planet,” and the allure of being an elite able to set the planet’s temperature and population, that made all of science stumble and lose its way. “Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself.” The error was very likely deeply systemic before climate science came along. That error was the argument from ignorance. “We excluded all other possibilities, so this must be the cause. Trust us.”
The next object is “sustainability” measures through terrifying and sweeping prophecies of the future. In the Anthropocene Age, frightening “tipping points” exist in all natural systems of the “fragile earth,” ready to collapse catastrophically because of the fires, electricity, crops, cattle, and water we use to live our lives at liberty.

Restalrig
January 6, 2013 11:54 am

Oh dear, Lord Monckton, an interesting essay sullied with nonsenical references to mythology.

Dirty Old Man
January 6, 2013 12:04 pm

Sounds a lot like the Begging The Question Fallacy, Mike. You can’t dismiss an argument simply because you dislike the postulates.

oldfossil
January 6, 2013 12:08 pm

Dear Christopher Monckton, notably absent from your list of fallacies was the “straw man.” Pat Ravasio most kindly drew our attention to this omission and supplied an excellent example.

RobW
January 6, 2013 12:11 pm

Unfortunately the MSM gives pseudo-science as much print as the science it supposedly counters. There in lies the problem. When science literacy comes from the MSM for the general public and the MSM has sold the farm on true journalism in favour of “Fear Marketing”, the public becomes believers in sensational pseudo-science over the real (sometimes boring )science.
I wish I had an answer to this big problem in society.

January 6, 2013 12:13 pm

Has anyone sent a Thank You letter to Russia for the release of the Climategate emails?
Perhaps we should start an online signature campaign?

j ferguson
January 6, 2013 12:17 pm

Doubtless, it reveals shortcomings in my education, but I had never read:
” Once everyone studied the Classics, to know that in logic there is a difference between true and false; the Sciences, to discern where it lies; and Religion, to appreciate why it matters.”
What a marvelous statement. Thank you Lord Monckton

nigelf
January 6, 2013 12:18 pm

Wonderful Lord Monkton, your writing and logic is beyond reproach!

Michael Moon
January 6, 2013 12:18 pm

Ravasio,
“That there are readily available alternatives which are economically scalable if only they were adequately supported? Development of clean, renewable energy will stimulate the economy and improve the quality of life for all living things on the planet. So please explain why you oppose an orderly, economical transition to readily available alternative energies?”
The cost of energy determines prosperity. Energy sources have been sought since time immemorial, and continue to be sought. The last significant new source was nuclear energy, which never could have been developed without the Manhattan Project, in search of a weapon to end WWII. The project was funded because the initial experiments of Curie and Becquerel, followed by many up to and including Fermi, showed that the principle was unquestionably true.
There is nothing else in front of us resembling this. All renewable sources are uneconomic by huge factors compared to fossil fuels, and would bankrupt nations and create mass poverty. This is basically because of energy density. 1370 watts per square meter from Father Sol is just not enough, as Mother Nature has been concentrating sunshine in the form of fossil fuels for eons. People never choose poverty!
Governments are incompetent to develop any new technologies other than weapons. Space Ship One has technology far superior to NASA, who crashed a satellite on Mars because someone did not understand the difference between inches and millimeters. Solyndra and many other “Green” federally-funded start-ups have wasted billions and produced nothing. The US government cannot even run the Senate Lunchroom at a profit!
Let the market forces do what they inevitably will. Contradict Monckton, if you are able. Otherwise, consider the probability that you have chosen the wrong road.

rgbatduke
January 6, 2013 12:19 pm

To men of goodwill, lovers of logic, I say this. It is our faculty of reason, the greatest of the soul’s three powers, that marks us out from the beasts and brings us closest in likeness to our Creator, the Lord of Life and Light. We will never let the light of Reason be snuffed out.
Once again, the essay is marred by a number of flaws.
First, wrapping an essay accusing anyone who thinks there is evidence of an ongoing global climate catastrophe as being religious within a religious wrapper invoking G. K. Chesterton (speaking, IIRC, in the persona of Father Brown) at one end and ending with an invocation of a Creators, Lord of Life and Light at the other end is oxymoronic in the extreme. You bewail the cost of a new “religion”. Look back at the cost, historically, of actual religion in general, or its ongoing cost today. Not that I don’t love the Father Brown stories myself, but Chesterton’s Christian apologia was nonsense then and remains so today.
Your essay would be immeasurably strengthened by leaving out the prologue and epilogue, because there is not a single argument you make concerning the ill-use of logic in climate science arguments (posing it as a false analogy as a religion) that cannot be brought to bear with far greater reason on the ill-use of religion itself in climate arguments, or on the ill-use of logic in religious argumentation. The minute you assert believe in the invisible logic and reason fly out the door, and if you think climate feedbacks are empirically “invisible”, try a sentient First Cause.
You would in this way also avoid irritating readers that are not, in fact, Christian. Not simply atheists such as myself, but it is at least conceivable that they might be read by Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews.
Second, while I found much of your essay compelling and incisive, a second place and reason that at least muting the “Global Warming is a New Religion” assertion is a good idea is that your essay come dangerously close to accusing everybody that disagrees with you or supports the conclusion of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming of being unscientific and/or religious. If this was your serious intent, well, I disagree and think that is actually rather silly. It is important to recognize that scientists acting in the best of faith and good will might well disagree (and often do). What useful purpose is served when group of scientists involved in the debate accuse the other of religious thinking as an insult, as a negative comment (since religious belief is the opposite of reason in all contexts where it occurs, but especially in the realm of science)? None that I can see.
As a sociological observation, I think it has some merit. It is truly difficult for most people to become sufficiently expert in all things to be able to fairly judge things like whether or not smoking causes cancer, or neutrinos have mass, or carrying a cell phone in your pocket is safe. When we lack the time or the wit to laboriously run down and read the peer-reviewed literature and judge for ourselves, we generally rely on the “authority” of the “scientific consensus” on such issues. We have little choice. I am rather better and more broadly educated in logic, science, and religion (your trifecta of the classical scholar) than most humans (a simple fact that I offer without any particular pride in it) and yet I find that I must turn to my wife the physician constantly lest I speak my beliefs about almost any aspect of medicine and have those casually founded beliefs turn out not to be the best beliefs, the things you want to perpetuate by passing them on. I must turn to the great oracle and brain of the modern world, Google and Wikipedia, even to refresh my memory of things I have actually studied and know fairly well, and to go beyond them to textbooks, also written by “authorities”, or the literature when the first two fail or appear likely to be unsound or I really need to see the results themselves to judge.
And then there is the vast array of things I have not studied in any depth and have little knowledge even of the methods involved in the discipline, where I am as ignorant as your average person picked at random off of the street. My beliefs in such matters are necessarily entirely “religious” because I haven’t had the time and/or inclination to pursue anything beyond the organized and mostly reliable “hearsay” of academic authority.
Note well, mostly reliable. Or if you prefer, reliable up to a point, more often than not, but sometimes entirely unreliable.
It is not, actually, a failure of reason to rely on this unreliable authority, as long as it is done with a grain of salt and with a certain amount of Kentucky Windage, or Bayesian weighting of your beliefs considering their source. Some sources of knowledge are more reliable than others, some “authorities” more likely to actually prove authoritative if one takes the trouble to pursue matters all the way down to the published literature. And even there, as our friend Lief Svalgaard keeps pointing out (not that I don’t know it equally well from my own direct experience) there is nothing magical about something being found in peer-reviewed literature. Peer review is necessarily and correctly tolerant where the claims are speculative but supported, and it is up to the reader to judge the degree to which the evidence actually supports the claims.
As a student of logic, surely you owe it to yourself to sooner or later read Jaynes’ Probability Theory, the Logic of Science. At least one version of it is still free online, although the paper posthumous book is well worth owning.
Regarding your actual conclusions (after mentally erasing the parts of your arguments that were themselves logically unsound), overall I agree with the assertion that CAGW is proven. I agree with the proposition that CAGW is unlikely. I do not agree with the proposition that it is so unlikely as to be considered “disproven” (highly implausible).
If I were for a moment to play the Advocatus Diaboli in the discussion, however, I would note in the defense of the climate scientists who might be in good will misled by Global Circulation Models whether or not you consider them “falsifiable” — and your asserting that they are not does not make that so — they are, generally, based on actual physics. They may get the physics wrong, they may use the wrong parameter estimates, they may or may not work, their use of ensemble averages to predict most probable trajectories may not be correct, but that doesn’t mean that they are not science or that they qualify as religion.
Getting the physics wrong is a reasonable thing to assert, if you are prepared to defend the assertion and make it specific (as how can one respond to “you got the physics wrong”). Getting model parameters wrong is equally reasonable to claim — if you have explored the parametric variation yourself and have something constructive to say about the result of that exploration. Asserting that they don’t work (by which I mean they actually do the computations incorrectly, something that is quite likely given their complexity) is best done with direct evidence of places where they give the wrong answers, ideally published alongside the fit.
Finally, asserting that the ensemble average of GCMs (for any unknown combination of the previous reasons) is a poor predictor of the future is at least something that can be verified as time passes. But it isn’t easy to verify this claim, or falsify the GCMs, because we have reliable data on only a 33 year segment, with somewhat less reliable data available for perhaps twice that long, and rather unreliable data available before that. Over 33 years, given the noise in initial conditions and starting conditions and the size of the natural variations, the same things that make it difficult for one to confirm CAGW as a hypothesis make it difficult to disprove it, at least disprove it yet.
rgb

richardscourtney
January 6, 2013 12:19 pm

Friends:
In the past it was common for trolls to claim the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is not a “real” Lord. They did this as an attempt to distract attention from anything Lord Monckton said.
That tactic of distraction is no longer possible, so another method of distraction seems to have been adopted and it worked on another WUWT thread.
Now it is common for trolls to distract from the subject of an article by Lord Monckton by promoting the religion of atheism. Several have already tried it on this thread.
Everybody: please, please don’t bite at that ‘red herring’ or this thread will be destroyed as the other was.
Richard

pat
January 6, 2013 12:24 pm

Monckton gets his message posted on WUWT, while Prince Charlie exploits his FUTURE grandchildren on mainstream TV in the name of CAGW. the Daily Mail headline pre-empts prospective grandfatherhood:
6 Jan: Daily Mail: Richard Hartley-parkinson: Prince Charles says becoming a grandfather has boosted his environmental beliefs saying he doesn’t want to ‘hand on an increasingly dysfunctional world’
The Prince of Wales has spoken about how the prospect of becoming a grandfather is spurring his environmental beliefs, saying he does not want to ‘hand on an increasingly dysfunctional world’
Prince Charles, an outspoken campaigner on environmental issues, told ITV’s This Morning that he did not want the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s child, due to be born next summer, to ask him why he had not done more to tackle issues like climate change…
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2257993/Prince-Charles-says-grandfather-boosted-environmental-beliefs-saying-doesnt-want-hand-increasingly-dysfunctional-world.html

FrankK
January 6, 2013 12:27 pm

Michael Palmer says:
January 6, 2013 at 11:51 am
– on its own, logic alone does not allow us to mount a case against some contention of empirical science (such as “thermaggedon”). Only if such a contention could be shown to logically contradict itself would there be “a logical case” against it.
—————————————————————————————————————–
Trouble with your statement Mike is that “thermageddon” is not empirical science but model gymnastics and propaganda. Einstein’s criteria that if only one piece of empirical evidence does not agree with a theory then the theory is wrong has validated the logical case that has proved the falsehood of AGW.

January 6, 2013 12:28 pm

” Restalrig says:
January 6, 2013 at 11:54 am
Oh dear, Lord Monckton, an interesting essay sullied with nonsenical references to mythology.”
And of course you swallow the AGW myth?? lol

Kelvin Vaughan
January 6, 2013 12:29 pm

Perhaps someone can explain this effect of increased CO2.
1878 CET January Maximum for every day of the month varies from 3.3 to 12.5 deg C.
The difference between max and min varies between 2 and 6.2 deg C,
2012 CET January Maximum for every day of the month varies from 1.9 to 11.1 deg C.
The difference between max and min varies between 1.3 to 13.4 deg C.
Apart from the one day when the max-min was 1.3 deg every other day for 2012 was at least 3 deg.
The average difference for January 1878 was 4 deg C and for 2012 it was 6 deg C.
Dosen’t look like the minimums are warming faster than the maximums to me, quite the reverse.

Sean
January 6, 2013 12:34 pm

Pat Ravasio says:
January 6, 2013 at 10:45 am
After all your rambling, you still do not answer the most basic of questions: Why is it not a good thing to (take mitigation measures now instead of adapting when and if it happens)?
——————————
You argue from the precautionary principle – which was addressed by Monkton’s conclusion:
“Mitigation measures inexpensive enough to be affordable will thus be ineffective: measures expensive enough to be effective will be unaffordable. Since the premium vastly exceeds the cost of the risk, don’t insure. That is a precautionary principle worthy of the name.”
Clearly Pat Ravisio, your reading comprehension skills are on par with your critical thinking skills, i.e. non-existent. Have a nice day clown.

James Abbott
January 6, 2013 12:35 pm

The Good Lord should stick to latin.
A particularly ignorant comment from Monckton:
“The belief that Thermageddon will arise from our altering 1/3000th of the atmosphere in a century is in-your-face illogical, rooted in a dozen fallacies marked out by Aristotle as the commonest in human discourse.”
The notion that it is “illogical” that trace constituents of physical systems can be important simply because they are at trace levels is so pathetic its difficult to know where to start, but here’s a few examples of why trace constituents are essential:
CFCs and HCFCs are even more trace constituents of our atmosphere, but their impact has been very significant in depleting ozone, particularly at high latitudes – leading to international agreements to reduce their use. Ozone is vital in protecting the Earth’s surface from solar UV and is itself a tiny trace gas in the atmosphere.
Trace metals in the human body are also essential – without them we die.
CO2 is a natural greenhouse gas at trace levels, but without any CO2 in the atmosphere not only would the biosphere be in trouble but in terms of climate the Earth would be in a permanent ice-age, all other things being equal.
The issue is how much will the climate warm as a result of increasing CO2. Monckton at first dismisses its importance completely, then later admits that increasing CO2 will cause warming but goes for 1C with zero feedback (1C he says is “harmless”):
“Thus the climatic loop gain cannot much exceed zero, so the warming at CO2 doubling will be a harmless 1 Cº. ”
So Monckton’s “ignore everything” mock thesis assumes CO2 concentration will peak at double pre-industrial levels (it may go higher), it assumes zero net feedback (wrong) and assumes no impacts in a 1C warmer world (wrong again).
Anyway, Moncktons qualifications to make these sweeping assumptions are … ?

J Martin
January 6, 2013 12:45 pm

@ Old Seadog
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/18/what-else-did-the-97-of-scientists-say/
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/21/gmu-on-climate-scientists-we-are-the-97/
Don’t know if they’re what you want. there should also be something similar to do with Anders-Egg, don’t know if I spelled that correctly, as I cannot find it on WUWT though I’m sure it’s there somewhere.

January 6, 2013 12:46 pm

The world would not be better off without Christophe Monckton. Perhaps he should start an online Thank You Russia Campaign for the release of the climategate emails, and properly thank the Russians who came to our rescue.
As far as proof of natural spirit energy that resides within your DNA, and connects you to the collective consciousness of the universe, call it the Creator or call it whatever you want, you can’t deny its existence when you see the connection explained by this video at about the 3:20:00 time of this.
Vortex Based Mathematics – Marko Rodin

donald penman
January 6, 2013 12:47 pm

I feel that much of the rubbish that is put out to support AGW is contradictory for example more snow proves AGW as well as less snow and every bad thing that happens on Earth is caused by AGW,does this not give Lord Monckton reason to challenge the logic of AGW.

Scarface
January 6, 2013 12:47 pm

Pat Ravasio says: January 6, 2013 at 10:45 am
Q: “After all your rambling, you still do not answer the most basic of questions: Why is it not a good thing to develop alternative energies?”
A: No one is against developing alternative energies. Only problem is that government should not interfere. Let the free market do its work.
Q: “What is the harm in cleaning up the environment? Surely you do not deny that there are serious ill health effects of fossil fuel mining and use? That we are still burning up the house to keep the family warm? That fossil fuel supplies are finite?”
A: A wealthy country will clean up the environment and will keep in it clean. CO2 however is not a pollutant and should not be treated as such. And have you any idea how for example rare earth metals to be used in the production of your beloved windmills are mined? Find the pictures on Google.
The fact that fossil fuels are finite is not a reason to treat them as an enemy of people. People are inventive. We will find another way to produce energy. As prices for fossil fuels go up as you would expect at some time given the fact that they are not infinite, other sources will get economically viable, without government intervention.
Q: “That there are readily available alternatives which are economically scalable if only they were adequately supported?”
A; If that would be the case, the free market would already be delivering, but it’s not. Have you seen the prices of shale gas in the US? Nothing can compete in price at this moment. So your argument is a result of wishfull thinking.
Q: “Development of clean, renewable energy will stimulate the economy and improve the quality of life for all living things on the planet. So please explain why you oppose an orderly, economical transition to readily available alternative energies?”
A: Clean renewable energy is not affordable in large quantities at this moment. As soon as the free market sees opportunities, it will indeed stimulate the economy. without government funding, paid by taxes. An orderly transition? Oh my goodness, your fear of the free market is so obvious. Why don’t you try living in Cuba of North Korea for a couple of years. See how you like an economy run in an orderly way. The free market is a proces of trial and error. Good things stay, bad ideas will lose. We don’t need no government to pick the winners and losers.
Q: “You say the “alarmists” are motivated by profits. Yet it is you who are affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a noted man cave for fire-breathing fossil fuel behemoths. Anthony and friends, you can parse the particulars until kingdom come, but fossil fuels are still the Earth’s Goliath. Humanity is still David. The only question is what are we going to put in our slingshot, and why are we so slow in getting about the business so clearly at hand? Need leadership is needed now. Join the good guys.”
A: Fossil fuels are the source of our wealth and prosperity. The energy we get from it per person is like having 600 people working for you every day. The simple fact that you have the time to worry about global warming and time to even try to convince people that fossil fuels are bad and should be abandoned is only possible because of fossil fuels. You say you need a leader.Go find one and leave to a socialist/communist country of your choice. Let us know how you like the unfreedom and regulation of every breath you take and every move you make.

January 6, 2013 12:49 pm

Christopher Monckton,
Again I agree with your detailed logical analysis (here and in your several previous very similar articles) of the fallacies committed by catastrophic proponents of AGW by CO2 from fossil fuels (CAGWists).
Have you considered synthesizing (integrating) those into a more fundamental critique? For example, consider the possibility of CAGWists having a more central philosophic root which is unscientific in the Aristotelian sense and which gives rise to and contains the reason they consistently commit all the fallacies you mentioned.
LETS HAVE A LITTLE FUN:
I consider their essential unscientific root is that they behave as having a Platonic-like acceptance of a dual-reality and dual-knowledge approach to their climate ‘science’ which therefore is diametrical to an Aristotelian single-reality and single-knowledge approach to science. The CAGWists thus could claim ‘a priori’ to have a higher ‘ideal’ level of scientific knowledge which is correct in a higher ‘ideal’ logic. They can thus merely disregard contrary climate observations in the skeptic’s lower ‘shadowy’ Earthly world and skeptic’s criticism based on lower ‘shadowy’ Earthly logic; they can be discount across the board as less real and less logical than in their higher level ‘a priori’ ‘ideal’ reality and ‘a priori’ ‘ideal’ logic.
Of course Aristotelian logic and science opposes all that Platonic-like dual reality/dual logic stuff; the Aristotelian approach being just secular logic and secular observations . . . Aristotelian approach says: no higer ‘a priori’ validity, no higher ‘ideal’ realm, or higher ‘ideal’ logic.
By that analysis the CAGWists are not practicing science in the Aristotelian sense; that would be what causes all their repeated and widespread Aristotelian logical errors and refusal to accept opposing skeptical dialog on Earthly reality / Earthly observations and Earthly arguments.
DIFFERENT COMMENT NOTE: Happily, your reference to T.H. Huxley did not go un-noticed as a possible sub-context of your religious statements. But I will comment on that possible sub-context to religious views in a different post. Interesting you would pick him.
John

Sean
January 6, 2013 12:49 pm

Green democrats deny science, attempt to suppress the facts. Fracking is safe says leaked report:
“Thanks to a leak from an anonymous insider, we learned Thursday that a report commissioned by the State of New York has given fracking a clean bill of health. The insider ‘did not think it should be kept secret’ and released the document, which is now nearly one year old, to the New York Times.”
http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/01/05/fracking-safe-in-ny-state-says-leaked-report/
“The analysis and other health assessments have been closely guarded by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and his administration as the governor weighs whether to approve fracking. Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, has long delayed making a decision, unnerved in part by strident opposition on his party’s left.”
The Green War On Science continues!

J Martin
January 6, 2013 12:59 pm

J Abbott. you said and assumes no impacts in a 1C warmer world
To date the impacts have all been beneficial, the Sahara has became greener with increased rainfall, tornado’s have reduced and food supply has grown. Indeed history tells us that it was warmer still in the Roman era with vines being grown in the North of England and so further warming, should we be so lucky, will be more beneficial still.
You also moan about “zero net feedback”. How much feedback would you suggest ? The same amount as the failed models Hansen and the IPCC continue to use ? Indeed they are so completely failed, that temperatures are below even the lowest limits of all the models error bars.
Given that temperatures haven’t increased in 16 years yet co2 has increased by some 30% zero net feedback seems more than reasonable.
I take it you completely rule out the possibility that temperatures might fall ?
And fall steadily for 10 or more years ?

phlogiston
January 6, 2013 1:03 pm

An important essay. Technology does not give knowledge. You can measure till the cows come home but with a decayed epistemology it will get you nowhere.
The history of the word “trivial” tells us a lot about why epistemology has become dysfunctional and modern science needs re-educating in logic. Trivial has come to mean what is unimportant or irrelevant. Historically in English education the “trivia” (singular trivium) were the three lower Artes Liberales, which were grammar, logic and rhetoric. It was a fundamental part of education. However school curricula of course changed with time and some individuals – remembering their school days – used the word “trivia” to refer to what they learned at school but considered irrelevant or useless to them now. Thus “trivial” came to have its present meaning.
It is a serious problem that logic has become trivial. This is why we have CAGW and the linear no-threshold hypothesis of radiation carcinogenesis and other “scientific” instances of epistemological collapse.
And it you dont know what “epistemology” means – this illustrates the problem. (It is the science of logic and how we learn things – think Karl Popper and inductive / deductive inferences).

FrankK
January 6, 2013 1:08 pm

Steven Mosher says:
January 6, 2013 at 12:28 pm
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem4vgl/from:1995/to:2013/plot/crutem4vgl/from:1995/to:2013/trend
—————————————————————————————————————-
Set the starting point at 2002 to 2013 the trend is statistically flat.
Of course the question is firstly- is this data dependable and really “raw” or “ homogenised”.
But more importantly yes there is a rise on a longer record , but does this prove AGW?.
Central England temperature from 1659 to recently also shows a overall steady linear rising trend. But this rise started and the end of the Little Ice Age before industrialisation.
So where is the empirical evidence that the rise is due to AGW Steve??

phlogiston
January 6, 2013 1:09 pm

Steven Mosher says:
January 6, 2013 at 12:28 pm
Isnt this cherry-picking?

pat
January 6, 2013 1:09 pm

Mike Bryant –
logically, australia is NOT decreasing (but is actually hugely increasing) its CO2 emissions precisely because it is sending far more CO2 emissions to china with our coal exports than what we claim we will reduce (but probably won’t) at home.
meanwhile, china builds coal-fired power stations by the week, while australia demonises coal & wants to shut down its own & give away more taxpayer money for expensive solar, wind & other unworkable, unnecessary CAGW “solutions”! this is but one of the many CAGW paradoxes.
it’s sort of like the australian Govt’s “moral” stance on tobacco (HIGHER TAXES?, PLAIN PACKAGING?) – praised by the MSM in developed countries. whilst australia’s poor & marginalised – not a large number in a country with a total population of less than 23 million – pay disproportionately for all the Government increases in tobacco taxes at home, the fact is our highly-populated asian neighbours are taking up smoking at a rapid rate and no doubt adding some $$$ to tobacoo company revenues in the developed world!
Wikipedia: Prevalence of tobacco consumption
In Western countries, smoking is more prevalent among populations with mental health problems, with alcohol and drug problems, among criminals, and among the homeless…
Of the 1.22 billion smokers, 1 billion of them live in developing or transitional economies. Rates of smoking have leveled off or declined in the developed world. In the developing world, tobacco consumption is rising by 3.4% per year as of 2002…
It is predicted that 1.5 to 1.9 billion people will be smokers in 2025…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevalence_of_tobacco_consumption
Wikipedia: Smoking in the People’s Republic of China
Smoking in the People’s Republic of China is prevalent, as China is the world’s largest consumer and producer of tobacco: there are 350 million Chinese smokers, and China produces 42% of the world’s cigarettes…
Smoking is a social custom in the PRC, and giving cigarettes at any social interaction is a sign of respect and friendliness…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoking_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China
never mind the logic, the aussie CAGW (& tobacco-fighting) pretenders at least get to have smug looks on their faces.

January 6, 2013 1:14 pm

Pat Ravasio says:
January 6, 2013 at 10:45 am
After all your rambling, you still do not answer the most basic of questions: Why is it not a good thing to develop alternative energies? What is the harm in cleaning up the environment? Surely you do not deny that there are serious ill health effects of fossil fuel mining and use? That we are still burning up the house to keep the family warm? That fossil fuel supplies are finite? That there are readily available alternatives which are economically scalable if only they were adequately supported? Development of clean, renewable energy will stimulate the economy and improve the quality of life for all living things on the planet. So please explain why you oppose an orderly, economical transition to readily available alternative energies? You say the “alarmists” are motivated by profits. Yet it is you who are affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a noted man cave for fire-breathing fossil fuel behemoths. Anthony and friends, you can parse the particulars until kingdom come, but fossil fuels are still the Earth’s Goliath. Humanity is still David. The only question is what are we going to put in our slingshot, and why are we so slow in getting about the business so clearly at hand? Need leadership is needed now. Join the good guys. http://www.buckyworld.me
“Why is it not a good thing to develop alternative energies? That there are readily available alternatives which are economically scalable if only they were adequately supported?”
Of course it’s a good thing! I power all but the major appliances in my rented home with a scalable and totally portable mix of wind and solar. It is totally uneconomical, but highly practical on extended desert explorations powering everything electrical with ease.
The problem is, with the states of these technologies to date, they simply are not scaleable. Low-density intermittent power cannot even power an automotive glass factory sufficiently to keep the glass molten. It freezes on a cold windless night, and there goes your production line(s).
Taken to its logical conclusion every penny not spent on fusion research may turn out to be a penny wasted. Especially should we be on the tipping point of the next glacial instead of hothouse earth.
“What is the harm in cleaning up the environment?”
Uh, excuse me. That is what I have doing the vast majority of my professional geologist’ life. Not your garden variety 1/3,000th of the atmosphere wonky data scams, I’m talking about the big 2,3,7,8-tetrachloro-dibenzo-p-dioxin/tetra-ethyl-death jobs. What do you do for a living?
“That we are still burning up the house to keep the family warm?”
You either need to go polish some ammo or turn your heat down.
“That fossil fuel supplies are finite?”
Undoubtedly. What is your point? Should we forego them even if, as you may believe, it is the ultimate thermostat of gaia climate? Or just put it off a little while, like say the end of the present interglacial? Would it be more fiscally sustainable, in your mind, to turn us all into energy paupers while we run our little climate experiment, right at the possible/likely end of the Holocene? And it would be but a little climate experiment in the grand scheme of things. What climate can Homo sapiens sapiens withstand/adapt to? Well that would be at least two ~90,000 year glacials, to at least the +2.5m MSL warmer world of most of the last interglacial? Yes, we were indeed there.
“Development of clean, renewable energy will stimulate the economy and improve the quality of life for all living things on the planet.”
Well maybe not exactly for “all living things on the planet.” There is the little matter that plants, by far, make up the vast majority of life on earth. The number 150ppm for atmospheric CO2 concentration is often bandied-about as the point where photosynthesis suffers great difficulties, and we got awfully close not all that long ago. So for a human, the total biomass for which is a very small percentage of all biomass, to presume to know what is best for “all living things on the planet” would be a bit anthrocentric, wouldn’t you agree?
I think you are going to need to back up the rest of your belief structure with data regarding how development of such low-density, intermittent, environment-“taking” farms of mirrors, panels and bird-blenders can actually be achieved without the baseline backup of traditional power-stations. At present, the concept is untenable. And the cost in every way extreme as compared with eventual fusion success. And with respect to bird-blending in particular, are you aware of any credible studies which compare the number of avians, you know, bats, eagles and the like, per megawatt it takes? We might then have some support, at least in terms of obituary/actuarial data, sort of a “poll” you might say, as to what the winged wing of “all living things on the planet” has to say about all this. If you take my meaning.
“So please explain why you oppose an orderly, economical transition to readily available alternative energies?”
Well, there is no economical way to do a transition to readily available alternative energies. Not unless you have a much different definition of the term “economical.” By transition I must infer that you mean retirement of most, if not eventually all, fossil-fuel powered generating technologies. What is not “readily available” in any but one way, at present, is anything remotely resembling the “third-rail” of alternative energy: storage. And I mean a lot of it. Sure, at low-efficiency, you can pump water with excess power back up into reservoirs. Not so much in the western US, or other desert regions of the world, we don’t have a whole lot of water to play with, especially these days while we must protect aquatic species under the Endangered Species Act. Or should that be withdrawn to facilitate this one and only means of large, geographically challenging “battery” system? Readily available alternative energy generation systems are wildly uneconomic, not to mention wholly impractical if you intend anything like your present-day lifestyle. What you are really talking about here is future alternative energy technologies. I have already invested over $20k in alternative energy technology, with no hope of ever recovering that investment over its service lifetime, and you would have me invest more. I ask no more than Anthony does, show me what you have done and are doing.
In closing I can only hope you can appreciate that many of us here hold some differences of opinion with you. But there is another difference atop that. Many of us have made a point of studying everything we can get our hands on covering what is presently known about climate and energy. So we can easily provide a great depth of background to support our positions.
For instance, as an occasional author here, you will find that instead of “staking out the high ground” with unsupported declarations I sketch out a principle of science, the development of an argument, and follow it with citations from the literature. These are all simple things, which in each case I leave the conclusion up to the reader.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/30/the-antithesis/
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/05/on-%E2%80%9Ctrap-speed-acc-and-the-snr/
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/the-end-holocene-or-how-to-make-out-like-a-madoff-climate-change-insurer/
If you wish to gain traction amongst your peers, you must learn to present your arguments not as some obvious correctness, but lead others to your inevitable conclusions. That is what logic is all about. What I have posted above is a thoughtful response. I would appreciate your considered response, if you deign to formulate one.

rogerknights
January 6, 2013 1:15 pm

Zeke says:
January 6, 2013 at 11:53 am
What made all of science plunge past the tipping point into the doctrine of global warming? Perhaps it wasn’t just the sudden funding and the glamour, the glories and perks of advocacy, the hazy halcyon idea of doing “public good” and “saving the planet,” and the allure of being an elite able to set the planet’s temperature and population, that made all of science stumble and lose its way. “Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself.” The error was very likely deeply systemic before climate science came along. That error was the argument from ignorance. “We excluded all other possibilities, so this must be the cause. Trust us.”

It’s not an error if you aren’t dealing with a system that is chaotic and/or that strives to maintain homeostasis (like Gaia). Science’s error was in its hubris in trying to think its analytic tools (basic physics) were up to such a task.

Bruckner8
January 6, 2013 1:16 pm

Atheism takes equal amounts of faith as Theism. They are both based on a “belief” that a diety exists or not. “I do [or not] believe in [this or that deity]. [optionally: because…]”
A true scientist would say “I don’t know,” and thus declare their self agnostic. I suppose it’s possible to declare “I don’t have empirical evidence [and thus is not science], but the evidence I’ve accumulated over my lifetime makes me ‘feel’ that there is [or not] a deity.” That ain’t science.
It was a pity reading Monckton’s play with religion, and equally appalling reading rgb’s declaration of atheism. I’ve left this thread with the following conclusion: The warmists, Monckton and rgb are all LOGICALLY EQUIVALENT, in that none are using real science (skepticism, agnosticism), and instead creating their own “versions” of reality to “sell” (er, gather consensus).

Julian Flood
January 6, 2013 1:18 pm

rgbatduke wrote:
quote
there is the vast array of things I have not studied in any depth and have little knowledge even of the methods involved in the discipline, where I am as ignorant as your average person picked at random off of the street.
unquote
So are we all. However, some of us are looking at the stars…. err…. are actually keeping our eyes open and looking for new things. Without a continual challenge, fringe science like AGW theory will be allowed to get away with less than rigorous practice, such as the proof of the tropospheric hotspot by wind measurements. (They claim that the agreement between the wind calculation and climate model results disproves sond measurements!) Or the use of speleotherms as proxies which vary in their response to climate signals over a few centimetres and invite cherry picking. The challenge will only happen if we don’t deny, out of hand, things we haven’t noticed, if we keep the fresh eye of youth. For example… on another thread you wrote:
quote
” I also have to say that this same drop of gasoline doesn’t seem to cover a hectare of rain-slick pavement, nor does the occasional drop of oil or gasoline that drips from my boat’s motor into the ocean seem to cover, or smooth, anything like a hectare of ocean. If it did, the entire Beaufort inlet (or any inlet to a harbor) would be one big slick, and they’re not. Even a clean and well maintained motor blows some unburned gasoline out in its exhaust, and in any given harbor with thousands of boats, there are at least tens of boats with egregious leaks of gasoline and/or oil. ”
unquote
If you look at
http://marinas.com/view/inlet/1668_Beaufort_Harbor_Inlet_NC_United_States
and click on the second picture you will see a beautiful image of Beaufort Inlet with smooths as far as the camera can see. Can you see as far as the camera? Or is your eye too old to make it out? Keep looking. Think smooth. Not slick, not rainbow spill, smooth.
Now look at http://i39.tinypic.com/2igd1mr.jpg
Enough oil and surfactant comes down the world’s rivers and by other means to coat the entire ocean surface with a smoothing layer every two weeks.
Goodwill and good intent are not enough to make a scientist. He must also have an inquiring mind — even in the face of consensus — and the courage to say ‘this is not good enough’.
JF

Mark Luhman
January 6, 2013 1:28 pm

Pat Ravasio
There is nothing wrong with alternative energy as long as it is developed privately and without subsidies As to the hazard of petroleum products the good far outweigh the bad, if you do not believe that why don’t you try living without the products of the modern energy. I think you wold not survive a year, and if you did I am certain you would have a greater appreciation of at petroleum has given us. I have spend most of my adult life working and crossing the great American prairie and have a great appreciation what it must have been like for the Native Americans trying to live there. Everything you owned had to be carried on your back. Food could only be gathered by hand and the sea of grass was endless, since the only way to cross it was on foot. Try driving from Minot North Dakota to Williston North Dakota, first it is a river valley after twenty miles that end and you are on a flat plain, after another twenty miles a series of long rolling hills start with each high point is about twenty miles apart and as you drive it remember before petroleum it took a day to travel each twenty miles and the distance from Minot to Williston is about one hundred and twenty miles. So to make that distance today take less than two hours and back then it would have taken ten days.
When alternate energy can generate the amount of power required to support seven billion people and a cost equivalent to or less than petroleum can we will have so called green energy until then not. Lastly the environment cost are far less than you have been taught or told. Again I only have to go back to the Native American and see how he lives.
The Native American would make their camps on a hill with the water down below. They knew from experience they could not stay in one place too long since if they did they would start to get sick. Without power to move their waste from their camps the pollution of course would run down the hill and eventually into the water. One of the major reason people live long today is our sewer and garbage can be collected and removed deposed of safely and environmentally soundly by the use of petroleum and the power it gives us.
Now if you are one of those sick people whom believe there are too many people in the world and the world would be better off without so many people please prove that you are not a hypocrite and self remove yourself from the world so the rest of us can get on with our lives without some hypocrite telling us how to live and that we are making the wrong choices even though they are the correct one at this point and time, after all life is not a story book and we all some how can ignore reality and wish and think it would be a better work only if. Happily ever after is only for story books and life is a series of choices some may look wrong but if you pull off the blinders you will see overall people are not stupid, life has trade offs and where is no such thing as a perfect world and in the present world the sky is not falling down on us because we are using petroleum. The fact is it a far better world because we are using petroleum.

rogerknights
January 6, 2013 1:33 pm

PS: Other cautionary considerations science ignored were the numerous unanticipated side-effects within the climate system, the scantiness of known facts about climate, the unreliability of many of the supposedly known facts, the bias of many of the curators of those facts, and the vested professional interest in alarmism (i.e., CAWG elevates climatology out of the academic backwater).

Jeff Alberts
January 6, 2013 1:36 pm

rgbatduke says:
January 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm
Amen brother.

Jeff Alberts
January 6, 2013 1:36 pm

Bruckner8 says:
January 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm
Atheism takes equal amounts of faith as Theism.

No, it doesn’t.

Doug Huffman
January 6, 2013 1:39 pm

Oh my! I was half asleep as I read the comments, when I saw mention of a favorite bible (note the lower case and its meaning). I tried to find its significance in the screed but unsuccessfully. So I will cite the passage that I believe apropos beyond mere exegetics.
Edwin Thompson Jaynes. Probability Theory: The Logic of Science. (Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-521-59271-2), 5.3 Converging and diverging views pp126-132. In a word the vehemence positive or negative of the narrator polarizes the skeptical audience proportional to its naive prejudices.
If no other passage in PT, this is the jewel. Its mention of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky led me to Nassim Nicholas Taleb, whose non-technical (arbitrage, quantitative analysis) writings distill Jaynes’ seminal masterwork!

Stephen Richards
January 6, 2013 1:41 pm

Bruckner8 says:
January 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm
Atheism takes equal amounts of faith as Theism. They are both based on a “belief” that a diety exists or not. “I do [or not] believe in [this or that deity]. [optionally: because…]”
Don’t want to encourage off topic arguments but your wrong.

James Abbott
January 6, 2013 1:44 pm

Thanks J Martin
So are rising sea levels part of your “all been beneficial” world ? In Roman times there were no megacities at or near to sea level home to many millions of people and highly reliant on complex energy, communication and transport systems. We can probably cope with some of the warmer world consequences, and yes some may be positive, but sea level rise is clearly a harmful impact in many parts of the world and will be hugely costly to deal with.
You claim, as do so many others in the sceptic community that
“temperatures haven’t increased in 16 years”
Yes they have. Both on the 5 year running mean and the annual plot it has been warmer (slightly, but warmer) that 1998 and before.
You add
“I take it you completely rule out the possibility that temperatures might fall ?
And fall steadily for 10 or more years ?”
No, never had. Its unlikely, but possible.

rgbatduke
January 6, 2013 1:45 pm

Now it is common for trolls to distract from the subject of an article by Lord Monckton by promoting the religion of atheism. Several have already tried it on this thread.
A) Atheism is not a religion. It is the lack of a religion. You might as well accuse me (or other atheists) of promoting the disease of being well.
B) The “subject” of the article was begun with an invocation of not only religion, but specifically the Christian religion. I remind you: “When men have ceased to believe in Christianity, it is not that they will believe in nothing. They will believe in anything.” Surely no more absurd statement was ever made as an introduction to an essay on logic. Surely there is no more certain way to offend any individual who reads the essay who has, as I have, ceased to believe in Christianity. Finally, surely this statement is false, both literally and metaphorically. I assure you that I am not in a state where I uncritically accept any proposition, which is the literal meaning of believe in anything.
If you visit here:
http://www.chesterton.org/discover-chesterton/frequently-asked-questions/cease-to-worship/
you will see that the quotation itself is completely bogus. Chesterton in fact never said this in any of his writings. In The Oracle of the Dog Father Brown says “It’s the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense.” As I discovered when I tried to verify my recollection of something like that in the Father Brown stories. If I am mistaken, please provide me with a direct reference, as the site above is devoted to the man and seems unlikely to be incorrect.
The article itself ended with a second religious homily, specifically implying that we have a soul and that using reason well brings us “closer” to an invisible sky-god that at one time acted as an uncaused first cause. By writing this, the author surely placed himself about as far from that hypothetical being as it is possible to be placed (if we assume that promoting unreason moves one farther from said being).
Anytime people don’t want religion to be a distraction in a discussion, they are free to omit using religion as a tool of argumentation. Since doing so is singularly inappropriate in an article discussing logic and reason and science and how foolish people are who “believe” in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming on the basis of weak but positive evidence, I think that it is absolutely appropriate to criticize this as a serious weakness in the overall presentation. There is no reliable evidence supporting belief in any particular religion, nor is it clear that the concept of God is logically or mathematically consistent at all. Catastrophic warmists are models of rational thought in comparison. At least they could conceivably be right, within the bounds of some evidence.
C) In the past, you and I have had fairly extended discussions that I felt were very reasonable. In them, you failed to invoke your God as your witness, or to make any sort of claim that by using reason to arrive at your favorite conclusion we would both be drawn closer to God. I, for my part, failed to distract from the primary discussion by insisting that it is inappropriate for you to invoke God in said discussion, largely because you had the good sense, whatever your religious beliefs are, not to inject them into a discussion where they are irrelevant. In so doing, we both adhered to a common guideline on semi-public discussion sites: “Don’t Proselytize, lest you be Proselytized Against”. Once the can of worms is opened, however, it is not “trollish” to object.
Mr. Monckton would be very well served by learning this rule. He would also be well served by moving his appreciation of logic and mathematics forward by at least a century if not several thousand years — there have been a few advances due to people such as Lobachevsky, Riemann, Gauss, Hilbert, Russell and Whitehead, Godel, Frege, Cantor — just as there have been a few advances in philosophy such as the one that was aptly summarized in the Einstein quote above. But that is another matter.
As for him being a Peer of the Realm — it is indeed entirely irrelevant. If true, that and fifty cents will get him 2/3 of a K-cup serving of coffee, as the saying goes. If it were indeed false, it would entirely reasonably reduce his credibility on all matters, as it is a simple matter of common sense that if a man will lie to deceive his own vanity, how much easier it is to lie to others. This is a small part of the difference between the classical fallacies and Bayesian reasoning, a.k.a. common sense. A liar can sometimes tell the truth, and a generally truthful man rarely lies. We judge where somebody lies on a scale in between on the evidence, on the basis of times we catch them out or verify them, and eventually consider someone to be generally pretty credible — or not. I have no reason to doubt that he is a viscount or whatever. He has no reason to doubt that I have a Ph.D. in physics. If either of us were proven a liar, it would certainly impact our credibility in general, as well as in specific domains of discourse.
rgb

Gary Pearse
January 6, 2013 1:47 pm

….18 years of no warming….
If there have been 15 year flat stretches of no warming due to natural variability over the past century, and if most of the warming of the past century has taken place since the 1950s, then the flat stretches due to natural variability should be getting shorter. Some 0.4C of temp rise should have robbed natural variability of half or more of its flat stretches if CAGW is just masked by it. We should be approaching point where natural variation just reduces the slope of the rise somewhat.
No! this 18 year flat period is an unqualified falsification of the central role of CO2 in earth temperature behavior. It is already game over for the CAGW/CO2 hypothesis. If it goes on longer than this, it even begins to rob CO2 of any significant forcing capability. It gives preference to the hypothesis that the earth does have a thermostat (a la Willis), that negative feed backs come into play when sea temps approach 30C, etc.
Another sign of the death of CAGW/CO2 hypothesis is the apparent rapid drop in output of papers by the formerly confident hockey team. I never hear tell of Gavin Smith, Bradley, etc. Mann of course is much in the picture but more for his legal activity and Trenberth makes an appearance to bemoan the decline in support for the listing ship… Also, the beginning of throwing colleagues and formerly bosom buddies under the bus (Briffa, asserting himself and getting out from under Mann’s thumb)… Gore is a good measure of the end of things, cashing in and closing shop before he has lost everything he gained from warming gravy train. Also, the plethora of papers counteracting CAGW (now that the gatekeepers have been neutralized) and the retreat of the IPCC…. I knew the game was over when they started taking warming out and plugging in climate change (hot or cold, wet or dry), and finally the grasping-at-straws-extreme weather where everything that happened was because of CAGW (the warming not being mentioned).
Man oh man, there is going to have to be a major overhaul of universities and other institutions with restoration of scientific curricula and requalification of PhD’s, some mea culpas from old scientific journals and birth of some new ones. There is going to have to be some asterisked Nobel Prize recipients of the last 30 years, a major upgrade or replacement of this committee…. It aint going to be pretty.

January 6, 2013 1:51 pm

Thanks to Lord Monckton for yet another systematic and logical demolition of the CAGW fantasy. It really removes the C & A from the GW in detail. How many more demolitions are required before the dawn alights in the minds of Warmistas. If only the Warmistas were inclined to think and observe, they could be enlightened straight away.

BargHumer
January 6, 2013 1:54 pm

It seems like Lord Monkton reads all these entries, and understands them too. It is a great benefit to be served some classical logic in this manner, and to be able to understand that which would normally be beyond most of us. Much appreciated! Thanks,
I just watched Attenborough (2011 Frozen Planet). Beautiful scenery and explanations.
The disconnect between pro and anti CAGW is itself alarming. The evidence presented is quite compelling, as expected from the true believers (BBC). Tthis “evidence” demands an answer but from whom?
Unfortunately, most people have no access to answers and are subject to this constant propaganda without relief. It is no surprise that the majority of people were persuaded by this to support the CAGW idea. Although the faith has waned for some years, there is still no real alternative to the BBC propaganda, and this has probably happened through doom fatigue and financial crisis rather than much hard evidence.
One really big thing that is missing from the sceptic work is the accessibility of “the man in the street” to some answers. Now, Lord Monkton is very active, and effective too in the league where he plays, and others (too many to mention), but no one seems to be providing access to answers posed by the propagandists. Instead, we absorb and are satisfied by the “propaganda” we ourselves generate. When the world sees glaciers melting in real photos and videos, and sees the evidence of penguin migration to colder waters,etc, etc, it is effective, and it puts the words “the world hasn’t warmed for 16 years” into the box labelled “inconsistent” – someone must have made a mistake, or someone is playing with statistics. It just doesn’t compare to real video.
My point is that people need real answers, and sometimes it seems as though more blog energy goes into parading scientific prowess and skills of argumentation than informing the people who are constantly subjected to this doom and gloom ever present menace.
I don’t expect much of a response, but at least the moderator will read it.

January 6, 2013 2:02 pm

Thank God for people such as yourself. Lord Monckton, you are truly brilliant. Thank you for all you do.

Darkinbad the Brightdayler
January 6, 2013 2:03 pm

As much a tour of arguments as an argument. I’m afraid I found it heavy rather than heavyweight. I always prefer the rifle to the shotgun.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading both the article and the comments.

Bill Illis
January 6, 2013 2:04 pm

Temps are going down now because the ENSO peaked at +1.0C in September, is now -0.1C and is heading down to about -0.5C. The 3 month lag means that temperatures will decline (a small amount) over the next 3 months and then even longer if the ENSO does go down to the -0.5C range by March.
The AMO is also moderating now – might decline to close to 0.0C after being as high as 0.486C in October.
So, the natural ocean cycle variables have already started pushing temperatures down and this will likely continue for 3 to 6 months.
If and when that occurs, this is what the temp trace versus the climate model forecasts look like. They are too far off at this point and there will need to be some circumspection finally.
http://s9.postimage.org/8k3gtlaun/Temps_Down_for_4_Months_Versus_AGW.png

richardscourtney
January 6, 2013 2:05 pm

BargHumer:
In your post at January 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm you say

When the world sees glaciers melting in real photos and videos, and sees the evidence of penguin migration to colder waters,etc, etc, it is effective, and it puts the words “the world hasn’t warmed for 16 years” into the box labelled “inconsistent” – someone must have made a mistake, or someone is playing with statistics. It just doesn’t compare to real video.
My point is that people need real answers, and sometimes it seems as though more blog energy goes into parading scientific prowess and skills of argumentation than informing the people who are constantly subjected to this doom and gloom ever present menace.

Yes, you are right.
As you say, a picture is worth a thousand words and, as you also say, the mainstream media provides a constant flow of the untrue propaganda (because normality is not news).
Many of us have been aware of the problem for a very long time.
But we don’t have a solution to it. Do you?
Richard

rgbatduke
January 6, 2013 2:05 pm

If you look at
http://marinas.com/view/inlet/1668_Beaufort_Harbor_Inlet_NC_United_States
and click on the second picture you will see a beautiful image of Beaufort Inlet with smooths as far as the camera can see. Can you see as far as the camera? Or is your eye too old to make it out? Keep looking. Think smooth. Not slick, not rainbow spill, smooth.

JF, first of all, we worked out the arithmetic, I had thought, together. Second, my browser barfs when I try to change pictures, sorry. Third, I have at this point lived almost a full year of my life on the water facing the Beaufort inlet (actually at the other end of the top view on this site on the other side of Pivers Island. When there is no wind, the water can be very smooth. There is almost never no wind. I’ve spent years of my life living on over very near lakes, both great and small. I have not noticed anything untoward about the “smoothness” of the ocean around Beaufort compared to the “smoothness” of the great lakes. When the wind blows, it is choppy and whitecaps form. When it is calm, it gradually smooths down.
If you want to imagine that there is an ever-replenished layer of oil coating the surface of the ocean and that it is affecting global climate, work it out and publish a paper on it. Don’t pick on me. I don’t think think you are right, and showed you the arithmetic behind my reasoning, but I’m not a peer that would peer review your paper. Convince them.
rgb

January 6, 2013 2:06 pm

Great article and a lovely breakdown of all the logical failures.
The only trouble is, the current AGW ‘crowd’ seem to act like the 3 wise monkeys in 1 – they cannot see, hear or speak (for them) the evil truth. The ‘evil’ truth being that there is nothing to worry about let alone spend many zeroes worth of money on.
The only way I can see out of this is if articles like this are spread far and wide: forward it to a friend, print out it and send it to a relative, etc, etc. The more people who understand what is going on for what it actually is, the quicker the AGW crowd will loose their backing. We are winning, but not half quickly enough by my reckoning; they need to be shown the exit in fast order with a hard boot up the backside for good measure.

Doug Huffman
January 6, 2013 2:06 pm

In re “real science’; Jaynes addresses Karl Popper (his “problem of demarcation”) in a number of passages. Appropriate is Id. 9.16.1 ‘The irrationalists’. Popper demands falsifiability be the hallmark of science however impossible/impractical in a fractally complex universe (Mandelbrot, Taleb).
Agnosticism and skepticism as polarized naive subjective priors (p= 0 or 1) is addressed by Jaynes early, and dismissed as too extreme, throwing the baby out with the bathwater. From naivety, an objective naive prior p=0.5.

Bruce Cobb
January 6, 2013 2:11 pm

rgbatduke says:
January 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm
It is important to recognize that scientists acting in the best of faith and good will might well disagree (and often do).
Normally, yes. But these are not normal times, are they? This is no simple “disagreement”. Climate “scientists” have stood science itself on its’ head. As for “good faith” and “good will” amongst the Warmist clique, including those such as Mann and Hansen, you will find none. Instead, you will find other qualities of a far more sinister and lowly nature. Pushing Warmism has become an end unto itself. Entire careers have been built on it and depend upon it.

January 6, 2013 2:12 pm

@FrankK
“… ‘thermageddon’ is not empirical science but model gymnastics …”

Models are not useless per se. Only if they are formulated in an overly general manner, so that they are compatible with all possible experimental outcomes, do they become useless. This is the criterion of falsifiability.

January 6, 2013 2:13 pm

Buuckner8, that’s more reasonable than the average statement about religion but I’d have to say: still incomplete. There are theists of many sorts, some are superstitious, others may know things you don’t. You have no proof whatsoever that others don’t have knowledge in a way that you would consider implausible.
Plato and Aristotle knew the importance of philosophy-religion, yet developed a most advanced degree of accurate thinking and logic. This fact is difficult to understand from the biases our modern thinking. You might consider Eric Voegelin’s writings on Plato and Aristotle, start here: http://www.evs.ugent.be/node/391

January 6, 2013 2:16 pm

BargHumer says:
January 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm
“My point is that people need real answers, and sometimes it seems as though more blog energy goes into parading scientific prowess and skills of argumentation than informing the people who are constantly subjected to this doom and gloom ever present menace.”
The answers are already being presented to the masses through the Internet and word of mouth.
The mainstream media is stuck on stupid and people are not tuning into them anymore.
CNN at the peak of their audience had 20 million viewers. Today they can barely get 500k viewers at primtime. Since the end of elections FOX lost half, that’s 50% of their audience. People are figuring out they don’t like to be lied to.

Doug Huffman
January 6, 2013 2:19 pm

The faith of the atheist and the faith of the Faithful are equally unfalsifiable, with agnosticism a craven quibble. Unfalsifiable, they are not science, but are supernatural, subject only to belief.
Note that Karl Popper’s work more currently cited is The Open Society and Its Enemies.

January 6, 2013 2:21 pm

Lord Monckton writes “Direct warming is little more than 1 Cº per CO2 doubling, well within natural variability.”
Every time I see this sort of thing written, I cringe; particularly when the likes of Lord Monckton and Richard Lindzen are the authors. This number is an abomination in physics. Not only has it never been measured, it is impossible to measure it. It’s value is based on another number, change of radiative forcing, which is also impossible to measure.
The estimation of this number is based on an invalid assumption. This assumption can be stated many ways, but basically a change of radiative forcing causes a change of radiative balance in the atmopshere. The no-feedback climate senstiivity of about 1 C for a doubling of CO2 is based on the assumption that this imbalance can only be countered by a change in the radiation component of how energy is transmitted through the atmopshere. This is nonsense. The atmopshere will respond to a change of radiative balance by changes in conduction, convection and the latent heat of water, as well as radiation effects. In other words the lapse rate will change. Another way of stating the original assumption is that the structure of the atmosphere does not change; i.e the lapse rate does not change.
Since the lapse rate will change, this hypothetical, meaningless number will have a value considerably lower than 1 C. No-one knows how much lower, but it’s hypothetical value could be indistinguishable from zero.
Sorry about the rant.

rgbatduke
January 6, 2013 2:28 pm

Atheism takes equal amounts of faith as Theism. They are both based on a “belief” that a diety exists or not. “I do [or not] believe in [this or that deity]. [optionally: because…]”
No, but your argument here is perfect for illustrating why you are wrong.
If I believe in fairies, I indeed have to give a reason for that belief or be thought a fool. I believe in fairies because I’ve got pictures of them dancing. I believe in fairies because I read fairy stories as a child and felt that they must be true. I believe in fairies because I keep one as a pet. In other words, one has to have some specific evidence for fairies in order to reasonably believe in them. We would consider the first and third reasons as being a lot better than the middle one, for example.
Note also that it is more difficult to believe in blue fairies than it is to believe in fairies in general. In order to believe in blue fairies and be reasonable, you have to first have sufficient reason to believe in fairies at all, then enough additional evidence in order to conclude that there is at least one blue fairy.
When one says “I don’t believe in fairies”, one isn’t necessarily saying that fairies don’t exist. One is just saying that one considers the evidence that they do exist inadequate to make that conclusion reasonable. Our default state is (or should be, if we are not complete fools) one of disbelief, not belief, as Mr. Monckton pointed out rather oxymoronically in a fabulous misquote. I don’t know for certain that fairies don’t exist, but I see little good reason to believe in them. My mind could easily be changed if you have one in a cage. My lack of belief in blue fairies is slightly more intense — even showing me a red fairy isn’t sufficient to prove that blue ones exist.
So an atheist does not have to offer a “because” for not believing in God(s), any more than I have to offer a “because” when I assert that I don’t believe in fairies. The reason is that there isn’t any credible evidence for them, outside of stories that are obviously mythopoeic works, not actual histories or reliable eyewitness accounts.
Reading Peter Pan does not convince me of the one. Neither does the Bible, all the more so when it is trying to metaphorically convince me not only of a fairy, but a cobalt blue fairy with peculiarly tinted wings, forcing me to also consider the sky blue fairy of Judaism, the navy blue fairy of Islam, the red fairies of Hinduism, the purple fairies of the Norse religion, the green fairies of paganism, the rainbow-colored fairies of ancestor worship, all of which are equally implausible and mutually exclusive alternative kinds of fairies where we don’t even have a single fairy of any color trapped in a cage.
Hopefully this clears things up for you. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but it is negative evidence of presence. Looking at ten thousand white swans without a black one amongst them doesn’t prove that black ones don’t exist, only that they are rare, at least where you are looking for them. One the other hand looking all over the world at Swan populations and finding lots of white swans, a whole population of black swans, and not one single rainbow patterned swan doesn’t prove that the latter doesn’t exist either. They might have evolved on the third world circling Tau Ceti where we can’t find them, or even farther away. It does leave me with little reason to believe they do exist, and even establishes reasonable probable upper bounds on the multihued swan population vary close to zero.
rgb

John West
January 6, 2013 2:30 pm

I agree with Stephen Richards, religion is OT and worse it’s a counterproductive discussion. The history of Christianity, however, does offer an interesting parallel with our current situation.
I have racked my brain for years trying to figure out an historical parallel to the situation we skeptics find ourselves in today. While phlogiston and Lysenkoism were early contenders they lack sharing many attributes with the current situation we skeptics face: scattered, unorganized, scarcely funded, diverse of thought, and oppressed by a dogmatic regime with near unlimited funds and the full weight and force of the state often projecting its own wrongs upon us. I finally realized what the historical parallel is, and it comes with both hope and a warning. The early Christians were scattered, unorganized, scarcely funded, diverse of thought, and oppressed by the Roman Empire which accused the Christians of crimes which were more likely to be perpetrated by non-Christian Romans than Christians. Eventually, the Roman Empire outlawed merely being a Christian and many were executed for their beliefs just as some would have us outlawed and executed today. Ultimately the Christians persevered, coalesced, and gained power becoming the Catholic Church with its own reign of dogmatic oppression of thought. So there’s the hope that like the Christians we will overcome and the warning that we don’t become that very same dogmatic oppressor of diversity of thought that we endure. The Christian’s failed to preserve reverence for Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) admonishment of dogma in religion. I hope we Skeptics will continue to see the value of keeping dogma out of science far into the future.

January 6, 2013 2:33 pm

richardscourtney says:
January 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm
Friends:
In the past it was common for trolls to claim the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is not a “real” Lord. They did this as an attempt to distract attention from anything Lord Monckton said.
That tactic of distraction is no longer possible, so another method of distraction seems to have been adopted and it worked on another WUWT thread.
Now it is common for trolls to distract from the subject of an article by Lord Monckton by promoting the religion of atheism. Several have already tried it on this thread.
Everybody: please, please don’t bite at that ‘red herring’ or this thread will be destroyed as the other was.
Richard
*
Thank you, Richard. I was trying to form the words to point this very thing out, but you have done it perfectly.

davidmhoffer
January 6, 2013 2:36 pm

To:
Monckton
Brown
Courtney
Gentlemen, you are ALL in the wrong here, for different reasons.
Monckton – justifying science in any way shape or form on the basis of your religion makes those of us who do not share your religion uncomfortable. We’ve seen that stick wielded improperly and have been on the receiving end of it too many times. We can overlook you pushing your faith as part of your science provided that you don’t try and force your faith down our throats, but make no mistake about the fact that we aren’t comfortable with it and it adds nothing to your argument about the science. As to your title, I don’t give a damn if you have a legal right to it or not. I am a free man and I don’t bow to anyone because of some accident of birth, and calling you by your title is nothing more than a verbal bow.
Brown – Deeply faithful people frequently are psychologically incapable of having a reasoned discussion without invoking their faith. My experience is that, unless they try and cram that faith down my throat, it is easier to overlook their transgression. Challenging on them on it merely makes them defensive and all the real value that could come from focusing the discussion on science gets lost as a result. Monckton has much to learn from you, and I hope the two of you can put aside your differences on the faith issue because if the reasonable people are busy fighting each other over something that doesn’t matter to the science itself, the bad people will win.
Richard – I’m not sure exactly if you were taking sides in your comment or not, but I hope not. As a scientist and a Methodist minister you have conducted yourself with aplomb on a wide range of overlapping issues in this forum without ever mixing the two. Rather than taking sides, I would hope that someone like you would urge the other two to follow your example.
Gentlemen,
While I think that the total bull of CAGW will ultimately die a natural death in the face of growing facts and data to the contrary, the fact remains that should the worst happen and the CAGW cult truly gains power, we’ll have to invent a whole new word to describe the outcome because genocide will be insufficient. There’s lives at stake, and a life raft that could bring many to safety. As three of the most prominent and knowledgeable speakers there are on the topic, I ‘d really appreciate it if the three of you would get in the life raft and row. Standing around arguing about what the life raft is made of and how it came into existence, and how it happened to be right where it is right at this moment in time is rather pointless.
Get into the damn raft and row in the same direction.

January 6, 2013 2:41 pm

BargHumer says:
January 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm
“People are figuring out they don’t like to be lied to”. An alternative hypothesis might be that they just tuned out. We the sheeple…..et al etc.

Admin
January 6, 2013 2:44 pm

Pat Ravasio says:
January 6, 2013 at 10:45 am

After all your rambling, you still do not answer the most basic of questions: Why is it not a good thing to develop alternative energies?
It is good to develop alternative energies – but we should use proven, market based techniques (i.e. private entrepreneurs risking their own capital), rather than have politicians use alternative energy as an excuse to pick my pocket.
As and when alternative energy makes economic sense (and there is a real chance solar energy will make that breakthrough in the next few decades), then you’ll find we’ll wholeheartedly embrace it. Until then, it is a horrifying waste of money and opportunity.
What is the harm in cleaning up the environment?
Nothing – one of our criticisms of the global obsession with anthropomorphic warming is that it is distracting people from real environmental issue. The real rape and pillage of the environment is occurring right under our noses, with criminals distracting people into looking the other way.
Surely you do not deny that there are serious ill health effects of fossil fuel mining and use?
As an asthmatic I wholeheartedly agree – one of my triggers is car exhaust fumes. But my asthma medication is expensive, if I have to pay more for energy, I might not be able to afford the medication which keeps me alive.
That we are still burning up the house to keep the family warm? That fossil fuel supplies are finite? That there are readily available alternatives which are economically scalable if only they were adequately supported?
I agree – it doesn’t make sense that a mess of red tape is preventing the installation of Thorium cycle nuclear reactors. Thorium is relatively abundant (a cubic metre of garden soil typically contains around 60g of Thorium), and it is much safer than Uranium or Plutonium (a Thorium reactor cannot sustain itself, so if it starts overheating, you just turn off the power supply).
Development of clean, renewable energy will stimulate the economy and improve the quality of life for all living things on the planet. So please explain why you oppose an orderly, economical transition to readily available alternative energies?
The European experience is that government sponsored development of renewable energy has turned into a gigantic boondoggle, with a corrupt alternative industry bribing politicians into handing out ever increasing subsidy payments.
Much safer to leave the development of new technology to private enterprise, where they only risk their own capital, rather than stealing mine.
Like I said, I’ve got real hope for solar energy – but I don’t think handing tax money to criminals is the way to achieve progress.
You say the “alarmists” are motivated by profits.
Look at the alternative energy gravy train in Europe, and you’ll get the idea.
Yet it is you who are affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a noted man cave for fire-breathing fossil fuel behemoths. Anthony and friends, you can parse the particulars until kingdom come, but fossil fuels are still the Earth’s Goliath. Humanity is still David.
Try demanding a reduction in your energy bills, and you’ll pretty quickly see who the Goliath is in this battle. As Obama once said, under his plan, energy bills will skyrocket. As those who have been at the receiving end of this evil can testify, he wasn’t kidding.
Here’s the speech from Obama, in which he explains his plan to raise electricity bills.

The only question is what are we going to put in our slingshot, and why are we so slow in getting about the business so clearly at hand? Need leadership is needed now. Join the good guys. http://www.buckyworld.me
So far what we’ve seen from the “Good” guys has been a collection of vicious threats and criminal attacks – Gleick’s identity theft of documents from Heartland (which the AGU apparently endorses), and various threats to imprison or execute people who disagree with alarmism.
e.g. a call for skeptics to be murdered
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/23/beyond-bizarre-university-of-graz-music-professor-calls-for-skeptic-death-sentences/
e.g. a call for skeptics to be imprisoned
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=290513
You have a strange definition of “good”.

john robertson
January 6, 2013 2:48 pm

@rgbatduke 1:45 Sir I have followed your comments with great pleasure, on this site.
The distinction for me, is between comfort with the knowledge of the ignorance we must live in and a desire for certainty.
I am also an atheist, but find fault with these secular anti-humanists, as they will not admit lack of knowledge to intrude into their certainty.
Most of the God religions , the secular humanists and atheists have a humility,( whatever we chose to call everything, creation, maya,) in that we acknowledge we know so little compared to what we perceive to be.
I liken the CAGW promoters to a cult, because they have chosen to act like one.
Science will speak in the end, but the corruption of science ,to serve this cause enrages me.
“I do not know”, seem to unspeakable words inside this pseudoscience.
Of late I have started to wonder if the actions of these eco-saviours is the result of growing up in homes and cultures saturated with white-liberal guilt.
For I’m perceiving a hatred for poor brown people and a confusion of purpose .
Actions speak more clearly than words.

rgbatduke
January 6, 2013 2:49 pm

If no other passage in PT, this is the jewel. Its mention of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky led me to Nassim Nicholas Taleb, whose non-technical (arbitrage, quantitative analysis) writings distill Jaynes’ seminal masterwork!
Absolutely. The Black Swan is a masterpiece. However, I would argue that the naive subjective prior of 0.5 (presumably for binary questions) is a silly one, at least once one is all grown up and has a decade or two of experience to draw on. It’s fine for two sided coins where it is easy to generate trials to improve the posterior estimate. Not so good for urns. If I give you an urn, what is the naive subjective prior of reaching in and pulling out a green momrath (especially one that is outgrabing)? If you answer 0.5, I’m afraid I’ll have to object.
To even make a naive estimate of a prior, one has to have some idea of the dimension and span of the space(s) involved. The true naive prior is then to consider everything possible, and hence anything almost infinitely unlikely. Babies are born in something close to this state, although they have substantial hard coded priors (if you like) as well as evidence gathering programs to improve them. By the time one has reached adulthood, one has pruned the terrible infinity of the tree of possibility to the much smaller but still fast tree of that which is consistent with your experience — so far, plus the best rules of reason and probable facts we collectively have come up with — so far. At that point I no longer consider God/No God a coin flip. Lack of rainbow colored swans doesn’t disprove them, but it makes them less likely as systematic search fails to find them, and rarer (compared to white and black ones) once one does, at least until one extends one’s search space to Tau Ceti, effectively looking in a different urn.
I just finished watching the entire run of Saving Grace on Netflix (which was actually a lovely mythopoeic tale). It portrays a police lieutenant (Grace) who gets a Last Chance Angel in episode 1. It is a perfect picture of the way the world might look if God and Angels were real, and as a consequence in the end it has the exact opposite effect to the one you might expect. Because the real world ends up being nothing at all like the fantasy.
At least not yet.
rgb

mpainter
January 6, 2013 2:51 pm

Bruce Cobb says: January 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm
rgbatduke says:
January 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm
It is important to recognize that scientists acting in the best of faith and good will might well disagree (and often do).
Normally, yes. But these are not normal times, are they? This is no simple “disagreement”. Climate “scientists” have stood science itself on its’ head. As for “good faith” and “good will” amongst the Warmist clique, including those such as Mann and Hansen, you will find none. Instead, you will find other qualities of a far more sinister and lowly nature. Pushing Warmism has become an end unto itself. Entire careers have been built on it and depend upon it.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Well spoken. You have touched with your finger the very nub of the matter.

mpainter
January 6, 2013 2:55 pm

rgbatduke says: January 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm
A) Atheism is not a religion. It is the lack of a religion. You might as well accuse me (or other atheists) of promoting the disease of being well.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Some believers promote it anyway, thinking to convert others to their beliefs.

james griffin
January 6, 2013 2:56 pm

I had already come to the conclusion that no scientific statement should start with the words “I believe”. Science is not religion it is about the testing of a hypothesis. Science is best left to agnostics. As regards logic….we have had up to 15 times the amount of current CO2…did we burn up or green up? We greened up..simple logic and thats why we are here.

January 6, 2013 2:56 pm

Yea , all these logical flaws by the inverse Gaia cult who believe the Molecule of Life will be the death of us all are , well , ill logic .
But what is the Latin for the ethnocentric belief in an anthropomorphic 3in1 god with 1 , not 0 or 2 or , more messiahs ?
Such profound illogic vitiates the impact of the rest of the essay .

mfo
January 6, 2013 3:01 pm

What an interesting thread.
Pat Ravasio, you set up straw man arguments to try and drive people to your blog. Your comment fails to address one of the fundamental paradoxes of CAGW, pointed out by Monckton of Brenchley, that an increase in CO2 has not resulted in a statistically-significant increase in temperature for more than 15 years.
A paradox is anomalies in reasoning and inconsistencies in beliefs. If scientists who believe in CAGW were thinking logically they would revise their assumptions to account for inconsistencies and anomalies. But many don’t because they appear to believe that their assumptions are unquestionable.
Your paragraph is a classic example of the false dichotomy inherent in “black and white thinking”. You believe that in climate science there are only two simple positions and you are trying to place everyone in either of these two preconceived categories. But it is obvious that there are a range of positions which people take within your two simplistic extremes.
Our modern industrial civilisation, the enormous benefits of which you enjoy, is due to a relatively warm climate and the use of fossil fuels to provide cheap energy. Resorting to emotive, personal and insulting language is a mark of your failure to debate rationally and think critically about energy use and climate science.
Why not try thinking for yourself instead of blindly allowing your ideas to be formed by others. And most important, “……….manners should be of the greatest concern.” R. Buckminster Fuller

January 6, 2013 3:08 pm

“Modellers define forcing as the net down-minus-up flux of radiation at the tropopause, with surface temperature fixed. Yet forcings change surface temperature.”
In some alternative universe, they define forcing as net down-minus-up flux of radiation after surface temperatures have equilibrated. Since once temperatures have equilibrated, the radiation budget will be in balance, down flux = up flux, the forcing under this definition is always zero. Yes, zero solar forcing, zero cosmic ray forcing, and a big fat zero CO2 forcing. Surely a place where Monckton could feel at home. Of course, changing the definition of forcing to make it useless, does not affect the physics of reality…

Bruckner8
January 6, 2013 3:09 pm

Poems of Our Climate says:
January 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm
Buuckner8, that’s more reasonable than the average statement about religion but I’d have to say: still incomplete. There are theists of many sorts, some are superstitious, others may know things you don’t. You have no proof whatsoever that others don’t have knowledge in a way that you would consider implausible.

There are many people that know things I don’t; that doesn’t make their thoughts on theism any more or less valid about ANYTHING, so what’s your point? My point is very simple: What is their proof re: their Theism? Why do they believe in said Theism? If their proof meets the Scientific Method, then I’d be a fool to deny, right?
From here, we can “philosophize” about the merits of keeping secrets (even if said secrets are 100% science, only known to that single person!) Does the scientific method require independent verification? Not specifically. We humans have added that requirement after the fact, because we are inherently skeptical. The secret holder might have many scientific truths in their head, but what good are those thoughts if not shared with humanity?

troe
January 6, 2013 3:09 pm

“For greed all nature is too little” – Seneca
Most powerful when combined with pride.

January 6, 2013 3:13 pm

Bruckner8 says:
January 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm
Atheism takes equal amounts of faith as Theism. They are both based on a “belief” that a diety exists or not. “I do [or not] believe in [this or that deity]. [optionally: because…]”
A true scientist would say “I don’t know,” and thus declare their self agnostic. I suppose it’s possible to declare “I don’t have empirical evidence [and thus is not science], but the evidence I’ve accumulated over my lifetime makes me ‘feel’ that there is [or not] a deity.” That ain’t science.
It was a pity reading Monckton’s play with religion, and equally appalling reading rgb’s declaration of atheism. I’ve left this thread with the following conclusion: The warmists, Monckton and rgb are all LOGICALLY EQUIVALENT, in that none are using real science (skepticism, agnosticism), and instead creating their own “versions” of reality to “sell” (er, gather consensus).

– – – – – – – –
Bruckner8,
Atheism is trite theological terminology and the secular man should reject. I do. Forget Atheism. I think religion is not natural based on a rational assessment thus I have logically identified it as mere supernaturalism and superstition. It is irrelevant to the merely secular man. I am that merely secular man.
I think your statement that someone like me is religious means you endorse a false and irrational philosophical position like the following which you share with richardscourtney:

Bruckner8 and richardscourtney,
I think I identify your fundamental position wrt to religion. It looks to me that you are saying that it is a metaphysical precondition of human beings as such to be religious. To me you are saying ‘a priori’ that we are all religious by our nature; whether we recognize it or not. You imply that if one says one has no religious views then he is falsely rejecting his true metaphysical nature; you say not endorsing a religious view is a religion. N’est ce pas? What evidence do you have that we are all religious and maybe even by metaphysic necessity?
John

Has a supernatural being informed you that all of his children, secular or religious, believe in supernaturalism? Please explain the source of your omniscience claim that everyman profoundly believes in or has faith in the supernatural.
I am sincerely interested in the source of your views.
John

January 6, 2013 3:15 pm

Christopher Monckton,
In an earlier comment to you on this thread I addressed almost total agreement on the secular part of your post. Your secular focused discourse was eloquent.
The religious (supernatural) focused part of your post lacks internally consistent logic and it misidentifies the metaphysical/epistemological status of supernaturalism. However, your most self-refuting aspect of your religious statement is that it is merely irrelevant to professional and objective scientific pursuit and achievement, per se.
Why is irrelevancy the most grievous part of your and any religious statements wrt science? It has to do with the purity of integration needed in the reasoning process required by the scientific process. To introduce the prima fascia irrelevancy of supernaturalism into the scientific process weakens its epistemological integrity (its pure integrated-ness).
I think you sense this introduction of the supernaturally irrelevant provokes the secular members of this forum, and I think you do so intentionally. I significantly disrespect you for that.
John

john robertson
January 6, 2013 3:17 pm

Anthony, please don’t ban Rat Pavisio, She is so out there its almost painfully funny to read. But I will not grace her site with the traffic she so desperately trolls for here.
And you might admit that occasional exposure of her kind of extremism is as useful to the case for reason, as the public lunacy of Mann.

Bruckner8
January 6, 2013 3:18 pm

rgb, every statement requires proof, even “an absence of belief.” In fact, that is a lingual copout and nothing more. The mere act of DECIDING that you have an absence of belief, means that you DO NOT BELIEVE, and thus must prove why you don’t believe. The word “belief” itself should be enough to make that clear.
Say these two phrases out loud, if you must:
1) “I do not know.”
2) “I have an absence of belief.”
Which sounds logically skeptical to you?

pochas
January 6, 2013 3:30 pm

Pat Ravasio says:
January 6, 2013 at 10:45 am
“After all your rambling, you still do not answer the most basic of questions: Why is it not a good thing to develop alternative energies? What is the harm in cleaning up the environment?”
You, Pat Ravasio are clearly the one to lead us in the path of righteousness.

David L
January 6, 2013 3:40 pm

Excellent article. I really love the miriad connections to the classic logical fallacies.
By the way, tapped maple trees today. Excellent flow and decent sugar content at 2.5%. So far the global warming predictions of declining maple syrup production aren’t holding true either.

Al Gore
January 6, 2013 3:40 pm

The basis for modellers is to get a job and get paid.
The only ones on the marked with the funds are the UNFCCC conform nations?

FrankK
January 6, 2013 3:41 pm

Michael Palmer says:
January 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm
@FrankK
“… ‘thermageddon’ is not empirical science but model gymnastics …”

Models are not useless per se. Only if they are formulated in an overly general manner, so that they are compatible with all possible experimental outcomes, do they become useless. This is the criterion of falsifiability.
———————————————————————————————————————
Did I say (all) models are useless? No I am simply stating climate model manipulation is invalid and flawed/fudged. Please note that my bread and butter was for the last 40 years based on developing and running models in another discipline of earth sciences.

View from the Solent
January 6, 2013 3:42 pm

How rare it is today to see a renaissance man in action.
And on a point of pedantry …
davidmhoffer says:
January 6, 2013 at 11:33 am
That is the problem we face today. People believe in magic. With apologies to Arthur C Clarke, any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from science.
===========================================================
Almost! It’s the wrong way round.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

mpainter
January 6, 2013 3:46 pm

James Abbott sez: January 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Something de la Willis:
“A particularly ignorant comment from Monckton: ”
*********************************************
James Abbot then vomits a flood of ignorance:
“CFCs and HCFCs are even more trace constituents of our atmosphere, but their impact has been very significant in depleting ozone, particularly at high latitudes”
No, not “particularly at high latitudes”, but over the poles and nowhere else. The depletion is due to the intense cold of the polar winter, not to CFCs or HCFCs. The intense cold creates the complex, imperfectly understood conditions for depletion of ozone at the dawn of polar spring. The role of CFCs and HCFCs is subordinate to the intense cold. This depletion is entirely replenished in a few weeks as stratospheric circulation is restored by warming of the polar atmosphere. Nowhere else is ozone depletion detected, even though CFCs and HCFCs are found everywhere.
==============<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>=============
“Trace metals in the human body are also essential – without them we die.”
Wrong again, typical irrelevance by an alarmist who confuses the atmosphere with the human body and confuses irrelevance with science.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
“CO2 is a natural greenhouse gas at trace levels, but without any CO2 in the atmosphere not only would the biosphere be in trouble but in terms of climate the Earth would be in a permanent ice-age, all other things being equal.”
Congratulations, you are only half ignorant this time, but that half is the worst yet. Have you never seen the CO2 lag from the ice cores?
============oooooooooooooo================
“Anyway, Moncktons qualifications to make these sweeping assumptions are … ?”
He does not have warming on the brain, a dangerous and debilitating condition that obliterates the intellect.
Regards, mpainter

Reply to  mpainter
January 6, 2013 6:15 pm

Actually the main reason for a depletion of O3 over the poles late in their winters is that there has been no sun to split up O2 to make any . With or without CFCs O3 has a very finite half life .

Doug Huffman
January 6, 2013 3:55 pm

So, PT has not been read in detail and with understanding, or Jaynes is being disputed. Yep, a “binary”! Taleb makes much of the professorate “teaching birds to fly.”

richardscourtney
January 6, 2013 4:00 pm

davidmhoffer:
In response to my plea that everybody should ignore the several attempts to distract this thread by use of the ‘red herring’ of atheists promoting their religion, your post at January 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm says I am “wrong” and addresses me with

Richard – I’m not sure exactly if you were taking sides in your comment or not, but I hope not. As a scientist and a Methodist minister you have conducted yourself with aplomb on a wide range of overlapping issues in this forum without ever mixing the two. Rather than taking sides, I would hope that someone like you would urge the other two to follow your example.

I was NOT ‘taking sides’.
The evangelical atheists destroyed the recent thread at
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/25/bethlehem-and-the-rat-hole-problem/
where I tried to set an example by refusing to engage with them and near the end of the thread (at at January 3, 2013 at 6:29 pm) Lewis P Buckingham said he was unaware if I “had a religion”.
It is important that evangelism of atheism or any other religion NOT be permitted to destroy this thread in like manner.
Richard

Doug Huffman
January 6, 2013 4:02 pm

@Soylent; hence the apologies to Arthur C. Clarke. The poster said what he meant.
I refer all to Humpty Dumpty’s dialogue with Alice on semantics and rhetoric:
“Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”
“But [it] doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master that’s all.”

Bruckner8
January 6, 2013 4:37 pm

John Whitman says:
January 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm
Bruckner8,
Atheism is trite theological terminology and the secular man should reject. I do. Forget Atheism. I think religion is not natural based on a rational assessment thus I have logically identified it as mere supernaturalism and superstition. It is irrelevant to the merely secular man. I am that merely secular man.
I think your statement that someone like me is religious means you endorse a false and irrational philosophical position

I’m way more simple than that. I don’t go off in metaphysical directions, nor do I care to study the theological mysticism or history. Atheism is nothing more than a logical NOT operator, ie, NOT THEISM. The definition of theism is clear, right? lol. Again, I don’t wish to get into supernatural causes/effects/affects. Heck, even the word “supernatural” removes science from the debate…it’s above nature.
This is purely logic for me…nothing more, nothing less. The source of one’s theism is not in question, unless the source is used as assumption in one’s argument.
On the other hand, if people are compelled to use their faith (Theism or Anti-Theism) to make OTHER arguments, then I’ll call them out, as I’ve done here.

January 6, 2013 4:38 pm

Doug Huffman says:
January 6, 2013 at 2:06 pm
In re “real science’; Jaynes addresses Karl Popper (his “problem of demarcation”) in a number of passages. Appropriate is Id. 9.16.1 ‘The irrationalists’. Popper demands falsifiability be the hallmark of science however impossible/impractical in a fractally complex universe (Mandelbrot, Taleb).

– – – – – – – –
Doug Huffman,
The ‘demarcation problem’ publically stated by Popper in a lecture in 1953 can be considered the criterion for a demarking line between science and pseudo-science.
It has had some surprising critics. Some say it does not in practice achieve its goal of screening. Others say that it is incorrect about what the scientific process is and therefore it is moot. Others say it cannot logically be defended due to internal inconsistency about its claims. Others say it is tied with the falsity of Analytic philosophy and their progeny Logical Positivist philosophy. I am putting together a small summary of the critics that I have encountered. It is a slow work in progress. I will post it when it is done, hope sooner than later.
John

Theo Goodwin
January 6, 2013 4:40 pm

Michael Palmer says:
January 6, 2013 at 11:51 am
“This applies to logic also – on its own, logic alone does not allow us to mount a case against some contention of empirical science (such as “thermaggedon”). Only if such a contention could be shown to logically contradict itself would there be “a logical case” against it.”
Your two sentences contradict one another. Many a new theory contains an inconsistency in its several hypotheses. Logic alone can find those inconsistencies and rid us of them. At least one hypothesis is identified as a false hypothesis of empirical science.
The logician’s standard twist on Hamlet’s caution to Horatio reads: “What I fear, Horatio, is that there are more things in my philosophy than there are between heaven and earth.”
One simple inconsistency in a theory implies not only all things between heaven and earth but all things whatsoever.

pkatt
January 6, 2013 4:59 pm

Bravo!!!!!

thisisnotgoodtogo
January 6, 2013 5:02 pm

http://marinas.com/view/inlet/1668_Beaufort_Harbor_Inlet_NC_United_States
Isn’t this pic from the Sea Serpent guy ? I see it up near the little sailboat.

January 6, 2013 5:03 pm

Bruckner8 says:
January 6, 2013 at 4:37 pm
I’m way more simple than that. I don’t go off in metaphysical directions, nor do I care to study the theological mysticism or history. Atheism is nothing more than a logical NOT operator, ie, NOT THEISM. The definition of theism is clear, right? lol. Again, I don’t wish to get into supernatural causes/effects/affects. Heck, even the word “supernatural” removes science from the debate…it’s above nature.
This is purely logic for me…nothing more, nothing less. The source of one’s theism is not in question, unless the source is used as assumption in one’s argument.
On the other hand, if people are compelled to use their faith (Theism or Anti-Theism) to make OTHER arguments, then I’ll call them out, as I’ve done here.

Bruckner8,
Simple can work too.
A = one who has natural understanding of the nature that is one’s natural experience as exclusive basis of knowledge
B = one who has supernatural understanding of a supernatural realm/being as basis of knowledge
A=A yes. B=B yes. A=B no.
Now tell me the answer to my previous question to you. Where do you get your omniscience that all ‘A’ must be ‘B’. What possible ‘a priori’ do you say justifies in your conclusion?
John

mfo
January 6, 2013 5:06 pm

@Doug Huffman says:
January 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm
*************
The answer is in the Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s ‘Symbolic Logic’.
Apparently Queen Victoria, after reading Alice in Wonderland, asked for Lewis Carroll’s next book. The book he sent her was ‘The Condensation of Determinants, Being a New and Brief Method for Computing their Arithmetical Values’.

January 6, 2013 5:07 pm

As to the question of GOD , many on this thread seem to hate the very mention of such . Who are they trying to convince ? Monckton of Benchley is eloquent as usual .

January 6, 2013 5:14 pm

I was wrong in my spelling of Monckton of Brenchley , sorry no disrespect intended .

gnomish
January 6, 2013 5:18 pm

it is not that the true believer, when he abandons a belief, will believe in nothing.
he merely transfers his credulity to some other mythology.
in each case, he is not seeking a higher truth but fleeing his own ignorance.
it is hardly surprising to find that one of the founding members of the co2 cargo cult will preach with equal vehemence against it at a later date.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7823477/Was-Margaret-Thatcher-the-first-climate-sceptic.html

Mike M
January 6, 2013 5:19 pm

The UN is not a scientific organization; it is a political organization. Understanding why it would use its “authority” to advance its political power, a very unique authority that they never earned for themselves, one they have learned to abuse in a now insatiable pursuit of controlling the very people of the countries who initially granted them such authority a long time ago – is as easy as understanding why a dog licks … you know.
And like a untrained dog on a leash being allowed to pull his master along the road deciding which path to take, it’s long past time to bring this dog to heel. The best way to expose their descent into irrelevance is for the USA to take the lead and …leave them. With the fraud perpetrated on us by their IPCC now ripe for public outrage at the real economic damage it has done to us and the suffering it is bringing to millions or even billions of poor people who are, for a hoax, being denied their right to use their own resources to improve their own lives – I cannot think of a better time to do it than now.

Bill Illis
January 6, 2013 5:19 pm

I think of global warming as a theory. A theory which has certain meteorological principles behind it such as the Classius-Clayperon water vapor relation and certain basic physics principles behind it such as the strong absorption band of CO2 in the IR. There are many others.
Then I think of the other basic meteorological principles such as the tendency for water vapor to rain out and release energy high into the troposphere through thunderstorms. I think of the trillions of photons and the trillions of molecules involved in this millisecond transfer of energy. I think of the Stefan-Boltzmann equations which are the fundamental principles of energy and temperature equations which successfully tell us about how energy and temperature are related across the whole universe. I think of how this theory starts to ignore this principle half-way through its development. I think of the molecular collision rate of atmospheric molecules approaching 8 biillion collisions per second, unbelievable really. I think of the 100s of climate papers I have dissected and found an appalling ability to conclude global warming is real despite the basic data in the paper almost proving the opposite. It’s like a paper is automatically published no matter what it says as long as it says global warming in the abstract.
Then I know that no theory can explain this properly. There is too much going on at too fast a pace for us to understand it. We could model it and sometimes complex systems such as this can be successfully modeled. But maybe not in this case.
Then I think the only way to really know is to just see what is really happening. When I do this, I see the theory does not work. More is going on than Hansen’s 1980 theory predicts. It is one-third of the predictions every time.
It is just a logical way of trying to assess whether I should believe a theory or not.

Greg House
January 6, 2013 5:29 pm

A very nice pro-AGW article. I propose the introduction of a new, more precise term than merely “skeptic”: “pro-AGW skeptic”. Just to avoid a possible confusion.
By the way, Christopher: why would you bring the issue of membership in the House of Lords into the topic “The logical case against climate panic”? You do not want people here to start discussing it, do you?
[Pro-NGW Skeptic? Mod]

john robertson
January 6, 2013 5:29 pm

@Richard Courtney 4:00pm Just went back and looked,(the rathole) see your point.
Mayhap a truce is necessary and a reboot of what we know and what we can agree on.
Unfortunately, the CAGW promoters have all the ear-marks of a religious cult to me.
Jonestown writ large?
So keeping religion out of the conversation takes conscious effort.But what a troll tool.
What are the error bars on the satellite land surface and sea surface assumed means?
I read the presentation to parliament you referred me to, ouch.
Is it an intentional act of omission, to fail to state the assumed mean in degrees C with error bars, on each of the temperature anomaly graphs presented ?

S.H.A. Prodi
January 6, 2013 5:33 pm

@Mike Palmer
— “Modern [formal] logic is just a part of mathematics.”
But the question is not about “modern” logic, which does indeed often rely on mathematical models. The question is about logic. It is hardly the case that, before Boole, people could not think logically. The discovery of the reality of non-Euclidean geometries was a triumph of logic, not of mathematics. It was made on this principle: if Euclidean geometry consisted of logically necessary truths, it should be possible to prove it logically inconsistent, if one of its axioms or postumates were negated. But try as we may, no contradictions follow from negating the fifth postulate. Therefore, curved space is logically as real as straight space.
— “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” (Einstein)
But Einstein used ‘reality’ as shorthand for “what observably exists”, i.e. for what interested him as a physicist. Mathematicians are interested in mathematical reality. Applied to mathematical reality (which does not observably exist), Einstein’s remark is nonsense. So is his remark, “Human beings, in their thinking, feeling and acting are not free but just as causally bound as the stars in their motion”, which reduces logic and mathematics to causal effects of physical forces, and his first quote to “As far as the laws of physics refer to physical reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to physical reality.” If the laws of physics are hypotheses (as Popper claimed), they are therefore “uncertain”. What does this mean? That with every advance in physics, we come closer to the point where we should realize that there is no such thing as physical reality–that physics is a science without an object?
@Jeff Albers
— “Personally I don’t think religions use much logic. Making proclamations without evidence is not logical. That’s religion in a nutshell, IMHO”
Theologians used logic long before there was any science in the modern sense of the word. Arguably, there would still not be any science in the modern sense of the word, if theologians had not provided a synthetic worldview in which questions of fact and questions of meaning could be separated logically and systematically.
If you think that making proclamations without evidence is “religion in a nutshell”, I advise you think again — after having informed yourself on a subject that vastly trascends your understanding of it. If you agree that there is such a thing as “true science” as opposed to junk science, popular science, post-normal science etc., you might perhaps consider that “true religion” has also been opposed to junk religion, popular religion, etc., mainly by the scrupulous use of logic. Today, CAGW is a prime example of “popular science”, but that does not make it “true science”, does it?
@rgbatduke
— “You bewail the cost of a new “religion”. Look back at the cost, historically, of actual religion in general, or its ongoing cost today.”
To put this in perspective: How many of the more than 200 million people who died at the hands of governments in the 20th century, were victims of the Christian religion? How many of them were victims of modern science? If you want to distinguish between “science” and “political abuse of science”, why not distinguish between “religion” and “poltical abuse of religion”?
— “Atheism is not a religion. It is the lack of a religion.”
Not so, “Atheism” is “denial of God”, but there are many godless religions. A religion is a scheme for interpreting the whole of human experience in such a way that its parts and aspects make consistent sense. The meaning of the Latin word ‘religiosus’ is thoughtful, scrupulous, exact, anxious to avoid mistakes. Let’s hope that all scientists are religious.
I am an agnostic. I take no offence at Monckton of Bencley for writing as a professed Christian on any subject he wants, but I do find it annoying that so many people take offence, even at the mere mention of religion as the time-honoured way of trying to establish “why it matters.” Science itself does not answer the question, “Why does science matter?”. And it does not answer the question “Does it matter that science does not answer that question?” Does this mean that those questions are nonsensical, and that trying to make sense of possible answers is beneath contempt?
Kurt Gödel, certainly one of the greatest logicians and mathematicians of all time, tried his hand at proving the existence of God. He did not publish his proof, probably because he did not want to incur the scorn of the censorious atheistic bien-pensants in Academia. It seems to me that the atheistic knee-jerk reactions to “religion” and “Creator” in the comments to Monckton’s post are if not sufficient then at least highly persuasive evidence for the truth of the thesis that atheism is indeed a censorious religion (albeit, as it proudly proclaims, not a true one).

Bruckner8
January 6, 2013 5:34 pm

John Whitman says:
January 6, 2013 at 5:03 pm
Bruckner8,
Simple can work too.
A = one who has natural understanding of the nature that is one’s natural experience as exclusive basis of knowledge
B = one who has supernatural understanding of a supernatural realm/being as basis of knowledge
A=A yes. B=B yes. A=B no.
Now tell me the answer to my previous question to you. Where do you get your omniscience that all ‘A’ must be ‘B’. What possible ‘a priori’ do you say justifies in your conclusion?
John

OK, John, I’ll keep playing, but I’m sure everyone’s getting bored. I never made such a claim. In fact, if anything, I said take B off the table entirely. I only care about A, and how one gathers one faith whilst being A.

S.H.A. Prodi
January 6, 2013 5:37 pm

“Monckton of Bencley” — apologies for the spelling error!

Ian L. McQueen
January 6, 2013 6:10 pm

@Jim Cripwell
Kindly contact me at imcqueen(at)nbnet.nb.ca
IanM

markx
January 6, 2013 6:11 pm

rgbatduke says: January 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm
Well said, rgb.
Bruckner8 says: January 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Atheism takes equal amounts of faith as Theism. They are both based on a “belief” that a diety exists or not. “I do [or not] believe in [this or that deity]. [optionally: because…]”

Hard to agree with that. Theism is virtually “automatic programming”, especially if you get them early. 100% faith comes standard.
Atheism requires a bit of thought and logic, and a “non-acceptance” (a lack of faith?) in an entirely implausible tale. (or series thereof).

A true scientist would say “I don’t know,” and thus declare their self agnostic. I suppose it’s possible to declare “I don’t have empirical evidence [and thus is not science], but the evidence I’ve accumulated over my lifetime makes me ‘feel’ that there is [or not] a deity.” That ain’t science.

Surely a scientific approach is to observe the complete lack of a physical or logical explanation to the proposed mechanism, and entirely discount it on the basis of our currently known science?
One may well propose the world came into existence via a collision between discarded nose pickings from star fairies. There is also no known evidence against that. Is there?

January 6, 2013 6:26 pm

Bruckner8 says:
January 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm
OK, John, I’ll keep playing, but I’m sure everyone’s getting bored. I never made such a claim. In fact, if anything, I said take B off the table entirely. I only care about A, and how one gathers one faith whilst being A.

– – – – – – – –
Bruckner8,
Agree with you that ‘B’ should be taken off the table. As I think should Christopher Monckton.
But then you proceed to imply instead a morphing ‘A’ to be a hybrid of ‘B’ as your conclusion to the argument. So I would still request you to explain the ‘a priori’ you use to justify doing so. So my original request to you stands.
Also, I would like to point out that you did say “All ‘A’ must be ‘B’. “ :

Bruckner8 says:
January 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm
Atheism takes equal amounts of faith as Theism. They are both based on a “belief” that a diety exists or not. “I do [or not] believe in [this or that deity]. [optionally: because…]”

John

Impressed
January 6, 2013 6:28 pm

{Once everyone studied the Classics, to know that in logic there is a difference between true and false; the Sciences, to discern where it lies; and Religion, to appreciate why it matters. Today, few study all three empires of the mind. Fewer study the ordered beauty of the logic at their heart.
Is Private Fraser’s proposition that “We’re a’ doomed!” logical? I say No. G.K. Chesterton once wrote: “When men have ceased to believe in Christianity, it is not that they will believe in nothing. They will believe in anything.” }
Just a point of contention, I think that (maybe) Monckton was attempting to show that the warmists are NOT being true to their “Religion” (the consensus) by failing to “appreciate why it matters” with Chesterton’s statement. If this is the case then it is not tied together well and appears to be a poorly framed religious argument.
Otherwise, superb article and enjoyable overview of logic.

January 6, 2013 6:31 pm

@FrankK, your objections to the climate models may be valid and based on much experience, but they are unrelated to pure logic.
@Theo Goodwin: “Your two sentences contradict one another.”
Yes. The second sentence was meant as an exception to the first one. An exception always contradicts a general principle – that is its purpose in life.
Lord Monckton did not point out any intrinsic logical inconsistencies in the warmist theory. Therefore, the exception, which I stated merely for completeness, does not apply in this case; there is no relevant “logical” argument against the warmist case.
@ S.H.A. Prodi: “But the question is not about “modern” logic … The question is about logic.”
The Lord explicitly used the term “formal logic”. That term usually refers to modern mathematical logic.

Greg House
January 6, 2013 6:33 pm

Guest post by Monckton of Brenchley: “The belief that Thermageddon will arise from our altering 1/3000th of the atmosphere in a century is in-your-face illogical, rooted in a dozen fallacies marked out by Aristotle as the commonest in human discourse.
“Consensus” is the New Religion’s central fallacy.”

==========================================================
Christopher, I am not sure what exactly type of fallacy you committed saying that, but Aristotle would certainly not be amused.
First of all, the AGW concept has absolutely nothing to do with any reference to God. Nor is there any sort of Holy Scripture. There are no rituals and there are no priests. The AGW concept is rational by nature and refers to science only (let us put aside the issue of those claims being scientifically wrong). There is no resemblance to a religion. Given the massive propaganda it is no wonder many people being unable to check everything themselves think that those AGW scientists are right. It is understandable and can not be compared to a blind faith.
Another thing, Christopher, is that you have presented yourself as a religious person recently (on the “Bethlehem and the rat-hole problem” thread). And now you call a concept you are critical of a “religion”. Given the fact that that concept is absolutely not a religion, your calling it a “religion” can only have a derogative meaning.
Now, Christopher, I can not imagine that a religious person can call anything he or she does not like a “religion”. How can a religious person use the term “religion” in a derogative sense? This is beyond my understanding. Aristotle might have called it a “contradiction”. But I am not going to jump to conclusions right now, I hope you can clarify that.

January 6, 2013 6:48 pm

Once everyone studied the Classics, to know that in logic there is a difference between true and false; the Sciences, to discern where it lies; and Religion, to appreciate why it matters.
I did that, as diligently as someone brought up in the common public schools might. Got me absolutely no where. Dead end, and incredibly disappointing.
The Classics teach how to reason and that there is a difference between true and false, but cannot tell what is true or false, right or wrong, good or evil: Truth.
The Sciences only observe or discern facts. They are useful to help train the eye to look, but they do not help people see. A productive person can make an honest living in the Sciences, however.
Religion is the worst of the three – pure fantasy from the mind of man, designed from the ground up to deceive and enslave mankind. True “Christianity” is not a religion.
The more direct and satisfying route has been to simply study The Truth itself. Truth is honest and pure, and completely covers all the bases the three things above pretentiously claim to do.

D Böehm Stealey
January 6, 2013 6:48 pm

Steven Mosher says:
January 6, 2013 at 12:28 pm
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/crutem4vgl/from:1995/to:2013/plot/crutem4vgl/from:1995/to:2013/trend
Thanx for cherry-picking 1995. To avoid charges of cherry-picking, look at the longest temperature record available:
http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/14.jpg
Notice that there is no acceleration of temperatures. Also notice that the long term trend, right up to the present time, is unchanged despite the large increase in CO2. What does that tell you?
That tells you that the effect of CO2 is vastly overstated, and that the observed warming is natural, not anthropogenic. You cannot find an anthropogenic signal.
Sorry about your models. They don’t work, because the planet contradicts them. Listen to the planet, it won’t steer you wrong. Models will.

January 6, 2013 6:57 pm

“Consensus” is the New Religion’s central fallacy. Arguing blindly from consensus is the head-count fallacy, the argumentum ad populum.
Calling it the “New” religion is argumentum au nouveau, the there is something new under the sun fallacy.
Consensus is how the Pope keeps his job, and how Mohammed was elevated to his elevated status, even though he is dead. 😉

January 6, 2013 6:57 pm

[snip. Read the Policy page. — mod.]

January 6, 2013 7:03 pm

D Böehm Stealey says:
January 6, 2013 at 6:48 pm
– – – – – – – –
D Böehm is D.B. Stealey!
I did not know. But, it is great.
Thanks all.
Cheers to you.
John

January 6, 2013 7:08 pm


markx says:
January 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm
Atheism requires a bit of thought and logic, and a “non-acceptance” (a lack of faith?) in an entirely implausible tale. (or series thereof).

Before Marx and Engels, Atheism was called Narcissism. Worship of self. Cain suffered from it, as did Lucifer. It is the oldest and most basic religion.
If you say there is no God, by the rules of logic, you have just declared yourself to be God, able to make such a statement. Sorry, that’s a more implausible tale than the one that declares a Just and Loving God would make His will clearly known to the people He created by way of the written and spoken word.

Julian Flood
January 6, 2013 7:18 pm

rgbatduke wrote
quote
JF, first of all, we worked out the arithmetic
unquote.
Yes, thank you for that. I made a mistake in my calcs (100/5 is rarely 2), trusted your result and didn’t look further, a classic error on my part. Hence my new statement. That’s ‘enough’ BTW, not ‘does’ coat the entire surface. Other effects will limit the spread.
quote
I’m not a peer that would peer review your paper.
unquote
Heaven forfend. I just wanted to know if you had looked at the picture of a smoothed Beaufort inlet and seen the smooth which I see. The answer seems to be ‘no’. You should borrow someone else’s computer. It’s interesting, as is Wigley’s blip, but then perhaps you haven’t looked at ‘why the blip?’ either. Climate science does this: it ignores data to the point of willful blindness, avoids data that contradicts its worldview in order that its comfortable theory is not challenged. Good for grants, bad for science.
Try dribbling a 50/50 mix of light oil and surfactant behind your boat next time you’re out fishing and watch the smooth spread — I’d love to duplicate Franklin’s experiment myself but one would probably be arrested nowadays if one did that on a Clapham pond.
Thank you for your time. That was interesting and instructive in a different sort of way.
JF

Phil's Dad
January 6, 2013 7:28 pm

For the benefit of Pat Ravasiowho asked “the most basic of questions:” on January 6, 2013 at 10:45 am
Pat, the most basic research would answer all of your questions, but in case that is beyond you…
Q1 Why is it not a good thing to develop alternative energies?
No one is saying it is not, certainly not the author of this piece. Such developments must however be capable of providing for our energy needs. Those that are currently referred to as “alternative” can not do so at present.
For example the Thanet Offshore Wind-Farm off the authors own Kent coast, the second largest in the world, covers 13.5 sq miles and can (according to the developer’s own claims) barely provide 1/20th of the needs of the 1 sq mile City of London. To provide for “The Square Mile” at the current time would take a wind farm of 270 sq miles!
No reasonable person would suggest that current energy provision can be wound down until that changes – but by all means continue to work on changing it.
Q2 What is the harm in cleaning up the environment?
None, of course, unless the act of cleaning it up does more harm than good. For example, according to Greenpeace, the destruction of rainforest to provide biofuels in Indonesia is responsible for 4% of the world’s total “Greenhouse Gas” emissions.
Re-read the article and you will see that the author specifically says he would have us focus on such issues.
Q3 Surely you do not deny that there are serious ill health effects of fossil fuel mining and use?
Clearly so; and all steps should be taken to reduce or eliminate such deaths. Sadly the “alternative” has proven to be no better.
Research by Dr David Kreutzer, Ph.D. – Senior Analyst in Energy Economics and Climate Change – finds that fatalities for the U.S. , removing deaths that are only tangentially related to wind power, shows that there were 10 deaths in the US wind-power industry over the years 2003-2008. This would seem to make wind power much safer than coal mining, which had 176 fatalities over the same period.
However, much less energy was generated by wind than by coal. On a million-megawatt-hour basis, the wind-energy industry has averaged 0.0220 deaths compared with 0.0147 for coal over the years 2003-2008. Even adding coal’s share of fatalities in the power-generation industry, which brings the rate up to 0.0164, still leaves wind power with a 34 percent higher mortality rate.
For the record, the workplace fatality rate for wind also exceeds that when oil and gas are added on an equivalent-energy basis.
Once built the problems are not over. In December 2011, in a peer-reviewed report in the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, Dr Carl Phillips – one of the U.S.’s most distinguished epidemiologists – concluded that there is ‘overwhelming evidence that wind turbines cause serious health problems in nearby residents, usually stress-disorder type diseases, at a nontrivial rate’.
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Robert McMurtry, once Canada’s most senior public health official: ‘Whatever you think about climate change, you can be sure that wind energy is not the solution. There is an abundance of evidence to the show that infrasound from wind farms represents a serious public health hazard. Until further research is done, there should be an immediate moratorium on building any more of them.’
By the way I focus on wind because it accounts for nearly 70% of renewables. I am aware of the alternative alternatives but this response is long enough already.
Q4&5 That we are still burning up the house to keep the family warm? That fossil fuel supplies are finite?
Yes indeed – fossil fuels are finite. However they are not close to exhaustion, particularly as shale gas is likely to provide for several hundred years of consumption. This should be seen as good news by the “alternative” lobby as it gives them plenty of time to develop their “alternatives” to the point that they are actually viable.
However, within this time scale, I would expect the answer is more likely to come from technologies such as aneutronic nuclear than from wind. And maybe sooner than you think.
Q6 That there are readily available alternatives which are economically scalable if only they were adequately supported?
See my answer to question one. At present what is readily available is not up to the job.
With regard to “scalability”; how much bigger can a wind turbine get? They are already the size of the Statue of Liberty. Of course they can and will get more efficient in converting wind energy into (storable?) electricity. But that is not “readily available”.
With regard to “support”; UK on shore wind farms are 100% subsidised and off-shore is 200% subsidised. Thanet alone will receive “support” of £1.8billion over its expected lifetime.
Q7 Development of clean, renewable energy will stimulate the economy and improve the quality of life for all living things on the planet.
Research institute Verso Economics reveals that for every ‘green job’ created by taxpayer subsidy, 3.7 jobs are killed in the real economy and that, thanks to the artificial rise in energy prices caused by renewable subsidies, at least 50,000 people a year in Britain alone are driven into fuel poverty. And Britain is not a poor country.
With regards to the quality of life for all living things I will let the Environmentalists at the Centre for Biological Diversity in San Fransico speak to that. [The poorly sited wind farm at Altamont Pass] is “responsible for an astronomical level of bird kills. So far 0ver 2,400 protected Golden Eagles. If you killed just one by poaching you would be locked up”
Similarly the US Government Accountability Office on wind farms’ impact on wildlife, said that 2,000 bats were killed during a seven-month study at a 44-turbine site in West Virginia.
Whales and Dolphins can be affected by off shore wind farms by:
• seismic exploration;
• intense noise due to ramming/piling, drilling and dredging operations;
• increased vessel activities during exploration and construction and later maintenance operations,
• increased turbidity due to construction and cable laying; and, later,
• decommissioning of wind farms. (This may involve the use of explosives.)
• artificial reef effects
• continual operational noise and vibrations emanating from the wind turbines;
• electromagnetic impacts due to cabling that may impact navigation
Henriksen et al. (2001a) predict that seals may hear the noise emitted from marine wind farms at a distance of up to 1km.
There is some evidence for electromagnetic fields emanating from undersea cables affecting the movements of some fish species and associated food chain. (Engell-Sorensen, 2002; Gill & Taylor, 2001)
“Alternatives”, Pat, are not universally good for all living things. Nor is very expensive energy.
So please explain why you oppose an orderly, economical transition to readily available alternative energies?
If such a thing were possible I doubt there would be any lasting objection. However I think the answer is clear from the above. The “readily available alternatives” are simply not up to the job – yet.
You say the “alarmists” are motivated by profits. Yet it is you who are affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a noted man cave for fire-breathing fossil fuel behemoths.
I know next to nothing about Heartland – I shall let others address that particular ad hominem. I do know that our Prime Minister’s Father-In-Law makes a £1,000 a week from his wind turbine. Good luck to him I say. At least he doesn’t pretend it’s not for the money.
Anthony and friends, you can parse the particulars until kingdom come, but fossil fuels are still the Earth’s Goliath. Humanity is still David. The only question is what are we going to put in our slingshot, and why are we so slow in getting about the business so clearly at hand?
Humanity’s David, it seems, has put CO2 in its slingshot and is chucking it with all its feeble might at Earth’s Goliath.
Goliath is smiling.

January 6, 2013 7:31 pm


John Whitman says:
January 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Please explain the source of your omniscience claim that everyman profoundly believes in or has faith in the supernatural.

Omniscience is not required, just simple logic.
Does life exist? I only see the effects of it. If I could see you, I might find you breathing. Do love, peace, joy exist? One thousand other, invisible, “super-natural” things enjoyed by people all over the world and throughout the ages.
Dismissal of the supernatural has not got to be a very satisfying way to live your life. Appreciation is a better place to start. Give it a try. The only thing you’ll give up is arrogance, a worthwhile sacrifice.

Bruckner8
January 6, 2013 7:32 pm

John Whitman says:
Bruckner8,
Agree with you that ‘B’ should be taken off the table. As I think should Christopher Monckton.
But then you proceed to imply instead a morphing ‘A’ to be a hybrid of ‘B’ as your conclusion to the argument. So I would still request you to explain the ‘a priori’ you use to justify doing so. So my original request to you stands.
Also, I would like to point out that you did say “All ‘A’ must be ‘B’. “ :
Bruckner8 says:
January 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm
Atheism takes equal amounts of faith as Theism. They are both based on a “belief” that a diety exists or not. “I do [or not] believe in [this or that deity]. [optionally: because…]”
John

John, my entire point is that your insistence on grouping the Theists (B) and the A-Theists (A) is misguided. THEY ARE BOTH B in this case, and I’m trying to take both of them off the table. Both require belief. You can insist on assigning the “supernatural” to B, and the “natural” to A, but you’re just creating a new argument “for fun.” It’s not honest to do so. I don’t care where the “naturalness” fits in to your restatement! BOTH REQUIRE BELIEF (supernatural or not). This does not make the sets equal. It merely assigns another attribute to them. If you have an issue with the term “belief,” bring it on. Otherwise, I see it this way: Mutually exclusive sets that share an attribute. (Cats and Dogs have four legs [observation]; Theists and Atheists require belief [neither has proof]) Nowhere does the supernatural come into play (it could! doesn’t matter!), unless you insist on inserting your own definitions.

January 6, 2013 7:43 pm


james griffin says:
January 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Science is best left to agnostics.

That is what is becoming pervasive now, and it is no longer Science. It’s called government propaganda.
But there is no such thing as an agnostic. The question becomes: under what tenants do the scientists hold themselves accountable? Is one of the tenants that they hold themselves accountable to the other tenants? Not in the current breed.

January 6, 2013 7:46 pm

Bruckner8 says:
January 6, 2013 at 7:32 pm
John, my entire point is that your insistence on grouping the Theists (B) and the A-Theists (A) is misguided. THEY ARE BOTH B in this case, and I’m trying to take both of them off the table. Both require belief. You can insist on assigning the “supernatural” to B, and the “natural” to A, but you’re just creating a new argument “for fun.” It’s not honest to do so. I don’t care where the “naturalness” fits in to your restatement! BOTH REQUIRE BELIEF (supernatural or not). This does not make the sets equal. It merely assigns another attribute to them. If you have an issue with the term “belief,” bring it on. Otherwise, I see it this way: Mutually exclusive sets that share an attribute. (Cats and Dogs have four legs [observation]; Theists and Atheists require belief [neither has proof]) Nowhere does the supernatural come into play (it could! doesn’t matter!), unless you insist on inserting your own definitions.

– – – – – – – –
Bruckner8,
Again, show me your ‘a priori’ justification that I and people like me require belief (aka faith). You are implying that it is a metaphysical requirement of human beings to ‘believe’ or ‘have faith’, qua human beings. Where did you acquire that ‘a priori’ knowledge? Show me the source. Is your source faith or belief? It appears so.
Your self-proclaimed omniscience in that regard is strong evidence that you are profoundly belief or faith based, but that implies nothing about people who are not like you.
Goodnight, cocktail hour is starting soon. Catch tomorrow morning.
John

January 6, 2013 8:01 pm


michaelwiseguy says:
January 6, 2013 at 2:16 pm

The mainstream media is stuck on stupid and people are not tuning into them anymore.

People are figuring out they don’t like to be lied to.

I’m holding out hope. Do you also think they will become concerned about the other 7/8’s of the problem – being responsible for their own education?

pochas
January 6, 2013 8:07 pm

Since religion has entered the discussion, I personally prefer to deal with Christians and Jews rather than one who makes up his own morals. Such people often have none. They are present in academe and government in droves and, evidenced by the lies and distortions they so effortlessly effuse, their lack of ethics is clear and I believe it is a large part of the problem. For myself, I maintain my Christian credentials and practice Judeo/Christian ethics. What reservations I may or may not have about resurrection or virgin birth are nobody’s business but my own.

rgbatduke
January 6, 2013 8:10 pm

why not distinguish between “religion” and “poltical abuse of religion”?
Because they are (historically and practically) indistinguishable?
Also, your analogy is a false one anyway. Political abuse of science is the discovery that you can hit harder with a big piece of wood than you can with your bare hands and conquering territory with your newly invented club, in the very brief interval you have before your opponents discover that there is a lot of wood around and they can use clubs too. Science is simply a systematic and moderately reliable process for extending human knowledge, and personally I think we are better off for knowledge, that the more we know and understand the better informed our decision making will be compared to the horrible errors we make in its absence. If you, on the other hand, feel that we would be better off back in the dark ages or worse, living as simple animals in the forest, well…
Let’s just assume for a moment that religion in general is actually untrue, that there is, in fact, no God. In that case every single decision that every single human has ever made throughout their entire life for all recorded history, on the basis of the assumption that there is a God, or Gods, or Gods and Saints and Devils or an entire supernatural pantheon with its own history at war and involving humans in their intrigues, has had a pretty glaring false premise at its very root.
I don’t just mean “political” decisions, although every decision involving more than one person is in some sense political — I mean supernatural beliefs have dictated when people go to bed and when they rise, how they spend time throughout every day, how they have disposed of their limited wealth. It has dominated their fears, their hopes, their dreams. It has unified people (for good and for ill), it has torn them apart. For most of recorded history in most countries of the world, there has been little differentiation between the religious and secular powers, and only rarely has one appeared to move, for a time, counter to the other (becoming as a consequence historically noteworthy in the process). The mere fact that I can refer to “religious powers” illustrates the fallacy of believing that religion and politics are separable — whence powers if not from the polis, the people?
Perhaps it is just me, but I personally think that humans are at our best when we do not base the arguments that guide all of our decisions everyday on false premises, or assign an improbably great degree of belief to a proposition more or less without evidence. It’s not that sometimes those decisions won’t work out all right — people are pretty good at making even wrong things work, sort of kind of, and sometimes you just plain get lucky. But they certainly aren’t the decisions that might have been made if one was better informed.
If you knew — knew for certain — that there was no God, would you continue to donate money to a Church, to spend a significant fraction of your life in Church hearing tiresome lectures on silly antique myths and singing songs and chanting things? Remember, the assumption is that you know that it is all malarky, really. If that is too much of a stretch, would you choose to spend the rest of your life participating in the daily and weekly religious rituals in — pick any religion that is not your own. Praying to Mecca five times a day? Sacrificing small animals at a stone altar and then burning them? The reason you don’t do that now is because you think that is silly, that rules in the Bible requiring this sort of thing are silly antique myths and rituals that people got all wrong (besides being pointlessly cruel and wasteful).
If you knew for certain that there was no life after death, that this one life was all you will ever get as “you”, that death is a permanent and irreversible condition (all of which are scientifically quite true, of course, based on an incredible volume of science and evidence) would you choose to spend it quite the same way you might spend it if you thought that however sucky your life was now, it would all be made better (or worse!) after you die?
The problem with looking to religion as an answer to “why it matters” is — what if it is a false — but easy — answer? Accepting it uncritically all but eliminates any possibility of constructive work on answering the question the hard way.
Everybody who is religious who isn’t a latter day ecumenical pantheist who thinks all religions are true is an atheist — in all religions but one. Given N religions, I’m simply 1/N more atheistic than a religious person typically is, where N is a large if not unbounded number.
On the other hand, we do not speak of “scientific powers”, and scientific organizations that wield any actual political power are at the very least a historically recent invention if not even now more fantasy than reality. The American Physical Society is not known for its political clout.
That is not to argue that advanced science does not confer technological advantage in the resolution of political problems both violent and non-violent, only that science itself has with the recent and regrettable exception of climate science — lacked any sort of political organization that made ex cathedra pronouncements supporting a particular political policy, and even there it can only do so in a debatable way (which is what this site is all about).
I am an agnostic. I take no offence at Monckton of Bencley for writing as a professed Christian on any subject he wants, but I do find it annoying that so many people take offence, even at the mere mention of religion as the time-honoured way of trying to establish “why it matters.” Science itself does not answer the question, “Why does science matter?”. And it does not answer the question “Does it matter that science does not answer that question?” Does this mean that those questions are nonsensical, and that trying to make sense of possible answers is beneath contempt?
Kurt Gödel, certainly one of the greatest logicians and mathematicians of all time, tried his hand at proving the existence of God. He did not publish his proof, probably because he did not want to incur the scorn of the censorious atheistic bien-pensants in Academia. It seems to me that the atheistic knee-jerk reactions to “religion” and “Creator” in the comments to Monckton’s post are if not sufficient then at least highly persuasive evidence for the truth of the thesis that atheism is indeed a censorious religion (albeit, as it proudly proclaims, not a true one).

I find it difficult to believe that, as you type a reply on a keyboard that instantly publishes your words to a vast audience in the (dare I presume) heated or air-conditioned comfort of an enclosed and electrically lighted room, enjoying (we might reasonably hope) good health resulting from treatments more sophisticated than the casting out of demons and sacrifice of small animals, that you really believe it necessary to search hard for an answer to the question “Why does science matter?” It is fun. It is profitable. It improves our lives. If you think science (and the products of scientific endeavor) doesn’t matter, try living now without it.
Kurt Godel didn’t publish his proof (if he ever found one) because it was wrong. The point of Einstein’s quote up above is that one cannot prove mathematically one single thing about the observable universe! Inference is not proof. This includes proving why mathematical proofs and reasoning and formulas often appear to work to describe it (so that we infer that inference often works). David Hume did an admirable job of proving that the question of God cannot be answered or proven by pure reason or by any series of observations, although of course it can be answered any way you like by simply begging the question in your unprovable axioms.
Indeed, mathematics as a process for reasoning from unprovable axioms/propositions to conclusions/theorems has consistency problems enough of its own, many of them due to Godel. I strongly recommend Mathematics, the Loss of Certainty by Morris Kline if this sort of thing interests you. Or Polya’s work on inductive reasoning in mathematics. Or (as already commended above) E. T. Jaynes book Probability Theory, the Logic of Science.
rgb

January 6, 2013 8:19 pm


rgbatduke says:
January 6, 2013 at 1:45 pm
“When men have ceased to believe in Christianity, it is not that they will believe in nothing. They will believe in anything.”
Surely no more absurd statement was ever made as an introduction to an essay on logic.

Shirley, there may not have been a more succinct description of the last two thousand years’ history. Cheers to Christopher Monckton, who also boldly professes that Jesus Christ is his lord. The man’s got guts.

Surely there is no more certain way to offend any individual who reads the essay who has, as I have, ceased to believe in Christianity.

You probably are offended by the buttons on his coat, too.

Rex
January 6, 2013 8:21 pm

> Now it is common for trolls to distract from the subject of an article by Lord Monckton by
> promoting the religion of atheism. Several have already tried it on this thread.
The question to be asked is whether Chris Monckton was being deliberately
provocative in introducing religion into his piece when there was absolutely
no need or reason to do so. Please, desist !

rgbatduke
January 6, 2013 8:23 pm

Phil’s Dad says:
January 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm
For the benefit of Pat Ravasiowho asked “the most basic of questions:” on January 6, 2013 at 10:45 am

A lot of really good stuff. Well done!
rgb

rgbatduke
January 6, 2013 8:29 pm

Try dribbling a 50/50 mix of light oil and surfactant behind your boat next time you’re out fishing and watch the smooth spread — I’d love to duplicate Franklin’s experiment myself but one would probably be arrested nowadays if one did that on a Clapham pond.
It’s actually rather illegal to do that here, too. Oil and gasoline do make it into the water from motors but actively dumping it into the water is against the law. But I’m certain I’ll be around sometime when my motor leaks or there is some other large source of oil around. And I’ll keep my eyes open for what you describe, never fear.
rgb

Greg House
January 6, 2013 8:30 pm

Guest post by Monckton of Brenchley: “Besides, there has been no global warming for 18 years; … Global warming that was predicted for tomorrow but has not occurred for 18 years until today …”
==========================================================
It is funny, but 2 weeks ago Christopher repeatedly said “16 years” (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/25/bethlehem-and-the-rat-hole-problem/). I really like the rate the “global warming” is retreating at! In 2 weeks we will have “no global warming for 20 years”, this is a positive development. What we really need are just 2 more years and we will have no warming ever happened.

January 6, 2013 8:35 pm


John Whitman says:
January 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm
Christopher Monckton,

Have you considered … the possibility of CAGWists having a more central philosophic root which is unscientific in the Aristotelian sense and which gives rise to and contains the reason they consistently commit all the fallacies you mentioned.

Have you considered that good men, out of the goodness of their hearts, bring forth good things, and that evil men, out of the evilness of their hearts, bring forth evil things?

Bob
January 6, 2013 8:40 pm

rgbatduke says:
January 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm
“Atheism takes equal amounts of faith as Theism. They are both based on a “belief” that a diety exists or not. “I do [or not] believe in [this or that deity]. [optionally: because…]”
No, but your argument here is perfect for illustrating why you are wrong.
If I believe in fairies, I indeed have to give a reason for that belief or be thought a fool. I believe in fairies because I’ve got pictures of them dancing. I believe in fairies because I read fairy stories as a child and felt that they must be true. I believe in fairies because I keep one as a pet. In other words, one has to have some specific evidence for fairies in order to reasonably believe in them. We would consider the first and third reasons as being a lot better than the middle one, for example.”
rgbatduke – no, you are religious. If you accept an expanding universe, you accept singularity. Ergo, you accept all the matter in the universe came from nothingness. And don’t go to string theory or multiverses – even you would agree they are more unlikely than likely

Jeff Alberts
January 6, 2013 8:42 pm

Greg House says:
January 6, 2013 at 8:30 pm
It is funny, but 2 weeks ago Christopher repeatedly said “16 years” (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/25/bethlehem-and-the-rat-hole-problem/). I really like the rate the “global warming” is retreating at! In 2 weeks we will have “no global warming for 20 years”, this is a positive development. What we really need are just 2 more years and we will have no warming ever happened.

Child’s play. We’ve had no “global warming” in 1000 years.

davidmhoffer
January 6, 2013 8:51 pm

richardscourtney;
I was NOT ‘taking sides’.
The evangelical atheists destroyed the recent thread at
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/25/bethlehem-and-the-rat-hole-problem/
where I tried to set an example by refusing to engage with them
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Well thanks for taking the position you have, and for setting the example. Unfortunately I think the thread is well off the tracks at this point. Some of the responses to Pat Ravasio were stellar, I learned a lot from a couple of them, sadly she will learn nothing, she’s repeating the precise same questions and assertions that she has already asked in other threads.
I much enjoy theological discussions, but have long since learned showing people what their own biblical text actually says (or doesn’t say) (or that older versions say something different than current versions) is just a good way to get people seriously riled really really fast. So I choose carefully who I have those discussions with, and have long since learned that a public forum is not a good place to seek them out.

rgbatduke
January 6, 2013 8:54 pm

Before Marx and Engels, Atheism was called Narcissism. Worship of self. Cain suffered from it, as did Lucifer. It is the oldest and most basic religion.
If you say there is no God, by the rules of logic, you have just declared yourself to be God, able to make such a statement. Sorry, that’s a more implausible tale than the one that declares a Just and Loving God would make His will clearly known to the people He created by way of the written and spoken word.

Sigh. No, atheism was never called Narcissism. You’re just making that up.
There is absolutely no logical equivalence of the assertion that there is (probably) no God to the assertion that you yourself are God. In fact, that is what we in the actual business of logic call an inconsistent statement, a basic contradiction. Let’s write it out in good old symbolic logic shall we?
Not A, therefore A
which is logically equivalent to A and Not A, the fundamental contradiction.
One cannot assert that God does not exist and thereby also be asserting that God exists (and is you). That’s simple muddled nonsense. The correct statement is that there is no God including me, and even a positive atheist would generally only say there is probably no God, not state it as a certainty. I myself say it even more compactly — there is no reliable evidence that there is a God.
Now I’m perfectly happy to believe in a tale that a Just and Loving God (all capitalized, of course) would make His will clearly known to me by way of the written or spoken word. If such an entity exists, He’s got my address, and I’m happy to meet with him in person to talk things over at any time. Time and space are no barrier, of course, and with omnipresence, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence right now is as good a time as any.
Oh, you meant by way of one particular set of the many dissimilar sets of the words written by people several thousand years ago and constantly rewritten and mistranslated across the thousands of years in between, all claiming to convey the truth about God, often pretending that there words are “Gods own words”?
Back to logic again. People aren’t God, right? You just said so. So I am surely justified in doubting the words of any man claiming to speak for God, the one being in all the Universe that is surely capable of speaking for Itself — if it exists at all, or cares to speak. And given that It can Create Whole Universes, it seems silly to think that it has to be particularly subtle in Its communication or rely on ancient texts for it. I’m fairly certain I’m not God, and even I can manage to communicate better than that.
rgb

January 6, 2013 8:54 pm


Michael Moon says:
January 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm

The cost of energy determines prosperity. Energy sources have been sought since time immemorial, and continue to be sought.
…People never choose poverty!

They chose Obama, didn’t they? Or were those not people?

johnni
January 6, 2013 8:55 pm

I learn more reading a single article by Monckton than any book I’ve ever read. What a brilliant guy, how does one get that smart really? And luckily for us, there are still brilliant guys like Monckton around who have the courage to fight tyranny and oppression in this world. Our world needs more Moncktons, and a lot less “nobel prize winners” like Al Gore and Michael E. Mann.

rgbatduke
January 6, 2013 9:34 pm

rgbatduke – no, you are religious. If you accept an expanding universe, you accept singularity. Ergo, you accept all the matter in the universe came from nothingness. And don’t go to string theory or multiverses – even you would agree they are more unlikely than likely
Ah, well, I’m glad we got that sorted out then. I was clearly confused about my own beliefs and I’m so glad you could help me.
Now, would you care to comment on this “nothingness” the Universe supposedly came from? Even in my newly enlightened religious state, I’m having difficulty with it. Would that be nothingness without any God, or nothingness with a God? Because I have to say, nothingness with a God sounds more like somethingness, wouldn’t you say?
Since we have agreed that I accept (at least provisionally, as far as the powerfully augmented eye can see) an expanding Universe and am therefore clearly religious about physics and mathematics and reason if nothing else, can you explain to me how God isn’t something and yet is capable of things like sentience, action, choice, design, starting off Big Bangs out of nothingness — all things that seem to involve a remarkably high degree of material complexity and organization (not to mention time, and space and energy) — not to mention various Amazing Powers to make an entire Universe poof into existence out of nowhere with just the right rules to work out to become (in very small part) me some 14 billion years later. And all planned!
If we ever get nothingness and nowhere and notime sorted out, then we can tackle the proposition that it is somehow “more unlikely than likely” that string theory or multiverses are correct. I wasn’t aware until you helped me that this was my position.
But you must be right. I’ve written an entire novel on the multiverse concept, and it is certainly a fictional novel. So I must not believe it.
Curiously, a few minutes ago I would have said that it isn’t likely or unlikely for some multiverse hypothesis to be correct — if there are multiple disjoint spacetime continua that are adiabatically disconnected (share no information) then we will never know, so the question is fundamentally unanswerable. That doesn’t mean (note well) that the question itself is meaningless — I understand it perfectly well, in fact — just that one cannot in principle ever answer it. I’m rather a religious believer in the objective reality of somethingness, so if it is in fact an existential truth that there are indeed multiple Universes then whether or not I know it or can observe them it would be rather silly to assert that they definitely do not exist — or vice versa.
If there are multiverses that are in fact coupled — quantum bundles of universes, that sort of thing (which is the basis of my story, it being a bit boring to write about a world where the Lord of the Rings Universe really exists as a parallel Universe, only you can’t get there from here or ever prove it — then perhaps we might one day be able to demonstrate this, but in the meantime the question is more science fiction or fantasy than something to believe or disbelieve in very strongly, with the usual rational default: Lack of belief pending positive evidence!
Regarding string theory — it is really quite a surprise to learn that I reject string theory either a priori or on the basis of evidence. I would have sworn that actually considered to be a plausible hypothesis in general, albeit with a fair ways to go before it is positively proven, with moderate explanatory power. Of course, some of my very smart acquaintances are string theorists and perhaps you have correctly read my heart — rather than offend them I pretend to accept their absurd religion.
Now if you really want to know what I religiously believe about the Big Bang, string theory, cosmic eggs, time before time, all you have to do is ask. If you’d prefer to read my mind, on the other hand, well, try not to wrinkle the pages or bend the spine, and put it back on the shelf when you’re finished.
rgb

Hoser
January 6, 2013 9:38 pm

Perhaps we can sum it up: Watch out for argumentum ad coprum tauri.

rgbatduke
January 6, 2013 9:40 pm

Child’s play. We’ve had no “global warming” in 1000 years.
And over 8000 years, it’s gotten rather chilly. Over 5 million years, it’s gotten downright frigid.
I wonder if it is time to go homesteading in Antarctica yet? No? A bit premature?
😉
rgb

rgbatduke
January 6, 2013 9:46 pm

Perhaps we can sum it up: Watch out for argumentum ad coprum tauri.
LOL. You should send that one into the folks that maintain the logical fallacy bingo game, along with argumentum ad Latinum gloriosum, arguments based on fancy Latin phrases.
I may have to steal it for my book.
rgb

rgbatduke
January 6, 2013 10:00 pm

Since religion has entered the discussion, I personally prefer to deal with Christians and Jews rather than one who makes up his own morals. Such people often have none.
Christians and Jews often have none. Equally often, according to actual measurements — crime rates are not strongly differentiated by religious belief. And non-religious people do not “make up their own morals” any more than you do. The learn them exactly the same way that you do, by living in a society that rewards moral behavior, mostly, and by rationally looking at moral rules without the supernatural trimmings. But fearmongering is a standard practice of at least some of the religious — without religion, everybody will just do whatever they want! Horrors! Because it is clearly only religion and the fear of God that causes people to do things they do not want to do or behave in an altruistic manner.
The subtext is also that they’ll also do whatever anybody wants them to do, as long as they can justify it somehow in scripture, and that’s pretty easy. Want to bring back slavery? The Bible is your friend. Want to wipe out an enemy to the last man, woman and child? Hey, Moses did it. Why shouldn’t we? Tired of drug company profits? Plenty of opportunities in faith healing. Who needs Crestor?
rgb

January 6, 2013 10:07 pm


rgbatduke says:
January 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Your seemingly humble reply prompts me to respond.
Sigh. No, atheism was never called Narcissism. You’re just making that up.
I just called it that, therefore it has been 😉 If Atheism hasn’t been known that way, it should be, as there is no essential difference. Here’s why:
There is absolutely no logical equivalence of the assertion that there is (probably) no God to the assertion that you yourself are God.
One cannot accurately say whether something does or doesn’t exist without defining it. If one says a supreme being doesn’t exist, he’s defined the supreme being. That makes him bigger than, superior to the supreme being. Hence, he is the supreme being.
In other words, the thing accurately and completely defined is smaller than the thing that defines it. God is inferior to you, you must be God instead. In other centuries, this thinking was called Narcissism. Teenagers exhibit the same behavior, but many adults grow out of it. Arrogance is another word commonly employed to describe the situation.
In fact, that is what we in the actual business of logic call an inconsistent statement, a basic contradiction.
You said it yourself.
I myself say it even more compactly — there is no reliable evidence that there is a God.
I’ll let the entire creation speak for itself, it seems a pretty reliable witness so far. If haply you should genuinely desire to know the supreme being, and He exists and loves, I’m sure He’ll make Himself known to you, in a manner you can understand.
Not my job to provide the evidence. Don’t want the job. Anyone who claims to have it is the blind leading the blind. If you have eyes to see and ears to hear, it is not at all difficult. A child can understand it.
The evidence is overwhelming.
If such an entity exists, He’s got my address, and I’m happy to meet with him in person to talk things over at any time.
If that was not sarcastic, keep your eyes open for a visit. You may have to wait, but not because He’s too busy. Never known Him to fail humble people.
Oh, you meant by way of one particular set of the many dissimilar sets of the words written by people several thousand years ago and constantly rewritten and mistranslated across the thousands of years in between, all claiming to convey the truth about God, often pretending that there words are “Gods own words”?
Now you are just making stuff up.
So I am surely justified in doubting the words of any man claiming to speak for God,
Absolutely. The more skeptical, the better, I think. Impossible to be too skeptical. But if God exists, and He is Love, He is going to have to make Himself known since He is apparently invisible.
the one being in all the Universe that is surely capable of speaking for Itself — if it exists at all, or cares to speak.
Indeed. That is why He instructed faithful men to write it down for Him, verbatim. He would have to think very highly of man to give it to him, and to entrust some of them with the dictation.
Given that is true, He now has two great witnesses of Himself: His creation which you can see, and His word which you can read and consider. Now you just have to find someone to help you learn to read it. I guarantee you you do not have the education to understand what you are reading, because hardly anyone has any knowledge of how to read it any more. That may be the crime of the ages. God’s people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.
Eventually, you’ll need the third witness, a gift He freely provides just for the purpose. In the first century, they had another, who is due to return hopefully soon, God raised him from the dead.
it seems silly to think that it has to be particularly subtle in Its communication or rely on ancient texts for it. I’m fairly certain I’m not God, and even I can manage to communicate better than that.
There is nothing subtle about it. It is written down. Black on white. No guesswork required. Incredibly thoughtful. You can buy your own copy, and read it yourself, thanks in part to Gutenberg.
Texts that are a few thousand years old are not ancient, if the planet is 4.5 billion years old. Why would a good thing need to be rewritten? You probably revise your stuff – He hasn’t had to: it was perfect to start with.
and even I can manage to communicate better than that
That’s just silly. The written word has stood the test of time.

rgbatduke
January 6, 2013 10:40 pm

That is what is becoming pervasive now, and it is no longer Science. It’s called government propaganda.
But there is no such thing as an agnostic. The question becomes: under what tenants do the scientists hold themselves accountable? Is one of the tenants that they hold themselves accountable to the other tenants? Not in the current breed.

OK, wow. I actually don’t understand any of this.
No, no, let me try. Science is no longer science, it is government propaganda. [So I should rename my physics textbooks “government propaganda I and II”. ] Check. Hmm, looks like I’ll be back to teaching government propaganda in a few days.
Second, there is no such thing as an agnostic. Presumably, if somebody claims to be agnostic, they are lying. If anybody claims to have seen or talked to an agnostic, they are mistaken. No agnostics. Check.
Then, something about scientists holding themselves accountable as renters (tenants) of some dwelling? Where one of the renters is, I dunno, accountable to the rest or vice versa? Is this some sort of bizarre metaphor? No, wait, you meant tenets! Now it is all clear. I’ll have to go look up the answer in a book on “The Tenets of the Scientific Method” — I’m trying to remember a tenet of accountability to other tenets in there, but damned if I can, so I’m guessing that the answer is no.
Then something about a breed? Breed of what, tenet? Scientist? Scientific method? I do agree, though, that there is no tenet of accountability of any N-1 of the N tenets in the Scientific Method, which is actually not composed of tenets in the usual sense of the term, to the remaining tenet, in the current breed of scientific method. You have to go back to religious assertions of “the following tenets are true because this tenet says so and also says you should be burned at the stake if you disagree” to get that kind of accountability.
If you’re referring to scientists in general as “they” in the sentence with all the tenants being held accountable for the scientific method (presumably by some authority capable of holding somebody accountable, the “science police” I guess) then sadly, no, this is not how science works. Nothing stops you, for example, from calling yourself a scientist. Or from creationists making non-verifiable scientific claims. Great science has been done by people with no formal degrees, and people with stacks of degrees have been dumb as a post, scientifically speaking. Nothing stops a scientist, credentialed or otherwise from being wrong, or being stupid, or being venal, or being lucky. Scientists are, in fact, human! Not machines, not space aliens, just people. Ideally, relatively smart and well-educated people, but there’s a large spread and in any given case is open for debate.
The amazing thing about “scientists” is that they informally form their own “police”, the most non-violent police force in the world. There is little reward for being right, little punishment for being wrong (although even less reward!). The punishment for being stupid (a.k.a. being wrong too often) is the same that it is for anybody — the police (other scientists) will stop listening to you much, if you never make sense when they do.
The punishment for being venal is probably wealth (nobody said life was fair) but not in science per se — you usually have to go over to the Dark Side — applications and engineering and patents and business or politics — for that.
What keeps scientists afloat is often the hope of being lucky, of discovering something that really matters, which even in the reward-poor world of science confers some limited honor and wealth. And everybody knows that fortune favors those who work their asses off, so most scientists (that I know) actually work pretty hard.
What is becoming pervasive now is illiteracy, both verbal and scientific. It’s so sad.
And now I bid you good night.
rgb

David
January 6, 2013 10:40 pm

RGB, I think you mistake, or missview the argument of the assertion that atheism is a unscientific philosophy. The mystery of mysteries’ is both a how and a why question. I submit, that the how of “everything inclusive” is not knowable via the scientific method because of the first cause dilemma, but logically “it“ whatever “it” is, defined as a causeless cause of infinite energy existing beyond space and time, must be.
Logically some sort of infinite energy beyond space and time, something must exist. Now is that infinite energy, beyond space and time, logically demanded causeless cause, intelligent, kind, benevolent, loving etc, etc? Well that is a different question entirely, and due to the stated qualities of infinite energy beyond space and time, the means of knowing requires a different epistemology then anything within the scientific method, so yes to declare, I know God, is hubris, and by the way, not allowed within the Vedic, Judaic, or Christian tradition, although “knowing” the absolute is considered possible within a different context not dealt with here.
There are no absolutes in relationship to science. I maintain that science is, in its essence, “cause and effect” .Every effect is proceeded by a prior cause. There can be no effect without a prior cause. All causes are themselves an effect. Cause and effect is a chain and it, with the arrow of time, moves in one direction. All causes and effects are quantifiable. In this sense, science to me is the study of how all things in the cosmos interact, and the laws that govern those interactions. Science is constrained to time, space and relativity. Science cannot contain absolutes. A primary tool of science is to use mathematics, one through any number, but never absolute infinity, which is not a number. I am referring to absolutes, and not the use of these terms within RELATIVE fields, often representing exponentially growing signals and negative exponents representing exponentially decreasing signals. I am not referring to time constants (decaying or growing) As such science can only see a part of the whole and must keep an open mind to new information.
This primary chain of cause and effect observations, (This is the road that connects all roads) upon which all deductive reason is based, has a self limiting paradox. Simply put, cause and effect cannot be an absolute eternal chain, otherwise one is stating that “everything inclusive” has no cause, it always was, which in and of itself defeats the laws of science and deductive reason applied to observation, and induces the well known paradox that if “everything inclusive “ always was, then everything that could have occurred, already would have, and in effect states the unscientific proposition that while every thing (relative things which can be quantified) in creation have a cause, everything inclusive has no cause, it just unscientifically is. The other side of this paradox is that (accepting the above problem as valid) if there was then a first cause, what ever that cause was had to have no cause and must be beyond the laws of cause and effect. Science, by it very nature, only deals with relativity, quantifying numbers and partial observations which can only see a part of the whole.
I heard a talk from a world renowned astrophysicist. Forgive my poor memory as I do not remember his name as I was working stand-by on a trade show, at the time I was working 80 plus hour weeks, dealing with many other issues, (attorneys, yuck) but the talk was riveting. He talked of this problem and said the math pointed to an impossibility of absolute infinite energy, not the defined time constant kind. He also referenced that all the laws of classic physics and quantum mechanics break down and lose there application. He said it , the singularity, comes from nothing, which he then defined as “no thing“, in essence still something that cannot be measured or quantified, but something which is. Wik The classical version of the Big Bang cosmological model of the universe contains a causal singularity at the start of time (t=0), where all time-like geodesics have no extensions into the past. Extrapolating backward to this hypothetical time 0 results in a universe of size 0 in all spatial dimensions, infinite density, infinite temperature, and infinite space-time curvature.
From him I first learned of the exact requirements needed in the fundamental forces to have a cosmos where things evolve and organize, instead of falling into rapid entropy. Going to the thought of multi verses does not, in my view, diminish this. Yes, one can say our goldilocks universal forces are like throwing paint on a wall, predicting before hand that some spots will be exactly one inch from their nearest neighboring spot, and then finding out that some few actually are, and then determining it false to pretend it is anything but random. But in the incredibly refined requirements of these fundamental forces, it is more like throwing a gallon of paint on a wall, and all the spots end up of the exact same size, shape and exactly the same distance from each other. That requires planning and intelligence, such as in the creation of an ink jet printing machine.
Additionally multiverses are just a theory, not an observation as is our universe. Furthermore, even if we are one of billions of multiverses, it is pure assumption that those universes have created random forces and they just fail, for all we know they all function just as ours does. The known observations do not fit random happenstance. The argument against the observation is based on theory, and purely speculative assumptions about that theory, IE, Theoretically multi verses could be real, theoretically this reality could be random (premise) and they could all fail, therefore our OBSERVATIONS of what appears to be incredibly unlikely intelligent manifestation in this universe, is random chance.(premise matches conclusion) It is a logic fail, .petitio principia. And finally multiverses, brane theory, cyclic big bang, all do nothing to address the already presented cause dilemma, they just regresses it further, what caused that universe, what caused the one before ours, etc.
Finally a brief statement on the implied Intelligent design of our universe. Many atheist scientist, upset with past travesties of mankind done in the name of religion, rebel at the word “God”, because of past abuse to control people. I however have made a very vague definition of God as a “eternal and infinite beyond time and space causeless cause. Science deals with phenomena, it takes a different tool for noumena. As such the scientist, realizing that “the 12 inch ruler of his (field two) mind can never measure infinity” can still use his cause effect tools to investigate field three indirectly. How? He can look in field two for a proxy report on the attributes of the infinite energy beyond time and space causeless cause. He can look for evidence of intelligence, and many other qualities. To search for the infinite directly, logically requires the conciseness to transcend field two. This is the field of religion. Science and religion are not in conflict. They operate on two different fields, phenomena, the area of science and noumena, the area of religion.

davidmhoffer
January 6, 2013 10:49 pm

Centers for Disease Control;
That’s just silly. The written word has stood the test of time.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Oh pish. I promised myself not to get involved in these kinds of discussions, but it is late and I am judgment impaired. Stood the test of time? Have you bothered to compare old copies of the biblical texts to new ones?
The Hebrews escaped from Egypt across the Sea of Rushes
Joseph was hated by his brothers because he had a coat with short sleeves
(New Testament) Joseph was a “builder of houses” meaning that he was a stone mason
There’s at least 3 different versions of what Moses did to get water out of that rock, and that’s just the ones I know of anecdotaly, I’ve never researched it.
Goliath was less than 6 feet tall.
The rest of your diatribe is a lesson in logical fallacy, and you finish with a claim that isn’t supported by the facts.

January 6, 2013 11:15 pm

James Abbott says:
January 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm
Lord Monckton said
“The belief that Thermageddon will arise from our altering 1/3000th of the atmosphere in a century is in-your-face illogical, rooted in a dozen fallacies marked out by Aristotle as the commonest in human discourse.”
James Abbot said
The notion that it is “illogical” that trace constituents of physical systems can be important simply because they are at trace levels is so pathetic its difficult to know where to start, but here’s a few examples of why trace constituents are essential:
CFCs and HCFCs are even more trace constituents of our atmosphere, but their impact has been very significant in depleting ozone, particularly at high latitudes – leading to international agreements to reduce their use. Ozone is vital in protecting the Earth’s surface from solar UV and is itself a tiny trace gas in the atmosphere.”
I say that is rubbish. The science behind the Ozone Holes and CFC’s is pretty much been debunked.
James Abbott said
“Trace metals in the human body are also essential – without them we die.”\
I say – you cannot compare the human body with the earth’s atmosphere and it is nonsense to even try. The human body is an active biochemical system made up of thousands of chemical compounds. Very small amounts counts. The earth’s atmosphere is an inert chemical system made up of half a dozen chemical compounds. The amount of CO2 is neither here nor there.
James Abbott said
CO2 is a natural greenhouse gas at trace levels, but without any CO2 in the atmosphere not only would the biosphere be in trouble but in terms of climate the Earth would be in a permanent ice-age, all other things being equal. ” I don’t think so. H2O will keep the earth warm.
I really don’t think you know what you are talking about James Abbott.

January 6, 2013 11:26 pm

rgbatduke says:
January 6, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Tenet, sorry, beyond my bedtime. Sometimes that’s what you get when you grow up on phonics. Your apparent vitriol was unnecessary.

tckev
January 6, 2013 11:31 pm

The bottom line –
CO2 kept going up, temperatures kept falling. No model came close to explaining it, (or cloud formations, or El Nino and La Nina formation, or ocean movement/temperatures.)
But none of that matters as big financiers have got their returns for futile projects like wind farms, Volt and Fisker vehicles, solar farms, etc. Big government wants to keep it rolling ’cause they get more power AND more money. UN and their client NGOs loves it ’cause they get more power and money.
So who loses? The rest of us – last one standing turn the lights off, sorry doesn’t matter any more.

gnomish
January 6, 2013 11:38 pm

reason’s murder scene is a forensic nightmare.
all i can be sure of is that it was strangled while it slept.

January 6, 2013 11:45 pm

davidmhoffer says:
January 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm
That’s just silly. The written word has stood the test of time.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Oh pish.
you finish with a claim that isn’t supported by the facts.

The context was the written word has stood the test of time for communication. Seems pretty effective to me, but I have no proof, just my experience.
For example, you’ve communicated your pishyness very well in just that manner.
Have you bothered to compare old copies of the biblical texts to new ones?
Regarding discrepancies across Bible versions, translations, and copies, it is hardly the Author’s fault. It is His responsibility, though, to feed those who hunger and thirst for truth. He’ll get it to those who genuinely want it, so you don’t have to be concerned.
Goliath was less than 6 feet tall.
You knew him, then? Did you attend his funeral?
There’s at least 3 different versions … that’s just the ones I know of anecdotaly, I’ve never researched it.
Obviously, you are a scholar, and know what you are talking about.

John West
January 6, 2013 11:49 pm

OMG, could this thread go any further OT?
I’ll give it shot:
Wouldn’t it be funny if someone discovered the ancient word for God is what we call Gravity.
Only Gravity can bring order to chaos. Not to mention, the evolution of the universe and life on earth entirely depends upon Gravity.
LOL!
Look for we know there are an infinite number of big bangs a second in a universe (or multi-verse if you prefer) so vast that it would be highly improbable for us not to have come into existence from pure chance.
On the other hand, for all we know a God that we’ll never know in an analytical way created this universe and us for who knows what purpose.
Flip a coin, phone a friend, poll the audience; I don’t care, but, rabid Evangelism for either atheism or theism is rather OT and unproductive. (And yes, I’ve slipped on this myself.)
On topic:
I think the biggest fallacies of the CAGW crowd are the “jumping to conclusion” fallacies. I don’t recall the Latin names but it all boils down to concluding CAGW from flimsy evidence and then sifting, fishing, phishing, and inventing data if necessary to prop up said conclusion.

FrankK
January 7, 2013 12:02 am

Michael Palmer says:
January 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm
@FrankK, your objections to the climate models may be valid and based on much experience, but they are unrelated to pure logic.
—————————————————————————————————————
You seem to enjoy having the last word, but I disagree.
It involves more than just objection to climate models. If climate models are flawed and fudged and don’t fit the data, as is plainly evident, then it logically follows that the theory of AGW is false since the theory is based on those results. Are you claiming there is no logic in that conclusion??! if so then your so called “pure” logic does not seem very practical.

oMan
January 7, 2013 12:19 am

Cogent, concise, complete. And characteristically courteous yet courageous. Thanks!

rgbatduke
January 7, 2013 12:32 am

One cannot accurately say whether something does or doesn’t exist without defining it. If one says a supreme being doesn’t exist, he’s defined the supreme being. That makes him bigger than, superior to the supreme being. Hence, he is the supreme being.
In other words, the thing accurately and completely defined is smaller than the thing that defines it. God is inferior to you, you must be God instead. In other centuries, this thinking was called Narcissism. Teenagers exhibit the same behavior, but many adults grow out of it. Arrogance is another word commonly employed to describe the situation.

This is a variant of ontological argument, and like all such arguments, is thereby immediately suspect because they all are based on verbal trickery instead of sound reasoning. Let’s see if this one is too.
When one uses the phrase “supreme being” at all one has defined something — the concatenation of the term “being”, something (in context a sentient being) and “supreme”, or highest. Even if you do believe in a supreme being, by referring to it you have defined it, and in order to define it (by your argument) you must be bigger than the supreme being. If it is not defined, neither you nor I could carry on a conversation about it. We would be writing “If one says a Xychlocus doesn’t exist, he’s defined the Xychlocus” and so on, neither one of us having any idea what a Xychlocus actually is.
Note well the advantage of algebra here — putting an actual undefined symbol in place of the words you claim I might be using to “define” something takes all of the meaning away and reveals rather expectedly that they were actually already defined and we both understood them perfectly well.
A second error is your unusual idea that somehow defining something requires one to be “bigger” or “superior” or “supreme” to the thing being defined. How exactly does this work? If I define, say, The President of the United States (which I think I could do pretty well) does that make me bigger than the president? Superior to the president? Supreme to the president? I can define my wife even better, but if I argued that by doing so I’m in any way better or superior to her she’d put me in my place straight off.
I’m afraid that I don’t really see any evidence in nature that anything that is accurately and completely defined must be smaller than the thing defining it, unless you are confusing the idea of “definition” with that of “possessing complete and perfect information about”. In that case, of course, we can leave out the supreme bit and just shoot for everything, the Universe itself, which is everything that actually exists. I’m not certain that it is correct to say that the Universe “defines” itself or that subsets of the Universe are “inferior” to it (which smacks of control and value judgement, not ordinal ranking of measurable size or information content).
Either way, I’d actually agree with this part of your argument and have made it myself as part of a conditional proof that if God exists, God must be the Universe, the sum total of everything that exists. That doesn’t prove that God does exist, of course, because we usually append additional properties onto God, such as being sentient. One can argue pretty strongly that a non-empty Universe exists, but in order for the Universe to be God it would have to be sentient, compassionate, capable of reasoned action.
So just as I can use the term Universe, or for that matter Supreme Being or God, and have you understand what I’m referring to, in the one case the fairly concrete everything that really exists (minimally yourself) and in the other two a hypothetical version of all that plus transcendent sentience, without actually thinking myself bigger than the Universe, or the supreme being or without any danger of being grievously misunderstood, we can surely work out some sort of reasonable criterion for assigning to the ideas a degree of belief without being accused of making ourselves “superior” to that which we discuss, or without the smoke screen of insisting that I have to know the state of every single subatomic particle in the dog lying at my feet in order to be able to state with some degree of confidence “there is (or is not) a dog lying at my feet”. I don’t have to completely define a blue fairy in order to be reasonably sure that there isn’t one flying around my head while I type. I don’t have to completely define Jupiter to be able to see it and decide that it probably is or isn’t there, even though it is much larger than I am and I’m not even in principle capable of holding all of the state information required to completely defined Jupiter or to measure it even if I were.
I’ll let the entire creation speak for itself, it seems a pretty reliable witness so far. If haply you should genuinely desire to know the supreme being, and He exists and loves, I’m sure He’ll make Himself known to you, in a manner you can understand.
Not my job to provide the evidence. Don’t want the job. Anyone who claims to have it is the blind leading the blind. If you have eyes to see and ears to hear, it is not at all difficult. A child can understand it.
The evidence is overwhelming.

Sir, you beg the question by calling it a “creation” — a statement for which you haven’t a shred of evidence and which doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense. All the Universe is a “witness” of is that “the Universe exists”. Its existence need not be logically predicated on the prior existence of something else, nor is it necessarily the case that the something else was intelligent, compassionate, loving, etc.
Whenever I look at the Universe, it rather behaves like a perfectly mechanical system without any guiding intelligence. In fact, the Universe behaves pretty much the way I’d expect it to behave if there was no God. This doesn’t prove that there isn’t a God, but neither is it compelling evidence in favor of the proposition.
Absolutely. The more skeptical, the better, I think. Impossible to be too skeptical. But if God exists, and He is Love, He is going to have to make Himself known since He is apparently invisible.
Then we are in agreement, because believe me, I’m really, really skeptical. I do agree with your statement, though: If God exists — where we really would need to spend a fair bit of time defining as exactly as possible what “God” and “exists” are going to mean in this proposition, lest we get into pointless misunderstandings — and God is Love (which needs more than a bit of definition right away, because God is not Love, Love is an emotion, a mental state, and the God I thought we were discussing is a concrete being with objective, not subjective, existence), then God is going to make Himself known because God is apparently invisible!
Where I’ve added a bit of emphasis.
Let’s start with the last bit. God, being apparently invisible by virtue of the fact that neither you nor I nor pretty much anybody can see Him (or really, It as there is no reason to think of It as being male) has to in some sense become un-invisible in order to be observed. I, like most sensible people, tend to be very skeptical of the existence of things that cannot be observed, or that are only conditionally observed by other people, long ago and not regularly and reproducibly observable.
This does leave us with a few puzzles. God is usually considered to be all-powerful (here’s where it would have been great to have worked out our definitions ahead of time) so if God is invisible it is entirely God’s choice to be invisible. As long as God remains invisible, it is pretty reasonable, frankly, not to believe in It. There is an infinity of things that could invisibly, undetectably “exist”, and trying to believe in all of them without evidence would make my believing muscles sore. God doesn’t get an epistemological “bye” by virtue of being the Supreme Being — rather I would say that with a big claim like that the evidence has to be equally big.
Second, you assert that God is Love and elsewhere suggest that God Loves me. I have doubted this since my first puppy died some fifty two years ago. Remember, for this to be true, God has to exist (in spite of invisibility) AND love me, and of course is the sole cause of my puppy’s death. Dying puppies is not convincing evidence of love. Invisibility — nay, indetectability — isn’t convincing evidence of existence. And dead dogs (and loved ones) are only a tiny part of the pain I’ve experienced, and for that matter I’ve been enormously lucky, pain-wise, so far — many people and small children worldwide have it far worse.
In other words the problem of theodicy is as thorny now as it ever was. None of the explanations for evil and pain and suffering I’ve ever read in religious apologia have been at all convincing (rather, self-serving for the religion in question in its blind need to gain converts). What is a convincing explanation for pain and evil in the world is the simplest one — there is no God, only a strictly, objectively real Universe with impersonal rules. If we want to reduce the evil and suffering in the world, nobody else is going to do it for us, and there will be no miracles helping it along the way or higher power telling us how to do it.
Now if I am wrong and God does exist and supernatural miracles do happen and God is Love, it is enormously simple for that loving God to stop being invisible and mute. Or, perhaps, God is being maximally loving by being invisible and mute, by leaving the Universe alone to just happen on its own, uncontrolled, as much a surprise to God as it is to me. Either way, as a good skeptic I will not believe in something without evidence, in the case of God pretty strong evidence.
Given that is true, He now has two great witnesses of Himself: His creation which you can see, and His word which you can read and consider. Now you just have to find someone to help you learn to read it. I guarantee you you do not have the education to understand what you are reading, because hardly anyone has any knowledge of how to read it any more. That may be the crime of the ages. God’s people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.
Right. God wrote it in a secret code where it doesn’t say what it says, it says what somebody wants it to mean. This is the most pathetic of excuses. You’ve just stated that God loves everybody and entrusted certain men with writing down His Words. How do we know? Those men told us. Do we believe people who say “I’m speaking for God” in general? No, we consider them crazy or guileful. But even those trusty men wrote it down in code. It says one thing but means another. If that isn’t enough, they wrote it down at different times, and different manuscript copies were made over thousands of years, causing whatever was originally written to disappear among a welter of redacting, insertion, deletion, addition, forgery. Some things were arbitrarily rejected (on our behalf) centuries after they were written, other things made it through. Finally, the surviving manuscripts were mistranslated into relatively modern languages and the book was variously typeset.
Why, exactly, is any of this evidence of anything at all except the usual literary evolution of a system of religious myths and legends? Why (if it was so perfectly written) do I need a secret decoder ring to understand it now? And even if it were explained to me by the most devout and wisest of humans why would I believe that what they tell me is true? Why, in fact, should I believe you?
Seriously.
So far, very little of what you’ve said makes a lot of sense. A Bible that I can’t just read, or read critically, I have to read it sympathetically in the company of somebody that will “explain away” everything that doesn’t make sense. A God that only visits the planet to update “his word” every few thousand years (and that delivered only to a select few who are “in the club”) — but who loves us. An apparently uncreated Universe that is supposedly evidence of a creation.
Why, exactly, is it unreasonable to think that the Universe is what it is, uncreated and unsentient? That there is no God, and that there was no “dictation” of any special wisdom or imparted knowledge to a remote tribe of ignorant savages living in barbaric times. That the reason the Bible makes no sense is that it makes no sense, not that you have to twist and interpret its words until they make sense. And that if we want to move to higher moral ground and improve the world, we’ll have to do it ourselves, as best as we can, without supernatural help.
All of this is entirely consistent with the reliable evidence at hand and it is a lot simpler explanation. That doesn’t make it right, but it does make it better to believe.
rgb

rgbatduke
January 7, 2013 12:35 am

Tenet, sorry, beyond my bedtime. Sometimes that’s what you get when you grow up on phonics. Your apparent vitriol was unnecessary.
I apologize. Beyond my bedtime too, and really, that pair of paragraphs was pretty confusing…;-)
rgb

rgbatduke
January 7, 2013 12:36 am

RGB, I think you mistake, or missview the argument of the assertion that atheism is a unscientific philosophy. The mystery of mysteries’ is both a how and a why question. I submit, that the how of “everything inclusive” is not knowable via the scientific method because of the first cause dilemma, but logically “it“ whatever “it” is, defined as a causeless cause of infinite energy existing beyond space and time, must be.
Why?
rgb

LazyTeenager
January 7, 2013 12:37 am

“Consensus” is the New Religion’s central fallacy. Arguing blindly from consensus is the head-count fallacy, the argumentum ad populum. Al-Haytham, founder of the scientific method, wrote: “The seeker after truth does not put his faith in any mere consensus. Instead, he checks.”
————
Confusing consensus of people with consensus of evidence.
[Reply: Pondering how a non-sentient data item reaches it’s consensus… -ModE ]

Jimbo
January 7, 2013 12:54 am

“The belief that Thermageddon will arise from our altering 1/3000th of the atmosphere in a century is in-your-face illogical, rooted in a dozen fallacies marked out by Aristotle as the commonest in human discourse.”

Heck, even the IPCC says it illogical – as Dr. Spock would say.

“Some thresholds that all would consider dangerous have no support in the literature as having a non-negligible chance of occurring. For instance, a “runaway greenhouse effect” —analogous to Venus–appears to have virtually no chance of being induced by anthropogenic activities…..”
http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session31/inf3.pdf

Maybe the models have a problem.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/11/28/1210514109
http://landshape.org/enm/santer-climate-models-are-exaggerating-warming-we-dont-know-why/

policycritic
January 7, 2013 12:54 am

Shouldn’t it be argumentum ad corporum tauri?

rgbatduke
January 7, 2013 12:58 am

I however have made a very vague definition of God as a “eternal and infinite beyond time and space causeless cause.
Which is all well and good, that you’ve made this very vague definition. Suppose that I renamed that causeless cause “the Universe”, of which space and time are (perhaps) only a part, and left the eternal and infinite bit out as essentially unknowable assertions and hence irrelevant to us. Everything you’ve described, without the intelligence. It doesn’t need it; in its (near) eternal infinity things might well happen nearly randomly so that eventually the monkeys type Shakespeare. And (nearly) infinitely later, even type it again. This is even more believable, because otherwise you have to explain how the uncaused cause that supposedly creates space and time manages to think without them “before” time begins. Whatever that means.
Don’t hesitate not to be vague, because once you’ve come up with a fairly specific hypothesis for not only something existing without cause (that part I get, it is reasonably called “the Universe”), but that something being a priori intelligent, then we can assess its plausibility. I tend to see intelligence as a high order phenomenon, one involving information theory, entropy, and lots of moving parts (things that change in time in patterned information encoding ways).
However unlikely you think the paint spatters representing the Universe suitable for life might be, take that degree of probability and make it geometrically smaller and you have an idea of the probability of the paint spatters required to self-organize into a designer of the Universe.
Not fair to cheat and just make intelligence an a priori infinitely improbable characteristic of your infinite eternity and explain the visible Universe however improbable you want to judge it in ignorance, with the an even less probable uncaused cause judged in even greater ignorance as it is out there where it cannot even in principle be observed, slipping the pea neatly under the shell. But if you’re gonna invoke probability and the anthropic principle or use the term “cause” in some sense other than its formal definition in physics (where it doesn’t mean cause at all as the laws of physics are conservation laws, saying that certain things are never observed to be created, only moved around into different forms), prepare to be challenged.

Jimbo
January 7, 2013 1:48 am

Bruce Cobb says:
January 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm

rgbatduke says:
January 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm
It is important to recognize that scientists acting in the best of faith and good will might well disagree (and often do).

Normally, yes. But these are not normal times, are they? This is no simple “disagreement”. Climate “scientists” have stood science itself on its’ head. As for “good faith” and “good will” amongst the Warmist clique, including those such as Mann and Hansen, you will find none. Instead, you will find other qualities of a far more sinister and lowly nature. Pushing Warmism has become an end unto itself. Entire careers have been built on it and depend upon it.

Amen brother. Talking of religion the movement itself has been described by the BBC as using the language of religion to advance their cause. Even the law recognizes it to a certain degree as a religion. Now, scientists who refuse to re-consider the theory, no matter what the evidence to the contrary, might be going down the same track.

BBC – 25 January 2010
Using religious language to fight global warming
If the case for tackling climate change is backed by science, why do so many green campaigners rely on the language of religion?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8468233.stm

Then the law.

Guardian – 3 November 2009
Judge rules activist’s beliefs on climate change akin to religion
Tim Nicholson entitled to protection for his beliefs, and his claim over dismissal will now be heard by a tribunal
…………………
In his written judgment, Mr Justice Burton outlined five tests to determine whether a philosophical belief could come under employment regulations on religious discrimination
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/03/tim-nicholson-climate-change-belief

John Doran.
January 7, 2013 1:52 am

Thank you Lord Monckton. Clear & precise.
Have a great year.

E.M.Smith
Editor
January 7, 2013 1:52 am

M’Lord, well done sir. Very well done.
I’m just left to wonder if the ancient formal Latin logic includes space for things such as:
argumentum ex malus notitia
argumentum ex falsum notitia
argumentum ex defectiva methodo (algorithm)
argumentum ex commodo
argumentum ex regimen præsta pecunia
Just sayin’…
One minor technical point, and I have no idea how this would be covered in latin, is that the word “tropopause” makes it sound like things STOP there. Like it is a nice, quiet, STATIONARY point. Somewhere that convection stops, so the winds end and it’s just this nice flat occlusive window through which only IR can move.
Yet that is a fallacy.
It is a rapidly moving space that changes velocity from upward to sideways and thus must have some turbulence at the “bounds”. Further, we know there is mass transport across those bounds as the stratospheric air descends at the ‘cold pole’. (So must be replaced at the middle somewhere…)
Look at the graph here:
http://chiefio.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/wind-speed-alt-1090.gif
From here:
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/tropopause-rules/
wind speed is about 86 knots at the tropo’pause’ and 1/2 that just a bit each side.
That is not “paused”, that is “squirting out sideways like a shot watermelon seed”
So what is the class of error that leads from the ‘pause’ to the mistaken belief ‘frame’ that only infra-red radiation matters in a Cat 2 hurricane force wind speed? Hmmmm?
I would love to have a label for it.

Anton
January 7, 2013 1:54 am

“It is our faculty of reason, the greatest of the soul’s three powers, that marks us out from the beasts and brings us closest in likeness to our Creator, the Lord of Life and Light.”
How very 17th Century British of you. Animals DO reason, as anyone who has observed them knows. But, of course, this clashes with traditional Jewish and Christian theology, which treats them as expendable commodities put here for man to exploit to his miserable heart’s content.
Is this really the forum for religious sanctimony? Do you Mr. Monckton honestly think you’re closer in likeness that any other life-form to your Creator you claim to be the Lord of Life and Light? According to what or whom? If you say the bible, Aristotle, Plato (who decided animals did not have immortal souls, and also advocated lying for a supposedly good cause), or Church doctrine then you yourself are arguing from alleged authority. Since you are not an expert on beasts, as you call them, you’re also arguing from ignorance. Since you have never met this Creator, you are arguing from assumption. And since your soul cannot be proven, your are arguing from belief.
It is very illogical to write about logic when your closing paragraph belies your own.

Jimbo
January 7, 2013 2:07 am

James Abbott says:
January 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm
Thanks J Martin
So are rising sea levels part of your “all been beneficial” world ?

There you go again! I told you yesterday that there is no acceleration in the rate of sea level rise AND that sea levels have been rising since the end of the last ice age AND the Little Ice Age. So why do you harp on about this non problem???

Bob Ryan
January 7, 2013 2:41 am

Robert Brown: maybe one day we might get to some sort of answer to the ‘is there. isn’t there’ argument if a flaw in the simulation can be discovered. As you probably know: it is suggested by Silas Beane and others, that over the next 2-3 centuries we may be able to produce a simulation of an entire universe populated with sentient beings like us (or indeed, even better, perhaps more peaceful models). Furthermore if the proposition that we exist in simulation is tested, in the way that Beane has suggested, then the existence of God is established (but he or she is only a computer programmer). But the obvious problem remains – who created the computer programmer? Just as the old lady responded who believed the world was supported on the back of a turtle, the answer is: ‘it’s computer programmers all the way down!’. Anyway – it’s a great pleasure to read your contributions to this blog, even when it goes off thread.

markx
January 7, 2013 2:45 am

Centers for Disease Control says: January 6, 2013 at 7:08 pm
If you say there is no God, by the rules of logic, you have just declared yourself to be God, able to make such a statement.
AHA! I KNEW it all along!
NOW we are getting somewhere!
It is always nice to see a discussion develop in a sensible and logical way.
Please send tribute asap, (prefer gold and beautiful virgins, thanks) oh gathered peasants!
(Well, really, just gold will suffice, the rest follows.)

Julian Flood
January 7, 2013 2:58 am

rgbatduke wrote
quote
But I’m certain I’ll be around sometime when my motor leaks or there is some other large source of oil around. And I’ll keep my eyes open for what you describe, never fear.
unquote
If you’re prepared to do half the experiment then you could always use just olive oil like your illustrious scientific compatriot — spilling an edible substance should keep the jail time down to… oooh, three years max. Send a couple of students, just in case.
Choose a day when the sun’s low and the windspeed is below 7 m/s. (Early morning is a good time, so the student idea might not work.)
JF
Oh, yes, tell the students to have a look on Google Map Image, drop their viewpoint onto Atlantic Beach Bridge and look south east. Reassure them that they’ll be doing no more than the boat leaving a smooth in that image. Do this without witnesses…

January 7, 2013 3:50 am

If we take it as read now that the “science” behind AGW has fallen on it’s face, we have to turn to the question of why has it lasted so long.
I had a horrifying experience recently. While laughing with my 7 year old niece at a BBC comedy programme aimed at children, she proudly showed me a book based on the series: “The Horrible History of the World”, by Terry Deary, the chap who produces the BBC programme.
I was horrified to realise the theme of the book is the denigration of every foundation stone of our Western Civilisation.
Targets include God & religion, of all denominations, the law & history itself. Among others, Hammurabi’s Code, The Ten Commandments & The Twelve Tablets of Roman Law are belittled.
The family is attacked, & the following is a direct quote:
“this is NOT a book about ‘history’, it’s a book about ‘people’ – the most disgusting, evil, cruel and horrible creatures on Earth”
This is not a comedy book aimed at 7-13 year olds, it’s straight brainwashing. It’s freely available from public libraries, whose kiddies shelves are crammed with a huge array of these books, popularised by the BBC “comedy” series, as well as an abundance of Global Warming propaganda. Published in 2003, it has been polluting our childrens’ minds for nearly 10 years.
Why, in 90+ pages of unrelieved gore, murder, slaughter & torture, are the only words of praise for China, which has never managed a democratic govt in it’s 5000+ year history?
I have emailed Lord Tebbit, a tough-minded right wing ex member of Margaret Thatchers Govt.
I have shown this sinister work to a couple of local priests & vicars, & I urge you all to visit your libraries, verify what I’ve said, & raise as loud an outcry as you can.
Why would the BBC sponsor such a corrosive work?
This is the same BBC which sheltered the vile Jimmy Savile for 40 years, to gain as large an audience as possible for it’s propaganda.
This is the BBC which launched a completely unfounded attack on Lord McAlpine, accusing him of being a paedophile, than which there is no greater smear. This betrays a level of journalistic incompetence & spite which is almost unbelievable.
This is the same BBC which decided in January 2006 that the science of AGW was ‘settled’, & that thus they no longer needed to abide by their charter terms which demand impartial reporting of both sides of a debate. Their panel of 28 “experts & scientists” turned out to be activists, including, interestingly, one female C of E vicar.
The above are all facts, to the best of my knowledge, & my opinions obviously.
Now I’m going to indulge in some speculations.
What if the BBC is signed up to the Club of Rome doomists?
What if Their political thinking hasn’t matured beyond Communism, or some sort of belief in a depopulated & rural world as envisaged by “A Blueprint for Survival”, first published as Vol 2, No 1 of the ecologist magazine 1972? I have the Penguin paperback edition.
We are at present seeing the impoverishment of the first world, through deindustrialisation, over regulation & expensive energy. We are seeing the world’s elite 1% enriching itself through massive Cap & Trade taxes
What if we have Pol Pot in the Whitehouse? Set on bankrupting the US with ridiculously huge debts? The UK & EU are following the same trail.
What if UN Agenda 21 is the real deal? With it’s plans to depopulate the planet by 80% – 90%?
It’s plan to nationalise all property, establish one world govt, for which the EU is the forerunner?
It’s plan to abolish the family, & bring your kids up in barracks?
What if the film: “The Hunger Games” is a blueprint?
Was Alabama right to ban UN Agenda 21 in June 2012?
http://www.thenewamerican.com & go to 10 July 2012 Sustainable Freedom: Surging Opposition to Agenda 21, “Sustainable Development”
There is also an article on the new american site about the bullying EPA losing a case, in the supreme court, against the sackett family, but I cant put my hand on the reference.
Truly we live in Orwellian or Kafkaesque times.
I wonder why UN Agenda 21 Architect Maurice Strong has moved to China?
I wonder why George Soros praised China’s political system?
I wonder when/if China will pull the plug on the US economy by ceasing to buy US govt bonds?
I hope I’m wrong with my speculations, I would like the strong minds on this site to check me out.
I believe I’m right about the BBC, I’m with James Delingpole there:
http://www.bogpaper.com & go to “Thank God for Jimmy Savile”
Here’s to 2013, the year we saved the world 🙂
We live in interesting times.
JD.

richardscourtney
January 7, 2013 4:03 am

John West:
At January 6, 2013 at 11:49 pm you ask

OMG, could this thread go any further OT?

Probably not, but I am not surprised at what has happened as is shown by my warning about it at January 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm where I said

Now it is common for trolls to distract from the subject of an article by Lord Monckton by promoting the religion of atheism. Several have already tried it on this thread.
Everybody: please, please don’t bite at that ‘red herring’ or this thread will be destroyed as the other was.

But my warning “fell on stony ground” so this thread has been destroyed in the same way as the thread of the previous WUWT article by Lord Monckton at
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/25/bethlehem-and-the-rat-hole-problem/
Indeed, both threads were most fervently attacked by evangelism of atheism from rgbatduke and John Whitman.
In this thread rgbatduke says he is a convert to atheism from Christianity. I wonder if John Whitman is also a convert to atheism from some other religion. Converts to any religion are usually fervent and often extreme in the their views.
In the other destroyed thread I wrote at January 4, 2013 at 1:57 am

But “There is a time and a place for all things” and WUWT is not the place for promotion of any religion. Important work is conducted here and should not be disrupted.
There are many other times and places where promotion of religion would also be inappropriate because it is damaging to the proper conduct of important activity; e.g. in an aircraft cockpit during landing procedures.

WUWT has a policy of restricting discussion of Creationism. In my opinion, the recent destruction of the two threads indicates that WUWT also needs a policy of restricting discussion of atheism.
Richard

Bob Ryan
January 7, 2013 4:06 am

Robert Brown: if you go along with the idea that we might be part of a simulation then another question arises: why? Why did the programmer set the simulation running? What was the purpose? ‘To love him and serve him’ as the penny catechism says might not be far from the truth – at least as far as the ‘serve him’ bit goes (and ignoring the gender specific language for a bit as well). Maybe, the simulation is running to solve a problem. Perhaps the programmer wants to find the underlying nature of reality but cannot solve the hardest problem of all: the conundrum at the heart of quantum mechanics, how can a subatomic particle be both a particle and a wave? It needs the properties of both but he or she cannot reconcile the problem revealed by the double slit experiment. So, he sets the simulation running with sufficient boundary conditions to allow one outcome (us) have a chance of solving the problem. The boundary conditions set by the programmer have given us a ‘Goldilocks’ universe which ensures that no matter how daft we are (i.e., regularly kill one another , pump Gigatons of CO2 into our atmosphere) our propensity to reproduce and our planet’s response to GHG’s serve to counteract any adverse effect. It all seems reasonable to me. There is a God and global warming isn’t a problem. But, what happens if we discover the answer? Will our creator’s problem be solved? Will the stars start going out?
But there is one further possibility – maybe the programmer’s stars will start to go out too and so on back up an infinite chain of frustrated computer programmers demonstrating (a) that we have the power to wipe out not just one but all possible universes and (b) to all who care to run such a simulation that reality is impossible – even when simulated.
Just thinking – as they say.

markx
January 7, 2013 5:24 am

jdseanjd says: January 7, 2013 at 3:50 am
There is also an article on the new american site about the bullying EPA losing a case, in the supreme court, against the sackett family, but I cant put my hand on the reference.
EPA Wetlands Sacketts PLF
http://www.pacificlegal.org/Sackett

pochas
January 7, 2013 5:46 am

rgbatduke says:
January 6, 2013 at 10:40 pm
“Then, something about scientists holding themselves accountable as renters (tenants) of some dwelling?”
The term “rent seekers” is used by economists for one who tries to obtain a cash flow from some economic activity where he produces nothing. It does not apply only to landlords. Brokering “Carbon Credits” is a good example of rent-seeking behavior. Seeking to profit from “Global Warming” is another.

Michael Moon
January 7, 2013 6:16 am

There are some people on here with too much time on their hands. Trying to unscrew the inscrutable, page after page, accomplishes what exactly? “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the eruditist of them all?”

David
January 7, 2013 6:26 am

RGB says….”Not fair to cheat and just make intelligence an a priori infinitely improbable characteristic of your infinite eternity and explain the visible Universe however improbable you want to judge it in ignorance, with the an even less probable uncaused cause judged in even greater ignorance as it is out there where it cannot even in principle be observed, slipping the pea neatly under the shell.”
RGB, you consider that the assertion of an infinite energy (omnipotence) beyond time and space casuesless cause to have intelligence to be “infinitely improbable” and you further state that my assertion that the observable universe is improbable by chance, is a judgement of ignorance. Curious that you ignored the logic of my argument entirely. You consider that although science has found that a random manifestation of the first forces could have had billions of possibilities, and that everyone of them, except the one which happened, would have resulted in rapid dissolution and entropy, short circuiting all forms of life and most elements, to be “infinitely improbable”
I explained the illogic of your postion here…”multiverses are just a theory, not an observation as is OUR universe, the only one we have to observe. Furthermore, even if we are one of billions of multiverses, it is pure ASSUMPTION that those universes have created random forces and they just fail, for all we know they all function just as ours does. The KNOWN observations do not fit random happenstance. The argument against the OBSERVATION is based on theory, and purely speculative assumptions about that theory, IE, Theoretically multi verses could be real, theoretically this reality could be random (premise) and they could all fail, therefore our OBSERVATIONS of what appears to be incredibly unlikely intelligent manifestation in this universe, is random chance.(premise matches conclusion) It is a logic fail, .petitio principia. And finally multiverses, brane theory, cyclic big bang, all do nothing to address the already presented cause dilemma, they just regresses it further, what caused that universe, what caused the one before ours, etc.
Actually the pea is a priori slipped under the shell in all arguments, including yours, as you have admitted to certain answers being unknowable. My effort was to articulate the logic of why, via “science” the answer is unknowable, although logically inferred that a cuseless cause is necessary, and logically that causeless cause must have attributes beyond science, which and by definition only see a “quantifiable” part of the whole. I will take a mathmatical appoach in my second appoach in articulating the dilemma of duality, or why science can not explain it self , Science is fit indeed to discover the laws of an already existing and functioning cosmos, but powerless to explain, via it own methods how it, “everything inclusive’ came to be, and logically it must still admit that the mystery exists, and is forever beyond science, or “under the shell” as you say.
Mathmatically there are three fields. Field one is “nothing” a big zero, it has no energy, no attributes, nothing, nada zip. It cannot be the cause of everything inclusive”, everything cannot have come from nothing.
Field two is one through any number. Field two is the domain of science, and can be both an effect and a cause. Two plus two equals four. Four is the effect, two and two are the cause.
Everything in this field (1 through any number) demands both cause and effect. Everything in this field is relative. It must be able to be measured and quantified. It is subject to time, which runs in one direction, and space.
Classical mechanical theory and quantum physics still require relativity, and to be quantified. A photon is something, and quantifiable. The Higgs field, if found will be quantifiable. The Singularity must be described in other then absolute terms, or suffers being placed under the same shell you place I.D. Every effect is proceeded by a prior cause. There can be no effect without a prior cause. All causes are themselves an effect. Cause and effect is a chain and it, with the arrow of time, moves in one direction. In this sense science is the study of how all things in the cosmos interact, and the laws that govern those interactions. Science is constrained to time and space and relativity. Science cannot contain absolutes. I maintain that science is, in its essence, “cause and effect” as quantified by relative numbers.
Field two is incapable of giving one hypothetical “first cause” no matter how right or wrong, which is not relative and in turn demands another prior cause. And this is the dilemma of field two. It cannot explain itself. It is perfectly suited to examine and explain how it operates. However it cannot logically explain how it came to be, yet it cannot always have been. To state that everything came from nothing (Field one) is not science. To state that “everything” always was, is an assertion of ignorance, not a scientific explanation. Steady state theory, brane theory, cyclic big bang theory, all in essence, state that everything in field two is a complete mystery, and always will be, because everything inclusive, (quantifiable by one through any number) themselves have no cause, having always been.
Any attempt, via field two tools to explain “one“, the “first caused” will invariable lead scientist to infinite energy beyond time and space explanations. When a scientist says something is beyond time and space he is not saying what it is, he is saying what it is not. He is making a confession of the limitation of his tools. A confession of inability, is not an answer. Logically and mathematically Field two cannot explain or deny field three, or itself, it can only explain things within itself, and due to the arrow of time, every number but one. Any adjective used which can be quantified by a number, can in turn be an effect, or resulting sum from a proceeding cause. Marconi stated, “The inability of science to solve life’s mystery is absolute.” Field two cannot explain absolutes.
Science can eventually explain everything in field two, “One through any number” except for “one”, the first caused. “One” is unique in this field, in that it can never be explained without relating to field three. One is the “first caused” anything that is measurable and quantifiable. Field two is the perfect agnostic and logically states, I cannot know. All scientist who hold science as the sole means of knowing anything should logically be agnostic.
Field three is infinity. It is not a number. It cannot be measured. Nothing on its own or combined inclusive ever done in field two can equal field three. One trillion times one trillion, is no closer to measuring field three then one plus one. It is not subject to time or relativity. It is a concept that cannot be denied, yet cannot defined by field two. The human brain, being a field two construct, cannot explain yet cannot deny the existence of field three. Any attempt to imagine the end of space or the beginning of time for instance, is forever met by the inevitable question, “What is beyond that? What came before that? When talking of the expansion of space the human brain says expansion into what?
Field three is undeniable, yet forever immeasurable, and forever beyond the scope of field two, “one through any number“. Science can only deal with things which can be measured. Field three is transcendent, and beyond field two.
Any attempt, via field two tools to explain “one“, the “first caused” will invariable lead scientist to infinite energy beyond time and space explanations.
Given that field two cannot explain itself, the only logical answer to what caused the “first caused” is in field three. Field three is the “first cause:, beyond the laws of “cause and effect” saying to field two, I exist, you cannot deny me, and you cannot measure me, I can cause you, you can never cause me. I can live without you, you cannot live without me, I am transcendent. You can only know me by transcending field two.
The paradox of “cause and effect” demands an eternal and infinite beyond time and space causeless cause. The existence of anything relative, and therefore subject to the law of cause and effect, one photon for example, requires, at the end of the chain of cause and effect, something absolute, something beyond things relative to have always been, something transcendent, or capable of existence beyond the tools of science. The observable universe indicates that intelligence is a part of that infinite energy first cause.
.

Bruce Cobb
January 7, 2013 7:06 am

God is energy. Einstein seems to have ascribed to the “ether” hypothesis. In any case, there is an order to life, and to the universe, and it follows the laws of physics. The problem is, our understanding of physics is incomplete. The God of Christianity is mostly silliness, based on superstitious fantasies and myths. But, it works for a lot of people.

RACookPE1978
Editor
January 7, 2013 7:09 am

Hmmmn.
So what exactly defines a “miracle” … That is, at what level of improbability must even the most skeptical of a “scientist” accept that a “miracle” has indeed happened, and therefore, there must be a God/”god”/gods/intelligent designer/unintelligent designer/Gaea/Nature/Evolution/Big Banger arranging all of this stuff we know exists and are surrounded by? As one example:
1. Assume the Milky Way is not rotating.
2. The earth weighs 5.98 x 10^24 kg – essentially all of it heavy metals and atoms greater than the “Big Bang’s H2,He, and Li – but is inside a solar system weighing 1.99 x 10 ^30 kg, so any single atom blowing in from the galaxy only has a 3 in 10^ -6 chance of “landing” somewhere in the original solar system dust cloud and become “earthbound” … Doesn’t matter where the rest of the dust in the universe/galaxy/solar system goes, it didn’t land on earth.
3. The earth has some 1.33 x 10^50 atoms in it, almost none of it hydrogen or helium, so all of its atoms must have come from another star’s supernova dust cloud. (Most isotopes lighter than iron could have come from only one supernova sequence, but most isotopes above Fe-Ni (56 AW) need two or three supernova cycles. Let’s ignore those grandchildren and great-grandchildren isotopes for now.)
4. The Crab Nebula became visible in 1054 AD (1000 years ago, near enough) but is 6500 light years away. None of its atoms have gotten here yet.
It is now 11 light years across, so the dust cloud is 5.5 light-years/1000 years or 1500 km/sec. (Assume 5 light-years/1000 year for the dust velocity.)
Astronomers think some 20% of the original star is left, so assume 80% of each supernova got randomly blown into space from each explosion.
Question: If all of the 10^50 heavy atoms on earth were built up in first-generation supernova’s like the Crab Nebula, and then were randomly blown by that exploding supernova across the galaxy into our solar system, how many Crab Nebula’s were required to simultaneously blow up if all of them were in a sphere only only 5 light years away from the solar system? [Obviously, if they were any further away, or if the random supernovas blew up too early to become part of the solar system’s dust cloud, or were traveling too fast to be captured by what would become part of the solar system’s dust cloud, or were thrown out too slow to get here in time, or were formed but were inside another star gravity field and never thrown back into space, even more dust would be lost in space, but let’s keep the problem easy. 8<)
Add in the real world of rotating galaxies and moving "targets" of future dust clouds … If some of the supernova's blew up too early, their gas would "float across" the prototype solar system dust cloud too early to be collected into the "earth". Those coming in too late would "miss" the earth's orbit as well, since the continents have been solid since 4.3 billion years ago. Again, let's keep it easy and assume all of the dust arrived just in time to be "stopped" and collected into a dust cloud that conveniently began rotating at just the right speed to condense into planets at just the right distance from the just right star size at just the right gravity at just the right solar intensity …..
We are told that the universe is expanding, so all that dust formed elsewhere needed to arrive at the solar system before the source supernova’s got too far away. Again, let’s keep it simple, and just assume that all of the supernova’s blew up at a single convenient distance with the same exit velocity from each supernova so all of the scattering dust got here at the same time to be collected into the future solar system so it could begin condensing into our planet.
Question: If the solar system and earth are 4.5 billion years old – and I've got a fossil dated 3.5 billion years ago on my shelf so I know life began at least that early! – how many supernova's had to be created, go through their lifetime, and then blow up per second ( between say 12 billions ago and 6 billion years ago) to make those 10^50 atoms so they could come into the solar system and be grouped by gravity into our planet's orbit in time for the continents to form 4.5 billion years ago?
PS. I'm a nuclear engineer, so the whole building-up-atoms-by-fusion makes sense to me. The carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, etc burning of each shell in each star makes sense to me. I've designed and handled nuclear weapons, and have counted individual atoms as they decay. The theory is correct – one atom at a time that is. But creating 10^150 atoms (?) by fusion in a random number of supernova's, then randomly blowing them into space until 10^50 of them "just happen" to all collect into the right part of the earth's orbit at exactly the right time and the right velocity so they accumulate together?
At some point in time, no "scientist" can claim "random chance" any more. 8<)
Oh, by the way, the "Book" that we now have – the one written by those ignorant wandering shepherds that couldn't even get through the desert in less than 40 years? It DOES record all that we now know about the Big Bang, formation of the elements as light cooled into matter and was gathered into the solar system and planets, formation of one single continent surrounded by a single sea and its subsequent breakup, evolution of the plants, the greening of the atmosphere and revelation of the stars and moon, evolution beginning in the sea, then moving to land with the dinosaurs, then mammals, then snakes, then man/Man … All in exactly the right sequence of events. Before "scientists" had ever discovered what those shepherds already knew about fusion, quarks, nucleons, or plate tectonics.
Now, I do grant you that the dates are a little off. But heck, what's a shepherd going to use when the zero had not yet been invented, much less decimal places or powers of ten?

Alan Millar
January 7, 2013 7:20 am

richardscourtney says:
January 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm
“It is important that evangelism of atheism or any other religion NOT be permitted to destroy this thread in like manner.”
I can’t let this calumny against non -believers on this site just pass.
Non -belief in something does not equate to having faith in a belief system, no matter how many people of ‘faith’ come on and say it, in an attempt to portray it is just the other side of the coin they are looking at and is therefore a ‘religion in itself.
Given all the possible things that could be stated as a fact in the world I disbelieve far more than I believe in.
I don’t believe in gods, fairies, santa claus, vampires, ghosts and werewolves. I also don’t believe aliens are currently visiting Earth etc etc etc. There are plenty of people out there who do believe in some of these things.
Leaving aside gods what theism are non -believers in these things suffering from? Please name the theism for each of these things.
There are some things I do believe in. Gravity is one. I am certain that when I take my next step I wont suddenly fly off into space. I cannot prove this by establishing the exact nature of gravity at all quantum levels, it is not known to me (or anyone) yet. However, there is enough empirical evidence out there for me to accept its existence and effects.
If, however, you truly believe and have faith in an omnipotent and active god, that is the ONLY thing you can believe in. You must believe that when you take that next step you can indeed go flying into space at gods will.
Unless of course you believe the gods have created a universe with immutable laws and processes that they themselves cannot interfere with and events must proceed in accordance with these laws and that random chance and events will decide the future. Of course if you believe that then you believe what I believe in, that we do indeed live in a godless universe notwithstanding its creation. We are godless because the gods created it as so and we can proceed on evidence and science to try and work out the universal laws and completely discount the supernatural because it does not exist in this universe.
Alternatively you can just believe in an omnipotent god and forget the rest.
Alan

Jimbo
January 7, 2013 7:20 am

Pat Ravasio says:
January 6, 2013 at 10:45 am
After all your rambling, you still do not answer……………………….
REPLY: Instead of making assumptions from your personal biases, you might want to read my about page Pat, and note what alternative energy and conservation measures I actually do.

Don’t waste your time Anthony. I mentioned this very same page to her last time but she obviously couldn’t be bothered. I suspect she’s another eco-hypocrite.
I think she’s fishing for visitors to [her] awful website as she keeps linking to it and repeats her same old rubbish. I suggest you BAN her for trying to constantly throw threads off topic.

John Blake
January 7, 2013 7:31 am

Indeed, global atmospheric-oceanic circulation patterns constitute a “complex dynamic system,” that is, one with three or more mutually interacting variables. By mathematical and physical necessity (Newton’s “three-body problem”) such systems are chaotic/fractal, non-random but indeterminate, self-similar on every scale– subject to Edward Lorenz’s celebrated “butterfly effect,” a “sensitive dependence on initial conditions” that renders all non-linear projections futile.
That said, geophysics unequivocally demonstrate that in long-term global contexts of (say) minimum 10-million years, solar-driven atmospheric-oceanic conditions reflect the underlying reality not of “climate” but of plate tectonics. In brief, Earth’s current 2.6-million year Pleistocene Era is defined by cyclically recurring Ice Ages averaging c. 102,000 years, interspersed with 12,250-year remissions such as our fading Holocene Interglacial Epoch.
Since post-Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) Boundary eras typically last 12 to 16-million years, it seems that periodic Pleistocene glaciations will persist another 10 to 14-million years, until North and South American continental landmasses drift apart sufficiently to re-open Eastern vs. Western Hemispheric circulation patterns. Astronomical cycles, solar irradiation, accumulating atmospheric trace-gases such as CO2, have precisely zero bearing on Earth’s continental dispositions.
Citing logical fallacies in regard to manifestly non-rational CAGW scenarios, which are in fact propaganda exercises designed explicitly as rent-seeking elitists’ global power-grabs, is a mug’s game. As Planet Earth enters upon a 70-year “dead sun” Maunder Minimum similar to that of 1645 – 1715, likely the precursor to a cyclical resurgence of Ice Time, warmists’ murderous sabotage of global energy economies accords with totalitarian fantasists such as Keith Farnish, Kentti Linkola, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. Anyone unacquainted with these death-eating Luddite sociopaths has much to learn.

markx
January 7, 2013 7:48 am

Centers for Disease Control says:
January 6, 2013 at 7:08 pm
Before Marx and Engels, Atheism was called Narcissism. Worship of self. Cain suffered from it, as did Lucifer.
You and I are definitely on a different page regarding definitions CDC. Your statement has no logical basis to it at all; Not ‘believing ” in an imaginary deity as a logical explanation of the existence of all things, makes one a narcissist?
I’m not sure it is a fair debate if you just get to make things up.
The question also arises: Did Cain really exist, or was this some sort of cautionary tale (a fairy story if you will?) passed down over many generations? Or perhaps confused retelling of a more recent event of a dysfunctional family?
We perhaps need not debate who, what, where or the possibility of the existence of the other chap you mention, he is sort of in the same bracket as most of the gods we get told about.
It is the oldest and most basic religion.
No doubt early primates at some stage developed a sense of “self”. Which is by no means, or by any interpretation, narcissism. And given that religion is a structured and ordered system of beliefs, an awareness of self is not in any way, or by any interpretation, a religion.
If you say there is no God, by the rules of logic, you have just declared yourself to be God, able to make such a statement. Sorry, that’s a more implausible tale than the one that declares a Just and Loving God would make His will clearly known to the people He created by way of the written and spoken word.
And I am sorry to say, to me that is just meaningless waffle, which would be much more impressive delivered in sonorous tones, amidst pomp and ceremony in an awe inspiring setting (say, a cathedral, replete with jewel like stained glass filtering the light, and soaring columns reaching to the ceilings far above ….. ).
It reminds me of something:
Sometimes out of morbid fascination, I watch TV evangelists in full flow, as, barely pausing for breath, they expound deep and meaningful “truths”, such as the above. I sometimes, for my amusement, roll the sentences around in my mind and try to elicit what was really said, or if there is any meaning in there. There is not, of course. Their secret, I think, is to be able to keep the flow going, throwing in enough rote learned phrases and elaborating on interpretations of meaning and really just making up the derived “truths” or “lessons” as they go. And it is an impressive and effective talent indeed.

markx
January 7, 2013 8:08 am

RACookPE1978 says: January 7, 2013 at 7:09 am
“…At some point in time, no “scientist” can claim “random chance” any more. 8<)…."
I’m guessing here, that you are implying “somebody” did it.
If so, he was dang busy at the time – there are estimated to be about 30 billion planetary systems in our galaxy alone.
If things don’t add up to your satisfaction on your time scale, you should perhaps bear in mind the possibility your shepherds may not the only ones to get timings (or even the basic theories) wrong. They didn’t have zero, and who knows what we don’t know?

What A Beatiful Thought – Scientists estimate 30 billion Earths
http://forum.grasscity.com/general/6698-what-beatiful-thought-scientists-estimate-30-billion-earths.html by Dr David Whitehouse BBC News Online science editor
Astronomers say there could be billions of Earths in our galaxy, the Milky Way.
Their assessment comes after the discovery of the 100th exoplanet – a planet that circles a star other than our own.
The latest find is a gas giant, just like all the other exoplanets so far detected, and orbits a Sun-like star 293 light-years away.
Scientists say they are now in a position to try to estimate how many planets may exist in the galaxy and speculate on just how many could be like the Earth. The answer in both cases is billions.
Virtually all the stars out to about 100 light-years distant have been surveyed. Of these 1,000 or so stars, about 10% have been found to possess planetary systems.
So, with about 300 billion stars in our galaxy, there could be about 30 billion planetary systems in the Milky Way alone; and a great many of these systems are very likely to include Earth-like worlds, say researchers.

beng
January 7, 2013 8:15 am

Thanks, rgbatduke, Monckton & others, for the interesting discussion.

john robertson
January 7, 2013 8:23 am

Ignorance is infinite.
@Richard Courtney, consider your argument made.
Invokation of any God, is pure trolling.
@Alan Millar, we are all un-believers in one faith or another.
We argue the logical fallacies of the Carbon Dioxide Cult, what I perceive as, abuse of the scientific method.We are interested in negating their attempts to cloak a cause in science as a cover for power over people.
Just because the Carbon Cultists have earned, disrespectful labelling such as I do here, does not mean we will profit from arguing religion.
Back to what we know and can know.
What I am seeking is a picture of the IPCC, cause and case.
The mistakes in their case, which appear to be legion.(Far to much certainty from little facts)
The best picture of what we can know about weather, climate and imagined changes, (not much?)
The shape of what we do know ( which appears to be pretty fuzzy about the edges)
From there I will draw my own conclusions, about what politics are necessary .
What we have demonstrated on this post is, free thinking abounds at WUWT and we are troll bait when religion is argued here.

Bruckner8
January 7, 2013 8:24 am

John Whitman says:
January 6, 2013 at 7:46 pm
Bruckner8,
Again, show me your ‘a priori’ justification that I and people like me require belief (aka faith). You are implying that it is a metaphysical requirement of human beings to ‘believe’ or ‘have faith’, qua human beings. Where did you acquire that ‘a priori’ knowledge? Show me the source. Is your source faith or belief? It appears so.
Your self-proclaimed omniscience in that regard is strong evidence that you are profoundly belief or faith based, but that implies nothing about people who are not like you.
Goodnight, cocktail hour is starting soon. Catch tomorrow morning.
John

Sorry John, I never said *humans* require belief; I said atheism and theism require belief. Us humans on the agnostic side have neither belief, because, darnit, we just don’t know, lol. You’re convinced there’s no theism, yet you have no proof. If you have no proof, you’re left with belief.
You KNOW there’s no theism…and yet you accuse me of using a priori knowledge. Good one!

markx
January 7, 2013 8:30 am

Poor Monckton of Brenchley.
Surely he just wished to make the point that the fervid belief in the CAGW story mimics religious beliefs throughout the ages, with cynical, self-serving high priests bent on riches, power and fame asking for “faith” and “belief”, …. and the unthinking, baying crowds supporting them furiously because they have been “told” and “know the truth”……
And just look where we have taken it ….

Michael Moon
January 7, 2013 8:40 am

“In the beginning, the Earth was without form, and void, and darkness filled the face of the land.” Sounds a little like the heat death of the Universe, no?

Jimbo
January 7, 2013 8:44 am

Phil’s Dad says:
January 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm
For the benefit of Pat Ravasio who asked “the most basic of questions:” on January 6, 2013 at 10:45 am ……………

My hat off to you, I salute you and bow humbly.

richardscourtney
January 7, 2013 8:51 am

Alan Millar:
At January 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm I wrote

It is important that evangelism of atheism or any other religion NOT be permitted to destroy this thread in like manner.

Your post at January 7, 2013 at 7:20 am uses that statement as an excuse to promote atheism. Clearly, some atheists will you any possible excuse to evangelise their religion.
I was arguing that action should be taken to avoid the misuse of WUWT to promote any religion.
Your post has proved my point.
Richard

gymnosperm
January 7, 2013 9:01 am

Wow, I would get back to “Preach not lest…”
But I think there is a religious component to carbon hysteria that harks from a deep human need for shared belief and tradition–a need that is not fulfilled in modern secular society. Carbon theology can be compared to Prohibition, where “Christian” Temperance swept the industrial world and was codified in a U.S. constitutional amandment, later repealed.
We may not have the capacity to completely divorce belief and causes for action. Is science a religion? Perhaps, but it is clear from history that we are better served by reason and careful observation than blind faith.

Chuck Nolan
January 7, 2013 9:09 am

It seems to me modeling climate change is like kicking a football into the Grand Canyon and trying to model the flight, bounce and the ultimate end of that football’s trip.
There are so many variables starting with the pressure changes of the ball as it falls and at what angle did the ball leave the kicker’s foot. Which rock will it hit next and at what angle?
Climate change has many causes and variables. Some are seen real time and others are delayed.
Can long term climate change be modeled?
Maybe not.
cn

Alan Millar
January 7, 2013 9:10 am

richardscourtney says:
January 7, 2013 at 8:51 am
“Your post at January 7, 2013 at 7:20 am uses that statement as an excuse to promote atheism. Clearly, some atheists will you any possible excuse to evangelise their religion”.
You have just repeated your previous tripe.
I cannot be promoting atheism as I don’t recognise any non belief in a stated fact as a ‘ism’ of any kind.
You have failed to tell me what ‘isms’ are my non -beliefs in fairies and ghosts etc are. Having difficulties?
You have not answered my point, that your only true belief is in an omnipotent god and therefore you cannot truly believe in anything else.
You must believe that your next step could send you flying into space if your god wills it, notwithstanding gravity.
Or that the universe has been created to be immune from the whims and influences of gods and that therefore we both agree we live in a godless universe not withstanding its creation.
Which is it?
Alan

Gail Combs
January 7, 2013 9:13 am

My oft repeated suggestion to my religious friends is this:
If you are arguing about politics, the Federal Reserve Act, the economy, global warming or any other subject, leave religion completely out of it. Once you bring religion onto the table you just lost the argument especially when arguing with progressives.

rgbatduke
January 7, 2013 9:14 am

As you probably know: it is suggested by Silas Beane and others, that over the next 2-3 centuries we may be able to produce a simulation of an entire universe populated with sentient beings like us (or indeed, even better, perhaps more peaceful models).
It is great fun, isn’t it?
But, next 2-3 centuries? On the one hand, there is World of Warcraft now, which is essentially a peaceful model although hard on the NPCs. There is a scary/spooky argument against the theodicy problem — whenever you see bad things happen to people, either they are NPCs (no real souls nobody actually harmed) or they are real players who are being painlessly removed from the game to go play another, starting over on another server as it were (or forced to wait out the end of the game).
In game context, the Universe can appear to be any age you want. Indeed, in game context there could be no other real players, all the other players could be NPCs.
I do take issue with “simulate an entire universe” — information theoretically and computationally so very, very impossible (at least for anything but a very, very small universe), but the beauty of the WoW model is that one doesn’t have to simulate a whole universe in detail, only a coarse grained view that can be zoomed and corrected according to the limited I/O bandwidth of the player. In other words, if one could completely replace my sensory input stream with a computer generated one, within the next decade or two we’ll probably be able to produce a real time simulation of the projection of an alternate reality into a single person’s consciousness. Shades of The Matrix (or Plato’s Cave).
There is actually an interesting argument that suggests that this “must” be the case. It is a bullshit argument, of course, but I offer it up in the spirit of amusing bullshit. Assume that any intelligent species that evolves and that fails to kill itself off will eventually obtain energy/resource stasis and very long lifetimes. Assume further that intelligence, curiosity, and evolutionary competitiveness redirected means that they, too, like to game. To avert boredom then, they would inevitably develop better and better games, until the games were indistinguishable from reality (complete sensory replacement) and quite possibly would learn to suppress, replace and release memories of reality for a “saved game” memory for a complete immersion experience.
Game context might well share many features of our apparent reality. An apparently vast and complex Universe but you can’t get out into it because it would take too much CPU and memory and you can only afford the cheap single-planet simulation. Lots of pathos and tragedy and adventure, with NPCs to play Wal Mart greeters. A certain amount of pain and suffering for the main players, but only because if there isn’t any the game gets boring and it is too easy to tell that it is a game, at least for players who have spent a billion years or more gaming.
If this is in our future, of course, the present could just be a nostalgia game! With certain assumptions, one can even make it likely that this is the case — what are the chances of coming in on the original experience instead of the billions and billions more resimulations of the original experience.
A sufficiently accurate simulation, of course, could never, even in principle, be detected! After all, the game console controls your game experience and can even replace your in-game memory on the fly and you’d never notice it because the only way to notice it would be to compare now to your previous memory. In between this keystroke – and this one – I could have popped out of game context, gone to work, taken a vacation with the many tentacled kids, and then restarted the game to seamlessly reenter game context.
This is actually a sufficient disproof of the quantum hidden variable theories, or at least it requires them to be prefaced by “assuming that the Universe and quantum theory in general are what they appear to be” (which sort of begs the question even if you then accept the proof). Any outcome that can be measured in a lab and used to prove is computable, and any computable outcome can be produced by hidden variables. One literally cannot test the proposition if the proposition is true, as any tests that succeed prove it false. To put it another way, a Stern-Gerlach quantum spin separation experiment produces a computable result — the splitting of the downstream beam. Electron interference experiments produce a computable result — a phase-based stochastic interference pattern. Our sensory experience of the computable results could be obtained if there were no actual electrons involved at all, and how could we tell?
All just for fun, of course. One of the infinity of possibilities explored by The Matrix or much earlier by James Gunn’s The Joy Makers (one of the all time great SF story triplets, btw). But clearly not the best thing to believe because whether or not we are in game context, there is no point in believing that we are without evidence.
Note well that this is almost exactly what religions propose. This world isn’t real, it is a “creation” of an intelligent external entity with a different time stream that has perfect control over the game experience. To this entity, we might be nothing but NPCs ourselves — AIs loose in the game context while a much bigger game is being played out on a much bigger arena all for the amusement (sorry, but there it is) of that external entity. We have the World of Warcraft model of infinite serial reincarnation in a single game context as NPCs “die” and are respawned — Buddhism if you like — where all the NPCs are of course ultimately identical to the toplevel controlling program that multitasks them. We have the “forgiving” Christian model where a secondary game server stands by and NPCs are placed there in non-conflicted roles as they are eliminated in the primary context, saved for a new game later or whatever. We have the “punitive” Christian model or Muslim model where there are two secondary servers, a nice one and a “hell” level where one has to battle demonic cows for eternity.
The details of the top level reality, of course, are fuzzy to say the least. How could they not be? They are completely hidden behind the sensorily perfect simulation! Or, the game context could indeed contain “cheat codes” that can be discovered by the players or NPCs — the games we write certainly do — that confer amazing in-game powers to violate game context provided that one does the equivalent of typing in a special string — but usually at some cost. The existence of such codes would be evidence at least of inconsistency in the sensory models and a probable uphill level in reality, but — note well — not even the master server of a set of game contexts could ever be certain that it itself wasn’t just one layer in a higher level simulation.
Godel’s theorem is a powerful, powerful result that prevents that — it could prove its internal consistency only if it were inconsistent, and if it couldn’t prove it, that only allows for the possibility that it is consistent, not the certainty.
My big problem with religions is precisely this. We have the bulk of the human species running around all over the planet behaving as if they are players or non-player characters in a vast, complicated MMORPG. I’m sorry, not one MMORPG, any one of a few dozen, or hundred, or thousand distinct MMORPGs with different presumed rules and game objects. Some devoutly believe in the secondary games where they will be NPCs no more, with or without the hellfire level for the people that they played against or that cheated against their supposed rules. Some equally devoutly believe that the whole point of the game is for your NPC role to end, to wake up and realize that you are in fact the primary real player or the game context itself, or to just simply go away and cease looping into the ongoing game.
I just think it is time for humanity to put away these childish suppositions. If it is a game, it is a damn good one, and fighting over the competing MMORPG hypotheses is pointless and causes all sort of apparent suffering amongst the players. There isn’t the slightest valid reason to believe any of the proposed MMORPG scenarios available in the game context, at least for those of us who test the rules and the proposed cheat codes and find the game rules amazingly consistent (or at least, consistently simulated). NPC or not, the default hypothesis has to be that this reality is real, not a simulation running in some other even more complex reality through which you can be promoted. Indeed, it could be that the point of the game is to eventually figure that out and start living as if the world we see is the only world we get, for a single pass through our player identity real or NPC as it may be.
rgb

richardscourtney
January 7, 2013 9:38 am

Gail Combs:
At January 7, 2013 at 9:13 am

My oft repeated suggestion to my religious friends is this:
If you are arguing about politics, the Federal Reserve Act, the economy, global warming or any other subject, leave religion completely out of it. Once you bring religion onto the table you just lost the argument especially when arguing with progressives.

I hope I may be counted among your “religious friends”. and I have repeatedly tried to gain acceptance of your point in this and in the previous thread on an article by Lord Monckton.
However, on this and the previous thread there have been atheists who have used promotion of their religion as an excuse to destroy both threads.
Their success on the previous thread has encouraged them in their activity on this thread. And their success on this thread will give them confidence to do it again in future.
I repeat, there is an inhibition on promotion of creationism on WUWT and – for the same reason – there is clear need for similar inhibition on promotion of atheism on WUWT. Otherwise there is severe risk that WUWT could be damaged beyond repair.
Richard

rgbatduke
January 7, 2013 9:49 am

“In the beginning, the Earth was without form, and void, and darkness filled the face of the land.” Sounds a little like the heat death of the Universe, no?
You’re at the wrong end of things and no, it doesn’t really sound like the big bang. Genesis is wrong in every detail, unless, of course, you are willing to twist the words around until they mean whatever they have to mean to correspond to what we have learned by actually looking.
To put it another way, if you were raised in a box and used Genesis as your basis for understanding, you would ab-so-lute-ly never ever ever come to understand what really happened. The wrong events, the wrong order, not a single thing like what really happened. Instead of reading a book that is a hodge-podge of oft-rewritten Sumerian myths crudely stitched together by multiple authors in a resource constrained violent culture, from a time some 2600 years ago when humanity was savage and ignorant and had only relatively recently learned to use bronze and iron, in an effort to find a secret decoder that reveals that they really understood things like the big band, nucleosynthesis, the great dark, formation of the original stars and galaxies, the evolution of type I, II, and III stars, the supernovae of type I and II stars that produced the metals, the stardust, that eventually evolved, on a small lump coalesced around an unremarkable second or third generation star, us, in a truly enormous visible Universe where (as it looks like it is going to turn out) nearly all such stars have planets and in all probability a staggering number of them have similarly evolved lifeforms, why not take an actual course in Astronomy and learn what really happened in unambiguous terms, no secret decoder ring needed.
You can at the same time learn a little bit about how and why we believe it happened, starting with the discoveries and inventions of physics and general science, the use of parallax to determine the distances to the nearest stars, the use of the principles of thermodynamics and quantum electromagnetic radiation to determine the size and temperature and spectral composition of those stars, the discovery of regularities relating the spectrum and intensity of the stars to their size and distance, so that we could extend the ruler of parallax and begin to learn how truly vast the Universe really is.
None of this is in the Bible. Not even in metaphor. It is silly to pretend that it is. It is one of the many ways we know the Bible could not have been written by God. It has, in actual fact, not stood the test of time, it has been soundly refuted and revealed to be a simple mythology, not a true account, not the sort of thing one would expect to read if the authors (ignorant or not) were truly divinely inspired. It is rife with inconsistencies, filled with horrific acts of amoral violence (perfectly consistent with the savage culture of the day, of course) conducted by supposedly “good” men, laced with rules that ritually require acts of violence to be committed against anyone who dared to think or act freely. It portrays a humanity created perfect but flawed and cast down instead of a humanity that evolved and has never been perfect, inverting the blame for “sin” in order to exculpate God and explain theodicy.
The Bible is not evil. It is not good. It is a part of our history, our past, our moral evolution. But it is high time to stop pretending that it is true, or that it does a particularly good job of laying out valid moral precepts for living. The New Testament does a much better job than the Old in that regard, but is still obviously flawed, and other religions do it at least as well if not better (and that doesn’t make them correct as in true either!)
But believe me, I am perfectly happy to deconstruct Genesis, a line at a time if you like. There is not one, single word in Genesis that is likely to be true without twisting its words far, far away from their actual meaning, and I refuse to accept that a loving God would right an important document like this deliberately wrong so that one has to twist its words to get it to work out right. That makes no sense at all.
rgb

January 7, 2013 10:02 am

Congratulations to everyone for an exceptional discussion. As usual, some replies to commenters.
J. Ferguson wonders why he had not previously seen the statement “Once everyone studied the Classics, to know that in logic there is a difference between true and false; the Sciences, to discern where it lies; and Religion, to appreciate why it matters. Today, few study all three empires of the mind. Fewer study the ordered beauty of the logic at their heart.” Well, I had not written it before. I’m glad he likes it.
“Old fossil” regrets that I had not included the “straw man” fallacy in the list of logical solecisms perpetrated by the usual suspects. In fact I had: the argumentum ad ignorationem elenchi, the fundamental fallacy of introducing irrelevancies and hence demonstrating one’s ignorance of the method of conducting a rational argument, encompasses a number of sub-fallacies, each related to a distinct category of irrelevance. The straw man fallacy is one of these: others are the argumentum ad hominem and the red-herring fallacy.
Mr. Cripwell worries about my having said there might be 1 K warming in response to a CO2 doubling. Well, I went to see the Professor who had done the original, meticulous, spectral-line-by-spectral-line calculations (some 10,000 of them) to determine the expected response. His conclusion was that the CO2 forcing is unquestionably logarithmic, so that each additional molecule we emit has less forcing and warming effect than its predecessors; that the precise value of the coefficient in the CO2 forcing function, which the IPCC has already reduced by 15%, cannot be determined; and that, all things considered, 1 K per doubling was probably in the right ball-park. Of course, non-radiative transports greatly complicate the picture, and Mr. Cripwell may be right in suggesting that the final response will be less than 1 K. But we are on stronger ground if we argue against the models’ near-tripling of this direct warming by imagined (and probably imaginary) net-positive temperature feedbacks. Remove that multiplication by 3 and the climate crisis vanishes.
Richard Courtney rightly reminds us that the models’ assumption that the aerosol forcing is strongly negative introduces a fudge-factor that has the effect of artificially increasing climate sensitivity.
Mr. Hoffer growls at my “justifying science on the basis of religion”. Merely to mention religion in passing, in what was originally a speech for an audience that would be able to appreciate the context, is not the same thing as “justifying science on the basis of religion”.
Mr. Armstrong and many others make similar points. He says Trinitarianism is illogical. This is to misunderstand the sphere of logic, which is concerned first of all with the internal consistency and hence validity of an argument. In any valid argument where the premises are true, the conclusion will also be true. Trinitarianism is a belief – and one that cannot be Popper-falsified. On the other hand, the New Religion of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alarm (CACA) is in truth a superstition – a system of belief that is falsifiable and has been demonstrated to be false. The phrase “New Religion” comes from the Catholic writings about the English Reformation.
Mr. Anton says animals can reason too, and seems to imagine that Christianity allows us to treat animals with contempt and cruelty. He may like to read up on St. Francis of Assisi. I am no expert on the