The Scientific Method and Climate Science

Guest essay by Dr. Vincent Gray

Science is supposed to take place by the use of the “Scientific Methoddefined in the following way.

THE FREE DICTIONARY

“The principles and empirical processes of discovery and demonstration considered characteristic of or necessary for scientific investigation, generally involving the observation of phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis concerning the phenomena, experimentation to demonstrate the truth or falseness of the hypothesis, and a conclusion that validates or modifies the hypothesis”

OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY

“a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

For most of us the scientific method is what is described in official scientific publications

Yet PB Medawar in his “Is the Scientific Paper a Fraud? http://www.albany.edu/~scifraud/data/sci_fraud_2927.html

argues that

“The scientific paper in its orthodox form does embody a totally mistaken conception, even a travesty, of the nature of scientific thought. .

The conception underlying this style of scientific writing is that scientific discovery is an inductive process. What induction implies in its cruder form is roughly speaking this: scientific discovery, or the formulation of scientific theory, starts with the unvarnished and unembroidered evidence of the senses. It starts with simple observation – simple, unbiased, unprejudiced, naive, or innocent observation – and out of this sensory evidence, embodied in the form of simple propositions or declaration of fact, generalizations will grow up and take shape, almost as if some process of crystallization or condensation were taking place

The theory underlying the inductive method cannot be sustained. Let me give three good reasons why not. In the first place, the starting point of induction, naive observation, innocent observation, is a mere philosophic fiction. There is no such thing as unprejudiced observation. Every act of observation we make is biased. What we see or otherwise sense is a function of what we have seen or sensed in the past”.

The procedure described by logicians as “inductive reasoning” may be shown diagrammatically as follows

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In this procedure “observation” comes first. The hypothesis and then the theory arise from the observations. The validity of the theory depends on the efforts placed in its modification from future observations.

David Hume and particularly Karl Popper have asserted that this procedure is invalid. Popper says ( http://dieoff.org/page126.htm)

“By an inductive inference is here meant an inference from repeatedly observed instances to some as yet unobserved instances ,I hold with Hume that there simply is no such logical entity as an inductive inference; or, that all so-called inductive inferences are logically invalid. I agree with Hume’s opinion that induction is invalid and in no sense justified”.

So inductive reasoning is wrong. What is the alternative? An alternative logical procedure is deductive reasoning

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Here the study begins with a proposed theory and the investigation consists of an attempt to find observations and make experiments which might confirm the theory

Medawar is equally scathing about this system

“deduction in itself is quite powerless as a method of scientific discovery – and for this simple reason: that the process of deduction as such only uncovers, brings out into the open, makes explicit, information that is already present in the axioms or premises from

which the process of deduction started. The process of deduction reveals nothing to us except what the infirmity of our own minds had so far concealed from us” So what should we do?

The alternative interpretation of the nature of the scientific process, of the nature of scientific method, is sometimes called the hypothetico-deductive interpretation and this is the view which Professor Karl Popper in the Logic of Scientific Discovery has persuaded us is the correct one.”

Popper says http://dieoff.org/page126.htm)”

“What we do use is a method of trial and the examination of error; however misleadingly this method may look like induction, its logical structure, if we examine it closely, totally differs from that of induction

I assert that scientific knowledge is essentially conjectural or hypothetical.

There can be no ultimate statements in science: there can be no statements in science which can not be tested, and therefore none which cannot in principle be refuted, by falsifying some of the conclusions which can be deduced from them.”

In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality”

And in

“Science as Falsification” http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/popper_falsification.html

“The criterion of falsifiability is a solution to this problem of demarcation, for it says that statements or systems of statements, in order to be ranked as scientific, must be capable of conflicting with possible, or conceivable, observations. “.

The methods approved by Popper can be shown diagrammatically.clip_image006

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These systems use a mixture of induction and deduction and they may include testing, prediction and, validation. One or other of these procedures give the best description of the scientific method as currently practised.

CLIMATE SCIENCE

Applying these methods to study the climate run into several difficulties

Scientific observations have to be repeatable and there has to be full information on the circumstances of the observation, the apparatus and the instruments used, and the name and qualifications of the observer.

These requirements cannot be met with the climate. No observation can be repeated and all the other details change over time. Although a very large number of observations have been accumulated, .the public and even scientists are prone to form premature conclusions about “trends” based on observations made in very different circumstances on different instruments by different observers.

This means that scientific conclusions based on observations alone are unreliable. They must therefore depend crucially on validation. Validation should include successful simulation of past observations, particularly the most recent and most reliable ones, but must also include successful forecasting of future observations over the entire range that the scientific theory may be used. This is the way to test for falsifiability

With weather forecasting the crucial test is the forecast itself, and the extent to which the theory is continually modified to accommodate new information.

This procedure is a routine function of all meteorological services. Its success has made it amongst the most useful of all scientific services. Its limitations are a consequence of the current inherent difficulties of climate science.

CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE

Climate Change Science claims that any change in the climate is caused by human emissions of minor trace (“greenhouse”) gases in the atmosphere, notably carbon dioxide.

The theory is in complete contrast to the assumptions behind the climate models used by weather forecasters.

It assumes

· The climate is unchanged without the effects of greenhouse gases

· The earth is flat

· The Sun shines day and night with the same intensity

· Energy exchanges are almost all by radiation

· Energy exchanges are “balanced”

· Energy exchanges are instantaneous

· No work is done on the system.

· “Natural” climate properties are not only merely “variable” but are also negligible

There is no reason in principle why such an unlikely theory could not be correct. Planck’s Quantum theory was an example of a theory which was implausible and completely at odds with existing theories of energy transfer, which Planck himself could hardly believe. It has succeeded because it has been comprehensively validated.

The question then is, can the climate change theory be validated?

Climate Change models do not make forecasts but merely projections which depend on the plausibility of the model parameters and of the futures scenario details.

These projections have never been validated by comparison with a full range of future observations They are merely evaluated in levels of likelihood and probability by scientists with a conflict of interest, subject to the approval of the Government representatives who control the IPCC

At the beginning, most of the projections were so far into the future that confirmation was currently impossible

Over the years, however, some calculations of existing climate properties have been made and there have been limited future forecasts which can be used for limited testing

Claims of the IPCC are heavily dependent on their opinion that they can successfully show changes in mean global temperature.. Temperature is an intensive property, like mass or velocity. It can only exist where it is uniform throughout any material . The globe does not have a temperature. Also there is currently no method available to measure an average temperature of its surface. Hansen at .http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/abs_temp.html claims that even the measurement of a single value is “:elusive”

The IPCC does not even claim to measure mean global temperature. They claim to measure “”temperature anomaly”, a deviation from some average. Yet the averages which are derived from weather station or ocean records are not representative or uniform. They are subject to positive bias from urban and land use changes, quite apart fro the supposed effects of emissions of greenhouse gases. The trend of less than one degree Celsius over 100 years is lea than a degree Celsius, . . .

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/20/surface-temperature-uncertainty-quantified/ concluded that it is impossible to measure temperature with an ordinary thermometer to much better accuracy than 1.0ºC. Weather Forecasters never deal in decimals of a degree.

Pat Frank at

http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/Frank_II_Uncertainties_fulltext.pdf

has made a thorough study based on the assumption of a genuine temperature record which supplies the following set of one standard deviation estimates.

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This graph shows that the supposed “trend” is indistinguishable from zero,

Much more reliable temperature anomaly records have been made by weather balloons and satellites, using Microwave Sensng Units.

clip_image013

Model calculations do not agree with measured temperatures in the upper troposphere

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CONCLUSION

The Climate Change Theory has been falsified and is therefore invalid.

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flyingtigercomics

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley

Sean P Chatterton

“Never let the facts get in the way of a good story” Mark Twain

Ken Hall

I have been saying for quite some time that the scientific method applied to the CAGW hyothesis, as described by models, shows that nature itself, falsifies the CAGW hypothesis.
To suggest otherwise flies in the face of the scientific method and thus is not scientific.

johnmarshall

Excellent.
The climate change assumptions were made to fabricate the GHE to lay claim to the need to reduce CO2 production to stop climate change.

timspence10

So observing a phenomenon is an act of bias but having a theory without any evidence is not an act of bias.
What a strange world some people inhabit.

Feynman anybody?

Ursus Augustus

What a load of convoluted tosh. If the detailed, experimental observations don’t fit the predictions from theory/hypothesis then the latter is not proven or supported. It may not be disproven due to the possibilitiy of experimental error/imperfection but it just isn’t supported. Ergo CAGW is not proven nor supported. The whole denier loony toons campaign is just a sideshow. When the main act stumbles, send in the clowns, the Turneys, Lewandowskys, Hansens, Trenberths, Manns, Jones’s etc.

Lyle

Climate Science is an oxymoron.

DC Cowboy

“Climate Change Science claims that any change in the climate is caused by human emissions of minor trace (“greenhouse”) gases in the atmosphere, notably carbon dioxide.”
I don’t think that the above is a definition of Climate Change Science, at least as I’m familiar with it. I think the proponents of AGW would tell you that instead of ‘any’ you need to specify ‘most’ or that human emmission of GHG’s are a primary driver of climate change (something I disagree with). Unfortunately using terms like ‘most’ or ‘primary driver’ make the idea virtually impossible to either falsify or prove. The best you can do, I think, is attempt to falsify the proposed ‘climate sensitivity’ that the IPCC provided at 3C. Of course, science has disproved this by an large so the IPCC moves the bar and the cycle repeats….

Michel

By combining various scientific theories about various phenomena models are used to investigate scenarii under different sets of parameters.
But models in themselves, even if using unfalsified science, are not creating new evidences, they merely help relating things together.
To be useful, for example as decision aid, models must be validated by confronting their output (predictions) with actual observations.
This works quite well with linearized systems like, e.g. airplanes, in non chaotic situations.
But for an non-linear, intrisincally chaotic systems such as the climate (or better said at the plural, the climates) it is an impossible task, regardless of the hubris of those pretending to know better.

En Passant

The core of this paper is excellent, but I note that some people are already picking at the edges while ignoring the elephant addressed by the paper.
Climate is a non-linear, chaotic system (with so many unmeasurable variables the effect of each of which can NEVER be gauged) it becomes an impossible task for the alchemists to pore over the entrails and foretell the future. Of course, being pseudo-scientists, doubt about the impossibility of the task has long since been replaced by hubris and (as each failed prediction occurs) the cry goes up for more resources as the retrospectively explain why the world does not end as predicted.
It is a game these conmen will continue to play while gullible politicians ignore that they are just pretending to know better so they can centralise more power and achieve their political agenda – Agenda-21!

The trend of less than one degree Celsius over 100 years is lea than a degree Celsius, . . .
The bolded looks like a typo.

flyingtigercomics says:
January 21, 2014 at 3:09 am
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley

But facts not observed?

The scientific method and the process of methodological falsificationism discussed in this article accurately describe what is colloquially known as the “hard sciences.” Climate science belongs to the realm of the “soft sciences” which can usually be characterized as using “post hoc” analysis. Post hoc sciences include climate science, political science, economics, sociology, much of psychology, and until very recently medicine. The predictive value of post hoc sciences has always been poor (but traditionally very profitable).
Famous proponents of the post-hoc methodology favoured by climate science include Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx.

Bill_W

Just so there is not an obvious error that someone else can use to denigrate the post, I suggest that mass is probably an extensive property.

Stocky

IPCC – turkeys and Christmas – don’t expect the truth, we all know it is political not scientific.

It seems that climate science wants to short circuit the scientific process and jump from proposition to theory with no intervening work. That is probably why the science is not there.

Gkell1

Vincent Gray wrote –
“In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality”
I used to read this stuff which normally occupies talentless people who excuse themselves for doing nothing worthwhile while appearing to say something substantive. It is like a football team going out with the aim of not allowing the other team to score and passing it off as an achievement. The guys in the mid 19th century started to panic when they tried to work with electromagnetic signatures but were blocked by Sir Isaac’s clockwork solar system and Newton’s rejection of a medium for radiation so they started to dwell on induction/deduction for lack of productive and creative things to do –
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/ilej/image1.pl?item=page&seq=3&size=1&id=bm.1861.11.x.90.553.x.593
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/ilej/image1.pl?item=page&seq=9&size=1&id=bm.1843.10.x.54.336.x.425
When you work with astronomy and terrestrial sciences there is no natural restrictions in how the information flows from interpretation to speculation or from cause to effect,the difficulty is making it resonate among others who also are in the stream of productive investigations and discovery with the same pool of information.
The ‘scientific method’ is a tyranny that doesn’t even know its own predictive/speculative roots.

John Peter

“Yet the averages which are derived from weather station or ocean records are not representative or uniform. They are subject to positive bias from urban and land use changes, quite apart fro the supposed effects of emissions of greenhouse gases. The trend of less than one degree Celsius over 100 years is lea than a degree Celsius, . . .”
I think the author forgot about “man made changes” as documented by Steve Goddard here and in earlier blogs. He is quite fantastic at it and I don’t understand why nobody has sued NASA and USHCN because the evidence of “tampering” with temperatures seems to be there.
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/if-the-present-refuse-to-get-warmer-then-the-past-must-become-cooler/
Shold “lea” be “less”?

richardscourtney

Gkell1:
I always read your twaddle for the laughs because your posts only consist of untrue nonsense.
But at January 21, 2014 at 5:04 am you make an untrue assertion which is not funny.
You assert

The ‘scientific method’ is a tyranny that doesn’t even know its own predictive/speculative roots.

NO!
The scientific method cannot “know” anything because it is a method and not a person, but it has enabled us to obtain modern agriculture, medicine, transport, communications, energy systems, and industries.
Indeed, it has led to the existence of the equipment which you use to present your rubbish.
The scientific method has demonstrated its immense worth. I leave it to you to reflect on the worth of your assertions.
Richard

DirkH

En Passant says:
January 21, 2014 at 4:10 am
“Climate is a non-linear, chaotic system (with so many unmeasurable variables the effect of each of which can NEVER be gauged) it becomes an impossible task for the alchemists to pore over the entrails and foretell the future.”
Weather is non-linear and chaotic; but it still might be an appendage to a larger , possibly more predictable, more long-term periodic system; solar weather; so, not a FREELY oscillating system, or more precisely, a chaotic subsystem with limited degrees of freedom.
Meaning that long term climate predictions (if climate is the average of 30 years of weather) might become possible; think Bond events or Milankovich cycles. Such predictions mostly hinge on detection of long term natural cycles of the sun.

Ahh, good, a citation to Karl Popper’s The Logic of Scientific Discovery(1959) Logik der Forschung (1934)! Popper wrote as well The Open Society and Its Enemies and The Poverty of Historicism that are also quite on point of WUWT.
Extending his logic of ‘Scientific Discovery’, Popper damns the dialectic for driving us to these dire straits in ‘Open Society’.

DirkH

Gkell1 says:
January 21, 2014 at 5:04 am
“The guys in the mid 19th century started to panic when they tried to work with electromagnetic signatures but were blocked by Sir Isaac’s clockwork solar system and Newton’s rejection of a medium for radiation so they started to dwell on induction/deduction for lack of productive and creative things to do -”
Well, probably Boltzmann, Weber, Gauss, Riemann etc. just didn’t get the memo, being German/Austrian. But then again, what about Kelvin, Faraday, Maxwell? They should have been “blocked” and “panicked” shouldn’t they?

I have a section on the Scientific Method in theory and (often flawed) practice, here:
http://sealevel.info/papers.html#whitherscience

Crispin in Waterloo

All scientific processes of investigation involve inspiration and I do not see it listed in the processes outlined above. You can’t initiate a postulation without first considering some observations even if those are seen with the mind’s eye. Between observations and postulation there is an inspirational leap that is akin to connecting the dots. It is not deductive and it is not näive.
Ignoring the inspirational steps in the advancement of civilisation is the trap into which the materialist philosophers fall when they try to ‘mechanise’ the human condition.
Logic is such a low form of thought it can be reproduced by mechanical and electronic devices. Inspiration will never emerge from a machine no matter how complex. Edison felt progress was 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. All that deductive looping is mechanistic perspiration. Without inspiration there is no new content. It may appear to be so but one can only deduce information that is already latent in the hypothesis. Creating the hypothesis requires inspiration which is a non-physical human capacity. From the fact of its existence many things can be deduced.

The modern scientific process lies somewhere between the inductive and deductive methods, but I think you can get pretty close to the purely inductive or deductive method and still call it a hypothetico-deductive method. How close you get to the pure methods depends on how much emphasis you have on observations (inductive) versus theory/models (deductive). Approaching the inductive end of the scale is not bad in my mind. It offers some protection from confirmation bias.
In a way the inductive method is a good starting point. I think it’s in practice impossible to follow Newton’s idea (“hypotheses non fingo”). In reality, even if you aim for pure induction, you cannot avoid intuition which implies some kind of dedection, so you end up with a hypothetico-deductive method anyway.

Big Don

The major difference between the scientific method and classical logic is that the scientific method requires an experimental confirmation (or refutation) of the hypothesis. A scientific hypothesis must be able to accurately predict the outcome of an experiment. If it succeeds, then it can become a full fledged “theory”, which has been shown to be valid within the constraints of the experiment. It can never be “proven”, but it can be shown to be accurate within the experimental constraints, just as Newtonian mechanics are valid for the masses, velocities and accelerations that we typically experience in our daily lives, but Einstein showed them to not apply to at the extremes. That said, a hypothesis can be totally disproven if it fails to accurately predict the outcome of an experiment.
As far as bias in the creation of the hypothesis, I don’t believe it matters. The credentials, identity and motivation of the hypothesizer are totally irrelevant. And peer review is irrelevant as well, outside of publish-or-perish academia.

Bob Layson

To be biased is to be. And to be human is to err. Yet bias and error do no harm if a free play of conjectures and open testing, maybe to destruction, of our conjectures is welcomed and facilitated.
A bigot is not someone forthright and wrong but someone who, even if correct, will not seek criticism and counter-argument and dismisses it when it is provided.

phillipbratby asks, “Feynman anybody?”
Indeed. Feynman’s classic 1974 Caltech commencement address, Cargo Cult Science, is the 2nd link in my list of relevant papers, essays & articles.

Big Don

I’ll add also that the hypothesizer may use deduction, induction, intuition — whatever. It doesn’t matter. Hypotheses are sometimes educated guesses.

Jim Cripwell

When I started looking into CAGW about 10 years ago, what Dr. Grey has written was blindingly obvious to me. The way I put it was that you cannot do controlled experiments on the earth’s atmosphere. This must have been obvious to people with names like Houghton and Watson, yet the FAR was still published, making it little more than a hoax. But even in 2013 we have a scientist of the calibre of Lord Reese going out in public and telling “porkies” about CAGW.
http://theconversation.com/astronomer-royal-on-science-environment-and-the-future-18162
The mind boggles.

Gkell1

richardscourtney wrote
“The scientific method has demonstrated its immense worth. I leave it to you to reflect on the worth of your assertions.”
Let me spell it out for you in terms everyone else may understand.
A person who values their ability to deduce a conclusion will have no difficulty ascertaining the signature of a rotating planet as the temperature rises and falls in response to that rotation –
http://www.timeanddate.com/weather/usa/dallas/hourly
Now you have the ‘scientific method’ bunch who insist that rotations fall out of step with those temperature fluctuations within each 24 hour period –
” It is a fact not generally known that,owing to the difference between solar and sidereal time,the Earth rotates upon its axis once more often than there are days in the year” NASA /Harvard
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1904PA…..12..649B
Now,you can wax lyrical about induction/deduction,the history of astronomy from antiquity to the early 20th century or the technical ins and outs of discovery but when the system you adhere to cannot track the rotation of the Earth through a simple temperature graph then you know there is a huge crisis going on somewhere else. Maybe it will dawn on more than a few people that there is a background to this modeling mania without any physical considerations whatsoever.

JackT

As much as climate scientists may have come to know about climate history, they still don’t know what they don’t know. Assuming anything otherwise is foolish. This planet has been here for hundreds of millions of years and climate change has been catastrophic pretty much from the beginning of time. Mother Nature has her own scientific method and she can be a mean old be-otch demonstrating it. She doesn’t need anthropogenic assistance.

Village Idiot

“The globe does not have a temperature. Also there is currently no method available to measure an average temperature of its surface.”
‘Average temperature’ – lustily embraced when the readings are correct (on pause or going down), rationalization and rubbishing when they point the wrong way

TheLastDemocrat

Ideas about the nature of the physical world can come from anywhere. To test whether they ought to be respected as “true,” you can follow whatever method or criteria you want. However, “science” provides a pretty robust method for dealing with any ideas concerning the physical world we live in.
It does not matter whether the ideas come from dreaming up some theory, or observing something than having a guess at a theory. What matters is the following steps taken to evaluate whether this idea ought to be considered science.
As noted, a hallmark of science is to make predictions that follow from a theory, then making the observations that are predicted – in order to see whether the prediction holds, as evidence that the theory holds.
These “tipping point” scenarios and doomsday forecasts will never be “science” or scientific fact, since they speculate about what is in the future, and attempt to declare that this view of the future is “fact.”
In the scientific sense, a speculation about the future cannot be a fact.
Therefore, a speculation about man-made global warming can never be “settled science.”
This highlights a game played by the global-warming thought-cult members: they confound the present and the future.
To get at this, ask them: is the cataclysm, which you believe to be “settled science,” happening now, or is it yet to happen?
If a cataclysm is in the future, it cannot be “settled science.” (As much as “science” can be settled anyway.)
This observation aspect sets the situation so that predictions and forecasts are not scientific. They can be based on good science, but they are a matter of, at best, good logic and reason.
This “forecast” issue also applies to hind-casting. It is very easy to find some hard-nose scientist declaring that evolution is a scientific fact. but it cannot ever be. Zebras and jellyfish came from somewhere, but it has already happened. Any explanations are after-the-fact.
This has been duly noted by some believers in evolution. They have thus set up the task of observing evolution happening. Some declare that they have developed news species by running through many generations of one type of bacteria in differing conditions, and having two population emerge that can no longer inter-breed.
This is as close as evolution gets, in the present day, to being “fact.”
The theory of evolution may be well-reasoned. it may be where all of the species came from. It is a fact that there are many species. But how they came to all be so different is not a matter of scientific fact. There are great, logical theories, however. That is it: conjecture.
We scientists do need to reflect on what science is so that we are all clear about this, and can thus spot limits and errors when someone tries to throw the “settled science” meme at us. Or at policy makers.

TheLastDemocrat

Average temperature: my house had an average temp this morn. It was different from yesterday morn. I have no problem with the concept of an avg temp. I don’t see this issue as a reasonable line of rhetoric for arguing away the pursuit of global warming evidence.

RockyRoad

EVERYBODY–please don’t feed the troll Gkell1
May I add he is emblematic of the quote I was considering earlier:
“Don’t bother me with reality; what I’m looking for is a good fantasy”–author unknown.

Gail Combs

Crispin in Waterloo says:
January 21, 2014 at 5:42 am
All scientific processes of investigation involve inspiration and I do not see it listed in the processes outlined above. You can’t initiate a postulation without first considering some observations even if those are seen with the mind’s eye. Between observations and postulation there is an inspirational leap that is akin to connecting the dots. It is not deductive and it is not näive.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Thank you.
Even animals can go from observation to ‘theory’ via an inspirational leap, then test that ‘theory’ and learn of their surroundings. It is quite fascinating to watch in young animals. (Some are a lot more capable of that than ‘inspirational leap’ than others.)

mib8

Yes, a scientist or economist cannot control the climate or economy, cannot set or reset an initial system state, and then perform experiments to test what happens when he changes one variable, and see whether they refute his hypotheses. All we can do is seek out similar situations, and times and places when only 1 or a very few variables change noticeably, apply our models based on our hypotheses, and see whether reality agrees with our predictions. Then one has to go back to the drawing board, consider additional variables, develop new hypotheses and repeat the analyses.
The trouble with the climate “scientists” and Freudians and neo-Keynesians, is that their hypotheses are not refutable. No matter what happens, no matter how much the results contradict their predictions, they disingenuously claim that the results support their predictions — at times by modifying and elaborating those predictions after the fact.
“it is only in searching for refutations that science can hope to learn and to advance. It is only in considering how its various theories stand up to tests that it can distinguish between better and worse theories and so find a criterion of progress.” — Karl Raimund Popper 1962 _Conjectures and Refutations_ pg152 (It’s difficult to extract a compact, to the point quote. That would be easier if he were a Hollywood screen-writer, but then the catchy statements would likely be of much lower value.)
One of the most interesting things, indirectly about Popper and his writings, is how energetically his infamous student works against the scientific method and to close “society”, with his interlocking web of organizations named the opposite of what they actually strive to do.

richardscourtney

Gkell1:
Thankyou for your reply to me at January 21, 2014 at 5:52 am which I understand to say that you have reflected on the worth of your ideas and you have reached the same conclusion as everybody else; i.e. you have come to understand that your ideas are worthless waste of space on WUWT threads.
Richard

negrum

RockyRoad says:
January 21, 2014 at 6:13 am
EVERYBODY–please don’t feed the troll Gkell1
—-l
This one is special. I was more thinking along the lines of: “Whatever you are smoking dude, pass!” (Not that I condone Obama’s viewpoint 🙂

Gail Combs

RockyRoad says: @ January 21, 2014 at 6:13 am
EVERYBODY–please don’t feed the troll Gkell1
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
You have to be able to actually follow what Gkell1 is saying to be able to feed him. He is so far out of the ball park that I have zero idea of what he is trying to say.

Gail Combs

negrum says: @ January 21, 2014 at 6:24 am
I was thinking the same thing but I try to stay polite… well sometimes. :>)

Sorry, I was called to breakfast before finishing my thoughts above, ‘Popper’.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb warns against blind induction in particularly his The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. He also distrusts forecasters without doxastic commitment skin-in-the-game that epitomizes weather prognosticators. Taleb and collaborator Benoit Mandelbrot describe reality, the Universe, as “fractally complex” the reason induction is unreliable.
At American Thanksgiving season, Taleb promoted his turkey metaphor. For a thousand days the farmer feeds the turkey daily, each feeding a datum in the turkey’s confidence in turkey-utopia. On the thousand and first day the turkey meets his Black Swan, the farmers axe and its highly improbable impact.

negrum

Gail Combs says:
January 21, 2014 at 6:39 am:
—-l
Didn’t mean to be rude and I apologise if I hurt any feelings. I was joking, but it is not in good taste if true.
I think he might not be a troll in the normal sense of the word. Maybe someone can help him?

Gail Combs

negrum says: @ January 21, 2014 at 6:53 am
Didn’t mean to be rude and I apologise if I hurt any feelings…
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
You didn’t hurt my feelings at all, you expressed my thoughts. (note smiley face at end)

negrum

Gail Combs says:
January 21, 2014 at 6:59 am
—-l
I meant his feelings 🙂 Looking back over the posts, I feel you might have a point. It would explain why communication is so difficult.

Jimbo

Here is the IPCC back in the day (TAR).

3.1. Definitions and Role of Scenarios 3.1.1. Introduction
…..There is a varied lexicon for describing future worlds under a changing climate; alternative terms often reflect differing disciplinary origins. Therefore, for the sake of consistency in this chapter, working definitions of several terms are presented in Box 3-1……
Box 3-1. Definitions
Projection. The term “projection” is used in two senses in this chapter. In general usage, a projection can be regarded as any description of the future and the pathway leading to it. However, a more specific interpretation was attached to the term “climate projection” throughout the Second Assessment Report (SAR) to refer to model-derived estimates of future climate.
Forecast/Prediction. When a projection is branded “most likely,” it becomes a forecast or prediction. A forecast is often obtained by using deterministic models—possibly a set of such models—outputs of which can enable some level of confidence to be attached to projections.
Scenario. A scenario is a coherent, internally consistent, and plausible description of a possible future state of the world (IPCC, 1994). It is not a forecast; each scenario is one alternative image of how the future can unfold. A projection may serve as the raw material for a scenario, but scenarios often require additional information (e.g., about baseline conditions). A set of scenarios often is adopted to reflect, as well as possible, the range of uncertainty in projections. Indeed, it has been argued that if probabilities can be assigned to such a range (while acknowledging that significant unquantifiable uncertainties outside the range remain), a new descriptor is required that is intermediate between scenario and forecast (Jones, 2000). Other terms that have been used as synonyms for scenario are “characterization” (cf. Section 3.8), “storyline” (cf. Section 3.2), and
“construction.”…………..

The IPCCs projections, predictions, scenarios and ‘most likely’ is playing word games. They are so bad at predictions they had to re-define what a prediction is. A bit like ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’.

Gary

It’s funny, I use the above defined thesis to learn new games, like cards or board games and such. Thus inductive reasoning is most valuable in crafting a beginning understanding of games. First you start off watching others play, you eventually detect patterns and rules of play, then you have your first attempt based on the tentative hypotheses you’ve garnered along the way. The rest of your days playing that particular game will be based on your theory of the game. Very effective, not very scientific.

milodonharlani

Jimbo:
If you like your model, you can keep your model, simply by changing the “data”.