The first paper I ever wrote was titled: Three Questions for Denuding Complexity. How to determine your own basis for thought, your own way of thinking? How do you approach a problem? Are you aware of how you do it?
If you ponder these questions, which seldom happens, you will find yourself in obscure territories walking in a sucking slough of your super-ego. Your, mine, everybody’s thinking is a cocktail of upbringing and genes. Neither all the ingredients, nor their side effects, are evident.
Let us assume you have been brought up in a confessional (Christian) milieu. Your deity, whom you honour and respect, is a creator and rule setter. You will use concepts like ‘systems’ and ‘natural laws’. Your role as a scientist is to discover these laws: laws you know exist but are still unknown. You know there exist explanatory-descriptive models. If you are successful you will find good models, if not you will find not so good ones. “There is no other explanation but X”, is a valid argument in your reasoning.
Today X can stand for say a miracle or a CO2 hazard. There is a Vatican-appointed Miracle Commission composed of theologians and scientific experts. For a healing event to be graded as a (medical) miracle, it has to be spontaneous, instantaneous and complete. Doctors have to be able to say, “We don’t have any natural explanation for what happened.”
“There is no other explanation for global warming than carbon dioxide” said Professor Erland Källén (International Panel of Climate Change; IPCC) when he spoke for the Swedish Statistical Society in Stockholm 2007. I know, because I was there.
What about these Xs, and how do we counter them? All we have to do is to scrutinize extremely rare events around the world. If we consider all the UN member states and in each of them observe climate related events like droughts, hurricanes, early spring, lack of ice, lack of snow, snow in extremes, severe storms, floods, heat waves, peak temperatures, precipitation, forest fires, early and late migrating bird patterns, first occurrence of national plants, sea level rise, hottest month(s), number of sand-flies, and, furthermore, define an extremely rare event as one which happens once per generation, the probability that there wouldn’t be an X in your country is 50%. (Generation = 50 years, probability of rare event = constant.) The probability that an X wouldn’t occur in any of the UN member states is 0%. (There are 193 UN member states). In other words there is no chance that there wouldn’t be many X events every year.
Yet the UN-appointed IPCC, whose aim is to assess scientific information relevant to human-induced climate change, will take the opportunity to claim that this very X event is an indication/proof of climate change. At least the mainstream media will! An Airbus passenger plane had to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River. Soon after take-off both its engines died after it flew into a flock of birds. Global warming had disrupted the birds’ migratory patterns increasing the likelihood of such incidents, it was claimed. Yet another example: wild mountain goats in the Italian Alps have become significantly smaller over the past few decades in response to a warming climate, scientists reported recently.
John Paul II earned his sainthood this year. The first miracle, which paved the way for his sainthood, happened in France. The recovery in 2005 from Parkinson’s disease by a nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, after praying for the late Pope’s “intercession” , had no medical explanation, the Catholic Church maintains. The second miracle took place in Costa Rica. (You need two miracles to become a saint.)
These examples are so called evidence-based conclusions. Billions of people consider The Catholic Church and UN/IPCC as the highest authorities in Morality and Science. Yet their conclusions and evidence are (mostly) nonsense. But who wants to stand up and point out facts when Heaven and Grants are at stake?
You have just finished reading ‘Three Questions for Denuding Complexity’, a Standpoint on Science and Climate Change.
Two more Standpoints on Science will follow.
‘Validity, Reliability and Orwell 1992’
‘Models and the Complexity Paradox’
Meanwhile, some suggested Google Search studies: epistemology, methodology, ontology, paradigm, positivism, combinatorics, independent events, IPCC aims, Church Miracles.