In Official Climate Science Normal is Abnormal, and Natural is Unnatural. Hurricane Harvey Another Classic Example.

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

“The unnatural, that too is natural.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Throughout the entire environmental movement and its subset anthropogenic global warming (AGW) the proponents and the media have presented normal events as if they are abnormal. They can do this because the majority don’t know what is normal. Just a brief look at the historic record shows how everything that is happening is well within normal variability. It happened again with Hurricane Harvey and will do so with Hurricane Irma. It is deception, plain and simple, but there are even more important implications and assumptions made in taking this approach.

Are you sick and tired of media coverage of Hurricane Harvey? It will be as bad with Irma as we are already seeing. This is news as virtual reality designed by those who created and orchestrate the deception that is AGW happens. They exploited Harvey so much that you began not to care and yet felt guilty because people are suffering. I watched as much as I could tolerate from across the political spectrum and had the impression that hurricanes are abnormal, especially this one, even though this was rarely specifically stated. The impression was also inferred by most that it was due to human caused global warming AGW because it was abnormal. This was reinforced by a few scientists who allowed them to give this view the stamp of authority. Hurricane Harvey mixed the two themes central to the entire environmental movement and climatology, namely that humans are unnatural and the results of their activities are, therefore, abnormal.

Most don’t realize the philosophical contradictions in these views. Most people who hold them believe and accept without question the Darwinian theory of evolution. This establishes humans as a primate, one of the animal species. If we are just another animal then, as Goethe implies, everything we do is natural. This means a hurricane is normal whether we contribute to its cause in any way or not. They do not attribute unnatural behavior to any other animal, why then, only to humans?

Alfred Russell Wallace challenged Darwin to explain this contradiction and the gap between human abilities and all other species. Darwin tried but failed in The Descent of Man. To my knowledge, nobody has scientifically answered Wallace’s challenge. You can see the dilemma and confusion on display in former geneticist David Suzuki’s observation that acknowledges how different humans are without realizing what he is saying.

“Economics is a very species – chauvinistic idea. No other species on earth – and there are may be 30 million of them – has had the nerve to put forth a concept called economics, in which one species, us, declares the right to put value on everything else on earth, in the living and non-living world.”

All animal species put a value on everything; can I eat it or not? No other species can even imagine the range of values used by humans or consider the concept of economics as Suzuki infers.

Think about the term “synthetic” as applied to materials. Some use the euphemism “man-made,” but either way it is natural, unless, again, you assume we are unnatural. The mixing and misuse of abnormal and unnatural are central and critical to the deception of AGW. It is endemic and insidious, occurring without people being aware, which is the worst, but also most effective form of deception. For example, in the 1990 book by Jeremy Leggett written for Greenpeace, it says carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere naturally and unnaturally.

The confusion reaches a low with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 and 2013 Reports. They assert, with what the public understand is certainty, that human CO2 caused virtually all global temperature increase since approximately 1950. This is presented with the inference that it is abnormal and unnatural and that is reinforced by the Working Group II, and III Reports that only examine the negative impacts and that only changes in human behavior can correct the problem. Why should we change if it is normal?

George Orwell wrote about the use of language created by those who want total control calling it “newspeak.” One person explained its purpose as follows:

“The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”

Others have spoken to the problem of use and misuse of language, so it is not new, but I don’t think the extent and subtlety are fully considered. For example, Hurricane Harvey was, like all hurricanes, normal and well within all natural scientific explanations without human input. To my knowledge, only a few said it was abnormal, and they did so because they attributed it to AGW. The public accepts that because they are already conditioned to believe human behavior is unnatural and creates abnormal events.

Evidence of the mixing of the terms and their misuse is in the understanding of the original goal and how it was already achieved. Creators and promoters of AGW used it as a vehicle for limiting development and population growth. What they ignored or didn’t understand, was that the very goals they sought were already being achieved through the ongoing natural evolution of the human species. With the advent of the very development they abhorred, came population decline in a process known as the “demographic transition.”

This is a classic example of the tunnel vision Wallace understood in Darwin, and his followers think. It was perpetuated by the determination in various public actions. In 1925 teacher John Scopes was charged with violating a Tennessee law against teaching evolutionary theory and requiring only the teaching of creationism. This is presented as victory in the ongoing battle between science and religion, which is central to the humans are unnatural or abnormal debate. The sad result of this trial was a ruling that only evolutionary theory is taught. Regardless of your view on these issues, this does not advance understanding, conflict resolution, or anything else. All they have done is replace one dogmatism with another; dare I say they have limited the scope? They should have ruled that the teacher covers as many perspectives as possible and let the student make up their minds. This narrowing of the debate results in the intellectual conflict between humans being natural or unnatural and their actions or behavior normal or abnormal. It is why education has become indoctrination, and the claim that the science is settled can even exist.

Consider this in the discussions that should occur following Hurricane Harvey. Many people were living in a floodplain in a region with a long history of hurricanes. Should they be allowed to continue to live there? Is the fact they live in a danger zone a result of natural or unnatural behavior? The obvious answer is they would not normally live there, but insurance and government assistance in the event of disaster encourage bad or abnormal behavior. In the US, the Federal government provides flood insurance because private companies know it is not tenable given natural situations. These issues will be ignored because the insurance companies and the government have the incorrect excuse that Harvey was an unnatural event caused by AGW. They don’t want to know that Harvey was natural and normal. After days of media hysteria with the emphasis, inferred or implied, that Harvey was unnatural and abnormal, it is hard for people to accept otherwise. Now we will see the same hysteria and creation of virtual reality to feed the media and political bias with Irma. While you watch this evolve, keep in mind Herbert Spencer’s (1820-1903) warning after watching the impact of Darwin’s theory of evolution

“The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.”

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112 thoughts on “In Official Climate Science Normal is Abnormal, and Natural is Unnatural. Hurricane Harvey Another Classic Example.

  1. Soon the “Unnatural” will become the … “Supernatural” i.e. driven by a force other than man and other than nature!

    • The attitude that humanity is nothing but a scourge on nature is prolific. It’s something that’s pretty hard to miss, especially in far-left forums when discussing topics relating to the environment.

  2. Yea, so anything people do is “unnatural”. So like we are the equivalent of God in the green’s cosmology?

    • We are humans with an advanced prefrontal cortex dedicated to reasoning. So I reason that I want to know how much, say 1000, CO2 molecules have in re-radiated longwave infrared radiation in w/m2 at Earth’s surface. And I consider myself anything if NOT unnatural.

      • “Pamela Gray September 5, 2017 at 8:37 pm

        We are humans with an advanced prefrontal cortex dedicated to reasoning.”

        Steady on there Pamela.

  3. *shakes head*

    Oh, you denihilists can’t help yourselves, can you:

    Always trying to blame natural causes for natural effects!

    Could anything be *LESS* scientific?

    Especially now that we’ve entered what scientists are calling the Anthropocene—or Supernatural—epoch?

    You must have missed the memo. Just the other day, the Federal aerospace superagency itself proved that the supernatural not only exists, but is shaping the very planet we live on:

    • Bizarre, believe in Bloomberg? And regardless of how and why people might believe the earth is warming who actually knows how a 1.8 degrees increase might manifest itself. That is how the AGW crowd got into this mode of calling it just climate change. We have heard a lot of BS of what supposedly is happening but none of it can be tied directly to any climate driver most especially anthropogenic greenhouse gases. I was raised a conservationist which differs from modern environmentalism. Conservationists include humans as a part of the natural environment. Environmentalist want to exclude everyone, but themselves. To them everyone else is unnatural and therefore evil.

      • Edwin,

        you may be wrong about everything but at least you took my comment at face value, and I want to thank you for replying in equally-unjoking fashion.

        Far too many people, when I first urgently tweeted about NASA’s disturbing science, resorted to one of the 5 Characteristics of Denihilism: interpreting my comment as satirical.

        Speaking on behalf of science, I can’t tell you how much that kind of thing hurts my (science’s) feelings.

        My tongue was nowhere near the inside of any cheek or cheeks when I twote what I’d twitten, I tried to explain—in vain, of course.

      • Anything for a globalist international tax that excludes China and India the two largest polluters out there. Just another ploy to burden the west ( who use factory filters and have clean coal unlike chinas mercury laden coal). Just another excuse the money men to send more jobs to the east for the cheap labor. Rather than worrying about real ecological damage that scientists don’t debate. Like deforestation, radiation from fukoshima and garbage dumping into the oceans. Habitat loss. Toxins being put into the land sea and air. Over fishing, & Estrogen mimickers poisoning the male species from gay frogs going instinct in south africa where the males are becoming female, to male fish in north American waters excreting egg yoke to the human race where in the last thirty years the healthy sperm count has dropped by 40%. No wonder so many need to go to fertility clinics today. But instead the social engineers are worried about bogus threats

        [???? ,mod]

    • Brad, you must have two tongues, since they are clearly in BOTH cheeks.

      Would you have learned from you bosum buddies at NASA whether the temp data was adjusted or unadjusted?

      What would the graph have looked like if the temps were in RAW data and the variable of Heat Island effect were added?

  4. “Why should we change if it is normal?”
    Plague is normal. Diseases are normal. We don’t change them because they are abnormal. We change them because we don’t like them and we can.

    Climate is changing because we choose to emit GHgs. If we decide we don’t like the change we can choose not to emit GHGs. That’s the basis of the action, not some meta stuff about “normal”.

    • You’re confusing “normal” for “natural”, Nick. Diseases are natural, but it’s not normal for an organism to be sick. Many things occur naturally, but are not the normal condition.

      • James,
        “You’re confusing “normal” for “natural”, Nick.”
        Not me. It’s equated everywhere in the article, even in the title. eg
        ” namely that humans are unnatural and the results of their activities are, therefore, abnormal.”

      • I guess it depends on how one reads it. I see that sentence as saying humans are not part of Nature and therefore their actions are out of the ordinary. I don’t see that usage as being equivalent at all.

      • Now you are using sophistry. What is “normal”? Most organisms get sick, so how is it nit normal to be sick?

      • Not at all. It may be normal for there to be disease in the world , but it’s not normal for a person to be sick all of the time. “Natural” just means something is part of the world; part of nature. “Normal” means something is the ordinary condition. They’re not equivalent.

    • Question Nick: How is it that CO2 is driving warming in the (100,000 year) glacial cycle? Water vapor is the far more abundant GHG and its impact far outweighs that of trace CO2. (therefor, it stands to reason that the impact of CO2 in the glacial cycle must be negligible)…

      • Well, it wasn’t driving glaciation, because nothing was then driving CO2 (nor water). So they were both feedbacks, with CO2 minor. The difference of the present situation is that we are forcing change in CO2, to which the climate will respond. That has generally only happened in the past due to major volcanism.

      • If you can’t explain what drove climate change in the past, you can’t say that it must be CO2 this time.

    • “Plague is normal. Diseases are normal. We don’t change them because they are abnormal. We change them because we don’t like them and we can.”

      You seem to be confusing mitigation with eradication.

      Do we “change” that plague and disease happen or do we merely mitigate the effects of both? The only reasonable assumption seems to be that plague and disease will always be with us in some form or another and therefore mitigating those effects are the best we can hope to do.

      Similarly with climate change. With the current state of climate science there’s no way to eradicate climate change, we can’t yet even figure out with any real certainty how the climate works.

      The best we can hope to do is to successfully adapt to nature, not “fix” it.

      “Climate is changing because we choose to emit GHgs. If we decide we don’t like the change we can choose not to emit GHGs.”

      Such faith as yours could move mountains!

      • Seems like we eradicated (made extinct) the smallpox virus. That’s not mitigation. And we would happily do the same to the malaria parasite and others.

      • “Seems like we eradicated (made extinct) the smallpox virus. That’s not mitigation. And we would happily do the same to the malaria parasite and others.”

        Eradicating one disease in the set of all diseases is indeed mitigation. You’d need to eradicate Disease itself before it isn’t.

      • Tim Hammondyou areusung sophistry.

        Seems like we eradicated (made extinct) the smallpox virus. That’s not mitigation. And we would happily do the same to the malaria parasite and others.

        It’s called extreme mitigation. :)

    • “If we decide we don’t like the change we can choose not to emit GHGs …”.
      =========================
      Impossible in the foreseeable future any practical real-world sense, or a world “we” (any sane person) would want to inhabit.

    • “Nick Stokes September 5, 2017 at 9:11 pm

      Climate is changing because we choose to emit GHgs.”

      Evidence Nick? I won’t hold my breath!

      • “Please provide evidence that the climate is changing in ways that it hasn’t changed before.”

        It’s amazing that this simple question is so difficult for alarmists to answer.

    • Plague is normal. Diseases are normal. We don’t change them because they are abnormal. We change them because we don’t like them and we can….. If we decide we don’t like the change we can choose not to emit GHGs.

      THANK YOU, Nick, for the lone stand for sanity you’ve taken here in the flatearthosphere.

      As I’ve always said, man-made climate change is bad. And we need to alter it, yesterday.

      As a species. Humanity needs to intervene and fix the climate if we’re to stand any chance of preventing anthropogenic weather-systems adjustment.

      Remember, folks: either we act to stop our activities; or we choose inaction, and our activities continue to make a difference to the very world we live in.

      So let us pray for The Courage To Change The Things We Can, and leave it to the professional science-communication profession (like me) to have the wisdom to know the difference.

      Serenity Not!

      • I believe it was H.L Menken who said, “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” That is my problem with AGW crowd. They are all disturbed about humans “unnatural” impact on the earth’s climate but refuse to consider that their solutions might be even worse. And there are other decision elements besides “stopping human activities” and “inaction.” As I understand it the Chinese, based on what they have learned from their long history, have chosen to prepare for climate change, whatever the cause. They learned long ago they responded to climate changes better when they were a rich society vs when they were a poor society.

      • Edwin,

        ‘ And there are other decision elements besides “stopping human activities” and “inaction.”’

        Typical. So you don’t accept the Law of the Excluded Middle, despite the ever-increasing logical evidence logicians are discovering every day, all pointing to the single overwhelming consensus that the logic is right?

        Pray tell, then: if humans don’t act to combat man-made activities, and if we don’t choose inaction (the Activity As Usual [AAU] scenario) either, what else *can* we do? What’s the Third Way, o great Boddhisattva of Aristotle Denihilism?

      • Brad:

        With your right hand you claim to hold Logic in high esteem, yet with your left hand you deploy logical fallacies against your opponent.

        Don’t you contradict yourself?

        If not, why not?

      • Furthermore Brad:

        Typical. So you don’t accept the Law of the Excluded Middle, despite the ever-increasing logical evidence logicians are discovering every day, all pointing to the single overwhelming consensus that the logic is right?

        Haven’t you misunderstood the law of excluded middle? All this states is that for any proposition, the proposition cannot be both true and false at the same time.

        In other words, it’s the law of non-contradiction. The law of non-contradiction makes no judgement as to whether a proposition is true or false, rather, it merely states that the proposition cannot be both at the same time.

        Remember, folks: either we act to stop our activities; or we choose inaction, and our activities continue to make a difference to the very world we live in.

        Here it would seem rather than applying the law of non-contradiction to your argument, shouldn’t we instead accuse you of (yet another) logical fallacy?

        Haven’t you’ve begged the question, in that you’ve assumed your conclusion (human activities are making a difference in the environment) in your premise (our activities are harmful to the environment)?

        Even you admit the premise is unproved, yet you still assume it as true:

        “…despite the ever-increasing logical evidence logicians are discovering every day, all pointing to the single overwhelming consensus that the logic is right?”

      • “I will not have my pedigree questioned by the ilks of thee”

        Indeed my lord, forgive thy humble servant this foolish sin of ignorance!

      • “Sy, don’t get too carried away with the canine epithets and ovine looks. Your misunderstanding puts you in good (or at least numerous!) company , as I tried to suggest in the 6th Q & A here:” (emphasis mine)

        Bah! Hardly palliative…I’ll let you know how the “bitter chuckling” therapy gets on…may have to sue…

    • Putting a stop to the almost pathological alteration (up-djusting) of data seems like a much cheaper option.

    • Nickwit Strokes:
      Please provide an explanation for the warming in the first half of the 20th century.
      Note: CO2 increase is not an acceptable answer.

      Please provide an explanation for the almost identical warming in the second half of the 20th century.

      Now please explain how YOU know two similar ‘warmings’ in the same century had different causes.

      We are all waiting for your ‘brilliant’ explanation
      of something that no one else can explain.

      Climate blog for non-scientists.
      And you would certainly qualify, Strokes:
      http://www.elOnionBloggle.Blogspot.com

    • “Climate is changing because we choose to emit GHgs. If we decide we don’t like the change we can choose not to emit GHGs.”

      RUBBISH.

      The activities of mankind can no more SIGNIFICANTLY affect the Earth’s climate than SIGNIFICANTLY alter the time the Sun rises and sets.

  5. The quasi-cyclic way that climate progresses, with its chaotic periods of near stable states between swift runs of upheavals, gives plenty erratic behavior modes that allows the scurrilous charlatans of the AGW religion opportunities to jump in, screeching their nonsense about it all being human caused, mindlessly insisting it’s all about CO2.

    Atmospheric and Oceanic cycles govern the weather, govern the climate. Like all natural terrestrial cycles they are the vector sum of many disparate forces from many quarters — solar, lunar, seismic, atmospheric, variations in planetary spin, magnetic dipole movement, salinity variability, thermal mass, bulk and small eddy fluid movements, just to name a few. Together they affect us but we do not control them. To say CO2 is the governor for all this change is a travesty of science. CO2 barely impacts on this natural change but ocean changes have a major impact on the atmosphere, and thus the climate. Water and the vast bulk of the oceans — not CO2 emissions (from any source) — is the major controller of our weather and climate.

    We are traveling with nature and as part of it, and it is nature’s rhythms that dictate the pace of change, not puny human life.

  6. Consider this in the discussions that should occur following Hurricane Harvey. Many people were living in a floodplain in a region with a long history of hurricanes. Should they be allowed to continue to live there? Is the fact they live in a danger zone a result of natural or unnatural behavior? The obvious answer is they would not normally live there, but insurance and government assistance in the event of disaster encourage bad or abnormal behavior.

    (emphasis mine)

    Dr. Ball – thank you for this piece. If you had the power of a king, would you deny the individuals who choose to risk living not only in this particular natural disaster danger zone, but also other similarly dangerous areas (e.g., Florida, California and Tornado Alley) the freedom to do so?

    If so, how would you accomplish that goal?

      • “I would not allow them insurance.”

        That doesn’t appear to be Dr. Ball’s proposal, although it would be natural consequence of it. He seems to suggest that individuals not be allowed to live in these areas period. Or at least asks the question whether they should.

        The only way to accomplish that goal would seemingly be to cordon off huge land areas of the country where humans will not be allowed to live.

        What happens to the investments of the individuals, businesses and government entities that live, do business and conduct public affairs there? They can’t sell their property, for there’s no one to buy, including government. If it’s immoral for the government to offer disaster insurance in areas where natural disasters occur it couldn’t be moral to use taxpayer dollars to buy useless property in those same areas?

      • Why can they not have insurance, but at the appropriate market rate properly taking into account the risks associated with where these people have chosen to live?

      • Ron:

        “As an example, proposals for Houston include setting aside wetlands as storm protection and public recreation areas rather than residential zones.”

        Dr. Ball’s proposal appears to be much more drastic than setting aside currently uninhabited areas. He seems to suggest that even those already developed areas be abandoned by rule of law, however, I can’t be sure since he hasn’t clarified.

      • I do not agree with government cordoning off the areas. On who’s authority?

        It’s more an economic solution:
        Allowing insurance in high risk areas merely subsidizes taking the risk.

        By not allow insurance at all, then only the most foolish would choose to live there, and are solely responsible for consequences.

        But yet again, thousands of homes will be rebuilt (again, and again) in Florida. Yet again, pleas for help and statements about how tragic it was. National construction projects will see inflation of materials cost, and nationally the claims will increase insurance rates. Everyone suffers.

        It’s about a society that has shifted from active safety to passive safety… just look to YouTube for all the idiots injuring themselves on stunts: “Hey, I have insurance, I’m good”.

  7. The suggestion that teachers should cover as many perspectives as possible about evolution is impractical and a waste of time. Or at least it is in a science class. If you want to teach comparative religion and how different faiths view the creation of the life then fine but there are 1000s of different creation myths and no
    a-priori reason to focus on one than the other.

    There is only one credible scientific explanation of life and that is Darwinian evolution. And just as we no longer teach Aristotelian physics because it is wrong we do not teach creationism.

    And arguing about whether or not man-made artefacts are natural or not is purely a matter of semantics. Almost everyone would agree that “natural” in this case means “not man made”.

    • “If you want to teach comparative religion and how different faiths view the creation of the life then fine but there are 1000s of different creation myths and no a-priori reason to focus on one than the other.”

      Not necessarily. All such “myths” have one thing in common, if they do, and that is that something outside of natural processes created the first life. You don’t need to address each and every account of how that might have happened since it doesn’t really matter to main premise.

      Just like in secondary education you don’t get the history of how the theory of evolution has evolved over time, you just get the modern interpretation of it.

    • Darwin can’t explain the origin of life. Therefor, other ideas most certainly should be taught to explain this. (whether intelligent design or otherwise) Similarly, there is debate as to whether or not Darwin is well represented in the fossil record. (some says it is, some says it ain’t) So, it’s not unreasonable to have theory beyond Darwin taught in schools…

      Have to agree with the latter part of your comment, though. (i think dr tim is just splitting hairs)…

      • Actually there are any number of Darwinian explainations of how life started from inorganic matter. Some
        suggest it happened near deep sea vents for example where large concentations of energy can be found. Others suggest it started with clays.

        The major issue is that it all happened so long ago there is no evidence left that can be used to tell which theory might be correct or even to point people along the right path. But there are plenty of plausible Darwinian theories.

      • Natural selection doesn’t apply to the origin of life. (you have to have an organism up and running before natural selection applies) The only mechanism that you have for the origin of life is chance. How is it possible that inert matter can chance into a living organism?

      • “Actually there are any number of Darwinian explainations of how life started from inorganic matter. The major issue is that it all happened so long ago there is no evidence left that can be used to tell which theory might be correct or even to point people along the right path. But there are plenty of plausible Darwinian theories.” (emphases mine)

        Interesting, so could we say the following:

        “If you want to teach comparative [Darwinian evolution] and how different faiths view the creation of the life then fine but there are 1000s of different [Darwinian evolution] myths and no a-priori reason to focus on one than the other.”

      • Sy, you are confusing two very different things. One is the origin of life which is still actively being researched and the other is how organisms evolved once life started – this is well understood and the basic mechanism of evolution by natural selection explains it. In general trying to teach active research topics to school children is not possible. You would not for example teach different theories of quantum gravity to kids but you would tell them about Newtonian gravity.

      • “Sy, you are confusing two very different things.”

        Not really. Truth be told I’m just being a smart aleck…

      • ” In general trying to teach active research topics to school children is not possible. You would not for example teach different theories of quantum gravity to kids”…

        By the same reasoning, if the origin of life is unknown, the subject should either be left alone, or noted as being unknown. What we teach now in our education system is comparable to the teaching on CAGW : “The science is settled”.

        SR

      • “A believer in a monotheistic religion is only one god/God short of being an atheist…..”

        Atheists are already monotheists; their god lives in the mirror.

      • Viewed from an evidentiary perspective, atheism is as irrational as theism since it is a positive claim that there is NO God. The purely rational position at this time would be agnosticism.

  8. This is all about a narcissistic collective that fears the unusual they believe they caused.

    Nothing homo sapiens have ever done is “unnatural” either.

    • the Exorcist

      I think it’s simpler than that. It’s an irrational fear of death amongst a largely western community that’s persuaded itself it’s almost immortal and death’s something to be feared.

      Was it Einstein who said something like ‘I have been dead for billions of years and it has caused me not the slightest inconvenience’?

      In which case, all living creatures are abnormal. Particularly as there is, so far, no other form of life in the universe to our knowledge. Indeed, the planet itself is abnormal.

      Which makes everything on the planet normal, in it’s own context, and extinction inevitable, and normal.

      And I have no idea what I’m talking about, situation normal.

      • I have that happen to me, “what am I writing?”

        I’d take ‘abnormal’ over this ridiculous ‘unnatural’ lol.

        I know of that quote but not sure who. I’ll accept Einstein until I find otherwise.

        Funny thing, speaking about the lack of knowledge for abiogensis…
        Theists believe in god(s) without evidence.
        Atheists believe in extrasolar Life without evidence.

      • “Theists believe in god(s) without evidence.”

        Or better said, “Theists believe in god(s) without proof. There’s a difference between “evidence” and “proof”.

        If I’m visiting an area I’ve never before seen after a storm, and I see an house destroyed, that would be *evidence* that the storm caused the destruction of the house. It would not be *proof* of the same, since the house could’ve already been destroyed before the storm came.

  9. Since climate science is basically applied statistics, the question is not natural or not natural, but how phenomena fits in with the central tendency. In the case of rainfall from Harvey the prevailing perception is that the accumulated amounts are way above what typically is found. The accepted theory is that warmer air holds more water; additionally the waters off the coast were considered to be warmer than normal, thereby increasing evaporation. The accumulated water on land also creating conditions of continued evaporation; the stationary pressure ridges trapped Harvey – a question here is whether or not these stationary ridges are themselves anomalous. It is a statistical question – is the perceived phenomena outside of the normal distribution of what has been seen before in hurricanes. It seems that this is outside – that would require an analysis. Is Hurricane Irma showing an anomalous manifestation? It is being reported that it is. If phenomena is showing a lot of outliers then one has to look at trends. Anyway that is how I think of it.

    • It is not just statistics. Physics and chemistry also. If a stretch of water is 1deg C warmer, can the energy of that 1 deg measurement be utilised in the time available to make a passing hurricane more intense? I have not looked quantitatively, but I have concept problems of the velocity of heat energy vertically through the sea fast enough to feed the beast in the air above, where tremendous energies are oh so evident in wind speeds and volumes. Geoff

    • When something is declared unnatural or extraordinary because it is above a historical known average or measurement then there is a problem. The biggest problem, especially with climate and weather phenomenon is when did the historical record begin? It wasn’t until about the time of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane that we began to to collect data on Atlantic Tropical Cyclones. The 1935 Labor Day Storm was catastrophic, probably a cat 5 but since we were not collecting data as we do today, since we had no satellites overhead, “experts” can only speculate as to what the wind speed was. Heck, when did humans really began to record terrestrial temperature in any significant way and over what geographical area? When did anyone start collecting rainfall data for Texas? Saying anything that is above and beyond the relatively short record that we have is unnatural or historical (inferring to the listener it has NEVER happened before and therefore human caused or influenced) is being dishonest and pushing an agenda.

    • There was nothing out of the ordinary about Harvey’s rainfall rate. It varied between 3.75 and 4 in. per hour. Plenty of other storms matched and exceeded this rate.

      What made Harvey’s flooding out of the ordinary is that it stalled over a flat, poorly-drained, impervious urban area and dropped that 4″ per hour rainfall for twelve hours or longer on one place.

      It would be nice if people would get all of the facts before proclaiming some event as “unprecedented”. As the pundit said, “There’s nothing new under the sun except history you don’t know.”

  10. If it happens, it is natural. Anything that is not natural cannot happen. It is simple human nature for people to want things that they like, even if they are bad for them, i.e., cause undesirable outcomes, and want other people to help them overcome the bad results. That is why people live in areas prone to flooding or lacking sufficient water and demand cheap insurance or other taxpayer support to mitigate the consequences. Completely natural. Another example is Obama Care. Get healthy people to pay the health care costs of sick people.

    Normal and abnormal are degrees of natural. Normal predominates; abnormal is less common. Extremely low and extremely high IQs are abnormal; moderate IQs are normal. This applies to everything that happens.

    And if it cannot be tested, it is not science.

  11. “Many people were living in a floodplain in a region with a long history of hurricanes. Should they be allowed to continue to live there? Is the fact they live in a danger zone a result of natural or unnatural behavior? The obvious answer is they would not normally live there, but insurance and government assistance in the event of disaster encourage bad or abnormal behavior.”

    So living in Houston is bad behavior, huh?

    The whole area is flat except for the highway overpasses. Some areas do flood, but we have an exceptional drainage system for the most part. It takes at least 8 inches of rain for Kingwood Drive to get puddles, and we get that much every now and again. What we don’t get is a couple feet of rain dumped on us.

    Normally, hurricanes come in from the Gulf, cruise over my house, then head up to the heartland and drift over toward Ohio. Abnormal is one parking offshore for a week and feeding rain bands over the whole drainage basin.

    I recall that New York City went under during T.S. Sandy, flooded subways and all, so they should all move to higher ground. Is Newark higher? I guess flood plain is a relative term.

  12. No one will say that a termite mound or an eagle’s nest are un-natural. Humans are products of nature (by evolution or god) in the same way as the termites or birds are, consequently everything humans create from Great Pyramids to International Space Station is natural.
    To make distinction there is also term ‘artificial’ describing anything made or produced by human beings; thus we talk not of un-natural but ‘artificial leg’ or ‘artificial intelligence’.
    Thus if Harvey or Irma are partially caused by man they are also natural.

  13. “Many people were living in a floodplain in a region with a long history of hurricanes. Should they be allowed to continue to live there? Is the fact they live in a danger zone a result of natural or unnatural behavior? The obvious answer is they would not normally live there, but insurance and government assistance in the event of disaster encourage bad or abnormal behavior.”

    The question needing answered is Who was committing the bad behavior? Was it the home buyers? Or was it the local government issuing building permits to developers? It appears the local government was eager to expand its tax base, and knowing no sane insurance business would provide coverage for homes at risk, found a way for the government (other taxpayers) to subsidize flood insurance.

    The home buyer was just buying what was available and approved by the powers that be. The mortgager was OK with the deal, as long as somebody provided insurance. The home builder is naturally going to only invest as much money as required to qualify for a building permit.

    If the local government controlling the permitting was really looking out for the home buyer, it would have refused building permits in flood zones unless mitigating measures were undertaken, ex. homes on pilings.

    Then, large developers would have prevailed upon the city to do something – such as digging drainage ditches. But, instead of giving the problem to the civil engineers, the government selected the socialist way – choosing to tax other home owners in order to subsidize flood insurance and telling the permit office to lighten up.

    Mike, there must still be an issue with the drainage in Houston, or the wouldn’t be Gov. flood insurance.

    SR

  14. In God We Trust, but when it comes to Science, Public Policy, and Justice, it is about what you can demonstrate. Or at least, it should be. I don’t think you can go wrong by insisting on rigor, adherence to the Scientific Method and using 5 or 6 sigma confidence limits.

  15. “The sad result of this trial was a ruling that only evolutionary theory is taught.”
    History fail here. The result of the trial was that Scopes was found guilty of teaching evolution and fined $100.
    The penalty was vacated on appeal (technicality about amount of fine), but the state’s right to forbid teaching of evolution was affirmed.

  16. You quote Orwell, but the best quote that is relavent to the participants in the debate “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which”

  17. I agree with others that one is playing a game of semantics when discussing natural, and unnatural. Everyone knows that the warmist use this to differentiate between manmade actions/consequences, and those that are not the result of manmade actions/consequence. Of course, the distinction carries a subliminal message.

    The bottom line is simple, namely that this planet is way too cold for us as a species, such that our natural habitat is a very small area of the planet, around the cradle of our birth as a species such as Sudan/Ethiopia, the warmth of tropical rain forests (where one can see lost tribes wearing nothing more than a loin cloth) and a few places such as Australia.

    It is only because of our ability to adapt ourselves (eg by wearing clothes) and/or our environment by constructing buildings (to replicate caves) and utilise central heating (the camp fire of old which requires the use of energy), that we have been able to colonize most of the land areas of the planet, although there is little colonization in really cold places such as Antarctica, and the Arctic

    Of course, the adaption of ourselves and our environment is entirely natural and is simply part of the natural order of the survival of the species. There is nothing remotely unnatural about such behavoir. It is nature at work.

    We are not alone in adapting ourselves, eg., the hermit crab, nor in adapting our environment to suit our needs, eg., the beaver.

    The real fallacy behind this cargo cult is that it fails on 2 basic points. Namely that the planet is way too cold (not surprising since we are still in an ice age and in the 2nd coldest spell in the last 500 million years), and there is too little CO2 (plants evolved in conditions where CO2 was an order of magnitude higher). All life flourishes in warmer conditions (heck this is the reason we invented the fridge).

    Thus, the output of CO2 is a good thing (it is greening the planet) and if by some happy coincidence it brings about some warming then that is truly a WIN WIN scenario,

    • I wouldn’t mind that so much if they said when the record began. The news media acts like we have been recording data on tropical cyclones (and the climate) for the entire history of humans or that we have some magic computer program that can model past hurricanes and tell us how bad they might have been. Someone did point out on the Weather Channel that the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 was a pretty bad storm.

  18. Science is practiced in a liberal frame of reference exceeding the bounds of observation and reproduction, beyond the solar system, to the edges of the universe and beyond, in the past, present, and future.

    Diversity is based on color, sex, etc. and denies individual dignity.

    Selective-child, euthanasia, and other population controls policies are human rights.

    Gray energy is “green” energy, a nonrenewable, environmental hazard with a progressive blight factor.

    A clear and progressive slope to the twilight fringe (a.k.a. penumbra).

  19. “The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.”

    As someone has said, “stupidity should be painful”.

    The fact is, the universe is trying to kill us. Every day. All day. That’s why life is precious.

  20. “Normal” is just a statistical construct, usually defined within a 95%comfidence interval. But outliers naturally occur.

  21. “All they have done is replace one dogmatism with another … It is why education has become indoctrination …”

    The reason education has become indoctrination is because it is government owned and operated. So-called “public” education is incompatible with freedom, including especially the First Amendment’s speech and religion clauses. A government that is in charge of “educating” us is, inherently, a huge problem.

  22. The eco-zealots believe anything humans do is contrary to nature. It is zen perfection that the key to responsible interactions with the natural world is to see ourselves as part of nature.

    Darwin has been taken way out of context with the focus on survival of the fittest. The dominant process in nature is symbiosis. Predators eat the weak and sick to strengthen the rest. Mice and rabbits produce more offspring under heavy predation because there are more mouths to feed. Species that don’t work well with others become extinct.

    Greed causes some humans to soil our nest because the external costs they impose aren’t charged to them. Like the eco-zealots they don’t see humans as part of the interconnected natural world.

    Maximum prosperity comes from free markets that allow humans to symbiotically benefit each other. Free markets can only exist in the absence of corruption and with clear rules of law that hold people accountable for their actions. The anti-human fascists are against progress and the unique role we play in the unfolding of creation. Humans have taken the abundant gifts nature provides and created wonders. We are the highest expression of nature to ever exist on this planet.

  23. Anything for a globalist international tax that excludes China and India the two largest polluters out there. Just another ploy to burden the west ( who use factory filters and have clean coal unlike chinas mercury laden coal). Just another excuse the money men to send more jobs to the east for the cheap labor. Rather than worrying about real ecological damage that scientists don’t debate. Like deforestation, radiation from fukoshima and garbage dumping into the oceans. Habitat loss. Toxins being put into the land sea and air. Over fishing, & Estrogen mimickers poisoning the male species from gay frogs going instinct in south africa where the males are becoming female, to male fish in north American waters excreting egg yoke to the human race where in the last thirty years the healthy sperm count has dropped by 40%. No wonder so many need to go to fertility clinics today. But instead the social engineers are worried about a bogus problem.

  24. gyan1, ain’t no symbiosis about it. Every organism just uses whatever it can find in its surrounding environment to stay alive and reproduce (the last is built in by evolution). Nature is “what can I eat” and “what is about to try to eat me”.
    Humans are the only species that worries about this and actually does something about it. Which is pretty good when you think about it.

    • Mike, you are painting a simplistic picture. Most organisms depend on other species for their survival. interdependent relationships dominate nature.

  25. The fact of the matter is that there is an especially palpable anti-human attitude that has bled into the psyche of otherwise level headed individuals, and that specious or speculative claims, for instance regarding mankind’s role in certain destructive weather events, only serve to reinforce these attitudes.

    • Fourko:
      I read your sentence out loud, ran out of breath, and almost fainted, despite all very good thoughts, perhaps brilliant, but too many in one sentence, if you read a sentence out loud, and it doesn’t sound natural, then it ain’t been wrote good.

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