Oops! Climate Cultist Destroys Own Position

September 22, 2017

From American Thinker

Director of the Hayden Planetarium Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks as host of the Apollo 40th anniversary celebration held at the National Air and Space Museum, Monday, July 20, 2009 in Washington.

Director of the Hayden Planetarium Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks as host of the Apollo 40th anniversary celebration held at the National Air and Space Museum, Monday, July 20, 2009 in Washington. By NASA/Bill Ingalls – https://archive.org/details/200907200054HQhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/3806476522, Public Domain, Link

By Daren Jonescu

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has been doing the leftist media interview circuit recently, pressing his peculiar thesis that professional (i.e., paid) scientists are a superior class of humans whose conclusions are intrinsically beyond reproach and must therefore be accepted blindly by unscientific lunks like you.

In each of these interviews, a non-climate scientist asks a series of predetermined questions designed to elicit rehearsed responses from the non-climate scientist Tyson, the upshot of which is that (a) people who question man-made global warming are anti-scientific fools driven by irrational agendas; (b) scientific consensus is not the product of the social and political pressures of academic life working on the minds of the career-motivated, publication-obsessed majority of scholarly mediocrities, but rather consensus is the very definition of Objective Truth; and (c) anyone who questions a scientific consensus poses a threat to the survival of democracy.

For an example of (a), here is Tyson’s explanation of why some people continue to question the alleged scientific consensus on global warming:

What’s happening here is that there are people who have cultural, political, religious, economic philosophies that they then invoke when they want to cherry pick one scientific result or another.

In other words, non-scientists who have the audacity to cite scientific results falling outside the consensus as grounds for questioning global warming are just people with agendas who are refusing to accept the settled science, for anti-scientific reasons.  This doesn’t account for the actual scientists who produced those dissenting results or hypotheses.  Are they also to be dismissed as mere “deniers,” since their views do not match the consensus?

Tyson’s answer appears to be yes, as he offers this interesting definition of “objective truth,” answering to talking point (b), above:

For an emergent scientific truth to become an objective truth – a truth that is true whether or not you believe in it – it requires more than one scientific paper. It requires a whole system of people’s research all leaning in the same direction, all pointing to the same consequences. That’s what we have with climate change as induced by human conduct. This is a known correspondence. If you want to find the three percent of the papers or the one percent of the papers that conflicted with this, and build policy on that – that is simply irresponsible.

So according to Tyson, science is ultimately defined not by superior individual minds defying accepted views – i.e., standing against a consensus.  No, science is rather defined by consensus itself, for consensus alone establishes objective truth, which “is true whether or not you believe in it.”  (Funny – I always thought Nature or God established objective truth, but apparently, in our nihilistic progressive age, that task has devolved to the collective of university professors.)

And what is a scholarly consensus?  It is “a whole system of people’s research all leaning in the same direction, all pointing to the same consequences.”  Tyson conveniently leaves out the most important factor: “all beginning from the same underlying premises.”

Scholarly consensus is what you get when a few people at the top of an academic hierarchy become gatekeepers and use their authority as peer-reviewers, thesis supervisors, and hiring committee members to influence the range and limits of “legitimate” research.  A new specialization that has detached itself from a broader system of inquiry, and therefore has relatively few prominent practitioners, as in the case of climate science, is most easily susceptible to this form of “consensus-building.”

As for point (c), above, Neil deGrasse Tyson gives us this doozy:

I’m so disappointed that the country that I grew up in – that put men on the moon, that developed the internet, that invented personal computers and smartphones – that people are debating what is and what is not scientifically true.

By “people,” Tyson means those who are not professional climate scientists.  Unless you are an officially accredited member of the fraternity of scientists, you may not debate “what is and what is not scientifically true.”  In other words, shut up, ignore the evidence around you, and just follow your betters.  Failing to do so is, according to Tyson, “the beginning of the end of an informed democracy” – where “informed” means compliant.

Not being a professional (i.e., paid) scientist, I never received the memo announcing that ad hominem, appeal to authority, and plain old elitist condescension have now been enshrined as elements of the scientific method in good standing.

Leaving all that aside, Tyson’s best argument for bowing before the god of scientific consensus – his only argument based on reasoning rather than intimidation – is in fact the “oops” moment to end all “oops” moments for a global warming apologist.  For this argument actually undermines his whole case, by justifying the core position of climate change skeptics.

Referring to the August solar eclipse, Tyson leaps at the opportunity to catch the “deniers” in a contradiction.

I don’t see people objecting to [the prediction of an eclipse]. I don’t see people in denial of it. Yet methods and tools of science predict it. So when methods and tools of science predict other things, to have people turn around and say “I deny what you say,” there’s something wrong in our world when that happens.

And I would say that when a renowned scientist fails to realize he has just blown his own position to smithereens, then there is something wrong in our world.

Tyson’s analogy between global warming and solar eclipses is meant to be a zinger that wows the audience into submission, so that there is no need to flesh out the terms of the analogy more clearly.  But let’s take a moment to clarify his point.

Scientific predictions are not standalone declarations made on the basis of some sort of magical thinking called “scientific method.”  Rather, scientific reasoning is used to form hypotheses about certain aspects of the material world, which hypotheses are then typically evaluated over time by means of their predictive power.  In other words, predictions are the arena in which underlying scientific premises are assessed for plausibility.  The more evidence of accurate predictive power, the more believable the underlying theory becomes.

Let’s look at Tyson’s example of solar eclipses.  If you questioned whether the recent solar eclipse would really happen, you would truly have exposed yourself as an uneducated pleb who doesn’t respect scientific method.  But why did you feel obliged to believe that the eclipse would happen?  Was it because there was a scientific consensus?

No – it was because every eclipse predicted in your lifetime has actually occurred, exactly when and as the scientists predicted.  None of us has ever met a person who could tell a story of “the eclipse that never happened” or “the eclipse that caught everyone by surprise.”  Having not a single counterexample to cast doubt on the scientists’ predictions, ordinary men and women have developed a complete trust in the validity of those predictions.

If, by contrast, we had seen that the astronomers were often wrong in their predictions of eclipses, or that there were often eclipses that no astronomers had predicted, or even that eclipses frequently occurred precisely when the scientific consensus insisted that no eclipse could possibly happen, then most of us would be skeptical about predictions of solar eclipses.  We would have every right to be.  No astronomer in these circumstances could reasonably demand that we trust the scientific consensus, given how often their predictions had failed. And even if, by chance, this year’s solar eclipse had turned out more or less the way they predicted, we might reasonably classify that as a coincidence rather than as evidence for their theories, remembering how often their previous predictions had been false.

Or imagine that astronomers had taken to predicting both that an eclipse would occur this year and that no eclipse would occur, such that neither outcome could disprove their underlying theory.  Wouldn’t we all – wouldn’t even Tyson himself – regard such a theory with skepticism in light of its advocates’ unwillingness to let it stand or fall on the accuracy of any decisive prediction?  Wouldn’t Tyson accuse those scientists of trying to create an unfalsifiable theory – i.e., one which no empirical outcome could ever prove wrong? Wouldn’t he question whether such an unfalsifiable theory qualifies as legitimate science at all?


Read the rest of the story here:


252 thoughts on “Oops! Climate Cultist Destroys Own Position

  1. Anyone who uses the 97% meme is either ignorant or blowing smoke or just does not care.Which class Tyson falls into is pure speculation.

      • What’s happening here is that there are people who have cultural [AGW], political [AGW],, religious[ AGW],, economic [AGW] philosophies that they then invoke when they want to cherry pick one scientific result or another.

        Never a clearer nor more unequivocal example of psychological projection can be found.

      • I’ve never felt confident that Mr. De Grasse is much more than an actor, and this just heightens my skepticism about his legitimacy. A designer presenter ; )

    • Tyson sold out for popularity. He gets TV shows, fawning fans and dozens of other perks that he would never get were he to take a rational position on these issues. No one gets a TV show for saying “I sure wish I knew why all the models fail to accurately predict temperatures”.

      • No doubt exactly the same reason Brian Cox has fallen for this cr@p too! I used to admire Cox and always enjoyed his science documentaries until I lost a lot of respect for him when he prostituted his intellectual self to the ‘Holy Church of Globull Warming’. Sad really. But he was up against the BBC bosses who would have taken his programme away like happened to Prof. David Bellamy years ago when he spoke out against the stupidity. So like Brian Cox, deGrasse Tyson knows which side his bread is buttered on.

      • That was covered under “blowing smoke”” as I did not want to trigger moderation by calling him con artist.

      • One look at his CV shows how weak his academics creds are. Just a bunch of committee papers, nothing original at all.

    • anyone who uses the term settled science or consensus is following a political script and not speaking scientifically. Tyson has evolved into an actor following a script.

      Does he explain how the government intends to control natural variability, once they destroy our quality of life and drive up our cost of living to un-affordable levels, for unscientific lunks like me?

  2. Tyson lost this one at the very beginning, when he referred to ” a truth that is true whether or not you believe in it or not”. I am a scientist, and a professor of science, and I teach my students to question everything. I also teach them that “believe” is a religious term, and does not belong in a scientific discussion. Nor do I know what the term “truth” means in that same scientific discussion. I do not deal with truth, I deal with facts – with data. And I do observe that the Earth used to be a lot hotter than at present, a lot hotter than the most strident alarmists predict, and that the physical evidence from the geologic record shows us it was a verdant, thriving, complex ecosystem with abundant and diverse animals and plants. And there are a lot of other observations (data) I could quote which would make astrophysicist Tyson squirm.

    • And there are a lot of other observations (data) I could quote which would make astrophysicist Tyson squirm.

      But you (or anyone else) will likely never have the opportunity to do this. None of these people making extraordinary claims would sit down and answer questions from anyone other than credulous “journalist” types.

      • But you do get quotes from Astro-Tyson (wasn’t that the Jetsons dog), but only on the foundational Science of Ancient Aliens.
        “Maybe our biggest protection against being killed by alien civilisations is their conclusion there’s no intelligent civilisation on Earth,” Tyson continued. “Suppose in fact intelligence has come to the galaxy. Who are we to then decide that we are intelligent? We define our intelligence. Of course we’re intelligent because we define it.” he said.

        Pile of Hubris anyone?

    • GDtP, I agree that the concept of a scientific truth is bogus, but isn’t the purpose of scientific investigation to uncover the objective truth?

      I’m a bit worried about the concept of dealing with facts too. I’m happier talking about observations.

    • Sorry, but ‘believe’ is not primarily a religious term. It is, first and foremost, a term that is applied to the trustworthiness of a witness. (That is where it sometimes/often has a religious association.) In court, we can believe or not believe a witness based on corroboration, character, or sometimes likability. In science, we choose to believe witnesses all the time, because very few of us are out there repeating the experiments and/or observations. Sometimes self consistency arguments are sufficient to corroborate a scientific witness, but sometimes it takes a second or third measurement. When theories are proposed, others can test the predictive value of the theories (as pointed out in the current post).

      • I prefer the term “accepting”. Which you can quit when better science comes around. Belief is like the intellectuals who once argued about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.

    • “I also teach them that “believe” is a religious term, and does not belong in a scientific discussion.”

      The scientific method cannot prove that the scientific method is true. Logic cannot prove that logic is true. We accept upon faith that the scientific method and logic are true. It is scientific hubris to ignore or forget Hume’s legendary take down of cause and effect. While his subsequent love affair with determinism can be compellingly challenged, his recognition that cause and effect is the result of human observation, experience and inference that cannot be substantiated by proof remains unchallenged.

      Edmund Gettier effectively demonstrated some problems that arise from Justified True Belief as the foundation of knowledge, but Gettier only revealed that JTB does not account for all knowledge. Scientific laws are considered to be simple, *true*, universal and absolute. Of course, Plato is often both accredited for bringing JTB to light and then rejecting it. Spinoza argued that the mere act of contemplation entails some acceptance of the truth of that being contemplated and disbelief is a subsequent process of elimination.

      That’s just some of the philosophy behind truth and belief. Recent studies on the functional neuroimaging on belief, disbelief and uncertainty appear to suggest that our decision making process on truth statements are mediated by “hedonic processing”, meaning our emotional responses are involved. The notion that beauty is truth appears to be biological in nature, or maybe that’s just a belief.


      • Nope. We know the scientific method works, because it makes predictions found to be confirmed or shown false in the real world. We rely on these results in order to launch rockets successfully, cure diseases and make useful things.

      • Jean Paul Zodeaux,
        in the final analysis there is no such thing as a scientific law. There are only observations that have been verified many, many times. For example, I observe that if I hold a stone in my hand and then let it go, it falls to the ground. Moreover, it does this every time, or at least every time that I have performed this action. I may decide to describe this as the law of gravity. However, if it should ever occur that the stone does not fall to the ground, then I will have to revise my views about there being a law of gravity.

        Laws are made by man. In Nature we only have observations that have occurred so often that we cannot conceive of them being otherwise. Moreover, what we describe as a law may turn out to be merely a special case of a more general phenomenon that does not necessarily obey that law. Newton’s law of gravity is merely a special case of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. And who knows whether general relativity might turn out to be a special case of something else?

      • Roger,

        Newton’s law of universal gravitation is IMO more properly a formula which has been found to describe observations. It states that any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. It’s called a law, but is, as you note, a relationship observed on the macroscopic scale of, say apples and planets, for baryonic matter, which, in current physics, arises from the curvature of space-time.

        Newton got some important details wrong, such as the speed at which gravity operates, and that space and time are absolutes. But in the everyday world, his formula applies well enough for government work.

        You’re also right that general relativity is also starting to fray around the edges.

      • “Nope. We know the scientific method works, because it makes predictions found to be confirmed or shown false in the real world.”

        This tells us nothing about the truth of the scientific method itself. Further, the scientific method is not about proving truth so why should it be able to prove the truth about itself? It is folly to declare science or the scientific method as some sort of truth measurement. Rather than seek truth we should seek the valid arguments and denying the scientific methods inabilities is not a valid argument.

        The ability to predict orbits and rocket trajectories does not prevent bias from entering into one’s own hypothesis. The IPCC, while not a scientific body, stands as a fine example of question begging as does neuroscience in general. The moment neuroscientists connected consciousness to the brain is the moment neuroscience began begging the question and the very nature of measurement demands that, at the very least, Cartesian dualism be rejected.

        Both the IPCC and neuroscience rely on the scientific method to beg the question. Perhaps the mind and the body are the same and therefore no problem in terms of assumptions and perhaps anthropogenic warming is going to lead us all to hell in a hand basket and all that question begging was fortuitous, but climate and neuroscience ain’t rocket science.

      • “Laws are made by man.”

        I suspect this is an inaccurate observation. It is more likely that laws are discovered and interpreted through the filters of our own bias. I suspect this because it appears as if these laws exist with or without us. I don’t know who *makes* law but I’m pretty sure it ain’t us.

        When I stated in my original comment that “all laws are simple *true* universal and absolute” I was parroting others to use an example of how science *believes* it has some handle on *truth*.

      • JPZ – good points.

        So what else does Tyson “believe”?

        “…that invented personal computers and smartphones – that people are debating what is and what is not scientifically true.”

        Hmmm… The smartphone was invented in Canada by BlackBerry and spread throughout the world by Nokia in Sweden. Which country is it that invented the computer and then the microcomputer? The UK, wasn’t it? Remember Alan Turing? You don’t wonder why it is called a Turing Machine? And the Altair? No?

        Ahh-h what selective memories we have when remembering the great achievements of our countrymen and women.

        The problem, Tyson, is that you believe a lot of things that are simply not ‘scientifically’ true. Human-caused impending thermageddon is one of the falsities that is rattling around in there together with your beliefs about Americans inventing the smartphone and the personal computer and who knows what else.

        I never watch your show because it is filled with untenable falsehoods and a materialistic, nihilist opinion of the purpose of physical reality, presenting ‘mankind-as-disease’.

        Just choose one thing at a time to investigate and get back to us when you have some revelation to share. Here’s one: Why do comet head coronas emit x-rays? That will keep you busy while the Standard Model unravels in the background.

    • The Webster;

      ” Definition of belief
      1 :a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing

      her belief in God

      a belief in democracy

      I bought the table in the belief that it was an antique.

      contrary to popular belief

      2 :something that is accepted, considered to be true, or held as an opinion :something believed

      an individual’s religious or political beliefs

      ; especially :a tenet or body of tenets held by a group

      the beliefs of the Catholic Church

      3 :conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence

      belief in the validity of scientific statements ”

      It amazes me that grow-ups actually believe what they believe is not belief . . The arrogance (and lack of self awareness) is stunning to me. No wonder we’re being hounded by the likes of the CAGW KNOWERS ; )

      • That earth is a sphere and orbits the sun is not a matter of belief but of objective observation of reality, yet the Bible says earth is flat, covered by a solid dome, with waters above it, immobile and that the sun moves over it. Which are you going to believe in this case, the Bible or the observations of science?

      • “.. yet the Bible says earth is flat, covered by a solid dome”

        Bullshit, it does not SAY any such things. You just believe it does, I say.

      • And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

      • PS~ Last I heard, “naturalistic” scientific consensus says the bulk of the water on Earth was once above the atmosphere (Comets and such, in space), so either way there was a time when “there were waters above it “. . (it being something open that birds fly in . . )

        To me, nobody special, it is no longer true that we are in a “naturalistic” reality (owing to things I witnessed first hand about twenty years ago which simply defied that potential). We do live in a reality that can be mistaken for a naturalistic one, by design, I believe, so I don’t fault people (including myself for most of my life) for believing we are in that sort of universe. He wanted there to be a choice . .

        Now, if someone came upon some arrow heads, or the like, and had no idea that people made such things, they might conclude “natural” forces were responsible . . devising some elaborate hypothetical sequence of events, perhaps involving rocks tumbling down an unusual creak-bed, that might result in such forms as they have come upon being generated occasionally . .

        In reality-land, the people who made them would not be under any sort of limit/obligation to utilize the creek-bed method in producing the artifacts in hand . . no matter how sensible the hypothetical means might seem/be. That explanation becomes irrelevant once it’s realized those objects were formed by intelligent entities, who could employ far more direct and focused techniques.

        In that sense, I no longer see the “naturalistic” explanations for how we came to be in this realty, as particularly relevant to how (I believe) we actually did . . though some are very clever hypotheticals ; )

        “Which are you going to believe in this case, the Bible or the observations of science?”

        I believe the first hand experiences I actually lived, naturally, and they “pointed” me to the Book (Shocked the hell out of me, at the time ; )

      • “That earth is a sphere and orbits the sun is not a matter of belief but of objective observation of reality…”


        The sphere model of the earth is the simplest model, but at best the earth is approximately spherical and possibly more oval than spherical…if we’re being “objective” in our observations.

    • “I do not deal with truth, I deal with facts – with data.”

      ALways a good thing. However, the folks to whom you refer deal with the same facts but have many ways to manipulate them and “correct” them.
      Until this massaging of the data is prohibited the falsehoods will prevail.

    • I get questioning everything, but if you endeavor to question everything you’ll never finish the asking and get to the answering. Everything is a lot.

  3. The Nova jackass,makes clear if we don’t follow HIS climate change beliefs,then we are not part of a consensus.

    What a waste of a College education.

  4. Here he is exposed as making easy to spot mistakes on his show and Twitter:

    From Breitbart,

    Scientists Who Are Actually Really Stupid: #1, Neil deGrasse Tyson

    “Social justice-inspired grievance culture has flavoured much of Tyson’s output during his media career. Indeed, some observers say he’s more left-wing propagandist than rigorous thinker these days. His reboot of Cosmos, for instance, was saturated with progressive garbage designed to appeal to liberal-minded students and lefty geeks.

    The problem is, every time Tyson plays to this crowd, he has to get his facts wrong to make the argument work. Take his gushing tribute to Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake. None of the details are correct. Bruno wasn’t a scientist: he was a cult leader who dined out on wild conjecture and guesswork.

    Elsewhere in Cosmos, Tyson makes other serious errors. I say “errors” but for a man of his ostensible erudition you do have to wonder how these mistakes and bizarre claims keep creeping in. He says Venus is suffering from global warming, for instance. And I think we can live without the televisual trope of space ships making sound in space — unless Tyson is claiming no more astrophysical literacy than an episode of Star Trek.

    Because he has given up on the scientific method in favour of progressive politics, Tyson has jettisoned fairness and fact in favour of slipperiness and propaganda: he is caught again and again repeating quotes that he appears to have simply made up, or which at a bare minimum are stripped of essential context or provenance.

    He shows no interest in correcting the record or addressing these mistakes — we’ll be diplomatic and call them mistakes — which does rather cast doubt on his entire benevolent genius schtick, don’t you think?

    His Twitter feed, naturally, is packed to the gills with daft comparisons, meaningless apples-to-oranges number crunching and red meat for his hyper-progressive fan club.”

    In the end,the Nova jackass says so little on anything that he has become a bore, He is a loudmouth Jerk.

    “There’s a silver lining to Tyson’s outsized notoriety, of course, and it’s that the internet always hurts the ones it loves: outside of reddit, and even within it, Tyson is known primarily as a meme. He has been reduced to a clutch of vacuous funny soundbites and obnoxious reaction images sprayed across image boards.

    Tyson has been relegated to a place of widely-known obscurity where little is known about his ill-thought-out opinions and he’s instead celebrated for his facial expressions and attention-seeking media persona. Everyone knows his face, but few know or care to discover anything about the man or the views behind it. If you ask me, that’s a fitting tribute.”


    • “Scientists Who Are Actually Really Stupid” – perhaps that is at the core of all this. You need a certain position on the I.Q. bell curve to understand logic (as presented by Daren Jonescu). Where exactly, I wonder, is deGrasse Tyson’s position there?

      • deGrasse Tyson is probably reasonably high on the IQ chart.

        The problem is he’s probably much higher on the “needy ego” bell-curve, and has sold out to play the celebrity game.

    • Sunset, nice comeback.
      I wonder why it is that climate change scientists are not usually trained it that field but are usually cast offs from real science or are specialists in Marxist sociology or communication specialists or some such non-science areas. They don’t seem to competent in their own science but are big fish it the climate science pond. Think this fits Tyson?

    • “And I think we can live without the televisual trope of space ships making sound in space — unless Tyson is claiming no more astrophysical literacy than an episode of Star Trek.”

      The producers of Star Trek were aware that there is no sound in space but added the “swoosh” of the Enterprise traveling through space to give watchers of the program a sense of speed. Also, remember there were no automatic door openers then, the doors were opened and closed by prop men off camera.

      • “Also, remember there were no automatic door openers then, the doors were opened and closed by prop men off camera.”

        Or it could have been a secret experimentation on new technology, covered up by men in brown lab coats saying they were opening the doors by hand……….

        After all, didn’t the early Motorola flip phones bear a remarkable resemblance to Kirk’s communicator? They had to get their consumer research from somewhere didn’t they?


      • Also, remember there were no automatic door openers then

        Wiki: “In the 1st century AD, Greek mathematician Heron of Alexandria invented the first known automatic door….

        In 1931, engineers Horace H. Raymond and Sheldon S. Roby of the tool and hardware manufacturer Stanley Works designed the first model of an optical device triggering the opening of an automatic door. The invention was patented and installed in Wilcox’s Pier Restaurant in West Haven, Connecticut for the benefit of waiters carrying plates of food and drink. The entire system plus installation was sold for $100.[2][3]

        In 1954, Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt invented the first sliding automatic door. The automatic door used a mat actuator. In 1960, they co-founded Horton Automatics Inc and placed the first commercial automatic sliding door on the market.[4]”


    • Same here. His arguments about CAGW are borderline moronic. He seems not to have a clue about what science is, or indeed what a logical argument is since he wallows in logical fallacies and then struts around, all proud of himself.

  5. Hm, he sounded quite differently in his show Cosmos, supporting individual thought, citing examples from history where single scientists proved the “consensus” wrong many times. Well, until the climate change episode, where he displayed his disgusting hypocrisy very well. Suddenly everyone needs to obey the consensus and everyone whos not is a bad person. Astonishing!

    I actually respected him massively once, until I learned his hypocrisy. Hes not what he claims to be.

  6. Tyson is a talking (SNIP) of the left.

    This is an everyday occurrence for the leftist scientist activist Tyson as he shills on global warming er “climate change” all the time on MS-NBC and is buddy buddy with the wingnut Bill Maher:

  7. Somebody should educate this guy about the “100 Authors Against Einstein” as a learning opportunity on the perils of “consensus” science.

      • Though if you really sit down with the primary sources (ie. what GG and his contemporaries actually wrote and/or was recorded to have said), you beging to see a man who was less a dispassionate persecuted truth-seeker and more an a–hole who turned out to be right.

      • Or Chandrasekhar vs Eddington.

        ‘Science’ is the process of using the Scientific Method. And the Scientific Method is all about falsifying hypothesis using observational evidence.

        ‘Peer Review’ is not part of the Scientific Method, although it can reduce error but in the case of Lysenko it failed.
        ‘Consensus’ is also not part of the Scientific Method, although it can also reduce error but in the case of Galileo it failed.

        I am somewhat disappointed that the article only obliquely mentions the fact that it is ‘Observed Reality’ that distinguishes between competing hypotheses. Not how smart you, nor how nice your hypothesis sounds, nor how consistent it is with previous thinking, nor your celebrity.

        Empiricism was the great leap forward in civilization and science. And that is what even very intelligent people fail to focus on. It is the only way to dispel delusion.

      • May Galileo rest in peace. In the meanwhile, the institution demonstrated wrong lingers on.

        This time by picking itself a leader while ignoring or, worse, despite of his purposefully chosen namesakes’ devastating mission to Maya in the continent of his own origin. Who subsequently produces Laudato Si, essentially placing average outside air temperature fractions above humanity. I challenge you to name a worse ‘a-hole’ among the living now. Despite of Tyson’s astronomical efforts towards it, in my opinion he cannot be even measured in the same scale.

      • I like the example of Alfred Wegener and Continental Drift. Perhaps because his hypothesis was based on unbiased observations and is a great example of the application of the scientific method by a man working completely outside the field he was formally educated in. And the time it took for his work to overcome the resistance of the “consensus”.

  8. I don’t much care for speaking for others or clarifying for them what they really meant. “In other words” is really something which is the prerogative of the speaker not the listener.

    De Grasse’s words are foolish enough. Rebut them directly.

  9. “For an emergent scientific truth to become an objective truth – a truth that is true whether or not you believe in it – it requires more than one scientific paper. It requires a whole system of people’s research all leaning in the same direction, all pointing to the same consequences.”

    Tyson needs to find another job. Objective truth is not a system of people leaning in one direction. If it was, then these two statements – 1) the earth is at the center of the solar system, and 2) the sun is at the center of the solar system – would both have been objectively true because they once had people leaning toward both those conclusions.

    This is America’s greatest science communicator? He’s one it’s greatest fools.

    • Yes, that’s the money quote. Like so many activists he appears to have no understanding of the scientific method of investigating nature.

      To his credit he did correctly state the nature of an objective truth. I do not believe, however, that he is capable of understanding the significance of what he said.

    • In his vision of science there are only two states – we know absolutely nothing and we know the objective truth. Science actually meanders, goes up dead-ends, retreats, goes back and discovers that a discovery leads to far more new questions than have been answered.

      And of course objective truth actually requires just one irrefutable, reproducible paper.

    • Tyson seems to under that impression that the Laws on Nature, “Natural Truth”, do not exist unless “The Consensus” agree they do.
      “Consensus” aside, Scientific “Truth” should always have an asterisk, “*As far as we know….”.
      (Spiritual Truth? Outside the realm of science to confirm or refute.)

  10. “It requires a whole system of people’s research all leaning in the same direction, all pointing to the same consequences.” Big Tobacco is a shining example. The Big Oil is just inept.

    • There looks to be a distinction in the way market forces would be affected. Tobacco was trying to stave off a ban. ( Interestingly, tobacco and marijuana are of the same family : both were healing substances as employed by natives. They did not use filters or added chemicals to enhance absorption, or change the plant to increase nicotine content. Thank Agriculture Canada in the 50’s for that change. ) In contrast, poor nations ( disadvantaged by currency valuation games ) and poor people would suffer more from taxing energy use. The UN would obviously love to have a handy reservoir of major cash to administer as it sees fit. But the energy industry would do what it always does with government taxation : pass it on to the consumer.

  11. “For an emergent scientific truth to become an objective truth – a truth that is true whether or not you believe in it – it requires more than one scientific paper. It requires a whole system of people’s research all leaning in the same direction, all pointing to the same consequences.”

    No – the truth of a concept requires that counterarguments are looked for, identified, and considered – and that no sound counterargument can be found.

    • No.

      The test is “does your theory explain/track results from the natural system you’re describing and can it make accurate, testable predictions”

      • Theories (even those that make accurate, testable predictions) are only
        ever provisionally ‘true. Theories can never be ‘proved’ right.’

      • A bit too late – I know. But I disagree with JonA.

        Karl Popper messed up a bit by claiming that no theory can ever be proven true. That misconception stems from his aversion to definitions. Karl Popper regarded definitions as unimportant, as he stated: “It is, I now think, the fact that most philosophers regard definitions as important, and that they have never taken my assurance seriously that I do regard them as unimportant.»
        Karl Popper – The logic of scientific discovery Page 463

        His aversion to defintions, kind of complicated things (You will have a hard time to identify his methodical rules – just try) but it seems as he sort of regarded truth within natural sciences as a perfect representation of nature in the form of a theory that could never be improved in any way. (Ref. section 84 Remarks concerning the use of the concepts ‘true’ and ‘corroborated) Obviously, we can never reach that level, and even if we did, we would not know that we had reached that level of perfection. In that respect, Karl Popper was right. And, the statement from JonA is right: “Theories (even those that make accurate, testable predictions) are only
        ever provisionally ‘true. Theories can never be ‘proved’ right.’” However, that is not a very useful conception, and it led Karl Popper to introduce ´degrees of corroboration´. ´Degrees of corroboration´ is a slippery slope, it might even have opened up for the laughable ´level of confidence´ terminology that was introduced by IPCC.

        I think, that truth is a matter of definitions of concept, context and capabilities.
        In its simples form, it is true that: If I drop a rock, it will fall to the ground.

        Just imagine all the theories that have be true for JonA to write his comment and for me to reply to it!

        Anyhow, with great help from a friend, I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to define these things in a proper way. Please have a look at this piece: Principles of science and ethical guidelines for scientific conduct (v8.0)

        I will be happy to discuss these things, here or at my site. All the best, Science or Fiction.

    • Wasn’t it Einstein who pointed out, in response to concencus, that it only took one scientist to prove him wrong?

  12. I’m sure this has been brought up before here, but no one can find a paper on astrophysics or any other science field with Tyson as an author. Call him a TV personality but not an astrophysicist. I believe he was appointed to some governmental panel most likely based on his melanin content and political correctness.

    Furthermore many of the so called ‘climate scientists’ do not have a degree in that field nor in a related field like computer science which might be applicable to climate modeling.

  13. I get what is being said here, but actually the path over the earth’s surface of the moon’s shadow wasn’t really predicted, it was calculated.

    We can’t calculate with precision what the weather will be like at a given point on the planet with that same precision, therefore we must predict with a probability of error.

    • “We can’t calculate with precision what the weather will be like at a given point on the planet with that same precision, therefore we must predict with a probability of error.”
      Yeah, like Hurricane Maria’s path after leaving Puerto Rico toward North America. There were about a dozen disparate (redundant?) “spaghetti” models of its future path. If the actual 2-4 day path of a hurricane can’t be EXACTLY agreed upon by hurricane models, why would anyone expect us to believe what the climate/sea level/SST/etc. in 2100 is going to be? But Tyson/Nye/Algore/et al. said so. Snake oil, anyone?

    • It will probably snow in Detroit this winter, and it probably won’t snow in Detroit next July. There’s a prediction for you.

      Chaos theory was discovered by a climate modeller. link Accurate climate models are impossible, never mind error bars.

  14. Neil deGrasse Tyson can have my vote when I’m dead and buried. Of course he’ll have to fight with the DNC for it at that point.

  15. There are strict limits to expert performance.

    To say that we trust a college professor to teach our sons and daughters the history of the Second World War is not the same as saying that we therefore trust all academic historians to advise the president of the US on matters of war and peace. link

    Even an expert operating within his area of expertise can be wildly wrong, for whatever reason. The article linked above starts with an example of an eighth grader demolishing the work of a distinguished historian.

    Everyone should be brought up on Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Greek Myths, Shakespeare, Norse sagas, etc. These carry the commonsense lessons of thousands of years of western civilization. In this case the lesson should be taken most directly from The Emperor’s New Clothes. People are afraid to challenge experts who then make idiots of us all.

    • commieBob

      Fantastic article Bob. One I think we should all take lessons from but, more so, climate alarmists with their fanciful predictions.

  16. At least Bill Nye will make an effort to show he knows something. This Tyson guy is nothing but a garden variety know nothing Christian bigot. With horrible logic skills. Not sure who comes to hear his nonsense. I don’t think the Left understands how divisive “scientists” like this actually hurt their cause.

      • Your comeback says everything about your bigotries. Not to mention how closed your mind is to other’s feelings.

      • How so squiggy, the story mentioned nothing regarding Tyson’s beliefs (I believe Tyson is actually an atheist)
        By assuming that Tyson must be a Christian bigot, rgbact indicated his belief system and revealed it to be a bigoted one.
        Beyond that, why should I care about a bigot’s feelings?

      • Sorry, I meant bigoted against Christians. Thats the only reason Tyson has any following. He knows almost nothing about climate science, which the media knows and likes. See his quote above…… “What’s happening here is that there are people who have cultural, political, religious, economic philosophies that they then invoke”. He doesn’t attack skeptics arguments…he attacks who there are. He’s a bigot.

  17. It appears to me that Mr. Tyson is crabby because no one, including school children, accepted his labeling Pluto “NOT a planet” some time back.

    His response to this public disagreement was basically “It is if I say it is!”

    I worked for someone like that, an inept department head who was facing the end of his own road and brooked no rebuttal of anything he said. Ergo, I have quoted what he said to me when I showed him in A/R printouts and accounting results that his results were incorrect, by a wide margin of 10%. Yes, he got fired eventually. Tough bananas. But he would brook no argument, period. “It is if I say it is!!”

    Lord love a duck, how it must have landed on Tyson’s tailored, padded shoulders when the International Astronomical Union declared Pluto, with its satellite moons, its modestly thin atmosphere, and its peculiar orbit, to be a dwarf planet, which opened a new category for planetoids that are not as big as Venus or Earth or Mars, but certainly bigger than a breadbox.

    Pluto is a tad more than half the size of Mercury. Mercury and Pluto both have atmospheres, but the composition of each is widely different from the other. Pluto has moons (5 at last count), while Mercury has none. Mercury has a magnetic field, as does Pluto and one of Jupiter’s moons, Ganymede. These things are all proven facts, provided by data transmitted by various and sundry planetary probes, going back to the Voyager era, which Tyson may or may not remember.

    I sincerely hope he’s grumbling over that because he certainly is not humble enough to admit that he was wrong, and I’m equally sure that being overriden by the IAU in matters astronomical must have rankled in his soul.

    But frankly, his childish response of “It is if I say it is!”, which it what he continues to do, will not likely go away until he’s snowed in, the snow compresses, squishes his house, and traps him inside until the next interglacial period, and even then, we will continue to hear that silly response. It is if I say it is, my Fat Aunt Harriet!

    I don’t consider him to be much of an authority on anything right now, but he certainly does like seeking the spotlight to soothe his ruffled feathers.

  18. Venus again. James Hansen was a big Venus atmosphere guy until he moved into the Earth scientists. I guess that’s where he got the greenhouse idea from.

    Here is a short list from memory from the 20th and 21th centuries of the consensus being wrong. By wrong I mean it was changed. The new consensus for most of these items is quite likely true, however.
    1. The polio virus does not have viremic stage, thus, inducing an antibody to it by routine immunization would not stop the disease from spreading. This is a large reason why Salk never got a Nobel prize. He went against the establishment.
    2. The spleen in the adult has no vital function.
    3. Gastric ulcers are due to “bad thoughts” (stress) and spicy food.
    4. Catastrophic events cannot be invoked to explain the fossil record. To do so made you a nutcase.
    5. Carbohydrates are good for you, fats are bad.
    6. Petroleum was going to run out during the 20th century.
    7. Valvular surgery would not reverse the ravages of mitral valve stenosis on the heart.
    8. Low grade lymphomas were lethal diseases and required treatment with aggressive chemotherapy.
    9. Breast cancer can be cured with surgery.
    10. Breast cancer cannot be cured with surgery.
    You read that right. They changed their mind twice on this one.

    I am tired and with more rest I could make this list longer. Other people should make their own lists and we can email them to people who believe the consensus with all their hearts.

    • Did you know that the medical consensus was that a disease called Phtosis (if I spell it correctly) existed and was serious calling for major surgery. Phtosis was the disarray of the abdominal organs. They even operated on some poor victims to force the organs into the ‘right’ position.

      Well it turned out that autopsies are performed on horizontal bodies but X-rays were done with people standing vertically. Gravity had something to say about where the organs were location in each position and they were not the same positions.

      Other medical (recent) consensus failures were the amount of salt in the diet, the effect of salt on hypertension, the role of various fats in the diet and the list goes on and on.

    • -The tonsils are useless vestigial organs.
      -The appendix is a useless vestigial organ.

      Both overturned by advances in our knowledge of anatomy. Turns out these play a role in immune response (IIRC as places for backup colonies of our symbiotic bacteria to reside, to expedite their repopulation after an infection). Forty years ago these would often be taken out during unrelated surgery even if healthy, as a “kill two birds with one stone”. Now tonsilectomies and appendectomies are only performed when necessary.

    • Yes, I was surprised for some reason by Hansen’s view of Venus, because he failed to take several things into account about Venus.
      1 – Venus has an active geological interior and is constantly renewing its surface.
      2 – Venus has a rotational period of 4 Earth days.
      3- Venus does NOT have a satellite to provide a tidal pull opposing the Sun’s tidal pull, which the Earth DOES have.
      Those three things alone, which anyone can back up, are behind Venus’s extreme heat and poisonous atmosphere.
      Apparently. Hansen failed to read the lit on Venus to understand why it is the way it is, but he certainly did jump on it and turn it into a model, however false it was, for what will happen to Earth.
      I know that Earth may some day go into meltdown, too, but it’s so far off in the future – several billion years, in fact – that I can’t worry about it, because it will coincide with the beginning of the end for our Sun. And mostly likely, we won’t be here, anyway, so….
      So Mr. Hansen’s prediction and use of Venus as a model for Earth are totally bogus! And he’s kind of boring, too.

    • Human chromosome count was determined to be 48 for over 30 years…

      “Painter is also known for his early study of human chromosomes. In 1921 he first gave the number 24 for the count of human meiotic chromosomes. He had tried to count the tangled mass of chromosomes he could see under a microscope in spermatocytes in slices of testicle and arrived at the figure of 24. Others later repeated his experiment in other ways and agreed upon the number of 24. Popular thinking held that if there were 24 chromosomes in spermatocytes, there must be an equal number contributed by the female and the human chromosome number must be 48, which was undisputed for more than 30 years.[2] Then in 1955, Joe Hin Tjio, using more advanced techniques, looked at the chromosomes in human somatic cells and found 46 chromosomes. Together with Albert Levan, Tjio published his finding in early 1956, and the human chromosome number was finally revised.”

      • No one wanted to question the authority of the leading zoologist. Textbooks showing 23 chromosome pairs were purposely mislabeled to match consensus.

        I figure we have about 8-10 more years until AGW finally is laid bare.

        “From the 1920s to the 1950s, this continued to be held based on Painter’s authority,[42][43][41] despite subsequent counts totaling the correct number of 23.[40][44] Even textbooks[40] with photos showing 23 pairs incorrectly declared the number to be 24[44] based on the authority of the then-consensus of 24 pairs.[45]”

  19. Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Prostitute dictionary definition | prostitute defined – YourDictionary
    http://www.yourdictionary.com › Dictionary Definitions › prostitute
    The definition of a prostitute is a person who accepts money for sexual services, or sells their integrity for an unworthy purpose. An example of a prostitute is a …

  20. AGW is a conjecture and not a proven theory. There is no such thing as a scientific consensus. Scientists never registered and voted on the AGW conjecture. Furthermore, science is not a democracy. The laws of science are not some form of legislation. Scientific theories are not validated through a voting process.

    The AGW conjecture is based on only partial science and is full of holes. The AGW conjecture depends upon the existance of a radiant greenhouse effect caused by trace gases in the Earth’s atmosphere with LWIR absorption bands. The claim is that these trace gases trap heat. But in reality good absorbers are also good radiators so these gases do not trap any of the radiant energy that they absorb. In the troposphere heat transport is dominated by conduction, convection, and phase change and not LWIR absorption band radiation. If any gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere trapped heat energy it would be the non-greenhouse gases because they are such poor LWIR radiators to space.

    A real greenhouse does not keep warm because of the existance of a radiant greenhouse effect. A real greenhouse stays warm because the glass limits cooling by convection. So too on Earth. The surface of the Earth is 33 degrees C warmer than it might otherwise be because gravity limits cooling by convection.. The 33 degrees C is the results of a derivation from first proncipals and 33 degrees C is what has been observed. There is no additional warming caused by a radiant greenhouse effect. A radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed in a real greenhouse, on Earth or anywhere else in the solar system. The radiant greenhouse is science fiction. Hence the AGW conjecture is science fiction. This is all a matter of science.

  21. NDT was entertaining on the Jim and Sam Show months back. I don’t know if climate change was discussed during spots that I missed. The show closed by raising the issue of Bill Nye the Science Guy. Apparently he had an old episode that included a segment on genetics and gender. Obviously Nye’s current stance is in conflict with that. If you watch that episode on Netflix, that segment has been removed. NDT was quickly sputtering about how “maybe the science has changed,” etc. What a tool.

  22. The only difference between Tyson and Nye is that Tyson never wore a bow tie. Thus he is one step up in ‘credibility’ when compared to Pee Wee Herman Nye. Having said that, it is one small step up.

  23. Neil de Grasse -Tyson claims that scientists are characteristically argumentative and contentious, as evidenced by their behavior at conferences, and that is why there can’t possibly be even a self-enforced conspiracy. However, he fails to explain why climatologists supposedly are in nearly unanimous agreement about Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, and why he considers anyone disagreeing with them is a “denier,” when it is supposedly the character of scientists to disagree. The man is logically inconsistent and the term “hypocrite” is probably quite apt.

  24. Tyson’s ideas of how science works may be the ideal view. And scientists not being biased presumes there is no outside influence on their research. BUT what happens when the science journal and editors are biased against certain conclusions, not because of poor scientific data or reasoning, but because of their personal bias? AND what happens when the funding agency supporting that work makes it clear what research results it expects from the funding it gives? And what happens when those funding agencies are pressured by politicians on what research to support? And what happens when the press pursues the issue for ratings and not for truth?
    Imagine IF ALL scientific research were subject to these pressure points.
    Vies from a publishing, research scientist for 50 years.

  25. Eclipse models are predictable, because, orbits are relatively steady; like the sun at 12:00 noon in London from one day to the next.
    Whereas, a computer model with missing inputs, like Neil’s roulette wheel of doom, will predict which day a mammalogist will discover why some mammals have an appendix.

  26. Maybe Neil deGrasse Tyson should have used this NASA example of “consensus” thinking:

    A NASA Groupthink or “consensus thinking” resulted in launching the Challenger on that cold morning:

    Actually there was more than 1 engineer that recommended not to launch:

  27. The best science communicator that I ever saw was Don Herbert – “Mr Wizard”. He wasn’t a scientist but he knew how to demonstrate scientific ideas. His experiments fascinated me as a child and I still enjoy videos of his old shows. Don Herbert didn’t just communicate science, he communicated a deep love for and respect for science. Mr Wizard made the world a more interesting place.

    Tyson and Nye make the world seem to be a dangerous, forbidding place, but then their goals are very different from Don Herbert’s. They want to change the world politically. Mr Wizard merely wanted to help kids see the beauty and power of science. He communicated with individuals. They communicate with, consort with, and serve politicians.

  28. I am a paid scientist. Science isn’t about truth. It’s about testable hypotheses and repeating phenomena. You may choose to connect that to truth if you wish, but that is a metaphysical position that stands outside of science. (Whether or not the connection it true.)

      • gnomish

        Ha ha – if you’re being sarcastic.

        Otherwise, you’re dead wrong. Accuracy and truth are two very different concepts.

      • gnomish,
        Unfortunately, what we call “Truth” often changes over time. Paradigm shifts are usually the culprit that re-defines what we like to call truth. Just as all models are wrong, but some are useful, some ‘truths’ are useful. Those that are not useful we say are wrong. Those ‘truths’ may even vary with scale. That is, Newtonian physics has been shown to be a useful approximation, but doesn’t have the precision and scope that relativistic physics has. If two different approaches to a problem provide different answers, which one is the “Truth?” How can we be certain that relativistic physics won’t be superseded by some future refinement? I think that you need to be more flexible in your view of science and truth.

      • gnomish

        I’ll give it another shot:

        “truth” is best considered a philosophical (not scientific) concept. The term is commonly used in both arenas, causing confusion.

        Khun & Popper have written on & debated this point to no objective conclusion.

      • nope.
        first of all, if you can not define ‘definition’, you have no prayer of ever achieving more than the psychoepistemology of a parrot, repeating things you heard with no understanding
        until any one of you is capable of defining ‘truth’, one must conclude that you do not have the slightest clue.
        yet, you will presume to lecture me on a topic which happens to be my field of expertise?
        you’re clumsy, wrong and pretentious.

      • just so you can begin to get a clue:
        about the stupidest thing you can do is assert as truth that there is no such thing as truth or that it’s not possible to know it.
        it’s self evidently false, so the fact that you can’t tell is something that defines your character as sub sapiens.
        don’t waste any more of my time with mysticism, thanks. i’ll rip you up.

      • Truth is relative to context. An observable fact is not ‘truth’ it is an observable fact, thereafter subject to the interpretations of the observer.

        What is true in a high-context culture is, ‘what you need to hear at this time’, even if the observable facts are unchanging.

        “Proving something is true” is a mathematical expression used for convenience and brevity. Mathematicians have enough trouble proving the truth of 1+1=2, let alone proving CO2x2= +8.5 degrees C.

      • Crispin in Waterloo
        and you are proposing this as a truth?
        am i to accept your proposition as valid because it was a divine revelation?
        and how absurd would it be to ask you to prove what you say?
        can you expect me to credit you with intelligence when you don’t recognize the immutable falsehood of everything you just said.
        is your reasoning conducted by some abdominal organ?

  29. It is time everybody called “a denier” needs to react immediately with a question why? and demand an answer. Don’t let them stop debate by this remark or any like it. It seems recently that anybody can get called this if they don’t agree 100% with anything other than over the top alarmist rubbish.

    5000 people good agree with a scientific theory, but it only takes one to falsify it.

    Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

    Groupthink requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking. The dysfunctional group dynamics of the “ingroup” produces an “illusion of invulnerability” (an inflated certainty that the right decision has been made). Thus the “ingroup” significantly overrates its own abilities in decision-making and significantly underrates the abilities of its opponents (the “outgroup”). Furthermore, groupthink can produce dehumanizing actions against the “outgroup”.

  30. Tyson is a Leftist hack.

    He’s an apologist for the Left’s CAGW cargo cult, whose CAGW arguments are a litany of logical fallacies: argumentum ad populum, argumentum ad verecundiam, argumentum ad hominem, argumentum ad abusurdum, post hoc ergo prompter hoc, etc…

    Tyson is an embarrassment to science, alongside his sidekick Nye the “SCIENCE! (TM)” Guy…

    As Winston Churchill once said, “He’s a pyromaniac in a field of strawmen.”

  31. There is no such thing as Climate “Science.” There is a thing called Climatology, which is a sub-specialty of Geography. Geography is a purely descriptive discipline that seeks to understand why various thing are *where* they are. I have a BA (NB, Arts, not Science) degree in the latter and took climatology as an elective within that department/major. My climatology professor was none other than Ray Bradley, one of the co-authors, along with Malcom McHugh and Michael Mann, of the famous Hockey Stick paper. Michael Mann was Professor Bradley’s graduate assistant at the time. The department was very small, and almost uniformly subscribed to the the idea of the coming mini ice age. The department was also angling for a federal grant to become one of two “remote sensing” centers. Not sure if they got it or not as, I graduated, but let’s just say incentives may have changed as to what theory to go with.

  32. “I don’t see people objecting to [the prediction of an eclipse]. I don’t see people in denial of it. Yet methods and tools of science predict it. So when methods and tools of science predict other things, to have people turn around and say “I deny what you say,” there’s something wrong in our world when that happens.”

    The great scientist has spoken. But what he has uttered is a simple, garden-variety false analogy, a fallacy. Talk about a “tool of science!”

    • “I don’t see people objecting to [the prediction of an eclipse]. I don’t see people in denial of it. Yet methods and tools of science predict it. So when methods and tools of science predict other things, to have people turn around and say “I deny what you say,” there’s something wrong in our world when that happens.”

      The methods and tools for predicting an eclipse do not compare to the methods and … “tools” (largely PREDICTIVE tools known as computer models) for predicting human-caused climate catastrophe. You may as well compare a spectrometer to Facebook.

      The implied analogy is this: The methods and tools used to predict eclipses are equally as accurate as the methods and tools used to predict human-caused climate catastrophe. … clearly an unsupported claim, hence, yes, a grossly false analogy.

      He obviously has NOT taken the time to scrutinize the … “methods and tools” that he is supporting. I can only assume that he accepts them on faith alone, which is not very scientific. In fact, for an astrophysicist who has a high profile in the public eye, this is downright negligent. He has the technical training to know better. He reasonably should know better. He should make the effort to apply his technical training to allow him to know better. He is just playing along with a popular myth in order to remain popular himself as a celebrity “scientist”.

    • Just yesterday I predicted the Sun would rise this morning.
      Today I predict that the Sun will not rise on September 24, 2018 unless you surrender your money and freedoms to some sort of “Global Authority”.
      (Send me some of your money now and I’ll tell you what that Global Authority should be named.)

    • “People smarter than I am using stuff like math and observations figured out long before I was born when solar (and lunar!) eclipses will and where they will occur. So if you don’t believe me when I say that the CO2 you exhale will doom your children to not knowing what snow is and rob the Tuvalu children of their home (is)land, YOU ARE DENYING SCIENCE!!!”
      I might have messed up Tyson’s quote.
      But I think I got the gist right.

  33. Am I missing something?

    I grew up believing that “Limits To Growth” and Claude Levi-Strauss were spot on. Certainly appears to me they were accurate.

    Regardless, cooked &/or contaminated, when our food chains start to break up, due to one or the other, what will we eat, Pink Slime?

      • MarkW,
        Extrapolations are always fraught with risk. The value of warnings such as those promoted by the Club of Rome is that it sensitizes people to potential problems associated with a mindless assumption that they can proceed with Business as Usual. What seems to happen in the real world is that as resources become scarce, they increase in price and substitutes are found that are cheaper (and less expensive!). Look at modern modular furniture made of press board and compare it to the durability of antique furniture made of solid hardwood. As we substitute materials that are more abundant than the former materials, we often pay a price in the form of less efficiency or effectiveness, and less durability. Modern microscopes use abundant plastic and after a decade or two, the plastic gears get brittle and break — and the company no longer makes the plastic gears. So, you throw the microscope away. On the other hand, fine German over-engineered microscopes of the ’40s through the ’70s were built like proverbial battleships and just need some lubrication every 20 years and they are as good as new. Another thing is that technology often makes the use of some resources obsolete. Silver is no longer used at the rates it once was because silicon and other exotic elements used in digital cameras have replaced the silver. So, resource exhaustion based on linear extrapolations of consumption rates were right, it’s just that it no longer matters. A good leader thinks ahead and considers possibilities — like a chess player — and is rarely caught unprepared. Whereas, most others are notable by the oft repeated remark, “How come there’s no beer in the fridge?”

      • You mistake cost containment with resource limitations.
        There are no materials that we are in danger of running out of.
        Club of Rome etc. were completely wrong then. They are completely wrong now. They will still be completely wrong 100 years in the future.

      • To take your example of plastic gears rather than metal ones.
        There is no shortage of iron. It’s more abundant and cheaper today than it has been in the past.
        Plastic gears are cheaper because they are easier to form. Your desire to believe that we must be running out of stuff has caused you to make assumptions that aren’t justified by reality.

      • Clyde,

        “What seems to happen in the real world is that as resources become scarce, they increase in price and substitutes are found that are cheaper (and less expensive!). Look at modern modular furniture made of press board………”

        That’s a chicken and egg debate. Was chipboard popularised because it was found to be cheaper than solid wood,or because it used the whole tree, rather than select pieces, the remainder being discarded.

        Is the demand for chipboard products a response to its cheap retail price, and short life, or is it a response to consumer desire to change décor every few years.

        How many houses have you seen with old fashioned solid timber furniture stuck in the corner of a modern room, quite out of context, simply because it belonged to Granny? And whilst the obvious answer may well be, it’s initial cost price is negligible over 100 years, it doesn’t have soft close doors, integrated cutlery trays, hygienic plastic inserts, integrated lighting, wipe clean surfaces etc.

        A pocket watch in the late 19th/early 20th century would have been a serious investment. A Casio watch today will exceed the practical function of the pocket watch (waterproof, shockproof, wearable on the wrist, illuminated, solar etc.) and I can get one for less than £10.

        I don’t think resource scarcity is a problem because technology is largely the answer.

        Although I suspect we are arguing along the same lines.

      • MarkW,
        You said, “There are no materials that we are in danger of running out of.” How about helium?

  34. I do not have the scientific pedigree of many people who read this blog, but unless I’m missing something (quite possible, I grant you) a solar eclipse has two variables. The path of the moon. The path of the Earth. (The sun is constant). That’s it. Two known variables that can be reliably mapped with precision. The math that computes the orbits is impressive to me. But the concept is so simple my 5 year old understands it. It’s a shadow. That’s it. Light shines. Thing blocks light. You get shadow.

    Honestly, explaining how a paperweight works is more complicated than explaining an eclipse.

    But the nature of our climate has dozens (hundreds?) of variables. Some known. Many unknown. All of them uncontrolled. And their interactions are extraordinarily complex.

    To cite sciences ability to predict an eclipse as reason to accept prediction of climate change is like saying because I can microwave a burrito (place burrito, set timer) that I can make 7 course meal and finish it off with a soufflé.

    It’s just a terrible analogy. And its terribleness should be obvious.

    My work is applying psychology to the financial world (i.e., behavioral finance). When I hear people say they can predict the climate – quite exactly, far into the future – based on CO2, I compare it to people being able to predict the S&P 500 Index – quite exactly, far into the future – based on “oil supply” (insert your own variable here).

    It is preposterous.

    Please let me know if my reasoning/analogies are faulty. I wouldn’t want to be like Neil Degrasse Tyson (i.e., peddling stupidity in blissful ignorance).

    • I think that’s the best response I’ve read yet to this nonsensical propaganda machine’s rollout of the demand to “conform, or else”.

      • Agreed.
        If I was to anything it would be that what Man does, does have a huge impact on the economy and economic models.
        What Man does does, not have a huge impact on “Climate”.
        An eclipse has a greater impact.

  35. So Tyson, should we really be discussing flogiston’s impact on average outside air temperature and motion? Or, going further back in historical consensus, the impact of malevolent and magical females on the same?

  36. When people tell me they side with the science, I send them to the Petition (currently leading Cook et al 31500 to 75).

  37. Or, if consensus is measured within a specific subset of people, pastafarists have the following:

    Having said that, flat earthers’ consensus proof is looking much closer to the one you seem to be upholding at all costs:

    • jaakkokateenkorva,
      I see that you have used the same pirate graph that David Middleton used. It is obvious because of the mistake of the number sequence on the abscissa — “35000, 45000, 20000, 15000,…” Note especially the value for 1860 CE.

  38. In The Uk we have a guy Called Prof Brian Cox, he pulls the same schtick. He was the one in the Aussie debunking show debunking here. With his #Graff”

    CLimate science propaganda has become about signalling belief and testing faith even in the most ridiculous concepts this article elaborates on the point vis, General Political propaganda.

    Most folk that wash up on these shores must know it is a fool’s errand to try and disabuse the faithful of their faith. And unfaithful priests will continue to seek offerings from their flocks for as long as the Host remains alive.
    On Settled Sceance

    and re-branding the Carbon Surplus question?http://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/2016/11/re-framing-war-on-carbon-carbon-surplus.html

    • To be fair, Brian Cox kicked Malcolm Roberts into touch here, not because he was right, but because Malcolm Roberts failed to understand what he was doing.

      Cox made a statement, and (conveniently) had his drawings to back him up. TV shows love images.

      Malcolm Roberts launched into an attack on the science, from a scientist. Roberts may have been right, but the public generally perceive, rightly or wrongly, ‘scientists’ to be all knowing and all seeing. Cox is an expert in his own field, outwith that he is no more an expert than me on climate science, and I don’t have a qualification to my name.

      What I do know, however, is that if you’re trying to sell something to an audience of one, or a million, you NEVER attack the opposition. He is attacking the considered thought and opinions (ill considered or otherwise) of every audience member who is an alarmist, so of course he’s going to be jeered. At best he could be considered ill prepared, surely if Cox had graphs to hand, the subject must have been on the agenda and Roberts should have been equally prepared.

      The only way to overcome you competitors is to retain control of the conversation, and make your argument positive and relevant to the audience, not the competition.

      The very first thing Roberts should have done was ask Cox, very politely, if he could borrow the graphs for a second. They would have been passed to him by the chair. Cox couldn’t have refused, or been considered petulant. Then Roberts would have control of the images, instead he allowed them to be thrown to him, deliberately short. Cox is in some ways, no fool.

      The second thing Roberts should have done was congratulate Cox on his sterling research efforts to find the graphs, Roberts then had control of and, instead of challenging NASA, introduced another agency or authority which contradicted the graph. Roberts has no qualifications, in the public’s eye, that trump Cox’s. So if he is to introduce a criticism, it can’t possibly be from him.

      The third thing Roberts should have done was move to the incredible benefits of increased atmospheric CO2 to humanity. He could also have emphasised that there is no empirical evidence whatsoever that demonstrates CO2 causes the planet to warm up. He almost tried, but very badly.

      All very well in hindsight, but this is an experienced politician taking on a showman scientist with little more than criticism of his appeal to authority (which Roberts shouldn’t have mentioned as few laymen understand what that is) and Roberts bombed badly.

      Roberts is correct, of course, but god help us if he’s the politician in the Australian parliament taking on the establishment. If they wheel out an ‘expert’ and he conducts himself as badly in parliament as he did here, he’s toast.

  39. subtle way to say those who don’t believe in rca theory are stupid because they don’t understand there are enough evidences..

    but well is rca theory a scientific theory? i am not sure of that..

    they say…climate wil change oddly according to models…ie in a simili probabilsitic way…
    then whatever the futur climate…it will not disprove the theory..

    WHAT IS RCA theory exactly? what is the meaning of models ensemble ? is it a probability?

    I do accept the models ensemble…but is it better than a crystal ball and why?

  40. I watched a documentary on Rachel Carlson (author of Silent Spring). Carlson argued that science had not considered the long term effects of chemicals such as DDT spraying. Scientist Naomi Sarkes came to her defence pointing out that while Carlson was not a scientist, she had confronted the (mostly male) consensus, she was right, and that science needs to listen to such people.

    While science rarely lacks consensus it often lacks consistency.

      • I remember reading Silent Spring when I was an undergraduate in college. As I recollect, there was a description of robins acting drunk, which she attributed to them eating earthworms laced with DDT. I reflected at the time that I had never observed such a thing. However, I figured it must be true, why else would my professor have me read the book? Now, after several decades of additional observations, I have to wonder if Carson wasn’t just observing robins that had recently been dining on fermented pyracantha berries and mistakenly attributed their behavior to something she was convinced was bad. Such is the risk of formulating a hypothesis and then looking for evidence to support it.

      • Clyde,
        An observation that SEEMED to support her hypothesis but that she never tested, just accepted it as a “proof” of her hypothesis.

  41. [blockquote]For an emergent scientific truth to become an objective truth – a truth that is true whether or not you believe in it – it requires more than one scientific paper. It requires a whole system of people’s research all leaning in the same direction, all pointing to the same consequences. That’s what we have with climate change as induced by human conduct. This is a known correspondence. If you want to find the three percent of the papers or the one percent of the papers that conflicted with this, and build policy on that – that is simply irresponsible.[/blockquote]

    So, when the first paper supporting the theory of plate tectonics came out and was in conflict with all the prior scientific papers it should have been ignored. No further inquiry into the theory should have occurred. Right?

    What a bizarre view of science. To believe that once a ‘consensus’ is reached all further inquiry should be stopped, because of course sceintists have NEVER been wrong.

    • “ddpalmer
      September 24, 2017 at 2:44 am

      [blockquote]For an emergent scientific truth to become an objective truth – a truth that is true whether or not you believe in it ”

      For the HTML to work use the brackets, not the ones above.


    • Typical, try to help, petard hoisted and all that. The brackets you need are the “less than and greater than” signs. They didn’t show in my example because they were ignored.


    • As SteveT said, use the “less than” and “greater than” keys instead of the “[” and “]” keys.
      See Ric’s side bar for more fun with formatting here.

  42. Don Genaro … … began to tell a most disconcerting tale about a country bumpkin who became an
    important official during a time of political upheaval. Don Genaro said that the hero of his story
    was appointed minister, or governor, or perhaps even president, because there was no way of
    telling what people would do in their folly. Because of this appointment he came to believe that
    he was indeed important and learned to put on an act.

    Don Genaro paused and examined me with the air of a ham actor overplaying his part. He
    winked at me and moved his eyebrows up and down. He said that the hero of the story was very
    good at public appearances and could whip up a speech with no difficulty at all, but that his
    position required that he read his speeches, and the man was illiterate. So he used his wits to
    outsmart everybody. He had a sheet of paper with something written on it and flashed it around
    whenever he gave a speech. And thus his efficiency and other good qualities were undeniable to
    all the country bumpkins. But one day a literate stranger came along and noticed that the hero
    was reading his speech while holding the sheet upside down. He began to laugh and pointed out
    the lie to everyone.

    Don Genaro again paused for a moment and looked at me, squinting his eyes, and asked, “Do
    you think that the hero was caught? Not a chance. He faced everyone calmly and said, ‘Upside
    down? Why should the position of the sheet matter if you know how to read?’ And the bumpkins
    agreed with him.”

    Tales of Power: Carlos Castaneda.

    There are two morals to be drawn. One is that people who are so stupid that they think they know, but dont even know what they don’t know, are inevitably going to make poor decisions outside of what they know how to do. Making sure that the majority of people are stupid, indoctrinated and above all else, self important, is the business of the Liberal.

    Secondly, Modern philosophy has pretty much shown the the search for ultimate truth is impossible. I could go into the reasons but I doubt anyone would last the first paragraph. Suffice to say that there is no ‘scientific truth’ – only scientific models that work, and some that don’t. People like this Tyson operate at a level of doublethink that is truly amazing. They use the proposition that no truth is attainable to redefine what is true as simply what is believed to be true. (this doesn’t explain why its not refuted by not believing in it, mind you). And then they use ‘science’ to declare that it is, after all, true.

    And this technique works because people are silly and self-important. They don’t want to admit to being utterly unable or too lazy to follow arguments: So they nod sagely and cover up their ignorance with passionate advocacy.

    And they have the time to do this because a post modern industrial society largely runs itself – although there is constant interference to try and stop it, by these people – and they haven’t anything better to do.

    Anthropogenic climate change is 97% bunk. Real scientists know this, but the world has very few of those – instead what it has is a hoi polloi that is educated into belief and trust in received wisdom handed out by authority figures, and who are constantly flattered and lied to by a while global industry set up and dedicated to doing just that. The advertising. marketing public relations and media industry.

    This global entity has no interest in the truth whatsoever. It is only concerned ultimately that its message is believed. The medium is not the message any more. The message is simply part of a world view that is constructed by the media to achieve traction with a majority of the population. Just as in the 50s a whole generation were reared on V8s, chrome , tail-fins and the American Dream, today the emphasis has shifted to climate change, LBGT issues, white guilt and political intolerance and so on.

    There is no solution to this unless people become apprised of the idea that all media output is targeted marketing, and they are the target.

    And understand that there is no Truth, but that in one specific area, science, a well developed mechanism for excluding known lies or known imponderables is in place, and that when applied to climate change, it shows the thesis of the alarmists to be false.

    Science itself may not survive the onslaught of political marketing that has been evinced by climate change politics.

    And as society that 97% is controlled by lies, with a population educated to believe in lies, is not going to withstand the onslaught of better and more appealing liars.

    I.e. like Jihadists.

    The Climate alarmists say the globe isn’t at risk. I say in fact the globe is fine, what is at risk is Western civilisation.

    It’s success was built on certain moral and intellectual disciplines. Those were not absolute, and have therefore been challenged by the anti-social forces of the Left. But without those disciplines, society falls apart into warring tribes – look at it now! Left versus Right is a war of hatred in the media. Everything is a war of hatred. Jihad is a war of hatred. Climate change is a war of hatred.


    I think the reason is simply the same one that created Nazi hatred in the 30s. Lebensraum. Too many damned people and nothing for them to do except watch TV and listen to the media telling them about what they could be if only those more fortunate than themselves (who are of course morally indefensible) were stripped of power.

    We need dead heroes. Lots of them. to date the solution has been effective mushroom management* and debt fuelled consumerism. We are now all slaves of large merchant banks, on paper.

    That’s gone sideways since the millennium. Propaganda is now involved in a massive display of utter irrelevancy* syndrome behaviour. In the UK the government has pent months of parliamentary time debating the morality of fox-hunting, or LBGT issues and so called ‘gay marriage’ but less than an afternoon going to war with Iraq on false documentation. The media are full of ‘green’ issues. But energy simply gets more expensive and the upward march of CO2 has not changed at all.

    No one has solved the debt crisis. No one is even addressing it.

    We are, in short precisely where the Roman Empire was when its politics became no more than ‘bread and circuses’***. And that was just 100 years before Rome ceased to be capital of the Roman empire, and its long decline had already started.

    Those that are in love with cycles might care to ponder on the feedback that has strong bold disciplined societies building a wonderful safe environment for weak stupid and ill informed people to live in, only to have the weak stupid and ill informed come to dominate the strong and disciplined, thus ensuring there is no defence against someone else’s strong and disciplined invasions.

    I dont mind being run by Goldman Sachs, if that’s what it takes, or fed a diet of irrelevant pap to keep me happy. Ignorance is bliss. What I do object to is complete incompetence on the part of the ruling elites. And being fed a diet of hatred and bigotry by them. Climate change has been a great distraction. But it is a dangerous anti-social fallacy to propagate. Societies that Believe In Climate Change will not do well when faced with those with 200 years of stockpiled uranium and enough reactors to run their whole nation.

    There will always be ruling elites. That is not the problem. It’s not even that they talk bollox and say one thing while doing another. Its not that they employ vast numbers of people to create the mental and emotional reality that the modern (sub)urban consumer lives in. No, the problem is that there are real issues out there, real existential issues for them as well as the people they have enslaved. And they are not competent to deal with them, except by telling more lies.

    That is the worry. Incompetence. Not elitism. And that we may end up in a war, simply because no other politically acceptable way to reduce populations and give people something to do, can be found.

    *keep them in the the dark and feed them on sh1t…
    **The Peter Principle: the Utter Irrelevantist makes not the slightest pretence of doing his job. For example, the president of a company who spends all of his time serving on the directorates of charitable organisations.

    ***”Bread and circuses” (or bread and games; from Latin: panem et circenses) is metonymic for a superficial means of appeasement. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the generation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace, as an offered “palliative”. Its originator, Juvenal, used the phrase to decry the selfishness of common people and their neglect of wider concerns. The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the commoner. (wiki)

  43. One of the most articulate sceptical articles I’ve ever read – they’ve earned themselves a subscription..

  44. All that needs to be done is to present this publicity hound with a graph showing the dozens of temperature predictions made by dozens of climate model programs and ask him why he thinks there is a consensus, even amongst global warming true believers. Ask him to point out the “one true objective fact” in all of these wildly desparate predictions, all of which are severely inaccurate.
    Obviously we have some pretty dumb astrophysicists running around loose in this country.
    Throwing a ridiculous claim about democracy being “destroyed” by citizens believing things that aren’t true disregards hundreds of years of people believing all kinds of falsehoods – get cold and wet and you’ll catch a cold being perhaps the most everlasting falsehood I can think of. Now, exactly how is that kind of thing going to “destroy democracy”? This jerk better not ever place himself in a position where the questions are from well-informed skeptics. He will likely look REALLY stupid. Like Bill Nye the Science Guy did when , after he suddenly proclaimed himself a climate expert, he was unable to name a single one of the half dozen temperature data sets that are the basis of practically all climate research.

  45. Paragraph below is part of book describing the religion of Secular Socialism in the chapter of one of its sects the Church of Warming. I guess I need to add Nye & Tyson to the group.

    While the day to day clergy, government funded climate scientists, managing the flock only get recognition in the mundane area of peer review there are recognized climate evangelicals that demand the adoration of the masses through their “fire and brimstone” messaging of the impending doom or infinite reward. Joel Osteen, Christian evangelical, and Al Gore, Warming Evangelical, are interchangeable figures promoting religion agendas to save mankind from their sins while creating a massive amount of wealth for themselves. Neither has ever had an original creative insight about their supposed religious doctrines, other than to create a more lucrative conduit to their personal bank accounts. Neither of them has any academic or other credentials that would at least indicate a lifetime of study to give some validation to their esoteric claims of superior knowledge versus their laic followers. Yet both have been recognized as having some sort of divine knowledge as if from on high or at least in Gore’s case the ionosphere. While there are many others like Jim Hansen of NASA who was caught manipulating the climate record and Michael Mann of Penn State whose famous Hockey Stick was shown to be a complete farce of the scientific method no one has achieved the recognition or wealth of Al Gore as the foremost spreader of the Warming Gospel.

    • When you get it done, let us know, please. And make sure you have an index and a bibliography. Joel Osteen is doing this now? I wondered why I don’t like him.

  46. You know, I always thought that in “science”, you did the experiment more than once to get consistent results. It was never a one-off, because with a one-shot-at-it effort, you proved nothing, and your results were only one sample That was in high school, a long, long time ago. In order to prove your experiment, you had to repeat it, others had to repeat it, and you all had to get the same results. But that was in a controlled setting, e.g., chemistry class, where you controlled the ingredients and could repeat the experiment to get the same results.
    So here on this little planet of ours, with atmosphere, geology, orbital and physical eccentricities, and absolutely no control of any of it, would someone please tell me how these people expect me or anyone else to believe that:
    A) – the results of their number crunching are correct when they are altered to suit a specific agenda
    B) – we can control what happens to the planet when we can barely control our own emotions and appetites
    C) – we should believe a “forecast” for an entire planet when weather forecasters are accurate only to about a week out, and that frequently changes with the way the wind blows. (Irma’s track forecast changed almost hourly.)
    This whole thing smacks of greed for your money and your willingness to follow the “consensus” religion, as if we’re still as uninformed and uneducated as people were in the Dark Ages, which is completely untrue. It’s an attempt to gain control by turning a nerdy branch of study into a religion, and nothing else. Thanks to TV and the internet, there are more opportunities to follow the progress of the more fanatical and greedy individuals like Tyson and Nye, people who are more than happy to be in the spotlight and who truly believe that the rest of us are too stupid to live or argue with them and prove them wrong. It’s a great time to be alive, because we can rightfully scoff at them, disagree if we wish to without fear of punishment like an Inquisition, and go on about our business. Frankly, I find the Farmers Almanac and the Old Farmers Almanac to be more accurate that people like Tyson, in many respects.
    Since we don’t have time machines yet, we can’t jump into the future and view the results of these “forecasts” (and I use that term loosely). Therefore, everything they say is pure speculation, in my view, and not acceptable as a given.
    When they insist on forcing down someone’s throat, or making repeated idiotic appearances (wearing a boutonniere, for Pete’s sake???) to flog their subject, they are less and less convincing.
    Refusing to allow an opposing view is an act of fanaticism, which has to be stopped. I know that they depend on mob mentality to support them.
    They are, in fact, so insistent and sometimes vehement about it that you have wonder what’s next? Medieval stuff? Spanish Inquisitions? Hey, nobody expects a Spanish Inquisition! (Cue the Cardinals!)
    I hope that some day soon, we can look back at all of this over hot chocolate and cookies after a snowball fight, and point at them, and laugh. I sincerely believe that they are completely wrong, and the only thing they are interested in is the cash they can get out of flogging their view.
    As Princess Leia said ‘The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems/people will slip through your fingers.’
    Let’s continue to be skeptical. Really, really skeptical. Loudly and annoyingly skeptical.
    It’s allowed, and we need it.

  47. Since Neil is an astrophysicist he’ll know full well about the mystery of the Sun’s Corona, well into the millions of K and no one really knows why. So much for radiative physics.

    And that’s not a jibe. It really is a mystery that you can have a rarefied super hot plasma halo around a star sitting a million miles out when the temperature is “supposed” to go down as you come out from the centre.

    Or that every model of a star has to pass the Sun sniff test. The Kurucz model for temperatures is a good one but many have failed.

    • “This week researchers announced that a storm is coming–the
      most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati
      of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). ‘The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50%
      stronger than the previous one,’ she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity
      second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958.” (From Science @ NASA.)

      Of course it must have been true. That was the consensus of the scientists.

  48. Neil deGrasse Tyson left the scientific world behind when he chose acting as a career.

    Now, Tyson is solely a paid mouthpiece reading from his cue cards,
    Just as other scientists, before him, who prefer acting over hard mental work.

  49. My earlier comment seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle.

    @Neil deGrasse Tyson – The path over the earth’s surface of the moon’s shadow wasn’t predicted, it was calculated. So, a statement regarding the next solar eclipse won’t be a prediction per se, it will be a statement of calculated fact.

    The “methods and tools of science” regarding the climate aren’t even close to being as well known as they are regarding some astrophysical actions and events. Skeptics recognize this, and so should anyone claiming to be a “scientist” in this day and age.

    As an aside –

    If I predict the sun will rise in the east tomorrow and repeat this prediction for 100 days, will I then be able to proclaim I have a 100% accuracy in my predictions?

  50. “I don’t see people objecting to [the prediction of an eclipse]. I don’t see people in denial of it. Yet methods and tools of science predict it. So when methods and tools of science predict other things, to have people turn around and say “I deny what you say,” there’s something wrong in our world when that happens.”

    This example says it all. Belief (with religious faith) that we can just pick all the right mathematical equations to plug into global climate models and simulate the atmosphere for the next 100 years with the same skill as predicting a solar eclipse is stunningly naive.

    20 years ago, scientists could be excused for believing this. However, the poor performance of global climate models since then, which have been too warm, other than when natural El Nino’s spike the temperature higher, and close to what models project without an El Nino is enough for an objective scientist to know better.

  51. If true science and objective truth are based upon consensus, then why do we not still believe we live on a flat earth with sun, planets, and stars circulating about us on transparent spheres?

  52. Anyone who tries to compare predicting eclipses to predicting the climate has demonstrated that they have no knowledge of either.
    Orbital mechanics is based on a single, well understood and precisely defined equation. The only variables are the force of gravity and the speed and direction of the objects in question.
    While the first is still being refined, it is known to quite a few digits of accuracy. The second, can also be easily measured with a great deal of accuracy.

    The climate on the other hand involves tens of thousands of equations, many of which are still poorly understood. Likewise,many of the most important the initial conditions are also not well known.

  53. Saw part of this interview. The part that floored me was the comment basically saying we do not have the right to question the consensus, or something to that effect.

  54. I’m truly shocked that this is the thinking of an astrophysicist who must have had (I would hope) a classical scientific education of the purest kind. Steve MacIntyre’s observation in examining and critiquing climate science papers (resulting, in some cases, retractions) is apropos here:

    “…. In my opinion, most climate scientists on the Team would have been high school teachers in an earlier generation – if they were lucky. Many/most of them have degrees from minor universities. It’s much easier to picture people like Briffa or Jones as high school teachers than as Oxford dons of a generation ago. Or as minor officials in a municipal government.

    Allusions to famous past amateurs over-inflates the rather small accomplishments of present critics, including myself. A better perspective is the complete mediocrity of the Team makes their work vulnerable to examination by the merely competent.”

    – Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit Aug 1, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Steve’s humility is refreshing in this day and age. Question: why is Tyson not referred to as Dr. Tyson? It strikes a jaded sceptic like me that his title is being studiously avoided but an impression left with pronouncement of his lofty field of study, whenever he pops up. I’m not one who reveres higher degrees per se, and I don’t have a PhD myself, nor does Steve MacIntyre nor many other talented analytical minds one meets on sceptic pages. But the quality of his discourse suggests a poster boy status like Bill Nye and not a rigorous research boffin. His language is that of one seeminly talking about his betters. Now I will stop here, because one could expect a European police service knocking on my door at 3am if I were on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

  55. In my opinion science does not seek to find out what is true that is philosophy but we do expect science to be objective and put all sides of a debate fairly which Neil degrasse Tyson does not . There is a confusion today between social science which is not objective(economics is not a science neither is climate science) and science which is objective and is independent of what we would like to be true.

  56. Dr. Tyson seems to be a practioner of Post-Normal science and not a follower of the scientific method as elucidatecd by Karl Popper. It seems to me to be like a Yankees-Red Sox game where the Yankees would get 4 outs per inning and the Red Sox, but 3. I would really like to see a scholarly article on WUWT, scientifically rebutting consensus.

  57. We weren’t allowed to question drug companies when they paid scientists to tell us thalidomide was safe for pregnant women.
    >>>Because, they said, the science was incontrovertible.
    We weren’t allowed to question oil companies when they paid scientists to tell us that cars wouldn’t run on unleaded fuel.
    >>> Because, they said, you couldn’t argue with science.
    We weren’t allowed to question the Nazis when they paid scientists to tell us that Jews, gays, and gypsies were subhuman.
    >>> Because, they said, the science was beyond question.
    We weren’t allowed to question sugar manufacturers when they paid Harvard scientists to tell us sugar was good for us.
    >>> Because, they said, the science was unassailable.
    We weren’t allowed to question our government when they paid scientists to tell us agent orange was not a health risk for veterans.
    >>> Because, they said, the science was settled.
    Why can’t we question the government when they pay scientists to tell us the world will end if we don’t stop global warming?

    For thousands of years ordinary people have been questioning scientists, their governments, and religious institutions.
    Asking questions of the powerful should never be a crime nor a reason for ridicule.

  58. oh good lord, if Tyson was a white Irishman nobody but a few grad students would have ever heard of him …

Comments are closed.