Why The Claimed “97% Consensus” Is Meaningless

I got to thinking about how science progresses. Science is a funny beast. It’s not a “thing”, it’s a process. The process works like this:

  • One or more people make a falsifiable claim about how the physical world works. They support it with logic, math, computer code, examples, experience, experimental results, thought experiments, or other substantiating backup information.
  • They make all of that information public, so others can replicate their work.
  • Other people try to find things that are wrong with the original claim, including errors in the logic, math, computer code, examples, and the rest.
  • If someone can show the original claim is wrong, that claim is falsified and rejected.
  • If nobody can show the claim is wrong, then it is provisionally accepted as scientifically valid … but only provisionally, because at any time new information of any kind may show that the claim actually is wrong.

Note that there is two things that must be present for this process we call “science” to work. The first is total transparency. If the author of the claim refuses to provide the data, computer code, or any part of the supporting evidence, the claim cannot be either replicated or falsified and thus it is not a part of science.

The second necessary component is that the claim must be falsifiable. If I say “There is a Pastafarian God who controls the universe through his noodly appendages”, no one can falsify that statement … so it’s not a scientific claim.

Now, let me point out what doesn’t make any difference in this process. The following things do not matter at all in real scientific investigation:

  • The nationality, sex, educational level, previous accomplishments, publications, age, credentials, shoe size, or hair color of the person making the claim. They mean nothing—the claim is either true or not, regardless of those meaningless side issues.
  • The location where the claim is made. It is either true or not, regardless of whether it is published in a scientific journal, posted on the web, or written on an outhouse wall.
  • The nationality, sex, educational level, previous accomplishments or publications, credentials, shoe size, or hair color of the person who has found problems with the claim.
  • Peer review. The peer reviewers have a lifetime invested in their own work and beliefs, and if their worldview is overthrown by a new scientific paradigm, they may be out of work. As a result, these days peer review mostly functions as the gatekeeper of the consensus, preventing the publication of any claim that disagrees with the agreed theories. It is no guarantor of scientific validity. From the National Institutes of Health: “We have little evidence on the effectiveness of peer review, but we have considerable evidence on its defects. In addition to being poor at detecting gross defects and almost useless for detecting fraud it is slow, expensive, profligate of academic time, highly subjective, something of a lottery, prone to bias, and easily abused.”
  • Personal attacks. Attacking the person instead of attacking the person’s ideas is called an “ad hominem” attack, from the Latin meaning “to the man”. The most common one in climate science is when someone calls their opponent a “denier”. This is a childish attempt to discredit the person rather than deal with what they are saying. My rule of thumb with these kinds of personal attacks is “When someone starts throwing mud, it’s a sure sign they’re out of real ammunition.”
  • And finally, to get to the subject of this post, it doesn’t matter how many people believe the original claim. Consensus on the claim is meaningless. It makes no difference if every learned person in the world, backed by the Catholic Church, believes some idea is true—as Copernicus and Galileo proved, scientific validity is not determined by either consensus or a vote.

In fact, all scientific advances occur in the same manner. Someone questions the revealed wisdom. Someone doesn’t believe the agree-upon explanation. Someone doesn’t think the current theory is quite correct. Someone disagrees with the learned scientific societies, the consensus of experts, the accepted paradigm.

And in the process, new scientific ideas are brought to light and agreed upon … until such future time as they, in turn, may be overthrown.

So I thought I’d provide a few quotes from profound thinkers on this very question. Let me start with the polymath Michael Crichton, author, director, medical student, television producer, Emmy winner, and most interesting man.

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had. — Michael Crichton

Next, gotta have a few quotes from the OG of scientific breakthroughs, Big Al, noted “Isaac Newton Denier”:

Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of the truth. — Albert Einstein

To punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an authority myself. — Albert Einstein

 When a pamphlet was published entitled 100 Authors Against Einstein, Einstein retorted “If I were wrong, one would be enough.” — Albert Einstein, perhaps apocryphal but absolutely true

Then there’s Richard Feynman, one of the best physicists of the last century:

Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. — Richard Feynman

Have no respect whatsoever for authority; forget who said it and instead look at what he starts with, where he ends up, and ask yourself, “Is it reasonable? — Richard Feynman

Here’s Scott Adams, cartoonist, hypnotist, author, and general troublemaker:

One thing I can say with complete certainty is that it is a bad idea to trust the majority of experts in any domain in which both complexity and large amounts of money are involved. — Scott Adams

Whenever you have money, reputations, power, ego, and complexity in play, it is irrational to assume you are seeing objective science. — Scott Adams

And if you will allow me a short digression, I can’t let the opportunity pass without quoting Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons:

When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there is an important lesson to be learned. … … Do not have sex with the authorities. — Matt Groening

Facts are meaningless! You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true — Homer (Simpson)

… but I digress. Let us return to the important issue of the meaningless nature of scientific consensus by quoting the aforementioned Galileo Galilei:

In the sciences, the authority of thousands of opinions is not worth as much as one tiny spark of reason in an individual man. — Galileo

And Copernicus:

Among the authorities, it is generally agreed that the Earth is at rest in the middle of the universe, and they regard it as inconceivable and even ridiculous to hold the opposite opinion. However, if we consider it more closely the question will be seen to be still unsettled, and so decidedly not to be despised. — Nicholas Copernicus

Nor is this idea of questioning the authorities new. One of the clearest visions of how science is the process of disbelieving the experts comes from the 11th-century Persian physician, philosopher, and astronomer Abu ‘Ali al-Husayn ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Sina, better known in the West as Avicenna, who over a thousand years ago wrote:

The seeker after truth is not one who studies the writings of the ancients and, following his natural disposition, puts his trust in them, but rather the one who suspects his faith in them and questions what he gathers from them, the one who submits to argument and demonstration and not the sayings of human beings whose nature is fraught with all kinds of imperfection and deficiency.

Thus, the duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads, and, applying his mind to the core and margins of its content, to attack it from every side. He should also suspect himself as he performs his critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either prejudice or leniency. — Avicenna

Astounding insights from a man writing in the year 1000 … nothing new under the sun.

And why have I written all of this? Well, it’s because I’m bone-tired of people saying “But Willis, don’t you know that all the scientists agree about the ‘Climate Emergency’? Don’t you realize you’re going against a hundred years of settled climate science? Your work can’t possibly be true, it isn’t peer-reviewed, and besides you’re a climate denier! Surely you must know that there’s a 97% consensus that eeevil humans are responsible for ruining the climate, and that everyone who is anyone agrees that bad weather can be prevented by poor people paying more for gasoline?”

Yes, I know all of that … and for all of the reasons given by all the people above, I don’t give a rat’s gluteus minimus about the existence of some claimed consensus or other. That’s not how science works, never was, and never will be.

My best to each and every one of you, commenters, lurkers, haters, the mildly curious, and all the rest.

w.

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Steve Case
June 22, 2021 10:15 am

Posted earier this week:

The original 2009 Doran/Zimmerman study that came up with the 97% basically asked these two survey questions:

Q1. When compared with pre-1800’s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
Q2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

My response to your friends who say, “but all these people, all these institutions …” is, “Why didn’t Doran & Zimmerman find 100% instead of just 97%? Who were the 3% who didn’t think average global temperatures are up since 1800? And who didn’t think human activity doesn’t affect temperature?” And then point out to your friends that the Doran & Zimmerman survey didn’t ask if they thought increasing global temperature would constitute a problem, not to mention the existential crisis of our time!

One survey question

         Do you think a warmer world is a problem?

would probably probably produce way less than the 97% we constantly hear about. That Doran & Zimmerman didn’t ask that question directly is an indication that they knew the result would go against the narrative they were looking to support. In other words, their survey was propaganda, and not a search for truth.

John Tillman
Reply to  Steve Case
June 22, 2021 10:27 am

Also, their survey was sent only to government and academic scientists in relevant disciplines, not private sector. Then, of the over 3000 who responded (out of more than 10,000 queried), they cherry-picked 79 “actively publishing “climate scientists”) from whom to make up the fake 97% consensus. Of these, 77 answered yes to the first question and 75 to the second, so the bogus figure shoul be 95%.

Nor, as you note, did they add the needed third question, ie “Are more CO2 and whatever warming has occurred on balance beneficial or harmful to humans?”.

Last edited 1 month ago by John Tillman
Thomas
Reply to  John Tillman
June 22, 2021 2:08 pm

John T. … Thereby proving that 97% of scientists who’s livelihoods depend on a climate crisis believe there is a climate crisis, and 3% of scientists who’s livelihoods depend on a climate crisis are stupid.

Reply to  Thomas
June 22, 2021 5:03 pm

Could also be that 3% had their Federal pensions fully vested, were close to retirement, and didn’t care about being invited to cocktail parties.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  John Tillman
June 22, 2021 3:17 pm

And which also means that, even using their sleight of hand regarding the answer to one vs. both questions, at best the “consensus” regarding two relatively meaningless questions was 79/3000 or 0.026%, NOT 97%.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  John Tillman
June 22, 2021 5:07 pm

Doran & Zimmerman’s other survey (sent only to priests) revealed the amazing news that 97% believe in God.

RoHa
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
June 24, 2021 12:03 am

Obviously didn’t send it to C of E clergymen.

John Tillman
Reply to  Steve Case
June 22, 2021 10:48 am
n.n
Reply to  Steve Case
June 22, 2021 10:58 am

Yes, a narrative, a handmade tale. That said, the closest model of what has passed is a stadium wave with irregular periods. Human influence, both positive and negative, at least in the near-term, at local, and, perhaps, regional scale. CO2 emissions from diverse, and varied sources, greening the planet.

Ossqss
Reply to  Steve Case
June 22, 2021 11:14 am

Wait, what about Cook Et al?

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Ossqss
June 22, 2021 9:59 pm

It’s meaningless drivel that was thoroughly falsified almost before the ink was dry. Upon review by Legates et. al. (2013) it was shown that Cook’s actual consensus was 0.3%, not 97.1%. That means that 99.7% disagree with his findings.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11191-013-9647-9

DD More
Reply to  Ossqss
June 23, 2021 5:31 pm

Using Cook et al.2013 , Doran and Kendall Zimmerman, 2009 & AMS survey Stenhouse et al., 2014 as basis to the 97%. 

So answering the questions – 
1) most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic? 
2) When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant? 
3) Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?
4) Regardless of the cause, do you think that global warming is happening?
5) How sure are you that global warming (a. is /b. is not) happening?

Answers and questions use generalized words of most, think, significant, contributing and no values or significance is asked for. No where is proof or dates or amounts or data of +/- estimates required and did you see CO2 anywhere? 

Do these questions really provide the answer that; stopping man-made, catastrophizing, CO2 control knob, ever increasing (global warming / climate change / disruption / weirding ) [pick 1 or more], which can only be prevented by higher taxes, more regulations and a loss of personal freedom will actually keep us all from floating down the River Styx in a handbasket?

John Phillips
Reply to  Steve Case
June 22, 2021 12:39 pm

Firstly, for a consensus that is now meaningless, this site has spent thousands of words trying to show it is variously: ‘crumbling’, ‘busted’, ‘fraudulent’, a ‘nonsensus’ etc etc. Indeed Mr WE himself once claimed the now meaningless consensus was falsified by 49 dissenting administrators and engineers.
 
https://wattsupwiththat.com/category/97-consensus/
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/09/10/49-nasa-scientists-call-bs/

Secondly, the 97% consensus is a result of more than that one survey, Cook et al, Anderegg et al and several others came up with a similar result, using different methods. And it is not just a consensus of scientists, the literature also overwhelmingly takes the reality of AGW as its default starting point:
 
“The consensus among research scientists on anthropogenic global warming has grown to 100%, based on a review of 11,602 peer-reviewed articles on “climate change” and “global warming” published in the first 7 months of 2019.”
 
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0270467619886266

Thirdly, the article is something of a straw man, in that the surveys were not done as an attempt to establish the truth of AGW by a head-count, the issue they were addressing was that the strength of the consensus was widely underestimated in the media, public perception and also regularly cast into doubt by sceptics. From the introduction to Cook et al (2013):

An accurate perception of the degree of scientific consensus is an essential element to public support for climate policy (Ding et al 2011). Communicating the scientific consensus also increases people’s acceptance that climate change (CC) is happening (Lewandowsky et al 2012). Despite numerous indicators of a consensus, there is wide public perception that climate scientists disagree over the fundamental cause of global warming (GW; Leiserowitz et al 2012, Pew 2012).”
 
Given that pretty much everyone now recognises the 97% number, seems like job done.
 
 
 

Mr.
Reply to  John Phillips
June 22, 2021 1:30 pm

Yep. Lotsa numpties still skol that Kool-aid.

Freedom of religion hey, whatta ya gonna do?

davetherealist
Reply to  John Phillips
June 22, 2021 2:48 pm

if you mean all the morons and sheep recognize the consensus. you are correct. The educated, well read and informed dismiss it for the propaganda that it is. 9 out of 10 dentist surveyed recommend Colgate . so why are there 100 different tooth pastes? because the survey asked the wrong question and the results are an obfuscation to market to the masses.

ThinkingScientist
Reply to  John Phillips
June 22, 2021 2:50 pm

And John Phillips has completely missed the point. Good luck with that.

Me, I’ll keep faith in Feynman.

Thanks Willis, great set of quotes. Timely reminder if what science actually is.

Last edited 1 month ago by ThinkingScientist
Tom Abbott
Reply to  ThinkingScientist
June 23, 2021 8:06 am

“Thanks Willis, great set of quotes. Timely reminder if what science actually is.”

I agree. Skeptics and skepticism are on the right track when it comes to advancing science. Our motto: Prove it.

Richard Page
Reply to  John Phillips
June 22, 2021 2:54 pm

If you start, as Cook et al did, with agreeing on a result of 97% then it is hardly surprising if you manage to turn up some sort of ‘evidence’, time and again, to magically support that number. Look at their ‘evidence’ – question it and scrutinise it closely and you’ll likely find it fails to support any sort of consensus under rigourous examination.
You are failing a primary test of scientific reasoning by blindly accepting their statement without question. Shame on you sir.

Sunsettommy
Editor
Reply to  John Phillips
June 22, 2021 5:13 pm

Relying on consensus means you learned nothing.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  John Phillips
June 22, 2021 6:56 pm

And every supposed “scholarly Paper” on consensus has been thoroughly falsified numerous times. The now infamous Cook et al (2013) was falsified right out of the gate by Legates et al (2013) … proving that the actual “consensus” is closer to 99.7% opposite to Cook’s claims. Legates showed a consensus of only 0.3%.

Climate Consensus and ‘Misinformation’: A Rejoinder to Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change

However, inspection of a claim by Cook et al. (Environ Res Lett 8:024024, 2013) of 97.1 % consensus, heavily relied upon by Bedford and Cook, shows just 0.3 % endorsement of the standard definition of consensus: that most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11191-013-9647-9

Rory Forbes
Reply to  John Phillips
June 23, 2021 10:57 am

I’m familiar with Cook’s unsuccessful attempt to rebut Legates. It failed as expected.

Vincent Causey
Reply to  John Phillips
June 22, 2021 11:38 pm

Did you even read the article? You are just claiming that the consensus must be true because a lot of people believe in it!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Vincent Causey
June 23, 2021 9:29 am

Consensus on the consensus? Sounds like circular reasoning to me.

Reply to  John Phillips
June 22, 2021 11:56 pm

…11,602 peer-reviewed articles on “climate change” and “global warming” published in the first 7 months of 2019…

You are kidding, right? 11 thousand peer reviewed papers in 7 months? Really? Do you listen to yourself, or are you just in love with your own voice?
Eleven thousand peer reviewed papers in seven months! Jeez, Louise!
Wait, let me guess; 97% of these “peer reviewed papers” were actually articles on knitting baby booties and baking Alaska pies, but every article was first “relevatised” by having it “improved” by our friends at… what was that “news organisation” that adds “climate change” to every article, for free? CCNow dot com or something?
Or was it 500 students writing their holiday essays, then they all “peer reviewed” 23 classmates as a class exercise?
11 602 peer reviewed studies in seven months! Next you gonna tell me tree ring sizes are directly correlated to temperature or something…

Herbert
Reply to  John Phillips
June 23, 2021 12:35 am

John,
I was hoping someone would stupidly support the 100% claim which you have listed.
So you actually believe that no sceptical papers were published for 7 months in 2019?
Or do you rather believe that there were 11,602 peer reviewed papers in the 7 months all unequivocally stating that CAGW is accepted with no qualifications?
No “might”, “could” or “perhaps”.
CATASTROPHIC Anthropogenic Global Warming.
Name 10.
Do you think former President Barack Obama will tweet this new figure?
Nuts.

MarkW
Reply to  Herbert
June 23, 2021 5:44 am

Given the efforts the alarmists have put towards making sure no skeptic papers get published, I’m not surprised that a search that limits itself to “published” papers didn’t find many skeptic papers.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2021 9:31 am

Maybe the gatekeepers are more effective than we thought.

MarkW
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 23, 2021 9:38 am

They do have their jobs to protect.

Gerald the Mole
Reply to  John Phillips
June 23, 2021 3:21 am

The two things of most value I got from a scientific education were: don’t subcontract you thinking and don’t be overawed by people who have letters before and after their name.

MarkW
Reply to  Gerald the Mole
June 23, 2021 5:45 am

More and more, independent thought is a detriment when trying to earn advanced degrees. Just parrot back what your teachers tell you and don’t, under any circumstances let them know you have doubts.

MarkW
Reply to  John Phillips
June 23, 2021 5:41 am

The problems with all of those surveys have been laid out previously.
For example, review of studies only looked at the summaries and counted every study that didn’t specifically mention climate as supporting the climate change narrative.
Another that did a search of published papers was non-reproducible, using the criteria published.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  John Phillips
June 23, 2021 7:04 am

Fake news.

DrEd
Reply to  John Phillips
June 23, 2021 10:32 am

Bull hockey! If you let ME pick whose papers to “recognie” and let ME determine “what they mean” I’ll get the number to -wait for it – ZERO!

Rory Forbes
Reply to  DrEd
June 23, 2021 11:04 am

The thing is, once the papers are actually assessed, most have little to do with the BIG question; “is man really responsible” for altering the climate?”

MiloCrabtree
Reply to  John Phillips
June 23, 2021 1:16 pm

You’re a troll. Go away.

beng135
Reply to  John Phillips
June 24, 2021 8:47 am

Sigh — what an idiotic post.

Oddgeir
Reply to  John Phillips
June 26, 2021 8:40 am

An accurate perception of the degree of scientific consensus is an essential element to public support for climate policy”

I don’t know about you, but in my world:

An accurate perception” is still a perception. Which still is a judgment resulting from (politically motivated) awareness or (ideologically flawed) understanding

An indication of a lie is right there in your face.

Oddgeir

June 22, 2021 10:18 am

Thank you for elucidating what I have been thinking as one of the ‘mildly curious’.

John Tillman
June 22, 2021 10:20 am

Copernicus was convinced the Earth does in fact go around the Sun, but his printer bowed to consensus and authority by adding a disclaimer in a forward to his book. He also waited until the end of his life to publish. But Copernicus (and Galileo) still thought that planetary orbits were perfectly circular, as per Aristotle. Kepler, using Tycho’s observations of Mars, showed orbits elliptical. Newton explained why. Then Einstein corrected Newton. Now Einstein is being reexamined.

The Sun and its system orbit the barycenter of our galaxy. Science is never settled. Even after the reality of heliocentrism was accepted, much was and remains left to be discovered and hypothesized.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  John Tillman
June 22, 2021 12:04 pm

The examination of Einstein’s claims has never stopped. Every time there is a solar eclipse, some new experiment is announced. These ‘examinations’ have low probability of overturning Einstein’s theories, but have a huge potential payoff. Who wouldn’t want to hire the academic who overturned the Einstein paradigm? Therefore, I predict that the ‘reexaminations’ will never stop.

John Tillman
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 22, 2021 12:26 pm

Nor should they ever stop. Science is never settled.

No doubt you’re right about some physicists’ motives, but so far Einstein’s predictions have been confirmed, but as shown by dark matter and then dark energy, there’s lots still to figure out.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  John Tillman
June 22, 2021 1:43 pm

Nor should they ever stop. Science is never settled.

I was yay about I write that. I firmly believe that we will find that Einstein, like Newton, was only right for certain conditions. Even Einstein firmly believed that.

I suspect that we’ll find a way ‘around’ the speed of light, and possibly even of time itself. I’m convinced that we’ll find a way to manipulate space beyond Einstein’s understanding. We don’t ever stop trying!

John Tillman
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
June 22, 2021 2:13 pm

While Newton’s equations work over a broad range of conditions, he was fundamentally wrong. He thought that space and time were absolute, not relative, and that gravity worked instantaneously at all distances, not at the speed of light.

Other physicists had noticed that Maxwell and Newton couldn’t both be right, yet no one but Einstein dared to back Maxwell over Newton, and mae testable predictions on that basis, which showed him right and Newton wrong.

Nevertheless, Einstein’s heros were Newton and Faraday, as well as Maxwell. Two Dissenting Englishmen and a Presbyterian Scot.

bonbon
Reply to  John Tillman
June 23, 2021 3:08 am

Einstein’s heroes were Riemann, Kepler and Leibniz. And Planck. His best friend was Goedel who upended Bertrand Russel’s entire program. Goedel’s paper on general relativity is stunning.

It is incredible how far some will go to box these great scientists in.

Maxwell is well known to have refused to use Riemann’s geometry as it was continental.

When asked at Solvay about Kant his reply in very accented French was chacon a son quant-a-soi.

LdB
Reply to  John Tillman
June 24, 2021 9:12 am

There was a deeper problem with Newton he had no theory of how it worked … hence he just made laws and being religious they were gods laws. Maxwell had a theory that the universe had an aether which was shown to be wrong.

Last edited 1 month ago by LdB
AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 22, 2021 3:32 pm

And that’s thanks in part to the fact that Einstein did actual science. He published his science openly, and invited any and all to show it to be wrong.

Now set that in contrast to a charlatan like Mann, who has been hiding his manure behind “ownership” arguments and dragged-on-forever court proceedings. The first clue that his pseudo-science would never stand up to the slightest bit of scrutiny!

Rory Forbes
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
June 22, 2021 8:33 pm

The first clue that his pseudo-science would never stand up to the slightest bit of scrutiny!

You write that as though his manure hasn’t already been falsified almost on a daily basis. The ONLY reason it hasn’t already been assigned to the grand toilet of history is that it remains useful to the IPCC narrative. Hell, it’s not even valid science, since his proposals are incomplete, lacking the necessary material to duplicate his findings.

Eisenhower
Reply to  John Tillman
June 22, 2021 1:11 pm

The concensus in October 1903 according to the New York Times:

Hence, if it requires, say, a thousand years to fit for easy flight a bird which started with rudimentary wings, or ten thousand for one with started with no wings at all and had to sprout them ab initio, it might be assumed that the flying machine which will really fly might be evolved by the combined and continuous efforts of mathematicians and mechanicians in from one million to ten million years–provided, of course, we can meanwhile eliminate such little drawbacks and embarrassments as the existing relation between weight and strength in inorganic materials. No doubt the problem has attractions for those it interests, but to the ordinary man it would seem as if the effort might be employed more profitably.

On December 17, 1903 ( 9 weeks after article) the Wright Brothers destroyed the consensus on flight forever. But the times learned nothing and their science writters soon published this gem:

“That Professor Goddard, with his ‘chair’ in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react — to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.

Thankfully people back then as now ignore the New York Times’s “Settled Science”.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Eisenhower
June 22, 2021 1:47 pm

On December 17, 1903 ( 9 weeks after article) the Wright Brothers destroyed the consensus on flight forever.

But what is really incredible is that within a human lifetime, we managed to get to the moon and back (that last bit is quite important). It gives me great hope for our species that we can manage so much in such a short time.

I’m even convinced that if we try, we could manage to mitigate a sea level rise of 20cm a century if we all pulled together!

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
June 22, 2021 2:54 pm

‘Last bit quite important’. Only if you are an astronaut.

DonM
Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 22, 2021 4:06 pm

or an astronauts wife …

Windy Wilson
Reply to  DonM
June 22, 2021 4:56 pm

The “and back.” part. For the Government, not so much. No pension to pay, just an insurance pay out, the schools will essentially rename themselves, without any cost to NASA or the Federal Government.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 22, 2021 10:32 pm

‘Last bit quite important’. Only if you are an astronaut.

It would have been a political disaster if they hadn’t made it back. And let’s face it, it was all about politics, not that I’m complaining. Mankind’s greatest achievement to date, and just because some cold war enemy was beating them to it. We still did it!

Last edited 1 month ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
June 23, 2021 3:31 pm

Having spent my career in space transportation, I often marveled at the fact that it was 65 years, 7 months, and 7 days between the Wright’s first flight and the splashdown of Apollo 11. In the interim, humanity was wracked with a flu pandemic that killed around 20 million, two world wars which killed around 100 million, Communism which killed another 100 million, and a global depression. Yet the United States had enough spare wealth, after all of that, to pull off Apollo. And it did so in 8 years, one month and 27 days (from JFK’s speech to Congress to Apollo 11 splashdown).

I’m a little less sanguine about our capability today. The James Webb Space Telescope program began in 1996 (as the Next Generation Space Telescope). It is supposed to be launched on October 31 of this year, but because of the pandemic effect on Ariane’s launch rate, that probably will not happen. But if it does, it means that one spacecraft will have required 25 years, most of an engineering career, to pull off.

The reasons we can’t accomplish much anymore are legion. But we had better start addressing them.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Eisenhower
June 22, 2021 5:20 pm

The nickname for the New York Times, “Old Grey Lady” is an anagram of “really dodgy.” Pure coincidence? Or cosmic joke?

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
June 23, 2021 4:46 pm

I’m very dyslexic, but even I could never have extracted that anagram!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Eisenhower
June 22, 2021 6:21 pm

Who ya gonna trust? An engineer or a know-nothing wordsmith?

bonbon
Reply to  Eisenhower
June 23, 2021 3:23 am

And the marketing department (hilarious) – Bob Newhart:
Merchandising the Wright Brothers – YouTube
Every company has these. It is not just the press.

bonbon
Reply to  John Tillman
June 23, 2021 3:18 am

The outstanding failure in physics is we have no quantum theory of gravity, despite 40 years of dead ends. An expert in the field, Prof Lee Smolin at Perimeter is the whistleblower.
He is going to principles – from Leibniz . See :
Lee Smolin: Principles for Quantum Gravity – YouTube
and 3 new books.
The payoff is impossible overestimate.
So have a look at the Leibniz-Clarke correspondence to see what Newton was. As Master of the Mint, and an alchemist who Maynard Keynes wrote – the last Magi, not a scientist.
Keynes’ famous comment – then the facts change I change my mind, refers to this discovery in his biography of Newton.

Last edited 1 month ago by bonbon
Richard Page
Reply to  bonbon
June 23, 2021 10:01 am

Yes, I mean it’s not like anyone actually listened to Newton or his theories were used for a few years or so before fading into complete obscurity or anything, was it? No, nothing like that at all was it sweetie? sarc

MarkW
Reply to  bonbon
June 23, 2021 3:57 pm

It really is sad how those who know nothing about history (and apparently don’t want to), have convinced themselves that anyone 400 years ago who engaged in the study of alchemy is a de facto fraud and everything they did is now discredited.

Given what was known about chemistry (pretty much nothing compared to today) how would you (bonbon) go about trying to figure out how matter works?

Steve Case
June 22, 2021 10:24 am

Why The Claimed “97% Consensus” Is Meaningless
Willis Eschenbach

Great rundown of the scientific answer to consensus down through the ages that reason why; following the herd, group think, panels of experts, conventional wisdom etc. is not how science should be done.

June 22, 2021 10:28 am

Willis, “educational level (…) of the person who has found problems with the claim.” can be an issue.

See the famous crackpot index https://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html

MarkW
Reply to  Hans Erren
June 22, 2021 11:04 am

Or the corollary, “you’re not a climate scientist”.

Windy Wilson
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2021 4:58 pm

And the doctors who discovered effective alternatives to the risky orthopedic surgery were, miracle of miracles, not orthopedic surgeons.

Reply to  Windy Wilson
June 22, 2021 10:08 pm

How to weed the false claims on both sides, eg extinction rebellion and dragon slayers? A lot of uneducated people are taking the floor with the wildest claims these days.

See “people are dying” Greta

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Hans Erren
June 22, 2021 10:39 pm

See “people are dying” Greta

Apparently everybody who has ever been born has either died, or is destined to. There was an anecdote about one guy, but no actual evidence as yet…

Last edited 1 month ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Sean
June 22, 2021 10:33 am

It is instructive that most dictators have sham elections to give legitimacy to their regimes. They always win 95% of the vote and the dictators underlings work to bring the next tally up to 97%.

bonbon
Reply to  Sean
June 23, 2021 3:26 am

Automated by a Dominion poll near you.

Gordon Otto
June 22, 2021 10:34 am

But… but what if I don’t want to be responsible for thinking for myself?
Thinking is hard…

n.n
Reply to  Gordon Otto
June 22, 2021 11:01 am

Shared/shifted responsibility in a handmade tale of the man and woman who never grew up.

MarkW
Reply to  n.n
June 23, 2021 5:49 am

handmaid

Earthling2
June 22, 2021 10:37 am

Reminds me of Charles H. Duell who was the Commissioner of US patent office in 1899. Mr. Deull’s most famous attributed utterance is that “everything that can be invented has been invented.” May as well close up the patent office then… Not.

Neo
June 22, 2021 10:38 am

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2005 jointly to Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren for their discovery of “the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease

These two guys had a 99% consensus against them. They were actually ejected from scientific conferences. Everybody knew peptic ulcers were not created by bacteria.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Neo
June 22, 2021 10:04 pm

At 25 I suffered through 2 years of pointless treatments for peptic ulcers in the late ’60s. Those two deserved the Nobel Prize and the vindication for their tenacity to fight the consensus. Alfred Wegener sadly didn’t live to be vindicated for the abuse he endured for his discoveries.

cirby
Reply to  Neo
June 23, 2021 6:41 am

I saw one of them give a presentation in the mid-90s, and for a while, it really seemed like they were going to be lynched. At a supposedly-scientific meeting.

Fran
Reply to  Neo
June 23, 2021 10:28 am

It was a miracle: after 20 years of small meals and antacids, in the mid ’90’s I got 10 days of pills and was fine. Then a couple of years later it all came back. Based on the fact that H pylori is only transmitted by very close physical contact, I persuaded the doc to treat me and my husband (he had no symptoms and tests were not yet available in Canada). All clear since then.

rbabcock
June 22, 2021 10:38 am

The terms that should be used in the CAGW world are “pop science” and “pop scientists”. Start using these terms and you will be more accurate.

Windy Wilson
Reply to  rbabcock
June 22, 2021 5:04 pm

I prefer “Comic Book Science.” Laypeople used to believe that science was advanced by the likes of super geniuses such as Tony Stark, the Professor from Gilligan’s Island, David Banner, Spiderman, and Doc Oc. Real Scientists (Used to) know it was advanced by ordinary men conducting experiments, observing things closely and thinking about them. Unfortunately too many “Scientists now think like the laypeople who read the comic books.

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  rbabcock
June 22, 2021 5:29 pm

You’re shy an ‘o’, there.

n.n
June 22, 2021 10:51 am

Yes, science often progresses (i.e. unqualified, monotonic change). It requires principled people, a person, an individual to stand, when others take a knee, to mitigate its progression and even divergence in cargo cults and conflation of logical domains.

Richard Page
Reply to  n.n
June 22, 2021 3:01 pm

Quite often scientific breakthrough’s are made because of a mistake and the understanding of a failed hypothesis. By giving everything a free pass what are we missing out on? What more could we have discovered if only we’d stuck to scientific principles?

cirby
June 22, 2021 10:53 am

97% is a magic number.

100% – nobody would believe that
99.44% – soap
99% – that’s what you say when you’re winging it in an argument
98% – just doesn’t have the punch, and still isn’t believable

96% – boring
95% – stay away from 5s, it sounds like someone approximated something
94% – even more boring than 96%
93% – too weird
Anything below 93% – not scary enough.

97%, though… it’s scary, and also a prime. Can’t fake prime numbers, right?

Perfect to use to convince people that you were all sciency and stuff.

Curious George
Reply to  cirby
June 22, 2021 11:23 am

Back to the origin:
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1029/2009EO030002

The number 97% means 75 respondents out of 3146. To make it look more authoritative, authors used additional ad-hoc criteria to reduce the number of respondents to consider from 3146 to 77. Some things never change.

Last edited 1 month ago by Curious George
John Tillman
Reply to  Curious George
June 22, 2021 12:28 pm

79.

Dave Fair
Reply to  John Tillman
June 22, 2021 1:57 pm

Only 75 responded affirmatively to both questions.

John Tillman
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 22, 2021 2:16 pm

That’s right. But the number os “actively publishing climate scientists” was 79, not 77, which is how many answered yes to the first question.

H.R.
Reply to  John Tillman
June 22, 2021 1:59 pm

79? That’s 97 to us dyslexics.

saveenergy
Reply to  H.R.
June 23, 2021 1:08 am

KO nam, rite / Lfet no

Reply to  John Tillman
June 22, 2021 2:36 pm

79 or 75 is still a very, very small sample. I hope there are way more scientists in the world. I mean scientists, not cargo cult scientists as climastrologers are.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  cirby
June 22, 2021 1:49 pm

67.56% of statistics are made up on the spot

Windy Wilson
Reply to  cirby
June 22, 2021 5:06 pm

Sanka Brand decaffeinated coffee made use of that same magic number for decades in their TV and print advertising. Someone pointed out once that ordinary coffee was 93% Caffeine free, which is, as you said, not scary enough.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  cirby
June 22, 2021 10:09 pm

John Cook, of skepticalscience.com had to do it one better by claiming a far more precise percentage 97.1%. Turns out his was paper actually showed closer to 0.3% in Legates et. al. (2013).

K. McNeill
June 22, 2021 10:59 am

But,but, Willis you’ve just ried on authority to make the argument not to rely on authority. Thought I’d get that in before Griff and the other assorted loons put their oar in. Otherwise, nicely said!

Fred Hubler
June 22, 2021 11:01 am

Leo Tolstoy explained Dunning-Kruger effect with climate scientists many years ago when he said, “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”

markl
June 22, 2021 11:05 am

Well said. And I might add….. when a sports figure comments about AGW be especially skeptical.

starzmom
Reply to  markl
June 22, 2021 1:52 pm

Or Bill Gates. Climate science isn’t his field either.

Dave Fair
Reply to  starzmom
June 22, 2021 2:59 pm

But he’s rich so he is an expert on everything. Same as Hollywood celebrities and sports heroes.

Windy Wilson
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 22, 2021 5:09 pm

Plus his incredible wealth means he’s a better person than you are, who is poor.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Windy Wilson
June 22, 2021 5:47 pm

Well, in the sense that he can hire publicists to make him look better/smarter/faster, yeah. Myself, however, am rich in toxic masculinity (testy-cals). You can’t beat a winning attitude!

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave Fair
Paul Penrose
June 22, 2021 11:09 am

Science is a funny beast. It’s not a “thing”, it’s a process.

Unfortunately 97% of the population does not understand this and are thus easily fooled.

saveenergy
Reply to  Paul Penrose
June 23, 2021 1:11 am

But the other 12% do understand this and are also easily fooled. (:-))

Latitude
June 22, 2021 11:10 am

The best part about “consensus” science…is that it’s a dead end

John Tillman
Reply to  Latitude
June 22, 2021 12:29 pm

True. Science advances by overturning consensuses.

Jeroen B.
June 22, 2021 11:10 am

Mr Eschenbach, please allow me to improve on your rule of thumb of “When someone starts throwing mud, it’s a sure sign they’re out of real ammunition.”

I would rather say that “He who throws mud is losing ground.”

Cheers and thank you for your insights!

Paul Johnson
Reply to  Jeroen B.
June 22, 2021 12:12 pm

Losing ground or loosing ground? or both?

Jeroen B.
Reply to  Paul Johnson
June 22, 2021 12:34 pm

Both. Literally and figuratively.

Meisha
June 22, 2021 11:14 am

I would go one further, Willis, and I don’t know who said it first, but “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

The claim that man-made CO2 is an existential threat to humanity is nothing if not an extraordinary claim. Yet, the evidence, which is composed of computer models that, admitted by their creators, to be far from complete and missing a critical component of the system they intend to model (the hydrological cycle; specifically, clouds), are consistently significantly inaccurate in their predictions. Further, it is quite clear climate scientists cannot even effectively explain temperature evolution over the last 2,000 years or 10,000 years. One would think the “extraordinary” evidence needed to support the wit contention would, at a minimum, require such an explanation.

Scissor
Reply to  Meisha
June 22, 2021 11:45 am

The quotation is attributed to Carl Sagan, which he exclaimed while puffing on a huge bowl of cannabis.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Scissor
June 22, 2021 12:08 pm

But, Sagan did not originate it. He just popularized it with his TV series, COSMOS.

Scissor
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 22, 2021 2:24 pm

Supposedly, Sagan reworded Laplace’s principle, which says that “the weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.” 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3114207/

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 22, 2021 3:35 pm

“. . . his TV series, COSMOS.”

And one would have to endure billy-uns and billy-uns of boring presentations before something of interest might appear on the show.

June 22, 2021 11:20 am

It’s really a 97% Collusion …https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXR8751rC1I&t

Scissor
Reply to  John Shewchuk
June 22, 2021 5:53 pm

Nice video!

Normally, I watch videos at 1.25 or 1.5X speed. On this one, I slowed it down to 0.25X in the middle.

Reply to  Scissor
June 22, 2021 6:14 pm

Appreciate the comments. Fully understand the timing issue. I try to keep the videos short to retain the short attention span of the “walking-woke” people, but there’s soooo much alarmist fraud out there, it’s hard to pack it all in. I can easily make an entire video from each of the 97 “collusion” frames — but like Tony Heller says, there’s so much new propaganda being spewed that there’s nearly unlimited source material to work from.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  John Shewchuk
June 22, 2021 10:32 pm

Very clever presentation. I only had to stop it a few times to check on an image are two. I was very familiar with the examples you presented. Sadly warmunist won’t get it or won’t watch it and it’s maybe too sophisticated for the average person looking for the truth. The “walking woke” won’t even bother trying. They already know everything … and they’re morally superior as well.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 23, 2021 4:31 am

Fully agree Rory. As for the “morally superior” woke … that sounds like my kids. But I keep on trying to present stuff they don’t know. This simpler video is made for those woke with even shorter attention spans …

Andrew Dickens
June 22, 2021 11:55 am

One of your best, Willis

Rud Istvan
June 22, 2021 12:02 pm

A related question is why the warmunists are so insistent on a consensus that the science is settled? I think it is because they know deep down that it isn’t. 4 decades of failed predictions will do that to even the most ardent believer.

Steve Case
Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 22, 2021 1:45 pm

“… they know deep down that it isn’t.

The primary reason they won’t debate.

icisil
June 22, 2021 12:02 pm

I think the 97% number must have its origin in a marketing study or something because I see it constantly being used everywhere in widely disparate matters. It’s too commonly used to not be suspect.

meab
Reply to  icisil
June 22, 2021 1:21 pm

One of the earliest 97% consensus papers was entitled “Expert Credibility in Climate Change”.

Was the study trustworthy? The authors did not survey a broad set of scientists and engineers well versed in climate issues; instead, they arrived at this conclusion by reviewing publications written by a group of 1,372 researchers who often published papers on the topic of climate change and global warming. The authors of the study did not interview or poll these researchers; they concluded for themselves what the selected researchers support and what they don’t by nothing more than reading their papers. So should you trust their conclusions? 

It’s completely proper to consider possible conflicts of interest. The study’s authors consisted of a climate campaigner for the Rainforest Action Network with a Master’s degree in BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION and a summer-school certificate in “Complex Systems” from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Harold), a computer programmer with a double-degree in POLITICAL SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY (Prall), a STUDENT of Ecology, Evolution, and Population Biology (Anderegg), and a (now deceased) MECHANICAL ENGINEER working in “Environmental Biology and Global Change” (Schneider). Not only did these authors not have any demonstrated experience in climate science, each author had a severe conflict of interest as the result of their study would influence how much funding they would receive to continue their “work”.

In addition, their approach was highly flawed as the papers they reviewed were handpicked from journals known to be hostile to papers that criticize the poor quality of work done in the “Global Warming” field. Finally, they did not ever claim that there is a consensus that global warming will be catastrophic; that implication comes only from a vocal group of activists who are being dishonest.

H.R.
Reply to  icisil
June 22, 2021 2:11 pm

Apparently, the marketers of those “4 out of 5 Doctors recommend…” commercials didn’t get the message. But then, It’s hard to get to 97% when all you have is 5 Doctors.

OTOH, if you ask 5 economists about anything, it’s easy to get 97% disagreement.
😜

Richard Page
Reply to  H.R.
June 22, 2021 3:04 pm

See, 9 out of 10 cats prefer….. is far more credible – for starters, there’s twice as many as them dr’s. sarc

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  H.R.
June 23, 2021 9:42 am

More like 110% disagreement.

Christopher Hanley
Reply to  icisil
June 22, 2021 2:50 pm

Dictators typically get 97% approval votes in their fake elections.

Clyde Spencer
June 22, 2021 12:16 pm

Anyone who demands to know the level of education, the number of ‘peer-reviewed’ publications, or one’s job title, is engaging in a subtle form of ad hominem attack. What is implied, is that if one does not meet the unstated, and subject-to-change ‘standards’ of the person making the demand, then the thesis is not worthy of being addressed. That is exactly the opposite of the spirit of the Scientific Method where it is only the claims and supporting facts that are important. How many times have you run across a ‘troll’ making the above demands, as though they were the final arbiter on all things scientific?

DMA
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 22, 2021 1:16 pm

Obama said ” The climate crisis is real, man made and dangerous.”
The IPCC states “all of the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 is caused by man”
These consensus statements are not supported by scientifically acquired knowledge but are, at least partially, accepted by wide swaths of both sides of the debate. When I tried to discuss the works of Harde, Berry and Salby that disprove the IPCC statement and therefore also Obama’s statement I am told that their work does not count because it is not in “Reputable Journals” or the authors are not trustworthy. All of the angst of this climate crisis movement is tied up in these two statements yet the reasonable, rationale, refutation of them and the implied corollary that we can fix that problem goes unexamined.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  DMA
June 22, 2021 1:58 pm

The IPCC states “all of the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 is caused by man”

But the IPCC definitely never stated that. Unfortunately very few people actually read the reports themselves, and rely on alarmist Climate Scientologists and the media that parrot and exaggerate their wild and unsupported claims.

In fact, the actual IPCC reports, not the ‘summaries for policy makers’ written by politicians, state that there’s no actual problem. Any problems caused by any warming will be mitigated by changes in technology and society. And remember, this is AFTER the ‘denialist’ comments have been ignored and/or removed, and those disgusted with the IPCC process have abandoned it.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
June 22, 2021 3:05 pm

It is sad that one must read the details of WG1 to get an accurate summary of what it says. Politicians and liars (the same thing) write the SPM. The distortions are so egregious that it takes a scientifically illiterate population to be so scammed.

DMA
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
June 22, 2021 5:02 pm

ZZ
“With a very high level of confidence, the increase in CO2emissions from fossil fuel burning and those arising from land use change are the dominant cause of the observed increase in atmosphericCO2concentration.”IPCC(2013,pp467-468)uses
reconstructed ice core data to support the core theory.
This statement from the WG1 report was the one I was remembering, I was clkoss enough to the essence of their statement.

Dave Fair
Reply to  DMA
June 22, 2021 6:01 pm

The UN IPCC CliSciFi practitioners don’t seem to mention that the biosphere pulls out about half that produced by humans. This impacts their B.S. about CO2 remaining in the atmosphere for centuries. If one made a bunch of assumptions, one could calculate how long it would take for nature to completely obviate Man’s contributions if they ceased tomorrow; alot initially, declining exponentially over time.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dave Fair
DMA
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
June 22, 2021 5:33 pm

ZZ
The UN certainly act as though they believe that statement. All their efforts to curtail use of fossil fuels speak clearly that they believe that course of action will control all the negative effects they perceive will be caused by the increase in CO2. All their RCP analesis assumes our use of fossil fuels is the main cause of increased readings at Mauna Loa.

Dave Fair
Reply to  DMA
June 22, 2021 6:06 pm

Give it to them, its not worth arguing about. Their weakness is ESC; observations show it is not above 2. As the UN IPCC CliSciFi climate models continue to fail, the whole thing will fade.

DMA
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 22, 2021 6:59 pm

DF
Problem with that is by then Biden and crew will have spent us into oblivion trying to cure the rise in CO2 that is NOT caused by our activities.

Dave Fair
Reply to  DMA
June 22, 2021 11:12 pm

They still have to get it through the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  DMA
June 22, 2021 10:35 pm

The UN certainly act as though they believe that statement. All their efforts to curtail use of fossil fuels speak clearly that they believe that course of action will control all the negative effects they perceive will be caused by the increase in CO2.

You sound as if you think the UN has some scientific basis, instead of merely political.

Last edited 1 month ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Charlie
Reply to  DMA
June 23, 2021 11:18 am

Oh yes, if its published in the all-popular Science, Nature, or Lancet, it MUST BE TRUE. This is the logic of intellectual lightweights – who populate MSM.
 
https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200605/lancet-retracts-hydroxychloroquine-study
 
https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/under-fire-lancet-admits-conflict-interest-lab-leak-letter

Steve Case
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 22, 2021 1:54 pm

If I bother to answer one of those trolls, I tell them that I successfully graduated from Mrs. McGraw’s 8th grade in 1958 and that’s all I really need to determine that “Global Warming” or whatever they’re calling it these days is mostly bullshit.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Steve Case
June 22, 2021 3:14 pm

Who was it that popularized “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?”

MarkW
Reply to  Dave Fair
June 23, 2021 6:09 am

Robert Fulghum

Lawrence Sellin
June 22, 2021 12:19 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

meab
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 22, 2021 1:37 pm

Planck was influenced by the progression of quantum physics, a field that he was a pioneer in. He was describing the opposition to that field which has mostly stood the test of time (with several modifications/additions). Many of quantum physic’s early detractors slowly died off or were eventually sidelined. He was NOT describing how science in general progresses – there are multitudes of examples where a new theory, or new data, has upended conventional, but false, wisdom.

If you think Planck’s response describes Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, you’re truly ignorant, Sellin. CAGW has ALREADY been falsified by the failure of nearly every prediction it has ever made.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  meab
June 22, 2021 3:29 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 22, 2021 3:56 pm

Are you really going to argue that since Planck was right, therefore you are right?

Planck had the advantage that all of the data and all of the experiments supported his side.

With AGW, it’s just the opposite, all of the data refutes the climate scammers.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  MarkW
June 22, 2021 4:29 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 22, 2021 10:42 pm

AGW proponents will not convince you, all they have to do is wait.

Plank wasn’t wrong. You are! The AGW true believers have already been thoroughly falsified. Not one prediction based on the “science” has happened. What still has momentum is the politics of AGW, which has been wildly successful in pilfering trillions out of every economy that uses fossil fuels … except China. There is no “climate crisis” and never has been.

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 23, 2021 6:10 am

Same argument, just reworded.
Whether or not Planck was right or wrong is completely independent from whether you are right or wrong.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 23, 2021 7:51 am

Name one prediction from UN climate models that has come true.

Just one.

meab
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 22, 2021 4:10 pm

As I said, you are truly ignorant, sell-out.

Lawrence Sellin
Reply to  meab
June 22, 2021 4:29 pm

[User permanently banned for impersonation]

MarkW
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 23, 2021 6:11 am

It’s still true.

Komerade Cube
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 22, 2021 4:39 pm

Larry, are you another Griff persona?

MarkW
Reply to  Komerade Cube
June 23, 2021 6:11 am

Lawrence uses big words. Not correctly, but he still uses them.

Doonman
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 22, 2021 9:36 pm

CAGW proponents is the correct term.

But CAGW skeptics already did wait. 30 years later, No tropical tropospheric hot spot detected, no acceleration of sea level rise detected, no end of arctic summer ice detected, it still snows in Europe in winter, polar bears are not extinct, the CO2 levels keep rising but no business as usual Hansen predicted warming rate noted.

At some point the goal posts will stop moving. When do you think that will happen?

Lrp
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 22, 2021 10:25 pm

Except that climate modeling. All you have is new religion and unbound zealotry.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 23, 2021 9:46 am

And when the delusional generation dies, we may get lucky and go back to objectivity.

Windy Wilson
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 22, 2021 5:19 pm

That was certainly the way the battle against Puerperal fever (aka Childbed Fever) was won. As the old doctors who believed in magic doctor hands died off, the younger ones learned to wash their filthy hands. Unfortunately, it also took the funeral of the doctor who discovered the cause of Puerperal Fever as well. Ignaz Semmelweiss died broke and in a madhouse because the established doctors couldn’t accept that they were ALL wrong about their filthy hands groping around in women giving birth.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Windy Wilson
June 22, 2021 10:50 pm

Sadly, the germ theory of infectious disease was still in its infancy in the mid 19th century. It took Koch, Pasteur and many others’ work before the idea worked its way down the ranks to the country doctors and the mid wives … who all had a wealth of experience and they “knew what they knew“.

bonbon
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 23, 2021 2:55 am

Please take time to actually find out how Planck made his discovery.
The Philosophy of Physics: Planck’s Spiritual Testament – Rising Tide Foundation
as I posted above.

Then look at the various climate players again.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Lawrence Sellin
June 23, 2021 7:50 am

What are you selling?

Jerry Mead
June 22, 2021 12:29 pm

Why should I send you a proper comment when you’ll only try to find something wrong with it.

John Kelly
June 22, 2021 12:49 pm

Thanks Willis, a really good article for non-scientists like me.

Joe
June 22, 2021 1:04 pm

Excellent article! Thank You!

n.n
June 22, 2021 1:17 pm

I suggest a separation of logical domains. Many will try, most will fail, to remain viable in the scientific logical domain. Fantasy is improbable. Faith requires trust. Philosophy is the middle ground where conjecture, hypotheses are conceived, evolve, and are birthed.

Tom in Florida
June 22, 2021 1:26 pm

“Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno

Last edited 1 month ago by Tom in Florida
jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Tom in Florida
June 22, 2021 5:50 pm

Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake for saying, among other more heretical things, that the sun was a star.

Doonman
Reply to  Tom in Florida
June 22, 2021 9:46 pm

Nonsense. If we all wish hard enough, Tinkerbell will come back.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Doonman
June 23, 2021 9:49 am

Disney’s First Law: Wish and it will come true.

Ozonebust
June 22, 2021 1:42 pm

Thanks Willis.
Another refresher course on reality.

June 22, 2021 1:48 pm

Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, had a lot of fun poking at science, but he was also wise:
“I’m a scientist and I know what constitutes proof. But the reason I call myself by my childhood name is to remind myself that a scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting. Most scientists forget that.”
― Douglas Adams, The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Eric Brownson
June 22, 2021 2:01 pm

Richard Feynman:

“Religion is a culture of faith. Science is a culture of doubt.”

czechlist
Reply to  Eric Brownson
June 22, 2021 3:04 pm

It seems everything needs to be modelled in today’s world. I think I recall Feynman saying something like – the use of a computer usually devolves into playing a game.

Stu
June 22, 2021 2:16 pm

As one of the laypeople who has learned much about climate and its complexity by reading this blog and Judith Curry, I have learned that there are certain accepted physical phenomena which have been characterized as laws such as the second law of thermodynamics and gravity, both of which I experience on a daily basis. The weather however is largely a crapshoot.

bonbon
Reply to  Stu
June 23, 2021 3:58 am

Weather is actually fun! Some great weather channels on youtube. Climate has long ceased to be fun.

TheMightyQuinn
June 22, 2021 2:40 pm

To maintain their power over the peasants, scientists, the MSM, governments and Big Tech all recently colluded to hide the origins of Wuhan flu. You don’t think they aren’t doing the same thing with AGW to keep their money conveyor belt running?

P Wells
June 22, 2021 2:50 pm

Willis – yet another prime example was Alfred Wegener.

Jim Sternhell
June 22, 2021 2:59 pm

“I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned”-Richard Feynman.
The ability to question makes us human. The right to question makes us free.
We see all around us that the right to question the narrative has been bullied out.
How do we counteract this-
1) When you are forced to wear a mask, have a highly visible one (bright yellow best) with “AGAINST MY WILL” or “TYRANNY” on it. The mask can be made with a yellow rag, so it costs basically nothing. Nobody has been stupid enough to attack me for it.
2) Boycott any business that subscribes to the woke nonsense of shutting down free speech. Look what has happened to Coca Cola.
3) Ignore any media that do NOT call out woke/ cancel culture. This means that mainstream media need to be recognised as propaganda.
4) Simply do not vote for any wannabe “leader” that goes in for wokeness/ cancel culture. They are usually on board with the witch hunts. The easy way to identify the ones that get your vote (refusing to vote / participate in the political process means you are just allowing yourself to be ruled by your inferiors) is that they are the ones attacked by cancel culture. They smear those they fear.
5) Needs just a bit of research – if someone is being hounded out of their freedom of speech, stand up for them- let it be known that the witch hunting throng are violating Section 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Let them know they should hang their heads in shame for such a flagrant violation of human rights.
Obviously, we should all be getting active in various groups to wake up the silenced majority.
To quote Thomas Sowell-“Our job is not to wake the sheep, it is to wake the lions.”

bonbon
Reply to  Jim Sternhell
June 23, 2021 3:57 am

“Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number-
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you
Ye are many-they are few.”

― Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Masque of Anarchy: Written on Occasion of the Massacre at Manchester

Poets are the true legislators.

AGW is Not Science
June 22, 2021 3:14 pm

Spot on, Willis. The “consensus” BS is always the “lead-off batter” I have to contend with in every conversation I have with the climate deluded.

What they fail to realize in their ignorant certainty is the precise reason the “consensus” BS is thrown at them, time and time again. They bombard people with the “consensus” BS because they want people to stop thinking, researching, questioning, and above all REASONING. Because the “climate crisis” nonsense crumbles quickly in the face of reason, and the Climate Fascists therefore dread it, like vampires running from the sunlight.

June 22, 2021 3:55 pm

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks.

Consensus itself can’t be the problem. An intelligent social animal like humans or any other, can presumably only establish accepted truth of scholarly matters through a process of consensus – at least of some kind of majority.

But what does make a difference to the effectiveness of the scholarly process, and might defend the process from the danger of believing falsehoods for hundreds of years, is how the consensus is treated or “managed” and what attitudes and practices relate to the consensus. Is the scholarly community relaxed about it, regarding a consensus as “easy come easy go”? Or do personal interests and agendas get entangled in the consensus, with the result that a lot of violence is done to prop up the consensus and prevent its refutation by suspending the scholarly process? This is how sociobiology and politics unfortunately undermine scholarship. Although only for a while – truth eventually emerges.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
June 22, 2021 10:59 pm

An intelligent social animal like humans or any other, can presumably only establish accepted truth of scholarly matters through a process of consensus – at least of some kind of majority.

Nonsense. The Scientific Method obviates that idea. That’s why it is so important. It only requires one idea to be right and no other supporters are needed. In science “consensus” is simply redundant. In fact it has proven to be the single biggest obstacle to innovation and new ideas. Consensus is the antithesis to scientific inquiry. There is no manner of rewording which can validate “consensus” within the scientific process.

bonbon
Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 23, 2021 3:54 am

There has to be a consensus about ethics. Still Einstein best says what the scientific method is – see the PBS interview above.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  bonbon
June 23, 2021 10:30 am

There has to be a consensus about ethics

Ethics is a fundamental component of politics, which is why I suggest “consensus” is always about politics. It’s about getting along and fitting in. Science is about trying to explain our world.

Christopher Chantrill
June 22, 2021 4:00 pm

As usual, Willis, more proof that you have a first-class mind. To paraphrase Mrs. Medlock in <i>The Secret Garden</i> I’d say that if you had a couple more degrees people would say you were clever.

But I suggest that the problem is not just the 97% of gubmint-funded scientists toeing the party line.

I’d say that the problem is that the educated class gets 97% of the public bandwidth. It is almost impossible to get a word in edgewise unless you are a card-carrying member of the educated-class establishment. Something has to go badly wrong before anyone else gets to be part of the conversation.

Neville
June 22, 2021 4:01 pm

Here’s the best reason to doubt the urgers and extremists and it only takes about 5 minutes of your time.
Dr Rosling’s video showing all countries over the last 200 years is about as accurate as we can get.
OH and according to the latest data there has been improvement since 2010 to 2020 as well.
Another problem is the population increase since 1970 of over 4 billion people and an increase in life expectancy ( about 15 years) and wealth since that time.
And urban living has increased since 1970, even in Africa our poorest continent.
When will people wake up to their BS and fra-d?

Neville
Reply to  Neville
June 22, 2021 4:26 pm

Look at Dr Rosling’s video and then ask yourself this question……where is Biden’s EXISTENTIAL threat or emergency or crisis?
Anthropologists now think that fully evolved humans have existed for about 200,000 years and the first 1 billion humans alive was in about 1800 and life expectancy then was under 40 and in 2021 is 73 for the 7.8 bn alive today.
And 4 bn + have somehow miraculously appeared since 1970 and now have a life exp of about 73 and also much wealthier than 50 years ago.
So AGAIN where is Biden’s EXISTENTIAL threat???

jorgekafkazar
Reply to  Neville
June 22, 2021 6:08 pm

If he looks in the mirror, Biden will see it.

bonbon
Reply to  Neville
June 23, 2021 3:51 am

Biden knows there is an existential threat – to the entire transatlantic financial system. It will soon implode under its own rules-based-order.
That will mean an existential threat to all savings. Which means an existential threat to the powers that be. They are reacting in desperation. Even Facebook is part of the Atlantic Council.
Either that threat or its proposed cure , the Great Reset will rapidly drop population to 1 billion even if nuclear war is avoided.
Which means to anyone who likes eating, putting finance immediately under regulation. It literally means survival.
A lot of climateers get of lost in CO2 fog the fail to see the 600lb gorilla.

Rhys
June 22, 2021 4:22 pm

Succinct, memorable, accurate, and enjoyable. In short a brilliant article. Many thanks Willis.
Rhys

WILLIAM D LARSON
June 22, 2021 4:23 pm

Another quote from Feynman: “I much prefer questions that cannot be answered to answers that cannot be questioned.”

Windy Wilson
June 22, 2021 4:49 pm

Dr. Einstein, the Science is settled! We Took a Vote!
Dr. Newton, the Science is settled! We Took a Vote!
Dr. Galileo, the Science is settled! We Took a Vote!
Dr. Aristotle, the Science is settled! We Took a Vote!
I’m noticing a pattern here.

Weekly_rise
June 22, 2021 4:54 pm

Consensus is scientifically meaningless, but it is a useful gauge for laypeople. I’ve not seen it presented as anything more.

JWurts
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 22, 2021 7:51 pm

“…useful gauge for laypeople…”

Not when the ‘consensus’ is a lie.

Weekly_rise
Reply to  JWurts
June 23, 2021 3:51 am

If we assume that there is a grand global scientific conspiracy then all bets are off. But unsubstantiated conspiracy theories are a poor basis for a worldview.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 23, 2021 9:55 am

There is no need for a conspiracy for irrational humans to get on the bandwagon. All religions have grown similarly from a seed and spread around the world.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 22, 2021 11:02 pm

Consensus can only ever be used in a political sense. Only politicians, juries and women’s sewing circles seem to require it.

Weekly_rise
Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 23, 2021 3:49 am

The fact that there exists a scientific consensus around the dangers of tobacco smoke has been quite helpful in guiding my actions around cigarettes, despite the fact that I have not read the entire body of medical literature on the subject or personally replicated the many studies. Consensus can be used in a decision making sense, whether at an individual or policy-based level.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 23, 2021 10:00 am

It sounds like you are a person who plays it safe and runs your life by Pascal’s Wager.

Richard Page
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 23, 2021 10:17 am

There has been no ‘consensus’ about the dangers of cigarette smoking – there have been a number of scientific studies done linking cigarette smoking to illnesses and diseases which still gives us the best information on the subject. An informed and well reasoned point of view based on a sound scientific argument doesn’t need some artificially conflated ‘consensus’ to sell it.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Richard Page
June 23, 2021 10:26 am

Well put.

Weekly_rise
Reply to  Richard Page
June 23, 2021 10:34 am

So it is your opinion that there is no general agreement among the medical research community about whether tobacco smoke is dangerous?

Last edited 1 month ago by Weekly_rise
Richard Page
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 23, 2021 12:02 pm

My contention is that the widely held agreement that cigarette smoke is dangerous is based on scientific studies not on a decision by consensus that it is so.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 24, 2021 9:25 am

I’m curious. You are convinced that tobacco smoke is dangerous. What about marijuana smoke? Do you suppose it might also be dangerous? If so, why no ‘hue and cry’ to discourage ‘grass’ for health reasons?

Weekly_rise
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 24, 2021 10:43 am

Any form of smoking is bad for respiratory health – one can only speculate as to why pot smoking tends to draw a smaller focus than tobacco. Probably because pot has been illegal for most of its history in the US, so health concerns were not at the forefront of thought on the subject. I’m also not certain population studies have shown higher rates of lung cancer among pot smokers. Pot also tends to be used differently (I don’t know any chain tokers).

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 23, 2021 10:25 am

However, that has nothing whatever to do with the science. The “consensus” decided for nearly 100years that Mars was covered in “canals”, that the Continents couldn’t move and that stomach ulcers were caused by stress etc. If “consensus” has had any effect on science it has been to suppress truth and negatively interfere with progress.

Weekly_rise
Reply to  Rory Forbes
June 23, 2021 10:44 am

I would argue that there actually wasn’t overly strong consensus about most of those topics. Some astronomers speculated about the possible presence of “canal-like” features on Mars, but these hypotheses were based on rudimentary observing devices and questioned strongly by the observers’ peers. Continental drift was initially rejected by the scientific community not because they had a strongly held belief in the immobility of the continents, but because Wegener could provide no evidence of a possible mechanism for such movement. If you were an academic living in these times you would not have found it odd to be embroiled in debates about these subjects with your peers.

But all that said, I agree, and stated earlier, that consensus is not part of the scientific process – it is simply a state that is tended towards as evidence for or against some hypothesis accumulates. Today there is a strong consensus among scientists about plate tectonic theory, evolutionary theory, gravitational theory, etc. A scientist in the modern day would find it quite baffling to attend a research conference at which everyone was arguing over the veracity of evolution versus Biblical creationism. It doesn’t mean these ideas are objectively true, but it certainly indicates to laypeople that the experts believe the evidence in favor of these ideas is strong. That is, they’ve run out of reasons to object to the ideas.

I believe it is extremely misguided to pretend that this information is of no value.

Last edited 1 month ago by Weekly_rise
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Weekly_rise
June 23, 2021 9:56 am

“The science is settled!” Obama

June 22, 2021 6:33 pm

In the environmental sciences the scientific process becomes subverted by the precautionary principle which says in effect that given the dire consequences in case we are right, the question is not whether we are right but whether you can take the chance that we are right.

https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/12/27/superstitious-humans/

Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 22, 2021 10:39 pm

Thanks Willis. I will go take a look.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 23, 2021 10:13 am

One of the things that has always bothered me about the PP, was that in the absence of complete understanding of the problem there is a risk that any actions might exacerbate the problem, thus accomplishing the opposite of what is desired.

Only when the countdown timer is at one second is it prudent to forget about logically trying to decide whether to cut the red wire or green wire. That is, making the wrong decision is no worse than making no decision. However, prior to the timer not giving enough time to get away, making the wrong decision is worse than making no decision.

Richard Page
Reply to  Chaamjamal
June 23, 2021 10:22 am

The precautionary principle would work well in this case except that if the climate enthusiasts are wrong, then the course of action they are urging us to take may cause far more suffering and loss of life than if we did nothing. The game theory that is used to justify the precautionary principle fails to account for a decrease in temperatures – they only gamed an increase (they got it right) or a no increase (they got it wrong) set of outcomes.

R_G
June 22, 2021 6:50 pm

Willis your too kind not giving only rat’s gluteus minimus. I wouldn’t give rat’s anal sphincter about so-called 97% consensus.

Walter Sobchak
June 22, 2021 7:38 pm

I recently finished reading a really interesting and well written book. “Hot Hand” by Ben Cohen. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062820729/ It was well written and very entertaining. The subject of the book is the controversy over whether or not there is such a thing as a hot hand in basketball. In 1985, Gilovich, Vallone and Tversky published “The hot hand in basketball: On the misperception of random sequences”, which argued that the “hot hand” is a cognitive illusion, our minds impose a pattern on random events. That idea became “established science”. But, like real scientists, other social scientists and mathematicians did not accept it and move on. They picked at the idea, and eventually proved that the paper had deep seated flaws.

The point here is that the core of science is doubt. Nothing is science can be accepted as “established”. Everything must be doubted and and picked at.

This is true in every part of science. Let us take an example from a core subject of physical science: gravity. Newton’s Principia explained gravity in 1687. It was the beginning of the separation between empirical science and speculative philosophy. Surely, gravity is established science.

Well, not really. Newton’s theory was revised and expanded for two centuries after it was propounded. But, eventually there were problems. In the 19th Century, they found that the orbit of Mercury around the sun could not be explained by Newtonian theories, unless there was another large planet nearby, which nobody could see.

Albert Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity in 1915. The theory refined Newton’s law of universal gravitation, and provided a unified description of gravity as a non-Euclidian geometric property of four-dimensional space-time. It could explain the orbit of Mercury. But, it also opened up a whole new vista of astronomical phenomena that are uncanny, at best, such as the bending of light by gravity, the dilation of time by gravity, the collapse of stars into their own gravitational fields that produce Black Holes, and even stranger yet gravitational waves, that were first directly observed only recently.

Game over, we have the answer. Gravity is now established science. Right? Not exactly. There are known and real problems with General Relativity as an explanation for life, the universe, and everything. For instance, the Black Hole Information Loss Paradox. I won’t try to explain it. If you want a good understandable explanation go to “The Black Hole information loss problem is unsolved. Because it’s unsolvable.” http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2020/11/the-black-hole-information-loss-problem.html has an explanation and a video. It is by a German theoretical physicist named Sabine Hossenfelder. She has a lot of videos and explanations about basic issues in modern physics.

The point here is very simple. There is no such thing as “established science”, nor can there ever be such a thing. The core of science is doubt. As the Royal Society, to which Newton reported his results, has it: Nullius in Verba. “Take nobody’s word for it”. The only way to prove statements about science is an appeal to facts determined by experiment. https://royalsociety.org/about-us/history/

In 1931 a book was published in Germany: Hundert Autoren gegen Einstein (A Hundred Authors Against Einstein). In response Einstein said, if he were wrong, one author would have been enough.

bonbon
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
June 23, 2021 3:42 am

It was Kepler who discovered universal gravity. Newton was not a scientist as Maynard Keynes discovered- see the Bio, as I post above. So a Magi like Newton uses alchemy. Looking at Newton we find the model for the charlatans today. They are not easy to spot in Newtons shadow. That is why well known climateers get away it.
Interestingly Newton was Master of the Mint – he knew where the money was.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  bonbon
June 23, 2021 8:04 am

Developing integral and differential calculus wasn’t enough to qualify?

MarkW
Reply to  bonbon
June 23, 2021 9:44 am

Pretty much everybody who dabbled in science back then was an alchemist. It was the research of those who called themselves alchemists that led to the modern science of chemistry.

I suspect that the real reason why you are so desperate to discredit Newton is because he was British.

PS: If you want to know a charlatan, Keynes would be a fine candidate.
His economic nostrums ruined economics for a generation.
“In the long run, we are all dead” has got to be the stupidest statement ever made by someone who claimed to be scientific.

Last edited 1 month ago by MarkW
Richard Page
Reply to  MarkW
June 23, 2021 10:26 am

Sweetie seems to be indulging in an ad hominem exactly as described in the article that they’re posting under. The irony of that fact amuses me greatly!

June 22, 2021 8:29 pm

There was a poll conducted some years ago…don’t remember all the details…it was like a thousand scientists sent a one page yes or no list of questions and a stamped self addressed envelope….it was in response to this 97% stuff and the answers were of course not anything like 97%…..the answers if I remember correctly were mostly “not sure”.

Damon
June 22, 2021 9:29 pm

I note that the (in)famous science ‘communicator’, John Cook, appears now to be communicating mostly with his navel.

Pat from kerbob
June 22, 2021 10:29 pm

Fabulous

KAT
June 23, 2021 1:28 am

Consensus – Conclusive proof that the ability to think clearly is compromised by the nodding of the head

bonbon
June 23, 2021 2:38 am

I listen to Max Planck and Einstein on science. Both overturned everything .
The Philosophy of Physics: Planck’s Spiritual Testament – Rising Tide Foundation
There Planck’s mode of actually doing science is discussed.

Einstein was asked on PBS about his theories and that they could be falsified – his answer is quite revealing : science is like digging a mine , finding a diamond, an emerald, tossing them aside. What then are you looking for, asked PBS. Reply ¨the thoughts of God¨.

bonbon
June 23, 2021 3:35 am

Montagnier’s Wave Therapy: Quackery or Genius?See :

Dr. Luc Montagnier and the Coming Revolutions in Optical Biophysics – Rising Tide Foundation

This is the Nobel Prize discoverer of HIV. It sure looks like we have a pandemic because Big Pharma will not tolerate this wave nature of living DNA. As Montagnier says it is very difficult to get the wave spectrum right for a given system, but extremely cheap to treat with it. Right now it is costing billions to investigate and billions to treat.
So consensus is lethal. Blocking breakthroughs is actually a deadly threat to humanity. Resolving this is a matter of survival.

John Cramer
June 23, 2021 4:00 am

This is quite correct 99.9%. The exception is that Copernicus and Galileo did not “prove” heliocentrism wrong. The evidence that did that became available only in the 18th century after they were long gone.

Forearmed
June 23, 2021 5:24 am

Well, there it is folks, someone who has no qualms about calling a spade a spade. Those are also my sentiments as well in this great article on the foibles of the human ego.

Joseph Z
June 23, 2021 8:38 am

# of published climate scientists in the world? About 6560. If 97% of those scientists are in agreement then only around 3% are not. That would be just under 200 scientists. In a survey of those scientists, in which over 1800 participated, about 600 did not agree. Since 600 is significantly greater then 200 the 97% claim is proven false.

June 23, 2021 9:17 am

Something I see: 97% of scientists agree that global warming is happening and mostly manmade, and that’s because global warming is happening and since 1950 it’s been significant and mostly manmade. What I see as important, is that not all 97% of these scientists agree that this will be a problem of global catastrophe proportion if we don’t greatly decrease our fossil fuel consumption.

MarkW
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
June 23, 2021 9:48 am

1) There is no evidence to support your belief that the tiny bit of warming since 1950 is significant.
2) There is no evidence to support your belief that the tiny bit of warming since 1950 is mostly man made.
3) The claim that 97% of scientists agree is both not relevant and completely untrue.
4) The belief that global warming is or is going to be catastrophic is 100% refuted by the actual data. Computer models not withstanding.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
June 23, 2021 11:33 pm

Unremarkably you’ve managed to make several statements none of which has a grain of truth to it and is completely devoid of evidence.

Clyde Spencer
June 23, 2021 9:25 am

With respect to the value of consensus in science, consider the following article:

https://scitechdaily.com/12000-scientific-articles-a-year-can-they-all-be-wrong-xps-can-give-misleading-analysis-results/

Schrodinger's Cat
June 23, 2021 10:39 am

I have spent a lifetime in R&D and became genuinely interested in strategies for innovation. I had a little bit of a flair for it and wanted to understand what I was doing right. I was also spending more time in a managerial role and realised that training people to be more innovative would be a good thing if only we knew what to teach them. I tried to understand these things.

I won’t go into all the techniques here but one way is to look at bits of the scientific story that don’t quite fit. If It doesn’t make sense, then that is a clue that needs to be understood, not something to be brushed aside. Competitors, like most people, tend to ignore the awkward, irritating bits that can just be ignored.

As an observer, it seems to me that climate science is full of that sort of stuff and the opportunities are huge. but the last thing the “scientists” want is to make progress or increase understanding. It might lead them away from the current “settled science” or worse still, it could show that the current belief is completely wrong. Either of these would land them in a very difficult situation.

For these simple reasons, I believe that mainstream climate science is stuck in a swamp that will take a very long time to drain. It needs a game changing innovation.

Luckily, I can think of one, eh. Willis?

TonyG
June 23, 2021 11:46 am

Another from Feynman: “If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”

BCBill
June 23, 2021 1:17 pm

Willis, I like all of your posts, but in the spirit of George Carlin on the ten commandments let us condense “They support it with logic, math, computer code, examples, experience, experimental results, thought experiments, or other substantiating backup information.” The power of logic is only as good as the knowledge that drives the premises. Logic without sound premises is counting angels on the head of a pin. Premises are made sound via systematic observation, i. e. compilation of data. Math is the application of a system of tallies to discern order in quantities. Before math can be applied there must be hypothetical quantities (premises) or actual quanties (knowledge). The system by which order is discerned could be math, computer code or little piles of peas. “Examples” are simply some of the cases from which data were collected to create knowledge. “Experience” is is usually a short hand way of saying that I have knowledge about this subject but have either not made or not compiled my measurements. Otherwise it is the same as knowledge. Experimental results are observations taken in controlled conditions and that have been quantified so that they can be objectively evaluated. Other substantiating backup information is presumably quantified observation that is collected outside the controlled environment of an experiment. Thought experiments are exercises to help one think, but they are of no use in evaluating the physical world if the rules of the thought experiment do not follow the measured rules (observations) of the physical world. Some of your points, math, logic, code, thought experiments, are simply methods of discerning order in the rest of your points, examples, experience, experimental results. Therefore, can we shorten by saying that science is the process of discerning order in quantified observation? Otherwise I agree with your argument.

Last edited 1 month ago by BCBill
Anders Rasmusson
June 23, 2021 1:22 pm

Tage Danielsson, a Swedish comedian, author and film director :
“Without doubt one is not wise”

Kind regards
Anders Rasmusson

Peter
June 23, 2021 4:37 pm

The claimed 97% consensus would be meaningless if it wasn’t a fabrication. Since it is entirely a fabrication based on multiple flawed surveys, “studies” and outright lies, it is less than meaningless.

RoHa
June 23, 2021 11:53 pm

“If I say “There is a Pastafarian God who controls the universe through his noodly appendages”, no one can falsify that statement…”

I’m not sure that I agree.

I would need to see what else Pastafarian theologians say about their God. If they say that he is visible, then I would point out that we would expect to see his noodly appendage. We don’t. If he is invisible, then that falsification would not work.

If they say that he is omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent, then looking at the world falsifies the claim pretty comprehensively.

(Theologians for other OOB deities have tried to avoid this falsification. None have been successful.)

BCBill
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 24, 2021 1:30 pm

This seems to be a reply to me as I am the one who mentioned angels, pins etc. Since we appear to have progressed from a feeble attempt at George Carlinesque humour to petulant rejoinder let me add that the reason I bothered to comment about such a minor point is that I did not find your explanation of the scientific process to be very clear or in accordance with either the hypothetical scientific process or the actual scientific process. You felt it was necessary to explain the scientific process as a preamble to your argument. If you thought it was that important, you could have thought about it a little longer and then written something about the scientific that was coherent.

RoHa
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 24, 2021 11:00 pm

“No, you cannot scientifically either falsify or establish the existence of God, Pastafarian or otherwise.”

OK, nit picking. But I don’t see what is wrong with my falsification of the existence of OOB type Gods. 

TonyG
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 25, 2021 8:05 am

Willis: I think he means: Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Benevolent.

RoHa: The problem with that “falsification” is that it assumes facts not in evidence, most specifically that the OOB god’s benevolence matches our understanding of benevolent.

If there is an afterlife, that benevolence would have to extend beyond the immediate that we can view, and something that we see as short-term maleficence could very well be benevolent in the long term. The frame of reference for said OOBG is different than ours, therefore we can’t make assumptions.

For the record: I’m an atheist. But I realize that the entire issue of deities and their existence is a matter of faith and as such is not subject to proof, in either direction.

BCBill
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
June 25, 2021 6:13 pm

Willis, I think I have to drop this because I am quite sure we aren’t even talking about my original email. However, you have gotten my hackles up resorting to one of your standard tropes, i.e.,” prove it to me in the space of a comment section”, so I am going to make one more stab at making my point. You expressed an opinion on what you consider to be the scientific process. You felt that a definition of the process was important enough to your argument that you opened the discussion with your opinion of what the scientific process involves. I can’t refute your opinion as it is just an opinion but I wasted a reasonable amount of space showing in a light hearted manner how your description of the scientific process was just a list of factors that was redundant and lacking in a central concept of what the scientific process is. For example, to describe how to develop a “falsifiable claim” you supplied an incomplete and jumbled list of methods of analysing data and generating data without even distinguishing between the two categories of concepts and then expected that your readers could divine a process out of that list. If you had actually read my note you might have seen a gentle reproval at the weakness of your descripition, instead you fixated on angels, dancing and pinheads and disregarded the rest. So I can’t refute your opinion as it is in my opinion just a very incomplete and vague description with no refutable points. I have already sufficiently supported that opinion in my initial note and the best way to further support that opinion is to contrast your definition with a different opinion of the scientific process. See the attached. Whether or not you agree with the opinion of the scientific process in the attached image, it at least describes something that can be discerned as a process.

I have other concerns with your opinion of the scientific process. For example, what does it mean to be shown to be “wrong” in data collection? I have reviewed many scientific papers in my life and they all have things that could have been done better, that did not turn out as planned, etc. There is no wrongness in the scientifc process there is simply an honest explanation of what was done, including an accounting of deficiencies, so that the reader can decide how much weight to put on the work (a concept which Feynmen discusses in some detail). One of the major reasons I had for rejecting manuscripts was when the authors tried to hide the deficiencies in their work. Even weak findings often have value in, for example, showing how not to do things. That should be part of the process. Sadly one of the by-products of the reproducibility crisis is that now the importance of work has to be exaggerated and its weaknesses hidden in order for it to be published. Anyway, I don’t have the heart to talk about this anymore for fear that I will be commanded to prove to you what constitutes coherent. I am afraid some things can’t be explained in a reasonable space, it is better that they are learned over the course of one’s life.
By Efbrazil – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

ScientificProcess.jpg
Last edited 1 month ago by BCBill
Reply to  RoHa
June 24, 2021 6:19 am

Noodly appendages is a quite respectable multidimensional string topology, can’t see what’s wrong with that. Presumably noodly appendages belongs to the set of Calabi-Yau manifolds?

RoHa
June 23, 2021 11:58 pm

I reluctantly admit that I have benefited from peer review. The reviewer first pointed out an embarrassing circular argument, and then added a reference to a paper that would help me to strengthen my paper. I replaced the argument, added the extra material, and got published.

I still blush at the thought of that circular argument, though.

RoHa
June 23, 2021 11:59 pm

Ibn Sina is a strong contender for the title of “Most Brilliant Person Ever”.

RoHa
June 24, 2021 12:01 am

Do you really think we should treat the claims of rangas seriously?

Matthew Sykes
June 24, 2021 1:35 am

And my favourite, if it smells like turd, it probably is. 🙂

Actually it is this: “Truth is the subjection of reality to an individuals perception” Which is the problem of postmodernism. Everything is relative, so we dare not criticise that bad data, because it is someone’s, and they might be hurt by doing so.

Patrick MJD
June 24, 2021 4:23 am

Can I say it’s made up number to support a political narrative, or is that just too obvious?

Clyde Spencer
June 24, 2021 9:17 am

Lest someone thinks that only climate alarmists make mistakes, read this:

https://scitechdaily.com/exotic-superconductors-the-secret-that-was-never-there/

July 4, 2021 3:29 pm

Well said, good man. 97%, my Aunt Fanny. I like hard evidence. Solid evidence. Computer models are neither one of those, as garbage in-garbage out is still a fact of life no matter who you are or think you are.

July 4, 2021 3:30 pm

I’m pretty sure that if you put enough government grant money into a computer model, you’ll get the answer the government wants.