Matthew A. Siekierski: Some people are simply convinced they know the truth even without proof.
Luigi Novi: And as soon as you can provide material that indicates that
this is a problem within the scientific community—as opposed to people in
general—by all means, do so.
Matthew A. Siekierski: Why would I have to do that?
Luigi Novi: Um, because you’re the one saying that some scientists are convinced they know the truth even without proof. Kind of a serious accusation, don’t you think? And since you yourself agreed in your August 6, 10:49am post that the burden of proof lies on the person making the claim (which any person knowledgeable of scientific skepticism would agree with), it is incumbent on you to illustrate that accusation. Kinda hypocritical to accuse people of believing in an idea without proof, and then refusing to provide proof for that very accusation, don’t you think?
Matthew A. Siekierski: All I’m saying is that scientists are human, and commit the same human mistakes as we all do.
Luigi Novi: Nope, that’s not the statement I was responding to, and you know it. That was a different portion of our exchanges. The statement you made that I was responded to above with a request for documentation (which is why I made a point of quoting the entire exchange above) was “Some people are simply convinced they know the truth even without proof”, a statement you’ve made throughout this thread, particularly (though not exclusively) in regard to scientists. My response is the same:
Please provide some evidence that this is a problem among scientists, especially in a way that is pertinent to Pat’s piece (since I assume—correct me if I’m wrong that that’s why you made that statement).
Matthew A. Siekierski: I have no need to provide material examples.
Luigi Novi: If you intend this accusation of yours to maintain any credibility—and for that matter, yourself as well—then yes, you do. Otherwise, you’re making a tacit admission that you’re given to make unsubstantiated statements—including rather accusatory ones—without a need to provide a basis, and without conceding this, even when challenged, which is rather ironic, since the scientific process itself is all about evidence, retesting, responding directly to challenges, peer review, etc. Funny how you criticize scientists for not adhering to that proper methodology, when you can’t even be bothered to put your money where your mouth is by providing substantiation for your own statements. But hey, that’s your choice.
Matthew A. Siekierski: It won’t prove anything to you anyhow, because then you’ll simply point out that these are insignificant, and then demand a
frequency analysis and try to show how it happens less often with scientists
than the general population.
Luigi Novi: Nope. Sorry. Doesn’t work that way.
You don’t get to pretend that you can read the mind of a complete stranger you’ve never met on the Internet, simply because you know you can’t back up your assertions after having gone out on a limb, unless you can point to some indication from me that indicates—to the exclusion of other possibilities—that I am prone to weaseling out of a discussion after evidence has been provided of a claim I challenge. Putting your flights of fancy aside, you don’t know me, or anything about me, aside from what little material I’ve provided you of my personality and character in this thread, and if any of that provides indication that I am intellectually dishonest, and would exhibit the reaction you claim I would if you backed up your assertions, you have not pointed out how. You’re just engaging in baseless ad hominem excuse-making because you made a bold statement stemming from your biases rather than on any intelligent observation of facts, and are not man enough to admit it when someone called you on it.
Matthew A. Siekierski: No matter what I do, you’ll continue to move the goalposts, or misconstrue what is being said to have more intended meaning than it really does (like this current example: some scientists occasionally treating hypotheticals as proven does not discount science or mean that scientists are bad, which is how you reacted.
Luigi Novi: You have not provided one example of my moving any goalposts, nor does this example you mention here constitute one, since I never reacted to your statement about some scientists treating hypotheticals as proven by saying that “it does not mean some scientists are bad”. I responded by asking you to provide examples.
You responded by refusing to do so.
But if I indeed reacted by saying anything like this, and perhaps overlooked or forgot it, could you point it out to me by quoting the relevant passage?
In any event, the fact that you seem to think (if I’m reading this reaction of mine that you’ve fabricated correctly) that the act of some scientists treating unproven hypotheses as proven ones “discounts science” or means that “scientists are bad” (unless you simply meant those scientists who do this) further illustrates your ignorance about how science works.
Matthew A. Siekierski: Scientists are human, they are not always speaking on the basis of science. It’s best you (and everyone) accept that.
Luigi Novi: I’d be the first person to make that statement.
Matthew A. Siekierski: But you weren’t, and you still haven’t.
Luigi Novi: Regarding the first point, there was no need to, because you didn’t ask me to, nor ask me a question that led to my bringing it up, until you made the statement right above it, at which point, I responded by indicating I agreed with it.
As to the second point, saying, “I’d be the first person to make that statement” is indeed explicit enough of an indication that I agree with it. How you claim that this is not clear enough by remarking that I “still haven’t”, I don’t know, but it illustrates yet another example of your double standards—accusing me of misconstruing the intended meaning of your words, only to then split hairs because—what? Because phrased it as “would be the first person to make that statement” instead of “I agree”?
Matthew A. Siekierski: First off, Galileo wasn’t completely right.
Luigi Novi: Nor was Einstein. Or Newton. Or anyone. And I explained why this is a silly Straw Man statement in my first post on this thread. To be fair, however, it was Keith who originally said this, not you, and I apologize for accidentally misattributing the statement to you.
Matthew A. Siekierski: Second, if you think the Piltdown Man wasn’t touted by some scientists as definitive proof of evolution then you’re ignoring history.
Luigi Novi: Which does not make it a “scientific hoax”, any more than Pope Pius XII’s support of Georges Lemaître’s theories about how the universe began made that a “religious idea”, nor the Church’s previous support of Aristotelian ideas made those “religious hoaxes”. Would you argue that support of an idea by mainstream religious authorities that later turn out to be false constitutes a “religious hoax”?
Matthew A. Siekierski: Third, only sometimes do some scientists give unproven hypotheses the same weight as fact.
Luigi Novi: And yet, you refuse to provide one example of this.
Matthew A. Siekierski: Fourth, if something is unproven and treated as absolute truth, then it is a matter of faith.
Luigi Novi: Well yeah, but again, who has treated an unproven hypothesis as “absolute truth”?
Matthew A. Siekierski: And so forth. Your inability to actually comprehend what is written, and your misstating things so as to knock down a straw man, harms your credibility.
Luigi Novi: You have not demonstrated that I have failed to comprehend anything, much less that I have misstated things. By contrast, I have already pointed out where you have misstated things. For example, when I responded to your statement “Some people are simply convinced they know the truth even without proof” by asking for examples, you replied by referencing a completely different statement you have previously made in a different portion of our exchange. For another, you asserted that adherence to an unproven idea as fact is a matter of “faith” (it isn’t), only to now reword that statement—in a way that is far by trivial, mind you—by now replacing “fact” as “absolute truth”. The former statement is false. The latter one fairly reasonable, but it only means you going farther out on a limb, by implying that anyone representative of the scientific community regards any idea, even the most confirmed fact as “absolute truth”—let alone unproven ones, when they do no such thing.
Taking criticism that has been leveled at you and simply knee-jerk accusing the critic of the same thing—when he has relied on reasoning or evidence for his criticism and you have not—is intellectually worthless, unless you think “I’m rubber and you’re glue” is a valid statement of principle in an discussion.
Matthew A. Siekierski: Have you looked at any of the complaints by some of the people who want to reproduce the work of Mann and others? Or are Watts, McIntyre, McKitrick all not “scientist” enough to bother? I mean, Watts is only a meteorologist. McKitrick is an economist (I think), not even a scientist (as if only
scientists understand statistics, which is what got him involved). McIntyre
was a mining consultant. There’s, of course, no way that they could analyze
Luigi Novi: I think you just pretty much answered your own question, Matthew. Though I’m guessing you actually intended your remarks to be ironic, the truth is that whether they’re professional climatologists or scientists is somewhat less important than whether they did good science, and what their work found. According to The Wall Street Journal, two independent papers (one from GKSS Research Center in Geesthacht, Germany, and one by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution fellow Peter Huybers) that analyzed Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick’s results, while confirming that there was a “glitch” in the work of Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” report (the target of McIntyre and McKitrick’s criticism), indicated that glitch was “of very minor significance” when applied to computer-generated models of climate history. (Source: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB113027943843479277-5reMaU4_37mSf3Us8BhDeHITDyA_20061026.html?mod=blogs)
The University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit ‘s detractors were also criticized, with one of the reports deploring the tone of their criticism and finding that some it had been “selective and uncharitable”. (Source: http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/SAP) According to The Seattle Times, nothing in the stolen e-mails challenged the scientific consensus that “global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity.”(Source: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2011482792_climate31.html?)
A separate review by Pennsylvania State University into accusations against Mann cleared him of any wrongdoing, stating that there was “no substance” to the allegations against him.(Source: http://live.psu.edu/fullimg/userpics/10026/Final_Investigation_Report.pdf)
As for Anthony Watts, a peer reviewed study issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated, “In summary, we find no evidence that the CONUS [counterminous United States] average temperature trends are inflated due to poor station siting.” (Source: http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/v2/monthly/menne-etal2010.pdf)
None of these sources was difficult to find with a Google or Wikipedia search, so I’m left wondering if there was a reason you either did not follow up on these developments, or omitted them in your mention of Mann, Watts, McIntyre, McKitrick.
Matthew A. Siekierski: Do I need the /sarchasm tag here?
Luigi Novi: No. Just an example of statements on their part that illustrate what you’re claiming about them. I mean, it’s not even that I’m challenging what you’re saying, because for all I know, maybe these people that you’ve mentioned are doing this. All I’m asking for is that you point me in the direction of places where they’ve made such statements, and where they’ve been refuted (as I documented above), counterarguments that rebut the apparent refutations. How much credence do you feel I extend to this assertion of yours, when you point to all these people, yet fail to produce even one bit of documentation illustrating what you’re saying about them, and when the sources I found refuted it? Me, I cited a source or two in my first post in this thread, and a bunch in this very post. Why can’t you?
Luigi Novi: All three of these have been shown, according to the
Matthew A. Siekierski: No, they haven’t.
Luigi Novi: According to every science publication I’ve read, they have indeed.
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s reports, which assess and evaluate the published scientific literature on the latest and best thinking of the world’s scientists about climate change, reflect the fact that warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as evidenced from observations in increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level, and that the global increases in carbon dioxide is anthropogenic, and exceeds the natural range over the last 650,000 years. Other sources, such as the position paper by NASA scientist Stuart D. Jordan, The National Geographic Society, The National Academy of Sciences, Scientific American, etc. indicate that CO2 concentrations are 35% higher than before the industrial revolution, and are responsible for anthropogenic global warming.
How is it known that CO2 concentrations have increased?
CO2 and other greenhouse gas levels have been measured since the late 1950s. Levels in the distant past are measured in bubbles of ancient air preserved in Antarctic and Greenland ice, which go back 650,000 years. Before the industrial revolution, they were about 280 ppm. Though they have varied naturally between about 180 ppm during the ice ages and 300 ppm during warm periods, they have steadily increased from 315 ppm in the late 50s to 385 ppm today.
How is it known that the CO2 rise is anthropogenic?
There are several lines of evidence. For one thing, we know how much CO2 results from human activities, and thus, we know what accounts for the increase. For another, changes in the isotopic composition of CO2, and in oxygen, show that the carbon in the added CO2 derives largely from plant materials, that is, the burning of biomass or fossil fuels, which comes from plant materials. Changes in oceanic CO2 cannot account for the increase in the atmosphere.
How is it known that the CO2 rise leads to surface temperature increases?
Increasing greenhouse gases increases the atmosphere’s “optimal thickness” for infrared radiation, which means more of that radiation is trapped in the atmosphere, raising the amount of solar radiation absorbed by Earth, and the mean temperature at the level from which that radiation effectively escapes into space (the emission level). The same amount of energy Earth receives as solar radiation in a steady state must be returned as infrared, and that energy depends on the temperature at which it’s emitted, and that determines the emission level. For Earth, this temperature is -1°F—the mean temperature of the surface if the atmosphere did not absorb that radiation. Increasing greenhouse gases means a raising of the emission level. If the temperature decreases between the surface and the emission level, and its rate of decrease with height doesn’t change, than the surface temperature increases as the emission level is raised. That’s the greenhouse effect.
Shermer, Michael. “The Flipping Point” Scientific American; June 2006;
Skeptical Inquirer, Volume 31, No. 3; May/June 2007; Pages 5 – 7
Skeptic magazine; Vol. 14, No. 1; 2008; )
Pretending that all this isn’t true, akin Richard Pryor, being caught in flagrante delicto by his wife, and saying, “Who’re you gonna believe, woman? Me? Or your lyin’ eyes??”, doesn’t change this.
Matthew A. Siekierski: Scientific consensus is not science.
Luigi Novi: Yes it is, and by saying this, you further illustrate your complete ignorance of it. Part of how science works is to submit your findings to the Peer Review Process, to have others repeat your work, etc., and consensus is indeed part of how models are confirmed or disproven, and when they are confirmed extensively enough, are properly called facts. Anyone who has made an even cursory look into how the scientific process works knows this, as it is reflected in any beginner’s text on the subject. To point out just one example, read the Seattle Times story I linked to above, and read the reference to the “scientific consensus”. But if consensus is not how scientific knowledge is confirmed in the global community, then what is your perception of how it’s actually done?
Matthew A. Siekierski: Those questioning the conclusions that have attained this scientific consensus have brought up valid concerns, and have fixed things missed by the scientists. If you haven’t investigated this, then you’re placing blind faith in the scientific consensus.
Luigi Novi: One cannot place blind faith in anything if one flat-out asks—repeatedly—to be pointed in the direction of supportive evidence, and is greeted by the sound of crickets. Only by way of your perverse brand of mischaracterizing our exchange can I repeatedly ask you for documentation of the things you say, and then be accused of disagreeing with you “blindly”. The truth is that you’ve been asked to back up your claims, and instead of stepping up to the plate and doing so, you’ve responded by chickening out of the discussion, and offering anemic rationalizations for doing so.
Again, if you want this to be taken seriously, then you’re going to have to point to some specific documentation that these “valid concerns brought up” have been peer reviewed, and call into question the scientific consensus. Otherwise, you’re just engaging in an argument by assertion, which doesn’t make the idea true. Something does not become true just because you assert it or wish to believe it, nor is making accusations about other people that you refuse to substantiate with evidence or reasoning—be it people on this thread, or elsewhere—intellectually or morally defensible.
Kagehi: No priest, catholic or otherwise, declared *any* science that they thought contradicted their religion, until **well after** the rest of the world accepted it, then, all of the sudden, god came up with a completely different answer their prayers about it.
Matthew A. Siekierski: Provide examples of this (besides the incorrect Galileo one that is usually bandied about). Do you know how much science has been advanced either by priests (or brothers) who were scientists, or as a result of church-backing?
Luigi Novi: And here we now have three more examples of your hypocrisy.
1. You refuse to provide examples or evidence of your own, because, according to you, you “have no need to,” but here you are, demanding that Kagehi do so.
2. You whine that I will not accept your evidence or examples because I will “move the goalposts”, without providing one instance of my doing so, yet now you exclude the example of Galileo, without even explaining why that example is not good enough.
3. You complain about me “misconstruing” the meaning of your words, and employing Straw Men, yet you distorted Kagehi’s statement by deliberately omitting the portion that they thought contradicted their religion.
At the outset, I had hoped that you and I could agree to disagree in an intellectually honest manner, Matthew, but obviously, I was mistaken.