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The March for Scientism

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Filed under Science

Back in the early 1840s, John Henry Newman observed that physical philosophers—that is, scientists—"are ever inquiring whence things are, not why; referring them to nature, not to mind; and thus they tend to make a system a substitute for a God..." The "tending" has been, as they say, trending ever since. About a hundred years later, in 1948, Fulton Sheen remarked in his outstanding study Philosophy of Religion, that:

Science cannot give us a philosophy, nor can it give us an ethics; it cannot give us a philosophy, because it immerses man in nature and avoids the important subject of his destiny. It cannot give us an ethics because science by itself is amoral. Morality comes from its ends, and science is indifferent to ends.

Lest it be thought that Sheen was anti-science or the enemy of scientists, consider his remark, from his 1928 book Religion Without God, that the "rock-surenes of 'Science' does not exist in the mind of the scientists themselves, although it does love and throb in the minds of publicists and propagandists. Scientists themselves disclaim they possess ultimate truth; rather they look upon it as a horizon toward which they are proceeding." Sheen was indicating that when a scientist begins to make metaphysical or philosophical assertions, he is no longer speaking as a scientist. Of course, a great number of famous scientists—Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking come to mind immediately—have used their scientific reputations in order to wade into waters that are better described as ideological and polemical. And even political.

All of those elements were obvious in the "March for Science" event that took place last week. I was blissfully unaware of the event until a friend sent a link to the local newspaper's coverage of the March for Science in Eugene, which featured some 1,500 or so true believers. And I don't say "true believers" with any sarcasm or snarkiness; on the contrary:

“We teach science and we believe in science,” said Carrie Ann Naumoff, a fifth-grade teacher at Edison Elementary in Eugene. “We’re concerned that science is being blocked and interrupted. We’re concerned about the EPA and concerned that ­scientists are being harassed for what they’re publishing. We want our students to have access to real information.”

"We believe in science." Whatever does that mean? What if the seventh-grade home-ec teacher (if such a thing still exists) exclaimed, "We believe in the culinary arts", or the 10th-grade French teacher solemnly explained, "We believe in language." Huh? But we can guess what Ms. Naumoff means: she and the enlightened educating class are the guardians of science, which is the one, true source of truth and goodness, leading us into a future of bliss. However, such a belief is not really about scientific research and fact, but about a particular ideological perspective, generally called scientism, which is not about following physical evidence where it might lead, but flattening all of reality into the narrow confines of materialist proofs and premises.

Dr. Austin L. Hughes, a professor of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina, described it well in an 2012 essay titled "The Folly of Scientism":

Central to scientism is the grabbing of nearly the entire territory of what were once considered questions that properly belong to philosophy. Scientism takes science to be not only better than philosophy at answering such questions, but the only means of answering them. For most of those who dabble in scientism, this shift is unacknowledged, and may not even be recognized. But for others, it is explicit.

Writing about the recent March for Science event—which was directly inspired by the hyper-political Women's March in January—Eric Metaxas & G. Shane Morris observe:

There was a time when “science” meant the systematic pursuit of knowledge through experimentation and observation. But it’s rapidly becoming a synonym for progressive politics and materialist philosophy.
 
To be labeled a “science-denier” in 2017 often just means you’ve upset someone who insists on teaching strict, Darwinian orthodoxy in schools, or who advocates particular climate legislation, or who supports ethically fraught research on embryos.
 
In contrast, being “pro-science” has become a shibboleth for supporting progressive ideology. Think of a recent ad by National Geographic with the caption, “Stand behind the facts. Stand with science. Stand for the planet.” But just weeks prior, National Geographic had run a cover depicting a nine-year-old boy dressed as a girl. Because, as we know, they stand with science.
 
But if there were ever going to be a ceremony inaugurating this new and useless definition of science, it’s got to be last weekend’s “March for Science” in the nation’s capital, co-chaired by Bill Nye, “the science guy.” Nye, a children’s TV host from the nineties with no formal training as a scientist, has recaptured the spotlight with his videos on climate change, abortion, women’s rights, and other topics.
 
To say his arguments in some of these videos are embarrassing is being kind. For instance, in one odd and rambling speech promoting abortion, Nye claimed that because many lives end through natural causes before they leave the womb that it’s okay for us to kill the unborn ourselves. That’s like saying it’s okay to kill adults, because millions die of natural causes. That does not stop Nye’s supporters from honoring him as a champion of science.

But, again, Nye and his supporters are not really about science, but about scientism; they are not interested so much in limited, focused empirical data, but broad, sweeping claims that many would associate only with the stereotypical wild-eyed fundamentalist. Yet it's fitting, since scientism is the result of a hijacked and confused religious impulse. One serious problem, as Sheen pointed out in 1948, was that if "philosophy"—which is not much taught, learned, or loved by most Americans—"can no longer judge science, then science is its own justification; it can be used as well for purposes of destruction as for human betterment, and no one can pass judgment on its morality." Nye is a perfect example of this fundamentalist scientism, as evidenced in an op-ed he wrote for CNN.com in which he states:

With more than 600 marches taking place around the world, we conveyed that science is political, not partisan, and science should shape our policies. Although it is the means by which humankind discovers objective truths in nature, science is and has always been political. 

Which, of course, is nonsensical and irrational, just like Nye's support for abortion. The editors of The Register-Guard, perhaps mildly taken aback or even embarrassed by the creed of Ms. Naumoff and company, sought to strike a more agnostic note, stating:

The march will have served a useful purpose if it succeeds in getting Americans, including the Trump administration, to think about what science is, and what it isn’t. Science isn’t truth, and it isn’t something people should believe in. It is a method for zeroing in on the truth by testing possibilities and gathering evidence.

Hughes, in concluding his essays, offers this very sober note of warning:

Advocates of scientism today claim the sole mantle of rationality, frequently equating science with reason itself. Yet it seems the very antithesis of reason to insist that science can do what it cannot, or even that it has done what it demonstrably has not. As a scientist, I would never deny that scientific discoveries can have important implications for metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, and that everyone interested in these topics needs to be scientifically literate. But the claim that science and science alone can answer longstanding questions in these fields gives rise to countless problems.
 
In contrast to reason, a defining characteristic of superstition is the stubborn insistence that something — a fetish, an amulet, a pack of Tarot cards — has powers which no evidence supports. From this perspective, scientism appears to have as much in common with superstition as it does with properly conducted scientific research. Scientism claims that science has already resolved questions that are inherently beyond its ability to answer.
 
Of all the fads and foibles in the long history of human credulity, scientism in all its varied guises — from fanciful cosmology to evolutionary epistemology and ethics — seems among the more dangerous, both because it pretends to be something very different from what it really is and because it has been accorded widespread and uncritical adherence.

Around the same time that Sheen was writing Philosophy of Religion, a young, agnostic medical student named Walker Percy discovered—through debilitating illness and then deep reading of Christian philosophy—that science, which he once viewed as the final word on everything, could not answer the ultimate questions. Modern science, he later wrote (after becoming Catholic), "is itself radically incoherent, not when it seeks to understand things and subhuman organisms and the cosmos itself, but when it seeks to understand man, not man’s physiology or neurology or his bloodstream, but man qua man, man when he is peculiarly human. In short, the sciences of man are incoherent."

And in a self-interview, "Questions They Never Asked Me," Percy put it this way:

This life is much too much trouble, far too strange, to arrive at the end of it and then be asked what you make of it and have to answer, ‘Scientific humanism.’ That won’t do. A poor show. Life is a mystery, love is a delight. Therefore, I take it as axiomatic that one should settle for nothing less than the infinite mystery and infinite delight; i.e., God.

We can either have an earth-bound and cramped system, or Truth Himself. The former offers trendy marches and Bill Nye rants; the latter offers infinite mystery and infinite delight.
 
 
Originally published at Catholic World Report. Used with permission.

Carl Olson

Written by

Carl E. Olson is the editor of Catholic World Report and IgnatiusInsight.com. He is the best-selling author of Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"? (Ignatius, 2003), which was selected by the Associated Press as one of the best religious titles of 2003, and co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius, 2004). He's also the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead? (Ignatius/Augustine Institute, 2016) and co-editor and contributor to Called To Be the Children of God: The Catholic Theology of Human Deification (Ignatius, 2016). Raised in a Fundamentalist home, Carl attended an Evangelical Bible college, and entered the Catholic Church in 1997. He holds an MTS from the University of Dallas. A well-respected author, Carl writes a weekly Scripture column, "Opening the Word" for Our Sunday Visitor, and has also written for First Things, This Rock/Catholic Answers Magazine, Envoy, Crisis, National Review Online, and National Catholic Register. Find Carl on Twitter @carleolson and visit him online at CarlEOlson.net.

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  • I agree the march was misguided. It seems to have been motivated more by political concerns than by a genuine commitment to a scientific worldview.

    • Well said, Doug. I agree.

    • Caravelle

      I'm not sure why you see the two as opposed?

      • I don't see opposition, necessarily. I see a distinction that should not be dismissed as an irrelevancy.

        • Caravelle

          Fair enough. I'm not sure what concepts those words were covering in that comment though. What would action motivated by "a genuine commitment to a scientific worldview" look like in your mind, or is "a scientific worldview" inherently a passive concept (it's how one sees the world, not a manifesto) that shouldn't motivate action in the first place ? Relatedly, do concerns about the role and practice of science in society fall under "political concerns" ?

          • Those questions are hard to answer as briefly as this forum requires, but I’ll try.

            The scientific worldview, as I perceive it, is less about motivation for any action than about intellectual discipline in the attempt to answer empirical questions. Obviously, many of us who feel committed to such a worldview do also feel motivated to promote it, i.e. to advocate its adoption by our fellow citizens or at least by government officials who claim to be representing our interests. Any actions undertaken to that end, to be consistent with a scientific worldview, should be of such a nature that we reasonably expect them to be effective. In other words, if we wish to change the minds of certain people, a scientific worldview requires us to employ methods that we have good reason to believe actually could change those people’s minds.

            I think few would argue that the role and practice of science in our society is irrelevant to the political enterprise. The debate seems to be over the size of the role it should have and how committed our public officials should be to following its precepts in their decision-making. There are few if any political issues to which no issue of empirical fact has any relevance. Granted that issues of value may dominate most if not all political discourse, there is generally some matter of fact as to which course of action is most likely to achieve whatever value is sought.

          • Caravelle

            I think you misunderstood my second question, although your answer is also relevant to the relationship of science and politics. I wasn't thinking about the role of science in politics, but the role of politics in how science gets done and to what extent it is allowed to influence society at large. i.e. do concerns about how science gets funded, what scientists are allowed to do or say, how science and scientific thinking gets perpetuated in society, thus forming the next generation of scientists (i.e. education, public outreach, etc), and yes what role science is allowed to have in policymaking count as "political concerns" to you or can they also be part of "commitment to a scientific worldview".

            I'm guessing from the first part of your answer that you are using "commitment to a scientific worldview" in a narrower sense, closer to what I was calling a "passive concept", but you also tie action into it insofar as such action can be expected to be effective (i.e. the decision to take the action should itself be rooted in a scientific worldview based on gathering evidence and inferring reality from it?).

            Is that a way in which you don't feel the march is (sufficiently) motivated by a commitment to a scientific worldview, in that you feel it's an action that cannot be expected to accomplish the purpose it's meant to accomplish ?

          • do concerns about how science gets funded, what scientists are allowed to do or say, how science and scientific thinking gets perpetuated in society, thus forming the next generation of scientists (i.e. education, public outreach, etc), and yes what role science is allowed to have in policymaking count as "political concerns" to you or can they also be part of "commitment to a scientific worldview".

            I am not trying to affirm a strict dichotomy, but the occasional difficulty of distinguishing science from politics doesn’t mean there is no difference between the two.

            Is that a way in which you don't feel the march is (sufficiently) motivated by a commitment to a scientific worldview, in that you feel it's an action that cannot be expected to accomplish the purpose it's meant to accomplish ?

            My assessment of the demonstrators’ motivations was based on my observations of what they said and how they said it when they were on camera. I did not observe scientific argumentation. I observed political rhetoric.

            I’m not suggesting that political rhetoric never can or never should be employed in the promotion of a scientific worldview. But when it clearly appears to be the primary method of promotion, then those who so use it are being either hopelessly naïve or shamelessly disingenuous. That is particularly true when the rhetoric includes tactics as contrary to scientific discourse as demonizing one’s adversaries.

          • Caravelle

            "I am not trying to affirm a strict dichotomy, but the occasional difficulty of distinguishing science from politics doesn’t mean there is no difference between the two."

            I know, and I agree, it's just that there are many ways of defining that difference and I'm trying to figure out where you put it. Does the fact you didn't answer that question mean that you see "the nitty-gritty of getting science done in society" as a gray area between political concerns and a commitment to a scientific worldview ? More like something that is both, or is neither ?

            "My assessment of the demonstrators’ motivations was based on my observations of what they said and how they said it when they were on camera. I did not observe scientific argumentation. I observed political rhetoric."

            What would "scientific argumentation" have looked like in this context ? I'm also wondering whether you feel this way about there being a march at all, or about how this specific march worked out ?

          • it's just that there are many ways of defining that difference and I'm trying to figure out where you put it.

            I’m pretty sure there is nothing idiosyncratic or ideological about how I’m defining either science or politics. I think I mean what most educated people usually mean by both.

            Does the fact you didn't answer that question mean that you see "the nitty-gritty of getting science done in society" as a gray area between political concerns and a commitment to a scientific worldview ?

            It means I thought your question was so open-ended that I could have written an essay of several thousand words trying to answer it and still possibly have failed to tell you whatever you wanted to hear.

            What would "scientific argumentation" have looked like in this context ?

            The same way it looks in any other context. A set of facts to be explained are presented and then an argument is presented that purports to show how a particular hypothesis best accounts for those facts.

            I'm also wondering whether you feel this way about there being a march at all, or about how this specific march worked out ?

            I believe that mass demonstrations of this kind, no matter for what cause they are organized, are a waste of people’s time and other valuable resources. As a means of either effecting social change or influencing public policy, I think they’re generally useless.

          • Caravelle

            I’m pretty sure there is nothing idiosyncratic or ideological about how I’m defining either science or politics.

            I never claimed there was.

            I think I mean what most educated people usually mean by both.

            Right, and educated people don't all agree on how scientists should interact with the societies they're in and which interactions count as part of their core mission as scientists and which don't. There was no way for me to tell what your position was on the questions I asked from what you posted, and there still isn't in fact other than assuming you take them to be in a gray area that isn't clearly one and not the other.

            It means I thought your question was so open-ended that I could have written an essay of several thousand words trying to answer it and still possibly have failed to tell you whatever you wanted to hear.

            I'm sorry you felt that way.

            I believe that mass demonstrations of this kind, no matter for what cause they are organized, are a waste of people’s time and other valuable resources. As a means of either effecting social change or influencing public policy, I think they’re generally useless.

            This basically answers my original question (or rather, tells me enough about why you commented as you did that my original question is less relevant) and since you don't seem very interested in discussing this subject (the way I've been doing it at least) I'll leave it at that; thank you for taking the time to explain your point of view to me.

  • Valence

    A geologist explains why it was a bad idea from even a political perspective.
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/31/opinion/a-scientists-march-on-washington-is-a-bad-idea.html

  • Steven Dillon

    The march represents a more general attempt to demarcate good and worthy science from pseudo-science. That's a very important line to draw, and I think we should encourage these folks to pursue that end. Failure to draw this line could wreak societal havoc, as false and even dangerous ideas could run free through our institutions, damaging the minds of generations to come. But, a philosophy that masquerades as a science makes for a very bad science. Too often, I think, we try to make this point by arguing that scientism isn't really science, but philosophy. As true as that is, I don't think it's very effective. What this generation needs to hear is not that their pseudo-science is really philosophy; but, that it is bad science. This is how demarcation works folks: scientism needs to be ostracized and marginalized as bad science. This is because demarcation is a process that occurs within a field; it will not come about at the hands of philosophers, but of scientists.

    • The lack of quotes from anyone promoting anything like what the author claims, and going so far as to fabricate an inner dialog of their intentions* makes me think scientism is being used as a bogeyman here. Bill Nye says science should inform public policy. Very scary stuff!

      *"she and the enlightened educating class are the guardians of science, which is the one, true source of truth and goodness, leading us into a future of bliss."

    • Jim (hillclimber)

      Great point. More generally, I wish more folks would attempt their cultural critiques from an emic perspective of the culture they are critiquing.

    • "The march represents a more general attempt to demarcate good and worthy science from pseudo-science."

      I'm curious, how did the March do this? I ask this sincerely as I really haven't read much about it. (Yet I'm skeptical how a political march could ever do this, even in principle.)

  • But we can guess what Ms. Naumoff means: she and the enlightened educating class are the guardians of science, which is the one, true source of truth and goodness, leading us into a future of bliss.

    No I wouldn't have guessed that because it strikes me as a totally unrealistic strawman. I would have guessed she meant about what the other articles said:

    it is the means by which humankind discovers objective truths in nature

    It is a method for zeroing in on the truth by testing possibilities and gathering evidence.

    • David Nickol

      It is utterly bizarre how Olson makes a villain out of a fifth-grade teacher and finds dark evil in her perfectly understandable remarks.

    • I think Olson, if he wants to be intellectually honest, should ask people to explain their own beliefs instead of interpreting them in the worst light he can think of.

  • I don't think these marches were advancing scientism but science. I think they were aimed and expressing confidence in the conclusions in proper science that is well-established.

    For example the withdrawal from the Paris agreement and comments made by Trump fly in the face of well established science in climate change. The rejection of The theory of evolution for theological reasons. The misguided adoption of pseudoscience and alternative healthcare and alternative facts.

    I think it was about preferring empirical investigation over dogmatic presumptions.

    • "I think it was about preferring empirical investigation over dogmatic presumptions."

      False dichotomy alert!

    • Phil

      Hey Brian,

      I'd be careful, because people use "well established science" in a dogmatic way all the time to shut down discussion. I've personally read more and more myself lately on the climate change debate, and I become more skeptical the more time goes on. I used to lean towards anthropogenic climate change and the "97%" statistic, but the more I've actually looked into the science, the more skeptical I become. The science is not "settled" (because science is never is settled). The climate is ridiculously complex and we need to have some humility as we search to figure out how exactly it works, because the models have been horrible at prediction. That would mean they've been all but falsified.

      The mixing of politics and science is always a bad idea and that has been highlighted in the climate debate. That is what a science march should be about, get politics out of science!

    • neil_pogi

      true science has already investigated that the theory of evolution is not science.

  • David Nickol

    Of course science cannot replace philosophy. But philosophy taken as a whole doesn't answer the ultimate questions either. There are, for example, very rigorously argued books such as David Boonin's A Defense of Abortion that are just as much philosophy as as books that make the case against abortion.

    • Ignatius Reilly

      If you ask a
      mathematician, a mineralogist, a historian, or any other man of
      learning, what definite body of truths has been ascertained by his
      science, his answer will last as long as you are willing to listen.
      But if you put the same question to a philosopher, he will, if he is
      candid, have to confess that his study has not achieved positive
      results such as have been achieved by other sciences. It is true that
      this is partly accounted for by the fact that, as soon as definite
      knowledge concerning any subject becomes possible, this subject
      ceases to be called philosophy, and becomes a separate science. The
      whole study of the heavens, which now belongs to astronomy, was once
      included in philosophy; Newton's great work was called 'the
      mathematical principles of natural philosophy'. Similarly, the study
      of the human mind, which was a part of philosophy, has now been
      separated from philosophy and has become the science of psychology.
      Thus, to a great extent, the uncertainty of philosophy is more
      apparent than real: those questions which are already capable of
      definite answers are placed in the sciences, while those only to
      which, at present, no definite answer can be given, remain to form
      the residue which is called philosophy.-Bertrand Russell

      • Ross Kirkbride

        Thanks but we'll wait for a scientist to verify this thanks.

        • Ignatius Reilly

          That is your prerogative. That sentiment is not found in Russell though. If you wish to participate in constructive dialogue, you need to move beyond strawmen.

  • From the post:
    "We believe in science." Whatever does that mean? . . .we can guess what Ms. Naumoff means: she and the enlightened educating class are the guardians of science, which is the one, true source of truth and goodness, leading us into a future of bliss.

    I attended the science march. I think I could say that I "believe in science." But I certainly do not think that I am a guardian of science, nor do I think that science is the "one true source of truth goodness."

    Instead, I would say that science has proven to be a very good tool, although an imperfect one, that helps us crawl closer and closer to what reality is like. It is not the only tool, but it is one that is neglected too often, and its more reliable results denied too often, especially in our current political climate. This is why a science march is needed.

    • Instead, I would say that science has proven to be a very good tool, although an imperfect one, that helps us crawl closer and closer to what reality is like.

      And as far as I know, no less imperfect tool, much less a perfect one, has yet been found.

  • To be labeled a “science-denier” in 2017 often just means you’ve upset someone who insists on teaching strict, Darwinian orthodoxy in schools, or who advocates particular climate legislation, or who supports ethically fraught research on embryos. (Eric Metaxas and G. Shane Morris, “BreakPoint: Liberalism in a Lab Coat”).

    OK, but “That’s just scientism” isn’t much of a counterargument.

    If scientism is an improper use of science, the proper response is the proper use of science. No disease was ever cured or treated just by finding a name for it. And scientism, whatever it is supposed to be, must be an improper use of science if there is anything wrong with it. To oppose any proper use of science is to oppose science.

    Any application of science may well raise moral issues that must be confronted, but the moral high ground doesn’t go to any faction by default. Conservatives have no more entitlement to it than liberals. Opposition to embryonic cell research is grounded in certain ethical presuppositions that reasonable people disagree about, and the disagreement is rarely expressed, by either side, in reasonable terms. We instead get intransigence and demonization, neither of which is any part of the proper use of science.

    Climate change raises three issues. One: Is it happening? Two: If it is, is it, in substantial part, because of human activities? Three: If so, what if any legislative responses would be appropriate? Until a very few years ago, I was skeptical about the first two issues, precisely because affirmative answers seemed so very convenient for the leftist political agenda. Convenient or not, however, to reject the science for that reason and no other is to shamelessly commit the genetic fallacy, and the science does now seem unassailable. As best we can tell at this moment in our history, we do have a problem. But the liberals’ proposed solution is not so unassailable. It seems to them like a no-brainer, and conservatives for some reason seem to have agreed with them. That is, conservatives apparently have accepted the proposition that the only sensible response to anthropogenic climate change would be the kind of massive augmentation of political power that liberals have so long dreamed of. But the truth of that proposition is not a scientific issue. It is an issue for political philosophy, and liberals aren’t the only ones having a hard time these days distinguishing between science and philosophy. For conservatives, the implications of climate change for their political orthodoxy are a serious challenge, and it’s going to take some hard work for them to formulate a rational response. Most of them seem to have chosen the easy alternative of simply denying the science.

    I don’t know what Metaxis and Morris think “Darwinian orthodoxy” is, but if they’re referring to the currently accepted theory of biological evolution, that theory states an empirical fact about human origins, and it really is anti-science to suggest otherwise. To say we should not teach it in our schools is to say we should not teach science in our schools. Like any other scientific fact, the fact of evolution can have some philosophical implications, which is why Dennett called it “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea.” The rational response to philosophical problems, though, is to confront them, not to try avoiding them by denying the facts that raise them. That noted, though, liberals are being disingenuous when they scold conservatives on this issue. Some of the social justice warriors among them are in similar denial about evolutionary psychology.

    • neil_pogi

      do 'science-deniers' mean that those people do not believe in evolution? in the first place, why evolution is equate with science? i think atheists should not use evolution as their main mantra for atheism. evolution is run by life, why atheists use it? in the first place, they don't know the origin of life!

      • in the first place, why evolution is equate with science?

        It's not.

        i think atheists should not use evolution as their main mantra for atheism.

        They don't.

        evolution is run by life,

        No, it isn't.

        • neil_pogi

          so evolution is not run by life, according to you, then how is it run by?

          • so evolution is not run by life, according to you, then how is it run by?

            It's run the same way everything else is run: by the laws of nature.

          • neil_pogi

            so the life you have now is not really a life but just run by laws of nature. so tell me the origins of these laws of nature?

          • so the life you have now is not really a life but just run by laws of nature.

            I have no reason to believe that in order to be real, life must be exempt from the laws of nature.

          • David Nickol

            I just found the following in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

            Within metaphysics, there are two competing theories of Laws of Nature. On one account, the Regularity Theory, Laws of Nature are statements of the uniformities or regularities in the world; they are mere descriptions of the way the world is. On the other account, the Necessitarian Theory, Laws of Nature are the "principles" which govern the natural phenomena of the world. That is, the natural world "obeys" the Laws of Nature. This seemingly innocuous difference marks one of the most profound gulfs within contemporary philosophy, and has quite unexpected, and wide-ranging, implications.

            I suspect neil believes in the "Necessitarian Theory" and you believe in the "Regularity Theory." (I would certainly lean toward the latter myself.)

          • My metaphysics is characterized by what Alvin Plantinga once called "ontological penury." Yeah, I go with the regularity theory.

          • OldSearcher

            So do I.

          • neil_pogi

            so my prediction that dictionary meaning of life will be changed by atheists, and so life's definition is just 'interacting of different chemicals...' life is not governed by the laws of naturebecause if it was, then scientists will be able to easily discover its origin, scientists will be able to create ánother life forms beside the already life forms on this planet

          • so my prediction that dictionary meaning of life will be changed by atheists, and so life's definition is just 'interacting of different chemicals...' life is not governed by the laws of naturebecause if it was, then scientists will be able to easily discover its origin, scientists will be able to create ánother life forms beside the already life forms on this planet

            I have no idea what you're trying to say here.

          • neil_pogi

            so can you define what is life?

          • so can you define what is life?

            Yes, I can. It is "The condition that distinguishes animals, plants, and other organisms from inorganic or inanimate matter." That is from a standard dictionary.

          • neil_pogi

            then tell me how the inorganic became organic? i heard the news quite long time ago that organics are discovered 'floating' somewhere else in the universe, and atheists are so excited about it, and declared that life's origin is very natural. but they don't know that TNT is also an organic substance!

          • then tell me how the inorganic became organic?

            Not until you give me reason to believe that you know and understand how scientists distinguish them.

          • neil_pogi

            just answer: how an inorganic became organic? not all organics support life, as i cite an example, TNT.

          • Larry Garman

            AND how did this very complicated "condition" come to exist?
            By accidental happenstance?, in an highy hostile environment
            at that. Then have another accidental happenstance form an
            entirely complimentary MATE for the first happenstance, and
            in the same time and place. An incredible number of imporb
            able happenstances for sure.

            So, instead of "condition", the better word would be "Creator."
            (sr)

          • AND how did this very complicated "condition" come to exist?

            The specific details have not been discovered. In science, however, "We don't know how it happened" is not thought to imply "It could not have happened."

          • Larry Garman

            Well something as complex as life on this planet, can no
            way be the CAUSED by some nebulous, phoney "condition."
            A cope-out "word" used by Atheistic/Evolutionists.(sr)

          • Well something as complex as life on this planet, can no way be the CAUSED by some nebulous, phoney "condition."

            You say so. Can you suggest any other reason I should believe it?

          • Larry Garman

            Well the ONLY reason, Super Natural Creator, who created
            those "conditions" you pretend to believe are the cause of
            the Universe and all it contains, as those "conditions" did,
            (can) NOT cause themselves. Would think a man as wise as
            you, would have figured-out that little (problem) "dilemma" a
            very long time ago. Obviously you haven't. Sad. (sr)

          • as those "conditions" did, (can) NOT cause themselves.

            I made no claim about any conditions causing themselves.

          • Caravelle

            There is no "will be", or atheists (unless you assume all scientists to be atheists) for that matter; the idea of vitalism (that life is not governed by the laws of nature and cannot be accounted for by the interactions of different chemicals) has been discredited in the field of biology for decades to a century now.

          • neil_pogi

            i assume that almost all atheist scientists never use their common sense and logic for their study of nature. hawkings says regarding the origin of the universe: 'because of the laws of gravity, the universe created itself from nothing' what?? i thought he is the best physicist in the world? all i could say is: 'prove that a 'nothing' has power in itself dr hawkings?

          • Caravelle

            I don't see what that has to do with my reply. You asserted that "atheists will change the dictionary definition of life"; I told you that the definition of life (as defined by *the field of biology*; if you choose to believe this means all biologists are atheists then so be it but the point remains your use of the future tense was wrong) already excludes vitalism, and has done so for a very long time. I was informing you of a fact you appeared to be unaware of; do you disagree with it, or with my interpretation of what you were saying in the first place ? If not, is it a subject you wish to discuss further ? If not then no reply is necessary.

          • neil_pogi

            i said, atheists will be changing the definition of life. maybe because they can't prove the natural cause of life, they will change the definition into much easier definition so that it will be easily not distinguish from supernatural cause

          • Caravelle

            I know you said that, I understood it the first time and it doesn't look like you understood my reply. I mean, it wasn't a very important reply so it's not a bit deal. But I wonder if you even understand what the sentence "Vitalism has been discredited in the field of biology for decades to a century" means. I'm not sure if I should guess you don't know what "vitalism" is or not. It's clearly a relevant concept to many kinds of religious beliefs but I don't see YEC using the word much so maybe you haven't run across it?

          • i assume that almost all atheist scientists never use their common sense and logic for their study of nature.

            No, you don't assume that. You infer it. What you assume is that anybody who disagrees with you is incapable of exercising common sense or logic.

          • neil_pogi

            how'd you react on this: çan you believe that a disorder produced an order, like the big bang? how well you believe that to be true? without using common sense and logic, you'd find that to be true, because in atheism, even the impossible becomes possible

          • Larry Garman

            "Laws of nature" you mean like "Mother natue?" and just
            whom or WHERE did did these "LAWS" originate. As our
            Science now admits "useful" including "coded" information,
            requires INTELLIGENCE. Computer programmers prove this
            fact every day. Nature, is just another word for the intelligent
            Creator, or GOD, for those blinded by the farce of evolution.

            Then too Evolution is the biggest FRAUD on this planet, bar
            none, totally impossible. ONE simple molecule cannot form
            by any evolutionary method one could name.

            Sorry for the late post, as just now became aware of this
            topic. (sr)

          • Michael Murray

            Doug didn't mention "laws of nature". That was Caravelle.

          • Larry Garman

            Do you have a reading impairment? My above post is
            addressed to Doug Shaver, and if it wasn't? what is that
            to YOU? Any other stupid questions?

          • Michael Murray

            Yes I know your post was addressed to Doug. I am asking where the quote "laws of nature" come from ? Just trying to understand your post on this public forum.

          • Larry Garman

            Again a long thread on that topic, again cannot recall WHO
            made the comment, I interjected in the middle also about
            the Nature is just a word and can DO nothing. Nature is
            just another word for GOD in my book, as HE created ALL
            the primary actions of life on this planet. Atheists will use
            that term to "avoid" the REAL CAUSE of everything on
            this planet, or in the Universe for that mattter.
            Anyway have a great rest of week end and week ahead.

          • "Laws of nature" you mean like "Mother natue?"

            I have said nothing about any laws of nature. When I do, I think my meaning will be obvious from the context.

            Then too Evolution is the biggest FRAUD on this planet,

            The Roman Catholic Church has accepted evolution. Do you think the church is perpetrating a fraud?

          • Larry Garman

            "I have said nothing about the laws of nature" You and Mr.
            Nichols refer to the Laws of nature several times in above
            posts, we have just checked.

            The RCC is showing it's true colors with JORGE at the helm,
            and Evolution is millions of times beyond impossible.

            Our DNA is a massively Complex system, the simplest pro
            tein with DNA has been calculated by *Dr.R.L.Wysong, to
            develope by Evolutionary method, the Math.Probability is
            1^10^167,626, a number beyond human comprehension.
            And for the "simplest" entity, let alone a human being. Am
            sure JORGE is out of his realm with his mouth as usual.
            Numerous Catholics are appalled with him and for good
            reasons, too numerous to mention at this time, but could.

            Finally, Science admits, useful coded programs require int
            elligence, as thousands of computer programmers prove
            every day. The human brain fires 264 Quadrillion impulses
            per SECOND. Japanese Super K took 40 minutes to comp
            ute ONE second of brain activity. 3 pound marvel, with 10
            Trillion cells, all carefully "arranged" to a specific "design."

            Brain with the complexity of the cerebral cortex are far &'
            away beyond "natural selection." Dr.Scutzenberger, UofPa
            ris, attempted to simulate by natural selection the above.
            Results: By computer program we find we have NO chance
            less than 1/10/1000, just to see if it could compute, it just
            JAMS.

            So, who are the Logical, Reasonable, ones? I go with the
            Super Natural Creator.

            Have a great day and rest of your holiday weekend. (sr)

          • You and Mr. Nichols refer to the Laws of nature several times in above posts, we have just checked.

            Ah, so I did. About three weeks ago, it seems. My apologies for the inattention.

            The RCC is showing it's true colors with JORGE at the helm,

            Indeed? And what colors would those be?

          • Larry Garman

            Yes, did apologize for MY late entry above. So yes, is easy
            to forget after weeks later. Older posts should maybe not
            comment from here. Anyway no problem, take care from
            here on out. Great day here, hope you have one also. (sr)

          • Valence

            Fyi you don't even make sense, so I don't understand how anyone interacts with you successfully.

          • neil_pogi

            im only asking valid questions about evolution's stupidity and its cohorts. so according to a diehard supporter of this magic evolution, it is not run by life, so in essense, human (as a by-product of evolution)is not a life-being, but merely composed of chemicals, if tha is so, then what's the agenda of atheists fighting with theists about morality, ethics and meaning?

          • Valence

            More gibberish.

          • neil_pogi

            why not present your argument?

          • im only asking valid questions about evolution's stupidity

            Your questions are not about evolution. They are about a product of your imagination that you have called evolution.

          • neil_pogi

            why all the hoopla, just answer them?

          • why all the hoopla,

            Why all the evasion?

      • George

        Evolution deals with populations changing over time. The beginning of life is a seperate matter.

        • neil_pogi

          of course the beginning of life is included in evolution, and if not, so tell me how life began? your evolutionists will say that there was once chemical evolution, if that's so, then why no new evolution of life occurring today?

          • then why no new evolution of life occurring today?

            Can you quote one evolutionary scientist who says it's not occurring today?

          • neil_pogi

            i said new evolution of life occurring today!

          • i said new evolution of life occurring today!

            There is nothing new about the evolution of life that is happening today. It's the same evolution that has always happened.

          • neil_pogi

            so you mean that there is no new single cell creating from interactions of chemicals in the soup now? of course we are expecting to know that because according to evolution, life just created itself from chemicals, so we expect more life-creating chemicals today aside from old life forms we already knew

          • so you mean that there is no new single cell creating from interactions of chemicals in the soup now?

            No, that is not what I mean.

          • Caravelle

            According to physics apples fall because of gravity, so we expect all apples to be falling all the time and all apple trees to be empty.

            Biologists nowadays don't expect whatever chemical events might have led to the development of life to happen today (or not all of them at least), because the conditions today are completely different from what they were when life appeared (however that happened, naturalistically or not).

            Most notably, today's atmosphere is one-fifth oxygen and that messes with chemical reactions something fierce.

          • neil_pogi

            the mantra ''the present is the key to the past'' is the key concept of billion years evolutionary enterprise. i think today's environment is more frienlier that the past, or are atheists are trying to get rid of oxygen and lots of water because these components are not friendlier to the growth and development of frankencell?

            apple fruits fall to the ground because the laws of gravity tells them to do it. so what's the origin of the laws of gravity? i know for sure that you don't know that, and the excuses will be heard is: 'we are in the process of knowing that''.. then atheists are not in the position that they know all things, and that science is the only knowledge to know everything

          • Caravelle

            " i think today's environment is more frienlier that the past, or are atheists are trying to get rid of oxygen and lots of water because these components are not friendlier to the growth and development of frankencell?"

            I'm confused; you said in another comment "I believe in science but not evolution". Are you adding geology to the list of aspects of mainstream science you don't believe in, or does it fall under "evolution" in your mind? That the Earth's atmosphere didn't contain free oxygen before 2.4 billion years ago is well-established and finding that out had nothing to do with biology.

            Also whether an environment is friendly or not depends entirely on friendly *to what*. Different organisms (in fact, different physical systems, period!) can arise, exist or thrive in different environments.

            "apple fruits fall to the ground because the laws of gravity tells them to do it. so what's the origin of the laws of gravity?"

            That has nothing to do with the point I was making; I'll be glad to discuss other matters but first I'd like to know you understood the point I was making and, if you disagree with it, I would like to understand why. So, do you understand how my analogy with falling apples related to your original comment?

          • neil_pogi

            i believe in true science, science supports that the first years of earth has so much water and oxygen. the fact that the extinctions of dinosaurs and other big organisms were connected to decreasing levels of oxygen. in the past, the oxygen level was higher than today's! also, the earth experienced worldwide flood, and their fossils were distributed on every corners of the whole earth!

          • Caravelle

            in the past, the oxygen level was higher than today's!

            Sure. And at other points in the past it was lower. There's a lot of past, and oxygen levels have fluctuated a lot in Earth's history along with other environmental variables. And before 2.4 billion years ago the levels were zero. Iron deposits demonstrate that.

            i believe in true science, science supports that the first years of earth has so much water and oxygen.

            If you believe in science based on its conclusions and not its methods then you don't believe in science at all, but I expect you're aware of that (I expect this isn't the first time you've argued with other people about basic science). I'm guessing the only reason you use the word "science" in a positive way in the first place is because of the credibility science has in our current society, and you want to borrow that credibility. It's not working.

            in the past, the oxygen level was higher than today's! also, the earth experienced worldwide flood

            Well, it clearly did work for a brief period because for a little bit I actually entertained the idea you might not be a YEC! So point to you I guess!

          • neil_pogi

            you have to prove first the billion years before concluding that the earth's past age was 2.4. something billion years! i believe in science that supports repeatable observations and experimentations. eolution is just story-telling and make-believe. even a simple question like: how would a cell be able to survive without food in order to support itself? what is the origin of the cell? if a certain organism is evolving into, let's say, a cat, what is the sex of it? if the sex is a male, then how come it envolve into another new organism? what is the origin of the sex?

          • Caravelle

            "i believe in science that supports repeatable observations and experimentations."

            And yet you believe non-repeatable past historical events such as that dinosaurs existed, that the oxygen content of the atmosphere was higher in the past (by that I assume you don't mean your childhood), that dinosaurs went extinct due to a decrease in oxygen, that there was a worldwide flood... How consistent.

          • neil_pogi

            dinosaurs existed because there were hundreds of thousands of fossils discovered, the ancient amber and the air on it was analyzed to have more than 21% oxygen content. dinosaur fossils were evenly distributed worldwide due to the catastrophic flood

          • Caravelle

            If hundreds of thousands of discovered fossils are evidence then surely you also agree that the set of living things existing on Earth at any given time has changed constantly and gradually over all of its history, with most of today's animals and plants only being found in the most recent of geological layers, and the deeper the geological layer the more different the set of living things fossilized in it, all consistent with a gradual evolution of life on Earth.

            Also, you're pretty quick to assume that air trapped in amber is a reliable indication of what the atmosphere was like when the amber formed. It's possible air can diffuse through amber, that it's not a perfect seal:

            http://science.sciencemag.org/content/241/4866/717
            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376738800815306

            And other analyses of amber show different results:

            https://www.uibk.ac.at/public-relations/presse/archiv/2013/466/

          • neil_pogi

            layered sedimentations were cause by floodings, nobody in his right mind would think that every layer is caused by gradually depositions by millions of years - they were never observed. uniformitarianism is already rejected and only militant atheists accept this despite contrary evidence against it.

          • Caravelle

            layered sedimentations were cause by floodings, nobody in his right mind would think that every layer is caused by gradually depositions by millions of years

            If you run into someone not in their right mind in the morning, they're probably crazy. If everybody you run into all day isn't in their right mind... it's probably you.

            Or is this a nitpick about "EVERY LAYER"? Of course geologists don't think every layer found on Earth was deposited over millions of years - there are tons of different kinds of layered deposits that were deposited over different timescales. Geologists study them to figure out how they were deposited and over what amount of time. And every geologist in their right mind agrees that a lot of those layers were deposited over millions of years. Even billions.

            Every geologist in their right mind also agrees that most of those layers aren't of the kind that are laid down by violent flooding. Among other things, violent flooding wouldn't sort fossils from layer to layer the way fossils are sorted layer to layer.

            uniformitarianism is already rejected and only militant atheists accept this despite contrary evidence against it.

            Interesting sentence. It's false, but it's false because of the "and" articulation. It all depends on what we mean by "unifromitarianism". I we mean Lyell's ideas that the rate of change of processes is constant and things like that, then it has been rejected by geologists... including any militant atheists among them. On the other hand if we mean (as you seem to, though that's not what the word means in any context) that the Earth is billions of years old and can be investigated insofar as by and large the processes at work in the past are at work in the present, then that hasn't been rejected at all and is in fact the consensus among geologists, paleontologists, scientists and science-inclined laypeople in general. Including many militant atheists.

          • neil_pogi

            it is very typical nowadays that atheists are in ad homs attacks. i don't know why they are doing this, are they running out of explanations? just ad homs?

            first thing, you have to provide concrete evidences that the earth and the universe is billions of years old? were you and your 'story-tellers' were there to observe it, were there to count the years? of course not, all there are just conjectures.. just give me evidences and i'll be silenced about it.

            wow you are using again the 'concensus' of those scientists, but not the consensus of the evidences.

          • Caravelle

            Come now, "if you see one person X they're X but if everyone is X you're probably X" is a common expression, and its point isn't to say you are X but that everyone else probably isn't X either.

            Insofar as you could take that expression as accusing you of not being in your right mind (which it wasn't intended to), it would

            1) be an insult, not an ad hominem argument

            2) be quite in line with your claim that, say, 90% of geologists aren't in their right mind.

            wow you are using again the 'concensus' of those scientists, but not the consensus of the evidences.

            I am responding to your claim that "nobody in their right mind" believes standard geological facts. That is, in fact, a claim about scientists. I'll be happy to move on to other questions once I better understand what you are saying with this one. Which of these are you claiming:

            1) Everybody who accepts the standard view of the age of the Earth (which includes the vast majority of geologists) is out of their right mind

            2) The vast majority of geologists do not, in fact, accept the standard view of the age of the Earth (thus the people who do, who aren't in their right mind, don't include the vast majority of geologists)

            or

            3) You weren't referring to the standard view of geology but of the more specific claim "every layer is millions of years old"

            ?

          • neil_pogi

            quote: ''1) Everybody who accepts the standard view of the age of the Earth (which includes the vast majority of geologists) is out of their right mind'' - unless these geologists will present facts that the earth is billions of years old.

            i am saying that those who believe that the age of the earth and the universe is billions of years old are not in their right mind, why? how do they know that? again, i am appealing to this sentence again: 'were they're there observing the creation of the universe''? even the radiometric claims are always in error.

          • Caravelle

            When is the last time you read a standard geology textbook, say, university-level? Please tell me you have read a standard university-level geology textbook at some point in your life. That's the first place to look to find out how geologists came to think the Earth is billions of years old.

            That's if there's actual curiosity behind the questions you ask of course.

            If there isn't, well, I love educating lurkers but right now I don't have that much time so I'll pass on looking for information just to throw it into the abyss.

          • neil_pogi

            i am only asking for solid evidence, proofs that the earth is billion years old. is that hard to understand?

          • I feel compelled to point out that scientists are, in general, very good at writing down exactly what they believe and why they believe it.

            More than any specific belief or theory, scientists are united by their shared commitment to taking very detailed notes on their experiments and observations and publicly discussing how to interpret them. If your question is "why do geologists believe that the earth is billions of years old?", the answer is extremely well documented.

          • neil_pogi

            is that based on concrete evidence? or just the opinions of them?

          • Concrete evidence. In geology and natural history, many of the notes taken by the important figures have been preserved (and some are even available online). Debates between scientists are also quite well documented, mainly in the archives of major journals. Of course, these might not be especially accessible to a lay audience, but textbooks summarize them really well.

            To get a sense of how prolific these people were, here's the online archive of basically everything Darwin wrote. Whatever you might say about his theories, you gotta admit, the man knew how to take notes.

            http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/search-results?allfields=&searchtitle=&documenttype=Note&pageno=1&manuscript=true&pagesize=50&datebefore=&haveimages=true&description=&dateafter=&searchid=&name=&sort=date-descending

          • neil_pogi

            one of the story-tellings of darwin was that the cell is just a bleb. how well stupid darwin was? he never knew that the cell is a complex thing because the theory of evolution is just based on simple story-telling lies. can you cite evidence? my questions on how sex evolved is still ignored.

          • neil_pogi

            so another story-telling courtesy of wikipedia! you still believe that crap!

          • neil_pogi

            charles darwin never saw how elaborate and intricate, very complex the cell is. he lived in the 1800s so how can i believe all his claims in his books about biology? his books are all outdated and worthy to be thrown in fire!

          • Caravelle

            Going back in the conversation I do see I unaccountably ignored one important claim you make, that was a direct response to something I asked you. It goes back to you saying:

            the phrase, ''were you there to observe it' is applicable only for those theories that are not in harmony with observed facts and experiments.

            I argued that the sciences that underpin geologic dating are more "in harmony with observed facts and experiments" than forensic science often is, and gave relevant links about forensic science, and you didn't respond about those.

            But you also argued towards the "geological dating is in harmony with observed facts and experiments" half of that, by asserting errors in radiometric dating, and I missed that I apologize.

            Could you please give references for your claims that "radiometric claims are always in error" and "they rely with radiomtric datings (argon, potassium, etc) but they are always not getting accurate results."?

            Obviously those reference need to involve getting bad results while using the techniques correctly, which is usually the sticking point with creationists.

          • neil_pogi

            if the radiometric dating results do not conform with evolutionists' desired age for that organism, for example, they say that , it is contaminated or there is error conducting that test.. ''nobody was there to observe it'', of course that is the most accurate way to age a thing. and one of the most accurate way to age a thing is by using carbon 14 dating method. for example, the known age for the coffin of some egyptian mummies are well tallied with known dates of antiquities. even coals and diamonds were dated only several thousands years ago.

          • Caravelle

            if the radiometric dating results do not conform with evolutionists' desired age for that organism, for example, they say that , it is contaminated or there is error conducting that test..

            That is false. Plenty of scientists come up with wrong results, but instead of assuming the results are wrong because they're not what was expected, other scientists investigate why they think it's wrong: they see if were any methodological errors or confounding factors, and justify the claim that such errors would lead to wrong results, they try and replicate the findings, they test any hypothesis they have about why the results were wrong...

            I already showed you an example of scientists going through this process, and mentioned another.

            So since you're repeating the claim I'll have to ask you to show me an example of evolutionists claiming contamination or methodological errors when there weren't such, or whatever errors there were wouldn't account for a wrong result..

            ''nobody was there to observe it'', of course that is the most accurate way to age a thing.

            Again, you yourself said that "the phrase 'were you there to
            observe it' is applicable only for those theories that are not in
            harmony with observed facts and experiments"
            , meaning (given neither of us was there to observe any of the things we are discussing) the only relevant question is whether a dating technique is in harmony with observed facts and experiments

            and one of the most accurate way to age a thing is by using carbon 14 dating method.

            That's... special. What makes carbon 14 dating reliable but other radiometric dating isn't?

            I'll note that, again, the only reasons you've given why a method is reliable or not is the results you get using it. It is clear you find it very hard to believe that scientists would not reason that way, and instead base their confidence in a result ultimately on methodology and reason instead of preconceived ideas, but that's just you projecting. Scientists are, in fact, trained to reason correctly and by and large they do. (to nitpickers: note the "ultimately" in the previous sentence).

          • neil_pogi

            i say it again: if atheists are not contend with the dating results, for example, the argon-potassium dating of one specimen, they would say that it is inaccurate. when the C14 dating of coal and diamonds are only thousands of years old, they are contaminated..

          • Caravelle

            I didn't ask you to say it again, I understood you find the first three times. I asked you to back it up with evidence or examples. Actual events, not vague references to something that are possible to evaluate - a link would be preferable, but at worst you should at least give enough detail for google to turn up a primary source.

          • neil_pogi

            so i also ask you for evidence that the radiometric dating methods are so accurate? back that up with evidences and not story-telling events.

            C14 dating method is so accurate that it tells precise age of the egyptian coffin, for example. why so accurate? because egyptian timeline history is already known and validated by modern history

          • Caravelle

            so i also ask you for evidence that the radiometric dating methods are so accurate? back that up with evidences and not story-telling events.

            You can ask all you want, but why would I answer your questions when you don't answer mine? You brought up radiometric dating in the first place and asserted that it gets inconsistent results, and claimed that atheists dispute dates based on what they want the dates to be and not actual methodological issue that indicate the dates are actually wrong. I gave an example of scientists arguing that a result is wrong based on methodology. You can't come up with examples backing up your claims?

            C14 dating method is so accurate that it tells precise age of the egyptian coffin, for example. why so accurate? because egyptian timeline history is already known and validated by modern history

            Yet again, your evidence for why a method is accurate is that it gets results you already think are correct for other reasons. This is not how scientists proceed and evaluate methods (cross-validation by using the technique to see if we find things we already know is a vital part of validating a method of course, but it's not the main reason scientists think a method works; it cannot be, because otherwise how could they be sure the method isn't only accurate in the few domains they can check?).

            I think I may have a wrong idea about some of your claims though; doesn't affect any of the arguments but I am curious about where you are coming from. When you accuse atheists of dismissing results because they don't fit their narrative, do you think that's a bad thing to do or a normal one? (and your "accusation" isn't so much an accusation as pointing out a fact?)

          • neil_pogi

            i am not making accusations about atheists. if the radiometric dating would not conform with their established date, they say it's contaminated and so on. when the fossilised t rex bone is C14 dated, at only a handful thousand years old, atheists protested because it contradicted their age assumption for the t rex million of years, and they dismissed it as contamination. (maybe a paleontologist happened to drop his chicken sandwich to the fossilised bones and contaminated it)

            C14 dating is an accurate method to determine the age of the specimen or the subject to be dated. it goes well. because the specimen's age is already known by history, the use of C14 validly verified its age

          • Caravelle

            You are just repeating all things you've said that I've addressed, and asked specific questions in regard to, questions that you're still not answering.

            The biggest change there's been is that the claim of a C14 dating of a T-rex bone is more specific than any you've done so far (though still no link to a primary source where we could find out more!), but that falls squarely in the "was objected to on the basis of methodological errors it actually does have" box: C14 dating can only be used accurately on things that are up to 55 thousand years old. And it isn't because "beyond that there is no C14 left"; Carbon is a common element, it's in our atmosphere, our soils and our rocks; there are plenty of ways for it to slip into things via plain chemical processes and diffusion. Especially if it's had thousands of years to do so.

            Beyond 55 thousand years the issue is the original C14 content is low enough that it doesn't drown out traces of carbon that came from outside over the sample's lifetime, not that there is no C14 at all. See here:

            http://www.c14dating.com/k12.html

            Anything that is less than about 50 or 60 000 years can be radiocarbon dated. Beyond 60 000 years there is hardly any radiocarbon left in a sample that is original. Often, in very old material, there is contamination which can significantly affect the accuracy of a date. Dating material from the archaeological or geological record beyond 30 000 years can be very difficult indeed unless the depositional situation of the sample is favourable and scientists can remove any contamination. Even a small amount of c14 from a contaminant can produce an incorrect date in an old sample. Often, radiocarbon daters release dates as being 'greater than 50 000 years' or 'greater than 45 000 years' because of the difficulty in reliably giving a date at this age.

          • neil_pogi

            why evolutionists never subject fossilised dinosaur bone to C14 dating? it's because they believe that those bones are millions of years old! when somebody use the C14 to those fossilised bones, then they were surprised to see that there is/are still remaining C14 in them.

            diamonds are supposed to be the hardest element and yet C14 is still detected, so how can you tell if contamination enters into it?

            again, someone's not using his common sense and logic here. i wonder why?

          • Caravelle

            I can think of three four reasons offhand why you might find C14 in diamonds; I don't know if they're physically possible or if any apply to your claim of C14 being found in diamonds because you again haven't given any cites. And I'm tired of doing your sourcing for you. (not to mention having to sift through your constant repetitions to find a hint of a new claim I haven't responded to yet).

            Give a specific example, as in a specific event that happened, with a link or reference to a primary source so we can see for ourselves what you're talking about, of an atheist disputing a date as wrong, link to the specific objection they have, and demonstrate that that objection is wrong. Otherwise it's like "there are all these proofs that 0=1 but every time mathematicians say the proof contains a basic math error"; maybe the mathematicians are biases, or maybe every one of those proofs does contain a math error. Also, I can't tell you how many times I've seen people say "others say I'm wrong because X, but here's a disproof of X" when actually most people say they're wrong because Y.

            Anything less than that is pure bluster on your part.

          • neil_pogi

            the internet is the fastest way to know and discover things, why not search the google? the C14 detection in diamonds is not my claim, it's been there for many years. the coal seams give a modest amount of c14 detection too.

          • Caravelle

            the internet is the fastest way to know and discover things, why not search the google?

            The internet is "the fastest way" because it's faster than libraries, not because it's instant. I'm guessing you have no clue how time-consuming finding good sources that are relevant to your argument is because you've never done it. You've certainly shown no evidence of it in this thread; I have, and I've sunk enough time into this. Well past time for you to start pulling your weight.

            the C14 detection in diamonds is not my claim

            Well duh, there goes my idea that you'd found the C14 in there yourself, let me pick up my eyes that rolled under the couch there; it is your claim because you made it in this specific conversation, and you're the one who knows on which specific crackpot site you found it, and of course you know exactly which primary sources you investigated to validate the claim (lol), so it shouldn't be hard to share those sources with the class.

            I'm getting flashbacks here to a guy who similarly claimed a source was easily googlable; hint, he'd gotten the wrong name, getting the actual info involved the wayback machine and emailing a university; I never did get the complete answers I was looking for because it would have involved speaking better German than I do. But of course the guy didn't know that because he'd never looked at the results of the search he'd made himself.

          • neil_pogi

            i read C14 detection in diamonds in radiometric sources and creationist websites, that's why i discuss it with you.

            most of the sources you cite is from wiki. i don't think so if wiki's claims are based from evidence-based sources.

          • Caravelle

            And those websites are...?

            And the specific page where they make that specific claim is...?

            And the primary source for the objections their detractors have to their claim is...?

            And the demonstration that those objections are unfounded is...?

            You do realize that whenever I've made a claim I've had (and usually provided) sources for all of those things right? It's what people who are actually interested in the truth, and in building valid and sound arguments for their positions, do.

          • neil_pogi

            all my claims are from creationist and ID websites, some even came from secular sources. it's not my habit to give references to all my claims. why focus on them? why not just refute all my claims?

            how would the detection of C14 in diamonds be contaminated if diamond is the hardest substance/element in this planet? so are you going to demand any reference to my claim that the diamond is the hardest substance/element?

          • Caravelle

            it's not my habit to give references to all my claims.

            Oh that's pretty clear. It's more than "not your habit". It would "not be your habit" if you didn't give references until asked, but refusing to do so for a dozen comments after being asked is something else entirely.

            why not just refute all my claims?

            Because the refutations depend on the details of the claim, which we don't have because you aren't giving any.

            But since you insist, here's a refutation appropriate to all your claims as you've made them: you're making all this up. Nobody's ever found C14 in a diamond or dinosaur bone in the first place.

            Prove me wrong and we'll have a start.

            so are you going to demand any reference to my claim that the diamond is the hardest substance/element?

            You could give such a reference but it wouldn't help much because you aren't trying to prove that diamond is the hardest substance on Earth, you're trying to prove that C14 in diamonds disproves claims that the Earth is old. There are quite a few layers to that argument:

            1) The Earth being old requires that no diamond be young enough to contain C14 original to its creation

            2) C14 was found in diamonds

            3) All C14 in diamonds can only be from when the diamond formed

            4) If a substance is really hard that makes it impossible for non-original C14 to end up in it.

            5) Diamond is the hardest substance on this planet.

            Of all those claims 5) is the least important to your overall point, and not even necessary for 4, 3, 2 and 1 to work (does it really need to be the hardest substance on the planet for contamination to be impossible?), but if you want to provide a source for it then sure go ahead, baby steps and all. I bet it's not even true that diamond is the hardest substance on the planet anyway.

          • neil_pogi

            so what's your next move when i didn't give any reference to my claims? actually you are focusing on it rather than creating your own rebuttals to claims? i have already mention that most of my claims came from ID and creationist websites and some secular websites too?

            since you are demanding references, can you also cite references the claims of evolutionists/atheists that evolution is a fact? is true? of course, you will say that those who question it are 'anti-science'-- that's the best answer they give.

          • Caravelle

            Citing sources has two main purposes. First, you want to show that whatever you're saying isn't something you made up entirely, i.e. it serves as evidence that other people agree with the claim at the very least, and depending on the source and claim it can serve as evidence for the claim itself as well. Second, it allows readers to access for themselves various details of the claim that you may not have the time or space to explain in full. In other words, it allows readers to check the claim out for themselves and allows them to form their own informed opinions on the claim. This is also what makes different sources differently useful - primary sources, i.e. the first place the claim was written, are the best direct evidence for any claim, since they involve as few filters between the originator of the claim and the reader as possible. Secondary sources can also be good when they collate many different primary sources, giving a summary or a synthetic view that you wouldn't get out of any primary source. Ideally secondary sources themselves lead back to primary sources, as in a scientific review paper, a textbook, or (when it's good) Wikipedia, meaning you get the best of both worlds. And then there's the credibility of the source, which can be investigated either via the source itself (does it present its arguments in valid and sound ways, does it follow basic rules of truth-seeking and truth-presenting, including good and accurate sourcing) or via meta-textual aspects (is the source generally reliable in other claims it makes, are there other good sources making good arguments that its claims are wrong, etc).

            For example, if I think that there is no original C14 left in non-avian dinosaur fossils, and someone claims "somebody found C14 in non-avian dinosaur fossils", that sentence alone doesn't give me enough information to judge the claim's merits. I would want to read something by the people who found it themselves, so I know they exist and that the person reporting the claim didn't misremember or misunderstand something. If the finding is established I cannot rule out methodological errors, because you can never rule out methodological errors; the only way to rule out such errors is to know the methods that were used. That's why scientific papers have a "methods" section (it's also so that other scientists can reproduce the experiment themselves and see if they get the same results, which is another important way of telling if a claim has merit or not but isn't usually available to laypeople; it's one of the things that makes science a reliable way of finding the truth, and in fact it's because it's thought to be a reliable way of finding the truth that it became a standard part of doing science in the first place). And of course the sentence "someone found C14 in non-avian dinosaur fossils" doesn't give any details as to the methods they used; which techniques they used, how they prepared the samples, what measurements they made and how, what machines they used, what kinds of issues with the potential results they anticipated and compensated for (all techniques, measurements and machines have potential issues that need to be compensated for, the term of art is "controlling for sources of error" - another vital concept for working scientists). And of course if you don't know the methods you can't figure out whether any methodological errors were made, and thus you can't know whether the claim has merit or not.

            It would be time-consuming in a two-way discussion to keep having to ask for details that the other person would often need to go back to their sources to find out in the first place; much faster, more efficient and considerate to give the source directly, which allows the other person to answer basic questions for themselves and leaves the conversation to issues that aren't already addressed in the sources and actually need two-way exchange to progress on.

            Also, and this shouldn't be neglected (though I don't expect it's much of an issue here), it allows lurkers and future readers, who don't always have the option of asking a million questions to the person making the claim, to answer all those questions for themselves. Another way in which giving sources is considerate and refusing to do so is disrespectful.

            It seems you fundamentally misunderstand why I am asking you for sources; you seem to see sources as a way of judging character. That's why you have the bizarre idea that knowing your sources are "ID and creationists websites and some secular websites too" does me, or anybody reading this, any lick of good. As if this were about judging your reading habits. And that's why you cannot understand why I cannot rebut you without knowing the source of your claims - it seems that you think the details of a claim don't matter in figuring out whether it's wrong... which is consistent with your general attitude of deciding if something is true not based on the thing itself, but on whether it fits your predetermined conclusions or not. It must be hard for you to picture anyone reasoning differently, given everything you write suggests you think everybody reasons that way. But they simply don't.

            All humans have cognitive biases, and reasoning from one's conclusions instead of one's premises is an easy pitfall to fall into, but that's what it is for most people - a pitfall, that they try to avoid. And for scientists, a pitfall that they've been trained to avoid, are always ready to call out their colleagues or rivals for falling into, and are as a result are all the more careful to avoid themselves so they aren't called out by their colleagues or rivals.

            But to you it seems to be a primary mode of reasoning to the point you don't even pretend to have another, and might not realize there is another. I wonder whether it only applies to scientific topics, and if your reasoning functions better in instinctive, real-life situations. It's often that way.

            actually you are focusing on it rather than creating your own rebuttals to claims?

            The remarkable thing is that I've already rebutted your claims*. I was asking your for responses to those rebuttals and, because I'm guessing you don't know how to give any or it's too much work looking things up, you pretzeled your way here.

            *The only claim I can think of that I rebutted implicitly enough that you might have missed it, is the "diamond is hard so it can't be contaminated" thing. If I wasn't clear enough before: hardness has nothing to do with contamination or other errors that can crop up in radiocarbon dating. After all, sources of error include sample preparation (by the end of which the sample is gaseous, so much for "hardness"), the mass spectrometer itself, even cosmic rays during the measurement apparently.

          • OldSearcher

            +10

          • neil_pogi

            the only thing i would demand from you is: just provide a link/ reference about the so-called facts of evolution, specifically the macro-evolution. i never observe a microorganism evolving into another form of microorganism, let alone an organism complete with sense organs like eyes, ears. you can cite endless references but you need to prove them otherwise they are just storytelling, just so stories and make believe stories. consider this article: https://crev.info/2017/05/whale-tail-tale/

            you didn't address my question regarding the origin of the first life? can you explain how life evolved from non-living to living?

          • Caravelle

            the only thing i would demand from you is: just provide a link/ reference about the so-called facts of evolution, specifically the macro-evolution.

            You demand...?

            you can cite endless references but you need to prove them otherwise they are just storytelling, just so stories and make believe stories. consider this article

            Aaaaaaand contradicting yourself in the same paragraph.

            you didn't address my question regarding the origin of the first life?

            Oh, you're noticing that your habit of throwing out new questions when you don't want to answer those you were asked isn't working? Annoying when people don't address your questions isn't it?

          • neil_pogi

            just give any cites/references that living things evolved from nonliving things, ok?

          • Caravelle

            So you no longer wish to defend the claim that atheists have claimed something was contaminated when it got a dating result they didn't like when it wasn't actually contaminated?

          • neil_pogi

            i already said my piece.. now pls just present your proofs that nonliving things evolved into living? ok? i concentrate on this because atheism depends on this hypothesis because if atheism failed to explain it with proof, atheism is just a bunch of myths, storytellings and lies

          • Caravelle

            i already said my piece..

            Well we're done here then I guess.

            (btw I tracked down my comment where I explained why I was asking certain questions and ignoring the extraneous ones you kept throwing out. Relevant quote:

            I am responding to your claim that "nobody in their right mind" believes
            standard geological facts. That is, in fact, a claim about scientists.
            I'll be happy to move on to other questions once I better understand
            what you are saying with this one.

            That might have been referring to a different branch of this conversation, this one went from 'nobody in their right mind believes whatever' to 'why are some dating techniques reliable and not others' to 'specific claims of flaws in radiometric dating' and it's that latest claim you've stopped justifying, without really giving a reason why (hence the digression into sourcing, since you apparently don't think it's an important way of convincing other people your claims are true). So that's a conversation thread that we're ending with me still wanting more; that's fine, all conversations have to end, but it gives me no reason to start discussing a new unrelated question with you, hence why I guess we're done on this one.)

          • neil_pogi

            you talked too much and too nonsense. just prove that nonliving things became living. ok?

          • neil_pogi

            i am not ignoring you.. because the origins issue is the most imprtant topic on how everything else originated. if atheism fails to explain that, atheism is just a failed religion, a failed belief system.

            just produce proof

          • Caravelle

            i am not ignoring you..

            That's the problem isn't it? I never thought you were ignoring me, and it's not what I've complained about from you. Nobody ever has to answer any question another person poses them online. But not answering a question is completely different from posting a reply that looks like it's answering a question but actually isn't. That just suggests that the person is trying to answer the question but got something wrong along the way, which invites further discussion as one tries to straighten all that out.

            If you don't want to answer my questions or discuss the subjects I'm interested in, you know you're allowed to not do it right? But when you make replies that respond to but don't answer or even sometimes address my questions, well, I assume you want to discuss those questions and so I discuss back.

          • neil_pogi

            i have already given you answers: google the internet about the subject you want to research/ search. in just a matter of seconds, you will be given many choices.

          • Caravelle
          • neil_pogi

            another atheist ad homs! that's what to be expected when they are losing debates and scientific discussions

          • Caravelle

            most of the sources you cite is from wiki. i don't think so if wiki's claims are based from evidence-based sources.

            This is the first I hear of you having an objection to my sources; weird of you not to bring it up earlier. See that's the good thing about giving one's sources (or would be the good thing when both parties are interested in the truth): you can judge the credibility of my claims from seeing directly the first people who made them and their arguments/evidence, and not just assume I interpreted/remembered them right or didn't straight-out make them up.

            The thing with Wikipedia is that Wikipedia links to primary sources; I usually link to a Wikipedia page because it provides a good summary and a large number of links and it's thus more efficient than providing all of the primary links separately. But I certainly could give the primary links instead; I would say I'll take that extra step in this discussion from now on but given you still aren't giving a single link to your own sources I don't really see why I should bother. It's pretty hilarious because what makes most creationist sites terrible in the first place is that they often don't source their claims or do it well; you're pushing that tendency up to eleven by not even sourcing the creationist sites.

          • neil_pogi

            so why specifically cite the link the wiki has provided?
            quote: 'It's pretty hilarious because what makes most creationist sites terrible in the first place is that they often don't source their claims or do it well' -- oh really? if creationists are not well with sciences, then why atheists are so afraid of the evidences creationists are offering to the public? why atheists go to courts to sue them? why are no hospitals build and manage by atheists? are creationists not doing sciences? in the first place, science has its origins with theism. your claims are hilarious and full of lies.

            i have several questions on origins like: what's the origin of the infinitely small dot that caused the big bang? No answer was given. how is it possible that from disorderly became orderly? No answer was given.

            even if you can cite all the references about atheism, questions still linger: are they for real? or are they for conjectures, storytelling, or make me believe your stories? it's been known that all atheistic theories are not well go hand in hand with experimentations and observations. can you prove to me now how non-living thing became living thing? well you could make references to it but i will ask you if they are subject to experimentations and observations.

          • Caravelle

            so why specifically cite the link the wiki has provided?

            I don't understand this question, could you specify what it is a response to? What's "the link the wiki has provided"?

          • neil_pogi

            there are no contradictions of what i said

            quote: 'That the Earth's atmosphere didn't contain free oxygen before 2.4 billion years ago is well-established and finding that out had nothing to do with biology.' - were you there to observe it?

            of course, oxygen is one requirement in order for organism to survive. try an experiment for yourself, drown yourself to a pail of water and see if you can survive even for at least 15 minutes without oxygen

          • neil_pogi

            were these anerobic organism evolved? if so, tell me what were the organisms?

          • Caravelle

            quote: 'science supports that the first years of earth has so much water and oxygen. the fact that the extinctions of dinosaurs and other big organisms were connected to decreasing levels of oxygen. in the past, the oxygen level was higher than today's! also, the earth experienced worldwide flood, and their fossils were distributed on every corners of the whole earth!' - were you there to observe any of those?

            of course, oxygen is one requirement in order for organism to survive.

            That isn't true for all organisms but I see that was already pointed out to you. Is there a reason you're making that claim?

          • neil_pogi

            i was using the forensic science here, the phrase, ''were you there to observe it' is applicable only for those theories that are not in harmony with observed facts and experiments. for example, atheists say that there was a self-replicating molecule in the beginning, then i have to employ that phrase 'were you there to observe it' of course no one was there t observe it. the Genesis creation account says that all orgnanisms were created fully formed (appearance of age), and that claim is evidenced by the cambrian explosion.

            anyway, you have to prove me first if a single cell organism be able to evolve into an organism like a rat or a squirrel

          • Caravelle

            i was using the forensic science here, the phrase, ''were you there to observe it' is applicable only for those theories that are not in harmony with observed facts and experiments

            The theory that the Earth is 4.6 billion years old and that its atmosphere contained little to no oxygen until 2.4 billion years ago is in harmony with observed facts and experiments. The theory that there was a worldwide flood in the Cenozoic era is not. It continues to look like by "in harmony with observed facts and experiments" you actually mean "that say what I already think is true".

            the Genesis creation account says that all orgnanisms were created fully formed (appearance of age), and that claim is evidenced by the cambrian explosion.

            It is not. None of the organisms that appeared in the Cambrian explosion appear in Genesis (with the exception of "living things in the sea", which are incorrectly described in Genesis as being created at the same time as birds and after fruit-bearing land plants), and Earth's fauna and flora doesn't begin to look like it looks today until a few million years ago if that (depending to some extent on which fauna or flora we're focusing on of course, but it's true of the animals and plants we see every day), half a billion years after the Cambrian explosion.

          • neil_pogi

            billions of years are never observed even if someone would be using forensic sciences. they rely with radiomtric datings (argon, potassium, etc) but they are always not getting accurate results. if the results are not in harmony with evolution theory, atheists consider it as error or that it was affected by contaminations, as in the case for the discoveries of blood, elastic tissues, cells in the bones of t rex.

            the genesis account only mentions life in general. of course we never read statements like these: ánd God made the trilobites in the sea, the dinosaurs and microorganisms. the genesis account is just a summary of creation events.

          • Caravelle

            they rely with radiomtric datings (argon, potassium, etc) but they are always not getting accurate results.

            They get more accurate results than a lot of "forensic sciences" do. In fact forensic science (in the actual sense of police forensics, not your inappropriate application of the word to paleontology and geology) can be pretty dismal:

            http://scholarship.law.umn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1044&context=mjlst

            as in the case for the discoveries of blood, elastic tissues, cells in the bones of t rex

            Wrong again. A lot of people thought those discoveries were mistakes or contaminations, not unreasonably because mistakes and contaminations often happen, so if you make an unlikely discovery the odds of the discovery being true vs the odds of a mistake having been made becomes relevant (recentish example: FTL neutrinos).

            People who base their science on what conclusions they want to get to would leave it at that, like you do. But scientists investigate; if they think a result is wrong they make an argument for why they think it's wrong and they check. Like here:

            http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0002808

            And those who don't think the result is wrong investigate their results further to figure out why the surprising features are there, find further evidence that it is real, and most importantly build on it to make further discoveries, like here:

            http://science.sciencemag.org/content/316/5822/280
            http://science.sciencemag.org/content/319/5859/33.4.full

            Also I'm not sure where you get the "blood", let alone "cells"; as far as I can tell the only proteins they managed to extract were collagen, i.e. elastic tissue.

            the genesis account only mentions life in general.

            Ah, haven't read it recently have you? You deny it mentions fruiting plants, birds and large sea creatures being created, and on "days" that are specifically described as being before or after each other?

            of course we never read statements like these: ánd God made the trilobites in the sea, the dinosaurs and microorganisms.

            You're the one claiming that Genesis is evidenced by the Cambrian explosion, not me. Note that the only one of those three that has anything to do with the Cambrian explosion (and thus could be "evidenced by it") is the trilobites.

            Also, you realize that "God made the trilobites, the dinosaurs and microorganisms" would be more general than "God created fruit-bearing plants and birds", right? "Dinosaurs" is a more general descriptor than "birds" (just like "mammal" is a more general descriptor than "rodents"), and "microorganisms" is as general as descriptors get.

            To be clear, the problem here isn't Genesis. (Almost) everyone is aware that it wasn't written as a scientific text, meant to accurately describe the development of life or the world. That's why we "of course" don't read about God creating trilobites or microorganisms.

          • neil_pogi

            so contamination is the explanation on why elastic tissues, blood cells, etc were found in the fossils of t rex and other so-called million years old fossils.. or why they survived the 'million years'?
            that is expected from atheists who are in dead denials of the evidence of young age for the fossils.

            the cambrian explosion really supported the genesis account of creation. that God created all living things fully formed (appearance of age). all their organs, especially the eyes are created fully formed (irreducible complexity) and not on gradual, step by step fashion.

          • Caravelle

            so contamination is the explanation on why elastic tissues, blood cells, etc were found in the fossils of t rex and other so-called million years old fossils.. or why they survived the 'million years'?

            That is not what I said in my reply, and as a matter of fact you're just rephrasing your previous comment as if I hadn't replied at all. I would prefer that you engage with what I write or explain why you don't.

            the cambrian explosion really supported the genesis account of creation. that God created all living things fully formed (appearance of age). all their organs, especially the eyes are created fully formed (irreducible complexity) and not on gradual, step by step fashion.

            Same thing there, I'll just add this: this argument would work (well, there would be other issues but it would be a start) if Genesis said "God created all living things fully formed (appearance of age), all their organs, especially the eyes are created fully formed and not in a gradual, step by step fashion". But as we both know Genesis does not say this; in fact it says nothing at all about how God created birds and plants and so on, whether it involved steps or not. The only thing it says is that God created them, and when.

          • neil_pogi

            it's just common sense that if something is created, of course, all the organs, all its contents are already formed. the bible of course didn't specifically say how he created, it just say that the universe was created by Him. the Bible isn't a biology textbooks that go on detail. the Bible is specifically created that there is a Creator! if you're asking me how He created, then how life began? pls no conjectures and silly story-telling. because you and atheists know all things, then explain how life began?

          • Caravelle

            it's just common sense that if something is created, of course, all the organs, all its contents are already formed.

            Not at all; if something is created then all its contents end up being formed but that doesn't mean the creation happens in a single step.

            Nothing we see created via intelligent or natural processes today gets created in a single step. God in Genesis doesn't create the world in a single step.

            One can certainly assume if Genesis doesn't describe explicit steps then there must have been no steps but there's nothing "common sense" about that assumption at all, and it isn't an inevitable reading of the text. (and so much for "the Bible isn't a biology textbook that go in detail" if we do make that assumption; it only works as an assumption if we assume that the Bible does go in detail, so that where the Bible lacks detail it's because the details didn't exist)

          • neil_pogi

            supposed God created the first single cell organism, will it survive on its own? even the most logical scientists will doubt it, and they will do everything in order that cell to survive. that's why God created all living things fully formed (ex: adam was created fully formed (adult) when the fact is he is just one day old. God created microorganisms and they will be the same as microorganisms because until now they are still microorganisms, just like other creatures, the trilobites that nave been disocovered as fossils, they are still the same trilobites today. i even see them in one shore along Manila bay here.

            the universe was also created fully formed (appearance of age) when the fact that it is only one day old.

          • Caravelle

            they are still the same trilobites today. i even see them in one shore along Manila bay here.

            Call your nearest paleontological society because you're about to become famous. That or you're confusing "trilobites" with something else, because nobody's ever seen a live trilobite, or a fossilized one later than the Permian.

          • Michael Murray

            Possibly something off this page:

            https://www.trilobites.info/triloimposters.htm

          • neil_pogi

            horseshoe crabs are living neatly in our shorelines. they were fossilized then, but they haven't evolve into new forms of life. they are STILL horseshoecrabs

          • Caravelle

            So, not trilobites then.

            As usual, the issue isn't if a handful of forms stay constant over very long periods of time; it's that which forms exist in which geological layer changes drastically from layer to layer, and in very specific ways. Such that almost all modern species aren't found if you go back even a few million years; you might find fossils that resemble modern species, like they could belong to the same genus or family, but not representatives of the same species. And the further back you go, the larger and more generic the group in "they could belong to the same group" becomes, and the lower-level groups disappear entirely. So go back a few million years and you won't find any lion fossils; you will find other big cats though. Go back forty or so million years further and there aren't any cat-like fossils around, or dog-like for that matter; closest thing are marten-like creatures that are at least in the Carnivore group, though they aren't part of any modern Carnivore family. Go back another forty million years and none of our modern mammalian macrofauna is around; at best you can tell some of the shrew-like mammals are placentals and others are marsupials. And don't like "shrew-like" fool you into thinking they're like actual shrews other than in the most superficial ways. Further back and you've got organisms that the most you can say about them is that they're mammals. Back further and there's no more mammals or dinosaurs or reptiles or frogs... but you do have creatures that fit in the "tetrapod" group. Further back and you don't find those either. And so on so forth, until the Cambrian where there's basically like one proto-chordate and some arthropods ("arthropods" of course not involving any crabs of the non-horseshoe variety, lobsters, insects, spiders...).

            tl;dr: You're so impressed that we find horseshoe crab fossils in the Cambrian, ever wonder why that's basically all you find, out of the millions species alive today? And that most fossils from the Cambrian don't have modern representatives either?

          • neil_pogi

            trilobites were numerous in the cambrian period but there were other life forms discovered. sea creatures were best fossilised first because they lived at the sea therefore they were the first to be entombed, and fossilised. other living things dwelling on land were the least to experience entombment and fossilised because several factors affected their fossilization process: either they decayed first due to microorganisms, destroyed by exposure to direct environments and others.the cambrian fossils record most of todays' animal representatives.

          • Caravelle

            sea creatures were best fossilised first because they lived at the sea therefore they were the first to be entombed

            And yet we find no crabs or lobsters or oysters or squid or abyss-dwelling fish in the lowest strata (and the Cambrian in particular). Actually we find mammals-like animals lower down in the fossil record than we find any lobsters.

            .the cambrian fossils record most of todays' animal representatives.

            It does not. You're confusing with the claim it contains most animal phyla. That's like, "chordate", "arthropod", "bivalve". It contains no modern species (or even genus or family, if you're in the "species diversified via microevolution" camp). Including horseshoe crabs by the way; those don't show up in the Cambrian either.

          • neil_pogi

            we find in the cambrian explosion millions of extinct species like horsecrabs. but never transitional fossils.

          • Caravelle

            I don't know what that "like horsecrabs" is supposed to mean, but we do not find horseshoe crabs. Quote from here:
            http://www.palaeontologyonline.com/articles/2012/fossil-focus-xiphosura/

            Although there are only four horseshoe-crab species now living, almost 100 fossil species have been described. As a group they go all the way back to the late Ordovician period, 488 million to 444 million years ago, and are often treated as classic examples of ‘living fossils’: effectively unchanged for tens or hundreds of millions of years. The modern family, containing the living species, does indeed go back to at least the Triassic period, 251 million to 200 million years ago. There have been reports of Cambrian horseshoe crabs, 542 million to 488 million years old, but these are unconvincing and are mostly based on older schemes in which extinct arthropods called the aglaspids were thought to be primitive horseshoe crabs.

            Note how although the group goes back to the Ordovician, no modern species are found there. (the "effectively" in "effectively unchanged" is doing a lot of work there, clearly).

            Having said that, am I right that you agree with me here:

            we find in the cambrian explosion millions of extinct species like horsecrabs.

            That no modern species can be found in Cambrian strata?

            It's just occurred to me too that your whole argument that the Cambrian explosion is evidence for Genesis rests on the fossils found in Cambrian strata being the remnants of the first life. How do you square that with the fact you don't think geological strata represent time periods in the first place?

            (also, we don't find "millions of species" during the Cambrian, or any other era except maybe the most recent ones and/or long ones. Remember, the number of species estimated in existence today is under 10 million).

          • neil_pogi

            I did say that God created all living things complete and fully formed. (appearance of age) cambrian explosion verified that,

          • Caravelle

            I know you said that neil_pogi, I read your posts and addressed the points they made. Can't say the same for you lately.

            cambrian explosion verified that

            So you believe that the Precambrian strata are from before God created life, and the Cambrian strata are from just after God created life? How many other strata do you think are representative of actual time periods in Earth's history?

          • neil_pogi

            first you need to prove that every strata in earth's layers are millions of years old. try this experiment yourself: scoop several layers of sand, stone and other soil and place them in a container, preferably an empty aquarium glass container. put gallons of water in it then watch what will happen? so in just couple of seconds or minutes, the different types of sands, stones, etc will be settled down and produced different layers. it all happened in just mere seconds or minutes. there's no room for millions of years to produce layers of strata. again, someone's not using his common sense and logic here!

            i did say that God created all life forms.

          • Caravelle

            first you need to prove that every strata in earth's layers are millions of years old.

            No, that's got nothing to do with the question I asked you; the question of whether strata correspond to time periods would be equally relevant if all strata were less than 6000 years old. It was a yes-or-no question and I can't tell what your answer is. The aquarium digression suggests "no" but it's hard to tell.

            (also, loved how all those things turned into solid rock after I left them in my aquarium overnight. Oh wait they didn't, mostly because I didn't actually do the experiment but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have even if I had. Talk to me when you've made marble in your kitchen aquarium, or something like the schist-granite formation at Glen Tilt)

            i did say that God created all life forms.

            Not an answer to a question I asked, and yet more empty repetition.

          • neil_pogi

            but dating of millions of years is the common argument used by your evolutionists to prove evolution is true because if there is no vast time, no evolution will occur.

            you observe how construction workers are able to turn liquid cement into solid cement in just hours.

          • Caravelle

            but dating of millions of years is the common argument used by your
            evolutionists to prove evolution is true because if there is no vast
            time, no evolution will occur.

            No; that would be a terrible argument for evolution and no "evolutionist" uses it. It confuses necessary conditions with sufficient ones. Sounds like another "evolutionists say" you found on a creationist site and not said by any actual "evolutionist".

            you observe how construction workers are able to turn liquid cement into solid cement in just hours.

            A relevant point if all rocks were cement, and a relevant response to my own comment if marble and the Glen Tilt schist-granite formation were cement. Call me when you pass by construction workers making those.

          • neil_pogi

            oh really? if only short time periods is given for evolution, it is impossible for a single cell to evolve into numerous multicelled forms. so you're displaying not your common sense and logic. do you even think that just a million years be enough for a single cell to evolve into a thousand forms?

            have you ever seen a marble forming? is marble forming due to long ages? or due to high pressures and temperatures? just like a diamond, people who never use their common sense and logic say that the diamond is a product of millions of years, they are so deluded, diamonds are formed due to great pressures and temperature. if you're going to have an instant diamond, you search the internet too

          • Caravelle

            if only short time periods is given for evolution, it is impossible for a single cell to evolve into numerous multicelled forms. so you're displaying not your common sense and logic.

            That's what makes deep time a necessary condition for evolution, but it isn't a sufficient one, and "deep time therefore evolution" requires deep time to be a sufficient condition for evolution. Which it isn't, which makes that argument invalid, which is why nobody makes it outside of the creationist sites that are clearly the only thing you read.

            have you ever seen a marble forming? is marble forming due to long ages? or due to high pressures and temperatures?

            Ah yes, those high pressures and temperatures that are commonly encountered in floods. Or are you no longer claiming that Earth's rocky strata were deposited in the flood?

          • neil_pogi

            ok questions for evolution: evolutionists/atheists provide first how life originated? if that's not answered, then evolution is already dead in the water. try to prove first how a non-living thing became or evolved into living thing, ok?

            quote: 'are you no longer claiming that Earth's rocky strata were deposited in the flood?' - you claimed that

            rock stratas are i think the backbone of the planet, its its foundation. mountains like the alps and himalayans were created by the flood that once engulfed the entire earth.

          • Hey Neil, are viruses alive?

          • neil_pogi

            so what about the viruses?

            tell me are viruses eternal by nature? or does it contain self -replicating molecule?

            do you have any plausible answer to my statement/question? how life originated?
            prove first how a non-living thing became or evolved into living thing, ok?

          • Caravelle

            rock stratas are i think the backbone of the planet, its its foundation.
            mountains like the alps and himalayans were created by the flood that
            once engulfed the entire earth.

            I'm confused, does this mean that the alps and himalayas don't contain rock strata, or contain different rock strata than are found in other places, or am I misunderstanding your view?

          • neil_pogi

            mountain-buildings were the result of flooding the earth.

          • Caravelle

            That doesn't answer my question. It's an A or B or C question, is the answer any of those or is it an alternative I didn't think of?

          • neil_pogi

            foundations are very solid, it will never be affected by any events like earthquakes and other calamities. if the flood affected the very foundations of the earth, then maybe the earth is now in the peril of disintegrations

            the questions on origin of life is still ignored by you..

          • Caravelle

            foundations are very solid, it will never be affected by any events like earthquakes and other calamities. if the flood affected the very foundations of the earth, then maybe the earth is now in the peril of disintegrations

            This is interesting, so does that mean you don't think the Earth has a molten core, a thick layer of semi-molten rock around it and a solid crust above that? Or do you think the foundations are part of the crust?

            Also, are some specific geological strata part of that foundation and not others or are all strata in the foundation, and conversely can any geological strata be found outside those foundations?

            the questions on origin of life is still ignored by you..

            That's right, and I explained why quite a few comments ago.

          • neil_pogi

            all i claimed is that the foundations of the earth is not affected by any calamities, floods, etc. because the earth will disintegrate. i don't know why are you adding these statement: ( does that mean you don't think the Earth has a molten core, a thick layer of semi-molten rock around it and a solid crust above that? Or do you think the foundations are part of the crust?)??

            you still have not answer the question of origins: how non-living evolved into living?

          • Caravelle

            all i claimed is that the foundations of the earth is not affected by any calamities, floods, etc. because the earth will disintegrate. i don't know why are you adding these statement: ( does that mean you don't think the Earth has a molten core, a thick layer of semi-molten rock around it and a solid crust above that? Or do you think the foundations are part of the crust?)??

            I'm sorry you felt I was adding things to your statements you don't believe; I am merely trying to understand the view of the Earth that you are presenting, and I hope you can see such wrong additions as indications I haven't understood you correctly, and invitations to correct my misconceptions, and not as malicious. As for where those particular additions came from, you said "foundations are very solid", that's why I wondered whether you thought the Earth has a molten core or not; I don't know to what extent the mantle can be considered "solid", and whether it's solid by the definition you're using or if you believe something different about it.

            You also said that rock strata are those foundations, in the context of discussing whether Precambrian and Cambrian strata represented different times in Earth history, which is what started my questions, because as far as I understand geologists don't draw a distinction between rock strata found in mountains and rock strata found, well, elsewhere, but the important questions would be the distinction between rock strata found in mountains and rock strata found where the foundations are, hence my questions about what and where those foundations are. It sounds like you're talking about a consistent layer of rock strata underlying everything on Earth that are unaffected by any disruption including earthquakes (and volcanic activity? Not explicitly listed but surely a calamity), but I want to know whether that is actually what you have in mind before discussing that view further.

            I'm very interested in this because these are claims I've never heard before, so I would love to learn more about them. My bringing in "standard" geology concepts is because that's my default for what the Earth is like, and so figuring out how your view is similar and different from mine does involve figuring out which aspects of geology as I know it are incorporated into the view you describe and which (if any) are explicitly rejected.

          • neil_pogi

            nobody has even observed or seen the deepest inside of the earth that geologist would certainly know if the center of the earth has a molten core. i don't know what are its contents. and because you know it, then i assumed you went there. if someone has to talk about the center of the earth, he is just talking wild guess, conjecture. that is my personal understanding.

          • Caravelle

            So to get back to the question I actually asked (and again, if you missed it in my other comment, if you don't want to answer the questions in a comment that's 100% questions, you're allowed not to reply to the comment at all, you know that right?), this is saying you don't think the Earth has a molten core? Or is your position that you just don't know? In the second case this doesn't tell me where the solid foundation comes in.

            OK, another tack and then I'm probably done: to your knowledge, has any living human being seen or touched part of the Earth's solid foundations?

          • neil_pogi

            have you been inside the center of the earth? and saw the molten rocks there? you are but an arrogant atheist who knows every thing.. only in imaginations.

            one thing.. you still didn't provide any reference proof for the proof that nonliving thing became living thing. that's all i ask!

          • Caravelle

            have you been inside the center of the earth? and saw the molten rocks there?

            No I haven't.

            As I said, you expressed a view of the world I'd never heard of before and I'd love to learn more about it. I'm surprised you don't seem interested in telling me about it because I thought that sharing one's beliefs with others was an important aspect of many Christian beliefs, but if you don't want to you don't want to I guess.

          • neil_pogi

            i'm trying to know fully how a nonliving matter became living? that's one important thing i really like to know? the impossible became possible, i really like to know how disorganized became organized? so you see in atheism every thing is possible. you haven't even answer one of these basic questions!.......

          • Caravelle

            And I'm trying to learn more of your views on how the Earth is structured. (among other things but the other things I've given up on at this time).

          • neil_pogi

            you still didn't cite any references, or to prove how nonliving things became living things. nobody have witnessed or observed how the earth is created or how it is structured that way. the earth is round, and it is impossible to think that it was formed by natural processes, only those people suffer from not using their common sense and logic believe that. they have no proofs to back up their claims. there is only one theory that the earth was created by an Intelligent Mind. that is the only possible idea.

          • Michael Murray

            the earth is round, and it is impossible to think that it was formed by natural processes,

            Just in case anyone reads this and thinks this might be true I suggest they google something like "planetary formation" or "why are planets round". The basic theory of rocky planetary formation as I understand it from a brief look is that the larger lumps of rock in space are pulled together by mutual gravitational attraction. They then heat up if they contain radioactive elements causing the interiors to melt. The approximately spherical shape is the result of the way gravity pulls everything together. I'm no expert in geology but it seems a plausible theory to me.

          • neil_pogi

            so another fancy storytellings by PhD scientists/astronomers. are you still buying that crap?

          • Caravelle

            Hey Michael check this:

            Neil, the revolutionary aspect of Newton's Theory of Gravity wasn't that it said things fell down, it said that the force that makes apples fall down on Earth is the same one that makes planets orbit the Sun. Obviously this was based on observations and predictions of said planets' orbits and not direct experiment, as Newton couldn't exactly experiment with Mars' orbit could he. And Newton couldn't know what that force was or why it worked the way it worked; only how it worked, and that it was the same one that made apples fall and that made the planets go around the Sun.

            Is Newton's Theory of Gravity scientific?

          • neil_pogi

            and i'm gonna ask you the same question about gravity.. hawkings just told the public that 'the universe created itself out of nothing and it's due to gravity' but in any way, he failed to explain it.. he just say, 'it's just gravity'...

            even common people will prove that apple falls because of the energetic full of gravity, there's mo need of sophisticated lab to demonstrate it.

          • Michael Murray

            Hawking.

          • neil_pogi

            ok, sorry for the mispelled name of Hawking. all i need for you is to explain how gravity created the universe?

          • Caravelle

            Looks like you didn't read my comment very carefully. Again: Newton's revolutionary claim was that the force that makes apples fall down and the force that makes planets go around the Sun are one and the same.

            How do you suggest a "common person" prove that? Do you even think it's a proven fact in the first place?

          • neil_pogi

            according to the physicist who is confined to a wheelchair, that the universe is created by gravity, but no explanations given! it's like the stars and planets are already existing, and then because of gravity, the universe is created! clarly he has not using his own common sense and logic

          • Caravelle

            I'm not talking about Hawking's view of gravity, or any relativistic theory, I'm talking about Newton. The classical one. That you learn in high school.

          • neil_pogi

            i am talking about Hawking's statement. that the universe is created by/due to gravity.

          • Caravelle

            So again you see a comment, click on "reply to" and write a text that has some features that make it look like an attempt at a response to the comment, but actually asks a completely unrelated question that's peripherally related to the same general subject, and you then proceed to act as if that... not tangent, more like a parallel track, was the only important subject to be discussed in the exchange. Except of course it's not an exchange at that point is it.

          • neil_pogi

            oh well, i am still waiting for you to provide me links on how nonliving matter became living!

          • Michael Murray

            oh well, i am still waiting for you to provide me links on how nonliving matter became living!

            You mean like I did 6 months ago:

            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/strangenotions/what_has_christianity_ever_done_for_the_west/#comment-3052622728

            when I pointed you to the wiki page on abiogenesis in reply to you asking

            so how evolution started from non-living matter?

            At which point you moved the goalposts again:

            is that another 'make-believe'' story? is that falsifiable? is that to be verified thru experiments!

            in your very own experiences, have you ever observe or encounter a non-living matter became alive?

          • neil_pogi

            is that link you provided has any proof? that's why i call it 'make-believe'or 'just so' stories.

          • Caravelle

            You poor thing. And you demanded it so nicely too!

          • neil_pogi

            another atheist experience! so no answer! i wonder why you stick to a worldview that knows no answer even to the most simple question!

          • Caravelle

            nobody have witnessed or observed how the earth is created or how it is structured that way.

            When I talked about "how the Earth is structured" I wasn't talking about how it was created, but what it's like now. I'm not sure if you're only talking about how the Earth was created, or if you're also saying that nobody knows what the Earth is like inside now.

            If you're saying nobody knows what the Earth is like inside, then are these claims you made based on knowledge or evidence of the Earth itself, or are they armchair speculation based on the Bible?

            I mean claims such as:

            rock stratas are i think the backbone of the planet, its its foundation. mountains like the alps and himalayans were created by the flood that once engulfed the entire earth.

            foundations are very solid, it will never be affected by any events like earthquakes and other calamities.

            Going back to those claims btw I noticed something: your statement about rock strata being the backbone of the planet was in response to my pointing out that marble needs high temperatures and pressures to form unlike those found in floods, hence your responding that such rock strata were the backbone of the planet (i.e.: not deposited by flood waters I guess), as opposed to mountains such as the Himalayas and the Alps that were formed in the flood.

            Does that mean we shouldn't find marble in the Himalayas or Alps, or am I misinterpreting the process by which the flood created those mountain ranges?

          • neil_pogi

            since i am not a geologist per se, i am only saying that the solid rocks (i really don't know the different rocks that lie in the interior of earth) make the foundations of the planet earth that is not affected by earthquakes, floods, etc. so what's the issue of this to creation/evolution debates? now all i demand from you is to: 1. cite any reference/proof that the nonliving matter became living 2. proof that the infinitely small dot banged and eventually produced/became a universe. if atheism is true, then how is that you are still unable to produce any proof of it???

          • Caravelle

            so what's the issue of this to creation/evolution debates?

            You claimed that the Cambrian explosion was evidence for the Genesis account of creation, because the Cambrian explosion showed animals appearing with eyes, organs etc and Genesis described animals appearing fully formed. Now we discussed many aspects of this argument, but the specific one that led to you talking about the foundation of the Earth is that this argument only works if the fossil record of the Cambrian vs Precambrian actually show the creation of animals. i.e., if the Cambrian and Precambrian strata correspond to actual time periods.

            I asked you if that was the case and that's where you brought up the foundations of Earth, which didn't really answer the question but piqued my curiosity. But if you want to get back to the actual subject then by all means: do you think the Precambrian and Cambrian strata correspond to time periods in Earth's history, before and just after the creation of animals respectively?

            now all i demand from you is to: 1.

            I wasn't expecting the Spanish Inquisition!

            (because now "the only thing" you demand comes in numbered list form! Get it? What do you call an extinction burst that you don't expect to result in extinction? I feel like there's a neurological word for the brain going haywire under sensory deprivation/lack of sensory feedback but I haven't found it)

            EDIT: oh and just to address this:

            since i am not a geologist per se, i am only saying that the solid rocks (i really don't know the different rocks that lie in the interior of earth) make the foundations of the planet earth that is not affected by earthquakes, floods, etc.

            I'll take this as an answer to my question: "armchair speculation based on the Bible" it is then. (you haven't explicitly said "based on the Bible" so that's just my assumption).

          • neil_pogi

            the cambrian explosion was the scientific proof of the Bible's claim of creation account. all creation were created fully grown, fully developed and fully formed, no evolution! scientists are unable to find any ancestors of each then fossilised creatures. even the so-called precambrian strata offered no transitional fossils of the cambrian explosion. i didn't brought up the case of the foundation of the earth, i just mentioned it something like: 'the foundation of the earth must be very strong that it would persist any calamities the earth might experience, like floods, earthquakes, eruption, etc, but the foundation will not be destroyed'

            and why mentioned the spanish inquisition? we are discussing only geology at this time? you are likely changing the topic! if that is so, then why atheist communists killed millions of people that were critical of it? why hitler?

            quote: 'I'll take this as an answer to my question: "armchair speculation based on the Bible" it is then. (you haven't explicitly said "based on the Bible" so that's just my assumption).' -- i m just amazed on how you really misunderstood my statements! The Bible never mentioned any geologic explanations about the nature of the earth, the nature of the stars, etc because it's main concern is: to spread the news that there is a God, to guide people about the salvation offered by God, to inform that there is a God.

          • Caravelle

            the cambrian explosion was the scientific proof of the Bible's claim of creation account. all creation were created fully grown, fully developed and fully formed, no evolution!

            If I claim that a photo of me talking to the President and holding yesterday's paper is proof that I talked to the President yesterday, then I'm saying that the photo itself was taken yesterday and is an accurate reflection of what was happening when it was taken.

            If I also start claiming that the photo isn't actually a photo of a certain time, but a photomontage of various images that was created by a completely different process at a completely different time, then it's no longer proof of anything that happened yesterday.

            So you are saying that the Precambrian rock layers were laid down before God created animals, and Cambrian rock layers were laid down just after God created animals?

            and why mentioned the spanish inquisition?

            Weren't expecting it either, were you?
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf_Y4MbUCLY

            The Bible never mentioned any geologic explanations about the nature of the earth, the nature of the stars, etc because it's main concern is: to spread the news that there is a God, to guide people about the salvation offered by God, to inform that there is a God.

            And give a true account of the creation of the Earth and all that's on it, apparently.

          • neil_pogi

            Quote: 'So you are saying that the Precambrian rock layers were laid down before God created animals, and Cambrian rock layers were laid down just after God created animals?' - so here you are again, making claims that i never say? you 're imagination is supernatural! that's why i call you a constant liar!
            quote: " The Bible never mentioned any geologic explanations about the nature of the earth, the nature of the stars -- and why would the Bible explain geology, geography subjects when it's only concern is for the salvation of sinning man, even atheists!

            and yet you still didn't explain even in simple language how nonliving matter became living?

          • Caravelle

            so here you are again, making claims that i never say? you 're imagination is supernatural! that's why i call you a constant liar!

            The first sentence there suggests you might not be aware of it, but the punctuation symbol: "?", called "the question mark", is typically put at the end of sentences to indicate they are a question, i.e. not a claim.

            So that sentence was a question: I wasn't saying you believe something, I was asking you whether you believed something, because I'm interested in understanding your arguments and your beliefs but you're remarkably cagey about sharing them. Makes one wonder really.

            Can I take that offense-taking as a "no" answer to the question? (please notice how that's also a question). If so, when you talk about "the Cambrian explosion" what do you think you're talking about exactly?

          • neil_pogi

            The creation account of Genesis claimed that all living things were created fully matured and fully functional. they never experienced birth process or birth. when the cambrian explosion was discovered, those former animals (fossilised) never exprienced any forms of evolution, no ancestors, therefore the claims of Genesis is rightly accurate. they were created fully formed and functional.

            so you still didn't answer or provide proof how nonliving things became living?

          • Caravelle

            The creation account of Genesis claimed that all living things were created fully matured and fully functional.

            Except for how it didn't claim that of course; I don't remember where we'd left that particular conversation, I'll go back and check later.

            when the cambrian explosion was discovered, those former animals (fossilised) never exprienced any forms of evolution, no ancestors

            That's only Cambrian fossils? Does that mean other fossils have experienced forms of evolution and have ancestors? Which ones, and how does one tell?

          • neil_pogi

            be it the cambrian explosions or other fossil discoveries, billions of fossilized creatures were testament that these creatures never experienced transitional formations!

          • Caravelle

            So why do you highlight the Cambrian explosion specifically as evidence for Genesis if it's exactly equivalent to any and all fossil finds in that respect?

          • neil_pogi

            cambrian explosion fossils have no transitional fossils. transitional fossils will support if macro-evolution true

          • And yet cambrian strata contain no amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, monotremes, marsupials or mammals. Why?

          • neil_pogi

            tens of billions of fossils have already been collected and documented and yet no so-called transitionals fossils ever discovered!

          • neil_pogi

            out of billions of fossils doscovered, only a handful of the so-called 'transitional' fossils have been found, and that number reduced to a nothing, because the so-called transitional fossils were not really transitional fossils at all!

          • neil_pogi

            where are those so-called missing links??

          • Michael Murray
          • Caravelle

            Thank you; sadly I don't know much of 7th Day Aventist views of geology and it's not that easy to find things on the website so it doesn't help as much as it could have.

            Looking back on the conversation, neil_pogi's specific reference to the Himalayas and Alps, and (looking things up) finding out that the Himalayas involved a lot of lighter rocks like limestone and sandstone being uplifted, rocks which I can imagine a flood geologist jumping on as flood-related, makes me wonder if these claims come from a specific creationist geologist, or one specific creationist work.

          • neil_pogi

            quote: 'They get more accurate results than a lot of "forensic sciences" do' - so how did you know or how did they know for sure that by using radiometric dating, the age of the thing really is the true age of that? it's all conjectures.

            the Genesis accounts of creation is just a summary, you are deliberately changing my statements. for example, in Genesis 1:1, 'in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth' does that mean God didn't create other planets too because they were not mentioned? it is you who are so ignorant of the Bible, and yet you proclaim that you understand the Bible. and that makes you an arrogant atheist, or will ignorance of other issues

            as to the cambrian explosions, i was only saying that: all living creatures, were created fully formed be it trilobites, dragon flies or a butterflies

            so if evolution is true, tell me how sex evolved? why female and male? pls, no story-telling and make-me-believe-your-story

            so if evolution is really true, according to Coyne, which one came first, the flowering plants or the bees and butterflies? pls, no story-telling and make-me-believe-your-story

          • Caravelle

            so how did you know or how did they know for sure that by using radiometric dating, the age of the thing really is the true age of that? it's all conjectures.

            Radiometric dating is one of many dating methods that are more or less reliable for given time periods (from straight-up history books through tree rings and so on) and dating techniques are always validated against more-reliable techniques that share a range with them. And if you'd read the link I posted on forensic science (and the Willingham case in particular) you would know that being "more reliable than forensic science" isn't that hard. But you're the one who brought up forensic science in the first place as a science that isn't "conjecture" and is the only one that can come to true conclusions about the past, which is absurd. But I'm not going to post more links on the subject until I get some engagement with those I've already posted.

            in Genesis 1:1, 'in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth' does that mean God didn't create other planets too because they were not mentioned?

            You're the one saying Genesis is an accurate description of the beginning of the world that's "evidenced by the Cambrian explosion", not me. And now you're introducing the possibility that God did things that aren't directly mentioned in Genesis, and you still are going to argue all living things must have been created in a single step, just because Genesis doesn't mention the steps it took to create them?

          • neil_pogi

            the Genesis account of creation is just a summary, and why dwell on it for specific creations when the Bible's concern is for salvation of mankind?

            of course God created in just one sweep step, and not on step by step basis, because all creatures have components that were irreducibly complex in nature.

          • Caravelle

            the Genesis account of creation is just a summary, and why dwell on it for specific creations when the Bible's concern is for salvation of mankind?

            The question isn't whether the Genesis account should dwell on specific things or not; the question is (your assertion that) the Genesis account is evidenced by the Cambrian explosion. For that to be true it needs to contain at the very least elements that are also involved in the Cambrian explosion. If it doesn't then Genesis may well be true but it won't be evidenced by the Cambrian explosion. Just like a history book about the hundred-years war can be true but not be evidenced by the Cambrian explosion.

            Also, order of events isn't a summarizing issue. It's perfectly easy to summarize things in the same order that they are in the pre-summarized version.

            of course God created in just one sweep step, and not on step by step basis, because all creatures have components that were irreducibly complex in nature.

            All creatures are created step-by-step today, during embryonic and later development. Surely God couldn't have found it impossible to do something that His Creation does all the time today.

          • neil_pogi

            because living things will reproduce, of course, they start form egg then to adult. so how would evolution explain that? did the first single cell organism became an infant before becoming an adult?

          • Caravelle

            So I take it you're giving up on your assertion that God would have been unable to create living things step-by-step?

          • neil_pogi

            i did say that God created living things fully mature in their first phase but for reproductive processes, the incoming living things or their offspring will undergo a usual beginning to adulthood process (egg to adulthood)

          • Caravelle

            Sure, you can say that, but there is no basis for thinking that's true as opposed to, oh, anything else. Or at least you've given no such basis, other than "I want it to be true because it would help my argument if it were".

          • neil_pogi

            so what are your basis of believing living things created itself out of nothing? if you can only demnstrate it, i am going to abandon my faith in theism.

    • Vote-up and well stated Doug. A few thoughts in the com-box at https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2017/04/putting-march-science-scientism/ FWIW.

      • Thank you for the kind words, and for the link. Your thoughts in the com-box are well noted. I regret that an intelligible response would take more time than I have immediately available.

    • "Climate change raises three issues. One: Is it happening? Two: If it is, is it, in substantial part, because of human activities? Three: If so, what if any legislative responses would be appropriate?"

      I think one reason there's so much controversy about climate change is because the issues and/or questions are so imprecisely defined. Your phrasing offers a good example.

      You offer a fair way to parse the issues, better than most, however each question you ask is still incredibly vague and demands several clarifications before answering. Just take the first question, "Is [climate change] happening?" Well, what do you mean by "climate"? And what about "change"? Are you asking whether the climate, in general, has changed at all? Or just a part of the climate, such as the temperature, or the precipitation levels, or the humidity, etc.? Or are you just asking if the climate as a whole has changed, around the globe? If that's all you're proposing, then of course, any common-sense person would agree--it's undeniable that the climate today is different than the climate from the day before, and from every day before that. I just don't think it's at all helpful to talk about "climate change" in the abstract, and it's part of the reason so many people are at odds about it. We need a clear definition of terms before intelligently discussing the issue.

      Or take your second question: "If [climate change] is [happening], is it, in substantial part, because of human activities?" Besides the need, as above, to accurately define "climate change," the key word here is "substantial." What do you mean by that? How would we even, in principle, determine whether human activities "substantially" caused climate change? How could we isolate the contributions of human activity from other contributing factors? I'm asking these questions out of genuine curiosity.

      And then the third question: "If so, what if any legislative responses would be appropriate?" This is always a good question to ask in any organized state. But hopefully we can agree that people of good will, and sound mind, can differ in their answers to this question. They may differ on whether these effects deserve a legislative response, and even if people agree that they do, they may differ on which legislative response is best.

      It seems to me that the March for Science in particular, and "climate change" activists in general, imply that there's a single, obvious, objective answer to each of these three questions--or, at least, that the current administration has given obviously and objectively wrong answers to these three questions. But the questions are so vaguely expressed, it would be nearly impossible to give intelligent, accurate answers.

      I would likely side more with the Marchers than Trump's administration on the issue with climate change, but if these activists want to critique the administration's policies, or the views of "science deniers,," the accusations can't just be vaguely implied or asserted--and they have to be more than insults and name-calling. Their positions need to be argued for, and I didn't really see that happening at the March, or in the coverage around it (at least the coverage I read.) I saw a lot of sloganeering, a lot of mockery and contempt, and a lot of vague platitudes, but not a lot of serious discussion about where people might disagree.

      • OverlappingMagisteria

        Imagine if I were to ask my daughter "Did you brush your teeth before bed?" and she responded "Well, that question is incredibly vague and needs clarification. What exactly do we mean by "brushing"? And what do you mean "before bed"? Do you mean this current bedtime or one in the past? Any common sense person would agree that I have brushed my teeth many times throughout my life prior to today! This question is imprecisely defined..." I think it would be fair to say that my daughter is being suspiciously evasive.

        Google the term "Climate change." You will get this right at the top (bolding mine):

        noun a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.

        We are not talking about whether there are small changes in the climate. We're talking about the sudden increase in global temperatures due to the increase in C02 and the changes that will result because of that. If we want to talk intelligently about an issue we need to understand common terminologies that have been in use for decades.

        • Thanks for the reply, OM. I'm not sure "brushing your teeth" is as vague as "climate change." Everyone would give nearly the same definition of the former; I imagine the latter would generate far more disagreement.

          Nevertheless, your comment doesn't solve anything. I argued not just that the term "climate change" was ambiguous, but that Doug Shaver's three questions were equally vague.

          You responded by essentially saying, "Look when you Google the term, the first result is a definition." That doesn't solve the challenges I raised, especially since there are several other definitions of climate change on the first page of those same Google results! For example:

          Wikipedia - Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for an extended period of time.

          Take Part - Climate change, also called global warming, refers to the rise in average surface temperatures on Earth.

          NASA - Climate change, therefore, is a change in the typical or average weather of a region or city.

          These definitions are very different. So which is the one you're referring to (or which is Doug referring to, in this case)? That's my point. It's not enough just to ask, "Is climate change happening?" To intelligently answer that question, we need more clarity of terms. This shouldn't be controversial, nor should it be met with a condescending quip like, "If we want to talk intelligently about an issue we need to understand common terminologies that have been in use for decades."

          It's my contention that because so little specificity is usually given in "climate change" debates, people are mostly talking past each other. One side is affirming Phenomenon A while the other side is denying Phenomenon B. That's why we get nowhere.

          To be clear, I'm not really in either camp here. I haven't researched the issue enough to proffer an informed opinion. But I have read enough pontificating on the issue, from both sides, to note how badly confused the debate is.

          • OverlappingMagisteria

            I'll agree that the definition of climate changes is not quite as widely understood as tooth brushing, but its not nearly as vague or uncommon as you seem to think. From the same sources you quote (sorry for the long quotes, bolding mine):

            Wikipedia - The term "climate change" is often used to refer specifically to anthropogenic climate change (also known as global warming). Anthropogenic climate change is caused by human activity, as opposed to changes in climate that may have resulted as part of Earth's natural processes.[4] In this sense, especially in the context of environmental policy, the term climate change has become synonymous with anthropogenic global warming. Within scientific journals, global warming refers to surface temperature increases while climate change includes global warming and everything else that increasing greenhouse gas levels affect.[5]
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change#Terminology

            Take Part - Climate change, also called global warming, refers to the rise in average surface temperatures on Earth. An overwhelming scientific consensus maintains that climate change is due primarily to the human use of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the air. The gases trap heat within the atmosphere, which can have a range of effects on ecosystems, including rising sea levels, severe weather events, and droughts that render landscapes more susceptible to wildfires.
            http://www.takepart.com/flashcards/what-is-climate-change/

            NASA - “Climate change” encompasses global warming, but refers to the broader range of changes that are happening to our planet. These include rising sea levels, shrinking mountain glaciers, accelerating ice melt in Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic, and shifts in flower/plant blooming times. These are all consequences of the warming, which is caused mainly by people burning fossil fuels and putting out heat-trapping gases into the air. The terms “global warming” and “climate change” are sometimes used interchangeably, but strictly they refer to slightly different things.
            https://climate.nasa.gov/faq/

            All three refer to warming due to human activity (due to CO2) and the stuff that goes along with it (rising sea levels, melting ice.) This is what the discussion always goes around whenever the topic of climate change comes up. You only seem to get different definitions if you only take a quick glance. So yes, Googling the term and reading a bit does clarify the definition.

            I seem to remember that you have a background in science or engineering (perhaps I misremember) and am surprised that you don't seem to be familiar with what is a pretty well known definition of climate change.

            (Edited to add bolding EST 8:50AM)

          • David Nickol

            It's not at all complicated. Currently, "climate change" in ordinary conversation refers to "global warming." There's no question that it is happening. The global temperature is rising, with 2016 being the warmest year since recordkeeping began in 1880. That much is an empirical fact. Pope Francis has even spoken out a number of times on the issue.

          • Michael Murray

            But you know the climate scientists massage all the real data so they can keep getting funding ...

            Just in case we didn't have enough reasons to worry about this here is one that I hadn't seen before:

            http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170504-there-are-diseases-hidden-in-ice-and-they-are-waking-up

            The Andromeda Strain springs to mind.

          • Phil

            Hey David,

            It is complicated (the climate is *incredibly* complicated) and that is why there is all this debate, including amidst climate scientists. Anyone who wants to shut down science by saying "the science is settled" is no friend of science.

            Science is about proposing a hypothesis and seeing if it is falsified. Well, almost every single hypothesis of a prediction through computer modeling has been falsified over the past 15 years. They are not even close, their predictions are way off by several orders of magnitude. So we either admit, shoot, we don't know the climate as well as we thought we did, or we keep adding hypotheses, tweak the models, and then have to test that models. But that takes time, years in fact. To make a prediction and allow it to be confirmed or falsified is the best way forward for the science.

            Sure, the temperature appears to be rising on average in the past century or so, but we still don't have the best data to be able to see exactly how much it is. Getting good data is one thing that has made this so hard. The climate is so dynamic and naturally chaotic. The warming is definitely not outside the natural range of warming as we are in a relatively cool era.

            I think we need to slow down and realize that we have much less an understanding of the interactions of the climate than we thought we did. Let's let the scientists do their things apart from political pressures.

          • David Nickol

            Sure, the temperature appears to be rising on average in the past century or so, but we still don't have the best data to be able to see exactly how much it is.

            The global temperature doesn't appear to be rising. It is rising. Here's a chart (from NASA) with four independent measures of global temperature.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/72851e965234ca21365753375c453fd7ecd90d052ad7b1e3c5cf4f3845155eb5.jpg

            Warming is a fact.

            Anyone who wants to shut down science by saying "the science is settled" is no friend of science.

            No one is proposing anything like shutting down science. The disagreement is not about whether or not there is global warming. The disagreement is whether to try to slow it down by reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, since the view of the vast majority of scientists is that greenhouse gasses are the cause. It is true that a small number of scientists disagree with the majority, but it certainly doesn't make any sense to insist that scientists must be unanimous in their opinion.

            The problem with waiting to accumulate more evidence is that, while doing so, the problem gets worse and worse. Suppose there is a 1% or 5% or 10% chance that carbon dioxide emissions are not causing global warming. What is the harm in reducing them anyway?

            As I have pointed out, even Pope Francis has spoken out on the problem of climate change.

          • Phil

            The reason I use the word appears is that it has been very hard to get good long term data that is not comparing apples to oranges on this. Back further, some data had to be thrown out because of the "urban heat island effect". It seems we are finally starting to get some good data. As I have read a variety of scientists, most have said that they they don't doubt there is some warming going on, but they also wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the data that has been collected isn't the best. Again, I am personally not committed one way or another right now.

            My personal leanings right now is that there has been overall warming going on. But the much harder question to figure out is how much of that is due to the natural dynamic and always changing climate and how much of that is due to specifically human activity. My leaning on this right now is towards 90%+ of the climate change (whether cooling or warming) being due to natural factors. I truly wouldn't be surprised if in 30 years we look back at the "climate scare" in a similar way as we look back at "The Population Bomb".

            But of course, I'm more than willing to be shown I'm wrong. We just need to allow the scientists the time to test their hypothesis and models free from political push.

          • It's not at all complicated.

            No it, isn't. Claim: "Science and technology will benefit everyone, raising their standards of living and making life easier." Evidence: "The median wage in America has stagnated for decades." What exactly are the masses supposed to conclude? Are they supposed to keep on trusting their betters? Or ought they be skeptical? And yes, because they're the masses, they won't make all the fine distinctions that people like you and I have learned to make. And BTW, some of those distinctions could be dangerously false.

          • David Nickol

            I don't get the relevance of your "claim" and "evidence." Global warming is an empirical fact. It's a matter of the physical sciences. Your "claim" and "evidence" are matters of the social sciences.

            It is not a matter of trusting our "betters." It is a matter of trusting bona fide experts in the physical sciences, which most Americans do, by the way. What is truly bizarre is the high correlation between global warming skepticism and political conservatism.

          • You're asking the masses to distinguish between the true experts and the false experts. Can you see how this might be problematic? After all, they've been told that science and technology would be their salvation, and then 2008 hit. They've been told that politicians would take care of them, and that was a lie. What are they supposed to do? And if you say that they should automagically know which experts to trust and which not to trust, I'll have some things to say.

          • It is not a matter of trusting our "betters." It is a matter of trusting bona fide experts in the physical sciences, which most Americans do, by the way. What is truly bizarre is the high correlation between global warming skepticism and political conservatism.

            I shouldn't have let this slip by. You have to slice up when there is trust and when there isn't. One example is nuclear power. The Left is absolutely notorious for disbelieving the experts about the safety of nuclear power, as compared to the safety of the other power sources which would have worked (renewables were not up to the snuff at the time, and still need major help for when the wind or sun are on hiatus). And shall I get going on how studies of the importance of the family to children growing up to be well-adjusted has been distorted by political biases—many on the Left? (Sorry, that's not the "physical sciences", but it's still exceedingly important.)

            You're oversimplifying the issue, with the chief evidence being that bad models lead to powerlessness to do something about the problem. You can either have your pretty little ideas about reality while things go down the craphole, or you can smash your face into the evidence and maybe realize that reality is grittier than you want to be, that even you yourself are grittier than you wanted to believe. One of the realities is that you cannot screw over a major segment of the population while sating them with false promises and expect that to last forever. The resulting vengeance won't be exceedingly rational, either. It's almost as if the Bible teaches this lesson …

          • David Nickol

            You can either have your pretty little ideas about reality while things go down the craphole, or you can smash your face into the evidence and maybe realize that reality is grittier than you want to be, that even you yourself are grittier than you wanted to believe.

            I think I might be willing to respond to this if I had a clue to what it meant. Exactly what does this have to do with global warming?

            One of the realities is that you cannot screw over a major segment of the population while sating them with false promises and expect that to last forever.

            Are you speaking up for the screwed-over masses? Am I some kind of oppressor? And what has this got to do with global warming?

          • Do you want the masses to trust "the experts"?

          • David Nickol

            "The masses," whoever they are, should make informed judgments. This does not mean blindly following people who claim to be "experts," but it does mean attempting to discover what is fact and what is fiction. The Holocaust actually happened. George W. Bush did not order the destruction of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Vaccinations do not cause autism. Obama was born in Hawaii. Americans really landed on the moon. Global warming is a fact.

            True, we know people are not as rational as we would like to imagine, and wise people know that they themselves are not necessarily as rational as they believe themselves to be. I have quoted this review from Scientific American of Cordelia Fine's book A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives previously, but here it is again:

            Many psychological studies show that on average, each of us believes we are above average compared with others—more ethical and capable, better drivers, better judges of character, and more attractive. Our weaknesses are, of course, irrelevant. Such self distortion protects our egos from harm, even when nothing could be further from the truth. Our brains are the trusted advisers we should never trust. This "distorting prism" of selfknowledge is what Cordelia Fine, a psychologist at the Australian National University, calls our "vain brain." Fine documents the lengths to which a human brain will go to bias perceptions in the perceiver’s favor. When explaining to ourselves and others why something has gone well or badly, we attribute success to our own qualities, while shedding responsibility for failure. Our brains bias memory and reason, selectively editing truth to inflictless pain on our fragile selves. They also shield the ego from truth with "retroactive pessimism," insisting the odds were stacked inevitably toward doom. Alternatively, the brain of "selfhandicappers" concocts nonthreatening excuses for failure. Furthermore, our brains warp perceptions to match emotions. In the extreme, patients with Cotard delusion actually believe they are dead. So "pigheaded" is the brain about protecting its perspective that it defends cherished positions regardless of data. The "secretive" brain unconsciously directs our lives via silent neural equipment that creates the illusion of willfulness. "Never forget," Fine says, "that your unconscious is smarter than you, faster than you, and more powerful than you. It may even control you. You will never know all of its secrets." So what to do? Begin with self-awareness, Fine says, then manage the distortions as best one can. We owe it to ourselves "to lessen the harmful effects of the brain’s various shams," she adds, while admitting that applying this lesson to others is easier than to oneself. Ironically, one category of persons shows that it is possible to view life through a clearer lens. "Their self-perceptions are more balanced, they assign responsibility for success and failure more even-handedly, and their predictions for the future are more realistic. These people are living testimony to the dangers of self-knowledge," Fine asserts. "They are the clinically depressed." Case in point.

            If Strange Notions publishes an article about these phenomena, I will be more than happy to discuss them. But that's not what this thread is about.

          • Here's the problem, David.

            "The experts" said that science and technology will benefit everyone.
            "The experts" were wrong, for the median wage has stagnated for decades.
            "The experts" say that the climate is changing for the worse and humans are contributing.

            Should the masses trust "the experts"? Here, I can add some more:

            "The experts" downplayed the importance of children having two parents in a stable relationship (often called "marriage").
            "The experts" were wrong.

            Should the masses trust "the experts"? Here's even more:

            "The experts" idolized communism in the USSR for decades.
            "The experts" were wrong.

            Here's a kicker:

            "The experts" said that nuclear power was bad for America.
            "The experts" lied whenever they said a Chernobyl could happen here—we know how to make power plants which rendered that kind of meltdown physically impossible.
            More nuclear power would mean less carbon dioxide in the air and less particulate matter in the air.
            We're getting better and better at dealing with nuclear waste.

            This is a delicious one, because the same group which said to not do something good for the climate are now saying that the climate is in trouble. What's worse is that the climate cooled for a few years. So these experts seem to be rather schizophrenic. Should they really be trusted? Or might they have their own interests at heart, and not the interests of the masses?

             
            Can you see at all where I'm going? If you're going to quibble about "the experts" not always being the same group above, I will ask you whether the masses have the resources to do the appropriate slicing and dicing. And I could point out that even folks like Richard Dawkins cannot distinguish different kinds of faith, being careful to note that there are plenty of Christians who cannot be well-described—scientifically—as exercising "blind faith". So let's not presuppose that people automagically have the right mental faculties and knowledge and wisdom to just make the problem disappear, and start asking what might be required to increase trust and maturity.

          • David Nickol

            The very fact that you keep putting "the experts" in scare quotes is a clear sign there is nothing here specific enough to discuss.

            "The experts" said that science and technology will benefit everyone.

            Did anybody really say that? Which "experts" are you referring to?

            "The experts" were wrong, for the median wage has stagnated for decades.

            The median wage where? In the United States? Over the last 30 years, worldwide poverty has been cut in half. Is the median wage in the United States a good measure of the hoped-for benefits from science and technology?

            This is all just too vague.

          • The very fact that you keep putting "the experts" in scare quotes is a clear sign there is nothing here specific enough to discuss.

            I was simulating the kind of person you have to convince that it's rather simple to go about "trusting bona fide experts in the physical sciences". You are absolutely right that I was being vague. Do you think the average American can slice through all these issues and analyze them to the point where the right course of action is crystal clear?

            LB: "The experts" said that science and technology will benefit everyone.

            DN: Did anybody really say that? Which "experts" are you referring to?

            I don't have primary sources myself, but a quick search turned up the following; here's the summary and you can find primary sources in the article:

            Once a key component of the American Dream, George Jetson’s button-pushing 3-hour workday has been unceremoniously tossed to the gutter in favor of a half century of increasingly dystopian futures. After World War II, Americans were told that if they worked hard and played by the rules, a technological utopia was just over the horizon. Somewhere along the way, this most American of promises was twisted into a joke about silly, entitled Spaniards and the lazy, crepe-munching French. Progress became a function of working more, not less. (The Late Great American Promise of Less Work)

            I'm a little surprised you aren't aware of this. May I ask how old you are [approximately] and [very roughly] where you grew up?

            The median wage where? In the United States?

            Yes. The US is the center of climate change denial, is it not?

        • Imagine if I were to ask my daughter "Did you brush your teeth before bed?" and she responded "Well, that question is incredibly vague and needs clarification.

          I can understand why you write what you do here, but at some point you have to decide whether you're going to model humans as the kind of rational beings which has been popular for multiple centuries now, or whether you're going to face the empirical evidence. The masses very much dislike being talked down to, and as current events have shown, what they dislike actually matters. You cannot piss on them forever. You can do it for a number of decades, but when the time is up, it's up. And because of the outright arrogance of a good number of very smart people, the death of tens or hundreds of millions of people is within probability. All because they had to sound smart and talk the way they wanted to talk to the masses. Oh and they don't want to be transparent about who will bear the costs about doing something about climate change, talk about how much we should spend in prevention vs. clean-up, etc.

          If you think the masses don't have sufficient reason to question their betters, you are living in la-la land. Evidence:

              Another exaggeration may have been the conventional view of the reach of scientific rationality. One does not have to look at religion only in order to find this thought plausible. It is amazing what people educated to the highest levels of scientific rationality are prepared to believe by way of irrational prejudices; one only has to look at the political and social beliefs of the most educated classes of Western societies to gain an appreciation of this. Just one case: What Western intellectuals over the last decades have managed to believe about the character of Communist societies is alone sufficient to cast serious doubt on the proposition that rationality is enhanced as a result of scientifically sophisticated education or of living in a modern technological society. (A Far Glory, 30)

              The liberal class refuses to recognize the obvious because it does not want to lose its comfortable and often well-paid perch. Churches and universities—in elite schools such as Princeton, professors can earn $180,000 a year—enjoy tax-exempt status as long as they refrain from overt political critiques. Labor leaders make lavish salaries and are considered junior partners within corporate capitalism as long as they do not speak in the language of class struggle. Politicians, like generals, are loyal to the demands of the corporate state in power and retire to become millionaires as lobbyists or corporate managers. Artists who use their talents to foster the myths and illusions that bombard our society live comfortably in the Hollywood Hills. (Death of the Liberal Class, 10)

          The number of public intellectuals duped by the Potemkin-village tactics of their communist hosts in tours of the Soviet Union, China, North Vietnam, East Germany, Cuba, and elsewhere in the communist bloc is legion.[64] Paul Hollander quotes a remarkable number of statements by distinguished intellectuals that reveal astonishing ignorance, obtuseness, naïveté, callousness, and wishful thinking. Yet relatively few people have read the small literature of which Hollander’s book is an exemplar, and the luster of the deceived fellow travelers (many of them still alive and still speaking on sundry public topics, like John Kenneth Galbraith, Jonathan Kozol, Richard Falk, Staughton Lynd, and Susan Sontag) remains for the most part undimmed by their folly. (Public Intellectuals: A Study of Decline, 150)

          Now you might say that intellectuals screwed up in some ways, but not with climate change. But the very problem is that the masses cannot properly distinguish. And when science and technology were promised to enhance the lives of many, for decades, while the median wage stagnated, trust in the intellectuals rationally diminishes.

           
          You and folks like you have a choice. Insist that people are like you want to believe and use rhetoric like you have been. Or face the empirical evidence, let your pretty ideas about human nature be dashed against the rocks of reality, and interact with the masses as being something other than ignorant/​evil cretins. Or push the government even further away from democracy, so you can just ignore them like old times.

          • But the very problem is that the masses cannot properly distinguish. . . . You and folks like you have a choice. Insist that people are like you want to believe and use rhetoric like you have been. Or face the empirical evidence, let your pretty ideas about human nature be dashed against the rocks of reality, and interact with the masses as being something other than ignorant/​evil cretins. Or push the government even further away from democracy, so you can just ignore them like old times.

            With that, I can agree.

      • I think one reason there's so much controversy about climate change is because the issues and/or questions are so imprecisely defined. Your phrasing offers a good example.

        My post was not intended to settle the controversy or to explicate it in any detail or depth. Its imprecision was dictated by a need for maximum brevity. Fortunately, your comments give me a good excuse to be a little wordier.

        Just take the first question, "Is [climate change] happening?" Well, what do you mean by "climate"?

        Good point. Much of the unscientific heat that has been generated on this issue is due to widespread ignorance of the distinction between climate and weather. I was assuming that most of the participants in a forum like this one would know the difference. In case I was mistaken, though, here it is from the NOAA website:

        Weather is what you experience when you step outside on any given day. In other words, it is the state of the atmosphere at a particular location over the short-term. Climate is the average of the weather patterns in a location over a longer period of time, usually 30 years or more. [Emphasis added.](http://www.noaa.gov/explainers/what-s-difference-between-climate-and-weather)

        That is what scientists in the relevant disciplines (e.g. meteorology) mean when they talk about climate, changing or otherwise. Anyone who means anything else is not talking scientifically.

        And what about "change"? Are you asking whether the climate, in general, has changed at all? Or just a part of the climate, such as the temperature, or the precipitation levels, or the humidity, etc.?

        I’m not the one asking. I’m just commenting on the argument between those who say it is changing and those who say it isn’t. Those who say it is are claiming that (a) the average temperature of the planet’s atmosphere is increasing and that (b) as a result of this rise in average temperature, there are correlated changes in precipitation levels, humidity, etc.

        We need a clear definition of terms before intelligently discussing the issue.

        The scientific definitions are the only ones that matter, and they are all out there for anybody who cares to learn them. This subject is not like multivariable calculus. The vocabulary is trivially easy for anyone of average intelligence to master.

        Or take your second question: "If [climate change] is [happening], is it, in substantial part, because of human activities?" Besides the need, as above, to accurately define "climate change," the key word here is "substantial." What do you mean by that?

        I mean “not negligible.”

        How would we even, in principle, determine whether human activities "substantially" caused climate change? How could we isolate the contributions of human activity from other contributing factors? I'm asking these questions out of genuine curiosity.

        I can’t answer in any specific detail. In part, that is because I am not as familiar with the relevant science as I am with, say, the science of biological evolution. Also, the relevant data are both voluminous and highly complex, and so they do not lend themselves to a presentation that is both concise and intelligible.

        But I have read summaries of the evidence and the reasoning from that evidence to the conclusion that the scientific community has reached. The only brief response I can make to your question is: We do it the same way we determine the answer to any other question about the cause or causes of any change to any state of natural affairs. This does get very difficult for phenomena as complex as global climate, but difficulty does not imply impossibility.

        Of course, if your question had been, “How would we even, in principle, determine with certainty whether human activities "substantially" caused climate change?” then the answer would be: We could never do that.

        And then the third question: "If so, what if any legislative responses would be appropriate?" This is always a good question to ask in any organized state. But hopefully we can agree that people of good will, and sound mind, can differ in their answers to this question.

        I do agree with that.

        It seems to me that the March for Science in particular, and "climate change" activists in general, imply that there's a single, obvious, objective answer to each of these three questions--or, at least, that the current administration has given obviously and objective wrong answers to these three questions.

        I don’t accept many of the activists’ proposed solutions. But the last I heard, the current administration’s answer has been to deny that the problem exists and to accuse those who say it does exist of trying to perpetrate a hoax.

        but if these activists want to critique the administration's policies, or the views of "science deniers,," the accusations can't just be vaguely implied or asserted--and they have to be more than insults and name-calling.

        Agreed.

        Their positions need to be argued for, and I didn't really see that happening at the March, or in the coverage around it (at least the coverage I read.) I saw a lot of sloganeering, a lot of mockery and contempt, and a lot of vague platitudes, but not a lot of serious discussion about where people might disagree.

        The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to suspect that demonstrations of this sort, regardless of the cause being advocated, are at best a waste of time and other valuable resources. No one can have a serious discussion with a mob, no matter how well-intentioned or well-behaved the mob might be.

    • Phil

      A big issue I have is those that say things like "the science is settled" and call people "deniers" help to close the door to discussion and doing true science. The more I've personally dug into the science of climate change the more skeptical I have become of a large scale anthropocentric cause. But because I have done that, people will call me a "denier" and all sorts of things.

      We really do need to allow the climate scientists to do their thing as much as possible apart from political attachment. With groups where much of their funding comes from the government, we allow a huge moral hazard to creep in. Just think how hard it would be for a scientist in that position to say, "This doesn't seem to be a huge issue." They'd basically be saying, you can get rid of my job.

      I wouldn't be surprised if in 30 years we look back at the whole "climate change" scare in a similar way as we do as the book "The Population Bomb". They both freaked out a lot of people and caused people to do ridiculous things without allowing the time and long-term evidence to back it up.

      • With groups where much of their funding comes from the government, we allow a huge moral hazard to creep in. Just think how hard it would be for a scientist in that position to say, "This doesn't seem to be a huge issue."

        I could think in a similar way about scholars employed by church-affiliated universities doing research into Christianity's origins.

        • Phil

          I might not have been as clear as to what I was getting at, as we are dealing with two different things here. The main concern is government funding. A private university is free to pay researches to do what they want and they don't turn around and write state regulations.

          The issue is tying funding for research into climate change with government and regulations. The close mixing of politics and science is a bad idea.

          • A private university is free to pay researches to do what they want

            Is the antecedent of "they" the researchers or the university?

          • Phil

            Is the antecedent of "they" the researchers or the university?

            'They' is primarily referring to the private institution. (Obviously, this doesn't address the fact that I also think government should be separated from educational institutions as much as possible as well.)

            Again, it all comes down to the tying together of research funding, government, and regulatory power. That closeness is a good way to begin to corrupt science.

            ------
            That is why it is so important to look into the data and studies themselves, with both privately and publicly funded research. When starting to look into the climate change science, one starts to go, "huh, there's a lot going on below the surface that people aren't aware of."

          • 'They' is primarily referring to the private institution

            And so, if I'm understanding you correctly, we should should expect the results of any scientific research to support the interests of whoever is paying for it, no whether it is the government or a private institution?

            That is why it is so important to look into the data and studies themselves, with both privately and publicly funded research.

            I have neither the time nor the computer resources to double-check the research on climate change. However, I have examined the arguments of those who say it either isn't happening or is unrelated to human activity. Those arguments, in my judgment, lack cogency.

          • Phil

            And so, if I'm understanding you correctly, we should should expect the results of any scientific research to support the interests of whoever is paying for it, no whether it is the government or a private institution?

            Absolutely not. We need to look at what is being done and see if it is good science, understanding all the moral hazards, or lack thereof. Again, the focus is always on good/bad science.

            I have neither the time nor the computer resources to double-check the research on climate change. However, I have examined the arguments of those who say it either isn't happening or is unrelated to human activity. Those arguments, in my judgment, lack cogency.

            Again, the issue is not whether it is happening or whether humans are affecting the climate. The issue is whether humans are having a .05% impact or a 95% impact.

            In regards to specifically CO2, it is becoming clearer that CO2 is not a major driver of temperature. In fact, if we look back at records over the past several hundred thousand years, CO2 levels lag temperature increase. Therefore, temperature in some way seems to drive CO2 levels, not the other way around.

            There just doesn't seem to be good evidence yet that humans actually have a large affect worldwide on climate change. Of course, I think we should always be open to this being shown to be wrong, that is science. The science is never "settled".

          • And so, if I'm understanding you correctly, we should should expect the results of any scientific research to support the interests of whoever is paying for it, no whether it is the government or a private institution?

            Absolutely not.

            Then why even bring it up? I'm not the one who suggested that government-funded researchers might be trying to protect their jobs.

          • Phil

            It was simply to say that we need to listen to both sides. If we are only listening to what is being said in mainstream media and from those who have a deep connection to government in some way, we may get a skewed view. (This doesn't intrinsically mean they are wrong of course.)

          • If we are only listening to what is being said in mainstream media and from those who have a deep connection to government in some way, we may get a skewed view.

            My view is based on an adequate knowledge, as best I can judge that adequacy, of the arguments made by advocates of all the conflicting opinions. The so-called skeptics, as far as I can tell, do not have a cogent argument with which to justify their skepticism.

          • Phil

            I was thinking about our discussion of climate change from over a year ago. Since we were able to give it a little more time to make predictions and gather more data (which is really what we need in regards to climate), I wanted to extrapolate on what my position is at this point.

            At this point:

            1) Yes, it is still true that the climate is changing, has always been changing, and will always be changing. No one serious truly denies "climate change", the fact that the climate changes.

            2) The primary questions still seem to be: (a) How much and how quickly is the climate changing? (b) How much of that is purely from human causes? (c) What is the climate sensitivity to change in CO2? (d) What effects would a changing climate have on the environment and ultimately human life?

            3) With the data we've gathered in the past year, in regards to temperature change, we are still measuring the climate warming at only around 50% the predicted rate.
            There have been some papers that have come out that are calculating that we have good reason to believe that the climate sensitivity (how much the climate will warm from a doubling of CO2) may be a good bit lower than it was thought to be. Where are doubling of CO2 would lead to about +.7-1.5 Celcius increase rather than +1.5-4.5 Celcius.

            So in all, my position stays pretty much the same where the amount of climate change being brought about by the change in CO2 has been over-estimated. The amount of warming being caused by humans is not cause for great alarm. Should we pay attention and study it, of course.

            Should we work to lower harmful chemicals and gasses, especially those like particulate matter and NOx that contributes to smog...absolutely. Should lowering CO2 come before these things...probably not. Should we be moving to much more expensive "renewables" and things like fully electric vehicles before they are economically feasible especially through governmental regulation and crony capitalism, probably not.

            Anyways, hope all is well!

          • With the data we've gathered in the past year . . . .

            I don't see how those data could justify a substantial revision to a theory based on data representing changes over centuries. But, if you can point me to a peer-reviewed article showing how they do, I'll take a look at it if I don't have to pay anything for access to it.

          • Phil

            I don't see how those data could justify a substantial revision to a theory based on data representing changes over centuries. But, if you can point me to a peer-reviewed article showing how they do, I'll take a look at it if I don't have to pay anything for access to it.

            Well, and that's part of the issue, we don't have a single "theory" about the climate that is agreed upon by the majority of those working in this field. Obviously, most everyone agrees that an increase in CO2 will bring about some sort of overall rise in temperatures, the question still remains, "well how much would they rise", since there is a major difference between a climate sensitivity of 1.5 degrees C and 3-4.5 degrees C.

            And obviously, the fact that the predictions of where the climate should be at this point are running about 2x as hot as what we are measuring continues to force us to re-evaluate our models and theories. That doesn't mean the theory is completely wrong that one is working from, it just needs to be re-evaluated.

            Here is one more recent journal paper on readjusted climate sensitivity numbers. There were at least 2 more I've seen over the past year that I'll try and dig up for you:
            https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0667.1

            Again, remember, these are just the most recent people trying to grapple with the data that we are collecting. Doesn't mean that they are 100% correct. We shall see in time is these kind of predictions are more accurate.

          • Should we be moving to much more expensive "renewables" and things like fully electric vehicles before they are economically feasible especially through governmental regulation and crony capitalism, probably not.

            Some of us can accept that the problem is real without agreeing that such measures would be a good way to try to fix it. And, our current dependence on fossil fuels as an energy source is seriously problematic for reasons having nothing to do with climate change.

          • Phil

            And, our current dependence on fossil fuels as an energy source is seriously problematic for reasons having nothing to do with climate change.

            What are some these issues you reference that you are most in tune to?

            Some of us can accept that the problem is real without agreeing that such measures would be a good way to try to fix it.

            Obviously that is what makes this so complicated as there are 3 issues:
            -What temperature effect does a rise in CO2 actually in regards to temperature (since our predictions have not been the best right now).
            -What effects would come from that rise in temperature (would it be bad/good overall or would good and bad effects even out).
            -What ought we to do about this.

            So again, it is very complicated and I'm just waiting for better predictions and overall theories before enacting the more widespread governmental regulations.

          • Sample1

            You may or may not be interested in perceptions but when you say this I thought I would share:

            Should we pay attention and study it, of course.

            Should we work to lower harmful chemicals and gasses, especially those like particulate matter and NOx that contributes to smog...absolutely

            Well great!

            It reminds me of how the religious often lead otherwise secular-based moral lives. IOW, I come back to the point of what do I need a god for? Presuming there was evidence! If this doesn’t make sense to you, I’ll just leave it to the lurkers then.

            Mike

          • Rob Abney

            Your question is, if I can take care of the climate by doing the right things then why do I need God?
            The answer is, you need Him to forgive you for all the times that you did not do the right things. You can't ask the universe for forgiveness, you can't ask the animals you have eaten for forgiveness, you can't ask the state of Alaska for forgiveness. God wants to forgive you, He wants to forgive you for all the times that you have not lived up to what you consider to be the truth. He is the one who is offended by your actions so He is the one who can forgive you. But be careful, when He forgives you then He asks you to go and sin no more.

          • Sample1

            Rob, you seem to forget I am an atheist. You may as well be saying Poseidon and Raven request my supplication. It’s very off putting to be spoken to like you do. But I was a believer once so I know you are just trying to help. But you really aren’t.

            It’s sad that you can’t just accept common places to meet (environmental, moral, etc.) and brainstorm without the religious baggage. Hell, even mutually exclusive religions try to do that to varying degrees. But forming general alliances with others who happen to be atheist seems a perpetual stumbling block for some.

            Mike

          • Rob Abney

            I don’t believe that you are an atheist, you live a life based upon Judeo-Christian principles, you just have a hard time doing so consistently. As I recall you left the Church because you were offended by a priest. God wants to forgive you even if you don’t deserve it, but would you ever consider forgiving that priest.

          • Sample1

            As Luke Skywalker told Rey, “Everything you said in that sentence is wrong.”

            Seriously Rob, everything you asserted is wrong. It’s very rare to come across a reply like that but it happened. And I stand by my reply.

            You either have the decency to believe me or not. I don’t need you to believe me and if you don’t, well, not much to talk about then.

            Mike

          • Sample1

            Thanks for the upvote Rob. I only want you to be the best Catholic you can be. I don’t have a problem with saints.

            Mike

          • Phil

            Hey Mike,

            It isn't clear what you are saying here. Could you clarify?

            If you are saying we should follow where reason and evidence leads, I am all in favor.
            That is why I fully submit to the existence of God which can be known through both reason and experience.

          • it is becoming clearer that CO2 is not a major driver of temperature.

            What made some scientists think it was, and what was the error in their reasoning?

          • Phil

            That is a GREAT question. From my reading there were two big reasons and then of course many smaller ones, (1) was simply the greenhouse gas effect. It is pretty well known that this is a real thing to some degree. And (2) was the real warming of the planet from ~1970 until ~2000 while CO2 emissions also increased. This helped lead to the hypothesis of CO2 being a main driver of warming.

            Well, the problem is that this hypothesis is not holding up very well with the observed data right now. There was a confusion of correlation with causation. (In point of fact, water vapor is the primary greenhouse gas.) A second problem is that history does not seem to bear out this connection as records seem to show CO2 following temperature, not the other way around.

            Personally, I'm pretty agnostic about the the effect of humans on climate change. I lean towards it being less than 10%. But we have to wait see what modified models and hypotheses can by confirmed with future data.

            A reason why I'm not that big on CO2's impact is it seems we are finding that CO2's impact on temperature is logarithmic. In other words, you hit a critical mass of CO2 (some suggest it to be about 50ppm) and then it takes multiple times more CO2 to have even a small impact on temperature.

            Finally, another interesting tidbit is that, historically speaking, we are at a relatively low level of CO2 in the atmosphere. The average over the past several hundred thousand years appears to be an average of 1000ppm+. We are barely at 400ppm. So in point of fact, it may be good for the earth that CO2 is rising! For plant life, growth, and food.

            http://factsanddetails.com/media/2/20120602-800px-GlobalTemperaturesSince1991.png

          • In point of fact, water vapor is the primary greenhouse gas.

            And what controls the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere?

          • The average [CO2 concentration] over the past several hundred thousand years appears to be an average of 1000ppm+.

            What is your source for that datum?

          • Phil

            Just research the papers on ice core data.

          • You didn't answer my question.

          • We need to look at what is being done and see if it is good science, understanding all the moral hazards, or lack thereof.

            The science behind the majority viewpoint looks pretty good to me. I have yet to see any competent objections to it.

      • Caravelle

        With groups where much of their funding comes from the government

        Yes, because the government has such a vested interest in climate change being real and human-caused, and been so at the forefront of fighting to mitigate it!

        Give us a break. And maybe look at the funding of major climate-change disagreers while you're there.

        • Phil

          Hey Caravelle,

          When you start looking in to the whole climate change debacle, it is a bit of a mess! Having it so close to politics has led to a lot of misleading science. It has led to a ton of exaggerations in groups such as the IPCC.

          A huge problem is that science is about proposing a hypothesis and seeing if it is confirmed or falsified. Almost every single of the over 100 predictions through computer models has been falsified by the data. That means we do not yet have a good understanding of the climate. Until we can make regular predictions that can be confirmed, I'd say the science is not "settled".

          I'm not saying that anthropogenic climate change is false, I'm simply saying we don't know yet how much of an effect it truly is. There's a big difference between 95% and .05%. A little humility goes a long way.

          I am really worried that this whole thing is gonna turn into another "population bomb".

          • [Deleted by poster]

          • I googled 100 falsified predictons and found this: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/02/the-big-list-of-failed-climate-predictions/.

            Is that what you're talking about?

          • Michael Murray

            What a strange list of "predictions". Some are newspaper headlines:

            11. “Good bye winter. Never again snow?”
            Spiegel, 1 April 2000

            Love the date on that one.

            This one I have seen before

            A senior environmental official at the United Nations, Noel Brown, says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of “eco-refugees,” threatening political chaos, said Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program. He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control. (June 30, 1989)

            I think the point here is that they are not claiming that the nations will be flooded by 2000. Just that we have to do something before then to slow global warming. There will be a very big lag effect even if we reverse C02 production tomorrow.

            As it happens this one is relevant to my own country as the World Bank has been calling for Australia to allow open immigration from the Pacific Islands now rather than to wait for a crisis. The islanders certainly seem to think there is a problem.

            https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/14/our-country-will-vanish-pacific-islanders-bring-desperate-message-to-australia

          • What a strange list of "predictions".

            Strange indeed.

            Phil described them as "over 100 predictions through computer models." Of the 107 items on the list, only three are explicitly alleged to be based on computer models. Two of them did not state a time frame within which the prediction was to occur and so cannot have been falsified. Here is the third (and last on the list): "Using computer models, researchers concluded that global warming would raise average annual temperatures nationwide [USA] two degrees by 2010.” That was in 1989, and as far as I've been able to find out, it was spot on.

            And speaking of 1989, the original author claimed it was a list of predictions "by scientists and activists 25 years ago." That was written in 2014, and so "25 years ago" was 1989. But of the 107 items on the list, only 14 were made during or before 1989. Another 14 were made during the 1990s. The remaining 79 were made during or after 2000.

          • Phil

            I am not a fan of this averaged one on the bottom, but it is a decent summary of what I've found from reading various climate scientists. A climate scientist did actually list out all the models on a graph in the past few years instead of the average, and I will try and track it down.

            In short, we don't have a great understanding of how the climate actually works. So to suggest wide scale government action based purely upon models and not upon empirical science being confirmed over many years is not good.

            http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/CMIP5-global-LT-vs-UAH-and-RSS.png?w=240

            https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/michaels-102-ipcc-models-vs-reality.jpg

          • David Nickol

            The graph you reproduce is far from self-explanatory. I am no expert, but I think the red line shows an average of various models of climate change as given by surface temperature, whereas the dots and squares show actual measures of the temperature of the troposphere—the upper atmosphere between 6 and 10 kilometers above the earth. The argument seems to be that measures of surface temperature are unreliable and overstate the rate of warming, whereas the measurements of the troposphere are totally reliable and representative of the earth's climate as a whole.

            As is evident from the graph, the models (based on surface temperature) show a sharp rise in temperature, whereas the measures based on troposphere temperature show a comparatively slight increase. Here is a possibly helpful video discussing the use of satellite data as the "real" indicator of climate change versus the use of all available data.

          • Phil

            My simple point is that a huge part of science is making predictions and having them confirmed. The models aren't doing a good job of that right now. We don't have the data right now in regards to climate change to confirm the theory that humans are the primary driver of the climate.

            As you are hinting at, and I also try to convey on this topic, the interactions of the global climate and collecting the data is super complicated. We don't yet have great models that are being confirmed consistently. We don't yet know what are the best data sets to use. Therefore, because of this, we need to let the science do its thing free from great political pressure. We should not institute great political pressures or regulations on people based upon a science that is still in great flux.

            As I mentioned before, I would not be surprised if 30 years from now the "climate scare" goes a similar way as the "Population Bomb" from the 70s. Of course, I could be wrong. But we need to wait and see and not force people to do things. 50 years ago there were scientists talking about a new "global ice age", and then it switched to warming. This should help to clue us into the fact that the science is not "settled".

          • Michael Murray

            We should always go with the scientific consensus and 50 years ago not many scientists were talking about a global ice age. Those that were had reasons based on the then composition of pollution which ironically changed because the government forced people to do things.

            https://skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s-intermediate.htm

            This should help to clue us into the fact that the science is not "settled".

            Or perhaps it should clue us into the fact that we knew less then that we know now.

            We should not institute great political pressures or regulations on people based upon a science that is still in great flux.

            The overwhelming scientific consensus is that climate change is happening, is driven by CO2 emission and if left unchecked the consequences will be dire. Certainly the freedoms and way of life we all enjoy could be wiped out as humans struggle globally to survive.

            There will never be certainty about this prediction. But given the disaster that potentially awaits our grandchildren if the current is consensus is correct I'm wondering how long you want to wait ?

          • Phil

            We should always go with the scientific consensus and 50 years ago not many scientists were talking about a global ice age.

            If we always go with the consensus there would have been no Copernicus or Einstein.

            I would not agree with always going with consensus because I believe we should seek the truth, not what the majority is saying. This doesn't mean I don't take the proper weighting of a consensus into consideration. There is no intrinsic connection between the majority and truth. Now, that doesn't mean I weight everyone's opinion equally. I take the opinion of climate scientists much higher than "joe-smo". But I want to read what climate scientists on both sides are saying and then decide on what seems like the most reasonable position right now.

            The overwhelming scientific consensus is that climate change is happening, is driven by CO2 emission and if left unchecked the consequences will be dire. Certainly the freedoms and way of life we all enjoy could be wiped out as humans struggle globally to survive.

            This is not what I've found in the writing and reflections of actual climate scientists. What I'm finding in actual climate scientists is that there is *tons* of uncertainty and debate. I weigh climate scientists opinions higher than biologists, physicists, and scientific commentators like Bill Nye. There are a handful of climate scientists that say it is settled that humans are the major driver. There are a handful that say humans have no effect on climate. But the majority say humans have some effect and we don't know for sure how much.

            My personal position right now is if humans have a .05% impact on the climate, I'm not that worried. If we have a 95% impact, then we should be more worried. We don't quite know which it is yet.

          • Michael Murray

            You can't compare science as it operates now with the virtually non-existent science that operated during the time of Copernicus. I don't recall there every being any consensus against Einstein ( I assume you mean his theories or relativity). He changed things but the majority of physicists very quickly followed his lead.

            There is no intrinsic connection between the majority and truth.

            We aren't talking about just majorities but the scientific consensus. But you know that.

            My personal position right now is if humans have a .05% impact on the climate, I'm not that worried. If we have a 95% impact, then we should be more worried. We don't quite know which it is yet.

            I'm not sure what these percentages mean. My question really remains the same. You have the scientific consensus. You have the position of the major scientific bodies. You know there is a certain risk of a major calamity and possibly complete destruction of our way of life. It's hard to quantify that risk. But how long do you think we should wait before doing something ?

            Just out of interest what is it about the measures to mitigate climate change that worry you ? It seems to be painted by the right as some sort of left agenda. But I don't see how capitalism will be in anyway set back by switching to renewable electrical energy sources. Lots of companies are already doing very well out of solar and wind generation and battery technology.

            Given the size of the risk and the fairly innocuous nature of the mitigation measures I can't see why anyone would want to wait.

          • Phil

            Again, after reading about a dozen different viewpoints I have found the "consensus" comment to be more propaganda than reality. Is there is a consensus about humans having an impact on climate? Well, of course we have some kind of impact. But if that impact is less than 1%, well then that is much ado about nothing.

            I'm not sure what these percentages mean.

            It means that it could be the case that 99% of climate change is due to natural factors and 1% is due to human activity or vice versa. It is super hard to separate the two right now. Which is why we need to let science do its thing apart from political pressures.

            You have the scientific consensus. You have the position of the major scientific bodies. You know there is a certain risk of a major calamity and possibly complete destruction of our way of life. It's hard to quantify that risk. But how long do you think we should wait before doing something?

            I don't think we have good scientific evidence yet that humans are the primary driver of climate right now. So even if we enact all these radical measures, I'd be surprised if it would have much of any impact.

            Just out of interest what is it about the measures to mitigate climate change that worry you ? It seems to be painted by the right as some sort of left agenda. But I don't see how capitalism will be in anyway set back by switching to renewable electrical energy sources. Lots of companies are already doing very well out of solar and wind generation and battery technology.

            I have no specific dog in this race. I am neither left or right. In fact, I don't totally agree with some of the comments Pope Francis has made about climate change though I respect his opinion. I am merely interested in figuring out the truth about how the climate works

            One thing is I don't like is telling 3rd world countries that they can't use cheap energy. I am all for other forms of energy, but governments coercing people to use them, not a fan at all. I am all about the least amount of government coercion as possible.

            We keep finding more and more sources of fossil fuels and we are getting to the point where it can be burned without lots of pollutants being put out. There is an awesome coal power plant that for an extra 10-15% is able to scrub 99% of harmful pollutants. That is ridiculously cheaper and more reliable than alternative energy sources right now. Let's let the free market investigate these alternative sources.

            Given the size of the risk and the fairly innocuous nature of the mitigation measures I can't see why anyone would want to wait.

            That's the exact debatable point. There doesn't seem to be evidence that the risk is even close to what the IPCC has said. I mean, we sure haven't seen overwhelming confirming evidence these past 15 years.

          • Michael Murray

            There is an awesome coal power plant that for an extra 10-15% is able to scrub 99% of harmful pollutants. That is ridiculously cheaper and more reliable than alternative energy sources right now.

            Can you give me a link to that ? Because we have been through this discussion in Australia and not even the most ardent supporters of coal have made claims that good. The most hopeful I have seen indicate a reduction compared to existing plants of 30 - 50% of C02 which is comparable to modern natural gas plants.

          • Phil

            Just a couple basic write-ups on some of what is going on:

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/01/10/americas-first-clean-coal-plant-is-now-operational-and-another-is-on-the-way/?utm_term=.8eb9e93b704b

            http://www.npr.org/2017/04/07/522662776/natural-gas-plant-makes-a-play-for-coals-market-using-clean-technology

            There was another one that I was much more interested in that I'll try and track down. I'm actually much more worried about NOx than I am about CO2, and I think that the one I'm thinking of did an awesome job with NOx.

          • Michael Murray

            So the first of these is using carbon capture and storage (CCS) into an existing oil well. The Canadians have done this as well. As far as I understand this is something oil companies have done for a long time as they use the waste gases to push out the oil. They then leave them underground. Hopefully. But this is completely dependent on having a nearby oil field so not something for general use. Otherwise you are going to have to drill the tunnels to store the C02 and you face all the cost of doing that as well as the problems of whether your geology is suitable.

            The second is a natural gas plant. So already some 30% better than C02 based on my reading. They are using C02 to drive the turbine and then sending it off for "other industrial purposes". Not at all clear what those purposes are and if the C02 will utlimately stay out of the atmosphere or if there is sufficient market for all the C02 they will generate. Again not a general use solution as far as I can tell. We actually have one of these where I live but it only redirects some 5% of the C02 to industrial usage. Some of that goes into making beer apparently. Attractive though drinking our way out of the global warming crisis is I don't think that is the answer.

            Both the above of course raise the cost and lower the efficiency of the existing plant. The cost of solar, wind and battery storage is coming down so rapidly I think none of these proposed solutions are going to end up taking off. For example lots of reports of India cutting back on planned coal power plant construction.

          • Michael Murray

            There is an awesome coal power plant that for an extra 10-15% is able to scrub 99% of harmful pollutants.

            Did you find the link for this ? I pointed out the issues with the examples you gave me.

            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/strangenotions/the_march_for_scientism/#comment-3326771393

          • Phil

            I'm really sorry, as I haven't yet. I have read several books, many articles, and listened to many lectures and I haven't be able to pinpoint what this specific one was (it wasn't either of the ones I linked to above). I'll keep searching and send it along if I locate it.

            But as I mentioned, my journey has been one of inquiry and trying to understand as much as I can what is going on in both points of view. Just trying to learn as much as I can.

          • Phil

            And to dive in more to specifics of what you mention, when I was looking into the climate scientists that produce this comparison, all indications is that it was done in an "apples to apples" way. Again, we can research this more.

            But since you bring up the temperatures of the troposphere and such, I will mention that that has been another way that is seems that predictions have been falsified. The "greenhouse gas theory" predicted that we would see the most amount of warming in the troposphere because of how the GHG theory is formulated. Well, what we are seeing is next to no warming in the troposphere and some small warming on ground level (depending on how the data is gathered for ground level) the past 20 years.

            So again, this sort of thing should give us pause and we should say, hmm maybe our theory isn't quite right. We should tweak it and see if we can get better empirical confirmation.

          • it is a decent summary of what I've found from reading various climate scientists.

            Can you name any of those climate scientists on whose judgement you are so reliant?

          • Phil

            If you are interested in a commentary that gathers up many different sources, I've found Michael Hart's book "Hubris" to be helpful. Easy to read and contains *thousands* of footnotes right to the source material.

            So even if you aren't a fan of his commentary it gives one an expansive list of source material to read.

          • I've found Michael Hart's book "Hubris" to be helpful.

            I found a review. The book obviously present Hart's interpretation of all those sources. After reading the review, I found a YouTube video of a brief talk given by Hart at a panel discussion on climate change. He did not give me the impression of being scientifically competent.

          • Phil

            I might disagree about his competence in science, but to each his own.

            Again, you don't have to agree with him, but his book is AWESOME for direct sources. I'd use it for that. Literally, over 1000 sources are footnoted throughout the entire book. So go right to the sources if you don't agree with him.

          • Give me a few minutes with a search engine, and I'm sure I could find a graph proving any statistical point I wanted to make.

          • Phil

            Absolutely, that's why we have to do the more in-depth research to figure out what exactly is going on in this whole climate debate.

            It's to the point where it has become so politicized that we need to go straight to the climate scientists. Which is what I set out on the past year. Still have lots to go, but it is quite fascinating.

            In short, I'm even confident enough right now that 'd put money on the table that the "climate scare" is gonna go the way of the "Population Bomb". Of course, none of this means I won't be wrong, but this is what the data is pointing towards right now.

          • that's why we have to do the more in-depth research to figure out what exactly is going on in this whole climate debate.

            I've done some research. What I think has been going on is that liberals saw climate change as a problem for which the only solution was massive government intervention, and conservatives were either too stupid or too gutless to admit the problem while opposing the liberal solution, and so they opted to deny the problem.

          • Phil

            I'm personally neither liberal or conservative and have no specific dog in this race besides trying to figure out what the truth is. (Heck, Pope Francis has even made comments about being worried about climate change that I don't totally agree with.)

            And if the science was clear right now that there was a problem, I'd be all about it. But up to this point I don't see the "beyond a reasonable doubt" evidence.

          • I'm personally neither liberal or conservative and have no specific dog in this race besides trying to figure out what the truth is.

            I am a conservative, and that is why it took me a really long time to become convinced. But I was convinced eventually, because I do care more about the truth than about its implications for my political philosophy.

          • Phil

            Ya, we will see. At this time we agree to disagree. And only time we will tell!

          • And if the science was clear right now that there was a problem, I'd be all about it. But up to this point I don't see the "beyond a reasonable doubt" evidence.

            The science seems clear enough in my judgment. Perhaps you and I have different criteria for deciding what constitutes reasonable doubt, but I have yet to read a cogent argument, presented by a scientist of relevant competence, showing why the data do not support, in a general way, the predictions of the IPCC.

          • Phil

            What specific empirical evidence are you referencing that was predicted that has been confirmed? The simple fact that it appears there hasn't been much, if any, global warming the past 18 years is still being pondered, because the IPCC models in the late 90s and early 2000s did not predict it.

            Simply the two scientists I listed, one being formally on the IPCC, would disagree that there has been much of any confirmation of the GHG theory.

          • What specific empirical evidence are you referencing that was predicted that has been confirmed?

            Average worldwide temperatures are rising.

          • Phil

            Average worldwide temperatures are rising

            The problem with this is that evidence is pointing towards there being little to no rise in average global temperature over the past 18 years. So we are trying to figure out why this wasn't predicted and what is going on.

            This seems to make it clear that the science is "not settled". I mean, when many specific predictions keep being confirmed over the course of many years, I will say that the GHG theory seems to be confirmed, but until then I will stay agnostic.

          • The problem with this is that evidence is pointing towards there being little to no rise in average global temperature over the past 18 years.

            I haven't seen that evidence.

          • Phil

            It's when I read things like this from an atmospheric physicist (Singer) who was a reviewer for the IPCC reports, it makes one wonder:

            "The IPCC depends very much on detailed and somewhat arbitrary choices of model inputs -- for example, the properties and effects of atmospheric aerosols, and their temporal and geographic distribution. It also makes arbitrary assumptions about clouds and water vapor, which produce the most important greenhouse forcing. One might therefore say that the IPCC's evidence is nothing more than an exercise in curve-fitting."

            I haven't seen that evidence.

            Ya, that was the whole debate about the "pause" in warming that has been happening over the past few years. There was debate back and forth with people trying to explain the pause. And then a person saying that they had discovered that there really wasn't a pause. A bit of a mess if you ask me...

          • It's when I read things like this from an atmospheric physicist (Singer) who was a reviewer for the IPCC reports, it makes one wonder:

            You don't discredit a scientific consensus by finding one scientist who disagrees with it. That isn't how science works.

            I haven't seen that evidence.

            Ya, that was the whole debate about the "pause" in warming that has been happening over the past few years.

            That comment doesn't show me any evidence.

          • Phil

            You don't discredit a scientific consensus by finding one scientist who disagrees with it. That isn't how science works.

            That's the issue, the "consensus" comment that people always say is more propaganda than reality.

            And in the end, as I've mentioned before, if you ask thousands of scientists, "Do humans have an impact on the climate?" Yes, I think think every one will say 'yes'. But this includes the ones that say the impact is next to nothing, i.e., less than 5% up to those that think the impact is 99% humans.

            It wasn't simply one scientist. I listed 3 in short order that were involved with the IPCC in some way that have said there are issues. (I can list more if you wan them when I get home tonight.)

          • I listed 3 in short order that were involved with the IPCC in some way that have said there are issues.

            Of course there are issues. There are always issues in current research. There are issues in paleontology, for example, but that doesn't mean creationists can discredit evolution by quoting a handful of scientists who raise those issues.

          • Phil

            This was an interview I missed before from Judith Curry (climatologist I mentioned earlier) which does a great job exploring the current state of climate models in a balanced and easy to understand way:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBjFjSZjv6w

          • I watched the video. She didn't say anything about models in general, or climate models in particular, that I didn't already know.

            As an aside: Whenever someone tells me explicitly that a certain presentation is "balanced," my BS alarm goes off.

          • Phil

            Did you not think it was balanced? If so, why not?

            I thought it was because she made it very clear that there is a usefulness to the models, but clearly stated the limitations.

            She didn't say, throw out the models. But then she also didn't say that lets follow the models as our climate "gods".

            I think she throws at us a bit of humility, mainly, We don't know yet exactly how the climate changes. We don't know if human forcing is .05% or 95%. We have some good ideas but they need further research and testing.

            As I say time and time again, I am personally agnostic about how much of an affect humans are having. Does that make me a heretic, a denier? Fine, then excommunicate me.

          • Did you not think it was balanced?

            When someone is trying to prove a point, I don't care about balance. I care about the rigor of their argument.

          • Phil

            When someone is trying to prove a point, I don't care about balance. I care about the rigor of their argument.

            Okay, I see value in that for sure. But I very much like someone who is able to see both points of views and see the merit in each. This keeps us from becoming blind to the other side and having a narrow focus.

            That is why I am not a fan of someone like Bill Nye who sometimes likes to yell about the "97% consensus" on CNN. How about lay out both sides of the argument and then show why yours is better?

          • But I very much like someone who is able to see both points of views and see the merit in each.

            I can see both points of view for myself by listening to the advocates for both points of view.

            How about lay out both sides of the argument and then show why yours is better?

            Having listened to the advocates for both sides, I have formed a judgment as to which side has the better argument.

          • Phil

            I promised more names of the scientists that the views I've been proposing were coming from, so here they are:

            Atmospheric Physicists:
            Freeman Dyson, Ivar Giaever, Robert Jastrow, Frederick Seitz, Robert Brown, David Douglass, Hal Lewis, Will Happer, John Christy, Judith Curry, Antonino Zichichi

            Climate Scientists:
            Paul Reiter, William Anderegg, Reid Bryson, Fred Singer, Roy Spencer, Patrick Michaels, Roger Pielke, Garth Paltridge

            Applied Mathematicians and Statisticians:
            Nicholas Lewis, Bjorn Lomborg, Ross McKitrick, Chriss Essex, Doug Keenan, William Briggs

            Hope this helps in the research!

          • Hope this helps in the research!

            I expect it will. Thank you.

          • Phil

            And just to be clear again, I am not hard in the camp that humans aren't a main driver of climate change. In our discussion I have simply been presenting the other side.

            I am in the agnostic camp right now. I think there are good arguments on both sides right now that we need to wait and see what the empirical evidence is over the next 5-15 years, formulate better models with more predictive power, and get more/better data.

            For example, based upon the overall complexity and uncertainty of the climate system, it cooks very well be the case that the "alarmist warming" camp is right for the wrong reasons. Unfortunately, science just takes time and patience.

          • In our discussion I have simply been presenting the other side.

            I get that. I've been looking at the other side myself for the past few years, and have made a judgment about the quality of their arguments. So far, you haven't shown me a reason to think judgment has been in error.

            I think there are good arguments on both sides right now that we need to wait and see what the empirical evidence is over the next 5-15 years, formulate better models with more predictive power, and get more/better data.

            Of course the research has to continue. It would be a consummate idiocy to think that our studies to date have told us everything we need to know. But the fact that we still need more data doesn't mean we can infer nothing at all from the data we already have.

          • Phil

            Of course the research has to continue. It would be a consummate idiocy to think that our studies to date have told us everything we need to know. But the fact that we still need more data doesn't mean we can infer nothing at all from the data we already have.

            Yep, I absolutely agree we can make some inferences. The problem I see is that the amount of uncertainty in these inferences is not made very clear in the mainstream literature and in policy recommendations made to politicians to this date.

            Therefore we get people saying things like "the science is settled". And we get a political movement like the environmentalist one that is more like an ideology than a science.

            Honestly, I just would like us to *slow down* and take a deep breath about the global warming thing for a minute. Let's put major policy and regulations in regards to global warming on hold until we gain more certainty in regards to the complex workings of the climate.

          • I think each of us has made our case as well as we can. Thank you for the exchange.

          • Phil

            I agree, thank you very much!

            I really think, in the end, the only thing we really disagree about is the certainty with which we can say how much we understand the overall climate. So we shall see, only time will tell how much our science develops in regards to this.

          • Phil

            Do you happen to have a few of what you've found to be the best explications of the current evidence that human activity is the main driver of climate change? It can be papers, lectures, whatever.

            After spending much time reading the evidence against this position, I want to revisit the recent evidence for it. Thanks!

          • Do you happen to have a few of what you've found to be the best explications of the current evidence that human activity is the main driver of climate change?

            If we were discussing biological evolution, I could direct you to talkorigins.org, but there is not, to my knowledge, any site like it for the science of climate change. Maybe I just haven’t looked hard enough, but if such a site existed, I suspect it would be easier to find than it appears to be.

            The best summary I have found of the case for anthropogenic warming is on the website of the Union of Concerned Scientists, at http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/human-contribution-to-gw-faq.html#.WTBMbevyuCg. I hasten to note that I do not like the UCS. When any organization calls itself “Concerned,” my BS alarm sounds a Red Alert. I usually want nothing to do with the UCS. However, the data they present on this page are consistent with the best science we have at this time, so far as I have been able to understand the relevant science. As I’ve said before, every attempt I have found to discredit the data relies on either unfactual premises or faulty logic.

            Just as a by-the-way: While I was doing the search that took me to the UCS site, I stumbled across a datum of which I had seen no mentions before today. It seems that, more or less coincidentally with the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide, there has been a decline in atmospheric oxygen, and the O2 decline began accelerating around the same time the CO2 increase started to accelerate. It is probably not irrelevant that the burning of fossil fuels does extract oxygen from the atmosphere.

            As I indicated, I was quite unaware of this until just now, although it seems to have been as well documented as any other datum relevant to the controversy. I suppose I would have picked up on it if my own research had been more thorough, but it still seems a little curious to me that the AGC defenders haven’t made more noise about it. My initial guess is that it has something to do with the apparent fact that the O2 decline itself presents no foreseeable threat to human health or to anything else that anybody cares about. Nobody thinks we’re about to asphyxiate ourselves, no matter how much coal and oil we keep burning.

          • Phil

            Thanks so much! I'm in the process of moving across the country and so I look forward to reading through the info in the next week.

            But to get you thinking of anything else that may be helpful, I'd have to say the question I'm most interested in is data and evidence that supports the specific hypothesis that humans are the primary driver of climate change right now. It is great to get a bunch of data, but then to make the jump to being able to conclude that climate change is because of humans and not because of natural factors (like changes in solar activity) is a whole 'nuther beast.

            So if you are anything else that would help specifically with that question, I'd appreciate it!

          • But to get you thinking of anything else that may be helpful, I'd have to say the question I'm most interested in is data and evidence that supports the specific hypothesis that humans are the primary driver of climate change right now.

            I thought that was apparent in the UCS presentation. I'll work on an explication of how I reached that conclusion. Meanwhile, I'll keep looking for a website produced by a more credible source that backs me up.

            And good luck with the move. I hope everything goes smoothly. Or at least, as smoothly as these things ever go.

          • Phil

            Thanks so much for pondering other sources that look at this as well. I was able to read through the summary you sent. That was a good read and I appreciate it much!

            I would also be interested in sources apart from the IPCC which is what that article cited for many of its claims. This is simply because I do have a basic familiarity with the IPCC work, and I'd be curious about other scientists that are corroborating the work they are doing. I know that there has been a lot of criticism of the IPCC by many scientists, many that quit working on that panel. So this isn't to say that the IPCC is wrong, but having a handful of scientists working independently that are coming to similar conclusions seems important to have.

          • I would also be interested in sources apart from the IPCC which is what that article cited for many of its claims.

            So would I, and I’ll keep looking. The IPCC was organized by the United Nations, which is a political entity with a political agenda. That is bound to raise some legitimate credibility questions. But we must be careful not to assume we know the answers up front. We need to be on guard against the genetic fallacy (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Genetic_fallacy).

            I have to keep coming back to what I have not found in the arguments of those opposing the AGW hypothesis. If there were credible independent research that revealed significant errors in the IPCC’s raw data or the way it processed those data, I think we’d know about it by now. To claim that such research has been done but has been withheld from public knowledge is to claim the existence a massive conspiracy of the sort that I cannot find credible. I’m not suggesting that we should treat the latest IPCC report as infallible. That isn’t how science gets done. I am suggesting that, for the moment, it seems to be the best information we have to go on. (What we should do with that information in the political arena is an entirely separate issue.)

            I believed I mentioned earlier that I used to have my own doubts about AGW. Here is why I changed my mind, referencing the data summarized on the UCS page.

            1. Global warming is happening. It looks to me as though the data no longer leave room for reasonable doubt that.

            2. Likewise for an increase in atmospheric CO2.

            3. The CO2 increase seems to be the main reason for the temperature increase. This is where most of us lay people start to be at the mercy of whichever authorities (or political commentators) we happen to trust. Of course CO2 is only one of many things that can affect the world’s climate, and there is a lot of interaction among them. There are feedback loops, some positive and some negative, and some of them are not yet thoroughly understood.

            But there is a vital difference between “We don’t entirely understand this process” and “We are clueless about this process.” The opacity of CO2 to infrared radiation has been known since the 19th century, and by the end of that century, some scientists already were predicting that human-generated CO2 emissions could warm the earth’s climate. There was, of course, plenty of room for reasonable doubt at that point in our history.

            (The predictions were repeated, though, from time to time throughout the 20th century. I’m pretty sure I first heard about them during the 1960s. This is not a new idea.)

            The scientific trick has been to quantify the effect of CO2 relative to all the other factors. The relevant equations are just gobbledygook to anyone unfamiliar with advanced mathematics, and the quantity of data that has to be fed into them is astronomical. Just doing the calculations requires number-crunching of a kind that wasn’t even possible until the late 20th century. And, the number-crunching is unavoidably reliant on models. All scientific models have their limitations, and those limitations have been massively exploited by the AGW detractors.

            Now, I have a slight advantage over the typical layperson. I am neither a scientist nor a mathematician, but I’m fairly literate in both areas. Being quite familiar with the history of science, I know how science gets done when it’s done right, and I am keenly aware of the constraints placed by human nature on the scientific enterprise. And when the discussion turns mathematical, I have a fair idea of what is being said and what is not being said.

            And so, the IPCC says, “Our models give us good reason to believe that global warming is driven mainly by increased atomospheric CO2.” Is the IPCC correct? Well, I examine their stated reasons for having reached that conclusion, including what they say about their models, and then I examine the arguments of those who say the IPCC is wrong, and it looks to me like the IPCC has made a better case than its detractors.

            All science uses models. Every scientific equation, starting with f = ma, is a model. Of course some models work better than others, and some don’t work at all. Testing models is what most research is about, as is revising models or finding new ones to accommodate the results of that research. The IPCC says it has been revising its models and making them better, and no one has shown me a good reason to think otherwise.

            4. The final question: Are we humans the reason for that rise in CO2? Well, we know, within a small enough margin of error, how much CO2 we have put into the air since the beginning of the industrial revolution. We also know how much more CO2 is in the air now than there was at the beginning of the industrial revolution, and we have a pretty good idea of how much CO2 is produced each year by plants and other natural processes. Furthermore, there is a detectable difference between anthropogenic CO2 and the CO2 produced by natural sources, and we can measure how much of each kind there is in the air now. The math seems to work out: We’re the ones who put that extra CO2 there.

          • Phil

            Do you happen to have any familiarity with this book? I came across this book the other day and it is by a former senior NASA climatologist. I was thinking about getting it, but wanted to see if you had any thoughts on it.

            https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1594033730/ref=ox_sc_saved_image_6?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

            Have a good day!

          • David Nickol

            Take a look at the publisher's website (Encounter Books) or the Wikipedia entry about the publisher. The latter says, in part,

            Encounter Books is an American conservative book publisher. . . .Encounter Books publishes non-fiction books in the areas of politics, history, religion, biography, education, public policy, current affairs and social sciences.

            The book you mention is in their "Broadside" series. Wikipedia says,

            In October 2009, Encounter launched a series of short polemical booklets in what it said was the spirit of The Federalist Papers and Thomas Paine's Common Sense. These are called Encounter Broadsides. The series publishes well-known commentators on topical political issues from health care and immigration to the Guantanamo Bay internment camp. . . .

            If you buy the right-wing case against climate change, then I am sure this book will tell you everything you want to hear. Of course, you can already tell that from the title. I think you yourself claimed you believed that the science of climate change shouldn't be entangled with politics. But that is exactly what you are going to get from a book whose publisher is avowedly conservative in ideology.

          • Phil

            Yeah, I'm not a fan of polemics in these type of books. But his science looks like it could have something to add to the discussion. So I may read it simply for the science.

            I really do hate the "right-wing/left-wing" stuff. Instead of labeling people, why don't we just evaluate their arguments and science? I think we should simply do our best to follow where the evidence leads? That is what science is about.

            In the end, one reason why this is so debated right now is that the science is not clear. The IPCC itself in its papers talks about how much uncertainty there is right now in regards to this issue. Sadly, in the summary they give it gets presented as if we have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that humans are the primary driver of climate change right now. But this isn't supported well by the hundreds of pages they write in the actual main paper.

            But again, we shall see what the evidence says in the coming years.

          • Do you happen to have any familiarity with this book?

            I didn't until you brought it to my attention. It was noticed, though, by some folks a lot more competent than I am in the relevant disciplines. Some of what they had to say is presented at https://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/roy-spencers-great-blunder-part-1/.

          • Michael Murray

            Thanks for finding that Doug. I've just read the first one. Very interesting. It highlights a problem I have reading this stuff as as non-expert. If I had read the book I wouldn't have noticed the criticisms this guy has made like the depth of the ocean in the model. Of course there may be things wrong with these blog posts I won't notice either!

          • Of course there may be things wrong with these blog posts I won't notice either!

            That is so for all of us. We do the best we can with the information we have.

          • Phil

            It does look interesting, though I'm not a fan of lot of polemics in these sorts of issues from either side. His science looks to have some solid things to check out, which is what I'm most interested in. Those that are studying the effects of clouds and the sun on the climate system is something I'm interested in so as to truly know their input.

            So we will see. I really hope we get away from this whole "consensus" idea and put the empirical evidence first since science is ultimately not about consensus. As Einstein said, it only takes one person to show that his theory is wrong.

          • It does look interesting, though I'm not a fan of lot of polemics in these sorts of issues from either side.

            Good luck finding anything written for a lay audience without polemics.

            His science looks to have some solid things to check out, which is what I'm most interested in.

            By all means check them out. Find out whether his alleged facts really are facts and whether they are consistent with what Spencer is claiming.

            I really hope we get away from this whole "consensus" idea and put the empirical evidence first since science is ultimately not about consensus.

            A consensus doesn't prove anything, but neither is it irrelevant to the practice of science. You may forget about the consensus whenever you can gather the relevant data — all of it — on your own and subject it to the relevant mathematical analyses. Until you can do that, if you're going to claim we should doubt the consensus, it's up to you to identify the mistake on which you think the consensus is based.

            As Einstein said, it only takes one person to show that his theory is wrong.

            For anyone who knows how science works, he was stating the obvious. Real scientists have understood falsification since a very long time before Einstein was born.

          • Phil

            A consensus doesn't prove anything, but neither is it irrelevant to the practice of science. You may forget about the consensus whenever you can gather the relevant data — all of it — on your own and subject it to the relevant mathematical analyses. Until you can do that, if you're going to claim we should doubt the consensus, it's up to you to identify the mistake on which you think the consensus is based.

            I'm simply claiming that all it takes is a single scientist to provide data that doesn't support the hypothesis for there to be questions about the hypothesis itself. Right now, we have dozens of scientists who are providing data and evidence that provides great uncertainty in regards to the thesis that humans are the primary driver of climate change right now.

            Again, I'm not necessarily interested in "consensus", I'm interested in empirical evidence. In the end, the "consensus" is that humans affect the climate. Is it .05% or 95%, we don't quite know yet. Right now we don't have the empirical evidence yet to show us that humans are the primary driver of climate change right now. That evidence may come, but until it comes I will stay agnostic.

            Good luck finding anything written for a lay audience without polemics.

            If there is substantial discussion of the scientific issues, I've found it isn't hard to ignore the name-calling and the more polemical sections. So even if a work includes some polemical sections, one can still find the nuggets in it. In the end, seek the truth wherever it can be found.

            We always need to remember to not write off an entire work because of a few things. Even amidst 99% falsity, we can find that 1% nugget of truth. No one is wrong all the time, and neither is one correct all the time. "Test everything, keep what is true."

          • Right now, we have dozens of scientists who are providing data and evidence that provides great uncertainty in regards to the thesis that humans are the primary driver of climate change right now.

            There are a handful of dissenters with relevant credentials. Insofar as any credible debate still exists, it is precisely about whether, and to what degree, their data actually justifies any continued skepticism about AGW. The dissenters and their fan base may assure us that it does, but their assurance is not itself evidence for anything. So far as I have been able to determine, their data does not prove what they say it proves.

            And by "credentials," I don't mean just their CVs. I mean any facts about their accomplishments in life that give me good reason to think they know what they're talking about.

          • Phil

            Sure, and in the end we need to look to evidence. Which is why I am squarely in the "agnostic" camp. And because of that, I am highly skeptical of any large scale government intervention in regards to these issues, especially in ways that are going to have large effects on the economy like pushing towards "alternative" energy or having "CO2 limits/goals" instead of letting the free market do its thing.

            I have never been a fan of "this might be catastrophic so we need to push this agenda through the government". If the data we have collected the past 10-15 years lined up better with the predictions instead of being magnitudes off, we might be having another conversation, but when the "armageddon" predictions haven't come true, it gives one pause.

          • Sure, and in the end we need to look to evidence. Which is why I am squarely in the "agnostic" camp. And because of that, I am highly skeptical of any large scale government intervention in regards to these issues, especially in ways that are going to have large effects on the economy like pushing towards "alternative" energy or having "CO2 limits/goals" instead of letting the free market do its thing.

            Whether AGW is a real thing, and what the government should do about it, are separate issues. You can oppose large-scale government intervention in the marketplace without having to deny that we have sufficient evidence to believe that human activity is causing global warming.

            If the data we have collected the past 10-15 years lined up better with the predictions instead of being magnitudes off, we might be having another conversation

            I have seen no credible argument that the predictions have been off by orders of magnitude.

          • Phil

            I have seen no credible argument that the predictions have been off by orders of magnitude.

            Here is a recently published paper in Nature (2017) which speaks to one of the reasons I am still in the agnostic camp. I'll just copy the end of the abstract:

            "Over most of the early twenty-first century, however, model tropospheric warming is substantially larger than observed; warming rate differences are generally outside the range of trends arising from internal variability. The probability that multi-decadal internal variability fully explains the asymmetry between the late twentieth and early twenty-first century results is low (between zero and about 9%). It is also unlikely that this asymmetry is due to the combined effects of internal variability and a model error in climate sensitivity. We conclude that model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early twenty-first century is partly due to systematic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in the model simulations.

            https://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2973.html

          • And you think that paper supports your assertion that the predictions have been "magnitudes off"?

          • Phil

            This paper is merely addressing what I've been saying about the empirical evidence not fitting the predictions very well.

            I haven't read the paper in its entirety, so I can't comment on whether it presents models predicting several times more warming than has actually happened which others have commented on.

          • This paper is merely addressing what I've been saying about the empirical evidence not fitting the predictions very well.

            Yeah, it addresses what you've been saying, but I don't think it supports what you've been saying. And the paper's authors don't think so, either:
            https://pcmdi.llnl.gov/research/DandA/Synthetic%20Microwave%20Sounding%20Unit%20(MSU)%20temperatures/2017/Nature_Geoscience/NG_Fact_sheet_v3.pdf

          • Phil

            That's a great link, thanks! I think it does a great job at explaining their work and does make it clear that there is a lot more work to be done and uncertainty to be dealt with here. As they state toward the end, we need to get better at estimating how the "forcing" works in the real world which will then lead to predictions that better match what we seem to be measuring the real world.

            So, again, as I've been saying, I'll wait for more evidence in either direction as to specifically how much the climate is affected by human activity.

            Unfortunately, because the great complexity of the climate system, it is seeming like it will take many, many years (possibly decades) until we get to the point where we are truly able to understand all the effects of the primary variables of the climate system. Partially because of the fact that we need years, possibly decades, of good data to confirm or falsify a large scale thesis like this.

          • I think it does a great job at explaining their work and does make it clear that there is a lot more work to be done and uncertainty to be dealt with here.

            Yes, it does that. But nobody has denied that, either.

            What it does not do is demonstrate the degree of uncertainty that would raise reasonable doubt about AGW.

          • Phil

            Absolutely, no argument from me there from what the authors stated. I was just pointing out the uncertainties we are dealing with that lead me to wait for more data.

            In the end, only time will tell. When we get better at predicting what we see (doing "science"), then it could be argued that more extreme government regulations are warranted. Until then, let the free market do its thing to help drive prices down.

          • When we get better at predicting what we see (doing "science"), then it could be argued that more extreme government regulations are warranted.

            I think that's the real problem that has been driving this debate. Most of those who accept AGW assume that it does justify extreme political interventions, and most of the so-called AGW skeptics seem to accept that assumption, and so their political conservatism highly motivates them to question the scientific basis of AGW. But the science, no matter how certain it gets, will never tell us what the political response to AGW ought to be.

          • Phil

            Well, again, we have to be nuanced and careful. Most every reasonable person accepts the fact of some degree of AGW, the question is always...to what degree? To what degree are humans warming the planet?

            If it is a large degree then maybe more extreme actions should be taken. If it is a small degree, then maybe no real actions should be taken.

            The science is questioned because there are good reasons to believe that we have overstated just how well we understand the climate.
            It seems we just don't understand the climate enough yet to predict it as well as we should to justify extreme actions. This can be evidenced by our inability to predict the slowdown of warming of the 21st century and having climate predictions that average 2x as much warming as we've seen this century so far.

            Again, I'm not saying humans can't end up being a primary driver of recent climate change, but I don't see the proof beyond a reasonable doubt yet. Being slow and humble is good in these uncertainties of knowledge.

            I really thought Judith Curry did a good job of writing on the uncertainties of climate models here:
            https://judithcurry.com/2016/11/12/climate-models-for-lawyers/

          • there are good reasons to believe that we have overstated just how well we understand the climate.

            So it has been alleged.

            Nobody is claiming that we have anything like a perfect understanding. The issue is whether our understanding is good enough to justify a tentative acceptance of the models predicting a continuation of AGW. Those who claim it is not have failed to make their case, in my judgment.

          • It seems we just don't understand the climate enough yet to predict it as well as we should to justify extreme actions.

            We will never achieve a consensus understanding as long as both sides persist in chaining the scientific debate to the political debate.

          • Phil

            Happy 4th to you!

            We will never achieve a consensus understanding as long as both sides persist in chaining the scientific debate to the political debate.

            If that means that we ought to keep the politics as much out of the science as we can, I'd wholeheartedly agree.

            If it means keeping the science out of politics then I'd definitely not agree since the political debate on climate change is said to be based upon good scientific research and discussion. Political action and science ought to both be tied to the truth of reality, and therefore there is a necessary tie between them. If someone suggested political action that was directly contradicted by the science it would probably not be very reasonable. So what exact political action ought be taken hinges upon good reasoned discussion and good science. Hence, the necessary tie between.

            And in then end, we need to allow the truth to lead us towards "consensus". As we've talked about before, science is not about consensus, but about empirical evidence. It only takes one person to show forth evidence that contradicts the hypothesis to necessitate changes in the hypothesis.

            The issue is whether our understanding is good enough to justify a tentative acceptance of the models predicting a continuation of AGW. Those who claim it is not have failed to make their case, in my judgment.

            And that is exactly where we agree to disagree. You would say we do, while I don't think we have the empirical evidence to fully support the hypothesis of "dangerous man-made climate change" yet.

            (I went from more of a blind belief based upon mainstream reporting that catastrophic man-made climate change was happening to my current belief about 3 years ago, so relatively recently.)

          • If that means that we ought to keep the politics as much out of the science as we can, I'd wholeheartedly agree.

            That was exactly my intended meaning.

            the political debate on climate change is said to be based upon good scientific research and discussion.

            Yeah, so it is said. The claim is undermined by the strong correlation between the disputants' political views and what they say are the implications of the scientific research.

            Political action and science ought to both be tied to the truth of reality, and therefore there is a necessary tie between them.

            Of course political decisions should be fact-based, but that can't happen when one's political views affect one's perception of reality. I am suggesting that in this instance, both liberals and conservatives have allowed their political opinions to influence their assessment of the scientific data.

          • Phil

            Of course political decisions should be fact-based, but that can't happen when one's political views affect one's perception of reality. I am suggesting that in this instance, both liberals and conservatives have allowed their political opinions to influence their assessment of the scientific data.

            I absolutely agree that bias as to the proper interpretation of the data has naturally entered on both sides of the political spectrum.

            One reason why is that, as I've been arguing, there is still so much uncertainty as to the proper interpretation of the data and a precise overall understanding of the climate, which lends itself to many different interpretations and more room for bias. That is why we should want data and evidence, not any "consensus" arguments or appeals to authority.

            That is one reason I'm led to more independent scientists (e.g., Judith Curry) who are studying this issue. That helps to curtail as much bias as possible. (Make no mistake, there is no such thing as an uninterpreted piece of info/data, and therefore no such thing as "perfectly" objective. Simply as objective as possible is what we aim for.)

          • That is one reason I'm led to more independent scientists (e.g., Judith Curry) who are studying this issue. That helps to curtail as much bias as possible.

            If willingness to question a consensus were evidence of being unbiased, we would infer that creation scientists were the most unbiased people in the world.

          • Phil

            The question is, "why are they questioning a 'consensus'?" Is it because of good evidence or not?

            So we need to focus on the evidence. Are they proposing good evidence? That's the question. And we are allowed to agree to disagree on this.

            (And we always need to remember that there is no such thing as "completely unbiased". Even yourself and I interpret data based upon past experiences/biases.)

          • The question is, "why are they questioning a 'consensus'?" Is it because of good evidence or not?

            The evidence they present is insufficient to support their conclusion, in my judgment.

            And we are allowed to agree to disagree on this.

            Of course we are.

          • Phil

            The evidence they present is insufficient to support their conclusion, in my judgment.

            Sure, and there is definitely enough room for people reasonably disagree about this.

            And because there is reasonable disagreement about this, that is why I prefer a slow approach to wide scale policy on climate change. So many times when we move too fast, the "cure" can be worse than the "disease".

            So I say, let the scientists research and do their thing as independently of policy and politics so that we can get a better grasp on the mechanics of how the climate changes so as to be able to predict it better.

          • Phil

            Let me put this in a different way--Some ask the question "what would convince you of the existence of God?" I'll ask the question, what would convince me of the existence of dangerous man-made climate change?

            I'd say one thing that would go a long way would be empirical evidence of the change that are in line with the predictions that would signify dangerous climate change. Right now, we don't see that yet in the 21st century. We didn't predict the slowdown of warming in the 21st century, part of the reason being that the climate system is ridiculously hard to predict, and secondly that we just have more to learn about the system. It just makes it so hard to isolate a single variable, like CO2, and try and falsify the hypothesis that it is a main driver of climate change.

            A recent paper exploring this slowdown in warming:

            https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2938.epdf?referrer_access_token=EdjjubGeQDPGIx5vL1QW6dRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0OqExA1EwYluYLwiaayT9ble9FcNagQ1ss5L1V0KiWd-xzbFQjp8p3e-nUsgU7jNuUykRRWZpgMltUfROWf3xSKeGSSY7TvMiWdaeBCmNzlbQKCodQ3ivWje8eZYAs8Dr1uu8L-i3CHt8f_jYiil5eU0vkTP9FQoSKFHHetLPsMBatVkmispiD6AK7RHliZN_I%3D&tracking_referrer=www.nature.com

          • As we've talked about before, science is not about consensus, but about empirical evidence.

            OK, but I have neither the competence nor the resources to examine the empirical evidence myself and reach a scientifically defensible conclusion about what it proves. I can observe, however, that nearly all of the scientists with the relevant competence and resources have reached a consensus, and I think I'm justified in believing that they are probably justified in that consensus. And, I can examine the arguments of the handful of competent scientists who dispute the consensus and form a defensible opinion about how persuasive those arguments are.

          • Phil

            Absolutely, I agree wholeheartedly with this being a good way of going about it. I also think it is perfectly okay that we agree to disagree on if one should still be agnostic or not.

            It seems you'd argue that we have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that humans are causing dangerous climate change, and I'd argue that there are plenty of scientists that do a good job showing that we don't yet have proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree about that!

          • It seems you'd argue that we have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that humans are causing dangerous climate change

            That is not what I am arguing. I am arguing that we have sufficient reason to believe human activities are making the world warmer. I have said nothing about whether the consequences will be dangerous. Obviously, some of the foreseeable consequences will be bad for some people living in some regions of the world. In other regions of the world, the changes will likely be beneficial. For people with a certain political agenda, it is irrelevant the some people would be better off in a warmer world. All they care about are the people who will be worse off.

          • Michael Murray

            Unfortunately the uneven distribution of harm and benefit, if it crosses national boarders, doesn't balance out but potentially causes serious political problems. We are very bad at handling these things as a global community. Millions of people marching across international borders is horrible to contemplate based on how well we currently handle international refugee crises.

          • We are very bad at handling these things as a global community.

            Which is why some some of don't think giving more power to the world's governments, or to a single world government, would be a step in the right direction.

          • Phil

            That is not what I am arguing. I am arguing that we have sufficient reason to believe human activities are making the world warmer. I have said nothing about whether the consequences will be dangerous

            It seems to me that that is one of the most important questions. If climate change that humans are causing is not dangerous, well then, *yawn*, human caused climate change isn't a big deal and we move a good portion of those hundreds of billions of dollars being spend on it to something more important.

            So again, we just don't know yet, so we ought not act like we know.

          • Phil

            Also, was looking for a site that updated the current satellite measured temps quickly, and found that Spencer links to it. Last month is already in there. Super convenient to bookmark and keep an eye on what is being collected right now:

            http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_June_2017_v6.jpg

          • David Nickol

            Would I be wrong in assuming you are not a regular reader of Nature Geoscience and that you brought this paper to Doug's attention because you read about it on a website that specializes in news aimed at climate-change skeptics and deniers?

          • Phil

            I'm equal opportunity! There are good scientists on all sides of the issue right now which is why I find myself in the agnostic camp. Obviously, Doug has been trying to sway me from my agnosticism and so I've been giving reasons why I'm agnostic. This doesn't mean there aren't good scientists that think the evidence is stronger one way or the other.

            This paper simply happened to be a very recent one that is investigating the divergence of predictions to empirical evidence.

          • Right now we don't have the empirical evidence yet to show us that humans are the primary driver of climate change right now.

            That is not a fact. It is the dissenters' interpretation of the facts.

            That evidence may come, but until it comes I will stay agnostic.

            The quality and quantity of evidence required to convince you is a judgment you have to make for yourself. I used to be agnostic myself, but the more I learned, the less justified my agnosticism came to seem.

          • Phil

            It is so true that people like to think that science is much more "objective" than it really is. Science can give you data, but it can't interpret the data and build conclusions. The interpretation of the data takes doing good philosophy (i.e., good reasoning). The climate debate is a good example.

            I think it is perfectly acceptable for us to disagree as to how strong the evidence is right now that humans are the main driver of current climate change (that is our main disagreement). I'll find myself squarely in your camp once the data starts matching up better with the predictions and will have no second thoughts about it.

          • Phil

            I mentioned earlier about issues with collecting the climate data itself that makes many want to slow down about how much we understand the climate right now.

            In 2011, physicist Richard Muller undertook the task of developing a better temperature series from the raw data. When his series was also criticized by statisticians (just like the IPCC's data series), he responded, "The temperature-station quality is largely awful. Using data from these poor stations, the UN's IPCC estimates an average global 0.64 *C temperature rise in the past 50 years, 'most' of which the IPCC says is due to humans. Yet the margin of error is at least three times larger than the estimated warming."

            When one is starting out with data that is not good, we aren't going to be able to draw good conclusions from it. That is why there has been such criticism from mathematicians and statisticians.

          • David Nickol

            Your quote from Richard Muller comes from a piece in the Wall Street Journal titled The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism: There Were Good Reasons for Doubt, Until Now. It concludes:

            When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn't know what we'd find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections.

            Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that.

            Even if that's all we had from Muller, the way you use his quote is at best misleading, and at worst downright dishonest, since he deals with the problem of temperature-station data and comes to the same conclusion as the climate change researchers he doubted.

            But in 2012, Muller wrote an op ed for The New York Times titled The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic, which reads in part:

            CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

            My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases. . . .

            Using an old quote, taken totally out of context, from a former skeptic turned believer is about as poor an argument for your position as I can imagine. I can only conclude that your climate-change skepticism is a matter of ideology and not science.

          • Phil

            Thanks for the update! I didn't get to see what he said later. And that quote definetly got pulled in a way that didn't make the overall point clear, yikes!
            Do you have any info on what statisticians and others said about his later findings?

            I can only conclude that your climate-change skepticism is a matter of ideology and not science.

            What ideology do you think I'm coming out of? I'm interested in the truth. Right now I am giving the other side of the debate which helps to balance our perspective. Personally, right now I am pretty agnostic in regards to all this. I'm waiting to see what the empirical evidence ends up being over the next 5-15 years as we get better data, models, and ideas of the impact of natural vs. manmade.

          • Phil
          • In 2011, physicist Richard Muller undertook the task of developing a better temperature series from the raw data.

            I found the article you took that quote from. You failed to indicate that you omitted a substantial segment of it. If you regard such a failure as a trivial error, and think that my mentioning it is nothing but academic nitpicking, then I cannot be impressed by any amount of research you have done, because you have exhibited an inability to distinguish good science from bad science.

            In this instance, fortunately for you, the omission does not affect the point Muller was making. And he made that point in the conclusion of his article:

            When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn't know what we'd find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections.

            Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the
            warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that.

            (Richard A. Muller, "The Case Against Global-Warming Skepticism," Wall Street Journal, http://www.livingrivers.org/pdfs/press/richardmullerthecaseagainstglobalwarmingskepticism.pdf

          • Phil

            Yeah, that quote definetly got pulled in an inappropriate way! Yikes!

            Though I guess we still have to deal with the criticisms of the statisticians and see if they hold up. And as I've said from the beginning, I will agree that figuring out how much of the warming is due to humans is a much more complicated question.

          • Though I guess we still have to deal with the criticisms of the statisticians and see if they hold up.

            We need to deal with any legitimate criticism. One way to deal with it is to prove it is not legitimate, if that should be the case.

          • Phil

            Ya, I agree 100%. The one thing I am sick of is the name-calling and the trying to simply silence skeptics. Simply do the science and show them they are wrong.

            But I guess that is what tends to happen when something gets politicized so much.

          • And as I've said from the beginning, I will agree that figuring out how much of the warming is due to humans is a much more complicated question.

            I am not taking the position that a dominant human contribution has been demonstrated to such a degree of certainty that no intellectually responsible person could doubt it. From my reading of the arguments on both sides, though, the hypothesis seems to merit a tentative acceptance.

            The complications, it seems to me, have less to do with the what the evidence proves than with what would be the best political response. The scientific debate will always be hopelessly muddied by irresponsible rhetoric as long as conservatives continue to accept the liberal presupposition that if some human activities are the cause of global warming, then the world's government's are obliged to do whatever they can to stop those activities.

          • Phil

            I'm right there with you in the uncertainty.

            I don't think we know enough about the exact mechanisms of the climate to say exactly how much is the human contribution. That is why I don't support coercive government action when the science is still being figured out. I most always err on the side of less government intervention rather than more.

          • I don't think we know enough about the exact mechanisms of the climate to say exactly how much is the human contribution.

            We don't need exactness. Probability distributions work OK for all the other sciences.

          • Phil

            We don't need exactness. Probability distributions work OK for all the other sciences.

            Yes, and I wouldn't personally agree with coercive government action based upon the probabilities we have right now in regards to climate science. I want hard long-term data that does a better job of specific confirmations of the predictions that have been made. For example, if the greatest prediction that has been made is that it will get warmer, then if it gets warmer, that's nice, but it doesn't confirm that humans are the majority causing it.

            For example, I would love to see falsifiable predictions made of what we should see if the majority of the recent warming is due to human activity and vice-versa.

            I am just a bit worried that we are gonna have a "Population Bomb" type situation.

          • Phil
          • In 2011, physicist Richard Muller undertook the task of developing a better temperature series from the raw data.

            No, that was not the year he undertook the task. That was the year he finished the task and reported the outcome.

          • Phil

            That same atmospheric physicist has also commented that:

            "The commonly reported and accepted warming between 1978 and 2000 is based only on thermometers from land surface stations and is not supported by any other evidence that I could find.

            Specifically, ocean data (from 71 percent of the earth's surface) and global atmospheric data (as recorded by satellites and independent balloon-borne radiosondes) do not show such a warming at all. In addition, most proxy data, from non-thermometer sources such as tree rings, ocean sediments, ice cores, stalagmites, etc., show no warming during this same crucial period."

          • The problem with this is that evidence is pointing towards there being little to no rise in average global temperature over the past 18 years.

            I haven't seen that evidence.

            That same atmospheric physicist has also commented that:

            The quotation contains no data regarding temperatures over the past 18 years.

          • Phil

            The quotation contains no data regarding temperatures over the past 18 years.

            That's correct; that's because it is more well established that there has been warming from 1978 to 2000. As I have mentioned before, the majority of data is not showing much of any warming from 2000 to 2017.

          • As I have mentioned before, the majority of data is not showing much of any warming from 2000 to 2017.

            I don't believe that's correct.

          • Phil

            A question that I thought of last night was...what would you say would falsify the theory of primarily anthropogenic climate change?

          • If the climate during the 21st century is, on average, about like it was during the 19th century, then I think the theory will be in serious trouble.

          • Phil

            I'd agree with that as well.

            What if, say, we do get a decent continued increase in average warming in the 21st century. What would falsify the theory that it is the majority due to human activity rather than the majority due to natural factors?

          • What would falsify the theory that it is the majority due to human activity rather than the majority due to natural factors?

            The antropogenic hypothesis is based among other things on data about things that have happened since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. A discovery of new data inconsistent with that hypothesis would a problem for the hypothesis.

          • Phil

            And I agree, which is one of the problems because next to no funding is going towards research into natural effects on climate change. These are things we need to understand better if we want to confirm/falsify the anthropogenic theory.

          • next to no funding is going towards research into natural effects on climate change.

            What is your source for that datum?

          • Phil

            Judith Curry speaks about this, possibly even in the interview from this past March I posted.

            Time and time again I've read and listened to researchers who are frustrated that if you seek funding for researching anthropogenic climate change, there is so much money out there and it is easy to get funding. While if you merely seek to research the overall causes of climate change it is very hard.

            And then if you are scientist who isn't quite sure that humans have been a major driver of climate change these past few centuries and you want to research this, in short order one is called a "denier", or not in line with "orthodoxy", or a "heretic". I mean, this is not a good scientific environment when this is happening.

            That is one reason why Judith Curry says she left her academic post. It didn't leave leave the intellectual freedom to do good science.

            I just can't believe how frustrated many of these researchers have gotten that the science has become too corrupted and politicized.

          • While if you merely seek to research the overall causes of climate change it is very hard.

            That could be explained by the funding agencies' wanting to suppress that research. I could also be explained by the agencies' believing that enough of that research is already being done.

          • Phil

            To add on -- Hart mentions in his book a handful of climatologists that speak of the toxic environment in academic publishing.

            Curry herself speaks about how the incentive structure in regards to getting published, especially in the climate area, which is skewed towards sensational findings in regards to manmade climate change that get headlines and get oneself notoriety and one's institution notoriety. It doesn't matter if the published work is shown to have major issues just several weeks later. The gatekeeping structure of the major journals, like Nature, helps to promote climate "orthodoxy".

            Anyone who finds uncertainty in their research or finds that we "really don't know yet" in regards to the forcing of climate change have much less chance of being published.

          • Curry herself speaks about how the incentive structure in regards to getting published, especially in the climate area,

            A similar concern has been raised rather forcefully in recent years in scientific fields having nothing to do with climatology.

          • Phil

            A similar concern has been raised rather forcefully in recent years in scientific fields having nothing to do with climatology.

            I couldn't agree more (See Smolin's "The Trouble with Physics"). I read about how this is an issue in physics as well. So if it is a problem in physics, just think how bad it could be in such a politically heavy topic like climate change....yikes!!

          • Michael Murray

            From 2014:

            New research published today in the journal Science shows how shallow shelf seas of West Antarctica have warmed over the last 50 years.

            Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2014-12-antarctic-seawater-temperatures.html#jCp

          • Phil

            I have no problem with temperatures rising and the climate changing. The issue is figuring out what are the major drivers of that change. Shoot, we could have the best data that temperatures *everywhere* are rising and that wouldn't automatically mean that it is 99% due to human activity. At this point, I think the evidence points more towards the conclusion that less than 5% of the change in climate we've seen is due to human activity.

            One can't simply use every change in climate or disaster to say...humans are causing climate change! That's bad science. Because of how complicated the global climate is we have to spend tons of time investigating how much all these factors affect the climate, such as the sun, cloud cover, GHG, etc.

          • Phil

            In short, the good many scientists that don't agree with the "armageddon" view of climate change simply state that we can't tell right now how much change is due to human activity and how much to due to natural causes.

            A huge problem is the majority of funding is going towards those investigating human factors. While next to nothing to going to those researching how natural factors influence the global climate.

            That is helping to keep good science from happening.

          • Phil

            A question that I thought of last night was...what would you say could falsify the anthropogenic climate change theory?

          • Michael Murray

            A change in the consensus. So major scientific organisations reversing their previous opinion.

          • Phil

            A change in the consensus. So major scientific organisations reversing their previous opinion.

            I apologize if I wasn't clear, I'm asking about a scientifically testable hypothesis that the scientific "consensus" itself could use to confirm or falsify the theory that humans have been the major driver of climate change the past century or so?

            (It is placing the cart before the horse to say a theory is falsified when the scientific consensus changes. So what could they use to confirm or falsify the theory?)

          • Michael Murray

            I'm not a climate scientist so I don't see how I could make this judgement.

          • Phil

            And that's a key point (falsification) that we need to understand better.

            As I've read and listened to lectures from no less than a dozen different scientists in this field that are pointing out that the data we are observing is just not fitting in with the predictions, it makes you wonder about the validity of the hypothesis itself.

            Science is built upon the edifice of making predictions and having the observed data confirm or falsify it. If we don't allow that to happen openly in climate science, it is less a science and more an ideology.

          • David Nickol

            As I've read and listened to lectures from no less than a dozen different scientists in this field that are pointing out that the data we are observing is just not fitting in with the predictions, it makes you wonder about the validity of the hypothesis itself.

            Since there is a very broad consensus on global warming, if you listened to a dozen scientists who questioned the data, you obviously sought out skeptics.

            Also, you seem to think that until someone comes up with a climate model that correctly predicts the world temperature for ten or twenty years, we all must be global-warming skeptics. But of course there may never be such a model. Climate is just too complex to predict with pinpoint accuracy. So is weather, but a wise person pays attention to tornado warnings, severe storm watches, and the like because while not perfectly accurate, they are extremely useful.

            I suppose you are disappointed in Pope Francis for urging Donald Trump not to pull out of the Paris Agreement. Who is the Pope to advise Donald Trump on ideological matters?

          • Phil

            Since there is a very broad consensus on global warming, if you listened to a dozen scientists who questioned the data, you obviously sought out skeptics.

            This is very misleading and has almost become a "climate myth". When people say "consensus", it can mean many different things:

            1) The earth has been, on average, warming over the past 100 years warming. (Not debated much amongst scientists, we are coming out of what is called the "Little Ice Age".)

            2) The earth has been, on average, warming over the past 100 years and humans have had some impact on the change. (A more common view.)

            3) The earth has been, on average, warming over the past 100 years warming and humans have been the primary cause of this. (Very much debated amidst scientists, and many seem skeptical of this based on current evidence.)

            So one has to specify what they mean when they say "consensus".

            Climate is just too complex to predict with pinpoint accuracy.

            Yes! It is so complex and we have been shown that we really can't predict it well right now because we don't yet understand it well. Therefore, to think we have deduced to 90%+ certainty that humans are the primary cause of climate change is scientifically ludicrous.

            My view from reading the basic scientific evidence is that humans have some impact on the climate, and it could be anywhere from .005% to 99% is due to humans. Right now the evidence of the past 10 years seems to be pointing towards it being on the lower end. But ultimately, it is just gonna take time to figure out a more precise estimate.

          • Michael Murray

            Why not just read what the major scientific organisations who are the actual experts in this say. Here are 18 of them from the US:

            https://www.aaas.org/sites/default/files/migrate/uploads/1021climate_letter1.pdf

            October 21, 2009

            American Association for the Advancement of Science

            Dear Senator:

            As you consider climate change legislation, we, as leaders of scientific organizations, write to state the consensus scientific view. Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science. Moreover, there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change will have broad impacts on society, including the global economy and on the environment. For the United States, climate change impacts include sea level rise for coastal states, greater threats of extreme weather events, and increased risk of regional water scarcity, urban heat waves, western wildfires, and the disturbance of biological systems throughout the country. The severity of climate change impacts is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades.1

            If we are to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change, emissions of greenhouse gases must be dramatically reduced. In addition, adaptation will be necessary to address those impacts that are already unavoidable. Adaptation efforts include improved infrastructure design, more sustainable management of water and other natural resources, modified agricultural practices, and improved emergency responses to storms, floods, fires and heat waves.

            We in the scientific community offer our assistance to inform your deliberations as you seek to address the impacts of climate change.

            See more at

            https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

          • Phil

            I agree 100%, read as many of the experts as one can. And when one does, one finds out that there really is no real "consensus". The only consensus seems to be uncertainty in regards to just how much impact specifically human activity has on climate change.

            Again, my position is very agnostic. The data recently is just not lining up well with what has been predicted. The data is saying "nothing out of the ordinary for climate change", which is not what the IPCC and other alarmist predictions were saying 10 years ago.

            In short, I'm personally more interested in evidence. I want hard empirical evidence for a scientific claim.

          • Phil

            We need both sides, because then we get 8 scientists studying this in areas such as geology publishing, "Evidence-Based Climate Science", in 2011 saying:

            "Recent global warming (1978-1998) has pushed climate changes into the forefront of scientific enquiry with a great deal at stake for human populations. With no unequivocal, "smoking gun", cause-and-effect evidence that increasing CO2 caused the 1978-1998 global warming, and despite the media blitz over the 2007 IPCC report, no tangible physical evidence exists that CO2 is causing global warming. Computer climate models assume that CO2 is the cause and the computer model simulations are based on that assumption.

            Abundant physical evidence from the geologic past provides a record of former periods of recurrent global warming and cooling that were far more intense than recent warming and cooling. These geologic records provide a clear evidence of global warming and cooling that could not have been caused by increased CO2."

            These obviously go on in the book to provide evidence as to why they see this as the case. In short, there is no "consensus" as to what are the exact proportion of causes of climate change.

          • Michael Murray

            Are you really going to weigh 8 scientists against all the scientific organisations on the page I linked to ?

            There will never be a consensus about the "exact" proportion. The modelling is too difficult. The quotes I gave you demonstrate there is a consensus that humans are the "primary driver" and that we need to take action in reducing our CO2 emissions. That is the political point I think this whole discussion started with.

            If you want to explore the topic yourself feel free but I see no justification for your claim that action to reduce C02 emissions needs to wait for more accurate science.

          • Phil

            If you want to explore the topic yourself feel free but I see no justification for your claim that action to reduce C02 emissions needs to wait for more accurate science.

            I simply want the hard empirical evidence. While I appreciate a signed letter, I want to read the data and evidence to support this. Can you forward me recent research that you think does the best job of showing the evidence that it is beyond a reasonable doubt that humans are the primary driver of recent climate change?

            I'm open to it, but I've also seen no "smoking gun". Especially with the pause in average global warming over the past 20 years.

            Are you really going to weigh 8 scientists against all the scientific organisations on the page I linked to ?

            I'm personally not into playing "name-dropping" games. We should look at the facts and data, and the facts and data these scientists bring up are worthy of consideration. I don't think we ought to believe something simply out of "blind faith".

            There will never be a consensus about the "exact" proportion. The modelling is too difficult. The quotes I gave you demonstrate there is a consensus that humans are the "primary driver" and that we need to take action in reducing our CO2 emissions. That is the political point I think this whole discussion started with.

            That is what I would debate from what I've research thus far. There is no "consensus" that humans are the primary driver of climate change. Not only do we realize that is the case once we read a larger and larger variety of scientists, but the 3 main studies that this so-called "consensus"came from are amusing once we look into them.

          • Phil

            I suppose you are disappointed in Pope Francis for urging Donald Trump not to pull out of the Paris Agreement. Who is the Pope to advise Donald Trump on ideological matters?

            Ya, I definitely don't agree with many things that Pope Francis has said about climate change. Obviously, he is an expert on faith and morals and I'd be very surprised if he has studied climate matters that much. So I don't know exactly what his motivation behind some of the statements are. Maybe he is just blindly trusting what is reported in the media like many do. Who knows!

          • Phil

            Do you happen to have a few of what you've found to be the best explications of the current evidence that human activity is the main driver of climate change? It can be papers, lectures, whatever. After spending much time reading the evidence against this position, I want to revisit the recent evidence for it.

            Thanks!

          • Michael Murray

            I think you are making the mistake of assuming that the general public can understand science that requires 10 - 15 years of hard work to become competent in. All we can do is assess the degree of consensus.

          • Phil

            I agree 100%; most people are relying upon what is being reported in the media in regards to what the "consensus" is saying. (Which we know how much of an issue of relying on the media for good science or as balanced of info as possible can be...)

            But I heard arguments from people on both sides over the past few years which is why I decided to dig in to what was being said amidst the scientific community. And what I found was great uncertainty and many times not great science being done. Many scientists themselves saying, "whoa, hold on a second here."

          • Phil

            Hey Michael, hope all is well!

            There isn't a way to tag both you and Doug in a single post, and I know we were discussing climate change over a year ago. And since we've had another year to collect data and make predictions I figured I'd update you one where I personally was at.

            I will simply link to the comment so I don't post it twice:

            https://strangenotions.com/the-march-for-scientism/#comment-3915491902

          • Phil

            Well, after several more years of research and data, it doesn't seem we are finding a lot of new research and data that supports the "catastrophic climate change theory".

            It is interesting how climate change is starting to become pretty low on the list of things that the general public is worried about, when polled.

            Plus I don't think the shrill "the sky is falling" over the past 10-15 years without the sky falling like was said would happen has helped people in any way.

            Secondarily, we don't really even know if the climate change we are experiencing would be a net good all things considered.

            ---------

            We definitely have some educated guesses on what the climate will be doing over the next several decades, but that is about it at this point.
            One big trouble is we cannot even say exactly how much of the overall warming of the past 150 years is due to natural causes. To be able to pick out the human caused warming, you need to also be able to pick out the natural causes warming.

          • Phil

            Sorry, you had asked for specific scientists, and now that I have that in front of me I figured I'd send some your way.

            Here is from Paul Reiter. An expert on insect-spread diseases who was nominated by the US government to contribute to the IPCC's third Assessment Report. He resigned when it became clear that the project was more about politics than about science and stated:

            "The IPCC is a panel among governments. Any scientist who participates in this process expecting the strictures of science to reign must beware, lest he be stung."

          • you had asked for specific scientists

            That was my response to something you said a while back.

            Here is from Paul Reiter. An expert on insect-spread diseases who was nominated by the US government to contribute to the IPCC's third Assessment Report. He resigned the it became clear that the project was more about politics than about science

            I am not disputing the political influences on the IPCC. The fact of those influences does not constitute evidence contrary to the IPCC's scientific conclusions.

          • What specific empirical evidence are you referencing that was predicted that has been confirmed?

            It was predicted that the world would get hotter. The world has been getting hotter.

            The simple fact that it appears there hasn't been much, if any, global warming the past 18 years is still being pondered.

            It has happened. No amount of pondering is going to change that.

          • Phil

            But let's say that the data that the temperature increase has almost stopped the past 20 years is simply a fluke or bad data. We still have to show that it is human activity that is causing this and not mostly a natural phenomenon.

            That is a whole 'nuther beast in and of itself. Trying to isolate the two is super hard as you could imagine.

          • We still have to show that it is human activity that is causing this and not mostly a natural phenomenon.

            That has been shown, as far as I can tell, beyond reasonable doubt.

            Trying to isolate the two is super hard as you could imagine.

            I don't have to imagine. I am scientifically literature enough to know how hard it is, exactly why it is so hard, and why we have good reason to think it has been accomplished despite the difficulty.

          • Phil

            There are just so many questions that need to be answered at this time to make a good scientific conclusion.

            -What do we do with the ice core evidence that rises in temperature precede rises in CO2 by several hundred years?

            -What do we do with the evidence that CO2 from human sources is dwarfed by natural sources?

            -What do we do with the evidence that solar activity and cloud cover has a much bigger impact on long term climate and overall climate?

            -What do we do with the evidence that we are at a low level of CO2 historically speaking?

            -What do we do with the evidence that our current average temperature appears well within the normal range?

            -What do we do with the evidence that a rise is CO2 is good for the earth and plant life?

            I just don't see how we can say "the science is settled".

          • -What do we do with the ice core evidence that rises in temperature precede rises in CO2 by several hundred years?

            We do enough real science to understand feedback loops. https://skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm.

            -What do we do with the evidence that CO2 from human sources is dwarfed by natural sources?

            We ask whether, if one source is increasing, that increase is enough to account for the observed effect. It makes no difference whether that source is 10 percent or 90 percent of the total sources.

            -What do we do with the evidence that solar activity and cloud cover has a much bigger impact on long term climate and overall climate?

            We focus our attention on the current situation. We ask whether current data support the hypothesis that solar activity and cloud cover are sufficient to explain what is happening at this time.

            -What do we do with the evidence that we are at a low level of CO2 historically speaking?

            I’m not aware of any such evidence.

            -What do we do with the evidence that our current average temperature appears well within the normal range?

            What I would do first is ask for a clear definition of “normal range.”

            -What do we do with the evidence that a rise is CO2 is good for the earth and plant life?

            We figure out how good it would be for human life, and then we choose our priorities.

          • BTS

            Wondering if your opinion has changed in the last 3 years?

          • Phil

            Wondering if your opinion has changed in the last 3 years?

            I mentioned this in my other response to you, but I'll respond here as well.

            I will say in the past 3 years I have had a slight change in that 3 years ago I believed that rising temperatures could be bad, but that we weren't actually seeing a catastrophic amount of warming (plus we didn't and still don't know exactly how much of the warming is due specifically to human activity).

            I still see that the data doesn't show a catastrophic amount of warming, but now I believe that a minor to moderate amount of warming would actually overall be a *good thing* for humans. The reason being that if we look back at history, human civilization thrived when it was the same temperature or hotter than it is now (namely the Medieval warm period and Roman warm period).

            Plus increasing CO2 has led to a greening of the earth. Plants and tree are starting to thrive a lot more than they had been in the past 100 years. We are getting higher crop yields and more food for more people, especially in 3rd world countries.

            So I'd say, a minor or moderate amount of warming, such as what we are seeing right now, is actually net good!

            (And this isn't to even broach the subject of how much of the warming over the past 100 years is natural and how much is us. We really have no way to tell that right now.)

          • BTS

            You called it, Doug. Succinct truth.
            Where have you gone, btw?

          • Phil

            In a little update to Doug's point, I don't know if any serious people really "deny climate change". I sure don't. The climate has been changing since the Earth formed.
            (And I don't know if *anyone* who has any basic knowledge of the situation has really ever outright denied climate change; I think that was mostly a straw man created by some people to insinuate that these people are like Holocaust deniers.)

            What is usually denied by "skeptical scientists" are the "doom and gloom" prophesies in regards to climate change. And prophesies that claim we know we need to enact major policy changes.

          • Michael Murray

            Doug has an entry on his personal website dated December 7, 2019. Nothing on Disqus for a year.

          • BTS

            Thanks, Michael.

          • Almost every single of the over 100 predictions through computer models has been falsified by the data.

            Is this what you're talking about?
            https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/02/the-big-list-of-failed-climate-predictions/

          • Phil

            I can't say I know who Anthony Watts is, but my comments are from my reading other climate scientists and general commentary on the predictions that have been made. Overall, the predictions have not been good at all as to what has been happening over the past 2 decades.

          • my comments are from my reading other climate scientists

            Could I trouble you to identify one of them? Preferably, whichever one you regard as the most competent of the bunch?

          • Phil

            My research is not from a single scientist. It is from listening and reading about 6-10 over the past year or so. I can put together a list when I'm at home.

            But in short...just do the research! Ya, it's hard and takes time, but figuring out the truth takes time.

          • just do the research!

            You seem very sure that I haven't already done it.

          • My research is not from a single scientist.

            That is irrelevant to what I asked for. If anything, the more scientists whose work you have read, the easier it should be for you to remember just one of them.

          • Phil

            So easiest would be to go right to the citation list of Michael Hart. Incredible how many sources are included there.

            But some more popular names would include Judith Curry. She is interesting because she was going along with the "climate scare" route, but then realized that something wasn't quite right.

            John Christy is someone who quit the IPCC because he didn't agree with the direction the science was going in it. So he has some great insights as well.

          • Incredible how many sources are included there.

            Are you under the impression that the IPCC reports have only a handful of sources? For a subject this controversial, there is nothing incredible about an advocate for either side having a large number of sources. I would expect that some of the books purporting to discredit evolution have some pretty extensive bibliographies, too.

          • BTS

            Three years later it looks like you were wrong. Very, very wrong.
            https://sites.nationalacademies.org/BasedOnScience/climate-change-humans-are-causing-global-warming/

            The climate situation has gotten precipitously worse.

            As someone else posted, follow the money. Ask yourself who is funding the climate change skepticism. Don't take my word for it. Do your own research. Start here.

            https://www.iflscience.com/environment/who-funds-the-climate-change-denial-movement/

          • Phil

            Hi BTS,

            hree years later it looks like you were wrong. Very, very wrong.
            https://sites.nationalacade...

            According to recent data and scientific papers on the matters, I'd say we haven't seen much action in regards to "dangerous climate change" lately. (Media does overhype many things, which means we need to actually read the papers and data behind everything and look at things from all directions.)

            You mention it "getting precipitously worse" over the past 3 years. If you look at the data here since 2016, we are at almost the exact same average temperature:

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb2cd1cf8d6fd20baea2e704157257c015d40b5535a090280520d639386d4cf7.jpg

            Our computer predictions are stilling running about 2x hotter than we are actually measuring. So the change in global temperature is about 50% what we had predicted.
            Ends up being about 1-1.5* celsius for a first doubling of CO2. But there are many believe that it is not a linear scale, so while we may get 1.5* celcius for the first doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere, we will get much less temperature increase for the next doubling of CO2.

            ------

            I will say in the past 3 years I have had a slight conversion in that I believed that rising temperatures could be bad, but that we weren't actually seeing a catastrophic amount of warming.
            I still see that the data doesn't show a catastrophic amount of warming, but now I believe that a moderate amount of warming would actually overall be a *good thing*. The reason being that if we look back at history, human civiliation thrived when it was the same temperature or hotter than it is now (namely the Medieval warm period and Roman warm period).

            Plus increasing CO2 has led to a greening of the earth and plants and tree are starting to thrive a lot more than they had been in the past 100 years.

            So I'd say, the minor or moderate amount of warming we are seeing right now is actually net good! (And this isn't to even broach the subject of how much of the warming over the past 100 years is natural and how much is us. We really have no way to tell that right now.)

          • BTS

            Yeah, you can quote numbers and figures but I'll choose to believe the actual climate scientsts vs. the armchair ones. It is the only rational choice.

            If the climate deniers could actually poke real holes in the data, they would.

            I am always skeptical of charts and graphs shown by amateurs. If you torture any data long enough, it will confess.

            https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/climate/climate-change-acceleration.html

          • Phil

            I am always skeptical of charts and graphs shown by amateurs.

            Okay, I know this is not very serious as the dataset I posted above is one of the top 5 datasets that has been made. It is out of the University of Alabama, which is a professional institution.

            And I do agree 100% on needing to use good data, which is very tricky when it comes to global temperatures.

          • BTS

            I'll check back in a couple more years. Doug already said everything that I would say, were this conversation to continue now.

          • Phil

            I'll check back in a couple more years.

            Sounds good, hey, if everything has gone to hell in the next 12 years like some climate doomsayers have said in the past year, I'll eat my shorts!

            An amusing part of this is these "climate doomsayers" are always saying things that when translated are "the end is nigh, we must act now to save the world!"

            We've been saying this for over 40 years now, and it just comes off sounding like religious fundamentalists that as predicting the end of the world every 5 years.

            But we can agree to disagree and move on!

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Here is an up-to-date, devastating, and definitive analysis of the current politically correct panic-inducing climate change controversy:

            https://blog.usejournal.com/five-myths-about-climate-change-a-closer-look-7d47c45e2844

          • Chris Morris

            At the time you were writing this comment my brother was being evacuated from the house he built 45 years ago on the south coast of New South Wales. He is now safe and the house has suffered only minor damage although his out-buildings were completely destroyed and many of his animals were killed but it beggars belief that people such as yourself are still complacently writing this problem off as some sort of 'left-wing' hoax, presumably requiring the complicity of tens of thousands of scientists and governments of every type.

            Here is a sensible and factual analysis of the science by the Met Office:

            https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/climate-change/causes-of-climate-change

            Even assuming a level playing field of respectability between the scientific foundations of both sides of the debate, why would you choose to believe someone such as Rick Fischer rather than those "panic-inducing" people suggesting that we're damaging the planet?
            Surely some form of 'Pascal's Wager' should apply here; if anthropomorphic climate change turns out to be wrong or exaggerated, what have we lost other than some extra tax and the effort of introducing more efficient sources of energy? On the other hand, if it is correct and your grandchildren or their children find themselves struggling to survive on an uninhabitable planet, what will they think of your opinion?

          • Ficino

            Paul Krugman today argues that denial feeds political and moneyed agendas, that only creation of climate-saving jobs is going to move enough people to overcome resistance by right wing politicians and their allies.

            https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/09/opinion/australia-fires.html?action=click&auth=login-email&login=email&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

          • Chris Morris

            Yes, that sounds about right (although I can't read the article as I'm not subscribed to the NYT).

          • Ficino

            One thing Krugman wrote I had never thought about:

            "There’s substantial evidence that conservatives who are highly educated and well informed about politics are more likely than other conservatives to say things that aren’t true, probably because they are more likely to know what the conservative political elite wants them to believe. In particular, conservatives with high scientific literacy and numeracy are especially likely to be climate deniers."

            Krugman cited this paper in support of the latter claim:

            https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1547

            The study's conclusion:
            "This result suggests that public divisions over climate change stem not from the public’s incomprehension of science but from a distinctive conflict of interest: between the personal interest individuals have in forming beliefs in line with those held by others with whom they share close ties and the collective one they all share in making use of the best available science to promote common welfare."

            That profile does fit one old college buddy of mine. He has a Ph.D. in geology and used to try to convince me that climate models devised by climatologists are based on faulty or at least unproved assumptions. He believes that behind environmental and climate movements is a plan to subordinate everything to governmental control. He is also the head of his own oil company. But he always argued from numbers.

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            I'm sorry, but regardless of where one stands on climate change, isn't that a breathtakingly cynical proposal? That bare bones of the argument are: rational argument is not enough to persuade the hoi polloi of the truth of green dogma, so let's make them economically depend on assent to green dogma.

            It was only a scant few years ago that I was a big Krugman fan and a green sympathizer myself and I used to roll my eyes when right-wingers would tell me that "the left only believes in power, not in truth". I don't roll my eyes at this anymore. It seems increasingly true. How can that article be interpreted as anything other than blatant suggestion to use government power to control what people think?

          • Ficino

            How can that article be interpreted as anything other than blatant suggestion to use government power to control what people think?

            Because that is not what Krugman is suggesting. Perhaps you were not able to read the article behind the pay wall.

            Rupert Murdoch et al are believers in truth, and Krugman is not? Come on.

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            No, I still do have my NYT subscription. I don't know why you would cast me as a Rupert Murdoch supporter, as if my calling foul against one actor implies that I'm a fan of "the other side".

          • Ficino

            It sounded as though you were saying that Krugman too believes only in power not in truth, since it's Krugman's article and you weren't distinguishing him from those on the left who you say believe in power not truth. But I am glad for your explanation. I mentioned Murdoch because Krugman makes a point in the article of disagreeing with him about the network of causes behind the disastrous fires in Australia.

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            To be honest, I was trying to suggest something pretty close to that, but on reflection I see that that is not totally fair, and I want to refine my position. It's not that he doesn't believe in truth; it is rather that he seems to have an extremely diminished view of the power of rational debate. Because he is so convinced that he has the truth, he cannot fathom that intelligent people of good will could disagree with him, and so he appears willing to short-circuit a process of rational debate by applying economic pressure instead.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            The link you gave me is a standard explanation of climate change from those raising alarm over what they fear.

            I am very sorry for your brother's plight, but this does not mean that one needs to buy into the climate change panic by any reasonable logic.

            Here is a link to an article that shows the real cause of the present catastrophe in SE Australia: https://nypost.com/2020/01/08/celebrities-activists-using-australia-bushfire-crisis-to-push-dangerous-climate-change-myth-devine/

            It shows that the real cause is a government bureaucratic surrender to greenie biodiversity agendas that prevent proper land management, including controlled burns in the off season that are critical to control of fires during the dry season -- regardless of any feared climate changes.

            Pascal's Wager does not apply to pure idiocy.

          • Chris Morris

            Oh dear, where do we even begin here..?

            Yes, the Met Office article is the standard explanation of current climate problems because it is the most widely accepted view of those studying the data.

            Characterising the Met Office as "those raising alarm over what they most fear" while offering Miranda Devine as someone who knows "the real cause of the present catastrophe,,," is unworthy of any adult conversation. Most of what she writes in that article are the inventions of Rupert Murdoch and Alex Jones.

            "Pascal's Wager does not apply to pure idiocy" does not really answer the point. What protocol have you employed in order to believe Miranda Devine rather than the Met Office?

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Just reading the sources she cites in her article. It is quite irrelevant who is writing the article if the sources cited are credible both as to credentials and the rationality of their explanations.

            For example:

            >"“Climate change has not caused the current fire crisis,” says Australian Capital Territory forester and former acting fire control officer Ian McArthur.

            >“Long unburnt fuels in national parks are the primary cause. Basic fire management states that a fire needs oxygen, a heat source and fuel. The only one of those that can be manipulated is fuel. The more fuel, the more intense the fire, the harder it becomes to suppress the fire.”

            You don't even have to enter the climate change debate in order to understand the need for basic fire control measures and land management in a frequently dry, hot climate. Our own State of California has had some similar problems.

            Or again, Devine notes: "One of my guides was Australia’s foremost bushfire researcher, Dr. Phil Cheney, who has spent 30 years trying to convince authorities that if ground fuel is reduced in a scientific, systematic fashion every year, fire intensity is reduced to a manageable level, no matter what the weather conditions. A quadrupling of ground fuel means a 13-fold increase in the heat generated by a fire. Hazard reduction won’t prevent fire but it will reduce its intensity so that it can be controlled."

            Just because the "wrong person" cites a valid argument and set of facts does not make the argument or the facts false.

          • Chris Morris

            Unfortunately, most of this entirely misses the point. Yes, Ian McArthur is correct in saying that climate change has not caused the fires but I'm not aware of any climate scientists arguing that this is the case or that some better forest management may well be useful in helping alleviate some of the problem.
            However, this doesn't address the underlying problem that Australia is getting warmer and drier and this has contributed considerably to the extent and destructiveness of the fires.

            "It is quite irrelevant who is writing the article..." If you consistently believed that to be the case then the credibility of the Met Office's sources would convince you of the rationality of their view. Miranda Devine is a journalist paid to promote these extreme right-wing views so I'm not inclined to take what she writes at face value (I'm not in the habit of doing that anyway, no matter who it is I'm reading) and characterising this as a simple choice between a "dangerous myth" that climate change has "caused" the fires and the idea that throwing open the land for (presumably) private enterprise to do whatever it likes would solve the problem is not convincing.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            "However, this doesn't address the underlying problem that Australia is getting warmer and drier and this has contributed considerably to the extent and destructiveness of the fires."

            I see two issues here getting commingled that may be distinguished: (1) the climate change argument, and (2) the specific crisis of the Australian fires.

            There is real danger of conflating one with the other. If you assume the climate change argument is correct in the direction of dangerous warming, then, of course, Australia becomes a case in point.

            But if the real damage in these fires arises from poor fire control management, partly caused by attempts at an ill-conceived biodiversity agenda, then the specific case of the fires may require a different perspective.

            In any event, the underlying premise that our planet is facing dangerous warming must not be assumed to be true in the face of possibly true counter analyses, such as I presented earlier: https://blog.usejournal.com/five-myths-about-climate-change-a-closer-look-7d47c45e2844

            Moreover, do not think that a misbegotten political agenda driven by fear of climate change is not without severe consequences. It is entirely possible that the tampering with the economy envisioned by those seeking to "remedy" the changes may be the true portending disaster. That is material for another major debate probably not practical for this thread.

          • Chris Morris

            "I see two issues here getting commingled..." Yes, that would be one of the points I was making.

            In any event, the underlying premise that anthropomorphic climate change is an idiotic left-wing conspiracy must not be assumed to be true in the face of possibly true counter analyses, such as I presented earlier.

            Moreover, do not think that a misbegotten political agenda driven by fear of social change is not without severe consequences. It is entirely possible that the tampering with the economy envisioned by those seeking to remedy the changes may improve lives of many people.

            I would still be interested in knowing how you went about choosing to believe one of those rather than the other.

          • Ficino

            Dennis, listen to yourself! You refrain from advancing opinions about the interpretation of many passages of Scripture on the grounds that you are no scripture scholar. But you are OK with dismissing the work of the vast majority of scholars trained in the science of climatology, as though their conclusions are merged with "a misbegotten political agenda"?

            "Tampering with the economy" will get us into huge areas of disagreement. But is that what the dispute really boils down to, not so much a dispute over climatological methodology alone?

          • Jim the Scott

            @dennisbonnette:disqus

            Well dude religion is more important than mere climate politics! I would be just as careful as he refraining from comments of many passages of scripture but I have no trouble telling you the Old Star Wars Expanded Universe rocked and these new Disney fan films bite!

            These isn't even a matter of religion. I am sure Pope Francis agrees with you on climate change where as I agree with Atheist political commentator and comedian Greg Guttfeld.

          • David Nickol

            Dennis, listen to yourself! You refrain from advancing opinions about the interpretation of many passages of Scripture on the grounds that you are no scripture scholar. But you are OK with dismissing the work of the vast majority of scholars trained in the science of climatology, as though their conclusions are merged with "a misbegotten political agenda"?

            Exactly. I was going to say something along these lines myself, but you have preempted me (and said it better).

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Okay. You are right. This is outside my own field of competence, if you mean the scientific question of man made warming. But, if you consider the epistemic question of the nature of science and the sort of statement you make here: "But you are OK with dismissing the work of the vast majority of scholars trained in the science of climatology," I think I can legitimately question the liceity of your claim about the "vast majority" of climatologists.

            Try this video on for size if you want a very careful review of your claim about the "vast majority" of climatologists:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJujb-VnaCM

          • Ficino

            The NY Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch. The explanation you propose, from the Post, is precisely that against which Krugman wrote this morning in the column I linked to Chris Morris. Is the Post giving the full picture? I am bothered by the ties that climate-change deniers tend to have to moneyed interests in industries that profit from extraction.

          • Michael Murray

            Here is the NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner explaining the issues with hazard reduction burning

            https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/08/hazard-reduction-is-not-a-panacea-for-bushfire-risk-rfs-boss-says

            It isn't always effective and the difficulties in doing it are mostly down to the increasing shortness of the period when it is safe to perform. People get very distressed when (as has happened) a hazard reduction burn gets away and their houses are burnt down.

          • Jim the Scott

            This is about as convincing as some insensitive Theist saying this happened to yer brother because God was punishing you for yer religious skepticism threw him.

            I need better evidence.

          • Chris Morris

            Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn what you think you need.
            Sorry Jim but I'm too busy to indulge your puerile nonsense at the moment.

          • Jim the Scott

            Fine make bad arguments. See what I care.....

            I have no reason to believe the fires in Australia are caused by climate change even if I was all in on climate change.

            BTW I hope yer brother is well. Now I will leave you to it.

          • Mark

            if anthropomorphic climate change turns out to be wrong or exaggerated, what have we lost other than some extra tax and the effort of introducing more efficient sources of energy?

            What will have been lost is credibility. Humanity needs the science community to have it when there is a real threat. The Montreal Protocols are a good example. How Thatcher and Reagan responded were mostly opposite, but how they eventually got together was cohesive. Europe tends to be restrictive until proven safe; America tends to be unrestrictive until proven unsafe. (3rd world countries don't have a choice because they can't afford the price tag of restriction.) So scientific "spin" on how to present that information to the public does matter because credibility is a necessary premise to political action. Over exaggeration of the meaning of scientific findings by ideologues undercuts the credibility of science.

          • Chris Morris

            Yes, that's a fair point but it's a problem we've encountered and dealt with a few times over the history of modern scientific knowledge. The useful thing about scientific knowledge is that it relates to particulars so that one failure or exaggeration tends to have its impact lessened by the next successful discovery.

          • Phil

            Surely some form of 'Pascal's Wager' should apply here; if anthropomorphic climate change turns out to be wrong or exaggerated, what have we lost other than some extra tax and the effort of introducing more efficient sources of energy?

            As Mark does mention I think credibility is an issue, especially right now during our information saturated time, mainly due to the internet. Where in the past it might not have been as big of an issue. It would become kind of like a "boy who cried wolf" situation. (Which I will admit seems to have already partially become the case with climate "doom sayers".)

            I think another issue would be unintended and unpredictable consequences.
            If one decides based upon unsure science to do something to which we cannot predict accurately whether it will ultimately have a good or bad effect does that make much sense? Is it a rational decision? Unless one is willing to say we ought to make irrational decisions at times, I don't think it makes sense.

            We have to remember that it is always It isn't just an issue of lost tax money, more expensive energy, etc. It is that our time, energy, and money could have been spent on something much more beneficial.

          • Chris Morris

            The Pascal's Wager analogy was specifically intended to examine the reasoning of someone with no formal knowledge of climate science in choosing one side or the other in the debate so I await Dennis's answer to that question.

            As far as unsure science and unintended consequences are concerned, I think that climate scientists are reasonably sure that their predictions are accurate. Do you have any evidence that reducing CO2 in the atmosphere may be detrimental?

          • Phil

            The Pascal's Wager analogy was specifically intended to examine the reasoning of someone with no formal knowledge of climate science in choosing one side or the other in the debate so I await Dennis's answer to that question.

            I might argue that making “Pascal’s wager” in regards to this wouldn’t make sense.

            When the wager is presented in regards to God, it is normally stated what have you to lose by acting as if God existed and then finding out that God doesn’t? You simply won’t exist anymore, so you won’t know you were wrong.

            But when it comes to uncertain or extreme “climate action” one could put policy into action that actually makes things worse.

            As far as unsure science and unintended consequences are concerned, I think that climate scientists are reasonably sure that their predictions are accurate. Do you have any evidence that reducing CO2 in the atmosphere may be detrimental?

            The problem is the predictions have not been super accurate. The climate is a chaotic, complicated system that we are just starting to grapple with.
            It has also been pointed out that it gets to the point where with some predictions of effects that you get 50 years out and the error bars become so big that you don’t know whether it will be a good or bad effect.

            In regards to reducing CO2, it is appearing that there are some good effects to increasing CO2 such as that we’ve been seeing a greening of the earth and greater crop yields. Plants and trees want higher CO2 than we’ve had recently to thrive. So in that sense, lowering CO2 could get rid of those good effects.

            As I mentioned in another comment, if we look at history, humanity has thrived when it has been as warm or warmer than it is right now, such as during the Medieval and Roman warm periods. So in that sense an argument could be made that a minor to moderately warmer earth will actually be net beneficial to humanity.

          • Chris Morris

            As with all science, none of this is 100% guaranteed especially with a system as complex as the climate and, yes, there may be some benefits with slightly increased levels of CO2 so this is always going to be a case of balancing judgments.
            I think what we see from history is that humans tended to thrive in stable climatic conditions - changes in climate that affected food production have made social and political instability more likely or more extreme, as in the period leading up to the French Revolution.

          • Phil

            As with all science, none of this is 100% guaranteed especially with a system as complex as the climate and, yes, there may be some benefits with slightly increased levels of CO2 so this is always going to be a case of balancing judgments.

            I'll agree 100% that because of the complexity it is uncertain what amount of effect humans have had on the overall climate in the past and because of that we aren't good yet at predicting what effect future actions would have.

            And in the end, science is normally in the business of producing a theory, making predictions from that theory, and then testing those predictions. So far we haven't done a great job at making very accurate predictions. But hopefully with more study we can do so!

            I think what we see from history is that humans tended to thrive in stable climatic conditions - changes in climate that affected food production have made social and political instability more likely or more extreme, as in the period leading up to the French Revolution.

            It would make sense that stable climates would help humanity in the sense that things would be much more predictable.
            But given that a chaotic system like the climate will not be stable, humans have gotten good at adapting.
            And if we have to choose between a colder climate (like the little Ice Age of the 1600-1800s) or a warmer one like the Medieval or Roman warm period, it seems like the warmer one if overall better.

            We are nowhere close to be able to "control" the climate to make stable, given that we don't know what exactly in the past 150 years has been due to natural variation and what has specifically been due to human action.
            (The computer models don't help much as they are tuned to be stable before they then add in the human effects to the models. The problem is that starts with the false premise that the climate would be perfectly stable apart from human actions.)

          • Chris Morris

            "The computer models don't help much as they are tuned to be stable before they then add in the human effects to the models."

            I'm sure you understand computer modelling better than I do but I would be surprised if they hadn't factored that in to the models. However, the investigation and debate continues:

            https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/04/new-climate-models-predict-warming-surge

          • Phil

            I'm sure you understand computer modelling better than I do but I would be surprised if they hadn't factored that in to the models.

            Actually surprisingly, they do not. The models cannot reproduce natural climate change. In fact, when those models are constructed, they are adjusted so they do not produce any natural climate change.

            One reason being is we don't know well how natural forces actually effect the climate. And therefore not knowing well how the climate would act apart from human activity. And that is a big part of the problem.
            And that is also the reason why we cannot break down what climate changes have been purely natural over the past 50, 75, 150, etc years vs. what is attributable to human activity.

            (To be clear, I am not expert in climatology, this info just comes from climate scientists who actually work in this field.)

            https://www.sciencemag.org/...

            Yeah, only time will tell! I'm always interested in new and better data. The models have not done good the past 20 years, but hopefully we are learning as we go.
            Or maybe we will suddenly see drastic warming. Who knows!

          • Phil

            Thought you might find this reading interesting as they were just posted.
            They are from Dr. Roy Spencer (one of the guys who helps to keep up 1 of the major temperature datasets we have).

            On a basic model agreeing with a paper in 2017 that 40% of warming since 1979 due to early volcanic cooling:
            https://www.drroyspencer.com/2020/01/1d-model-of-global-sst-shows-40-of-warming-since-1979-due-to-early-volcanic-cooling/

            -----------

            Just modeling the recent trend:
            https://www.drroyspencer.com/2020/01/weak-el-nino-conditions-help-explain-recent-global-warmth/

            -----------

            Here is the temperature dataset he helps to maintain at UAH:
            https://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

            We've seen about a trend of about +.5*C since 1979. Which works out to about .12*C per decade. Or about +1.2*C over 100 years.
            And if it would be correct to say that 35-45% is due to early volcanic cooling, we'd be looking at at least of .17-.22* C of the warming since 1979 being purely natural forcings.

          • Chris Morris

            Thanks for those links. It'll take me a while to work my way through the information contained there but he does seem to have a religious/political agenda which raises some warning flags for my scepticism. I hope his apparent prejudice against those he refers to as 'global warming nazis' hasn't also prejudiced his research.

          • Phil

            he does seem to have a religious/political agenda

            Where have you read anything of Dr. Spencer where there is direct evidence of a religious and/or political agenda?

            Secondly, that really would become irrelevant because the science must stand or fall on its own. If what is presented is right, then it is right for scientific reasons, not religious or political reasons. If it is wrong, it is wrong for scientific reasons.

            The science is what matters.

          • Chris Morris

            He is quite well-known for his support of, for example, the Cornwall Alliance and his preference for 'intelligent design' over evolution. However, I begin with the assumption that his evidence is not contaminated by those opinions.

          • Phil

            However, I begin with the assumption that his evidence is not contaminated by those opinions.

            Right, every scientific proposal stands or falls based upon the scientific evidence for or against it.
            So while it is good to be aware of things like that, it is ultimately irrelevant to the validity of the evidence for or against a scientific proposal.

          • Chris Morris

            A few initial thoughts on this:

            The figures you highlight above seem to show the tropospheric global averages which demonstrate an increasing trend in recent years. In 1990 Spencer and Christy published a paper casting doubt on the veracity of surface temperature records because the satellite measurements from their inception in 1979 showed no increase in tropospheric temperatures. As this paper indicates, this resulted in a considerable concentration of resources on examining the apparent discrepancy between surface and atmospheric temperatures:

            https://www.arl.noaa.gov/documents/JournalPDFs/ThorneEtAl.WIREs2010.pdf

            I've been searching to see if Spencer is included in the hundreds of scientists and thousands of experts that are involved with the IPCC Working Group 1 in the production of their reports but I haven't found anything so far. I would be interested to know if he has any input.

          • Phil

            A few initial thoughts on this:

            The figures you highlight above seem to show the tropospheric global averages which demonstrate an increasing trend in recent years.

            Yeah, we have seen a small increase since what has been termed "the pause" from ~1998-2015.
            The tough part is that when dealing with climate, and not just "weather", we are really dealing with closer to a minimum of 20-50 year trends (manytimes longer).
            I too will be curious if we start to see another uptrend coming out of the "pause" and after the El Nino of 2015/2016. But that will take another 5-10 years of data.

            In 1990 Spencer and Christy published a paper casting doubt on the veracity of surface temperature records because the satellite measurements from their inception in 1979 showed no increase in tropospheric temperatures. As this paper indicates, this resulted in a considerable concentration of resources on examining the apparent discrepancy between surface and atmospheric temperatures:

            As surface temperature records have gotten better, the discrepancy is definitely less. HadCRUT is the most recognized surface dataset we have right now I believe. The surface temperature record is much harder to work with, especially when trying to get an "average earthly temperature". The surface temperature's do usually show a slight bit more warming than the satellite record, but still not huge.

            I've been searching to see if Spencer is included in the hundreds of scientists and thousands of experts that are involved with the IPCC Working Group 1 in the production of their reports but I haven't found anything so far. I would be interested to know if he has any input.

            You know, I can't remember of his involvement with the IPCC. I know Dr. Christy has been involved with the IPCC, and Dr. Christy and Dr. Spencer do work closely together.

          • Chris Morris
          • Phil

            Good finds!
            I thought all 3 of them did a good job of being well balanced and not giving into the "world is ending" conclusion.

            This obviously goes beyond the basic science that these articles were seeking to present, but I'd be curious for more study to be done on what could be the positive effects of a minor to moderately warming climate.
            (Obviously, some of the effects are so hard to predict since we are dealing again with a chaotic system.)

          • Chris Morris

            Yes, I think that progress in this area (not just the science but also the socio-political arguments) is generally going to be hindered by polarisation so setting out the basics which most people can agree on as laid out in articles such as those may be useful as a foundation for further discussion.

            Any limited changes in the climate will have positive as well as negative effects but, of course, if it's extremely difficult to formulate precise predictions of many of the negative effects, it would be equally difficult to give predictions for positive effects.

          • Phil

            Any limited changes in the climate will have positive as well as negative effects but, of course, if it's extremely difficult to formulate precise predictions of many of the negative effects, it would be equally difficult to give predictions for positive effects.

            100% true. Which is why I tend to lean toward being conservative in our actions at this point.

            I do think it is completely clear that smog causing agents like NOx and particulate matter are a real issue so cutting those down to a reasonable level makes complete sense. Which maost 1st world countries have already done, for the most part. CO2 is not part of these smog causing agents so we are dealing with something else when it comes to CO2 (which is one reason why I wouldn't categorize CO2 as a "pollutant" right now).

            And really, even modern coal plants are pretty darn clean when it comes to this stuff. Now, older coal plants are an issue. But I am a huge fan of nuclear at this point as it really is one of the most efficient and most clean energy producers. The con of course if making sure we take care of the radioactive waste properly. And it does take some investment up front of course.

          • Chris Morris

            Yes, I would also regard my approach to this as a conservative one which is why I would advocate sensible limits on greenhouse gas emissions until we can determine from the evidence what a safe limit would be.

            It's certainly now possible to produce electricity from coal-powered plants much more cleanly than previously since environmentalism has put pressure on governments and industry to improve performance:

            https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cleaner-greener-future-for-british-coal-plants

            and nuclear plants have a part to play in this as well, in my view. None of the options are in any way 'ideal' or absolutely right or wrong so it's a matter of negotiating a sensible balance which probably won't happen if people on either extreme are being hysterical about 'global conspiracies' or 'the end of the world'.

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            There actually is a not-totally-crazy argument to be made that decreasing CO2 levels could be bad in some respects because vegetation levels increase when you have more CO2. But leaving that somewhat esoteric argument aside, I think the more significant concern that most people have with many green proposals has to do with the price of reliable energy. That is not a trivial or unreasonable concern, and it's not just a concern of big evil corporations. The price of cheap reliable energy affects almost everything, including:

            - how many people can afford to keep their homes at livable temperatures
            - how many people can afford to mitigate environmental risks through construction or moving
            - how many people have jobs and can afford transportation to get there so they can take care of their families

            When the environment goes haywire, you really don't want to be in a position where you can't afford reliable energy. Just as a personal anecdote, I was in Germany this summer during the heat wave. The cost of energy is exorbitant there because they are basically paying for both their unreliable ("green") energy sources AND all the more conventional energy sources that they need to keep operating to provide the backup at peak. It was merely uncomfortable for a (relatively) young healthy person like myself, but it can be deadly for the sick and elderly. I would suggest that a good human environment is one in which we have the cheap energy to adapt to whatever the natural environment throws at us.

            I hope it's clear I'm not trying to defend inaction or denial of facts. But there are real non-trivial costs of pursuing a lot of green proposals, and the quality of the debate is improved by acknowledging that.

            As far as I'm aware, most of the scientific consensus is at the qualitative level (we ARE in a warming trend, and we most likely ARE contributing to it at some level), but cost benefit analysis requires quantitative consensus, and as far as I'm aware the scientific community doesn't have anything approximating that at this point.

          • Chris Morris

            These are, indeed, all reasonable points which need to be addressed (and, I think, are being addressed).

            Clearly there is a range of atmospheric CO2 levels within which we can have 'liveable' changes in the variety of flora and fauna and outside of which we begin to encounter problems.

            The question of energy prices is certainly not trivial and I'm sure that for most ordinary people the price of electricity, gas, and petrol would be the first thing that comes to mind in any discussion of climate change and the changes that are happening already as well as those being proposed.
            Here in Scotland we have considerably increased the amount of electricity generated from renewables without the price suddenly jumping (I'm a pensioner on a low fixed income so I would notice if the price suddenly became unaffordable):
            https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/04/scotland-produced-a-record-amount-of-renewable-energy-last-year/
            But energy prices certainly do vary considerably even in the EU:
            https://selectra.co.uk/energy/guides/tariffs/electricity/europe#

            I assume that the scientific community leave the cost benefit analysis to politicians and economists - that would have to be the subject of a different debate, I think.

  • "We believe in science." Whatever does that mean?

    You could just ask whoever says it.

    When I say it (which I hardly ever do), I mean only that if there is a scientific answer to some question, I regard that answer as more likely true than any non-scientific answer.

    • neil_pogi

      i believe in science but not in evolution. evolution is just a creation myth of secular atheists. no truths, just lies

      • George

        Can you tell me what evolution is supposed to be?

        • neil_pogi

          i never believe in one aspect of evolution, that is macro-evolution

          • Steven Dillon

            I think we have to be very careful when rejecting a consensus of experts: experts are not only in a better position to know of what they speak than non-experts by virtue of their knowledge of vast and highly technical literature; but, unlike non-experts, they enjoy a system of checks and balances that helps prevent mistakes in fact and in reasoning that can be very difficult to see. Given how easy it is for the human mind to make such mistakes, especially outside an academic community, I think humility is the most honorable position to take.

            It may be of benefit to ask yourself whether you rejected "macro-evolution" before you considered the evidence or because you considered the evidence. I don't make this suggestion condescendingly, it's an exercise I regularly engage in myself. It's not a particularly pleasant process, but part of being good at being human is refining our intellects, and it's important to hold each other to that higher standard.

          • neil_pogi

            i believe in the consensus of evidence-based claims and not on merely on opinions of your experts.

  • George

    I'm hoping the rational and pro-science catholic church can stand up for climate science, NASA's earth research, and regulations on profit-motivated fossil-fuel companies. Right before I checked SN today, I was thinking of asking Brandon to please consider posting something directly related to the problem of climate change. The title of this most recent post didn't really surprise me.

    • Michael Murray

      Sometime back, around the time of the Pope's encyclical on the environment, Kevin Aldrich made a couple of posts about Catholicism and the environment. This is the second one and there is a link to the first part in it.

      http://strangenotions.com/can-catholics-and-atheists-agree-on-the-environment/

      EDIT: I should have said "wrote a couple of articles" not "made a couple of posts". These were whole articles not comm box posts.

      • George

        Appreciate it. I forgot about that one.

  • Will

    "[Modern science] is itself radically incoherent, not when it seeks to understand things and subhuman organisms and the cosmos itself, but when it seeks to understand man, not man’s physiology or neurology or his bloodstream, but man qua man, man when he is peculiarly human. In short, the sciences of man are incoherent."

    Says an author who has been dead since 1990. Our understanding of human
    evolution has made numerous strides since then. As unique as humans are in terms of written language and such, we are still just as biological as the rest of Biology. That is the fact, even if we don't like it. (Biology Major, by the way.)

    That being said, we have a much better argument for God: The Cosmological
    Argument. More to the point, I too am a Catholic and I attended the March for Science, marching with wholehearted passion. I can tell you first hand that this article is wrong. The March for Science really was for Science, and not for Scientism.

    • … In short, the sciences of man are incoherent.

      Says an author who has been dead since 1990. Our understanding of human evolution has made numerous strides since then.

      It is not clear that the "sciences of man" are less incoherent, now[1].

      As unique as humans are in terms of written language and such, we are still just as biological as the rest of Biology. That is the fact, even if we don't like it. (Biology Major, by the way.)

      What in the OP do you take to be a denial of the embodied aspect of human nature?

       
      [1] I have many examples; here's something from 1998:

          There are several reasons why the contemporary social sciences make the idea of the person stand on its own, without social attributes or moral principles. Emptying the theoretical person of values and emotions is an atheoretical move. We shall see how it is a strategy to avoid threats to objectivity. But in effect it creates an unarticulated space whence theorizing is expelled and there are no words for saying what is going on. No wonder it is difficult for anthropologists to say what they know about other ideas on the nature of persons and other definitions of well-being and poverty. The path of their argument is closed. No one wants to hear about alternative theories of the person, because a theory of persons tends to be heavily prejudiced. It is insulting to be told that your idea about persons is flawed. It is like being told you have misunderstood human beings and morality, too. The context of this argument is always adversarial. (Missing Persons: A Critique of the Personhood in the Social Sciences, 10)

      In case it's not clear, the toleration of multiple, conflicting models of human nature—which aren't even allowed to be articulated—is a great recipe for incoherence.

  • Geeves

    Whilst I agree with some of the points in isolation the overall tone of the piece feels like an overzealous straw-man playing right into the (false) Science VS Religion narrative. Harping on about a teacher misusing the word "believe" in particular felt very heavy handed. The message that I heard expressed about the march was that it was an attempt to push back against an increasing popularity of rejecting science, painting the entire movement as scientism only plays into the false dichotomy you claim to be against.

  • Michael Murray

    Geena over at EN has pointed out the original title and subtitle for this piece.

    Settle for nothing less than the infinite mystery and infinite delight

    The recent March for Science was a sad and sorry exercise in a view of reality that is flattened, dreary, and ultimately inhuman.

    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/5597/Settle_for_nothing_less_than_the_infinite_mystery_and_infinite_delight.aspx

    • Hey, Michael! Thanks for the comment. A few thoughts:

      First, I struggle to see how this comment is at all relevant. What's the point of it? When reposting Carl's article here at Strange Notions, we chose a new title and removed a few lines that some people may read as objectionable. Is that a problem? Would you have rather those lines been INCLUDED?? If your comment was meant as criticism, then I think it's quite telling: if someone is willing to criticize a site for including objectionable lines OR for excluding them, you know they are driven purely by animus; they're only out to criticize, in the worst sense of the word.

      If you're interested in redaction criticism, there are plenty of other sites to help you hone that skill. But this is a simple blog where ordinary people discuss ideas about God and atheism. So come on! Let's tone down the pedantry.

      Finally, a brief comment about the Estranged Notions site. I just marvel at how much time and energy those good folks spend complaining, critiquing, and mocking this site--especially when virtually nobody outside of their group reads their laments! That site, from it's beginning, was an enraged echo chamber that seems designed for no other effect than to serve as a therapeutic source of self-validation. And it doesn't seem that mission has changed.

      I haven't visited there in months, but I did just stop by after reading your comment. I found an even stranger place than I remember. Rather than a place for interesting discussion, it's just a small group of snarky skeptics who spend several hours each week commenting (and mostly complaining about) articles on a totally different website.

      It's strange because I just don't understand how people have time for that! I'm not trying to be condescending--I'm genuinely confused why real people decided to devote their limited time on earth to such a pointless activity. I can only hope it brings them joy and satisfaction, and I wish them the best at it.

      • George

        Michael's comment is just providing some information.

      • OverlappingMagisteria

        Welcome back Brandon! We haven't seen you here for a while.

        it's just a small group of snarky skeptics who spend several hours each week commenting (and mostly complaining about) articles on a totally different website....I'm genuinely confused why real people decided to devote their limited time on earth to such a pointless activity.

        Estranged Notions is basically an alternate comment section for this site... are confused why people would want to comment on a Strange Notions article? Cause that's basically what they do there. Would you have the same confusions for the commenters here on Strange Notions as well? Why do we waste time commenting here? Is this a pointless activity?

        I'll admit is a bit strange to have a site whose basis is an alternate site. But I think its kind of neat that Strange Notions is able to generate discussions that even those who were banned and require an alternate venue want to continue to participate in. You should be honored.

        • "Would you have the same confusions for the commenters here on Strange Notions as well? Why do we waste time commenting here? Is this a pointless activity?"

          No, because I don't think the two comment sections are equivalent. One comment section, the one on this site, exists to bring together sincere, reasonable people who disagree about important issues but want a genial space to get at the truth. That's undoubtedly a worthy pursuit.

          The other comment section, on Estranged Notions, exists, in my view, simply to mock the articles and commenters at Strange Notions through snark, juvenile insults, and mean-spirited aspersions. It's an echo chamber of a few angry skeptics, with virtually no dissenters (at least, last time I visited). They seem far more interested in polemics than truth. So outside of its possible therapeutic value, I simply don't see the point of it.

          I do wish them the best and pray for them often, including many of them by name (or by Disqus handle.) But it's simply not how I would choose to use my limited time on earth.

          "I'll admit [it] is a bit strange to have a site whose basis is an alternate site. But I think its kind of neat that Strange Notions is able to generate discussions that even those who were banned and require an alternate venue want to continue to participate in. You should be honored."

          I hadn't considered it from that angle before, so thanks for pointing that out. I suppose, in a way, that spinoff site is a compliment to Strange Notions.

          However, again, not all dialogue is equal. From my few visits to Estranged Notions, the tone is so shrill, snarky, and mean-spirited, I just can't see the value of it (outside of the therapeutic and cathartic benefits it may confer.) From the outside--or to me at least--it seems the site does NOT exist to fairly engage the content at Strange Notions. It seems it exists to bash every (theistic) article, contributor, or commentator in a harsh way. That's not dialogue; that's mockery.

      • David Nickol

        Would you have rather those lines been INCLUDED??

        Yes, definitely. Why "expurgate" articles from the Catholic World Report to protect the delicate sensibilities of SN readers?

        The text deleted from the original article appears in bold below.

        Which, of course, is nonsensical and irrational, just like Nye's support for abortion. The editors of The Register-Guard, perhaps mildly taken aback or even embarrassed by the creed of Ms. Naumoff and company, sought to strike a more agnostic note, stating:

        The march will have served a useful purpose if it succeeds in getting Americans, including the Trump administration, to think about what science is, and what it isn’t. Science isn’t truth, and it isn’t something people should believe in. It is a method for zeroing in on the truth by testing possibilities and gathering evidence.

        Longtime readers of the newspaper will be momentarily heartened to hear the editors believe that truth exists, but will then recall the endless pro-homosexual, pro-"gay marriage", and pro-transgendered articles and editorials the same editors have published with a focus and devotion that, again, is religious in fervor. In their own way, they have pursued a scientistic path; in doing so, I suspect they are merely voicing what many educations, editors, and elitists hold to be gospel truth about humanity, reality, and "progress". Hughes, in concluding his essays, offers this very sober note of warning . . . .

        :

      • David Nickol

        If something was going to be deleted, though, a good candidate would have been this passage from an article quoted by Carl Olson:

        In contrast, being “pro-science” has become a shibboleth for supporting progressive ideology. Think of a recent ad by National Geographic with the caption, “Stand behind the facts. Stand with science. Stand for the planet.” But just weeks prior, National Geographic had run a cover depicting a nine-year-old boy dressed as a girl. Because, as we know, they stand with science.

        The January issue of National Geographic had a very substantive article about gender and transgenderism. I can understand why ultra-conservative Christians would have objected to the article, but I was always taught not to judge a magazine by its cover!

      • Would you have rather those lines been INCLUDED?? If your comment was meant as criticism, then I think it's quite telling: if someone is willing to criticize a site for including objectionable lines OR for excluding them, you know they are driven purely by animus; they're only out to criticize, in the worst sense of the word.

        I'm not sure that Carl Olson's article withstands this standard of judgment. Let's take the example of those who sometimes bundle pro-legitimate-science rhetoric with pro-liberal-agenda rhetoric, and sometimes include only the former. Olson seems to believe that it is quite legitimate to pick out those times when there was bundling, and suggest that this is the true spirit behind the publishing party. Why is it then unacceptable for Olson himself to be treated this way?

      • VicqRuiz

        I can only endorse Overlapping Magisteria's comment, Brandon.

        The creation of a site devoted to discussion of your site is a very flattering reflection of your original desire to create dialog between Catholics and atheists. I doubt there are many online apologists who could claim as much!!

        • "The creation of a site devoted to discussion of your site is a very flattering reflection of your original desire to create dialog between Catholics and atheists. I doubt there are many online apologists who could claim as much!!"

          I suppose that might be true. But I really don't see how a casual visitor could stop by Estranged Notions and then choose "flattering" as an accurate descriptor. That would be a huge stretch. To put it simply, that site exists to bash and mock this one.

  • neil_pogi

    oh the science guy (nye), why refuse to have debate with some creationists like the scientists at Intelligent Design movement?

  • "We can either have an earth-bound and cramped system, or Truth Himself.
    The former offers trendy marches and Bill Nye rants; the latter offers
    infinite mystery and infinite delight."

    False dichotomy alert!!!

  • Oh good grief, what a wonderful way to make it highly unlikely to have a reasonable discussion on scientism. This is like identifying all Christians with the worst televangelists, or seeing all Muslims as terrorists. Where is the discernment which is sharper than any double-edged sword?

    For example, where is the awareness that the government is the major funding source for basic research? Basic research generally doesn't result in utility until 10–50 years down the line. You do not conduct basic research by directing scientists to solve some pressing problem. You give them a lot of leeway to follow the curiosity that we Christians believe God implanted in them. Donald Trump et al wish to cut such funding, which is quite in-line with the shortening time-perspective that seems to be paralyzing humankind. Shouldn't Roman Catholics be the most immune to such forces?

    Fail to understand the above and you give those who are using science as a political weapon more ammunition than they had before.

    • Rob Abney

      You give them a lot of leeway to follow the curiosity that we Christians believe God implanted in them.

      Luke, how do you decide how much leeway is appropriate?
      Augustine says (De Morib. Eccl. 21): "Some there are who forsaking virtue, and ignorant of what God is, and of the majesty of that nature which ever remains the same, imagine they are doing something great, if with surpassing curiosity and keenness they explore the whole mass of this body which we call the world. So great a pride is thus begotten, that one would think they dwelt in the very heavens about which they argue."

      • Luke, how do you decide how much leeway is appropriate?

        I'm not going to pretend to have a comprehensive answer to that question. I will leave you with a video, though:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmhD-RWNL6c

        • Rob Abney

          Thanks for the video. You might enjoy this blog today: http://blog.adw.org/2017/05/summons-humility-mystery-seven-thunders/

          Scripture says, Beyond these created wonders many things lie hid. Only a few of God’s works have we seen (Sirach 43:34).

          Thank you, Lord, for what you have taught us and revealed to us. Thank you, too, for what you have mercifully kept hidden because it is too much for us to know. Thank you, Lord. Help us learn and keep us humble, like little children. Msrg. Pope.

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            Hi Rob,

            For a (very) different Catholic perspective on "sinful" curiosity, could I offer the words of Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete when he was interviewed by Robert Wright:

            Wright: You're not just saying you would like to see perfect justice on this planet, which we'd all like see, or you would like to see you know lots of beauty on the planet. You would like to have some kind of comprehension of and communication with the ultimate source of all of these good things.

            Lorenzo Albacete: I would like to experience and to have an understanding of it but I don't demand an understanding in a sense of a definition and "Now I totally understand it," because I think the most outrageous human experience is love, for example. From the moment you understand it you have lost it. So, I don't demand that kind of understanding. [But I do] demand a reasonableness that corresponds to my heart and always more. I want more.

            http://origins.meaningoflife.tv/transcript.php?speaker=albacete
            So, to my mind, he is distinguishing between, on the one hand, curiosity, which is a matter of always wanting more comprehension, and, on the other hand, demanding complete comprehension, insisting on a totalizing knowledge that would in fact foreclose on any further possibility of curiosity. The former desire (i.e. curiosity) is, in Msgr. Albacete's view (and mine, FWIW) is good. That desire is in fact one dimension of our longing for God. Curiosity, desire to know the Infinite, desire to know God, these are all different ways of referring to the same longing, or at least different aspects of the same longing.

            If you re-examine the scriptural support that Msgr. Pope provided in his blog, all of those passages seem to speak to the fact that some things simply will not be revealed to us. I think that's true, but that's neither here nor there when it comes to stifling or fostering our curiosity. None of those passages, on my reading, says that one should stifle one's curiosity.

            Albacete continues:

            [recall that this is an unredacted excerpt from an interview, so the grammar is a little wonky]

            It is the teaching of the church however it is has been emphasized enough or not or whether most people are aware or not at least in the Catholic church that the doctrines and dogmas are signposts but not the reality that one is after. These are signposts pointing in the direction of that which surpasses onwards and all doctrines and all dogmas and it should.

            Or, to put it in Bernard Lonergan's terms (since I know you are a bit of a Lonergan fan), the doctrines of the Church are to be as understood as heuristics, as ways of structuring the (endless) journey of discovery that is ultimately powered by our curiosity and our desire to know the Infinite.

            In summary, I think it is entirely wrong-headed (and arguably un-Catholic) for Msgr. Pope to decry the "sinfulness" of curiosity.

          • Rob Abney

            Hi Jim,
            I'm trying to understand curiosity from the Summa Theologica where it is called a vice in opposition to the virtue of studiousness which is part of the theological virtue of temperance, so an immoderation of curiosity is what could be "sinful" (but not for me to determine).
            1. expecting to be able to know or to dismiss those immaterial/spiritual things that we cannot know because they haven't been revealed to us, and 2. pursuing material things without acknowledgement of the immaterial aspect and thus assuming we know a subject comprehensively.

            I haven't gotten too far into Lonergan actually because he requires an immoderate attention to detail compared to the amount of time I should devote to it! Is he known as a Phenomenalogist? How does he differ from this description: Phenomenalism literally means any system of thought that has to do with appearances. The term is, however, usually restricted to the designation of certain theories by which it is asserted: (1) that there is no knowledge other than that of phenomena — denial of the knowledge of substance in the metaphysical sense; or (2) that all knowledge is phenomenal — denial of the thing-in-itself and assertion that all reality is reality is reality directly or reflectively present to consciousness.

            Happy Easter!

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            OK, interesting. If "immoderation of curiosity" is understood to be some sort of insistence on comprehensive knowledge, then I can easily identify that with sin. E.g. if a friend does not wish to tell me a personal secret, there is nothing wrong with my remaining curious about the nature of the secret, but there is something wrong if I don't respect his right to selectively self reveal.

            Most of what I know about Lonergan I have learned from the online Boston College course on Insight. I got about 1/2 way through it and then got distracted by who knows what else (planning to go back to it though). I think he would fail to meet your definition of a phenomenalist on at least two counts. First, he doesn't propose a comprehensive "system" of metaphysics at all. He instead proposes a comprehensive heuristic method for probing a reality that is not static but that instead continues to emerge, what he refers to in some places as a "generalized empirical method". Secondly, while that method (on my understanding) takes the phenomena of experience as its starting point, he most definitely does not assert that phenomenal knowledge is the only real type of knowledge. In particular, acts of understanding involve insights (hence the title of the book), which arise from our experience of phenomena, but are distinct from those experiences, and those insights must be critically assessed (critical realism).

            Happy Easter to you as well, Rob.

          • Thanks for the video. You might enjoy this blog today: http://blog.adw.org/2017/05...

            You're welcome & thanks. I don't disagree with the core idea that there are some things for which we are not yet ready. Bertrand Russell of all people motivates this, per this Phil.SE answer. For example, gunpowder allows for the concentration of power; the author quotes Russell saying that "Magna Carta would have never been won if John had possessed artillery." (The Impact of Science on Society, 19) We could also talk about human experimentation, whether Unit 731, Project MKUltra, Nazi human experimentation, or the Soviet poison laboratory. From there we could get more contentious with fetal stem cell research.

            That being said, I deeply suspect that one way that extant power structures remain stable is via somehow making it rather difficult to learn new things. We know how Jesus intended power to work—Mt 20:20–28 and Jn 13:1–20—but that is often not how power works, even among Christians. Indeed, God's kind of power seems to have the effect of building people up, one component of which is knowledge. If increase in knowledge ceases for too long, one is warranted in believing that God is not active. Superior knowledge is one way to crush arrogance—Job 40:6–14.

            Perhaps the problem is that we as humans have repeatedly failed to become the kind of vessels required to responsibly handle ever-increasing amounts of knowledge. Solomon failed to be responsible with the wisdom and other gifts granted him; Israel failed to be responsible with the beauty given her; we Christians have failed time and again (a good example being the Thirty Years' War). One response to such repeated failure is to declare the mission impossible and settle for some maximum. I think this well-characterizes much of contemporary Christianity of all stripes when one judges by behavior. But is it what God wants?

            Scripture says, Beyond these created wonders many things lie hid. Only a few of God’s works have we seen (Sirach 43:34).

            How do we interpret that before and after the scientific revolution? Put another way; does your interpretation of that increase or decrease the likelihood of discovering antibiotics?

          • Rob Abney

            If increase in knowledge ceases for too long, one is warranted in believing that God is not active

            That would be a mis-appropriation of the source, from ST Question 9, article 2: Knowledge is distinct from the gift of wisdom, so that the gift of knowledge is only about human or created things.

            does your interpretation of that increase or decrease the likelihood of discovering antibiotics?

            I can't come up with a way that it would decrease the likelihood.

          • That would be a mis-appropriation of the source, from ST Question 9, article 2: Knowledge is distinct from the gift of wisdom, so that the gift of knowledge is only about human or created things.

            A major way we understand the Creator is to understand the created.

            RA: Scripture says, Beyond these created wonders many things lie hid. Only a few of God’s works have we seen (Sirach 43:34).

            LB: How do we interpret that before and after the scientific revolution? Put another way; does your interpretation of that increase or decrease the likelihood of discovering antibiotics?

            RA: I can't come up with a way that it would decrease the likelihood.

            In that case, I am not sure what you meant to convey. Being a finite being, I think it entirely reasonable to suppose that an infinite being would create an infinite reality—of which I could ever only know an infinitesimal sliver.

  • GuineaPigDan .

    Nye, a children’s TV host from the nineties with no formal training as a scientist, has recaptured the spotlight with his videos on climate change, abortion, women’s rights, and other topics.To say his arguments in some of these videos are embarrassing is being kind...

    Any more embarrassing than Autism Awareness Day being proclaimed by a president who is a former reality star celebrity with no science background, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/31/president-donald-j-trump-proclaims-april-2-2017-world-autism-awareness and who lends support to the anti-vax movement and the able-ist organization Autism Speaks? (the group that produced the horrendous "I Am Autism" commercial back in 2009) What makes this worse is that Autism Speaks has actually repudiated the "vaccines cause autism" claim and recently stopped saying they want to find a "cure," however out of either ignorance or stubbornness, Trump has pushed forward with both those claims. He's made friends with the discredited anti-vax doctor Andrew Wakefield, considered appointing anti-vaxxer Robert Kennedy to a vaccines safety commission, and refers to finding a cure for Autism in his Autism Awareness Day proclamation. If someone looks at Trump and the science marches and comes out thinking the bigger concern is scientism, I think that person needs to re-examine their priorities to paraphrase Ron Weasly.

    • Rob Abney

      How did you determine that anyone was more concerned about scientism than about Trump?

  • OverlappingMagisteria

    The lengths that Mr. Olson goes to misunderstand the March for Science is truly astounding.

    We have a president who calls climate change a hoax, who threatens to cut funding for research through the NIH ,EPA, NOAA, NASA, DOE, who meets with and promotes a anti-vax cranks and ideas, who appoints various people to government positions who don't understand or even accept the scientific consensus of the very offices they lead..

    Understandably, scientists are a bit concerned. Science funding may be slashed. Policy will be made based on unsound conclusions.

    That's what the march for.

    ---This post is reposted to remove my admittedly snarky bit at the end.. and to add the below---

    Strangely, the op-ed article that Mr. Olson linked and presumably read contained all that information. And yet he chose to ignore it and claim that it was a march for Scientism instead. Mr. Olson's cherry picking is quite blatant in this article. From the Register Guard article:

    The primary issue behind the March for Science was climate change,
    rejected by Trump as a hoax concocted by China. Saturday was Earth Day, after all. But the issue of climate change was embedded in a larger context — the context of an administration whose budget calls for steep reductions in federally supported scientific research across many agencies, whose appointees are hostile to regulations based on scientific understanding of risk and whose spokespeople regard facts as subjective quanta whose position depends on the observer’s point of view.

    http://registerguard.com/rg/opinion/35516344-78/to-the-barricades-for-facts.html.csp#

    • David Nickol

      I think Olson's reaction to the March for Science was reflexive (as in patellar reflex) rather than reflective. Not to beat a dead horse, but his treatment of the fifth-grade teacher who said she believed in science was particularly unfortunate: "But we can guess what Ms. Naumoff means: she and the enlightened educating class are the guardians of science, which is the one, true source of truth and goodness, leading us into a future of bliss." How reasonable is it to venture a "guess" (and that guess, in particular) as to what the poor Ms. Naumoff really means based on such a brief quote? I think a better guess would be what you quote from the Register Guard.

  • David Nickol

    But just weeks prior, National Geographic had run a cover depicting a nine-year-old boy dressed as a girl. Because, as we know, they stand with science.

    I commented earlier on this passage the author quoted above, but I have a bit more to say. Apparently for "conservatives," a mere glancing reference to something dealing with transgender persons sets off all kinds of alarm bells in their heads. Now, admittedly, "transgenderism" can be a very perplexing issue to deal with, but apparently for the original authors' intended audience, the mere fact that National Geographic's cover showed "a nine-year-old boy dressed as a girl" seems sufficient to discredit the magazine as unfit to promote the value of science.

    I'll grant that the transgender phenomenon is a liberal/progressive "thing" at the moment. I'll also grant that we're going to be seeing more transgender persons on television shows and in movies (it's already happening) and presumably even commercials. Some people have taken the matter up in an almost faddish way. (This is not to say—I want to make it very clear—that transgender individuals themselves are deciding they are the wrong gender now because it is trendy. The current "fad" is not creating transgender individuals. It is allowing them to "come out.") But why does this seem to be an issue that "conservatives" not only are so alarmed about, but also feel that other conservatives will automatically agree on without any argument whatsoever?

  • Catholics don't know what God is, what He wants, or how to get saved. Their apologetic arguments are weak and have been refuted many times.

    It is clear that despite exaggerated claims of inventing science and championing it, Catholics still feel threatened by the power of scientific findings, that are much more robust than the wishful thinkning and arguments from ignorance they rely on.

    This march isn't about philosophy any more than a Doritos ad is. It is about a fear of the American government cutting funding and undermining science, in favour or "alternative facts". We've seen it here in Canada.

    This is another desperate attempt to stay relevant for a religion mired in the medievil era.

    While Catholics have been trying to figure out if they are allowed to eat meat on Fridays or let people who hate each other get divorced, scientists are actually curing diseases and proving the Higgs boson and figuring out what to do about climate change.

    Scientism is more or less a red herring, this march wasn't about scientism, and it wasn't an attack on your belief that Jesus survived his death and whether you can eat a cracker on Sunday and believe this helps you get closer to the ground of all being that once made a law prohibiting the wearing of mixed fabrics, or didn't you will believe whatever you want.

    • Rob Abney

      You seem to be very angry, but your anger seems to be fueled by a misunderstanding of Catholicism.

    • Alexandra

      Speaking of the Higgs Boson's, here's a joke:

      "Higgs boson walks into a church, and the priest says, 'I'm sorry we don't allow Higgs bosons to come to churches.' And [the Higgs] says, 'But without me, you can't have mass.'"

      It's Neil Degrasse Tyson's favorite science joke. "Just to make sure this joke is politically correct, Tyson mentioned he had tested this joke on a Jesuit priest. 'He said it was cool, so that gives us total clearance,' Tyson said with a laugh." (So I think we too are in the clear.)
      I hope it can bring a smile to you too. Like Rob mentioned, you seem angry. Be well.

      P.s. We don't refer to the Blessed Sacrament as a cracker. We say Host, or Holy Communion, or Eucharist, and so forth.

      Edit: Removed first sentence, might be in violation of commenting guidelines.

      • neil_pogi

        how would they know that the Higgs Bosons are responsible for everything?

        • Alexandra

          Hi Neil,

          how would they know that the Higgs Bosons are responsible for everything?

          I don't think there's anyone proposing, in a serious way, that the Higgs boson itself is "responsible for everything". For example, it doesn't yet directly contribute to explaining gravity. The Higgs is one of a set of fundamental particles -the building blocks of everyday matter.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elementary_particle

    • David Nickol

      While Catholics have been trying to figure out if they are allowed to eat meat on Fridays or let people who hate each other get divorced, scientists are actually curing diseases and proving the Higgs boson and figuring out what to do about climate change.

      I agree with Alexandra and Rob Abney that you seem to have written the above in anger. And in doing so, you veered into irrationality. It is not as if you can draw a Venn diagram in which the set of all scientists does not intersect with the set of all Catholics. Pondering Friday abstinence or the permissibility of divorce doesn't prevent Catholics from being among those scientists (and others) who cure diseases, detecting the Higgs boson, and working on climate change.

      . . . this march wasn't about scientism, and it wasn't an attack on your belief that Jesus survived his death and whether you can eat a cracker on Sunday . . . .

      I would have been more than happy to agree that the March on Science wasn't an attack on Catholic beliefs, except you here, in defending the March on Science, are attacking Catholics. You clearly wrote the words above in an attempt to offend. To whatever extent you are representative of those who staged the March on Science, to that extent it was indeed an attack on Catholic (Christian, Jewish, etc.) beliefs.

      • Ignatius Reilly

        I agree with Alexandra and Rob Abney that you seem to have written the above in anger.

        BGA makes legitimate points and the "are you angry" response is at best a dodge at worst it is rudely patronizing.

        Pondering Friday abstinence or the permissibility of divorce doesn't prevent Catholics from being among those scientists (and others) who cure diseases, detecting the Higgs boson, and working on climate change.

        I know actual Catholic scientists. They are not SN Catholics. Now Vogt, who runs the site, has engaged in crude climate change denialism, in which he gets basic terminology incorrect and shows a lack of understanding of physics. Olson has written an article consisting of caricature and highly questionable assertions.

        A Catholic, when acting as a Catholic is busy denying divorces to those that are unhappily unmarried. A Catholic, when acting as a Catholic is busy denying the divorced the happiness of a better marriage. A Catholic, when acting as a Catholic is busy believing that a piece of bread transforms into God and that consuming that bread is instrumental in their salvation.

        A Catholic, when acting as a scientist can cure disease, work in physics, or work in climatology, but Catholicism has nothing to do with these advances. Nor does science have anything to do with the many abhorrent moral views Catholicism promotes. Catholics have a vested interest in keeping their cows sacred and calling an atheist that looks behind the curtain angry. If a Catholic wants to worry about eating meat on Friday, divorce, or the proper way to eat a piece of bread, more power to them, but I am not going to pretend that such concerns are anything short of ridiculous. I'm also not going to pretend like a degree of anger is unjustified.

        Whether or not BGA is angry is completely irrelevant. I occasionally get angry with many republican policy proposals. Would noting my anger be in anyway a defense of their bad policies? No. Similarly Rob and Alexandra's comments are mere deflections lacking substance.

        You clearly wrote the words above in an attempt to offend. To whatever extent you are representative of those who staged the March on Science, to that extent it was indeed an attack on Catholic (Christian, Jewish, etc.) beliefs.

        The March for Science only is an attack on Catholic beliefs in so far as Catholics use Catholicism to sow confusion on things like climate change, evolution, and other issues. I didn't think once about Catholicism when I read about the march. I thought about how sad it is that our political leaders are so ignorant of basic science. These political leaders were brought into power in part by conservative religious voters (SN Catholics included), who have brought there faith into the political arena. If you are going to bring your religion into politics, you should expect to have your religion attacked.

        • David Nickol

          BGA makes legitimate points and the "are you angry" response is at best a dodge at worst it is rudely patronizing.

          I did not criticize BGA for writing what was clearly an angry comment. I said, "[Y]ou seem to have written the above in anger. And in doing so, you veered into irrationality." I have nothing against angry comments per se. I write them myself occasionally. I was criticizing BGA (whose comments I am often very much in agreement with) for characterizing scientists and Catholics as two separate and distinct groups. It doesn't stand up to scrutiny, and your attempt to recast it is only a minor improvement.

          Brandon's comments on "climate change" were bizarre and ill informed, but note that he did say, "I would likely side more with the Marchers than Trump's administration on the issue with climate change . . . ." And also note that Pope Francis is clearly on the right side of the climate change issue. From The Washington Post:

          Pope Francis this week implored world leaders not to postpone the implementation of global environmental pacts, an appeal that appeared aimed at President-elect Donald Trump’s vows to end the United States’ leading role in combating climate change.

          The pope’s remarks came during a gathering of scientists at the Vatican, at which he said there has “never been such a clear need for science” to guide human actions to safeguard the future of the planet.

          You can't pin climate-change denial on the Catholics. (Here's an interesting Gallup Poll on religion and environmentalism.)

          Divorce is a tough issue, and I personally think the near absolutist stand on the indissolubility of marriage has cruel consequences. I'd say two things. First, Pope Francis is making a limited effort to make things just a little bit better. Second, in this day and age, the Catholic Church has no significant power to prevent couples from divorcing and remarrying. The prohibition against divorce and remarriage strikes me as harsh, but it is a burden only on those who choose to abide by it.

          I'd like to make two more points briefly, which I may expand on later.

          First, even among Christian denominations, Catholicism is far from the "worst" religion. It is certainly not anti-science. For example, it doesn't attempt to prohibit the teaching of evolution in public schools, and it even teaches it in its own religious schools. I got a first-rate science education in Catholic high school.

          Second, while I consider myself very fortunate to live at a time when science has made such great advances (especially in medicine), let's not pretend all scientists are saints. Scientists can find cures for diseases, but they also can (and do) create biological and chemical weapons. Also, we have to remember things like the following:

          The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male, also known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study or Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment was an infamous clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service. The purpose of this study was to observe the natural progression of untreated syphilis in rural African-American men in Alabama under the guise of receiving free health care from the United States government.

          Scientists also gave us eugenics, lobotomies, insulin shock therapy, and ozone depletion.

          • Ignatius Reilly

            You can't pin climate-change denial on the Catholics. (Here's an interesting Gallup Poll on religion and environmentalism.)

            I don't think that I pinned climate change denial on anyone. I will note that those that attend Church frequently are more likely to deny climate change. I read that Catholics as a group tend to mirror the general US electorate. There are Catholics for choice. Many liberal politicians are Catholic. Here at SN we usually encounter conservative Catholics who have many disagreements with their fellow Catholics.

            First, Pope Francis is making a limited effort to make things just a little bit better. Second, in this day and age, the Catholic Church has no significant power to prevent couples from divorcing and remarrying.

            And so the modern age brings the Catholic Church kicking and screaming into ethical positions that it should have adopted years ago. There is a difference between leading the moral charge and fighting progress.

            The prohibition against divorce and remarriage strikes me as harsh, but it is a burden only on those who choose to abide by it.

            So, when one is indoctrinated into Catholicism, once can simply choose to abide by whatever teachings one chooses to abide by? Funny, I don't remember choosing the various Catholic thoughts and impulses that influenced most of my life and probably still has a detrimental effect.

            First, even among Christian denominations, Catholicism is far from the "worst" religion.

            Did I say it was? I think Catholicism in general is really irrelevant here. What is relevant is the conservative and fundamentalist brand of Catholicism that is represented on these pages.

            I got a first-rate science education in Catholic high school.

            As did I. I also received an unfortunate education in a backwards moral system. I looked at 5 universities when I went to college. Three are major Catholic universities (one of which I attended), a state university, and a small conservative Catholic college (may have been a university). I received a great education at the Catholic university and would have received a similar education anywhere but the conservative Catholic college.

            I don't think I am being unfair in drawing a line of demarcation between the conservative Catholics represented by Olson, Vogt, Horn, Feser, Kreeft, and many of the catholic commenters here, and the Catholic physicists, mathematicians, and philosophers (some of them priests ) that taught me at university. I'm pretty sure half of the theology I learned at university would be considered heretical by SN Catholics.

            Scientists can find cures for diseases, but they also can (and do) create biological and chemical weapons. Also, we have to remember things like the following:

            Agree 100%.

      • No but sometimes you need to call people out.

        This OP isn't an opening for a legitimate discussion on the issues this site is devoted to. Its not a thoughtful discussion on how to properly advance science, or the intersection of science and politics. It's an attack and I am responding in kind.

        I'm sick of this straw man and quote mining of attackng people who are pursuing legitimate ends in favor of the nonsense Catholics get up to.

        Because, in the end Catholicism isn't philosophy, it isn't science, it isn't psychology, it is a religion. And frankly it is a pretty abhorrent one. It is sexist, homophobic, and desperate to stay relevant.

        What does it actually do that is useful or relevant that isn't done more efficiently by secular institutions? It gives a cover for harmful social positions on sexuality. Not to mention abomnal acts by its agents that it refuses to take full responsibility for.

        Yes I'm angry. I would have expected Catholics to embrace the march for science as Catholicism claims to embrace the scientific method. Rather this post seems to still feel threatened by the straw man of scientism.

        I've given Catholicism more than enough of a chance to justify itself. It hasn't. I'm done and bored with this site.

        Take it easy David. You're smart and kind and generous with your comments and discussion. I'm moving on.

    • neil_pogi

      ..and scientism is the lead agency for the development of killing machines: atomic and nuclear bombs, machine guns.

  • What does “We believe in science” mean? Probably that they believe science works. Or that it's good. Most likely both of them. Yes, scientism is a possible view many hold, but don't claim everyone who says this does for your critique.

    The difficulty in the “science-denier” stuff is people object to Darwinism on the basis that it's false. Scientific consensus, however, is the opposite. The same claim is made about climate change. Oh, and transgenderism, despite what you indicate. See the problem now?

    This is not to say everything progressivism says is scientifically true, or that they don't wrap themselves in the mantle of science, but this essay you link to doesn't mention these things. It seems a bit dishonest to me.

    Ending this on the claim of just two options with no solid foundation is not convincing. One can reject scientism, and also Christianity. There are many possible views than that. Anyone even slightly familiar with philosophy winces to read this.

    • neil_pogi

      quote: 'The difficulty in the “science-denier” stuff is people object to Darwinism on the basis that it's false.' -- so pls provide any proof that macro-evolution is very very true! atheists/evolutionists equate evolution with science. evolution can be considered as pseudoscience. all its explanations are just story-tellings https://crev.info/2017/05/whale-tail-tale/

      • There are others far better able to provide that. I am sure if you look you'll find them. You probably know that though, so why ask?

        • neil_pogi

          macro-evolution fails all the scientific standards (observation, experimentations)

          • So you say, but the scientific consensus is otherwise.

          • neil_pogi

            so science nowadays depends on majority opinions rather than basing on investigations, experimentations and observations!

          • That's not what I said. Based on their exhaustive investigations, experiments and observations, the scientific consensus is that evolution exists (macro too). They are not mutually exclusive things. We aren't going to agree though, clearly. I don't believe there's any point continuing.

          • neil_pogi

            just cite at least one evidence of macroevolution. let's say how a cockroach became a lizard?

          • Why? Look it up for yourself. Nobody says an insect is going to become a reptile either.

          • neil_pogi

            why not cite any proof or links at all!

            macro evolution says that all living things evolved from one single cell. or are you making a fool of me?

          • I don't feel like doing that work for you.

            I'm not sure it says that. Anyway, you don't seem to need help in that area.

            There is no point in continuing this, we're just repeating ourselves. So long.

          • neil_pogi

            you believe in macro-evolution, then why you couldn't explain it even in a plain english language? it's your obligation to explain it because i am like a child who always happen to ask questions!

          • Caravelle

            I'm curious, do you have an explanation why science holds up "observation, experimentations" as standards?

          • neil_pogi

            i'm curious, do you have some explanations on why macro-evolution fails all the scientific methods why it is not even observable at all?

          • neil_pogi

            just provide me evidence and proof. that's all i want

          • Caravelle
          • neil_pogi

            all i want is for you to provide any proof and evidence on how a nonliving things became living things, how a very infinitely small dot suddenly exploded and became a universe! it''s really superstitious. justified as storytelling... hahaha, so wild imaginations phd scientists have.

  • neil_pogi

    if not for theists, science is not marching on advancement of it. atheists just hijacked science from theists.

    science says, that only living things will only comes from pre-existing living things, and then atheist scientists say it's not. the explanations are all storytellings and make believe, just like the link below for instance: http://scienceagainstevolution.info/v21i3f.htm

  • Andrew Britton

    It's an all too common occurrence that those who are the most polemic, uninformed or self confident select themselves as ambassadors for their cause. Science has it's Bill Nyes while Christianity has its Ken Hams. The only way to deal with them is to remain true to ourselves and engage them in dialogue respectfully when necessary.
    I am impressed with the explanation of the rational process which uses reason to choose faith, as a means to trust reason. It may be circular reasoning but it appears honest. It admits having to rely on our own faculties to begin in any direction as opposed to the seemingly impossible instructions I've had specifically regarding the bible, that faith must be the basis for judging reason. Denying that reason would be used to decide what you put your faith in.
    From what I've experienced there is a model of Christian world view that presumes man is unable to be honest with himself or trust any of his faculties without God. Faith in the Christian God must be installed before ones abilities can be trusted and good. So how do I make the first step? Apparently I have to keep an open mind, keep searching and God himself will draw me in and convict me. I shouldn't be too surprised if he doesn't though as he is selective and won't draw everyone. It is a disabling and troubling attitude that undermines the trust in self one ultimately depends on to take any initiative.
    If this model is applied by a minority and not an accurate representation of Christianity as a larger whole then I'm relieved.
    When discussion turns to age old conundrums such as "what is the meaning of life?" Or the more childish "why?" I tend to roll my eyes secretly and check to see if it might be sarcastic.
    To ask this sincerely indicates the belief that an external source might respond satisfactorily. It does remain for some a question that should have an answer and it is of great importance.
    We are the architects of our personal understanding of such things. Decisions about what our life means to us can only be made by us. External opinions inform us but can't make our decisions for us. If "God " is a satisfactory answer for you great! I have found that it is not and that if I desire meaning in life itself it is my responsibility and my choice. If it's not then it doesn't mean anything to me.

  • "We believe in science." Whatever does that mean? What if the seventh-grade home-ec teacher (if such a thing still exists) exclaimed, "We believe in the culinary arts", or the 10th-grade French teacher solemnly explained, "We believe in language." Huh? But we can guess what Ms. Naumoff means: she and the enlightened educating class are the guardians of science, which is the one, true source of truth and goodness, leading us into a future of bliss

    This is an area where you impute your assumptions onto all the participants in the march. "I believe in science" means (to most people who say it) that I believe science is the best and most reliable way to find truths about our world, and that I don't deny science when it conflicts with political or ideological biases. This is what basically all climate change and evolution deniers are doing. Someone who doesn't think science is reliable (like many creationist and climate change deniers are) is not someone who believes in science. They deny science.

    Believing in science is not the same as claiming science is the only way to truth, just that it's the best and most reliable way to find truths about our world. Nye probably doesn't understand this, but there is a way to rationally justify the statement that one believes in science.

  • Ficino

    I decline the offer to watch an almost hour-long video of a non-climatologist trying to prove false the contention that a consensus about the effects of human activity on climate obtains among climatologists.

    I went to Columbia. I start out with the views of scientists trained in the study of climate, as presented by my university.

    https://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/1784

    • Dennis Bonnette

      I can see that the nature of debate over whether scientific consensus is even a viable concept is itself controversial. You prefer to refer to your authority source, which has merit and is understandable. I would prefer that you might at least take a look at the analysis in the video, but can also understand your not wanting to take that much time to watch something you are already convinced lacks scientific merit. Of course, I am not talking about scientific merit, but the merit of claims about scientific consensus.

      If you look down the comments on the video, you will find the following one which reminds us of a well documented case in which scientific consensus proved very fallible indeed!

      West Lands
      5 months ago
      Want another scientific consensus blunder? In 1982, Doctors Marshall and Warren theorized that the Helicobacter pyloris bacterium caused stomach ulcers. This theory was rejected by the medical profession because the current scientific consensus dogma said that no bacterium could survive in the acidic stomach. Marshall drank a H. pyloris mixture and developed stomach ulcers. He then cured himself with antibiotics. Warren and Marshall were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2005 for their discovery.

      • Chris Morris

        I'm still puzzled about what it is you're arguing here. Yes, the scientific consensus in 1982 was wrong but the wonderful thing about science is that we now know it was wrong - the evidence showed that and a new consensus emerged. The fact that such a well-known story is available for you to cite actually weighs against your argument (if your argument is that we shouldn't trust science because sometimes the scientific consensus is wrong).

        I would (genuinely - I'm not interested in 'point scoring' or 'winning' debates) like to know why you choose to believe the view that anthropomorphic climate change is a political hoax rather than the scientific consensus.

        • BTS

          Me too, I would like to know the thinking involved here. My parents think the same way as Dennis but my parents are not informed. Dennis claims to be informed. I was just talking to my wife about this thread this morning and we were scratching our heads. As Ficino said, much more eloquently than I, weaning off fossil fuels soon is the right thing to do in any evaluation of humanity's future.

      • Ficino

        Dr. Bonnette, you have argued that EVEN IF ex hypothesi a human zygote/embryo/fetus does not have rational soul actually, we cannot have moral certainty that it does not. Therefore, it is never licit to abort.

        Why not apply a similar (not identical) line of reasoning to carbon emissions and the like? why not say that even if we are not sure that human activity is a cause of the global warming that is documented over the last generations, we cannot have moral certainty that industrial emissions etc are not a cause. So therefore we should take steps to curb them.

        Is it that certain industries will reap fewer profits? Yet, it is stuck-in-the-mud thinking to try to protect "the coal industry" or "the oil business." Shouldn't companies define themselves as energy companies as such? Think of a carriage maker in 1902 who redefined his company as a transportation company as such.

        Or that down the line you fear a one-world government? But similar fears are cited eloquently by defenders of the right to choose, and you dismiss these.

        • Jim the Scott

          Since when is human life equivalent to the environment? If you harm the environment and that rebounds on human health and safety then it is wrong but if human life is not effected....well it is not good but it is not morally equivalent to directly and unlawfully taking a human life.

          Abortion is the direct taking of human life and killing a fetus is a plausible act of murder since a fetus species homo sapiens sapiens is plausibly human. If I polluted Mars' environment & Mars is a dead planet well that would be wrong(because it is unreasonable) but it would not be morally equivalent to murder.

          • Ficino

            it is not morally equivalent to directly and unlawfully taking a human life.

            Since when did I say it is equivalent? I explicitly said the reasoning I outlined above is "similar (not identical)". You are not reading.

          • Jim the Scott

            My point is since it is not equivalent it is not comparable. A fetus species homo sapiens sapiens is plausibly a human being and therefore cannot be murdered. It is not clear climate change is caused by human activity or that extreme environmentalist actions are required.

          • Ficino

            The four-term analogy implicit in your argument is not based on correct principles. Murder is a species of killing a fellow human. Not every act of killing a fellow human is illicit. You should have compared "harm the environment" to killing not murder.

            But "harm the environment" is too vague to do any work in your analogy because "environment" is not a substance. At most, it is ontologically a heap.

            Discussions about climate change/global warming in this thread have convinced me all the more of the inadequacy of natural law theory ethics. Consequentialism gives you the materials from which to tackle pressing questions like the imminence of environmental collapse and human actions' link to same.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Right. In consequentialism, you can use an evil means to attain a good end -- which automatically makes the evil means into a morally good act. A much more convenient solution, since should the circumstances require it, any act can be deemed "necessary," and thus, licitly performed.

            Of course, to justify this analysis, it is necessary to maintain that there is no such thing as an intrinsically evil act, since that would be to admit that there are some acts that can never be justified by the end intended.

            This is the same reasoning that says that it is licit to directly and intentionally kill an unborn child in order to save the life of his mother. Or, to murder someone if the alternative is to be killed yourself. Or, the reasoning Hitler could use to find a "final solution" to the Jewish "problem" in order to purify the Arian race.

          • Ficino

            What's the name for the move in argument where you bring in Hitler?

          • Dennis Bonnette

            The point really isn't Hitler. The point is that no one in his right mind wants ever to endorse his genocidal policies. Therefore they get universally condemned.

            But here is the rub. If you admit that such actions must never, under any circumstances, be allowed, then you are essentially saying that they are so evil that no good end could ever justify them.

            This amounts to saying that an "intrinsically evil" means can never be justified by a good end.

            In so saying, you have just disproved consequentialism.

          • Jim the Scott

            >The four-term analogy implicit in your argument is not based on correct principles.

            Enlighten me sir.

            >Murder is a species of killing a fellow human. Not every act of killing a fellow human is illicit.

            Obviously but murder is the unlawful & or immoral taking of human life.
            It is always evil in essence. An act of direct abortion is a species of murder.

            >You should have compared "harm the environment" to killing not murder.

            I don't see why I would? My point is to contrast abortion/murder which is always intrinsically evil vs harming the environment which is not always evil. Like clearing trees to build a children's hospital.

            >But "harm the environment" is too vague to do any work in your analogy because "environment" is not a substance. At most, it is ontologically a heap.

            It is a set of things in an ecosystem that live and thrive and obviously living things have substance and the clean water and air they use have substance.
            So I don't get yer point?

            >Discussions about climate change/global warming in this thread have convinced me all the more of the inadequacy of natural law theory ethics.

            That doesn't logically follow. Wither human caused climate change is true or not & the extent of its reach is a matter of science alone. I tend toward a minority view. Others a majority view. If it is established as a fact then natural law dictates we not act in such a way as to make it worst & we should act in a manner to reverse it. Thus yer statement makes no sense.
            St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI both believed in some form of human caused climate change. They opposed it for this reason.

            >Consequentialism gives you the materials from which to tackle pressing questions like the imminence of environmental collapse and human actions' link to same.

            That makes no sense either since the truth or falsehood of human caused climate change and its potential threat to human life and life on Earth is a matter of science alone.

            Once we establish this truth or falsify it then we employ ethics. I don't see how a moral theory that says you can do moral evil if you have a good result makes this better?

            Geez what is with the category mistakes? Or am I misunderstanding you?

        • Jim the Scott

          additionally: Here is a way to simplify it. You are confusing acts that are evil in essence with acts that are potentially evil & or imprudent. Murder is evil in essence. Damaging the environment is imprudent but it is not always evil. For example I might have to clear some trees and pour concrete to build a children's hospital. Murdering a human being is always evil.

          • Ficino

            You are playing around with loaded terms to serve what end? To argue against your own Pope that NO ACTION should be taken to curb emissions into the atmosphere if the emitters don't want to curb?

            Are you against child labor laws, worker protection laws, safety regulations on products... etc? These are things that curb actions of business owners which you can say are not evil in essence. It's not evil in essence to padlock exits of factories during the shifts. So therefore it's OK - even when sometimes there is The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire or the fire this past March in Dhaka? People called these murders because workers could not escape, but you will spend your time arguing that, strictly speaking, they are not murders ... and therefore that there should not be laws restricting business owners from doing certain things, not evil in essence but liable to cause evil consequences?

          • Jim the Scott

            First of all Pope Benedict himself said Catholics don't have to absolutely agree with the Pope on everything. Like the death penalty. Pope Benedict is maximally against the DP but he has said Catholics are allowed to disagree with the Pope on the DP. They however are not allowed to disagree on abortion. Pope Francis has never contradicted Benedict on this FYI. Also Pope Francis in his own encyclical Laudato si specifically said in the document that people can disagree on climate change, and that it wasn’t magisterial.

            >Are you against child labor laws, worker protection laws, safety
            regulations on products... etc?

            I would look at each of those individually and judge by the moral law what was a matter of essential morality and what was a matter of prudence & then descide accordingly. Wither I marry Rosemarie or not is a matter of prudence. That I cannot marry a fellow named Gerard because we are both dudes is a matter of essence.

            >These are things that curb actions of business owners which you can say are not evil in essence.

            Sorry but we are not dealing with specifics here. You are being vague and general.

            >It's not evil in essence to padlock exits of factories during the shifts.

            Ok that is better.

            Yes that is a question of prudence. During the proverbial Zombie Apocalypse it would be prudent to keep out persons who went homicidal mad from a dangerous virus. So in that case it would be good.

            If workers can't escape a fire in a normal world it might not be prudent and if there is a high chance of a fire then it is self evidently unreasonable.

            The issue here is IMHO man caused climate change isn't a proven fact or even IMHO a highly probable one so such over caution is not justified.

            Just has it doesn't seem probable we will have an actual Zombie apocalypse so chaining factory doors to keep out Zombies is an unreasonable over reaction though in one science show I saw it is very remotely possible a mutant strain of rabies could infect human beings and have them go homicidal crazy creating pseudo Zombie apocalypse but the remote possibility this will happen doesn't justify chaining the doors.

            Extremist Climate change regulations are IMHO wrong for the same reason. They are not self evidently justified.

      • BTS

        Oh, what to do when one side of an argument turns it into a false equivalency? The anti-climate change science is typically produced by scientists who are not climate scientists! This is a false equivalency, giving too much weight to uninformed and motivated detractors. Follow the money! Learn who is sponsoring the anti-climate change science.

        BTW, our shared alma mater has a timely article in ND Magazine about the value of experts.

        https://magazine.nd.edu/stories/whats-wrong-with-experts/

        • Jim (hillclimber)

          BTS, with respect to following the money, what do you make of Freeman Dyson? Is he in the pocket of big oil? After his illustrious career, is he hungry for prestige? Is he an idealogue? Is he not competent to assess the scientific arguments? I'm not saying you have to agree with him, but it seems to me that the idea that anyone who is questioning green orthodoxy must necessarily have perverted motivations is an idea that just doesn't hold water for me.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQHhDxRuTkI&t=797s

          • BTS

            Hi Jim, I will watch the full video when I get time. I watched enough to get the gist. I used to work at a high school with a chem teacher who espoused the same argument: More CO2 is better, etc.

            Dyson is not a climate scientist, correct? I confess to not knowing his motivations. I hope he is sincere. He is a physicist. This strikes me as that old trick of the fossil fuel industry, to use experts in one discipline to make pseudo-informed statements in another discipline. He's somewhat out of his lane, and, judging from this video, his knowledge is probably not current. Plus this video is 4 years old. (at least). So, I guess he's a big name, but he's really just speculating on a broad scale here. He's not down and dirty with the data, which is what the current climate scientists are familiar with.

            I think he inspired the Ringworld book by Niven with the idea of the Dyson sphere, right? Pretty interesting book. I don't doubt he's a very smart man.

            Sure, things may green up in the short term. I'm even willing to concede that the possibility exists that all the climate scientists are wrong. That is a possibility, but, on balance, it is highly unlikely. I stand by my claim that we should be working for a green, clean world even if the climate change issue did not exist. I flat-out reject as out-dated defeatism anything else. Transitioning to clean energy is the next moonshot.

            And, have you considered that man must one day leave this planet? We need to learn to produce highly efficient, clean energy in other environments.

            What are are concerned about is the runaway effect, the tipping point. Once we reach a tipping point we are screwed, there's no fixing it.

            I don't want to get into an exchange of my graph/data vs. your graph/data because others here like Ficino and David Nickol will do a better job than I can. And, those debates typically never go anywhere.

            We have to trust the experts. We have to live in reality.

            Lastly, it's not the sun causing the warming. This has been soundly debunked.

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            But with regard to trusting the experts, the irony is that Dyson is among the so called 97% who believe that 1. Climate is changing and 2. We are contributing to it. It does not follow from those two facts that heroic efforts to reduce CO2 are warranted.

            It’s the perfect example to illustrate how misleading it is to claim that there is a meaningful consensus.

    • David Nickol

      I have not watched the video, and for all I know, it may be excellent. But I think the first thing anyone would want to know before spending an hour watching a video is the source. In this case it is Friends of Science. According to Wikipedia

      Friends of Science (FoS) is a non-profit advocacy organization based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The organization rejects the established scientific conclusion that humans are largely responsible for the currently observed global warming. Rather, they propose that "the Sun is the main direct and indirect driver of climate change," not human activity. They argued against the Kyoto Protocol. The society was founded in 2002 and launched its website in October of that year. They are largely funded by the fossil fuel industry.

      Madhav Khandekar, Chris de Freitas, Tim Patterson and Sallie Baliunas act or acted as advisers to the Friends of Science with their work cited in Friends' publications. Douglas Leahey has been president since December, 2009.[6]

      • Ficino

        As I said earlier, a college buddy of mine earned a Ph.D. in geology, worked for Royal Dutch Shell, then ran his own oil company. He is adamantly opposed to the thesis that human activity is a cause of global warming. He insists that climatologists' models are flawed. He referred me to information from the Global Warming Policy Foundation. I read that the latter's membership is dwindling...

        https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/climate-denial-scepticism-global-warming-policy-foundation-trump-a7552026.html

        I would chuckle if the consequences of denial weren't so severe, over how Paul Oskar Kristeller denied that humans contribute to global warming. The great scholar of Renaissance philosophy came to this conclusion on advice of a colleague who was in the Physics dept.

  • Ficino

    I haven't looked into the treatment of ethical and political questions about global warming from a natural law POV. A quick Google search makes it look as though natural law theory could provide a framework within which to urge and justify action to curb carbon emissions into the atmosphere etc.

    https://www.uwosh.edu/facstaff/barnhill/490-docs/thinking/env-ethics

    https://chesterrep.openrepository.com/bitstream/handle/10034/620347/Turvey%2C%20J.%20L.%20Thesis.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
    (Grisez was not a traditional Thomist)

    http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1241542/FULLTEXT01.pdf

    Pope Francis calls for action to be taken to curb the effects of emissions into the atmosphere:

    https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-06/pope-declares-climate-emergency.html

    I don't know how many Catholics here on SN view the present pope as heterodox.

    Constantinopolitan Patriarch Bartholomew issued a recent statement on wildfires across the globe. He does not say that global warming is the direct cause of a particular fire, but he insists both that global warming is at least in large part anthropogenic and that it creates conditions that exacerbate wildfires to the extent we are seeing in Australia and elsewhere. In this Bartholomew is in line with sources quoted by Chris Morris and against what I think is the Rupert Murdoch line quoted by Dennis Bonnette.

    http://www.ecen.org/articles/statement-global-wildfires-his-all-holiness-ecumenical-patriarch-bartholomew

    • BTS

      I was thinking the same thing, Ficino. Even if climate change effects pan out as vastly overestimated, transitioning away from fossil fuels is the right thing to do in almost any valuation. Burning fossil fuels is unsustainable, inefficient, toxic, and ugly. Eventually one generation has to bite the bullet for all those in the future. Humanity is not destined to live in a cloud of smoke. I would think under any natural law evaluation you'd come up with a system with humans living close to nature, in harmony with nature, up close and personal. Houses built into the ground, grass roofs, wind farms, fresh water, blue skies, clean manufacturing, ubiquitous public transport.

      I pose this question to Dennis:
      Do you think it ethically correct or practical for humans to still be burning fossil fuels 150 years from now? What about 500?

      It is most unfortunate for future generations that one group of obstinate folks is letting their disdain of everything "left" color their perceptions on the climate change issue, which is manifestly a bipartisan problem if there every was one.

      If we are still burning coal in 100 years, our race deserves to perish.

      @dennisbonnette:disqus

      Edit: Ficino, apologies for butting in. This is an issue I care passionately about.

      • Jim (hillclimber)

        Houses built into the ground, grass roofs, wind farms, fresh water, blue skies, clean manufacturing, ubiquitous public transport.

        That's mostly a vision I can sign up for, but I think it's a little misleading to cast that as just living "in harmony with nature". It takes energy and human industry to create conditions of clean air and clean water and all that good stuff. For most of human history we have been drinking water with deadly microbes and breathing dung smoke, and eating contaminated food because we didn't have refrigeration, and we've been huddled in the cold in lice-ridden blankets, and so forth. It is our use of fossil fuels that has freed us from that deadly natural environment and create an environment like the one you envision. Just take a graph that shows human life expectancy (or literacy rates, or whatever good metric you want) over the last two centuries and superimpose it on a graph that shows our fossil fuel use over the last two centuries.

        So my answer to whether it will be ethical to be burning fossil fuels in 150 years is that it may well be! We will need some source of cheap reliable energy in order to maintain and improve upon the massive environmental improvements that we have accrued over the past couple centuries. Just doing the math, it doesn't seem at all plausible that wind and solar can provide that. Maybe hydro and nuclear can. Maybe some new technology. But it's hardly a forgone conclusion that fossil fuels will be unethical in 150 years. (And they are not all the same, e.g. natural gas is zillions of times better than coal with respect to air pollutants.)

        • BTS

          Yes, and lead in paint and gasoline was so useful and cheap for all those years, and we could never possibly find an alternative to lead, so why try? Defeatist thinking gets us nowhere. Fossil fuels got us here but this is one instance where the saying "Dance with the one who brung ya" doesn't apply. It's time to ditch fossil fuels.

          It takes energy and human industry to create conditions of clean air and clean water and all that good stuff.

          Clean energy is the next moonshot. Think big. People need to be part of the solution or just get out of the way. I am ready to sacrifice greatly. I would agree to rolling blackouts, water limitations (and I live on the great lakes), garbage collection limits, AC limits, elimination of watering my grass, and most of all, I would be willing to pay more for energy. I would even give up my car and use public transportation if America got its butt in gear and built a good system.

          An uber-bare minimum would be to at least not go backwards and put lead, heavy metals, mercury, pthalates and other pollutants into the environment but that is exactly what the current pathetic US administration is trying to do. Despicable.

          We need to stop listening to lobbyists tell us what is possible and what is not. American can do this, and America should do this. Clean energy is our future. We can lead the world or become a third world country watching someone else do it.

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            I’m all for not being defeatist, but we have to do the math. I worry that math free green ideology distracts us from real solutions, which probably has to include very significant nuclear.

            If you are trying to make a meal by heating a pot with no ingredients in it, It makes no sense to say, “well at least I’m trying!”. It’s not defeatist to abandon solutions that are futile.

          • BTS

            Jim, fair enough.
            I could work with people who speak as you do.

            But I fear that folks like you who are are truly open-minded and willing to compromise are not winning right now. They are being shut out. At last here in the US, environmental law and protections are in serious jeopardy now.

            I live in a city that just won an environmental award for future thinking, and the actions of the current US administration make my blood boil.

            I’m all for not being defeatist, but we have to do the math. I worry that math free green ideology distracts us from real solutions, which probably has to include very significant nuclear.

            I'm fine with nuclear.

            As for the math, the harder we try and the more R&D we put into the problem, the more the math will start to change in our favor. Ask yourself why Lowes is selling LED bulbs now at a sale price of $1/bulb when the same bulb cost $25 just 6 years ago.

            Humans are so smart and so stupid at the same time. Just imagine if Steve Jobs had put his brain to work on real problems like climate change and clean energy instead of devices that are ruining our public discourse.

  • BTS

    In all sincerity I would like to know why as a generation the Boomers care so little for the environment. I know boomers adore their grandkids, as they should. Boomers are willing to pay for college for their grandkids, babysit their grandkids, and in many cases raise their grandkids. Shouldn't boomers be bending over backward to work for a beautiful, clean, healthy world for their grandkids and their grandkids' kids? What gives?

    • Dennis Bonnette

      As an ethician, I fully agree with you that right reason and natural law absolutely require us to be stewards of our god-given planet.

      But as to exactly how to fulfill that duty, good men can have honest disagreements based on diverse prudential judgments -- even when well informed of the matters at hand, given the complexity of some of these issues at a planetary level.

      • BTS

        honest disagreements based on diverse prudential judgments

        That is exactly what I am calling a false equivalency. This is not a case of two equal sides. The evidence is overwhelming, to the point where I heard on NPR the other day that the far right (I'm not claiming you are saying this) is starting to change the narrative to "OK, we agree that man is causing climate change but so what? Who cares? It's just a bunch of brown foreigners living on the coast that will be affected."

        • Dennis Bonnette

          As I said above, "evidence" of what? Look at those four distinct questions listed from that blog above. Consensus on all of their complex content? I don't think so.

  • Dennis Bonnette

    @ Ficino @ BTS @ David Nickol

    I am addressing several at once because I simply cannot respond to all of you.

    What a hornet's nest! I have never seen this much passion out of those rejecting God and/or the Catholic Church as on this issue of climate change policy! You would think I was advocating the direct extinction of mankind! Well, maybe you do think it is equivalent. :)

    While I cannot even find the comment now, all I did initially was post a link to a blog on climate change and out came the hornets!

    My memory may fail to serve me now, but can anyone show me where I ever denied that climate change was real or that man made CO2 emissions contribute to climate warming? I don't think I did. But that blog did make some interesting points. For instance:

    "First, the founding documents which authorized the IPCC and at the same time limited the scope of its authorization specifically restricted the IPCC to investigating only the influence of human activity on the climate."
    https://blog.usejournal.com/five-myths-about-climate-change-a-closer-look-7d47c45e2844

    Effectively, this tends to limit its reports only to human influence on climate, while it is not its business to do in depth study of other natural climate change influences that have determined the planet's climate for the last million years.

    For the record, I am not an idiot (I hope.) I do believe that climate change occurs. Who could be so dumb as to deny it? I also do believe that man made CO2 emissions tend to raise global temperatures (although this judgment is not in my field).

    But I also believe that water vapor affects global temperatures -- perhaps even more so than CO2 emissions. "Water vapor is a much more powerful greenhouse gas, it has twice the radiative effect (or “greenhouse” effect) of CO2...." https://andymaypetrophysicist.com/2018/06/09/does-global-warming-increase-total-atmospheric-water-vapor-tpw/ Anyone who thinks that the science of climate change is settled really should do a slow read of the cited article.

    But the most important point of that blog cited first above (which I doubt got read by all) is that there are a number of complex questions attendant to the general controversy over climate change that are not being discussed. As the blog points out:

    "The climate change issue consists of four component questions. First, to what degree does the warming effect of the carbon dioxide which humans add to the atmosphere contribute to all the many natural forces influencing global temperature; Second, what does the total of all those forces, man made and natural, produce on modern global temperatures — warming or cooling or no change; Third, what has the climate actually done over the centuries, and what will it do in coming centuries, driven by man made and natural forces; and Fourth, will the changes in climate be beneficial or harmful, will civilization flourish or suffer as a result."

    "Scientists are indeed split on all those precisely stated questions. There is no general agreement on any of them."

    In my judgment, this entire heated debate founders on the failure to grasp the complexity of the questions that must be answered before a general response is justified.

    There is far more at issue than the simple question as to whether man made CO2 emissions tend to cause global warming. And on several of the relevant questions cited in that blog, it is clear that careful scientists will divide their opinions.

    So, forgive me, but I am not in the rush to judgment some of you appear to be about this entire debate, especially about which practical, prudential actions should or must be taken -- and, most especially, when they involve serious consequences for society in general.

    • Chris Morris

      Woah! Hold on there, sunshine. Where did anyone say anything about this being an argument between religious faith and non-faith?
      The only thing that sounded to me like a hornet in these posts is the voice of Miranda Devine. And you were the one who used the word "idiocy".

      If debate always foundered "on the failure to grasp the complexity of the questions that must be answered" we would never achieve anything.

      You're original post to which I replied seemed very much a "rush to judgment" but you now seem to be saying that you are not necessarily in agreement with the Miranda Devines of this world.

      • Dennis Bonnette

        I am not sure if you are concerned here about the debate over Australian fire causation or human influence on global warming. The original blog article I introduced was not the one by Devine and it is the one I just defended above.

        And I did not say it was a battle over religious faith. Just noted that the hornets seemed more upset over this issue than even the debates over theism and Catholicism on this site!

        • Chris Morris

          I'm concerned with having a productive conversation about the reasons someone such as yourself might have for considering the views expressed by journalists such as Rick Fischer as epistemically more substantial than those of the majority of climate scientists.
          I'm not concerned with the cause of Australian bushfires - we know those causes to be mostly lightning strikes and a few arsonists - but I am concerned with the changes in the climate which are likely to make such fires more destructive (and other destructive climate problems such as rising sea levels).

          "...the hornets seemed more upset over this issue..." Yes, I think this is a subject worth getting upset over.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Frankly, I had no idea that dumping that Fischer blog would cause such a storm of concern about this issue.

            Where are all the skeptics that pervade this web site? Skepticism abounds regarding supernatural entities argued to by reason, but dare to question some scientific dogma and there is no further skepticism to be found!

            Quite aside, as I pointed out earlier, I do not deny climate change, nor do I personally deny that CO2 emissions cause atmospheric warming. That is just simple physics. But the point of the article I cited was centered on this paragraph:

            ""The climate change issue consists of four component questions. First, to what degree does the warming effect of the carbon dioxide which humans add to the atmosphere contribute to all the many natural forces influencing global temperature; Second, what does the total of all those forces, man made and natural, produce on modern global temperatures — warming or cooling or no change; Third, what has the climate actually done over the centuries, and what will it do in coming centuries, driven by man made and natural forces; and Fourth, will the changes in climate be beneficial or harmful, will civilization flourish or suffer as a result."

            In a word, you can concede the points I made above, but still have questions about a lot of other issues that may condition your personal response to demands for draconian controls of carbon emissions. The so-called "97% consensus" may apply to the most basis questions I concurred with -- perhaps even to saying that man made emissions have been the driving force for climate change recently -- and yet not sign onto the whole set of claims entailed in those questions above.

            Finally, since my field IS philosophy, I don't intend to be ensnared in this debate endlessly. Nonetheless, it is very interesting to note that the late eminent physicist, Dr. Edward Teller, made the following point in 1997:
            ""the jury is still out" on whether gases such as carbon dioxide cause global warming, but in the event it does occur, science and technology can address any such effects far cheaper than overregulating the market with emissions restrictions."
            https://www.conservapedia.com/Edward_Teller#cite_note-2

            The cited article also notes: "Edward Teller is also a signatory to the Global Warming Petition Project, a petition urging the United States government to reject the Kyoto Protocol, a petition which also reads in part, "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse [gases] is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."[4]

            I am not saying Teller is right. But I am suggesting that we all have the same right he had to dissent from what is claimed to be the overwhelming scientific consensus -- especially when it is not clear just how far that consensus goes in defining its conclusions. Again, examine the four questions cited earlier.

          • Chris Morris

            Why do you assume that any of us have been less sceptical about climate science than we are about any other subject? That would be like me assuming that, because you're a Catholic, you haven't ever analysed your faith and found reasons you feel support it.

            The fact that you use the term "Draconian controls for carbon emissions" strongly suggests that you've made up your mind on this for political reasons which is why there's so much confirmation bias evident in the material you've cited. Personally, I'm a (moderate) conservative who doesn't relish the idea of a radical change from energy based on fossil fuels but, having looked - carefully and sceptically - at the science, find myself accepting that this is necessary.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            I won't say who said this on this thread, but my concern about "draconian controls" arises not from preconceptions on my part, but from the kind of language I found here:

            "People need to be part of the solution or just get out of the way. I am ready to sacrifice greatly. I would agree to rolling blackouts, water limitations (and I live on the great lakes), garbage collection limits, AC limits, elimination of watering my grass, and most of all, I would be willing to pay more for energy. I would even give up my car and use public transportation if America got its butt in gear and built a good system."

            When we are telling people to "get out of the way," we need very good reasons for denying their freedoms.

            If someone like Edward Teller suggests that there might be less draconian methods to employ, I think we need look long and hard at such alternatives before resorting to "draconian methods."

            And yes, I think a bit more skepticism remains in order, when you look at the four questions I pointed out in the Fischer blog -- questions on which a scientific consensus remains to be demonstrated. As I look at a temperature chart for the last hundred thousand years, the Holocene period stands out as a sharply warming period in which the whole of civilization suddenly emerges. The norm had been a glacial period for the previous 90 thousand years. That makes me worry more about unintentionally falling back into an ice age than having a runaway heating. I am not saying that the science says this, but rather that the psychological impact of that chart influences me more than any assumed confirmation bias!

            And before you dismiss my continued skeptical attitude as some sort of blind conservative bias, please take a look at this article by Patrick Moore, Ph.D., former president of Greenpeace International, in which, in the midst of a long and very detailed defense of his position makes the following observation:

            "There was a 30-year period of warming from 1910-1940, then a cooling from 1940 to 1970, just as CO2 emissions began to rise exponentially, and then a 30-year warming from 1970-2000 that was very similar in duration and temperature rise to the rise from 1910-1940. One may then ask “what caused the increase in temperature from 1910-1940 if it was not human emissions? And if it was natural factors how do we know that the same natural factors were not responsible for the rise between 1970-2000.” You don’t need to go back millions of years to find the logical fallacy in the IPCC’s certainty that we are the villains in the piece."
            https://www.technocracy.news/former-president-of-greenpeace-scientifically-rips-climate-change-to-shreds/

            I strongly suggest you take the time to read his entire blast at the climate warming -- CO2 damning thesis.

          • Chris Morris

            Again, why do you assume I haven't read a wide variety of 'blasts at the climate warming - CO2 damning thesis'?

            While still seeming to characterise yourself as the only person being sceptical here, you continue to offer clearly biased sources without seeming to be in the least bit sceptical of their views:
            https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-friends/who-patrick-moore-look-former-greenpeace-members-industry-ties-and-climate-denial

            The Independent described the Global Warming Policy Foundation as "the UK's most prominent source of climate change denial."

            If you care to look at the many unbiased sources, such as the Met Office one that I offered earlier, you will find that those four questions are dealt with dispassionately and rationally by climate scientists in contrast to the hysterical falsity of, for example:

            "The real myth is the Warmists' claim that the many, powerful natural forces - like the most powerful greenhouse gas, water vapor; or the air ocean circulation dynamics; or the solar cycles and Milankovitch cycles; and many more - have ceased to operate a hundred years ago. They haven't." I hope I don't have to go through this quotation line by line in order to explain why it's hysterical or false.

            If reasonable scepticism or moderate resistance to new evidence becomes entrenched in dogmatic refusal to accept an overwhelming truth it is very likely to produce an equal and opposite reaction resulting in the advocacy of extreme measures such as you mention but the longer the resistance remains entrenched, the more likely we are to require those extreme measures to prevent catastrophic problems.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            I read the linked piece you gave above, but read it primarily as an attack on the messenger, rather than the message.

            I can see that we may wind up here having to agree to disagree. I read Moore's address carefully and am mostly impressed with the data showing no good correlation between climate warming and CO2 levels.

            If you can answer some of his claims, such as the following, it might help. But is he misstating the facts here? Or, doesn't the lack of correlation between CO2 levels and global warming have any legitimate significance?

            "I will focus on the past 540 million years since modern life forms evolved. It is glaringly obvious that temperature and CO2 are in an inverse correlation at least as often as they are in any semblance of correlation. Two clear examples of reverse correlation occurred 150 million years and 50 million years ago. At the end of the Jurassic temperature fell dramatically while CO2 spiked. During the Eocene Thermal Maximum, temperature was likely higher than any time in the past 550 million years while CO2 had been on a downward track for 100 million years. This evidence alone sufficient to warrant deep speculation [skepticism?] of any claimed lock-step causal relationship between CO2 and temperature."

            While this is not Moore's only argument, I find this apparent lack of correlation interesting. Is his data false? If not, could it be that, while CO2 does have a warming influence (which I am not so sure he denies), other factors were even more dominant. If the latter is true, then the central CO2 hypothesis as it being the primary driver of global warming appears contradicted.

            And, did Dr. Moore make the following up?

            "How many politicians or members of the media or the public are aware of this statement about climate change from the IPCC in 2007?

            we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled nonlinear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” "

            If not, what are we all arguing about?

          • Chris Morris

            As you mentioned that Moore was associated with Greenpeace I felt it fair to mention that he is not considered a disinterested party in the debate.

            As to your question about the correlation of CO2 and temperature, this should allay some of your doubts:

            https://www.nature.com/articles/srep21691/

            I would need to see a reference for the 2007 IPCC quotation as I suspect it requires a context. I haven't yet read this report in entirety so it may well be here somewhere. If it is the context gives a very different understanding:

            https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/ar4_syr_full_report.pdf

          • Dennis Bonnette

            It might help if I told you exactly where I am coming from on this whole issue.

            I put up that Fischer piece because it looked interesting to me as an example of those who are skeptical of the general global warming thesis. And yes, I found its general argument sufficiently impressive to wish to share it with others.

            So you don't misunderstand my real perspective here, while I have my own limited knowledge of this subject matter, what I do know has not (yet?) convinced me of the general global warming claims made today.

            The four questions Fischer raised relate to my concerns that, even if you do grant that CO2 causes atmospheric warming, there are a lot more issues that must be addressed before it becomes politically prudent to implement strong social policies to avert a danger which is not all that clear to me is real and pressing.

            That said, of course, I could be wrong. Clearly, you have studied this matter at length and, as a result, have strong concerns about implementing strategies designed to avert what you see as a clear and present danger.

            For my part, I know that natural science never can produce absolute certitude about any generalized theory. So, I hesitate to make the same kind of commitment you have clearly made.

            I find far more pressing the concern to save my immortal soul, whereas you don't even apparently think you have one to save! On the contrary, if this is the only world and life we can have, then my priorities would doubtless be more in conformity with your own.

            I can see that CO2 has physical mechanisms that tend to raise atmospheric temperatures. Whether that fits into an overall scenario that entails all the remaining premises that would force a conclusion that radical measures are needed is not so clear to me. I grant it may be to you.

            Since I am not a natural scientist, I will grant that you may know much more about this topic than do I. Nonetheless, since I do not share your learned experience, you cannot expect that I will make the same commitment that you do -- at least not based on my present knowledge.

            At any rate, I want you and others to understand that this whole matter is something of a side issue to me, since my primary focus is in those matters where I do have some formal competence.

            I am not asking that you end our dialogue here, but please understand that I am letting you know exactly where my perspective lies -- and why placing that Fischer article before you all did not mean that I would necessarily wind up as a climate skeptic, should sufficient information be given to me in the prevailing direction.

            I can see that CO2 level increases should tend to push up atmospheric temperatures. Even Moore seems to concede that point. The more general question is whether that is clearly the driving force of planetary temperatures over and above and against all other local and longer term natural forces. It may well be. I just do not see it yet, but that is like asking someone who has read a few books about Thomism to really understand its central insights.

            Nonetheless, please do not expect me to consider it the literal "life and death" issue you appear to view it as being. I have to spend more of my time on writing on specifically philosophic topics.

          • Chris Morris

            Thanks for taking the time to make a clear statement. I have to say I'm not a science expert by any means (although having a daughter with a physics degree helps) but if you can read Aristotle and Aquinas and make sense of them and I can read Kant and Hegel and make sense of them, I'm sure we can be reasonably capable of understanding science papers such as those above. I think at least trying to do that is preferable to deriving the information through the nexus of journalists who are clearly invested in viewing the subject from only one angle.

            Yes, this is a hugely complex problem and unfortunately it does tend to be simplified in to a straightforward political dichotomy (as do most subjects particularly on internet blogs) where people pick sides which become entrenched behind slogans. However, the amount of evidence has increased substantially over the past few years such that, although we agree that scientific knowledge is unlikely ever to be absolutely certain, the level of probability is more than that required for most areas of our lives (the safety of vaccinations and other medical procedures, aeroplane safety and so on).

            I certainly wouldn't want to interfere in any way with the welfare of your soul as a priority for you but I can't imagine that taking some time to look at climate science would put you at risk - the idea that humans are damaging the environment and climate doesn't appear to be heretical to the Catholic Church. You say that citing the Fischer article "did not mean that I would necessarily wind up as a climate skeptic…" so this would indicate that, although you may be uncomfortable with some of the political implications of the strategies put forward for alleviating problems predicted by the "Warmists" (as Fischer calls them), you would still be open to persuasion if the evidence was strong enough to convince you.

            As for it being a "life and death" issue, I suppose anything is capable of turning in to a life and death issue. I certainly regard it as an issue that, if we don't make some adjustments, is going to carry on becoming more of a problem but I feel that about many areas of reality. As a philosopher, it seems to me that it's part of my 'vocation' to examine where these problems come from, how people think about them and what it means for society to find ways of dealing with them. As Rob Abney has pointed out, everything is connected and it's part of the philosopher's job to make sense of this connectedness.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            It is refreshing to take some of the heat out of the discussion and replace it with light.

            I agree that if the science is truly that strong, then measures to curtail fossil fuel use would be in order.

            On the other hand, physicist Edward Teller maintained before his relatively recent death that, rather than curtail fuel use at great cost to society, there were other means to cool the planet, for example, "the deliberate introduction of fine particles similar to those produced by volcanoes into the upper atmosphere, which would mitigate any warming at a cost of between 0.1% and 1% of the cost of implementing the restrictions called for by environmentalists.[3"
            https://www.conservapedia.com/Edward_Teller#cite_note-2

            And yes, since the general question is not firmly decided on my part at this stage, I must remain open to persuasion as to the truth of the matter as I become aware of more evidence.

            I am glad to see that we could make some meaningful progress toward a meeting of the minds on this "hot" issue!

          • BTS

            When we are telling people to "get out of the way," we need very good reasons for denying their freedoms.

            That is ridiculous. No one is suggesting to deny freedoms.
            I'm talking about public policy to benefit everyone. And I'd suggest that the health of the planet is a very good reason.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            But, "public policy" routinely results in legal enforcement of desired human behaviors. Just try to get you child admitted to school in New York State without the required vaccinations. I am not saying this is not legitimate policy. But it did result in abrogation of the previous policy of respecting religious objections. So, what then happened to religious freedom?

            You can make a good case for the need to restrict freedoms for legitimate societal purposes. But, saying that public policy benefits everyone is not the same thing as to say that human freedom will not be infringed by such policies.

          • Rob Abney

            Yes, I think this is a subject worth getting upset over.

            I like this paragraph from Laudato Si.
            120. Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away”.

          • Chris Morris

            As I suggested in the other conversation, my view would be that the balance of harms makes this a choice founded on something more nuanced than a simple 'one size fits all' rule can cope with.
            Dennis argues that the climate is a system far too complex for us ever to be sure that any manipulation on our part will have harmful results. How much more complex is the 'Human system' than the climate?

            Presumably, if 'interrelatedness' is as simplistic as this quotation suggests, then you would be as upset about human-related climate change as you are about abortion. Is this the case?

          • Rob Abney

            the climate is a system far too complex for us ever to be sure that any manipulation on our part will have harmful results. How much more complex is the 'Human system' than the climate?

            I don't know how to compare complexities of climate vs. human system but I know that a human life can be aborted very simply.
            I am not as upset about human-related climate change as I am about abortion. One is in the future and is unknown whether casualties will result and is not intentionally existing to damage the environment, while the other is the intentional ending of an innocent life and is taking those lives everyday at a very high rate.

            Would you agree that a concern about the safety of future generations by those who advocate for abortion today seems less sincere because of that position?

          • Chris Morris

            One of the principal implications of the phrase "a productive conversation" is, I think, that it rises above the level of simple-minded polemic; the 'either you're with us or against us', the 'I win, you lose this debate' attitudes which seem to be particularly prevalent and particularly problematical in our current period of uncertainty.

            Yes, killing anything from a single individual to the entire planet can be accomplished very simply. I'm reminded of Holst's Planet Suite where Mars, the god of war, is described through a simple, brutal rhythm whereas Venus, the goddess of love, requires complex harmonies to portray her. Humans are killing and being killed all the time - dying in planes accidentally hit by missiles, drowning in the Mediterranean trying to escape from conflict and its economic consequences, dying as slaves mining the elements we need to keep our computers working so that we can have this conversation, being killed in unnecessary abortions - and, personally, I'm upset by all of those unnecessary deaths but I'm equally upset that those unnecessary deaths will carry on happening in to the future as long as humans remain sealed in the tribalisms which colour our view of reality with simple divisions, oppositions and zero sum games.

            I agree with your earlier view of the interconnectedness of all things but that connection has many complex layers so, to answer your question, I would say that there is no conflict between advocating for abortion as an available option when it is deemed medically appropriate and concern about the safety of future generations.

          • Rob Abney

            Do you consider it to be a productive conversation to refer to your opponent as simple minded?
            But I do have one simple fact that draws a distinction between human-related climate change as well as the other examples you provide and abortion, that is that abortion is intentional.
            Which is why I gave you an honest answer when you asked if I was as upset about human-related climate change as I am about abortion. I’m also not as upset about the examples you provided which is not say that I’m not upset just not to the same degree or with the same urgency.

          • Chris Morris

            I don't regard being simple-minded as a bad thing but, in any case, it wasn't my intention to refer to you as simple-minded but the polemic which you happened to use. I'm as guilty as anyone of sometimes falling back on such polemic although I try very hard to avoid it in these conversations. However, my reason for staying here is generally an attempt to persuade people to look beyond stereotyped oppositions so I have no problem indicating it when I notice it.
            The intentionality of those various examples is certainly a subject worth exploring and, of course, I wouldn't expect you to have to justify your priorities to me.

          • Ficino

            But I do have one simple fact that draws a distinction between human-related climate change as well as the other examples you provide and abortion, that is that abortion is intentional.

            So are the decisions of big companies to continue to use technologies that result in huge amounts of hydrocarbons spewed into the atmosphere, in the face of strong scientific grounds for thinking that they contribute to global warming. And the PR and political actions of those companies and their agents and supporters are intentional.

            One act of abortion obviously has direct impact on that fetus, in a way that one "act" of atmospheric pollution does not upon the atmosphere, since in the latter case we are talking about huge webs of natural systems and human strategies. But the outcomes of the status quo on hydrocarbon emission include, as it looks, natural disasters in which people are killed.

            This is why I don't think a purely deontological approach that works "downward" deductively from definitions of purported essences in nature is supple enough to provide a framework for addressing something as complex as climate change and its causes and effects. And I don't think that the political has no ethical foundation. What we as a race do about the threats to our ecosystem is not just a matter of public policy and horsetrading (to speak hyperbolically).

          • Sample1

            It seems to me that if a Creator commanded one species to be stewards of this particular planet, this planet needs stewardship, not neglect.

            I’m guessing the rationale for that dictate stemmed from human observation: when lands were hunted dry, populations either starved or were forced to move to a new resource. The earth isn’t technically a closed system (sunlight/cosmic dust) but from an energy resource view, it largely is and only recently have we made baby steps toward renewables.

            I’m reminded of a friend’s quip long ago when I mentioned a certain stream once had more returning salmon. “That’s what happens when you take all the gum balls out of the machine,” he said. Likewise, a house filling with radon, left unaddressed, will make that home’s environment unlivable. Is it really so hard to understand that billions of people and their industries is no different than a room in one’s house?

            There are political (politicians need job growth) and religious (Yahweh can protect us) reasons why global warming isn’t receiving due attention. Those minority climate experts—do they have allegiances to those reasonings?—are in the minority for a reason, they haven’t convinced enough of their colleagues. That should be a red flag for more study by them.

            The same happens in biology or chemistry or physics. Group selection is a minority view in evolutionary theory with selection at the level of the gene being the consensus of most experts. There are various interpretations of QM. However, the philosophy of biology and physics, while analogous for that methodological comparison, are not going to threaten the environment such that competing climate theories will.

            We’ve put a lot of distance between our current Industrial Age and the Stone Age. People like, often rightly, the benefits progress has afforded to our way of life. Billions now live with comforts once attained only by kings and chieftains. We’ve become lazy. But there is no free lunch as the saying goes, a price for these comforts is overdue and we already know that people largely hate paying their bills.

            Mike
            /rant

          • Rob Abney

            Wisdom 2:11
            But let our might be our law of right,
            for what is weak proves itself to be useless.

            If there is intention in both cases, climate change and abortion, and you acknowledge that one act of abortion has a direct impact on a fetus whereas climate change is remote and distant, then you should agree that we can make a difference for our world by protecting the most innocent and powerless among us, the unborn. Only then can we expect to make a difference on the huge web of systems that threaten the environment.

        • Michael Murray

          Just noted that the hornets seemed more upset over this issue than even the debates over theism and Catholicism on this site!

          I've been smelling the smoke of the bushfires here on and off for three weeks now I guess. The fires of Hell I don't notice.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            The only person worse to cite on this topic than an amateur scientist is a politician trying to pacify angry constituents.

            I am sure you will understand why I don't follow that course tonight.

            I linked a reply to Chris Morris to you, since I really cannot reply to everyone in detail. Perhaps something in my reply to him will help you understand my position.

          • Michael Murray

            I should have been clearer that Malcolm Turnbull is an ex-politician. Definitely out of politics. So not pacifying angry constiuents. He has a small personal fortune of some hundreds of millions due to a previous career in banking. So not angling for getting back into politics. I guess you could argue he is trying to shore up his legacy in some way.

            The point of choosing to quote him is (1) he has experience as a Prime Minister of the complexities of government and actually implementing change of this kind (2) he is definitely not part of the left, green, "we can't solve climate change without completely overturning capitalism" persuasion and (3) I've never voted for the party he was in.

            Of course I could have chosen Michael E. Mann who is visiting Australia at the moment.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYtAGTe9MjY

            I'm guessing the theistic regulars here aren't a great fan of his.

            Anyway I think my patience for denialism in its many varied forms including the ones I see here is a bit thin after this summer. So I think I'll give this place a miss for awhile.

            Note to self. Discuss to avoid at Strange Notions: problem of suffering, abortion AND climate change.

    • BTS

      So, forgive me, but I am not in the rush to judgment some of you appear to be about this entire debate,

      Neither was I, ten years ago.

      You would think I was advocating the direct extinction of mankind!

      Take a look at the planet mercury. It has a lovely CO2 atmosphere.

      In my judgment, this entire heated debate founders on the failure to grasp the complexity of the questions that must be answered before a general response is justified.

      You are so fond of telling people they fail to grasp, fail to understand, etc. It is not MY JOB to do the science or even to thoroughly investigate the methodology. A superficial understanding or even a moderate understanding of the science can easily be corrupted by unscrupulous individuals with agendas.

      At some point we have to let go and accept the expert consensus. My job - our job, all of us- is to be an informed citizen, make a good faith effort to read reliable news sources, and make an informed judgment.

      We wouldn't start putting lead back in our paint, would we? That would be a terrible prudential judgment.

      In any case, there's something else at work here, something I cannot put my finger on yet. There's some underlying reason that is part of the conservative viewpoint on other matters that leads to skepticism of anthropomorphic climate change. It's related to tribalism, in a way. I haven't thought it all through yet.
      Anyone want to pick up here for me?

      • Dennis Bonnette

        "At some point we have to let go and accept the expert consensus."

        Consensus about what? Did you not read the four questions posed by that blog? Just look at the first question alone. You could grant that man made CO2 does contribute to global warming, but still not know whether the complexity of the other natural factors over the last million years will be overwhelmed by that single factor.

        Do we have clear answers to all four or more questions? It appears not.

        And did you actually do a slow read of that 2018 article I included? If you did, you would be aware of some of the specific data which we presently lack and the degree of ignorance that implies. Settled science? Hardly.

        But you want to rush to solve this problem by drastic means, such as you listed in one comment?

        • BTS

          I don't have time today to read it, but I will make a good faith effort tomorrow. I did a deep dive about two years ago on climate change and learned and the only thing in question was how bad the effects would be, and how soon. The recent news in October 2019 from the United Nations global climate science authority seems to be one of the final nails in the coffin. As much as I enjoy discussions with you and would love to buy you a beer at a local pub, I believe them over you.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            The very nature of natural science is that it can never achieve absolute certitude, as I pointed out in an earlier OP.

            Moreover, what is taken as dogma in one generation is often rejected in a later one. During the 1970s, there were massive scientific articles being published warning us all that we were about to enter a new Ice Age! Really. Go back and look.

            You have a perfect right to disagree with me, but remember I do not deny climate change, nor do I deny that CO2 emissions have a warming effect on the atmosphere.

            It is the complexity found in those four questions I cited about five comments above that make it inherently difficult, in my judgment, to come to an absolute practical certitude about what to do, even in light of the first two points I just conceded.

            Also, I linked a reply to Chris Morris to you in case it might also help explain my position to you.

          • BTS

            It is the complexity found in those four questions I cited about five comments above that make it inherently difficult, in my judgment, to come to an absolute practical certitude

            We don't need certitude.

            I am quite aware of the ice age predictions but they are irrelevant.

            The stakes are too high to wait, and if we do the moonshot approach and go into full mitigation mode and everything turns out fine, what have we lost? Nothing. But we will have gained much and we will have pushed humanity forward.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            The problem is that much can be lost in either direction.

            If Dr. Patrick Moore is correct, actions cutting carbon emissions actually would hasten the extinction of humanity.

            I am not saying he is right either. The point is that saying that the stakes are too high to wait presupposes the truth of your position.

    • David Nickol

      While I cannot even find the comment now, all I did initially was post a link to a blog on climate change and out came the hornets!

      Your comment was as follows:

      Here is an up-to-date, devastating, and definitive analysis of the current politically correct panic-inducing climate change controversy: [Link incorporated]

      It seemed quite inflammatory to me. One can't help but imagine you being quite incensed when you posted it. "Devastating . . . definitive , , , politically correct . . . panic-inducing." These are not the words of someone who thinks climate change involves a set of complex issues about which reasonable people may disagree.

      • Dennis Bonnette

        In your usual thorough manner, you have me nailed on the vehemence of my expression!

        As I have pointed out to others, though, the central point of that article I hoped others would note is those four questions that show how complex this whole issue is. One can agree that climate is changing and even that CO2 emissions cause atmospheric warming, without necessarily buying into all the rest of the clauses in the questions. Even admitting that such man made emissions are presently driving global warming still leaves a lot of the rest of the issues unaddressed.

        I linked my reply to Chris Morris to you so you can see more of my position explained. I really cannot reply in detail to everyone.

        • Ficino

          I have to chime in with David Nickol. It was your magisterial commenting as a non-climatologist on an article by a non-climatologist, which criticized the work of climatologists, that set me to thinking that you were overreaching.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            As a philosopher, though, I was moved by those four questions cited three comments above, which reveal the imprecision of the supposed scientific consensus.

          • BTS

            Andy May is a writer and author of “Climate Catastrophe! Science or Science-Fiction?” He retired in 2016 after 42 years in the oil and gas industry as a petrophysicist.

            He's not a climate scientist. I don't even know what a petrophysicist is. Sounds like a shill for oil and gas.

            You and he can post charts and graphs all day long but I am not qualified to peer review or analyze his presumptions.

            No thanks. I'll stick to mainstream climate scientists. I have no choice...I don't have time to go get another degree.

            As to the 4 questions, I am not qualified to asses those either. I have to trust the consensus. But the stakes are too high for us to not swallow our pride and start preparing to mitigate the consequences.

            And, everything that would/could be done to mitigate the consequences is something that should be done anyway!
            -Eliminate coal
            -Find and use sources of clean energy
            -Switch to electric cars
            -Increase public transporation
            -Increase efficiency of engery conservation in housing

            I think of it in a much broader way. Climate change mitigation is one brick in the wall of a critical environmental strategy.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            All that you are saying is that, while you do not know the truth of the matter yourself, you are prepared to follow the prevailing group think.

            it might be right, but I wonder why skeptics do not follow the same reasoning when it comes to the vast majority of human beings believing in God.

            I am not saying you are wrong, but I would at least hope to see why I ought not be forced to join your bandwagon, since I personally am not as convinced as you are.

          • BTS

            And next you'll be telling me that vaccines cause autism and that I should avoid the prevailing groupthink propounded by the CDC. Then you'll post links to Jenny McCarthy's website demonstrating how I'm wrong.

            60+ years of rigorous climate science is not groupthink. It is absurd, ridiculous, and demeaning to my intellect for you to say that in order to understand the topic properly I have to spend an exorbitant amount of time becoming a de facto amateur climate scientist. And, you need to consider that if I do hit the books and become a climate nerd, I'll be neglecting my Aristotle.

            it might be right, but I wonder why skeptics do not follow the same reasoning when it comes to the vast majority of human beings believing in God.

            On the topic of climate change you are the skeptic, not me.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            I think you might find enlightening and refreshing the exchange on this topic between Dr. Chris Morris and myself a bit further down in this thread.
            https://strangenotions.com/the-march-for-scientism/#comment-4754567337

            We have several subsequent exchanges which I think will help place some of these matters into better perspective.

          • BTS

            I'll read those posts on Monday. Thank you.

          • Chris Morris

            I'm very honoured that you've awarded me a doctorate but, in the interests of honesty, I have to admit that I found five years at university sufficient to convince me that completing a PhD wouldn't outweigh the frustration of having to deal with academics and that becoming a parent was going to be a better learning experience.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Well, then consider it an honorary doctorate! Obtained without the need for the "customary donation" to some academic institution!

            Not having to deal with academics is, indeed, a reasonable goal in life. I can attest, having dealt with them for some half a century. That is one reason I am now giving free courses to free students -- essentially the same courses students used to pay thousands of dollars for, but without all the papers, tests, and administrative nonsense that would have attended them in an accredited institution.

            And, I must say that some of my dialogues and debates with those on the "other side" on this site have sharpened my presentation of topics, I believe, in the last couple years. It is hard to get "normal" students to think critically and ask really challenging questions. All they seem to want is grades!

          • Chris Morris

            :-D Honorary doctorate accepted with gratitude!

            "All they seem to want is grades!" Yes, education is becoming a sad business. My wife has been very happy to have retired from teaching this year after the struggle to cope with all the superfluous admin had begun to affect her health and, actually, part of my reason for not going on with academia was that I was in the last cohort of people to graduate with a philosophy degree from my university when it was decided that philosophy was no longer 'useful learning' in 1993.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Hate to say it, but a liberal arts degree today is usually a ticket to the poor house. It is virtually useless unless you go into teaching at the secondary level, but then even there not many degrees are useful. Certainly philosophy or theology or religious studies would not be. I have a niece who got the teaching degree in English. She is working for a health insurance company. One got a degree in cartoon animation. Not having been hired by Disney, you can imagine her present situation. But the student debts are real and higher than most any salary.

            Now let us assume you had completed the doctorate in philosophy. When I retired in 2003, some two hundred candidates, most well qualified, applied for my then vacant position. Some of the rest might find other positions, but most would probably have to accept part-time teaching positions that pay a tenth of what a full-time appoint would pay -- assuming they even found such positions.

            With any luck you might wind up owing one hundred thousand dollars in student debt and find a job paying $30-40 thousand a year.

            I think Plato and Aristotle's students came from wealthy families.

          • Chris Morris

            Yes, I can imagine that the situation in the US is even more desperate than it is here. My wife and I were fortunate that we were both able to graduate when Britain still had a grant scheme and, as a mature student, I was more interested in studying to answer questions that had arisen through my interest in philosophy than in opening a new career but I'm aware from friends and acquaintances who've struggled with academic careers how difficult it is now.

            How we (developed Western societies) afford the well-educated population that's necessary to carry on developing is certainly one of the difficult problems (yet another difficult problem) that we haven't really got to grips with yet.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            I have been concerned about the same thing. Society needs a deep appreciation of its own cultural and intellectual values and history. How do you transmit this intellectual heritage without graduate level education in the liberal arts? And who will transmit this heritage to others if fewer and fewer scholars are produced with the needed abilities? It is fine to produce more people in the STEM subjects, but they will not be the ones best suited to pass on the liberal arts to the next generations. I have no easy answers.

            Speaking of easy answers, I mentioned Edward Teller's "simple" solution to the global warming problem. You might want to take a slow read of the following article: https://www.markmallett.com/blog/2017/10/14/debunking-the-sun-miracle-skeptics/

            It shows that the idea of trying to manipulate the earth's climate by the means of putting fine particulates in the upper atmosphere is not Teller's idea alone. Others have supported this notion. But others still are appalled at it! This article is food for thought. Frankly, I am not sure which approach deserves support.

            I can see arguing the matter in different directions. One could argue that, if God exists, no matter what man does, he will not let us exterminate ourselves. Or, perhaps, the Second Coming is coming so soon it won't matter!

            On the other hand, if God does not exist, then we and evolution and Mother Earth are on our own! Why not try something new? Earth's climate has been impossible for human life in the past. What makes us think that it could not happen again. Moreover, is it even politically realistic to believe that we will actually limit carbon emissions enough to save the planet? And, if the planet has no intrinsic intelligence and God is unreal, why not try to save it using our evolved intelligence. And yet, as the article suggests, we might botch the job with irreversible self-destructive results.

            As I said, I am not sure how one should read and interpret the implications of what is discussed in this thought-provoking article. But I thought it would give us both much food for thought anyway.

          • Chris Morris

            "Society needs a deep appreciation of its own cultural and intellectual values and history." Yes, I certainly agree with that and, I suspect, without access to that 'memory' we have an increased danger of suffering from some sort of societal dementia. I have to admit I don't have any answers at all to that problem.

            As for Teller's idea (yes, I think a few others have suggested something similar), I'm a pragmatist so I lean towards the view that, if it's going to help, by all means give it a go. However, I imagine that those who argue against it would see it as treating the symptoms rather than addressing the underlying disease so, at best, offering temporary relief.

            I would hope that God, if such exists, would expect humans to take responsibility for our actions and do all we can to solve the problem so I would say let's assume we're on our own and, if a miracle comes along, we'll be very grateful. Yuval Harari for one (and I'm inclined to agree with him on this point) argues that a global crisis such as planetary climate change is only likely to be solved through global action and that this is possibly a crisis which may push us in to evolving beyond our present national and tribal loyalties as the only way of having a future. I'm pretty sure Mark Mallett (and probably the majority of North Americans) would be horrified at this idea.

          • Ficino

            I think Plato and Aristotle's students came from wealthy families.

            Isocrates made a fortune teaching selected sons of wealthy families from all over Greece in the 4th cent. BCE

          • Dennis Bonnette

            I believe that is part of the theme Josef Pieper expressed in his book, Leisure, the Basis of Culture, since only the wealthy would have the leisure time to contemplate the larger questions of human existence.

            When you work from dawn to dusk at hard manual labor just to stay alive, it is a bit hard to contemplate metaphysics.

          • Phil

            60+ years of rigorous climate science is not groupthink.

            The study of climate science is very young. And in that time of mostly rigorous study we have gotten more questions than answers when it comes down to it.

            The reason being is that the climate is what is known as a chaotic system and it is very complicated. That is why when you talk to a large number of climate scientists in private, most of them will honestly say that we don't yet understand the climate well. We have a basic understanding, but that basic understand doesn't do a great job making long term predictions.

            Case in point, this coming from a climate scientist in the thick of it: The models cannot reproduce natural climate change right now. In fact, when those models are constructed, they are adjusted so they do not produce any natural climate change. Climate modelers don’t understand the cause of natural climate cycles, let alone are they able to model them right now.

            Our understanding of natural climate forcings is not great right now. These reasons are a big reason why we cannot break down what climate changes have been purely natural over the past 50, 75, 150, etc years vs. what is attributable to human activity.

            I've been told one thing that would help is putting more money towards studying natural causes of climate change, rather than the majority towards studying the "human causes" of climate change.

            --------

            Again, this isn't to denigrate those scientists working on this. Most of them are honest and open. There are a few that are not as we learned from the "Climategate" emails where they were trying to hide that what they were using to reconstruct past temperatures didn't match up with what we were actually measuring with thermometers right now. But they published it anyways to produce the "hockey stick graph" because it fit the narrative.

            My view is that minor to moderate warming of the climate would actually be a net good for humans. And that is what we seeing right now.
            So I'd day, worry less, live more!

          • Switch to electric cars

            Which really only shifts the problem. I don't see electric cars as something that are ultimately sustainable.

            Shifting much of our personal transportation to something like electric bicycles is probably a better answer than private automobiles.

          • BTS

            Good point. Coal gets burned to make the electricity to power the car. Electric cars are probably a transitional technology.
            They would, however, solve the smog problems in places like LA, I suppose.

          • It's not just that. There's an enormous amount of energy that goes into making a car, not to mention the environmental impact of mining for the rare earth materials that are used in them.

            While it's true that electric cars would deal with the smog problem, you're really not dealing with all of the worst environmental problems that cars (of any kind) create.

          • BTS

            I live in the most walkable city in the state of Ohio. We walk to the grocery store, the convenience store, the park, to school, and the various social establishments that serve libations. It is wonderful. Some days, especially in nice weather, the car just sits in the driveway for days on end.

            We need more cities like this. Thanks to millennials, who love cities, this may become a reality.

  • Ficino

    @Jim the Scott: I don't know what happened to your last, which I only saw on email and can't find here. I don't think I can carry the point I orig. made to Dennis Bonnette much further. I had proposed a piece of reasoning that started from a premise adopted ex hypothesi, as I said. Suppose that the fetus' status as human person is not proved: Dr. Bonnette holds that even then, one can't have moral certainty that abortion is licit, so one should not abort. It seemed to me that there are similarities - and I said that explicitly, that the cases are not identical - between that argument and an argument that one should not inject massive quantities of carbons etc into the atmosphere, since one can't have moral certainty that said carbons don't contribute to global warming.

    Dr. Bonnette fears massive state intervention against those who inject lots of carbon into the atmosphere, when he holds that such intervention is not now justified by certitudes about climate. People who advocate a woman's right to choose fear massive state intervention, when they hold that such intervention is not (now?) justified by certitudes about the fetus' being a person. And Dr. Bonnette fears that murders are taking place (i.e. abortions) and laments that they aren't being stopped by government.

    There are huge practical questions associated with stopping the carbon emissions. Yet, the place of moral certainty seems an important part of the discussion. To argue against controls on carbon emissions seems to bespeak a stance of moral certainty about their innocuousness... which seems irresponsible to me at best and possibly vicious at worst.

    • Dennis Bonnette

      Since you mention my name right and left here, I hope you will forgive me for commenting! :)

      In the case of abortion, the principle is that one can never intentionally and directly act so as to kill an organism, when it is possible that that organism is a human person with a right to life. So, as in the case of shooting into a thicket when one is not sure that it isn't a man instead of a deer, one can never perform an abortion if there is a possibility that the embryonic life is a human person. Remember that in shooting one intends directly to kill the prey.

      Now the question you raise may not be as daunting as it first appears.

      The fact is that we create carbon emissions when we perform day-to-day innocent and good activities, such as driving our cars, flying in planes, heating our homes, and broiling our burgers outdoors. None of these acts is intrinsically immoral.

      They have many side effects, such as wearing out our car's engine and costing us money. Among these side effects is the emission of a little CO2. Important: Individually, none of these acts produce enough CO2 in themselves to hurt anyone at all (unless you commit suicide in your garage with your car's exhaust). Such minor side effects do not affect the essentially good nature of the acts. It is not the individual act that does enough harm to the planet to make the individual act immoral.

      Where you and others are getting concerned is with the cumulative effects of all these individual acts.

      But this is nothing more than a public policy matter. We long ago made it illegal to use lead in wall paint because of cases of lead poisoning in children. This is just a matter of society deciding that the general practice of using lead in paint, in gasoline, and in water pipes was harmful and decided to outlaw it.

      If enough people become convinced that a particular product has environmental effects that endanger the planet, then you enact laws to regulate its use. it is that simple.

      The only question of morality here would be whether the individual citizen is obliged to support CO2 regulation laws. And this is no different than the moral responsibility to be a good citizen and support any policies that are good for the nation and the world.

      If one is not morally certain that a particuiar law would be needed to save the planet, one is not obliged to support it -- since the truth might be that it is not needed.

      Moreover, remember that physicist Edward Teller maintained before his relatively recent death that, rather than curtail fuel use at great cost to society, there were other means to cool the planet, for example, "the deliberate introduction of fine particles similar to those produced by volcanoes into the upper atmosphere, which would mitigate any warming at a cost of between 0.1% and 1% of the cost of implementing the restrictions called for by environmentalists.[3"
      https://www.conservapedia.com/Edward_Teller#cite_note-2

      So, even if most people believed that global warming is a dire threat to humanity, we might still engage in diverse political arguments as what are the best practical measures to resolve it.

      The act of deliberate abortion is intrinsically immoral. But, it is perfectly fine to drive your car -- carefully.

      • Ficino

        The act of deliberate abortion is intrinsically immoral.

        As you know, I reject this position, for reasons and on principle. But we discussed it at length elsewhere.

        • Dennis Bonnette

          Yes, we both agreed to disagree about that one.

          My comment was really aimed at addressing the ecological issue -- and to distinguish it from the abortion one.

  • God Hates Faith

    So, anyone that supports science believes in scientism??? (eye roll)

  • Ficino

    OT: Monte Johnson has just published a review of Feser's Aristotle's Revenge. The review is in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:

    https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/aristotles-revenge-the-metaphysical-foundations-of-physical-and-biological-science/

    I have appreciated Johnson's work on Aristotle's teleology.