The Sky Is Falling...?

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AuthorTopic: The Sky Is Falling...?
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #125
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

For the sake of your illustration I won't question you on what would and would not qualify as drastic and just agree with you on the acceleration. Now find some scientists who'd disagree to make your illustration really fit. I'm guessing you'll find unanimity. You won't find the same on the global warming issue.
Actually, you're wrong. There's unanimity on the global warming issue, too. Back to the Naomi Oreskes citation on page 3: "The author analyzed 928 abstracts of papers from refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, listed with the keywords 'global climate change'. Oreskes divided the abstracts into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. 75% of the abstracts were placed in the first three categories, thus either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, thus taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change; none of the abstracts disagreed with the consensus position, which the author found to be 'remarkable'."

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #126
quote:
TM sez:
The sun actually doesn't drive climate. Has anyone in the thread noted that the stratosphere is cooling?
...
The sun's effect on our atmosphere is cooling down; the sun cannot be responsible for warming. Because it's not warming. :P

Global Warming & Solar Variation

...this should pretty well end the discussion.

And for those of you who detest Wikipedia links, try the articles that are referenced.

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TM: "I want BoA to grow. Evolve where the food ladder has rungs to be reached."

Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #127
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

When they speak of knowledge they've uncovered through scientific method in absolute and non-negotiable terms it lets me know they have lost touch with reality and puts a large question mark over everything they say. Science simply does not work that way.
They haven't lost touch with reality; it's just that some of them decide to give the public the sanitised version of the truth, because admitting any degree of doubt leads to the deniers rubbing their hands in glee and shrieking "See! We were right all along! They don't know what they're talking about!" Admit doubt and people will cling to their self-serving beliefs on the grounds that it's not 100% certain they're wrong; fail to admit doubt and people will say you're out of touch with reality. It's a no-win situation. Nobody ever convinced the public of anything without a little exaggeration.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7723
Profile #128
I'm not presenting the "nobody knows everything" position to counter the global warming argument, but to encourage humility. As I said before, it's not hard for me to believe that our actions have damaged our climate I'm just not convinced.

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There's not unanimity and certainty as with acceleration due to gravity. I've seen some links here (including some of yours) that mention scientists with doubts. I've posted one myself. That's why I was asking if the temperature increase due to us has been quantified. That would at least indicate that somebody thinks they have a real handle on all the factors that could be involved. Note this link I got from Ephesos' Wikipedia post:

"In this Review, we show that detailed analysis of these small output variations has greatly advanced our understanding of solar luminosity change, and this new understanding indicates that brightening of the Sun is unlikely to have had a significant influence on global warming since the seventeenth century. Additional climate forcing by changes in the Sun's output of ultraviolet light, and of magnetized plasmas, cannot be ruled out. The suggested mechanisms are, however, too complex to evaluate meaningfully at present."

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v443/n7108/abs/nature05072.html

That's the kind of honesty I'm talking about. If I was some sort of decision maker (which I'm not, so my opinion ain't worth much) that's the kind of presentation that would have my rapt attention and would be the basis for my actions. I don't need exaggerations to decide what to believe.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #129
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

I don't need exaggerations to decide what to believe.
Would you consider yourself more or less intelligent than an average member of the public?

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Lifecrafter
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Profile #130
I have a greater interest in science than most people I know. But I do know a fair amount of science-minded folks, researchers, scientists, and professors as a lot of my friends and associates are from a major college town where I spend a lot of time. It's my experience that intelligence (at least what I think you mean by the word) has little bearing on the view people have towards science and the trust they place in its representatives.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #131
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

a lot of my friends and associates are from a major college town where I spend a lot of time
In other words, the people you know are not a representative sample of the general public. Nearly 20% of the world's population is illiterate: how do you expect to get through to them with your facts and figures? Myths have more power than facts ever will.

[ Wednesday, August 22, 2007 20:22: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #132
The fallacy of the scientist is he imagines he is not prey to his own breed of mythology. We all have our myths. They run deep us. The scientist seeks to stave off existential dilemma by faith in a type of logic and a type of technique, as if all that has meaning or purpose in the universe is that which is soullessly reduced by and to technique. A world of scientists would be an Orwellian nightmare realized. We've simply swapped one dominant religion for another.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
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Profile Homepage #133
What Synergy says above distills something he has been saying in various forms for some time. Taken at face value, it's true. Certainly it should make us take a step back and consider just how science fits into our general epistemology. Indeed, scientists who claim to know things with hypercartesian certainty are not all that different from prophets who are divinely sure other people will burn in hellfire.

HOWEVER, that does not for a second invalidate scientific claims. When a scientific consensus emerges that theory X is the most reasonable explanation we can come up for a phenomenon Y given our limited (inherently, since we aren't omniscient) data Z, it's still valid. And when these theories are discussed outside the realm of epistemology, the only reasonable thing to do is to treat them as if they are certain on epistemological grounds (obviously not on empirical ones if they aren't) -- to do otherwise is to step into a linguistic limbo of subjunctives and unclear phrases.

As for the psychology of scientists, I think it's sometimes reasonable to talk about bias and what their needs, conscious or unconscious, are. This is often reasonable when discussing the work of one scientist that has never been reviewed by his peers. It's pretty rarely relevant, I think, to scientific consensuses, since it would then require something going on on a collective level. Maybe that's possible if we're talking about, say, genetics and gender. But I don't see how it could realistically come about on an issue of planetary chemistry.

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"Making poorly-sourced claims is not the same as determining something."
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #134
quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

A world of scientists would be an Orwellian nightmare realized. We've simply swapped one dominant religion for another.

-S-

So what's your solution: no dominant religion, or your religion as the dominant religion? Do you dare to deny that you believe the world would be better off if there were more people like you?

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #135
This notion that scientists are arrogant fools, far more sure of their conclusions than they should be, seems to be a deeply rooted myth in some quarters. Just where on earth does this notion come from? All the scientists I know, which is probably a much larger sample than that of most people around here, are notably skeptical and tentative, and unusually quick to discern weaknesses in evidence or argument.

All human knowledge is uncertain. Scientists haven't forgotten that at all. They take it for granted. But see: beneath the unattainable height of absolute certainty, there's an enormous range of degrees of warranted confidence. There are really good bets, and there are sucker bets, and everything in between.

Practical human activities, from getting out of bed in the morning to dodging when the tiger springs, are not in the market for certainty. They're in the market for really good bets. And that's what scientific confidence is about: not a delusion of certainty, but a well-founded confidence in delivering really good bets.

If human-caused global warming isn't certain, well gee: welcome to the real world. If it is a really good bet, then clutching at counter-hypothetical straws is not very wise. This is what makes people thump the table; not overweaning certainty.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Lifecrafter
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Profile #136
Most of the folks I know are not intellectuals, though I do know some. I my experience, the trust people place in science is not fully dependant on their station in life - that even goes for scientists. That's why I don't wholly agree with Synergy's latest generalization. A wise person has proper perspective on his limitations whether he studies climatology, practices medicine, lays brick, or takes care of home and family. I know working class folks that place great stock in human ability to accomplish anything. I also know scienists and professors that love science, but recognize it can only take us so far.

One of the most telling perspectives in regard to this conversation, is when people say, "I am not religious, I believe in Science." As if spirituality would somehow betray science and Science is not their religion.

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I do agree that the illiterate should be lied to. They have a lot of nerve even breathing the same air as us, let alone expecting honesty as if they even know what truth is...
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #137
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

I do agree that the illiterate should be lied to. They have a lot of nerve even breathing the same air as us, let alone expecting honesty as if they even know what truth is...
Hang on, you're asking for two contradictory things there. Which should people expect: honesty, or not to be lied to? It's impossible to have both all the time. Sometimes honesty requires saying things that aren't strictly true, because the truth would be more misleading than a lie.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #138
quote:
As if spirituality would somehow betray science and Science is not their religion.
You can argue, from a purely subjectivist point, that all these ways to look at the world are internally consistent (while the scientific view adjusts its theories to fit perceived facts, the spiritual one redefines perception to match its theories). You can redefine "faith" to encompass all of them. But after all of these, you still cannot equate drivel with reality.

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
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Profile #139
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

This notion that scientists are arrogant fools, far more sure of their conclusions than they should be, seems to be a deeply rooted myth in some quarters. Just where on earth does this notion come from?
I think it's a backlash to the attitude exemplified by folks like Dawkins who basically says, "Science has uplifted you. You may keep your spirituality for now, as long as you will accept what I tell you as you would the word of your God."

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quote:
Originally written by root:

But after all of these, you still cannot equate drivel with reality.
Thank you for perfectly illustrating my point about the view of those who have ideas that don't fit your own.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #140
quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

The scientist seeks to stave off existential dilemma by faith in a type of logic and a type of technique, as if all that has meaning or purpose in the universe is that which is soullessly reduced by and to technique. A world of scientists would be an Orwellian nightmare realized.
Now you're just being ridiculous. Everyone knows (or should, anyway) that science can't answer every question that can be asked. Some questions are beyond the scope of science. The questions that fall within the scope of science, though, can be answered very well by scientific methods.

And what the hell you mean by "an Orwellian nightmare," I am tempted not even to ask, because I'm sure the answer is beyond inane.
quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

This notion that scientists are arrogant fools, far more sure of their conclusions than they should be, seems to be a deeply rooted myth in some quarters. Just where on earth does this notion come from?
I think it comes primarily from those who simply don't like scientific conclusions (like evolution), and then analyze like this: "Well, evolution must be wrong, so the scientists who say that they're almost completely certain about it must be wrong, and that must mean that they are basing their certainty on inadequate evidence. Thus, scientists are arrogant fools who leap to conclusions."
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

I think it's a backlash to the attitude exemplified by folks like Dawkins who basically says, "Science has uplifted you. You may keep your spirituality for now, as long as you will accept what I tell you as you would the word of your God."
The logical end of an argument like Dawkins's is not to replace religion with science, but to end belief altogether. Assess ideas on the basis of evidence and only on the basis of evidence. That is, nothing is unquestionable (as the word of God would be).

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #141
For those who have objections to science and scientists, I have several questions.

1. Is science rational?

2. If you answered yes to 1, are there other rational systems for understanding reality? (Moral and philosophical questions are another matter; science does not address them.)

3. If you answered no to 1, why? What other system is more rational?

4. Is a rational system for understanding reality a good or necessary thing?

5. If science is perfect in an ideal way but flawed because scientists are only human, what would you do hypothetically to fix the problem?

—Alorael, who does not include Hume's problem of induction in reasons to deny the rationality of science. Unless you're willing to concede that just about everything everyone does is based on irrational induction and humankind is irrevocably lost in the wilderness of the unprovable, it's irrelevant.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #142
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

I do agree that the illiterate should be lied to. They have a lot of nerve even breathing the same air as us, let alone expecting honesty as if they even know what truth is...
Can I just point out that this is the biggest piece of intellectual elitism I've seen in a long time? You're freakin' insane, man. Don't dump on science and scientists unless you're willing to step back and look at how hateful you're being.

You need to try associating with people who aren't from your little college town. It might broaden your perspective a bit.

If this were at Shadow Vale, I'd have put a longer tirade here. But yeah... I really have no respect for you now, dude.

quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

A world of scientists would be an Orwellian nightmare realized. We've simply swapped one dominant religion for another.

-S-

So what's your solution: no dominant religion, or your religion as the dominant religion? Do you dare to deny that you believe the world would be better off if there were more people like you?

I wholeheartedly agree with this, and I feel like I tried (and failed) to say it before.

[ Thursday, August 23, 2007 10:09: Message edited by: Ephesos ]

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TM: "I want BoA to grow. Evolve where the food ladder has rungs to be reached."

Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Lifecrafter
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Profile #143
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

The logical end of an argument like Dawkins's is not to replace religion with science, but to end belief altogether. Assess ideas on the basis of evidence and only on the basis of evidence. That is, nothing is unquestionable (as the word of God would be).
That wouldn't be so horrible, but that's not the message. I've seen, heard, and read him and everytime those who disagree with him on humans origins are ignorant, blinded, irrational, etc. His view is unquestionably right. He can't tolerate the fact that some people have looked at the evidence logically and disagree so they are classified as stupid. He is not alone in that sentiment. That's a repulsive attitude for anybody to have. It's no wonder when people are repulsed.

EDIT: Ephesos, I was sarcastically mocking Thuryl.

[ Thursday, August 23, 2007 10:16: Message edited by: Stillness ]
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #144
Well pardon me. It just came across as blatantly ignorant.

If you want to attack someone's rhetoric, it helps to not lower yourself beneath their level.

EDIT: Typo.

[ Thursday, August 23, 2007 10:24: Message edited by: Ephesos ]

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TM: "I want BoA to grow. Evolve where the food ladder has rungs to be reached."

Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #145
quote:
Originally written by Ephesos:

Well pardon me. It just came across as blatantly ignorant.

If you want to attack someone's rhetoric, it helps to not lower yourself beneath their level.

Eh, methinks you missed the irony.
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

That wouldn't be so horrible, but that's not the message. I've seen, heard, and read him and everytime those who disagree with him on humans origins are ignorant, blinded, irrational, etc. His view is unquestionably right. He can't tolerate the fact that some people have looked at the evidence logically and disagree so they are classified as stupid. He is not alone in that sentiment.
If so, fine, but don't generalize to all members of some category on the basis of a few members. That's prejudice.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #146
As an aside, or perhaps an example, the decision to close the ocean salmon fishery off the Columbia River was just reached. Immediately the common fisherman is crying a river because [plenty of fish, haven't been yet, tradition, fish still small] and that the scientists/government is going to be wasting fish again that could be getting caught by honest recreational fishermen rather than gillnetters (filthy beasts) or being turned into [catfood/fertilizer/food bank food] once they reach the hatcheries.

Never mind that historical runs of over 100 million fish are no longer possible, and that all fishing is only possible because of taxpayer supported hatcheries or that the only reason that the Feds allow a fishery at all is because the state imposes limits. Never mind that Fish and Game keeps daily tract of fishing so that the fish stocks aren't harmed, and are directed to maximize fishing opportunity while preserving the fish stock.

It all boils down to the damn scientists imposing their will on the common man, and reducing our freedom of opportunity.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Thralni - "a lot of people are ... too weird to be trusted"
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
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Profile #147
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

don't generalize to all members of some category on the basis of a few members. That's prejudice.
I don't. Good scientists have done and continue to do much for us.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #148
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

He can't tolerate the fact that some people have looked at the evidence logically and disagree so they are classified as stupid. He is not alone in that sentiment. That's a repulsive attitude for anybody to have. It's no wonder when people are repulsed.
Is it still repulsive if it's true? It's almost impossible to study psychology without coming to the conclusion that practically everyone is stupid about most things. (I include atheists in this just as much as any other kind of person, by the way.)

People don't have time to think for themselves about everything that affects them: that's why we have experts in the first place. Trying to think critically instead of trusting experts is an extraordinarily arrogant thing to do. I mean, how would you feel if I thought I knew the theology of the Jehovah's Witnesses better than you did?

[ Thursday, August 23, 2007 14:49: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7723
Profile #149
quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

He can't tolerate the fact that some people have looked at the evidence logically and disagree so they are classified as stupid. He is not alone in that sentiment. That's a repulsive attitude for anybody to have. It's no wonder when people are repulsed.
Is it still repulsive if it's true?

Yeah, it is. Let's say we disagree on an issue and I hold myself out to be an agent of truth and knowledge. What is the best way for me to find out who, if either of us, is right? Call you stupid for disageeing? Suggesting we put our heads together to sort out the facts of a matter? Now, let's say we discuss and still disagree. Should I call you stupid now or say, "let's agree to disagree and maybe we can think about this more if new information comes to light." If I call you stupid, should I be surprised if you don't want to hear my ideas?

[quote]how would you feel if I thought I knew the theology of the Jehovah's Witnesses better than you did?[/quote]I'd listen to your perspective. Even if you're wrong I might learn something of my faith from you.

Let me suggest a more fitting illustration: How would I feel if you thought Jehovah's Witnesses were wrong about the Bible or God? It's better because I don't think I know more about biology than certain scientists, but I still think they're wrong. Most people I encounter are not as familiar with the Bible as I am, but they still disagree. I don't think they're stupid, and certainly wouldn't call them such. I love to talk to people interested in the Bible/God/religion. Sometimes they're actually right about cetain issues and I'm wrong. Sometimes I simply am not familiar with a topic even though I study and read the Bible daily. So I'd never be so bold and haughty as to belittle someone for disagreeing with me.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00

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