A fake expert vs real ones on global warming

A global warming denialist known as Judy Cross has been storming the web community Care2 for over a year, posting propaganda on her beliefs. Here’s an example of her rantings:

http://www.care2.com/news/member/185088952/752943

“This is a lucid, logical, well-researched 32-page doc, compiled by long time IPCC expert reviewer, Dr Vincent Gray, explaining why the current claims of man-made global warming are a “global scam”. ”

http://nzclimatescience.net/images/PDFs/warmingscam1505.pdf

Oh, really? Well, I proceeded to dismantle the credibility of that paper.

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How NOT to argue or do “research”

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/03/lynn_margulis_blog_tour.php

Note comment #163, which I wrote in reference to some earlier commenters.

(((Interesting comments, these three.

Let’s face it, no one who is not a dissident is going to read links to an HIV dissident site, especially when some of the papers are by Duesberg. People may read papers from mainstream scientists so long as they support their own arguments. Everyone here is interested in furthering their own arguments. Period.
Posted by: wayne | March 19, 2007 7:46 PM

“Not only have I read Duesberg’s articles but I have checked his claims with the ‘orthodox’ literature. It is only after this that I concluded that duesberg is full of crap.”
And therefore everyone reading this blog should take Chris Noble’s word for it. Just like everyone takes nature’s and Science’s “word for it” when they also say Duesberg is full of crap. My guess is that (unlike Chris Noble) 99% of people who take [fill in the blank]’s “word for it” have not actually taken time to examine the “dissident literature” (or even the “orthodox literature” which dissidents allegedly “cherry-pick” and “abuse”). My guess is, 99% of people who dismiss dissidents out of hand do so simply because “everyone else thinks so…”
And then everyone wonders why it’s NOT impossible for such a blunder to have happened…
Jake
Posted by: Jake | March 24, 2007 6:51 AM 

 DT said: “I dismiss dissidents because I have taken the trouble to look in detail at their claims, and found them wanting”.
DT, as with most of what you have to say, that statement of yours is not true at all!
DT dismisses the HIV dissidents because DT is a HIV drug rep to doctors for a pharmaceutical company! Doooohhhh!
Posted by: lincoln | April 1, 2007 12:06 AM

 This is an example of what happens when someone gets so fixated on an idea that they can’t stand to lose an argument over it.
Here’s a tip for the denialist fanatics: Just because a concept is acceptable to YOUR mind doesn’t mean it is actually true. You may be suffering from psychotic delusions.)))
 

Natural selection and the scientific peer review process

Natural selection describes the process by which variations in a population of organisms are edited over time to enhance the ability of the individual organisms to survive and reproduce in an environment. Even if over 90% of all mutations, being random, are harmful to the next generation, natural selection can still eliminate those and keep those others that are beneficial, thus countering the destructive effects of mutations in general.

It is the same with the scientific peer review process. Because science has made so much progress over the past few centuries, most people have the impression that scientists are unusually brilliant, nearly infallible, and totally objective in their views and methods. But in fact, that is simply not the case for most of them, at least as individuals. Scientists can be just as mistaken, corrupt, dogmatic, and failing in their efforts and assumptions as the rest of humanity. A few of them can even be downright stupid!

If that is true, how can science be trusted to produce reliable facts and theories? Because the scientists use peer review as their means to test any new ideas put on the table by one of their number. No scientist’s word need be taken at face value. In order for his idea to be accepted as anything beyond a speculation, he must show observational or experimental data, clearly defined, that supports it. Thus, it should always be possible for other scientists to duplicate the results of the first scientist making the claim. If attempts to duplicate the observations or experiments do not produce the same result, the idea is rejected.

Sometimes the peer review process goes too far in its skepticism, and a valid idea, such as continental drift, is rejected and even ridiculed by scientists even though it explains all the data collected and is contradicted by none of it. But that’s why repeated testing of that idea is required, as long as it is not outright falsified. Continental drift WAS accepted in the 1960s once an overwhelming amount of evidence was found to support it and those geologists who had been bigoted against it in the 1920s had died or retired, and a new generation had arisen that was more open-minded. Those who supported the continental drift theory were able to come up with a mechanism, plate tectonics, that explained it, and once they did opposition to it faded away rapidly.

Individual scientists may fall so deeply in love with their own ideas that they refuse to accept the peer review process when it rejects their ideas. Then they become cranks who no longer do science, but instead put out propaganda to appeal to the scientifically illiterate. This is especially true of Creationists and global warming denialists who happen to have science degrees. They even go so far as to attack the peer review process itself! But it must be noted that they can never produce anything that would produce superior results in terms of seeking objective data in the universe and explaining it.

Scientists who refuse to recognize that an idea of theirs is wrong are like a population of organisms that are too specialized in their lifestyle to adapt to any sudden change in their environment, resulting in their extinction. Fortunately, the progress of science continues even in spite of such incidents, just as life on Earth has continued despite the mass extinctions that have wiped out most species that evolved on Earth before.

Debunking the MWP Myth

2000 Year Temperature Comparison.png

The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was a time of increased warmth that is recorded in the history of the North Atlantic region from about 800 AD to 1300 AD. During this period, the extent of the Arctic ice cap was considerably less than today. The purpose of this blog is not to deny the reality of the MWP nor to reject the historical facts associated with it. However, global warming denialists have claimed that because the ice sheets of the Arctic were less extensive than today, the MWP must have been warmer than today and thus there is no reason to think that the current warming period, thought to be caused by man-made greenhouse gases, is in any way unusual. Indeed, they even claim that the readings from scientists indicating that the temperatures of the MWP were lower than today were faked in an effort to deny or cover up the MWP. Thus, I feel it necessary to demonstrate the absurdity of such assumptions.

Let us do an experiment. We take two identical bowls filled with pure water and place them in a freezer. After the water is completely frozen in both bowls, they are removed from the freezer and one, labled “A”, is placed in a refrigerator, while the other, labled “B” is placed on the kitchen table. After about an hour, bowl B has ice that is PARTLY melted. We take a picture of the bowl and then discard it.

A week later, we remove bowl A from the refrigerator. By then, the ice of this bowl is COMPLETELY melted. We take a picture of this bowl and discard it also.

Finally, we present both pictures to someone who knows nothing about the experiment and ask him, “Which bowl would you say looks warmer to you?” He will certainly say, “A”, but he will be wrong, because bowl A was in near freezing temperature for a week before its picture was taken, while bowl B was in room temperature for an hour before its picture was taken.

The point of the experiment is that it is not merely temperature that is the factor in melting water, but TIME as well. The Medieval Warm Period was indeed a natural event, and thus its arrival was gradual and so was its ending. The ice sheets in the  Medieval Warm Period were less extensive because it lasted for several centuries, unlike the current warming period, which has lasted for only a few decades. Thus, the picture of bowl A could represent the Arctic ice cap at the height of the MWP, while the pic of bowl B could represent the Arctic ice cap today. Higher temperatures, but less time to melt the ice cap.

Thus, there is absolutely NO basis for the slanderous claims made against the scientists who have studied the progress of global warming in this present time. Indeed, if the MWP had been only three or four degrees F warmer than today’s average temperatures, we should have expected to see an almost total meltdown of both the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps, resulting in a massive rise in sea levels around the world. And history records NO such thing!

Automatic Credibility

I have coined the term “automatic credibility” to refer to the tendency to accept as fact a questionable statement made by a person, even if they person does not produce definite evidence to support his claim. Most people would grant automatic credibility to their parents, close friends, or a religious leader in his chosen faith. But as a Honorable Skeptic, my ideal would be to grant to NO ONE that privilege and to regard all claims by all people with equal suspicion. In a court of law, in a science journal, and in diplomatic dealings between nations, automatic credibility is usually not an issue. Nor should it be with anyone, about anything. If we could achieve this goal, a lot of lying, cheating, and backstabbing in things like politics would end.

 

Lunacy from a racist “Christian”

As much as I despise Ben Stine for making that idiotic Expelled movie that attacks evolution as an inspiration for the Nazi Holocaust and portrays Intelligent Design promoters as martyrs, what’s even worse is when some deranged psycho slams Stine himself for attacking racism as well. I think I’ll just copy and paste the entire piece of nonsense to show what was done. I hope you have your bathroom door open, in case you feel like puking!

http://tarobb.blogspot.com/2008/04/trap-is-set.html

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