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The real attack on science

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 pm - December 10, 2009.
Filed under: Climate Change (Global Warming),Science

Trying to shut down criticism in the name of science is the real attack on science.”

–Clive Crook via Instapundit

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12 Comments

  1. That is the motto of the Intelligent Design movement, of which I am proud supporter.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — December 10, 2009 @ 3:43 pm - December 10, 2009

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment. We should be critical of the data collection, analysis, and conclusions drawn from the environmental sciences! Thank goodness for the release of these damaging emails.

    Comparing skeptics of climate change to Intelligent Design however is an incorrect comparison. Its one thing to challenge evolution on its merits and evidence, its another thing to propose an untestable hypothesis as science. Science attempts to explain natural phenomena, not supernatural guidance.

    Comment by Eric — December 10, 2009 @ 5:04 pm - December 10, 2009

  3. Archaeology is a science, I believe. When an archaeologist looks at a rock, he looks for specific evidence for design. There is nothing unscientific in trying to determine whether something is a stone or an arrowhead.

    Similarly, those involved in SETI are scientists. They look at pulses from stars and try to determine if those pulses are an intelligent pattern or come from a natural source.

    The movie 2001 postulated the theory that human life was seeded and nurtured by a superior alien race. Panspermia has been discussed favorably by Dawkins. Many scientists see that the complexity of early life could be of alien origin, possibly started by beings from a more advanced section of the multiverse.

    In order to explain the expansion of the universe, scientists postulate “dark matter” which has never been seen and for which there is no direct evidence. How is “Dark-matter-of-the-gaps” different than “God-of-the-gaps”?

    No one has seen a quark. We assume its existence based on the behavior of other particles. Why is it more scientific to believe in an unseen quark than an unseen Creator?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — December 10, 2009 @ 6:28 pm - December 10, 2009

  4. Ash,

    Just as there is not enough evidence for AGW to base policy on, there is not enough evidence of ID to base policy on (in particular, school curriculum).

    Many scientists may see aliens as the seed of early life. Many also see God as that seed. Right now, neither can be proven. Hence both are speculation, and neither should be taught as ‘science’.

    As for dark matter, the problem is the evidence – evidence that something is affecting the expansion of the universe. Something predictable. At some point in the past we didn’t know what a germ was, but that didn’t stop all sorts of explanations. Demons, curses, ‘bad humours’ or whatever. And not knowing about germs didn’t invalidate all medicine.

    If you are interested in dark matter or quarks, please subscribe to some of the cosmology and physics blogs. They’re really quite fascinating. There are some particularly accessible ones at scienceblogs.com.

    Comment by DRH — December 10, 2009 @ 7:56 pm - December 10, 2009

  5. And if you would like to find a bridge between science and faith, I suggest you look at John Polkinghorne, Francis Collins, Alister McGrath, Keith Adams, Stephen Meyer, and John Haught.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — December 11, 2009 @ 12:31 am - December 11, 2009

  6. Sorry Ash, you may believe in ID, which I have no problem with, but. like the Mann / Jones version of climate science and global warming, there is no way to disprove either. Please, tell me what kind of scientific experiment or data would you except that would prove ID wrong. Being able to challenge and refute a scientific hypothesis is a keystone of science. There is no test that you can apply that could ever prove you wrong. Mann and Jones, by rigging the peer review system, and switching the terminology from global warming to climate change, have created a situation where, no matter what the climate does, warms OR cools i.e. the warming that humans are causing is being masked by natural causes… never mind that the whole premise of AGW was supposed to be that we are causing warming that over-rides natural variation.

    ID and the “consensus” / alarmist version of AGW are both based on faith, and not on science.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — December 11, 2009 @ 1:54 am - December 11, 2009

  7. PS. You all need to read the latest from Steve McIntyre. There is a reckoning coming in the field of paleo-climatology…. that is, if those who are officially investigating are paying attention.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — December 11, 2009 @ 1:59 am - December 11, 2009

  8. Sonic, reading McIntyre’s piece, but wondering why can’t we just see a graph of the actual temperatures over time rather than their deviation from some abstract, perhaps indeterminate, norm.

    I mean, who determined that norm and how? And isn’t that at the root of the current controversy?

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — December 11, 2009 @ 2:16 am - December 11, 2009

  9. I think the point is that scientists have an agenda. They don’t look at evidence dispassionately. If they want to believe in global warming or not believe in design, they only accept evidence which supports their predetermined bias.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — December 11, 2009 @ 10:00 am - December 11, 2009

  10. Yes, all scientists are biased toward their work, at least the good ones are. I have no problem with that either. They’ll fight tooth and nail to prove they are right.Look at ohw we do the same thing here, and over much less important stuff. The huge problem here is that a select few scientists who all share the same view managed to massage the system of peer review, and become the driving force in the science vis the IPCC, to the point where any alternative ideas about the causes of the warming trend, even valid ones, were squeezed out and completely ignored by the “consensus”, as if it doesn’t exist.

    And if the alternate ideas managed to get through the saftey net, the scientists themselves became a targey. How many times have we heard that one is a shiil of Big Oil?

    Comment by Sonicfrog — December 11, 2009 @ 10:57 am - December 11, 2009

  11. All scientists are biased toward their work? And your proof for this statement is….? I’m a scientist. At the core of science is to run proper experimental controls so that no other explanation can explain the data. Then the work is put out there for peer review, then it is published and is put out there for other scientists to repeat the work, challenge the work or confirm the work.

    Scientists are human and can be flawed. But the core principles of science are objectivity and critical review of the work. It is a quest for facts, truth and understanding.

    Comment by Jude — December 12, 2009 @ 12:07 am - December 12, 2009

  12. I’m not saying that is a fault. Quite to the contrary. If you weren’t passionate / biased about your work, you would give up at the first PR refusal. There is nothing wrong with being biased toward our work. It only becomes an issue when the biases overrides the safeguards that peer review is supposed to inherently prevent.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — December 12, 2009 @ 6:44 pm - December 12, 2009

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