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Old 07-28-2021, 05:27 PM   #101
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Actually science has in fact been just plain false.

Today we know that electrons don’t really orbit the nucleus at all. But scientists working in the early 20th century thought of electrons as very tiny balls, and assumed their motion would be comparable with the motion of actual balls.
So they had a theory. They tested it. The results didn't match, so they had to come up with a new theory. That is called science working, not science being false.

Claiming that "science is false" is misleading IMO. Certainly some reporting is false. such as the magazine articles in the early seventies that suggested we were heading into an ice age. Sometimes we don't have sufficient evidence, and so things are not yet well understood. That is how science works.
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Old 07-28-2021, 05:37 PM   #102
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Mike,

Science changes it's mind all the time. That's how it is supposed to work. The science is not always true, and sometimes it gets it wrong. It always has. It always will.
Peter,

Since I suspect you're at least in part referring to the quote in my signature line, I'm sure deGrasse Tyson was referring not to the scientific process itself as being true but rather the fact that when peer reviewed results consistently point to a specific reality...gravity, evolution, relativity, and in this case climate change...that reality is most likely true whether or not an individual "believes" in it.

Yes, the hypotheses around the causes of climate change have evolved and become more specific as additional real world data has become available and a coherent theory to explain that data has emerged. But almost no scientists are "changing their minds" on the subject. To the contrary, according to a NASA study, 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agree that global warming trends are highly likely to be the result of human activity. I don't know about you, but if 97 out of 100 doctors told me it was highly likely I had a cancerous tumor, I'd probably be looking for someone to do something about it. If you wait for 100% agreement you're highly likely to end up dead.

Sure, sometimes "science" changes it's mind and sometimes science gets it wrong. But the scientific process is designed to account for that and new data constantly gets evaluated to see if the prevailing theory explains it or not. In the case of climate change, emerging data is proving consistent with the theory, not inconsistent. If we're hoping that science is going to change it's mind on this one and give us the all clear to keep pumping CO2 into the atmosphere indefinitely, I think we will be tragically disappointed.
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Old 07-28-2021, 05:47 PM   #103
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So they had a theory. They tested it. The results didn't match, so they had to come up with a new theory. That is called science working, not science being false.

Claiming that "science is false" is misleading IMO. Certainly some reporting is false. such as the magazine articles in the early seventies that suggested we were heading into an ice age. Sometimes we don't have sufficient evidence, and so things are not yet well understood. That is how science works.
Yes.
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Old 07-28-2021, 05:52 PM   #104
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Mike,

Science changes it's mind all the time. That's how it is supposed to work. The science is not always true, and sometimes it gets it wrong. It always has. It always will.
I believe in the scientific method.

Science gets it wrong for years and sometimes centuries before it gets it right. The examples are endless, and you all can name a few off the top of your head. But how about these doozies:

1. Sugar is not bad for you but fat is evil. That led to the current obesity epidemic, and its partner, insulin resistance. And possibly contributed to memory problems in older people.
2. Pluto is a planet. Oops. It's not. This one makes me laugh because Neil de Grasse Tyson is famous for saying science is true whether you believe it or not. Yet, he was on the committee that demoted Pluto, reversing more than a century of the very science he claims to be omniscient.
3. Peter Higgs was ridiculed for years because he and others suggested what came to called the Higgs boson (1964). Fast forward to 2013 and he wins the Nobel prize.

I used to be one of those that blindly accepted whatever the mainstream scientists and media said. Then two things happened. First, the 10-year dire predictions in An Inconvenient Truth didn't happen, but kept being postponed by 10 years (If we don't take action right this very minute the world will end in ten years!!!).

But the most revealing moment was a New York Times article. I've taken the paper for thirty years. They had a graph maybe three years ago (could have been two years ago). It showed U.S. carbon emissions peaking in about 2012, then dramatically dropping until the most recent data which was about 2018...in line with the Paris Accords. In some months that data would show an uptick and other months a downtick, but the overall trend was a drastic drop in carbon emissions. So the graph showed some pretty amazing change over a six-year or so period; however, the words in the article stressed the final two data points (two months of data) which created a hockey stick graph. In other words, the NYT chose two data points to claim that because two consecutive months showed the same level of carbon emissions that we had reached a plateau. Never mind that the previous month had shown a big drop or that two data points do not make a trend. If you turn on your critical thinking skills, you're thinking...what if I load this data into Excel and chart a trend. Well...what happens is that the small ups and downs get levelled out into a steady and steep drop that aligns with the Paris Accords. Now, it is possible that as carbon emissions continue to drop that they become harder to drop further, i.e. every incremental drop is ever so slightly more difficult. It's like a spring...you can compress it easily to start but it becomes a little more difficult the further you compress it. But the drop is real. So whatever you hear/read about...well...most anything, must be taken with a grain or two of salt.
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:06 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by Daquenzer View Post
Actually science has in fact been just plain false.

Today we know that electrons don’t really orbit the nucleus at all. But scientists working in the early 20th century thought of electrons as very tiny balls, and assumed their motion would be comparable with the motion of actual balls.
This was pretty much my point - if this is the case then it's not the process we call 'science' that was false, it was a theory. Long-held theories are proven wrong all the time.

I don't remember learning scientific 'truths' in school. Lots of theories, but no truths. That was left to ethics class.
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:19 PM   #106
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I believe in the scientific method.

Science gets it wrong for years and sometimes centuries before it gets it right. The examples are endless, and you all can name a few off the top of your head. But how about these doozies:

1. Sugar is not bad for you but fat is evil. That led to the current obesity epidemic, and its partner, insulin resistance. And possibly contributed to memory problems in older people.
2. Pluto is a planet. Oops. It's not. This one makes me laugh because Neil de Grasse Tyson is famous for saying science is true whether you believe it or not. Yet, he was on the committee that demoted Pluto, reversing more than a century of the very science he claims to be omniscient.
3. Peter Higgs was ridiculed for years because he and others suggested what came to called the Higgs boson (1964). Fast forward to 2013 and he wins the Nobel prize.

I used to be one of those that blindly accepted whatever the mainstream scientists and media said. Then two things happened. First, the 10-year dire predictions in An Inconvenient Truth didn't happen, but kept being postponed by 10 years (If we don't take action right this very minute the world will end in ten years!!!).

But the most revealing moment was a New York Times article. I've taken the paper for thirty years. They had a graph maybe three years ago (could have been two years ago). It showed U.S. carbon emissions peaking in about 2012, then dramatically dropping until the most recent data which was about 2018...in line with the Paris Accords. In some months that data would show an uptick and other months a downtick, but the overall trend was a drastic drop in carbon emissions. So the graph showed some pretty amazing change over a six-year or so period; however, the words in the article stressed the final two data points (two months of data) which created a hockey stick graph. In other words, the NYT chose two data points to claim that because two consecutive months showed the same level of carbon emissions that we had reached a plateau. Never mind that the previous month had shown a big drop or that two data points do not make a trend. If you turn on your critical thinking skills, you're thinking...what if I load this data into Excel and chart a trend. Well...what happens is that the small ups and downs get levelled out into a steady and steep drop that aligns with the Paris Accords. Now, it is possible that as carbon emissions continue to drop that they become harder to drop further, i.e. every incremental drop is ever so slightly more difficult. It's like a spring...you can compress it easily to start but it becomes a little more difficult the further you compress it. But the drop is real. So whatever you hear/read about...well...most anything, must be taken with a grain or two of salt.
That's interesting, but not reason to distrust science or the scientific method.

That Pluto has been demoted from planetary status is simply a matter of a changing definition, not of faulty science. If it was shown that Pluto didn't actually exist, then we'd have to question the previous data and how it was obtained. But the fact that we are now just naming Pluto something different isn't a black mark on science. It's an exercise in refining what it takes to be defined as a planet, which is an example of exactly the kind of thing that science is supposed to be engaged in.

Also, the fact that a writer for the NYT made predictions in an article based on certain data that he chose or did not choose to consider isn't an example of bad or misleading science either. It's little more than an incorrect opinion expressed in an article by someone using non-rigorous analysis.
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:32 PM   #107
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I don't remember learning scientific 'truths' in school. Lots of theories, but no truths. That was left to ethics class.
What does Indiana Jones say, “Archaeology is the search for fact...not truth. If it's truth you're looking for, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall.”
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:49 PM   #108
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That's interesting, but not reason to distrust science or the scientific method.

That Pluto has been demoted from planetary status is simply a matter of a changing definition, not of faulty science. If it was shown that Pluto didn't actually exist, then we'd have to question the previous data and how it was obtained. But the fact that we are now just naming Pluto something different isn't a black mark on science. It's an exercise in refining what it takes to be defined as a planet, which is an example of exactly the kind of thing that science is supposed to be engaged in.

Also, the fact that a writer for the NYT made predictions in an article based on certain data that he chose or did not choose to consider isn't an example of bad or misleading science either. It's little more than an incorrect opinion expressed in an article by someone using non-rigorous analysis.
What about Higgs. Or leeches. Or sugar. Or fats. Or the NYT’s own data that showed carbon emissions dropping drastically. I could go on for hours with science’s mistakes. If the issue is about the future of carbon and the data from a left-of-center medium shows carbon already on a steep decline, what gives?!

It sounds like you’re resorting to the old saw, “Don’t confuse me facts; my mind’s made up.” I empathize. I used to use the same arguments. Until I realized I was always apologizing for a reporter’s ignorance or yet another scientist’s scandal.

And you misquoted me. I do believe in a rigorous scientific method.

And nothing gets by the managing editor of the NYT. The obfuscation is intentional. All the news that fits the narrative.

Critical thinking skills mirror the decline in carbon emissions. That’s a correlation I’d love to see graphed. But, alas, how does one measure critical thinking skills.
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Old 07-28-2021, 07:02 PM   #109
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...And nothing gets by the managing editor of the NYT. The obfuscation is intentional. All the news that fits the narrative...
Why are you conflating something in the newspaper with scientific theory? One is aimed at selling advertising, the other at proving/disproving theories.

I thought one of the goals of every scientists is to disprove theories that the evidence no longer supports or that now has contrary evidence? I know that's not very satisfying to the layperson looking for cut/dry answers, but it's the nature of science.
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:22 PM   #110
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What about Higgs. Or leeches. Or sugar. Or fats. Or the NYT’s own data that showed carbon emissions dropping drastically. I could go on for hours with science’s mistakes. If the issue is about the future of carbon and the data from a left-of-center medium shows carbon already on a steep decline, what gives?!

It sounds like you’re resorting to the old saw, “Don’t confuse me facts; my mind’s made up.” I empathize. I used to use the same arguments. Until I realized I was always apologizing for a reporter’s ignorance or yet another scientist’s scandal.

And you misquoted me. I do believe in a rigorous scientific method.

And nothing gets by the managing editor of the NYT. The obfuscation is intentional. All the news that fits the narrative.

Critical thinking skills mirror the decline in carbon emissions. That’s a correlation I’d love to see graphed. But, alas, how does one measure critical thinking skills.
Leeches? Really? Next you'll be suggesting burning women at the stake for such crimes as muttering under their breath (fact) was due to failed scientific inquiry.

And Higgs? Higgs was simply like Galileo was in his time; he had an understanding of something that no one else did. To the scientific community's credit, with the proper data and study, it came around to Higgs' position and as you indicated yourself, awarded him the Nobel prize. It was the same with Einstein and Darwin and other great minds who were ahead of their time. It's not an indictment of science, or a reason to distrust it, it's how science is supposed to work.

Again, the article you refer to is simply not relevant, regardless of the NYT's presumed political bias. Anyone can write almost anything they want. There are thousands of opinion pieces printed and blogged every day and some of them are BS, even from the NYT. But even of the one's that aren't BS, very few are grounded in science.

Apologies if I was confused about your steadfast belief in the "rigorous scientific method". I think it may have been your comments about the endless mistakes made by science that steered me in that direction.
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:38 PM   #111
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Why are you conflating something in the newspaper with scientific theory? One is aimed at selling advertising, the other at proving/disproving theories.

I thought one of the goals of every scientists is to disprove theories that the evidence no longer supports or that now has contrary evidence? I know that's not very satisfying to the layperson looking for cut/dry answers, but it's the nature of science.
It’s because the general public reads journalism, not scientific papers. And if they did read scientific papers they’d be asking a lot of very sensible questions. However, they’re busy raising kids or doing the laundry. So they lazily rely on the NYT to tell them what to you think about important issues.

But I want to thank you for reinforcing my point. Science does not and can not provide cut/dry answers. Science is the quest for knowledge. Let’s all wait for the currently popular/populist theories to be exposed as fraud or replaced by refinements by the next generation of scientists who are not bound to the current orthodoxy. It’s a journey.

Scientists don’t try to disprove the theories of other scientists. That’s a perfect world. Not the real world of science. Scientists need to get paid. They don’t get paid for refuting other scientists claims. They get paid (and tenure) for new, provable ideas.

Question everything, but especially authority.
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:50 PM   #112
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Again, the article you refer to is simply not relevant, regardless of the NYT's presumed political bias. Anyone can write almost anything they want. There are thousands of opinion pieces printed and blogged every day and some of them are BS, even from the NYT. But even of the one's that aren't BS, very few are grounded in science.
First, the piece I mentioned was not an opinion piece. And to conflate it with the universe of ill-informed bloggers is, well, a cute rhetorical device. However, it was reported as fact. And the data was factual. And you once again prove my point by saying “very few are grounded in science.”

Amen, my brother scientist!!
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Old 07-28-2021, 11:58 PM   #113
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First, the piece I mentioned was not an opinion piece. And to conflate it with the universe of ill-informed bloggers is, well, a cute rhetorical device. However, it was reported as fact. And the data was factual. And you once again prove my point by saying “very few are grounded in science.”

Amen, my brother scientist!!
Sorry, but I'm not really sure what your point is. And I don't understand why a poorly presented article on a scientific topic in the newspaper, regardless of which paper, would harm anyone's faith in scientific research generally.

Anyway, we just may not be able to see eye to eye on this one. Cheers.
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Old 07-29-2021, 05:06 AM   #114
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.. .



But I want to thank you for reinforcing my point. Science does not and can not provide cut/dry answers. Science is the quest for knowledge. Let’s all wait for the currently popular/populist theories to be exposed as fraud or replaced by refinements by the next generation of scientists who are not bound to the current orthodoxy. It’s a journey...
Makes some sense, but how long do you think we need to wait?

Many of the theories we're now acting on were initially worked on by previous generations of scientists. We've been tabulating weather patterns for centuries.

Just how many generations do you think is appropriate to wait before we start taking action?
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Old 07-29-2021, 05:17 AM   #115
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Not to mention that “centuries-old weather patterns” may not be as predictive as in the past!



Have we ever been good at predicting mutations which are completely new and unusual?

Is the Earth in the process of adjusting to discontinuities unknown to humankind before?

Worth asking the very difficult questions, at this point, and challenging all known assumptions IMO.

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Old 07-29-2021, 05:31 AM   #116
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Old 07-29-2021, 05:44 AM   #117
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Actually, regardless of whether it's just a continuation of an age-old pattern or something new, when the water starts rising up around your ankles a wise person starts walking towards higher ground.
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Old 07-29-2021, 08:31 AM   #118
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I always love the great "Global Warming-Climate Change" discussions. Both sides convinced on the "science" which is ever changing, misleading, driven by money (on both sides), etc...

For me, the question becomes "What is the correct?"

My guess, if the Dinosaurs were here today, they would be walking around in wool sweaters, though the animals during the Ice Age would be sweating their butt off. To think we are the "All and Powerful" is kinda funny.

We are nothing but a second of time in the life of the planet, we like other creatures before us will come and go, nothing more, nothing less. Like the old song said "Dust in the Wind".



Just Saying,
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Old 07-29-2021, 08:40 AM   #119
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I always love the great "Global Warming-Climate Change" discussions. Both sides convinced on the "science" which is ever changing, misleading, driven by money (on both sides), etc...



For me, the question becomes "What is the correct?"



My guess, if the Dinosaurs were here today, they would be walking around in wool sweaters, though the animals during the Ice Age would be sweating their butt off. To think we are the "All and Powerful" is kinda funny.



We are nothing but a second of time in the life of the planet, we like other creatures before us will come and go, nothing more, nothing less. Like the old song said "Dust in the Wind".







Just Saying,
That said, do you support walking to higher ground or staying put when the water starts rising?

That, to me, is much more important than the question of who's to blame or if it's a natural phenomenon.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:03 AM   #120
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That said, do you support walking to higher ground or staying put when the water starts rising?

That, to me, is much more important than the question of who's to blame or if it's a natural phenomenon.


So much drama in this thread.

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