Excerpt: But if there was one underlying theme to it all, this was a March for…
…and to the extent that the March for Science was at its heart a rally in support of The Truth, it failed, because there is no such thing as THE Truth…and it ignores, or denies, massive scientific evidence to suggest there is. The March for Science did for the social sciences about human reasoning and perception just what it railed against for so many other issues. It was overt denialism of scientific evidence that competes with the tribe’s views, and it was self-defeating as a result.
The idea that there is a Truth with which we all agree, about anything, is laudable, but laughable. That science can establish a universally accepted Truth, about anything, is a worthy aspiration, but entirely unachievable. Research — scientific research — has established beyond any question that while the scientific process is great at establishing the facts, in the end how we see those facts is subjective…affective…a blend of the facts and how we feel about them. Social science and neuroscience research on congition and how the mind works confirms, and helps explain the reasons why, we have always lived in world of alternative facts depending on who you ask. This may be frustrating, but it’s hardly new.…
by J. SCOTT ARMSTRONG AND KESTEN C. GREEN
What is the “Scientific method”?
Saturday’s March for Science calls for “robustly funded” science and “political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.” But is this just an attempt to dress up the marchers’ political beliefs as science? And what do they mean by science?
Fortunately for those who care, there is a remarkable level of agreement in the writings of scientific pioneers such as Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and Benjamin Franklin on the nature of the scientific method. That agreement is also reflected in the definition provided by the Oxford English Dictionary.
We have expanded on the established definition and identified eight necessary criteria for a work to be considered useful science. The criteria include objectivity and full disclosure. We expect that most scientists would agree with these criteria as obviously true and important.
The pioneers of science charted the way by describing how to comply with the criteria. To be objective, according to Newton, the study should compare all reasonable hypotheses by using a fair and balanced experimental design.
We have summarized the eight criteria on a one-page checklist (available at guidelinesforscience.com). You can easily refer to it to assess whether something you are looking at is a work of science. By using the checklist, you do not have to depend on an authority to tell you “this is what the science says.” Knowing and agreeing with the criteria in the checklist does not help. To be useful, the checklist must be used.
The checklist is concerned only with the scientific method, so one does not need to be an expert in the field or topic to use it. In fact, experts may have difficulty rating the scientific compliance of works in their own field. They are likely to be biased against findings that challenge conventional wisdom.…
New Study impresses AP’s Seth Borenstein – Uses ‘extensive computer models’ to find ‘man-made extreme weather has hit all over the world’
By SETH BORENSTEIN
In a first-of-its-kind study, scientists analyzed weather stations worldwide and calculated that in 85 percent of the cases, the record for hottest day of the year had the fingerprints of climate change. Heat-trapping gases from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas made those records more likely or more intense.
“The world is not quite at the point where every hot temperature record has a human fingerprint, but it’s getting close to that,” said lead author and Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh.
Climate change’s influence was spotted 57 percent of the time in records for lowest rainfall in a year and 41 percent of the time in records for most rain in a 5-day period, according to the study in Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For the last several years, researchers have come up with a generally accepted scientific technique to determine whether an individual weather extreme event was made more likely or stronger because of climate change. It usually involves past weather data and extensive computer models that simulate how often an event would happen with no warming from greenhouse gases and compare that to how often it does happen.
Outside scientists said what makes Diffenbaugh’s study different and useful is that he doesn’t look at an individual event such as California’s five-year drought. Instead, he applies the technique to weather stations as a whole across the world, said Columbia University climate scientist Adam Sobel, who wasn’t part of new work.
“This is a step forward in that it allows general statements about what fraction of events of the given types selected have a statistically significant” human influence, Sobel said in an email.…
WASHINGTON — Today, White House senior advisers are scheduled to meet about the future of U.S. involvement in the Paris Climate Treaty, even though President Trump made a campaign promise to cancel the agreement. Since December 2015, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has made the constitutional, political, economic, and moral case against the Paris Climate Treaty. This morning, CEI launched an online ad and petition asking President Trump to keep his promise and withdraw the United States from this harmful agreement.
Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment, Myron Ebell, said:
“The Paris Climate Treaty requires the United States to make drastic cuts in fossil fuel energy use by 2025, which will raise energy prices and slow economic recovery from our decade-long slump. It also requires us to submit more ambitious commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions every five years,” said Ebell. “Failure to withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty will make President Trump’s plans to undo Obama’s climate agenda vulnerable to legal challenges. The President should not listen to Washington’s Swamp, but rather keep his campaign promise to get the United States out of the Paris Climate Treaty and send it to the Senate for a vote.”
WATCH THE AD HERE >> President Trump: Withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty
VIEW THE PETITION >> StopParisClimateTreaty.org…
Bill Nye: The Perfect Talking Head for a March Against Science – ‘He promotes science as a close-minded ideology’
Bill Nye may not be a scientist. But he used to play one on TV. Now he is an honorary co-chair and speaker for the “March for Science” in Washington D.C. and elsewhere on April 22.
The choice of Nye as one of the faces of the March is revealing. March organizers have paid lip service to critical thinking and “diverse perspectives” in science. However, Nye is a good example of someone who promotes science as a close-minded ideology, not an open search for truth.
He attacks those who disagree with him on climate change or evolution as science “deniers.” He wouldn’t even rule out criminal prosecution as a tool. Asked last year whether he supported efforts to jail climate skeptics as war criminals, he replied: “Well, we’ll see what happens. Was it appropriate to jail the guys from ENRON?”
Scientists disagree on far more issues than the March organizers admit.
Real science encourages debate. It doesn’t insist that scientists march in lockstep. Or that they speak with one voice. In fact, scientists disagree on far more issues than the March organizers admit.
Models Vs. Evidence
Take global warming. Many marchers will wear their belief in climate change on their sleeves. On their signs, too. They, like Nye and others who claim to speak for science, equate belief in man-made climate disaster with science itself. If you disagree, you’re “anti-science.”
Yet there are strong reasons to doubt the so-called “consensus” on warming. But the popular media rarely cite them.
From 1890 to 1990, records show only a .45 degree C rise in global temperature as measured from near-surface thermometers around the Earth. Yet about 75 percent of the increase occurred before World War II, while most of the increase in human produced greenhouse gases occurred after World War II. So, human industrial activity doesn’t really correlate with the main effect of interest. Meanwhile, after a few warmer than usual years in the early 1990s, global temperatures have flat-lined. They show no net increase over the last two decades.