ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2018 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Scientists can't do science

One of the signs of a society in decline is the way in which its institutions are increasingly incapable of performing their primary functions. SJW convergence is one reason for decline, but declining intelligence and capability is another one. I suspect the latter may be the root cause of the latest scientific debacle.
Researchers warn that large parts of biomedical science could be invalid due to a cascading history of flawed data in a systemic failure going back decades. A new investigation reveals more than 30,000 published scientific studies could be compromised by their use of misidentified cell lines, owing to so-called immortal cells contaminating other research cultures in the lab.

The problem is as serious as it is simple: researchers studying lung cancer publish a new paper, only it turns out the tissue they were actually using in the lab were liver cells. Or what they thought were human cells were mice cells, or vice versa, or something else entirely.

If you think that sounds bad, you're right, as it means the findings of each piece of affected research may be flawed, and could even be completely unreliable.

"Most scientists don't intentionally publish findings on the wrong cells," explains one of the researchers, Serge Horbach from Radboud University in the Netherlands.

"It's an honest mistake. The more concerning problem is that the research data is potentially invalid and impossible to reproduce."
Science is not, and should never be, considered any sort of truth-metric. It can only be judged by its actual real-world results, which is to say, science that has not advanced to the state of being transformed into engineering can NEVER be relied upon.

This also demonstrates why it is so vital to construct a solid and reliable foundation, because building upon intellectual sand means the entire edifice is eventually bound to collapse.

Labels: ,

257 Comments:

1 – 200 of 257 Newer› Newest»
Blogger wreckage October 18, 2017 9:18 AM  

Immortal cell line contamination was being brought up as an issue when I was in my late teens.

The unrepeatability problem is a really big issue these days too, probably largely derived from perverse incentives and the fact that dumb labs actually "breed" faster than smart labs - partly due to those perverse incentives.

Anonymous Rocklea October 18, 2017 9:23 AM  

""Most scientists don't intentionally publish findings on the wrong cells," explains one of the researchers, Serge Horbach from Radboud University in the Netherlands."

When I go to the fridge to get some milk, I make sure it says milk. Sometime I smell it first too.

Blogger The Observer October 18, 2017 9:24 AM  

Well, guess the secular sexy Star Trek-esque scientopia is growing more and more distant.

Blogger cavalier973 October 18, 2017 9:24 AM  

As I understand it, university science programs put an emphasis on developing new hypotheses.

In my opinion, professors should pull out a stack of science journals, and tell the students to replicate the studies reported. When they've finished, switch studoes with each other, and do it again.

Anonymous Reenay October 18, 2017 9:25 AM  

If I were a scientist, I could choose either:

- to be a good, honest, hard-working scientist that meticulously repeats experiments at my benefactor's expense (which will make him very unhappy) and spends virtually all my free time staying up to date on the cutting edge of my field
-or to be a lying, lazy, sloppy scientist with a political ax to grind, who conveniently produces findings that make my benefactors happy, and ergo, get more money from them and live happy and rich.

One of these tends to take humility and faith in a foundation of morality, like Christ. The other is what a significant number of "scientists" are these days.

Anonymous Dr. T October 18, 2017 9:29 AM  

Being an experimental scientist myself, my heart aches for these guys. It is simply not possible to doublecheck all parameters of an experiment. You have to rely on the instruments being calibrated properly, the chemicals being as pure as announced, the samples coming from the place they are supposedly from. In many cases errors are found in time, as things just do not work out and you have to check everything to find the source of the problem. But sometimes they make it into publication without anybody noticing it. Eventually it will be found out, like in this case. I see this as a positive example of scientific self-correction at work. Only it sometimes takes a few years or even decades, and then wipes out a lot of work.

Anonymous Rocklea October 18, 2017 9:31 AM  

"science that has not advanced to the state of being transformed into engineering can NEVER be relied upon."

Like 96% of the universe being undetectable yet mathematically sound.

Blogger Gloriam Deo October 18, 2017 9:38 AM  

Hold up. Why the hell aren’t these researchers producing their own cultures? That way they know exactly what they are working with.

Blogger Aeoli Pera October 18, 2017 9:39 AM  

Lol, godless heathens can't into.

Blogger VD October 18, 2017 9:39 AM  

I see this as a positive example of scientific self-correction at work.

It's not "scientific self-correction". There is no such thing. FFS, when a row of numbers in a spreadsheet don't add up, we don't call it "accounting self-correction".

Get over yourselves already. Every field fixes its errors, with the possible exception of men's fashion.

Blogger Gordon October 18, 2017 9:40 AM  

I remember reading a tongue-in-cheek paper about how to convert meth into sudafed. The authors wrote about acquiring meth of varying purity, just like chemicals of varying purity purchased from supply houses.

Anonymous Rocklea October 18, 2017 9:43 AM  

"Hold up. Why the hell aren’t these researchers producing their own cultures? That way they know exactly what they are working with."

They're Multi-Culturalists.

Blogger OGRE October 18, 2017 9:51 AM  

And in ironically semi-related news, Dan Brown declares that God cannot survive science: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/10/17/dan-brown-declares-that-god-cannot-survive-science/

Blogger Dave October 18, 2017 10:01 AM  

"Most scientists don't intentionally publish findings on the wrong cells,"

Most doctors don't intentionally misdiagnose and commit medical errors.

Most engineers don't intentionally miscalculate loads on a structure.

Most product designers don't intentionally design products with fatal defects.

Most cops don't intentionally racially profile.

Most male college students don't intentionally date rape.

Blogger PoseidonAwoke October 18, 2017 10:03 AM  

Rocklea wrote:Like 96% of the universe being undetectable yet mathematically sound.

Exactly. Black holes, dark matter and dark energy are entirely theoretical, so why do astronomer's need them? Because they need a fudge factor to make their math work. But their fudge factor now accounts for 95% of the mass of the universe.

This is absolute proof to me that modern astronomy and astrophysics is nothing but science fiction. Maybe I'll allow a 5% fudge factor, but 95%? Nope. You think I believe you can detect gravity waves created by black hole collisions by watching the movement of an area 1/1,000th the size of a proton? Think again, Sunshine.

The only reason people believe their fake cosmology and cosmogony is because it can't be tested. We see Hollywood imploding today. Science and Academia: You're next. We've got your number and we're bringing the floodlights. Fake News today, Fake Science tomorrow. You've stolen far too much of our money, gotten fat on creating debt slaves and turning out Fake Science and anti-white Marxists.

Blogger Mastermind October 18, 2017 10:05 AM  

#8 my mom works at a medical company infiltrated by Indians. Even though most of them have PhDs (from western universities at that) they spent weeks bumbling their way trying to produce a pill they had a contract for and failed. wouldn't be surprised if many of them took the easiest path possible through college, IE: minimum number of lab courses, master/phd in purely theoretical subjects that only require reading, or outright faked doctorate research.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 18, 2017 10:06 AM  

It's Medical Research. Know the biggest problem with Medical Research? Medical Researchers.

This is a problem going back decades. You don't suddenly invent a new population of +2 to +3 SD students that want to go into medicine, but the colleges need to fill the numbers. What's happened? You really have a massive net "brain drain" in the sciences. Or, probably more accurately, we've spent 30+ years running all of the "best & brightest" off into other fields because how do you compete for positions when the population groups that should make up 90% of the positions are restricted to 45% or less?

This is probably the point where I'd say that current Medical Research fundamentally doesn't understand human physiology. They understand parts, but the larger, complex interactions is pretty much beyond the entire field. There are people doing good work on specific topics, but, geez, the stupid would fill the Grand Canyon.

Though, specific to Medical Research, the reason the Researchers are the problem in the entire endeavor comes down to the nature of the education. Medicine is extremely similar to a mechanic working on your car without knowing exactly what is supposed to go where. Or what that fuse does, and there's no manuals to look it up. However, like a mechanic, you can't really computerize the job. So much relies on subtle pattern differentiation that diagnosing with a computer just isn't feasible for a long time. Also, Medicine is 50% people skills.

And it's not like we didn't just lose 15 years of certain MRI data because no one ran a proper QA pass on the statistical analysis package. There's a reason Frontal Lobe Lobotomies were a thing for a while. Medicine really hasn't changed.

Anonymous krymneth October 18, 2017 10:08 AM  

Yeah, this really fries Kurzweil's singularity predictions if all his exponential progress is actually an illusion.

Watch for much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Rapture of the Nerds crowd if this really starts sinking in over there.

Blogger David Awhsome October 18, 2017 10:13 AM  

Another problem is that contamination of cell lines with mycoplasm. We used to profile the cells via surface protein and RNA because you can't trust a tube label- but that takes effort

Blogger Ceasar October 18, 2017 10:14 AM  

"...science that has not advanced to the state of being transformed into engineering can NEVER be relied upon."

There used to be a time when Scientists agreed with this absolutely and felt a need to remind people of this themselves.

Anonymous Mathias October 18, 2017 10:16 AM  

@18,

It's Tulip Mania, but with SCIENCE!

Honestly, I think we have 90% of cosmology right (things were going well up to about 70 years ago) but we need to start sussing out the "Dark" matter and other mathematical artifacts. The "Electric Universe" theory seems promising in this regard.

Blogger Cyril October 18, 2017 10:19 AM  

Purity of chemicals from supply houses is now questionable. One fellow scientist who checked referred to them as floor sweepings. Part and parcel of systemic Western decline. People and institutions care less and less about quality. Honesty and verity, based on Christianity, do matter.

Anonymous Rocklea October 18, 2017 10:20 AM  

"This is absolute proof to me that modern astronomy and astrophysics is nothing but science fiction."

Diversity in science is our strength. Star Trek proved it.

Anonymous Beta rage October 18, 2017 10:25 AM  

Damn. I wanted to engineer a green girl.

Anonymous Faceless October 18, 2017 10:26 AM  

@22

You can no longer build a career at Dow in Midland, Michigan, by being the guy who focuses on producing the chemicals exactly according to the process, day in, day out, while living with your not unattractive wife in a nice ranch starter home while you save to send your three kids off to Central.

Anonymous Rocklea October 18, 2017 10:26 AM  

" The "Electric Universe" theory seems promising in this regard."

I'm reading The Electric Sky by Donald E. Scott at the moment. You can pick it up on KU.

Blogger kurt9 October 18, 2017 10:31 AM  

It can only be judged by its actual real-world results, which is to say, science that has not advanced to the state of being transformed into engineering can NEVER be relied upon.

DING, DING, DING! Give the man a cigar!

This is the acid test of science, if it leads to technological breakthroughs.

Blogger Nate October 18, 2017 10:32 AM  

on of the first bad omens for me was way back when Texas A&M's bon fire collapsed.

the bon fire was huge... and it was school sanctioned event. The thing was built buy the engineering department. They screwed it up... it collapsed... it killed 12 people... and the school's response was not "learn from this and fix it." it was "stop doing this".

The bon fire tradition was stopped.

People if we can't build bon fires...we sure as hell can't build sky scrapers.

Anonymous Rocklea October 18, 2017 10:35 AM  

And to think, people are getting excited about engineering embryos.

Blogger MendoScot October 18, 2017 10:36 AM  

People with no concept of confession and repentance are ill-equipped do deal with the discovery that years of work - much of it published - is invalid.

Science went of the rails when it was reduced to a methodology and ceased to be a search for the nature of God through study of His creation.

Anonymous BBGKB October 18, 2017 10:40 AM  

Didn't Oprah Win Free do a special on black involvement with the "so-called immortal cells"? I thought she was overstating the involvement since the biggest actual achievement was a black getting cancer that ended up being one of the cell lines.

Purity of chemicals from supply houses is now questionable. One fellow scientist who checked referred to them as floor sweepings.

Just think back in the days when white kids would get chemistry sets for toys, they had access to purer chemicals than pros do now.

Diversity in science is our strength. Star Trek proved it.

That 1/2 nig 1/2 Vulcanette that took a space walk out to kill a Klingon man easily in a radiation field was strong. If there were any Asian/White guys on the ship they would have sent a drone instead.

Anonymous Stickwick October 18, 2017 10:41 AM  

Exactly. Black holes, dark matter and dark energy are entirely theoretical, so why do astronomer's need them? Because they need a fudge factor to make their math work. But their fudge factor now accounts for 95% of the mass of the universe.

We're going to do this again, are we?

I know it's practically a sport with some commenters here seeing who can trash science the mostest, but failures in one field of science don't imply failures in others.

Dark matter and dark energy are not "fudge factors" and they don't account for 95% of the mass of the universe. These are tells that the critic doesn't have an adequate grasp of that which he is criticizing.

My book on the dark universe can't come out soon enough.

Blogger PoseidonAwoke October 18, 2017 10:42 AM  

Mathias wrote:@18
Honestly, I think we have 90% of cosmology right (things were going well up to about 70 years ago)


I don't. They can't even prove that gravity exists. Gravity is the God of Science. If we assume the Big Bang, then why did galaxies, and stars and planets form? Because gravity, meaning that gravity is how unconscious matter can randomly form into ordered matter (which then leads us to evolution, more unconscious random matter forming into ordered matter). How is it that space is a vacuum but the atmosphere is a non-vacuum, and the vacuum and non-vacuum are touching each other, but the non-vacuum doesn't get sucked out into the vacuum? Gravity.

Gravity is the fudge factor that is used to destroy intelligent design and Man's special place within the divine order in the Universe. It is the foundation of Big Bang cosmology and evolution. Yet it can't be measured or observed. When I say "Gravity is the God of Science", I'm being 100% literal. Gravity is the all powerful, unobservable, unmeasurable, unprovable moving force behind all observable order in the Universe, according to Science.

I can't understate how important Astronomy has been in the process of killing God in the minds of Man.

Blogger PoseidonAwoke October 18, 2017 10:44 AM  

Of course I meant to say 'overstate'. :)

Anonymous Rocklea October 18, 2017 10:44 AM  

"My book on the dark universe can't come out soon enough."

Because it's still being deduced.

Blogger Chris Lutz October 18, 2017 10:45 AM  

PoseidonAwoke wrote:Rocklea wrote:Like 96% of the universe being undetectable yet mathematically sound.

Exactly. Black holes, dark matter and dark energy are entirely theoretical, so why do astronomer's need them? Because they need a fudge factor to make their math work. But their fudge factor now accounts for 95% of the mass of the universe.

This is absolute proof to me that modern astronomy and astrophysics is nothing but science fiction. Maybe I'll allow a 5% fudge factor, but 95%? Nope. You think I believe you can detect gravity waves created by black hole collisions by watching the movement of an area 1/1,000th the size of a proton? Think again, Sunshine.

The only reason people believe their fake cosmology and cosmogony is because it can't be tested. We see Hollywood imploding today. Science and Academia: You're next. We've got your number and we're bringing the floodlights. Fake News today, Fake Science tomorrow. You've stolen far too much of our money, gotten fat on creating debt slaves and turning out Fake Science and anti-white Marxists.


Yeah, there is no feasible way to test if your measurements are accurate at that level. Too many things can be off to effect your measurements.

Yeah, this really fries Kurzweil's singularity predictions if all his exponential progress is actually an illusion.

Anyone who believes we are going to turn into machine-gods is best to be ignored.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 18, 2017 10:45 AM  

Arp had some interesting ideas, but the problem is more fundamental. We don't really understand "existence" in the Astrophysical reality. And this isn't being obtuse, either.

Think of it this way. You have a 1 cubic meter of vacuum in space. Within that, just on the nature of background radiation, you have 2.7k Kelvin worth of microwave energy at each point. You have an entire universe of non-reactive, non-massive particles flying through it. You also have photons for all of the visible surfaces in the universe passing through that "vacuum".

But that is supposed to be a vacuum. It's supposed to be empty. It may have no mass-based, observable particles within the space, but there is far beyond nothing in the space. It's filled to the brim with stuff, but only if you place an interactive object within it.

"Space" is clearly hyper energetic, though I don't think it's really "Electric" in the regard to Arp's general approach. There is clearly "vacuum energy" and massive amounts of it. It's just in forms that aren't readily observable.


@24 Beta rage

The Japanese will have any shade of the rainbow you like in under 10 years.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 18, 2017 10:54 AM  

@33 PoseidonAwoke

I don't get your argument. Are you saying we didn't solve the 3 Body Problem? That we don't use Orbital Mechanics for communications via satellites? Is this some weird heliocentrism argument?

I'm personally holding out for Tachyons to exist, because that's still one of the best sciences names ever. And "Tachyon Communications" still just sounds awesome.

Blogger Desdichado October 18, 2017 10:54 AM  

Stickwick wrote:My book on the dark universe can't come out soon enough.
Is it written yet? I've been hearing vaguely about this for years, and even if nobody else is interested here, I sure am.

Blogger dc.sunsets October 18, 2017 11:00 AM  

We live in the Age of Lawyers, largely high IQ people who confuse magic (words written on paper, AKA fiat legislation or judicial opinions) with reality.

It's not a surprise that people confuse "scientific papers" with reality, too. The former think words can change reality, the latter think words reveal reality (when in fact both suffer from the same category error, that the map can be the territory.)

You know it's not science when, as time passes and observations conflict with prediction, the norm is to shout down anyone guilty of "noticing."

Anonymous Stickwick October 18, 2017 11:11 AM  

Desdichado: Is it written yet? I've been hearing vaguely about this for years, and even if nobody else is interested here, I sure am.

I appreciate your interest. There are two other books I'm writing that need to come out first. The dark universe book will be fun and informative, but the other books are more important in terms of the culture war.

After the success of the Alt Hero campaign, I've decided to rework the dark universe book into a completely different format. Instead of straightforward prose, it'll be presented as a graphic dialogue, sort of a mashup of Galileo's Dialogue and comics. I was a graphic artist and designer in a previous life, so I'll do the illustrations as well as the writing. I promise, you're going to enjoy it.

Blogger pyrrhus October 18, 2017 11:13 AM  

"My book on the dark universe can't come out soon enough."

Indeed! I'll be one of your first readers....

Blogger Nate October 18, 2017 11:14 AM  

" I was a graphic artist and designer in a previous life, so I'll do the illustrations as well as the writing."

its hilarious to me that the living personification of all the liberal SJW left is striving for... A hot female physicist-artist... is on our side.

Anonymous fop October 18, 2017 11:16 AM  

Science told me Olestra was a good idea.

I have not trusted science since.

Blogger tuberman October 18, 2017 11:16 AM  

Looking Glass wrote:Arp had some interesting ideas, but the problem is more fundamental. We don't really understand "existence" in the Astrophysical reality. And this isn't being obtuse, either.

Think of it this way. You have a 1 cubic meter of vacuum in space. Within that, just on the nature of background radiation, you have 2.7k Kelvin worth of microwave energy at each point. You have an entire universe of non-reactive, non-massive particles flying through it. You also have photons for all of the visible surfaces in the universe passing through that "vacuum".

But that is supposed to be a vacuum. It's supposed to be empty. It may have no mass-based, observable particles within the space, but there is far beyond nothing in the space. It's filled to the brim with stuff, but only if you place an interactive object within it.

"Space" is clearly hyper energetic, though I don't think it's really "Electric" in the regard to Arp's general approach. There is clearly "vacuum energy" and massive amounts of it. It's just in forms that aren't readily observable.

@24 Beta rage

The Japanese will have any shade of the rainbow you like in under 10 years.


Yes, hopefully no one taps into that energy of cubic meter of vacuum, as it may create another big bang. We'd all have to observe from the other side to notice.

Anonymous VFM #6306 October 18, 2017 11:16 AM  

Nate wrote:on of the first bad omens for me was way back when Texas A&M's bon fire collapsed.

the bon fire was huge... and it was school sanctioned event. The thing was built buy the engineering department. They screwed it up... it collapsed... it killed 12 people... and the school's response was not "learn from this and fix it." it was "stop doing this".

The bon fire tradition was stopped.

People if we can't build bon fires...we sure as hell can't build sky scrapers.



Amen. When 12 people die at engineering school from an engineering failure, end engineering.

When 76 people die from immigration failure...

...MOAR IMMIGRATION.

Blogger Clint October 18, 2017 11:16 AM  

Nate wrote:" I was a graphic artist and designer in a previous life, so I'll do the illustrations as well as the writing."

its hilarious to me that the living personification of all the liberal SJW left is striving for... A hot female physicist-artist... is on our side.



Of course. SJWs have the gamma factor. But hot chicks are all attracted to the Sigmas, of which we apparently have plenty.

Blogger Off The Wall October 18, 2017 11:18 AM  

PoseidonAwoke wrote:Mathias wrote:@18

Honestly, I think we have 90% of cosmology right (things were going well up to about 70 years ago)


I don't. They can't even prove that gravity exists. Gravity is the God of Science. If we assume the Big Bang, then why did galaxies, and stars and planets form? Because gravity, meaning that gravity is how unconscious matter can randomly form into ordered matter (which then leads us to evolution, more unconscious random matter forming into ordered matter). How is it that space is a vacuum but the atmosphere is a non-vacuum, and the vacuum and non-vacuum are touching each other, but the non-vacuum doesn't get sucked out into the vacuum? Gravity.

Gravity is the fudge factor that is used to destroy intelligent design and Man's special place within the divine order in the Universe. It is the foundation of Big Bang cosmology and evolution. Yet it can't be measured or observed. When I say "Gravity is the God of Science", I'm being 100% literal. Gravity is the all powerful, unobservable, unmeasurable, unprovable moving force behind all observable order in the Universe, according to Science.

I can't understate how important Astronomy has been in the process of killing God in the minds of Man.


Can't even, eh? You are either dumb or a terrible communicator. Go jump off the tenth floor and tell me how you can't prove gravity.

Anonymous Evstratios October 18, 2017 11:19 AM  

I've always mentally considered all advancement as an analogue to our current understanding of matter/antimatter. The one particle in a billion that survives and drives change. I enjoy when things like this enter the public sphere because it is instant and incontrovertible proof of who has been standing straight and who has been and will continue to be face down, ass up with the wrong orifice gasping for peanuts.

Science has never been more, nor can ever be more, than throwing spaghetti at the wall. Not a single great scientist has ever even hinted at the suggestion to the contrary. It's a feature not a bug and all the honour and pride rightfully inherent in the process is derivative to that simple concept. Luckily for everyone, the i love science crowd cannot prevent the inexorable 1.0×10-9 that will result in the eventual and instant annihilation of everything that came before. Ever onward, indeed, and thank God for that.

Anonymous Stickwick October 18, 2017 11:19 AM  

Nate: its hilarious to me that the living personification of all the liberal SJW left is striving for... A hot female physicist-artist... is on our side.

With the great distinction of having been instantly and eternally banned from Scalzi's website after briefly commenting there. Then Vox offers me a four-book contract. But, y'know, you guys are the ones who hate women, so...

Blogger Johnny October 18, 2017 11:20 AM  

The primary difficulty with a low intelegence or lightly informed population is that self governance no longer produces good outcomes. Thus the society either ends up being mal governed or with a tyranny. The tyranny gets support because the other choice produces such bad outcomes, and neither choice is good for the average individual or for the society as a whole.

As for science, the big issue is not so much competence as convergence. You don't do well unless you are trying, and there are now massive distractions.

As for non converged science, once these massive institutions and public funding, the go along get along attitude tends to dominate. The return to 'rocking the boat' is usually negative, thus the doctrine in place gets a lot of support with detractors not uncommonly treated as heretic, just as it happens in religion. Behavior is driven by reward and the rewarded behavior is submission to the consensus doctrine in place.

Blogger tuberman October 18, 2017 11:27 AM  

Stickwick wrote:Nate: its hilarious to me that the living personification of all the liberal SJW left is striving for... A hot female physicist-artist... is on our side.

With the great distinction of having been instantly and eternally banned from Scalzi's website after briefly commenting there. Then Vox offers me a four-book contract. But, y'know, you guys are the ones who hate women, so...


Well, I don't hate science, as only part of science is converged, and some other parts are caught up in out-dated paradigms, but some is still for real.

I read several physicists, some brain scientists and etc.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 18, 2017 11:28 AM  

@41 Stickwick

I'm glad to that explaining larger but still somewhat gray concepts in pictures is being understood to be a better approach. Humans are generally visual & pictoral, and it allows for the "fudge factor" in the reality that we observe these things, not necessarily understand them.

Side Point: there's a good for a Science Graphic Book for children explaining how "Science" is about failing until you fail less. It's an anti-religious text, in that regard, but it could be very valuable.

@43 Nate

Get far enough to the right side of the chart and a Woman is functionally made an outsider among other Women. They always end up oddballs, it's just a question of what type.


@47 Clint

I never thought about it that way before, but this place really is something of a "Sigma Hangout". Though it does really explain what happens when someone tries to AMOG, the knives instantly come out. A Sigma is never an Alpha, but he's always the biggest danger to the Alpha.

Anonymous TJK October 18, 2017 11:30 AM  

One of the many pernicious issues here is that being the first to do something - even if you do it very poorly - is often the most important part of research. It amounts to marking territory and as such often involves peeing all over everything.

If someone has already done something it's next to impossible to secure funding for re-doing it, at least until it becomes "common knowledge" in the field that the earlier research was botched and is holding everyone back, which invariably takes years, leaving the bad results to linger and poison the field. Of course this is largely related to how far research tends to be from real world applications where the correctness (at least as applied to usability) actually matters; that tends to speed up the process somewhat.

Add to that how conflict averse scientists tend to be (you don't want to burn your bridges with one of the only five guys in your sub-field!) and it's no wonder the much vaunted scientific self-correction tends to remain largely theoretical.

Blogger Ransom Smith October 18, 2017 11:30 AM  

People if we can't build bon fires...we sure as hell can't build sky scrapers.
It's because they let modern engineers do it.
My hick buddies in rural Virginia could have done it drunk, half passed out and grill on the giant bonfire while they were at it.
We lit one once with Roman candles. Just to prove we could.

Blogger Clint October 18, 2017 11:32 AM  

Looking Glass wrote:@41 @47 Clint

I never thought about it that way before, but this place really is something of a "Sigma Hangout". Though it does really explain what happens when someone tries to AMOG, the knives instantly come out. A Sigma is never an Alpha, but he's always the biggest danger to the Alpha.


Dude. I was joking...

Anonymous Rolf October 18, 2017 11:34 AM  

Most middle/high school students are not particularly subtle thinkers. I short-hand it to them as "science is not TRUTH. It is a process that when properly applied can lead you to ideas and insights and the truth, eventually. But it is hard to do right, and well. It's done by imperfect and biased men and women with imperfect equipment in a universe filled with seemingly random events, funding, grading, and publishing deadlines, jealous competitors, family members hired because they are family, and morons. How many of you got exactly 9.80665 m/s^2 acceleration for gravity?" (or whatever the experiment was about) No hands go up.

"How many saw that last poll about the election? Was it right?" shakig of heads.

"But it was a scientific poll. They said so. Did that make it correct?" Lots of snickering.

I show a picture of the changing official food pyramid. "These are totally scientific. Totally! And here is a graph of the percentage of the population that is obese. Isn't that interesting? Consider the political influence of carb producers like sugar growers, corn growers, and snack-food manufacturers. Science!"
Shock and dismay ensues.

"Right. It's a process. Not capital 'T' Truth."

Blogger RobertT October 18, 2017 11:35 AM  

Maybe it's time to beginning thinking in survival terms. Not getting water & food, that's old hat and most of the people I know have that kind of thing hidden out in their home or property, But how to navigate turmoil so that we & our families continue rising. In this kind of thing there is always turmoil and some people ride the turmoil to the top and some don't. The Rothchilds come to mind.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 18, 2017 11:36 AM  

@56 Clint

All organizations reflect part of the nature of the proprietors, so to an extent there's a heavy Sigma nature to the place. But the number really is vastly out of proportion to the rest of the world.

Though a "Sigma Hangout" would actually be an oxymoron.

Blogger peppermint88 October 18, 2017 11:37 AM  

We used to profile the cells via surface protein and RNA because you can't trust a tube label- but that takes effort

Most important comment in the thread.

Also the attacks on GR are unseemly, everyone who cares knows that the Bullet Cluster showed the distribution of light matter and gravitating matter to be offset, dark matter is the description for whatever else is there that we're not seeing.

To reject black holes in logically requires a different theory of gravity than either GR or Newton.

Blogger RobertT October 18, 2017 11:46 AM  

A well researched book about riding turmoil to the top would be a great book. The right place is anyplace. The right time is any time. I have built an international practice from the Rocky Mountains. I already don't participate in the ups & downs of the local economy, which is far from stable. Thank you internet. One of you writers should take note.

Anonymous TJK October 18, 2017 11:47 AM  

To expand a bit on a laboured tangent:

Despite replication being supposedly key to the scientific process, actually doing it is exceedingly rare. After all, if you re-do something the same way and the results match, it's not publishable - a waste of time and funds! If the methods in your field continue to advance you might get to do it in a different, novel way - though then it might be comparing apples to oranges, and in any case many will question your wisdom in wasting time and funds on using the new (and likely expensive) method on an "already solved" problem.

About the only things which do get replicated are the methods - the software, the models, the protocols - but they tend to be treated like black boxes, trusted on faith with minimal understanding, which is arguably even worse. Some researchers I have talked to seem to experience a weird cousin of the impostor syndrome where they are aware and careful about the imperfections of what they do themselves, always ready to offer caveats about their own work, but at the same time they accept the tools and results from the next field over as holy writ. Perhaps black magic works better when not examined too closely. You never know what might look back.

Early in my post-graduate student days I would seek to educate myself by attempting to carefully replicate (in silico) various published results step-by-step, hoping to thoroughly understand the methods. In the end quite a few of those turned out to have serious problems. It earned me some networking opportunities and got my name into "acknowledgement" sections of published corrections, but most importantly it taught me to be more than a little careful about trusting peer-reviewed research.

Anonymous Evstratios October 18, 2017 12:01 PM  

Good work, Johnny. You don't do well unless you are trying. Succinct, self evident, a completely scientific statement in every sense of the word and yet still and always will be an impossible divide.

Cell line studies are models, as economic models, as climate models, as political models, ad infinitum. Until something tangible can be engineered it remains much like lemurs worldview.


Also henrietta lacks was black

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 18, 2017 12:06 PM  

@3

Thank goodness. Even when I was still going through the stereotypical teengage atheist/agnostic phase, that was the part that always bugged me whenever I tried forcing myself to sit down and watch any of it, even the significantly less bad Wrath of Khan (Khan!). Not the hilarious science that wouldn't be that out of place in one of those pulps that spawned the superhero, sci-fi, and fantasy genres (or even superhero fiction in general), not the plots, not even the hammier than the original Star Wars (which is saying something) acting (Oh Shatner), but what you just brought up and the fact that even then it smelled of Elder Berrys and its mother was a hamster.

Blogger PoseidonAwoke October 18, 2017 12:10 PM  

Looking Glass wrote:@33 PoseidonAwoke
I don't get your argument.


The argument is that the theory that matter exerts a pulling force on other matter, which operates invisibly and unmeasurably over distance, has never been proven. The 'Standard Model' covers things that are real (empirically observable and measurable). Gravitation is not part of the Standard Model.

My position is one of extreme skepticism. IOW, I require scientific (testable, repeatable, observable, falsifiable) proof first. If we have learned anything it is that we must demand this minimum bar of truth, or we may be convinced of anything. As crazy as it sounds, gravity, aka the God of Science, does not meet this minimum hurdle. My position is extreme and radical... it is skeptical in the extreme and seeks to re-evaluate from the root.

I believe that we need to go back to basics, in many ways. That we need to reassess everything we know, and withdraw all trust from Science, and instead demand proof.

I mean, all they want to do is to kill God and replace him with an evil nihilistic cosmology where we are nothing but random accretions of atoms, we came from nothing and nothing matters in this blind unconscious random material universe made of emptiness and devoid of the divine. Shouldn't we require proof before taking such a soul-crushing, suicidal, jagged black pill? My assertion is that we have not nearly been skeptical enough.

Intelligent design is a very moderate position in comparison with wild speculation such as Big Bang, evolution from primordial soup, black holes, dark matter and dark energy. Gravity is the fundamental key that they need. I say prove it.

Blogger Howard Stone October 18, 2017 12:10 PM  

It's pronounced "FRAUD" not "flawed".

Blogger ((( bob kek mando ))) - ( Fine Purveyor of Quality Artisanal Gorm ) October 18, 2017 12:14 PM  

i fricking LURV Scientists.

they make the best comedy.


6. Dr. T October 18, 2017 9:29 AM
Being an experimental scientist myself
...
It is simply not possible to doublecheck all parameters of an experiment. You have to rely on the instruments being calibrated properly, the chemicals being as pure as announced, the samples coming from the place they are supposedly from.


i don't even believe you're a Scientist, but that's still pretty funny.

for those not getting it, calibrating instruments and materials analysis are workaday functions in any higher end manufacturing facility.

and you're going to tell me that a research Lab with the BEST, most sensitive and most accurate analysis instruments can NOT handle these sorts of things?

or is it that they're too fucking lazy?


28. Nate October 18, 2017 10:32 AM
The thing was built buy the engineering department. They screwed it up



i also LURV me some Nate.

his descriptions are so wonderfully lyrical, you feel them in your sole.

gets me right in the feels, every tim.

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 12:17 PM  

Ransom Smith wrote:People if we can't build bon fires...we sure as hell can't build sky scrapers.

It's because they let modern engineers do it.

My hick buddies in rural Virginia could have done it drunk, half passed out and grill on the giant bonfire while they were at it.

We lit one once with Roman candles. Just to prove we could.


A lot of people have this misconception that engineering is about making things safe. It's not. It's about cutting the margins down as much as possible to save money/weight/materials while still being safe enough. If you're working on a simple structure, an okay grasp of mechanics and a bit of overbuilding will do you fine without any engineering calculations required. And you can go a long way just by copying known-good works if you're not dealing with tricky situations, like bridge footings that can't hit good bedrock or laying a road on permafrost. Iterative improvement brought the West a long way before "engineering" as we know it today was a real thing.

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if the engineering faculty at a modern university completely fucked up a project like a log-structure bonfire. The guy who taught the explosives engineering course at my school did an underground shot (blasting) once--he rarely had occasion to actually practice the craft--and it cleared a hole more than twice as large as he expected, just as an example of that sort of thing. He got his assumptions wrong, because he wasn't keeping his hands dirty in the real world. Engineering is very susceptible to GIGO.

Don't even get me started on modern engineering students, apathetic faculty, and the rampant cheating that goes on. It's terrifying. There's a reason I switched to a hard science program with faculty that gave a shit after a single year of engineering undergrad.

Blogger Duke Norfolk October 18, 2017 12:26 PM  

Reenay wrote:If I were a scientist...

Bingo. Our society is corrupt from stem to stern.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 18, 2017 12:27 PM  

@18

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Kurzweil#German

"Noun

Kurzweil f (genitive Kurzweil, no plural)

1. (dated) amusement, diversion, pastime (light pleasant entertainment."

And they say names have no meaning anymore...


Also, to be fair, though, Mr. Diversion probably figures he's part of the break away civilization that's been hoarding all the best tech for themselves while all these 'pleb' scientists who keep fucking up are just part of the sheep that are gonna be slaughtered... probably because they keep fucking up so badly, funnily enough.

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 12:31 PM  

PoseidonAwoke wrote:You think I believe you can detect gravity waves created by black hole collisions by watching the movement of an area 1/1,000th the size of a proton?
We don't care what you can, or can't, believe. Yes, we can detect gravity waves. And you're off by an order of magnitude on with the width. It's 1/10,000 of a proton, not 1/1,000. Not only that, two days ago the gravity waves and electromagnetic radiation of two colliding neutron stars was detected.

Blogger Duke Norfolk October 18, 2017 12:33 PM  

Nate wrote:People if we can't build bon fires...we sure as hell can't build sky scrapers.

Yep. I wonder when our first big skyscraper disaster is coming. And no, 9-11 doesn't count. :-)

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 18, 2017 12:35 PM  

@32

Tell that to NASA.

https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 12:37 PM  

It doesn't actually matter day to day if the specific *model* is correct, if we can accurately predict what's going to happen when we do certain thing. Do A, get B. If that works reliably, I don't care if it's microscopic space goblins making things go.

When the predictions don't work, I have a real problem with it. And that's what's so fucked about "science" these days, especially things like Climate Change. Too many scientists are backfilling to hold up a PC conclusion instead of finding an explanation that actually fits the data and provides a useful, accurate, reliable model.

Anonymous Killua October 18, 2017 12:46 PM  

evolution from primordial soup

I know. When you look at the actual odds regarding abiogenesis, the probability of a self replicating molecule arising randomly out of aminoacids is ridiculously low. "Alien breeding project" or "aliens who somehow learned to transfer their consciousness into a computer simulation" seems like a better explanation for reality.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 18, 2017 12:47 PM  

@60

Newton called them 'Dark Stars,' and they were a little bit different because Newtonian Mechanics were a little bit different.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_star_(Newtonian_mechanics)

Blogger Duke Norfolk October 18, 2017 12:48 PM  

Looking Glass wrote:You really have a massive net "brain drain" in the sciences.

We've also lured many, many bright minds away from science to the financial "engineering" field. Of course central banking and inflationary policies are at the root of that phenomenon; along with corrupt govt that colludes with the financial sector.

Blogger Cleveland Screamer October 18, 2017 12:49 PM  

But muh peer review

Blogger WynnLloyd October 18, 2017 12:50 PM  

This is like something from 1850. What the hell is wrong with this guy?

Anonymous Viiidad October 18, 2017 1:01 PM  

Killua wrote:evolution from primordial soup

I know. When you look at the actual odds regarding abiogenesis, the probability of a self replicating molecule arising randomly out of aminoacids is ridiculously low. "Alien breeding project" or "aliens who somehow learned to transfer their consciousness into a computer simulation" seems like a better explanation for reality.



Yes, it's better, but it still doesn't go back far enough. What made the aliens?

Anonymous CPEG October 18, 2017 1:03 PM  

"Hold up. Why the hell aren’t these researchers producing their own cultures? That way they know exactly what they are working with."

The theory behind "immortal cell" cultures is that a given strain of immortal cells can be shared between researchers, whereas if you harvest your own you are guaranteed to have cell cultures that are genetically different. It is an attempt to make cell studies more reproducible by eliminating genetic differences.

Immortal cells are necessarily distinct from normal healthy cells, so they can't be used for everything - in fact, the first immortal cells were cultured from cancers, because immortality is one of the three necessary mutations for a cell strain to become cancerous.

Which also means, apparently, that they are well capable of infecting other cell cultures, since they are simply human cells that have mutated into being an infectious pathogen.

Anonymous CPEG October 18, 2017 1:07 PM  

"Yes, it's better, but it still doesn't go back far enough. What made the aliens?"

Oh, you can't stump me with THAT one. It's aliens all the way down.

Blogger Gospace October 18, 2017 1:08 PM  

HeLa cells contaminating and distorting cancer research was identified as a problem more then 20 years ago. A lot of research was invalidated because of it. Cross contamination still being a problem is well, a bigger problem. If you know it can happen, and you don't take steps to stop it...

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 18, 2017 1:14 PM  

@75

"I know. When you look at the actual odds regarding abiogenesis, the probability of a self replicating molecule arising randomly out of aminoacids is ridiculously low."

If by ridiculously low, you mean completely and utterly physically impossible except by a magical and massive super intelligence messing around with things, IE, God.

https://evolutionnews.org/2017/10/pnas-paper-admits-difficulties-generating-rna-on-a-prebiotic-earth/


""Alien breeding project" or "aliens who somehow learned to transfer their consciousness into a computer simulation" seems like a better explanation for reality.""

1. The whole 'alien breeding project' thing just kicks the problem of the origin of life up a step without getting us to a reasonable stopping point, because then the question concerning the ultimate origin of life could be asked about these precursor aliens and so on and so forth.

2. That computer simulation idea is pretty much just them giving up and admitting God's existence and his power, because then the question can be asked, 'Who can build such a simulation with so many people inhabiting it that's so real that the video-game industry would KILL to have it because bodies don't mysteriously despawn when you look away to save system resources and they actually decay?' That's also them pretty much just giving up and admitting science is largely a worthless enterprise, because then, at best, the only good science can offer them is getting out of the simulation and either meeting this magical super intelligence could create such a simulation or else escape into their own little reality, which, funnily enough, the makers of VR are trying to do and get people hooked on.

Blogger Emmanuel Mateo-Morales October 18, 2017 1:16 PM  

@82

Not sure if troll.

Blogger DonReynolds October 18, 2017 1:21 PM  

If it cannot be reproduced...a thousand times, by nearly anybody, it is not science....it is magic.

If any part of the proof is a secret sauce or proprietary technique, then it is not science....it is magic.

Evidence printed on gold plates, plowed up by a farmer, that only HE can read because it is in a unique language, but he has translated it all into English...because miracles DO happen. (We cannot double check his work because no one else has ever seen the gold plates and nobody knows where they ended up.) That is not science....that is the Book of Mormon.

Blogger Jakeithus October 18, 2017 1:23 PM  

CPEG wrote:"Yes, it's better, but it still doesn't go back far enough. What made the aliens?"

Oh, you can't stump me with THAT one. It's aliens all the way down.


Anyone who proposes we are the results of alien seeding/living in a computer simulation without calling that alien/simulation "Turtle" (or "Elephant" depending on the story you prefer), either lacks a sense of humour or is philosophically illiterate.

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 1:28 PM  

roughcoat wrote:When the predictions don't work, I have a real problem with it.
Not everything is easily predictable. Suppose you have prostate cancer. Will it kill you soon or will it kill you later? Should you treat it, or just ignore it? Just because a doctor can't tell you the exact course of a disease doesn't mean you don't have the disease.

Climate change is like overeating. There is absolutely no doubt that we are putting more CO2 into the environment than we are taking out. There is absolutely no doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. The issue is what effect will it have? You eat more calories than you expend and you will gain weight. Will you get diabetes? High blood pressure? Cancer? Problems with arthritis? Who knows. But you still need to stop eating too much.

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 1:32 PM  

DonReynolds wrote:If it cannot be reproduced...a thousand times, by nearly anybody, it is not science....it is magic.

Stochastic processes are magic? There have only been 296 no-hit games in baseball to date. Were those magic?

Anonymous CPEG October 18, 2017 1:40 PM  

"HeLa cells contaminating and distorting cancer research was identified as a problem more then 20 years ago. A lot of research was invalidated because of it."

Wait, not just from cross-contamination? Do you have more information on this topic readily at hand?

Anonymous Simon in London October 18, 2017 1:40 PM  

I think there's definitely a decline in scientific integrity (eg Climate Change) and comptency (eg NASA). This particular scandal seems like something that could have happened in the 1950s, though. The difference was that back then there were a lot more successful discoveries > innovations.

The Internet is still fairly new, maybe there's a new major innovation on the way. So far all we've had recently have been a few fallouts from the War Against Terror, eg civilian drones.

Blogger DonReynolds October 18, 2017 1:44 PM  

wrf3 wrote:roughcoat wrote:When the predictions don't work, I have a real problem with it.

Not everything is easily predictable. Suppose you have prostate cancer. Will it kill you soon or will it kill you later? Should you treat it, or just ignore it? Just because a doctor can't tell you the exact course of a disease doesn't mean you don't have the disease.

Climate change is like overeating. There is absolutely no doubt that we are putting more CO2 into the environment than we are taking out. There is absolutely no doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. The issue is what effect will it have? You eat more calories than you expend and you will gain weight. Will you get diabetes? High blood pressure? Cancer? Problems with arthritis? Who knows. But you still need to stop eating too much.



You are both wrong.
Predictions are based on probability.. they are seldom 100 percent likely. The science of probability (yes, it is a science) has a long history, and much of it grew out of games of chance (gambling). If you are in search of a sure thing, do not bet the farm on a maybe, unless you feel lucky.

Statistics is a "quantification of ignorance", with probability at it's core. WE don't know very much actually and we have very few facts that are relevant and reliable, but we still have to make decisions based on limited knowledge and information. Yes, even engineering relies heavily on probability.

Blogger Phat Repat October 18, 2017 1:47 PM  

One word is all that's necessary to describe my feelings on this subject: Schadenfreude.

Though the Germans have out-cucked the cucks (or SJWs), they once were a great peeples.

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 1:49 PM  

We have no idea what's really going on with the climate even recently because the data we have is a joke. Have you ever actually looked at the coverage of weather stations on Earth? Have you ever looked at what kind of error must be involved in the data those stations collect? These assclowns are trying to show a tenth of a degree of warming when their error is necessarily on the order of whole degrees. That sort of thing doesn't fly in freshman science classes and it doesn't fly anywhere else.

And then they turn around and try to say we know to within a degree what the climate was like to a high degree of accuracy going back over a hundred years ago based on proxies. Give me a fucking break. Didn't any of these scientists learn about error analysis? It's generally emphasized in first semester physics for science majors.

Even if I grant that there is net warming happening, we can't say that's a bad thing with any certainty at all. The earth has had much higher concentrations of CO2 than it has now (going way back, but while complex life was around), and it was warmer than it is now within recorded history. Life survived. Thrived, even. The earth system is very well buffered. It is not going to see some doomsday runaway scenario because of a little CO2. To suggest otherwise is absurd.

The honest answer about what's going on with anthropogenic climate change is "we have no idea and our models suck". I need a lot more than that to sign on to crippling the 1st world economy and hitching our wagon to retarded unscalable energy projects that only exist to line the pockets of politicians and their buddies.

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 1:52 PM  

You are both wrong.
Predictions are based on probability.. they are seldom 100 percent likely. The science of probability (yes, it is a science) has a long history, and much of it grew out of games of chance (gambling). If you are in search of a sure thing, do not bet the farm on a maybe, unless you feel lucky.

Statistics is a "quantification of ignorance", with probability at it's core. WE don't know very much actually and we have very few facts that are relevant and reliable, but we still have to make decisions based on limited knowledge and information. Yes, even engineering relies heavily on probability.


If I drop a match in a bowl of gasoline in normal air, it's going to light every single time. That is the sort of prediction I'm talking about.

You're apparently talking about predictions on the level of interactions between individual molecules. I am familiar with the concept, as I paid attention in chemistry class.

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 1:53 PM  

A lit match, obviously, from a height such that the flame will not blow out on the way down. Since we're picking nits, here.

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 1:53 PM  

DonReynolds wrote:You are both wrong.
What, exactly, did I say that was wrong? You can take into account that I have a degree in math, if you think you need to explain something about probability and statistics to me.

Blogger Dangeresque October 18, 2017 1:55 PM  

I'm a computer software engineer and every time I find myself arguing with some clueless lefty about scientific progress there comes a point where I need to kindly remind them that engineers are just scientists concerned with what actually works.

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 1:57 PM  

roughcoat wrote:Even if I grant that there is net warming happening, we can't say that's a bad thing with any certainty at all.
If you're anorexic, taking in more calories than you expend is good. If you're obese, taking in more calories than you expend is bad.

Clearly, we are producing more CO2 than is consumed. If the Earth needs more CO2 then that's good. If the Earth needs less CO2, that's bad. But the key point that you're ignoring is that we are out of balance with Nature. Do you really want to argue that that's overall a good thing? It's certainly not sustainable.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener October 18, 2017 2:00 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 2:01 PM  

Dangeresque wrote:I'm a computer software engineer and every time I find myself arguing with some clueless lefty about scientific progress there comes a point where I need to kindly remind them that engineers are just scientists concerned with what actually works.
You pick a strange field to be talking about "what works". Weinberg's Second Law states, "if builders built buildings the way programmers write programs, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization." Furthermore, what works for some software "engineers" is to produce a steady stream of s--t so that clueless management will keep paying to have it "fixed".

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener October 18, 2017 2:01 PM  

@97 You can trust climatologists because fatties get type II diabetes.

Anonymous Killua October 18, 2017 2:04 PM  

Yes, it's better, but it still doesn't go back far enough. What made the aliens?

I know. It goes back to Aquinas and the cosmological argument. Everything has a cause; but every cause is itself caused by something else. To avoid an infinite regression, we must postulate a first cause that is itself uncaused and eternal. Call it God, call it the universe, etc. Episcopalian bishop John Shelby Spong says God is "the sum of all that is"

Climate change is like overeating. There is absolutely no doubt that we are putting more CO2 into the environment than we are taking out. There is absolutely no doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

Most people agree global warming is a problem, or will be a problem in the future (IF we keep pumping CO2 at the same rate, and that is a big if). The controversy is if it is a pressing problem or not.

Scott Adams talks about somthing known as the law of slow moving disasters. Basically it says humanity can deal with any problem as long as it comes slowly enough

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/102964934001/fact-checking-adams-law-of-slow-moving-disasters

At least from my perspective, it seems like global warming is a slow moving disaster. Sure the planet is gradually getting warmer, but at this particular moment there are more important issues, such as keeping the economy from collapsing. We will find a way to deal with global warming later.

Of course, this is my personal perspective, living in an area with relatively good weather and unaffected by natural disasters. Someone living in florida who gets his house destroyed by a hurricane every few years may have another opinion regarding how big of a problem climate change represents.

Blogger Off The Wall October 18, 2017 2:06 PM  

wrf3 wrote:roughcoat wrote:Even if I grant that there is net warming happening, we can't say that's a bad thing with any certainty at all.

If you're anorexic, taking in more calories than you expend is good. If you're obese, taking in more calories than you expend is bad.

Clearly, we are producing more CO2 than is consumed. If the Earth needs more CO2 then that's good. If the Earth needs less CO2, that's bad. But the key point that you're ignoring is that we are out of balance with Nature. Do you really want to argue that that's overall a good thing? It's certainly not sustainable.


What is clear is that you are letting your religious views override your logic.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd October 18, 2017 2:06 PM  

wrf3 wrote:DonReynolds wrote:If it cannot be reproduced...a thousand times, by nearly anybody, it is not science....it is magic.

Stochastic processes are magic?


In the sense of not being deterministically repeatable, and depending on things we cannot observe, yes, stochastic processes are magic.

wrf3 wrote:DonReynolds wrote:
There have only been 296 no-hit games in baseball to date. Were those magic?


Do you have a process which ensures that you can get no-hit game #297 on demand? If not, I'd say magic, although probably not supernatural.

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 2:08 PM  

Off The Wall wrote:What is clear is that you are letting your religious views override your logic.
My religious views are that Jesus rose from the dead.

What that has to do with global warming escapes me, however.

Can you point out exactly what I said that was wrong?

Blogger DonReynolds October 18, 2017 2:13 PM  

wrf3 wrote:DonReynolds wrote:You are both wrong.

What, exactly, did I say that was wrong? You can take into account that I have a degree in math, if you think you need to explain something about probability and statistics to me.


I consider you fortunate, since many math grads avoided statistics like the plague. Statistics, as you know, it not mathematics...it is the philosophy of mathematics. But since you are familiar with statistics, then you should not be overly disappointed when the weather guessers predict rain and you did not actually witness any. These are not actually failures, since they were based on a probability of an event. The obverse of the likelihood of an event is the likelihood that it will not occur....while ignoring the stochastic weirdness.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener October 18, 2017 2:14 PM  

@106 You anthropomorphized the Earth, you've used to circular reasoning, and your analogy between climate change and overeating is flawed for the reason that the effects of overeating are much better understood and far more reproducible than the effects of releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.

Which is probably the very reason you resorted to an analogy instead of arguing your point based on logic and science.

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 2:15 PM  

What's the natural range of CO2 over time?

Why would you think CO2 has some kind of natural balance point at all? It varies. It varied quite a lot before humans came along.

And what's the evidence that more CO2 even matters past a certain point? If the fear is that there will be some runaway warming, but we know there were much higher CO2 levels in (for example) the Mesozoic, how do we square the warming concern with the historical reality that warming did *not* run away?

Why do people think CO2 is evil to begin with? Plants need it as food. If AGW means a few degrees higher average temperature and way more crops, that sounds like a win to me.

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 2:20 PM  

A lot of this fear-mongering about changes on the earth stems from the simple fact that most people don't cope well with processes that operate on different time scales. Witness the people whining about minor sea level changes and rivers eroding their property boundaries.

The earth is not static. It's foolish to imagine we can stop nature from doing what it wants, and arrogant to imagine we have the power to destroy the earth, or even just the surface.

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 2:21 PM  

Noah B The Savage Gardener wrote:... the effects of overeating are much better understood and far more reproducible than the effects of releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.

So you're saying that because the results aren't known very well that being out of balance with respect to our CO2 emissions is ok? I'm an engineer. Systems that are out of balance fall down and go boom. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not for a thousand years. Still, the fact that we are out of balance is a problem. The sooner we admit that and start fixing it the better off we'll be.

Blogger Jon Mollison October 18, 2017 2:22 PM  

Man, I thought algodecay was a sci-fi concept invented by Johann Kalsi. This stuff makes me wonder...

Anonymous Killua October 18, 2017 2:26 PM  

and arrogant to imagine we have the power to destroy the earth, or even just the surface.

If we suddenly decided to detonate all the atomic bombs we have, I think life on earth as we know it would probably cease to exist.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener October 18, 2017 2:29 PM  

@111 So you're saying that because the results aren't known very well that being out of balance with respect to our CO2 emissions is ok?

No, I said your analogy was flawed. What level of CO2 concentration is "out of balance" and what is the basis for that conclusion?

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 2:30 PM  

"As we know it" is not the same as destroying life. I doubt even all humans would die if we set off all the nukes. Some would make it through.

Blogger Dangeresque October 18, 2017 2:31 PM  

wrf3 wrote:You pick a strange field to be talking about "what works". Weinberg's Second Law states, "if builders built buildings the way programmers write programs, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization." Furthermore, what works for some software "engineers" is to produce a steady stream of s--t so that clueless management will keep paying to have it "fixed".

Well... There are computer software engineers and then there are what we call "coders" :)

Anonymous VFM #6306 October 18, 2017 2:32 PM  

roughcoat wrote:"As we know it" is not the same as destroying life. I doubt even all humans would die if we set off all the nukes. Some would make it through.

Scalzi, for one. He could shelter in place under his giant writer's block.

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 2:35 PM  

VFM #6306 wrote:roughcoat wrote:"As we know it" is not the same as destroying life. I doubt even all humans would die if we set off all the nukes. Some would make it through.

Scalzi, for one. He could shelter in place under his giant writer's block.


Well played, sir. :D

Anonymous Überdeplorable Psychedelic Cat Grass October 18, 2017 2:38 PM  

Nate wrote:on of the first bad omens for me was way back when Texas A&M's bon fire collapsed.

the bon fire was huge... and it was school sanctioned event. The thing was built buy the engineering department. They screwed it up... it collapsed... it killed 12 people... and the school's response was not "learn from this and fix it." it was "stop doing this".

The bon fire tradition was stopped.

People if we can't build bon fires...we sure as hell can't build sky scrapers.



I remember when that happened. 10 years later I went to A&M to get my master's. Little known fact outside of A&M: it had collapsed several times before but not with such catastrophic circumstances.

Bonfire went on when I was getting my master's. It was off campus though and guidelines (i.e. no alcohol) were rigorously enforced. Granted we stopped playing t.u. *hiss* in football after my last year there (the only impediment was their athletic director; the students and the players still wanted to play; hell A&M's student body president went to Austin and talked to his t.u. counterpart and they still wanted to play) so I don't know if Bonfire has survived post 2011 or not.

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 2:42 PM  

@7 "Like 96% of the universe being undetectable yet mathematically sound."

Go, Electrical Universe, GO!

They've got dark matter and dark energy and what's next?! What OTHER "dark" can they make up to make the numbers work!? The "gravitational universe" relies on a "force" that is billions of times weaker than electrical force -- but the astronomers and physicists hafta keep making more sh|t up to make their math work!

And they keep trying to make up theories on why, for instance, stars appear to be formed "like beads on a string" -- that are CONNECTED BY PLASMA!! (You know plasma, right? ELECTRICAL force?!) And why the sun's corona gets HOTTER the further it gets from the alleged "nuclear furnace" that is supposedly powering stars? And WHY is the temperature down inside sunspots LOWER than the surface temp., and WAY lower than the corona's temp.?!? (Magic?!)

What NEW "dark something" will they invent to make that math work?!

/sorry, sperg off

(But really, go check out Wallace Thornhill and this electrical universe stuff! Dip a toe -- see if the water suits!)

Anonymous CPEG October 18, 2017 2:45 PM  

"Man, I thought algodecay was a sci-fi concept invented by Johann Kalsi. This stuff makes me wonder..."

Old concept. The original term is "superstition."

Anonymous CPEG October 18, 2017 2:52 PM  

@Avalanche
See, I almost winced to the point of hissing while reading that. If this "electrical universe" is going to have any legs ever, it's going to need to address traditional theories in ways that actually make sense.

For example, no, the fact that gravity is billions of times weaker than the electric force is NOT an obvious stumper. Not even slightly. The counterargument is thoroughly obvious to any slightly educated physicist - electric charges come in opposing pairs, and since the electric force is so strong, those opposing pairs attract each other and bind together, so strong long-distance electric forces generally don't happen, however, gravitation has no negative charge.

Blogger DonReynolds October 18, 2017 2:53 PM  

The Texas attitude toward disasters, even man-made disasters, is probably best summarized in the Wikipedia article "Crush, Texas"....a spectacle event of two steam locomotives deliberately driven head-on. There were 40,000 spectators (in 1896!), making the place the second largest city in Texas on the day of the event. Both boilers exploded on impact, killing several and injuring dozens standing near the impact point. (The photographer lost an eye to a flying bolt.)

Blogger Snidely Whiplash October 18, 2017 2:57 PM  

Also the attacks on GR are unseemly.
God forbid we do anything unseemly

@wrf, please tell us the ideal global average temperature.
Thanks

Anonymous vfm #0202 October 18, 2017 3:01 PM  

The Earth has been out of balance since the Carboniferous era. Huge quantities of carbon vital to life on Earth have been locked away for aeons. We must dig it up and replenish the biosphere!

For which proposition there is exactly as much evidence as there is for CAGW.

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 3:03 PM  

@21 "The "Electric Universe" theory seems promising in this regard."

Okay a wee bit more, but someone answering the usual requests for peer review before they'd even CONSIDER the EU (electric universe):

"I am not defending or saying {some guy, seemingly every gun in the field!} is necessarily correct (since I too, have not studied his analysis); but is this the same peer review system that has given us reams of papers on dark matter, dark energy, the Big Bang (and what happened in each millisecond afterward), parallel universes, etc. etc.? One of the main themes in the Electric Universe is that the present Peer review system is broken and in need of repair."

I couldn't/didn't try follow this guy's math -- but he's funny, and it's clearly correct (and HE is a mathematician!)


So, dip a toe?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBorBKDnE3U
General Relativity -- A Case in Numerology | EU2015


David Talbott: Exposing the Myths of "Settled Science" (Natural Philosophy Alliance, U. of Maryland)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aLCWwLdelo


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EckBfKPAGNM
Halton Arp Intrinsic Red Shift

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 3:04 PM  

@24 "Damn. I wanted to engineer a green girl."

Cheaper to just find the girl you want and buy green make-up! Way faster too!

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 3:08 PM  

@37 "There is clearly "vacuum energy" and massive amounts of it."

Isn't vacuum energy just another name for plasma, which "empty" space is full of??

Anonymous Anonymous October 18, 2017 3:12 PM  

"Dark matter and dark energy are not "fudge factors" and they don't account for 95% of the mass of the universe."

That's exactly what they are and what they do. But please do tell us how all easily available reference sources are wrong and you are right.

"These are tells that the critic doesn't have an adequate grasp of that which he is criticizing."

These are the tells that the critic names things for what they are. Dark matter was postulated because observations on galactic rotation diverged from theoretical predictions to a massive degree. Dark energy was postulated because observations on expansion of the Universe diverged from theoretical predictions to a massive degree. Neither has any basis in observation except for theory failing to meet practice.

Anonymous Grayman October 18, 2017 3:12 PM  

global warming????? HAHAHAHAHAHAH

we arent even close to quantifying a an effective model of long term climate. CO2 being a driver in the system has not been rigorously demonstrated to any significant degree either. We know Co2 levels have been drastically higher and yet the biosphere was stable.

There are 2 separate issues generally being conflated.
1) long-term climate modeling is littered with bad data , bad methods and out right lies put into place simply to make money and consolidate power. It has far to go before we can claim any real level of competency in the field.

2)Dont piss in your own pool!!!
The west is relatively "clean" yet the global warming BS is all about asset stripping the west while coming up with these great reason the east and various brown nations can treat the environment like a sewer. If any of the official political dialog was legitimate china, the BRICS, the brown nations would be regulated to the same level as the US and Europe. RIGHT NOW. Until they are its nothing more then asset stripping.
If groups such as the UN and WHO were not full of shit and believed their own propaganda, they would pull all food and medical aid from Africa and other developing nations ASAP to stabilize their populations at stable carrying capacities based on regional resources AND hold them to the same environmental standards as the US.

The current global warming BS is socioeconomically based on blank-slate theory, that all the dusky hordes will develop just like the west did, just like the US and Europe if only we let them turn their nations and oceans into toxic waste dumps.
Thats patently false. If nothing else the vast majority of the "undeveloped" nations simply dont have the IQ to develop to first world standards.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener October 18, 2017 3:14 PM  

The Electric Universe stuff was written by people with enough knowledge of physics to take advantage of those who lack that knowledge. I find it amazing that anyone would do this, but I guess some people will take fame any way they can get it, even at the risk of being totally disgraced later.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 18, 2017 3:15 PM  

@120 Avalanche

We've upgraded from Electric Universe to Plasma Universe. Or something.

Sounds like a decent upgrade in most Scifi FPS games.


@122 CPEG

I'm all down for assaults on GR, the Standard Mode and just Cosmology in general. The problem we're stuck with right now is "something better" isn't likely to come along soon. Not with the fascination with String Theory for the past two decades ruining the good work young scientists can do. (Most important work done by a scientist is completed before age 45, as it just takes too much energy.)

Though I'd really love to see a massive attack on Redshift Theory. It's fundamental to the exosolar studies, so it'd send the circles into apoplexy. Which would just be fun in general.

More seriously, "space" has properties, is it really that far fetched that light passing through a region of intense dark matter or dark energy will come out on the other side identical to when it entered? They still make a lot of implicit assumptions about the normality of space, distance & time that, with some minor variations, could throw a big monkey wrench in everything they've done.

Anonymous CPEG October 18, 2017 3:17 PM  

@128
1) No, "vacuum energy" is not plasma. "Vacuum energy" is the posited energy for a volume of space; it takes energy to expand the fabric of space to add more volume. Plasma is physical matter that is hot enough that the electrons have enough energy to escape the atom, so it is a swirling soup of electrons and disassociated nuclei.
2) No, empty space is not full of plasma. Empty space is full of sparse cold atomic matter, mostly hydrogen.

Anonymous Anonymous October 18, 2017 3:18 PM  

So ironic...

These HeLa cancer cells spread through their owner's body and killed her (may she rest in peace)... but they also spread through a large chunk of medical science, gave it cancer and killed it.

Gotta admire the will to live of these microscopic suckers.

Next thing you know, they're gonna mutate and contaminate the researchers themselves. Maybe grow sentient or something. Maybe even get a Nobel.

Anonymous Icicle October 18, 2017 3:18 PM  

(We cannot double check his work because no one else has ever seen the gold plates and nobody knows where they ended up.)

Not really a good analogy.

https://infogalactic.com/info/Three_Witnesses
https://infogalactic.com/info/Eight_Witnesses

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 3:28 PM  

@95 If I drop a match in a bowl of gasoline in normal air, it's going to light every single time. That is the sort of prediction I'm talking about.

If you *plunge* a match in a bowl of gasoline in normal air, it's NOT going to light nearly every single time.

Anonymous Stickwick October 18, 2017 3:30 PM  

chronicrpg: That's exactly what they are and what they do. But please do tell us how all easily available reference sources are wrong and you are right. 

What easily available reference sources? I guarantee not one credible source is going to corroborate that nonsense.

Dark matter + dark energy are believed to account for 95% of the energy density of the universe, not 95% of the "mass." That y'all are failing to distinguish between energy density and mass indicates you're not sufficiently versed in the subject to legitimately criticize it.

Dark matter was postulated because observations on galactic rotation diverged from theoretical predictions to a massive degree.

No one would blame skeptics if galaxy rotation curves were the only evidence for dark matter. But we infer the same "missing mass" from gravitational lensing of individual field galaxies and galaxy clusters + the temperatures of super-hot X-ray emitting gas in galaxy clusters.

When you have multiple independent lines of evidence saying the same thing, it's not only reasonable, but prudent, to accept the existence of an unseen form of matter rather than throw out established physics that has been verified by hundreds of years of experimentation and engineering. This is science proceeding in the most conservative manner possible, which is exactly what it should be doing.

Dark energy was postulated because observations on expansion of the Universe diverged from theoretical predictions to a massive degree. Neither has any basis in observation except for theory failing to meet practice.

This is quite possibly the dumbest thing anyone has ever written.

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 3:36 PM  

@103 "Most people agree global warming is a problem, or will be a problem in the future (IF we keep pumping CO2 at the same rate, and that is a big if). The controversy is if it is a pressing problem or not."

Except the "science" seems to show that C02 FOLLOWS the temps with about an 800-year lag. So, we don't KNOW what the small increase in C02 we may (or may not!) be producing (since "we" are also a very SMALL producer compared to more natural sources); because we don't have an example of C02 rise preceding temperatures!

Off the cuff: *IF* high temps were prehistorically *followed* by rising C02, and then the place COOLED OFF -- why would it not be even more likely that "we" (IF "we" are even capable of having such an effect; ALSO in doubt) find that our "production" of C02 BEFORE heating would lead to a complementary cooling, as apparently happened many times before?

(And STILL no one has explained by MARS has heated up at the same rate as the Earth -- are SUV emissions being exported TO MARS?!)

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 3:43 PM  

Noah B The Savage Gardener wrote:No, I said your analogy was flawed. What level of CO2 concentration is "out of balance" and what is the basis for that conclusion?
More CO2 than biological processes consume. That's the definition of "balance".

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 3:43 PM  

@103 "Sure the planet is gradually getting warmer, ...
living in florida who gets his house destroyed by a hurricane every few years may have another opinion regarding how big of a problem climate change represents."

The planet is NOT getting warmer -- have you not even heard of "the pause" -- which the lying warmists are calling the fact that world-wide temps QUIT rising about 22 years ago?! In fact, respected scientists in Russia and China -- AND in the U.S. -- say we've actually STARTED descent into the next ice age.

There is a 100,000-year cyclic pattern over at least the last 1.3 MILLION years. That 100k cycle reads as approximately 90k years of deep ice age; and ~10k years of "interglacial" -- such as we are *exiting* currently! (Did you know there are longer times on earth when there WERE NO POLAR ICE CAPS, than times there were ice caps? Why dyah suppose you were never taught that?)

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 3:45 PM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:@wrf, please tell us the ideal global average temperature.
423.7°F.

Thanks
You're welcome.

Anonymous Rape October 18, 2017 3:49 PM  

I'm worried about mathematics becoming converged. See: "Mathbabe"

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 3:49 PM  

@108 "the reason that the effects of overeating are much better understood"

No, actually you're TOLD by mainstream "medicine" that the effects are well understood. Overfeeding studies and starvation studies -- and actual starvation -- SHOW we don't yet have a good-enough grasp! Sure we know that generally overeating -- or JUST eating -- the crap food we're told today is healthy results in 'diabesity' -- but overeating (actually) healthy foods (and "healthy" is NOT what today's money-makers tell us and sell us!) does NOT result in the ills Big Medicine and Big Pharma tell it must.

In FACT, food and health is AS badly understood as any other "science" -- and fraught with the same corruption, lying, cheating, and money-grubbing as any other "science." You can BET the MSM will not point this out.

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 3:52 PM  

@110 "Witness the people whining about minor sea level changes"

Those folks screaming: "OMG!! Sea levels will rise by a FOOT over the next 100 years!!! You must give me tons more money to study this or we'll all drown!" never both to mention that over the LAST 100 years, it ALSO rose by a foot! Did you see folks drowning and losing their houses? (Who mentioned 'slow motion disaster' above?)

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener October 18, 2017 3:54 PM  

More CO2 than biological processes consume. That's the definition of "balance".

The historical norm for Earth is that CO2 levels have fluctuated chaotically. There is no "balance." Would you like to make another feeble attempt at posturing?

Anonymous Stickwick October 18, 2017 3:59 PM  

Noah B: The Electric Universe stuff was written by people with enough knowledge of physics to take advantage of those who lack that knowledge. I find it amazing that anyone would do this, but I guess some people will take fame any way they can get it, even at the risk of being totally disgraced later.

Alfven was sincere when he first postulated this stuff decades ago. The problem is, it's long since been thoroughly discredited.

Many years ago, when I was a freshman physics student, I got some very good advice about studying physics from Halton Arp of all people.

I entered physics thinking I was going to shake things up — the big bang was nonsense, dark matter was nonsense, etc. — and so I wrote to Arp telling him this, and asked his advice on how I should proceed.

He graciously responded, and told me that if I wanted to support alternative theories, I was first obligated to study conventional physics and master it. Why? Because you can’t reject something you don’t understand. So, I dove into my studies, and by the end of my second year, realized that the appeal of alternative physics had been rooted in my ignorance. Ironic, considering the source of that advice.

The problem I have with people who say they reject conventional cosmology and support the Electric Universe and other alternative science is that 99% of them clearly don’t understand the physics they’re rejecting. If they did, they likely wouldn’t be rejecting it.

If a person is skeptical of big bang cosmology, that’s okay. But pick up a good textbook from its best proponents and master the subject before you explore alternative theories. I highly recommend Edward Harrison’s Cosmology: The Science of the Universe.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener October 18, 2017 4:02 PM  

@146 Alfven was sincere when he first postulated this stuff decades ago.

I find that surprising, but I'll take your word for it.

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 4:02 PM  

@111 "Systems that are out of balance fall down and go boom."

How do you KNOW the system is out of balance? Who do you trust to tell you the truth!? Have "they" bothered to tell you that a huge proportion of the (loss of actual data, creating the ) "worldwide warming" data resulted from the fall of the USSR -- and them no longer funding or checking THEIR temperature stations across that huge country? Or that a number of the (already very few) U.S. temp. stations were moved from open fields to RIGHT NEXT TO airport runways -- and large-building A/C units?

Were you notified that Michael Mann's algorithm that led to that "hockey-stick" ("OMG! insane dangerous, end-of-the-world!!") warming graph -- when fed completely RANDOM numbers -- showed the SAME hockey stick? (OOPS!)

If you like to laugh -- part funny laughter and part painfully cynical laughter -- go read Mark Steyn's book: A Disgrace to the Profession. It's not much Mark, after the intro: it IS quotations from scientist after scientists, "climate scientist" after physicist after geologist -- ALL commenting on -- and heaping scorn on -- Michael Mann and his game-stick!

(Funny, why hasn't (((the press))) mentioned THAT to you? Maybe because power, money, and control?)

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 4:03 PM  

@113 "If we suddenly decided to detonate all the atomic bombs we have, I think life on earth as we know it would probably cease to exist. "

That is NOT "destroy the earth"!

Blogger James Dixon October 18, 2017 4:11 PM  

> Every field fixes its errors, with the possible exception of men's fashion.

Men's fashion IS and error.

> They're Multi-Culturalists.

Ooh, that's terrible. I love it.

> My book on the dark universe can't come out soon enough.

Agreed. I'd love to read it. The whole field is past the time I went to college, so I've never really looked into it.

> Too many scientists are backfilling to hold up a PC conclusion instead of finding an explanation that actually fits the data and provides a useful, accurate, reliable model.

In the case of climate science, just getting the actual data you need is extremely difficult. That's one of the reasons the Global Warming crowd cherry picked so readily.

> There is absolutely no doubt that we are putting more CO2 into the environment than we are taking out. There is absolutely no doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

There is absolutely no doubt that the levels of CO2 have been higher in the past than they are now. What were the effects then?

> There have only been 296 no-hit games in baseball to date. Were those magic?

For your average person? Yes. Try to duplicate them yourself and make your own determination.

> Yes, even engineering relies heavily on probability.

Yes. No two apparently identical steel beams will bear the exact same amount of weight. There is a range of probability involved.

> But the key point that you're ignoring is that we are out of balance with Nature.

Are you trying to argue that the burning of carbon is an unnatural event? What do you think the "balance" should be, and how would you determine it?

> It's certainly not sustainable.

We're probably not sustainable over the long run. What species is?

> If we suddenly decided to detonate all the atomic bombs we have, I think life on earth as we know it would probably cease to exist.

You would almost certainly be wrong. Human life might very well cease to exist, possibly the majority of larger land based creatures, but not life overall.

> For which proposition there is exactly as much evidence as there is for CAGW.

Absolutely.


Blogger Phat Repat October 18, 2017 4:12 PM  

I kinda liken the notion of a computer software "engineer" to my local sanitation "engineer". Both have about the same rigor of "engineering".

Anonymous Grayman October 18, 2017 4:16 PM  

To Vox's core point. There is such a significant lack of integrity across the board that engineering is the only filter left. If you can build it and it works, that's verification

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 4:16 PM  

@122 "For example, no, the fact that gravity is billions of times weaker than the electric force is NOT an obvious stumper."

I'm not deeply enough immersed, nor educated enough to 'argue' the point with you. Please go try the vids I listed-- and/or more; they DO explain such stuff.

The only... touchy ... spot *I* recognize as an *instant* possible problem, and that I haven't yet seen addressed, is the mechanism by which they sort out what seems to me to be (pre?-historical, perhaps also historical?) timing. They posit (and VERY convincingly, too!) (interplanetary) plasma effects having been witnessed BY early hominids/possibly hominins and recorded in stone (pretty damn clearly!) all over the planet.

The 'description some of them have for "planetary interactions" -- providing for the 'things' recorded in stone -- still cause a problem for me in terms of OTHER effects on Earth by such interactions ... tidal, weather, etc.... I am still waiting for someone in the field to discuss that...

But, in the meantime -- it's fascinating, and DOES seem to explain a helluva lot that the "mainstream" doesn't.

Blogger Resident Moron™ October 18, 2017 4:19 PM  

"If a person is skeptical of big bang cosmology, that’s okay. But pick up a good textbook from its best proponents and master the subject before you explore alternative theories. I highly recommend Edward Harrison’s Cosmology: The Science of the Universe."

It simply isn't possible to master every subject of which one ought to be skeptical, since one ought to be skeptical of everything.

If you cannot delineate the foundational principles of your own field of study, such that a person of normal intelligence allied to a sound education is able to logically interrogate those principles for internal and external consistency, then you actually have nothing to say.

I greatly respect your expertise, but I remain skeptical of your own fondness for it.

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 4:20 PM  

Phat Repat wrote:I kinda liken the notion of a computer software "engineer" to my local sanitation "engineer". Both have about the same rigor of "engineering".

So, can you write working code? Can you design software from scratch?

Or are you perhaps that breed of nerd with a PE license who doesn't like to hear the term "engineering" used by uncredentialed proles?

Just curious.

Blogger James Dixon October 18, 2017 4:21 PM  

> More CO2 than biological processes consume. That's the definition of "balance".

So all we need is more biological processes that consume CO2 to get back into "balance"? That's a relief. I much rather grow more algae and other plants than tell people they have to freeze in the winter and do without light at night.

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 4:27 PM  

@129 "Dark matter was postulated because observations on galactic rotation diverged from theoretical predictions to a massive degree. Dark energy was postulated because observations on expansion of the Universe diverged from theoretical predictions to a massive degree. Neither has any basis in observation except for theory failing to meet practice."

uuuuh. isn't it supposed to be the case that when the THEORY doesn't come close to matching the actual OBSERVATION, you're supposed to DUMP THE THEORY and go back to start? NOT invent 'new stuff' to make the numbers work!

Shouldn't your:

"observations on galactic rotation diverged from theoretical predictions to a massive degree"

be followed by: "so we invented dark matter -- which we can neither SEE nor MEASURE -- but boyo! it's fer sure gotta be there, because when we OBSERVE reality, reality refuses to AGREE with our theory?!"

Like,
"We had this theory about massive rotation -- and when we measured it -- it didn't work out, so we decided to ADD SOME NUMBERS to account for what's not there?!"

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 4:28 PM  

@130 BRAVO Grayman!!

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 4:29 PM  

@132 "Though I'd really love to see a massive attack on Redshift Theory. "

So, you've familiar with Halton Arp? I posted a link to a lecture by him. Good stuff!

Anonymous Be Deplorable, Not Afraid October 18, 2017 4:29 PM  

Despite your best efforts, things can go wrong. Apart from exact 1:1 duplication (which you cant possibly afford to do for every paper), you have to basically hope you got it right, and that every paper you cited got it right.

In @17, Looking Glass made an interesting point:
"Or, probably more accurately, we've spent 30+ years running all of the "best & brightest" off into other fields because how do you compete for positions when the population groups that should make up 90% of the positions are restricted to 45% or less? "

In my own field, editorials and articles in the professional magazines are going out of their way to let pale males like me know we just aren't wanted around anymore.

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 4:30 PM  

Noah B The Savage Gardener wrote:The historical norm for Earth is that CO2 levels have fluctuated chaotically.
Yep.
There is no "balance."
Do you water your garden 24x7? Apply lime daily? Eat 10,000 calories a day while sitting on the couch?
Would you like to make another feeble attempt at posturing?
What posturing? I'm talking about individual behavior and you're trying to map that to global effects.

Anonymous Killua October 18, 2017 4:35 PM  

Did you know there are longer times on earth when there WERE NO POLAR ICE CAPS

Climate Change Alarmist: "But think about the polar bears!!!!!"

Climate Change Skeptic: "So what? If polar bears die, we can just take grizzly bears, move them to a cold area, and they will gradually evolve into polar bears. Isn't that how evolution works?"

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 4:38 PM  

I'm pretty sure climate change skeptics actually say: "The polar bears observably are not dying; in fact they're doing better than ever."

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener October 18, 2017 4:42 PM  

@161 Now you're changing the subject from claiming that CO2 levels being "out of balance" is bad for Earth to discussing "individual behavior," whatever that means? What a desperate and obvious pivot.

Blogger Phat Repat October 18, 2017 4:43 PM  

@155

Yes, that's how I know it's not engineering.

Anonymous Avalanche October 18, 2017 4:45 PM  

@162 "Climate Change Skeptic: "So what? If polar bears die, we can just take grizzly bears, move them to a cold area, and they will gradually evolve into polar bears. Isn't that how evolution works?""

If you REALLY care deeply about polar bears (and I do -- in their far far away places!), then -- IF global warming (cause mainly by the sun, and stopped 20+ years ago!) will cause the bears to get hungry -- let's round up a whole bunch of them big ol' Texas hogs, fly 'em up North and drop on the ice!

BACON FOR BEARS!!

(There. Problem fixed.)

Anonymous Grayman October 18, 2017 4:53 PM  

MMMMM how delicious would those polar bears taste after feeding them bacon for months?!?!?!?!?! BACON FED POLAR BEAR BURGERS!

Blogger Resident Moron™ October 18, 2017 4:54 PM  

James Dixon wrote:> More CO2 than biological processes consume. That's the definition of "balance".

So all we need is more biological processes that consume CO2 to get back into "balance"? That's a relief. I much rather grow more algae and other plants than tell people they have to freeze in the winter and do without light at night.


And, as plants thrive at higher concentrations, the earth is already significantly greener and still working on producing more green plants as we speak.

One could almost believe the entire system was designed to be self-correcting, such that life can persist here ...

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 4:55 PM  

Noah B The Savage Gardener wrote:@161 Now you're changing the subject from claiming that CO2 levels being "out of balance" is bad for Earth to discussing "individual behavior," whatever that means? What a desperate and obvious pivot.
Please try to keep up. Systems that are out of balance usually fail. We are part of a large system. If individuals are in balance, the larger system will be in balance. I can control my own individual behavior. I can urge other individuals to do the same.

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 4:59 PM  

@165

I don't consider the term "engineering" particularly apt in describing the process of developing most software systems. I also know most engineers can't program worth a damn. They're too used to relying on recipes, and not much for open problem solving.

I value an engineer's opinion about my software about as much as I value his opinion about my writing: I'm only interested in his experience as a user of the product. I don't give a shit what he thinks about how I made what he's consuming/using.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener October 18, 2017 5:01 PM  

@169 It's not my duty to interpret your poorly communicated leaps of pseudologic. And if you truly are capable of controlling your own behavior, I urge you to stop making false analogies.

Blogger Cecil Henry October 18, 2017 5:03 PM  

Interesting finding in the 'race is real' category:

NYU Bluestone Center Researchers Discover That Skin Color Affects Skin Sensitivity to Heat and Mechanical Stimuli

http://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2017/september/nyu-bluestone-center-researchers-discover-that-skin-color-affect.html

Anonymous Grayman October 18, 2017 5:06 PM  

@169 wrf3

If individuals are in balance, the larger system will be in balance. so broad and general a statement as to be meaningless and simply wrong.

Any study of PID control of dynamic systems, control theory immediately blows that statement out of the water. Stable systems tend to be highly resistant to perturbation through multiple feedback loops until some critical juncture is hit then they rapidly become unstable.

The implications for that are that if multiple massive volcanoes and asteroid strikes have not perturbed the biosphere to such a catastrophic level that it turned into venus (the classic global warming runaway CO2 scare story) or perhaps mars, then it is unlikely mankind in its current state is capable of trivially cause instabilities in the biosphere.

And if we assumed your position was legitimate you and your compatriots should be doing everything in your power to shut down china, India and the rest of developing industrial nations of the world IMMEDIATELY.

Anonymous Mr. Rational October 18, 2017 5:09 PM  

PoseidonAwoke wrote:Black holes, dark matter and dark energy are entirely theoretica
One of these things is not like the others.

The speeds of stars orbiting galactic centers are very high.  The only thing which can explain this is if there are extremely massive compact objects there.  The densities are far too high for them to be stars, and they are not directly visible in any event.  They're "black".  What else would you call them?  Further, behaviors like the interaction of magnetic fields with rotating event horizons provides explanations for things like galactic jets, which do not have any other good explanation.

I recall rumor of a paper about dark matter being explained by something like general relativistic frame-dragging making the actual curvature of orbits much greater than the apparent local curvature (i.e. Newtonian gravity was assisted by the bending of space, making it look like there was more gravity and thus more matter than there actually was), but apparently that didn't pan out.  This would have been around 1990.

As for dark energy, either SOMETHING is accelerating the expansion of space or we have measurement errors.  One thing's for certain, the people denying it because it doesn't fit their religious convictions aren't going to have squat to do with figuring it out.  People who are convinced they have all the answers cannot find them.

Anonymous Killua October 18, 2017 5:14 PM  

As for dark energy, either SOMETHING is accelerating the expansion of space or we have measurement errors

What if it only looks to us like it is accelerating, but it is actually not? What if the entire concept of time is an illusion?

https://www.space.com/29859-the-illusion-of-time.html

Blogger Phat Repat October 18, 2017 5:38 PM  

@170

Good on ya; keep your bugs, I mean undocumented features to a minimum and it's all good. With the incredible failure rate of software projects, especially large ones, there is simply no way in HELL you can call that engineering.

Now that doesn't mean engineers don't fail. But the rigor involved in most engineering projects far exceeds any software development project (some mil/(aero)space projects excepted). Now perhaps you will try to blow smoke up my pant leg, but that will just lead to a quick be-otch slap. So I suggest you go on your merry way thinking you da shiznit of sw devs and I'll let you have your simplistic fantasy.

Anonymous A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Deplorable Cents October 18, 2017 5:39 PM  

@169 wrf3
I can control my own individual behavior. I can urge other individuals to do the same.

Do you speak Mandarin? Hindi?

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 5:44 PM  

Grayman wrote:And if we assumed your position was legitimate you and your compatriots should be doing everything in your power to shut down china, India and the rest of developing industrial nations of the world IMMEDIATELY.

I prefer persuasion to coercion. Still, it boggles the mind that people would actually argue for being in favor of producing more CO2 than the biosphere consumes.

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 5:45 PM  

Phat Repat wrote:@170

Good on ya; keep your bugs, I mean undocumented features to a minimum and it's all good. With the incredible failure rate of software projects, especially large ones, there is simply no way in HELL you can call that engineering.

Now that doesn't mean engineers don't fail. But the rigor involved in most engineering projects far exceeds any software development project (some mil/(aero)space projects excepted). Now perhaps you will try to blow smoke up my pant leg, but that will just lead to a quick be-otch slap. So I suggest you go on your merry way thinking you da shiznit of sw devs and I'll let you have your simplistic fantasy.


I see you're still an egotistical cunt.

Please, Mr. Wizard, explain to me why software development is as loose as it is compared to, say, mechanical engineering? I know why. I doubt you do.

Blogger Johnny October 18, 2017 5:50 PM  

wrf3 wrote:More CO2 than biological processes consume. That's the definition of "balance".

Around two thirds of the earth's surface is ocean and a large amount of it is largely devoid of plant life for the want of iron as a nutrient. Successfully seed the ocean with iron and photosynthesis would go way up globally, yet we put almost nothing into accomplishing it. Why? Well, it doesn't fit anybody's political agenda. Real solutions are not on the table, only elaborate handout schemes.

Anonymous JAG October 18, 2017 5:50 PM  

wrf3 wrote:DonReynolds wrote:If it cannot be reproduced...a thousand times, by nearly anybody, it is not science....it is magic.

Stochastic processes are magic? There have only been 296 no-hit games in baseball to date. Were those magic?



No hitters in baseball depend heavily upon the psychology of humans which is capable of irrationality, thus your comparison is weak.

Unless, of course, you can use your math degree to accurately describe and predict human emotion while under stress.

Blogger Phat Repat October 18, 2017 6:03 PM  

@179

Do tell; I'm sure it'll be a real eye-opener. You remind me of someone; Snively Dipslash. Are you un(der)-employed too?

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents October 18, 2017 6:05 PM  

@178 wrf3
I prefer persuasion to coercion.

Do you speak Mandarin? Hindi?

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents October 18, 2017 6:06 PM  

@173 wrf3
Still, it boggles the mind that people would actually argue for being in favor of producing more CO2 than the biosphere consumes.

Why?

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 6:08 PM  

Nope. You're the expert, Mr. Wizard. Explain, with all your wisdom, why software development is not as rigorous as the typical "official" engineering field.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener October 18, 2017 6:09 PM  

@178 Still, it boggles the mind that people would actually argue for being in favor of producing more CO2 than the biosphere consumes.

If it's fair to characterize their argument in that manner, then it's equally fair to characterize your position as arguing in favor of taking away the energy that billions of people rely on to live.

Why do you want to kill billions of people?

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 6:39 PM  

A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents wrote:Why?
Because of the negative effects. Besides warming, there's ocean acidification; potential harmful effects to humans above 600ppm; decreased nitrogen uptake in plants, leading to less protein. ...

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 6:41 PM  

Noah B The Savage Gardener wrote:then it's equally fair to characterize your position as arguing in favor of taking away the energy that billions of people rely on to live.
Not at all. Switching energy sources isn't taking away energy.

Blogger roughcoat October 18, 2017 6:49 PM  

Switching to what energy sources? All the stuff climate change fearmongers push is ridiculous (unreliable, short-lived, not available on demand, and not easily scalable) and despite claims, not just magically going to become viable with more development because the problems are inherent to the energy source itself.

If elevated CO2 really is a problem, the answer is to push through to better clean energy, by which I really mean nuclear. Nuclear power has loads of room for improvement and it could potentially make alternative fuels viable as well if we can get electricity cheap enough. But that's not even on the table.

IOW, climate change alarmists are not serious about fighting the problem. And of course, as someone mentioned above, they're hardly making an effort to slow down the CO2 emissions from the developing world. So are they just stupid? Or are they lying about why they want us to willfully cripple ourselves by throwing away the foundation of our civilization over an ill-understood bogeyman?

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents October 18, 2017 6:57 PM  

Because of the negative effects. Besides warming,

Which hasn't happened.

Do you speak Mandarin? Hindi? Direct questions.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents October 18, 2017 7:03 PM  

@189 roughcoat
Nuclear power has loads of room for improvement and it could potentially make alternative fuels viable as well if we can get electricity cheap enough. But that's not even on the table.

The Chinese are building nuclear power plants. Along with more natgas fired and coal fired plants. It's only in the US and Europe that new nukes aren't feasible, thanks to greenies like wrf3 here.

If greenies like wrf3 were serious, they'd be stopping the energy development of China and India, because those two countries have put more natgas / coal plants online in the last 10 years than the rest of the world. But they don't even try; the Kyoto treaty specifically excluded China. The UK could shut down every natgas fueled power generation station next week, China would put more online in the next 2 years.

Greenies don't do numbers. They don't do science. They don't really do anything except attempt to deindustrialize the country they live in.

But they got Hockey Stick, so SCREAM!

Blogger wrf3 October 18, 2017 7:06 PM  

A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents wrote:Do you speak Mandarin? Hindi? Direct questions.
No, I don't speak Mandarin or Hindi. But I know people who do.

Blogger Meng Greenleaf October 18, 2017 7:16 PM  

It's much worse than the article suggests. I'm a medical researcher. This wouldn't even be the tip if the iceberg. More like some snow that landed nearby. Anyway, it's depressing. Everything from the Disipline Head of Science never having heard of Francis Bacon to putright fraud. Costing 100s of millions per institute. Which is another reason for immigration. Need of lab slaves and tax payers. Added bonus housing prices remain out of reach for most.... It's depressing.

Anonymous quayb October 18, 2017 7:21 PM  

As regards the black holes, dark energy, atomic universe, I would direct people to evaluate a much simpler theory that lines up with true greats like Tesla, not Einstein or quantum fraud Fineman, here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JblU5oj15w8 Mother Nature isn't a mathematical wiz gal, just a simple lady working on pressure mediation.

Anonymous Anonymous October 18, 2017 7:27 PM  

Nate wrote:" I was a graphic artist and designer in a previous life, so I'll do the illustrations as well as the writing."

its hilarious to me that the living personification of all the liberal SJW left is striving for... A hot female physicist-artist... is on our side.



And in the movie she'll also be able to kick the asses of three strong men at the same time.

Blogger James Dixon October 18, 2017 7:43 PM  

> One could almost believe the entire system was designed to be self-correcting, such that life can persist here ...

Obviously, that would imply design, and that there's crazy talk. :)

> Systems that are out of balance usually fail.

You've yet to demonstrate that ours is out of balance. See above.

> Still, it boggles the mind that people would actually argue for being in favor of producing more CO2 than the biosphere consumes.

If you think another ice age is imminent and wish to prevent it, why wouldn't you?

That assumption is just as plausible as AGW.

Blogger Gospace October 18, 2017 7:47 PM  

CPEG October 18, 2017 1:40 PM
"HeLa cells contaminating and distorting cancer research was identified as a problem more then 20 years ago. A lot of research was invalidated because of it."

Wait, not just from cross-contamination? Do you have more information on this topic readily at hand?


I have a really good memory, and once I read something I'll remember it if given a trigger- like this discussion. But from a quick google search, a quote from Discover magazine in 2014: "This is not news: The first widespread HeLa contamination was identified in 1967, when geneticist Stanley Gartler of the University of Washington typed 18 different human cell lines. He found that every one was actually HeLa."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19722756 is an NIH 2009 abstract in which the HeLa problem is once again identified.

Anonymous Sidehill Dodger October 18, 2017 7:47 PM  

I agree that there is something fundamentally wrong with much of what is called "science" today. Physics, for instance, seems to be retreating ever further into pure Platonism--theory is all; the only important thing is making the math work out. Somewhere along the line, we have lost the notion of science as a fundamentally empirical endeavor, that is, an endeavor rooted in observation of the world, and dependent on those observations for verification of hypotheses.

Much of what has gone wrong is attributable to how science is funded: grants are awarded by bodies who are themselves heavily invested in directions of research that are considered "promising"--and only the orthodox is ever promising.

It's amusing to see some of the fluff that is funded. For example, if you promise to attach electrodes to a person's skull and produce nifty false color graphics associated with certain "stimuli", then you'll likely get money (if your application contains the proper buzzwords). Never mind that these pretty graphics show nothing of any importance beyond what was produced by phrenologists 150 years ago. And there's tons of money to be had researching "artificial intelligence"--when no one can satisfactorily explain what "natural intelligence" might be.

Blogger Gospace October 18, 2017 7:49 PM  

The 2014 Discover link: http://discovermagazine.com/2014/nov/20-trial-and-error

Blogger Gospace October 18, 2017 7:54 PM  

wrf3 October 18, 2017 1:57 PM
Clearly, we are producing more CO2 than is consumed. If the Earth needs more CO2 then that's good. If the Earth needs less CO2, that's bad. But the key point that you're ignoring is that we are out of balance with Nature. Do you really want to argue that that's overall a good thing? It's certainly not sustainable.


I can point out where you make a statement on faith, not proof. But the key point that you're ignoring is that we are out of balance with Nature. How do you know that to be true? Plants are growing faster noe with more CO2. That's a good thing. CO2 levels have gone up and down throughout Earth's geologic history. At which point are the CO2 levels in balance with nature?

1 – 200 of 257 Newer› Newest»

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts