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View Full Version : 'Junque' Science (just like plain-vanila junk science, but more respectable)...



Terry Yager
August 15th, 2006, 10:15 PM
Ok, guys...we can't have it both ways. On the one hand, we have scientists telling us that we are recovering from a 'Mini Ice Age', which peaked in the 14th century, and is believed to have been caused by excessive volcanic activity during that period, which spewed enough gasses and particulate matter into the atmosphere to block out the sun's warmth and cause a drop in average global tempertures.
OTOH, we have other experts telling us that so-called 'GlobalWarming' is caused by man, as a result of us spewing the same gasses and particles into the atmosphere, which traps in the earth's heat in what is called the 'Greenhouse Effect'. Who are we to believe? Is science just a matter of faith, as is any other religion, where we are forced to choose between a number of theories, none of which is completely satisfactory? Either the current 600-year warming trend is man-made, or it's just a perfectly natural up-swing in long-term climatic warming/cooling cycles.

--T

atari2600a
August 15th, 2006, 11:48 PM
I'm w/ the Global Warming theory...

dongfeng
August 16th, 2006, 12:53 AM
It's a perfectly natural heat up / cool down cycle. Within that larger cycle, there are mini-cycles that last around 100 years :)

However, Global Warming IS a problem, but mainly due to letting harmful light in through the Ozone layer, not the temperature of the earth.

alexkerhead
August 16th, 2006, 03:21 AM
We are coming out of a ice age, BUT we have accelerated the process 10 fold, that is the basis of global warming.

Mad-Mike
August 16th, 2006, 11:13 AM
I'm with the heat up-cool down thing. They've been ranting on about Global Warming since the late 80's, and while we've had a hotter summer here, I really doubt that we could do THAT much damage in a limited amount of time. Mother nature throws us curve balls every once in a blue moon.

Chris2005
August 16th, 2006, 12:13 PM
I saw the show last night also. Interesting. They blame everything from the Black Death to the French Revolution on it (and the American revolution and all sorts of other stuph!). I really can't see what the climate had to do with the American revolution...maybe someone could tell me. Other matters maybe. We just didn't want to have to pay taxes on our blasted tea! Can you believe the nerve of those Brits!!! NO TAXATION W/O REPRESENTATION PHREAKOPHANTS!!
Anyway, I'm kind of of the persuasion the global warming thing is alot of hokum. Is it possible we're affecting the climate? Eh, maybe, but ol' Mammy Nature throws us enough curves that I'm kind of thinking our affect on it is minor.
To sum it up, Al Gore is fos. And if you go back to the 70's, they were concerned with global cooling. So which is it going to be?

dreddnott
August 16th, 2006, 12:16 PM
I dunno, Terry, sounds like a false dichotomy to me...

I think we might have to wait and see a few thousand years before we can draw a real conclusion.

I don't think the data we have is sufficient at this time to say either way, even if the two possibilities you propose are in fact the only two ways about it.

Most groups that are quick to say it's absolutely, definitely either are exploiting the media's tendency to sensationalise the "debate" and only doing it for financial or political gain.

mbbrutman
August 16th, 2006, 12:49 PM
I'm missing something here. Why is this called 'Junque Science' or even 'plain-vanilla junk science' ?

You mentioned a few trends, all based on science. The 'mini ice age' theory might be supported by evidence of a lot of airborne particles reducing the amount of heat from the sun. Global warming is a no brainer - if you release greenhouse gases in these quantities you will trap more heat.

There is no contradiction between these two theories. The art is in how to interpret the two trends. Your calling it Junque or junk implies you don't believe any of it.

Chris2005
August 16th, 2006, 01:02 PM
I am probably the least educated of anyone on this subject, though I'm sure no one here is an expert. There's just seems to be a disparity between saying we (and the planet itself) are throwing all kinds of junk into the atmosphere, alot of which contributes to global cooling, yet these greenhouse gases are always at the forefront of the discussion. Won't good ol' American made pollution compensate for the nasty aerosol cans and stuph we use every day? Not if yer Al Gore apparently. And this has been a particularly cool August, as were parts of June. Are we so sure the planet is heating up?

bbcmicro
August 16th, 2006, 01:04 PM
I thought that we were at the most stable part of our earths climate for thousands of years?

Terry Yager
August 16th, 2006, 01:34 PM
I do have a rather low opinion of theory & conjecture being passed-off as 'science'. Why not call it what it is -- a belief system, based on faith, like any other religion?

--T

Chris2005
August 16th, 2006, 01:55 PM
I'll agree that matters of faith and science are sometimes 2 different things. Just that most people would be surprised how well a bunch of "fairy tales" like the bible stand up to scrutiny. And how evolution and such rot doesn't. But most people go with the flow and sooner bow before the modern priesthood known as acadamia. But I digress.
I do recall some committee stating that there was no credible evidence for the global warming phenomenon. This was back when John Sununu was on Crossfire (is that show even still around?).

dreddnott
August 16th, 2006, 02:13 PM
The trouble with this whole situation is that we are looking at a banyan tree with an electron microscope.

mbbrutman
August 16th, 2006, 03:44 PM
I do have a rather low opinion of theory & conjecture being passed-off as 'science'. Why not call it what it is -- a belief system, based on faith, like any other religion?

--T

As I thought. Always have to read between the lines with you.

- CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It traps heat. That is fact, proven by real science.
- We are burning a tremendous amount of fossil fuels and wood, which release CO2 gas into the atmosphere. That is a fact as well.

The only disagreement is what the long term effect will be. There are theories to describe what those long term effects will be. The difference between scientific theory and religion is that scientific theory is based in facts, assumptions are made (and clearly documented), and criteria for proving the theory true or false can be identified. Theories get proved wrong all of the time, and for the most part people move on.

Religion has none of those attributes. Don't confuse the two.

I actually find the title of the thread offensive. It's not Junque or Junk science. It's theory. And the premise of the global warming guys is quite sound - you can't keep releasing vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere with no effect. We just don't know the extent of the effect, or what other mitigating factors there will be. But the debate is healthy, and it's good for people to realize that they just can't keep crapping where they live and not get poisoned by it eventually.

By calling it junk science you show your bias and imply you know better. I don't see you offering to critique what is wrong with it, or how it could be better. You're not better educated than the people who study the hard data and come up with the theories, so why sully their reputations? Do you have anything to offer, except general hostility to people who have some authority based on their years of training and research?

I'm going to call your point of view ignorant.

Erik
August 16th, 2006, 04:22 PM
I really don't want to chime in here, but there is this irresistible force pushing me to. . .

I am not a big fan of this whole "global warming" panic, not because I have any particular issues with the foundation, scientific or otherwise, but because it has been so overly hyped that it's hard to take it seriously anymore.

Yes global average temperatures have been going up, slightly, over the course of the last century or so. Yes that corresponds, roughly, with increases in manmade CO2 in the atmosphere.

Are the two related? Probably to some extent, but it's unlikely that the ultimate result will be the doom-and-gloom that the warming folks are barking about.

But what's most annoying is that every time something happens anywhere, be it a heat wave in San Fran or a hurricane in Florida the folks will scream that it's evidence of global warming. There's nothing that destroys their credibility faster than that chicken little nonsense.

Like mbbrutman said, we should be careful of crapping where we live regardless, but the whole global hysteria has me bored. The catastrophes you pay attention to are the least likely to come to pass. Something is bound to sneak up on you that'll make your worries seem silly in comparison.

Terry Yager
August 16th, 2006, 04:54 PM
I just have trouble deciding what to believe sometimes, especially when the credentials of those on one side are just as valid as those on the opposite side. This is why I consider it a matter of faith. Ultimately, we all have to decide who to believe, even though each authority is as credible as another, and our personal beliefs can make a big difference when making decisions such as which lever to pull in the voting booth.
There are some real-life things that scare me, starting with the wholesale destruction of the rain forrests globally. I don't pretend to comprehend how cow pharts contribute to global warming, but the depletion our planet's major producers of oxygen is a little easier to follow, and is more easilly backed up with facts.

--T

Erik
August 16th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Yeah but all the extra CO2 in the atmosphere has made plants very happy. They are growing faster and bigger with this new bounty and have made up for their diminished numbers some.

Terry Yager
August 16th, 2006, 05:16 PM
Yeah, and the rapid over-growth of alge in response to the increase in CO2 will restock the planet's oxygen, even though it'll choke-out all the food fishes, causing world-wide famine, and yada, yada, and...

Too much duality (multiplicity?) for my taste.

--T

mbbrutman
August 16th, 2006, 05:20 PM
Your inability to decide and instead calling the whole affair junk just smacks on anti-elitism for no good reason.

There's no religion or dogma, and not all of the credentials are equivalent. You do not make yourself credible by being anti-elitist, especally amongst people who respect the scientific process.

Remember that 30 years ago the entire tobacco industry was in denial about the health risks of smoking, and were rolling out their own 'credible' experts to refute the evidence. Same with asbestos. Follow the money when determining who has credibility and who does not.

Terry Yager
August 16th, 2006, 05:32 PM
Oh, I find some decisions easier than others. When it comes to a question like 'Will the massive algifacation of the oceans change the temperature enough to affect the 'Atlantic (& Pacific) Conveyor', and bring on the next Ice Age?', there are no real answers, just beliefs.

Oh, yeah. I never claimed to be un-biased. This is a rant, after all. It's s'pozed ta be one-sided...

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=RNWI,RNWI:2005-50,RNWI:en&q=define%3arant

--T

Terry Yager
August 16th, 2006, 06:27 PM
While I do have a great deal of respect for Empirical Method, etc, it is that which wears the trappings of science in an attempt to fool the common man, in order to advance one individual or group's belief system that I find objectionable.

--T

Terry Yager
August 16th, 2006, 07:02 PM
I saw the show last night also. Interesting. They blame everything from the Black Death to the French Revolution on it (and the American revolution and all sorts of other stuph!). I really can't see what the climate had to do with the American revolution...maybe someone could tell me.

I dunno, Chris...I couldn't quite follow that 'logic' either. Although I can (almost) see where massive crop failures in France might have been a contributing factor in the overthrow of the aristocracy by the starving masses, the American Revolution is a whole 'nother animal.

--T

Terry Yager
August 16th, 2006, 07:18 PM
I dunno, Terry, sounds like a false dichotomy to me...

I didn't mean to imply a dichotomy, false or otherwise. In fact, in my original rant, I clearly stated:


we are forced to choose between a number of theories

I am aware that there are more than two theories, my point was that they are all theories, and that we all are hard-pressed in trying to decide which to embrace, and which to reject.

--T

mbbrutman
August 17th, 2006, 05:29 AM
I didn't mean to imply a dichotomy, false or otherwise. In fact, in my original rant, I clearly stated:

I am aware that there are more than two theories, my point was that they are all theories, and that we all are hard-pressed in trying to decide which to embrace, and which to reject.

--T

Bogus again.

Some theories are better than others based on the facts used to construct the theory and the method of reasoning.

Saying that they are all just theories and therefore all equivalent opens the door to people doing things like trying to put 'Intelligent Design' on the same footing as evolution. The reasoning and facts behind one are clearly superior, even though they are both just 'theories.'

Chris2005
August 17th, 2006, 02:01 PM
"The difference between scientific theory and religion is that scientific
theory is based in facts, assumptions are made (and clearly documented), and criteria for proving the theory true or false can be identified. Theories get
proved wrong all of the time, and for the most part people move on."

"Religion has none of those attributes. Don't confuse the two."

The ramblings of a person who has obviously spent little time looking at
both sides. As so often is the case these days - Science is god, God is
dead. So said Nietzsche at least.

"I actually find the title of the thread offensive. It's not Junque or
Junk science. It's theory."

The problem is it usually isn't presented as such. And oh about 10
years ago Ted Danson stated we have...10 years to clean up the oceans
or we're all gonna croak. The problem is not the discussion, but it's the way
it's presented - as if it was fact.

"By calling it junk science you show your bias and imply you know better. I
don't see you offering to critique what is wrong with it, or how it could be
better. You're not better educated than the people who study the hard data and come up with the theories, so why sully
their reputations? Do you have anything to offer, except general hostility to
people who have some authority based on their years of training and research?

"I'm going to call your point of view ignorant."

"What Terry is probably responding to is the way the issue is usually
politicized and rammed down our gullet on a daily basis. And you don't need to be all that educated to be leary of the junque spewed by those with yeeears upon yeeears of training and research. The elites are the ones to watch out for. No one's damning all of science or higher learning, but careful of those on the lunatic fringe. They've got it all figured out and are going to
dictate how us pee-ons should live. I seem to recall an experiment known as communism that didn't work out too well. I'm sure the people who dreamed up that one were looked upon as so so schmott (and by some still are!!!!).

This is a forum, it's a discussion, and a valid one. All I can conclude
from your speech is that you're an individual with considerable
frustrations for attacking him in such a fashion. And a fellow moderator. You
often act as if it's your own group, and perhaps you need to be reminded umm it's not.

"I really don't want to chime in here, but there is this irresistible force pushing me to. . ."

Sheesh not surprised Erik!

"Remember that 30 years ago the entire tobacco industry was in denial about
the health risks of smoking, and were rolling out their own 'credible'
experts to refute the evidence. Same with asbestos. Follow the money when
determining who has credibility and who does not."

And you're not aware that there's considerable money being made by those
on both side of the argument? A reputable scientist recently stepped
forward (of course I can't remember his name) and has said that he had lost
contracts/funds because of his anti-warming stance. It's become so
fashionable to accept what's being said. Kind of like the blessed theory
of evolution! Most people have been pressed into believing it, and you're
pitifully ignorant if you don't (and I don't need to remind anyone who's using
that sort of rhetoric in this particular discussion). Most people
don't know the first thing about it, but it's proven as far as they're
concerned. And to those who are the most "informed", the topic is not even open for discussion.
And to compare the warming debate to the negative affects of smoking, which my own father figured out when he was oh 12 (he's now in his 80s), is frankly bogus and even hysterical.
Granted some big business doesn't like the debate and wish it would go away. Both sides have vested interests in their particular stance. It's just
plain to see that they both do.

Terry Yager
August 17th, 2006, 02:19 PM
"I'm going to call your point of view ignorant."

"What Terry is probably responding to is the way the issue is usually
politicized and rammed down our gullet on a daily basis. And you don't need to be all that educated to be leary of the junque spewed by those with yeeears upon yeeears of training and research. The elites are the ones to watch out for. No one's damning all of science or higher learning, but careful of those on the lunatic fringe. They've got it all figured out and are going to
dictate how us pee-ons should live. I seem to recall an experiment known as communism that didn't work out too well. I'm sure the people who dreamed up that one were looked upon as so so schmott (and by some still are!!!!).

Tnx for leaping to my defense, Chris, but I prefer not to 'legitimatize' such ad-hominem attacks by responding to them at all.

--T

Terry Yager
August 17th, 2006, 02:27 PM
Bogus again.

Some theories are better than others based on the facts used to construct the theory and the method of reasoning.

Saying that they are all just theories and therefore all equivalent opens the door to people doing things like trying to put 'Intelligent Design' on the same footing as evolution. The reasoning and facts behind one are clearly superior, even though they are both just 'theories.'


Need I point out that all theories are by definition, theories? I'm not attempting to dispute provable facts here, just theories, some of which are more questionable than others, to the 'average' observer. I'm not condemning all of science as junque, just that which is junque.

--T

mbbrutman
August 17th, 2006, 06:08 PM
Terry: It's fine to call out particular theories as crap. But the way I read your initial posting and the title of the thread, you called all of it junk. And it's not. I can appreciate not being able to decide who to believe, that that doesn't make it all junk out of hand. All theories are not equivalent.

Chris: Anything posted in the off-topic areas is fair game. Especially if it sounds like the entire theory of global warming is being questioned. My position here as a moderator is not in conflict with that, and Terry usually does a good job of defending himself.

This thread touches a particular sore point, even if you forget about the topic. All theories are not equivalent, and all belief systems are not equal. And our failure to be able to discriminate between good/bad and right/wrong and just waving our hands saying 'they are all just beliefs and therefore evil' will probably lead to the downfall of civilization if taken too far. So look at the the thread as less about global warming, but more of a philosophical debate. If all competing theories and belief systems are of equal value, then none of them have any value.

Terry Yager
August 17th, 2006, 07:56 PM
...Terry usually does a good job of defending himself.


...And Mike could easily whup me inna 'battle of wits', with one lobe tied behind hiz cranium!

--T

Terry Yager
August 17th, 2006, 08:20 PM
Mbbruteman and I have agreed (privately) to agree to disagree in this dispute. His brliefs/opinions are no more less or more valid than my own. Therefore, I'm closing the topic to further discussion.

--T