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Comment: Re: Motivated rejection of science (Score 1) 661

As I was saying, it is not about accuracy.

Accuracy, is a necessary component and the higher the accuracy and more frequent the accuracy, such as with a number of climate models, the more likely, all else being equal, such a theory is correct.

That's why people accepted it. That is not true for climate change research. And predictions 10 years out tell us nothing about whether the models are going to be true 100 years out: completely different and untested conditions.

Researchers can construct new models or modify existing ones, make predictions about what One should find, say, in tree rings and/or ice cores and extrapolate if found to be accurate.

Questions 5-7 are not scientific questions because they can't be answered using the scientific method. Whether practitioners of those disciplines fancy themselves "scientists" is irrelevant.

Based on this statement, I will go out on a proverbial limb and say You are not that familiar with what Social Scientists, Economists, or Political Scientists actually do.

Comment: Re: Motivated rejection of science (Score 1) 661

I'm sorry you seem to have trouble with scientific terminology. When scientist informally talk about "proven theories", it doesn't mean "proven" in the mathematical sense, it simply means that a theory has very strong experimental support. (4-7) do not.

I am Scientist and I don't recall Colleagues using the phrase "proven theories" ever.

It isn't sufficient for predictions to be accurate in order to support a scientific theory.

General accuracy of prediction, which the models have tended to have, is often considered a "good enough" basis upon which to act, however. For example, while Newton's theory of gravity did not jibe exactly with experimental results due to, say, wind resistance, the predictions were "close enough" to results for Others to accept the theory as a "good enough" basis upon which to make whatever relevant decisions were at hand.

In fact, points 5-7 aren't scientific questions at all; they are questions about social science, economics, and politics.

Social science is a science, as are economics and political science. Technically, however, point #7 is better described not as one of politics/political science but as a point about behavioral science and its ability to assist in influencing the state of the environment.

Comment: Re: Motivated rejection of science (Score 2) 661

(4) Human activity is the primary cause of temperature increase over the 20th century. [unproven]

(5) Human activity will result in temperature increases in the 21st century that are larger than those experienced in the 20th century. [unproven, speculative]

(6) Temperature increase in the 21st century will have devastating consequences for humans. [highly speculative, controversial]

(7) Government intervention now can reduce temperature increases in the 21st century significantly. [highly speculative, completely implausible]

On point #4, I would agree except for this little ditty. Additionally, science never "proves" anything; it only gathers a body of evidence to show a model is accurate to varying degrees. Not even gravity is "proven" because One might wake up the next morning and find some evidence which says, "Whoops, Newton's wrong here"; such a scenario seems unlikely but is not impossible. On points #5-7, the same statement about science "proving" anything applies. In addition, any scientific prediction about the future in a case where testable environments, like planetary climates, are few and far between is, almost by definition, "speculative" to the point such a word is of no use regardless of whether the speculation is "high" or not. What Scientists do have is a collection of models in which One inputs various data, determines what predictions those models make and then compare those predictions with observed results. Such predictions have, to a noticeable extent been quite accurate so far, given the time scales on which Scientists have been able to conduct observations either directly or indirectly. To match Your political testimonial, so to speak, I use to be a climate disruption Denier but digging into the science, the predictions, the observations, etc., has convinced Me all of points 1-7 are either completely accurate or, at the very least, a very good "first order approximation" of reality.

Comment: Re:Heading off the Republic Pedants (Score 1) 818

by BrianPRabbit (#46766167) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy
May I suggest AC acquire and use a dictionary. From the OED=>"republic (noun): a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch." Sounds like the United States. There is also Article IV, Section 1, of the constitution which reads in part, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government"; so, if this guarantee has not been met, the first step is to "petition the Government for a redress of grievances" instead of throwing around insults; unless, of course, AC doesn't actually believe what AC wrote.

+ - Racing To Contain Ebola->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Ebola, one of the most deadly diseases known to humans, started killing people in Guinea a few months ago. There have been Ebola outbreaks in the past, but they were contained. The latest outbreak has now killed over 100 people across three countries. One of the biggest difficulties in containing an outbreak is knowing where the virus originated and how it spread. That problem is being addressed right now by experts and a host of volunteers using Open Street Map. 'Zoom in and you can see road networks and important linkages between towns and countries, where there were none before. Overlay this with victim data, and it can help explain the rapid spread. Click on the coloured blobs and you will see sites of confirmed deaths, suspected cases that have been overturned, sites where Ebola testing labs have been setup or where the emergency relief teams are currently located.'"
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