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Comment: Re:You think that government is apolitical? (Score 1) 640

by Kavafy (#45289675) Attached to: Nebraska Scientists Refuse To Carry Out Climate Change-Denying Study

Are you arguing, or agreeing? Your critique against my demarcation of science and pseudo-science is that no such demarcation exists, and yet you want me to believe that CAGW is somehow scientific without any objective criteria by which to judge that quality?

I'm telling you your criterion is wrong. That's not the same as saying there is no possible criterion, is it?

No, actually, I don't.

You may not, but theory vs prediction is a totally standard and well-understood distinction in the philosophy of science. If you're going to be stubborn then I'll have to leave you to do your research and take it from here.

Comment: Re:You think that government is apolitical? (Score 1) 640

by Kavafy (#45283109) Attached to: Nebraska Scientists Refuse To Carry Out Climate Change-Denying Study

If, for the sake of argument, we can't tell, then it's clearly not fair to call it unscientific.

If, for the sake of argument, we can't tell, then it's clearly not fair to call it scientific either :)

Not on the basis you've set out, which is exactly what I've been trying to tell you all along. Your criterion is unrealistic and unreflective of the way science is actually done.

It's a prediction. As in, "if we do X, Y will happen".

That's like saying the theory of gravity is just a prediction, as in, "if we have mass A and mass B ad distance C, force X will happen".

What? No! The theory of gravity can be used to make an infinite (in principle) number of predictions, of which you've just given one example. See the difference?

AGW (and it's implied brother CAGW) are unfalsifiable hypotheses.

I really think it is better to get your terminology straight and read up a bit on epistemology before making judgements about what does and does not qualify as science. One might think that scientists actually working in the relevant field would be in a better position to determine what is legitimate, and if you're going to contradict them then you need a solid grasp of what you are talking about.

Comment: Re:You think that government is apolitical? (Score 1) 640

by Kavafy (#45278201) Attached to: Nebraska Scientists Refuse To Carry Out Climate Change-Denying Study

However, if Hilary Putnam is correct (and I'll argue that she isn't)

Sounds like you should find out a little more about him first.

that's hardly a defense of CAGW being scientific - it's only really an affirmation of the assertion that we can never *tell* if CAGW is scientific.

If, for the sake of argument, we can't tell, then it's clearly not fair to call it unscientific. The fact that you don't like that as a consequence doesn't make it any more or less true.

AGW is a theory that

It's a prediction. As in, "if we do X, Y will happen". Why is this so hard to understand? Seriously, it doesn't seem at all wise to complain about things being unscientific without being more familiar with arguments about demarcation criteria and the history of science.

Comment: Re:You think that government is apolitical? (Score 1) 640

by Kavafy (#45273393) Attached to: Nebraska Scientists Refuse To Carry Out Climate Change-Denying Study

The problem with Hilary Putnam's critique is that it opens up astrology, phrenology, and things like "paranormal research" into the veneer of science. I mean, you can go ahead and make the claim that falsifiability isn't a cornerstone of the scientific method, but the result is a massively subjective moral relativism that gives you no effective demarcation at all.

Well, maybe, and maybe not, but you have just made an appeal to consequences. That is irrelevant to the truth or otherwise of the critique.

As for single anomalous observations and CAGW, nobody has even identified a *set* of anomalous observations that would falsify the central conceit.

AGW as a prediction depends on a number of theories. Anomalous observations could be explained by problems in any one of them, or a combination. I still don't get your point.

Comment: Re:You think that government is apolitical? (Score 1) 640

by Kavafy (#45270021) Attached to: Nebraska Scientists Refuse To Carry Out Climate Change-Denying Study
Unfortunately for you, it's a bit more complicated than that. Hilary Putnam's critique of falsifiability as a demarcation criterion is relevant. Briefly, any experimental or observational test of a theory requires you to believe certain auxiliary hypotheses. That is one of the main reasons why a single anomalous observation is rarely enough to bring down a whole theory. The predictions produced by climate science that we collectively refer to as AGW require a number of different scientific theories for their production, so of course the problem of auxiliary hypotheses increases. Your whole line of argument is unrealistic when we look at the way science has actually been done.

Comment: Re: Good. (Score 1) 699

by Kavafy (#45122295) Attached to: UK Court Orders Two Sisters Must Receive MMR Vaccine

Again with the hyperbole.. It's not everyone. It's not even remotely close to everyone. And for the third time now I'm not against vaccinations - I've had them and will have my children have them. That's not the point. Please learn to read and stop regurgitating rote-taught indoctrination k thx.

It's not whether you're personally against them or not. It's whether everyone else has the right to demand that you have them. The GP's post goes exactly to that question. He correctly makes the point that your refusal of the vaccine constitutes a risk to everyone that you come in contact with, since not everyone can safely have the vaccine and there is not 100% protection even for those that do.

Comment: Re:The big question (Score 1) 88

by Kavafy (#44348733) Attached to: E-Voting Source Code Made Public In Estonia

Again, it's a problem today that secret ballots doesn't stop. The theory is that the candidates would not act in such a revenge manner. After all, it would do nothing to improve their chances of reelection, so why bother? Bribing for votes would be a much more effective election influencing act, rather than vote punishing.

Isn't the point that, without a secret ballot, candidates can intimidate people into voting a particular way? IOW the key period is before the election, not after?

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