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Comment: slant (Score 1) 2

by Spazmania (#48898083) Attached to: Wikipedia Bans Feminist Editors

That article isn't slanted at all. Not at all. It goes on to complain that traitor Bradley Manning's wikipedia page wasn't promptly moved to reflect her (sic) new name. Because obviously Wikipedia should reference folks by their current names not the ones under which they gained sufficient notoriety to be referenced on Wikipedia in the first place.

Clearly the article presents a fair and balanced view of the arbcom's horrible terrible no good very bad decision.

Comment: Re:Science by democracy doesn't work? (Score 1) 412

by Spazmania (#48891895) Attached to: Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

if something new comes up it should be impossible to have a policy for twenty years

I 'spose if the Sun is going to explode next year we should probably act faster but in general that's right: we shouldn't enact policy whose cost has a dozen zeros behind it until the science has been generating reliable predictions for decades.

Comment: Re: Science by democracy doesn't work? (Score 1) 412

by Spazmania (#48881569) Attached to: Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

If there was a simulation that not only tested warming, but also provided accurate modelling about what exactly might be causing it, and most importantly, the outcomes of various policy decisions that could be taken to alleviate the issue, you might then be able to more closely compare an engineering task force with national and international politics.

Hear hear!

Comment: Re:Science by democracy doesn't work? (Score 1) 412

by Spazmania (#48881535) Attached to: Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

How does one determine when science has "fully resolved" a question ?

When the theory accounts for the evidence from all repeatable experiments and sufficient time has passed (typically a couple of decades) during which new experiments aggressively attempting to disprove the theory fail to turn up evidence which either contradicts the theory or requires the theory to be modified.

It's impossible to not have a policy while we wait.

We had no public policy on CO2 emissions for most of recorded history. The world has not ended.

Proposed policy on global warming is expensive. Too expensive to get a second chance if we get it wrong the first time. The smart money says: wait until the computer models become reliable enough to simulate exactly what will and won't work. God help us if we regulate CO2 and it turns out that global warming was real but carbon soot was the main problem.

Comment: Re:So, he is admitting that the attacks are true (Score 3, Insightful) 786

by Spazmania (#48784043) Attached to: Michael Mann: Swiftboating Comes To Science

1) They have a ton of integrity.

Scientists have as much (or as little) integrity as the next guy. Fortunately the scientific method yields tools for outing the ones who acted with little integrity. Unfortunately, scientists with little integrity tend to move the discussion into into politics before the integrity problem can catch up with them, after which science kinda goes out the window.

Manning stands accused of the latter. Some of his emails focused on how to discredit folks who dispute his findings suggest those accusations have some merit. If you want to keep politics out of science, you simply can't engage on a political level.

2) They're succeed by finding new things and changing the established thinking.

No. Just no. Finding a new way to confirm an old theory is just as successful science as testing a new theory. Finding a way to refute an established theory is highly successful science which rarely happens, and finding the new theory that fits all the data -and- whose predictions survive the test of time is rare genius.

Test of time is important. If you have to incrementally revise the theory as new data comes in, it's not a very solid theory.

3) They use the peer review system to enforce rigorous standards.

A theory which, sadly, has been discredited in the past decade or so.

Comment: Re:Backfire (Score 1) 719

by Spazmania (#48647229) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Help me out here. My search for "Realclimate model data comparisons" doesn't include anything labelled as being from GISS model E.

You know what I'm looking for. Items 3, 4 and 5. I want to read something that's on point. Essentially, a "control" prediction that excludes human causes, an "experimental" prediction that includes human causes and a comparison of the two predictions against measurements in which the "experimental" prediction is within the measurement error and the "control" prediction is not.

Comment: Re:Backfire (Score 1) 719

by Spazmania (#48636991) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Emotionally charged labels tend to obstruct honest, factual debate.

Also I heard a neat saying once: "There are three kinds of mistruth: lies, damn lies and statistics." Statistics is an incredible valuable tool in the arsenal of science, but it's also one of the most commonly misused tools.

Here, let me ask you an honest question. Give me a name or a link to a climate change model which meets the following criteria:

1. The model was created at least 10 years ago.
2. The model can be fed data about suspected human and non-human causes for global warming.
3. When fed such data for the last 10 years twice, once including suspected human causes and once excluding them, it makes two predictions for world conditions today.
4. The difference between those two predictions is statistically significant versus measurement error.
5. World conditions today are consistent with the prediction made when including both suspected human and non-human causes for global warning and are not consistent with the prediction that excluded human causes.

I'm a skeptic. Not a denier, a skeptic. When I see a model that exhibits solid predictive value year over year, I'll be a believer. Until then, what I see is a lot of scientists taking sloppy shortcuts and then trying to cover the gap with dirty politics.

I know science. And I know politics. And the BS in TFA is pure politics.

"Being against torture ought to be sort of a bipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer