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Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

BergZ Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (589 comments)

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

A quip popularly attributed to Carl Sagan.

You know what Carl Sagan had to say about climate change?
"For our own world the peril is more subtle. Since this series [Cosmos] was first broadcast the dangers of the increasing greenhouse effect have become much more clear. We burn fossil fuels like coal, and gas, and petroleum putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and thereby heating the earth. The hellish conditions on Venus are a reminder that this is serious business. Computer models that successfully explain the climates of other planets predict the deaths of forests, parched crop lands, the flooding of coastal cities, environmental refugees; wide spread disasters in the next century, unless we change our ways. What do we have to do? Four things:
(1) Much more efficient use of fossil fuels. Why not cars that get 70 miles-per-gallon instead of 25?
(2) Research and development on safe alternative energy sources, especially solar power.
(3) Reforestation on a grand scale.
and (4) Helping to bring the billion poorest people on the planet to self-sufficiency, which is the key step in curbing world population growth.
Every one of these steps makes sense apart from greenhouse warming! Now, no one has proposed that the trouble with Venus is that there once was Venusians who drove fuel inefficient cars, but our nearest neighbour nevertheless is a stark warning on the possible fate of an earth-like world."

~Carl Sagan, Cosmos (episode 4: Heaven and Hell (update - 10 years later))

Dr. Sagan clearly believed that the "extraordinary claims" of climate science were backed up by extraordinary evidence.

yesterday
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Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

BergZ "Skepticism" CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (589 comments)

"The vast majority of the loudest global warming proponents are certainly not scientists. Most of them are environmental activists, with their own agenda to advance."

The "skeptics" of Evolution said the same thing.
They said "the vast majority of the loudest Evolution proponents are certainly not scientists. Most of them are atheists(/secularists) with their own agenda to advance."

I didn't accept that argument from Creationists. Why would I accept it from you?

yesterday
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Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

BergZ Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (589 comments)

I find it even more interesting that the skeptics that have collected data and built models ended up convinced that the Climatologists are correct:
"CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause."
~Dr. Richard A. Muller
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07...

yesterday
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

BergZ Re:So close, so far (561 comments)

"Look either we are all equals or some of us need special treatment. It can't be both."

I think you have the word "equal" confused with "identical" (it is a common mistake).
Two things can be different but still equal.

Even special treatment does not preclude the possibility of two types of things being equal: So long as both groups require some sort of special treatment then they can still be equal.

about a month ago
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Study: Body Weight Heavily Influenced By Heritable Gut Microbes

BergZ Re:How are microbes heritable? (297 comments)

I think your summary is very good, but it makes me think that transplantation of gut microbes from thin people could be (in the long run) ineffective as the genetics of the new host may ultimately (in a sense) "reject" the transplanted microbes.

about a month ago
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Why the Trolls Will Always Win

BergZ Re:More feminist bullshit (728 comments)

You perceive women as having a privilege of being given the "benefit of the doubt" and getting public sympathy by default (that you claim men do not receive).
Suppose we accept your premise: Why not solve the imbalance by encouraging people to extend those same social privileges to us men?
Those privileges, that you claim are exclusive to women, make the world a more compassionate and understanding place. I think we need more of that for everyone.

about 2 months ago
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Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana

BergZ Re:Argument from authority to counter an ad hom. (263 comments)

Supporters of prohibition frequently believe that the "lazy, stupid, stoner" effects of marijuana persist after the intoxication has passed (and that eventually they become "burnouts" in the style of Cheech & Chong)
"Stoner" is the marijuana stereotype equivalent of "the town drunkard" (and thus counts as an ad hominem).
We all know that the "drunkard/alcoholic" stereotype does not apply to the vast majority of alcohol consumers. The next step is to get the public to understand that "the stoner" stereotype does not apply to the vast majority of marijuana consumers.

about 2 months ago
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Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana

BergZ Re:Argument from authority to counter an ad hom. (263 comments)

Pointing out that Carl Sagan (or Nobel prize winners, etc) liked to smoke marijuana is a valid retort to the popular misconception that "marijuana users are lazy, stupid, stoners" (an ad hominem frequently used by supporters of prohibition).
Knowing that some of the greatest minds of our era are marijuana smokers disproves that misconception.

about 2 months ago
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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

BergZ The only surprise... (531 comments)

The only surprise I saw was that they didn't find some way to insinuate that "net neutrality will KILL YOUR GRANDMOTHER!"
That's the only square missing to complete Libertarian-bingo on this issue.

about 4 months ago
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Senior RIKEN Scientist Involved In Stem Cell Scandal Commits Suicide

BergZ Re:Case closed (127 comments)

Wow. The comment went from +5 to -1 in less than an hour.
Apparently Syngenta's corporate shills have mod points.

about 4 months ago
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Senior RIKEN Scientist Involved In Stem Cell Scandal Commits Suicide

BergZ Re:Case closed (127 comments)

I guess what made me think that might have been the story you had in mind was the part about big corporations looking to destroy the reputation of scientists that discover health problems related to the corporation's products.

The story about Tyrone Hayes (and his persecutors at Syngenta) were in my mind when I read about the court verdict that Dr. Michael Mann's persecutors at the "American Traditions Institute" must pay damages for filing a frivolous lawsuit.
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/...
I celebrated that verdict because the struggle of Dr. Mann and the struggle of Dr. Hayes are, in my mind, the same:
Wouldn't Syngenta have loved to demand Dr. Hayes hand over his private emails?
Wouldn't Syngenta have loved to torment Dr. Hayes with nuisance FOIA requests?
Wouldn't Syngenta have loved to torment Dr. Hayes with nuisance lawsuits?
Sherry Ford's spiral-bound notebook of dirty tricks tells the whole tale.

There are few things that I'm sure of in this world, but one of those things is:
I am certain that somewhere there is a carbon copy of Sherry Ford employed in the one of PR departments of the Fossil Fuel industry right now, and that Sherry Ford has an identical spiral-bound notebook full of the same dirty tricks that they'd love to pull on Dr. Mann.

It seems to be a common theme of big corporations:
If they can't find a valid flaw in the scientist's research then they order their PR people to attack the reputation of the scientist.

about 4 months ago
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Senior RIKEN Scientist Involved In Stem Cell Scandal Commits Suicide

BergZ Re:Case closed (127 comments)

"There was an article in the New Yorker last year - I wish I could find it - that talked about the enormous about of pressure being put on academic journals that affect big industries. It described cases where Monsanto and another big corporation set out to destroy an otherwise well-respected scientist who discovered a high health risk from one of their products."

It sounds like you're describing:
"A Valuable Reputation
...
The company documents show that, while Hayes was studying atrazine, Syngenta was studying him, as he had long suspected. Syngenta’s public-relations team had drafted a list of four goals. The first was “discredit Hayes.” In a spiral-bound notebook, Syngenta’s communications manager, Sherry Ford, who referred to Hayes by his initials, wrote that the company could “prevent citing of TH data by revealing him as noncredible.” He was a frequent topic of conversation at company meetings. Syngenta looked for ways to “exploit Hayes’ faults/problems.”
...
In 2005, Ford made a long list of methods for discrediting him: “have his work audited by 3rd party,” “ask journals to retract,” “set trap to entice him to sue,” “investigate funding,” “investigate wife.” The initials of different employees were written in the margins beside entries, presumably because they had been assigned to look into the task. "

http://www.newyorker.com/magaz...

Syngenta couldn't find any legitimate scientific flaws in Hayes's research so they waged a PR war against him.

about 4 months ago
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Ebola Outbreak Continues To Expand

BergZ Re:Scale? (170 comments)

"A virus with high mortaility and rapid spread will rapidly kill all susceptible individuals within it's catchment area, so it's likely that such things have never really gotten off the evolutionary drawing board."

Generally speaking I agree, but only when the virus is lethal to all susceptible individuals.
If the virus is non-lethal to some susceptible individuals then those individuals could become carriers (a reservoir where the virus can continue reproduce but does not kill its host). Carriers are how a virus can have a high mortaility and rapid spread without becoming an evolutionary dead-end.

In the case of Ebola I have heard that it is suspected that fruit bats are carriers. If it is true that fruit bats are Ebola carriers then I think that means Ebola has some susceptible individuals (humans) where it is highly lethal and some susceptible individuals (fruit bats) where it is non-lethal.

about 5 months ago
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NASA: Lunar Pits and Caves Could House Astronauts

BergZ Re:AGW Activists Took Notice (157 comments)

When you bring up climate science (and the people who advocate climate science) on an article about moon caves it makes you sound like a deranged cultist.
Just save your hateful sniping for the next climate change article. Slashdot has at least one every week.

about 5 months ago
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Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

BergZ Re:climate science, conspiracy, scientists (178 comments)

I see you've decided to use an article that has nothing to do with climate change as an excuse to make snide comments about climate science and the people who advocate it.
I usually associate that kind of behavior with people who have a "____ derangement syndrome" (they make everything about the topic/person they hate most: Obama or Bush, Liberals or Conservatives, Communists or Capitalists, Secularism or Religion, etc).

about 5 months ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

BergZ Re:That is not how conspiracy theories work. (497 comments)

"If you think a whitewash of 5 reports makes all of this ok ... [logical fallacy (ad hominem) omitted]"

I have seen the "skeptics" of climate change state that the independent investigations were, as you have said, "a whitewash" yet they've never provided a shred of credible evidence to support that statement. Prove it (let's just get this out of the way: blogs & op-eds do not count as evidence).
It is time for you to put-up or shut-up.

All I've seen so far is you "skeptics" complaining about getting exactly what you asked for (you asked for "an audit of climate science") but it didn't arrive at the conclusion you wanted (the conclusion you wanted "climate science is a hoax/fraud/scam")!

about 5 months ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

BergZ Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

You say:

"Science is not supposed to be driven by consensus."

It isn't and nobody ever said it was. You're arguing against position that nobody believes.
Scientific consensus is only important as a signal to the general public. When a scientific consensus forms around a new theory it signals that the evidence for a theory is so strong that it has convinced a large majority of scientists in a field of study that the theory is accurate. It tells us "you can take the theory seriously now".

You say:

"You are supposed to design a theory that makes worthwhile predictions about some aspect of the real world and then test it in the real world to ensure it actually predicts stuff."

I'm not a Climatologist but I'm pretty sure that is exactly what they've been doing: Making predictions and testing them.
I suspect that the recently launched Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite is going to collect data that will be used to test some predictions climate science has made about the sources and sinks of carbon.

about 5 months ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

BergZ Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (497 comments)

You know how Creationists like to repeat (over and over and over again) "it's just a theory!" about Evolution?
Personally I just roll my eyes at that argument because I can see that they're trying to conflate the scientific use of the word "theory" and the common use of the word "theory".
Your argument is no better.
You are trying to conflate the scientific use of the word "consensus" with the common use of the "consensus".
There is a difference.

about 5 months ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

BergZ Re:That is not how conspiracy theories work. (497 comments)

"If what occurred at CRU is within normal bounds of science then science is in a sad state of affairs."

I've heard reports that the number of scientific papers being retracted is rising in all fields of study, so I have to ask:
How do you know that what occurred at the CRU is not "within normal bounds of science"? You can't actually know that unless we can read the work related emails of all scientists in all fields of study to objectively compare them... and that's where a sincere argument for greater scientific transparency begins:
A sincere argument for greater scientific transparency starts with new rules that apply generally to all scientists in all fields of study regardless of who pays for their research (public or private funding). That's how you raise the bar for scrutiny when you genuinely care about the quality of science.

The American Traditions Institute is not genuinely interested in greater scientific transparency, they're just interested in casting doubt on a specific scientist (and his specific field of study) because they have deemed his research "heresy" to their politics.

about 5 months ago
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

BergZ Re:That is not how conspiracy theories work. (497 comments)

There were at least 5 independent investigations launched as a result of Climategate and none of them found any evidence of scientific malpractice. That is to say the emails didn't reveal anything about Climatology that isn't happening in every other branch of scientific research.

Say, but on the topic of scientific malpractice: Did you hear what happened to the climate change "skeptic" journal Pattern Recognition in Physics?
The nepotism and scientific malpractice became so rampant that the publisher actually had to shut the whole thing down (it was becoming an embarrassment)!

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Greenhouse gas level nearing 'significant' level

BergZ BergZ writes  |  more than 2 years ago

BergZ (1680594) writes "The world's air has reached what scientists call a troubling new milestone for carbon dioxide, the main global warming pollutant.
Monitoring stations across the Arctic this spring are measuring more than 400 parts per million of the heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere. The number isn't quite a surprise, because it's been rising at an accelerating pace. Years ago, it passed the 350 ppm mark that many scientists say is the highest safe level for carbon dioxide. It now stands globally at 395."

Link to Original Source
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Global warming 'undeniable,' report says

BergZ BergZ writes  |  more than 4 years ago

BergZ (1680594) writes "Scientists from around the world are providing even more evidence of global warming.
"A comprehensive review of key climate indicators confirms the world is warming and the past decade was the warmest on record," the annual State of the Climate report declares.
Compiled by more than 300 scientists from 48 countries, including Canada, the report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said its analysis of 10 indicators that are "clearly and directly related to surface temperatures, all tell the same story: Global warming is undeniable.""

Link to Original Source
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High-carbon ice age mystery solved

BergZ BergZ writes  |  more than 4 years ago

BergZ (1680594) writes "The Ordovician ice age happened 444 million years ago, and records have suggested that CO2 levels were relatively high then. But when Seth Young of Indiana University in Bloomington did a detailed analysis of carbon-13 levels in rocks formed at the time, the picture that emerged was very different. Young found CO2 concentrations were in fact relatively low when the ice age began."
Link to Original Source

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