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View Diary: By hiring a climate disinformer, Nate Silver undermines his entire premise of data-driven journalism (204 comments)

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  •  Consensus is often (always) wrong long term. (0+ / 0-)

    Just keep that in mind. People have been extremely certain in large numbers of a great many things that turned out not to be so.

    The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

    by Common Cents on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:41:09 PM PDT

    •  if you have something to share (6+ / 0-)

      about the actual science, please do so. and please provide evidence of scientific consensus "often (always)" being wrong. gravity? evolution?

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:43:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay. (0+ / 0-)

        Interestingly enough the theory of gravity is modified significantly by relativity.

        Evolution was formulated by a man that didn't even know about genetics.

        Ptloemic cosmology was the scientific consensus before Copernicus.

        Dr. Semmelweis was considered crazy because he suggested that doctors performing baby deliveries should wash their instruments that they were also using on cadavers to save women from dying during childbirth.

        You should check out philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn. He discusses paradigm shifts and how science itself has resisted new theories and change. He also demonstrates how often scientific consensus has proven incorrect.

        The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

        by Common Cents on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:57:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  actually (5+ / 0-)

          nothing about relativity in any way changed the consensus about gravity. and genetics not then being a developed science has nothing to do with darwin's discovery, which, you know, remains the consensus. if you have anything more recent than the mid-nineteenth century, which about when modern scientific methods began to be understood, please share.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 04:11:37 PM PDT

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          •  You moved the goal post for one. (0+ / 0-)

            And yes, genetics was a huge deal that evolution from Darwin has had to deal with. Evolution today is largely not close to what Darwin discussed. Mostly because while he pondered about sexual selection, we know now how key sexual selection, over natural selection really is. Part of this is due to things like genetics.

            And yes, gravity has been changed. When it was first developed gravity was thought to work across the universe and function the same way. Relativity changed that dramatically. The idea of an ordered universe is largely discredited. Gravity, in fact, works on earth but is largely not a great view of the universe.

            Finally you moved the goalpost. That something is the most recent consensus does not make it any more likely that it is true. As I said, long term, all scientific consensus is shattered. Newton gave way to Einstein and we are not sure what is next with string theory and quantum physics. We aren't sure what is the next wave of biology either, by the way.

            The funny thing is that when you are stuck in the consensus you cannot break out of it so long as you can't conceive that you are wrong. From Khun

            Normal science, the activity in which most scientists inevitably spend most all their time, is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like. Normal science, often suppresses fundamental novelties because they are necessarily subversive of its basic commitments. As a puzzle-solving activity, normal science does not aim at novelties of fact or theory and, when successful, finds none.

            The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

            by Common Cents on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 04:49:43 PM PDT

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            •  wow (3+ / 0-)

              you read a book and think you understand science. you don't. science had changed dramatically in the past century, and even in the half century since kuhn. and actually, evolution is still very much in line with darwin, with genetics confirming it. don't confuse darwin with how he is misunderstood since the advent of social darwinism. you also don't understand gravity. what works in the the subatomic realm has in no way altered what is understood in the larger realm.

              no, all scientific consensus is not eventually shattered. most has held since the advent of modern scientific methods. you don't understand science, and you have literally nothing to add about climate science.

              The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

              by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:00:43 PM PDT

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              •  Science changes because people challenge consensus (0+ / 0-)

                We are only where we are because of scientists willing to challenge the consensus of their time. Unless your argument is that we have reached the end of knowledge, there is nothing wrong with challenging every consensus and we certainly can't assume because there is consensus that there is truth in it.

                The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

                by Common Cents on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:10:52 PM PDT

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                •  actually (4+ / 0-)

                  science evolves because scientists research. they're not looking to "challenge consensus," they're looking to answer unanswered questions. a scientist looking to "challenge consensus" wouldn't last long. you have literally no understanding of how science works.

                  obviously, science continues, because there continue to be worlds of unknowns, and new nuances and new dimensions, and one answer often leads to new questions. that doesn't mean that consensus is challenged. the heliocentric solar system. the germ theory of disease. the double helix. relativity. quantum mechanics. you have literally nothing to add on the subject of climate science.

                  The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                  by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:18:06 PM PDT

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                  •  Not really. (0+ / 0-)

                    Science is all about disproving the status quo. The most prized thing to do in science is to disprove someone else. Sir Karl Popper discussed this in detail. If you can falsify another scientist's hypothesis you have done the ultimate service.

                    Science is about finding weaknesses in what we think we know. Constantly challenging the assumptions we make is what makes science the best method of obtaining knowledge. Without skepticism of what we think we know it becomes a circle jerk where everyone keeps verifying what they think they already know.

                    There is nothing one can't verify if they seek to do so. That's why science is demarcated and distinguished by its requirement that things be falsifiable. That is the heart of the scientific method. If you develop a theory that cannot be tested against the evidence you have a theory that cannot be falsified and that is psuedoscience.

                    The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

                    by Common Cents on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:49:03 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  you know nothing about science (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Glen The Plumber

                      scientists don't give a shit about the status quo, they want to deepen and broaden understanding. discovery of the higgs boson didn't overturn the status quo, it confirmed it.

                      i hope you never get ill, because whatever the doctors tell you will be based on the scientific consensus, which no doubt you'll ignore. we should stop vaccinating children, because the consensus will be overturned and jenny mccarthy will be proved right.

                      your arguments could not be more ridiculous. i reiterate: you know nothing about science, and less about climate science.

                      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 07:02:06 PM PDT

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                •  Science (4+ / 0-)

                  changes because people investigate discover and demonstrate things. Challenging consensus with a new theory backed with data and research is fie challenging consensus because Conoco pays your bills and you  pic and cherry data to attack the consensus but do not provide alternative explanation is hackery not science.

                  •  Everyone is getting funded by someone. (0+ / 0-)

                    And that is one of the great traps. If you are in a field where you are an expert in the current consensus it can be catastrophic if someone challenges your research and your funding.

                    The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

                    by Common Cents on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 05:50:36 PM PDT

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                    •  What funding?? (3+ / 0-)

                      Most funding for scientific research comes either from grants (limited), work in Unis. or other similar institutions.
                      Now how is a climatologist going to loose his funding for going against the consensus if he/she has data to back his ideas?

                      How is it catastrophic that someone challenges your research? If many fields of science from medicine to physics people with contradictory theories have work for institutions, sometimes the same one, and have not lost their funding. The idea that scientist are hiding things or confabulating to keep up discredited ideas because they will loose their funding is by large a creation of the right wing think tanks that fund deniers.

              •  Out of curiosity (0+ / 0-)

                What has changed in the last 50 years that invalidates Kuhn?

                To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

                by sneakers563 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:43:16 AM PDT

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            •  You ran head into the goalpost (3+ / 0-)

              Your writing has become unintelligible:

              Gravity, in fact, works on earth but is largely not a great view of the universe.
              WTF is this supposed to mean?

              Moreover, don't expect 2+2 to equal 1 tomorrow just because science may sometimes advance by paradigm shifts. The basic science of the greenhouse effect has been known for over 100 years. Massive amounts of evidence from many different fields of science have confirmed the basic theory. Research and debate continues on many of the details of climate science, not the basic physics. The earth would be an icy lifeless rock without the warming caused by greenhouse gases.

              “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

              by FishOutofWater on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 07:40:17 PM PDT

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        •  What does all that have to do with (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          davidincleveland

          scientific consensus in an era of peer reviewed papers?
          Also how often was scientific consensus right, because if we are talking about % of right vs wrong....

    •  Uh? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davidincleveland

      I would love to see any data on that ludicrous assertion.

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