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Author Topic: Many scientifically ignorant Texans. Especially Republicans.
Greg Davidson
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See poll In my opinion, you can believe in both science and the influence of God, as long as you also recognize the established scientific facts of carbon dating, etc. So instead focus on the percentages that have faith in a creation without those messy facts of evolutionary time scales.

quote:
• 38 percent said human beings developed over millions of years with God guiding the process and another 12 percent said that development happened without God having any part of the process. Another 38 percent agreed with the statement "God created human beings pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago."

• Asked about the origin and development of life on earth without injecting humans into the discussion, and 53 percent said it evolved over time, "with a guiding hand from God." They were joined by 15 percent who agreed on the evolution part, but "with no guidance from God." About a fifth — 22 percent — said life has existed in its present form since the beginning of time.

• Most of the Texans in the survey — 51 percent — disagree with the statement, "human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals." Thirty-five percent agreed with that statement, and 15 percent said they don't know.

• Did humans live at the same time as the dinosaurs? Three in ten Texas voters agree with that statement; 41 percent disagree, and 30 percent don't know.

Especially Republicans

quote:
Democrats (28 percent) are less likely than Republicans (47 percent) to think that humans have always existed in their present form and more likely (21 percent to 7 percent) to think humans have developed over millions of years without God's guidance. About the same percentages of Democrats and Republicans (40 and 36 percent, respectively) believe that evolution took place over time with God's guidance. Democrat Bill White's voters were the most likely to believe in evolution without a divine hand (33 percent); on the Republican side, by comparison, only 6 percent of Rick Perry's supporters were in that category

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Wayward Son
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Actually, it's not just Texans. Only about 6 percent of scientists are Republicans.

This is very worrisome to me, because Republicans are one of the two major political parties in the U.S. If half of the major players in Washington have very few scientists as part of their team, how will incorporate the scientific views and conclusions into their agenda? Especially when a segment of the party is hostile to certain scientific conclusions (such as evolutionary theory and global climate change).

The Republican Party could very easily become the Anti-Science Party under those conditions. And does anyone really want the country to be run by a party hostile to science? [Eek!]

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PSRT
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Have you noticed how many posters here are hostile to science? I think the answer to your rhetorical question is "Yes, a lot of people do."
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Wayward Son
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That's what I was afraid of. [Frown]
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TomDavidson
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quote:
The Republican Party could very easily become the Anti-Science Party under those conditions.
Palin and Huckabee are, in a nutshell, the Anti-Science candidates. Let's see how they do among Republicans.

[ February 19, 2010, 02:25 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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edgmatt
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Just to be clear, this is your logic: 6% of scientists are Republicans = Republicans don't like science = Republicans are hostile towards science = Republicans are now the Anti-Science Party.

Really? Someone is supposed to take this seriously?

Don't mistake 'doubt' for 'hostility'. Would you classify all aethiests as hostile towards religion?

I love how you try to sweep aside all arguments against a contraversial topic like Global Warming with an insulting condescending thread. [Roll Eyes]

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PSRT
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[QUOTE] I love how you try to sweep aside all arguments against a contraversial topic like Global Warming with an insulting condescending thread. [Roll Eyes]

That would actually be part of the point. Global warming is controversial for political reasons, not scientific reasons. Evolution is controversial for political reasons, not scientific reasons. You can go on and on down the list of hot topics.

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kenmeer livermaile
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I think you hurt edgmatt's feelings.
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Pete at Home
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the pseudoscience assault on the credibility of people of faith by Richard Dawkins and his clack (IIRC Dawkins gave an award to Penn and Teller for mocking religious, etc) has severely aggravated an already existing problem. You have whole forums pretending to be science blogs that do nothing but bitch about religious people.

Obviously that makes certain classes of people less friendly to science, less inclined to be scientists -- and, perhaps most significantly, less likely to *admit* to being religious or conservative.

Science isn't inherently anti-religious nor is religion inherently antiscience. What's going on here is a battle of power, vanity, and control, and an insult to the human mind and spirit alike. What I'm concerned about is the growing tendency to demonize and distrust. For religious people to say that atheists have no conscience, and for atheists to say that religious people are irrational and can't be trusted.

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edgmatt
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quote:
Global warming is controversial for political reasons, not scientific reasons
Wrong.

Only 14% of Democrats are Mormons. Do we really want this country led by a group of people who are so hostile towards another Religion? [Eek!]

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Al Wessex
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edgmatt, sorry but I do think that is the case. It reminds me of how Einstein was treated by the German scientific establishment. The General Theory of Relativity was labeled as "Jewish Physics" and rejected by various European physics societies. Republican candidates today characterize various scientific findings that the less evangelically oriented Democratic party accept as basically Democrat Science. No different from what happened to Einstein, but even more sad since the issues Republicans oppose all would advance various environmental and health initiatives that everyone would benefit from. I also remember Huckabee opposing disaster relief for tornado victims in Arkansas because the measure referred to the damage as an Act of God.

==>You have whole forums pretending to be science blogs that do nothing but bitch about religious people."

This is an attempt to equate ignorance (Republican evangelical resistance to science) with a reasonable reaction against it. I'm disappointed that you would do that. The truth doesn't lie midway between faith and reason.

[ February 19, 2010, 02:48 PM: Message edited by: Al Wessex ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
the pseudoscience assault on the credibility of people of faith by Richard Dawkins and his clack
Oh, you don't get to blame stupidly ignorant religious people on Richard Dawkins, dude. Have you ever listened to or read anything by Dawkins?

I hear a lot of religious people complaining about how badly Dawkins speaks of the religious in general, but typically find that they're talking out of their ass -- having only heard from other religious people that Dawkins is slamming religious people unnecessarily.

Read some Dawkins some time. It's good for you.

-----------

quote:
Only 14% of Democrats are Mormons. Do we really want this country led by a group of people who are so hostile towards another Religion?
Um....edgmatt, you don't do your "hey, Republicans understand science issues" assertion any favors by holding this up as an analogy; it just demonstrates that your gut instincts get statistics wrong. Because "only 14% of Democrats are Mormons" and "only 6% of scientists are Republican" are actually exact opposites; you've mixed up the axes of comparison.

[ February 19, 2010, 02:48 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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edgmatt
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quote:
the issues Republicans oppose all would advance various environmental and health initiatives that everyone would benefit from.
Yea and they oppose it only because of the science aspect right? The oppostion has nothing to do with side effects, precedent setting or unintended consequences?
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Al Wessex
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==> "What's going on here is a battle of power, vanity, and control, and an insult to the human mind and spirit alike. "

No, what's going on is a populist resistance to science by a religious-political alliance. People of faith should believe what they want to believe, but they shouldn't mistake it for scientific truth nor try to manage political institutions to dismiss scientific findings. Again, I'm disappointed that you would take a purely political position on this when I know you're smart enough to understand the real issues.

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PSRT
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quote:
Wrong.
Certainly, Republicans have tried to assert that there is scientific validity to their arguments that climate change is not happening, and that humans are strong drivers of this change. To the extent they have been successful, it is due to a general lack of understanding of the general principles, and data, in question.
.

[ February 19, 2010, 02:53 PM: Message edited by: PSRT ]

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Al Wessex
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==>"Yea and they oppose it only because of the science aspect right? The oppostion has nothing to do with side effects, precedent setting or unintended consequences? "

Basically. The rest is mostly a side effect of not accepting it. I'm not (and neither is anybody else) saying that science is 100% right all the time or 100% right on any reasonably complex issue, but I'm saying that AGW and other scientific findings are rejected completely and the minor problems the science has are used as the excuses to reject it. The positions that G2 takes and his arguments are perfect examples of that pathological pattern of thinking.

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edgmatt
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quote:
Um....edgmatt, you don't do your "hey, Republicans understand science issues" assertion any favors by holding this up as an analogy; it just demonstrates that your gut instincts get statistics wrong. Because "only 14% of Democrats are Mormons" and "only 6% of scientists are Republican" are actually exact opposites; you've mixed up the axes of comparison.
Don't play dumb. I didn't mix it up, I illustrated the absurdity of using statistics like the one that started this thread to label an entire group of people as "anti-" anything.
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edgmatt
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quote:
Republicans have tried to assert that there is scientific validity to their arguments that climate change is not happening, and that humans are strong drivers of this change. To the extent they have been successful, it is due to a general lack of understanding of the general principles, and data, in question.
Repeating that mantra over and over again doesn't make it true. Again, instead of arguing against the actual ideas and reasoning of your opponent, you just call them dumb and ignorant. Let's not re-hash 4 or 5 other threads with the same crap.
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PSRT
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quote:
Don't play dumb. I didn't mix it up,
Forgetting your analogy, what you REALLY DID mix up was the logic chain that wayward son followed. You should try reading his post again. He didn't say anything like what you said he said.
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PSRT
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quote:
Repeating that mantra over and over again doesn't make it true.
No, the assertion doesn't make it true. Neither does the assertion that there are legitimate scientific complaints with climate change theory make that assertion true, either.
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Al Wessex
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==>"Repeating that mantra over and over again doesn't make it true."

Another popular and effective technique from the anti-science right. Because people who accept the validity of the scientific results repeat them whenever asked about the issue, the right uses the false equation that if the religious people keep saying the same thing and the scientific people keep saying the same thing, then there is no difference in their methods or their thinking. Further, because they are the "same" they are both taking equally legitimate positions, and since the religious side cannot compromise on matters of faith, it's a fight where only one side can prevail. Therefore, the science side is waging a religious battle as titanic in scope as the religious side. They must not be allowed to prevail: AGW doesn't exist, evolution is false, etc.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Just to be clear, this is your logic: 6% of scientists are Republicans = Republicans don't like science = Republicans are hostile towards science = Republicans are now the Anti-Science Party.
No, you missed quite a few steps in there.

Facts:

1. Only 6 percent of scientists are Republicans (per referenced poll).

2. Some Republicans are hostile toward certain scientific conclusions (per anti-evolutionists and Sen. Inofe). (This has nothing to do with the first fact--no equal sign is present.)

This means that there is a vocal segment of Republicans that are anti-science, in that they vocally dispute the conclusions of scientists. This segment does not trust scientists. There is also a severe lack of practicing scientists in the Party. This means that there are few actual scientists to correct and/or dispute the contentions of the anti-science crowd other than outside the Party. (And considering how much trust there is between Parties, this currently means there is no one to dispute their claims. [Smile] )

Therefore, there is very little inside the Republican Party to counterbalance the anti-science crowd. Which could lead them to becoming an Anti-Science Party.

IOW: 6% of scientists are Republicans + Some Republicans don't like science => Republican Party could ignore or dismiss science in their policy decisions => Republicans could become the Anti-Science Party.

We saw some of this in the Bush Administration, where the scientific findings of some agencies were kept quiet when they when they against the Administration's current policy. In fact, this is given as one of the reasons why so few scientists are Republican.

So while the logic you present is worthy of being dismissed, please don't mix it up with my logic. [Razz]

[ February 19, 2010, 03:16 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
quote:
Um....edgmatt, you don't do your "hey, Republicans understand science issues" assertion any favors by holding this up as an analogy; it just demonstrates that your gut instincts get statistics wrong. Because "only 14% of Democrats are Mormons" and "only 6% of scientists are Republican" are actually exact opposites; you've mixed up the axes of comparison.
Don't play dumb. I didn't mix it up, I illustrated the absurdity of using statistics like the one that started this thread to label an entire group of people as "anti-" anything.
No, you did reverse it. The parallel conclusion based on the statistic that you posted would be that Mormons largely avoid becoming Democrats, not vice versa.

No claim was made that scientists reject Republicans, just that Republicans very disproportionately don't go into science.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Don't mistake 'doubt' for 'hostility'. Would you classify all aethiests as hostile towards religion?
How many aethiests have suggested that all ministers kill themselves?

How many AGW deniers have done so? [Wink]

I don't know about you, but I find that pretty hostile. [Smile]

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Gaoics79
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quote:
This is very worrisome to me, because Republicans are one of the two major political parties in the U.S. If half of the major players in Washington have very few scientists as part of their team, how will incorporate the scientific views and conclusions into their agenda? Especially when a segment of the party is hostile to certain scientific conclusions (such as evolutionary theory and global climate change).
You should be even more worried about the fact that the entire scientific establishment has invested every cent of credibility it has, literally down to the last nickel, in the absolute incontrovertible truth of global warming (caused by humans) and certain catastrophic consequences inevitably flowing from that.

That's scary indeed. We constantly talk about the consequences if the scientific consensus turns out to have been right, but no one ever stops to think for a moment the consequences if one day, down the road, the "consensus" turns out to have been wrong.

I don't expect scientists to back down on AGW. But a little humility would be nice as at least a small hedge against the possibility (however low) that their science isn't infallible after all.

If you think the "anti-science" crowd is influential now, just think for a moment what will happen if AGW turns out not to have been all it was cracked up to be.

AGW could do to science what Bernie Madoff did to so many. Beware of the "sure thing" and anyone who tells you that their truth is infallible.

[ February 19, 2010, 03:31 PM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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PSRT
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quote:
I don't expect scientists to back down on AGW. But a little humility would be nice as at least a small hedge against the possibility (however low) that their science isn't infallible after all.
You have read the IPCC reports, right? Almost everything in there has a level of confidence associated with it.
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JWatts
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edgmatt.. you're arguing with a group of people who are just trying to trash Republicans as much as possible. It's a pointless argument.

Clearly it makes them feel smug and superior that only 6% of scientists are self-proclaimed Republicans. Or that Texans are more Conservative than the nation, etc. Whatever, it's another pointless poll.

Let sleeping bigots lie.

bigots - a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance

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KidB
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Something very important we shouldn't overlook: the Republican party was not always culturally "conservative."

Before the late 1960's there just wasn't this strong correllation between religious values and party affiliation. At the time, you would have found a much more even Rep-Dem balance between scientists. Kinsey, IIRC, was a Republican, for instance.

All were seeing here is a re-iteration of the divide between scientists and religion, which now appears more partisan largely because social conservatives fled the Republican party during the Johnson years.

This doesn't explain why scientists would be more liberal fiscally - though I'm not sure you'd need to, given how far to the right the democrats have moved on fiscal matters, and how far to the left of the present the republicans were 40 years ago.

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KidB
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quote:
AGW could do to science what Bernie Madoff did to so many. Beware of the "sure thing" and anyone who tells you that their truth is infallible
The difference is that Madoff is one person. Where as the scientific community includes hundreds of thousands, cross-cultural, affiliated to different governments and organizations. The only thing they have in common is the skill to analyze the data.
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Greg Davidson
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quote:
the entire scientific establishment has invested every cent of credibility it has, literally down to the last nickel, in the absolute incontrovertible truth of global warming (caused by humans) and certain catastrophic consequences inevitably flowing from that
Is this an example of what you term a fact? Because it is false.

And this is an example of the anti-rational position:
quote:
you're arguing with a group of people who are just trying to trash Republicans as much as possible. It's a pointless argument.
It is based on assuming you know the minds of your opposition, you know that they are wrong, and so therefore there is no value in discussing facts and interpretations of those facts with them. It's a pretty convenient philosophy in that it enables you to disregard facts that conflict with your beliefs.
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Gaoics79
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quote:
You have read the IPCC reports, right? Almost everything in there has a level of confidence associated with it.
I haven't read the IPCC reports. But since you have, please link to the part that mentions reservations about the question of whether or not (1) the earth is warming at a rapid and alarming rate and (2) human activities are the primary cause of this phenomenon.

Going to the next level, let's assume that you were completely right, and link me to the specific part of the IPCC report that mentions reservations about the two key points of contention above.

The perception of the science, including that put forth in the media and by political and ideological allies at all levels, is that there is a "consensus" on these two points, and that this consensus is, essentially infallible. Anyone who doubts this consensus is on the same level as those who think that the earth was made in 7 days, or that the earth is flat.

From the standpoint of Joe Public, if AGW turns out to be wrong, it makes no difference if the scientists put a few reservations in the fine print of their written reports. The excesses of the rhetoric being espoused by the political wing of the AGW movement, i.e. the self-appointed spokespeople for the "consensus" is the ball and chain that's going to drag all of science to the bottom of the ocean if the science ever turns south and AGW theory gets discredited.

What we have here is the equivalent of the lawyer who lets his office staff tell the client that the case is a sure thing, guaranteed to succeed, while slipping a few caveats into the reporting letters that he knows the client never reads or doesn't understand. Pretty risky stuff.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
Is this an example of what you term a fact? Because it is false.

And this is an example of the anti-rational position:

Perception has become reality.

To use a similar example: every time there's a plane hijacked or a bomb goes off, and a Muslim is behind it, law-abiding Muslims everywhere duck their heads because they know the backlash is going to hit all Muslims , even those who are peaceful and don't have a terrorist bone in their body.

The problem is that the terrorists, in effect, become the de facto spokespeople for all Muslims, and if they are silent, or worse, apologize for the actions of the terrorists, they end up tarnished with the same brush.

What we have is a situation where scientists may privately express certain appropriate levels of reservation in private, but in public, their self-appointed spokespeople, from politicians to more senior scientists, don't express any reservations at all.

I am not making a point for or against AGW, but merely pointing out the reality of the perception. The perception may not even be true, but the backlash will be very real.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
You should be even more worried about the fact that the entire scientific establishment has invested every cent of credibility it has, literally down to the last nickel, in the absolute incontrovertible truth of global warming (caused by humans) and certain catastrophic consequences inevitably flowing from that.
No, it's terrifying that you ever got that stupid idea. Who told you that lie?

The politics of climate change is different from the science. The fact is a vast majority of climatologist believe that human activity is affecting the climate, making the average temperature warmer. Beyond that, though, there are many disagreements about the exact effects. "Certain catastrophic consequences" are long-term for most scientists (we're talking about 60 to 100 years from now), and are the result of continuing along the trend of CO2 emittance of the last 150 years. It doesn't take a PhD to realize that pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere indefinitely will continue to warm the Earth, that eventually glaciers will melt, that sea levels will rise, that hurricanes (which are powered by water temperature) will become stronger, and that this might not be good.

The consensus is that the evidence indicates that the warming for the last 150 or so is the result of human activity. And that continued warming will have certain obvious effects. Beyond that--when the effects will occur, what feedbacks may speed or slow those effects, if there are tipping points beyond which there is no return, what should be done about it--there is no absolute consensus that I know of.

You're statement comes from those who are hostile to science, precisely the ones who want to ignore science. They make strawman science, then claim to have disproven it, and then claim they can ignore all science after that.

Thank you for presenting an example of this thinking, for those who may have had doubts about it existing.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"A) You should be even more worried about the fact that the entire scientific establishment has invested every cent of credibility it has, literally down to the last nickel, in the absolute incontrovertible truth of global warming (caused by humans) and certain catastrophic consequences inevitably flowing from that.

B) No, it's terrifying that you ever got that stupid idea. Who told you that lie?"

You assume someone told it to him. Either way, I suspect the hyperbolic absolutism ("entire scientific establishment" "every cent" "literally" "absolute controvertible"), hambone mixed metaphor ("last cent...down to the last nickel"), and unwitting contradiction ("truth") are self-provided.

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KidB
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Jason,

Here's the thing. It is of course correct that scientists are fallible, and that scientific "majorities" are fallible. But this does not change an inescapable problem: who is more likely to be correct - someone who is an expert in the field or someone who isn't?

...?

There are always examples from history where 99% of a science community was wrong on an issue, and then 1% turned out to be correct. But this is the exception, not the norm. Usually, the majority consensus turns out to be correct.

There may even be examples where a lone scientist shows up a whole community in a field not his own. But this is rarer still (I can't actually think of an example at the moment, except maybe some trivial examples). Usually, experts in the field are much more likely to be right than outsiders.

Now, I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm an agnostic on the issue of AGW. But as a betting man, forced to make a decision between one set of policies or the other there are the two factors I must weigh:

The vast majority of the climate research community believes in AGW.

The environmental policies which would supposedly counteract AGW would benefit us even if AGW turned out to be wrong.

The arguments against those policies - that they will harm the economy - have far less empirical support than AGW, and the harm itself is less consequential than the effects of AGW.

I'd say this weighs heavily in favor of conceding the point to the pro-AGW crowd and the policies they endorse.

Ultimately, you have to trust people who are experts in their field. I'm sorry - I know that's not a very PC thing to say these days, but it's the truth. You trust your life to your auto mechanic, your doctor, the airline pilot, and so on.

Why does everyone presume to understand climate science without ever having been near an advanced degree in the field? "I'm an engineer so I know better than my heart surgeon how to perform heart surgery" is not something you hear very often.

[ February 19, 2010, 04:15 PM: Message edited by: KidB ]

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Wayward Son
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quote:
From the standpoint of Joe Public, if AGW turns out to be wrong, it makes no difference if the scientists put a few reservations in the fine print of their written reports. The excesses of the rhetoric being espoused by the political wing of the AGW movement, i.e. the self-appointed spokespeople for the "consensus" is the ball and chain that's going to drag all of science to the bottom of the ocean if the science ever turns south and AGW theory gets discredited.
So, will you join me in discrediting this meme? In letting everyone know who mentions it that it is untrue, that most scientists don't even deal with AGW, that even if this particular branch of science turns out to be wrong, it does not reflect on all other branches of science or on the scientific method in general? That science never invested "every cent of credibility it has" on any theory, and only goes with the preponderance of evidence? That this is the story the anti-science people want you believe, because then they can ignore anything they don't want to believe and justify it by pointing to AGW? That politicians of all stripes often like to use and distort science to their own ends, and this does not reflect on science itself?

If you agree with all this, then speak up and let everyone know it is true.

And don't just throw out a statement that is untrue and let it lie undisputed.

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Mariner
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For a post about the seeming ignorance of Republicans, there seems to be some people misinterpreting Pew's results. So the fact that 6% of scientists are Republican means Republicans are anti-science? I don't think so.

If you take a look at the breakdown of data, you can calculate that only ~5% of the polled scientists work in industry. About 85% work in either the Government or academia, while another 10% in Non-profit (these are rough guesses based on the breakdown of data vs the average). Now, of those four areas, which ones are of interest to the typical conservative?

We already know that conservatives (and, therefore, Republicans) are very underrepresented in government and academia. So, now, do we have a confounding factor here? Is it that scientists aren't Republican, or is it that scientists don't work where Republicans work? If you'll note, the % of scientist Reps in industry are almost twice as high as the average.

Of course, twice as high is still low. But that still doesn't prove Republicans hate science

Anyone who thinks that (or anything similar) is making a big (and incorrect) assumption. These statements assume that the only way to have a career in science is to be a scientist. We know that's not the case. What about engineers? Engineers have just as much respect for science as scientists do. But engineers are far more prevalent in the industry than scientists are.

So your typical conservative/Republican college freshman who loves science and is looking to major in something may very well choose an engineering field over a pure science. This is because the typical Republican wants to work in industry, and figures he/she will have more options as an engineer.

I'd bet that if Pew did a poll of engineers, the results would be very, very different.

Oh, and this isn't even getting into the obvious problem with the Texas evolution poll and applying that to ignorance of science.

Or the eye-rolling statements here about global warming.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
No, it's terrifying that you ever got that stupid idea. Who told you that lie?
The TV set and the internet, mostly from this forum, actually. You agree that this is a stupid idea and are terrified that I could have gotten it because you recognize that I'm far from alone. Good, we seem to be more or less in agreement that's it's dangerous for the credibility of all scientists to be invested in what is essentially an overreach of epic proportions perpetuated by the media, improvident members of the scientific establishment, and politicians.

This isn't a usual straw man. A straw man is an exaggerated or distorted argument an adversary attaches to you to discredit you. In this case, AGW proponents have been perpetuating this distorted perception, I would speculate, in order to sell the need for real change to the public. Their hearts are in the right places, but they are glambling with the credibility of science in the process.

quote:
The politics of climate change is different from the science. The fact is a vast majority of climatologist believe that human activity is affecting the climate, making the average temperature warmer. Beyond that, though, there are many disagreements about the exact effects. "Certain catastrophic consequences" are long-term for most scientists (we're talking about 60 to 100 years from now), and are the result of continuing along the trend of CO2 emittance of the last 150 years. It doesn't take a PhD to realize that pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere indefinitely will continue to warm the Earth, that eventually glaciers will melt, that sea levels will rise, that hurricanes (which are powered by water temperature) will become stronger, and that this might not be good.

The consensus is that the evidence indicates that the warming for the last 150 or so is the result of human activity. And that continued warming will have certain obvious effects. Beyond that--when the effects will occur, what feedbacks may speed or slow those effects, if there are tipping points beyond which there is no return, what should be done about it--there is no absolute consensus that I know of.

I know what serious scientists say in private conversations and when they write academic papers. This does not accord with what the media represents to the public, or what the most prominent spokespeople for the "consensus" say.

quote:
Here's the thing. It is of course correct that scientists are fallible, and that scientific "majorities" are fallible. But this does not change an inescapable problem: who is more likely to be correct - someone who is an expert in the field or someone who isn't?
You're preaching to the choir. And if this was the public face of AGW, I wouldn't be saying what I'm saying.

quote:
You're statement comes from those who are hostile to science, precisely the ones who want to ignore science. They make strawman science, then claim to have disproven it, and then claim they can ignore all science after that.
No. That part needs to be emphasized. I am not listening to or being influenced by skeptics. It is the believers that have perpetuated this distorted view.
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KidB
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Mariner,

Who's trying to prove Republicans hate science?

The contention is that they are less scientifically literate, on average.

Engineers are scienficically literate in certain aspects of physics, math, and chemistry, but they do not conduct scientific research in quite the same way. "Thinking like an engineer" is quite different from "thinking like a scientist."

[ February 19, 2010, 05:41 PM: Message edited by: KidB ]

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Greg Davidson
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The stronger case for a disproportionate level of scientific ignorance by self-proclaimed Republicans is the poll data that shows a higher level of scientific ignorance by people who proclaim themselves to be Republican.

Does this mean that "Republicans hate science?" No, there's a variety of beliefs among Republicans. But to a disproportionate degree, Republicans are ignorant of science, and consistent with that lack of respect for science, Republican political leaders (including members of the Bush Administration) have taken anti-science actions (like having junior political appointees at NASA attempt to alter scientific press releases).

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