Another Look at Science

Written by Donna Laframboise

Since the early 1980s, grave concerns have been raised about the process by which scientific evidence gets produced.

psi 1 2nd

Two months ago, I embarked on a research project that veered off in unexpected directions, metamorphosing into a more time-consuming and labour-intensive exercise than anticipated.

Along the way, I learned a great deal about how science gets practiced in the real world – as opposed to the idealized “Science” of my imagination. Yes, I’d known full well that climate science was a mess. Rather than inspiring confidence, legions of its practitioners act as though they’re selling something. On the one hand, they’re quick to dismiss alternative perspectives. On the other, they grasp at every half-baked rationale available to advance their own worldview. And yes, I’d already begun to notice parallels to the scientific debate concerning cholesterol, dietary fat, and heart disease.

But my recent adventure has persuaded me that the scientific enterprise, as it is now conducted in government-funded universities, is far more dubious than I had hitherto appreciated. I’m currently reading a book that was published in 1982, the year I left high school. William Broad and Nicholas Wade, two New York Times journalists, had figured out 34 years ago something with which I am only now coming to terms: the reality of science is so far removed from the ideal that vast swaths of what we think we know may be nonsense.

Their book is regrettably out-of-print. In their words, science is frequently regarded “as the ultimate arbiter of truth” due to certain, widely-held beliefs:

“According to the conventional wisdom, science is a strictly logical process, objectivity is the essence of the scientist’s attitude to his work, and scientific claims are rigorously checked by peer scrutiny and the replication of experiments. From this self-verifying system, error of all sorts is speedily and inexorably cast out.”

After reporting on story after story involving scientific fraud, these authors conclude that the above ideas are misleading and inadequate:

“Our conclusion, in brief, is that science bears little resemblance to its conventional portrait…In the acquisition of new knowledge, scientists are not guided by logic and objectivity alone, but also by such nonrational factors as rhetoric, propaganda, and personal prejudice. Scientists do not depend solely on rational thought, and have no monopoly on it.

As the back cover explains, this is a book “about how science really works and why scientists are tempted to cheat.”

We live in a world in which all sorts of government policies are justified by pointing to scientific evidence. But since at least the early 1980s, grave concerns have been raised about the process by which this very evidence gets produced. It is taking an awfully long time for those concerns to gain traction.

Read more at nofrakkingconsensus.com

Comments (10)

  • Avatar

    Jim McGinn

    |

    DC: . . . separate hot and cold air masses and, because of temperature differences (and thus pressure differences) will move those boundaries whilst also having air speeds of 100 to 200Km/hr due to pressure differences along these winding boundaries.
    JM: Okay, that’s actually pretty good. But remember I asked you to attempt to explain the physics–a genuine mystery–as to how these stream flows become coherent and concentrated. As I stated, there appears to be a reversal of entropy (going from disorder to order) that occurs despite the fact there is no obvious physical mechanism to cause it to occur. Any ideas?

  • Avatar

    Jim McGinn

    |

    I agree up to this point: “That is the main reason it is wrong.”

    I hope you listen to what I have to say here, Doug, for your own good. You are out of touch with the larger political realities of AGW especially with respect to how it is envisioned by the many people that maintain it. Here’s the thing. There is no one, well-defined theory of global warming. There are many different variants believed to many different degrees of conciseness. It’s a amorphous belief system, not a concisely defined science. There is a huge educational obstacle standing between you and what you are trying to achieve. And there is very little to gain from all the resources you’d expend trying to achieve it. And that assumes you got the science right. Worst of all you’d end up with a model that was completely useless to anything but achieving this one narrow point about it not being CO2. There are thousands of ways to believe it is CO2 and hundreds of ways to show that it isn’t. You would subtract one from the former and add one to the latter. If, on the otherhand, you have an academic point to make, well, I think you are going about it the wrong way. But you do what you want, Doug. We know you will anyways.

    • Avatar

      Jim McGinn

      |

      DC: Radiation to a planet’s surface is NOT the primary determinant of the temperature
      JM: Obviously very few people care about this. And, IMO, that’s as it should be because it is an incredibly mundane point. Possibly you are assuming that global warming is an issue that weighs heavy on people’s minds. I assure you that you are wrong. Whatever the case, most people’s comprehension of global warming is not rational. So it cannot be defeated with rational arguments. Likewise our understanding of severe weather is not rational. Unfortunately advances cannot be made as long as Meteorologists conceal this from the public.

    • Avatar

      Jim McGinn

      |

      DC: money is completely wasted being based on the assumption that the surface temperature is determined entirely by radiation.
      JM: For warmers this assumption is probably around number 700 on a list of 1,000. For skeptics it’s probably around number 40 on a list of 200. So, Doug, you are making a big fuss about something that is very low priority for just about everybody–everybody but you, that is.

    • Avatar

      Jim McGinn

      |

      DC: You’ll find this comment by “BigWaveDave” (linked on the “WUWT ERRORS” page
      JM: I have encountered him. As you can see here, I wasn’t too impressed:
      https://goo.gl/hrU021

  • Avatar

    crakpot

    |

    It’s like Feynman said, “cargo cult science.” They go through the motions, but the cargo (the warming, bee collapse, etc) never arrives, because the data, reviews, experiments are fake.

    Pictures of cargo cults – airplanes made of bamboo, coconuts on the ‘radio operator’s’ ears – are hilarious to look at, but the truth is the chiefs were forcing villagers to do that stuff while they should have been tending their fields, feeding their families. God forbid they point out it wasn’t working. The chiefs got their cargo – power.

    That’s where we are today with the enviro-communists. Billions of tax dollars down the toilet, young minds wasting their abilities on incoherent mush, jobs crushed by regulation, and AGs looking to jail ‘deniers.’

    The key to their power is the “precautionary principle,” which goes to the benefit of the accuser. We stand accused, of impact on the environment, or just dissenting thought. In America, reasonable doubt should go to the benefit of the accused, not the precautionary principle to the chiefs looking to throw us into the volcano. We need to bring the protections of our Bill ofRights to bear againstthe police power of regulation – what they euphamistically call “policy.” Anyone facing the use of government force against their rights deserves these protections. This would include presumption of innocence, the burden of proof going on the accuser, and experimental truth as an absolute truth.

  • Avatar

    Jim McGinn

    |

    All meteorologists are taught to lie and obfuscate on the issue of H2O in the atmosphere. They are taught to pretend to know that it is gaseous when in actuality it is impossible at temperatures/pressures below H2O’s boiling temperature/pressure. They are taught to be deceptive on this issue for reasons that are political–without this false assumption (and other equally absurd related false assumptions involving latent heat) their models of atmospheric flow and storms are plainly revealed as the pseudoscience that they actually are.

    And so, having a revolutionary theory on atmospheric flow and storms and knowing that I had an uphill battle since, unlike climatologists, nobody disputes the authority of meteorologists (which itself is strange since it is common knowledge that meteorologists don’t do experiments, they only do observations) I began looking for allies. I was especially looking for allies that were involved in the atmospheric sciences and that had respect for empiricism more like that of physics rather than the lame statistical approaches that are typical of meteorology and climatology. I came across John O’Sullivan’s PSI. So I sent John a paper that explicated this long-standing intellectual conspiracy by meteorologists (as indicated above). He rejected it. I asked why. He didn’t know why, he handed the issue off to one of his selected peer-reviewers. The same thing happened with his reviewers.

    To make a long story short. John O’Sullivan isn’t a scientist, he’s a lawyer. His peer-reviewers aren’t scientists either, they are engineers and–you guessed it–meteorologists. And the thing they all have in common is right wing political conservatism, not empiricism.

    James McGinn
    Solving Tornadoes

    • Avatar

      Oldavid

      |

      Jim, are you trying to convince us that water has no vapour pressure at less than its boiling point? Good luck with that.

      I have a big irk about empiricism (the real stuff) and I’ll come back to that given some provocation.

      • Avatar

        Jim McGinn

        |

        Are you trying to convince me that water vapour is gaseous? Good luck with that. Is it empirical to assume something is what it isn’t? Look up boiling temperature/pressure of H2O before you answer. Check out this link: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/sci.physics/PHPvL45vnGE/2HTyySBsDAAJ
        Be aware that meteorologists have been obscuring the distinction between gaseous H2O and “vapour” for a lot longer than Climatologists have been telling fibs about CO2. Why do you think it is that meteorologists refuse to discuss this topic?

      • Avatar

        Jim McGinn

        |

        The myth is that the moisture in clear moist air is gaseous. Actually it’s not. It’s little microdroplets. Meteorologists depend on you continuing to believe in the myth so that the public doesn’t dispute their expertise in regard to storms. Here is an experiment that you could do that, if you are right, would prove me wrong and you will collect the 100 grand:
        https://groups.google.com/d/msg/sci.physics/2XZmr9zDCig/mpUXaNxzAAAJ

Comments are closed