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I AM NOT "DENYING" ANYTHING PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Well, my piece on AGW -- Anthropogenic Global Warming -- has elicited a huge response, both positive and negative. The subject, dealing with the influence of our species on the observed increase in overall temperatures around the globe -- said to be about 0.7º Celsius -- is apparently a matter of great contention, and I almost regret having entered into it. Almost...

I must say that much of the commentary I see refers to "about one degree" without specifying Celsius or Fahrenheit scales. I'm so old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy that I sometimes refer to the Celsius scale as Centigrade, though it was Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius -- almost two centuries ago -- who came up with the plan to divide the span between the temperature at which water ice melted, and water boiled, into 100 parts. Only at -40º do the Fahrenheit and Celsius thermometers agree, but life is complicated, and we have to deal with such facts. Since about 1980, Celsius has become fashionable. For some perverse reason, and at risk of another storm of comments, I rather think that the USA should drop Fahrenheit -- a German/Dutch scientist even more dead than Celsius -- along with inches, pounds, quarts, miles, yards, furlongs, and other cute but incompatible units we inherited from the UK. But then, I'm a confirmed fuddy-duddy, as you know.

Back to business. Somehow, my AGW commentary was seriously misunderstood by some. Part of the reason for that is probably due to the fact that I took a much longer, 5,000-word piece, and cut it down to about 1,400 words to better fit Swift's needs. Along the way, some clarity was lost. For that, I apologize. But here are a couple of the typical negative comments I received, which are unfounded:

"Randi just came out against the science that indicates that Global Warming is happening, that it is man made, and that it will harm our biosphere (and is currently doing so)."

"I was also saddened by Randi siding with the GW denialists. He seems to have fallen for a number of logical fallacies, and apparently prefers self-deception and ignorance when it comes to this issue. Very, very sad."

Sad? Yes, if it were true. But it's not. There were a good number of other, similar comments, all quite wrong. I do not, and did not, deny the established fact -- arrived at by extensive scientific research -- that average global temperatures have increased by a bit less than one Celsius degree. My commentary was concerned with my amateur confusion about the myriad of natural phenomena that obviously bring about worldwide climate changes and whether we can properly assign the cause to anthropogenic influences. Yes, I'm aware of the massive release of energy -- mostly heat -- that we've produced by exhuming and burning oil, natural gas, and coal. We've also attacked forests and turned them into fuel by converting them into paper at further energy expense, paper that is also burned, in turn. My remarks, again, are directed at the complexity of determining whether this GW is anthropogenic or not. I do not deny that possibility. In fact, I accept it as quite probable. I remain respectful of science and its participants. I stand outside the walls of academe, in awe.

Here are a few of the comments that are kinder and much closer to the truth:

"Whether Randi is correct or not, he is honest enough to say that he does not know enough or does not have the expertise to make a fully informed decision. Right there he is 100% more honest than any denier (or religionista for that matter). When in the future he is given the requisite climate change information, if he changes his mind, he will change his mind (again, unlike deniers and religionistas). For that, my respect for him remains intact."

"I find it kind of strange to admonish James Randi here. He's a skeptic like most of us, and he disagrees with the common scientific opinion right now, with qualifications. He's not even trying to be convincing. He's reserved, repeatedly showing that he has doubts of the conclusion he's indicating. He even states that his opinion is uninformed."

"This kind of response, that he should be ashamed for expressing his opinion (especially in such a humble manner) is unnecessary. I'd be surprised if most of the people (climatologists excluded) who have concluded that AGW is occurring have looked at any more data than Mr. Randi here; the venom is a knee jerk reaction to someone disagreeing with them. Let's face it, we're (mostly) all armchair experts here. That said; I also disagree with James Randi here, but I'm more confused that he came to his conclusion than saddened or upset."

"For what it's worth, I think PZ [Paul Zachary Myers, a biology professor and the author of the science blog Pharyngula] is wrong to say Randi has joined the denialists. Randi simply said he doesn't know."

I must quickly add that PZ and I are friends and allies, and that we're not at odds. However, I perceive that he often tends to rush to publication without first checking with the author of some provocative item. This provides PZ with lots of controversy and attention, but at the expense of the author in question.

I'll close this matter with very appropriate comments from Dr. Phil Plait, who serves as President of the JREF for another two weeks, after which his position will be taken by D. J. Grothe, who I'm sure is known to all my readers. Phil effectively clarified a few points for me:

"Like many others, I was surprised when I read your Swift entry on global warming. I agree with much of what you said, but as I'm sure some have pointed out to you, there were two key issues I think you may have not considered.

"One is the Petition Project; while it has a veneer of respectability, it is only that: a thin veneer. It's not a scientific document, and many of the signatories are not climate scientists. It's been dissected pretty well on the net, for example, on e-skeptic."

In consulting this source, I suggest that you go directly to "Case Study: The Oregon Petition" to see just how this "project" was created and distributed. I admit that I was unaware of the true nature of the Petition, and I thank Dr. Plait -- and several others -- who pointed me to this reference and a much better grasp of the situation. Phil continues:

"That's an excellent deconstruction of why this project is not valid. Note also that only about 10% of the signers at best are actually educated in the field of climatology, and it's unclear what 'educated' means, exactly, in this context. Do they perform current research in climatology, and are they up-to-date with current thinking in the field? There's no indication of this in the petition.

"Also, you had mentioned how complex GW is and how difficult it is to model. That too is true, but the observations of the climate are very clear and indeed overwhelming: the Earth is warming, and the effects are entirely consistent with CO2 increase. The Sun has been shown clearly not to be the cause of this (there is no increase in solar output, for example), and the climate change we observe is too rapid to be due to vagaries in the Earth's orbit. It must be something local. The lack of a simple model doesn't prevent climatologists from understanding many of the key issues underlying global warming."

As I've indicated, I do not deny the finding of GW. AGW, to me, is less clear, though I accept that it is likely true. Phil again:

"Your claim that 'we're aware that lunar tides, solar wind, galactic space dust and geomagnetic storms have cooled the planet by about one centigrade degree in the past 150 years' is at odds with the instrumental records of NASA, NOAA, the University of East Anglia and the Japan Meteorological Agency, all of which show a warming of approximately 0.7 degrees C since 1850."

I'm still trying to find where I discovered this gem of text. I suspect that "cooled" should have been "warmed," but my currently chemo-altered encephalon stumbled... Both my enecephalon and I stand corrected. Phil again:

"While we are both amateurs, I think it behooves us to give in to those who have devoted their professional lives to understanding this complex subject. And what they have to say can be boiled down to this: the world is warming and humankind is responsible for at least half of that rise in global average temperatures."

Accepted. Again, the importance and the impact of this phenomenon is well beyond my grasp. I merely expressed my thoughts about the controversy, and I received a storm (no pun intended) of comments, many of which showed a lack of careful reading that led to unfair presumptions and interpretations. Will I do it again with other subjects? Without fail, I promise you. This is what human interaction is all about, what makes it important. I've shown that I can make observations on subjects barely within my understanding, while admitting my shortcomings, and provoke reactions that are interesting, constructive, and sometimes furious. That's okay. Language is a means of expressing one's thoughts and opinions without resorting to fisticuffs or worse. This encounter was bloodless, gentlemanly, and civilized.

And I thank you all for the use of the hall, as I used to say in simpler times...

 

Correction: The last two quotations in this piece were incorrectly attributed to Phil Plait. In fact, they come from journalist James Hrynshyn, who was kind enough to call our office yesterday to discuss the evidence for and against AGW.

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written by JerryM, December 17, 2009
Perhaps next time you tackle a subject you admit you're an amateur at best at, you can run it past (some of) your closest friends, to make sure your position isn't arrived at by a couple of obvious fallacies.


In the original post, you mention other areas that may be of greater concern, perhaps taking a stand for those, and arguing for sustainability is a better use of your skeptical clout.

To me it's entirely irrelevant if the earth is even warming, the climate is or isn't changing, we are or are not to blame.
Fossil fuels will run out, pollution is bad and too much fishing will deplete the oceans. It's time to look forward to solutions for those problems.
Then, should the earth not warm, the climate not change, we'll have clean energy, clean earth, and clean oceans. Is that really such a bad thing?
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Thanks for the timely update
written by xinit, December 17, 2009
Thanks for clarifying things, Randi. What you express here is basically what I took from your original post, though this is much more succint a presentation.
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Ah, that's better.
written by MoonShark, December 17, 2009
Thanks for considering Phil's message, Randi (not that you wouldn't). This is what skepticism is about -- remaining open to the possibility that you're wrong, but postponing judgment until there's evidence. And in the case of AGW, mountains of evidence can be found in research from across the globe, and searched via PNAS, AAAS/Sciencemag, Nature, ACS, and lots more. But it's not easy to find or summarize as a layperson.

(The new image at Information is Beautiful is a decent attempt though: http://www.informationisbeauti...consensus/)

My apologies for being rash to judge, but I hope the lesson from the deep flaws in the "petition project" are taken to heart by you and your readers.
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Thank you
written by Todd W., December 17, 2009
Thank you for posting this clarification, though I wish it had not been required to begin with. A number of commenters on the original post were out of line making knee-jerk reactions (both those excoriating you, as well as those praising you). That said, I would second what JerryM stated: if it's an area with which you are unfamiliar, take some time to educated yourself and talk to those around you who may be more knowledgeable before posting your opinions on the matter.

While we all slip, those who have a greater presence and celebrity need to take care what they say and how they say it.

Keep fighting the good fight, and never stop learning.
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written by Arthur, December 17, 2009
Thanks Randi for publishing this follow up.

I was (by chance) the first to comment here on your last posting, at first not realizing that your post would have such a huge impact around the blogosphere.

You remain an inspiration even though I strongly disagreed with your last post.
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written by The skepTick, December 17, 2009
Whatever position you take on AGW, it requires a lot of research, even for the amateur, to be able to defend it - unless you want to be known as an ide9logue instead of a skeptic. AGW is contentious even among the skeptical community, which illustrates how multi-faceted the science is. At once it seems easy to grasp but one quickly becomes mired in subtle details. It's similar to why there are so many cranks hovering around the Theory of Relativity - they can hold it in their minds while misinterpreting the finer points.

I wouldn't expect Randi to spend too much time delving into AGW. His plate is always full dealing with charlatans and snake-oil salesmen.
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Thanks for the clarification.
written by TheSciencePundit, December 17, 2009
Thanks for the post! Before I go on, let me wish you the best of luck with your chemotherapy.

For obvious reasons, I liked this post better than your last one. Taking Dr. Plait's advice was definitely the way to go. I think that the best and most applicable advice that he gave you--not just for this, but for science in general--was when he said:
While we are both amateurs, I think it behooves us to give in to those who have devoted their professional lives to understanding this complex subject.

I have a general rule of thumb which I follow like is was Occham's Razor (in fact, I would argue that it follows from parsimony and skepticism). When I don't have all the facts or knowledge on a subject where there is a scientific consensus, I treat the consensus as the default position. Those arguing against the consensus carry the burden of proof. In other words, I don't say "maybe AGW is true, maybe it isn't" or "maybe evolution is true, maybe it isn't". I say "I'm not an expert, so until further notice I'm with the scientists."

This seems to be the direction that you're leaning (at least much more so than it did t me after reading your last post), which warms my heart.

Cheers! And Have a Happy Holiday Season!
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written by Olowkow, December 17, 2009
Comment: "For what it's worth, I think PZ [Paul Zachary Myers, a biology professor and the author of the science blog Pharyngula] is wrong to say Randi has joined the denialists. Randi simply said he doesn't know."


Well, I think we get it that Randi was saying something like "I don't know", but my reaction was that a lot of JREF members heard this with the same tone as we hear the "birthers", claiming they don't know.

J.R.: I must quickly add that PZ and I are friends and allies, and that we're not at odds. However, I perceive that he often tends to rush to publication without first checking with the author of some provocative item. This provides PZ with lots of controversy and attention, but at the expense of the author in question.


Not my impression of P.Z.'s style.
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written by xinit, December 17, 2009
Olowkow: Not my impression of P.Z.'s style.


Really? I like PZ's style for the most part, but a good number of his posts start out as off the cuff, largely, ad hominem attacks against people he doesn't agree with.
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Sorry, Randi...
written by MikeB, December 17, 2009
...but if you were "misunderstood" by the likes of PZ, then it's your own fault for not being clear.
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written by minusRusty, December 17, 2009
This whole thing reminds me of Penn's explanation of his "I don't know, I just simply don't know" position regarding AGW at TAM7. When he said "... but I'm not the one you should be listening to", the spontaneous applause to that line was right on. Penn, and Randi, are not the experts we ought to be listening to here.

Though they might bring up points to be aware of (e.g., potential social pressures that might be at play within the climate community, conflicts of interest), ultimately, expert opinions are the ones that ought to be sought, and experts are the ones that ought to be doing the explaining for a better understanding by the rest of us.

-Rusty
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Too much hysteria on both sides
written by truenorthern, December 17, 2009
Good post by JerryM,
Let's fix the underlying problems in a sustainable manner, problems like pollution, inefficient energy sources, over fishing, AIDS, lack of clean drinking water, malaria, democracy,...

It disturbs me that any other opinion than AGW is soon to spin out of control and disaster will follow so we must therefore kickstart a massive wealth transfer to force change is regarding a belonging to the lunatic denier camp,...

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written by Lukas, December 17, 2009
Randi writes:

My commentary was concerned with my amateur confusion about the myriad of natural phenomena that obviously bring about worldwide climate changes and whether we can properly assign the cause to anthropogenic influences. Yes, I'm aware of the massive release of energy -- mostly heat -- that we've produced by exhuming and burning oil, natural gas, and coal. We've also attacked forests and turned them into fuel by converting them into paper at further energy expense, paper that is also burned, in turn.

It is not the release of heat that causes warming (well, it does, but an insignificant amount), it is the release of greenhouse gases and, in the case of forest, the removal of CO2 sinks (trees) at a a large scale.

Thanks for this clarification, even though I wish the original piece wouldn't have been written in the first place...
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written by latsot, December 17, 2009
This subject does seem to cause people to LOSE THEIR MINDS, doesn't it? The people bewilderdly asking Randi for clarification or pointing out his errors - real or apparent - seem reasonable, but the ones piously condemning him on the strength of a single blog post after years of viewing him as an ally are kind of odd.

There's something between cynicism and credulity called 'trust'. Randi has earned ours. It doesn't mean we shouldn't correct him when we think he might be wrong, but it means we probably shouldn't rush to judgement.

Well, that comes across as more preachy than I intended.
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We all owe an immense debt to Mr. Randi
written by Bernie Hutchins, December 17, 2009
James Randi would not want us to believe in miracles. But it would be some sort of a miracle if the issue of AGW were settled here. Indeed, on the internet we encounter a totally bewildering array of hundreds of articles and blogs, each having in turn hundreds of comments. For most, it is difficult to even determine who is doing the original writing, or to whom a reply is being directed, let alone the quality of the argument that is being written. The comments here following Mr. Randi’s offering of his opinion have wondered hopelessly off topic, into rather pedestrian rants from BOTH sides. So what is (was) the topic?

There was originally only one topic – Mr. Randi’s opinion. Now we might argue that there is a second topic – the reaction to it.

To my mind, the world of rational thinkers owes an immense debt to James Randi, and only one other person (Martin Gardner of course), deserves to be mentioned in the same breath. The rest of us, including everyone writing here, have contributed so much less as to be irrelevant. We should only be saying……

Thank you Amaz!ng One.


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Thinking for ourselves
written by Aart Brouwer, December 17, 2009
The point is not whether we should feel sad or vindicated by James Randi's newly formulated views on the global warming issue. The point is that we should never, ever accept the notion of consensus on any scientific issue. Dissent on global warming runs right through the IPCC itself - those who are surprised to hear this, may want to google for the name of John Christy.

There is no scientific global warming consensus, except in the weak minds of those who refuse to think for themselves or who prefer to consciously mislead others. Thank you, James Randi, for teaching us this crucial lesson on the eve of what may well be yet another turning point in the history of philosophical skepticism.
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written by Thanny, December 17, 2009
I think the one thing Randi is still a bit confused about is the relative importance of waste heat from the burning of fossil fuels and the greenhouse effect of the carbon dioxide released as a byproduct of the combustion. The greenhouse effect absolutely dwarfs any contribution of the waste heat itself.

Burning plants is carbon neutral, because all the carbon dioxide released was originally taken out of the air.

Any form of energy generation that does not dig carbon up from the ground will be sustainable, as all such energy will be ultimately present-day solar (as opposed to ages-past solar, which is what fossil fuels are).
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written by mmills, December 17, 2009
Randi writes:
"My remarks, again, are directed at the complexity of determining whether this GW is anthropogenic or not.

Yes, it's complex, but non-amateurs understand it's complex and they have already reached conclusions. You, the amateur, question their conclusions. And, the whole, "oh this has happened in the past and we will survive again," is amateurish again and arrogant.

Don't attack PZ Myers. When you hit the send button, you have committed to it. He shouldn't then have to go back and check with you so you can clarify.

Next time, write it, go to sleep, wake up the next day, then see if you want to send it so climate deniers aren't given wrong-headed fodder.
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No need for excuses
written by chrisevald, December 17, 2009
Honestly I was appalled by the hard and unloving attitude of many commenters on the original piece. All this talk about losing respect for Randi and not wanting to support the JREF financially because of a swift item is completely off the ball. As many of us, Randi does not feel knowledgeable enough about the climate to give his own position and is left to behold the spectacle that is climate science/politics. It is always advisable to listen to knowledgeable people, but in these days scientific material better suited for further investigation is being used by politicians to set their own agenda. Indeed a case for skepticism and vigilance if ever there was one.
Science is not a concensus sport and thus, normally, a common agreement indicates that many independent sources have come to the same conclusion. However, when a scientific issue becomes a hot topic politically, all bets are off.
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Bravo!
written by mslongjr, December 17, 2009
Since I was a critic of the earlier post I want to write again to say: Thank you! This is more like it. Even if Mr. Randi remains skeptical about the size and importance of the human component of climate change, I'm gratified to see the virtues of community criticism and self-correction at work.
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..., Lowly rated comment [Show]
This is ridiculous...
written by Griz, December 17, 2009
...it's turning into a religious argument, like politics and evolution. One guy hollers "THERE IS TOO CONCENSUS!" and two posts later another guy shrieks "THERE IS NO CONCENSUS" and then you have the third one coming in and saying "CONCENSUS DOESN'T MATTER IN SCIENCE" and not one of you provide one shred of convincing, clearly objective supporting material.

That to me is the hallmark of a political issues, which is to say an issue that is important to people with money invested. The louder and more vociferous the argument the less confidence you have in your position.
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written by Blind Squirrel, December 17, 2009
xinit sez:
Really? I like PZ's style for the most part, but a good number of his posts start out as off the cuff, largely, ad hominem(sic) attacks against people he doesn't agree with.
If you are going to comment on sciencey type blogs, you might wish to learn the difference between an ad honimen and an insult. Examples:
xinit is a dolt.= insult
xinit's argument is wrong because he is a dolt.= ad honimen
You're welcome

BS
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Criticism by PZ Myers shows his "ignorance"
written by CobourgJohn, December 17, 2009
Randi is saying that there is measured Global warming and that he's not really sure about whether it's caused by the activity of man. Whether you agree with that or not, he's entitled to an opinion - yet PZ Meyers is criticizing Randi as if he is not allowed to disagree with all those fellow scientists. He's effectively saying "How dare he disagree!" Seems to me that PZ has forgotten what it means to be a skeptic and for that matter forgotten what is meant by the scientific method.
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Semantics Argument...
written by Steve Packard, December 17, 2009
Global warmig is not caused by human activities. Human activities contribute to it, but do to the ice age cycle and the trend we're on, we'd be warming anyway - although less so.

Now lets get to the part where everyone is going to call me names: Does this mean human activity is the cause? What does "the cause" mean" Is "The cause" the same as "A cause" and does "a contributing factor" make something a "cause"?

It all depends on how you define things. There are reasons the earth's climate changes and is changing. Human activity is one of them. It's not the only one.

As for if it's "probably the cause" or however you want to phrase it. The only area where there's reasonable debate is to the magnitude of human impacts. And even amongst climatologists, this issue has not been resolved completely. Is human activity the largest single factor? Is it large but not the largest? There is legitimate room for discourse on this.

But excuse me while I put on my helmet because I known I'm going to get a very severe beating for daring to say that.
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written by Lukas, December 17, 2009
Steve Packard:

The only area where there's reasonable debate is to the magnitude of human impacts. And even amongst climatologists, this issue has not been resolved completely. Is human activity the largest single factor? Is it large but not the largest? There is legitimate room for discourse on this.

But excuse me while I put on my helmet because I known I'm going to get a very severe beating for daring to say that.

No, why would anyone beat you for stating this? In fact, the whole chapter 9 of the current IPCC report is dedicated to the question of how to attribute the current warming trend. Unfortunately, our understanding is still incomplete and uncertainties remain, but the science is progressing at a fast pace. On the fundamental question whether the warming is mainly driven by anthropogenic or by natural forces they are pretty clear: The majority of it is "very likely" (>90%) caused by anthropogenic forces. Here is a quote from the summary:

Since the TAR [Third Assesment Report, 2001], there has been an increased emphasis on partitioning the observed warming into contributions from greenhouse gas increases and other anthropogenic and natural factors. These studies lead to the conclusion that greenhouse gas forcing has very likely been the dominant cause of the observed global warming over the last 50 years, and account for the possibility that the agreement between simulated and observed temperature changes could be reproduced by different combinations of external forcing. This is because, in addition to detecting the presence of model-simulated spatio-temporal response patterns in observations, such analyses also require consistency between the model-simulated and observational
amplitudes of these patterns.

They go into detail about all the different kinds of natural and anthropogenic forcings (volcanoes, solar radiation variability, aerosols, etc.) It is a fascinating read if you are really interested in state-of-the-art climate science: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessm...apter9.pdf
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Ahem
written by Gabby, December 17, 2009
CobourgJohn
"Seems to me that PZ has forgotten what it means to be a skeptic"
Seems to me that you don't know the difference between a skeptic and a contrarian.

I'm more comfortable with this post from Randi but I still think PZ's on to something.
Although this post clearly shows progress, it does have an air of notpology. Do you really think the problem is from the heat we produce with burning fuels? If that's the case then you certainly should have held your view until you could better educate yourself. I've argued with a few denialists but I've never heard anything quite that silly.
Of course it's up to you what views you choose to post about but being a skeptic of high regard has certain responsibilities. You stepped into this role yourself and know the dangers of high profile skeptics making uninformed statements. If others of the community are upset by it, i say they have every right to be.
I still love ya Randi but you have to understand the damage this sort of thing causes. Lord knows we've seen it from the creationist camps. How often do they throw the words of Gould and others at us?
Are the denialists using Randi quotes yet? I would bet they are.
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written by Otara, December 17, 2009
"I strongly suspect that The Petition Project may be valid."

In my view that post was a 'denier' position about AGW. I suspect you didnt even realise how much of the information being cited came from that 'side' of the debate, which is probably why you were so surprised by the response.
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written by José, December 17, 2009
I merely expressed my thoughts about the controversy, and I received a storm (no pun intended) of comments, many of which showed a lack of careful reading that led to unfair presumptions and interpretations

Have you ever been in an argument with somebody who's trotting out all the lame creationist arguments, but when you actually refer to them as a creationist they jump all over you say “I never said I was a creationist! I'm just asking questions.” That's exactly how the original post and this “clarification”sound. Your critics were responding to the misinformation you presented, and the way you presented it. There was no lack of careful reading.
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An admirable response
written by jimbobboy, December 17, 2009
I thought most of the criticism directed at the earlier piece (including PZ's) was well placed. Randi did accept the Oregon Petition at face value, and he did say thing such as

Once all the infrared rays have been "captured" by the greenhouse gases there is no additional increase in carbon dioxide.

leading some observers to conclude that he did not understand atmospheric physics as well as he might.

But those are venial sins, and most of us have been guilty of far worse. What's important here is that Randi listened to those trying to brief him on this issue, understood what they said, and took their guidance to heart. That, I'll submit, is the mark of an honest mind, and it deserves our respect.
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This has become political ..
written by Dr.Sid, December 17, 2009
I too can say 'I don't know' .. I only wonder how someone can know. There are pros who say they know, and even if they often contradict each other, they can have opinions. But normal people are just in the wake of media, they can't really know anything. Also I wonder how someone can decide about huge amounts of money based on current information.

Let's face it .. there is no clear consensus, and there is no unbiased reporter, no unbiased newspaper. 'Alarmists' seems to have big names on their lists, while 'Denialists' mostly small ones, but you can't say IPCC was unbiased, not after Climatgate.

That someone is big name, that some people agree on something, that both is irrelevant, and that both showed wrong in the past.

Every scientist must say 'I doubt' and 'Of course I can't be sure' .. and you can read that very little about AGW, from both sides.

My advice is: treasure your neutrality. Don't be offended if someone is alarmist or denialist. If you are, you are not neutral any more. Randi mad you sad ? Wrong ! Made you happy ? Wrong again ! Stay calm, stay well-mannered, and stay curious.
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written by sailor, December 17, 2009
Randi, You should be proud.
You have worked for years to try and educate people to be skeptics and think for themselves.
Your first post had some serious problems, which you have acknowledged in this post.
The result of that was numerous critical posts, many of which were highly constructive in terms of explaining just what was wrong with your post.
Some people may have gone over the top and suggested you were a AGW denier, but my feeling is most of them were just shocked that you had given comfort and support to such deniers, and that you would post on such a subject without very careful evaluation of the evidence.
The stong response is a tribute to your work - you have helped the whole skeptic movement, and posters were letting you know they were not asleep and were thinking for themselves.
I think this is an excellent thing and tribute to your work.
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Thinking for ourselves
written by Aart Brouwer, December 17, 2009
>> I think it behooves us to give in to those who have devoted
>> their professional lives to understanding this complex subject.
>> And what they have to say can be boiled down to this: the world
>> is warming and humankind is responsible for at least half of that
>> rise in global average temperatures.

There are many who have devoted their lives to understanding this complex subject who would disagree with your last statement. A case in point is the 2006 appeal titled 'Open Kyoto to Debate', which was signed by 61 scientists of standing who have worked in the field of climatology and climate-related research. They may be a minority, but science is not a democracy, ladies and gentlemen, and the majority is not necessarily right. Most scientists involved with the IPCC are not climatologists, and most people involved with it are not scientists at all. Mr Pachauri, the chairman of the IPCC, is an industrial engineer who has never published a scientific paper in climatology, let alone in a peer-reviewed magazine. On the other hand, even among the relatively small number of real climate scientists within the IPCC there are dissenting voices, such as that of John Christy. And there are quite a few eminent climate scientists who partipated in the IPCC and chose to distance itself from it because they deemed the IPCC to be politicised, such as Christopher Landsea.

I am still waiting for a post that seriously addresses these facts. If it comes up, maybe it could deal as well with the fact that Henrik Svensmark's solar magnetism theory on global warming has been vindicated by the preliminary findings of the CERN-project CLOUD. Its main finding is that cosmic rays do indeed produce aerosols. The nexus of their series of experiments will be next year, when CLOUD will study the experimental formation of clouds in a Wilson's cloud chamber as a function of cosmic rays from the synchrotron. That's hard physics, not to be confused with the mathematical climate modelling that goes on in IPCC circles.

Astrophysicists and nuclear physicists versus climatologists - boy, I can't wait to see that fight erupting. I'm not putting my money on either because I remain a skeptic. The IPCC may be right after all, but they haven't stated their case convincingly. And neither have their proponents on this website. Keep an open mind, people, like James Randi, who has already dsicovered that there is more to the issue that he reckoned.

Somehow, in science, there always is..
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This might help some of the confusion
written by bwebwe, December 17, 2009
Phaeton’s Reins
The human hand in climate change

http://e-courses.cerritos.edu/... Reins.pdf
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written by bwebwe, December 17, 2009
http://e-courses.cerritos.edu/tstolze/Kerry Emanuel_ Phaeton's Reins.pdf
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Precise Language
written by The skepTick, December 17, 2009
I once had the honor of giving Randi a tour of some facilities at Johnson Space Center many years ago. I was distinctly impressed at how precise he was with language. He even chastised me (though in a friendly way) for using exaggeration to drive home skeptical points where I could just as well have used more disciplined statements and words. These not only supported my argument but would make me sound more convincing.

Unfortunately, I think he may have abandoned this formality of precision in language in both his former post as well as this one. I'm left wondering why he even weighed in at all given that JREF's position was best provided by Brandon Thorp:

"Since people who are more scientifically literate than we cannot agree about AGW, we have no official opinion on it, save this: Be skeptical of everything."
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Check ALL the credentials - or maybe none
written by daverich7, December 17, 2009
I have just two quick comments about the 'Oregon Petition':

1. There may be many 'scientists' who are not climatologists involved in the Oregon Petition, I don't know. However I do know that many or most of the authors of the IPCC report are also not climatologists. As long as you're checking academic and professional credentials, please check both -- otherwise you're biased.

2. However this whole business of checking credentials sounds an awful lot like a giant argument from authority logical fallacy. I'm interested in a global climate hypothesis that makes specific, testable claims. The claim that "the world is warming and it's primarily being caused by man" is not a testable claim. If someone comes up with a real scientific hypothesis, I don't care who they are, whether it's Stephen Hawking, or my garbageman! The proof is in the results, not the person who came up with the hypothesis. And by the way, with all this brouhaha that's been going on for more than a decade now, I have yet to see anything approaching a hypothesis that makes accurate predictions. That would be my homework assignment for the climatologists for me to take them seriously.
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written by cootey59, December 17, 2009
As an Engineer involved in Climate Monitoring and modeling ........ I couldn't agree more with Randi and Phil Plait, GW IS happening ....... how much of it is man made is what is debatable ....... common sense alone says that at least some of it is man made ....... possibly all of it ..... but Randi is 100% correct in saying 'we just don't know' .......
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Convergence
written by JonK, December 17, 2009
Anthropogenic Global Warming is one of those complex areas of science where theory, observational data, and mechanism are remarkably convergent, which leads one to give the hypothesis considerable weight. Like many complex problems in science where we cannot isolate the system for controlled study in the laboratory, our picture is incomplete and plagued with assumptions and simplifications. As a result, our predictions are likely to be noisy, sometimes (as complexity theory predicts)even wrong. But at this point there is no better model out there that ties everything together.

The AGW hypothesis reminds me of nothing more than evolutionary theory. Creationists gleefully seize on any unexplained observation, any controversy amongst scientists as to the details of mechanisms, any past errors now acknowledged and try to claim that this proves that evolution is not fact. This may impress the rubes, but it does not affect the truth of the science.

AGW is not at the stage where evolutionary theory is now (Darwin had a long head start), but there is sufficient data, theoretical foundation, and demonstrated predictive power to take the AGW hypothesis as a very strong one which, while we should continue to explore, can be confidently used to guide our actions while there is still time.
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written by TerminusEst, December 17, 2009
I'd think that an important part of this debate, that certainly stands in the 'debate' category, is exactly what kind of effect an average increase of 0.7 degrees Celsius is going to have on the world. I certainly feel that a lot of the hard science on this subject, while verifiable and repeatable, is leading some people to trot out some of the 'doom & gloom' crazy ideas about the end of the world and life as we know it.
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written by Diverted Chrome, December 17, 2009
Okay. Nothing wrong with these admissions.

But it's not any more beyond your grasp than other areas of science that you enjoy. The mechanisms are basic as are the areas of evidence. There are several recommended books that aren't overly technical but aren't dumbed-down either.

@Aart
"The point is that we should never, ever accept the notion of consensus on any scientific issue"
Any? Not in Physics, or, say, medicine?
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It's your home -- take care of it.
written by Michieux, December 17, 2009
I haven't had time to read Mr. Randi's follow-up post, nor the 41 comments made since he posted it, but want to comment nevertheless, since I have read all of the comments to Mr. Randi's original post.

In the comments to that original post of Mr. Randi's, I posted a short message revealing that my wife and I chose not to reproduce, as our contribution to the sustainability of the planet for all life forms, not only human. Of the hundreds of messages posted in response to Mr. Randi's original post, only a handful chose to deal with the very real issue of human overpopulation. Think about it. How is every person brought to life on this very finite planet going to live? What will they need? Want? How will that impact on the finite resources available? We (Mrs. M. and I) think that most folks just go ahead and reproduce and throw all caution to the wind. Are we wrong?

We think it's not nearly good enough to shut our eyes and hope/wish/pretend that technology/science/god will somehow ride to the rescue. We actually feel that this place is doomed if humans continue on their mindless, profligate way. Whether it is or not is up to all of us. My wife and I are doing our part -- principally by not having reproduced -- we couldn't now if we wanted to as we're 59 an 49 years of age respectively -- and by continuing to maintain as small a footprint as possible. And it is possible! We're not suffering in any way and lead rich, comfortable lives. We've just tapered the impost we make on our environment, perhaps a little more than most.

So, whatever happens, it's unlikely to affect us. It certainly won't affect our children since we don't have any. But it may affect your children, and their children, and all the life surrounding you. We feel that's reason enough to pull back and reevaluate what we are doing. We feel that there is hope and that there are solutions. But first the predicament needs to become real for every living human. That's what this (AGW argument) is about, as much as we can figure.

The way we see it, the decades/centuries ahead are likely to become increasingly difficult and problematic if humans use their intelligence only to expand their domination of the planet with no consideration for the salient fact that such a path is not sustainable indefinitely. This piece of space stuff is your onlyhome for the foreseeable future. Live with it -- not against it, and stop believing in fairy tales.
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It's your home -- take care of it -- addendum
written by Michieux, December 17, 2009
We think it's not nearly good enough to shut our eyes and hope/wish/pretend that technology/science/god will somehow ride to the rescue. We actually feel that this place is doomed if humans continue on their mindless, profligate way. Whether it is or not is up to all of us. My wife and I are doing our part -- principally by not having reproduced -- we couldn't now if we wanted to as we're 59 an 49 years of age respectively -- and by continuing to maintain as small a footprint as possible. And it is possible! We're not suffering in any way and lead rich, comfortable lives. We've just tapered the impost we make on our environment, perhaps a little more than most.

So, whatever happens, it's unlikely to affect us. It certainly won't affect our children since we don't have any. But it may affect your children, and their children, and all the life surrounding you. We feel that's reason enough to pull back and reevaluate what we are doing. We feel that there is hope and that there are solutions. But first the predicament needs to become real for every living human. That's what this (AGW argument) is about, as much as we can figure.

The way we see it, the decades/centuries ahead are likely to become increasingly difficult and problematic if humans use their intelligence only to expand their domination of the planet with no consideration for the salient fact that such a path is not sustainable indefinitely. This piece of space stuff is your onlyhome for the foreseeable future. Live with it -- not against it, and stop believing in fairy tales.

Edited to fix errant codes.
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Reciprocating Respect Please
written by Bernie Hutchins, December 17, 2009
In an earlier post I suggested that there were two topics to comment on here: Mr. Randi’s comments, and the reaction to them. This is about the reaction.

Possibly the following assumptions are warranted:

(1) There are people, who prior to his recent AGW posting, DISAGREED with him on other issues. These were such “woo” persons as creationist, dowsers, I.D. advocates, snake-oil salesmen, etc., and

(2) People who regularly view SWIFT are likely to MOSTLY AGREE with Mr. Randi in opposition to these “woo” issues.

In consequence, people who disagree with Mr. Randi’s AGW skepticism might be robotically assimilated with the “woo” advocates (unlikely) or else these folks perhaps assign a lesser degree of need for skepticism to AGW vs. “woo” (which seems more likely). Thus, I do NOT make this association of AGW advocates with the “woo” element. Is it too much to expect the reciprocal view?

So those who eschew both the “woo” and the AGW shouldn’t be automatically assigned to a class of right-wing flat-earthers, at least not HERE. Perhaps they logically feel that where so much politics, and so much money is involved, that the integrity we would like to always associated with science needs to be all the more closely guarded. Something about “Caesar’s wife”.

Of course it is self-serving to suggest this, but the reader’s of SWIFT are likely better educated and more analytically minded than the proverbial man-on-the street. How about more mutual respect for each other? And most of all, let’s have the proper respect for Mr. Randi.
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Thinking for ourselves
written by Aart Brouwer, December 17, 2009
@ Michieux, I can only respect your personal life choice, but your particular choice does not prove either the logical validity or the emperical soundness of your argument on population.

@ Diverted Chrome, I do indeed think thatw e sould never accept the notion of consensus in any field of science. Nothing is ever 'settled', not even the science that underpins the bread we eat, the cars we drive and the bridges we drive across, even though these are based on falsifiable claims that have been experimentally confirmed time and time again.

Consensus notions belongs to the realm of pre-scientific thinking. Remember that at one time there was consensus among Babylonian priests about the workings of our solar system, among Roman Catholic priests about the existence of the Devil and among natural historians about God's creation of the earth. Consensus thinking has stifled the development of entire civilizations, such as the Chinese.

@ JonK, thank you for stating your views in such a manner that your opponents don't have to feel offended. I respectfully disagree with your statement that there is an elegance in the climate models of the IPCC that reminds one of Darwin's evolutionary theory. I think that only Svensmark's theory has both the elegance and the empirical basis to be deemed worthy of the comparison at some time on the future. He may still be proven totally wrong, of course, but the way this most intelligent, most civilised gentleman has been treated by the UN climatologist community is despicable.
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Chemo-altered?
written by WilliamSatire, December 17, 2009
Randi said 'chemo-altered'. Is he ill and getting treatment? I hope not, but I wish him all the best if he is.
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written by BillyJoe, December 18, 2009
I don't get it.

This follow up article just shows that Randi was wrong in what he wrote in the original article. And this one is only marginally better.

So how come everything is suddenly okay?

Final take home message to Randi:
There is no point in giving an opinion on something which you know nothing about. That you admit your ignorance is no excuse. If you don't know, find out before giving an opinion. How hard could it have been to find out what scientific consensus actually means (hint: defintiely not what you said it means). How hard could it have been to find out the truth about the Petition Project?

BillyJoe
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Thinking for ourselves
written by Aart Brouwer, December 18, 2009
>> BillyJoe: "There is no point in giving an
opinion on something which you know nothing about."

Dear BillyJoe, personally I would prefer not to get involved in this issue at all. Alas, we are all forced to form an opinion because we are told that our tax money, our hard-earned luxuries, our future and even the future of this planet are at stake. Since we can not judge the science that is involved, the next best thing we can do is check that our scientists follow the rules of logic and fairness. Those rules are common sense. Most people have common sense. Some scientists don't.

Among us, we should apply the principle of charity that says we should assume that an opponent's statement is rational and deserves the strongest possible interpretation. James Randi will probably be fed up with us trying to gauge his 'true message' from his two articles on Swift. So let me just say that the impression I came away with is that the born skeptic in Mr Randi balked at the notion that in this universe anything is ever 'settled' forever, let alone settled by majority rule. The argumentum ad populam is no more valid in science then it is in other pursuits.
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Clarity is not enough
written by stevekelner, December 18, 2009
I appreciate that Mr. Randi has clarified his position, which now makes considerably more sense. But I must admit this post reads rather defensive to me, as in the classic non-apology given by politicians: "I'm sorry you didn't get it." I did not assume Randi had joined the Flat Earthers. I read his first post three times, and I think I laid it out clearly: the way he wrote it implied rather strongly that that he disagreed - not merely expressed uncertainty about - AGW, and the structure is easily seen. When the vast majority of your readers get the same impression (whether they supported AGW or not), the fault lies not in your readers, dear Randi, but in yourself. It seems likely that your feelings were hurt, from the way this post reads, but I'm afraid that's the price you pay for posting an inadequately informed controversial view in front of a bunch of cantankerous skeptics, some of whom are clearly better informed.
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Change is inevitable ( sorry if redundant but not sure my original was posted)
written by naturalist, December 18, 2009
Whether the science on AGW is conclusive or not, in my opinion the larger issue behind this subject is that humans, sooner or later, because of over-population pressures, species extinction and loss of biodiversity, over-fishing and ocean acidification, fresh water pollution and depletion of aquifiers,invasive species etc. are going to be forced out of necessity to alter the way we produce and use our resources.

If we can come to agreement that more money and research worlwide has to be spent anyway to promote sustainability and a more equitable way to share the resources of this planet, then these conferences like in Copenhagen and ongoing debates and scientific research can in the long run benefit all humans and the rest of life we share this planet with.

The reality is that the biological health of this planet is the absolute basic foundation that all life depends on and is something many of us take for granted in a world that is so fixated on material wealth and the comforts that modern technology has given us.

The same wonderfully evolved, highly creative and innovative human mind that developed and produced this remarkable technology and our advanced civilization is just as capable of finding pragmatic solutions to ensure, forgoing other extraterrestial catastrophes, that this planet remains habitable and robust for generations to come.

It's just a matter of finding the will to accept that change is inevitable. For our own survival or at least to continue to have a workable civilization, we have to promote more effective education,communication and cooperation in making wise choices and ultimately accepting personal responsibility for our indivdual and collective actions.

I think that Dr. Randi's latest essay approaches this endeavor by soberly accepting the fact that science is, like the rest of human efforts, at best an approximation of truth and reality, always open to revision, a inherent methological structure which makes up it's beauty and it's effectiveness, yet we can still use it's more substantiated and peer reviewed findings to make wiser choices for the sake of human welfare.
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written by xinit, December 18, 2009
WilliamSatire: Randi said 'chemo-altered'. Is he ill and getting treatment? I hope not, but I wish him all the best if he is.


Yes, Randi has been diagnosed with cancer.

"At the The Amaz!ng Meeting 7 (July 9–12, 2009), Randi, in a wheelchair, announced to the audience that he is fighting intestinal cancer and had a "ping pong ball"-sized tumor removed from his intestines two weeks earlier and would begin chemotherapy two weeks after the conference: "We'll fight it," he said, "And we'll beat this. We still have a lot of work to do.""
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And tomorrow I'll be sober...
written by Michieux, December 18, 2009
@Aart Brouwer:

You wrote:
@ Michieux, I can only respect your personal life choice, but your particular choice does not prove either the logical validity or the emperical (sic) soundness of your argument on population.

Perhaps not. I wrote my piece while under the influence of medication and alcohol, a potent, somewhat corrosive combination. Now I am sober, and none the worse for it (or not much, in any case). My body has recovered and my thoughts are clearer. Why? Because for a good period of time I stopped doing that which, if I were to continue doing it without pause, would ultimately kill me.

That's really the only point I wished to make. While it may be inelegant, and lack the "logical validity" you would prefer, I think that unchecked population growth will do to the planet what I would do to myself if I were to continue on my merry way with the alcohol. AGW is but one symptom of a sick planet; it, and all the other ills we have foisted on the Earth, all stem from the relentless population growth which requires ever more resources to sustain itself.

It's a complex problem that won't be solved in only one way.
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written by BillyJoe, December 18, 2009
Aart Brouwer,

I thought I made it clear that I was referring to Randi's lack of knowledge in the following two areas:

1) Scientific consensus.

Randi doesn't outright say what he thinks scientific consensus is, but his criticism of it suggests that he thinks it is the pulling together of the views of scientists based on their personal experiences which, as we all know, is extremely error prone. That is the basis of most pseudoscience and alternative medicine. Personal experience is paramount. In fact, scientific consensus is based on the scientifically derived facts. The direct opposite f what Randi seems to think it is. Moreover, in the specific case of GW or AGW, it based on the scientifically derived facts of thousands of climatologists and related experts in the field across the world. There has also never been any pretense that the conclusions are 100% certain, though the accumulating evidence since the first consensus statement was made makes the liklihood of GW and AGW more amd more certain.

2) The Petition Project

Randi has now retracted his opinion about the Petition Project. But why did he see fit to give his uninformed and ignorant opinion in the first place. Sceptical it certainly was not. And he uis not exactly a novice here, though that article certainly makes him sound like one. I can only assume and hope that he has not now just accepted what Phil Plait has said about it but looked into the issue himself and come to an informed conclusion.

In my opinion, the present article is a failed attempt at salvaging something from the mess he has created in his first article. He tries to save himself by criticisng views expressed by some posters, which are beside the point, and praising the views of some of his less critical posters and apologists. It also continues to be uninformed on several issues on which he chooses to make comment.

In my opinion, it is disingenuous for him to have done anything other than apologise for his article, retract it, and undertake to spend time becoming informed about his subject before commenting any further.

BillyJoe
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Not the first time...
written by BillyJoe, December 18, 2009
Also, this is not a first for Randi.

I think posters have forgotten Randi's insensitive comments - bordering on eugenics - about drug addicts in an article earlier this year and his off-hand, uninformed, indeed ignorant, views about Evolution (and about Darwin himself), which he misued in support of his views.

BJ
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Solar cycle
written by Sphires, December 18, 2009
"The Sun has been shown clearly not to be the cause of this (there is no increase in solar output, for example)"

This is true but I would like to be a little more explicit with this statement. The visible light from the sun shows no real increase but the UV spectrum can double from minimum to maximum given a solar cycle. Again, this is not to say the sun is responsible for GW but it certainly seems to be a bigger factor than the above statement might indicate.

I am also less informed and thus more concerned about coral bleaching, the rise in ocean acidity and increasing temperature bands (higher highs, lower lows).

Perhaps some of those topics can be covered? Thanks!
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Thinking for ourselves
written by Aart Brouwer, December 18, 2009
BillyJoe, thank you for that clarification. I think all of us (including James Randi) will agree that there were mistakes in both texts. James Randi himself explained how they came about. The complexity of the issue baffled him as it baffles all of mankind. Even the best climate scientists lament our lack of data and basic understanding of the role of radiation, aerosols and specific greenhouse gas concentrations in temperature forcing.

Once again, I want to read James Randi's statement in this - most favourable - light, not against the backdrop of the horrendous, and horrendously rude, exchanges between proponents and opponents of the IPCC findings. Hence he wrote:

"My commentary was concerned with my amateur confusion about the myriad of natural phenomena that obviously bring about worldwide climate changes and whether we can properly assign the cause to anthropogenic influences. [..] My remarks, again, are directed at the complexity of determining whether this GW is anthropogenic or not."

I propose that we give the gentleman rest and use the remainder of this thread to educate one another on the issue of climate change. Some of our members (such as Solar cycle) have asked questions about issues that are far beyond the scope of my knowledge, but there appear to be more knowledgeable members who may be able to answer them. Let us concentrate on that.
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Thinking for ourselves
written by Aart Brouwer, December 18, 2009
On a different note (and I do apologise for the double post, I will immediately shut up after this one) I want to ask that we tread lightly form here on, for in my view James Randi has touched upon the single most controversial theme in skepticism at this moment - a theme that may well split the skeptic movement at a time when our efforts should be directed at stemming a rising time of obscurantism in modern societies. Others may be less pessimistic than I am and counter that the movement will survive another heated debate, or that the climate debate is the defining issue of what it means to be a skeptic in the first place. I would still hope that we can agree that the science of our climate is not 'settled' and that we can and should debate the relative merits of various theories without prejudice or invective.
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written by sailor, December 18, 2009
Michieux

Of course you are right about population. If we had half the population we would have roughly half the AGW problem, quite apart from destruction of major habitats. It is the elephant in the room that everyone ignores because it is politically a very hot potato.
Bob Park (what's new?) had a post on this some time back.
I for one, fear China, under pressure from the west, allowing "freedom of reproduction" They are the only country that has taken this issue seriously, if they let go it could be bad news.
I think action like yourself (and myself, though in my case by default), while symbolic and admirable, will not by itself be enough. A complete change in the way we think is needed, but unlikely to come.
However, as they say "Nature bats last"
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written by sailor, December 18, 2009
Solar Cycle,
In the Caribbean I have observed that when we get a summer when the water gets significantly warmer than normal, we see a lot of coral bleaching. Interestingly, when winter comes and the water cools, if the damage is not too extensive some corals seem to manage to recover.
Another thing I have not seen mentioned anywhere in the literature is that the bleaching and damage all seems to be to hard corals. Soft corals are generally in fine condition do not seem to be taking a beating in the same way.
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Waste heat?
written by Kagehi, December 18, 2009
Ok, lets try to give a real layman's explanation here. Imagine earth as the inside of a car. Its 90 degrees outside of the car. You have the windows open, the roof gets hot, the hood does, maybe the seat gets a bit warm, if the sun is hitting it directly, but, mostly, the inside of the car is not a **lot** hotter than the air outside. You close the window by 80%, and now its 98 in the car, and 90 outside, but still not "bad". What about at 90%, or 95%, or 100%? I think you can see where this is going. In the case of the Earth, this is a bit more radical. Outside is negative... something or other. Without the window, of which more than 90% of the effect comes from the CO2 in it, being rolled up 98%, the entire planet would look like Europa. In other words, its "comfortable" because its rolled up to 98%. The problem is, the "range" its comfortable in is like between 97.5% and 98.5%. Below 97.5% you have an ice age, above 98.5% Greenland starts buying camels, assuming enough of it is above water.

The problem here isn't that we are dumping more heat into the atmosphere. We could dump 500 times what we do into it and still not equate to the amount the sun already adds between rise and set. The problem is, adding CO2 is the equivalent of rolling the window up. We add more insulation to the atmosphere. Insulation that has almost not capacity to stop heat from getting "in", but is *very good* at keeping it from getting out. And we are the dog sitting in some morons SUV, with all the windows rolled up, in the middle of summer, for 6 hours.

That is the nature of AGW.

As for your prior statement about models. Models are not equations. In the case of something too complex to model with automata, we sometimes use equations to approximate what those things will do if we "could" work with automata systems, most of which are built by studying a more simplistic system that can run such a simulation. The better your predictions get in the data, the more accurate the overall result is, even if you can't predict, with precision, every event. Often, what is needed is not an "exact" result, just a probabilistic one. It can't predict things that have rare chances of happening, any more than automata models can, but that isn't what is being looked for, its the "most likely" result that is being examined.

In effect, you can run simulation on a small subset of rules, and treat the "inputs" as black boxes, which just feed you statical data, then look at the result. It works, as long as the rules are adequate, and the inputs are valid. Since the inputs, in this case, are based on actual data, and the rules are derived "from" the apparent interactions of that data, unless there is some unknown factor, which isn't available, the rules should produce the proper result. And no math is involved, other than predictions about how much "bigger" certain data points will get, and what the "known" results of those changes are. Its not *quite* as effective as running traffic simulations in a city, based on average behaviors of drivers, where the rules are much simpler, but the result, if you have sufficient data, will still be "accurate enough", to show the most likely outcomes. Most of the attempts to undermine the models have come from people claiming things like, "solar effects have increased recently", which turned out, when people looked at the data, instead of pulling guesses out of their backsides, turned out to be "wrong". Well, that and much crazier nonsense, which bares more resemblance to astrology than science (I am sure I read something a while back claiming that the effect as due to the "local" space getting warming, due to us passing through some non-existent cosmic hot spot, or something, for example).

Yes, the models could have a fatal flaw. The problem is, they do not reduce things to one equation, by a long shot, but deal with far more complex systems, and everything added so far, when found to be correct, has made things look worse. At least one MIT model, which I read something about a few weeks back, may (or may not, if misreported, but I don't know, since I haven't seen anything about it since) imply that a failure to reduce the problem, combined the the increase in industrialization in some places, like China, may actually double the temperature increase, over existing lowest estimates.
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written by Aart Brouwer, December 18, 2009
Kagehi said: "Most of the attempts to undermine the models have come from people claiming things like, "solar effects have increased recently", which turned out [..] to be "wrong".

Boy, are you in for a surprise. Look at this CERN-lecture video: http://seekingalpha.com/articl...physicists
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written by sciillit, December 18, 2009
You know what I find most interesting while reading about this subject, and the posts here, which are representative of many so called skeptics? The fact that many people seem to equate being skeptical with being right.

Skepticism does NOT mean being correct.

Skepticism is asking questions, and looking for evidence rather than blindly accepting what one is told.

Skepticism will not always lead one directly to the right answer to any question, be it scientific, moral, political or what not.

Skepticism does not constrain one to stating an opinion unless one is right.

Skepticism allows one to change their mind in the face of evidence, not in the face of browbeating, political pressure or snarky comments and ridicule.

Skepticism is not being afraid to ask stupid questions, and not being afraid to seem stupid to others while asking them.

Skepticism about a topic does not require you to be an expert in that topic.

I think many "skeptics" would do well by understanding these realities.
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James Randi Don't let ignorant people bully you. You have a lot of support for your reasonable statement on scientists .
written by Thomas33, December 18, 2009
James Randi, I registered on your website just to post on this topic after reading about how you had been treat just for making a perfectly reasonable statement on scientists not being infallible. Despite my wanting to believe in the paranormal for many years I've respected you for exposing many fraudsters that could have led people to have faith in falsities. You've done great things.

All you did in your statement about AGW was to warn as you have always done about blind faith. People should be critical thinkers and if critical thinking is challenged then there is something seriously wrong. There is a bad trend in science called 'post normal science' in which an extended peer review base (often of hundreds or even thousands of scientists) is used in areas in which science is uncertain in order that politicians can plan and act. Its a political thing and its challenging objectivity. There is no consensus in the field of climate. That is a fact. How dare people challenge the very basis of science which is critical thinking and objectivity and call anyone who questions the consensus deniers (linking them to holocaust deniers). Consensus doesn't sit easy within science. Such people are don't even know what science is.

You didn't give your opinion either way on AGW. You just pointed out that people should be cautious. What is wrong with that? Nothing! Climate scientist professor Hulme of East Anglia University (former IPCC and CRU scientist and former post normal science advocate)said “To hide behind the dubious precision of scientific numbers, and not actually expose one’s own ideologies or beliefs or values and judgements is undermining both politics and science” “time to ditch climate consensus” (May 2009).
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written by José, December 18, 2009
James Randi, I registered on your website just to post on this topic after reading about how you had been treat just for making a perfectly reasonable statement on scientists not being infallible

Nobody is criticizing Randi for saying scientists are fallible. He's being criticized for using misinformation to express doubts about AGW and following that up by saying his critics didn't read carefully. Whatever side of the debate you fall on, Randi's arguments were terrible. Why are people defending that?
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How we won the James Randi MDC, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Thank You, Sir...
written by Pikatron, December 18, 2009
Mr. Randi, you've done an excellent job of clarifying your position on this matter. I first heard about this while reading a recent post on Rationally Speaking, then seeing Phil's post on Bad Astronomy and now this post. I thought it would be a good idea to check the original source rather than rely on a secondhand account of your statement, and I was not disappointed. Sir, thank you for your honesty, your humility, and your immense patience in dealing with the negative feedback you received on the initial post. My respect for you remains intact, as does my trust in your ability as a skeptic. And BTW, may you have a speedy recovery from the Chemo.
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Progress since the time of Galileo...
written by redgiant, December 18, 2009
In the time of Galileo we had time to set up trials, to decide the outcome, choreograph the trial, gather firewood, ox-cart in the men with pitchforks...

In the information age we can get a Galilean retraction in just two days! People do not have time to sharpen their pitchforks anymore. smilies/cry.gif

Concerning the right of amateurs to speak. I think it is very well established and cherished within a group of mostly atheists. Few of us have a degree in theology, yet we argue against god's existence. My computer works so well mainly because people offer their opinion with their wallet. And the royal families are all so decadent because they do not exchange (genetic) information.

Putting faith in the opinion of scientists. People with impeccable credentials chose as their motto "Nullius in verba" (roughly means take nobody's word for it). Academic dishonesty is not exactly unknown and scientific hoaxes do happen. Unless you know that theories cannot, by definition, be proven, you know nothing about science. The only thing that one can do with a theory is falsify it. And any theory that survives by orchestrated mob attacks is not even false. I take nobody's word for nothing, but for "Nullius in verba" I make an exception.

Concerning the petition. The only thing that this petition proves is that there is not even consensus. Not that consensus means anything anyway to anyone that knows anything about science.

The reason that I deeply dislike religion is that it numbs reason. Environmentalism has become a religion. A science savvy religion able to extract a recant within hours. smilies/sad.gif
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Reaching an informed opinion
written by Didactylos, December 19, 2009
James Randi,
Your words carry perhaps more weight than you realise. Given this, I believe it would be useful if you could find the time to acquaint yourself both with the strands of evidence that form the basis of climate change theory, and with the tired old oft-debunked and oft-repeated errors that deniers love to trot out.

As you know, you have unwittingly stumbled over some of these errors already. Maybe you have been misled by the label "climate sceptic", so beloved of deniers. But we can easily draw a distinction between the true sceptic, and the denier. The denier ignores evidence that doesn't suit his conclusion, and is oddly uncritical of evidence that supports his conclusion. The sceptic works out the truth the hard way.

If you want an interesting angle on the "human caused" problem, try to answer this question: "If we suppose that all the observed warming over the last century can be explained by natural forcings, why have we not seen the additional warming that we expect from increasing carbon dioxide concentration by over 30%?" It's basic physics, it doesn't depend on hand-wavery or statistical manipulation.

To me, it seems quite mind-boggling to suppose that many independent studies underestimated natural forcings by the exact amount we expect from greenhouse gases, and at the same time, there was a mysterious unidentified natural negative forcing that exactly cancels out the increased greenhouse gases (and we know that carbon dioxide has increased for many reasons: direct measurement, accounting of fossil fuel burning, isotope analysis that shows the extra CO2 is from fossil fuels, and ocean acidification).

Yes, there are some credulous nutcases on both sides of the "debate". But the science is unaffected by such tomfoolery, as you could see from the literature. Of course, reading everything published on climate change would take lifetimes - fortunately there are reviews and summaries available. Try http://copenhagendiagnosis.com/ for the latest science.

If you don't have the time or interest to learn more, then you can easily withdraw your opinion and bow out of the discussion. But given what's at stake, I hope you don't.
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written by BillyJoe, December 19, 2009
Well, okay, everyone misunderstands scientific consensus.
Randi is not alone.
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written by BillyJoe, December 19, 2009
redgiant

Concerning the petition. The only thing that this petition proves is that there is not even consensus.

Come again?
Do you really think that consensus means everyone agrees???
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written by Thomas33, December 19, 2009
José many of the attacks on James Randi have been a lot more unreasonable than that. But lets address the issue of the petition. Some of the people who signed the petition are climate scientists and some are not. So fine yes its flawed but it is still supporting evidence against a consensus. Equally the IPCC consensus is no more reliable as many of the signatories aren't scientists either. Maybe James Randi should have used stronger evidence but his point is still valid. There is reason to doubt a real consensus. For example there are more than 400 peer reviewed papers that oppose the so called consensus of the IPCC. Also a few minutes on google can reveal many scientists who are also sceptical about the science that is pushed by the IPCC.

AGW is a very emotive topic. It has been distorted by post-normal science for political purposes and there has been a great deal of scaremongering in order to stiffle debate.

For example a 2 degree rise in temperature would melt sea ice but melting sea ice doesn't raise sea levels. Melting land ice could raise sea levels but the average temperature of the Antarctic is minus 50 degrees C and the average temperature of greenland is minus 11 degrees C. Obviously a 2 degree rise will not cause significant melting of land ice and this is bourne out by the fact that during the medevil warm period (when grapes were grown in Northern Europe) that the Netherlands didn't sink beneath the waves. Warm periods have been times of plenty not times of disaster. Remove the political post-normal science and sacremongering from the equation and then science can breath again. Scientists shouldn't be on opposing sides they all should be looking for the ever elusive truth no matter where it takes them.

How many people know about a study pushed by the IPCC estimating that 30% of Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035. Recently it was revealed that the actual date was 2350 which according to the IPCC was misread by no fewer than 10 IPCC scientists as 2035. The original study is disputed by Indian scientists. Does anyone still maintain that we shouldn't be sceptical of science on both sides of this debate and on many other debates?

I'll leave you with a short video in which the head of greenpeace UK was caught out scaremongering and was forced to eat his words. Its quite an insight. http://eclipptv.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=6933
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Progress since the time of Galileo...
written by redgiant, December 19, 2009
BillyJoe wrote:

Do you really think that consensus means everyone agrees???


Consensus can mean majority (50%+1) or general agreement. The problem with global warmers is that they switch between the two definitions depending on who they talk to. I have not taken a controlled poll but more then 50%+1 of scientists take AGW for granted, I believe. Is there a general agreement though? Absolutely not. The way it is understood by the public is that there is a general agreement, ie an overwhelming majority without strong opposition. When confronted with evidence warmers have to fall back to a stricter definition. Switching between definitions does not help an argument in my opinion.

But in any case, by any definition of consensus, the issue is irrelevant. Science does not depend on consensus. To introduce a dependency one would have to redefine science the way peer review was redefined. I hope we will not "progress" in this direction.
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Sea Ice
written by JonK, December 19, 2009
Those scientists who study sea ice melting--which is occurring at an astounding nine per cent per decade--have never claimed that it will directly raise sea levels. But summer sea ice does reflect solar radiation out to space, and such significant loses of sea ice will contribute to increasing surface temperatures, which in turn will increase the rate of land ice melting which can then increase sea levels. This is a complex ecosystem problem, and we cannot restrict ourselves only to first order effects.
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Thinking for ourselves
written by Aart Brouwer, December 19, 2009
Dear Thomas33,

you wrote: 'How many people know about a study pushed by the IPCC estimating that 30% of Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035."

The issue sounds familiar because it is mentioned in various ways in the blogosphere. So I have recently checked the latest IPCC assessment report (AR4, 2007) and I have not found the passage in question. Could you tell me the page number, or at least the chapter, where it projects this Himalayan meltdown by 2035? Or is it in some other IPCC report?
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The 400 Papers
written by JonK, December 19, 2009
@Thomas33:
"For example there are more than 400 peer reviewed papers that oppose the so called consensus of the IPCC."

Could you please reference and elaborate on this tally? Is this a post-IPCC position? If not, how current are these papers? Did they object to all the conclusions of the IPCC report or specific conclusions or some forms of methodology? I can find AGW-skeptical sites with tallies of up to 500 papers that are said to oppose global warming (not necessarily the IPCC conclusions), but on reading an arbitrary selection (I have neither the time nor the energy to read all of them--Did Thomas33?), I found many that objected only to specific models or concluded that a given phenomenon had an alterative interpretation to a published conclusion or that a given explanation alone did not account for all of an abservation, etc. In other words, they did not deny or refute AGW, but rather reflected the usual disputes that scientists have about differing mechanisms, models, data, etc. They most certainly did not "oppose the so called consensus of the IPCC".

There are hundreds of peer-reviewed papers out there disputing specific mechanisms and models for evolution. Virtually none of them deny that evolution accounts for modification of living beings (despite what creationists try to claim). That's how science works.
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Read the papers first hand and not on Blogs and find the info yourselves
written by Thomas33, December 19, 2009
JonK Yes the summer sea ice does reflect solar radiation. Thats a good point and it does need to be considered. Whether or not this is enough to raise the global temperature by enough to significantly melt land ice is another matter. Its difficult to know but going by the medevil warm period I would doubt it.

JonK you should read the papers first hand instead of from greenpeace or wherever. Your last post in which you question how thorough I am makes you look foolish given that you mistakenly thought that sea ice levels were falling by 9% and even misquoted the research which talks about perenial sea ice only. Did you get that from the same blogosphere that Aart Brouwer states he reads (you won't find it there Aart). You guys make me laugh. I didn't need to ask you for a reference because I knew right away you hadn't read the study. Actually the research you refer to is about sea ice that survives the summer and remains all the year round. In other words perennial sea ice (according to a study by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center) is melting in the words of NASA "at the 'ALARMING' rate of 9 percent per decade". There's that word 'alarming' again. Distinguishing so called perenial ice and annual ice is no easy task of course.

A much larger scale survey of sea ice sing a fixed wing plane and sonar was carried out this year by the The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research and here's a quote from their website 'Multiple flights northwards from various stations showed an ice thickness between 2.5 (two years old ice in the vicinity of the North Pole) and 4 metres (perennial ice in Canadian offshore regions). All in all, the ice was somewhat thicker than during the last years in the same regions...'

Also in contrast to NASA's figures according to the University of Illinois Cryosphere Today department. Northern Hemisphere sea ice is down but Southern Hemisphere ice is up meaning that although overall global sea ice levels are slightly up the levels have hardly changed in 30 years.
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

Then there is the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, University of Colorado's survey maps of the Antarctic showing sea ice extent up a massive 43% and sea ice area up 45% since 1980. http://tinyurl.com/antarcticicedown43

It makes you wonder what to believe doesn't it. You have to be sceptical of all science and studies have to be looked at critically.
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Maybe it IS a bad idea after all, JerryM and others
written by jesperk, December 19, 2009
I notice that quite a few agree with the initial JerryM post stating: "To me it's entirely irrelevant if the earth is even warming, the climate is or isn't changing, we are or are not to blame. Fossil fuels will run out, pollution is bad and too much fishing will deplete the oceans. It's time to look forward to solutions for those problems. Then, should the earth not warm, the climate not change, we'll have clean energy, clean earth, and clean oceans. Is that really such a bad thing?"

My perspective on the above come as an economist, and from the strange feeling I have that this a bit of a Pascal's Wager in disguise.

It might turn out great and Save the World and usher an era of Word Peace, and maybe we better do it "just in case" every prediction is correct or even optimistic and the world is going to Hell. I guess we want to avoid that Hell part, yeah?

Thing is, as an economist there is a thing called opportunity cost. It means that if you choose to spend your money on one thing, you definitely can't use it on something else. So if you invest 100 dollars and get a profit of 10 dolalrs, leaving your hoard at 110 dollars, that's a good thing right? Actually, that's impossible to answer, because the goodness of said investment is ONLY possible to reveal if we compare it to every other investment we could have made and we know we'd never have gotten more than the 110 dollars.

Were there an investment that would have yielded a whopping 50 dollars instead our wealth would have been a total 0f 150 dollars. But since we plunged headlong into the 10 dollar pay-of investment we LOST 40 dollars because we invested in something less profitable.

While we invest in COP15 and flourescent bulbs we might have the very science suffer that would ACTUALLY have saved us. Net effect might be more dead people and suffering than had we invested otherwise. That's why we have to know what we're getting ourselves into. We really have to know that the problem exists and that the investment money could not have been spent better in any other way.

The first part isn't really that much debateable, which is probably why my country man Bjørn Lomborg, is consistenly asking people to consider the investment perspective, which includes opportunity cost.

In Pascal's Wager - if we agree to it - we are bound to squander our life in subservience and funding of big stone buildings, prostration before God and gods know what demeaning, life and happiness stealing activities.

The easy part here is that we are pretty oonvinced that in all likelihood gods don't exist (would you and I have been THAT sure in ignorant medieval times?). Yet at the core it's is the exact same economic argument that's behind our refusal to suqander our life on religion, because we know it'd steal from other more worthwhile pursuit.

I'm not a "climate denier", but I've noticed how the climate debate rubs a lot of economists and skeptics the wrong way. I blame the form more than the content, because *some* people are being a little bit too "jesus freak" about the issue. Just saying it rubs people the wrong way, because lots of us want to know MORE. Not just one singular variable in it.

So ... what the deal with clouds? Anyone got a good link explaining how the dynamics are regarding heating, more clouds, less solar radiation coming in, yet insulating the globe ... guess I just always wanted to have someone show me the net effects here. I'm a curious critter.
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Thinking for ourselves
written by Aart Brouwer, December 19, 2009
Dear JonK,

you must be confusing me with someone else.

I asked you: where exactly does the IPCC project a 30% Himalayan meltdown by 2035? Can you answer that?

Cheers,
Aart
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written by BillyJoe, December 19, 2009
redgiant,

Science does not depend on consensus.

That's not what I said.
I said consensus is part of science.

What's more reliable, the views of one scientist based on his special area of interest or the views of many scientists looking at the totality of the evidence from many different areas of expertise?
What's more reliable, the results of one clinical trial on the efficacy of treatment X or a systematic review of all clincal trials about the efficacy of treatment X?

BJ
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@Thomas33
written by tmac57, December 19, 2009
Thomas33, since you posted a link to National Snow and Ice Data Centre, University of Colorado, maybe you would be interested in this FAQ that they posted explaining why they believe that the larger decline in Artic sea ice is more significant that the small increase in the Antarctic sea icein the last 30 years. It is also apparent that they believe that the science for AGW is correct. : http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicen...#antarctic
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What I Read
written by JonK, December 19, 2009
Dear Thomas33:
I have no interest in getting into an e-pissing contest with you regarding your presumptions about my reading habits, but I do wish to assure you that as a scientist I read the original literature and/or review articles from refereed journals. If indeed you have read all of the "more than 400 peer reviewed papers that [you say] oppose the so called consensus of the IPCC", then I applaud you for having read more than I. Because I have neither the time or stamina to do that, I chose an admittedly arbitrary selection of articles from the literature as offered by who disagree with AGW (not from Greenpeace, thank you), and I stand by my evaluation above.
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written by José, December 19, 2009
José many of the attacks on James Randi have been a lot more unreasonable than that.

I don't think they've been unreasonable at all. Some of the criticism has been harsh, but it wasn't undeserved.

But lets address the issue of the petition. Some of the people who signed the petition are climate scientists and some are not. So fine yes its flawed but it is still supporting evidence against a consensus.

There are a few trained biologists who are young earth creationists. So what. It doesn't mean there's no scientific consensus supporting evolution. The fact is that the vast majority of climatologists believe in AGW. That doesn't mean they're correct, but if Randi is going to suggest that they may be wrong, he should be attacking the science. The Petition Project is nothing more than a shameful piece of propaganda designed to make it look like there is no scientific consensus on AGW.
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To the person pointing me at the lecture..
written by Kagehi, December 19, 2009
Ok. First, there are people pointing out flaws in the idea already. However, I thought of a few variables they are *not* looking at.

1) Its possible that rises in temperature, which are not caused by solar rays, may effect layers in the atmosphere that normally block such solar rays, causing a direct correlation with how much is measured, even if the actual output didn't change from the sun.

2. We know that the ozone layer is one "major" source of such blocking, and recent studies have indicated that "more" has gotten through than previously estimated. The presumption has been that we weakened it more than we thought, but if higher temperatures result in a natural weakening of that layer, we would fully expect such a difference in measurement.

3. While they are busy looking at what happens to form cloud nucleation, they don't seem to be looking at if differing concentrations of gases in the atmosphere might block more, or less, of the cosmic rays. I.e., higher CO2 might actually block less, with our without thinning the ozone layer, resulting, again, in a corresponding increase of "detected" levels, during periods that just happen to correspond to higher temperature.

None of these possibilities seem to have been considered. And, they are certainly plausible explanations for why you would get close matches between **indirect** solar radiation measurements, which have to pass through the atmosphere to end up where they are measured. Correlation doesn't mean causation. Also, other data fails to actually show any increases, which correlate to the last 40 years, including more direct measures of such radiation, nor has there been atmospheric measurements indicating a "decrease" in nucleation materials for clouds. You need a) cold, b) water, c) something for the water to attach to, and, interestingly enough, there is some suggestions that micro organisms play a part, which might depend on cooler temperatures themselves, do to their life cycle, any one of which can mess with cloud formation, even if you have sufficient of the other 3.

Its an interesting idea, but.. until I see actual data showing both that it does what they think, and, more to the point, that it has the impact they estimate, never mind some evidence they considered things that might distort their data in the first place, as a direct consequence of the warming/cooling phenomena itself, I have to say that they simply don't have sufficient *anything* to change the existing models.
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written by BillyJoe, December 19, 2009
redgiant,

Is there a general agreement though? Absolutely not. The way it is understood by the public is that there is ... an overwhelming majority without strong opposition.

But there IS "an overwhelming majority":

http://www.skepticalscience.co...sensus.htm

97% of climate scientists actively publishing climate papers endorse the consensus position.

A survey of 3146 earth scientists asked the question "Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?"...Of scientists who were non-climatologists and didn't publish research, 77% answered yes. In contrast, 97.5% of climatologists who actively published research on climate change responded yes.

And it IS "without strong opposition":

peer reviewed abstracts from 2004 to February 2007 and claims 32 studies (6%) reject the consensus position.
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James Randi is the biggest liar and fraud of them all..., Lowly rated comment [Show]
Here's an idea
written by db cooper, December 19, 2009
Wouldn't the global warming debate be the perfect opportunity to a apply a green version of Pascal's infamous Wager?
Worst case scenario, we get a cleaner planet.
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written by BillyJoe, December 19, 2009
db cooper

Wouldn't the global warming debate be the perfect opportunity to a apply a green version of Pascal's infamous Wager?
Worst case scenario, we get a cleaner planet.

A worst case scenario in regards to AGW that is analgous to the rational solution to Pascal's Wager would be the world economy collapsing in our attempts to fix a non-existent problem.

However, there is no evidence that God exists and lots of evidence for AGM.
In other words, the analogy does not work.

BJ
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Revisited
written by JerryM, December 19, 2009
I was unfortunately the first to comment. I suspect I've expressed what many felt when they read this post, initially. Relief that Randi had acknowledge he made a mistake.

I must also apologize for sounding a bit condescending, I mean who am I to tell The Amazing Randi he should run his blog by anyone...

And I tried to steer him towards a safer topic:




Now that I've had some time to think about this whole episode, and reread this new post, I'm left with unease, I guess would be the best way to put it.

Yes, I'm glad JR acknowledged the Petition Project was bogus.

I'm not convinced though he really understood what pissed a lot of people off about his first post. It wasn't that he obviously didn't, and evidently still doesn't, understand the science. Many of us don't. We're not climate scientists, most of us aren't even scientist.
The problem was the faulty reasoning. We expect better from one of the best known and loved skeptics in the world. The Petition Project was just one, and most obvious case. Science has been wrong before, science is not a consensus, I don't think models can predict a system so complex, all these should've been recognized by The Amazing Randi for what they are.

And it seems he still doesn't.

So, I'm left feeling uneasy.

It would be nice to read the original essay, and see how much was lost in editing. But it won't change what was posted, and that was full of fallacies.
And that is what saddens me the most.


And now it's time for the holidays. Be good to one another every day of the year, so you can be grumpy at the family dinner...
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IPPC's Glacier Date mix-up and admition to the BBC that they didn't use peer reviewed papers in their 2007 report
written by Thomas33, December 19, 2009
@Aart Brouwer The BBC reports on the glacier date mix ups including comments by the IPPC and an admission they had used non-peer reviewed papers in their 2007 report can be found here. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8387737.stm
and here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/wo...387737.stm
If you can’t find the info that you are looking for then maybe you should email Pallava Bagla of the BBC or Professor Graham Cogley, at Ontario Trent University.

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written by BillyJoe, December 19, 2009
Jerry M,

science is not a consensus

An yet another who doesn't understand the use of the word consensus in this context.
Oh well. smilies/cool.gif

BJ
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written by Thomas33, December 19, 2009
@JonK Whatever you claim you misrepresented the NASA study on perenial sea ice when you wrongly claimed that sea ice was dissappearing at in your words "an astounding nine per cent per decade". I doubt you are a climate scientist otherwise you would be more familiar with the sea ice arguements but you didn't claim to be a climate scientist. Of course I haven't read 400 peer reviewed papers that are evidence of a lack of consensus with the IPCC. Don't be silly. My main point as you know is that there is no consensus within climate science. You seem to prefer to muddy the waters and challenge my assertion that there are 400 papers that do not agree with IPCC assertions. Here's a list of 450 that take a skeptical position and I'm sure if you took the time to look you would find others. http://wattsupwiththat.com/200...ed-papers/
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Sorry Aart
written by Thomas33, December 19, 2009
@Aart Brouwer, sorry for being a bit spikey with you. I misunderstood that you genuinely wanted to read the IPCC report. I really don't know the page number because I haven't purchased a copy but I'm sure if you contact Professor Graham Cogley he would be happy to help. E-mail: gcogley@trentu.ca


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Climate should be a safe topic.
written by Thomas33, December 19, 2009
@JerryM Climate should be a safe topic for James Randi. He hasn't committed some huge sin to bring the topic up. You should be able to be sceptical about any topic whether you are an expert or not. You can express your opinions and if you are wrong people will put you right. That's what debating is all about. The topic only became unsafe when the science became political. However it seems that I've just been debating the topic on here and although there was a bit of needling (some of it from myself of course) people seem more than willing to debate the issues. Its what I'd expect from a website of skeptics. What I was surprised at was some of the earlier attempts to make the topic off limits to debate through the use of terms such as 'denier'. This doesn't seem to be happening anymore so the skeptics have won and this website is back on course. I mean skeptics in general not specifically on AGW.
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written by Thomas33, December 19, 2009
@tmac57 Thanks for that link from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC), I've just seen it. It was interesting but I have to admit that I'm skeptical about their weak attempt to downplay and even explain away the massive 43% increase in ice in the Antarctic since 1980.

Quote "While Antarctic sea ice reached a near-record-high annual minimum in March 2008, this does not indicate a significant long-term trend". Define long term trend.

Quote "When scientists refer to global warming, they don’t mean warming will occur everywhere on the planet at the same rate. In some places, temporary cooling may even occur". Fine but Quote "Even our earliest climate models projected that Antarctica would be much slower in responding to rising greenhouse gas concentrations than the Arctic". When exactly will the Antarctic respond then because its been cooling.

Then concerning the Arctic Quote "The scientific community has a range of predictions concerning when we could see an ice-free Arctic Ocean in summer. It could be as early as 2013 or as late as 2100. NSIDC’s projections generally fall somewhere in the lower half of this range". There are also scientists who claim this isn't going to happen anytime soon but no mention of those. I doubt the land ice in Greenland will melt because as I've said before we have the medevil warm period when it didn't significantly melt.

Ultimately though we won't settle the issues on here as the science is in its infancy and there are too many wildly different and conflicting studies. But it is certainly an interesting topic to discuss.
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written by NoDeity, December 20, 2009
[shrug] Doesn't matter. Even if AGW is true, nothing of consequence will be done about it. (Call me an incurable cynic and I'll just smile and nod.)
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written by BillyJoe, December 20, 2009
NoDeity,

If nothing happens, you are part of the reason smilies/wink.gif

regards,
BillyJoe
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Thinking for ourselves
written by Aart Brouwer, December 20, 2009
Thomas33, that's okay. And thanks for your pointers. Meanwhile I've found the passage in AR4. The remarkable thing is that the IPCC claimed the chapter was peer-reviewed, and it turns out that it wasn't. The mistaken date of 2035 was based on a mere news report..

What the.. ?

Isn't it time that some of these IPCC scientists come clean? No doubt most of what they do is sound science. But if they make you guess what part is and what part isn't, in the end nobody will be convinced by anything they say anymore.
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Really????
written by Zera, December 20, 2009
I find it interesting that after all Randi has done not just for the skeptical community but mankind in general, so many are willing to turn on him for stating an opinion which has just as much scientific backing as the ones opposed in his original post. I find it very telling that "Climategate" was ignored and marginalized by those who should have been the most offended by its revelations. I love science and what those E-mails reveal are the exact opposite of how science is to be done and carried out. There really is a religious zealotry involved and i find it very telling that those using actual scientific evidence to back up their claims are the ones labled deniers, while those who worship at the alter of AGW aren't given remotely the same scrutiny as you gave and admitted amateur opinion.It is insulting to think that people here would ever take anything at face value. I don't believe in evolution because Darwin said it was true, I believe it because all the data supports it, meanwhile the only science being cited here is against AGW, while the data the "experts" used is unavailable meaning unable to be tested or reviewed by peers. Randi was right in both of his positions in both of these posts, we simply don't know and there is data enough on both sides to warrant asking the question of how we should handle it if we handle it at all. As for the overpopulation myth as it is known to anyone with any understanding of population, sociology, and economics,http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/in...e_ID=13087
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written by equinox, December 20, 2009
Phil Plait,

Any comments on the Met Office petition in support of the CRU scientists where many of the signers are not climate scientists? http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t...951029.ece

Also, the American Chemical Society and the American Physical Society are struggling to accept AGW. Please comment.

Also, given the way that the peer-review process was carried out with CRU and Mann, et al, it's hard to say that their work is scientific or that the results of the IPCC are based on science.

Phil Plait's comments about the 31,000+ are shallow at best given the work of the CRU et al scientists.
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Thank you, James Randi...
written by Human Person Jr, December 20, 2009
Your work has meant so much to so many.

AGW is a fraud. However, if you were the biggest proponent of AGW on this planet, I would still not defame you, or withdraw support.

Best wishes to you, kind sir. The love you have for your fellow man is more real and pure than any love born of religiosity. In your book, The Faith Healers, that love shines through with crystal clarity. Obviously, you hate what the charlatans do, largely because the victims are so ill-educated, with limited understanding of how things work. So, what I take away from that is: While you deplore the victims' lack of critical thought processes, you also have sympathy and a certain protectiveness for the victims. I've read that book three times.

I salute all that you are, all that you do.
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written by db cooper, December 20, 2009
But the problem does exist.
It's only the cause that's being debated.
Possibly the cause and the cure do not necessarily have to be related.

Also I think we could notice early on if our efforts are working without bankrupting the entire planet.

The fear of simply trying solutions out has crippled our evolution as a species more than anything else.
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written by BillyJoe, December 20, 2009
Human Person,

If you think Randi would be impressed by that gushing goggle of a post of yours, I think you would be mistaken.

Randi was wrong
It was pointed out.
Randi has retracted.
(well, in part)

BJ
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written by BillyJoe, December 20, 2009
Zera,

Read my post to Human Person.
Yes, it applies to you as well.

BJ
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The best comment so far!
written by redgiant, December 20, 2009
Human Person Jr wrote:

Thank you, James Randi... Your work has meant so much to so many.


Hands down the most intelligent comment on this thread!
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written by BillyJoe, December 20, 2009
Thank you, James Randi... Your work has meant so much to so many.


I agree.
But he is out of his area of expertise here.
His area is claims for the paranormal and in there he is brilliant.
I owe much of my development as a sceptic to James Randi and his website.

That's why it is really sad for me to read his nonsense about climate change and, in an earlier article, his nonsense about evolution.
Here he sound like one of those idiots he has successfully debunked in the past.

It's really sad for me because I,ve always looked upon him as a sort of good old grandfatherly wise man.

regards,
BillyJoe
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BillyJoe Hates this topic and wants to stop it. Tough luck Billy because this is a skeptics' forum. You will silence no-one.
written by Thomas33, December 21, 2009
BillyJoe, James Randi was entirely justified in expressing his skepticism on the topic of climate change. You don't have to be an expert to take a skeptical viewpoint. If that were the case there woud be very little anyone could comment on. Even experts speculate on things beyond what if known in their field. Just listen to Stephen Hawking. You say James retracted part of his statement well its his right to stand by the what he didn't retract. Sorry you don't like it but tough. So he took a petition at face value. So what! That wasn't even his main point. His main point was that you shouldn't have blind faith in scientists. You just seized on the weakest part of his post in order to silence him because you don't want doubts about your global warming religion to be aired. James Randi is a skeptic not a sinner. Get a grip Billy!

No topic is sacred!

Human Person Jr and zera Good comments!
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written by patrick767, December 21, 2009
Randi, almost all of us are out of our area of expertise when it comes to global warming. While there's nothing wrong with being skeptical about it, the fact is that most current climate scientists believe that global warming is real and that mankind is a significant contributor to it. No, science does not depend on consensus, but particularly when most of us are so clearly out of our depth on a topic, we should give a great deal of weight to the prevailing views of those most qualified in the field. In your first post, it sounded to many people like that's not what was occurring.

It would be fair to say in the spirit of science and skepticism that investigations of the climate must continue and alternative explanations for what is happening should be considered. In the mean time, we must take the prevailing view of climate scientists very seriously and take action accordingly to rein in global warming.
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written by Jim Galasyn, December 21, 2009
Scientific opinion on climate change

Since 2007, no scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion.
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written by Jim Galasyn, December 21, 2009
Link fail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...ate_change
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written by Jim Galasyn, December 21, 2009
I wish JR would have clearly stated this: There are no known natural forcings that contribute to the observed trend in global average surface temperature. Furthermore, there is no evidence in the geological record of a similar excursion in the global carbon cycle.
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Better to be a real skeptic
written by Thomas33, December 21, 2009
@patrick767 I replied to your post in detail several hours ago but my reply is awaiting moderation (maybe because its near Christmas) because I included several links to papers and other sources. There has not been a poll of scientists opinions on the issue of climate so no-one knows what the prevailing view of scientists is. Secondly you make a leap of faith to assume that we are experiencing global warming and a second leap of faith in believing that global warming would be bad for the planet. The medevil warm period was a time of plenty not a time of sea level rises or disasters. There were longer growing periods and more plentiful food.

If by the prevailing view of scientists you mean the UN's IPCC then it would be very unwise and yet another leap of faith to act according to their wishes given the level of deceit involved and the solutions proposed including carbon trading which would not decrease the harmless carbon dioxide (a natural part of air)levels anyway. Carbon trading is just a way to make the fat cats fatter. Any scientist worth his salt knows that water vapour is the main greenhouse gas and man cannot control that. Most people know that when there is a cloudy night the earth's surface is warmer the next morning. Water vapour is very good at keeping temperatures high.

So what you suggest is three blind leaps of faith including believing one set of scientists over another whilst awaiting further scientific studies. That doesn't sound like a very skeptical position to take. You start off sounding reasonable and end off sounding like a greenpeace campaigner saying "Act now or the world could end". I say nonsense.
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Scientific bodies are there to maintain professional standards not take positions. Wikipedia has its own climategate scandal
written by Thomas33, December 21, 2009
@JimGalasyn It is not the job of scientific bodies to take positions one way or another on particular topics. It is the job of scientific bodies to maintain high standards of science through admitting suitably qualified individuals and ensuring they carry out their research using empirical and ethical methods.

The IPCC (and allied political organisations)use post-normal science in order take a position on climate change only at the expense of the actual objective science.

Wikipedia isn't a good source as anyone can alter it. There has been a recent scandal of one Wikipedia administrator William Connolley who has been both taken to court and had his administrator privelidges removed for altering more than 5000 climate pages in a biased fashion and removing the medevil warming period from Wikipedia altogether. Connolley is a Senior Scientific Officer in the Physical Sciences Division in the Antarctic Climate and the Earth System project at the British Antarctic Survey, where he worked as a climate modeller. http://wattsupwiththat.com/200...more-14331
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written by Barrett808, December 21, 2009
@Thomas33: Can you tell me which of the listed scientific bodies have stated that they disagree with the IPCC position? For example, do you have any reason to doubt that the following organizations disagree with IPCC?

American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Geophysical Union
American Meteorological Society
World Meteorological Organization
American Astronomical Society
American Chemical Society
American Institute of Physics
American Physical Society

"With the release of the revised statement by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in 2007, no remaining scientific body of national or international standing is known to reject the basic findings of human influence on recent climate change."

What evidence do you have that this statement in the Wikipedia article is wrong?
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written by Barrett808, December 21, 2009
The Wikipedia entry for William M. Connolley says:

"The restriction was later revoked, and Connolley went on to serve as a Wikipedia administrator from January 2006 until 13 September 2009."

Maybe you should go edit that and see what happens.
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Barrett808 Likes to play games and muddy the waters
written by Thomas33, December 21, 2009
@Barrett I stand by my statement that "It is not the job of scientific bodies to take positions one way or another on particular topics. It is the job of scientific bodies to maintain high standards of science through admitting suitably qualified individuals and ensuring they carry out their research using empirical and ethical methods". If some scientific bodies are doing otherwise than shame on them for succumbing to politics. Post-normal scientific methodology of forming artificial consensus goes against objective science. I'm sorry that you don't understand scientific tenets and ethics.

I also stand by my position that wikipedia is not a good source given that anyone can alter pages and given the Connolly wikipedia scandal that I mentioned in my last post. Do you think that wikipedia is a good source. I could completely rewrite that page you referred to right now and even add that Mickey mouse said that man made global warming is real if I felt so inclined.

As for the statement dated 2007 that "no remaining scientific body of national or international standing is known to reject the basic findings of human influence on recent climate change". ITS NOT ACCURATE AND ITS OUT OF CONTEXT (highlighted as a main point). The American Quaternary Association stated that no 'MAJOR' scientific body is known (by them so they can say they didn't know if someone points an organisation out). The statement isn't an absolute fact and they don't define what they mean by 'major' but their use of the word might suggest that there are organisations that they have excluded.

But its irrelevant anyway except as an example to you about using Wikipedia as a source. What is relevant is that the American Association of Petroleum Geologists members are divided on the issue of man made global warming and members have resigned in protest at the official 2007 statement.

You either didn't read the link that I posted or you deliberately tried to distract people from it by quoting from wikipedia yet again lol. Wikipedia isn't a good source. Repeat after me Wikipedia isn't a good source.

I stated that Connolly was BOTH taken to court and had his administrator privelidges removed. He currently can't edit anything. I'm sure if you've gone to all that trouble of trying and failing to prove me wrong by consulting your bible wikipedia that you must have read the link that I posted on the subject which clearly stated that Connolly is no longer an administrator.

Would you like to use wikipedia to make any more points or are you finished.

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written by Barrett808, December 21, 2009
Thomas, my experience with Wikipedia editing has been most encouraging. For example, I misunderstood a statement in the entry for "Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...atmosphere), and I edited it to read:

"The increasing measured fraction of CO2 in the atmosphere over the last 100 years implies that the level of disequilibrium between sources and sinks of CO2 is rising."

My edit was immediately undone by the watchful Robert Rohde. We had a pleasant exchange ("Disequilibrium", ragons_flight'>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talksmilies/cheesy.gifragons_flight), and we discussed how best to express the idea. It was exactly the kind of experience I would have hoped for.

By the way, guess who shows up in the edit history for this topic:

17:28, 16 December 2009 William M. Connolley (talk | contribs) m (17,167 bytes) (Reverted edits by 70.143.45.186 (talk) to last version by William M. Connolley)
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written by Barrett808, December 21, 2009
Link fail, sigh:

Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_Earth's_atmosphere

"Disequilibrium"
http://tinyurl.com/ygo4q7s
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I give no credibility to the "Petition Project".
written by Marcuse, December 21, 2009
http://www.petitionproject.org

"3. Who organized the Petition Project?

The Petition Project was organized by a group of physicists and physical chemists who conduct scientific research at several American scientific institutions. The petition statement and the signatures of its 31,486 signers, however, speak for themselves. The primary relevant role of the organizers is that they are among the 9,029 PhD signers of the petition."

"a group of physicists and physical chemists". Why not just give the answer "won't tell". "the signatures of its 31,486 signers, however, speak for themselves". No they don't! That claim is simply false and does not come from someone who rightfully can call himself/herself a scientist, or a group with a scientific approach. The signatures say nothing until it can be verified how many of the signatures that belongs to real persons; real persons with sufficent knowledge of the matter that is. It would be unworthy of any scientist to sign such a petition! Who's interests are really behind it? A good guess is - people who puts dirty buisness before a clean environment on their agendas.
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Connolley was removed as administrator by Wikipedia.
written by Thomas33, December 21, 2009
Barrett you'll argue blacks white. Connolley was removed as administrator by Wikipedia there is a copy of the letter from wikipedia on the link in my earlier post. The story has also been covered by several journalists and this scandal is likely to grow.
http://network.nationalpost.co...0719.aspx

Thank you for pointing out that he is still editing posts. I've passed this info on. He isn't editing postsas an administrator though and wikipedia can't really stop him changing accounts and IP address.

Thanks also for illustrating my point that any idiot can edit pages on wikipedia. Sometimes their edits may be undone fair enough.

Here's a story where an idiots edits weren't undone: Wikipedia 'expert' admits: I made it up. http://www.theage.com.au/news/...00182.html
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written by BillyJoe, December 21, 2009
Thomas.

BillyJoe, James Randi was entirely justified in expressing his skepticism on the topic of climate change.

I didn't say he wasn't.
I was disappointed he did so with so little knowledge of the subject matter.
You don't have to be an expert to take a skeptical viewpoint.

No, but it doesn't help if you know nothig about the subject.
If that were the case there woud be very little anyone could comment on. Even experts speculate on things beyond what if known in their field.

Bur Randi was not commenting beyond what is known in the field, he was commenting without knowing what is known.
You say James retracted part of his statement well its his right to stand by the what he didn't retract.

Well, there was not much left.
Sorry you don't like it but tough. So he took a petition at face value. So what! That wasn't even his main point.

The petition was his evidence in support one of his main points which was that there is no consensus amongst the experts. His evidence was flawed and his conclusion is wrong.
His main point was that you shouldn't have blind faith in scientists.

He was correct, but then he spoiled it by misunderstanding the meaning of consensus in that context.
You just seized on the weakest part of his post

His whole argument was weak and embarrassingly so
in order to silence him

I don't want to silence him. I want him to look at the facts before giving an opinion. He is not a novice after all. He should have immediately smelt a rat and it would not have been hard to confirm that with a little research.
because you don't want doubts about your global warming religion to be aired.

Thanks for your mischaracterisation.
James Randi is a skeptic not a sinner.

That's why I expected better of him and why I was so disappointed, not in his error - everyone can make an error - but in his sloppiness.
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Randi's rudimentary knowledge 1
written by Marcuse, December 21, 2009
"I strongly suspect that The Petition Project may be valid. I base this on my admittedly rudimentary knowledge of the facts about planet Earth. This ball of hot rock and salt water spins on its axis and rotates about the Sun with the expected regularity, though we're aware that lunar tides, solar wind, galactic space dust and geomagnetic storms have cooled the planet by about one centigrade degree in the past 150 years. The myriad of influences that act upon Earth are so many and so variable -- though not capricious -- that I believe we simply cannot formulate an equation into which we enter variables and come up with an answer. A living planet will continually belch, vibrate, fracture, and crumble a bit, and thus defeat an accurate equation. Please note that this my amateur opinion, based on probably insufficient data."

Even if you've changed your mind about the Petition Project (or have you not?) i wonder why you, in the first place "strongly suspect" something based on "rudimentary knowledge"?! Is that not in opposition to your own notion of why one should suspect something to be valid or not? If you lack knowledge of a something, don't hold any claims about it for true or valid until you have the knowledge. (a rule that could have originated from yourself maybe?) When it comes to such grave matters as to wheather how long our species will survive on this planet you could administrate your credibility a bit better! Because it is very high!

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Randi's rudimentary knowledge 2
written by Marcuse, December 21, 2009
Now to your "rudimentary knowledge".
I'm not a scientist, but i know one important fact that is rarely mentioned in this debate about the climate change. The eco-system on the planets surface is a delicate balance of many factors we cannot fully understand or control etc. But the crucial thing that man has invented technology that makes it possible for us to bring these non-renewable fossile substances up to the earths core. (which is of course an amazing achievement and we should continue to use these fossile substances but not in the irresponsible way we are doing it). During a time period of millions of years organic substances have slowly exited the planets eco-system and been stored deep in the earth as fossile (oil). Now we are responsible for bringing it back up again. What naturally was taken out of the eco-system over millions of years we bring back in, in a timeperiod of about a century and a half. This is evidence, that human activity brings CO'2 into the eco-system, CO'2 that would not be in the athmosphere if it was'nt for us.

Yes, I'm aware of the massive release of energy -- mostly heat -- that we've produced by exhuming and burning oil, natural gas, and coal. We've also attacked forests and turned them into fuel by converting them into paper at further energy expense, paper that is also burned, in turn."

Burning paper/wood does not add CO'2 to our athmosphere because wood is already a vital part of the eco-system and will eventually become CO'2 anyway by rottening.

"Incidentally, we have a convenient phenomenon that contributes to our survival. Doubling the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere will not double the temperature rise, small though it is. The basic principle of what's known as the "greenhouse effect" is quite simple: in a glass-enclosed environment, sunlight enters through the glass and strikes a surface, where it is transformed into longer infrared rays which do not easily reflect back through the glass; they're trapped. and raise the temperature. However, the greenhouse effect as applied to our planet is more complicated. The infrared rays that are reflected back from the Earth are trapped by the greenhouse gases, water vapor and CO2 -- a process that warms those gases and heats the Earth. This effect makes Earth habitable, preventing extremes of temperature. The limit of the influence of CO2 is dictated, not by the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but by the amount of solar radiation reflected back from the Earth. Once all the infrared rays have been "captured" by the greenhouse gases there is no additional increase in carbon dioxide."

Some IR-light would normally travel out of the athmosphere again but the more CO'2 in the athmosphere there is more IR-light will be reflected back. Just an idea..... smilies/grin.gif

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written by Marcuse, December 21, 2009
And every fossil fuel produces CO2. Some products produce more than others, varying with their chemical composition. Methane gas produces less CO2, wood produces more."

Wood is not a fossile fuel! It should'nt take that many scientists to figure that out! (But if it does take many scientists, i am sure you can find their signatures on this petition--->http://www.petitionproject.org )

"Yes, we produce CO2, by burning "fossil fuels" and by simply breathing."

What's that? A copy and paste from the webpage of "British Petroleum" or perhaps "General Motors"?
-------------------------------------------------------------------

"We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."
Too bad it's not true....
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written by Barrett808, December 22, 2009
Thomas, you never got around to answering my original question: Do you have any evidence to suggest that the following Wikipedia statement is incorrect?

"With the release of the revised statement by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in 2007, no remaining scientific body of national or international standing is known to reject the basic findings of human influence on recent climate change." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...ate_change

Why would you prefer some blogger's opinion over that of the peer-reviewed scientific literature?
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Since William Connolley's name is being dragged through the mud here...
written by Barrett808, December 22, 2009
Here's his reaction to the latest hatchet job by the National Post:

So, Lawrence "beany" Solomon does me the honour of a full-out assault. I'm a bit puzzled as to why, perhaps more study will reveal this. It looks like he is trying to get some kind of linkage between the Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident and my on-wiki activities. But although Solomon states directly The Climategate Emails reveal something else, too: the enlistment of the most widely read source of information in the world -- Wikipedia -- in the wholesale rewriting of this history, I don't see any actual support for this anywhere. I find two refs to wiki in the emails, one of which miss-spells my name, thereby convincingly demonstrating a clear intent to hide their tracks, ha ha, and the other is an apparently uninteresting whinge.


http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/...part_2.php
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A graphic depiction
written by stevekelner, December 22, 2009
I stumbled across a guy who specializes in creating graphic depictions of complex issues; he took a deep dive into the AGW research, and came up with the following, which I find to be an amazing job of synthesis: http://www.informationisbeauti...consensus/
Of course, his view fits mine, but I think people might still find it interesting for the references, and he includes all the data he uses for reference.
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written by Marker, December 22, 2009
I was pleased to see Randi articulate a healthy skepticism of the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis. It strengthened my respect for Randi as a skeptic's Skeptic. At the same time I was disappointed by the disproportionately aggressive response of some on these forums. Like many of you I'm a TAM-going hardcore skeptic (30+ years). From spoon-bending to creationism to chiropractic - I despise "woo" in all forms and suspect I would agree with most skeptics on virtually all related issues. I can actually get choked up when talking about the intrinsic beauty and power of the scientific method. Science and truth mean a great deal to me.

One day about two years ago I happened to come across an article written by an IPCC lead reviewer that disagreed with many of the IPCC's key findings. It surprised me because this was one of the "2,000 IPCC scientists" that Al Gore said comprised the "consensus view". This seemed very odd to me so I did a little digging on the author and he checked out. This article had links to some other 'skeptical' articles and some papers, many of them by other IPCC contributors. I realized that, at a minimum, several media outlets and AGW spokespeople were overstating the strength of the "consensus". I asked myself "why would they overstate their case?" and started digging into it some more.

Being a hardcore skeptic, I know that occasionally we skeptics have to really roll up our sleeves and do some work to support our position. Not everything is as straight-forward to debunk as spoon-bending (although let's not forget that Targ and Puthoff were Phds at SRI). For example, some aspects of chiropractic and vaccine alarmism required some heavy lifting by a few good skeptics before they could definitively be laid to rest. As I dug deeper into it I discovered that there is legitimate disagreement between highly respected, expert scientists about the AGW hypothesis. This surprised me and I decided that to get at the truth I would have to get into the nitty gritty details of the actual science. So for the past two years I've spent a few hours each week educating myself on obscure fields like dendroclimatology and principle component analysis. It wasn't easy but this stuff *is* actually understandable with some time and work. I began following the publications of the pro-AGW scientists and comparing them against the criticism of serious skeptical scientists. Here's what I've learned so far.

- There is legitimate debate about the degree to which man-made CO2 has had a meaningful impact on global climate
- Predictions of catastrophic AGW do not have empirical support at this time
- There are serious unresolved issues with key temperature reconstructions relied on to support the AGW hypothesis
- Several leading AGW spokespeople frequently overstate the degree of scientific support for catastrophic predictions
- Dissenting viewpoints about AGW have been intentionally suppressed by a few influential climate scientists

Each of these points is an inarguable fact supported by multiple streams of clear evidence. None of them mean that the AGW hypothesis couldn't one day be proven. It just hasn't been proven yet. Before dismissing what I've said, I urge serious skeptics to take the time to dig into the science. AGW *is* different than the issues we usually evaluate. I know this is challenging because it was difficult for me to arrive at this position too. We skeptics are pro-science and it has been asserted that "the science is settled". It can seem like provisionally withholding our support from the AGW hypothesis is "anti-science". It isn't! The skeptical mindset that we uphold is in many ways the last line of defense against leaping too soon to insufficiently supported conclusions. We skeptics *should* be the toughest to convince and the last to move from "undecided" to blessing a controversial new hypothesis with an unconditional endorsement(and even then we'll have to decide which pro-AGW hypothesis to support, there are conflicting candidates and even pro-AGW scientists can't yet agree which is correct).

Based on what I now know I don't think it's rational for a true skeptic to support AGW in the same way we support evolution. There is simply nowhere near the same degree of empirical, independently replicated evidence to justify such a high level of certainty. However, you'll also hear no shortage of claims to the contrary (and those claims are a great place to begin digging in your skeptical investigation). I believe Randi, Penn and some other courageous skeptics have already articulated the most reasonable, cautious and objective position to hold at this point - "we just don't know yet".
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written by BillyJoe, December 22, 2009
Marker,

I believe Randi, Penn and some other courageous skeptics have already articulated the most reasonable, cautious and objective position to hold at this point - "we just don't know yet".

This is not quite correct.
Penn said "I don't know", not "we just don't know yet"
Penn, like Randi, says he does not know enough about climate change to give an opinion.
That's a big difference to what you were implying (intentionally or not)

BJ
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written by BillyJoe, December 22, 2009
So for the past two years I've spent a few hours each week educating myself on obscure fields like dendroclimatology and principle component analysis. It wasn't easy but this stuff *is* actually understandable with some time and work. I began following the publications of the pro-AGW scientists and comparing them against the criticism of serious skeptical scientists. Here's what I've learned so far...

But why should I read any further?

Granted that you would know a whole lot more than I do about climate change, but should I pay any attention to what an educated amateur like yourself has to say on the subject of climate change as opposed to someone who knows all you do, and more, and who has years of experience in the subject as a practising scientist?

I was, in fact, interested enough to read what you had to say, but should I pay it any more than a passing interest?
I mean this as a genuine question.

BJ
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written by BillyJoe, December 22, 2009
Marker,

One day about two years ago I happened to come across an article written by an IPCC lead reviewer that disagreed with many of the IPCC's key findings. It surprised me because this was one of the "2,000 IPCC scientists" that Al Gore said comprised the "consensus view".

As a matter of interest, in your investigations, how many of those "2,000 IPCC scientists" have you found actually disagree with the consensus statement? How many diasagee with the broard thrust of the consensus statement as opposed to just some details of it?

BJ
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written by José, December 22, 2009
There is legitimate debate about the degree to which man-made CO2 has had a meaningful impact on global climate

This is a straw man. Of course there's debate about the degree with which CO2 has had an impact.

Predictions of catastrophic AGW do not have empirical support at this time

There's certainly empirical support for AGW. Are you specifically saying there's none for catastrophic AGW because it hasn't happened yet? It's a prediction based on the physics of adding more CO2 to the atmosphere than would occur naturally.

There are serious unresolved issues with key temperature reconstructions relied on to support the AGW hypothesis

What issues regarding temperature reconstructions have not been resolved and how do they change the argument?

Several leading AGW spokespeople frequently overstate the degree of scientific support for catastrophic predictions

So what. Very few scientists expect New York to be drowned under 50 feet of water any time soon, but there are varying degrees of catastrophic. We're not arguing Al Gore graphics.

Dissenting viewpoints about AGW have been intentionally suppressed by a few influential climate scientists

Proof? Examples? Who are these all powerful Illuminati climatologists blinding us to the truth?

Each of these points is an inarguable fact supported by multiple streams of clear evidence.

This is an inarguably wrong blanket statement.

Based on what I now know I don't think it's rational for a true skeptic to support AGW in the same way we support evolution. There is simply nowhere near the same degree of empirical, independently replicated evidence to justify such a high level of certainty.

CO2 allows sunlight to pass through. CO2 reflects infrared. Humans activity has added more CO2 to the atmosphere.

I believe Randi, Penn and some other courageous skeptics have already articulated the most reasonable, cautious and objective position to hold at this point - "we just don't know yet".

You call uninformed skepticism courageous? The basics of AGW aren't that difficult to understand, but Randi has clearly failed to grasp them. Why would a skeptic support that? No scientist can state precisely what the consequences of AGW will be, but that's no reason to throw up our hands and say "we just don't know yet".
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written by BillyJoe, December 22, 2009
Marker,

I was pleased to see Randi articulate a healthy skepticism of the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis. It strengthened my respect for Randi as a skeptic's Skeptic.

To which I can only respond "you have to be joking!"

By his own admission, Randi had no knowledge of climate science, but he then proceeded to give an opinion. That's not scepticism. That's stupidity. Why on Earth would you offer an opinion on a subject about which you have no knowledge.
He blundered badly in backing the petition project against the consensus statement.
And he blundered badly in thinking that the sceptical postion was to doubt the scientific consensus. He has no expertise on which he can even base his doubt. His understanding is so rudimentary that he did not even know that he did not know!

This article was a real low point in the, by and large, distinguished life of James Randi.

BJ
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This ClimateGate thing...
written by Human Person Jr, December 23, 2009
It's just awful. They stole, STOLE, those emails and other documents.

I fear for Al Gore's financial health, and what about poor ol' Pachauri?

And what about the Democrats who might be retired from Congress?

Have the skeptics no decency? No human compassion?
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@Human Person Jr
written by stevekelner, December 23, 2009
Yes, Human, they did steal those emails. They not only hacked into someone else's account to steal data -- that is a crime, by the way -- they then moved it rather professionally through Turkey into a Russian FTP server. Then they tried to hack into RealClimate.org, a site run by climate scientists which has committed to making their data available, and force the data into there, but RC evidently resisted this attack. Within 72 hours suddenly a whole passel of right-wing blogs and some "skeptic" organizations (especially those funded by the oil industry) were trumpeting this "fraud," which it was not. Most of the more inflammatory statements about this data are false.
If we hacked into your computer and downloaded all your data and emails, what would we find, eh?
Al Gore has nothing to do with this, and referring to him is merely pointless. Ditto the Democrats.
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written by BillyJoe, December 23, 2009
Human Person Jr,

Just for starters:

"trick" here means a clever way of getting the point across, not a deceitful way of hiding it.

"hiding" here means getting rid of data (proxies for global temperature) in a graphical presentation that is contradicted by more reliable data (actual temperature measurements).

"we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment" means they have been denied the ability to track the changes in temperture and therefore to get some hint as to why at the present time no warming is occurring because the Bush administration failed to fund the satellite which would have made this possible. That is the "travesty" they refer to.

The opinion of one of the authors of one of the emails which was supposed to be a revelation, has been on public record ever since he published his views many years ago. So much for "cover up". And, of course, it doesn't mean what the AGW deniers say it means.

BJ
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@ stevekelner
written by Human Person Jr, December 23, 2009
I don't accept that anyone, your knowledgeable self included, has psychic ability. Therefore, I can't accept your unsupported statement that someone "hacked into someone else's account to steal data." If you have evidence that a hacker did this, and not a whistleblower, please provide the goods or stop claiming special knowledge.

There is, however, good evidence that the roughly eighty billion dollars the government has spent on climate research went mostly to support alarmist hypotheses. Big government trumps big oil every time, because there is an inexhaustible (they think) supply of taxpayer dollars available to government. Big oil, on the other hand, not so much.

I am a business consultant. There is some information that I give my clients face to face and no other way, simply because email is not a secure form of communication. Still, I'm glad the alleged scientists weren't as careful as I am.

You (wrongly) removed Al Gore from consideration. Al Gore has plenty to do with this. He is the face and voice of the alarmists, the High Priest of the Church of Hey Watch Out. You failed to mention Pachauri. Why is that? This guy lives and breathes conflict of interest. It's a proven fact. There is no way he should be allowed to keep his chair.

I don't know how the credophiles remain so. I'm skeptical as hell. If my mom says she loves me, I immediately start checking it out, asking around.
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A sad day for skeptics
written by RedLava, December 23, 2009
I find it incredibly sad that the skeptical community can't see the hypocricy in the way the majority of its members are treating Randi on this issue. They are behaving exactly like Polygraph scientists who insist on the accuracy of their junk science. One of the skeptical movement's little secrets seems to be that the majority of them are strong leftists politically, with only a handful of libertarians or conservatives. There's of course nothing wrong with that. I personally couldn't care less about their political views but when I see it clouding their judgement on scientific matters I wish they could at least admit it. I admit, my own political views do affect my judement in other matters. We're all hypocrites to some degree but only a handful of us can own up to it. However, I read up on history as much as I do science so I don't think I'm going to be the one proven the fool on this subject in about ten years.

On the issue of AWG, the entire issue stinks of "junk science" to the extreme. Science based on broad assumptions and political agenda is not science at all. In the case of global warming one must be extremely skeptical of where the "scientific facts" are coming from. The environmental political movement and climate science in general has a history of alarmist claims that never come true. All of their conclusions to fixing the problems they claim exist, involve money changing hands from big corporations to the government. First we had global cooling in the 60's. Then came the "pollution will kill everything in the ocean" in the 70's. After that was the "running out of landfill space" nonsense of the 80's. This was followed closely by the 90's "hole in the ozone over the north and south poles (which are caused by the earth's seasonal rotation by the way) will give us all skin cancer" claim. NONE of their alarmist claims on these issues came even close to being true. The planet is not frozen, the fish are not all dead, we aren't even close to running out of landfill space and we don't all have skin cancer. Now we have the supposed global warming crisis which you have to admit is at least a little ironic. The only difference through the years of these alarmist claims seems to be the number of people jumping on the bandwagon. I applaud James Randi for at least being skeptical of AWG though I am dissapointed he is wimping out slightly with his follow-up response. I realize the last thing he wants is to upset his followers who donate plenty of money to the JREF, but was really hoping he'd stick to his guns. Oh well, I guess it wouldn't have done any good for his reputation anyways. I doubt there would be any apologies to him from the alarmists in about 10 years when this AWG is forgotten about like the environmental fad that it is.

Environmental alarmists are pulling the same pathetic game as psychics who claim to predict the future. They're wrong in their predictions every single time yet they want us to just forget about what they said would happen and instead they make new claims. There were never any apologies made for the other junk science they dumped after castigating the non-believers in years past. I'm sure I'll get plenty of flames... er I mean responses to this little post. I'm sure all of them will come from non-politically motivated, sensible, logical and reasonable people who only want to explain the "scientific facts" to me based on unquestionable data and solid scientific computer program models (without fudge factors) taken from non-politically motivated, honest and thorough institutions such as the University of East Anglia. I look forward to my re-education. Go right ahead.
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@ BillyJoe
written by Human Person Jr, December 23, 2009
You wrote: "...'trick' here means a clever way of getting the point across, not a deceitful way of hiding it."

You're right and wrong, in the same sentence. Certainly, there was no intent to deceive in the use of a "trick." However, "trick," as used here, means a shortcut, a means to an end, and not an evil or wrong-headed end, at that. It has nothing to do with making a point.

You misunderstand (perhaps deliberately) the issue with "...Mike's Nature trick...to hide the decline." The problem is this: If the tree ring data was invalid from 1960 forward (and we know it was, since we had actual measurements for that period), it follows that it's equally invalid as a temperature proxy for any prior time period.

The entire paragraph beginning, "...we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment" is riddled with bad thinking and falsehoods. You need to rethink this one.

The larger point is this: Lots of folks have joined the skeptic camp since the emails AND MANY OTHER DOCUMENTS became public. I can't imagine why they needed "ClimateGate" to become deniers, skeptics, oil-company shills, or whatever you folks are calling us these days.

I understand that the climate is changing. I further understand that some already wealthy people stand to "make" hundreds of billions of dollars more, if governments believe or pretend to believe in AGW and act to "try" to reverse the bad effects.

Furthermore, these government actions will kill lots of people, and plunge lots more into lifelong poverty. But the collectivists don't care. To them, individuals are meaningless. It's the hive (they believe) that carries us forward. To them, a few more million dead might even be a good thing (reduces overpopulation, you see).

You people who believe in AGW, as well as believing in the "remedies" proposed for it, are the most immoral people living today.

You really dogged out James Randi, unfairly. You should be ashamed of that.

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correction
written by RedLava, December 23, 2009
Btw, I wrote my post a little dislexically there... that's AGW not AWG smilies/smiley.gif
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@Human Person
written by stevekelner, December 23, 2009
I make no claims of psychic ability except that of thought. The movement of this data has been traced already; and there is no doubt that RealClimate had an attack. Furthermore, even if someone inside the center sent the emails, they were not theirs to send. That, dear Human, is theft.
I removed Al Gore from consideration because people seem to think he is some sort of Professor Moriarty behind the scenes when he is merely the most famous popularizer. That makes him a big target. People are claiming he made money from this, but he started thinking about related issues when inspired by one of his college professors, and remember his family has oil company investments as well -- a bit counterintuitive, no? But the real reason I left him out is because he isn't a scientist and isn't responsible for the research you so easily dismiss. Using Al Gore to criticize the research is kind of like using James Randi to criticize rational thought.
The research on this goes back a long way. Human-caused global warming (through CO2, in fact) was first proposed as a reason for us moving out of the last Ice Age by Arrhenius in 1896. Yes, that's eighteen ninety-six. This isn't some fly-by-night idea, as some people including RedLava, seem to think; it's been in the literature for a long, long time now.
By the way, BillyJoe is right and you are wrong on the "trick." If you read the details, you will find that he was referring to an analytical technique, which is usually referred to by scientists as a "trick." I've used the same term myself (I'm a business consultant and a research scientist by training) referring to a statistical technique. And your view on the invalidity of tree rings since 1960 is simply wrong as well, I'm afraid. Part of the issue is that tree-ring data is based on trees, and the more recent the year, the fewer old-growth trees have been cut down, eh?
And you seem awfully willing to claim that all these thousands of dedicated scientists are evil-minded, immoral people without a shred of evidence. Even if every word in the hacked emails indicated fraud -- and it doesn't, none of it -- you are showing very poor reasoing indeed.
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@stevekelner
written by RedLava, December 23, 2009
With all due respect sir, I think you're avoiding the real issue with the emails and you're also pulling quite a straw man in claiming we're all calling climate scientists "evil". I don't think the I've read (and I might be mistaken) anyone sayig that the thousands of dedicated climate scientists are "evil-minded" though I do believe one person referred to the people pushing the climate agenda as immoral (he was referring to those looking to profit off of this). In regards to the emails, the "trick" portion of one of the emails is easy to get hung up on but honestly I have no problem with his using the word "trick" either... the issue was his "trick" being used to "HIDE THE DECLINE". Taken in that context it doesn't matter what was meant by the word "trick", it was clear they were trying to manipulate the climate data to support global warming. You know it, I know it, and every honest person who's read that email knows it. If the email itself is a fraud that's one thing. But nobody, not even the person who wrote it denies that it is authentic. Why you would even choose to be an apolgist for this kind of scientific fraud is beyond me but I'm sure your heart is in the right place anyway. As far as global warming going back a long way... I never said that the theory didn't. All kinds of theories have been around for hundreds or thousands of years but you have to admit the POPULARITY of this theory has skyrocketed in the past 10 years. It's overblown hysterics over something that may or may not be happening and which may or may not be being caused by man yet environmentalists want trillions of dollars to change hands over their barely founded junk scientific research and they seem to want to shut everyone else up who's calling for calm, rational, debate and research into this. Comparing us to people who deny the holocaust by calling us "deniers" suggests to me that environmentalists just want the research and debate to go away. It's science done backwards, they came to the conclusion that there was AGW based on some alarmist environmentalist claims that they bought into, and now "scientists" are all looking for the evidence to back it up. The same alarmists and alarmist organizations (ie. Green Peace) that starting pushing this idea before the bandwagon formed have all had nothing but endless failed predictions in the past. Honestly why does anybody believe anything they say? Why did scientists jump onto these theories so readily and then try to find the scientific data to back it up? Political agenda maybe? Whatcha think?
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Once again, @ stevekelner
written by Human Person Jr, December 23, 2009
You're not reading what I wrote. You're responding to something I never said. I was very clear in what I wrote, so the fault is in your reading. You wrote: "By the way, BillyJoe is right and you are wrong on the 'trick.' If you read the details, you will find that he was referring to an analytical technique..."

My statement agrees entirely with yours, and only partially disagrees with BillyJoe. He never said "analytical technique." He said, "a clever way of getting a point across." It means nothing of the sort. BillyJoe is wrong. It means what you said, and what I said. If you can't comprehend what I'm writing, I'm not going to engage you further.

I also made it clear that I didn't consider the "trick" to be a wrong thing to do. Really, I can't believe you got any of that from what I wrote.

You moved the goalpost on the issue of hacking. I agree, the data were stolen, which constitutes theft. You didn't say theft the first time around. You said "They...hacked into someone else's account to steal data." Again, that hasn't been established, and you have no knowledge how the theft was accomplished. But you blithely ignore what I wrote and respond to something else entirely.

As for the length of time AGW has been a hypothesis, consider this: Belief in the efficacy of accupuncture has been around roughly 2,500 years (25 times as long as long as the concept of AGW has existed). I believe we can safely assume that accupuncture is 25 times more valid than AGW.

I stand by my statement: Those who believe in AGW, as well as believing in the proposed remedies for same, are among the most immoral people living today. That includes scientists as well as alarmists in general. There are plenty who accept GW and/or AGW who don't believe the proposed remedies are necessary, or even effective.

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Al Gore, from hero to zero...
written by Human Person Jr, December 23, 2009
Y'know, old Al was almost president once. He'll tell you now (hell, he tells everyone), "I got the most votes. I won the popular vote."

This is blatant dishonesty. Lemme explain sump'n to ya, Al. The Electoral College has been around for a long time. The Electoral College, not the popular vote, determines the winner of a presidential election. There will always be the potential for someone to get more votes across the U.S. and lose the election. That, in itself, means nothing.

Lemme 'splain sump'n else, Mr. Gore. Bill Clinton was rightfully furious at you for failing to carry your own home state. That is weak. You should be jailed for criminal stupidity, if nothing else. And then, you wanna climb up on that stage and start your mind-numbing, pedantic lecture? And then climb aboard your private jet? Nah, you're an epic fail waiting to happen. You deserve to be in prison. So does Pachauri.

How many conservatives and libertarians subscribe to AGW? Not many? Imagine that! I guess they're (we're) just stupid.
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No conservatives subscribe to AGW, eh?
written by stevekelner, December 23, 2009
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories...6997.shtml
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Amazing...
written by Human Person Jr, December 23, 2009
You've learned your tricks from Al Gore. You ignored the comments directed at you, in favor of something you imagined yourself competent to defend.
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written by Kagehi, December 23, 2009
You know.. People keep whining about the tree ring thing.

Facts:

1. Other than the period shown, other data "correlates exactly" with the tree ring data.

2. Other types of trees are less available (you have to cut them down to get the rings), and maybe a bit "fuzzier" in their growth, so are not normally used.

3. Where they have been checked, they ***do not show*** the same discrepancy, which implies that something is effecting their growth cycle, and thus the data, which isn't connected to *temperature*, thus the error in the data from them.

4. One of the biggest problems I have with the anti-AGW side, besides the odd fact that everyone against it owns, works for, or did work for, companies that would be temporarily inconvenienced by having to do something about it, is the fact that they equate "specific" details, like this one sort of tree being a problem for data collection recently, with ***every*** kind of tree. Its a bit like watching someone ramble on about how all cars made in the US are badly made, while including in that everything from race cars, to trucks, to eighteen wheelers, to electric/hybred, when they actually mean that a specific model, made in a specific year, by one company, was a piece of junk.

When you insist on taking one thing *out of context*, expanding it to include every context in the known universe, then insist that this is sign of huge conspiracy... Oh, and what #@$#@$ profit? I wasn't aware that climatologists had invested vast amount of the huge riches they don't have in projects that don't exist, by companies that don't exist yet. And, if doing something about it is going to "destroy the world economy", how the hell are any of them going to get rich off it? Even your arguments are inconsistent with your own imagined data, never mind the real facts.
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Okay, here we go, RedLava and Human Person Jr (#1)
written by stevekelner, December 23, 2009
I knew it was a mistake to get into this, but since my honor has been impugned, I will respond. Apologies for length.
1. RedLava: You assert I am ignoring the "real issue" with the emails. If I understand your concern (and I may not), you think that environmentalists have been alarmists (and I think you have a case here), but you also seem to think that there is active dishonesty in the CRU, and that they were being deceptive or even fraudulent (I'm not sure if you are using this word or merely alluding to my wording) in "hiding the decline." Others have discussed this better than I can, including the RealClimate site, which I recommend. However, for the record, the AP went through all 1,073 emails. Their conclusion: "E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data — but the messages don't support claims that the science of global warming was faked." Google "Science not faked, but not pretty." (I can't post more than one link.) I don't object to reasoned criticisms and concerns; but your broad-based dismissal of thousands of scientists' work as "junk science" without evidence disturbs me.
2. RedLava, your apparent assumption that most of this concern is politically motivated -- with an allusion to "trillions of dollars to change hands" also disturbs me. I find it weird that so many on the "skeptical" side of this issue think there is a money motive behind the environmentalists when we KNOW there is money behind the anti-AGW crew in the form of the oil and coal industries. This isn't paranoia or conspiracy theory here, this is hard fact, and indeed you could argue that those industries are only being sensible in trying to defend themselves against AGW or at least taking a different view, since any action taken is likely to affect them. Furthermore, I cannot believe that so many thousands of scientists are all doing this for the money. (Especially the way grants work.) The big money is in industry, and at this point there's lots more money in the energy industry and related industries than in Greentech, which actually took a nosedive in investment money when oil prices dropped.
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Previous comment continued (#2)
written by stevekelner, December 23, 2009
3. Human Person Jr: I misunderstood your comment on "trick," sorry about that. However, if I understand your note upon rereading, you also seem to propose that this trick was intended to make a point which was not only wrong but actively dangerous (you wrote: "these government actions will kill lots of people, and plunge lots more into lifelong poverty") and furthermore said AGW believers "are the most immoral people living today," so perhaps it is at least understandable that I conflated the reasonable comments at the beginning with your conclusion that I am implicitly an immoral collectivist who thinks individuals are meaningless and we should kill a few million off to reduce overpopulation. That, sir, is a load of crap, and I take issue with that. Perhaps I have misunderstood something here, but you seemed to say that the trick was okay, but the result was not. At the end of the day, that's still assuming immorality of intent. I used the word "evil" instead of "immoral," but I kind of think killing off millions of people and ignoring the individual counts as evil.
4. On whether the CRU was "hacked" - that's how most of the stories I have seen are being written, that's what the CRU said, that's what RealClimate thought when the person or people who did it tried to upload the file to them. The only exception is one writer who thinks it may have been an insider. Even if it was sent by someone attached to the CRU, it was still a dishonest act to load other peoples' emails onto a server.
5. On my brief post in the limited time I had: well, I'm sorry I didn't reply to you in detail fast enough to suit you. But you didn't respond to my point, which was in fact directed squarely at one of yours. You wrote: "How many conservatives and libertarians subscribe to AGW? Not many? Imagine that! I guess they're (we're) just stupid." This implies, as RedLava said, that this is a political issue, and that conservatives know better. I posted a link indicating that some very conservative Christian groups are on board. How is that not applicable?
6. On my competence or lack thereof: I don't claim competence in this field. I am a trained scientist, who knows many others, and I also know something about how academic works, though I fled it as soon as possible (even before I finished my PhD) for corporate life. I know well enough that I don't have the credentials or knowledge to badmouth or dismiss the work of thousands of experienced scientists. Saying we need to do more research is one thing; but attributing vicious sentiments to thousands of hardworking scientists is, to me, beyond the pale. And here is the heart of the "debate:" those without data start into political arguments or maligning the players. in a recent survey of 3,146 scientists, CNN found that 97% of climatologists active in climate research believe in AGW. Shouldn't that be an important indicator, regardless of what you or I think?
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written by BillyJoe, December 23, 2009
RedLava,

I find it incredibly sad that the skeptical community can't see the hypocricy in the way the majority of its members are treating Randi on this issue.


On the other hand, I find it incredibly encouraging that the sceptical community, despite holding James Randi in great esteem, will nevertheless feel duty bound to call him out when he makes unsceptical commentary and commits logical fallacies as he has done in the case of climate change.

Indeed they would be hypocritical if they didn't.

If there is a case against GW/AGW, James Randi has not made it. Period.
If you think there is a genuine case to be made against GW/AGW, then you should be embarrassed by James Randi's contribution.

BillyJoe
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written by BillyJoe, December 23, 2009
Human Person,

However, "trick," as used here, means a shortcut, a means to an end, and not an evil or wrong-headed end, at that. It has nothing to do with making a point.

Well, you are correct, congratulations.
But I'm glad that you agree with the point of my post which was that the word "trick" does not have negative connotations in this context.

You misunderstand (perhaps deliberately) the issue with "...Mike's Nature trick...to hide the decline." The problem is this: If the tree ring data was invalid from 1960 forward (and we know it was, since we had actual measurements for that period), it follows that it's equally invalid as a temperature proxy for any prior time period.


For at least 100 years prior to 1960 the changes in the tree rings closely tracks the changes in instrumental temperature . In other words, tree rings were undeniably a valid proxy for temperature change prior to 1960. So your last point is incorrect.
After 1960, the two diverge.

Other proxies for temperture also closely track the changes in temperature but, unlike tree rings, they continue to track the changes in temperature after 1960.
It therefore seems reasonable to assume that, after 1960, something is changing tree rings other than temperature change and that, therefore they are no longer a valid proxy for temperture change.

Also, this does not apply to all trees. Trees in the southern hemisphere still closely track changes in temperature. The reasons for this are not clear as I understand it, but one hypothesis for why some trees do not is that increases in temperture beyond a certain threshold might affect them adversely.

The entire paragraph beginning, "...we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment" is riddled with bad thinking and falsehoods. You need to rethink this one.

Or you could just point it out. smilies/wink.gif

In fact, you don;t need to because what I said was correct.
It is undeniably true that the Earth is accummulating heat. However scientists are unable to keep track of where this heat is going (ie in the oceans?) because the satellite that would have achieved this feat was scuttled by the Bush administration. As a result of that, they cannot explain why surface temperature is going down (ie is it because the heat is going into the deep ocean layers?).

Over to you.

BillyJoe
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Bush...
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
stole the election from Gore.

Then he cleverly scuttled the very satellite Gore's minions needed to balance the energy budget.

Is there no end to his perfidy? Oh, well, at least we have a president now who's willing to do the right thing. Oh yeah.

Those who claim no political agenda in this science are delusional. I can guarantee you there is a HUGE political agenda in my skepticism.
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As for the science, BillyJoe
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
Everything you ever wanted to know about the skeptical side of AGW is out there in plain view (unlike the "scientist's" datasets).

GW is real. AGW, to a limited extent, is real. The trillions of dollars to be made from the remedies are real, spendable dollars. They will come from the same place from which all money comes, consumers and taxpayers. There isn't anywhere else to get money. In spite of boneheaded leftist beliefs, corporations don't pay tax. Only individual people can pay tax. The corporations simply bundle the tax into the cost of their product or service, and pass it along to whom? The consumer/taxpayer, of course.

Again, there are plenty of people who agree that GW and/or AGW are real. They don't agree with the pressing need to enrich Gore, Pachauri and their ilk, while stripping individuals of all choice in the matter of "conservation" and "green jobs."

What a freakin' laugh.

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A question for you, BillyJoe...
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
What is the ideal global average temperature and ppmv of CO2 that will make us safe from the coming catastrophe? Where is the exact locus on the Earth's thermostat for which we should aim when we turn out the lights?

How often in Earth's past has the ideal global average temperature been the actual one? According to the "scientists," it was always fine and good until recently. Of course, that's much easier to say when you "smooth" out the MWP and the LIA. If you're willing to carefully pick your start and end date when confabulating your "science," you can pretty much make a graph that'll prove anything you want about the next catastrophe.

It is immoral to remain ignorant about such a huge, EXPENSIVE issue. Please get around and read the other side, with an open mind. There is no need to do what the U.S. government wants to do. NONE. There is a religious need among the AGW crowd. It'd be cheaper on all of us taxpayers if they'd just turn to the ever-so-sweet, yet-non-existent Jesus, as opposed to the Holy Grail of Gaia's ideal temperature.
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Fossil fuels...
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
are what we have. If you take those away or tax the hell outta them, we're screwed.

Anyone who thinks third-world hut cities are full of ennobled people, all of them "closer to Mother Earth," should think again.

Poverty-stricken people are desperate people. There's no time or room for noble, high-flown concepts, not when there are flies, roaches and mosquitoes crawling on your six children. Poverty erodes the humanity right out of a human.

Yet, this is what our own government has in store for us. ABJECT POVERTY, for all but the lucky few.
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Unprecedented warming, says Scientist Al...
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
Keith Briffa, of the CRU, said something very different, in an email of September 22, 1999:

“I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards 'apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data' but in reality the situation is not quite so simple…I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago."

Yet, the graphs used in the Assessment Reports from the IPCC don't show that warming. Politically or financially motivated? Nah, not the UN, no way!
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Hmm..
written by Kagehi, December 24, 2009
Missed that. One of the people arguing here says that because "libertarians" are against it, there is something to it? Only a libertarian would think that actually means anything. In my experience, if I was half dead, starving, dying of thirst, and broke, thus your average libertarian had a choice between giving me a sandwich and a cup of water, "lending" it to me on credit, or simply refusing to help at all, their most likely response would be to say, "You are being alarmist, and giving you anything would take money out of my pocket." They, almost universally, make it about how much money they **personally** have, and they are the ones already making sure that, for example, the head of some company like Wallmart makes like $500 per every $1 their non-management "employees" make, whine about welfare, but train their managers to help people fill out forms for food stamps and other government subsidies, since minimum wage isn't enough to live on any more. Conservatives? They embrace about 50% of the libertarian ideals at this point, and the only major difference between them, in my example, is they would be willing to "lend you" the sandwich, with 30% interest, late penalties, and no government oversight of the company giving you the loan.

These are people that "used to" think that the environment, forests, national parks, our roads, basic infrastructure, etc. where worth "conserving". Over the last 20 years, they are, both, the ones *specifically* responsible for a) closing parks, b) cutting infrastructure money, c) deregulating everything, with the result that costs of those things sky rocketed, even as the actual substance of the programs disintegrated, d) refused to pay attention to warnings about everything from bridge to levy failures, or spend a single dime to do something about them *before* people died, and so on. Of course they don't want to support AGW. They are making a mint off of telling us everything is OK, and doing as little as possible to conserve **anything** other than their own pocket books. Its part of the reason that no one trusts their so called "data". They use the same think tanks to come up with it as they paid to deny smoking's link to cancer, the need to any sort of improved public works, and you name it. They hire professional lobbyists and liars, and I do mean liars, to push their side of things. I would rather trust people who actually seem to take basic concerns, like pollution, seriously, any day, over idiots like the "conservative" think tank/lobbyist types, who are known for such insane things as the Florida case, where they successfully argued that they should be allowed to pave hundreds of miles of swamp, because it constituted a "source of pollution", as though what ever they built on top of it didn't.

At this point, if a libertarian, or the conservatives currently trying to purge their ranks of "unbelievers", told me the sky was blue, my first reaction would be to check for myself, and my second would be, "OK, so what they hell are you trying to sell me, and why the hell do you think I **need** to buy it?" The last thing I expect from these people is honesty, compassion, or any "solution" that doesn't involve them making 500 times as much doing it as it cost the other 90% of the country to implement, using solely taxpayer money (and not the libertarians, who have 1,000 loopholes, 50 tax shelters, and a free bag of money from their nearest conservative politician to look forward to, when/if they see profit in doing anything at all). Political? Hell yes its political. Their "business as usual" has put probably 50% of the American public in a position where, if government ended subsidies tomorrow (and the same people always rail against those too), would plunge them all into 3rd world status.
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Bravissimo, Kagehi!
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
The Climate Change debate is too important to be left to children. By children, I mean those immature beings who cling to left-leaning causes and beliefs.

You managed to hit about 90% of the cliches (talking points) currently being tossed out to defame conservatives. Nice job. Unconvincing, but then, isn't it really a person's good intentions that count, and not the results?

By the way, a levy is, when used as a noun, the imposition of a fee or tax. The word you were looking for is "levee," which is an embankment created to prevent flooding.

I don't really know how generous Libertarians are (slthough I am a very generous Libertarian), but it's proven fact that conservatives are the most generous people on Earth, as measured by their charitable donations.

Your worldview is very simplistic, like a cardboard cutout or a comic book. It's the sort of worldview engendered from watching too much MSNBC. Speaking of that liberal bastion of thought, are you aware they're owned by GE? You know GE, the "We bring good things to light" company. They're in bed with the Obama administration this very minute, with an eye toward profits.

I won't refute your points one by one. In fact, some of them are true, and thus irrefutable. I'll leave you with this: Any political or economic system which denies the basic nature of humans is more a religion than a system for living. When you ask humans to act against their own interests and against their own biology, you're asking for trouble. You're engaging in wishful thinking. Why was it necessary to use brutal police and military force to maintain the Soviet and Chinese regimes, under socialism? It was necessary because socialism / communism is actually a religion engaged in wishful thinking, asking its citizens to act against their own best interests.

Your fondness for the political left, and your animosity toward the political right, are both born of naivete. Are you aware that fascism, socialism, communism and Nazism are all to the Left of political center? It is time for the adults to take the U.S. back and bring some sanity to the climate debate.
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Okay, this has been reduced to name-calling
written by stevekelner, December 24, 2009
Enough. But I cannot resist one correction. Nazism and fascism are not to the left of political center. That's a myth, spread by the right. Every mainstream historian pretty much in the world refers to Nazism and fascism as right.
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Dang, I missed it, stevekelner...
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
I missed the name-calling. I scrolled up to see if I could find it, but apparently it has been deleted by the administrators. I hate that. Nothing I like more than reading a bit of name-calling. Oh well...

Were they calling you names? Or calling me names? That's typical of my life -- the exciting stuff happens just as I look away.

Hitler believed in central government planning, a la Marxist socialism. Also, in Mein Kampf, 1926, Hitler claimed National Socialism (Nazism) as a derivative of Marxism. If one thinks of Hitler's hatred of the Jews as a "right-wing" trait, it might indicate that MSNBC has, for too long, ascribed evil motives to the political right. In fact, the definitive leftist Marx was also a Jew-hater, who openly spoke approvingly about genocide, well before Hitler's rise to power.

Marx wrote, in On the Jewish Question(1844): "What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money...Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man – and turns them into commodities…. The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew...The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general."

Furthermore, today's anti-Jew sentiments are almost 100% on the left. Genocide is mostly a leftist phenomenom. Rightists are practically obsessed with the individual and his rights and obligations. You sort of need to be a collectivist (a la John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich) to support genocide.

As for fascism, some pretty bright people say that it can't be truly categorized on the usual political spectrum we use. I stand corrected. Apparently, fascism is not a leftist political movement. The early fascists shifted from left to right and back again, making it difficult to truly pin down their system of governance.

Thanks for responding.


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...
written by stevekelner, December 24, 2009
I meant by both sides, but you don't consider term "immature beings" calling names?
Hitler despised socialism and Communism; even a cursory examination of his actions indicates that he eliminated the socialist and Communist parties and indeed the Communists themselves as quickly as possible. I have not bothered to plow through Mein Kampf, but I have never, ever, ever heard that claim you say, since in fact he came to power as an anti-Communist through and through. Fascism is focused on all decisions made by one leader -- the Führerprinzip, to be precise, which presumed that some were born to rule based on Social Darwinism (not to be confused with actual Darwinism, of course). Communism -- which has never actually been practiced as Marx described, since Marx was a brilliant economic historian but an idiot where actual people were concerned -- assumed collective leadership and differentiation by labor, not by inherent traits, which is therefore the complete antithesis of Nazi philosophy. Of course, Stalin was hardly a Marxist, and was closer to Hitler in terms of his approach to leadership, so I can argue that he is more rightist than leftist in the classical sense of the term, as in that from the French Revolution, where "left" and "right" got their start as political terms.
As for anti-Semitism, it is known on both sides of the political spectrum. Modern extreme-right (not to say neo-Nazi, but they are) parties in places like Austria are certainly antisemitic.
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written by BillyJoe, December 24, 2009
Human Person Jr,

Then he cleverly scuttled the very satellite Gore's minions needed to balance the energy budget...Is there no end to his perfidy?

Well, it's simply a matter of historical fact that he did so.
Perhaps he just wanted to balance the budget. smilies/grin.gif
Perhaps he didn't want any nasty scientific facts spoiling his political decision making. smilies/cool.gif
Perhaps he was just unwilling to spend money on what he thought was a useless cause.
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Kidding around witcha, stevekelner...
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
I knew, of course, that you referred to me in your remarks about name-calling.

Hitler despised Communists because he considered them not to be "good Socialists." The problem with placing Hitler's position on a left-right political scale is this: The intervening years since WWII have seen a tilt toward leftist governance in the U.S. Textbooks are written from the point of view of the politically ascendant, i.e., the leftward.

Modern textbooks reject the concept of Hitler as a Leftist. In Hitler's day, however, he was well within the bounds of leftist thought, including his anti-Jew idiocy. He hated economic capitalists, loved labor unions and gun control, and admired FDR's New Deal. Hitler borrowed the swastika from the Soviet communists, as well as Nazi salute and the term "Socialist."

Hitler claimed Marx as his political ancestor, and that's a fact. Still, if you don't want Hitler on your side, I won't mention it again.

AGW -- The same hard-left crowd that wanted, 40 years ago, reparations to the third world for colonialism's scars, now want massive transfer payments to the third world for the West's (read that America's) climate justice debt. The theory is: The third world must cool it on the use of fossil fuels, to "save" the planet. However, the West is already rich from using fossil fuels. Therefore, we need to HBO (help a brother out) with a few trillion (which we'll borrow from the Chinese, since we sure as hell don't have it), so as to make things equal between the haves and have-nots.

If that's not a hard-left political agenda, I don't know what is. The energy companies are already preparing to belly up to the trough, once CO2 reductions are a reality. They'll profit hugely. It's the same with the insurance companies that Prez Obama vilified during his campaign. They now support health care "reform," because the fix is in; they will become richer than ever. Typical leftist BS, where the rhetoric never comes true. I don't trust this stuff. I don't trust it one bit. The fact that anyone does is a fact I find disturbing.

Socialists around the world felt discredited after the U.S.S.R disbanded. They re-formed as Green Parties, particularly in the Scandinavian countries.

Pachauri is up to his bushy eyebrows in conflict of interests. This is no good.
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...
written by BillyJoe, December 24, 2009
Human Person Jr,

Everything you ever wanted to know about the skeptical side of AGW is out there in plain view...GW is real. AGW, to a limited extent, is real...there are plenty of people who agree that GW and/or AGW are real. They don't agree with the pressing need to...

...do anything about it?

Despite your aside about "hidden data sets", the scientific facts are out there as well, but some just prefer to deny the reality.

What is the ideal global average temperature and ppmv of CO2 that will make us safe from the coming catastrophe?

Why are you asking me?

I merely rebutted your claims about what the leaked/stolen emails mean.
Instrumental temperature has been possible for 150 years. All the proxies for temperarture closely follow the measured temperature until 50 years ago when tree rings, alone, deviated from the actual measured temperature. There are reasons for this.

In the above there is an explanation for the words "trick", "hide", and "decline".
Do you agree or disagree?

Otherwise, nice attempt at diversion. smilies/wink.gif

regards,
BillyJoe
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BillyJoe, BillyJoe, BillyJoe, BillyJoe...
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
What am I gonna do with you? You're incorrigible.

I give up on you folks. One of these days, you'll wish you'd listened to this human person, junior grade. I hope your holidays are bright and your new year prosperous. Thanks for the volleys.
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Really, this is all in good fun...
written by BillyJoe, December 24, 2009
Human Person Jr,

Keith Briffa, of the CRU...

Briffa'as specialty is dendroclimatology: the study of tree rings as a proxy for temperature change.
But, hey, I thought I'd just explained why the "decline" shown by tree rings is a non issue.

...said something very different, in an email of September 22, 1999:

But what does he say ten years later?
(Sorry I just expected something more up to date.)
Anyway this is what he said ten years ago...

I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards 'apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data' but in reality the situation is not quite so simple

Well, what a revelation!
Whoever thought science was in actuality a "tidy" and "simple" discipline, as opposed to how it has to be presented to the average Joe Public who doesn't understand science.

…I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago.

"I", "believe", "probably"
One person believes that probably...
Wow, I've changed my mind already already smilies/grin.gif

Yet, the graphs used in the Assessment Reports from the IPCC don't show that warming.

Probably because they maybe don't believe what Briffa does believe is probably true.
Ah, the messiness and complexity of science!

regards,
BillyJoe

BJ
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Wow, BillyJoe
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
I can't fight this feeling any more.

I've seen the era of my waves. Nothing will satisfy me except:

De-industrialization of the U.S.;
Large climate-debt payments to third-world, tinhorn dictators;
Energy companies like Shell and Exxon reaping windfall profits;
Pachauri and Gore becoming instant green billionaires;
Re-election for life of President Obama and his krew; and,
Every other leftist's wet dream for a worker's paradise in the U.S.

You asked for it, you got it.
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Will the real Keith Briffa please stand up....
written by BillyJoe, December 24, 2009
In 2007:
http://rstb.royalsocietypublis.../1501/2269

Instrumental temperature data demonstrate differences in seasonal scale of Eurasian warming and the complexity and spatial diversity of tree-growing-season trends in recent decades. A set of long tree-ring chronologies provides empirical evidence of association between inter-annual tree growth and local, primarily summer, temperature variability at each location. These data show no evidence of a recent breakdown in this association as has been found at other high-latitude Northern Hemisphere locations. Using Kendall's concordance, we quantify the time-dependent relationship between growth trends of the long chronologies as a group. This provides strong evidence that the extent of recent widespread warming across northwest Eurasia, with respect to 100- to 200-year trends, is unprecedented in the last 2000 years.

What he is saying here is that the tree rings in some areas (Eurasia) are continuing to closely track temperature. In high latitude Northern areas they don't (and, as I said before, there are reasons why this may be so (ie a temperature threshold above which tree growth is adversely affected; falling moisture levels)).
He is also saying that the recent warming is unprecedented in 2000 years.
Hmmm...

In 2006:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/...1/5762/841
Periods of widespread warmth or cold are identified by positive or negative deviations that are synchronous across a number of temperature-sensitive proxy records drawn from the Northern Hemisphere. The most significant and longest duration feature during the last 1200 years is the geographical extent of warmth in the middle to late 20th century. Positive anomalies during 890 to 1170 and negative anomalies during 1580 to 1850 are consistent with the concepts of a Medieval Warm Period and a Little Ice Age, but comparison with instrumental temperatures shows the spatial extent of recent warmth to be of greater significance than that during the medieval period

I believe that is self explanatory.
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continued...
written by BillyJoe, December 24, 2009
And here he was back in 1995!
http://www.nature.com/nature/j...6156a0.pdf
Here we report a tree-ring-based reconstruction of mean summer temperatures over the northern Urals since AD 914. This record shows that the mean temperature of the twentieth century (1901–90) is higher than during any similar period since AD 914.

This really is curious.
Well, at least he is equivocating a little here in 2000:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/s...d564eddcde
As for assessing the significance of 20th century global warming, the evidence from dendroclimatology in general, supports the notion that the last 100 years have been unusually warm, at least within a context of the last two millennia. However, this evidence should not be considered equivocal. The activities of humans may well be impacting on the ‘natural’ growth of trees in different ways, making the task of isolating a clear climate message subtly difficult.

But what actually is he equivocating about?
Could it be that he thinks the "decline" in the correlation between tree ring and temperture in recent times may actually be the result of AGW?
That the "decline" is actual evidence for AGW?
Surely not? smilies/grin.gif

BJ
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Oh well, maybe this is the last time..
written by BillyJoe, December 24, 2009
De-industrialization of the U.S.;
Large climate-debt payments to third-world, tinhorn dictators;
Energy companies like Shell and Exxon reaping windfall profits;
Pachauri and Gore becoming instant green billionaires;
Re-election for life of President Obama and his krew; and,
Every other leftist's wet dream for a worker's paradise in the U.S.

But I haven't even been talking about solutions.
First comes the problem.
And, as far as I can tell, the problem is real.

regards,
BillyJoe
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Human Person
written by laursaurus, December 24, 2009
Awh! Don't give up. I just learned a lot about European political history.
When the left perceives the slightest bit of doubt regarding CAGW, it earns the author the title of "denier". Like Randi says, he's not denying anything. Apparently he was naive about just how dogmatic and intolerant even the skeptics have become. What a wakeup call this has been for him. Fortunately he's an Atheist, so hopefully this little online riot won't ruin Christmas.

One AGW skeptical author has coined the term "watermelons" for AGW proponets. Green on the outside, but red inside to the core. Control the energy, you control the economy. Control the economy and you control the people. This clever term unfortunately will probably go unused. This definition of watermelon accurately describes President Obama. But believers will go blastic thinking it was a racial slur. smilies/sad.gif
While I'm at it, I'm going to point out another irritating double-standard. The CRU emails reveal much more than ugly comments about the skeptics. There is manipulation of the data, overt corruption of the peer-review process, collusion to use the RealClimate blog to attack the few AGW skeptical papers that amazingly made it thru peer-review thus avoiding writing formal rebuttals that normally also go thru peer-review before being published, any comments containing valid criticism from being posted, deleting data and emails , and collectively refusing to cooperate with FOI requests. We are brow-beaten not to assume any wrong-doing until after a complete investigation, trial and conviction.
However, it is far more unlikely that these emails were hacked/stolen by an outsider. Yet, the majority of articles in print and online refer to them as such. Until it is proven legally that they were in fact stolen, it is even more unfair to assume a crime took place. Emails, voicemails, faxes, etc created on your employers equipment are NOT private. These guys were well-aware these emails were also subject to FOI requests. Phil Jones wrote sent out a message instructing that all emails related to AR4 be deleted. Phil Jones has resigned, but the believers will say he is just doing this temporarily to be polite. Who exactly is in denial here?
Here's another comparison. If a GW skeptic says he agrees that warming is occurring, his fellow skeptics never dream of attacking him, calling him names, or accusing him of disloyalty. This could not be further from the truth to what happens when a proponent doubts the reality of a coming epic catastrophe. Look at how many of Randi's followers vowed never to contribute another penny to his foundation because he had the gall to doubt just another doomsday scenario. I think all the vitriol over the Petition Project is generated from the pot calling the kettle black. Every scientist who ever came within an inch of contributing work related to AGW is included in their trademark "scientific consensus". There is even an email saying that nobody will probably ever check the credentials of all 2500 "scientists".
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Wait a minute, HP Jr
written by stevekelner, December 24, 2009
Do I understand you correctly that you put "De-industrialization of the U.S" and "Energy companies like Shell and Exxon reaping windfall profits" in the same pseudo-leftist category? Whaaa? What planet do you live on? Because it's clearly not the same one I do!
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Iaursaurus
written by BillyJoe, December 24, 2009
When the left perceives the slightest bit of doubt regarding CAGW, it earns the author the title of "denier". Like Randi says, he's not denying anything. Apparently he was naive about just how dogmatic and intolerant even the skeptics have become. What a wakeup call this has been for him.

The left? Denier?
There were numerous responders that were neither leftists, nor accusing Randi of being a Denier.

As I said before, even if climate "sceptics" are correct, Randi is still wrong.
His article was full of errors, both logical and factual.
It was an article based on self-admitted ignorance.
Why he chose to write it is beyond me.

His follow-up article was almost as bad, homing in on those who called him a Denier, admitting his ignorance about the Petition Project but otherwise not adressing the reasonable comments of reasonable posters and, all the while, continuing to expose his ignorance of the subject.

The climate "sceptics" have nothing to gain by supporting James Randi.
You should all be embarrassed by his support.

regards,
BillyJoe
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@ laursaurus
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
I didn't give up. I was entertaining my little 3 1/2 year old granddaughter.

Good points all. I appreciate your weighing in.

Truly, the left is where the hate resides today. I'm really sorry to say that, considering how many politically liberal friends I used to have.
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@ BillyJoe again, re James Randi --
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
I'm neither embarrassed nor proud of his support regarding AGW. Hell, I don't even consider it support.

If James Randi had ONLY written The Faith Healers, he would still have earned my undying gratitude. James Randi loves his fellow man, yet he never speaks of this love. It's just the way he is.

I don't know what else to say. My regard for him transcends any issue.
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@ BillyJoe re AGW
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
Earlier in this thread, I asked you what would be the ideal mean global temperature and ppmv of atmospheric CO2 for this old planet. I also asked if you thought / believed that the ideal numbers had been exceed in Earth's history. You responded, and I paraphrase, "Why are you asking me?"

I ask because you're quite sure the present trend is a dangerous one. I ask because you would (I think) support the current proposals to mitigate and possibly remedy the bad situation in which we find ourselves. I ask because it's not fair of you to say it's too hot, yet refuse to say what is hot enough.

Think about this. It's a pretty important question. Surely, the AGW "scientists" have a number in mind. Don'tcha think? They're sure AGW is real. They're sure we're in trouble. Surely upon the name of the yet-to-be-seen Baby Jesus, they have some idea as to when we could say, "Whew, that was a narrow escape. We're so lucky we got the magic numbers down to (fill in the blank)."

If you have no numbers in mind, you haven't thought this thing through. If you haven't thought this thing through, you are talking from the wrong orifice.
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@ stevekelner re AGW --
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
Hi, steve -- Yes, I put windfall profits right in there with the other leftist goals. You see, Prez Obama regards the proletariat as a collection of useful idiots. He is willing to disregard their communal wishes in the name of building his legacy. He's done it with the energy companies re AGW / Cap and Trade, and he's done it with the health insurance companies re health care "crisis" / "reform." (Never let a crisis go to waste... Sound familiar?)

The trillions to be had as a result of Cap and Trade are, as I said earlier, real and spendable dollars. They will be extracted from the usual source, the shrinking and slated-for-extinction middle class of America. Ken Lay of Enron (remember those names?) had his own blueprint for earning incredible wealth from the manufactured AGW crisis. Enron is no more, but the other energy companies won't waste this opportunity.

So, certainly it might be against the Democrat's principles to allow "greedy" insurers and energy companies to reap windfall profits. However, they'll do it, because, like criminals everywhere, they have criminal mentalities. Win at all costs. (Side note: It's also very likely that the Democrats will, a few short months after Cap and Trade is enacted, stab the energy companies from behind, betraying the deals upon which all parties relied in moving forward.)
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Hell, I don't even consider it support.
written by BillyJoe, December 24, 2009
Good, because it isn't support.

You seem to have an emotional attachment to James Randi, which is fine as long as it doesn't cloud your critical assessment of what he says, especially when he goes outside his area of expertise.
I certainly greatly admire his efforts in the paranormal arena, exposing frauds, hoaxers, and charaltans.
I'm not sure if I'd pay any more attention to his musings on scientific topics where he is clearly out of his depth.

regards,
BillyJoe
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@ BillyJoe again, re AGW again
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
You wrote:

But I haven't even been talking about solutions.
First comes the problem.
And, as far as I can tell, the problem is real.(quote/)

I heard Al Gore say the science is settled. That was well before he said, "...two kilometers or so down in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks, 'cause the interior of the earth is extremely hot, several million degrees..." It was also well after he said, "I got the most votes..."

And then you say:

(quote)If there is a case against GW/AGW, James Randi has not made it. Period.
If you think there is a genuine case to be made against GW/AGW, then you should be embarrassed by James Randi's contribution.(quote/)

I don't think James Randi will ever be an embarrassment. What about Al Gore? Are you embarrassed that he is the voice and the face of AGW, for millions of people?

So, assuming the science is settled, what are we gonna do about it? I think maybe we should let the UN take over the US temporarily, so we can get Pachauri's best thinking (direct orders) on our energy consumption. Abject poverty, that's the ticket. Anything less would be ignoble.
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JEEZ -----
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
What a screwup! Above, I mean ^^^^.......
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Actually..
written by Kagehi, December 24, 2009
Fascism is focused on all decisions made by one leader -- the Führerprinzip, to be precise, which presumed that some were born to rule based on Social Darwinism


That statement is wrong itself. He hated Darwinism so much, because it didn't claim that species evolved towards a perfected state, that his **standing** orders where to burn anything referencing it, right along side with the work of Jews. In Mein Kampf there are 6 references to the "Almighty", 37 references to "God", 8 references to the "Creator", and 0 to "Darwin". There are references to evolution, but its not Darwinian, but based heavily on the work of a defrocked priest named Lanz von Liebenfels, who rewrote the crucifixion story to claim white people where better than Jews, and contained an entire bestiary of creatures that he flat out made up. According to Hitler, hybreds are not even **possible**, being "distinct species", much like the "kinds" of creationist BS.

Oh, and their specifics on which books to burn:

Schriften weltanschaulichen und lebenskundlichen Charakters, deren Inhalt die falsche naturwissenschaftliche Aufklärung eines primitiven Darwinismus und Monismus ist (Häckel).

or, in English:

Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel)

As someone else pointed out, fascists are **never** leftists. At best, you can claim that they, sometimes, borrow ideas from the left, to make their insanity more palatable, but, in the end, they are always authoritarians, who always have a single definition of right and wrong, which they enforce aggressively, and they **all** claim to care about the overall freedom, and well being, of others, as long as those *others* accept that everything the **leader** says is undeniable fact, and freedom is defined as, "what leader lets us do, or tells us it good for us". Claiming that these things is leftist... Would make half the bloody people claiming to be Republicans in the US right now "leftist", along with Pat Robertson, and other preachers, who all think that only **their** vision of the world is right, and everyone should be either forced to live that way, jailed, or possibly even killed, if, in the later cases, they refuse to conform.

The idea that these things are "leftist", comes from propaganda by the right, which ***successfully*** confused some of the more rational ideas of Marx, and not all of it was, with fascism, which some leaders "called" socialism, which is **not communal in any sense**, then smeared everyone that accepted the good ideas, but rejected the bad ones, with the same brush as the ones that embraced totalitarianism and fascist views. The irony is, the true left despises leaders that demand absolute obedience, while the right... well, some of them anyway, have made it a point to claim that having such a leader is a) necessary, b) Unamerican to appose, at least if they are not liberals, and c) would solve all of our problems.
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Oh...
written by Kagehi, December 24, 2009
And don't you dare claim I am parroting leftist views. I reached the conclusions I did by paying frakking attention to what people *did*, compared to what they claimed they would do, cared about, or intended. Invariably, they claim to want freedom, until its a freedom they object to, just as a start, and it just goes down hill from there. If the left seems like this too, then its because, as I said, the Democratic party isn't **leftist**, they are right wing 'light'. Libertarians now.. They are so far left, in reality, that even the left don't like them. Some of the big names come damn close to being anarchist in their views, and they combine the worst stupidities of "both" the right and left, in one lovely, naive, package. Trying, on one hand, to babble about "personal freedom", when only meaning, "those we label as personal, because we like them", and on the other, embracing the insane idea that people, who will stab each other, and even their own country, in the back, for enough money, or because it benefits their immediate "family", can "run the market", with no one on the breaks, and only fix things **after** people die (and, much as with the constant whine you get from some of them about the FDA, spend the rest of their time whining about what ever actually *was* done to fix the original problem).
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Human Person
written by BillyJoe, December 24, 2009
Earlier in this thread, I asked you what would be the ideal mean global temperature and ppmv of atmospheric CO2 for this old planet. I also asked if you thought / believed that the ideal numbers had been exceed in Earth's history. You responded, and I paraphrase, "Why are you asking me?"

No I didn't.

I said "Why are you asking me? I merely rebutted your claims about what the leaked/stolen emails mean", and then I ended my post with "nice attempt at diversion" to make it clear that you seemed to be evading the topic under discussion.
In other words, I was trying to keep you on topic.
Since then there's been all that stuff about Briffa, which you bought up and I responded to at great length, and which you then quickly dropped like a hot potato.

It's like last Summer when I tried to catch a fish with my bare hands.
That damn thing was always slipping off somewhere else. smilies/angry.gif

BJ
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@ Kagehi
written by Human Person Jr, December 24, 2009
It's hard to respond to what you wrote, because it's all over the map.

The Democrat Party is most certainly way left of center. I'm not sure how you figure it could be otherwise. If Socialism / Communism is far left (which I believe them to be), and seeks government ownership and control of the means of production (which I believe them to do), the Democrats are way left.

The Democrats are attempting to take over a large slice of the (currently, mostly) market-based health care system. Further, they wish to nationalize all or parts of other industries: banking, energy, and manufacturing (as in the case of GM, Government Motors).

Democrats also seek control of broadcasting, and they wish to establish a compensation board or committee, to decide how much executives should earn.

These activities spell Leftist to me. In practice, Democrats never get to govern the way they wish to. There is always the threat of voter backlash. The current administration has gone more boldly and further Left than I would've ever guessed.

Right-wing light? Hmmmmm...
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...
written by José, December 24, 2009
I don't think James Randi will ever be an embarrassment. What about Al Gore? Are you embarrassed that he is the voice and the face of AGW, for millions of people?

I personally cringe every time I hear Al Gore using bad science to promote AGW awareness, but were these posts by written by Al Gore or James Randi? Why do you keep bringing Gore into the argument? Randi is not an embarrassment, but he should be embarrassed by his attempt to address AGW.

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@ Jose
written by Human Person Jr, December 25, 2009
It's only right to mention Al Gore.

James Randi is a spokesperson for himself and the skeptical movement.

Al Gore is a manbearpig, totally serial this time, who is a spokesperson for his financial potential, and a spokesperson for the UNskeptical movement (AGW).

You're saddled with him. The skeptics regarding AGW have no association with James Randi. I'm sure you wish you could say the same about dear ol' Al Gore.

Different people respond to different kinds of arguments. If someone can learn to hate Al Gore, they can also possibly learn how to think for themselves.

And, you people are reduced to trying to frame the debate thusly: A) Does AGW exist, to any degree whatever? and, B) If it does, please join me in a total panic of shedding trillions of dollars in all directions.

That's not the actual debate, but when your science and your politics are so weak, that's what you MUST, by definition, offer people. It is a false choice. Many people have the logical skills to admit that GW is real, AGW is, to a limited extent, real, and there's not one single reason (other than leftist politics) to implement the remedies currently proposed.

You deserve Al Gore. He is the perfect misbegotten manbearpig for you guys.

I, on the other hand, deserve James Randi, one of the kindest, most effective humans in the history of the Earth. (Millions of degrees, I tell ya!)
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[Derail]
written by BillyJoe, December 25, 2009
The Democrats are attempting to take over a large slice of the (currently, mostly) market-based health care system.


Well, I think health is a special issue.
Look around, America's health care system is the most expensive in the world but it can't manage to look after all it's citizens and those that is does it looks after poorly.
In Australia we have a public option and insurance companies cannot refuse you and cannot dump you amnd they can't tell doctors how to treat their patients. Our system is relatively cheap and, by and large, works pretty well.
If that's leftist well so be it. If it works it works.
[/Derail]
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@ BillyJoe re HealthCare
written by Human Person Jr, December 25, 2009
Every issue is a special issue to someone. In the U.S., "progressive" politicians first made noises about nationalizing health care 110 years ago. They recognized that they could make health care a semi-Constitutional "right," by first making it an entitlement. They also realized that the new, massive bureaucracies would add government workers, thereby adding to the government's power base. Dangling someone's job over his head is just as effective as grabbing his testicles and threatening to squeeze with all your might. It tends to produce general agreement between squeezer and squeezee, at squeezee's expense.

Canada and other NATO members can play government doctors without incurring financial ruin, largely because they don't fully pay for their own defense. That's right, the rich uncle named Sam is there for them, allowing them a partially-free ride on defense, so they can give their numb-nut citizens a free ride on government health care. And still, they give mediocre (sometimes fatally so) care.

Regrettably, once we begin mismanaging national health care, we won't have a rich uncle who'll step up to the plate for us. The buck stops here, same as it ever was (smiting own forehead), same as it ever was (smiting own forehead).

Nationalized health care is leftist, and it doesn't work. Neither does the pathetic system under which the U.S. health care consumer labors. You're right, Billy Joe. We here in the U.S. pay way too much for far too little. Health care and climate change are looked at similarly by the left: Neither is an opportunity to maximize efficiencies. Rather, both are excuses for putting the more citizens under the heavy hand of government.

There are simple, cost-free or inexpensive fixes for the USA's broken health care system. GW and AGW require more costly remedies, yet they require nothing even nearly approaching what the current proposals will cost. Again, for the left, it's not about climate change; it's not about health care: It IS about ratcheting up the government's power and intrusiveness.
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Re: The Hot Earth Society (A. A. Gore, President/Founder)
written by Human Person Jr, December 25, 2009
Scientist (denier) Shaviv nicely distills the AGW issues:

"...the case for an anthropogenic warming relies on two problematic arguments. First, 20th century warming is unprecedented, and therefore should be attributed to human activity. Second, the 20th century warming cannot be explained by any other mechanism other than anthropogenic greenhouse gases (in particular, if the human radiative forcing is omitted, the global circulation models cannot explain the 20th century warming).


That is the crux, the kernel, the "real relation, the underlying theme."

To make the first part true, the "unprecedented" aspect, they had to get rid of the MWP. Hence, the now-thoroughly-discredited Hockey Stick graph by Michael Mann of Penn State. He didn't make a mistake. He set out to commit fraud, and nearly got away with it. (Thanks, Steve McIntyre!)

Shaviv goes on to say:

"...[G]iven the apparent measures alarmists take to stop the publication of any non-conforming voice, the apparent lack of any alternative explanation to 20th century global warming should only be viewed as the alarmists success to quench alternative views, not that alternative views do not exist. Indeed, there is an alternative explanation which explains a non-negligible part of the 20th century global warming, it is the sun.


And for this kind of "science," the rich uncle named Sam is supposed to cripple the remaining industry in the U.S., not to mention pony up trillions to third-world tinhorn dictators. Somehow, I don't think so.
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Sorry...
written by Kagehi, December 25, 2009
Mr. Human Person Jr, but your claims of what the Democrats are trying to do is pure, absolute, bull. If they where trying to do any such thing they would be talking about buying out the industry, not creating competition for them. Your side on the other hand... Refuses to even regulate them, lie about what government intervention would result in, makes up pure drivel like "death panels", etc., even when you can **point to** such panels already in operation in existing health care, where the insurance people will sometimes sit down and go, "Does this guy have a pre-existing condition, where we can just deny him entirely, and, if not, it there a *cheaper* way to treat him, without actually curing them?"

As for being far left... If you are such a damn fool as to look at the propaganda in which the far right claims that ***everything*** is socialist, including each other, if they don't toe the line, then its easy to claim that Democrats are socialist. If you actually look at the way they vote, and even superficially compare that to the equivalent parties in ***any*** other modern nation, they are so far right of center that, even in England, they some times look more like the Conservative/Tories party in Britain. Our right... Sorry, but they where always a bit clueless about what the millions of Americans, that are not rich, felt about nearly many issues, other than religion and certain key bigotries, which they have always been good at playing off of, but now... they are starting to resemble something out of the dark ages and the crusades. Some of them so much so that they actually make it a mission, in their own words, to actively destroy public education, so that it *must* be replaced with private schools, which can then teach their revisionist history, replace any science they don't like, and promote what ever far right religion they want, without the government being able to **either** say they can't, and more to the point, since you can always home school at this point, so that a) no one else will have a valid neutral choice, or a clear idea what the schools are teaching, and b) the government won't be able to set "standards" either, which would require them to teach kids certain subjects **at all**. These people have allowed health care to turn into the same sort of care that you get, when you apply their craziness to education, in places like Liberty University. Where a 50 page whine about religion, stretch via font size and margin settings, which barely mentions biology, nets you a "biology degree", so you can go off to some place like the Discovery Institute and claim you have science to back attacks on Evolution.

In other words, as long as the "education" teaches you the right way to think, who gives a shit if its factual, actually involves thinking, research, or understanding anything. And, 90% of the people doing home schooling, consider this, and buy kits dedicated, to precisely this sort of ignorance. Health care is in almost the same boat. **Every** attempt made to suggest regulation has come under the attack of people who believe "deregulation" works better, never mind the dozens of cases in the last just 10 years that has proven pure absolute bull. So, a different tack was taken. Lets offer an "alternative". Not a replacement, just an "alternative". And now the same assholes, that didn't want to enforce **one single standard** on the industry, are claiming that Democrats are trying to erase the private industry, to which no bill passed, or suggested, even vaguely suggested, and take over the whole thing. What they hell are you, and the rest of these right wing loonies smoking exactly, because the "War on Drugs" seems to be failing even more dismally at keeping it off the streets than it has for everything else.
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...
written by royniles, December 25, 2009
I second that motion.
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You know.. I missed something in an earlier comment...
written by Kagehi, December 25, 2009
Deindustrialization of the US - We invent a lot, but buy 90% of everything from China, Japan, and other places. The only "industry" we still have in the US is cars, and those have sucked for years, and I happily admit that its because Unions turned their original intent into a complete joke. Mine, failed to let me get raises this year, barely managed to convince the company I work for to give "top earners" a raise, and made sure that *new* people would have to pay extra to support health insurance, because the company didn't think it was fair that they had to pay the full premiums, while the **union** payed for the actual insurance, for everyone in the company, including the idiots that refuse to be in the union. In other words, we got screwed, and the union just barely kept us from suffering the same fate as Krogers. Their "deal"? Well, see.. they didn't have a union, so they are now being payed like Wallmart employees are. Doesn't matter if you bag groceries, or stock the shelves, or cut meat, you earn "minimum wage", for every position under management level.

The car industry? They managed to have too much power, and ended up with the guy sweeping dust in the warehouse making the same as the guy *designing* the car engine. The result is a car that costs 50 times more, per pound, than it did in the 1950s, or the 40s, etc. Didn't matter what car it was, which American company made it, which year model you where talking about, or how much more it weighed at one time, for at least two decades, it was $1 per pound of weight. The only thing that changed was, ironically, a refusal of anyone to regulate unions.

In any case, this mess, and the *already happened* de-industrialization of the nation happened under the right's watch, who felt that profit, at any cost, was worth more than keeping the jobs **here**.

Tinhorn dictators? Have you checked how much money we funnel to these idiots already, and for the same purpose, to "try" to raise them to something close enough to our level that they are worth something to companies trying to manufacture in those some countries? Same thing as above, ship the jobs someplace else, because it costs to much to make it *here*. Heck, even tools for what industry we have... A press break (for bending thick materials to different shapes), was "made" in Germany, designed in China, and tested in France, before it, and the incomprehensible manual for it, which resulted, landed at the ski resort my father used to work for. Where was the "American industry" in that?

Record money made by energy companies.. Where the hell have you been? They made record profits *while* raising gas prices, during the Bush years, while claiming "crisis". And, I don't get this anyway. Most of the Republicans either worked for, get jobs at, when they fail to get reelected, or own stock in these companies. Unlike the financial industry, which nailed "both" sides of the line, when it wobbled recently, because of all the idiots profiting off its greed and bad decisions, from all political parties.

Going to skip the idiocy of people with a lot of money getting "more" money and move on to - Obama isn't Nixon, who actually attempted to suggest a third, or more, terms would be nice, before he fowled up so bad no one would reelect him anyway. When you want to talk about reality, instead of idiot conspiracies, for which no evidence *at all* exists... Besides which, its a few of the right wingers, again, who have actually suggested that we need to either allow someone, usually themselves, to be elected for life, or even, in the more insane cases, like this Prince dude, whose terr.. I mean "mercenaries" Bush hired to do security in Iraq, actually thing democracy is a complete failure, and the logical replacement is a **king**.
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continued.
written by Kagehi, December 25, 2009
As for wet dreams. You are way off. What is wanted is a fair shake, without everyone trying to screw anyone that doesn't have 50 tax shelters, 27 loopholes, and an arrogant belief that the people getting food stamps, because their job doesn't pay enough, either didn't "pray", "try", or "work" hard enough, like the asshole holding their wages to the level that they have to receive such help at all. This wasn't true in the 1950s. Almost nothing has changed, in most industries/businesses (I have already said that car companies are the exception) since then except these three things - 1) Minimum wage went up, but never enough, 2) CEOs and boards now make 200-300 times what their "workers" do, and 3) the Republicans deregulated half the damn market, while insisting that, somehow, the $500 million the guy just stuffed in a bank some place will "trickle down" to everyone else, despite the fact that its not being *spent* on anything. You certainly can't claim, in the later case, that "bank loans" based on that money is helping, because they banks have been "loaning" 50 times what they have **in** the bank, and its done nothing as tangible as actually handing someone real money, to pay for their *product*. Loans have to be payed back. You can't make profits buy "borrowing", so if the CEO, making $50 million a year, isn't spending a significant part of that to actually *buy* something, all any money being "loaned" to people, based on what the bank has of the CEO's money to loan out, just generates more loans, and more debt, without ever producing actually gains any place. The only way to offset such waste is for 50,000 times as many people to offset those loans and the money that disappeared down the rabbit hole of the CEO's account, but using real money, to buy real things, and they can't do that. No one is paying them enough, and the only way they can afford anything is to dig the rabbit hole deeper, by "borrowing", first the CEO's money, then, when that has technically run out, imaginary money, which the banks made up, based on "what we will make from this, later, when someone actually finds real money some place to pay back the loans".

Again, this idiocy wasn't a result of the left, it was **pure** right wing thinking, and happened under their watch.

Near as I can tell, even if your absurd claims where true, it would just be business as usually, just with a leftist in charge, right?
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Shaviv's denialism.
written by BillyJoe, December 25, 2009
Against this individual scientist, I put the consensus view of 2000 scientists:
- 20th warming IS unprecedented.
- there is no evidence for a natural explanation for this unprecedented warming.
- there is increasing and overwhelming evidence for anthropogenic warming.

So, do I go with single scientist or the 2000 scientists?

Perhaps I should have a look at this Saviv.
Or should I?
I mean I have already dealt with your previous example, Keith Briffa, without any response from you, so why should I bother with Shaviv? Won't you just ignore that and proceed to yet another example. Why should I do all the work?


Oh, what the heck?

Shaviv: "Indeed, there is an alternative explanation which explains a non-negligible part of the 20th century global warming, it is the sun."

The Sun is an explanation for warming in the early part of the 20th century.
It is not an explanation for warming since 1985.
The Sun is obviously the source of the energy that the Earth traps via the greenhouse effect, and the amount of this energy varies over time due to sunspots etc. However, since 1978 there have been direct satellite measurements of the Sun's energy output. According to these direct measurements, since 1985 sunspot activity has been decreasing which would have led to a cooling of the Earth whereas the Earth has been actually been warming during that time.
In other words, the Sun cannot be an explanation for global warming.

Shaviv actually claims that the warming effect is via the Sun's magnetic field protecting the Earth from cosmic rays. But, the Sun's output has been decreasing since 1985 and, therefore, it's magnetic field has also be decreasing and, therefore, more cosmic rays would have been entering the Earth's atmosphere. This would have resulted in more cloud cover and, therefore, more of the Sun's rays would have been reflected back in to space and, therefore, the Earth would have been cooling. In fact the Earth has been warming.
In other words, cosmic rays cannot be a reason for global warming.

Shaviv's ad hoc explanation for this is to propose a time lag in the Sun's affect on the Earth's temperature. This has never been proposed before and Shaviv offers no credible reason why this should be so.
The reason why I say that his explanation was "ad hoc" is that, in his original paper, he stated that sunspot activity has been increasing. When it was pointed out that, in fact, sunspot activity has been decreasing, he then launched into the "time lag" hypothesis which he seems to have pulled out of...well...thin air.

I don't know about you, but Shaviv is sounding like a denialist to me.

regards,
BillyJoe
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...
written by BillyJoe, December 25, 2009
...oops, sorry, I see you have already classified him as a denier! smilies/grin.gif
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@ BillyJoe, re: Shaviv's Denialism
written by Human Person Jr, December 25, 2009
When Hitler's minions created a pamphlet, entitled 100 German Scientists Who Say Einstein Is Wrong, he certainly obtained a scientific consensus.

Too bad for the alarmists: Science isn't decided by voting.

When Einstein was asked what he thought about the pamphlet, he responded, and I paraphrase, "Why 100 scientists? If I were wrong, it would require only one scientist to refute my work."

Who would've guessed a patent clerk would turn the science world upside down?

Still, in some ways, (see the Cosmological Constant) Einstein was wrong, even though, based on the results of close examination by real scientists (not Michael Mann, obviously), his work seemed to be thoroughly accurate. So, the science was settled. No, wait. Then it was all at once not settled. Funny how that works.

AGW, when coupled with the proposed remedies for same, is the biggest fraud ever committed against the ordinary citizen, the person who pays, and pays, and pays.
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@ Kahegi's Christmas Tirade...
written by Human Person Jr, December 25, 2009
I don't have a side in this health care fight. I'm against both Republicans and Democrats. Truth is, though, I'm more against Democrats.

So, you believe the government can operate one company in an industry and "compete" with other companies fairly? Wowser. I believe that, with the U.S. Treasury behind me, that I could dominate any industry out there. In fact, I could run all the other companies out of that industry. I could cause them to shut down due to unprofitability.

However, the Democrats won't do that. They have already, in fact, made deals with the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies, to further enrich them at my expense. Too cool -- The business-hating Democrats love power more than they hate business. They would hop in bed with the non-existent Satan himself, if they could assure themselves of a Democrat-controlled congress for a few decades in return.

Politicians generally have no conscience. No surprise there. But, regarding AGW alarmism and health care reform, the average American voter simply isn't buying the remedies the Democrats are putting forward.

You can try to marginalize me. But I'm not part of any fringe, kook, religion-based movement. I hate religion. The fact is, over half (in some cases, well over half) of the electorate doesn't subscribe to the remedies the Democrats propose.

I think, if you'll examine yourself closely, you'll see that is the reason you're foaming at the mouth. Lack of popular support for the hard left. Who would've seen that coming?

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The Hockey Stick
written by BillyJoe, December 25, 2009
Human Person Jr,

To make the first part true, the "unprecedented" aspect, they had to get rid of the MWP. Hence, the now-thoroughly-discredited Hockey Stick graph by Michael Mann of Penn State. He didn't make a mistake. He set out to commit fraud, and nearly got away with it. (Thanks, Steve McIntyre!)

This was the title of the 1998 Bradley/Hughes/Mann paper that triggered off the hockey stick controversy:
"Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the past millennium: inferences, uncertainties, and limitations"
Yes, inferences, uncertainties, and limitations
Please read that again.
He set out to commit fraud with a paper, co-authored by two others, that drew attention to inferences, uncertainties, and limitations.
Good one, HP!
The uncertainties were the point of the article and it is hard to imagine how much more explicit they could have been about those uncertainties.

Congress organised two reports on the controversy sparked by an article by McIntyre and McKitrick.
(BTW, McIntyre's professional contibution to the climate debate is marginal, having contributed only a single paper regarded as of doubtful influence to the debate.)
One was by the NRC and another by the NAS.

The NRC report (2006) by issued by 12 scientists from different disciplines. This report was largely supportive of the Bradley/Hughes/Mann's paper.
The NAS report was less supportive. It was essentially produced by one person, Edward Wegman. The peer review of his report consisted merely of Wegman emailing the completed report to six people who stated that they had no objection to submitting it. Also, taking out the political spin, the report essentially did not detract from the conclusions and uncertanties expressed in the Bradley/Hughes/Mann's paper.

Anyway, here is the original Hockey stick graph from 1998:


And here is that updated version from 2004:


The Hockey Stick lives on but in a modified form - which is not exactly strange is it, seeing as the essence of science is to continually update and revise as more information comes to light.
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The Medieval Warm Period...
written by Human Person Jr, December 25, 2009
If you stubbornly insist that there was no MWP, there is nothing to discuss.
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Thanks, Steve McIntyre!
written by BillyJoe, December 25, 2009
Hans von Storch on Hockey Stick Graph and on Steve McIntyre's contribution.

In October 2004 Hans von Storch published a paper critical of the "‘hockey-stick’ reconstruction of the temperature of the last 1000 years".

Steve McIntyre was miffed about the lack pf any reference to his distinguished self in this paper by Hans von Storch et alia:
They then proceed to discuss various articles on the Hockey Stick mentioning Bürger, Moberg, borehole papers, the NAS report, but failing to mention McIntyre and McKitrick. Pretty annoying.

Yes, he referred to himself in the third person. smilies/grin.gif
To which Hans von Storch responded:
This was on purpose, as we do not think that McIntyre has substantially contributed in the published peer-reviewed literature to the debate about the statistical merits of the MBH and related method. They have published one peer-reviewed article on a statistical aspect, and we have published a response – acknowledging that they would have a valid point in principle, but the critique would not matter in the case of the hockey-stick ... we see in principle two scientific inputs of McIntyre into the general debate – one valid point, which is however probably not relevant in this context, and another which has not been properly documented.

smilies/grin.gif
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@Human Person
written by BillyJoe, December 25, 2009
If you stubbornly insist that there was no MWP, there is nothing to discuss.

Who are you referring to.
If you are referring to me, you will need to point out where I have said or implied any such thing.
If not, sincerest apologies.
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@ Human Person:
written by BillyJoe, December 25, 2009
When Hitler's minions created a pamphlet, entitled 100 German Scientists Who Say Einstein Is Wrong, he certainly obtained a scientific consensus.

That title is incorrect. The title of the pamphlet was:
"100 Authors Against Einstein"
What you quoted was the title of an aticle about the pamphlet in the New York Times.

Yeah, so no scientific consensus. smilies/wink.gif

Too bad for the alarmists: Science isn't decided by voting.

Consensus, Hp, consensus.
Consensus is an integral part of science,
Consensus is based on the scientific evidence.
Medical experts, for example, continually issue consenus statements about the mangement of all sorts of medical consensus based on the evidence/facts available at the time.

When Einstein was asked what he thought about the pamphlet, he responded, and I paraphrase, "Why 100 scientists? If I were wrong, it would require only one scientist to refute my work."

That is correct. Or nearly.
In fact, the experiment conducted by that scientist that showed that Einstein was wrong would have to enter the peer review process and be repeated by independent scientists and shown to be correct before Einstein's idea would finally be found to be incorrect.
If that sounds like "consensus based on the evidence", perhaps that's because that's just what it is.

So, Einstein was just making a "door stop", "three second grab" comment when he said that.
Below the surface he would have meant all of the above.
Beacause that is how science works. smilies/wink.gif

Who would've guessed a patent clerk would turn the science world upside down?

That is a patent smilies/smiley.gif mischaracterisation of Einstein's position in the scientific communnity.

Still, in some ways, (see the Cosmological Constant) Einstein was wrong, even though, based on the results of close examination by real scientists (not Michael Mann, obviously), his work seemed to be thoroughly accurate. So, the science was settled. No, wait. Then it was all at once not settled. Funny how that works.

Yeah, the cosmological constant has been revived to explain the accelerating expansion of the universe.
And, no, science is never settled.
That is not the nature of science (see above).

regards,
BillyJoe

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oops...
written by BillyJoe, December 25, 2009
...that should have been:
Medical experts, for example, continually issue consenus statements about the mangement of all sorts of medical consensus conditions based on the evidence/facts available at the time.
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@ BillyJoe, re: WMP
written by Human Person Jr, December 25, 2009
I do apologize, I realize that you didn't say or imply there was no MWP.

There are reputable scientists who say the global average temps were 3-4 degrees C during the MWP.

If that's true, it gives the lie to the "unprecedented" portion of unprecedented global warming. Again, let me recap: The same crowd who wanted "reparations for the scars of colonialism" paid to third-world countries back in the 70s, now want "climate debt justice" for the same countries.

The environmentalist movement has been joined by socialists rendered politically homeless after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Truth is not really that important to them. They're after their version of social justice. I hope the voting public has enough sense to separate environmentalism from science.
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Correction to above post:
written by Human Person Jr, December 25, 2009
Sweet baby Jesus on a bed of Romaine lettuce, why can't this site allow editing of comments?

I meant to say, "...global average temps were 3-4 degrees C HIGHER during the MWP..." I proofread my comments, but still can't manage to catch all errors.

I 'pologize...
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@ BillyJoe -- lucky for Einstein
written by Human Person Jr, December 25, 2009
Einstein was damned lucky that science was a different animal back then. He didn't have a dedicated "team" working against him, a team willing to "...keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !”

That quote is from Alarmist Numero Uno, Filbert Jones. Sorry, I meant Phil Jones.
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What a load of bollocks.
written by Karmakaze, December 25, 2009
Randi backpeddles faster than most people peddle forward!

Let's see what Randi now says:

"My commentary was concerned with my amateur confusion about the myriad of natural phenomena that obviously bring about worldwide climate changes and whether we can properly assign the cause to anthropogenic influences."

That is utter bullshit. Randi wasn't concerned about HIS CONFUSION! If he HAD been concerned about HIS CONFUSION he would have said "I understand so little about climate science that I shall do some basic research before opening my mouth, like perhaps verifying the source of the petition and whether it is in any way valid." But alas, no! Randi simply skipped the most basic fact checking and wrote an entire article (apparently an even larger one than he posted!) about how consensus means nothing, then quoted a bogus petition, to justidfy his woefully inadequate understanding of basic science!

Such as:

"Incidentally, we have a convenient phenomenon that contributes to our survival. Doubling the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere will not double the temperature rise, small though it is. The basic principle of what's known as the "greenhouse effect" is quite simple: in a glass-enclosed environment, sunlight enters through the glass and strikes a surface, where it is transformed into longer infrared rays which do not easily reflect back through the glass; they're trapped. and raise the temperature."

Utterly and completely wrong. This isn't even in question, the "Greenhouse Effect" and the mechanism at work in an actual Greenhouse are TOTALLY different. The only simularity is that they result in a warming without an increase in energy input. That's as far as the simularity goes. An actual greenhouse works in a very simple way - glass is transparent to infrared AND visible light (not as Randi seems to claim opaque to infrared) however, it is NOT permeable to air. So sunlight comes in striking the surfaces inside the greenhouse warming them up. They in turn warm the air. This is how the open atmosphere works. However, in the open atmosphere hot air rises until it is cooled at higher altitudes. In a greenhouse, the hot air can not rise away from the source of warming (the hot surfaces) and thus the temperature inside the greenhouse increases.

The mechanism Randi describes is actually a simplification of the Greenhouse Effect, NOT the mechanism at play inside a greenhouse. The Greenhouse Effect is caused by GHG's absorbing and re-emitting radition in certain bands of infrared light. Satelites can MEASURE the decrease in radiation in these bands leaving the planet. We can SEE the heat being trapped. The CO2 or other GHG then warms the atmosphere in two ways, one by direct conduction of the now more energetic CO2 molecules to the surrounding air molecules, and also by radiation of the absorbed infrared energy. Hoever, in this case, the energy is all coming up from the surface, but when CO2 radiates it away, some of it goes back down to the surface, helping to warm the surface even more. That is why the atmosphere below the CO2 warms, but the atmosphere above the CO2 cools.

None of this is based on models or theories, it is all based on empirical observation and physics.
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What a load of bollocks - continued
written by Karmakaze, December 25, 2009
So if Randi can't even get the basics of the physics right, how can we take his opinion as anything more than UTTERLY WORTHLESS?

Now he's trying to backpeddle and claim he wasn't denying anything. Bullshit times two!

"The limit of the influence of CO2 is dictated, not by the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but by the amount of solar radiation reflected back from the Earth. Once all the infrared rays have been "captured" by the greenhouse gases there is no additional increase in carbon dioxide."

That right there is a denial that CO2 can cause global warming! He claims that the amount of radiation being reflected back from Earth determines the temperature, then totally ignores that the CO2 and other GHG's are what reduce the amount of energy being reflected back away from the planet!

He also neglects to mention that by the time there are enough GHG's in our atmosphere to trap "all the infrared rays" reflected from the surface, our climate will be much like Venus - perhaps Randi would like to take a holiday there and tell us how nice it is?

This is another case of Randi believing he is far more intelligent than he actually is. The arrogance he displayed here has been dsiplayed many times in the past where he had no real understanding of the science, and once again, having been caught out, is acting like the poor innocent being jumped on by people who didn't read or understand what he was trying to say when in fact he is trying to change what he said!

Want to see some more of Randi's arrogance:

"However, I perceive that he often tends to rush to publication without first checking with the author of some provocative item. This provides PZ with lots of controversy and attention, but at the expense of the author in question." says Randi about Paul Zachary Myers (an actual scientist rather than a failed two-bit stage magician).

Compare and contrast:

"I admit that I was unaware of the true nature of the Petition, and I thank Dr. Plait -- and several others -- who pointed me to this reference and a much better grasp of the situation."

So, Randi rushed to publication of his admitted erroneous conclusions based on faulty "data" and generated a lot of controversy and attention at the expense of climate scientists, climate science and science in general, then has the unmitigated gall to criticise someone else for calling him on his bullshit, by calling the kettle black!

What an asshole this man is!

"Will I do it again with other subjects? Without fail, I promise you."

Oh, we know Randi, we know. You have done it many times before this. I still wonder how anyone can take you seriously! Skeptic my ass. Where was the skepticism when you got sent the link to the petition page? That is obviously how you found out about it, because any other way of finding out about it (like a google search) would have made clear how bullshit that petition was. No, you got sent a retarded piece of bullshit and decided it was true with nothing more that a cursory examination! Yes Randi, you did insert a few mealy-mouthed qualifiers, but you KNOW what your fanboys a like. They lap up your bullshit without any critical thought at all, and many will defend it as vigorously as any religious fundamentalist defends their beliefs, and with the same amount of critical thought.

Randi is to skepticism as Stalin was to communism - he is a skeptic in self-proclaimed title only.

"Again, the importance and the impact of this phenomenon is well beyond my grasp."

So why speak up Randi? There is a saying here that is very appropriate - it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak up and prove it. You have proved it TWICE on this subject now, once with your initial bullshit, and now again with this totally transparent attempt to backpeddle.

You didn't say "I have been asked to comment about... but the importance and the impact of this phenomenon is well beyond my grasp." That is the only part of either of these posts that is true. You have no idea at ALL, but yet you still felt qualified to imply that the entire field of climatology, populated by many people far more intelligent than you, is fraudulent! You should be utterly ashamed of yourself Randi.

Hopefully this will wake up the mainstream a bit more to your bullshit, and you can fade away to the "old failed magicians home" where you belong.
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It's your turn. Human Person Jr.
written by BillyJoe, December 25, 2009
There are reputable scientists who say the global average temps were 3-4 degrees C [higher] during the MWP.

But the consensus based on the scientific evidence is that that the Earth has been warmer in the past few decades than at any time during the MWP.
So, who do you believe, the few reputable scientists or the consensus of 2000 experts?

In any case, I think it's your turn to supply some backup:

Who are these "reputable scientists"?
Are they all agreed on the reasons?
What are their reasons?

thanks smilies/smiley.gif
BJ
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...
written by BillyJoe, December 25, 2009
...oh, and most importantly:
Why do you back them against the consensus?
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@ Karmakaze...
written by Human Person Jr, December 25, 2009
Well, then; good, then; fine, then; excellent, then; all RIGHTY THENNNNNN!

LOL

I, too, was disappointed in Stalin, claiming to be a Communist. If he'd been a true Communist, there's no telling how far the Soviet influence would've gone. More'n likely, the WORLD would be a worker's paradise by now, if only Stalin hadn't trampled our Communist ideals beneath his iron boot heels.

Y'know, the only reason Communism never worked was because of CINOs (communists in name only), like Stalin, and the belligerent West with their stupid little U.S. Constitution and their blather about "liberty."

Viva la Revolucion!!! Climate justice NOW! Reparations to the third-world NOW!
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Hahaha
written by Karmakaze, December 25, 2009
Well done Human Person Jnr... You show yourself to be nothing but a politcal hack... and retarded one at that.

Do you deny that Stalinism was communism in name only? As for the rest of your bullshit, I never talked at all about whether communism could or couldnt succeed and what causes could be applicable for its failure, assuming it has indeed failed. I simply relataed an anology that people might be able to understand - simply because you call yourself a skeptic doesn't make you one, and Randi, and you, are most definitely NOT.

You sir are an idiot, which is why you're a Randi fanboy. Thanks for helping to prove my point.
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BillyJoe -- News Flash -- We're broke...
written by Human Person Jr, December 25, 2009
I've thought, for along time, that AGW, when coupled with the proposed remedies, is fraud, pure and simple. It smells like fraud. It has known fraudsters promoting it.

The ClimateGate scandal only reinforced those skeptical thoughts. These people, the "team," were determined to enforce their will on all who disagreed.

I hope the world comes to its senses. In the U.S., climate change is rated dead last in polls concerning what should worry us. That's a consensus I can get behind.

Very simple, undisputable fact: We don't have the trillions to do what the IPCC wants us to do. We just don't have the money. President Obama (and G.W. Bush before him, but not nearly on so grand a scale) has already mortgaged our unborn great-grandchildren's futures to pay for present day idiocy.

Alarmism about climate change came along a bit late. Others had already stolen the money before the IPCC could get around to stealing it. In international grand theft, as in comedy, timing is everything.

It's simple, BillyJoe -- We can't afford to do what the IPCC was set up to force us to do. I don't believe this incredible transfer of wealth is called for, but even if I did believe in it, we're broke.

We're worse than broke. No cash and our credit cards are maxed out. Get lost, Pachauri and Gore. While you're at it, get a job.
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Ahhhh, Karmakaze, you honor me...
written by Human Person Jr, December 25, 2009
You honor me with your laughter.

I apologize if I misunderstood your worldview. I must tell you that most non-communists wouldn't have used the analogy you chose.

Randi is to skepticism as Stalin was to communism - he is a skeptic in self-proclaimed title only.


It's not common knowledge that Stalin was a communist in name only. Hell, I didn't know it. (Still don't know it, but I'm inclined to take your word for it.)

You can also understand that the hard left crowd are, by their very nature, more likely to jump on the alarmist bandwagon than are the center and right-of-center folks. After all, they're the ones who already tried to redistribute the West's wealth forty years ago.

I apologize for having those thoughts -- thinking you're a communist, socialist, progressive, political liberal or leftist. Thanks for your categorical denial of the political views that I ascribed to you.

Wait -- I was wrong -- you repudiated nothing.
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...
written by BillyJoe, December 25, 2009
Karmakaze,

Your pointing out and explaning the numerous factual errors in James Randi's articles is excellent.
But I find that your unnecessary and over the top, castigation of James Randi himself distracts from its impact.

James Randi is excellent when it comes to debunking and exposing hoaxers, frauds, and charlatans and many of us are indebted to his tireless efforts in this regard.

But, he is clearly out of his depth on scientific topics.

The irony is that he has, in the past, shown that scientists who support paranormal phenomona lack the actual expertise to do evaluate these phenomona. They are trained to elucidate facts, not to detect nonsense, trickery amnd outright fraud.

But, now, he has fallen into the same trap of thinking, on the basis of his expertise in the paranormal, to assume he can have anything worthwhile to say about science about which he has no expertise whatsoever.

BillyJoe
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How can one person be so wrong on so many things?
written by Karmakaze, December 25, 2009
"I've thought, for along time, that AGW, when coupled with the proposed remedies, is fraud, pure and simple."

And I have thought for the last few minutes that you are a total idiot. I bet my gut feeling is far more likely to be correct than yours.

"We don't have the trillions to do what the IPCC wants us to do."

Oh? Your government came up with half a trillion dollars in under a year for the bankers... Why can't the entire planet get some of that action?

"The research demonstrates that the federal government provided substantially larger subsidies to fossil fuels than to renewables. Fossil fuels benefited from approximately US $72 billion over the seven-year period, while subsidies for renewable fuels totaled only $29 billion."

http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2009/10/fossil-fuels-subsidies-more-than-doubles-those-for-renewables
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@ Human Person Jr.
written by BillyJoe, December 25, 2009
Human Person,

For the third time, you are talking to the wrong person regarding measures to be taken to counteract AGM.
That is an entirely different question to the one I have been commenting on.

All my posts have been about whether AGW is a real problem.
It seems to me that your continual diversion onto a quite separate issue is your way of covering up the fact that you cannot back up the assertions and claims you have made about AGW

The ClimateGate scandal only reinforced those skeptical thoughts.

My reading of this is that it is a storm in a teacup.
I have given my responses to the main two excerpts from those emails that are presently doing the rounds, but you have not seem fit to comment on them.
It's no good just continuing to repeat your opinion.
You must be prepared to back them up?

regards,
BillyJoe

PS: Oh, and thanks for the answers to the questions in my last post. smilies/cool.gif
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This is the Information Age, BillyJoe
written by Human Person Jr, December 25, 2009
I've agreed from the start that GW is real, and that AGW is, to some degree, real. Any scientific opinion I cite is findable in seconds, by anyone. You don't need names, dates and places to look them up.

You say you're not concerned with remedies for the dangers posed by AGW. That's great. Unlike you, most AGW alarmists are quite clear about the remedies. You won't mind then, if we agree that GW is real, AGW is, to some degree, real, and leave the international thievery to the experienced thieves.

Those who seek to financially rape the West might be in luck, after all. Our President agrees with them: President Obama believes the West (meaning the U.S.) deserves to be financially raped. His administration clearly doesn't care what U.S. citizens think, so all may not be lost concerning the transfer of trillions of U.S. dollars to the third world. Good luck with that. Only problem is, their sorry Democrat asses will most likely be retired three years from now.

Happy New Year, all.
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...
written by BillyJoe, December 25, 2009
I've agreed from the start that GW is real, and that AGW is, to some degree, real.

But I said; "All my posts have been about whether AGW is a real problem."
You don't agree that it is a real problem, do you?

Any scientific opinion I cite is findable in seconds, by anyone. You don't need names, dates and places to look them up.

It's a bit hard to look up the unnamed "reputable scientists who say the global average temps were 3-4 degrees C [higher] during the MWP".
But my main point is that I have shown you the truth about your own references
- Keith Briffa
- Nir Shavic
- The hockey Stick Graph
- The leaked emails
- etc
But you don't feel the need to refute these, offer your alternative explanations, or...see the error of your ways smilies/grin.gif

You say you're not concerned with remedies for the dangers posed by AGW.

No I didn't,
I said that it is an entirely different question to the one I have been commenting on in this thread. I may or may not have an opinion on this topic, and I may or may not be willing to discus this elsewhere, but I have chosen to restrict my commentary in this thread to the reality or otherwise of AGW. I have done this deliberately in order to avoid our discussion ending up "everywhere and yet nowhere" (to paraphrase Ian Anderson).

Happy New Year, all.

..um...it's Christmas smilies/wink.gif

regards,
BillyJoe
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Yes, BillyJoe it is Christmas..
written by Human Person Jr, December 25, 2009
However, I'm not a Christian. I'm not even certain Jesus existed.

However, I'm reasonably certain that January 1st begins a New Year.

I'm well and truly outta here. Thanks for the chat. Happy New Year, all.
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Sigh..
written by Kagehi, December 25, 2009
So, you believe the government can operate one company in an industry and "compete" with other companies fairly?

Define fair, first. For example, while the insurance companies have, ever since a major one bought up what, at the time, was the only company providing estimates on costs to companies, with respect to how much treatments cost (as far as I know, there are now only *two*, the one they bought, but the courts let them keep, and one that they where ordered to give money for, to create. Want to lay bets on which one they *listen to* when deciding how much your premiums are?), and premiums have gone from "What ever the difference between the actual cost, and the amount that insurance will pay, based on an estimate of costs.", to 20%, someone on the right actually went in front of congress any argued that it was *unfair* that they only payed 80% of the cost for treatment, and such poor, defenseless, companies would be better off playing only 75% of it... Let me repeat that. If a treatment cost $100, in the old days, before they bought out the estimators, but the "local" doctor charged $110, you would pay $10. Now, if it costs $100 on average, the insurance company lies and claims it only costs $80, and thanks to the right, they can add another $5 to that, then make you pay $35. Now, think about what that means if you have to have a more than, say, getting your teeth checked, but had to shell out $1,000, or $10,000...

As a lot of people have *tried* to point out, the government already runs a program. You know how it works? You pick which company you want, then the government negotiates the price down to something **sane**. We started looking at a program that would provide insurance like other countries have. Every step of the way, we have gotten the right fighting it, until we almost got, "Well, lets just let them do it like government employees do.", and that got shot down, so we tried, "Ok, lets expand medicare, with a few changes, to fix some of its problems.", and that got shot down. Every single change you **claim** is the Democrats selling out to the insurance companies is a) something the Republicans added, demanded, or forced into happening, as a means to derail ***any*** reform at all. And, every time they shot holes in the bill by doing so, they then turned around and lied about whose fault it was. In fact, that is the most common tactic from them in this mess, add something they insist will "get them on board", then when its in the bill, claim that it was the Democrat's idea, and they can't vote for the bill while its in there. I have been watching, and I know who has introduced what, and most of the time its the same asshole that introduced it that then ends up turning around and whining that its in there. Nothing that is in there that **helps** the insurance companies is Democratic, unless you mean "Democrat", in the sense of the assholes that have already said that they plan to leave the party after this year, and become Republicans. You can tell which ones they are. Its the ones that claimed, when this started, that they cared about reform, claimed that the *current* bill was bad, got the rest of the party to capitualate and change it, then said, "Well, now that I got what I want, I won't vote for it until you remove what I insisted you do so, and replace it with something else again." Liberman being one huge one.

As for most of the nation not wanting any of it. I know polls are not worth much, but you can't help but **seriously** wonder how you can get polls done by Faux News, all showing "No one wants this", and polls done by nearly every other person on the planet, including many other conservatives, showing that anything from a narrow, to huge, majority wanting the one thing that get killed dead, "options".

As for my views. You know two of them. Well, three, since I see churches as dangerous, and extreme religion as a bane, while not much giving a frak about the majority of believers, whose greatest potential hazard to me is that they might decide to hide the porn magazines, or put Origin of Species in "fantasy", where religion actually belongs. You don't know a damn thing about my views, other than the ones here. Mind you, I don't know yours either, but you talk like a creationist, and make the same "conspiracy" arguments about them vis-a-vi climate change, as they do with Evolution, and apply the same level of skepticism and understanding of who profits in science, and how it works, as they do. If you really are not a believer, then.. we don't want you either.
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written by BillyJoe, December 25, 2009
...hey, kagehi...um....he's outta here

Merry...um...new year!


Human Person Jr:
I'm not a Christian. I'm not even certain Jesus existed.

I can't believe we actually have something in common! smilies/grin.gif

regards,
BillyJoe
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written by Karmakaze, December 26, 2009
@BillyJoe

"Your pointing out and explaning the numerous factual errors in James Randi's articles is excellent."


To be honest, the factual errors regarding AGW are not really what concerns me. The problem I have is that Randi has set himself up as the yardstick for skepticism, but has based his entire career on a fallacy (which I will explain in a moment).

"But I find that your unnecessary and over the top, castigation of James Randi himself distracts from its impact."

It is NOT uneccessary. Look at these comments. People swallow Randi's bullshit as gospel truth, when it is nothing more than bullshit. Randi has made a career of "debunking" claims by 'replicating' them using palour tricks and 'magic', then saying this PROVES that the claim etc is false. He forgets, though, that simply because something CAN be faked, doesn't mean it HAS BEEN faked. As far as I am aware he has never proven a single claim false except by such dubious means. He is NOT a skeptic, but fools people into thinking he is. Then this FAILED magician then dares to call scientists who have years of experience in the fields in question illogical or fraudulent!

The man is no better than the psychics.

"But, he is clearly out of his depth on scientific topics."

And yet every single time he sticks his nose in, it is a scientific topic. Sure ghosts may or may not be real, but the attempt to verify or debunk ghosts is, or at least should be, a scientific endeavour. But Randi just says "Who needs science? I can fake it, so it must be fake". So can Hollywood, Randi, but I'm not letting Keanu Reeves determine 'reality' for me!

"The irony is that he has, in the past, shown that scientists who support paranormal phenomona lack the actual expertise to do evaluate these phenomona."

No he hasn't and that claim is exactly what I am talking about. What he does is say "I can trick a scientist, so all such events must be fake.". That is BULLSHIT. You know it, and Randi knows it.

"But, now, he has fallen into the same trap of thinking, on the basis of his expertise in the paranormal,"

Where do you get the idea Randi has expertise in the paranormal? The man has done NOTHING in the field. No original research, no education even. What Randi is is a showman, not a scientist. As I said his entire career is based on the logical fallacy that because something CAN be faked it MUST be FAKED. Randi's expertise is making people like you think he's anything more than a failed magician talking shit.

"to assume he can have anything worthwhile to say about science about which he has no expertise whatsoever. "

You just described his entire career. Why can you see that when he's talking about climate, but not say ghosts? He has no expertise in science AT ALL. In fact the man dropped out of school at 17 to be a stage magician. That is his ONLY field of expertise, so when he talks about anything but stage magic, he has no more qualifications than you or I, and probably less. It's just that this time his arrogance got the better of him and he made claims in a field where others could EASILY show what an idiot he really is.

One last thing. Don;t you find it utterly insulting that Randi thinks you're dumb enough to fall for this "I didn't say AGW wasn't real, I just said... umm... yeah..." bullshit?

Anyone with a brain can see that Randi was trying to "revist" (cast doubt) on AGW, based on nothing but his feelings, and ignorance, and then when he got caught out lied and even tried to insult one of the people who called him on it. The man is pretty damn low to do that.

If Randi was even half the man he claims to be, he would have come here and said "Yes, I opened my mouth without thinking, and got caught exactly the same way I often accuse scientists of being caught - I took at face value a wild claim that any reasonable person should have tried to verify first." Remember his expertise in "woo-woo"? Seems he's no good at detecting that any more either!

Randi COULD have turned this into a good example of how even the most intelligent and educated people can be tricked if their own biases are taken advantage of. But no, its OUR fault for not understanding what he was trying to say ... which at the moment I'm still not sure of.

Randi is reknowned for this kind of thing.

By the way, am I the only one that noticed how Randi's fans have been ANYTHING but skeptical about Randi's claims? Why is that?
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written by BillyJoe, December 26, 2009
By the way, am I the only one that noticed how Randi's fans have been ANYTHING but skeptical about Randi's claims? Why is that?

No, I have commented on that as well.
However, it is only in the commentaries in Swift that the uncritical and unsceptical Randi supporters predominate, which is why I have essentially stopped reading and commentating on the articles here (until I was drawn here by the PZ Myers' blog recently)
It reminds me of a few years ago when I started responding with posters on an alternative medical site. Total uncritical acceptance.

As I said his entire career is based on the logical fallacy that because something CAN be faked it MUST be FAKED.

I don't think is what James Randi is saying.
What he says - and I could link to several videos if I had the time (but I'm about to leave on 2 weeks holiday) - is something along the lines of; "I can do this by trickery, he says he can do it by paranormal powers. I have a million dollars if he can prove irt in a properly conducted trial".

Sure ghosts may or may not be real, but the attempt to verify or debunk ghosts is, or at least should be, a scientific endeavour.

But, if you can show how ther activities of hoaxers, charalatans, and frauds can be faked, that surely is a contribution. I mean, he is not a scientist, so I am glad that at least in this endeavour he doesn't use science.

What he does is say "I can trick a scientist, so all such events must be fake."

I can't actually remember when he tricked a scientist, but I could be wrong. What I do remember is he has illustrating how scientists can be easily tricked by others (eg Uri Geller trcking scientist into beleiveing he has pararnormal powers) because thay are not experienced in detecting ther antics of charalatans and frauds

BillyJoe

Unfortunately that's all I have time for. I will be away for 2 weeks and might have trouble getting internet access during that time, though I'm taking my laptop just in case)
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written by BillyJoe, December 26, 2009
...also excuse the typos smilies/angry.gif
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@ Karmakaze
written by stevekelner, December 26, 2009
I was one of the first here to criticize Randi's inappropriate and ill-written criticism of AGW and his non-apology afterwards, but I must defend him against some of your comments, Karmakaze. Randi's career is not based solely on "if it can be faked it must be faked." First of all, it's more subtle than that. Scientists must eliminate artifacts -- errors based on accidents of design or situation -- from their research. As Randi and others have pointed out, nature doesn't set out to deceive scientists, but people do. Therefore, part of your research design must ensure against deliberate fraud. Randi points out how such fraud can be accomplished with relative ease and a bit of training, and has advised scientists on ways to structure their experiments to avoid the tricks he knows so well.
Second of all, he has tricked scientists, in terms of supporting a fake psychic, with the intent of showing how easily scientists can be fooled without proper guidance (I believe this is "Project Alpha"). By the way, those researchers have claimed that they were nice and not really doing their usual protections, and that nasty magician took advantage of them. I'm a bit skeptical! As a scientist myself, my first instinct upon seeing something too good to be true is to test it.
Third of all, he has had a standing offer to test psychics, and based on his documentation of previous tests, e.g., the one he did for RAI in Italy, he's come up with ingenious ways to ensure double-blind conditions in ways that do not conflict with their claims. And he always asks if they agree with the conditions. The usual claimants are either (1) people fooled into thinking they have psychic abilities, so they at least believe -- usually they are victims of "magical thinking;" or (2) people who think they can do a number on Randi, and when he beats them, spend all their time claiming he cheated. The "big names" never take him on; there's no percentage in it for them. If they were psychic, why wouldn't they?
Fourth, I don't care about his academic credentials when his experience and training are adequate to the situation. I don't know of any university that provides degrees in prestidigitation or escape-craft; he's an obvious master of both. One of the things I like about Mythbusters is taking a scientific approach to things even without formal degrees, which you can do up to a point. (The fact that Adam and Jamie have a huge range of expertise between the two of them doesn't hurt, either.) I've got three degrees myself, including a Ph.D in psychology, and there's no way I could test fake psychics the way Randi could. My expertise is in competencies -- characteristics that differentiate performance in a job -- and there's no doubt Randi has competencies for "magic" and debunking, just as Houdini did.
Where he fell down is approaching an extremely complex issue and trying to write an overly simplistic commentary both without sufficient research and without even asking his good buddy Phil Plait, who after all was head of the JREF. That was naive at best. But it doesn't invalidate his credentials when it comes to debunking fake psychics or even testing real ones.
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written by Karmakaze, December 26, 2009
"However, it is only in the commentaries in Swift that the uncritical and unsceptical Randi supporters predominate"

This is the first time I've come here, and it is because of the flood of "James Randi says AGW is fake" stuff appearing in the places I do frequent. If Randi was *just* a failed magician (well maybe failed is a tad unfair...) then it wouldn't matter, but Randi has set himself up as the go-to guy for skepticism and rationality in general and as such has an influence that exceeds what you or I or even the real scientists can have. People love celebrities. So it's not like we can just ignore his failings - they can and do have an affect, even outside this small corner of the intertubes. When REAL science is harmed by this person claiming to defend it... well that is NOT something that should be allowed to continue unchallanged.

"What he says - and I could link to several videos if I had the time (but I'm about to leave on 2 weeks holiday) - is something along the lines of; "I can do this by trickery, he says he can do it by paranormal powers. I have a million dollars if he can prove irt in a properly conducted trial"."

No, it's more than that. Randi has made a mission of making it practically impossible for REAL science to be done in these areas. Take the Project Alpha debacle as an example. Check out the full story on wikipedia, but it is clear to me that the ONLY thing Randi accomplished was to make sure scientists don't want to get anywhere near this issue, for fear of having a Randi attack on THEIR reputations.

Who the hell is THAT helping? Randi, and Randi alone.

So, it is arguable that Randi has done more damage to science than to charlatans, and possibly more damage to science than the charlatans themselves!

Remember, Project Alpha wasn't set up as a response to the science carried out by the lab - it was set up to interrupt the science before any of it could be carried out! He didn't wait to see if he agreed with their methods or results - he simply decided in advance that they couldn't possibly be doing good science and set out to prove it, in the process ensuring that it couldn't happen!

"But, if you can show how ther activities of hoaxers, charalatans, and frauds can be faked, that surely is a contribution."

See, you made a big mistake right there. You start from the premise they are charlatans frauds and hoaxers! If they ARE, then what they are doing is by definition fake! That is how Randi operates. Assume they are fake, show how it COULD HAVE been faked, declare you proved them a fake. It's bullshit. Of course the majority, if not all, ARE fakes, but it is no more scientifically valid to assume that, than it is to assume the opposite.

"I can't actually remember when he tricked a scientist, but I could be wrong. What I do remember is he has illustrating how scientists can be easily tricked by others (eg Uri Geller trcking scientist into beleiveing he has pararnormal powers) because thay are not experienced in detecting ther antics of charalatans and frauds"

Read up on Project Alpha. Tell me if you feel comfortable with Randi setting out to disrupt a scientific investigation before the investigation even began.

Hell, Randi's whole existence is based on the unscientific assumption that paranormal type events are impossible, and his career has been based on pushing that message as hard as possible, despite what the evidence or science might show.

He is not interested in getting at the truth, he is interested in making sure that HIS VERSION of the 'truth' is the only one accepted in the mainstream, even if it means going after scientists unfairly. Oh and he's made a good living doing it. Better than magic, that's for sure.
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written by Karmakaze, December 26, 2009
@stevekelner

"Therefore, part of your research design must ensure against deliberate fraud. Randi points out how such fraud can be accomplished with relative ease and a bit of training, and has advised scientists on ways to structure their experiments to avoid the tricks he knows so well."

Fair enough. So how does he get from there to:

"Well, claims that people can do, claims by people who say they can do paranormal things or have control of this, that, or the other thing, or know of paranormal powers, can very easily be tested by means of the million dollar prize. Now, that arose many years ago on a radio program out of New York when I was being interviewed. It was a parapsychologist who will remain nameless – a good friend of mine, actually, but he’s totally out of reality in every respect. He is an honest man, and he admits that he has never had a positive experiment in parapsychology, which I find very healthy. It means he’s doing unbiased research; it means he’s doing his research correctly."

http://www.skeptiko.com/blog/?p=7

Read that again. As far as Randi seems to be concerned, the results determine whether he is doing unbiased research correctly. Negative results. If the person had claimed nothing but positive results would Randi have said "that means he's doing unbiased research"? Yeah right. Randi is no better in this respect than the 'true believers'!

"Second of all, he has tricked scientists, in terms of supporting a fake psychic, with the intent of showing how easily scientists can be fooled without proper guidance (I believe this is "Project Alpha"). By the way, those researchers have claimed that they were nice and not really doing their usual protections, and that nasty magician took advantage of them. I'm a bit skeptical! As a scientist myself, my first instinct upon seeing something too good to be true is to test it."

Nope, you have been fooled by Randi again.

"''The worst we can say'' about the McDonnell laboratory, Mr. Randi said, ''is that they were far too confident of their abilities to detect fraud, and refused outside assistance because those who offered it lacked academic credentials.''

Not so, says Dr. Phillips. He admits there was a period in which they thought they saw ''extraordinary things'' and even gave a talk that was printed in the proceedings of a meeting. But that, he says, is preliminary data gathering and not the formal process by which results are published in a journal for rebuttal or confirmation by other scientists.

Moreover, after preliminary testing, the St. Louis group took up Mr. Randi's offer of assistance by sending him videotapes of the boys for analysis. Dr. Phillips, armed with Mr. Randi's critique, tightened up the experiments so as to exclude the possibility of trickery. As he did so, the ''powers'' of the boys vanished."
http://www.nytimes.com/1983/02/15/science/magician-s-effort-to-debunk-scientists-raises-ethical-issues.html?&pagewanted=2

Randi realised the scientist were about to expose the hoax using science, so he quickly called a press conference to make sure his name got into the headlines:

"Not surprisingly, Mr. Randi takes umbrage at the suggestion that he is out to hinder research. ''If Tart thinks I did this to stifle research, he is crazy. I brought this type of research into the 20th century, whereas he is in the woods. What if I had told the kids not to tell all? There would be scientific papers all over the place and they would eventually be rich and famous. I think the parapsychologists are lucky we revealed the hoax.''"

See how this man thinks? All he cared about was showing that HE was the only man that could be trusted to determine the truth, and he has already decided, and everyone is lucky he is arounbd to save us from our stupidity.

Bullshit.
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continued
written by Karmakaze, December 26, 2009
Also, does Randi care to update us on Project Beta?

""Others view Mr. Randi's deeds as an attempt to quash inquiry, especially in light of his ''Project Beta,'' whose existence was revealed at the Discover news conference. ''If those who were caught in this net will realize their errors and adopt stringent standards of procedure,'' he said, ''Project Beta - which is already under way - will fail.''"

So, is it safe to assume that because there is no Project Beta wiki page that it did indeed fail? What happened to it? Well, it turns out Randi claims:

"When Randi heard about this, he proclaimed that his "Project Beta" had been successful. Unlike "Project Alpha," in which Randi's confederates infiltrated a parapsychological laboratory as research participants, "Project Beta" simply required that Randi's advice be requested by a prominent parapsychologist. John Beloff was as prominent as they come."
http://parapsychology.se/PA-stockholm/abstract/a37.html

Hmm... It seems that when he announced Project Beta, if scientists were doing the RIGHT thing it would FAIL, but later he turned it into if scientists did the RIGHT thing it would SUCCEED... funny that.

Isn't moving the goal posts in the middle of the experiment one of Randi's big no-no's?

"Third of all, he has had a standing offer to test psychics, and based on his documentation of previous tests, e.g., the one he did for RAI in Italy, he's come up with ingenious ways to ensure double-blind conditions in ways that do not conflict with their claims. And he always asks if they agree with the conditions. The usual claimants are either (1) people fooled into thinking they have psychic abilities, so they at least believe -- usually they are victims of "magical thinking;" or (2) people who think they can do a number on Randi, and when he beats them, spend all their time claiming he cheated."

Actually, that's all well and good until you realise that Randi chooses who is allowed to try and who isn't. He has several times refused to accept applications from people that seemingly had a good chance of succeeding. The challenge is not about proving or disproving the paranormal - it is about having a propaganda piece to beat people over the head with. He will never allow a serious contender to get anywhere near the prize.

"The "big names" never take him on; there's no percentage in it for them. If they were psychic, why wouldn't they?"

Perhaps because they ARE psychic and know that Randi would never let them get past the preliminary tests? In all seriousness though, why is it the "big names" that matter? If this isn't simply a propaganda tool, who takes or doesn't take the challenge is less important than the results of challenges taken.

The truth is the vast majority of the applicants never even get a preliminary test, because testing protocols have not been agreed. I am not saying this is totally Randi's fault, but no one has taken the challenge formally, and very few have even gotten to the preliminary testing phase.
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Part 3
written by Karmakaze, December 26, 2009
One particularly underhanded trick Randi likes to pull is the denial of the application, then when a fuss is made the acceptancve of the application that then never gets past the negotiations for a testing procedure. Take Randi's statement regarding Rico Kolodzey:

"In the 100 days since, we’ve been fussing over an appropriate and acceptable protocol, and getting nowhere. This is quite what I’ve come to accept; consider the Lou Gentile matter. Lou made a huge noise over not being tested, and finally retreated, as have so many, many, others, when given the green light."
http://www.randi.org/jr/2006-08/082506yet.html#i2

So, Randi is saying that these people, once he allows them to apply then reject the conditions of testing, and uses this to further attack the applicant:

"I’m giving Kolodzey the opportunity of joining this bunch under what I’ve decided to call, The Sylvia Browne Rock, where grubby folks hide when confronted by the JREF challenge."

But, note the FAQ page:

"1.4 Has anyone ever gotten past the preliminary test?

No. Some people use this fact as a reason not to apply – and yet the protocol is never altered once the applicant agrees to it. In fact, we ask the applicant to design the test."

He is clearly saying here the APPLICANT designs the test, which means that RANDI rejects it, which is why the protocols can never be agreed upon! See what he did there? He sets it up so that it looks like the applicant refuses to be tested, simply by refusing to accept any testing regime proposed by the applicant when he is unsure of the outcome.

"One of the things I like about Mythbusters is taking a scientific approach to things even without formal degrees, which you can do up to a point. (The fact that Adam and Jamie have a huge range of expertise between the two of them doesn't hurt, either.)"

Have you seen how many times they get it utterly wrong? I am a huge fan of the show, but I don't take it to be science!

"I've got three degrees myself, including a Ph.D in psychology, and there's no way I could test fake psychics the way Randi could."

Oh? How do you know? That's the kind of fanboy bullshit I'm talking about.

"Where he fell down is approaching an extremely complex issue and trying to write an overly simplistic commentary both without sufficient research and without even asking his good buddy Phil Plait, who after all was head of the JREF. That was naive at best. But it doesn't invalidate his credentials when it comes to debunking fake psychics or even testing real ones."

That is EXACTLY what he does for EVERYTHING. The rules of the challenge even directly state he is not interested in any information regarding the abilities claimed. He doesn't want to know about it, he just wants to debunk it, and if he thinks he can't he never even tests it.

If thats how YOU do science, then you don't deserve that Ph.D.

Notice how he acted on this subject, a subject that many people are far more aware of than the science involved in the investigation of the paranormal, and consider, if this is how he acts when he CAN be easily refuted, how does he act when it ISN'T so easy? In fact has Randi ever done any kind of research into the paranormal?

Take the Sheldrake experiments. He makes a fuss over Sheldrake not taking the challenge. So why doesn't Randi fund and carry out the kind of research he thinks SHOULD be done? That would be a far better use of the million. He thinks Sheldrake did it wrong... well replicate the experiments and prove it!

But Randi isn't interested in science - he is interested in publicity.
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written by royniles, December 26, 2009
Karma says "Hell, Randi's whole existence is based on the unscientific assumption that paranormal type events are impossible, and his career has been based on pushing that message as hard as possible, despite what the evidence or science might show."
But I would have thought the unscientific assumption to be that paranormal type events were possible, despite what the evidence or science might not have so far shown. But then I'm just another amateur magician.

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My, my, Karmakaze
written by stevekelner, December 26, 2009
I am not a Randi fanboy. Read my previous posts. I respect what he does well, and otherwise find his self-righteousness somewhat off-putting, and sometimes at odds with his own intent. In situations like that of the Popoffs in Faith Healers, I understand and even appreciate it, because it is in an appropriate context. When I say I couldn't test fake psychics the way he does, that's a simple fact. There are forms of debunking I could do (ask me about people assessment methods, a subject on which I have some genuine authority - I referred to the falsity of profiling elsewhere on the site), but not the kind he does. I don't claim he's good at everything, nor do I worship him as having done a service to the human race, as others have here. I think he's a good debunker, and I think we need a few out there.
Calling him a "failed magician" as you do simply suggests you are biased against him - he performed at the White House long before he started doing debunking. He's got quite a reputation in the field of professional magic - just ask someone in it.
As for him doing science: He's said a zillion times that he isn't a scientist. He isn't doing science, you're right about that. He's debunking. I would object if he did set up true experiments, though certainly his approach has included empirical methods. For the million bucks, it's his bat and his ball and his rules -- except that both sides have to agree. As I recall, one of the criteria has been that people have to accept the conclusion, including that they do not have the powers claimed if they fail. Understandable that many don't wish to take the risk, but let's face it - some of the claims these people make are grand enough that they ought to be able to withstand even Randi's scrutiny, or indeed even stacking the deck against them if that should happen. One person who interviewed with him said she could send her spirit self to Jupiter and see what was there. He said "go upstairs and tell me what's on the table." If you can go to Jupiter, shouldn't it be easier to go upstairs? (By the way, she tried, but came up with something that had nothing to do with what was there.)
As his "unscientific assumption that paranormal type events are impossible," well, no, he's rather got science on his side about that. As Carl Sagan and Martin Gardner say all the time: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It is entirely appropriate to take paranormal powers as the exception and the universe we know as the norm. Since no one has ever proposed a mechanism for any of the psychic abilities that truly fits into current understandings of physical science -- or even psychological science -- there's no reason to believe there are psychic powers until someone demonstrates them convincingly. Believe me, I'd love to think differently. But the research thus far has been hugely unconvincing, and driven largely by believers who seem to have a hard time correcting for the Experimenter Effect (cf. Robert Rosenthal). And yes, I've read some of it. I've even seen some of it.
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Gah...
written by Kagehi, December 26, 2009
Perhaps because they ARE psychic and know that Randi would never let them get past the preliminary tests?

If Silvia Brown and the rest of those idiots are "psychic", I'll eat my shorts. But, you seem to be making the completely unfounded assumption that no one else tested them, or discovered how they worked by observing what they actually did, which is flat out false. Actually, you make other failed assumptions, one being that you can say anything about him rejecting a test, without knowing what the hell the details of the test where. But, why bother to worry about that. Its not like a fake psychic would possibly come up with a test that lets them easily fake things.

Randi is just the most well known debunker. ***No one*** has managed to pass a test by "anyone" who has run a sufficiently scientific test. The best anyone has ever done was to convince some military people that, "Some of the stuff might exist, but its ***too unreliable*** to use." This might seem like a big deal, but, you have to remember, this is the same military among which "some" members also fell for dowsing rods with microchips glued to the inside of them, on the insane premise that an unpowered microchip would "help" a dowser. The same useless crap is now being sold in Iraq, where believers in it claim, "The ones that fail are not trained right.", and, "It works every time, when we **know** where the bomb is before testing it.", which is the whole fracking point of how dowsing works. You use other information to find the "location", then you wander around with sticks, until you "find" what you already knew, or strongly suspected, was there.

This stuff has been tested, over, and over, and over, by more than just Randi. Every apparent "positive" result has been a result of tests that fail to prevent the practitioner from getting information *before* the test, or during it, which results in the result. In every case, when adjustment where made to prevent it, the tests *failed*.

You think otherwise, then show me one that has been done, which wasn't badly designed, and produced a) a usable result, and b) didn't have the numbers fudged to make it look more impressive than it was. Even the "best" examples, if you believe the numbers, would imply that "psychic ability" **might** be good enough to let you find the 6th number in a lotto ticket, as long as you have already accidentally, without using any such powers, gotten the first 5 right anyway. Or, in other words, you might manage to "sense" one out of the six numbers, which does jack for you, if you got the other 5 *wrong*. Seriously, its that bad. We are not talking Jedi here, we are talking, maybe, something so close to pure coincidence, that its almost unmeasurable.

In fact, there was one study that was done, which if it was accurate, suggested that someone could "influence" the fall of balls, dropped randomly into a pachinco like machine, so as to skew the results, over 1,000,000 drops, by about 0.05%. That's 500 balls falling where you wanted, and 999,500, *not* being effected. Since Randi certainly hasn't, as far as I know, said anything about the experiment, and I haven't seen **anything since**, one has to presume that subsequent attempts **failed** to show the same result.

In any case, nothing I have seen suggests that any of it, if real, is accurate, useful, or controllable enough to produce *any* of the stuff so called "psychics" claim to do all the time. And, more to the point, the stuff Randi talks about isn't just what you *thinks* they might be doing, often anyone paying attention can **see** them doing it. The moron John Edwards being a good example. Someone actually snuck a video camera into one of his shows, recorded the whole 8 hours, and then went back and looked it over. 100% of everything he got a "hit" on was something the same person **told him** a few hours earlier, while playing the "I have a T, or a J here.", BS. And, his hit to miss ratio was so bad it would have embarrassed Silvia Brown or one of the other professional "speakers to dead people". He isn't describing what he "thinks" they are doing, he is describing things they eventually get **caught** doing, or have previously.
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"Scientific Consensus"
written by laursaurus, December 27, 2009
One of the most insidious red herrings in the climate debate became the thousands of scientists who “endorsed” the views of the IPCC.The leaked emails reveal how the consensus among "scientists" is far from genuine. With just months until the Kyoto Climate Conference, on 10/09/1997, an email from Joe Alcamo, Director of the CESR in Germany, to Mike Hulme and Rob Swart discusses creation of the supposed scientific consensus:

"Sounds like you guys have been busy doing good things for the cause.

I would like to weigh in on two important questions—

Distribution for Endorsements—

I am very strongly in favor of as wide and rapid a distribution as possible for endorsements. I think the only thing that counts is numbers. The media is going to say “1000 scientists signed” or “1500 signed”. No one is going to check if it is 600 with PhDs versus 2000 without. They will mention the prominent ones, but that is a different story."

Conclusion—Forget the screening, forget asking them about their last publication (most will ignore you[).] Get those names!

This statement alone shows how ridiculous the “endorsement” process was from the very beginning. Signing a petition in support of a “cause”—regardless of whether the signer has a PhD or not—is as scientifically meaningless as if these same people had voted Albert Einstein’s hairstyle as the most interesting in the history of science. It is nonsense, pure and simple.It's no surprise this tactic for discrediting the Petition Project was easily pulled out of their back pocket. Like Randi can spot magic tricks masquerading as psychic ability, the AGW ideologues immediately turned the spotlight on the credentials of those who signed the PP.

Alcamo continues:

Timing—I feel strongly that the week of 24 November is too late.

1. We wanted to announce the Statement in the period when there was a sag in related news, but in the week before Kyoto we should expect that we will have to crowd out many other articles about climate.

2. If the Statement comes out just a few days before Kyoto I am afraid that the delegates who we want to influence will not have any time to pay attention to it. We should give them a few weeks to hear about it.

3. If Greenpeace is having an event the week before, we should have it a week before them so that they and other N[on-]G[overnmental] O[rganization]s can further spread the word about the Statement. On the other hand, it wouldn't be so bad to release the Statement in the same week, but on a diffe[r]ent day. The media might enjoy hearing the message from two very different directions.

Conclusion I suggest the week of 10 November, or the week of 17 November at the latest."

Alcamo demonstrates that this is a carefully crafted piece of political and ideological activism, not related to the scientific process at all. Indeed, the optimization of the timing—allowing just enough time for delegates to absorb the message, but not enough time for the scientists signing on to this petition to actually examine or criticize its contents—will return with a vengeance as demonstrated in the following email.

November 12, 1997: email 0879365369

Richard Tol to Mike Hulme and Timothy Mitchell:

"I am always worried about this sort of thing[]. Even if you have 1000 sign[a]tures, and appear to have a strong backup, how many of those asked did not sign?'

Tol is absolutely correct: just as suppressing research results that do not support climate change inevitably biases the published record, so too does suppressing the number of scientists who declined to sign the petition.


Tol continues:

"I think that the text [of the Statement] conveys the message that it is a scientific defense for the E[uropean] U[nion’s] position. There is not any."

Indeed, as we have seen in the intervening years, it was used to justify far more.
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email that rips apart the farce of the scientific consensus
written by laursaurus, December 27, 2009
November 25, 1997: email 0880476729: Tom Wigley roundly criticises the eleven scientists seeking endorsement of their IPCC Statement leading up to Kyoto .

"Dear Eleven,

I was very disturbed by your recent letter, and your attempt to get others to endorse it. Not only do I disagree with the content of this letter, but I also believe that you have severely distorted the IPCC “view” when you say that 'the latest IPCC assessment makes a convincing economic case for immediate control of emissions.' […]
This is a complex issue, and your misrepresentation of it does you a dis-service. To someone like me, who knows the science, it is apparent that you are presenting a personal view, not an informed, balanced scientific assessment. What is unfortunate is that this will not be apparent to the vast majority of scientists you have contacted. In issues like this, scientists have an added responsibility to keep their personal views separate from the science, and to make it clear to others when they diverge from the objectivity they (hopefully) adhere to in their scientific research. I think you have failed to do this.

Your approach of trying to gain scientific credibility for your personal views by asking people to endorse your letter is reprehensible. No scientist who wishes to maintain respect in the community should ever endorse any statement unless they have examined the issue fully themselves. You are asking people to prostitute themselves by doing just this! I fear that some will endorse your letter, in the mistaken belief that you are making a balanced and knowledgeable assessment of the science—when, in fact, you are presenting a flawed view that neither accords with IPCC nor with the bulk of the scientific and economic literature on the subject.

[…]

When scientists color the science with their own personal views or make categorical statements without presenting the evidence for such statements, they have a clear responsibility to state that that is what they are doing. You have failed to do so. Indeed, what you are doing is, in my view, a form of dishonesty more subtle but no less egregious than the statements made by the greenhouse skeptics […]. I find this extremely disturbing."

I couldn't express it any better myself.
The skeptics who embrace AGW do so because they believe it is an established scientific fact. Clearly, it is not!

The believers received orders from the boys from RealClimate.org, the opinion blog from the creators of the Climategate emails. Instructions were as follows: this is just a tempest in a teapot. Move along, nothing here to see. "Trick" means "clever method"...."to hide the decline". Hmmm???? Randi knows trickery when he spots it.
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@laursaurus
written by stevekelner, December 27, 2009
You're reading your own view into the emails. The "email that rips apart the farce..." does not mean there is no overall consensus on whether (1) there is global warming, or (2) humans have contributed to it." All it says is that they don't want someone to propose that there is "a convincing economic case for immediate control of emissions." That is an action to be taken against AGW, which people are still arguing about, with perhaps an underlying question about the speed of AGW.
As for your slander of the folks at RealClimate.org and the comment about trick...I'm not going to bother to rehash. You're just wrong, okay?
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laursaurus, you're just wrong, ok?
written by Human Person Jr, December 27, 2009
Well, umm, no, it's not ok, stevekelner.

You people need to get over it. We're broke. We're worse than broke. We simply don't have the resources to shut down our economy and start handing out goody-bags. The tinhorn dictators will just have to make do with their Swiss-bank millions.

How about this, stevekelner, you're just wrong, ok?

And even if you're right, ok? We don't have any trillions to contribute, ok?

And furthermore, if our benighted president makes a deal with anyone, he'll be outta here in 2012, and we'll rescind the deal, ok?

There is no evidence that will turn a religious person away from his religious beliefs. That includes you people who worship at the Church of AGW Hey Watch Out.

Good job, laursaurus. I hadn't seen those emails before today. Thanks!
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...
written by stevekelner, December 27, 2009
Your comments had nothing to do with mine, Human Person Jr. I didn't say anything about what I thought we should do about AGW, and in fact haven't during this entire thread. You are merely making up a straw man of what you imagine to be my thoughts and then attacking it. But anyone who thinks liberals = Nazis = socialists is clearly not someone I'm going to be able to have a conversation with anyway.
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Ok, stevekelner, let's forget the solution...
written by Human Person Jr, December 27, 2009
Let's instead concentrate on the problem.

Let's assume that the IPCC is 100% correct on their math and science (they're not, but what the hell, I'm in a generous mood).

Based on historic fact, we will cause the CO2 levels in our atmosphere to rise from 388 ppmv to about 408 ppmv by year's end 2019 (one decade). Using the IPCC's own linear progression (the progression should NOT be linear, which is a fundamental flaw), we will experience an increase in Mean Global Temperature of -- TA DAAAAAA

...less that a quarter of a degree Celsius during that decade.

That might seem like a huge problem to you. To me, it's no big deal, particularly when you realize the temperature increase will be even less than that, once someone does the math properly.

As your idol and mine, Filbert Jones, always said, "Cheers!"
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The problem with IPCC math
written by Human Person Jr, December 27, 2009
The IPCC assumes that every new molecule of CO2 will cause just as much warming as the first molecules of CO2. That is a demonstrable fallacy. That's what I meant by a linear progression (comment above) rather than a logarithmic progression.

I agree that:

The Earth has been warming, ever since the Little Ice Age;
A small portion of the warming is due to greenhouse gases (GHGs);
A small percentage of GHGs are manmade CO2 emissions.

We're in no danger of sizzling, baking or drowning. That is utter bullshit. And the emails, other leaked documents, as well as public statements, make it clear that the CRU and the IPCC started out with a solution in mind, before they created this problem crying out to be solved. That solution is the same old horseshit: Financial rape of the West (read that, the U.S.) and some degree of world governance.

We don't plan to cooperate. Our government would love to, but the sorry sacks of dung don't have the nerve at the moment. Our EPA is about to get its grubby little knuckles rapped for what they're already imperiously done.

All decent Americans should try to put the current ruling class on the endangered feces list. They don't deserve one ounce of our respect.
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Okay, now we're talking
written by stevekelner, December 27, 2009
I don't think the IPCC is assuming "every new molecule of CO2" counts, but I'm not an expert on the topic. My understanding is that there is more to it than CO2. We can track CO2 relatively easily, and it's a known concomitant of various human effects, including both our direct input via the burning of fossil fuels, and also the reduction of CO2 absorbers in the environment (e.g., reduced forests, oceanic saturation). And things could happen much more quickly if the methane trapped in Arctic ice gets released, for example, since it is 60 times more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. There have been some rapid-climate-change events in the prehistoric past which may have been due to such an effect. In that case, even an incremental increase in temperature which is sufficient to release the methane will lead to potentially catastrophic effects over the next century or two.
But even if that effect -- or all the others -- are relatively minor in terms of global change, that doesn't mean nothing will happen, since as I recall the last Ice Age was on average only a degree or two colder than today. I haven't heard anyone say we are in danger of "sizzling, baking, or drowning" save a few people who are exaggerating for effect. The real question to my mind -- and apparently the vast majority of climate scientists -- is how much change is occurring, and what will happen as a result. I don't think humanity is at any risk of perishing from this, but civilization as we know it is more delicate than most people realize, and it wouldn't take much to put untoward stresses on our technological infrastructure.
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Climate Alarmism is Dead...
written by Human Person Jr, December 27, 2009
Climate Alarmism is a zombified corpse without portfolio. Someone should administer the coup de grace and, mercifully, allow it to sleep the eternal sleep of ideas that should never have been born.

Climatologist Lindzen (MIT) and his associate, Choi, rendered Alarmism a walking anachronism, hopelessly out of date, much like the wooden-faced, hillbilly-voiced Al Gore himself. Here's how the fatal blow was struck:

Lindzen and Choi's paper on the Earth's Radiation Budget (ERB) demolished with data the previously accepted models, which describe the ratio of Earth-surface warming to longwave radiation (heat) escaping into space. The models, all eleven of them, predicted that surface warming would cause a decrease in the amount of longwave (LW) radiation escaping from Earth into space. That reasoning, taken to its logical extreme, predicted that doubling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would raise the Global Mean Temperature by 3.3 degrees C.

The ERB models created by the IPCC were, by necessity, guesses. There weren't sufficient data upon which to base, with total certainty, a graph of the actual ERB ratios. Lindzen and Choi, by combining data from three satellites (one from NASA and two from NOAA) have shown that MORE LW radiation (heat) escapes into space when Earth's surface temps increase. (The difference between the IPCC and the actual data is amazing.)

Lindzen's and Choi's work, taken to its mathematical conclusion, indicates that doubling the CO2 in the atmosphere would result NOT in warming of 3.3 degrees C, but rather between .5 and .8 degrees C.

These numbers have a caveat. The diurnal differences in escaping LW radiation, the flight paths of the satellites, and other variables introduce a small amount of uncertainty into the conclusions. However, the uncertainty is small and takes away nothing from the monumental step Lindzen and Choi have taken in demolishing the Alarmist's ability to fearmonger.

Any reasonable person would be happy that we don't have to shut down all industry. I can promise you the Alarmists won't be one bit happy at this news. Why? You can figure it out. It's the same reason that religious nuts are so bitterly disappointed when their predictions of the end of the world, with all its attendant chaos, death and misery) fail to come to fruition.

If you want to read the Lindzen-Choi paper, Google Lindzen Choi paper.

Religion is a funny thing, and I don't mean ha-ha funny.
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@royniles
written by Karmakaze, December 27, 2009
"But I would have thought the unscientific assumption to be that paranormal type events were possible"

And that is where you are wrong. An assumption in either direction is unscientifc.

"despite what the evidence or science might not have so far shown"

Absence of evidence does not equal evidence of absence. This is simple logic, and I would have thought a skeptic would know that.

"But then I'm just another amateur magician."

That explains it.
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@stevekelner
written by Karmakaze, December 27, 2009
"I am not a Randi fanboy"

Then why do you assume he can do anything better than you? Have you tried a head to head evaluation? Or do you just assume that because of your respect for him? That makes you a fanboy. Sorry to break it to you.

"There are forms of debunking I could do... but not the kind he does."

How do you know? Seriously I have seen nothing he does that is not simple common sense! Take the tricks he exposes such as distraction to allow a spoon bender to secretely bend the spoon unnoticed. Common sense would be to have a video camera focused on the subjects hands and the test item at all times to ensure that observers real time observations can be verified. I don't need to be a magician to know that!

Randi is still human, there is nothing he has thought of that you can't, and maybe just maybe you might think of things he hasn't. So why do you assume he's better?

"Calling him a "failed magician" as you do simply suggests you are biased against him - he performed at the White House long before he started doing debunking."

Yes, I did admit that was a little unfair. But Randi doesn't deal in fairness either, so pfft... sue me.

"As for him doing science: He's said a zillion times that he isn't a scientist."

And yet over and over again, he involves himself in science and proclaims himself better at it. See the articles that generated these threads.

"Understandable that many don't wish to take the risk"

Take a look at this thread:

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=119896

Seems that Randi is the barrier to testing simply because he wants such a limited test that a subtle positive effect is unlikely to show up. Very scientific! Convenient that it biases the test in favour of Randi! Remember as the applicant said, he has to pay all the costs, so that is no barrier to a longer test, he is not asking for a change in the method of testing, just the amount of tests carried out, and the amount is not unreasonable, its not like he's asking for 10,000 tests, he is asking for 100 and being told 20 or nothing, and then Randi is making it sound like the applicant is refusing with the implication being he is afraid of being tested, when in fact he is asking to be tested more!

So who is not willing to take the risk?

"or indeed even stacking the deck against them if that should happen."

It does happen, and no, it is not reasonable at all. Randi is the one saying that a fair test proves claims like this false, but is refusing to actually carry out a fair test. How is that anything but a black mark against Randi?

"One person who interviewed with him said she could send her spirit self to Jupiter and see what was there. He said "go upstairs and tell me what's on the table." If you can go to Jupiter, shouldn't it be easier to go upstairs? (By the way, she tried, but came up with something that had nothing to do with what was there.)"

So one of the few dozen peoiple actually given a test in the challenge was someone making a pretty outlandish claim, while other much more reasonable and testable claims are rejected because the suggested protocol is too complex? Funny that.
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@stevekelner continued
written by Karmakaze, December 27, 2009
"As his "unscientific assumption that paranormal type events are impossible," well, no, he's rather got science on his side about that."

Nope, he hasn't. Declarations of impossibilty are just as scientific as declarations of absolute certainty. Unless he can PROVE it CAN'T happen (which he can't) then he HAS to accept it MAY be possible, but we just can't prove it. Just like it MAY be impossible, but we can't prove it.

"As Carl Sagan and Martin Gardner say all the time: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Ok, so where is your extraordinary evidence that paranormal events are IMPOSSIBLE? That's a pretty extraordinary claim, when it is based on nothing but a lack of evidence for the inverse.

"It is entirely appropriate to take paranormal powers as the exception and the universe we know as the norm."

It may be appropriate to assume that... if we actually knew everything about the universe. Recent discoveries in quantuum physics alone show we do not.

"Since no one has ever proposed a mechanism for any of the psychic abilities that truly fits into current understandings of physical science"

So you assume that the abilities are impossible rather than maybe our understanding is incomplete? Must be nice to know everything already!

"there's no reason to believe there are psychic powers until someone demonstrates them convincingly."

Which of course is why Randi does his best to prevent any such demonstration. See the thread I refered to.

"Believe me, I'd love to think differently."

Yeah right. You clearly show a bias against even the possibilty of its existence without recognising your own bias. Science has done nothing to disprove the possibilty of paranormal events, and in fact science has over the years explained many things that would have been considered paranormal only a few years before. Assuming that what we know now is a completely or even mostly accurate picture of how the universe works is not only unscientific, it is highly arrogant.

Hell, in physics now they are talking about things that used to be science fiction simply because it turns out our understanding is not possible without it - take multiple dimensions as an example. They are talking about dimensions that exist outside our own, that have different rules, and that still affect ours. In fact some theories are looking at the possibility that gravity is actually a sort of leak into another dimension!

Serioously, how can you be so arrogant to write off anything based on your OWN experience?
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@Kagehi
written by Karmakaze, December 27, 2009
"If Silvia Brown and the rest of those idiots are "psychic", I'll eat my shorts. But, you seem to be making the completely unfounded assumption that no one else tested them, or discovered how they worked by observing what they actually did, which is flat out false."

Did you miss the bit where I said "but seriously"? Firstly I never said no one tested them, I simply said it is just as likely if not more so that Randi rejects the test protocols than the applicant. See my reply to stevekelner for a link where Randi does exactly that, and it is because he refuses to give the applicant a FAIR test.

"Actually, you make other failed assumptions, one being that you can say anything about him rejecting a test, without knowing what the hell the details of the test where."

In the thread I linked, the details are there for all to see, and it is clear that Randi is limiting the test unreasonably, and even a significant number of forum members agree. But that doesn't stop Randi from trying to make it sound like the applicant is the barrier!

"But, why bother to worry about that. Its not like a fake psychic would possibly come up with a test that lets them easily fake things."

Read the thread I linked. In fact, here it is again:

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=119896&page=14

The ONLY barrier it seems is the number of runs the test is being done. Does doing it 100 times make it easier to cheat than doing it 20? Or is it simply that 20 makes sure that a subtle effect will be lost in the noise. My vote is the latter. YMMV.

"Randi is just the most well known debunker. ***No one*** has managed to pass a test by "anyone" who has run a sufficiently scientific test."

Love the qualifier. If they pass it wasn't sufficiently scientific? You mean like Randi's version of scientific?

"Every apparent "positive" result has been a result of tests that fail to prevent the practitioner from getting information *before* the test, or during it, which results in the result. In every case, when adjustment where made to prevent it, the tests *failed*."

Is that right? I refer you to the Sheldrake experiments. Tell me, did someone tell the dogs their owner would be coming home at a certain time? I suspect that would be as amazing as the dogs using some kind of extrasensory perception...

Of course Randi won't accept those experiments unless they are carried out in front of him. He won't do it himself of course, because he is just a magician, not a scientist, but that of course doesn't stop him from proclaiming it to be based on fraud or incompetance.
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@Kagehi continued
written by Karmakaze, December 27, 2009
"Seriously, its that bad. We are not talking Jedi here, we are talking, maybe, something so close to pure coincidence, that its almost unmeasurable."

Oh, so a slight effect is the same as no effect? Ever heard of gravity? It is an incredibly weak effect, but our universe relies on it. That is why Randi is limiting the test I refered to. The chance of showing a weak positive is far too risky for him to put his money where his mouth is. Gravity not enough for you? What about van der Waals forces? Incredibly weak but without it life as we know it would be impossible.

The fact is, if paranormal effects are real, they are likely to be very small or we would see them everywhere all the time and they wouldn't be paranormal! So by limiting the required level of proof to only large effects, you are biasing any test to almost certainly fail, despite how 'fair' the protocol is.

"Since Randi certainly hasn't, as far as I know, said anything about the experiment, and I haven't seen **anything since**, one has to presume that subsequent attempts **failed** to show the same result."

Oh really? Or maybe you have to assume that the results have been confirmed but many in science and the 'skeptic' communities are not willing to accept them, and thus refuse to discuss them? Why is your version any more likely than mine?

"In any case, nothing I have seen suggests that any of it, if real, is accurate, useful, or controllable enough to produce *any* of the stuff so called "psychics" claim to do all the time."

Oh well then, we can't make use of it, and even if it may show we have a problem with our understanding of the universe, it's just better to ignore it and call anyone who might say it happened to them crazy, or a fraud?

"And, more to the point, the stuff Randi talks about isn't just what you *thinks* they might be doing, often anyone paying attention can **see** them doing it."

For sure. I never said there was no such thing as fraud, I simply said that assuming fraud without verification is just as bad as assuming accuracy without verification. Randi and you are just as bad as the true believers, and every bit as scientific.

"He isn't describing what he "thinks" they are doing, he is describing things they eventually get **caught** doing, or have previously."

And then saying because John Edwards has been caught that everyone who claims any paranormal event happened is a liar or a fool. It wasn't that long ago that time travel was considered utterly impossible and paranormal... then Relativity showed that time is just another dimension in spacetime, and in fact velocity is linked to the passage of time, so you can actually travel forward in time simply by going very fast. Of course if we had just assumed it was impossible and never bothered to verify, then we'd wouldn't understand why our GPS system kept failing. It's a tiny affect at any reasonable human scale, but it still has to be accounted for in our every day life.

Please understand. I am NOT saying the paranormal is true, I am saying that Randi is making sure that if it is, we'll never find out.
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@laursaurus
written by Karmakaze, December 27, 2009
"This statement alone shows how ridiculous the “endorsement” process was from the very beginning. Signing a petition in support of a “cause”—regardless of whether the signer has a PhD or not—is as scientifically meaningless as if these same people had voted Albert Einstein’s hairstyle as the most interesting in the history of science."

Tell that to Randi. He fell for it.

"It's no surprise this tactic for discrediting the Petition Project was easily pulled out of their back pocket. Like Randi can spot magic tricks masquerading as psychic ability, the AGW ideologues immediately turned the spotlight on the credentials of those who signed the PP."


Ok, so do it then. Go get the list of signatories and tell us how many are actually climate scientists, Ph.D's etc, and how many are in fact unqualified.

However, you're right that consensus doesn't PROVE AGW or disprove it, so let's ignore it. Where is the science behind the Petition Project? Where is their huge reports detailing all the evidence that proves AGW is a hoax or wheatever. In fact where is ANYTHING other than a list of names (many who deny they ever signed)?

I have no idea who signed the IPCC reports, because I don't look at that, I look at the information they are signing, and the evidence they say shows AGW is real and serious. So if you want to compare apples to apples, where is the SCIENCE from the Petition Project? Oh thats right:

"The article followed the identical style and format of a contribution to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a scientific journal,[6] even including a date of publication ("October 26") and volume number ("Vol. 13: 149-164 1999"), but was not actually a publication of the National Academy."

Yeah there is some serious science right there! Oh by the way, that is on wikipedia. Seems Randi is a rather LAZY skeptic!

As to the rest of your post, I see scientists trying to get their message out. What the hell is wrong with that? Let's just say someone found a cure for all cancers. Should he NOT try to publicise it as best as possible?

Guess what though... the statement being refered to was nothing to do with Kyoto OR the IPCC. It was statement put out by some scientists to bolster their personal views, and they were in fact called on it at the time. Did they go ahead with the statement, or adjust it to make clear it was a personal assesment rather than an IPCC statement? I don't know, but the fact remains it was NOT an official IPCC statement. What it was is a petition by private individuals. Do scientists have no right to free speech?
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@laursaurus 2
written by Karmakaze, December 27, 2009
Amazing what a little judicious editting will do. Let's see what laursaurus qoutes:

"Not only do I disagree with the content of this letter, but I also believe that you have severely distorted the IPCC “view” when you say that 'the latest IPCC assessment makes a convincing economic case for immediate control of emissions.' […]"

Note how he snips the next bit. What WAS the next bit?

"In contrast to the one-sided opinion expressed in your letter, IPCC WGIII SAR and TP3
review the literature and the issues in a balanced way presenting arguments in support of both "immediate control" and the spectrum of more cost-effective options. It is not IPCC's role to make "convincing cases" for any particular policy option; nor does it. However, most IPCC readers would draw the conclusion that the balance of economic evidence favors the emissions trajectories given in the WRE paper. This is contrary to your statement."

Note, how the argument is not whether AGW exists or not, but what the science says might be the appropriate response. So, the consensus that AGW is real and a threat still stands!

Well done for proving that the scientists HAVE been self regulating to ensure as fair a picture is given to the public as possible!

"The skeptics who embrace AGW do so because they believe it is an established scientific fact. Clearly, it is not!"

Clearly you are a liar or a fool. I just proved you intentionally snipped out the part that shows the disagreement was over what to do about it, not the existence of it.

Thanks for playing!

"The believers received orders from the boys from RealClimate.org"

We did? So where do you get YOUR marching orders from? Surely someone told you to lie about the contents of the email? Surely you couldn't possibly have decided to do it yourself, it HAS to be a conspiracy!

"Instructions were as follows: this is just a tempest in a teapot. Move along, nothing here to see."

Really? I just showed you something that YOU didn't want people to see, that shows you are a liar. That is why this is a tempest in a teapot - only by lying and intentionally taking things out of context can you even show something that appears to be slightly off (remember you misquoted an email from a scientist at the time who objected - what happened to the conspiracy?)

""Trick" means "clever method"...."to hide the decline". Hmmm???? Randi knows trickery when he spots it. "

Oh I see your problem. The trick is you have to have a semblence of understanding of the English language to know that the word "trick" is also used in the connotation of a "clever method" just like context is important to understanding a two way conversation. Or you have to not be a liar.

I know this can be tricky, but the trick to not being tricked is to not be an absolute retard. You should try it.
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...
written by royniles, December 27, 2009
All successful people are to some degree psychic, but along with that, the more their success, the more they have needed to keep those abilities secret, since no-one that has made those claims openly has so far been allowed by the rest of us losers to take the fullest advantage of these talents. Or at least that's what all defenders of the possibility of their existence would come down to having us believe.
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@Human Person Jr
written by Karmakaze, December 27, 2009
"You people need to get over it. We're broke. We're worse than broke."

You gave half a trillion dollars to billionaire bankers in one year. Yeah man, you guys are on the bones of your ass!

"There is no evidence that will turn a religious person away from his religious beliefs. That includes you people who worship at the Church of AGW Hey Watch Out."

Ok let's see. You make unfounded claims based on personal belief and utter ignorance, and claim the people who use science and evidence are a "religion"?

Yep, you're a bonafide card-carrying retard.

-

"Let's assume that the IPCC is 100% correct on their math and science (they're not, but what the hell, I'm in a generous mood). "

Let's assume you are a retard. It's much more obvious.

"Based on historic fact, we will cause the CO2 levels in our atmosphere to rise from 388 ppmv to about 408 ppmv by year's end 2019 (one decade)."

Ok so 1/4 degree in a decade. In 40 years thats a degree, in 100 thats two and half degrees. Hmm two and a half degrees warming in the next century... where have I heard that before?

"That might seem like a huge problem to you. To me, it's no big deal, particularly when you realize the temperature increase will be even less than that, once someone does the math properly."

Of course, you can't do it, but it HAS to have been done wrong because it doesn't show what YOU want it to show, right?

By the way, it may not be a huge problem to you, but a lot of people get their water from glaciers that are rapidly disappearing. You think the oils wars are bad, wait for the water wars.

-

"The IPCC assumes that every new molecule of CO2 will cause just as much warming as the first molecules of CO2. That is a demonstrable fallacy."

No they don't. That is a flat out lie.


"A small portion of the warming is due to greenhouse gases (GHGs);"


The sun has been getting colder. So where is the rest of the warming coming from?

"A small percentage of GHGs are manmade CO2 emissions."

And that small percentage is like adding an extra gallon of petrol to a full 40 gallon petrol tank. Sure 1 gallon out of 40 is a small fraction, but it is that one gallon that caused it to overflow, not the other 40. Good try though.

"We're in no danger of sizzling, baking or drowning."


You aren't, but your great-grandchildren might be, assuming you can find a mate stupid enough to breed with you.

"And the emails, other leaked documents, as well as public statements, make it clear that the CRU and the IPCC started out with a solution in mind"

Wow, I didn't know the CRU and IPCC were around over a century ago! That's when the science behind the Greenhouse Effect was being discovered. Amazing how these conspiracies can last generations, isn't it? How do they do it?

"That solution is the same old horseshit: Financial rape of the West"

Rape of the West? Are you kidding me? You lot stole it all in the first place! And are STILL trying to steal it - see the Iraq War...

"We don't plan to cooperate."

And you wonder why so many people around the world hate you? Now you know.

-

Lindzen and Choi can't even pass the smell test fromn other skeptics!!!

http://motls.blogspot.com/2009/11/spencer-on-lindzen-choi.html

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/03/spencer-on-lindzen-and-choi-climate-feedback-paper/

Let's let Roy Spencer explain:

"WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?

It is not clear to me just what the Lindzen and Choi results mean in the context of long-term feedbacks (and thus climate sensitivity). I’ve been sitting on the above analysis for weeks since (1) I am not completely comfortable with their averaging of the satellite data, (2) I get such different results for feedback parameters than they got; and (3) it is not clear whether their analysis of AMIP model output really does relate to feedbacks in those models, especially since my analysis (as yet unpublished) of the more realistic CMIP models gives very different results."

You retard.
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Gosh, Karmakaze...
written by Human Person Jr, December 27, 2009
When you throw around that word "retard," I just buckle under. That sort of brainpower is way too high-octane for this feeble mind. You just go ahead and amuse yourself.

By the way, your church lost, 1-0. I know, I know, you people will be back. Lefties always got some scheme to part the taxpayer from the contents of his wallets.

But still, in this war, your church lost.
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Dream on, Human Person Jr!
written by Karmakaze, December 27, 2009
"When you throw around that word "retard," I just buckle under."

Good.

"That sort of brainpower is way too high-octane for this feeble mind."

I'm glad you recognise you are outmatched. Best to give up while you are behind.

"By the way, your church lost, 1-0."

We did? Because of retards like you? Sorry, you are just confirming your retardedness. But hey, if it helps you sleep at night, you carry on believing what you want. The reality based community won't miss you.

Guess what Human Person Jnr? Your declarations of victory mean nothing to the climate. It's still getting warmer, and assholes like you are to blame. Let's just hope you're not around when people start looking for justice...
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Hey Randi!
written by Karmakaze, December 27, 2009
See what you've done?

See what kind of idiots you have teamed up with?

Another brilliant job from The Amazing Randi!
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@karmakaze
written by stevekelner, December 27, 2009
Not sure why I am bothering, since you appear to be willing to question anything I say and my scientific credentials without a shred of evidence, but here goes:
You wrote: "Then why do you assume he can do anything better than you? Have you tried a head to head evaluation? Or do you just assume that because of your respect for him? That makes you a fanboy. Sorry to break it to you."
Let's try for a little bit more nuance here. I know he can perform magic better than me, and I know enough about it and performance in general to know that he is better qualified to debunk fake psychics using the same tricks. Plenty of evidence there. If you really think you could do all the debunking he does, then you don't really know what he is doing. I've read most of his books (along with those of Martin Gardner, Penn & Teller, Houdini, and a few others on the art and science of debunking), so I have some idea. There are tricks that are not obvious. And even if they were that obvious, apparently someone has to point this out to certain parapsychological researchers! Not a fanboy. Sorry to break it to you.
You wrote: "Declarations of impossibilty are just as scientific as declarations of absolute certainty. Unless he can PROVE it CAN'T happen (which he can't) then he HAS to accept it MAY be possible, but we just can't prove it. Just like it MAY be impossible, but we can't prove it."
I'm afraid you don't quite understand the approach here. Your statement, as given, suggests that any random person can declare that antigravity is possible or Intelligent Design is true, scientists just have to prove it. That's essentially what you said about Randi. But that's not the case. If the vast body of work done to date not only make psychic phenomena unlikely but impossible by the current rules, then it is not a 50-50 case. It is, in fact, an extraordinary claim that not only lacks compelling evidence but actively violates current physics. And scientists are under no obligation to investigate "possibilities" like that. Your reference to science fiction is just that. (By the way, they've been talking about alternate continua for something like sixty years or more. Lots of interesting things going on in physics most amateurs know nothing about.)
Incidentally, I never claimed it was impossible, just that it was a more reasonable hypothesis on Randi's part to consider it impossible than you seem to believe. What I said was, first, that "no one has ever proposed a mechanism for any of the psychic abilities that truly fits into current understandings of physical science...[therefore] there's no reason to believe there are psychic powers until someone demonstrates them convincingly." Some of the claims of psychics would require major revisions of theory that have held up under tremendous amounts of testing. They need to make it worthwhile. Shouldn't be all that hard, if the claims go beyond mild statistical blips - and they do.
I also said (2) "the research thus far has been hugely unconvincing." As a social scientist myself, I'm pretty used to reading academic papers and research, and I haven't been impressed with the standards of most parapsychologists. But if they come up with something, I'll look at it.
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Wow, just wow!
written by Karmakaze, December 27, 2009
I decided to see what retardedness Human Person Jnr was posting on his blog. I wasn't surprised one bit:

"First, though, before dying, I'd want us to live our lives as well as possible until we sizzle, drown, bake or what-the-hell-ever. I'd want us to keep the factories and farms running, the gasoline and oil flowing. I'd buy an SUV and drive it pedal-to-the-metal until it's all over, so at least I can say I breathed Free until I breathed my last."

That's exactly the kind of attitude that got us here in the first place.
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Jeez, Karmakaze...
written by Human Person Jr, December 27, 2009
Why'dja have to go and tell 'em about the stuff on my blog?

Oh, well, my credibility is shot to hell now.

Thanks a whole pantload, Karmakaze. You not my fwend.
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@stevekelner
written by Karmakaze, December 27, 2009
"Not sure why I am bothering, since you appear to be willing to question anything I say"

Isn't that the definition of skeptism? Why do I need to remind a Randi follower of that?

"and my scientific credentials"

Where did I question your scientific credentials? I suspect you are refering to:

"If thats how YOU do science, then you don't deserve that Ph.D."

That is not questioning your credentials, that is simply stating that what I was describing wasn't real science, and if you did it that way, you wouldn't deserve a Ph.D.

Are you saying that what I described IS the proper way to conduct scientific investigation?


"I know he can perform magic better than me, and I know enough about it and performance in general to know that he is better qualified to debunk fake psychics using the same tricks"

Why? Is Randi infallible? Is he unable to ever make mistakes, even in his own field of expertise? What brings you to that conclusion?

How do you KNOW that Randi's experience makes him better able to investigate these things? Why is a magician better able to determine if fakery is going on? Is it not equally possible that a magician is more likely to assume he saw fakery, even if it was in his own imagination, simply because that's what he does? Especially a magician so biased against even the possibilty of the events he is 'investigating'?

"Plenty of evidence there. If you really think you could do all the debunking he does, then you don't really know what he is doing."

I can debunk HIM. So I must be doing something right.

"I've read most of his books (along with those of Martin Gardner, Penn & Teller, Houdini, and a few others on the art and science of debunking), so I have some idea."

Well shit. Why don't we just fire all the cops and scientists and just hire magicians. They are obviously far more qualified to investigate things than those who spent years of education learning how to do it...

Of course, I've seen Penn & Teller's debunkings and while more humorous, they are no better than Randi!

"There are tricks that are not obvious. And even if they were that obvious, apparently someone has to point this out to certain parapsychological researchers! Not a fanboy."

Oh yeah, I see my error now. You simply believe that a magician is infallible, unable to make mistakes or intentionally mislead, is more intelligent and observant than the rest of us, oh and you're not a fanboy. I'll concede... lol... but it really doesn't matter if Randi is better at it than you. That has no bearing on whether he is actually GOOD at it.

"Your statement, as given, suggests that any random person can declare that antigravity is possible or Intelligent Design is true, scientists just have to prove it."

No, what it is saying is that you can't PROVE a negative. You can't PROVE something doesn't happen or exist. What if a paranormal event is actually so rare that the chances of you seeing one are like a billion to one in your lifetime. Does that make it NEVER possible? Of course not. That's why science doesn't deal in absolutes. The preponderance of the evidence says it doesn't happen, or has not been seen to have happened, but it can't say it can NEVER happen. Is that a bit clearer for you?

Now as for intelligent design, In this case we are not trying to prove intelligent design didn't happen. We simply try to show what DID happen. So we have a good record of doing that, and we can say with very high confidence that Evolution is how life as we know it came about. But can we say that Evolution wasn't "intelligently designed"? Of course not! And I dare you to find a biologist who will. The fact is we don't NEED intelligent design to explain the origin of species, so no problem. We can safely ignore it for now.

But trust me, the cosmologists have a serious problem with the Big Bang, because if that is not a "moment of creation" I don't know what is, and science at the moment can't explain where it came from - but they're trying.

The point is there is no such thing as certainty in science. Quantuum Physics tells us that. There are approximations of certainty, but randomness is built in at the lowest level and can't be overcome (as far as we can tell that is).

Oh and by the way, speaking of antigravity, look up Dark Energy...

"That's essentially what you said about Randi."

No, no. I said he CAN'T prove it, not that he HAS TO. But that doesn't stop him from claiming he has.
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@stevekelner continued
written by Karmakaze, December 27, 2009
"If the vast body of work done to date not only make psychic phenomena unlikely but impossible by the current rules"

See, look at all those qualifiers. THAT is scientific, and THAT is NOT how Randi operates.

"unlikely if not impossible" "current rules"

Guess what, the current rules fail at the moment of the Big Bang and inside Black Holes. Are we sure they don't break down anywhere else? Hell no!

"It is, in fact, an extraordinary claim that not only lacks compelling evidence but actively violates current physics."

It does? How does it violate current physics? I mean you obviously know what causes it, to know it violates current physics right?

Let's say we evolved on a planet where only one species had the ability to percieve sound waves, when we came to study this species we would see it doing apparently amazing things because it seemed to sense things that nothing else could. Then after further looking we found that species actually had something we called ears and allowed that animal to detect vibrations in the air, and even localise and identify the source. How do we KNOW there is not some mechanism like that going on?

I am not saying there is, but it can't be ruled out.

"And scientists are under no obligation to investigate "possibilities" like that."

That is an amazing distortion of what I am saying! I am saying Randi is trying to PREVENT investigations into those possibilities by making it as uncomfortable as possible for anyone to take them seriously. The science will happen regardless, but much like the science behind the heliocentric hypothesis, it might have to wait until the self-proclaimed arbiters of truth have passed on.

"Your reference to science fiction is just that."

Hmm, let's see - In Jules Verne's day, time travel was impossible and merely science fiction. Now we know it actually happens all the time thanks to time dilation at relativistic speeds. In fact, our GPS satelites (and others) are time travellers, and we constantly have to readjust their clocks to overcome the fact they are moving through time more slowly than us here on the surface. Science fcition becoming science fact, and in a way that is NOT obvious or even detectable to us mere humans.

"Incidentally, I never claimed it was impossible, just that it was a more reasonable hypothesis on Randi's part to consider it impossible than you seem to believe."

It would have seemed to be reasonable for a reader of Jules Vernes book to consider time travel impossible too... until Einstein came along.

"Some of the claims of psychics would require major revisions of theory that have held up under tremendous amounts of testing."

Ok, give me an example that takes account of the fact we know sod all about how the universe works. We can't say where it came from, we can't really say where its going, we don't even know if all we can see is all there is. We have good guesses for some of it, but the laws of science have to be rewritten quite often.

So how about an example of a claim that is impossible without rewriting the 'rules' and then explain to me why those 'rules' are infallible and thus should not be modified.

Yes, there has to be a damn good reason to do it, but we can ONLY find out if there IS a reason by investigating, and Randi is doing and has done his utmost to make THAT impossible.
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written by stevekelner, December 27, 2009
I never said Randi was "infallible," you did. All I said (for the THIRD time now) is that Randi is better qualified than I am to judge psychic trickery. Nor did I say that he was qualified to investigate everything. I said, and I quote: "better qualified to debunk fake psychics using the same tricks." You've blown that up into fanboy worship somehow, when what I said was quite precise.

You also seem to equate skepticism with contrarianism. Questioning everything equally without regard for existing data is not scientific skepticism, it is simply being contrary and takes no reasoning above that required to say "no."

I REALLY don't want to get into physics with you, especially since even I know as an amateur that you misunderstand (for example) Einsteinian relativity (it isn't "time travel," it's different progression of time when you compare different frames of reference - but you can't go backwards or forwards at will). Furthermore, cosmologists I know have no problem with where the Big Bang came from, whether it came from nothing, or it is cyclic, with a Big Crunch following each Big Bang. I offer no opinion, I only note that it isn't a problem for a lot of cosmologists. (Your comparison with Jules Verne doesn't hold up, incidentally -- Verne always based his books on current science. He really didn't "predict" anything that wasn't already on the drawing boards, or at least had verisimilitude by the standards of the day.)

However, let me make it simple to explain why psychic phenomena seem impossible by current understanding: How would psychokinesis work? Or even simpler: move an object using only your mind. How would that work? What energy is expended, how is it directed, how does it apply force to that object? And how would it be undetectable? What is being converted into kinetic energy? The assertion that you can move an object without visible energy or matter coming into play violates any number of physical laws, including the Laws of Thermodynamics. It is, in effect, creating energy from nowhere. And before you comment that it could be mental energy, the amount of energy in the brain is rather well known, and it isn't about moving physical objects. Crossing space is a whole additional deal. Why should a scientist bother to investigate it when no one has successfully shown PK on a scale large enough to measure?

Coming back to Randi, I did say he isn't practicing science. I think he's keeping some folks honest about their science. In any case one man, however talented, can't prevent investigation into psychic phenomena -- and indeed he doesn't. There is a British and an American Journal of Psychical Research, there is a Parapsychology Foundation, the Rhine Research Center, the American Parapsychological Association, heck, at Harvard I knew a psychologist who got funding to do parapsychological research. He was more than skeptical about it, but he could and did set up a well-structured experiment that happened to test both a legitimate parapsychological hypothesis as well as the question he was personally interested in.
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@stevekelner
written by Karmakaze, December 28, 2009
"I never said Randi was "infallible," you did. All I said (for the THIRD time now) is that Randi is better qualified than I am to judge psychic trickery."

And as I said, how do you know? Do you always just assume things as true without evidence?

"I said, and I quote: "better qualified to debunk fake psychics using the same tricks." You've blown that up into fanboy worship somehow, when what I said was quite precise."

And I said, and I can't be bothered quoting... how do you know? Have you had a head-to-head evaluation? Have you ever TRIED investigating a 'psychic'? So how do you know Randi is better at it? Because Randi makes sure to tell everyone that ONLY a magician could do it... more specifically, him. And you believe him, fanboy.

I find it hilarious that you are so sensitive about this. Seriously, I hit a nerve, didn't I?

"You also seem to equate skepticism with contrarianism. Questioning everything equally without regard for existing data is not scientific skepticism, it is simply being contrary and takes no reasoning above that required to say "no.""

I was questioning you and your claims. What evidence IS there other than your written word? You claim to be a Ph.D. Because who you are doesn't matter, I didn't question that, but how do I know what you are? You could be a sewage worker or an astronaut for all I know.

As for your claims well perhaps we can let the readers decide whether you have the evidence on your side or not.

So what the hell are you talking about? What pre-existing data?

Unless you are saying I am being skeptical towards Randi and his claims? But you'd still be wrong... I don't doubt him, I know he's full of shit, and I've presented the evidence. Did you read that thread, by the way? No comment?

"I REALLY don't want to get into physics with you, especially since even I know as an amateur that you misunderstand (for example) Einsteinian relativity (it isn't "time travel," it's different progression of time when you compare different frames of reference - but you can't go backwards or forwards at will)"

Who said 'time travel' had to mean what you think it means. As far as I am concerned, if you leave today, and come back ten years from now but only a few months older, then that is time travel, and that is what time dilation will do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation#Time_dilation_and_space_flight

Tell me, why should I believe you rather than Wikipedia, or indeed my own reading of the theory?

Maybe you're right, you shouldn't have got into the physics with me. Hell, for all you know I am a physicist! I'm not, but still, more unfounded assumptions...

"Furthermore, cosmologists I know have no problem with where the Big Bang came from, whether it came from nothing, or it is cyclic, with a Big Crunch following each Big Bang. I offer no opinion, I only note that it isn't a problem for a lot of cosmologists."

They bloody well should! What do we pay them for? Do they get paid to go "oh well who cares where the Big Bang came from, it's not important"? PS, no big crunch; expansion accelerating; Did you look up Dark Energy? Jeeze.. lead a horse to water...

"(Your comparison with Jules Verne doesn't hold up, incidentally -- Verne always based his books on current science. He really didn't "predict" anything that wasn't already on the drawing boards, or at least had verisimilitude by the standards of the day.)"

Hmm let's see. The Time Machine, published 1895. Special Relativity, published 1905.

Wow, he was really cutting edge, wasn't he?

"However, let me make it simple to explain why psychic phenomena seem impossible by current understanding: How would psychokinesis work?"

I don't know, but we didn't know how gravity worked as little as 110 years ago and we have no idea how Dark Energy works - all we know is the rate of expansion of the universe is accelerating which under our current 'laws' is impossible. But it is happening.

So why assume psychokinesis is impossible simply because we don't know how it might work? Maybe some people are able to harness Dark Energy? I'm kidding, but it illustrates a point. Right now, there is something happening to the entire universe that is paranormal, and supposedly impossible based on our current understanding of the universe. Why is THAT ok to accept is possible, but not psychokinesis?

"Or even simpler: move an object using only your mind. How would that work? What energy is expended, how is it directed, how does it apply force to that object? And how would it be undetectable?"

I say again: Dark Energy. You explain that, and I'll explain psychokinesis.
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@stevekelner continued
written by Karmakaze, December 28, 2009
"What is being converted into kinetic energy? The assertion that you can move an object without visible energy or matter coming into play violates any number of physical laws, including the Laws of Thermodynamics."

Dark Energy fits that description EXACTLY. Yet I bet you don't go around calling THAT "woo woo" (and who thought up that retarded baby-talk anyway?).

"It is, in effect, creating energy from nowhere."

Let me direct you to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_energy

Get back to me on that.

REAL science is seeing VERY WIERD STUFF. So who knows WHAT is possible?

"And before you comment that it could be mental energy, the amount of energy in the brain is rather well known, and it isn't about moving physical objects."

Oops smilies/smiley.gif

"Why should a scientist bother to investigate it when no one has successfully shown PK on a scale large enough to measure?"

Don't ask me, but many do.. Funnily enough whenever they try, Randi does his best to ridicule and interfere. I wonder why?

PS, how are they going to show it, if they don't investigate? Man, logic isn't your strong point is it?

"Coming back to Randi, I did say he isn't practicing science."

We agree on that.

"I think he's keeping some folks honest about their science."

Really? Keeping them honest by interfering in their studies by sending in hoaxers? Yeah what a way to keep the science honest!

"In any case one man, however talented, can't prevent investigation into psychic phenomena -- and indeed he doesn't."

But he tries.

"There is a British and an American Journal of Psychical Research, there is a Parapsychology Foundation, the Rhine Research Center, the American Parapsychological Association, heck, at Harvard I knew a psychologist who got funding to do parapsychological research. He was more than skeptical about it, but he could and did set up a well-structured experiment that happened to test both a legitimate parapsychological hypothesis as well as the question he was personally interested in."

Oh my god! A non-magician set up a good parapsychological experiment without consulting (and paying) a certain magician? Better not let Randi hear that, he'll be pissed!

But yes, I did say the science will go on regardless of Randi, but he certainly isn't helping. By setting up the atmosphere he has, he has made it very hard for scientists to look at the field simply for fear of being labelled a nutter, which of course ensures that the people who DO try to study it are more likely to be those who are personally vested in it (like your friend) and thus more likely to unintentionally bias the result.

Note how you said "I knew a psychologist who got funding to do parapsychological research" as if it was a bad thing, then went on to justify his research just in case anyone thought your friend was an incompetent nut: "He was more than skeptical about it".

Do you REALLY think an atmosphere like that is good for science, regardless of your personal feelings about the paranormal?

Randi and the people like him have caused that, so if you're bitching about the quality of the scientists who study the paranormal, you know who to blame.
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@ stevekelner
written by Human Person Jr, December 28, 2009
...

Watch out! He's gonna use the "R" word on you any minute now. ("Retard," I mean.)

I can see it coming. I can protect you against the coming disaster, but it's gonna require you changing your life entirely, and transferring all your assets to my bank account. However, it's the only moral thing to do, and I could use the money, and don't claim you're broke, I know you bailed out the grocer to the tune of $100.00 USD just two weeks ago.

The science is settled. Karmakaze will call you a "Retard" soon. Are you going to just sit there and let it happen? Act now, before the tipping point is reached. In fact, the tipping point has probably already come and gone. ACT NOW!! For the love of (something, insert whatever you love, polar bears, perhaps), ACT NOW!!!

I also propose that we start an Epithet Offset Exchange, where we can trade in Epithet Credits. What? NO! That's not money out of thin air for a privileged few. I'm just investing where my beliefs lie, which is what you should do. You denier! I'll bet you don't believe the moon landing was real, either. You non-believing rednecks.
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Sigh..
written by Kagehi, December 28, 2009
Ok, give me an example that takes account of the fact we know sod all about how the universe works. We can't say where it came from, we can't really say where its going, we don't even know if all we can see is all there is. We have good guesses for some of it, but the laws of science have to be rewritten quite often.

1. We do know how *most* of it works, and we even have a fair clue how it works on a quantum level. Hint - A lot of "psychics" try to use this to justify their supposed ability, but just like "trick", the word "observer" doesn't mean what they want it to. It means, "anything that interacts with a lone particle, causing it to change state", That's why they run experiments on quantum level events with either a) particles like light, which don't interact much with the air they pass through, or b) in vacuum, where the only particles that are likely to interact are virtual ones, which are rare enough that *most* of their results won't be effected by them. In other words, a mind isn't needed to "observe".

2. Where it came from, we have a lot of hypothesis about, but.. You are right, we don't know. It looks like we can't.

3. Its expanding. Relativity says that nothing can travel faster than light, in relation to other objects. This is a bit confusing, but it means that the universe can/does expand fast enough that a large part of it is so far away that we can "never" see it. 10 Billion years ago, we could have probably seen most of it. 500 billion (or something) from now, someone sitting on Earth would be unable to see any stars that are *not in* our own galaxy, since the others will have "accelerated" from us too fast for their light to be able to get to use any more. All they would see is the "background radiation", which we can see as a wall of faint light, at the absolute extent of our view. Why? Because while its every place, its the farthest source of *any* radiation we can still detect, and only because its every place, and therefor the brightest thing "past" the range where we can still see galaxies.

The universe, at this point, is going to be a place so vast that no one born far enough in the future will be able to even *test* if prior claims about how big it is, how many galaxies are in it, that we know now, etc., are even true. And long enough after that, all the suns finally burn out in this galaxy, or get sucked into the galactic center, and nothing will be left to support life. This is the prevailing position, supported by all we have observed, measured, and understand. So, we know where its going quite well.

However, the nature of this expansion means that we can not, short of inventing FTL travel, somehow, **every** know everything in it. We evolved too late to observe a fair chunk of it already, as well as details that *might* have, made it easier to resolve many of the unanswered questions. Those would be found at the "edge" of the universe, which is traveling too fast for *anything* to see it, well, unless you are *on* that edge.
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@ Human Person Jr
written by Karmakaze, December 28, 2009
"Watch out! He's gonna use the "R" word on you any minute now. ("Retard," I mean.)"

No, actually I save that for people who deserve it... people like you.

And as usual, you've exceeded my expectations. Well, done!
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...
written by Kagehi, December 28, 2009
Guess what, the current rules fail at the moment of the Big Bang and inside Black Holes.

Working backwards here, so just got to this. We don't know what the rules where at the Big Bang, but there is no reason to believe that those rules are not "still in place", underneath the ones we do know, and that what we assume are the rules are "emergent" properties of those rules, in these conditions. Emergent results are not unheard of. More than a few things, from fractals, to "strange attractors", produce results that can be "mapped", but not "described", as they relate to the underlying rules. One of the things we are working on is a) trying to work out *if* the rules really differed at all, and b) what the baseline rules are, under everything else, which result in the properties we see. I tend to suspect the former is more possible than the later, since we can crash atoms into each other and observe them. The so called "string theory", on the other hand, is considered by a lot of physicists to be about as useful as asking George Lucas how gravity works, based on "The Force". The only plausible explanation for why the permutations in string theory have such a damn hard time "landing" on the rules in our own universe, and I consider this at least plausible, is that its rules define **everyone** possible configuration that *might* exist, and finding the one that describes our universe is about as simple as one person, in one single drawing, actually managing to *win* the lotto (with no other players). You can't just pick *every* possible combination of numbers and have someone *win* the pot. You have to pick the right the first time. Needless to day, if you have 16 billion possible combinations, and you can only *attempt* roughly one every month, its going to take a damn long time to "stumble" over the right answer. :p

As for black holes.. Hawkins Radiation creates a huge problem for "classical" black holes, and its been detected. The current theory, which isn't contradicted by what is already known, is that singularities *don't exist*. What you get instead of a "dark star". Essentially, there is no event horizon, compression of matter to a single point, etc. Instead you have maximum density material, with increasingly higher and higher temperatures, due to the compression from gravity, but which "appears" to have an event horizon because the gravity involved is so extreme that the heat, light, etc., can't easily escape it, despite the fact that its individual particles can "never" pack any tighter. This fits the math far better, and **doesn't** contradict existing rules, like a black hole, with its event horizon, where those rules would have to break down. On the contrary, such an object is describable using **existing** rules, while appearing to behave *exactly* like a classical black hole, to anyone not "on" the star. Well, for practical reasons, not even if on it, but.. lol
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@Kagehi
written by Karmakaze, December 28, 2009
"1. We do know how *most* of it works, and we even have a fair clue how it works on a quantum level."

Not even close! We THINK we "know", but as often happens, even the basics turn around and bite us on the ass regularly. Take the accelerating expansion of the universe. That is a straight forward observation, and it is only a very recent one. Our ability to observe what is going on is so limited, that most of what we "know" is actually a patchwork of best guesses - and they often turn out to be wrong.

As for the rest of 1, that doesn't address the question I posed. Good try at changing the subject though.

"2. Where it came from, we have a lot of hypothesis about, but.. You are right, we don't know. It looks like we can't. "

I know I am right. I wouldn't have said it if I wasn't. Too bad so many doubt it smilies/tongue.gif

"3. Its expanding."

I know. At ever faster rates. We have no idea why, or how, but we know it should be impossible. Funny that.

As for the rest, that assumes that our understanding of the Big Bang is correct. It turns out that a significant factor was totally missed, and has still not been incorporated, so who knows, maybe there never really WAS a Big Bang? Maybe the Dark Energy we are seeing is indicative or something very different, and maybe the "expansion" we see is NOT reversible to a single point. Highly unlikely we could be that wrong, but as I said, we swore that the universal expansion couldn't be accelerating, and yet there it is.

"The universe, at this point, is going to be a place so vast that no one born far enough in the future will be able to even *test* if prior claims about how big it is, how many galaxies are in it, that we know now, etc., are even true."

That's a pretty big assumption, right there. In little under 2 million years we have evolved from primitive animals, to a spacefaring species (just barely). In another 500 billion? Yeah pretty ballsy to say what will and will not be possible then. Not least because for there to be anyone around to do the testing, we'd have to have left our solar system...

"However, the nature of this expansion means that we can not, short of inventing FTL travel, somehow, **every** know everything in it. We evolved too late to observe a fair chunk of it already, as well as details that *might* have, made it easier to resolve many of the unanswered questions. Those would be found at the "edge" of the universe, which is traveling too fast for *anything* to see it, well, unless you are *on* that edge."

OK, so exactly what are you trying to say? You've basically confirmed everything I've said, and then are acting like you've put me in my place. Do you really think what you have said is in any way a contradiction of what I said?
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Dark energy
written by Kagehi, December 28, 2009
Dark Energy fits that description EXACTLY. Yet I bet you don't go around calling THAT "woo woo" (and who thought up that retarded baby-talk anyway?).

No it doesn't. Its been created in a lab, with the expected "attractive" result, instead of repulsion. *Dark Matter* hasn't, but that isn't the same thing. Its even been theorized that enough of the stuff, stretched over a ship, could *create* the classical sci-fi FTL effect. The problem with it is that, even though its possible to generate, its "small force", with "long duration", and has the side effect of *causing* an equal but opposite positive force, when it.. not sure what the word would be, decays? This means that if you generated enough to move a ship (which would take the power of a few thousands suns), you would get *back* a much shorter duration burst of "positive" energy, which would probably vaporize those 1,000 suns, and a few million more with them.

Would you like to make any more "claims" about the silliness of what we don't know, or are not real? Because I am sure, if I really *had* to waste my time doing so I could point you to the people studying them. They might find you more entertaining at this point, or.. maybe not.
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@Kagehi
written by Karmakaze, December 28, 2009
"No it doesn't. Its been created in a lab, with the expected "attractive" result, instead of repulsion. *Dark Matter* hasn't, but that isn't the same thing. Its even been theorized that enough of the stuff, stretched over a ship, could *create* the classical sci-fi FTL effect."

Seriously? Did you even TRY to verify any of that bullshit?

Let's see what NASA has to say:

"By contrast, dark energy remains a complete mystery. The name "dark energy" refers to the fact that some kind of "stuff" must fill the vast reaches of mostly empty space in the Universe in order to be able to make space accelerate in its expansion. In this sense, it is a "field" just like an electric field or a magnetic field, both of which are produced by electromagnetic energy. But this analogy can only be taken so far, because we can readily observe electromagnetic energy via the particle that carries it, the photon."

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/mysteries_l1/dark_energy.html

Note the "last updated" date:

"Last Updated: Thursday, 29-Oct-2009 10:15:41 EDT"

Seems that you are TOTALLY wrong. Funny that.

Perhaps you should have read my last post where I said:

"I know I am right. I wouldn't have said it if I wasn't. Too bad so many doubt it"

"Would you like to make any more "claims" about the silliness of what we don't know, or are not real?"

I don't even NEED to make fun of you, you're doing a better job than I ever could!

Seriously, did you even hit Wikipedia, to see if you had the slightest idea what you were talking about?

Let NASA mock you some more:

"More is unknown than is known. We know how much dark energy there is because we know how it affects the Universe's expansion. Other than that, it is a complete mystery. But it is an important mystery. It turns out that roughly 70% of the Universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 25%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the Universe."

http://nasascience.nasa.gov/astrophysics/what-is-dark-energy

That's right, ALL WE CAN OBSERVE AND MEASURE adds up to 5% of the universe, according to NASA, the other 95% is actually unobservable by us EXCEPT by the effects it has. In other words, Dark Energy is a paranormal "something" that somehow manages to accelerate ALL the matter in the universe that we can see.

"Because I am sure, if I really *had* to waste my time doing so I could point you to the people studying them. They might find you more entertaining at this point, or.. maybe not."


Maybe you SHOULD have "wasted" your time. You might have avoided looking like an idiot.
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@Everyone
written by Karmakaze, December 28, 2009
Ok, so I have been here for quite a while now, and made several highly controversial (here that is) claims, many of which I backed up with links.

Not one of you bothered to read them, or go and see what I was talking about using Google. So far not ONE of you has been skeptical. Not even ONCE. You all just ASSUMED I was some airy-fairy spirtualist sitting under a pyramid chanting "ohm ohm" - and not one of you bothered to verify your assumptions before spouting off like a pack of fundies.

The whole lot of you are utter failures, if you were trying to be skeptics. I've even blown a Harvard educated Ph.D out of the water, and I left high school at 15.

The most ignorant people are the ones who think they know what they are talking about, but don't bother to make sure.
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@Kagehi
written by Karmakaze, December 28, 2009
I just saw a post that must have been made after I loaded the page. I will respond now, hopefully not confusing the flow too much:

"We don't know what the rules where at the Big Bang, but there is no reason to believe that those rules are not "still in place", underneath the ones we do know, and that what we assume are the rules are "emergent" properties of those rules, in these conditions."

Ok, so you admit the rules we think are valid, may in fact just be a subset of the FULL rules? Do you agree that is a reasonable interpretation of what you said?

So therefore, is it not possible that the rules we think prevent the paranormal are actually not fully correct, and under certain very rare conditions may be violated because of underlying rules we do not yet know? Are you willing to say with certainty that that is NOT the case?

"As for black holes.. Hawkins Radiation creates a huge problem for "classical" black holes, and its been detected."

Two things. Hawking Radiation has NOT been detected, yet. The GLAST satellite launched in June 2008 is currently looking for it, but so far...

Secondly, Hawking Radiation is actually another paranormal idea in a way, because it relies on "making real" virtual particles - essntially creating energy out of nothing, itself a violation of thermodynamics!

As for the rest of that para, care to point me to some sources that could explain what the hell you are talking about better than you? Because I have no idea...

I will say this - if Black Holes don't exist, then the problem is for Relativity, because that's what predicts them. Not to mention the egg on the faces of all those astronomers who claimed to have observed them...
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LOL at the downvotes.
written by Karmakaze, December 28, 2009
So someone got pissed off enough to down vote my posts... but didn't have the balls to actually try and dispute them.

Why am I not surprised?

And before anyone says it's my tone, not my information, better look at your hero Randi and ask yourself why HE can be so rude about his 'debunkings', but I can't.
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You left school at 15...
written by Human Person Jr, December 29, 2009
You left school at 15. You went rogue, I guess, all mavericky like Sarah Palin.

Still, you rely exclusively on university-educated people (with the exception of the scientist A.A. Gore) to tell you that we're all gonna die from global warming.

What's so skeptical about that?
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Lemme lay some truth on you. Think about it.
written by Human Person Jr, December 29, 2009
The sad truth is...

If all those university-educated AGW Alarmist folk (plus A.A. Gore) made a public statement today that read thusly:

We were wrong. We made wrong assumptions in the fundamental science. CO2 is no danger to humans; neither is Global Warming...

9 out of 10 sad-sacks who rant about AGW would be crushed. They wouldn't be overjoyed that we weren't in peril, that millions wouldn't have to live and die in misery. Hell, no. They would be disappointed.

You wanna know why? It's because religion is a funny thing.

And I don't mean funny ha-ha. (Google "Millerites")
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sad, but true
written by laursaurus, December 29, 2009
@Human Person Jr.
You are absolutely right. My first post on this forum was on the infamous AGW Revisited. I posted this
from IJAS. The site explains: " The purpose of the IARC is promoting international cooperation in an effort to integrate and synthesize arctic climate change research." This grant-funded, pro AGW, Univ of Alaska, research group uses satellite data to observe Arctic sea ice. Since the conversation predictably echoed the alarmist rhetoric that the Arctic Sea Ice is rapidly melting, I naively hoped to ease the hysteria that is keeping the believers awake at night. Isn't the rising sea levels the main catastrophe predicted?
September average sea ice was: 

4.38 million sq km in 2007 
5.38 million sq km in 2009 

That is gain of 1 million sq km (or 44 New Jerseys!) in just two years. This sea ice growth is completely unprecedented in the satellite record. 

The lesson from this is that the earlier melting was a result of normal variations in Arctic currents (namely Arctic Oscillation) as has happened before (in the 1930's). Now it's reversing itself. 

If the melting was caused by global warming it would not have reversed itself. 

Raw data here: 
http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

Wow, did I learn a lot about militant AGW self-described skeptics! It was pointed out that this wasn't a "denier" website, which I obviously knew they would dismiss it if it was. Then I was accused of cherry-picking my data, etc. Immediately the negative votes accumulated. Why would this be a bad comment? Apparently for the exact reason you have insightfully pointed out. Dead polar bear posts are cherished. But if you have good news, stifle! smilies/angry.gif
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"Blew me out of the water"? Not so much, Karmakaze
written by stevekelner, December 29, 2009
No, I decided this conversation was getting increasingly pointless, especially once I realized you were confusing Jules Verne with H. G. Wells, which gave me a good chuckle. I knew your physics was suspect, but there were people more knowledgeable than I who went after you with more detail than I could. Besides, as a motivational psychologist I already had plenty of data on your motives (nPow Stage IIIp, in case you're curious). You weren't bothering to have a discussion, you were merely scoring points in your own head. Sadly, you were misunderstanding, misreading, or imagining what I was saying rather than reading it and responding to it, so there was no point in continuing. I just wanted to correct your misapprehension that you "blew me out of the water."
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I don't..
written by Kagehi, December 29, 2009
have the time to dig through dozens of magazines, in order to find the article that actually claimed they made negative/dark energy in a lab. Not to mention I don't know if I still have it, or if its one that I gave to the library. As I understand it, it was an absurdly small amount. But, before I leave this silly mess, you make at least one statement that proves, despite various links you *think* mean anything, that you don't have a clue what you are talking about. You state that you want **proof** that psychic phenomena doesn't exist. This is a) logically impossible, and b) isn't the way science works.

Prove to me that the sky isn't green, when people are not looking at it, and the claims for why its blue are not wrong. Prove to me that invisible pink unicorns don't hide in my back yard. Better yet, disprove Russel's teapot, or that the earth wasn't created as a giant computer for mice. You can't prove "negatives". The best you can do is 1) collect evidence that strongly suggests you are right about a *positive*, and 2) reject certain things, on the basis that they have a) no mechanism, b) defy any known mechanism, and c) do not seem to occur with a greater rate than you expect from coincidence. You don't "prove" positives either, you merely declare them, "Sufficiently supported such that disagreeing with them would imply either mental illness, or a ***major*** change in understanding, requiring extraordinary evidence to support."

Psychic phenomena isn't rejected because no one can disprove it. That is logically impossible. Its rejected because not one of the frakking people claiming to have it can present a plausible mechanism for it, which doesn't directly contradict things that we do know, side step them, by inventing something they *imagine* doesn't conflict with them (though it always does), or inserting something that simultaneously doesn't exist *in* the universe, so can't be tested, but *effects* the universe somehow, as though it did, which is itself an absurdity.

Your failure to understand what can be tested, and asserting that we should treat certain phenomena like math equations and try to use Pathogorean's Theorum to "disprove" it, instead of simple collecting evidence in an attempt to see what that evidence "suggests", is a serious problem, and your failure to understand why is *part* of your problem.
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@Human Person Jr
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
"You left school at 15. You went rogue, I guess, all mavericky like Sarah Palin."

No, not at all. I don't assume I know better than the scientists, and I definitely don't assume I know anything with any certainty. I simply say that Randi does... and he is wrong.

"Still, you rely exclusively on university-educated people (with the exception of the scientist A.A. Gore) to tell you that we're all gonna die from global warming."

You don;t rely on people who know more than you? Do you just make shit up as you go along?

"What's so skeptical about that?"

Ah, the skepticism comes from knowing that scientists are not infallible and science often gets it wrong. I don't assume THEY know the WHOLE truth any more than I do. I simply take their opinions as the best estimate of reality, and go from there.

What is NOT skeptical about that?

Seriously, do you even know what the word "skepticism" means?

-

"We were wrong. We made wrong assumptions in the fundamental science. CO2 is no danger to humans; neither is Global Warming..."

That would be incredible, because they would then be saying that what we know about physics and chemistry is almost certainly wrong, and we would pretty much have to start all over again.

"Hell, no. They would be disappointed."

But if it turns out you are wrong, you'd say "at least I can say I breathed Free until I breathed my last", and wouldn't give a shit about all the other people whose lives people like you would have destroyed.

I think MY side is the better one. YMMV.

"You wanna know why? It's because religion is a funny thing."

Do you really think I give a shit if you call science a religion? I rarely take the opinions of retards as anything other than retarded.
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@laursaurus
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
"Isn't the rising sea levels the main catastrophe predicted?
September average sea ice was:

4.38 million sq km in 2007
5.38 million sq km in 2009

That is gain of 1 million sq km (or 44 New Jerseys!) in just two years. This sea ice growth is completely unprecedented in the satellite record. "


Nice try, but NO ONE in the climate community ever said there was NO SUCH THING as natural variation - unlike you "CO2 is not a GHG" types. So what happened during that period that is nearly unprecedented?

Wouldn't be one of the longest and lowest solar minimums we've ever seen, would it? And What do you notice about the ice levels at that time? They are still LOWER than at any previous time, even when the sun was at it's hottest.

When you ignore some of the factors, all you are saying is "I am a retard - laugh at me".

So, AHAHAHAHAHA...


"If the melting was caused by global warming it would not have reversed itself."

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Comedy gold. Do natural variations ONLY exist in your version? Is it not possible that the short down tick is a result of a natural variation overcoming the GHG trend temporarily?

"Then I was accused of cherry-picking my data, etc."

You are.

"But if you have good news, stifle!"

If only the 'news' wasn't based on your ignorance and stupidity. The rest of us live in the real world, and can see that you're utterly wrong.
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...
written by royniles, December 29, 2009
I suppose if you actually know something, you then would be correct in assuming that you certainly know it. As to Randi, I'm not aware that in addition to that, he has ever claimed that what he "knows" now to be probable is to that extent a certainty. Or that what he has assumed is far less than probable is nevertheless possible to a certainty.

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@stevekelner
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
""Blew me out of the water"? Not so much, Karmakaze"

Yes, steve, much.

"No, I decided this conversation was getting increasingly pointless, especially once I realized you were confusing Jules Verne with H. G. Wells, which gave me a good chuckle."

Yes you are right about that. Funny you can't argue anything else I said.

"I knew your physics was suspect, but there were people more knowledgeable than I who went after you with more detail than I could."

My phsyics was suspect? Man I can't believe a Harvard educated Ph.D could be such a retard. I supported my claims with links. What do YOU have to support YOUR version? Nothing. Well done. That Ph.D was richly deserved I am sure.

But, I'll give you another chance - care to dispute my claims with anything other than your WRONG assertions? I thought skep[tics were able to take claims and investyigate them for themselves, but so far it seems I have to do all the work for you. So, come on then... put up or shut up.

Have you looked up Dark Energy (I've even given you links so it will be nice and easy) and can you explain to me why THAT is possible but not psychokinesis?

"Besides, as a motivational psychologist I already had plenty of data on your motives"

Oh, a psychologist? So your Ph.D isn't in one of the hard sciences? Figures.

But do lay it on me. What are my motives?

"You weren't bothering to have a discussion, you were merely scoring points in your own head."

I wasn't? I made several claims, I presented evidence, I even lead you by the hand to the information, and yet *I* am the one not trying to have a conversation, just scoring points. As a psychologist, you know about "projection" right?

"Sadly, you were misunderstanding, misreading, or imagining what I was saying rather than reading it and responding to it, so there was no point in continuing."

I was?

Let's take ONE example:

You said:

"The assertion that you can move an object without visible energy or matter coming into play violates any number of physical laws, including the Laws of Thermodynamics."

And I pointed you to Dark Energy. A skeptic would have looked up Dark Energy to see if what I was saying had any merit. If YOU had, you would have found:

"So the expansion of the Universe has not been slowing due to gravity, as everyone thought, it has been accelerating. No one expected this, no one knew how to explain it. But something was causing it."

http://nasascience.nasa.gov/astrophysics/what-is-dark-energy

Dark Energy fits what you said exactly, and NASA is spending a fortune to try and figure it out.

Dark Energy has an affect on the physical universe - in fact it is accelerating (moving) all the matter in the known universe, and we can not see or detect it directly. We have no idea what it is, but our current understanding can't explain it.

Why do you refuse to address this. I've mentioned it several times, and NOTHING. What are you afraid of?

"I just wanted to correct your misapprehension that you "blew me out of the water." "

I just did it again.

Thanks for playing.
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written by royniles, December 29, 2009
I missed the part where Steve was blown out of anything. But as someone once assumed to a certainty, "Absence of evidence does not equal evidence of absence."
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@Kagehi
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
"I don't.. have the time to dig through dozens of magazines, in order to find the article that actually claimed they made negative/dark energy in a lab."

Well, isn't THAT convenient. So I should just take YOUR word for it over NASA's?

Not going to happen buddy. If you can't support your claims I will assume they are bullshit, based on the fact I CAN support my claims.

"As I understand it, it was an absurdly small amount."

And you understand wrong. It's that simple. Unless you can support your claims, they are meaningless. I directed you to the experts, and they say you're wrong. Why do you keep insisting THEY are wrong? Tell it to NASA buddy.

"You state that you want **proof** that psychic phenomena doesn't exist. This is a) logically impossible, and b) isn't the way science works."

And you just proved you have terrible reading comprehension, which may explain why you haven't got a clue about Dark Energy.

I never said Randi HAS to prove it, I said he CAN'T prove it, like you just did. Thanks for CONFIRMING what I said.

"You can't prove "negatives"."

Let's see what I said:

"No, what it is saying is that you can't PROVE a negative. You can't PROVE something doesn't happen or exist."

"No, no. I said he CAN'T prove it, not that he HAS TO. But that doesn't stop him from claiming he has."

I posted that a day or so ago. Are you always this slow?

"The best you can do is 1) collect evidence that strongly suggests you are right about a *positive*, and 2) reject certain things, on the basis that they have a) no mechanism, b) defy any known mechanism, and c) do not seem to occur with a greater rate than you expect from coincidence."

Dark Energy. Go actually learn something about that, and get back to me. I'll wait.

"That is logically impossible. Its rejected because not one of the frakking people claiming to have it can present a plausible mechanism for it, which doesn't directly contradict things that we do know, side step them, by inventing something they *imagine* doesn't conflict with them (though it always does), or inserting something that simultaneously doesn't exist *in* the universe, so can't be tested, but *effects* the universe somehow, as though it did, which is itself an absurdity."

Dark Energy, Dark Enrgy, Dark Energy!

If you want to keep repeating the same bullshit, I will keep repeating the truth:

Dark Energy is some mysterious undetectable force (NASA calls it "stuff"!) that is moving the entire universe, in contradiction of all we know about how the universe works, and we have no idea what it is, or how it works, except that it must make up 70% of the universe.

That's a pretty big piece of the universe to have missed until 1998, don't you think?

You want to keep claiming that you know better than NASA?

"Your failure to understand"


Your assumption of what I understand or don't understand is what is a failure.

Come on, put up or shut up - I've suyppoorted my claims regarding Dark Energy - why don't you support yours? Or should I say TRY to support (you'll obviously fail).
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Dark energy vs. psychokinesis
written by The skepTick, December 29, 2009
As you all know, dark energy is a recent discovery. The term itself is given to a phenomenon which we don't yet understand, although theories abound. Whatever name you give it, the observations of an expanding/accelerating universe have been more or less consistent. The same goes for dark matter. Observations continue to indicate that our current theories are incomplete. You can go back through history and find many new discoveries occurred after the invention of ever more sensitive measuring devices. Think of how new planets were discovered, whether circling our own star or others. Although unseen, they had measurable effects on nearby bodies. The same cannot be said for psychokinesis. If this phenomenon is real, it is apparently undetectable with our current technology.
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...
written by royniles, December 29, 2009
By way of explaining why evidence of legitimate psychic and other paranormal powers is from rare to non-existent, someone commented to the effect that the legitimate psychics are afraid to come forward because so many of those who are frauds have given the others a bad name. I would propose that the rarity of those with these "magical" powers is due to the haphazardness of time travel, which future generations "seem" to have failed to perfect.
I would say failed "so-far" except that if such travel is destined to succeed, we would expect to see much more evidence of the travelers in our midst, given the increasing abundance of potential time tourists as the future progresses - assuming of course there will be a future that is in any sense eternal where the production of openly curious life forms is concerned.
But the point that I'm trying so earnestly to make is that we can't rule out that psychic abilities (as an example) are really just those of a time tourist well versed in the history of the world and certain of its past inhabitants. Why there aren't more of them may well be that such travel, as earlier speculated, is or was for a brief eon or so, has been hazardous to a fault. Even though a psychic from one future era has whispered (yes, they can whisper just as ghosts are known to do) that the guy running the operation calls himself Jesus and dark energy is seen by him as not only a force for psychokinesis, but for retributory justice. Except that Jesus didn't know that by predetermination ordained by his paternal factotumry, retribution is not retroactive. Therefor his time machine has been found to be darker in its use of such energy than the optimum proposed for time travel purposes.
Hey, show me evidence this is not possible!
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@The skepTick
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
"As you all know, dark energy is a recent discovery."

1998 to be precise.

"Although unseen, they had measurable effects on nearby bodies. The same cannot be said for psychokinesis. If this phenomenon is real, it is apparently undetectable with our current technology."

That wasn't the question posed to me, which was:

"However, let me make it simple to explain why psychic phenomena seem impossible by current understanding: How would psychokinesis work?"

"Or even simpler: move an object using only your mind. How would that work? What energy is expended, how is it directed, how does it apply force to that object? And how would it be undetectable?"

"What is being converted into kinetic energy? The assertion that you can move an object without visible energy or matter coming into play violates any number of physical laws, including the Laws of Thermodynamics."

And as I said in reply, Dark Energy is based on a form of energy (we assume) that is not detectable, can have physical effects (quite large ones in fact) and is unexplainable based on current theories and is seemingly impossible. All the same things can be said of psychokinesis. The fact no one has demonstrated it beyond doubt yet, does not mean that no one EVER will. We just don't and in fact CAN'T know for sure, at least not yet.

As I said in a tongue-in-cheek hypothetical: perhaps psychokinesis is actually the harnessing of Dark Energy to move objects? How can you know for sure, when we don't even know what it is or isn't? Remember this is a mind experiment of a POSSIBLE if not entirely plausible explanation for psychokinesis that DOES fit to our current understanding of the universe. That is, it is NOT impossible - just highly improbable.

So I answered those questions directly by giving a mechanism by which psychokinesis MIGHT work. And not one of you has proved that it is IMPOSSIBLE. Yet you all keep saying it is. Skeptics my ass.
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@royniles
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
Good try, but talking like a retard, while ignoring the points I have made, does NOT disprove a single word I said.

It just makes you look like a retard.

By the way, do I need to repeat for the FOURTH time, that I never said Randi had to prove it is impossible, I said HE CAN'T! I said that he CLAIMS to PROVE it is IMPOSSIBLE, but only because he is IGNORANT about the science, and that NO ONE, not even HIM, can PROVE it is IMPOSSIBLE.

Is that clearer for you?

Damn, how dense IS the crowd around here?
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@Everyone
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
The irony of an advertisement asking me to "help us improve critical thinking in schools" is delicious.

Hey Randi, why not try improving the critical thinking on your own damn site first?

If THIS is the kind of environment you are trying to create in schools, you can just fuck right the hell off, thank you very much.
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...
written by royniles, December 29, 2009
Well, karma, my perhaps too hasty reaction has been that having the ability to talk out of one's ass does not relieve one of the burden of proof that they are the equal of the Chomskys of the world in other respects.
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written by royniles, December 29, 2009
And if Randi really did take on the burden of proving the impossible, I must have somehow missed that message. But Karma's powers of inference are admittedly quite darkly energetic.
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@royniles
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
"Well, karma, my perhaps too hasty reaction has been that having the ability to talk out of one's ass does not relieve one of the burden of proof that they are the equal of the Chomskys of the world in other respects."

Is that a climb down? I'm sorry, but this high school dropout is having trouble figuring out what you are trying to say.

But assuming that I am even close, I will try to reply:

I have presented links that show what I am saying is 100% correct. Right now there is a HUGE factor in the universe that is essentially paranormal, that has elements that could be considered similar to claims like psychokinesis, and the scientists agree it is there, and is a major problem because it can't be explained.

Not one of you has present anything but your own assertions that anything I have said is incorrect.

Care tyo actually try?
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...
written by royniles, December 29, 2009
Karma, I hereby assert that your skill at determining or taking advantage of predictive correlation from essentially disparate events is lacking..
However, since you have insisted on being the judge of your own competence and logical prowess, and thus have a self-confidence regardless or disregarding of feedback, whatever anyone else asserts can be predicted to have no effect on the degree of self-certainty from which you seem to operate.

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@royniles
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
"Karma, I hereby assert that your skill at determining or taking advantage of predictive correlation from essentially disparate events is lacking.."

Care to support your assertion with anything but your retarded opinion?

"However, since you have insisted on being the judge of your own competence and logical prowess, and thus have a self-confidence regardless or disregarding of feedback,"

I haven't disregarded feedback at all. I have been skeptical of it, researched it, found it lacking, countered with my own assertions, supported them with evidence and watched you make an idiot of yourself trying to ignore the fact you're wrong.

"whatever anyone else asserts can be predicted to have no effect on the degree of self-certainty from which you seem to operate. "

On that you are absolutely right. Assertions without supporting evidence are nothing but hot air.

Formulate an argument as to why I am wrong, research it, then post the supporting evidence and then we can talk. Until then I'll just keep laughing at you.

AHAHAHAHAHAH!

What feedback? All you've said is a bunch of bullshit. Try providing an argument and supporting it with evidence and then I might concede you have a point. Until then you're just another blowhard.

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@royniles 2
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
"And if Randi really did take on the burden of proving the impossible, I must have somehow missed that message."

I didn't say he had taken on the burden of proving the impossible, I said he had skipped the proving bit and jumped straight to the conclusion, with no logical or scientific support for that conclusion.

Reading comprehension, logic, and true skepticism are sorely lacking around here. The more you lot post, the more you prove it!
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...
written by royniles, December 29, 2009
Karma, we're actually all laughing at you. stevekelner for one met all your "requirements" yet you then couldn't understand the nature of your own demands. Apparently there are no answers that are both sufficiently accurate and yet fit the limits imposed by the cognitive level of abstraction you can safely handle.

Because your typical reaction has been: "By the way, do I need to repeat for the FOURTH time, that I never said Randi had to prove it is impossible, I said HE CAN'T! I said that he CLAIMS to PROVE it is IMPOSSIBLE, but only because he is IGNORANT about the science, and that NO ONE, not even HIM, can PROVE it is IMPOSSIBLE."

What does "he CLAIMS to PROVE it is IMPOSSIBLE" mean to one at your cognitive level? (Burden of proof being of course an unfamiliar concept.)
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@royniles
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
"Karma, we're actually all laughing at you. stevekelner for one met all your "requirements"

What the hell? Are you serious?

HE was the one that said that Dark Energy didn't exist... without even knowing about it. Because what he said was IMPOSSIBLE is EXACTLY what Dark Energy is. By the way, he posted NO supporting evidence, he just CLAIMED there was some.

You guys keep declaring victory over and over, and STILL haven't disproved a single claim I made.

OK, retard, let me make this REAL easy for you.

'Dark Energy' - does it exist or not?

If the answer is yes, explain WHAT it is. Shouldn't be hard. I will accept ANY source you might find (just so you can't claim I am disputing your sources) - as long as it shows EXACTLY what 'Dark Energy' is, and HOW it does what it does within the confines of the "laws" as we know them.

Support your argument with evidence, in any way at all, and I will concede that I had been too harsh on you lot, and you really are skeptics. If you continue to simply ASSERT 'facts' with NO supporting evidence, DESPITE my evidence that proves what I am saying, then I will just have to assume you are a religous fundamentalist in the Church of Make Randi Rich.

PROVE you are NOT just a retarded fanboy. I dare you!

"yet you then couldn't understand the nature of your own demands."

OH MY GOD. Please tell me you are not going to make me repeat myself for a sixth time regarding whether or not I EVER said Randi HAS to prove a negative. PLEASE DON'T BE THAT STUPID. I have said it five times already, I never said that - so if you think I somehow don't realise that it's not possible to prove a negative, just keep it to yourself - I've proved that I do.

Unless you are saying that I don't understand that asking for EVIDENCE of your claims is somehow not scientific or skeptical...

"Apparently there are no answers that are both sufficiently accurate"

Oh, I am POSITIVE there are... I just would like one of you to give one, AND support it with evidence. Isn't that what skeptics require? Is the problem that you somehow think YOU don't have to support your claims? Or do you think skepticism means never having to admit you're wrong? If you do, then nothing can help you. You are terminally retarded.

Dark Energy - try to explain it. I dare you.

"What does "he CLAIMS to PROVE it is IMPOSSIBLE" mean to one at your cognitive level? (Burden of proof being of course an unfamiliar concept.)"

What does it mean to you? You're the one trying to make a point. Make it. I'm not playing retarded guessing games with you. My words are plain and speak for themselves.

By the way, care to address Dark Energy now? Or shall we have a big circle jerk about what the meaning of IS is?

In fact, how about this. I will concede that point - "Randi has never claimed that any paranormal event is impossible, nor have any of his followers (despite evidence on this very thread to the contrary). I apologise if anyone was offended."

Now do you want to address the SCIENCE?
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written by royniles, December 29, 2009
OK, Karma, your concession was what I was after, and making it is to your credit.
As to the SCIENCE, dark energy is a metaphorical term for something that we don't really "know" exists except at the level of the hypothetical. And neither do you.
So if you find the science lacking in this area, it would seem even more lackadaisical as a scientific effort to posit that one could legitimize the possibility that psychokinesis or telekinesis exist (but which fill nothing but a gap in some charlatan's imagination) by pretending to point to their functional similarity with some hypothetical force that was summoned up to fill an entirely different gap - and a gap that science CAN describe, measure and otherwise document as an exiting cosmological reality.
Which is why I found such a thinking process to be correlatively challenged.
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@Karmakaze
written by stevekelner, December 29, 2009
I never said Dark Energy didn't exist; good luck finding where I do. I think you're mixing up posters.
But, just for the record, no one's actually seen Dark Energy, it's hypothesized as an explanation for phenomena that are currently not explicable otherwise. "t is a complete mystery." So sayeth NASA. (http://nasascience.nasa.gov/as...ark-energy) Not being an astrophysicist, I am perfectly happy to accept that such a thing might exist. But I also know the difference between proven and hypothesized; look up the history of "luminiferous Ether" before Einstein came up with a better solution. Maybe it exists, maybe it doesn't. Either way, it doesn't solve your problem, which is explaining why scientists should treat psychic phenomena as urgent subjects for investigation, as opposed to my view that until we see more reason to care, we can ignore them.
Your solution to my concrete example of psychokinesis (PK) was "dark energy!" Yeah? And how does the brain manipulate that? What is it doing here? How does a property of empty space show up on the kitchen table, managed by the brain? Simply throwing in a hip new term from physics doesn't answer the question any more than saying "magic!" answers the question. Give me a mechanism, not a buzzword. Until one exists, I maintain that researchers are under no compulsion to treat the existence of PK as likely. It is still at a vanishingly small level of probability.
Look at it this way: There are around 6.7 billion people on the planet. Proponents of psychic phenomena often say it is commonplace. If one-tenth of one percent of humanity could exhibit significant power -- meaning enough to move a salt shaker, say -- that would be 6.7 million people. Shouldn't we have seen it on some meaningful level sometime before this? Since we haven't, it's pretty reasonable to assume that this psychic power does not exist in human beings or does not exist, period, until we get compelling evidence otherwise. This is the point I was making from the beginning: not all hypotheses are equal in the eyes of science, and for good reason. Collected data from years, decades, or centuries helps evaluate whether a hypothesis is likely fodder for research or not. As I've said, scientists are no obligated to investigate every long shot that someone imagines. That's the way science works.
You really want to talk science? Or just trash-talk everyone who disagrees with you, including those who are scientists? You tell us.
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Just as I predicted...
written by Human Person Jr, December 29, 2009
That Karmakaze's gone off the reservation, slinging the "R" word (retard) around like it was a scimitar of truth.

"In this way Mr. K will challenge the world..." (My apologies to the two English lads who penned those words)

Karmakaze, you ARE the weakest link! Good-bye!
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@stevekelner
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
"I never said Dark Energy didn't exist; good luck finding where I do."

Not in those many words, but the implication is there. I was simply pointing out that if you change the words "psychic phenomena" into "dark energy" what you said (as I have pointed out before) is essentially that Dark Energy is impossible:

"However, let me make it simple to explain why psychic phenomena seem impossible by current understanding:" ... "How would that work? What energy is expended, how is it directed, how does it apply force to that object? And how would it be undetectable? What is being converted into kinetic energy? The assertion that you can move an object without visible energy or matter coming into play violates any number of physical laws, including the Laws of Thermodynamics. It is, in effect, creating energy from nowhere."

Are you going to say that you are not saying those properties are impossible?

I then pointed you not only to "Dark Energy", but another subject you (and the others) failed to touch on "Vacuum Energy". Neither of those two concepts come from the psychics.. they come from the physicists, and they BOTH contradict what you said.

But ok, so you're not saying they are impossible. Well, I just showed you not only are they possible, THEY HAPPEN. The scientists agree - in fact they are THEIR idea. Yet they are exactly the same kind of concepts that underly the POSSIBILITY of psychokinesis. So why is it right, or even safe, to assume that "psychic phenomena" are impossible?

Let me put it as a hypothetical argument of what causes psychokinesis:

"There is another form of energy, one not known to science, that we can not directly detect, that manages to break several rules we thought were laws, and we do not know how it can be incorporated into our understanding of the universe without rewriting at least some of those rules."

That is a perfect description of Dark Energy... and could easily fit a description of psychokinesis. Remember I am NOT saying this IS what causes psychokinesis, I am just saying that we KNOW the possibilty is there, because we KNOW it is happening elsewhere.

"But, just for the record, no one's actually seen Dark Energy, it's hypothesized as an explanation for phenomena that are currently not explicable otherwise."

Not quite. "Dark Energy" is the name given to the "something" that has to exist in order for the expansion of the universe to be accelerating. We just don't know WHAT "Dark Energy" is. We know what it is NOT and that is any form of "normal" (as NASA put it - which would make Dark Energy paranormal) matter or energy as detectable by our instruments. Based on how much acceleration there is, we know that the universe has to be 70% "Dark Energy". Other than that, as NASA said "it is a complete mystery".

My point however is not to say what Dark Energy is, I haven't got a clue. I am simply saying that "Dark Energy" and "psionic energy" or whatever the mystics call it, could be the same thing, or similar things, and as such you can NOT say it is impossible the way YOU did in the quote above. The rules you suggest can't be broken, ALREADY ARE. It's that simple.
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@stevekelner continued
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
""t is a complete mystery." So sayeth NASA."

WTF? Are you seriously trying to quote my own evidence back to me like YOU found it?

"look up the history of "luminiferous Ether" before Einstein"

Yes, a long and storied history full of the greatest minds in science - many if not most of them believing it until Einstein. What is your point?

"Maybe it exists, maybe it doesn't."

We can safely say it doesn't - at least not with the properties ascribed to it. Because we carried out many many experiments to SHOW that it doesn't.

"Either way, it doesn't solve your problem,"

What problem?

"which is explaining why scientists should treat psychic phenomena as urgent subjects for investigation"

Where did I ever say that? I said they DO treat it as a subject for investigation, and people like YOU keep trying to stop them. At least that is the effect of your constant "woo woo" and other namecalling bullshit. Do you care to address my question regarding whether you think an atmosphere where scientists are afraid to study a subject because of ridicule (and worse) coming from the "skeptics", is good for science?

I say again, I never said scientists HAVE to do anything. I am saying IF they try to, Randi and people like you do your level best to make sure it doesn't happen, based on nothing but your own faulty assumption of how the universe works.

Remember, in 1989 if I had said there was a mysterious energy accelerating the expansion of the universe that was undetecable by our instruments, Randi and people like you would have been calling me a fool or a charlatan, or crazy. But I would have been right.

"as opposed to my view that until we see more reason to care, we can ignore them."


Go ahead and IGNORE them. Just don't interfere in what you know nothing about, and don't care about, and we'll be all good. Scientists with a truly skeptical nature and a curiosity towards the universe will do the work for you. And later, when the next "paranormal" claim is made, you can ignore it all over again...

So why don't you?

"Your solution to my concrete example of psychokinesis (PK) was "dark energy!" Yeah?"


No, a hypothetical description of what it could be was illustrated by the concept of Dark Energy. I clearly said I wasn't saying Dark Energy was the cause, I was saying how do you know that whatever the cause might be is not possible when we know that Dark Energy is not only possible but real. Reading comprehension may not be the problem - intellectual dishonesty might... but the fact remains what I said is very clear, and I would expect a Harvard educated Ph.D to be able to figure it out.

"And how does the brain manipulate that?"

Well, first tell me what THAT is and I will give you a hypothetical way the brain might manipulate it. Get back to me when you have it figured out and we can proceed.

"What is it doing here? How does a property of empty space show up on the kitchen table, managed by the brain?"

What? You do know that the vast majority of any solid object is empty space right? You did pay attention in high school science, right?

"Simply throwing in a hip new term from physics doesn't answer the question any more than saying "magic!" answers the question."

I never said it did. I said you can't rule out "magic" when we know "other magic" makes up 70% of the universe. It's a subtle difference but I am sure Harvard has equipped you with the ability to discern it.

"Give me a mechanism, not a buzzword."

Give me a mechanism for Dark Energy.

Science has no idea what 70% of the universe is (actually thanks to Dark Matter, make that 95%) and yet you expect me to do what THEY can't? I appreciate the compliment, but I am not smarter than them. I am simply saying that what is good for the goose, is good for the gander. You support science and rationality... so you defend the scientists who say Dark Energy is real.. then take the words "dark energy" out of your description and insert "Psychic Energy" or whatever you want to call what might be the mechanism for psychokinesis.

This is what I have been trying to get you lot to understand - I was hoping one of you might actually try, but I guess you're not THAT dumb, and have instead tried to bypass it altogether... and then declare victory in some cases.

The fact is, since Randi began his debunking, the field of science has come a very long way, and what we have learned is we know sod all except that the universe constantly surprises us. Yet Randi and his fanboys have been left behind.
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@stevekelner continued
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
"Until one exists, I maintain that researchers are under no compulsion to treat the existence of PK as likely."

And I maintain, as I always have, that researchers are free to research or not anything they want. Wish you lot felt the same. Remember I never said they HAD to do anything. I only said that WHEN and IF they do - Randi and you make it near on impossible - or at least try to.

Remember, one of Randi's proudest moments was the time he interfered with a scientific investigation simply because he assumed it couldn't be done properly unless HE was involved, and as such made sure to destroy it because he wasn't (well not enough it seems, as he WAS involved by the scientists as he later admitted). The lab was soon shut down simply because of the ridicule heaped on it, and anyone involved in it, by Randi - and it was all undeserved. The press conference I quoted shows his arrogant holier than thou attitude (If it wasn't for me...) in the face of his utter failure to prove what he was trying to prove.

"There are around 6.7 billion people on the planet. Proponents of psychic phenomena often say it is commonplace. If one-tenth of one percent of humanity could exhibit significant power -- meaning enough to move a salt shaker, say -- that would be 6.7 million people. Shouldn't we have seen it on some meaningful level sometime before this?"

Well yeah, if it was one in a thousand (nice odds!). But what if it was one in a billion (6.7 people - lol) or 1 in ten billion people (0.67 people)?

Maybe, only once in a generation is someone capable of it. Who knows. Are you sure that means we can just say "who cares?" even if it means missing what could be the piece that makes the rest fit together? But it doesn't matter if YOU don't care. Like I said just keep your nose out of it and let science take its course.

"Since we haven't, it's pretty reasonable to assume that this psychic power does not exist in human beings or does not exist, period, until we get compelling evidence otherwise."

Not at all. It is only reasonable to assume that it has never been proven to exist. Why do you NEED to assume an absolute? Can't you just accept it may be possible? Is it because YOUR worldview would then be threatened the way you threaten the worldview of the fundies?

Is turn-about not fair play?

"As I've said, scientists are no obligated to investigate every long shot that someone imagines. That's the way science works."

And yet, how science ADVANCES is when someone does investigate the "long shot", such as accelerating universal expansion, or heliocentric cosmology, or relative motion, and finds what we had assumed to be true was not correct.

And you are the new inquisition trying to prevent those heretical thoughts from even being investigated.

Remember I have never said anyone HAS to investigate - I am saying they WANT TO, but are afraid, because of people like you...

Remember your friend, the one you had to make sure people didn't think was an incompetent nut by pre-emptively defending him from an attack only someone like you would make?
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@royniles
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
"OK, Karma, your concession was what I was after, and making it is to your credit."

To be honest, I don't really concede in full. I believe Randi has not said it directly, and especially not when asked straight out, but he makes it clear that he believes it and anyone who doesn't is crazy or deluded and falling for "woo woo" (seriously... "bunkum" is less retarded sounding... jeeze).

So my concession is only a partial one - he may never have said it in words, but his actions speak louder anyway.

Now scroll back through this thread, and you WILL see it being called impossible, by the people trying to defend him. Where did they get that idea if not from the steady propaganda drumbeat that says "oh yes sure, maybe it's possible, but you're crazy if you believe it"

"As to the SCIENCE, dark energy is a metaphorical term for something that we don't really "know" exists except at the level of the hypothetical. And neither do you."

I didn't choose the name "Dark Energy" or "Dark Matter" and I would not have chosen them. But scientists often have a wierd sense of humour, and we had "Dark Matter" so why not "Dark Energy"?

The fact is we don't know if it is anything at all. But that is my point there is SO MUCH we have NO CLUE about, that it is the height of arrogance to assume that what we DO know is even a small fraction of the truth, as I said in one of my earlier posts. Do you dispute that assessment?

"So if you find the science lacking in this area, it would seem even more lackadaisical as a scientific effort to posit that one could legitimize the possibility that psychokinesis or telekinesis exist (but which fill nothing but a gap in some charlatan's imagination) by pretending to point to their functional similarity with some hypothetical force that was summoned up to fill an entirely different gap - and a gap that science CAN describe, measure and otherwise document as an exiting cosmological reality."

Not when Randi first started they couldn't. In fact when JREF was formed, we had NO IDEA that the universal expansion was accelerating. It was only two years later that the first evidence started coming in.

But thanks for once again showing your bias. Massive undetectable force that is accelerating the entire universe, but was totally unknown 12 years ago... reasonable claim from reasonable people; small unknown force capable of moving small objects and capable of being harnessed by some rare individuals... only a charlatan would suggest it!

And you call yourself a skeptic?

"Which is why I found such a thinking process to be correlatively challenged."

Remember, I am just a high school dropout - but I don't think "correlatively" means what you think it does. Maybe you should try using small words so I can understand what the hell you're talking about.

It seems to me that you are trying to say that I am saying Dark Energy and whatever may be behind psychokinesis if it exists are related. I am not. I am saying the CONCEPT of an unknown force that has not been detected by our instruments as of yet could be the same for Dark Energy and whatever may cause psychokinesis if it exists. I am not saying they are the same - I am saying the 'idea' of them is the same. And I said that in response to a direct question asking me how it could be possible when it breaks the 'laws' as we know them. I said then and I say now: I don't know, but we didn't know Dark Energy existed wehn JREF was formed, and THAT breaks those same 'laws', whatever IT is.

Does my limited high school vocabulary make sense to you, oh mighty wordsmith?
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written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
"That Karmakaze's gone off the reservation, slinging the "R" word (retard) around like it was a scimitar of truth."

Once again I will explain how it works for you. If you ACT like a retard, I will CALL you a retard. A retard is someone who repeatedly ignores the evidence and continues to just post bullshit over and over with no supporting evidence and then acting like they've proved their claims.

But the bigger retards are the ones that give up altogether and just start trying to troll the conversation without adding anything at all, not even unsupported bullshit claims, but just thinking they're so clever for throwing 'insults' from the sidelines. Guess what, I am better at THAT than you too, but I'd rather not waste my time proving it to you.

"Karmakaze, you ARE the weakest link! Good-bye! "

Did it take you long to think that up, retard? Should I wait another day for another plagiarised 'insult'?

Maybe you and your friends can get together and try and come up with something original. I know it will be hard, but surely your combined IQ point should be able to come up with SOMETHING... I mean nothing is impossible. Right?
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@Human Person Jr
written by Karmakaze, December 29, 2009
Oh I am sorry...

I assumed you HAVE friends. That was silly of me. Perhaps Craigslist may be of help, if you are struggling to get enough friends together to make an entire IQ point...
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LOL
written by Karmakaze, December 30, 2009
I just came across the "Last Week In Science-Based Medicine", and I thought I'd have a look to see what the skeptics are saying, and I came across this:

"“Toxins”: the new evil humours (Amy Tuteur) The belief that we are swimming in a world of “toxins” that cause disease and that require “detoxification” treatments is not based on science, but on a reinvention of old myths like miasmas and evil humours."

Well, that's interesting! I had to see how toxins have been proven to be "woo woo" (!). So, what did the original author have to say?

"There’s just one problem. “Toxins” are a figment of the imagination, in the exact same way that evil humours and miasmas were figments of the imagination.

Poisons exist, of course, but their existence is hardly a secret, and their actions are well known. Most poisons are naturally based, derived from plants or animals. Indeed, the chemicals responsible for more diseases than any others are nicotine (tobacco), alcohol (yeast) and opiates (poppies)."

Wow, science based medecine has disproved the existence of say botulinum toxin? It turns out they are just figments of our imagination?

Oh wait... maybe this skeptic author at Science-Based Medicine doesn't know what a toxin is? Maybe a little help for the Randi fanboys is in order:

"Main Entry: tox·in
Pronunciation: ˈtäk-sən
Function: noun
Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary
Date: 1886

: a poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usually very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues, and typically capable of inducing antibody formation"

See, there IS a difference between "poison" and "toxin" and toxins DO exist, and we are exposed to them regularly.

Take for example the Nicotine talked about in the quote. Nicotine is a toxin which as I have shown is a toxic (or poison) substance created by a living organism (the tobacco plant). "Second hand smoke" contains Nicotine but is an environmental pollutant, and hence Nicotine can be an environmental toxin that you could be exposed to just walking down the street, even if you are not a smoker.

Now I am not going to say any 'treatment' may or may not help reduce toxin damage to the human body, but SURELY even the Randi fanboys have to recognise that the BULLSHIT in that article is so far from anything SCIENTIFIC as to be as bad as any "woo woo" (!).

But there it is, proudly display on Randi's homepage.

Another success in the James Randi bullshit extravaganza!

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Toxins are a figment of our imagination addendum!
written by Karmakaze, December 30, 2009
Oh how happy I am to know that Aflatoxins, Ochratoxin, Citrinin, Ergot Alkaloids, Patulin, and Fusarium toxins don't exist! And that is by no means a complete list.

Unfortunately it also means that Penicillin is a figment of our imagination, so I hearby demand that all those people alive today because of treatment with an imaginary "toxin" immediately kill themselves to avoid causing a rift in the spacetime continuum!

Jesus...
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A Week Late
written by The skepTick, December 30, 2009
Apparently you are a week late. In case you didn't read it at the original blog, let me post a portion of the response to your same comment about toxins, in which the author noted your failure to read the previous comments (something you yourself have expressed annoyance at):

Really, if you’re going to jump into a thread, do at least take the time to read what others have said, lest you contribute nothing new, which is what you just did, contributed nothing new.

I suspect, however, that you know full well that what Amy was talking about is how woo-meisters invoke all sorts of unnamed and mysterious “toxins” as the One True Cause of All Disease. They are not talking about Aflatoxins, Ochratoxin, Citrinin, Ergot Alkaloids, Patulin, and Fusarium toxins. Those toxins can be measured and produce characteristic toxic effects when introduced to the body. Not so alt-med “toxins,” which in general often can’t even be defined, much less measured. I also suspect that you buy into the whole “toxin” thing as the One True Cause of All Disease. I could be wrong, but we’ll see soon enough; that is, if your comment isn’t just a drive-by trolling.
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Karmakaze, I think I've diagnosed you! YAAAAY!
written by Human Person Jr, December 30, 2009
Now you can get help.

Little known fact: Human Person Junior, Jr. was once a part-part-part-time doctor. Nope, never full-time, not not not full-time, never had the prescription pad or the nice little white coat. But, still, a very good doctor, nonetheless.

I've diagnosed you based on your symptoms: "Engaging in one-sided, long-winded conversations, without noticing if the listener is listening or trying to change the subject."

This information came from

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/aspergers-syndrome/DS00551/DSECTION=symptoms

That's right. I think you have Asperger's Syndrome. I'm not sure what treatment is indicated. Best of luck to you.
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@ The skepTick
written by Karmakaze, December 30, 2009
"in which the author noted your failure to read the previous comments"

Yeah. I mean how dare I comment on a comment board for an article without making sure no one else commented? Do I give a shit whether anyone else said it first? No. I just wanted to wind up some more retards who think they're skeptics! I'll keep doing it there too, thanks to that tard.

Seriously. He was trying to make out it was all just a semantic argument or some shit while trying to reinforce the same retard idea the 'MD' posted (AND STILL HASN'T CORRECTED!).

That's just like waving a red flag at a bull (lol!)

"something you yourself have expressed annoyance at"

No, I expressed annoyance at people replying to my comment without reading my comment, or the supporting evidence I linked to.

I replied to her article after I read her article. If I was responding to another comment, without reading it first, then sure, he'd have a point. As it stands he's just another retard that can't admit he (or his friends) could be wrong.
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@Human Person Jr
written by Karmakaze, December 30, 2009
"Little known fact: Human Person Junior, Jr. was once a part-part-part-time doctor. Nope, never full-time, not not not full-time, never had the prescription pad or the nice little white coat. But, still, a very good doctor, nonetheless."

So, how many patients did you kill? A lot, I bet.

"I've diagnosed you based on your symptoms: "Engaging in one-sided, long-winded conversations, without noticing if the listener is listening or trying to change the subject.""

See? What a tard. Can't even diagnose the obvious"

"one-sided" - because you lot are too stupid to put up a good argument. Note also I've been taking on at least three of you at the same time, one who took good care to make sure I knew he was a Harvard educated Ph.D in psychology, and another who now claims to be a doctor... This high school dropout has smoked you all!

"long-winded" - it's not my fault if you have a short attention span. But that is the advantage of the written medium. You can take as long as you need to read them. Take your time. They'll still be here (assuming Randi's crew doesn't decide to "clean up" the boards that is).

"without noticing" - Au contraire! I noticed, I just don't give a shit. All it does is prove what retards you are.

"That's right. I think you have Asperger's Syndrome. I'm not sure what treatment is indicated. Best of luck to you."

Well shit... I'm cured! Retard.

So, Craigslist appears to have helped you get that IQ point together... Maybe if you get a few more thousand 'skeptic' friends together you'll actually be able to prove me wrong.
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By the way... just to really wind you lot up:
written by Karmakaze, December 30, 2009
Remember the quote form the 'MD' that I posted earlier saying:

"The belief that we are swimming in a world of “toxins” that cause disease and that require “detoxification” treatments is not based on science"

I was just thinking maybe she meant that the toxins are real but detoxification is a figment of our imagination...

So I now hearby demand that all recovering Alcoholics who went through "Alcohol Detoxification" treatment immediately begin drinking again, as they obviously weren't helped by the imaginary "detoxification" they were conned into having!

Oh and I also demand that charcoal no longer be given to suspected overdose or poisoning patients because that detoxifying substane is obviously imaginary!
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Why so truculent, Karmakaze? Why so bellicose?
written by Human Person Jr, December 31, 2009
I'm proud to be on the opposite side of the issues you champion:

Ineffective pseudo-medical jargon and practice, as witnessed by your hit-dog-hollers reaction to the "detoxification" article. That stuff is pure bullshit. You know it, I know it, the American people (including Bob Dole) know it;

The Holy Grail of believing that at least one individual who now lives or once lived on this Earth can or could do incredible things with his/her mind. It must be true. I want it to be true. Surely, someone could demonstrate psychokinesis, if only that guy James Randi didn't upset them so; and, of course...

The piece de resistance, the single largest piece of idiocy and arrogance to which humans have ever subscribed -- the belief that we puny creatures have affected the Earth's climate to the point of endangering us.

I will say this in your favor. You do very well with complex thought (even if your conclusions are bogus) expressed in writing. You have good command of the language.

The fact that you are a climate alarmist, so alarmed you find it alarming, which leads you to sound the alarm repeatedly, is a shot in the arm to me. Your compatriots on this site are far more reasonable than you. I hope they are, to some degree, tarred with the same loony brush that painted you. I know it's not fair argument, but it is terribly important to stop you delusional people, terribly important. The only thing we have to be alarmed about is alarm itself.

Now, go sit down somewhere and do some thinking. Report back in five years.
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Karmakaze, you are so literal-minded...
written by Human Person Jr, December 31, 2009
I'll be people laugh their asses off when you take their off-the-cuff remarks seriously. Karmakaze is a good name for you. Your unfounded beliefs are probably building up a boat-load of bad karma right now. (There's no such thing as karma. It's a fiction, like detoxification from a naturopath or homeopath.)

I am not a doctor, never have been and couldn't play on one television, even.

I once had a comedy routine in which I played a proctologist. Surely, any reasonable person could've read my comment above and realized that I was making no claim to medical knowledge or previous practice.

The most clueless never realize they haven't a clue. That's karma, I guess, in some small way, if one is willing to stretch the word into an unrecognizable shape.
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Where did he go?
written by laursaurus, January 01, 2010
Did Karmakaze get banned from the site?
Or maybe he was arrested?
Here is a quote about scientific "consensus" and the AGW hypothesis
"Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus." Michael Crichton
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@ Human Person Jr
written by Karmakaze, January 01, 2010
"Why so truculent, Karmakaze? Why so bellicose?"

Why not? Are you lot the only people who are allowed to act righteously indignant when you see something YOU think is stupid? Well, if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

"I'm proud to be on the opposite side of the issues you champion:"

Issues I "champion"? What issues would those be?

"Ineffective pseudo-medical jargon and practice, as witnessed by your hit-dog-hollers reaction to the "detoxification" article."

Yes, that article WAS full of psuedo-medical bullshit. And the person who wrote it claimed to be an MD!

"That stuff is pure bullshit. You know it, I know it, the American people (including Bob Dole) know it; "

Several things - I don't know it. Neither do you, nor do the American people. They might BELIEVE it... Secondly the American people are notoriously stupid, in general (see the re-election of G. W. Bush). Don't lump me in with them.

"The Holy Grail of believing that at least one individual who now lives or once lived on this Earth can or could do incredible things with his/her mind."

Where have I ever said that? More jumping to conclusions without evidence? Seems so.

"It must be true. I want it to be true. Surely, someone could demonstrate psychokinesis, if only that guy James Randi didn't upset them"

Projection seems to be very common around here. A psychologist could have a field day...

I never said anything remotely like that - YOU did:

"It can't be true, I don't want it to be true, Surely no one could prove it, because James Randi says so..."

I simply said "It might be true, we don't know yet either way."

"The piece de resistance, the single largest piece of idiocy and arrogance to which humans have ever subscribed -- the belief that we puny creatures have affected the Earth's climate to the point of endangering us."

Oh?

I recently saw a satellite photo of my country - a country once covered in dense ancient rainforest. Now it is nearly cleared of forest and has turned to mostly grassland (or concrete). That is one country populated by less than 5 million people for less than a 1000 years.

You really think we CAN'T change the world's climate? That just shows what a retard you are. What is REALLY clear, is that our arrogance stems from thinking we can do whatever we want, and not pay the consequences. Or in your case not giving a damn about the consequences as long as you personally are not affected in the short term.

I've always thought that the most valid criticism coming from the AGW deniers is that some scientists (and media personalities) have overstated the certainty involved. Seems you only find that to be a problem when it affects YOUR worldview.
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@Human Person Jr continued
written by Karmakaze, January 01, 2010
"I will say this in your favor. You do very well with complex thought (even if your conclusions are bogus) expressed in writing. You have good command of the language."

I try, but I must say I sometimes wish it was better - I have to get rather wordy to explain myself, and the soundbites thrown back at me stick a bit better (I believe) due to the "TLsmilies/grin.gifR" effect.

But to be honest, I do this for two reasons - the primary one is because I get to exercise my mind in a way that I find entertaining - and a distant second to educate. I know most people won't be swayed in arguments like this - maybe one or two might - but it is not really that important to me. I'm just doing this for my own ammusement.

You really want a 'mind-fuck'? I actually agree with most of what Randi etc believe. I am just not under the illusion that it is anything more than a BELIEF at the moment. And arguing with the "mystics" etc is too easy and boring. Here there is at least a challenge smilies/smiley.gif

One thing you might have noticed (if I was being obvious enough about it) - I like to set intellectual traps for people - get them to jump on something thinking they had caught me, then shoot them down. So, if you think you've caught me in something, stop and think for a moment whether or not I might be setting you up.

"The fact that you are a climate alarmist, so alarmed you find it alarming, which leads you to sound the alarm repeatedly, is a shot in the arm to me."

I have? Where did I say anything remotely like that? I wasn't pushing the science, I was shooting down your non-science. I do however believe AGW is a serious threat, but more importantly I know that advances in 'free' clean energy can be nothing but GOOD for humanity, regardless of whether AGW is real or not, and thus suggesting that "trillions" will be wasted on such technology has no foundation in fact - especially as we waste trillions on a technology that is more than a century old already. It's time energy generation caught up to the rest of our technology.

By the way, the largest jump in the wealth of your nation came not from your conservative beliefs, but from the massive government expenditure on science and technology in the mid-20th Century. Doing that again would only make you richer - unless the rest of the world beats you to it this time. Think about it.

"Your compatriots on this site are far more reasonable than you. I hope they are, to some degree, tarred with the same loony brush that painted you."

I'm a loony now? Well, you're a retard, so I'm not surprised you'd think that way.

"I know it's not fair argument, but it is terribly important to stop you delusional people, terribly important."

It is? Why is it important to protect Saudi Arabia's wealth? You do know your government gives BILLIONS to one of the richest oil nations on the planet right? At the same time its own people are taxed like mad (more than my puny socialist country, that's for sure!) to pay for the military that is used to protect those oil profits.

What a pack of geniuses you lot are!

"Now, go sit down somewhere and do some thinking. Report back in five years."

Dude, I outhink you in my sleep. I've left you so far behind that well, it's kind of like I am talking to a monkey. Sure, the monkey SEEMS intelligent, but...
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Good questions, laursaurus...
written by Human Person Jr, January 01, 2010
Your second question about possible arrest had me in stitches.

I prefer to think he took my sage advice that he should take some thyme off. Above, I recommended that he "...go sit down somewhere and do some thinking. Report back in five years."

Or maybe he was only a Karma Karma Karma Karmakaze chameleon. No doubt, he was Tenacious smilies/cheesy.gif. Ah, Karmakaze, ye wee lad, we hardly knew ye (and what we did know made us wonder exceeding much).

Mentioning Crichton on this site is forbidden, or nearly so. I was severely raked over the coals once for doing exactly that.

I enjoyed your comments. I also got a huge laugh out of the antics of the humorless Karmakaze. He would be offended if he knew just how much he amuses me.

Happy New Year to ya!
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@Human Person Jr
written by Karmakaze, January 01, 2010
"I'll be people laugh their asses off when you take their off-the-cuff remarks seriously."

Seriously? I was making fun of them. But you carry on believing anything you want.

"Karmakaze is a good name for you. Your unfounded beliefs are probably building up a boat-load of bad karma right now. (There's no such thing as karma. It's a fiction, like detoxification from a naturopath or homeopath.)"

You think? Tell me, what was September 11? Karma as a concept is very real. It basically means "what goes around, comes around". I am not claiming there is some mystical force behind it, but you have to admit, socially, it is very true. smilies/smiley.gif

"I am not a doctor, never have been and couldn't play on one television, even. "

No shit, Sherlock? You think you're the only one who can make fun of other people's arguments?

"I once had a comedy routine in which I played a proctologist."

It wasn't funny. See how that works?

"Surely, any reasonable person could've read my comment above and realized that I was making no claim to medical knowledge or previous practice."

Surely any reasonable person might have thought I was joking... you know, like when I said you must have killed a lot of patients? You might also have seen me say that you "claimed to be a doctor". Was that untrue? For all I know, you ARE a doctor. Makes no difference, you're still a retard. One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking "educated" means the same thing as "intelligent". Even Randi will tell you that.

"The most clueless never realize they haven't a clue."

And you STILL can't figure it out. You my friend are a prime example.

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@laursaurus
written by Karmakaze, January 01, 2010
"Did Karmakaze get banned from the site?"

Nope, sorry to disappoint you.

"Or maybe he was arrested?"

Wishful thinking.

""Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus." Michael Crichton"

Isn't it funny how even retards can sometimes say the right thing, without even realising it?

Yes, he's right that consensus doesn't mean anything about the science. One man CAN disprove a thousand. Of course, neither Michael Crichton, or any of the other retards out there have managed to do it. Funny that.

What he forgets, is that consensus DOES indicate one thing - the number of minds that have turned to the problem and made a decision. If Crichton thinks he can disprove them then why doesn't he do it?

By the way, do you always look to fiction authors for your science? There's your problem...
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@ the tiresome Karmakaze, once more
written by Human Person Jr, January 01, 2010
Crichton is hampered by a medical condition. He's not able to get out and do much these days.

He's dead.
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Aha, there you are!
written by laursaurus, January 01, 2010
This is when I know I'm making sense to KK
Retard means he can't offer an
Opposing argument effectively. So he
Loves to create a strawmen argument and thoroughly destroy it
Logical fallacies, over and over

Read your sciencebasedmedicine.org writings. Yes sadly she is an MD.If you're going to discuss imaginary toxin, start be first explaining what the real toxins are either from exposure or as biological processes, what the various scenarios where a medical detox would be indicated, and the method accordingly. The liver and kidneys are the primary and most effective detoxifying agents in the healthy patient. In renal failure, dialysis does the detoxing of the waste products of metabolism. Some require organ transplants. Then there is alcohol and drug detox. Activated charcoal, gastric lavage, or induced vomitting. She really could stand to improve her writing skill. Usually she is busy pissing off midwives and home birthers, and they love to argue with her. They'd already pounced on her for the same thing you brought up. Calling someone a retard and your affinity for profanity didn't go over too well on that site. Anymore forums or sites you participate in? It would be entertaining to read how far you are allowed to go.
Here is Crichton's skeptical approach to the actual science of global warming. He has read everything ever published by the IPPC, and points out how the computer models work (or don't work)as actually explained in their report.
Ad homenin attack on Crichton just goes to show you how lazy people are. Read what he said and disagree with it. He's an extremely level-headed man. (I thought I heard he died, though).
http://www.crichton-official.com/speech-ourenvironmentalfuture.html
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HP, jr
written by laursaurus, January 01, 2010
LOL, yes he has become quite entertaining feature. I proudly have earned the title "retard" at least 3 times.
I wondered if maybe all the rage got him into trouble. Maybe he is posting from jail?
He insults us, then says were better than the woo believers. That's another compliment.
But he can't get away with insulting the American People! For that he can bugger off! Remember who helped save your ass in WWII!
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...
written by Karmakaze, January 01, 2010
"Crichton is hampered by a medical condition. He's not able to get out and do much these days."

True. What was his excuse BEFORE his untimely death? You of course realise I was using Crichton as an example, rather than actually asking why HE doesn't. I know why he DIDN'T and why you DON'T... it's because you can't, and neither could he.

But good spotting. I made the error of thinking you could follow an argument without getting distracted by irrelevencies - My mistake.
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Karmakaze, grow yourself a beard, quickly...
written by Human Person Jr, January 01, 2010
Too late! I said quickly.

But, you've now outed yourself as a bare-faced liar. You wrote:

"If Crichton thinks he can disprove them then why doesn't he do it?"

You either: A) were ignorant of Mr. Crichton's death; or, B) knew Mr. Crichton had died and forgot it. The third alternative you claim, that you were "using Crichton as an example, rather than actually asking why HE doesn't...," is an obvious fabrication.

Living in a socialist country hasn't done much for your mental acuity.
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Hi, again, laursaurus...
written by Human Person Jr, January 01, 2010
I've read that Crichton speech and find it inspiring.

Thanks to you, I'll probably read it again right now! Rational, deliberate thought is a wonderful thing, but in terribly short supply. It might be in even shorter supply in Karmakaze's home (socialist) country. Amazing how stupid a person has to be, to actually be proud of living in a worker's paradise.
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@laursaurus
written by Karmakaze, January 01, 2010
"Retard means he can't offer an Opposing argument effectively."

I can't? LOL. Will you retards get together and decide what you believe?

"I will say this in your favor. You do very well with complex thought (even if your conclusions are bogus) expressed in writing. You have good command of the language." - Human Person Jr, December 31, 2009

By the way, you were wondering where I was. Ever thought maybe I come from a different country, and that maybe just maybe my timezone is offset in such a way that I am actually living in your future?

So what do you think might have happened that may have kept me away from this riveting conversation for a few more hours than normal?

"So he Loves to create a strawmen argument and thoroughly destroy it "

Oh really. Point one out then. It should be easy, right?

"Read your sciencebasedmedicine.org writings. Yes sadly she is an MD."

Oh, I never doubted it. She would have been insane to claim it when she wasn't, as it is illegal. I was simply making sure to highlight that that MD was an obvious retard. The degree means nothing more than that she qualified as a doctor. Doesn't mean she's actually right.

"Usually she is busy pissing off midwives and home birthers, and they love to argue with her. They'd already pounced on her for the same thing you brought up."

See, that's the problem. She got so full of herself, thinking she knew everything, and then she stepped in a steaming heap of shit. And now she is claiming it smells like roses.

I don't have a problem with her being wrong as much as I have a problem with her (and her defenders) ignoring it and continuing to push the same bullshit claim. I haven't had a chance to revist the site yet today, but I bet the article STILL hasn't been corrected.(yep, still there uncorrected).

"Calling someone a retard and your affinity for profanity didn't go over too well on that site."

Awww diddums? Did I hurt their feelings? Too bad, how sad, never mind.

"Anymore forums or sites you participate in?"

A few. Google is your friend. I always put Karmakaze in the name field (even if I am using my real name as well) so you should be able to find me out there somewhere. All you have to do is look.

"It would be entertaining to read how far you are allowed to go."

You would be surprised. Most sites are scared to censor me because it would look like they are trying to surpress my views rather than my language. I am happy to take advantage smilies/smiley.gif

Of course, if someone were to ask me not to swear I would give it deep consideration. But "retard" stays as long as "woo woo" does. If the skeptics want the name calling gone, then they can set the example...

(PS why is swearing so bad? Rational minds would like to know why "shit" is worse than "feces", they mean the same thing, right?)

"He has read everything ever published by the IPPC, and points out how the computer models work (or don't work)as actually explained in their report."

So? Are you saying models are what AGW is based on? You do know the models simply simulate a set of rules and are run to see if the rules are anything like reality, right? They're not used to make specific predicitons, they are used to confirm that our underlying physics is right. Then we use them to see what a world with those same physics would do given changing variables.

If the model matches well to reality, then we can be confident we understand reality quite well.

Does that make sense to you? Crichton never told you that, I bet. In fact, I bet Crichton lead you to believe that the scientists actually "tune" the "rules" to get a predefined outcome (pretty miraculous!).

Unless you think that the scientists use massive supercomputers to run the models even though they can do all the calculations in their head? I mean how else would they know what to change to get the desired outcome?

But OK. If you think the models are flawed, there is an easy way to prove it. Build a model that macthes observations and DOESN'T show what theirs do.

Come on. The world is waiting for you to save us from our own stupidity!

"Ad homenin attack on Crichton just goes to show you how lazy people are. Read what he said and disagree with it. He's an extremely level-headed man. (I thought I heard he died, though)."

What ad hominem attack? Are you talking about "retard" or "fiction author"? By the way, you do know an ad hominem attack involves saying the argument is faulty BECAUSE of who made it? I didn;t make an ad hominem attack. I said his argument was faulty, and showed why AND I called him a retard. The latter is my conclusion based on his attempt to tell the scientists who study the field that they don;t know what theyre talking about because he... read their papers... umm... oh ok!

I'll have a go at you link next:
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@Michael Crichton (see I CAN talk to the dead!)
written by Karmakaze, January 02, 2010
"In my view, our approach to global warming exemplifies everything that is wrong with our approach to the environment. We are basing our decisions on speculation, not evidence."

Unfortunately, you should have stuck to writing science fiction, because you have no clue about the science.

If Crichton SERIOUSLY thought there was NO evidence, perhaps he can show us his proof for why CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas in every experiment ever carried out on it? How we can MEASURE the decreased IR radiation escaping from the planet?

So what is he saying there is a lack of evidence for?

"Proponents are pressing their views with more PR than scientific data."


Ok, so where is Crichtons hundreds of pages long report on the science he says disproves AGW? In fact can he find a SINGLE study that DISPROVES it? So far in this article I haven't seen one bit of science, and I am on the 5th paragraph. I have been informed of his green credentials ("some of my best friends are black") and his political connections, but not one bit of science. PR, Michael? You want to talk about PR?

"When I was a student in the 1950s, like many kids I noticed that Africa seemed to fit nicely into South America. Were they once connected? I asked my teacher, who said that that this apparent fit was just an accident, and the continents did not move. I had trouble with that, unaware that people had been having trouble with it ever since Francis Bacon noticed the same thing back in 1620. A German named Wegener had made a more modern case for it in 1912. But still, my teacher said no."

Imagine that? For over a century, the science piled up... carried out by some of the greatest minds in history, and this silly person thought they knew better? But I am glad Michael was on the ball! He obviously learned his lesson that you better be DAMN sure that you are smarter than ALL of those scientists, otherwise you'll die looking like an idiot... (too soon?)

"By the time I was in college ten years later, it was recognized that continents did indeed move, and had done so for most of Earth's history."

The first error (or lie?). He even admitted that it was known LONG before. What was NOT known until the 60's was HOW it could happen - many doubted the evidence because THEY couldn't figure out how a ball of rock could "move" - then the REAL scientists told them, and they said "of course! I always believed it!"

"Gerald Ford is president, Saigon falls, Hoffa disappears, and in climate science, evidence points to catastrophic cooling and a new ice age."

Lie number two. It's very easy to prove too. Simply go get a copy of Carl Sagan's "Cosmos", specifically, episode four. That aired in 1980, and is a result of the science of the 70's.

The TRUTH is, that climate science had identified two competing human influences on the environment - Particlautes and GHG's - particulates lead to smog and acid rain and all the health effects associated with them, but it ALSO leads to cooling. GHG's you know about (I hope).

So in the 70's scientists were trying to decide which would win the struggle. They knew climate had to change due to these factors, they just weren't sure which direction. Some LAY media jumped on an "ice age" because lay people knew what that meant, and turned it into a mild scare. If they had understood AGW, they would have focused on that instead.

The fact remains that particulates were killing us faster than their potential for cooling, AND the GHG's WERE able to overpower it anyway (it just slowed the warming, see the late 40's to 70's... hmmm interesting date there...) so when we reduced them, AGW really took off.

But, Crichton is sure that "International Wildlife", "Science Digest", and "The Christian Science Monitor"(!) represent the "consensus" of 1970's climate science. He ignores the studies done that show that for every paper suggesting future cooling, there were 3 or more suggesting warming.

He also neglects the fact that the computer I am typing this post on is far more powerful than the SUPERCOMPUTERS they used back then. What field of science has not advanced at all in the last 30 years?

But yes, if the IPCC had been set up in the 70's and had said that the world was going to cool unless we did something, then he would have a point - THEN. Unfortunately for him, climate science HASN'T stood still in the last 30 years and we know a HELL OF A LOT more than we did then. It's not perfect, but it's better than anything Crichton or the other deniers have come up with.
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@Michael Crichton continued
written by Karmakaze, January 02, 2010
"Back in the 90s, if someone said to you, "This population explosion is overstated. In the next hundred years, population will actually decline." That would contradict what all the environmental groups were saying, what the UN was saying."

Wow that WOULD be an amazing thing. Of course he CHANGES the argument half way through - look at the graph title. That is population GROWTH RATE, not POPULATION. The population of planet Earth is expected to be 9 billion by 2050. For population to have DECLINED by 2095 (the next hundred years from 1995) then we would have to kill off 3 billion people born during that century.

Maybe THAT is why Crichton is anti-AGW? Maybe he is hoping AGW will sort out overpopulation (it will if we're not careful).

The growth rate is declining, but thanks to the fact people can have babies, more people having less babies can still lead to more people... unless they have less babies than die.

This guy has made three claims of fact so far, and not ONE of them is accurate. His 'errors' are so blatant that they border on the intentional - no one can be this dumb... surely?

"But in fact, we now know that the hypothetical person in 1995 was right."

Lucky they're only hypothetical, because they would be wrong - just like Crichton.

"I mention these examples because in my experience, we all tend to put a lot of faith in science. We believe what we're told. My father suffered a life filled with margarine, before he died of a heart attack anyway."

So now he is questioning medical science too? Does he deny that high fat content in food leads to greater risk of heart disease? Is he THAT arrogant an asshole? I guess we know why he had to turn to writing fiction... cause no one could ever take his 'facts' seriously.

"When I wrote Jurassic Park, I worried that people would reject the idea of creating a dinosaur as absurd. Nobody did, not even scientists. It was reported to me that a Harvard geneticist, one of the first to read the book, slammed it shut when he finished and announced, "It can be done!" Which was missing the point. Soon after, a Congressman announced he was introducing legislation to ban research leading to the creation of a dinosaur. I held my breath, but my hopes were dashed. Someone whispered in his ear that it couldn't be done."

Bullshit. He bragged about how it was taken straight out of the science books... then the scientists pointed out he was full of shit, and now he's claiming he knew it all along?

Let's see shall we?

"Crichton: Not so much that. Not so much that because--because the—the core ideas about how this might be done, was to--to insert a probe into an insect that's preserved in amber and to try to remove blood that it might have sucked from another animal. Those ideas have all been worked out by academics and have been published so."

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:lJMNxfXDz9cJ:icue.nbcunifiles.com/icue/files/icue/site/pdf/37994.pdf+Jurassic+Park+interview+Crichton&hl=en&gl=nz&sig=AHIEtbQkYTzNHFyauKApsAMcn51C-zX7Dw

Sorry for the crazy URL. If it's not working look up "Jurrasic Park interview Crichton" in google and you'll find it.

I remember a lot more like that. Crichton sold his book as being science more than fiction. He did it right up to the end, no matter how retarded they got.

"So we all tend to give science credence, even when it is not warranted."

Suddenly his novel becomes science? His evidence for how we give "science credence when we shouldn't" is the fact HIS NOVEL was BULLSHIT, but (because he promoted it as 'real') people BELIEVED it?

Wow! Just, wow.
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@Michael Crichton continued
written by Karmakaze, January 02, 2010
"The problem with this equation is that none of the terms can be known. As a result, the Drake equation can have any value from "billions and billions" to zero. An expression that can mean anything means nothing."

See, that is why this guy is a writer and not a scientist. If he had even the slightest knowledge of what he was talking about (or wasn't intentionally trying to mislead) might have avoided looking like an idiot:

"R* = the average rate of star formation per year in our galaxy"

That CAN'T be known?

"fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets"

No way we could ever figure that out... right?

"ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets"

Yep, its a perpetual mystery!

Yes, the rest rely on information that relies on advances in other areas (like we can;t know how many planets go on to form life, until we find enough other planets CAPABLE of forming life...)

The point is, Crichton is not above totally LYING about the science to prove his point.

The truth is, the range of values is NOT unbounded, and this equation helps us to see those bounds.

Of course, the whole point Drake formulated the equation was to stimulate discussion at a conference into HOW we could go about DETERMINING the unknowns. So it DOES have a point, and it HAS helped science. Before you can figure something out, you have to know what it is that needs to be figured out.

"Now, wait a minute...How could you know something vanished before you identified it?"

I dunno. How did we find out dinosaurs vanished? Couldn't be by finding remains of no longer living animals, could it? Wow, maybe I've discovered a whole new field of science?

"Of these two graphs, one is entirely discredited and the other is seriously disputed. Let's begin with the top graph."

Another lie. One paper was published CLAIMING to have disproved Mann's work... only to turn out to be itself wrong. Now there are dozens of studies that all show the same "hockey stick" - of course Crichton isn't around to rectract his lies.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hockey-stick-without-tree-rings.html

"But let's take the graph as given. It shows a warming of .4 degrees until 1940, which precedes major industrialization and so may or may not be a largely natural process. Then from 1940 to 1970, temperatures fell. That was the reason for the global cooling scare, and the fears that it was never going to get warm again. Since then, temperatures have gone up, as you see here. They have risen in association with carbon dioxide levels."

Ok, so now he admits the science in the 70's wasn't wrong? Global cooling DID seemt o be happening? He still avoids saying anything about WHY it got colder, or WHY it stopped.

"And the core of the claim of CO2 driven warming is based on this thirty-five year record."

Oh no, no, no Mikey boy! The core of the claim of AGW is based on that (and a lot more) - the FACT that CO2 causes warming is NOT based on that but nearly two centuries of physics including observations confirmed by laboratory experiments. CO2 is a Greenhouse gas. If it wasn't we wouldn't exist because liquid water couldn't exist on our planet - it would be too cold (oh hey you do know that "must have liquid water" was one of the things we identified due to the Drake Equation... right?)

"So all the interest is in this little fluttering on the surface."

Small things can have LARGE effects. Did you know that if our atmosphere had as much Hydrogen Cyanide in it as there is CO2, we'd all be dead within the hour?

"But the disrepute into which his study has fallen leaves us wondering just how much variation in climate is normal."

See my link above. Crichton and the well known DENIERS he quotes are LIARS. It's that simple.

"Here you see that the current temperature rise, while distinctive, is far from unique. Paris was hotter in the 1750s and 1830s than today."

See? What a tard! Now he's talking about wheather as if it proves anything!

"I have no comment on why the Goddard Institute changed the data on their website."

Did he even ask? No. He just assumes and implies fraud. When the fact is station data like that could just as easily contain errors as the models that Crichton hates so much. They were taken and graphed by humans. Is it not possible the first was in error? Well not for Crichton it isn't because that would spoil the point he was trying to make.
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Michael Crichton
written by stevekelner, January 02, 2010
Crichton was an excellent writer, but he was really a subtle polemicist, who distrusted science and technology and wrote many books to make a case against them, right back to Andromeda Strain. He was fundamentally anti-scientific, and you can see it easily throughout his books. So his anti-AGW stance -- which by the way was not well buttressed, since he cherry-picked data extremely selectively -- while it sounds compelling, is in fact a carefully constructed case using limited data and slanting evidence wherever possible. Anti-AGW people are continuing to use the same points he made, apparently not realizing how he slanted his data. He actually consulted with some of the scientists on RealClimate dot org, and they posted two articles on his mistakes. Here's the first one: http://www.realclimate.org/ind...confusion/
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...
written by latsot, January 02, 2010
Crichton was an excellent writer


Yep:
Dickens
Shakespeare
Tolstoy
Tolkien
Azimov
Austen
Hemingway
Twain
Joyce
Orwell
Plath
Pratchett
Adams
Vonnegut
Wilde
Hugo

and..... Crichton.

Puh-lease.
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Did you read the rest of the post?
written by stevekelner, January 02, 2010
Let us not get into a literary argument (though it's "Asimov," incidentally). Interesting list, however. And yes, I have virtually all of them on my shelf (the exception being Plath, I think).
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Oh bugger...
written by Karmakaze, January 02, 2010
The rest of my rebuttal of Crichton was lost in the ether somewhere. I'll try reposting it later maybe, but rest assured that it showed Crichton was a retard or a liar, and it was brutal smilies/smiley.gif

@stevekelner

Thanks for the support. I know it must have been hard to agree with me after the way I had a go at you, and I appreciate that you didn't just remain silent.

Let me explain my motives a bit - I have been arguing things like this for so long that I have seen how skepticism has slowly turned into what it hates - a faith based belief defended no matter whether it is right or wrong.

The name-calling coming from the skeptics is just as bad as what I have been doing, but you have rarely if ever had to face off against someone who knows the science as good if not better than you (the general 'you' that is, not you specifically), and as such the skeptic community has become intellectually lazy - assuming they KNOW, rather than verifying that they do.

In fact I find that most 'skeptics' know as much about the science as the 'true believers', and often get it just as wrong - and insist they are right just as forcefully as the believers, without regard to truth.

They simply look to their idols, like Randi, and trust that HE knows what he is talking about (which as he has shown is NOT garaunteed) and then repeat it with all the fervour of a bible thumper on a street corner.

There is very little if any rationality and true skepticism in these debates anymore, and it is not the fault of the believers. They couldn't make you stop paying attention to the science - you did that yourself.

I agree that he was an excellent writer - his books and movies were very entertaining - but I am under no illusion that he was anything more than that.
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Yes I read the rest of the post
written by latsot, January 02, 2010
stevekelner:
> Let us not get into a literary argument

You started it. I read the rest of your post and agreed with it in general. I don't agree that Crichton is an excellent writer, however. He's a childish writer at best.

Thanks for correcting my spelling and describing the contents of your bookshelf though, it was very helpful.
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@latsot
written by Karmakaze, January 02, 2010
LOL, way to derail an argument smilies/smiley.gif

Of course, it's a matter of taste. If you don't like him, that doesn't make it childish. But OK, why don't you show him how it's done?

Get back to me when you have had at least ONE bestseller turned into a movie... until then, I will have to assume that he is a far better writer than you...
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written by latsot, January 02, 2010
@Karmakaze

You're absolutely right. I can't comment on anyone's writing until I have surpassed it. I'll get right on that.
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Crichton, etc.
written by stevekelner, January 02, 2010
Well, Karmakaze, I am a scientist and a skeptic, as it happens. I have my own criticisms of skepticism -- I think it has descended into contrarianism for many, with (as you note) unstated elements of faith, e.g., "you can't be religious and a scientist," and similar nonsense. I just objected to your including me in that group, especially since I started on this thread criticizing Randi.

latsot -- "You started it"? Huh? I made a statement, I didn't launch a literary argument. I do feel entitled to an opinion, however. In my view, Crichton was a very professionally slick thriller writer, who could take otherwise arcane issues and turn them into bestsellers. Whether you like them or not, that's definitely something few writers can carry off. Even when I knew his books were 100% wrong, e.g., Rising Sun, I still found myself reacting to them. I've re-read The Great Train Robbery any number of times, and I recommend it to others.

Your list ranged from traditionally literary writers like Joyce and Austen to modern popular SF writers like Adams, Asimov, and Pratchett, and people who fall in between, like Vonnegut. I think Crichton certainly belongs in company with the modern popular SF writers, especially Asimov, as a craftsmanlike (rather than artistic) SF writer, and Crichton is better at thrillers than Asimov ever was, much as I liked him. Crichton was dishonest with his science sources, but he spun a good yarn. And that's one definition of a good writer, in my view. You may disagree.
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...
written by latsot, January 02, 2010
latsot -- "You started it"? Huh? I made a statement, I didn't launch a literary argument. I do feel entitled to an opinion, however.


I realise I'm as guilty as anyone of perpetuating this thread, but can't we all just let it die before we all completely lose our sense of humour?
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@latsot
written by Karmakaze, January 02, 2010
"You're absolutely right. I can't comment on anyone's writing until I have surpassed it. I'll get right on that."

No, I didn't say you can't comment. I said if you think his writing was so bad, show us how it's done. Obviously you must know how to do it better if you can be so sure HIS is bad...

As it stands, I'll side with the millions of people who read/saw his writing and decided they liked it, as an indication of whether it was good or not.

By the way, you're the one who listed the authors, not stevekelner, so why did you criticise him for what YOU did? You were simply trying to show off your 'intellectualism', and got called on it. Do you often interject bullshit into conversations just to show how clever you are?

Do you think that might be a failing?
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...
written by Karmakaze, January 02, 2010
"Well, Karmakaze, I am a scientist and a skeptic, as it happens. I have my own criticisms of skepticism -- I think it has descended into contrarianism for many, with (as you note) unstated elements of faith, e.g., "you can't be religious and a scientist," and similar nonsense. I just objected to your including me in that group, especially since I started on this thread criticizing Randi."

Unfortunately, I am not a mind reader. I do not know what you have said previously - I only know what you said in the comments I replied to. In them you seemed to be defending Randi based on nothing but HIS WORD that he was capable of doing what he claims (being a skeptic, rather than a contrarian). If I was wrong, then I was wrong, and I accept that. However, if you had legitimate criticisms as I did, why did you defend him? Or is he immune to the same criticism you give to others?

But to be totally honest, you were being used as an example. I was trying to get you (and anyone else who is reading this thread) to really look at what you believe BEFORE you criticise other's beliefs. Randi doesn't. You didn't seem to be. If I was wrong, I'm sorry you got caught up in my "crusade".
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@ Karmakaze
written by stevekelner, January 02, 2010
No mind reading required. Search "stevekelner" and read my first comment, which was a follow-up to my comment on the original Randi post. It's not the first time I've referred to it, either. You were also mistaken in believing that I defended Randi on any basis but his established expertise in prestidigitation and debunking based on that skill, and I said that, too, more than once. I've read most of his books. Have you?
Frankly, you are oversimplifying, and have done so from the beginning, evidently in service of your crusade. I was not defending everything Randi has ever said and done (obviously, since I criticized him for this), I was defending his right to assert some expertise in debunking, and you never adequately responded to it.
You are not entitled to dismiss him (or anyone else) across the board absolutely, any more than someone is entitled to defend him absolutely, certainly when the evidence disagrees with you. That is a far too simplistic an approach to discussing any person.
The problem with a "crusade" is that it can give the distinct impression that you are arrogant, immature, and immovable, and further that when someone disagrees with you, you will merely shout all the louder. It was and is insulting for you to lecture me based on an inadequate basis of fact, when you know little or nothing about me (though I am readily findable), and misread some of the things I did put in this thread. Don't expect to win any converts to your crusade with this influence strategy. If you want to examine some more sophisticated techniques, you might want to look at this for inspiration: http://tinyurl.com/ybxemnj
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@stevekelner
written by Karmakaze, January 02, 2010
"No mind reading required. Search "stevekelner" and read my first comment, which was a follow-up to my comment on the original Randi post. It's not the first time I've referred to it, either."

Why? should I always check the backgrounds of posters to ensure their words are what they meant? I don't care if you criticised Randi - you're missing the point. It was the fact you replied to me in order to defend him:

"I was one of the first here to criticize Randi's inappropriate and ill-written criticism of AGW and his non-apology afterwards, but I must defend him against some of your comments, Karmakaze."

Even though you were saying essentially the same things, but had not extended it to other issues. You seemed to think this was the ONLY time he had done such things. But remember, I did not even talk about you until you posted the above.

That is what I was refering to when I called you a fanboy. You have in front of you evidence of the kind of stuff Randi does, you criticise it, then defend him? The ONLY reason you criticised was because this time he was making an idiot of himself in a subject YOU care about. Well that's what your posts lead me to believe. As I said, if I am wrong, I apologise - but I don't think I'm wrong.

"You were also mistaken in believing that I defended Randi on any basis but his established expertise in prestidigitation and debunking based on that skill"

See, there you go again. What established evidence of his skill in debunking? The evidence HE claims is there? I've shown you (and you saw yourself) that he is NOT all that good at it, otherwise he wouldn't have fallen for the Petiton Project scam.

He claims expertise. That is all.

"I've read most of his books."

Your evidence is that Randi says he's good? Really?

"Frankly, you are oversimplifying, and have done so from the beginning, evidently in service of your crusade."

Oh my god, you think? You think maybe I was (as I have said more than once) "giving you a dose of your own medicine"? I have shown over and over how the 'skeptics' oversimplify the science and then declare absolute certainty, based on that faulty 'knowledge'.

The point is, Randi has become some sort of "skeptic god" yet he is just as bad as anyone else at avoiding being fooled. Hell the Petition Project wasn't even very subtle. All you had to do was go to their site, and you'd see it was full of shit.

The fact is, this is NOT the only time he has acted like this - it's just the first time he attacked something that the 'skeptics' believe (as far as I am aware).

"I was defending his right to assert some expertise in debunking"

And the evidence in this and the other article shows that "assertion" is unfounded. He either can debunk ALL bullshit, or he is NOT expert at debunking. Once again, prove to me a magician is better able to spot slight of hand than a non-magician. We are not talking about PERFORMING it, but SEEING it.

Secondly, I never attacked his right to assert it - I attacked the TRUTH of it. He can say what he wants, and I will question it if I think it is bullshit. Isn't that what being skeptical means?

"and you never adequately responded to it."

In your opinion. I said the same thing originally as I just said above - prove to me a magician is better, and NOT using a magician's word. (You wouldn't take a psychic's word that mind reading works, would you?) I also gave an example of why a magician might be worse at it (and it is the same one Randi uses) - he BELIEVES that it is all prestidigitation, so he is primed to see it, even if his subconcious has to fill in the gaps. Why is it that HE is immune to such unconcious self delusion?
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@stevekelner
written by Karmakaze, January 02, 2010
"You are not entitled to dismiss him (or anyone else) across the board absolutely"

I'm not? Why is he allowed to do it to 'psychics', but I can't do it to 'skeptics'? Hmm? Ever think that might have been another concept I was trying to illustrate?

"That is a far too simplistic an approach to discussing any person."

Tell that to Randi.

"The problem with a "crusade" is that it can give the distinct impression that you are arrogant, immature, and immovable, and further that when someone disagrees with you, you will merely shout all the louder."

Oh my! You mean you picked that up? Notice how when I do it, it's wrong... but when Randi does it then "he has some expertise"! Bollocks. As I said, what I have been doing is an exaggerated version of what the 'skeptics' do. Have a look at that Science-Based Medicine article I was talking about before (or was that another thread?):

"“Alternative” health practitioners are nothing more than quacks and charlatans and their “remedies” are nothing more than snake oil. The fact that anyone in this day and age still believes in such crackpot theories is a tribute to the power of ignorance and superstition."

How is that kind of retarded arrogance any different from what I have been doing? Remember this is in an article saying that "toxins are imaginary"!

Maybe I should change my name to "The Mirror"... Will that make it a little more obvious?

But just to really drive the point home:

"''If Tart thinks I did this to stifle research, he is crazy. I brought this type of research into the 20th century, whereas he is in the woods."

How can you call that anything but arrogant? Remember this was after he intentionally tried to ruin a scientific study, and then when it didn't go as planned (the scientists didn't publish, they consulted him, and then exposed the fraud) he races to the media and says that!

You see, you have been reading Randi's books. Do you really think Randi will tell you about all the times he's been caught in lies designed to make himself look better? Do you really think Randi's books would in anyway disagree with Randi's methods? Do you really think randi's books represent REALITY, rather than Randi's VERSION of it? No, what you get is an editted view where his successes are magnified beyond their real effect, and his failures disappear. Sound familiar?

"It was and is insulting for you to lecture me based on an inadequate basis of fact"

Hmm funny that. Care to go back and look at what you said about why psychokinesis is impossible? Care to comment as to how Dark Energy is equally impossible based on your criteria... and yet it exists. Who was lecturing who based on an inadequate basis of fact?

"when you know little or nothing about me"

I don't need to know anything about you to read what you wrote. I don't give a shit whether you're a scientist or a plumber. It makes no difference. Why do you think it does?

"and misread some of the things I did put in this thread."

What did I misread? Nice try. Disagreement with, does not imply I misread them. Show me where I misread what you wrote. If I did misread, I will retract heartily, but I fail to see it, so you'll have to point it out.

See what this sounds like to me is a self-important scientist (why mention your Ph.D and Harvard? They are irrelevent) who got pissed off because I called him a fanboy, and now is scrambling to backtrack and find SOME footing to stand on, and acting righteously indignant in the process.

Seriously, does it hurt your feelings so much that I called you a fanboy? Do you REALLY give a shit what I think? Why?
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@stevekelner
written by Karmakaze, January 02, 2010
"Don't expect to win any converts to your crusade with this influence strategy."

I don't. Who in the history of the Internet has EVER changed their mind based on a forum argument? Like I said somewhere, I do this for fun, not because I think anyone will actually go "Oh snap! I see where I went wrong..."

Pretty much the same reason all you lot come here (unless you think cheerleading Randi on his forum is making a blind bit of difference to the "believers"?)

"If you want to examine some more sophisticated techniques, you might want to look at this for inspiration:"

LOL:

"Hay Group combined these studies with 15 years of its own applied research to identify the most common and effective strategies for influencing others. These are the specific behaviors that help us influence most successfully."

"Coercion: using threats or pressure to get others to do what you want."

Well shit, they needed 15 years of study to figure out what man has known since the dawn of time?

However, what I have been doing is propaganda. I haven't been trying to influence YOU (remember how I said I was using you as an example?).

So go look up the most effective propaganda tactics, and see how many I was employing smilies/smiley.gif

In fact:

Ad hominem - check
Ad nauseam - check
Appeal to authority - partial check
Appeal to fear - not so much (unless fear of being labeled a retard counts)
Black-and-white fallacy - check
Labeling - big check
Name-calling - double ditto
Oversimplification - you pointed it out yourself.
Quotes out of context - its embarrasing that no one else noticed what I was doing
Red herring - !
Repetition - For sure
Transfer - (skeptics are no different to true believers!)

But once again, I was holding up a mirror to show what I feel has gone wrong with the "skeptic" movement - and I place a lot of blame for that on Randi's self-aggrandisement. These are the same tactics he uses.
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written by stevekelner, January 02, 2010
Have fun being a troll then. Good bye.
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@stevekelner..
written by Karmakaze, January 02, 2010
Oh I see.. I'm a troll? Even though I provided far more ACCURATE information to the conversation than YOU did?

You win! I'm a troll so you MUST be right...
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PS
written by Karmakaze, January 02, 2010
Remember when I said:

"Who in the history of the Internet has EVER changed their mind based on a forum argument?"

Thanks for proving my point. You had your say, ignored my responses, then declare me a troll and leave.

Just as expected.
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Karmakaze, please seek help!
written by Human Person Jr, January 03, 2010
Sumpn ain't right here.
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Actually..
written by Kagehi, January 03, 2010
Most won't say you can't be religious and a scientists, just that the combination creates issues, a bit like being "Libertarian" and pro-government intervention. Scientists managed, for a long time, to be both. They also spent a long time ignoring artifacts at digs that they didn't think where "important", even when they where mentioned as part of the mythology, burning mummies, because they where not considered important in and of themselves, and any number of other stupid things. The problem isn't *if* its possible, but that some of us see a bit more clearly how such faith can, and sometimes does, obscure certain corners of their investigation, and lead them to rejecting hypothesis, or accepting others, based not on the evidence, but where they want the evidence to lead them. And, while this isn't impossible for non-believers, religion has some clearly distinct concepts that ***very specifically*** contradict some evidence, and lead to a specific category of bias. You can see this in everyone from the physicist who derailed his carrier by ignoring all the biologists, who already had both a) and explanation for and b) investigated, but found nothing significant about, small amounts of light being emitted by cells. His *hypothesis* - that psychic phenomena was real, and cells communicate via these "flashes of light", rather than chemical and electrical signals. His subjects? John Edward, the paramount *worst* cold reader in the business, and some poor dupe that he "talked to the dead" for.

Another example is the guy that headed, but didn't do any specific research himself on, the human genome project, who took the work of hundreds of others, and even "borrowed" the work of another group, who where initially ahead of them, to accelerate his own project, then, when it was all over, embarrassed most of the scientific community by babbling a bunch of stuff that was borderline creationist about the project (or at least ID like in how he described it), in contradiction to the evidence.

Religion, in the opinion of a lot of people, how ever mild, creates a blind spot. A wall, if you will, beyond which a person won't look, conjecture, or examine their own evidence, with the same level of critical thinking applied to the rest of their field. And, sometimes it leads good scientists to pontificate outside their field of expertise, and fall for ideas outside their expertise, for which they fail to apply the same logic, and careful examination.

Again, you see this with the non-religious too. But the non-religious are not likely to have hundreds of millions of other fools cheering them on when they make the mistake, while not understanding the science, or what the scientist got dead wrong, at all. That makes such errors more problematic. They are less likely to be corrected, if some "majority" agrees with them out of shear ignorance and an identical bias.
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@Kagehi
written by Karmakaze, January 07, 2010
"Again, you see this with the non-religious too. But the non-religious are not likely to have hundreds of millions of other fools cheering them on when they make the mistake, while not understanding the science, or what the scientist got dead wrong, at all."

Are you kidding? The diet fads alone show that that is not true. The weight loss industry is HUGE, and is full of exactly what you are talking about, and as far as I have seen there is no religious component at work.

Human beings are pack animals - even though we are loathe to admit it, we act just like any other pack animal by looking up to our 'Alphas' as if they can do no wrong. Whether they be celebrities, priests, or scientists, we assume THEY are better than US, and pretty much follow them anywhere - even to our own detriment.

Over and over again this has occured in every field of human endeavour (politics, science, religion etc) and there is nothing wrong with it - it is what allowed us to become the dominant species on this planet - except when you think THEY do it and YOU don't. You do it too, but in your opinion you are right and they are wrong.

I have simply tried to show that.

"They are less likely to be corrected, if some "majority" agrees with them out of shear ignorance and an identical bias."

I have shown there is plenty of ignorance around here, and yet you all seem to think you have the "one truth" and as such any other view is insane. That last sentence of yours pretty much describes everyone who has responded to me here. Over and over I have shown information from SCIENCE that contradicts your assertions, and yet not one of you has come close to conceding that you may not have the full answer - you REFUSE to accept you may be wrong.

By the way... should I be eating more carbs or less? More protein or less? More eggs or less?.. In my lifetime the answers to those questions, coming from scientists, have changed more than once, and every time a whole new fad built up around the 'findings'.

In the last 6 months I've lost 30kgs (66lbs for you guys still stuck in the dark ages smilies/smiley.gif ). I didn't go on a special diet, I didn't take any special supplements or attend meetings. I ate less and exercised more, and it didn't cost me a cent. But try to explain that to other people trying to lose weight! They simply can't believe that I didn't use some secret program to make my weight drop so rapidly. They've been bombarded with scientific information that was announced with a level of certainty it couldn't really claim.

Eggs are bad! Oh wait... eggs are good! And each time that happens another load of people comes to the conclusion that scientists have no clue. That is why I am pushing the concept that science is never certain, that more information can easily overturn our current view, and as such we should ALWAYS be looking to do exactly that, because THAT is the way science evolves - and I am a big fan of evolution. smilies/smiley.gif
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@Human Person Jr
written by Karmakaze, January 07, 2010
"Sumpn ain't right here."

That would be your total destruction of the English language. That is FAR from 'right'.

I notice you still have nothing but retard insults that you think bother me. Let me fill you in on a little secret. Your 'insults' are like trophies. They prove that I thoroughly destroyed your argument and left you with nothing but schoolyard taunts.

Every time you speak, you confirm that you are a retard.
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Diets..
written by Kagehi, January 07, 2010
Oh, give me a break. Sure, there have been some understandable confusions about certain things, as they are better understood. But, most of it has been driven not by scientists, but the fracking diet industry. Some scientist says, "Certain kinds of fats are bad, but we are not sure how much *is* bad yet. Its probably a good idea to avoid too much of them.", and the next day 50 new products are relabeled as, "Healthier for you, because they don't contain fat X." There was even a joke about that a while back. Some guy researching something finds there is a clear connection between A and B, but **only** when C is present, he makes the mistake of telling the press about it, and by the time he gets home the TV news is announcing that its the end of the world as we know it, and his mother is telling him, I stopped taking A, because its going to kill me. Or, something to that effect.

Part of the problem is simply that scientists, even when they are *good* communicators, can't communicate clear details to someone that doesn't understand what is being described, or how much impact it really has, or, possibly, may not even care *if* their version is right. There have been more than a few cases, lamented by the people interviewed, where the scientist in question flat out said, "X magazine didn't just get it wrong, they somehow managed to get it 180 degrees backwards." And, those are just the ones doing in unintentionally. Some *intentionally* distort the science, to promote their own agendas, and don't care if that promotion contradicts their *own* inane gibberish.

A good example, some clown that shops where I work came in, who is a homeopath. He spent several minutes babbling to a cashier about taking "huge" doses of Vitamin D, which, "Is actually a hormone, not a vitamin, and regulates everything." I should have asked the nut, "If its such a great thing, why don't you sell homeopathic versions, instead of telling people to take *more* than normal?" After all, that is the whole point of homeopathy, right? Less = more?

Yeah, lets not confuse what the huge number of nitwits selling diet aids, and the popular press, say with with science does. You are likely to find that they *never* told people to entirely stop eating eggs, that the majority never supported all the other arguments over what you should or shouldn't eat, and that nearly **all** of those recommendations where made *by* fringe people, some of whom may be *partially* right, in a very limited scope, but most of which are just in it to sell their own crap, not to promote good health and scientific examination of what that means.

Interestingly, BTW, we do know something about what does and doesn't work, with respect to weight loss, and health, and the problem is, no one in the US would *ever* consider following them. They would have to get off their asses, exercise, eat about half what they normally do, almost entirely give up junk food, eat 10 times more fish than they do, and a whole host of other things that the average American wouldn't be caught dead actually following. Most of the stuff, like "eggs are not so good for you", falls under, "If you are eating like a stupid American, and therefor take in 50 times what you need already, making those eggs a bad addition." But, in the end, we have a culture of, "Cure me now!! Where every diet has to work instantly, over night, and with minimum, or no, effort. And, there is a multi-billion dollar industry based on this BS lie, which sifts the scientific journalism on a daily basis, looking for things they can misunderstand, misinterpret, quote mine for their own uses, or just flat out claim, without justification, supports their latest, 'lose pounds by hitting your head on our magic rock of 5 minutes a day!', nonsense." Guess who the popular press is interviewing? Is it the stodgy scientist, who noted that some obscure tribe banged their heads on rocks, but where otherwise healthy, or the wacko selling 3,000 rocks to idiots every day via, "www.dietrock.scam"?
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Cover-Up!
written by Son of Rea, January 27, 2010
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t...004936.ece
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Your Wish Is Your Command
written by Your Wish, April 03, 2011
Your Wish Is Your Command is a course sold by Kevin Trudeau. No one can say that he is not a compelling salesman and his infomercials hawking various products are legendary. This latest product targets the natural desire for wealth that most people obsess about while also pushing conspiracy theories that blame "secret societies" for keeping the secret of wealth and prosperity from the masses.Your Wish Is Your Command
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written by latsot, April 04, 2011
@Your Wish:

No one can say that he is not a compelling salesman


People can say that Trudeau is a fraud though, since he was convicted of such, having spent some time in prison for that crime. He stole people's social security numbers and money.

Then he tried to pretend that it wasn't really a crime and it was anybody's fault but his.

I don't think many skeptics will buy his products, but nice try.
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