Friday, July 10, 2009

Overselling Science

Overselling Science
07/10/09 - ChicagoBoyz by Shannon Love

Why polls of scientists don't mean much, even if they are real scientists making their living from research. Read it all.

[edited] The problem with polling “scientists” is that there is a wide range in the predictive power of the studies that we lump together as “science”.

Physics has tremendous predictive power, but sociology has almost none. Worse, scientists in highly predictive fields tend to have too much trust in less predictive fields, and scientists in low- or non-predictive fields try to gain public trust by referring to the success of highly predictive fields.

Non-predictive sciences invite social and political fads. There was wide agreement a hundred years ago on the validity of eugenics, Improving a human population by discouraging people with undesirable traits from having children, or of mating people who have desireable traits. more agreement than we have today on global warming. Darwin strongly opposed implementing eugenics, but nevertheless believed in its validity.

Likewise, most scientists of that era thought it was obvious that races differed in behavior because they had different biology. Much bad policy, even in politically liberal countries, was based on this flawed and oversold “scientific” idea.

The theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) has the same social and political dynamics as did eugenics. Climatology has not predicted climate either in the short or long term. The computer models [and their predictions for tens or hundreds of years into the future] cannot be tested by any observation in the here and now. Yet, the public gives climatology the same respect as meteorology, physics, and chemistry.

To global warming, we could add each past “scientific” consensus on the population bomb, resource depletion, energy crisis, and inevitable nuclear war. In all of these cases, scientists and the public thought untested models with no predictive power were similar to the highly predictive models [of the experimental, physical sciences].

Global warming caused by humans is a scam
The proponents of Global Warming don't mind lying for the good of us all. Saving the world justifies much cutting of corners.

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