WHY ARE WE SO CONFUSED ABOUT SCIENCE?

Here is some additional press coverage.

Fortunately, the folks demonstrating against Secretary Betsy DeVos behaved themselves.  Noisy, but not violent.

So why was I there?  I don’t think politicians should be running schools.  The public school system is a socialist system. A socialist system ends up serving the people who run the system, not the people that that system is supposed to benefit. Therefore, I am hoping Secretary DeVos will have some success as she advocates school choice.

Consider the problem of just getting a decent science education. Because of theories like Global Warming and the Theory of Evolution, politicians have politicized science. So we have this curiosity.

Yes, we do have scientists who have looked at some data asserting that theories like Global Warming and the Theory of Evolution have to be true because they explain the data, but the SCIENTIFIC method does not work that way. The scientific method does not permit us to equate an unproven hypothesis with a demonstrated theory.

scientific method  noun
a method of research in which a problem is identified, relevant data are gathered, a hypothesis is formulated from these data, and the hypothesis is empirically tested.

Think about what it means to empirically test a hypothesis. If we have a theory of how a system works, then we have a model of the relationship between the causes and the effects that operate within that system. How do we test our model? We use our model to make a prediction. If we change this cause, we say, then this effect will result. Then we do the experiment and observe the results.

Unfortunately, with respect to Global Warming and the Theory of Evolution, we are incapable of such rigor.  We cannot experiment with the weather, and perhaps that is a good thing. Otherwise, we would have an awfully frightful weapon of war. Similarly our ability to conduct experiments in evolution are limited. We don’t live long enough.

The scientific method is a process for experimentation that is used to explore observations and answer questions. Does this mean all scientists follow exactly this process? No. Some areas of science can be more easily tested than others. For example, scientists studying how stars change as they age or how dinosaurs digested their food cannot fast-forward a star’s life by a million years or run medical exams on feeding dinosaurs to test their hypotheses. When direct experimentation is not possible, scientists modify the scientific method. In fact, there are probably as many versions of the scientific method as there are scientists! But even when modified, the goal remains the same: to discover cause and effect relationships by asking questions, carefully gathering and examining the evidence, and seeing if all the available information can be combined in to a logical answer. (from here)

Think that definition from sciencebuddies.org is too off the wall? Then check out

Then consider this observation.

How can we prove that our new hypothesis is true? We never can. The scientific method does not allow any hypothesis to be proven. Hypotheses can be disproven in which case that hypothesis is rejected as false. All we can say about a hypothesis, which stands up to, a test to falsify it is that we failed to disprove it. There is a world of difference between failing to disprove and proving. Make sure you understand this distinction; it is the foundation of the scientific method.

So what would we do with our hypothesis above? We currently accept it as true. To be rigorous, we need to subject the hypothesis to more tests that could show it is wrong. For instance, we could repeat the experiment but switch the control and experimental group. If the hypothesis keeps standing up to our efforts to knock it down, we can feel more confident about accepting it as true. However, we will never be able to state that the hypothesis is true. Rather, we accept it as true because the hypothesis stood up to several experiments to show it is false. (from here)

Other Views

 

Advertisements

32 thoughts on “WHY ARE WE SO CONFUSED ABOUT SCIENCE?

  1. There is a difference between the theory of global warming and the theory of evolution.

    There is evidence (not proof) of evolution in the natural world and in the genetic code of all living creatures.

    There is absolutely no evidence for global warming.

    Global warming is a concocted hoax.

    Let me prove it right here, right now.

    It is said that global warming is caused by excessive amounts of CO2 (carbon dioxide) in Earth’s atmosphere.

    Presently, CO2 comprises 400 parts per million.

    That means that out of each million atoms and molecules of air (nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide), there are only 400 molecules of CO2.

    That means that CO2 content in the atmosphere is minuscule and obviously not enough to cause global warming.

    One other thing:

    People need to realize that the specific purpose of public education is to produce a certain kind of citizen, not produce people who can think clearly about the world around them.

    That isn’t my opinion. When I had first signed up to coach high school I went through a little bit of training and learned that stunning fact there.

    That stunning nugget of information was written in the training pamphlet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @silenceofmind

      People need to realize that the specific purpose of public education is to produce a certain kind of citizen, not produce people who can think clearly about the world around them.
      That isn’t my opinion. When I had first signed up to coach high school I went through a little bit of training and learned that stunning fact there.
      That stunning nugget of information was written in the training pamphlet.

      Well, what I think parents need to realize is that even when the teachers and the educational administrative bureaucracy comes across as well-meaning (i.e., their mission-statement is poll-tested), politicians and bureaucrats set the agenda, not parents.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Politicians and bureaucrats set the agenda, not parents.” Although many school systems go through the motions of listening to parents and concerned citizens, they still move along with their own plans. A very large part of the school day, as I understand it, is taken up with things that have little to do with imparting knowledge and skills.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. As a former military officer and government contractor, I found myself putting up with all kinds of efforts to indoctrinate me. Without a doubt children get the same nonsense in school.

          I also expect the discipline troubles have gotten worse. Of course, we don’t know how measure things like that.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I agree! Teachers I know tell me they spend an increasingly larger part of their day dealing with discipline and basic “this is how we act and treat people” (what you and I were expected to come to school already knowing).

          Liked by 1 person

    2. That means that CO2 content in the atmosphere is minuscule and obviously not enough to cause global warming.

      Nitrogen and oxygen gas are transparent to infrared radiation, greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and water vapour are not. The carbon dioxide concentration on its own is high enough such that infrared photons in the absorption range of carbon dioxide travel about 20 meters at sea level before being absorbed.

      Allow me to illustrate the by a chemical experiment and visual observation. Have a look at this image of solutions of potassium permanganate in water. The most intense one on the right has a concentration of 0.0005 mol/L, which is about 10ppm. According to your “proof” the kalium permanganate ought to be invisible in any of those vials.

      Apart from that, you will want to be very careful with the miniscule hence not harmful reasoning. A glass of water with a dash of potassium cyanide is deadly at concentrations of about 700 ppm. A glass of water with botulinum toxin will kill you at concentrations of about 0.0000002 ppm.

      Allow me to ask: Why does this kind of obvious nonsense go unchallenged by people who claim that mainstream science is wrong on anthropogenic climate change?

      Like

      1. Marm,

        Your googling skills notwithstanding, I recommend that you study just a little real science.

        There is no global warming.

        There is no evidence for global warming.

        Global warming is a hoax based on the use of rigged computer models.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marm,

          A degree in physics doesn’t give you any more common sense than anyone else especially where the Earth’s atmosphere is concerned.

          400 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere cannot cause global warming.

          And the global warming hoax has been proven to be so, over and over again, over the years. Whether it’s Mann and Jones the two lead global hoaxers at Penn State U and Cambridge, cooking data and corrupting peer review, or the UN just making stuff up, the hoax is a matter of public record.

          That means if you believe in global warming it isn’t about science, it’s about ideology.

          You may be a physicist but you are a leftist first if you believe in the hoax of global warming.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. silenceofmind

        Allow me to focus on you accusing Dr. Phil Jones of “cooking the data”, as that one is IMO the easiest to apply common sense to. As Jones is mostly known as a keeper of the instrumental temperature index, perhaps you could detail how exactly he cooked the data. I note that independent calculations (NOAA/NASA, BEST) of the instrumental temperature index come to basically the same conclusion as the UEA one, barring slight differences due to different coverage of the Earth surface. As the NOAA/NASA code is publicly available and a clean reimplemention in Python (ClearClimateCode) is available, we could walk through that code and you could kindly point out to me, where exactly the data is getting cooked. We could even have a look at the differences in the result, when you choose the raw data vs. the quality controlled data. Would you like to go over Model E, the basic climate model of GISS, instead? How about a one-dimensional bare bones model of the atmosphere to see the effect of CO2 in a beaker, so to speak? This is not snark, this is an offer.

        In the meantime, you could apply your common sense, why the average temperature on the Moon is so much lower than on Earth and enlighten me.

        Like

        1. @marmoewp

          I had not bothered to bring up the issue of tampering with the data, but I have blogged about it.

          https://citizentom.com/2009/11/29/the-strange-business-of-climategate/

          https://citizentom.com/2009/12/07/sometimes-the-dragon-wins/

          I chuckled when I read how this Wikipedia article ends.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Jones_(climatologist)

          Here is the Wikipedia version of the story.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_email_controversy

          Here is an explicitly Conservative view.
          http://www.conservapedia.com/Climategate

          As I have said before, because there is a finite supply, I think we should discouraging the burning of fossil fuels. However, the crisis has obviously been overblown. We have people in charge who see a crisis as an excuse for a power grab. So instead of solving problems they exacerbate them. Unfortunately, that is an issue you have chosen to ignore. Otherwise, we could find common ground.

          Anyway, I am curious to see what else silenceofmind has to say. “Cheers” to what I hope is an interesting debate.

          Like

  2. Also, if you look at the mission statement of most public schools you will find nothing at all about teaching students that they have a brain of their own and that they must first train it to think clearly and then educate it.

    The public education system has always been about indoctrination.

    It’s just that for the last 50 years the American public school system has been controlled and operated by leftists.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yet, if the only proof the supposed experts or “scientists” have is a consensus, then they don’t have any SCIENTIFIC proof.

    Consenus is not proof, as your quotes properly point out there is no proof in science outside of mathematics. However, if you were to better inform yourself, predictions based on the understanding of carbon dioxide on the climate and assumptions on how mankind might choose to emit CO2 from fossil fuels in the following decades have been made in the 1980s already, and they have been remarkably successful. Consensus is, what the vast majority of experts working in the field accept as well-established fact. Ignore it at your peril.

    Like

    1. @marmoewp

      silenceofmind has a point. While I understand that certain substances absorb a great deal more electromagnetic radiation than others, there isn’t much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The atmosphere is only 0.04 percent carbon dioxide. So if the temperature of the atmosphere was sensitive to a relatively small change in the percentage of carbon dioxide, the temperature of the atmosphere would not be stable. Yet the temperature of the atmosphere does seem to be relatively stable.

      Then there is this problem. Supposedly the earth has experienced ice ages and global warming in the past. Why? Who knows? In spite of all the hoopla, we don’t have all that much data.

      What is the dominant factor in our weather? The sun, of course. It seems far more likely that climate change is driven by changes in solar radiation, but we don’t know. We don’t know what caused past ice ages and periods of global warming. We don’t have a consensus on that. No, we just have a consensus on excuse for the government to take over everything it can, to implement ridiculous solutions that don’t accomplish what far less draconian measures could do.

      Anyway, I have been watching the crap coming out of the climate change alarmists for decades. I have yet to see any weather changes that could not be explained by simpler explanations like the heat island effect.

      Meanwhile, the alarmists have been given ample opportunity to do something, and all they have tried to do is grab more power and more money. With me and a lot of other people, all they have done is to destroy their credibility. Without credibility, data is useless.

      Like

      1. @Tom

        So if the temperature of the atmosphere was sensitive to a relatively small change in the percentage of carbon dioxide, the temperature of the atmosphere would not be stable.
        CO2 concentration has risen from about 0.027% at the beginning of the industrial revolution to 0.04% today. We have changed the CO2 concentration by a factor of 1.5 and are on the way of changing it more. Problem is both the magnitude and the speed of change of our climate that this change is inducing, as the biosphere and our agriculture will have difficulties adapting to the change in climate in such a short time span. The greenhouse effect is a bit more subtle than generally portraied. Should you be interested I could do a series of posts on my blog walking you through it.

        Supposedly the earth has experienced ice ages and global warming in the past.
        CO2 is not the only “control knob” of climate. There are also changes in the Earth orbit, strong changes in volcanism, changes in the layout of the continents (e.g. the closing of the isthmus between North and South America), variation of solar insolation, to name a few. Changes in the orbit have caused the glaciation periods over the last few hundredthousands of years. These other forcings have been looked at and have been found to not be relalted to current changes.

        What is the dominant factor in our weather? The sun, of course. It seems far more likely that climate change is driven by changes in solar radiation, but we don’t know.
        You are pulling the “far more likely” out of thin air w/o support. Variation of solar insolation has of course been investigated and it has been found to be of less influence over the last century than CO2. Why is it, that you think that obvious sources of influence have not been investigated by people specializing in the study of climate? You are by far not the only one who dismisses main stream science and comes up with this kind of “have you thought of this” attitude about topics which has been covered by scientists decades ago; I find this kind of behaviour odd.

        We don’t know what caused past ice ages and periods of global warming.
        Are you using the majestic plural deliberately? That you don’t know does not mean scientists have not figured it out.

        I have yet to see any weather changes that could not be explained by simpler explanations like the heat island effect.
        The lower troposphere is warming, while the stratosphere is cooling. It is a fingerprint you expect from an increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but not from other kinds of changes of forcings. Care to explain?

        Meanwhile, the alarmists have been given ample opportunity to do something, and all they have tried to do is grab more power and more money.
        Aaaand we are back to “I do not like the solutions, therefore the scientists must be wrong / part of a worldwide cabal”. I do not see any other solution to the climate change we are inducing than stopping the emission of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, and fast. There are no viable solutions to scrub CO2 from the air. If you can efficiently do carbon capture and longterm storage, I am all ears.

        Like

        1. @marmoewp

          Problem is both the magnitude and the speed of change of our climate that this change is inducing, as the biosphere and our agriculture will have difficulties adapting to the change in climate in such a short time span.

          The only answer I have to that is an eye roll.
          🙄

          Do we have theories as to what caused climate change in the past? (see => http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/pd/climate/factsheets/whatcause.pdf). It stands to reason that if some people think the climate changed in the past other people would immediately start coming up with more theories.

          You are pulling the “far more likely” out of thin air w/o support. Variation of solar insolation has of course been investigated and it has been found to be of less influence over the last century than CO2.

          Since the change is negligible, I agree.

          The mathematics of orbital mechanics is fairly well established. So it is difficult to argue the amount of solar radiation we receive and the change in the earth’s tilt has not had a role in climate change. How that change works is still speculative.

          We also don’t have all that much data on the behavior of the sun itself. Just an 11 year cycle? I hope so. Still, if there is more variation then we don’t know how much the solar radiation we receive varies independent of orbital changes. It may be obvious, but we don’t have data that goes back thousands of years. We just have investigators who have had halfway decent tools for about 40 years.

          Aaaand we are back to “I do not like the solutions, therefore the scientists must be wrong / part of a worldwide cabal”.

          I have told you over and over again. I can think of good reasons independent of the global warming scare to tax the consumption of fossil fuels. Instead of discussing that, you insist I become a believer. And then what? If the solution won’t work because it is just plain stupid, what are we supposed to do then?

          It is a simple fact that we now depend upon inexpensive energy to feed, cloth, and shelter ourselves. Unless you want people to starve, then can’t stop using fossil fuels as our energy source without a viable replacement. So the simple solution is to tax the consumption of fossil fuels and give private entrepreneurs an incentive to come up with alternative energy sources. However, if we do that, we need to drop other taxes proportionately.

          Is taxing the consumption of fossil fuels a guaranteed solution? No, but giving someone like Obama too much power just made things worse.

          Consider what you are after. It is not a technical fix. It is a political fix. If you can get what you want without making people believe in global warming, does it really make any difference?

          Like

        2. It stands to reason that if some people think the climate changed in the past other people would immediately start coming up with more theories.
          I do not understand, what you are trying to say. It is unclear to me, what “start coming up with more theories” is refering to (past ice ages, the last two centuries, …). Please elaborate.

          A further favor I’d like to ask: please honor the distinction between theory (established, self-consistent body of facts and explanations that has stood the test of time) and hypothesis (this might be an explanation, let’s investigate) when used in the context of science. Not doing so needlessly muddies the meaning of your writing.

          Like

        3. @marmoewp

          One theory leads to another. We do speculate a lot, and some people consider their speculations a bit too sacred. Academics, who often make their living off of theorizing, can be forgiven for taking themselves too seriously, but the rest of us?

          When someone tells me what happened thousands, millions, and billions of years in the past, I see little reason to take it too seriously. Unless I see some relevance to today, I definitely don’t see much reason to worry about it.

          Observation: Since you are trying to get me to accept global warming as an established fact, I don’t think I will grant you that favor you want.

          Like

        4. @Tom

          I had no intention to trick you into implicitly accepting AGW by calling it a theory, but I see how you could read my comment as such. Sorry for that.

          Do I want to convince you that AGW is a real? Definitely. But I can’t do that by playing semantics. I want to convince you that the concerns are based in real facts, as I know that this problem can only be solved when all political orientations work together.

          I am accustomed to the world of research in natural science. In that world the riddles and puzzles nature poses to us are complicated enough, that playing semantics is seen as a distraction and a sign of unclear thinking. People engaging in such tend to be ignored as a waste of time. I am aware that muddying the water can be a effective tool in politics and daily life, but I had hoped you were genuinely interested in finding out, whether or not AGW is real and willing to question your own convictions on the science, To me, understanding what the problem is and how (if existent and important to address) to deal with it are two different subjects entirely. If you are willing to take the word of an anonymous little blue gecko, I am here to discuss the science with you, not the political consequences you want to or do not want to draw from the results.

          Like

        5. @marmoewp

          I did not think you were trying to trick me, and I don’t distrust you.

          I have five brothers and sisters. Our politics range quite a bit, but I am probably the most Conservative. To hate or distrust Democrat Liberals, I would have to hate or distrust my own brothers and sisters. I don’t, but I do sometimes think them quite misguided, and they often think the same of me.

          I have a strong science and engineering background. Therefore, I don’t have as much difficulty as most people understanding the theory behind global warming. What matters to me, however, is the politics. Why? I am far more impressed by the desire of politicians for power than I am by their efforts to stop global warming.

          The efforts of politicians to stop global warming are in fact farcical. Therefore, regardless of the truth about global warming, I think we have to fix our political system first.

          You are a physicist, right? Naturally, you tend to focus on the science, and you are accustomed to seeing agreement. Physics is, after after, one of the hard sciences. However, people have always looked at the same evidence and reached different conclusions. Just because we are having a scientific discussion does not change that. That is true even of mathematics.

          Here is a simple example. You say 2 + 2 = 4? Are you sure about that? => https://citizentom.com/2008/06/22/what-is-mathematical-proof-does-2-2-4/. As a physicist, I expect you know better. Numbers are not reality; we can only use numbers to model reality, but sometimes we forget the distinction.

          Anyway, while I understand your desire to focus on the technical question (and admit I brought it up), I consider the problem primarily political. Unfortunately, because politicians are using the public schools for indoctrination, that includes the technical question. If we want a market place for ideas, then we need to question whether government owned and operated school systems are appropriate.

          Like

      1. silenceofmind,

        while biomass does indeed increase slightly, it is not enough to make a sizable dent into rise of atmospheric CO2. Bookkeeping shows up, that roughly half of the CO2 from fossil fuel goes into the oceans, the rest into the atmosphere. The levels are there to not go down appreciably for the next thousands of years to come, as natural processes that permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere work at way lower rates than we add it. Think of a bathtub being drained by a straw while being filled by a fire hose on full throttle.

        I observe that you throw out assertions and abandon them as soon as they get challenged.

        Like

        1. Marm,

          You and others like you need to understand that all data pointing to global warming is bogus.

          That’s why global warming is a hoax.

          The notion of global warming comes from computer models, not any real evidence.

          And of course, the computer models are bogus too.

          Just follow the money.

          Al Gore has put in a request for a measly 14 trillion dollars to combat global warming.

          What happened?

          We all thought President Obama was gong to fix everything.

          But he didn’t. He didn’t because he can’t.

          Global warming is a hoax.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. silenceofmind

          I want to figure out, where your “all data pointing to global warming is bogus” starts. So here is a first question for you. All else being equal, would a doubling of the concentration of a greenhouse gas (i.e. transparent in the visible part of the spectrum, absorbing in the infrared part of the spectrum corresponding to the thermal emissions from Earth) in the Earth’s atmosphere increase the mean temperature of the Earth’s surface? I am not asking magnitude of the effect, I am asking yes or no.

          Like

  4. King Solomon Ecclesiastes had a simple conclusion.

    He commented he wasted a lot of time to figure it out. Shame no one is interested in reading about him, If they did, the would not waste a lot of time too. We really do not have a lot of time, and the can be proven scientifically.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stephen

    “Because of theories like Global Warming and the Theory of Evolution, politicians have politicized science.” Should we, then, exclude all theories from science education?

    “We have these people who don’t understand science demanding that we accept some supposed scientific consensus as proof of a scientific hypothesis.” That consensus is actually part of the Scientific Method. A scientist, after testing a verified hypothesis, publishes his work which is then peer reviewed and further shared and reviewed. If the consensus of the majority of scientists in that field agree with the validity of the hypothesis, it becomes a theory. After time and more observation and more peer review and consensus, it develops into a theory, much like the theory of gravity. So a consensus of scientists specializing in geothermal studies saying that man contributes to a certain degree to global climate change is essential to the Scientific Method and man’s approach to science in general.

    The observation you posted seems to be someone going off the deep end with the Problem of Induction. Yes, induction cannot make absolute truth claims but it is primarily how we engage in the natural world. To say we place “faith” in any scientific theory is a bit of a misnomer and ignores the phenomenological side of things e.g. we have observed that an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Could this be disproven? Yes. Has it? No. Can we trust it for the time being? Yes.

    Also, biology is not a soft science. Politics, economics, sociology, and other more metaphysical sciences are soft sciences.

    Like

    1. I said the following in my post.

      So why was I there? I don’t think politicians should be running schools. The public school system is a socialist system. A socialist system ends up serving the people who run the system, not the people that that system is supposed to benefit. Therefore, I am hoping Secretary DeVos will have some success as she advocates school choice.

      Wonder how you missed that? Still you asked that question.

      Is consensus part of the scientific method? It is in the sense that scientists share the results of their experiments and try to duplicate each others results, but the results of the experiments and logic are suppose to decide whether or not a hypothesis is disproved.

      Keep in mind the global warming alarmists expected us to be suffering from some extraordinary weather at this point, but we are still having the same old weather. You don’t like it? Wait a bit, and it will change.

      Geothermal studies? What kind of weather are you talking about?

      Biology is a hard science? I have a fair background in chemistry. Many of the molecules found in the various lifeforms that inhabit our planet are extremely large and complex. That makes them difficult to study. When I first graduated from college and entered a graduate program, I discovered what is meant by the phrase a little knowledge is dangerous. I did some work studying photosynthesis, and I was surprised how much we did not know. When I peruse what is known today, it seems we have progressed quite a bit. Still, medicine is an art. Psychiatrists proscribe powerful drugs that they use because they seem to work, but how is often still a guess. And psychologists are still in business because we have not got a better idea.

      We call politics, economics, sociology soft sciences because we have so much trouble understanding the complexities of our interactions. Yet our bodies are more complex than our societies.

      I note that you did not criticize

      Like

      1. Stephen

        That quote is a bit of a non-sequitur.

        “Is consensus part of the scientific method?” Yes.

        “…but the results of the experiments and logic are suppose to decide whether or not a hypothesis is disproved.” And when it has been tested and replicated, then it is not solely a hypothesis but a theory, not unlike the theory of gravity. Yes, gravity is still a theory, yet we base numerous decisions on it such as flying airplanes.

        “Keep in mind the global warming alarmists expected us to be suffering from some extraordinary weather at this point, but we are still having the same old weather.” Actually no, we have not. But then this has nothing to do with what I said.

        “Geothermal studies? What kind of weather are you talking about?” As in the study of the temperature of the earth.

        “Biology is a hard science?” Whether something is a hard or soft science has nothing to do with its complexity but on it basis in testable predictions. Hence, biology is a hard science since you can test and observe the phenomenon of mitosis but in a soft science like politics you really have no test you can run to come to an observable phenomenon in the same manner. Hence, politics is a subset of metaphysics and other soft sciences i.e. philosophy.

        Like

        1. @Stephen

          Look up the definition of “geothermal”.

          Global warming not really a scientific theory in the sense it models the relationship between cause and effect. It is really just an assertion that the the earth is getting warming because we are burning fossil fuels. The problem is proving that burning fossil fuels will make the earth unpleasantly warm. Nobody has done that yet. No one can do that.

          What makes it difficult to form an test a hypothesis? Complex system have more interacting causes and effects. In the laboratory, physicists, chemists, and biologists seek to make one change and hold everything else constant. Physicists and chemists find that much easier to do than biologists.

          Think of it this way. Meteorology is really just the physics of the atmosphere. Our atmosphere is a huge and highly complex system. We cannot put it in a laboratory. So what we do is model the earth’s weather using computer models. Our predictions with those models become less accurate with time. At best they are good for about a week.

          Why do our predictions break down with time? The further out we make a weather prediction the more factors we have to consider, and the better we have to understand how those factors affect the weather. When we start making predictions ten years out, we are just guessing.

          Will increasing the amount of carbon dioxide increase the temperature of our planet? I don’t know. It is not a risk I really want to take. However, what environmental activists have proposed to fix the problem is socialism, and that will just make things worst.

          If the solution were just to slowly replace the income tax with a tax on the consumption of fossil fuels, I would support it. Since the supply of fossil fuels is limited, it makes sense to discourage the use of what is ultimately a finite resource. But a government power grab won’t do any good. Look at any authoritarian nation. Their environments are a mess.

          Like

        2. Stephen

          “It is really just an assertion that the the earth is getting warming because we are burning fossil fuels.” That is immensely untrue. Its not like the majority of the world’s scientists in this field of study just decided they were going to rag on fossil fuel for the lolz.

          Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s