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Switch to Forum Live View Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen (R) says Earth is 6,000 years old.
3 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2012 - 1:19AM #1
steven_guy
Posts: 11,751

www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtzJhTfQiMA&feat...
Very sad for people living in Arizona.




Oops! This should have been in the Origins of Life discussion.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2012 - 8:25AM #2
McAtheist
Posts: 8,355

Anti-evolution and anti-environmentalism --- or is that all just anti-science?


Do you think there's is a correlation between people who think the Earth is 6000 years old and people who think they have "dominion" over the Earth and can thus pillage at will? or between YECs and "end timers"?  Does believing one completely unsubstantiated myth make you more open to additional unsubstantiated myths?

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2012 - 8:53AM #3
JRT
Posts: 340

 


Over the last little while I have been pondering a phenomenon that has been going on most of my life. At first I thought that it was a relatively modern thing but it actually has been going on for a very long time. I am referring to the Deniers and Conspiracy Theorists. While they might seem to be different behaviours, I think they have a commonality in the sort of mind that subscribes to them. What also struck me as curious is the number of them that are centered around science, technology and medicine. Let me list a few.



>> the link between tobacco and cancer, particularly lung cancer



>> the fluoridation of water supplies to prevent tooth decay



>> the role of chlorofluorinated hydrocarbons in the deterioration of the ozone layer



>> the build up of DDT in the food chain and its effect on both human health and reproduction success in birds



>> the link between HIV and AIDS



>> the role of vaccination in causing other health issues



>> the historicity of the moon landings



>> the human role in CO2 production and climate change



This is hardly an exhaustive list and it is easy to also point out others that have very little, if any, linkage to science, technology or medicine. For example, the historicity of the Holocaust and of 9/11 and also the events surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy.



What most puzzles me most is the state of mind of both those who advocate these theories and those who so readily subscribe to them. I will throw out a few random thoughts here in the hope that they will generate some discussion.



>> fear and powerlessness --- people feel overwhelmed by events that are beyond their control and require a scapegoat on which to pin their frustration and their anger.



>> fear and ignorance --- people are frightened by their own lack of understanding of the concepts and issues involved and suggest that 'the intellectuals' are trying to put one over on them.



>> the 'little guy syndrome' --- people fear big organizations, big government in particualar, and feel the need to lash out at them by suggesting that the little guy is being somehow exploited.



>> religion and political ideologies --- in at least a few cases the culprit is viewed as challenging religious and/or political beliefs.



To illustrate this last point we could look at two examples.



Political --- the fluoridation of water supplies to prevent tooth decay was opposed as a tactic by communists to poison the whole nation. This was particularly effective in the days of the 'red menace' but has a modern counterpart in the paranoia surrounding international terrorism.



Religious --- new technologies are viewed as challenging religious understandings. This goes back a long way in history. Two hundred years ago Timothy Dwight, Presbyterian minister and president of Yale University wrote “If God had decreed from all eternity that a certain person should die of smallpox, it would be a frightful sin to avoid and annul that decree by the trick of vaccination.” Today we see an echo of that religious fear in the debate surrounding stem cell research.



The final observation is that it seems to me that deniers, conspiracy theorists, and biblical creationists are often the same people. What think you?

the floggings will continue until morale improves
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2012 - 9:45AM #4
Ken
Posts: 33,859

Sylvia Allen is stupid and so is everyone who voted for her.

Moderated by Jcarlinbn on Apr 19, 2012 - 11:04PM
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2012 - 11:28AM #5
d_p_m
Posts: 10,091

Apr 19, 2012 -- 8:53AM, JRT wrote:


The final observation is that it seems to me that deniers, conspiracy theorists, and biblical creationists are often the same people. What think you?




Not always. There is one thing on your list of examples that I have my doubts about, that being anthropogenic causes of climate change, or the magnitude and effect of the anthropogenic component of climate change.


It's pretty clear that the science is seriously incomplete, and that our understanding of what we are trying to model is spotty at best. It's one thing to model the dynamics of a new aircraft propeller... we have a fairly complete understanding of fluid dynamics, which has grown over a long time, with mathematical models validated by wind tunnel and other tests. We can measure and control the parameters of our tests, and we can examine the compression patterns, etc. in detail.


Climate models are more indefinite, and not subject to nearly as much validation. Actual data is limited in important ways. We still haven't identified and quantified all the factors. Data on things like CO2 absorption and release mechanisms, ecological response to temperature change, thickness of Arctic and Himalayan ice change as we get better measurements. It is fairly clear that CRU resisted transparent release of information about collection and adjustments of data sets. It is also fairly clear that certain scientists proposing a major role for anthropogenic warming tried to block both publication of dissenting papers, and appointments of dissenters to certain positions.


Right now we have too many variables, too many assumptions, and too many unknowns to come to conclusions about the ultimate effects of anthropogenic climate influences.


The situation is exacerbated by the number of people who stand to make money from 'global warming' and 'green energy'. We're talking billions, and trillions here. One of the 'investigators' of the CRU had financial interests in carbon trading... an artificial market that is making someone a lot of money. Subsidies for green energy are big, no, huge business.... and a handy means of economic warfare, if you can manipulate people sufficiently. Certainly green energy is going to double or triple our hydro bills over the next few years, and that has a chilling effect on the competitiveness of all our businesses with respect to other parts of the world. The self appointed 'climate change victim countries' asked the industrialized countries for a trillion dollars over 5 years as interim compensation while they figured out how much more they deserved (wanted). Throw that much money around, or dangle it as an opportunity, and see how fast objectivity and neutrality go out the window.


Most consipiracy theories are silly, and this is probably not a 'conspiracy' in the global sense, but a lot of people as individuals and groups stand to gain a lot of money and power by promoting a sense of crisis about anthropogenic warming.


"If you aren't confused by quantum physics, you haven't really understood it."

― Niels Bohr



"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

-- Albert Einstein
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2012 - 12:34PM #6
amcolph
Posts: 17,972

Apr 19, 2012 -- 11:28AM, d_p_m wrote:


 


Most consipiracy theories are silly, and this is probably not a 'conspiracy' in the global sense, but a lot of people as individuals and groups stand to gain a lot of money and power by promoting a sense of crisis about anthropogenic warming.





And a lot of people stand to retain a lot of money and power by denying it--the same people who have worked so hard to convince the rank-and-file of the Religious Right that unregulated corporate capitalism is the only economic system consistent with biblical principles.

This post contains no advertisements or solicitations.
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2012 - 1:30PM #7
lucaspa
Posts: 557

Apr 19, 2012 -- 11:28AM, d_p_m wrote:


Not always. There is one thing on your list of examples that I have my doubts about, that being anthropogenic causes of climate change, or the magnitude and effect of the anthropogenic component of climate change.


It's pretty clear that the science is seriously incomplete, and that our understanding of what we are trying to model is spotty at best. ....Climate models are more indefinite, and not subject to nearly as much validation.



I refer you to a Scientific American article on the subject.  It's in the Aug 2007 issue, page 64. "The Physics of Climate Change".  The graph on page 66 shows how climatologists have eliminated all the other possible causes for rising temperature except human activity. 


Actual data is limited in important ways. We still haven't identified and quantified all the factors. Data on things like CO2 absorption and release mechanisms, ecological response to temperature change, thickness of Arctic and Himalayan ice change as we get better measurements. It is fairly clear that CRU resisted transparent release of information about collection and adjustments of data sets. It is also fairly clear that certain scientists proposing a major role for anthropogenic warming tried to block both publication of dissenting papers, and appointments of dissenters to certain positions.



What you are doing is repeating the tactics of every group who is trying to deny science they don't like.  We've seen them all in the evolution vs creationism argument:  we weren't there at the time of creation and therefore our data is limited, evolution changes as we get more data, so the central statements of evolution must be wrong, evolutionary biologists won't release data that contradict evolution, scientists who support evolution block ID and creationist papers and fire people who dissent.  Sound familiar? That is your list taken in order.  None of them are true for GW, none are true for evolution.


But when you don't like the data -- in this case data indicating that human activity is causing global warming, and that global warming in turn is going to have adverse consequences -- then these are the tactics to cast doubt on the science.  You have fallen for the tactics hook, line, and sinker.  So ask yourself, how does global warming threaten you personally?  Do you not like some of the proposed means to limit GW?  Such as more fuel efficient cars (there goes the SUV), public transportation, taxes on emission of greenhouse gasses, stock in oil companies,  work for an industry that might have to downsize if reduction in greenhouse gas emissions occur?   


The situation is exacerbated by the number of people who stand to make money from 'global warming' and 'green energy'. We're talking billions, and trillions here.



And people stand to lose billions and trillions if we move away from fossil fuels.  Who do you think funds all those websites and organizations against GW.? 


One of the 'investigators' of the CRU had financial interests in carbon trading..


Would you please document that?  Thank you.


Subsidies for green energy are big, no, huge business.... and a handy means of economic warfare, if you can manipulate people sufficiently.



And less than the subsidies for big oil.  They already have manipulated people successfully.  Look at the record profits of oil companies.  Think that might be a motive for attacking the science of GW?  This argument looks more like psychological projection than any scientific objection.


d_p_m:  The scientists collecting the data, doing the modelling, and reaching the conclusions are not in that group.  What's more, when they started the theory was that human activity was not affecting climate!  So they followed data to falsify the current accepted theory.

"If sound science appears to contradict the Bible, we may be sure that it is our interpretation of the Bible that is at fault."  Christian Observer, 1832, pg. 437

"Christians should look on evolution simply as the method by which God works."  James McCosh, theologian and President of Princeton, The Religious Aspects of Evolution, 2d ed. 1890, pg 68.
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2012 - 2:19PM #8
d_p_m
Posts: 10,091

Apr 19, 2012 -- 12:34PM, amcolph wrote:


Apr 19, 2012 -- 11:28AM, d_p_m wrote:


Most consipiracy theories are silly, and this is probably not a 'conspiracy' in the global sense, but a lot of people as individuals and groups stand to gain a lot of money and power by promoting a sense of crisis about anthropogenic warming.




And a lot of people stand to retain a lot of money and power by denying it--the same people who have worked so hard to convince the rank-and-file of the Religious Right that unregulated corporate capitalism is the only economic system consistent with biblical principles.




Oh, there is an anthropogenic warming effect.


The questions are


(1) how much will it move the mean temperatur?


(2) how will those temperature changes be distributed?


(3) what other factors drive climate, and how much?


(4) what will be the ultimate effect on a practical, economic, and ecological level?


It's not that there's not a lot of money on all sides of the issue, but it would be a mistake to think that all warmists are on the side of the angels, while all skeptics are greedy oil barons.


And I really do think the science is far from settled.


And there's a lot of alarmism, both from people prone to get swept up by the media hype, and, I suspect, by those who have something to gain from policy and economic changes.


Examples:


1. The Bering Straits were supposed to be 'ice free' by now due to global warming. Instead, the ice cover is extremely heavy.


2. The Himalayan glaciers were supposed to melt over the next few decades. Then, the IPCC admitted that maybe they wouldn'd. The latest satellite data (out this week) indicates they are gaining ice.


3. A large ice river/glacier was flowing faster and faster off Antarctica, held up as an example of the effect of global warming. Then the British got a drone sub under it, and determined that the reason it was accelerating was that it was wearing away a rock ridge that had been holding it back. (fun footnote - the sub was powered by 5,000 D cells).


4. Carbon dioxide levels were supposed to be paramount in determining temperature, but recent evidence shows that in the past, CO2 levels were much higher than today, without the temperature increase current models would predict.


5. The ice in Antarctica is getting thicker, according to recent satellite data. It's also getting colder.


6. Forest ecologies are not responding to heat increases as predicted.


7. A recent economic analysis indicated that a modest temperature rise would benefit farmers in some of the poorest countries.


8. There was something recent about a CO2 sink that had not been anticipated, but I'll have to go looking for it.


9. Very recent data (mentioned in the last month) disproves the warmist contention that the Medieval Warm Period was a Europe only anomaly, but shows that it was world-wide.


10. CERN is looking at data about cosmic rays that may indicate a significant variation in heating due to cosmic ray levels. That one is not proven, but suggestive. More study needed.


11. Variations in solar output may be a larger driver than previously suspected. We may be looking at a coming solar minimum, as the magnetic fields in the sun change. Certainly there is something changing up there.


12. There have been recent suggestions that the effects of aerosols has been underestimated in current models.


13. It is also not clear we fully understand the interaction of ocean currents with the rest of the cllmate. There was something new in the last few months about the causes of salinity changes in the Atlantic, but I've forgotten the details.


In short, we have too short a database, too many fuzzy variables, and not enough understanding of the interactions of all the factors, some of which may not yet have been identified.


Does CO2 promote warming? Yes. What does this mean for us? I don't think we know yet.


For that matter, the various cost benefit analyses seem to concentrate more on proving points than actually analyzing all the costs and benefits of all the alternatives.





"If you aren't confused by quantum physics, you haven't really understood it."

― Niels Bohr



"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

-- Albert Einstein
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2012 - 2:23PM #9
d_p_m
Posts: 10,091

Apr 19, 2012 -- 1:30PM, lucaspa wrote:


I refer you to a Scientific American article on the subject.  It's in the Aug 2007 issue, page 64. "The Physics of Climate Change".  The graph on page 66 shows how climatologists have eliminated all the other possible causes for rising temperature except human activity.




Maybe. I'll try to look at it. Absolutist phrases like 'all other possible' do make me wince a bit, particularly knowing how often we've discovered we don't understand complex systems as well as we thought.


And 2007 is getting a bit behind the curve, as a number of things that throw doubt on some of the conclusions have only come to light in the last couple of years. Nor does that statement say much about 'all possible cooling effects', which may also be important.

"If you aren't confused by quantum physics, you haven't really understood it."

― Niels Bohr



"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

-- Albert Einstein
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 19, 2012 - 4:09PM #10
MMarcoe
Posts: 17,220

... a creationist [should be] Educated and set straigh.


The ones who are converted sometimes go on to become the best advocates.


 

Moderated by Jcarlinbn on Apr 19, 2012 - 11:01PM
1. Extremists think that thinking means agreeing with them.
2. There are three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth.
3. God is just a personification of reality, of pure objectivity.
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