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April 14, 2006

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» The role of doubt in science from The Power of Doubt
Sissy points out a valuable article by Thomas Lifson... So long as we allow ourselves to doubt our own beliefs and conceptions, we can break free from previous errors and learn new things. So long as we are certain that our beliefs cannot be wrong, w... [Read More]

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Our office closes at noon (20 minutes from now) and I'm heading home to throw open the windows and permit my two indoor boys to vicariously experience the great outdoors! Meanwhile, I will be cleaning and doing laundry since they are singularly disinclined to help with those chores. Ah well - I love them anyway!

I can't remember where I read this but Time magazine and several other publications,newspapers and TV networks actually give millions to these organizations that promote global warming and in turn . . . these organizations place millions of dollars worth of advertising with said companies.

It achieves a convergence,so to speak,of various media speaking the same language so that everywhere we turn,the global warning issue screams at us from every corner. It's the new groupthink for the enlightened.

Didn't the big thing in the 70's used to be that the earth was cooling and a new ice age would be upon us ?

It's in the 70's here in Pensacola, Florida.Very, very nice day ahead of me.

There's a lot of herd instinct at work in the world at the moment.

Mankind tends to seek approbation of others. In many it becomes an overwhelming need that trumps the search for truth. The more canine the person the greater the need. The more feline the person the less need and the greater the ability to follow the path for the truth even when it tends to isolate one from the pack.

Early scientists would be right at home with this environment. Aristole's findings were denounced by the Church. Galileo was found guilty of heresy.

Today's scientist heretics have the "scientific community" and the press after them, not to mention rabid environmentalists.

I'm trying to think of which set might have been in more danger for the views they held or hold. The only change since the days of the Inquisition is that it's "Scientists" instead of Cardinals who are pronouncing sentence.

Unethical Scientists?

Promoting hysteria without basis?

Shocking...

This is really off topic but the serene photo at the top of the page is comforting. I have a bad cold so was trying to just live through it today and even without cold medicine I was so jumpy.

Then an airplane flew by our house so low that I thought it was going to crash.

Within an hour another shocking thing happened. A ninety-five year old woman fainted behind the wheel of her car and careened into our brick mailbox in front of our house.

She is in the hospital for observation overnight. The doctors think the pain she felt in her chest was due to the airbag deployment. The lady is really sweet and we are praying for her.

Even though I busied myself taking photos of the car and mailbox (it was just so weird looking) I think I was in a state of shock.

Tonight both my husband and I feel very anxious about her. This in no way was anywhere near the impact of 911 but still a very quiet day was shattered and we were just in the house.

I think it probably upset our neighbors as well and of course the sweet widow. Amazing how one moment can bring such shock and stress.

I'm trying to think of which set might have been in more danger for the views they held or hold. The only change since the days of the Inquisition is that it's "Scientists" instead of Cardinals who are pronouncing sentence.

You said it, Teresa! Modern scientists, attempting to use empirical observation and computer modeling to prove a point, are just like the Inquisition. Just last week, I was reading about a guy who spoke up against global warming and was promptly placed on The Stretcher, after which a hot iron was shoved up his ass as he spent the night sleeping in the Iron Maiden. You hit the nail on the head with that one, so to speak... just be careful of the eco-Inquisition, they might be after YOU now.

Willful blindness -- not to mention crude language -- can occur at any time, CJ. Persuasive argumentation, on the other hand, can be more elusive.

Um... CJ - go read up on Galileo. Not all the Inquisition penalties were the physical torture you so describe. If you had taken the time to go look you would find that Galileo was put under house arrest, his work was denounced publicly, and he had to sneak out his last manuscript in order to get it printed before he died. For that matter he was supposed to be in prison, but they allowed him to stay with a local Bishop or Cardinal because of his health (yeah real mean of them wasn't it - sheer torture - makes me think Gitmo). And the reason for the penalty was based on the decision of the tribunal of Cardinals to declare Aristotle's work to be heresy.

What happens today is much the same - the scientists are ostracized by the majority - their views are suppressed because they don't conform to the current ideology - they lose their funding and their ability to publish their work in journals considered to be "respected" by the profession they are in.

Now tell me again about hot pokers and Iron Maidens and just how that fits into what I was trying to say.

I don't know, Sissy. Look to the animals. What about all those polar bears drowning?

I think there's as much of a herd instinct operating among conservatives who feel compelled to pooh-pooh global warming as among scientists who feel compelled to "promote" it. In both cases, it's the way to be noticed and honored by one's peers.

A clever and well written reposte, amba, but not all behavior is honor-related, even among polar bears. Sometimes a cooling trend is just a cooling trend.

It's not a cooling trend that's drowning the bears, though (support your right to drown bears?).

Four drowned bears have been found. The rest is extrapolation, with a helpful assist from a breathless media. As an environmental skeptic, I would like to know more before taking advocates at their word. While the Arctic shelf may be receding, the Antarctic may be advancing. But the point I was making is that placing the "blame" for global warming on our species is more a matter of faith than one of rigorous scientific inquiry. I am fascinated with the hubris that imagines we have the power to turn back the forces of Mother Nature. Think sun spots!

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