Why 'scientific consensus' fails to persuade

Sep 14, 2010

Suppose a close friend who is trying to figure out the facts about climate change asks whether you think a scientist who has written a book on the topic is a knowledgeable and trustworthy expert. You see from the dust jacket that the author received a Ph.D. in a pertinent field from a major university, is on the faculty at another one, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Would you advise your friend that the scientist seems like an "expert"?

If you are like most people, the answer is likely to be, "it depends." What it depends on, a recent study found, is not whether the position that scientist takes is consistent with the one endorsed by a National Academy. Instead, it is likely to depend on whether the position the scientist takes is consistent with the one believed by most people who share your cultural values.

This was the finding of a recent study conducted by Yale University law professor Dan Kahan, University of Oklahoma political science professor Hank Jenkins-Smith and George Washington University law professor Donald Braman that sought to understand why members of the public are sharply and persistently divided on matters on which expert scientists largely agree.

"We know from previous research," said Dan Kahan, "that people with individualistic values, who have a strong attachment to commerce and industry, tend to be skeptical of claimed environmental risks, while people with egalitarian values, who resent economic inequality, tend to believe that commerce and industry harms the environment."

In the study, subjects with individualistic values were over 70 percentage points less likely than ones with egalitarian values to identify the scientist as an expert if he was depicted as describing as an established risk. Likewise, egalitarian subjects were over 50 percentage points less likely than individualistic ones to see the scientist as an expert if he was described as believing evidence on climate change is unsettled.

Study results were similar when subjects were shown information and queried about other matters that acknowledge "scientific consensus." Subjects were much more likely to see a scientist with elite credentials as an "expert" when he or she took a position that matched the subjects' own cultural values on risks of nuclear waste disposal and laws permitting citizens to carry concealed guns in public.

"These are all matters," Kahan said, "on which the has issued 'expert consensus' reports." Using the reports as a benchmark," Kahan explained that "no cultural group in our study was more likely than any other to be 'getting it right'," i.e. correctly identifying scientific consensus on these issues. They were all just as likely to report that 'most' scientists favor the position rejected by the National Academy of Sciences consensus report if the report reached a conclusion contrary to their own cultural predispositions."

In a separate survey component, the study also found that the American public in general is culturally divided on what "scientific consensus" is on climate change, nuclear waste disposal, and concealed-handgun laws.

"The problem isn't that one side 'believes' science and another side 'distrusts' it," said Kahan referring to an alternate theory of why there is political conflict on matters that have been extensively researched by scientists.

He said the more likely reason for the disparity, as supported by the research results, "is that people tend to keep a biased score of what experts believe, counting a scientist as an 'expert' only when that scientist agrees with the position they find culturally congenial."

Understanding this, the researchers then could draw some conclusions about why scientific consensus seems to fail to settle public policy debates when the subject is relevant to cultural positions.

"It is a mistake to think 'scientific consensus,' of its own force, will dispel cultural polarization on issues that admit scientific investigation," said Kahan. "The same psychological dynamics that incline people to form a particular position on climate change, nuclear power and gun control also shape their perceptions of what 'scientific consensus' is."

"The problem won't be fixed by simply trying to increase trust in scientists or awareness of what scientists believe," added Braman. "To make sure people form unbiased perceptions of what scientists are discovering, it is necessary to use communication strategies that reduce the likelihood that citizens of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments."

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More information: The Journal of Risk Research published the study online today.

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3432682
3.5 / 5 (16) Sep 14, 2010
How about we check the temperature, instead of the politics?
marjon
2.2 / 5 (29) Sep 14, 2010
people who share your cultural values.

Socialism is a 'cultural value'?
Egalitarianism vs Individualism?
Individuals like myself support equality of opportunity and equality of personal and economic rights. Is that not what egalitarianism means too?
We now have another biased article redefining 'egalitarianism' to mean 'progressivism' which is really socialism, something that is equality of misery.
"it is necessary to use communication strategies that reduce the likelihood that citizens of diverse values will find scientific findings threatening to their cultural commitments.""
It is necessary for scientists to learn how to lie better?
Face it AGWites, your science is still too uncertain for many to trust regardless of your faith in the models.
marjon
2.4 / 5 (23) Sep 14, 2010
Reversing the issue, why isn't Lindzen, a PhD climatologist from MIT, part of the consensus or many other well published PhD climatologists who are not part of the faith?
NSF is naval gazing, wondering why they are not trusted, blaming everyone but themselves, and trying to scientifically prove it is not their fault.
Typical.
marjon
2 / 5 (16) Sep 14, 2010
"Alexander Berkman contended that: "equality does not mean an equal amount but equal opportunity... Do not make the mistake of identifying equality in liberty with the forced equality of the convict camp. True anarchist equality implies freedom, not quantity. It does not mean that every one must eat, drink, or wear the same things, do the same work, or live in the same manner. Far from it: the very reverse in fact... Individual needs and tastes differ, as appetites differ. It is equal opportunity to satisfy them that constitutes true equality... Far from levelling, such equality opens the door for the greatest possible variety of activity and development. For human character is diverse." [18]"
http://en.wikiped..._note-17
I am sure this is not how NSF defines egalitarianism.
marjon
2.8 / 5 (22) Sep 14, 2010
"We want to know whether a scientific consensus is based on solid evidence and sound reasoning, or social pressure and groupthink."
"Anyone who has studied the history of science knows that scientists are not immune to the non-rational dynamics of the herd. Many false ideas enjoyed consensus opinion at one time."
"when to consider doubting a scientific “consensus,” ":
(1) When different claims get bundled together.
(2) When ad hominem attacks against dissenters predominate {like this article}
(3) When scientists are pressured to toe the party line.
(4) When publishing and peer review in the discipline is cliquish.
(5) When dissenting opinions are excluded from the relevant peer-reviewed literature not because of weak evidence or bad arguments but as part of a strategy to marginalize dissent.
(12) When we keep being told that there’s a scientific consensus."
http://www.americ...onsensus

Arkaleus
3.7 / 5 (10) Sep 14, 2010
How about we check the temperature, instead of the politics?


Quite simply: There is no money to be made in temperatures and arguing from science does not help the factions gain power over the Republic.
ereneon
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 14, 2010
"equality of misery"
Haha, I like that.
marjon
3.8 / 5 (11) Sep 14, 2010
"equality of misery"
Haha, I like that.

The full quote:
"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
Winston Churchill "
Thrasymachus
3.9 / 5 (14) Sep 14, 2010
And in case anyone was in doubt as to the point of the article, we have marjon on display here as a perfect illustration.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (17) Sep 14, 2010
And in case anyone was in doubt as to the point of the article, we have marjon on display here as a perfect illustration.

Thanks for demonstrating my point.
marjon
2.5 / 5 (17) Sep 14, 2010
"Even before GlacierGate, many external reviewers had bitterly complained that lead authors of the report’s various chapters solicit their opinion only to ignore it in the final summary if it contradicts their conclusions – creating an impression of a faux scientific consensus. "
"Equally absurd is the academy’s suggestion that the IPCC enhance its “media-relations capacity” in order to communicate better with “audiences beyond scientists and governments” –"
"But none of the academy’s suggestions – good or bad – address the IPCC’s fundamental problem: It has every incentive – financial and otherwise — to buttress the global warming orthodoxy and none to challenge it. "
http://blogs.forb...ellatest
marjon
Sep 14, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Noumenon
4.3 / 5 (61) Sep 14, 2010
We now have another biased article redefining 'egalitarianism' to mean 'progressivism' which is really socialism, something that is equality of misery.

"...equality does not mean an equal amount but equal opportunity... Do not make the mistake of identifying equality in liberty with the forced equality"

Worth repeating.
Noumenon
4.5 / 5 (56) Sep 14, 2010
As Marjon pointed out, it is telling how they worded the "two camps', ...egalitarian and individualistic,.. as if those who are "individualistic" are selfish and those who are "egalitarian" merely want to undo an existing civil atrocity. So we find bias already in the study itself.

The study is worthless unless it includes an addendum study with regard to the political leanings the climate scientists themselves hold; Social engineering, or small government intrusion.
Noumenon
4.5 / 5 (53) Sep 14, 2010
Certain branches of science are not infallible and the public knows this. An obvious example is the consensus on global cooling in the seventies. While based on core physics, the conclusions drawn include enough of an component of speculation that political bias is relevant effect. For example in basic particle physics there is no room to interject ones preference with regard to the role of government, yet AGW depends on politics.

If you don't agree with AGW you're probably not getting a position in climate science, and so not taking part in the consensus.
marjon
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 14, 2010
Certain branches of science are not infallible and the public knows this. An obvious example is the consensus on global cooling in the seventies. While based on core physics, the conclusions drawn include enough of an component of speculation that political bias is relevant effect. For example in basic particle physics there is no room to interject ones preference with regard to the role of government, yet AGW depends on politics.

If you don't agree with AGW you're probably not getting a position in climate science, and so not taking part in the consensus.

The challenge with climate research is that the climate is a complete system with emergent properties. Traditional science pursues determinism assuming that if they know the details they can know the system.
The only real experiments that can be performed are model based. Does the model match the real world?
It is a challenging systems engineering problem that requires systems thinking.
Noumenon
4.4 / 5 (57) Sep 14, 2010
Progressives tend to manufacture alternative reasons why their ideas are not accepted. Notice it's never that there's a possibility that THEY'RE wrong. Oohh no, it must be that the opposed are uneducated, ...politically brain washed and biased, ...or that the message wasn't communicated properly, etc.

Many real social problems can be studied scientifically, then solutions engineered, and real problems solved. This does not mean such problems should be solved!

Statistics show that many deaths can be avoided via gun control. True. All these problems can be solved in principal. Social engineers are not smart enough to understand that these "problems" are necessary components of a free society, nor that their child like utopian society is NOT a possibility.

The progressive mantra is social statistics. People may be against It not because the statistics are wrong but rather that ultimately the solution is worse than the diagnosis.
Noumenon
4.3 / 5 (55) Sep 14, 2010
The challenge with climate research is that the climate is a complete system with emergent properties. Traditional science pursues determinism assuming that if they know the details they can know the system.
The only real experiments that can be performed are model based. Does the model match the real world?
It is a challenging systems engineering problem that requires systems thinking.


Computer models are not empirical observations. They are tools used for analyzing chaotic problems that would other wise be intractable. Computer models are analytically self contained, and do not allow for interaction with nature.

Empirical observations are necessary in inductive reasoning. Modern science requires inductive reasoning which "allows for the possibility that the conclusion is false even where all of the premises are true".

QED.
marjon
2.2 / 5 (13) Sep 14, 2010
"The Marxist account of history too, Popper held, is not scientific, although it differs in certain crucial respects from psychoanalysis. For Marxism, Popper believed, had been initially scientific, in that Marx had postulated a theory which was genuinely predictive. However, when these predictions were not in fact borne out, the theory was saved from falsification by the addition of ad hoc hypotheses which made it compatible with the facts. By this means, Popper asserted, a theory which was initially genuinely scientific degenerated into pseudo-scientific dogma."
http://plato.stan.../popper/
Noumenon
4.3 / 5 (55) Sep 14, 2010
Yep, I think the so called "ignorant politically bias masses", simply employ common sense in questioning whether Man could in principal have a handle on global temperatures to a few degrees per year.
Noumenon
4.4 / 5 (56) Sep 14, 2010
Science is not a democracy where a consensus can be substituted for empirically testing theories.
bottomlesssoul
4.3 / 5 (6) Sep 14, 2010
People often accuse me of conforming to consensus reality. I can assure you this is not true, ask anyone!

One forms a consensus of ideas in an integrative fashion, consensus of empirical data, not opinion. Reality does not recognize or use democracy, only humans do.
ubavontuba
2.5 / 5 (10) Sep 14, 2010
I am so annoyed by the human propensity for the herd mentality. Sure, it works for the fashion industry, but science shouldn't be so subjective.

Why is it so hard for the anti-warming side to accept the overwhelming evidence of warming, and why is it so hard for the the warming alarmists to see that it isn't all necessarily bad?

Seriously people. You don't need the crutch of another's opinion to justify your opinions. Free your minds and think for yourselves!
ERF
2.6 / 5 (15) Sep 15, 2010
Read the emails! The East Anglia Univ. Climate Unit scandal lays it all outfor everyone to see. These scientists (and I use the term loosely) were actively seeking to block dissent in peer reviewed journals or marginalize journals that did not use them for peer review. It is also clear from that they did not have a firm grasp on the science. Most articles written by scientists on issues with social and political impact either are to patronizing or take the holy word of god approach and those attitudes do not work very well on someone who is bothering to read what they wrote.
Ronan
4.3 / 5 (12) Sep 15, 2010
ERF: I've read the emails--read through a large number of them, almost as soon as they were released. Yes, even the ones that look worst. Yes, "Hide the decline." Yes, "redefining peer review." They seemed to me to be a mix of, basically, quote-mining to make the researchers look worse than they actually were, and hyperbole (in the emails) that, while unnerving enough in print, notably didn't bear any resemblance to what actually happened (no climate skeptics were viciously mauled, no papers were actually kept out of the IPCC reports or kept from being published thanks to underhanded skullduggery.

I'd just like to point out that the odds are that an impartial judge might find it difficult to figure out which of us is more shrewd, which less likely to be deceived. I could be wrong. So could you. Bear that in mind before so willingly accusing others of corruption, hm?
Ronan
4.6 / 5 (11) Sep 15, 2010
Reversing the issue, why isn't Lindzen, a PhD climatologist from MIT, part of the consensus or many other well published PhD climatologists who are not part of the faith?


Because he's a statistical outlier; most PhD climatologists think, at the very least, that CO2 having a measurable and significant effect on Earth's temperature and that this shift, in the coming decades (and even now, to a certain extent) could have very bad effects (note the "could"; from what I can gather, this is less widely accepted than the first statement, although most still seem to think that global warming won't have overall positive effects). He doesn't agree with most other climatologists, so by definition, he isn't part of the consensus view:

http://politics.u...ern.html

http://tigger.uic...inal.pdf

http://www.pnas.o...pdf+html
marjon
1.8 / 5 (16) Sep 15, 2010
Why is it so hard for the anti-warming side to accept the overwhelming evidence of warming, and why is it so hard for the the warming alarmists to see that it isn't all necessarily bad?

What OVERWHELMING evidence?

most PhD climatologists think, at the very least, that CO2 having a measurable and significant effect on Earth's temperature

Science is not about what PhDs think, it is about what they can prove. Why they 'think'CO2 is a cause is circumstantial (and biases) and their 'thoughts' are reflected in their computer models, reinforcing their 'thoughts'.
could have very bad effects

Asteroid impacts have been demonstrated to have very bad effects. Where is the demand for a global system to ensure the earth is never again struck by a killer asteroid?
ArtflDgr
2.8 / 5 (14) Sep 15, 2010
It can be explained by looking at two examples
the Dominican preist that sicced the church on gallileo using consensus over letting the facts speak for themselves.

The other example is Trofim Denisovich Lysenko.

both incidents and many others show that the ONLY reason to create a consensus is to provide energy and social stubborness to the wrong side of some argument to impose it over winning the debate on it.

there is NO other reason for consensus!!!!

we all agree that every 24 hours give or take a moment or two, the sun will rise. we dont have a consensus on it, we have knowlege of it.

the ONLY reason to then construct a consensus is to use social weight and political weight to impose a conflicted idea for some poltical/personal/social ideal that only a few share and are frustrated others dont agree with.

in essence to the common man and others, we know the side seeking consensus is WRONG, for such action and behavior need not exist otherwise.
toyo
2.2 / 5 (12) Sep 15, 2010
The blogger that calls Lindzen an 'outlier' :-))
... so, let's get a 'statistical consensus' of scientists' opinions and we'll have the truth, right?
WRONG! Science has NEVER been about consensus but about truth.
Truth is NOT reached through consensus, as several historical examples (mentioned here) have shown.
Let's get to the truth of the matter first, THEN spend what ever is necessary to put it right - if required.
The IPCC does NOT have incontrovertible proof that anthropogenic CO2 is the cause of GW, and even less proof that diminishing it (and it alone) will cause cooling.
Lindzen is MUCH more believable than Mann, remember Mann's infamous hockey stick?
And are you aware Mann is still highly regarded in the IPCC?
So your 'statistical' approach would ignore Lindzen's opinions but value Mann's?
AkiBola
2.2 / 5 (13) Sep 15, 2010
We have soon to be AGW $billionaire Nobel Peace Prize winner Al "no debate" Gore making movies with fraudulent hockey stick graphs and preposterous temperature rise doom and gloom predictions, senior researchers colluding to "hide the temperature drop data" and the IPCC basing some key findings on the anecdotal glacial observations of a weekend leisure backpacker. Asking the question of why this alleged concensus is not believed is fair game, but come on, wake up and smell the ozone. Money, power and politics have skewed many issues and rendered them corrupt to the extent that sane folks don't trust what they are being told.
GSwift7
2.6 / 5 (15) Sep 15, 2010
I can't believe nobody caught this one:

"that people ... who have a strong attachment to commerce and industry, tend to be skeptical ... , while people ... who resent economic inequality, tend to believe..."

Nice little example of bias in the word choices there, huh? Would you prefer to be a dirty little skeptic or a believer?

You can find abundant theories about what motivates people in any psychology book, and the guys above are about 1000 miles away from knowing what they are talking about. I guess when you're writing an editorial disguised as a science article you don't have to worry about accuracy though.

I'll be happy to rate this article with a 1/5.
GSwift7
2.2 / 5 (14) Sep 15, 2010
Oh, and BTW, the NAS is a political body, as opposed to scientific. Its charter is to advise policymakers about science, or in other words they are in the opinion business. For them, concensus is the end-all-be-all of existence. Would you advise the President or Congress to take an action that is not popular if you were them?

From that point of view I can sympathize with them about how painful it must be for them when half the country thinks one thing and the other half doesn't agree. It makes it awefully hard to advise policymakers about which side is going to win more votes.
Yellowdart
4.3 / 5 (10) Sep 15, 2010
One of the simplest reasons why society doesnt easily follow the scientific consensus is because society doesnt see it physically. Similiar to the article on physorg regarding higher sales of products when people can see/touch them verses online/pictures etc. People have more confidence in what they can easily grasp under their own hands.

Things like evolution, climate science, string theories, etc etc arent tangible or applicable to the average man, and so the public remains skeptical.

Oh and the other reason is there is plenty of historical accounts of the "consensus" getting it wrong.

Frankly, it is good the public is skeptical, it keeps science on its toes...usually.
marjon
2 / 5 (12) Sep 15, 2010
One of the simplest reasons why society doesnt easily follow the scientific consensus is because society doesnt see it physically.

Society seems to be following the political 'consensus' in Congress and the White House. They are rejecting that consensus.
Yellow, sounds like you are another 'egalitarian' who thinks the 'individualists' just don't understand.
Philip_Cunningham
Sep 18, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Ravenrant
5 / 5 (7) Sep 18, 2010
I look at this a little differently, not surprisingly.

The uninformed opinion has become the norm instead of the exception. It carries weight when it should be weightless. It is inherent in a totally free society and will NEVER go away without restricting freedom of speech (which is no different than being restricted from yelling fire in a theatre when there isn't one in case you are one of the people I am talking about, like PC above).
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (8) Sep 18, 2010
Reversing the issue, why isn't Lindzen, a PhD climatologist from MIT, part of the consensus or many other well published PhD climatologists who are not part of the faith?
NSF is naval gazing, wondering why they are not trusted, blaming everyone but themselves, and trying to scientifically prove it is not their fault.
Typical.

He doesn't disagree with AGW, he disagrees with the politicization and alarm behind it.
maxcypher
5 / 5 (4) Sep 18, 2010
This report assumes that any consensus achieved by the scientific method is less biased, more objective, than those opinions shared by those who stand within a particular political and/or economic camp. This report merely states that there are many who don't share the report's assumption and many of the above comments demonstrate the report's point to a ludicrous degree.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (12) Sep 18, 2010
"“One suggestion I’d make is we stop accepting the term ‘skeptic,’” Lindzen said. “As far as I can tell, skepticism involves doubts about a plausible proposition. I think current global warming alarm does not represent a plausible proposition.”"
"“For 20 years –more than 20 years unfortunately, 22 by now, since ’88 – of repetition, escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. “Quite the contrary,” he continued. “I would suggest the failure to prove the case of 20 years makes the case even less plausible, as does the evidence of ClimateGate and other instances.”"
http://www.busine...514.aspx
It sounds like Lindzen is acting like a real scientist and needs evidence for AGW that he has yet to see.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.1 / 5 (9) Sep 18, 2010
It sounds like Lindzen is acting like a real scientist and needs evidence for AGW that he has yet to see.
Give him a call and ask him directly if he thinks mankind is affecting climate. He'll say yes.
Ask him if AGW is accurate, he'll say no, as will I.

Notice your quote specifically says "alarm" just as I stated?
Ronan
5 / 5 (6) Sep 18, 2010
I can't believe nobody caught this one:

"that people ... who have a strong attachment to commerce and industry, tend to be skeptical ... , while people ... who resent economic inequality, tend to believe..."

Nice little example of bias in the word choices there, huh? Would you prefer to be a dirty little skeptic or a believer?

A skeptic. I don't want to ever consider myself to be "believing" anything, at least not if the word "belief" comes anywhere close to how it's used for, say, religious topics.
Ronan
4.9 / 5 (8) Sep 18, 2010
And continuing from the previous post, I'm skeptical about global warming--just as I'm skeptical about relativity, skeptical about evolution, skeptical about geocentrism, for goodness' sake. But I accept that all of those theories are likely to be more or less correct, because to my mind they withstand scrutiny. Other things I'm skeptical of, like psychic healing, religion in general, alien abductions, etc., I've rejected as plausible because they don't withstand scrutiny, in my judgment at least. Skepticism isn't a conclusion, it's a method.
marjon
1.5 / 5 (8) Sep 18, 2010
It sounds like Lindzen is acting like a real scientist and needs evidence for AGW that he has yet to see.
Give him a call and ask him directly if he thinks mankind is affecting climate. He'll say yes.
Ask him if AGW is accurate, he'll say no, as will I.

Notice your quote specifically says "alarm" just as I stated?

Lindzen would be labeled 'individualistic' by the NSF because he is not alarmed by AGW. Which also suggests he is skeptical of AGW.
marjon
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 18, 2010
"Lindzen: “we now know that the effect of CO2 on temperature is small, we know why it is small, and we know that it is having very little effect on the climate.”"
http://www.examin...cientist
AGWites believe human produced CO2 is the driver for AGW (which is now officially called 'climate disruption'). If CO2 contributes little to 'climate disruption', why should anyone be alarmed?
barakn
3.9 / 5 (9) Sep 18, 2010
Certain branches of science are not infallible and the public knows this. An obvious example is the consensus on global cooling in the seventies.

This is a well-debunked myth, a myth created from a few news-stories in the popular press and a few cherry-picked, out-of-context quotes from the scientific literature. The "consensus" at the time, given that CO2 warming was already an established idea but sedimentary evidence had been found for Milankovitch cycles, was that there wasn't enough evidence to decide which way things would tip, i.e. there was no consensus at all. But thanks for trotting that old horse out again, it's good for a laugh.
rushty
1.1 / 5 (7) Sep 18, 2010
the way I see it is people "distrust" science because it idealistically isn't what it used to be. People don't just decide to be hard-headed mules on issues like climate change, rather we see the science that goes against our opinion as manipulative and corrupt in some way (goes for both sides). Any study that goes against climate change is scientists in big oil's pocket. Any study promoting global warming is scientists in big government's pocket. I personally think in many cases BOTH are true! In the case of climate change, it is not pure inquisitive science, there is always some political endgame. Just maybe that's why no one wants to seem to listen any more?
marjon
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 18, 2010
n the case of climate change, it is not pure inquisitive science, there is always some political endgame.

The challenge with climate science is that its study requires a different paradigm that most scientists are not trained to understand.
Climate is an emergent system, but scientists are trained to use deterministic theories.
To give the working scientist the benefit of the doubt, they just don't know any better.
DonR
4.9 / 5 (9) Sep 18, 2010
Wow, just about every comment here just reinforced the findings of the research described in the article.
bliskater
1 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2010
Only if you're a shallow thinker.
fuzz54
5 / 5 (6) Sep 19, 2010
Well, we can wait another 50 years and see if these experts are correct. By then it will be too late if they are correct.
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 19, 2010
Well, we can wait another 50 years and see if these experts are correct. By then it will be too late if they are correct.

Govt could mandate something stupid, like spraying the atm with aerosols, and make things worse.
Hope for the best, plan for the worst, and decentralize allowing people to make their own choices and to take responsibility for them.
KBK
not rated yet Sep 19, 2010
Thus the danger of tribal religions,and how the same aspect of the underlying physical mechanism of the monkey in man utilizes this mechanism in the self.

And how the mechanism, sitting there, extant but unrealized, is utilized by groups...to keep man barking against and beating on his fellow man.

The motto of the group you are looking to know of..is.. 'Order through Chaos'.

One must, by and through basic logic formation necessities.. step outside of what they currently know in order to see the shape and framework of the trap.
Mesafina
5 / 5 (4) Sep 20, 2010
All of you who have strong opinions on this topic and are not climatologists with an extensive research background and understanding of climate and weather are full of it. Face it, none of you all know what you are talking about. You just spout talking points from both sides.

None of you know for sure anything about our climate over long periods of time. Sure, some of you will retort with your internet facts and links, but you know deep inside I am right, that you are spouting BS you know nothing about.

If you aren't an expert on this subject your opinion on it can only be political and is worth next to nothing in the scientific arena of ideas. If your opinion is based on actual information that you have observed empirically and an extensive background in the field, then you are far more likely to know what you are talking about.
Mesafina
5 / 5 (7) Sep 20, 2010
n the case of climate change, it is not pure inquisitive science, there is always some political endgame.

The challenge with climate science is that its study requires a different paradigm that most scientists are not trained to understand.
Climate is an emergent system, but scientists are trained to use deterministic theories.
To give the working scientist the benefit of the doubt, they just don't know any better.


And you do? Face up Marjon, you're no expert on climate, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. You make all kinds of assumptions and spout all kinds of convenient "facts" just like the liberal media you claim to hate. But you know it's true, you don't actually know anything at all about the Climate for sure except that sometimes it rains, the winds blow in from the sea, etc.

Pretending to know about something when you don't does not impress those who know you are bull$h!ting.
Parsec
4.6 / 5 (9) Sep 20, 2010
99% of the comments above are entirely off base. This article is talking about evidence and belief. Basically, it is simply stating that people tend to reject any evidence, no matter how well that evidence is grounded in scientific consensus, that conflicts with the values and beliefs of their particular community.

This explains why so many in Africa believe that Aids is caused by spirits instead of HIV. Also why so many social and religious groups continue to believe in an 8000 year old earth and reject the science of evolution.

And yes, its also why many reject the science around AGW. No matter what evidence people are faced with, no matter what kinds of changes take place, to those it will always be false. It isn't a matter of evidence, its a matter of ideology.
1andreasse
5 / 5 (2) Sep 20, 2010
99% of the comments above are entirely off base. This article is talking about evidence and belief. Basically, it is simply stating that people tend to reject any evidence, no matter how well that evidence is grounded in scientific consensus, that conflicts with the values and beliefs of their particular community.

This explains why so many in Africa believe that Aids is caused by spirits instead of HIV. Also why so many social and religious groups continue to believe in an 8000 year old earth and reject the science of evolution.

And yes, its also why many reject the science around AGW. No matter what evidence people are faced with, no matter what kinds of changes take place, to those it will always be false. It isn't a matter of evidence, its a matter of ideology.


Well said Parsec.
derphysiker
5 / 5 (2) Sep 20, 2010
Given the current state of affairs the right question to ask about an author (or any other source of information) is becoming less "Is he an expert?" and more "What's his agenda and who is financing his paycheque?"
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Sep 20, 2010
All of you who have strong opinions on this topic and are not climatologists with an extensive research background and understanding of climate and weather are full of it. Face it, none of you all know what you are talking about. You just spout talking points from both sides.
That's inaccurate. I work within the field in both exploratory missions, technical specifications for equipment and data handling as well as within the modeling community. I can't speak to the depth of research, but I can speak to the common held and understood viewpoint within the scientific community and I can substantiate that with fact from research, not talking points and media opinion.
marjon
1 / 5 (8) Sep 20, 2010
And yes, its also why many reject the science around AGW. No matter what evidence people are faced with, no matter what kinds of changes take place, to those it will always be false. It isn't a matter of evidence, its a matter of ideology.

This is also why so many, even scientists, ACCEPT AGW in spite of contradicting evidence, as Kuhn suggests"
"# In responding to these crises, scientists generally do not renounce the paradigm that has led them into crisis.

1. They may lose faith and consider alternatives, but
2. they generally do not treat anomalies as counterinstances of expected outcomes.
3. They devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict."

http://des.emory....uhn.html

Also, Lindzen points out in speaking tours, colleagues claim to support AGW to 'get along' with the system.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Sep 20, 2010
When you quote mine, you might want to remove the "" from the bits you copy as you make it very obvious that you didn't include anything close to the entire source document.

Professor Pajares teaches educational psychology, not scientific philosophy. The piece you ripped is Kuhn's statement of the underpinnings of scientific establishments, not from the underpinnings of science. I'd strongly suggest you start reading your sources so they don't turn around and burn you, as they so often do.

The piece you linked establishes a basis for the proliferation in AGW based sciences as it was a paradigm shift that led to the current research. The "scientific institution" in this instance would be the AGCC opponent body, or to make it more clear, your stance. You've refuted your own outlook, yet again.
CouchP
not rated yet Sep 20, 2010
I am so annoyed by the human propensity for the herd mentality. Sure, it works for the fashion industry, but science shouldn't be so subjective.

Why is it so hard for the anti-warming side to accept the overwhelming evidence of warming, and why is it so hard for the the warming alarmists to see that it isn't all necessarily bad?

Seriously people. You don't need the crutch of another's opinion to justify your opinions. Free your minds and think for yourselves!


Am I being naive in my assumption that true scientific theory can be disproved by a single experiment, but proven only by multitudes passing?

In that case would it not hold that consensus of a million "experts" be thwarted by one?
CouchP
1 / 5 (3) Sep 20, 2010
99% of the comments above are entirely off base. This article is talking about evidence and belief. Basically, it is simply stating that people tend to reject any evidence, no matter how well that evidence is grounded in scientific consensus, that conflicts with the values and beliefs of their particular community.

This explains why so many in Africa believe that Aids is caused by spirits instead of HIV. Also why so many social and religious groups continue to believe in an 8000 year old earth and reject the science of evolution.

And yes, its also why many reject the science around AGW. No matter what evidence people are faced with, no matter what kinds of changes take place, to those it will always be false. It isn't a matter of evidence, its a matter of ideology.


Well said Parsec.


Thanks for lumping those three groups together... It really helps when you call someone an idiot by grouping them so neatly with other idiots.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Sep 20, 2010
Am I being naive in my assumption that true scientific theory can be disproved by a single experiment, but proven only by multitudes passing?

In that case would it not hold that consensus of a million "experts" be thwarted by one?

No theory can ever be proven, only disproven, and that could be by a single experiment.
bhiestand
3.5 / 5 (2) Sep 21, 2010
Well, we can wait another 50 years and see if these experts are correct. By then it will be too late if they are correct.

Precisely why this is such a good plan. In 50 years, most of the people who are profiting from their fight to maintain the status quo will already be dead and their children will have sufficient economic resources to ensure their safety during any potential political instability.
Javinator
not rated yet Sep 21, 2010
I think one of the large issues is that it's hard to become informed on a topic without the information being labelled as biased. It's sort of a cyclical thing.

Let's say I perform research and become "informed" on a subject. I become a proponent of that thing based on my being "informed" now.

Since I am now a proponent of that thing, any "informing" I try to do for others could be deemed biased by the "uninformed" since they may believe that I'm spouting misinformation just to make people switch to my viewpoint.

To be fair, how could the uninformed know that what I'm saying is true as opposed to propaganda?

That's where the responsibility falls upon the uninformed to inform themselves.

Unfortunately it is much easier to hold onto uninformed opinions for many than it is to actually learn something. Forming an opinion and googling one piece of information to support it is easier than actually researching both sides of a subject and forming conclusions based on evidence
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Sep 21, 2010
This book explain much regarding the issue:
http://www.amazon...Z7EN1J0O
It dovetails with Planck's quote.