Free Markets, Free People

“Scientific consensus?” That’s intellectual baby-talk

The global warming debate brought Lord Monckton to Union College in Schenectady, New York, and, much to his delight, a hostile crowd:

As they filed in, Lord Monckton was chatting contentedly to a quaveringly bossy woman with messy blonde hair who was head of the college environmental faction. Her group had set up a table at the door of the auditorium, covered in slogans scribbled on messy bits of recycled burger boxes held together with duct tape (Re-Use Cardboard Now And Save The Planet). “There’s a CONSENSUS!” she shrieked.

“That, Madame, is intellectual baby-talk,” replied Lord Monckton. Had she not heard of Aristotle’s codification of the commonest logical fallacies in human discourse, including that which the medieval schoolmen would later describe as the argumentum ad populum, the headcount fallacy?  From her reddening face and baffled expression, it was possible to deduce that she had not. Nor had she heard of the argumentum ad verecundiam, the fallacy of appealing to the reputation of those in authority.

And it goes down hill for the militant warmists from there.

Read the whole thing here.

Watch the whole thing here.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

46 Responses to “Scientific consensus?” That’s intellectual baby-talk

  • “Who in their right mind would publicly debate Lord Monckton. Well, depends on whether or not a certain fellow from the North East is busy enough today to keep him off this thread.

  • “Who in their right mind would publicly debate Lord Monckton. Well, depends on whether or not a certain fellow from the North East is busy enough today to keep him off this thread.

  • Who in their right mind would publicly debate Lord Monckton?”. Well, depends on whether or not a certain fellow from the North East is busy enough today to keep him off this thread.

  • Yes, well, it’s obvious that Lord Munktown, or whatever his name is, has a narrative that just isn’t persuasive. See, two thirds of the students disagreed with him even after he talked to them a long time. They also showed touching loyalty to their professor, I might add. Though of course they are not indoctrinated, no sir. I decree it. You dense righties who don’t believe in the settled science and the consensus on <del>global warming</del> climate change are just sterile, inbred, Goebbels-like meanies who want to hurt my children. And no amount of charts and graphs and numbers and stuff will change that. Suck on it. We have successfully <del>indoctrinated</del> educated the younger generation so completely that you’ll never change their minds. So there.

  • as more time goes by, the more I am convinced that this whole thing was a designed scare hoax from the word go. These people saw that they got governments to act on the ozone depletion and acid rain things on rather hasty and flimsy (and sometimes contradictory) evidence. So they got ambitious and decided to ride this thing to ever bigger grants, lucrative book deals, and their ultimate goal, more governmental control of the population.

    • @kyle8 Y2k hype. Not to say there weren’t things that needed to be fixed, but I recall the ‘end-times’ hysteria, people buying 50 gallon trash barrels as survival storage items. The city of Austin Texas actually issued a pamphlet on Y2k disaster preparedness. Expect more of the same as we get closer to the end of the Mayan calendar year this year.

    • @kyle8 Government and people like Al Gore profit off this sort of thing.

      • @looker Hence the need for a concept like “global warming”. It is BIG. It needs a GLOBAL response. ALLLLLLL humanity is involved, so ALLLLLLL humanity gets to have a say…via their overlords, of course.

        • @Ragspierre Well, not so much a say, as a bill, ALLLL humanity gets to have a bill, and our overlords get nicer offices and castles.

  • The Versailles consensus of 1918 imposed reparations on the defeated Germany, so that the conference that ended the First World War (15 million dead) sowed the seeds of the Second. The eugenics consensus of the 1920s that led directly to the dismal rail-yards of Oswiecim and Treblinka (6 million dead). The appeasement consensus of the 1930s that provoked Hitler to start World War II (60 million dead). The Lysenko consensus of the 1940s that wrecked 20 successive harvests in the then Soviet Union (20 million dead). The ban-DDT consensus of the 1960s that led to a fatal resurgence of malaria worldwide (40 million children dead and counting, 1.25 million of them last year alone).

    He forgot the “stockpiles of WMD in Iraq” consensus. Even Russia and China bought into this consensus.

    • @Neo_ He could have rolled back the clock to when the Earth was Flat, or the Sun revolved around the earth. All consensus science.

  • I recall reading that there was a consensus amongst Nobel Laureates, who believed that electrifying homes would lead to mass death. Of course, one of the main impediments to Luis Pasteur was the incumbent consensus among “scientists” of his day.

    • @Ragspierre R.V.Jones in “Most Secret War” recounts how he was unable to convince fellow scientists in briefings of Churchill that what was plainly visible in aerial photos of Peenemunde was a gigantic ballistic missile. That was considered to be “scientifically” impossible! The “consensus” was that it must be a new type of torpedo…even though there didnt exist an airplane big enough to carry such a 46 foot behemoth. Not long later, the first of some 1400 of these “torpedoes” (the V2) began to rain down on London.

      • @Neo_ I read a piece several decades ago by some thinker who held that most “scientists” are more aptly called “technicians”, which I think is true. A real scientist has a quality of creativity and wonder, coupled with a commitment to rational thinking and skepticism.

  • To me, the most devestating comments/observations were not associated, per se, with Global Warming. Rather it was the comments relating to abject subserviance of a concept the audience just accepted and the end comment about Western Civilization.

  • How you know your consensus is all flucked in the head… (1) A small cabal supplies the doctrine (Hansen, Gore, Mann, Jones, etc). (2) It relies on black-art practises not used by other groups (e.g. Mann’s hockeystick analysis and other non-standard statistical “techniques”). (3) It appeals to faith in a realm outside the physical (computer modelling presented as data and “results”). (4) History is erased to avoid inconvenient truths (Medieval warm period, little ice age, Roman warm period etc). (5) Those who question are derided as in league with Lucifer (aka Big Oil) and deserving of death (videos of exploding school children). (6) Moral restriction does not apply to the annointed and in fact should be praised when secular law is broken in pursuit of a holy purpose (Gleick).

  • Aristotle’s fallacy of argumentum ad populum is meant to show that absolute and final knowledge cannot be achieved through consensus. But science does not seek knowledge the is ‘final and absolute’. Scientific knowledge is always tentative and relative. That’s why there’s a consensus and most scientists agree with Occams’ Razor and the Theory of Gravitation.

    • @tadcf Umm….No. The reason there is NOT a consensus and that science went on to develop, test, and validate Eisenstein’s general theory (generally…HA!) is because scientific investigators DID NOT stop with Newton.

    • @tadcf You can drop objects and measure their speed, right now, today. You can even analyze satellite data to validate relativity as it pertains to gravity, time, etc..

      But you can’t measure the temperature or sea level of 2100 today. You must extrapolate. You must guess. Yes, you can use sophisticated computer simulations so that you’re not just tossing darts over your shoulder. But if your program has incorrect assumptions or ignores complex variables, it will still give inaccurate results.

      Predictions which were made in the 1990s about what would happen by now (e.g., UN predition on “climate refugees”) have not been very accurate. So, why should we believe those who predict catastrophic warming?

      Consensus is about politics. Skepticism is a fundamental building block of the scientfic method of inquiry.

      • @myweeklycrime Weren’t the seas supposed to be “dead” by now…??? I can’t think of a single prediction that has come true. Nobody has responded to the Ragspierre Challenge of the other day; name a single time a market has failed to respond with an alternative “in time” to the loss of a resource. (Time of war do not count, as those are artificial shortages.)

  • There is no let up from these people – they will say ANYTHING.
    http://sciencenordic.com/new-theory-co2-makes-you-fat

    • @looker Well, think about it…if you don’t exhale, you will never get fat. Perfectly sensible…well, with that one itsy flaw…

      • @Ragspierre Odd that metabolically speaking the CO2 ONLY effects humans, isn’t it? and doesn’t make wildfowl and animals obese? Very odd. Very scientific theory I’m sure. I mean, that little question right there I don’t suppose would be an obvious fatal flaw that demonstrates the pure bull-shit of the theory in the first place. I’m assuming there’s no corresponding change of course. I’ll stand, scientifically, corrected if they demonstrate it’s pretty much universal across mammals of course, but I won’t be holding my breath on that.
        I mean, we would want to be very scientific and pretend that the air is ONLY breathed by humans for the purposes of our theory, right?

        • @looker What about all those fat birds who keep falling out of the sky…near wind turbines…??? See? Cause >>>> effect.

        • @Ragspierre Hey, we can test lab rats, we’ll put their cages right next to the ones that don’t get hydrated by drinking water.

        • @looker It was a study done on 6 men, that found a 6% difference… in other words… horsehockey.

        • @DocD what matters is that we fill the head of the willing with the idea that CO2 is causing obesity. Science? Science? We don’t need no stinkin science! WE have consensus, which is far superior to science!
          ———————————————————————
          Now come, they’ve brought me a woman who we must test to see if she weighs as much as a duck. We’re going to use my larger scales. You may remove the supports once all in in readiness.

    • @looker “Argumentum ad nauseam or argument from repetition or argumentum ad infinitum is an argument made repeatedly (possibly by different people) until nobody cares to discuss it any more. This may sometimes, but not always, be a form of proof by assertion.” American Heritage Dictionary

      http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm (Note this list has a link to whales *losing* weight)

    • @looker This one is a twofer: (1) Scare people more so they imagine yet another horrible thing to blame on global warming, and (2) give the delusional a comforting excuse why it’s not their fault they are fat–fix the climate instead of exercising and giving up processed food.

  • Wow, today is just THE day for this. What could POSSIBLY go wrong with this approach heh?
    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/how-engineering-the-human-body-could-combat-climate-change/253981/
    ————————————————————————
    Yeah, there’s no danger at all in the idea of engineering humans for various purposes, is there. No danger at all in embracing the intellectual concept that engineering humans is desirable and good.

    • @looker Progressives (i.e., Collectivists) keep trying the same old horrors. Over, and over…

      • @Ragspierre Well, it always stems from ‘doing good’ and ‘equality’ doesn’t it, these horrors. I mean, who would ever presume that they might start practicing on humans the sort of things humans have practiced on dogs, or horses, or cattle, or crops and selectively breed for desirable traits?
        ——————————————————————————————-
        Once you accept the idea of tailoring on a massive scale, WHAT tailoring is out of bounds?

    • @looker Isn’t there a Philip K Dick novel where all the engineered kids start to malfunction? I say if you think it is a great idea, Mr “scientist”, go ahead and do it on your own kids and report back in a generation or two.