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BBC Staff to be giving less air time to fringe science such as climate change deniers Watch

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    (Original post by pjm600)
    I can't see what this will do apart from give even more fuel to the conspiracy theorist sect of climate change skeptics.

    Publicising climate data and educating the masses is not straightforward.

    The public making significant changes to their lifestyle to avert an issue that doesn't affect them and may not even affect anyone in their lifetime is frankly unforeseeable. Until the public take climate change as a serious threat, which will almost certainly be too late, a democratic solution will be unobtainable.
    I do think the BBC (and other broadcasters) have continued to give a lot of airtime to the sceptics purely because, despite the existence of a broad scientific consensus, they fear the public will interpret their non-coverage of sceptical views as either censorship or a reluctance to engage democratically.

    It's very difficult to address much of the public on scientific issues, since large numbers lack even basic scientific education or knowledge and many are at the mercy of irrational and unscientific belief systems. The same media that routinely broadcast climate scepticism also carry shows about astrology, mediums and ghost sightings. It's all of a piece really.
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    (Original post by pjm600)
    I can't see what this will do apart from give even more fuel to the conspiracy theorist sect of climate change skeptics.
    I wouldn't say that will be a major problem, at least not any worse than it already is.

    Recently a study was rejected from a journal. It was rejected for errors in it, but a few journalists in the Times and Telegraph managed to turn it into a story about bias, claiming that it was rejected because people reviewing it were biased in favour of "the green lobby", with no evidence.

    A scientist (might have been the same scientist, not sure) joined the "skeptic" Global Warming Policy Foundation a while back. Colleagues complained and pressured him to step down, which he did. They complained because of the GWPF's publication of misleading data and its refusal to reveal identities of its donors. Again, deniers in the media turned it into a story about "green bias" and "bullying".

    The conspiracy theorist sect will exaggerate anything to make it look like there is some sort of conspiracy against them, whether they get BBC airtime or not. And they certainly won't let any inconvenient facts stand in their way.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    It's not, of course, a definition I've ever given much thought to. I think it is rather similar, in practice, to, "The consensus is the opinion of the Vatican Censor.". Serious fields and people - that is, those which are not intensely politicised - never use this phrase, and I certainly don't remember it from my Popper or Bacon. But there is certainly an understood definition, which I believe to be the one the BBC is using. edit: moved discussion of this to the next post.
    I think you really are barking up the wrong tree here trying to argue about the semantics of the word consensus as used in science. The definition is clear and well understood. It is only those that wilful wish to misunderstand it (as with the word 'Theory') that make an issue of this.


    The point I intended to make, but which I think has missed, is that the Copenhagen Interpretation isn't a predictive theory at all, just a way of visualising (at least in some abstract sense) a set of predictions on which everyone is agreed.
    :eek: Of course it is predictive or it wouldn't be science! At the core of the Copenhagen Interpretation is the Schroedinger equation, which predicts how the quantum state of a physical system changes over time.


    This is why it is called an interpretation rather than a theory. The De Broglie-Bohm interpretation produces exactly the same observational predictions. I would argue that this isn't science at all, but rather philosophy.
    Well you'd be wrong. A scientific Theory is nothing without the "theory", the interpretations provide that theory along with the predicted observations. Therefore the fact that the Copenhagen Interpretation is the 'standard' version of quantum theory is far more important for how we do science than just a (modern) philosophical curiosity.

    Now, supposing there are questions in QM that have not yet been conclusively decided by experiment (and there probably are). Why shouldn't there be controversy about them? Do you really think there isn't? How about loop quantum gravity vs string theory?
    This isn't about whether there should be controversy in science or not (of course there should when things are not settled) it is about whether controversy exists in an area of science. This is to do with the data and whether it lies within the predicted observations of the theory. So we have your example of QLG vs String theory (where we have little or no data) and by contrast we have the Theory of Evolution (where we have loads of data that supports the theory) - one is in a state of controversy in science and once is not. There are still fringe scientists (often non-experts) who don't believe Evolution, but it is not in a state of scientific controversy - the same is true for AGW currently (we have loads of data that supports the current theory). If the data do show a statistically relevant deviation from the models (just like rabbits in the precambrian for evolution) then we will enter a state of scientific controversy. What people like Judith Curry are stating is that there is potential for this to occur if the current trends continue further - this is not guaranteed at all so we will just have to wait and see what happens.


    That, I'm afraid, is the topic of the thread: that the BBC has decided there is so little doubt on this matter that it is not worth discussing any longer. Now, if the BBC wants to report that the climate models have a 2% chance of being correct then that is fine
    Yet again you wilfully ignore the boundary conditions of that statement within Curry's presentation. I have already explained why your conclusion is not a fair representation of the interpretation of all the data we have.

    whether you choose to apply the mystical stamp of falsification is up to you
    What is mystical about falsification? Trying to creating a straw-man again are we?

    perhaps you'll demand 5 sigma, like the particle experimentalists, and believe implicitly in the 2011 IPCC predictions until they fall out of the 99.9999997% confidence interval?
    Yes because measuring two particle collision is exactly the same as predicting huge chaotic systems....:rolleyes:

    If it wants to argue they have a ~100% chance of being correct, there's no observational justification for that. In fact that has been observationally falsified.
    No-one is arguing that, yet again, another straw-man.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    I think you really are barking up the wrong tree here trying to argue about the semantics of the word consensus as used in science.
    Except unlike the topic itself you really can't argue about 'the semantics' of the word consensus, in science or otherwise.


    Currently the hypothesis of anthropogenically driven global warming or broad climate change is just that. A hypothesis. An idea that has yet to be born out by observation/experimentation that renders it so valid as to be acceptable as fact.

    Scientific consensus has only one demand and that is that, that the hypothesis meets observations and predictions and experimental repeatability.
    Any scientist worth the title need only worry about that.

    The problem is the predictions are NOT being born out by observation, the experiments and studies have a variety of problems with them, if nothing else than alone not meeting the problem of manifold factors you MUST take into account.

    This is of course ignoring the fact that the topic is controversial and thus studies and opinions of scientists involved are often far too much under the thumb of ideological/political desires, which tie into funding and grants.

    What this means is that there is likely a not too insubstantial amount of scientists less interested in the facts and more interested in pre-made conclusions securing grant money, advancing their careers and otherwise playing to tunes that are not interested in simple pure and unadulterated truth.

    On both sides.

    It's perfectly reasonable for someone to hypothesise and suggest something about the climate. It's another to shout down/censor the opposition.

    It's an ugly debate filled with lots of ugly characters and I personally loath it. It has no place in science. Human nature at it's best.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    But both statements would come in the context of a scientific report so the reality is that they should be read as such, i.e. they are the same. Therefore the difference is semantic at best and is only made an issue by those who want to make an anti-scientific point and deny the current best theories and evidence of science on the matter by creating a strawman that somehow scientists are using something other than the best current models and data to make their conclusions - which is of course baseless nonsense.

    Either way, a question still rests on the shoulders of those that deny this consensus view using the best available models and large amounts of data and this is why? So far the arguments have either been non-scientific or have cherry-picked data (Judith Curry is clearly guilty of this by focussing in a period where some data (global surface temperatures) does not match so well with the models and ignoring by and large previous data and also other types of data (such as deep ocean temperatures, etc. - I noted that in the presentation you posted, she talks about this as a 'hypothesis' but doesn't present any of the data that supports this position - this is exactly what Lawson got his knickers in a twist about as well with Brian Hoskins, because the measurements blow a hole in the denialists' arguments)
    Are you serious? The idea that we should accept as a true a theory that even its supporters regard as extremely unlikely to be true until and less we can either 1. conclusively disprove it or 2. present a better theory is simply insane. It amounts to the belief that one should always take a position of apparent certainty on every question even if there is not enough evidence to justify that certainty.

    :eek: Of course it is predictive or it wouldn't be science! At the core of the Copenhagen Interpretation is the Schroedinger equation, which predicts how the quantum state of a physical system changes over time.

    Well you'd be wrong. A scientific Theory is nothing without the "theory", the interpretations provide that theory along with the predicted observations. Therefore the fact that the Copenhagen Interpretation is the 'standard' version of quantum theory is far more important for how we do science than just a (modern) philosophical curiosity.
    The Schroedinger equation is not part of the Copenhagen Interpretation. The Copenhagen Interpretation is a religious philosophical framework for interpreting the Schroedinger equation and its physical predictions. The De Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory, for instance, is also based on the Schroedinger equation and makes identical predictions. Many people, including Richard Feynman and (for what it is worth) me, regard this as not only not science, but a complete waste of time.

    And this is no coincidence: if it were a scientific question, there would either be divergent predictions which could be tested (in which case the incorrect theory would be abandoned, like local hidden variable theories), or divergent predictions which could not be tested (in which case there would still be controversy, like LQG vs string theory vs ???).

    So how do we deal with those second types of case? According to your idea above, we should decide that string theory is simply correct, despite the fact it produces no new testable predictions and is no better supported observationally than its rivals, because more scientists happen to be employed working on string theory than on LQG, a bureaucratic artefact of our science funding system. It would then be treated as fact until and unless others conclusively disprove this totally unsupported theory. Does that make sense?

    This isn't about whether there should be controversy in science or not (of course there should when things are not settled) it is about whether controversy exists in an area of science. This is to do with the data and whether it lies within the predicted observations of the theory. So we have your example of QLG vs String theory (where we have little or no data) and by contrast we have the Theory of Evolution (where we have loads of data that supports the theory) - one is in a state of controversy in science and once is not. There are still fringe scientists (often non-experts) who don't believe Evolution, but it is not in a state of scientific controversy - the same is true for AGW currently (we have loads of data that supports the current theory). If the data do show a statistically relevant deviation from the models (just like rabbits in the precambrian for evolution) then we will enter a state of scientific controversy. What people like Judith Curry are stating is that there is potential for this to occur if the current trends continue further - this is not guaranteed at all so we will just have to wait and see what happens.
    So here is the crux of the problem, and why I keep going on about bait-and-switch: what exactly is the theory we are talking about here? If its hypothesis is, "CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and adding a lot more of it to the atmosphere will cause a temperature change dT, where dT > 0." then I agree it is a theory of the second type, with lots of data to support it, and that it enjoys a true consensus position among experts.

    If, on the other hand, its hypothesis is, "CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and adding a lot more of it to the atmosphere will cause a temperature change dT, where dT > 2C." then it is a theory of the first type, with little data to support it, just model attempts, however nobly and painstakingly programmed, that don't agree with observations.

    The problem with the BBC's position is that, in order to justify major social changes, clumps of mangled penguins washing up on the beaches of the Pennines, etc., we need dT > 2C, not just dT > 0.
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    (Original post by Studentus-anonymous)
    Currently the hypothesis of anthropogenically driven global warming or broad climate change is just that. A hypothesis. An idea that has yet to be born out by observation/experimentation that renders it so valid as to be acceptable as fact.
    Except there are observations to back up the theory, which is why a 97%+ consensus has emerged.

    What this means is that there is likely a not too insubstantial amount of scientists less interested in the facts and more interested in pre-made conclusions securing grant money, advancing their careers and otherwise playing to tunes that are not interested in simple pure and unadulterated truth.

    On both sides.
    So this issue is all just a plot for scientists to get grant money?

    There are certainly some on the denier side who are funded by fossil fuel interests, but do you have any evidence whatsoever that things like this are a major issue "on both sides"? Are you sure that isn't just a conspiracy theory that someone on the internet made up?

    If scientists wanted to advance their careers and get grant money, they do their job properly and publish good quality research that is peer reviewed.

    If any scientist uncovered genuine scientific evidence that helped disprove AGW, and that evidence was accepted after rigorous peer review and then backed up by subsequent research, you can guarantee it would do wonders for the career and their paper would become one of the most cited papers in the field. But this hasn't happened.
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    (Original post by tengentoppa)
    If the BBC are not giving time to loonies, perhaps they should do away with shows like Songs of Praise as well.
    What's wrong with Songs of Praise?
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    (Original post by JindleBrey)
    What's wrong with Songs of Praise?
    A bunch of deluded old people singing to a non-existent deity because they have nothing better to do or because they're afraid of dying.

    Forgive the cliche, but why is my licence fee paying for this?
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    (Original post by tengentoppa)
    A bunch of deluded old people singing to a non-existent deity because they have nothing better to do or because they're afraid of dying.

    Forgive the cliche, but why is my licence fee paying for this?
    You sound like a typical athiest who thinks they know all the answers
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    (Original post by JindleBrey)
    You sound like a typical athiest who thinks they know all the answers
    Even supposing Christianity isn't an anachronism, Songs of Praise is an awful show. Can't people just go to Church if they're so desperate for this nonsense?
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    (Original post by JindleBrey)
    You sound like a typical athiest who thinks they know all the answers
    Since when did knowing that [insert magical sky creature here] isn't the answer to everything mean the same thing as knowing all the answers? I could tell you that 234541.34623=/= 4, but that doesn't mean I know what the actual answer is.
 
 
 
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