September 9, 2011

James Fallows: "I shouldn't have called Gov. Rick Perry's reference to Galileo during this week's Republican debate 'flat-out moronic.'"

"That's mean talk that I shouldn't use about anyone, and I'm sorry." He's saying that after "reflection, and in response to a torrent of near- identically phrased outraged mail...."

Not much of a backtrack. Here's where we talked about him yesterday. I don't know if I'm responsible for any or much of his "outraged mail," but if you feel like going over there now and telling him off, please word your email in a manner that displays the unique person that is you.

103 comments:

prairie wind said...

Ha! I LOL'd uniquely when I read this. It was my very own belly laugh.

Fred4Pres said...

I guess this means he is not a complete scumbag like Andrew Sullivan.

Dustin said...

I suppose this means he is not a complete scumbag like Andrew Sullivan.

roesch-voltaire said...

Interesting piece in NYT today on the Perry quote that gives a nice over-view of the history and concludes:But the comparison is also flawed, Dr. Biagioli said. “Galileo was not a doubter. He said, ‘Look, this is the evidence I have,’ ” he said. “It was the theologians who were saying, ‘No, no, no, this evidence is inconclusive.’ ”
So many folks have vague ideas about science and history, but I would not call them moronic-- just misinformed.

traditionalguy said...

Perry is smart enough to think and communicate circles around Fallows who thinks mouthing intellectual outrage at rednecks gets him approval anymore.

After Climate Warming myths dressed up as a Settled Science were totally busted, Fallows is also not being believed merely because he claims his credentials trump all reality.

The internet bolgs and Palin's Facebook will no longer permit free rides to educated ideologues mouthing falsehoods.

fallows got attention alright, and it exposed his vanity act.

Dustin said...

The G-Low reference was perfect, I thought.

We have scientists who actually hide their science and hide when they realize they were wrong. They also censor dissent.

And those who express honest and reasonable doubt about AGW are demonized as Nazis or whatever, by corrupt and greedy zealots like Al Gore and Michael Mann.

Yes, the doubters of AGW share the core trait Galileo had. The doubters of AGW are much more scientific in reasoning, and more reality based, than the zealots could hope to be.

This reminds me of the Ponzi Scheme metaphor for social security. It obviously works. It's a great illustration. Yet a back of weirdos strike to nit pick distinctions to prove their amazing insight... while actually proving they can't see the forest for the forest here. They are missing the point, purposefully.

Ambrose said...

Good enough apology for me (not that what I think matters at all). I'm moving on. I did think the Galileo comparison was spot on.

ndspinelli said...

I thought being a member of the media meant never having to say you're sorry.

roesch-voltaire said...

Dustin please provide a link to a climate scientist who questions some of the data on warming to back up this claim:
The doubters of AGW are much more scientific in reasoning, and more reality based, than the zealots could hope to be.

master cylinder said...

Glad that you all are still on the side of executions and against science, I havent lost any sleep either.

DaveW said...

Does being called a moron by the likes of Fallows hurt or help Perry?

traditionalguy said...

Fallows is a useless advice giver whose time has past. Fallows is the dumb one.

Perry said what he had to say to keep a clear conscience and keep his freedom to act as President.

Carefully refusing to speak truth to voters during a campaign is an ugly and useless mistake that has lost its cache.

Henry said...

Fallows writes: The Galileo story has its many twists, but its plainest symbolism is the tension between science and religious/bureaucratic orthodoxy.

James, you got it. There it is, right in front of your nose. Follow up the thought. Follow it up. Ohhhh. You lost it.

United Nations = Bureaucratic orthodoxy. How can that possibly be hard to get?

* * *

I think what is truly weird is how paranoid the climate-change promoters are. They get all the money and all the status. Their ideas are trumpeted by an UN-sponsored organization and repeated in endless variations by most news outlets and most academic institutions. They have successfully made it difficult for scientists with contrary opinions to get funding and even to publish.

Yet, even from their public-funded academic posts, and their public-funded junkets, they are somehow convinced that they are the noble few, persecuted and reviled.

Lance said...

@roesch-voltaire

Bjorn Lomberg
Roger Pielke
Svend Funder and team
Roy Spencer and William Braswell

Actually, I don't think any of those scientists would characterize themselves as "skeptics". They're just reporting what they think/see, which in the above cases runs counter to the Al Gore/IPCC narrative.

prairie wind said...

Against science? Whatever.

The science is settled that smoking is bad for our health. It is still wrong for the government to sprawl all over us to make us behave the way they want or to destroy businesses it doesn't approve of.

Same with global warming. I don't care if global warming is real or imagined; I don't care if it is caused by humans or by penguin poop. The government has no business making laws to force businesses to behave a certain way.

That's the real problem. Government is regulating stuff it has no business messing with. So arguments about what global warming is or isn't...doesn't matter. Have a little faith in human ingenuity. We haven't destroyed the planet yet and we aren't going to.

Conservatives should stop arguing about global warming and keep the focus on the regulation/taxation that gets heaped on us...for any reason. Conservatives (and penguins, for that matter) should not stop making fun of Al Gore, though. That wouldn't be right at all.

m stone said...

It's worth noting that Fallows doesn't admit he was inaccurate (Perry's analogy was reasonable).

It is an apology.

TosaGuy said...

I dropped a pen on the floor today. I became outraged.

That is the level of agitation required to use the term "outrage" in the realm of modern political discourse.

Lem said...

Perry is the new Palin.

Hagar said...

r-v,

To raise world-wide alarm and advocate radical changes in our government structures and economic activities based on experimental computer models using doctored temperature readings and incomplete data of industrial and natural emissions from the last 160 years, while ignoring all other data gathered by other scientific disciplines regarding climatic variations going back to "snowball earth" 560 million years ago, does not seem very "scientific" to me.

Somewhat simpler. Why is "global warming" an impending catastrophic disaster for life on earth, if the dinosaurs flourished in the "benign climate" of the dinosaur age?

(There were dinosaurs living in southern Australia, which was then at or near the South Pole, and on the North Shore of Alaska, then approximately 350 miles from the North Pole.)

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Fallows' advice that Perry reference Edward Jenner instead of Galileo did give me a chuckle. Edward Jenner? DIdn't he win the decathlon? My goodness, why didn't Perry bring up Justus Claproth, the neglected founder of recycling? Or Ivan Pulyui and his overlooked experiments with x-rays? What about Gregor Mendel and his honeybees? (Not the pea plants, that's so prosaic.)

Coketown said...

The statement was uncharacteristically vitriolic for Fallows, and I figured he would apologize regardless of the backlash. He's normally so mild-mannered and a joy to read even if you don't agree with him.

Which makes the vitriol curious. Why the outburst, Mr. Fallows? Is it because Perry showed undue reverence for the secular saint Galileo? Like, "Hey. Galileo is OUR martyr. You have no right putting him under your banner, you apostates." In that case the outrage is understandable. I feel the same way when secular liberals claim Jesus was a socialist.

Amartel said...

So why believe this guy's claim that he got a bunch of near-identically phrased outraged mail? I mean, he's not credible on his original claim but now suddenly he's credible? Also, it would not be that surprising that the mail opposing his piece was at least similarly phrased given that the point of error was not that complicated. But now he's implying that everyone copied your (or someone's) original work, thus diminishing his opponents. Tool.

Scott M said...

Anyone know what a but-monkey is?

Lauderdale Vet said...

Here is a link to a 321 page report that enumerates more than 1,000 dissenting scientists who have “challenged man-made global warming claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore.”

That is almost “20 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.”

Here is the article I got the link from. I don’t know much about the Climate Depot site; I found them with a quick Google search.

Amartel said...

Also, calling his ignorant rube-like bellowing "mean talk" misrepresents the scope of his error and is condescending to the people who took exception.
Tool.

Lauderdale Vet said...

From Forbes: Global Warming: A 98% Consensus Of Nothing

Scott M said...

That link is all well and good, Vet, but what's your E grade?

Lauderdale Vet said...

Is that like E-Trade?

That's one smart baby.

Fluffy clouds.

Dustin said...

"Dustin please provide a link to a climate scientist"

A) that's an appeal to authority.

Everyone who wants to be a scientist can be one. Michael Mann's behavior was to cast out any academic scientists from getting published if they expressed the doubts you now demand a link for.

You have actually proven my point.

However, the list of scientists who question global warming propaganda is incredibly long, and I'm amazed anyone would seriously ask for a single example in 2011, as if they've never heard of one.

Henrik Svensmark was just in the news.

http://www.nas.org/polPressReleases.cfm?Doc_Id=1729

There's your link, though.

Why do you folks question the scientific method so harshly? It's really bizarre.

edutcher said...

At least he apologized. Usually, Lefties demand it of people who really have nothing for which to apologize.

master cylinder said...

Glad that you all are still on the side of executions and against science, I havent lost any sleep either.

Considering global warming and Darwin's take on evolution have been shot to Hell and executing criminals who commit capital offenses denies them the opportunity to prey on innocents again, maybe cylinder should.

DADvocate said...

a manner that displays the unique person that is you.

No. As I voted in the earlier post, I'm flying under the radar... for a reason.

Lem said...

The Man-made Global Warming Hoax

rhhardin said...

Galileo Claire Pelletier

rhhardin said...

Galileo Vicki

rhhardin said...

The scientists in both cases were doing institutional science.

Institutional science is oriented by career advancement.

Galileo was doing curiosity science.

Science advances by curiosity or by thuggery, depending on which you believe works better.

The quickest test of the global warming science is its absence of curiosity.

rhhardin said...

Charlie Brown to Lucy:

I've made an interesting theological discovery.

If you hold your hands upside down when you pray, you get the opposite of what you ask for.

Mike K said...

I am more willing to be critical of those who deny the validity of evolution. I would not, for example, write a letter of recommendation to medical school for a student who didn't believe in evolution. The Catholic Church handles the problem adroitly by simply saying God wrote the rules. That explanation is fine with me.

Global warming is a completely different sort of question. We know, for example, that there were farms on Greenland during the Medieval Warm Period and that people would ice skate on the Thames during the Little Ice Age. Michael Mann's "hockey stick" removed those known historical phenomena from the climate history. That, alone, is enough to tell me we are dealing with charlatans here.

flicka47 said...

Wow! As probably several of you have pointed out, Falow seems to have it exactly backwards.

Galileo was the skeptic, it doesn't matter to Fallow that his skepticism was justified apparently.

Fallow just can't see beyond his AGW church blinders... even in his "apology".

flicka47 said...

More evidence the "church" of AGW doesn't like, or want skeptics...

http://tinyurl.com/3aro27a

Link goes to wattsppwiththat.com discussion of the lenghts the "church" is willing to go to to silence skeptics.

Current case ~ Spencer and Braswell paper on the effect of clouds on climate.

Sixty Grit said...

The unique person that is me. Uh, I think I'll sit this one out...

WV: viantech - isn't that that sun-centric company that is at the center of Obama's solar system of corruption?

Carol_Herman said...

I've been to the races, before. And, from what I've seen Dubya went and shrunk the republican label. What a job he did!

So, since then I've decided the republicans WANT to lose! The last headache now, the Bush family, and all those moderate insiders need, is a presidential victory!

So, go with Galileo. See if I care?

Heck, I remember when Bob Dole said "it was his turn." And, the moderates let him run.

Then? We got to Dubya. They've shot their wad on presidential candidates.

And, back in 1996, when Dole lost, that's when the conservatives said "they stayed home." So, now presidential politics is their bailiwick.

There aren't enough moderates around, anymore, to put up much of a presidential fight. And, all Obama needs is a smidgen above 50%. He has all that.

Perry? He's the new fool. Michele Bachmann was the old one. (Not that you can say "old" and a woman's name in the same sentence.) But she was pretty cracked in her views. About schools. And, science. Except she could eat a corn dog real good.

She left without even making a splash!

Ron Paul? He's going to be on the list of choices. You haven't convinced "his" voters to vote for Perry, either.

It's just a question of how the adjustment to 4 more years of Obama will set up?

Meanwhile, the democraps must shed themselves of Pelosi! Just to reclaim a few lost voters, who see her as the enemy. Plus, to satisfy Obama who also hates her guts.

He likes Boehner. Boehner plays golf.

gadfly said...

Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment, you must also be right. ~ Bob Park

James Fallows should do a better job keeping up with the latest scientific news if he intends to write about it.

victoria said...

Who should we yell at, Fallows or Perry.

My choice, Perry


Vicki from Pasadena

rcocean said...

He still doesn't get it. He seems to be saying:

1) Everybody (aka Liberals) thinks Galileo always symbolizes X
2) Perry used Galileo to symbolize Y
3) Therefore Perry was wrong (aka a Moron).

The Problem is that historical truth supports Y NOT X (or maybe X and Y). Informed people know this, while stupid liberals aka "everybody like Jim Fallows" don't.

This is nothing more than a repeat of Palin and 1773. Or Perry's statement that Evolutionary theory has "Gaps". Informed people knew Palin and Perry were correct, stupid smug liberals didn't.

Monkeyboy said...
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furious_a said...

Respond "in the unique way that is you." From instapundit...

Monkeyboy said...

If its true he should publish the emails.

I remember quite a few years ago when National Review got hate mail for their cover of the Clintons dressed as Buddhist Monks.
They printed a whole page of exacly identical letters.

sorepaw said...
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sorepaw said...
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mesquito said...

Since believers in AGW have succeeded in instituting no policies which would save of from our inevitable doom, why the fuck should it matter whether Obama or Perry is President?

Shanna said...

1) Everybody (aka Liberals) thinks Galileo always symbolizes X
2) Perry used Galileo to symbolize Y
3) Therefore Perry was wrong (aka a Moron).


Exactly. I think it’s also right that they like to think of Galileo as simply someone persecuted by the church, and since Perry is republican which they associate with religion, he cannot be on the Galileo side. That is a pretty simplistic way of thinking.

The Catholic Church handles the problem adroitly by simply saying God wrote the rules.

I always go with Science is the How, God is the Why.

Carol_Herman said...

Perry has more problems than just involving Galileo in this race!

He comes from Texas.

he reminds people of Dubya.

And, the thrill will wear off soon.

The moderate republicans don't care. Because there aren't enough of them to handle all the work they get. That's why they like being in the minority. Can't fool me.

Besides, one of the things Obama does best, is campaign.

He's the Fred Astaire of politicians.

Carol_Herman said...

This reminds me of "Nixon's 5 O'clock shadow." He lost to JFK in 1960. And, that one time where his shave wasn't close enough, got to be what's followed him around.

Perry? Well, no 10 gallon hat for him! He's the "science champ." Just ask Galileo.

Did you notice how Michele Bachmann just disappeared from the lineup?

themightypuck said...

I fucking hate the lily livered backtrackers. All he did was talk shit about someone which is kinda what media is today. Stick to your guns or get another job. Why have we created a society where talking can be the end of you. Bunch of fucking pussies we all are.

jd said...

not believing in evolution is moronic. completely moronic. and i'm not afraid to say so.

climate change/global warming/whatever is one thing. but denying evolution is ridiculous. intelligent design is a made-up science created to make religion scientific, like marxist academic social theory did to make a dreamed up economic system academic.

anyways, because not believing in evolution is moronic, and a lot of people who choose to believe made up moronic science against it also choose to believe science that finds no evidence of man-made global climate change, it's not mean or irrational to think that people who believe in neither evolution OR global climate change (like Perry) are science morons.

they ar CERTAINLY not like galileo. sorry, and i welcome a flurry of irate comments that someone would deign to challenge their own idiotic religion of science (only the one AGAINST climate change). have at it!

exhelodrvr1 said...

R-V,
Do a search on the Himalayan glacier "retreat", and how that was lied about. If you dare.

bagoh20 said...

"...please word your email in a manner that displays the unique person that is you."

Paging Dr. Titus...Dr. Titus...

Synova said...

"Dustin please provide a link to a climate scientist who questions some of the data on warming to back up this claim:
The doubters of AGW are much more scientific in reasoning, and more reality based, than the zealots could hope to be.
"

I think it will help to think of at least three different (but possibly overlapping someplace) sets of people. "Doubters" are one set. "Zealots" are one set. And a third set are probably the "Scientists."

"Doubters" want to see the numbers the science is based upon, want to see reproducible experiments and reliable computer models and want to explore what else might feed into the system along with CO2. They want precision in language.

The "Zealots" repeatedly and continually confuse climate and weather and push obviously inadequate and politically motivated "answers" to the problem that they demonize anyone for questioning while doing their best to shut down dissent with "the science is settled".

Also, "warming" is not equal to "AGW."

Please reference "precision in language."

Jose_K said...

Galileo´s professor in astronomy was a priest who supported him dring the inquiry.All began because of the jealosusy of a priest who was courtisan of the Princess of Lorena and ended in the not enough well known history.
Why Galileo is the symbol of prosecution and not Miguel de Servet? He was the real discoverer of blood circulation and was burned alive by the calvinist. Because of the long standing prejudice against catholicismin the anglosaxon world.In the UK until late xix century to be protestant or jewish was required to enter Oxbridge or been a MP
BTW: the secular left has a worse record in that regard.
When Robespieere was asked to stop the beheading of Lavoisier , he answered the revolution needs no sciencemen.
Ths CCCP and Germany killed or exiled their brightest minds. Also did chairman Mao
While galileo was spred death.
Girdano Bruno was executed allegedly for the same ideas but he was a murderer

Revenant said...

The only thing I can think of that matters to me less than Perry's Galileo metaphor is James Fallows' -- whoever he is -- reaction to said metaphor.

Synova said...

Oh and "Scientists" want the grant money. EVERYONE wants the grant money.

I was listening to NPR the other day (this hardly ever happens) and they were interviewing a US Fish and Wildlife regional official who explained that the Feds had just awarded an Indian tribe a grant to study the effects of global warming on their food production. They had five years of data and the fellow said "such as the fact their growing season began three weeks earlier" than in the past. (I specifically remember "three weeks" to the growing season, one way or the other, as well as "five years.")

Someone who is a "boss" at US Fish and Wildlife almost certainly has a degree in Biology, possibly something better than a BS (certainly has better than a BS but maybe not in Biology). So this guy had to have known better.

But the important part was justifying the money that the tribe was getting (and I'm sure it was a good thing for them to get in these hard times, at least from their perspective.)

Your organization, too, can get Federal money if it can only somehow tie in global warming to whatever it is doing.

Jose_K said...

What about Gregor Mendel and his honeybees. because the experiment was falsified. His assisntant after seing the experiment fails forged the data to avoid his boss the frustration.
A monk btw like the man who elaborated the big bang theory.
A better exampe Koch who was exiled from Germany under accusations of cruelty against animals for doing experiments with rats ( His wife whistelblow him to avoid the chuckles of her neighbours)and denied the Berlin Chatedra for saying that invisible microbes can travel by air

Jose_K said...

What about Gregor Mendel and his honeybees. because the experiment was falsified. His assisntant after seing the experiment fails forged the data to avoid his boss the frustration.
A monk btw like the man who elaborated the big bang theory.
A better exampe Koch who was exiled from Germany under accusations of cruelty against animals for doing experiments with rats ( His wife whistelblow him to avoid the chuckles of her neighbours)and denied the Berlin Chatedra for saying that invisible microbes can travel by air

bagoh20 said...

I've never revealed this before, and it may not come as a surprise, but I'm not from your world. I'm from the planet Pussnutz. I'm here to research and learn about your people. I have a couple questions:


1) Why are your scientists who know they have the science on their side and and can prove it, so afraid of the ones who don't.

2) Why are the ones you call Atheists so afraid of a vague symbol of some story they know never happened?

On my planet the people who have the answers have the power. They simply show the others the truth, and not wanting to be wrong, the rest follow.

BTW, keep my identity on the down low. LOL.

Xytheykkwqxy

I know you guys don't understand that, but it's funny as shit on Pussnutz.

Synova said...

Maybe the length of the grant funding was five years.

But still... free money!

And seriously... I've listened to about 15 minutes of public radio in the last 8 years. I wonder if they get a grant for reporting on the grants to prove more global warming.

Erik said...

"The Problem is that historical truth supports Y NOT X (or maybe X and Y)"

What some seem not to know is that while today scientists and theologians comprise completely separate, non-overlapping groups. This was not true then. The scientific authorities of the time were mostly attached to the church, or sought patronage from them. Not all Galileo's opponents were strictly "theologians" in the way we think of them now. So yes, both x and y are true, to different degrees.

This idea that Galileo's opponents were driven purely by theological orthodoxy is a completely misunderstanding of what actually happened--a misunderstanding that would not have happened had Fallows (and so many others) actually read history, and did not get the Cliffs Notes version from those committed to an ideological view of history.

bagoh20 said...

I was gonna vote for Perry, but this Fallows guy talked me out of it.

Is Gore running? Can I write him in? He's much more science based, reasonable, open-minded, and self-controlled than this Perry guy.

Besides, Gore has experience. He was President for a day or two back in 2004 I think.

Carol_Herman said...

Is Mitt Romney the "push back" candidate? Out there representing the moderates? He actually has NO AUTHORITY! He's running because he has the money to run.

I think this is the "Bob Dole" ticket. And, I think McCain got one of them. And, lost "beautifully."

One party, like the wife in a marriage, has to decide that it's a workable system. There is no other excuse!

If this was a real horse race?

Then reputations would depend on finding better horses.

So if Rick Perry makes you happy, be my guest. He's better than the moronic Michele Bachmann. But I still don't think he's going to get the votes he needs to win.

Does it matter?

The Tea Party really doesn't have power. But the insiders? They don't think it's worth the fuss.

Of course, the republicans haven't been putting forward great candidates.

And, when Reagan won? He immediately ditched his California insiders for a more professional (moderate) group. Because he didn't want a few loony tune individuals (like those that surrounded Nixon), to bring him down.

Politics. It's, indeed, a very strange business. It's like going to the circus.

pst314 said...

Fred4Pres: "I guess this means he is not a complete scumbag like Andrew Sullivan."

That would be a fine asset to put on his resume: "Not a complete asshole".

bagoh20 said...

Sullivan and some assholes are similarly mistreated, but the assholes don't enjoy it.

Henry said...

To expand on Erik's comment above, Galileo himself was always a devout christian who rejected Kepler's concept of elliptical orbits, as in conflict with the notion that the circle was the "most perfect conceivable notion."

http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath274/kmath274.htm

Carol_Herman said...

We're also flat as a pancake!

Galileo pissed off the pope. The pope showed Galileo who was boss. (It doesn't last.)

Newton figured out gravity.

Einstein added "time" will tell. And, the gravitational pull isn't a contant. While the "travel of the speed of light" became one.

Then we got to photons. Even though you see them, they are mass-less.

But don't worry. It's not on Thursday's test.

And, the republicans, who want to stay in business, in DC. Are moderates. When the Tea Party sent up a whole set of new House members ... guess what happened?

Have we seen any of this before? Only if you change it back to "moral majority." Sane arguments. Different labels.

What happens if Perry doesn't win? Where do you go from there?

Big Mike said...

Do we still get to pick on Roesh-Voltaire? Because here's one takedown of the slipshod programming used by the climate "scientists" in East Anglia, and here's a takedown of the science itself.

Go read pages 75-80 of Murray Gell-Mann's The Quark and the Jaguar. (Please use the Professor's link to Amazon.com; she will thank you for it.) Theory plays a role in science, but at some point the theory must be matched against reality. And that's where the theory of anthropogenic global warming breaks down. For the past 15 or so years AGW has consistently failed when its theoretical predictions are matched against reality.

For that matter, classical Darwinism also failed when matched against reality, as that reality gradually came clear from a better and better fossil record. The problem was Darwin's insistence on "Natura non facit saltus" ("Nature does not make leaps" for you folks who are not native speakers of Latin), and consequently he posited that species evolve slowly and essentially continuously -- but the fossil record by the middle of the 20th century was showing that many extinct species existed for lengthy periods, sometimes millions of years, essentially unchanged. Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge pretty much rescued evolution with their theory of punctuated equilibrium.

So is evolution false? The original theory, yes. The theory as revised by Eldredge and Gould has not been falsified. If evolution as taught in the schools continues to teach that species evolve gradually and continually then that has no more validity than intelligent design. But evolutionary theory as it stands today with punctuated equilibria is not only backed by positive evidence, but its predictions have not been falsified. So it stands, as it must stand.

Meanwhile AGW has been falsified. It has no more validity than intelligent design, either. It does not matter how many scientists, and alleged scientists, and scientist wanna-bes, assert that the science is settled and that a consensus exists. Reality has asserted otherwise, and in real science it is reality that always has the last word.

Oops. What have I left out? Has intelligent design been falsified? Indirectly, yes it has. It was elegantly demolished in Stephen Jay Gould's The Panda's Thumb (please also buy through the Professor's Amazon link). The Panda's thumb is not a thumb at all -- it's a modified wrist bone. Would an intelligent Creator design the Panda with a fake thumb or would He (She? Does a Creator actually have a gender?) have given pandas the same sort of opposable thumb given to the primates? Gould provides other examples. For myself, I merely ask the question of why, if the Creator would allow my back to get dry and itchy, I wasn't given arms long enough to reach back there and scratch.

bagoh20 said...

"Has intelligent design been falsified? Indirectly, yes it has. It was elegantly demolished in Stephen Jay Gould's The Panda's Thumb "

I fully accept evolution, but I don't think it's possible to disprove the basic premise of Intelligent Design anymore than it can be proven. As I understand it, it suggests a force beyond our understanding which also supports evolution in my mind, or at least doesn't go aginit.

yashu said...

I don't think it's possible to disprove the basic premise of Intelligent Design anymore than it can be proven.

Yes. This is why "Intelligent Design" has nothing whatsoever to do with science.

sydney said...

Is Jose_K married to Carol_Herman? Or are they siblings?

Matt said...

He should have called Perry a stupid a** instead....

jja1961 said...

Another site that destroys the 'science is settled' BS:

http://petitionproject.org/

roesch-voltaire said...

Lamborg, who recently changed his tune, is not a climate scientist. And one of you sources, Lance, had this to say: "I think the effect of temperature and global warming may cause a change in the general wind systems which maybe will delay the effects of the rapidly rising temperatures a little bit."
A little bit, but still global warming, and while the feedback loops are a challenge to measure, that does not disprove global warming. By the way Gould's punctuated equilibrium does not show the original theory of evolution as false, but just suggests some exceptions and so far no one has been able to prove this is the norm, but what recent findings in genetics have shown is just how the process of speciation and modification takes place.In fact Darwin wrote 'the more I think, the more convinced I am, that extinction plays greater part than transmutaiton-- do species migrate and die out? I wonder why do many who do know science or research, as most bloggers on this site, are so sure of where science is in error?

Big Mike said...

@bagoh, please read The Panda's Thumb and the companion Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes.

Just remember that whatever you choose to believe must still survive its contact with reality to be science.

elcrain said...

"That's mean talk" makes Fallows sound like a seven-year-old.

Big Mike said...

@Roesch, you still aren't quite getting it. It's not Gould and Eldredge's theory that invalidated "Natura non facit saltus", it was reality as revealed in the fossil record.

What falsifies AGW is not a competing theory, but reality.

Synova said...

RV, people aren't trying to be clever by repeatedly saying AGW or anthroprogenic global warming.

People are talking about a specific thing. Words have meaning.

I would like to know, are you talking about AGW or are you talking about "warming?" Because you keep on saying "warming."

Mike K said...

a lot of people who choose to believe made up moronic science against it also choose to believe science that finds no evidence of man-made global climate change, it's not mean or irrational to think that people who believe in neither evolution OR global climate change (like Perry) are science morons.

Evolution is a theory that has been subjected to a lot of scientific experimentation over the past 40 years. Climate science is totally observational, the first step in scientific investigation. It has been revealed that a number of the published studies in this field have been falsified. The burden is on the climate science people and so far they have done a poor job with it.

bagoh20 said...

"Yes. This is why "Intelligent Design" has nothing whatsoever to do with science."

~~~~

"Just remember that whatever you choose to believe must still survive its contact with reality to be science."

I thought these were obvious. As is the logic that any power beyond the reach of science cannot be disproved by science. For me faith is that beyond science, and if you believe there is nothing beyond science then that's faith too.

I don't have a belief, I have a hope.

Gene said...

James Fallows obviously thinks Gov. Perry is a moron (as he no doubt regards all the Republic candidates). That being the case, I liked it better when he was completely frank about his biases. No need to hide them in a disinterested veneer which fools no one.

bagoh20 said...

"@bagoh, please read The Panda's Thumb and the companion Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes."

I haven't read them, but I have read about both enough to get the basic point they make, but as I understand them, they don't go anywhere near the question of the limits of science, something that mostly defined by it's limits.

bagoh20 said...

"James Fallows obviously thinks Gov. Perry is a moron (as he no doubt regards all the Republic candidates)."

That's kind of the basic liberal appraisal of Republicans. I had a good friend, who is a liberal, just today tell me I'm too smart to be a Republican. I agreed. I'm actually still a registered Democrat. I've just been too lazy to change it since I was 18, and the campaign mail I get is always hilarious. When a party thinks you are part of the clique, they can be very revealing. I use my Dem. Party supplied voting guide as a list of who to vote against. Tells me most of what I need to know here in CA.

Saint Croix said...

Charlie Brown to Lucy:

I've made an interesting theological discovery.

If you hold your hands upside down when you pray, you get the opposite of what you ask for.


I think that was Linus, actually.

Saint Croix said...

not believing in evolution is moronic. completely moronic. and i'm not afraid to say so.

So, Galileo was a moron, then?

Saint Croix said...

My feeling on evolution is that there is lots of evidence for evolution within species. And zero evidence for the idea that all of life evolved from a common ancestor, a microscopic tadpole, or gnat, or whathaveyou.

The way people are so dogmatic on the subject, however, suggests to me that some people are basing their opinion on a strongly held faith--namely that there cannot possibly be a God.

Fr Martin Fox said...

It seems to me there are about four stages to the question of global warming--that all get pancaked into one:

1. How much warming is happening that's out of sync with whatever natural cycles would normally happen?

2. What are the causes? How much is attributable to human activity?

3. Assuming we have a stable and convincing answer to the foregoing, what are the real--as opposed to sensationalized--harms? Are there any benefits?

4. What are our options? Do we attempt to prevent it? Slow it? Or, would it be better to adapt to it?

Notice, the "science is settled" crowd deems the second question closed, and doesn't even want to discuss the others. The idea, for example, that we might be better adapting rather than trying to prevent it, seems never to get discussed. But isn't that a far more important question?

Put it another way: suppose we already knew we couldn't do much to stop it, then what is the point of spending lots of resources determining whose fault it is?

Suppose the only way to "stop" it is to commit mass suicide; doesn't adapting suddenly make a lot more sense? (And, yes, I know some actually advocate we kill ourselves.)

These seem perfectly reasonable questions.

It seems to me entirely plausible that a realistic assessment of both the expected warming, and of our available tools to combat it, and their cost/benefit, might lead to the conclusion that adaptation will mean less human suffering than prevention. So what keeps them from saying it?

bagoh20 said...

Fr Martin Fox,

One more, and I think the nail in the coffin:

5) Can we affect it?

It would require unprecedented success in both science and politics. Therefore the easiest one to answer: No.

We can't even prevent war, which the science is definitely in on, or cancer which only needs the science. Both are more deadly and urgent.

Fr Martin Fox said...

RV--

I love your comment, that Lomberg isn't a climate scientist.

OK, so he's not a member of the club.

But do you have to be a member of the club to ask pertinent questions?

While lots of reasonable folks ask intelligent questions, and lots of other intelligent folks are listening and waiting for answers, we have the "it's settled" crowd sniffing, "they're not members of the club," while Al Gore keeps shouting, "SHUT UP!"

Nope; no reason at all for anyone to find this curious. Move along.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Bagoh--

Yep; that's what I meant to express by my fourth question. That is the real question, isn't it?

As James Burnham (I think), of National Review, used to say, "if there's no solution, there's no problem."

In this case, the "solution" may be investing in remedies or adaptations. Example: we're told how sad it is that islands in the Pacific may get inundated. Well, yes, that is sad. But if you have to starve millions to prevent it, when you could simply move the thousands who live on that island, which makes more sense?

Yeah, I know, I'm so cold-hearted; and don't forget, anti-science.

Quaestor said...

Big Mike wrote:
What falsifies AGW is not a competing theory, but reality.

@roesch-voltaire
Expanding on Big Mike's point, there are many theories in science, some good and others less good. A good theory has predictive power. Newtonian mechanics, relativistic mechanics, and quantum mechanics are all good theories because they produce numbers that agree with laboratory observation.

AGW is a not a good theory in this respect. So far its predictions have not held up well. The warming trend observed from the mid-1980's until 2000 has plateaued and may be reversing, the predicted upper atmospheric warming never manifested itself, and the computer models do not reproduce historical climate conditions without bizarre counter-factual artifacts like the desertification of Ireland and rain forest weather in the Sahel.

The only reason AGW isn't officially discredited is that powerful and well-positioned people are too heavily invested in the political, economic and religious aspects of AGW to let it go. Hence Perry's Galileo analogy.

yashu said...

I had a good friend, who is a liberal, just today tell me I'm too smart to be a Republican.

I've gotten this too. And I've only come out as a "small-l-libertarian" or "classical liberal". If I were ever to call myself a Republican, my friends might surmise I'd developed a brain tumor.

Shanna said...

The idea, for example, that we might be better adapting rather than trying to prevent it, seems never to get discussed. But isn't that a far more important question?

Indeed.

Futhermore, what always gets me is this freakout over it being a little warmer than it was, what, 100 years ago? Who cares! Who decided that 100 years ago was the perfect temperature for the earth. What about a thousand years ago? What about 10 thousand?

Earth has been around a long time and so have people. We've gone through a number of temperature shifts and reason tells us we will go through a lot more. It just seems kind of insane to be freaking out over a tiny change.

roesch-voltaire said...

Fr.Fox, I teach my students to look at the primary data and reach their own conclusions before readings comments made from folks who do not do the research. There are a few folks who are in the field that are qualified skeptics such as Richard Lindzen, and science writers like Ron Bailey over at Reason Mag, but even he has changed his views. When the "club" as you call it works well that means peer-reviews and counter evidence are welcomed. About Gould-- written in 1977, after which more discoveries and DNA research have taken away some of his claims.

AlphaLiberal said...

Yes, please focus on how Parry's response was either disingenuous or ignorant. But not moronic.

So Althouse to skip right over the actual meaning of the post to look at style.

Parry did get some pretty bad grades in college. So he may be dumb, which is a huge plus in the Republican primary.

Synova said...

Changed views from what to what, RV?

You've not specified what you are talking about. Fr. Fox did a wonderful job separating out the various questions. I think it's important to know what we're talking about.

Did they change their views from "the globe is not warming" to "the globe is warming?"

Did they change their views from "human activity is not causing warming" to "human activity is causing warming?"

Did they change their views from "this is not a problem we can do anything useful about" to "this is a problem we need to solve?"

Did they change their views from "it's better to evacuate low islands" to "it's better to trap millions in optional but deadly and miserable poverty?"

Maybe they just changed their minds from "Al Gore is a hypocritical hack" to "Al Gore is a saint to sell forgiveness for ecological sins and pocket the proceeds."

roesch-voltaire said...

Bailey now accepts that the data shows the climate is warming, but before he was a skeptic. Suggest you check out his columns in Reason for more details.
remember this whole debate is on what counts as evidence and how accurate can any predictions be made based on the data. Well we know that Texas will experience more fires,and that further flooding will take place in the near east-- your insurance companies have figured out that much.