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When top scientists take 2 years to publish, it’s time to give up on old “Peer” review

Ladies and Gentlemen this is the front line trench of modern science. If climate science is so important, and there is no time to waste, why does the system try so hard to discourage dissent (because they don’t want to find the truth, only the “correct” answer)?

This paper by Lindzen and Choi was submitted and rejected by GRL in 2009, then rejected twice more by PNAS. (And in part because it needed to meet impossible standards. In the end, it was supposed to include “the kitchen sink” but fit into a sandwich bag — see below). The paper could have been out for discussion in 2009, and while it has improved upon revision, was it worth the two year wait? Those gains could have been made in two months (or two weeks) online.

Even the reviewers understand how significant these results would be if they are right. One admits the new paper shows the models don’t match the observations.

Science needs free and open criticism, and competing theories. If Lindzen’s analysis is revolutionary, but potential wrong, is it so bad to publish those results? He is one of the most eminent researchers in the field — and surely the crowd of “experts” would quickly find the flaws and point out the omissions, and both sides could move forward.

It’s time for scientists to step outside the system and stop paying homage to the dogma of the old rules. It  slows down research because the all-too-human gatekeepers can keep a topic away from public view for month after month, while people pay money for schemes that are not necessary and government reviewers can ignore results that are inconvenient.

In this day of electronic publication where space is no limit, and results can be discussed widely, transparently and easily, why bow to a system that has strict limits on words?

As long as we pay respect to anachronistic rituals, and establishment procedures, the prevailing system can be a stranglehold on the ideas that the community can discuss. Formal peer review has proven to be as corruptible as any human process, as the Climategate emails show. There is a point where we must ask, why bother?

It’s time real scientists had an impartial rigorous publication to send their material too. Where is the 21st Century new version of “Science” or “Nature”? There is no rescuing the old publications.

This post is long, but it is, in effect, about both the problems with peer review, as well as being the latest news on the point in climate science that is more critical than any other — the modeled feedbacks.

The Paper: Lindzen, R., Choi, Y.S. (2011) On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications.  Asian Pacific Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, in press. [link]– Joanne Nova

From Master Resource via the Science and Public Policy Institute blog
[Editor’s note: The following material was supplied to Master Resource by Dr. Richard Lindzen as an example of how research that counters climate-change alarm receives special treatment in the scientific publication process as compared with results that reinforce the consensus view. In this case, Lindzen's submission to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences was subjected to unusual procedures and eventually rejected (in a rare move), only to be accepted for publication in the Asian Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences.

I, too, have firsthand knowledge about receiving special treatment. Ross McKitrick has documented similar experiences, as have John Christy and David Douglass and Roy Spencer, and I am sure others. The unfortunate side-effect of this differential treatment is that a self-generating consensus slows the forward progress of scientific knowledge—a situation well-described by Thomas Kuhn is his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. –Chip Knappenberger]

***

“If one reads [our new] paper, one sees that it is hardly likely to represent the last word on the matter. One is working with data that is far from what one might wish for. Moreover, the complexity of the situation tends to defeat simple analyses. Nonetheless, certain things are clear: models are at great variance with observations, the simple regressions between outgoing radiation and surface temperature will severely misrepresent climate sensitivity, and the observations suggest negative rather than positive feedbacks.”

– Richard Lindzen

***

These  are emails between Lindzen and The editor of  the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). This is the same journal that published the ad hominem black list of “climate scientists” which I mocked as being from the National Academy of Sorcery (see image below).  Dr Lindzen points out that it’s normal procedure for members of PNAS to put in up to 4 papers a year, they arrange their own duo of reviewers, and 98% of the submissions are accepted. (Attachment1.pdf is simply a statement of PNAS procedure.)

PNAS - satire, cover.

Richard Lindzen wrote:

The rejection of the present paper required some extraordinary violations of accepted practice. We feel that making such procedures public will help clarify the peculiar road blocks that have been created in order to prevent adequate discussion of fundamental issues. It is hoped, moreover, that the material presented here can offer the interested public some insight into what is involved in the somewhat mysterious though widely (if inappropriately) respected process of peer review.

This situation is compounded, in the present example, by the absurdly lax standards applied to papers supportive of climate alarm. In the present example, there existed an earlier paper (Lindzen and Choi, 2009) [we covered that paper here -CK], that had been subjected to extensive criticism. The fact that no opportunity was provided to us to respond to such criticism was, itself, unusual and disturbing. The paper we had submitted to the PNAS was essentially our response which included the use of additional data and the improvement and correction of our methodology.

Several weeks after Lindzen submitted this paper the Editor of PNAS responded with two attachments to a two-line email:

Attach1.pdf (The standard policy of PNAS)_
Attach2.pdf (The letter about Lindzens submission).

Lindzen describes the letter:

This attachment begins with what we regard as a libelous description of our choice of reviewers. Will Happer, though a physicist, was in charge of research at DOE including pioneering climate research. Moreover, he has, in fact, published professionally on atmospheric turbulence. He is also a member of the NAS. M.-D. Chou and I have not collaborated in over 5 years, and Chou had absolutely nothing to do with the present manuscript. There then followed a list of other reviewers that we felt were all inappropriate.

Lindzen suggested appropriate reviewers. Randy Schekman decided to ask one of the experts Lindzen suggested. But the next email mentioned two other names apparently suggested by one of Lindzens list of reviewers. Lindzen wrote that “As best as I could determine, none of my suggested reviewers would have made such a recommendation. I can only speculate that Schekman considered Ramanathan.

Lindzen wrote that he did object to those two reviewers:

“Both are outspoken public advocates of alarm, and Wielicki has gone so far as to retract results once they were shown to contradict alarm.” Lindzen suggested Dr. Patrick Minnis, a collegue of Wielicki.

The reviews went ahead finally, and the response was a polite rejection. Attach3.pdf.

The old-media double bind

Lindzen could respond to the reviewers and adjust his paper to clarify things, but then it would be too long to fit the space constraints of PNAS, “especially since the reviewers made clear that important material should not be relegated to ‘supplementary material’.”

Further, Lindzen notes that most papers that are re-submitted are re-rejected leading to further delays.

Our final letter to Schekman (Letter_to_Schekman.pdf) is attached. As already noted, we chose to respond in detail to each review, and these responses are attached (Response.pdf). The revised paper (as well as the original version submitted to the PNAS: Lindzen-Choi-PNASSubmission.pdf) is also attached (Lindzen-Choi-APJAS.pdf).

The final version is accepted (following review) by the Asian Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences.

Furthermore, Lindzen writes that they feel it is necessary to reply to the reviewers even though they did not re-submit the paper, “simply because we found comments on the rejection of our paper on the internet even before receiving your official decision”.

Commentors on Master Resource point out the rejection included a review comment:“If the analysis done by the authors prove to be correct, major scientific and even political implications can be foreseen.” Which is in and of itself perhaps more of a reason to publish something from an eminent team rather than not.

Lindzen points out the scientific flaws in the reviewers arguments:

As to your quote from one of the board members, the answer is straightforward. We clarify in Section 4 (Methodology) of the revised paper the use of a simple model to generate time series with specified feedbacks to test various analysis methods. The use of simple regression over the entire record (as is the procedure in Trenberth et al, 2010 and Dessler, 2010) is shown to severely understate negative feedbacks and exaggerate positive feedbacks – and even to produce significant positive feedback for the case where no feedbacks were actually present (viz Figure 7 and Table 1 of the revised paper) . Our method, while hardly ideal, fairly accurately replicates negative feedbacks and only modestly understates positive feedbacks. Equally important, the simple regression approach leads to extraordinarily small values of the correlation (r ) on the order of 0.02. Such values would, in normal scientific fields, lead 2 to the immediate rejection of the results of Trenberth et al and Dessler as insignificant. We show that the appropriate use of objectively determined segments that adhere to the normal requirement that segments be short compared to equilibration times while long compared to the time scales associated with feedback processes, greatly increases the signal to noise ration, eliminates biases due to equilibration, and greatly increases r2 – despite reducing the degrees of freedom (viz Figure 9 of the revised manuscript). I hope that you will agree that holding such unjustified and insignificant analyses as those by Trenberth et al and Dessler to be standards for comparison to be disturbing to say the least.

Here’s the proof that if someone does find a result that “busts” the alarmist science, it could not be published, because it’s too different to the accepted paradigm.

Reviewer #2 claimed there were many unknowns (mostly in climate science and climate models, but also in the Lindzens paper), and since reviewer #2 also felt the paper would be “revolutionary” if it were right because it was so different from the models therefore he concluded that it ought not be published for wider discussion (figure that):

The poor state of cloud modeling in GCMs has been amply demonstrated elsewhere and the effect of this on climate sensitivity is well documented and acknowledged. The more significant result here is a claim to have demonstrated an extremely strongly negative, fast process climate feedback in the Tropics. This would be revolutionary, if it bears the test.

While the stated result is dramatic, and a remarkable departure from what analysis of data and theory has so far shown, I am very concerned that further analysis will show that the result is an artifact of the data or analysis procedure. The result comes out of a multi-step statistical process. We don’t really know what kind of phenomena are driving the SST and radiation budget changes, and what fraction of the total variance these changes express, since the data are heavily conditioned prior to analysis. We don’t know the direction of causality – whether dynamically or stochastically driven cloud changes are forcing SST, or whether the clouds are responding to SST change. Analysis of the procedure suggests the former is true, which would make the use of the correlations to infer sensitivity demonstrably wrong, and could also explain why such a large sensitivity of OLR to SST is obtained when these methods are applied.

The inferred sensitivity of longwave emission to SST is enormous, significantly greater than that of a black body at the emission temperature of the tropics. Given that no plausible model or data analysis has ever produced anything close to this, one is inclined to think that the result comes from the methodology and not from physics.

[Lindzen's reply] The number of assertions by the reviewer would require another paper to respond to. His or her use of undefined terms like ‘enormous’ and ‘revolutionary’ are relatively meaningless. Since when is a negative feedback that reduces the response by 40% considered enormous, but a positive feedback that is purported to increase the response by 300% is considered plausible? However, it should be clear from the revised paper that there is no ambiguity in our choice of segments. Moreover, our methodology is tested rigorously by a simple model (see Figures 7 and 8). We are confident that all our reported results are reproducible by anyone who wishes to do so.

Reviewer #2 doesn’t want those results out there, even if they might be correct unless there is also a physical explanation… If someone discovered a pharmaceutical was having an adverse effect would we prevent publication until they had an explanation of exactly how it was hurting people? –Jo

Without a physical explanation for where these strong negative feedbacks are coming from, and without an acknowledgment that the results are highly uncertain and possibly not applicable at all, I would not publish this paper.

Reviewer #4 says:

1) If the paper were properly revised, it would meet the top 10% category. 2) The climate feedback parameter is of general interest. 3) I answered no, because the exact same data have been used by others to get an opposing answer and I do not see any discussion or evidence as to why one is correct and the other is not.

[Lindzen's reply] The reasons for the opposite answer with the same data, but with different methods, are clearly stated in the revised manuscript.

So the team of researchers on the establishment case can get published for using this data, but not one of the smaller team who point out flaws. And that the dissenters came to different conclusions is not enough, Lindzen needs to explain why he got the opposite result to Trenberth or the public ought be shielded from knowing that there are dissenting views. Reviewer #4 admits (!) that the paper shows the models are not matching observations, but struggles with Lindzen reaching a different conclusion to Trenberth.

Trying to understand the feedback of the Earth-atmosphere system to radiative forcings from observations has been going on for a long time and remains difficult. This paper continues in that vein and, as far as I am concerned, shows that observations and model calculations are different.

[Lindzen's reply] This was one of our major aims: namely to show that when data and models are analyzed in the same way, they lead to profoundly different results, and that these differences relate directly to the question of climate sensitivity.

Trenberth et al. (2010) performed a very similar analysis and got the opposite result. Why are the two analyses of the same data so different? That is the big question here.
While the specific comments bring up some issues related to that question, it is clear that this paper provides no insight. Why can the two papers arrive at such divergent answers? I would love to see that question resolved satisfactorily. Both cannot be right. Perhaps, both are wrong.

But to go beyond Trenberth et al. and LC09, this paper has to address that question and argue why Trenberth is wrong and the current analysis is correct. Otherwise, we are left with two completely opposing analyses of a common dataset and no discussion as to why one is correct and the other is not.

[Reply] Perhaps, our new Figure 7 (the test results with the same generated data in the simple system) summarizes why one is usably correct and the other is generally not.

Lindzens entire reply to the reviewers  is here.

***

Roy Spencer  commented on feedbacks at Master Resource #13:

Roy Spencer { 06.09.11 at 7:59 pm }
Positive feedback for climate is not the same as for engineering…in the usual sense of the word, the climate system is stable, with net negative feedback.

But the MAIN climate stabilizing effect is NOT included in climate “feedback”: the increase in IR cooling to space as temperature rises (the Stefan-Boltzman effect). It’s just semantics, and leads to much confusion.

For example, positive cloud feedback would reduce the rate of radiative loss to space with temperature below the Stefan-Boltzman value…but it would still be a loss of energy with warming, and so negative feedback in the traditional sense.

***

Judith Curry comments on peer review on her blog:

In the end, it is far more important that controversial papers be published than buried in the publication process.  Far better for a flawed paper to be published than for a potentially game changing paper to be buried.  LC’s work on this topic needs to be pursued, challenged, and understood.”

Curry says:

“First, I have been harshly critical of “pal review,” and the PNAS papers contributed by NAS members is the worst form of pal review.

And this:

“Looks like potentially important papers by skeptics get “special treatment”, whereas unimportant and often dubious papers by consensus scientists slide right through. This treatment feeds into the narratives of McKitrick, Spencer, Christy, Douglass and Michaels about unfair treatment of skeptics by the journal editors.  The establishment would often respond to such criticisms by saying that these are marginal papers by marginal scientists, and that more reputable and recognized scientists such as Lindzen have no trouble getting their papers published.  Well, this PNAS episode certainly refutes that argument.”

h/t Bob Fergusson (SPPI) and to Steve.

In a previous post I asked: Can Peer Review be fixed?

* The PNAS blacklist of scientists was one of cohenites ten worst papers.

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136 comments to When top scientists take 2 years to publish, it’s time to give up on old “Peer” review

  • #
    Marcus

    I would like as many people as possible to get-up “Get-up” and demonstrate whether this is a democratic grass roots group or just another front for the socialist green movement. Please comment and importantly vote here; http://suggest.getup.org.au/forums/60819-campaign-ideas/suggestions/1880763-i-want-a-campaign-against-the-carbon-tax-?ref=title


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  • #
    bananabender

    Get Up! is simply a front for the major Left Wing trade unions.


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  • #
    Speedy

    If someone from “The Team” spoke out against the party line, this would be regarded as a catastrophic CLM (Career Limiting Move).

    Just check out the Climategate (C)* emails!

    Cheers,

    Speedy.

    * (C) Climategate, copyright Bulldust/Wilson.


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Did we not already know the fight was fixed? Science never really mattered because the disease was political from the git-go.

    It’s time to fight the political problem. Clean that up and the science will be cleaned up along with it.


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  • #

    Roy,

    The politics cannot be corrected until we individually give up holding the idea that we are obliged to be our bother’s keeper. Otherwise, we will continue to accept and submit to the notion that is both moral and practical to sacrifice and be sacrificed to the “cause”. In fact, we won’t even be able to decide for ourselves what the “cause” will be. It would be seen to be an arrogant expression of our individuality and will not be permitted even by ourselves. It will be left to the sacred “other” to decide such things for us. We will individually be as nothing with the sacred “other” being everything.

    It is the morality of sacrifice that must be fought and eliminated to its roots.


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  • #

    Donald Rapp commented on Climate Audit:
    Posted Jun 10, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    It seems to me that the issue here is not whether the review of Lindzen and Choi’s manuscript was fair and equitable; I suspect that in many ways it probably was. The issue is whether the review was conducted in a manner comparable to reviews given by journals to other papers that express the alarmist view of climate change. In this regard there are two issues: (i) choice of reviewers, and (ii) depth of detail in review. I have the distinct impression that the choice of reviewers was tilted against Lindzen and Choi at the outset, and the depth of review seems to have been far more penetrating than for other papers. Indeed, it seems to me that it is in the nature of climatology that short-term random chaotic variations are typically much greater than long-term secular changes, and it is very difficult to unravel the long-term signal from data. Since most cases involve inadequate spatial and temporal data coverage, climatologists seem to derive a dollar’s worth of conclusions from a penny’s worth of data. For example, Dessler et al. (JGR, 2008) analyzed a mere one-month’s data in 2005 to infer clear-sky top-of-atmosphere outgoing long-wave radiation (OLR) and its relationship to humidity. I wonder what kind of review that paper received? Gettleman and Fu (2008) used a mere five years of data. The work by Soden et al., Santer et al. and Dessler et al. and others shows great ingenuity in ferreting out information from very limited amounts of data, some of which is of uncertain reliability. But ultimately, the credibility of their results is limited by the scarcity of good long-term data. Parameters such as humidity and cloudiness vary widely from day-to-day and year-to-year even in the absence of any forcing. In attempting to determine how these parameters respond to a forcing, one must have data over very long periods to overcome the low signal-to-noise rations inherent in them. The same problem occurs in sea level measurements.

    However, whereas climatologists studying sea level have emphasized the need for very long-term data, those who infer feedbacks from humidity and cloudiness seem to be content with very short-term data.

    I suspect that if all of these papers had been subjected to the same kind of review that Lindzen and Choi received, they might not have been published. Indeed, if all climatological papers received this kind of review, the journals would be emptied out.

    ————————————–

    This is just it. The friendly papers get published and cited, and then later buried with a peer reviewed response (which can be delayed up to two years), but Lindzen’s paper didn’t even get published before it was “rebutted” by an anonymous team, which published their criticisms online before the paper was in press. It shows you how important the paper is, and how afraid they are of it going “un-rebutted” for even a month or two.


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    Fenbeagle

    There’s people with pretentious names, like Lindzen, Bjorn, and Bob.

    …Taking the Mikado…

    http://fenbeagleblog.wordpress.com/


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    The politics cannot be corrected until we individually give up holding the idea that we are obliged to be our bother’s keeper.

    So Lionell, give up that idea. I never had it to begin with so you’re preaching that message to the wrong guy. :-)

    Roy

    PS:

    Just so everyone knows where I stand on the matter — I can choose to help others and I do.

    RH


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  • #
    Colin Henderson

    The IPCC and its ilk would have us believe that peer review is the equivalent of sound scientific validation, which is not true. Peer review is little more than a glorified spelling and grammar check of the scientific method, logic and references (but not even that in some pal review instances). Validation only takes place after publication when the broader scientific community has weighed in.


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    Lionell Griffith

    Roy @9,

    Good for you. However, that still does not correct the politics unless and until there is a cultural revolution that results in the rejection of the morality of sacrifice.

    As it is, the global culture projects that the good is the good for others AND the non-good for self. (n.b. what “the good” actually is, is no were defined but that whatever it is, it is for good that infinite sacred *other*). That makes for very bad politics. It offers only the choice of being the one who sacrifices others or the one who is sacrificed for others. What it means to be a self responsible free individual associating and trading voluntarily with others for mutual benefit does not even get on the screen let alone be considered as the only path for humans to live and thrive.


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    Bulldust

    You know what the next line of attack will be… the climate gang will turn around and say the paper isn’t even in a “reputable” journal, which is a sign that it isn’t even worthy of their contempt. This is their modus operandi laid bare, and you can bet the team at RC will be in a flurry to write a long essay of disparaging remarks about the claims, but give feeble or no criticisms worth a pinch of fei-oo about the actual findings.


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  • #
    MarcH

    I’ll be interested to see how long the MSM take to provide news of this. You’d think with a debilitating tax in the pipeline this paper that finds: “The results imply that the models are exaggerating climate sensitivity.” would provide cause to pause, and receive some coverage.
    I will be very surprised if it makes ABC News.


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  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    Colin Henderson: #10

    Exactly. And this is the point that the press, and therefore the public totally miss. When Pachuri stands up and says, “we only use papers that have been peer reviewed in reputable journals”, all he is really saying is that the spelling and grammar was correct.

    As the publishing notes state: [Peer review is all about,] “maintaining highly professional publication standards”, [my bold]. Nowhere is there reference to accuracy, and neither should there be.

    The journals are supposed to publish professional opinion. That opinion can be accepted or rejected by other professionals. In the latter case, their rejection should be through the submission of another paper to the same, or another, publication. That is the way science is supposed to work; it leaves a clear audit trail of the various views; and the journals are a key repository in that process.

    They are not supposed to be gate-keepers in the process, other than exercising editorial judgement on which papers best align with the subject matter of the journal. On these grounds, they may reject a paper as being not within their editorial remit, but they should make that decision, before the peer review process is commenced, and not afterwards.

    The way things now appear to be done leaves the process open to tampering by the reviewers.

    Or perhaps that is the rationale for the way things are now done.

    “All in all, it’s just a,
    ‘nother brick in the wall.”


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    Rereke Whakaaro

    Bulldust: #12

    I agree that the first instinct of the climate gang will be to attack the messenger, if they cannot attack the message.

    But if they are going to attack the journal as not being “reputable”, they will also be raising the ire of everybody else who has previously published in that journal. They may also leave themselves open to litigation from the publisher. Wouldn’t that be interesting?


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  • #

    Remember Phil Jones reply when he was asked (UK House of Commons) how often scientists reviewing his papers for probity before publication asked to see details of his raw data, methodology and computer codes. “They’ve never asked,” he said.”
    “They’ve never asked,”
    People knew not to ask, not to take on Jones et al. Note the sour and aggressive tone when Jones dealt with Wood in 1988.


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  • #
    KR

    Colin Henderson @ 10

    “Peer review is little more than a glorified spelling and grammar check of the scientific method, logic and references (but not even that in some pal review instances). Validation only takes place after publication when the broader scientific community has weighed in.”

    To a large extent, I would really have to agree. I think in this case, though, both GRL and PNAS were very touchy – LC09 got several direct rebuttals, and neither journal staff wanted to look like a*******, um, “idiots” by posting something that didn’t properly answer the critiques.

    I’m glad they finally got published, and the work can now be discussed.


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  • #

    One possible physical mechanism for the observed negative feedback is the change in enthalpy values of water evaporated at sea levael and condensed in the upper atmosphere. i.e. more energy is released in the upper atmosphere from the condensation process than is absorbed when it is evaporated at the surface of the earth. visit the steam table of spirax sarco and enter various pressures and observe how water at lower pressure has a lower enthalpy, and therefore water evaporated at higher pressures and subsequently condensed at lower pressures transfers more energy to the atmosphere.

    Empirically, the temperature of rain, hail and snow is always lower than the temperature of the surface it was evaporated from.


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    NikFromNYC

    Your shtick is a bit uptight. More human element please. More of YOU, less perfect graphics that look corporate and paid for and partisan, merely.

    [Perfect graphics! Why thank you Nik. You know, years ago, my artistic hobby reached the point where people sought me out to do science cartoons and professional graphic design. I ended up turning away those jobs, but thank goodness for blogging. Where else could I combine science, art, and communicating. :-) -- JN ]


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  • #
    Richard S Courtney

    NikFromNYC:

    Your troll comment at #18 is silly.

    If her graphics are good then that implies Jo is a corporate shill? Bollocks! It demonstrates that she takes care to present her information in a professional manner.

    And if her graphics were poor then some troll would use that to support a claim that her posts were amateurish.

    Let that be an end to your attempt to disrupt this thread. It was a very poor attempt compared to those of several trolls who have posted here recently.

    Richard


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    BLouis79

    My understanding of peer review (as a sometime peer reviewer), is that it is one of review. Editors retain the right to publish or not, always. The editors job is to maintain quality of papers and interest to the readership. Editors may or may not agree with reviewers’ opinions. Editors may choose any reviewers they like. Reviewers do not have the power to publish or veto publication. A competent editor can prevent peer review bias interfering with publication.

    It is fairly clear that the mainstream science journals (Science, Nature, Scientific American, etc) are suffering from pro-warmist editorial bias. It is a lot easier to control editorial opinion than the mass of potential reviewers out there.

    Thankfully, in the electronic world, one can publish online and scientific discourse can occur unfettered by biased editors.

    Rancourt also has a climate peer review story in depth. http://climateguy.blogspot.com/2011/05/peer-criticism-revised-version-of.html
    (He is also adjudicator for the $10K climate challenge.)


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    cohenite

    KR@17 says:

    “I’m glad they finally got published, and the work can now be discussed.”

    So, discuss it; from memory you made much of L&C concentrating on the tropics in their 2010 paper:

    http://www.legnostorto.com/allegati/Lindzen_Choi_ERBE_JGR_v4.pdf

    Their 2011 effort addresses that criticism [again]:

    “We argue that feedbacks are largely concentrated in the tropics, and the tropical feedbacks can be adjusted to account for their impact on the globe as a whole. Indeed, we show that including all CERES data (not just from the tropics) leads to results similar to what are obtained for the tropics alone – though with more noise.”

    What would that noise be KR?


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    Dave

    O/T

    Just a note to Cohenite, you got your comment published at:
    http://www.sayyesaustralia.org.au/2011/05/30/community-leaders-join-call-for-carbon-price/#comment-109

    None of mine have – and the overall comments are NO or DELETED. This site will close soon like the Green Pussy Cat Poll did.


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    MattB

    Good to see rigorous peer review in action. If you are challenging the accepted position I’m nor surprised it takes a lot longer to publish, as you’d need to step back possibly many layers of accepted results, rather than simply adding a little bit here or there to what is generally accepted. The review comments (and level of work required to review) would reasonably be much more complex (and much more time consuming).

    What’s a couple of years? nothing.


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    Mark D.

    @24:

    What’s a couple of years? nothing.

    How long have they been trying for a carbon tax?

    None of this would be a problem if it weren’t for reformers and socialists bending the most recent study for political gain.

    You Mattb have been oblivious to this reality and I find your glib “whats a couple of years” extremely telling of your value in the discussion.


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    lmwd

    My understanding of the research/publication process is that very often studies are published with the limitations acknowledged. The whole idea is that others pick up that work and then seek to remedy limitations or to build on the work, thus closing gaps in knowledge. It becomes an iterative process that many researchers might participate in over time. Even as a masters student we were encouraged to read the literature and find the gaps and to look at how we could replicate or build on that work. Certainly as a doctoral student, this is what you are required to do.

    To go to extraordinary lengths to hold the Lindzen and Choi paper up with requirements not normally expected or even stop it getting published altogether does suggest that the findings might be controversial, not because they are bad, but for the implications to the status quo, as Jo has pointed out. In any other field, this is a good thing and marks the progress of knowledge. In the field of climate, it is dangerous knowledge – too much money at stake.

    In my time in an academic environment, I remember senior researchers talking about the politics around certain subjects and the difficulty in getting published. About 12 years ago, I was working with a several senior people on a research project that looked at organisational innovation from a complexity perspective. At the time, complexity theory was seen as a challenge to mainstream management theory – the antithesis of the status quo. Because there were, worldwide, a number of researchers working in this space, the end result was that a new journal ‘emerged’ to accommodate research and writing from this perspective. Some years later, the language of complexity in management has become ‘the new black’, especially since the GFC.

    Unfortunately, in the current ‘climate’, we don’t have a lot of time for challenging ideas/research to challenge the status quo and filter into the mainstream. Govts are busy trying to rush through policy before this happens (and before the climate itself renders it impossible). Given also the money at stake, the natural process would likely be subverted/corrupted – as is possibly happening with the Lindzen and Choi paper. In many other threads on this site, the implications for science and knowledge in general have already been discussed.


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    theRealUniverse

    The peer review process has been warped for years in all aspects of science (not just climate!) ever since big govt has been using “results that they favour” to issue research grants and hence “results” that they dont favour are discouraged or literally non-funded with said researchers in some extreme cases told that their research isn’t welcome in this “govt funded” institute!
    Therefore this article isn’t surprising.
    It isn’t helped by corporate-elite controlled media bowing to crap scientific results and theories and continually playing heavily biased documentaries and news articles that only show one point of view..that of the “funded research” that the system WANTS you to believe.


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    Mattb: Curious how the so called progressives suddenly choose to apply conservative rules…
    I take it you don’t mind that if the AGW theory has made the wrong assumptions it will take 20 years to demonstrate that through the peer review process and archaic paper trail, even though it could be done in 2 years online. Even though that means governments could divert wasted money and effort to solve real environmental problems much sooner, instead of “fixing” fake ones?

    That’s billions of dollars flushed down the toilet that could have been used to stop erosion and salinity, biodiversity loss, or to halt famine and disease.

    What exactly do we lose if Lindzen happened to publish a paper that is easy to criticize, and ultimately shown to be wrong? Answer, not much. Why are Team-AGW so afraid of open debate?

    Answer: They know they are losing.


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    Damian Allen

    Yet another poll about the plant food (carbon DIOXIDE) TAX……….

    http://sarah-hanson-young.greensmps.org.au/polls/do-you-think-government-should-adopt-greens-safe-climate-bill

    THE OBVIOUS ANSWER IS “NO”……

    Since their previous poll did not yield the response that they wanted they have reworded it to try and fool gullible people.

    Here is the response for their previous poll……

    http://sayyestotax.blogspot.com/2011/06/say-yes-to-removing-unwelcome-results.html


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    Damian Allen

    Nazi collaborator Soros behind Carbon Cate’s ‘tax me’ ad…..

    Foreign billionaire hedge fund speculator, drug pusher and Nazi collaborator George Soros is the éminence grise behind the Cate Blanchett carbon tax ad, which is sponsored by Soros’ Australian front, GetUp.
    “The media circus over Cate Blanchett is irrelevant,” Citizens Electoral Council leader Craig Isherwood declared today. “The real issue is George Soros’ underhanded intervention to manipulate Australian politics.”
    By his own admission, George Soros was a witting participant in the Holocaust, as a Nazi collaborator with the extermination machine run by Adolf Eichmann in Soros’ native Hungary. In at least two television interviews, in 1994 and 1998, Soros freely admitted to his Nazi collaboration, and declared that he felt no guilt over his actions, or over the extermination of nearly a half million of his fellow Hungarian Jews. Even worse, he exulted in his autobiography that, “It was actually, probably the happiest year of my life—that year of German occupation. For me it was a very positive experience.”
    Soros went on to become an agent for the City of London, using his Quantum hedge fund as a political battering ram to smash nations and national currencies, under the personal direction of British cabinet minister Lord Malloch-Brown, a board member of the Quantum Fund.
    Aside from forcing British imperial economic policies such as free trade and deregulation onto targeted nations, Soros has used his ill-gotten loot to madly push the legalisation of hard drugs and euthanasia. And, on behalf of British geopolitical strategy, he has helped topple national governments by financing the creation of fake “grassroots” protest movements, such as the Ukrainian “Orange Revolution” and Georgian “Rose Revolution”, aimed at destabilising Russia. And GetUp is just one more fake “grassroots” movement. Look at the history.
    GetUp is the Australian counterpart to Soros’ MoveOn.org in the United States. The two co-founders of GetUp, Harvard graduates Jeremy Heimans and David Madden, both worked for the Soros-funded MoveOn.org in the U.S. to also launch the global web “movement”, Avaaz.org. Madden was previously a consultant to the World Bank and Heimans previously consulted for the UN, OECD and ILO. And when GetUp suddenly popped up in 2005, this “people’s organisation” boasted among its founding board members: John Hewson, former federal opposition leader, former Macquarie Bank Executive Director, and Trilateral Commission member; Don Mercer, a mining chief, former ANZ CEO, and a past Director of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; and Evan Thornley, the super-rich Labor Party money-bags who was also National Secretary of the Australian Fabian Society, to which belong all of the ALP’s leading advocates of population reduction—Julia Gillard, Bob Carr and Kelvin Thomson.
    The Blanchett ad is also sponsored by the Australian Conservation Foundation, World Wide Fund for Nature Australia, Greenpeace Australia Pacific and the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
    Mr Isherwood said, “It’s not exactly surprising to see the Prince Philip-founded ACF in bed with a former Nazi collaborator, Soros. After all, Philip’s own family in Germany was full of ranking Nazis as documented in the new film Unlawful Killing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnzmk1E6QmE) , while his two partners in founding the WWF in 1961—the mother of the world’s entire environmentalist movement—were former Nazi SS member Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and British Eugenics Society President Julian Huxley, and here in Australia the guy he deployed to do all the legwork in setting up the ACF, Francis Noble Ratcliffe, was a professed admirer of Mussolini. And of course Hitler’s Nazi Party grew out of the post-World War I ‘green movement’ in Germany in the first place. Most of the top Nazis were Greens.
    “So what is the ACTU doing in bed with Philip’s ACF and WWF and the old Nazi George Soros? Perhaps it should explain to its members why it is spending their money to support a Nazi agenda, and one which will tax them out of existence, literally!”


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    pat

    “peer” is a four-letter word…

    wrongly turned on abc news radio this morning for all of a minute at max. they had a piece about NRMA or similar wanting petrol exempt if a carbon tax is implemented, possibly from the following:

    12 June: Daily Tele: Trouble in heartland Sydney says NRMA survey into household expenses
    Over half the 1200 respondents oppose the introduction of a carbon tax, with the figure rising if it results in higher petrol prices…
    More than half also said they did not support a carbon tax, with almost 20 per cent undecided. More than one in 10 respondents had taken on a second job to cover rising living costs. And more than half the respondents said they were more stressed than they used to be, while families were increasingly taking advantage of discount vouchers to pay for goods.
    A staggering 82 per cent used discount coupons to buy petrol with 25 per cent relying on them to bring down the cost of groceries…
    The motoring body is lobbying the Federal Government to abort the carbon tax, or reduce the fuel excise.
    “Australian families cannot withstand another hike in petrol prices and this survey shows the inherent risk of introducing an additional tax without protecting families from this rise,” Ms Machin said.
    “With uncertainty around petrol prices and the carbon tax, the benefits and cost of living in Sydney weighs heavily on the minds and wallets of all Australians.”
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/trouble-in-heartland-sydney-says-nrma-survey-into-household-expenses/story-e6freuy9-1226073556491

    the second the item ended, ABC came up with the following story for which there is endless taxpayer money available:

    11 June: Perth Now: AAP: Collie carbon capture’s $50m injection
    The Collie South West Hub project aims to initially capture up to 2.4 mega tonnes of CO2 a year from surrounding industry including coal-fired power plants.
    The government will spend $52 million on a viability study, promising an extra $333 million if successful.
    The funding is part of the $1.68 billion Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships and Solar Flagships scheme, deferred earlier this year to help fund the summer natural disasters recovery…
    http://www.perthnow.com.au/business/collie-carbon-captures-50m-injection/story-e6frg2r3-1226073462119

    Wikipedia: Carbon capture and storage in Australia
    No coal fired power station in Australia presently has CCS of CO2. CCS is not presently a viable technology for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from coal fired power stations and is not expected, even by its proponents, to be commercially viable until at least 2020…
    Australia has significant deposits of coal allowing economic benefits for years to come without significant environmental impacts…
    Challenges
    Cost of CCS will make coal fired electricity more expensive than wind power …
    Existing power stations unlikely to be able to have carbon capture technology retrofitted …
    CCS is forecast to require up to 30% more coal than conventional plants to cover the energy needs of CCS, and that extra coal must first be mined (which has environmental effects) and transported to the plant (which takes energy)…
    Liability for leakage
    A federal parliamentary committee has given the green light to burying carbon pollution under the ground – and suggested taxpayers pay any clean-up bills. If legislated this would be a huge taxpayer subsidy to polluters…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_capture_and_storage_in_Australia

    is the public aware we are liable for any leakages???? enough of this nonsense.


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    MadJak

    I’ve just put in my 3 votes on the getup site. I don’t expect my comments to make it up, but here is my take on it:

    I can’t think of any other time in history where the people have demanded to be taxed more. Think about it, it’s Crazy.

    This has nothing to do with the environment.

    I find it appalling that this government is trying to push an unwanted tax on the people without a mandate for no other reason than their own ideological ideals and their political need to keep the greens and independants on side.

    I can guarantee that if this tax get’s up, in 10 years time all the subsidies used to buy peoples support will have evaporated -regardless of who is in government.


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    Damian Allen

    Don’t forget to vote in this poll by the Lunatic greenie Sarah Hanson-Young…..

    http://sayyestotax.blogspot.com/2011/06/say-yes-to-removing-unwelcome-results.html

    Lets get thos “NO” votes up people !


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    Damian Allen

    Send Gillard a fax using the free online fax service………

    How good is this?

    Julia Gillard… I want you to listen!!

    Go to http://www.iwantyoutolisten.com/

    and fax her about the carbon tax!

    TELL HER WE DO NOT WANT A TAX ON CARBON DIOXIDE, WHICH IS PLANT FOOD AND NOT POLLUTION !

    “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”
    - Julia Gillard, Less than a week before the federal election


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    Phillip Bratby

    See Climategate email 1089318616. Phil Jones:

    I can’t see either of these papers being in the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow—even if we have to redefine what the “peer-review literature” is!

    Phil will have another definiton of “peer-review” ready to keep Lindzen and Choi out of the next IPCC report.


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    theRealUniverse

    @Damian Allen: I saw you mention Soros. Well his henchmen are at Bildeburg in Switzerland see..http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/bilderbergers_dangerous_269.html where allot of the CO2 scam was promoted after they cottoned onto one of the ways to cripple the world economy. Also a number of Gates yes the Sec of Defence which breaks the Logan Act as a siting US politicians is NOT allowed to meet in secrecy with foreign counterparts without approval.


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    Damian Allen

    IPCC (International Panel of Climate Crooks)


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  • #

    Damian Allen, I’ll play:
    Irrationally Pertinacious Caitiffs’ Con.


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    I’ve always understood that peer review was to prevent embarrassment by the publishing of papers by nutters like the odd engineer who doesn’t believe in relativity(I knew one once), deliberate spoofs or gross errors.
    Doesn’t always work as shown by that physicist who got published in a journal on post modern philosophy. His paper was deliberately pure goobledegook. So much for PM.

    The rest of the time science is a blood sport and it’s open season, no bag limit but you need to get published first.


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    I Perceive Criminal Catastrophists.


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    Damian Allen

    IPCC (International Panel of Climate CLOWNS)……..


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    Dave

    Damian

    It is your fault I have been going to the SAY YES Website – earlier link by you!

    All I have had is rejected posts under my name, yet have had 4 other email addresses appear on my screen for comments – I have posted under 2 of them – U. Heap and Julia Abstrahenda’st of which I have screen clips of. Of interest Julia Abstrahenda’st is Latin for “Julia must be removed” – plus the majority of comments are negative not counting the removed comments.

    The site is obviously tagging IP addresses through the site administrator and is getting a cross over through massive IT traffic that is giving my email to others and theirs to me.

    This site is a collection agency of skeptics – yet is full of spam and garbage. They have my IP address and I will be chasing violation of their Disclaimer & Privacy Policy.

    The thing that worries me is three names keep popping up through searches of this spam – the first is http://www.purvesenvirofund.org.au/ , the second is The Wentworth Group Concerned Scientists and the third is Simon Sheikh at http://www.actnow.com.au/ ?

    Who are these people? Makes the Greens Pussy Cat page look like Pussy Cats?

    Keep up the good work Damian.


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    Hey, Dave. U. Heep—an obvious name for a sycophantic yes-person, I thought—, Tommy Traddles (and their author, Charles Dickens) and Julia Abstrahenda’st were all pseudonyms of mine, originally, and I have also posted as you. The admin claims to remove comments which are “irrelevant, spam or abusive”, yet copious, obvious spam is allowed, and any nonsense is permitted if supportive or apparently supportive—they don’t spot irony—of the “say ’yes!’” agenda.


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    Damian Allen

    “Dave” (44),
    I have experienced no problems with posting any comments on

    http://sayyestotax.blogspot.com


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    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    The current system is not made for the individual to contribute to science.
    NASA has a policy of having to have a government grant and belong to a government approved institution.
    Educational institutions are run by boards of education that will only teach published works even if the science is incorrect or biased.

    The route of mechanics in science is totally unheard of even though motion is a mechanical process.
    So, the current system has made my research unpublishable even though it covers a massive area of science into understanding how much water our planet is loosing to what is gravity and why we still have gases escaping from this planet after 4.5 billion years.
    Many mathematical formulas fail when a time line is introduced to the past when this planet was rotating faster and the pressure and other factors were different.

    It does not discourage me from moving further. Just makes it much harder to teaching kindergarten level to catch up to where I am currently.


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    Ian Hill

    Further to MadJak’s comments (post 32), I just can’t get over the assumption that future generations, from the alarmists point of view:

    1. are going to see it the same way they do (despite their education brainwashing)
    2. will adhere to whatever laws are passed for “emissions targets”, “sustainability”, “carbon taxes” etc
    3. will never attempt to repeal those laws
    4. will accept a lower standard of living for an obscure “noble cause”

    up until (choose a year) 2020, 2050, 2100 or even the 3011 mentioned by Tim Flannery, when most countries have elections every 3-5 years.

    It’s been a strange weekend of news – Prince Philip gets a navy for his 90th, Julia won’t be proposed to this year, etc etc.


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    Speedy

    Roy Hogue @ 5 and Lionel @ 11

    I think it was Einstein who said that a life lived only for oneself was comparable to that of pig enjoying itself in the sun.

    One of you (and you know who) needs to get higher aspirations! The scientific problem of AGW will be unresolved until our ethical values are addressed, recognised and incorporated into our understanding of what it means to be human. Our humanity is not defined purely by our physical, scientific or economic standing!

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Speedy @49,

    Define “higher aspirations” and “ethical values”.


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    Roy Hogue

    Good for you. However, that still does not correct the politics unless and until there is a cultural revolution that results in the rejection of the morality of sacrifice.

    Lionell, we have no disagreement about this.


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    Roy Hogue

    Speedy @49,

    Of much more basic importance to the discussion than higher aspirations and ethical values, let’s start by defining

    …what it means to be human.

    And then who has the right to decide these things?

    You raised the question and I look forward to your reply. :-)


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    Colin Henderson

    “………….. the observations suggest negative rather than positive feedbacks.”
    – Richard Lindzen

    Is Lindzen suggesting that increased CO2 leads to global cooling? Could it be that increased off gassing of CO2 due to ocean warming could result in more global heat loss. Of course this would be a very slow process, probably with a lag period of around 800 years ;)


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    pat

    perhaps our govt wants to bankrupt us, then we’ll have Australia making profits on an ETS!!!!

    13 June: Australian: AFP: Debt-laden Greece sees profit in emissions trading scheme
    GREECE could earn up to €170 million ($231 million) for its cash-strapped treasury from a trade of greenhouse-gas emission allowances on the Athens stock exchange, a report said overnight.
    Eleftherotypia daily said a first-ever auction of one million emission allowances (EUAs) will be held on Wednesday, ironically as many Greek factories will be shut by a general strike against the government’s economic policies…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/news/debt-laden-greece-sees-profit-in-emissions-trading-scheme/story-e6frg90f-1226074081558


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    Graeme Bird

    “Good to see rigorous peer review in action. If you are challenging the accepted position I’m nor surprised it takes a lot longer to publish……”

    Accepted by whom? There is no generally accepted position in this matter. Thats just you lying again. Science ends where the dogma of peer review begins. The whole reasoning behind this dogma is circular. Its a primitive superstition that publication confers some sort of extra benefits on a paper. Peer review, or more accurately PUBLICATION cannot add or subtract from the soundness of the reasoning contained within the paper.

    Whats needed is a conceptual audit from people outside the field. Peer review from the specialists simply locks in priesthood norms.


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    Graeme Bird

    We have the empirical evidence that peer review is next to useless. Tens of billions of dollars spent and these fools still think they can prove a proposition that CO2 causes significant warming without at first preparing a CO2 record. We have a CO2 record, but the boneheads won’t use it.

    Lets hope Richard doesn’t show up and claim that nothing can be proven. One ought not project ones own ineptitude onto science itself.


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    pat

    this is becoming a farce and the MSM goes right along with it:

    12 June: Sky News: Pensioners to get extra carbon relief
    (Wayne Swan)’What we are going to do with the carbon price is that it is going to be paid by the 1000 biggest polluters.
    ‘Every single cent raised from the carbon price…will assist households or assist industry.’…
    http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=624571

    so what if industry gets 99%, for example? what of the UN’s 10%? MSM not interested in details and in the following not interested to bring up the example of Spain’s lost jobs!

    12 June: Brisbane Times: AAP: Pensioners to get boost under carbon tax
    The government says every cent raised by the tax will go to assisting households or industry…
    ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence said the union was all for a carbon price, as long as no jobs were put at risk…
    http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-national/pensioners-to-get-boost-under-carbon-tax-20110612-1fytn.html

    let’s get more voters onside!

    12 June: Adelaide Now from Herald Sun: Phillip Hudson: Double compensation dip for families
    Senior sources have confirmed Prime Minister Julia Gillard plans to give low and middle-income families tax cuts plus an increase in family benefits.
    This would mean a family of four on an income of $100,000-150,000 would get more compensation than a single person on the same wage.
    The family assistance package has not been finalised but the Government has decided to “over-compensate” pensioners…

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/double-compensation-dip-for-families/story-e6frea8c-1226074037390


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    Bruce of Newcastle

    David Evans has an interesting view on how we all got here to climate loopy land – ie. where peer review is partisan warfare and climate scientists are driving Porsches.

    The whole thing is now a train wreck. Although no one started out to scam or mislead, really the ­climate scientists are a bit corrupt now as they know they are exaggerating, but there are now too many jobs, ­industries, trading profits and ­political careers riding along on this nonsense to admit it is just that.

    The boiling frog story, but at half time when the frog is saying to herself “I think I like swimming in warm water, its so much fun”.

    I wonder how it will all turn out?


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    Bulldust

    I note Bolt brought up the Fukushima reactor leaks on Sunday… deaths so far? Zero.

    Deaths from organic farm in Germany … now standing at 35:

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/world/9627814/german-e-coli-death-toll-hits-35/

    Which is the bigger threat to humanity? Organic farming or nuclear energy?


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    The dishonest scum at http://www.sayyesaustralia.org.au/2011/05/30/community-leaders-join-call-for-carbon-price/#comment-109 didn’t publish my post pointing out that total greenhouse gases have increased by 1% or less when you include water vapour. I guess it isn’t alarming enough.


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    gnome

    What does PNAS stand for? How do you pronounce it?


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    Winston

    Peer review is a hopelessly corrupted process that merely entrenches commonly held paradigms and is the glue which holds group think together. It is counteracting novel approaches that have the potential to solve many of humanity’s problems by overturning long held erroneous beliefs predicated on assumptions eg Arrhenius. It stymies innovation by characterizing all independent thinkers as cranks and crackpots and it is sobering to think that Galileo, Einstein and Newton would probably not have survived the peer review process as it is in place today because resistance to new ideas by the entrenched clique would have suppressed them by preventing publication. This is particularly true in sciences which are in their infancy like climate science, which have a small definitive fact base with a large amount of uncertainty in a vast proportion of it’s core beliefs. On the other hand, these nascent sciences are the most vulnerable to fraud and deception. Witness the case of Jan Hendrik Schon, who passed peer review processes with fraudulent data with a new paper published every 8 days in nanotechnology and semiconductor technology, which passed peer review with ease ( ie pal review) only to be discovered after nearly 2 years by a lowly science PhD student who blew the whistle on his activities, falsifying data, phony experiments, duplicated graphs for different data sets, etc. Sound familiar anybody?


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    Speedy

    Roy and Lionel

    What it means to be human? What is ethical? These are ideas that a relatist post-modern science cannot address.

    I regard science and religion as complimentary – one tells us how and one tells us why. To quote Einstein again: Religion without science is blind, science without religion is lame.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Outrider

    Well poor old sceptics. It’s just all too hard isn’t it. Those meany scientists being mean on poor little old scepies. But take heart there is always E&E for easy reviews.


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    Speedy

    Outrider

    I normally don’t feed the trolls, but I wouldn’t mind betting you hide behind the “Peer Review” argument every time you’re faced with an argument that demolishes your AGW case.

    The irony is that the sceptics are referred to as “deniers”. A little bit of projection there, maybe?

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Briuce of Newcastle

    Outrider at #64

    Mate you need to read a few journals, like GRL or JGR. Or maybe this or this.

    I won’t hold my breath for your analysis of these four peer reviewed papers which basically say CAGW is a load of camel droppings. Feral camel droppings, in fact. Go read some science yourself, pal, before you sound off about sceptical scientists.


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    MattB

    Bulldust #59… I’m not sure the “organic” nature of the farm would make it mure susceptible to E. Coli to be honest. It could have happened in any farm and in the end German hygine monitoring is to blame. The interesting part is it was a German Farm… all too easy to blame the EU basketcases Portugal and Spain but German folk will be shaking their heads at this.

    So rather than make it a war on organic farming, Bolt would be better to simply demonstrate that there are many things we take for granted that are far far more dangerous than nuclear power.

    At the end of the day though productive land on this planet is scarce and the unfortunate fact is that about 15,000 square kilometers of Japan are now off limits to production. That IS a concern – more so than a “people killed” stat.

    I hope Bolt will run with a deaths for nuclear power vs deaths from coal, rather than just pick on organic farming.


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    memoryvault

    Bulldust @ 59 and MattB @ 66

    You both might be interested in this:

    http://notrickszone.com/2011/05/19/biogas-plants-producing-deadly-botulism-could-be-catastrophic-to-wildlife/

    Note that the article pre-dates any publicity about the outbreak.


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    speedy @63

    What it means to be human? What is ethical? These are ideas that a relatist post-modern science cannot address.

    Unresponsive. Neither of us asked about your thoughts on “post-modern science”, “science”, or “religion”.

    I asked for a definition of “higher aspirations” and “ethical values”. Roy asked for a definition of “…what it means to be human.”

    How about responding with actual definitions of the concepts so we can understand what you are trying to say?


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    Dave

    MattyB @ 66

    Wrong – Organic farms utilise organic matter from doubtful sources – the processes involved with animal waste (manures) for fertiliser lacks the regulations placed on Chemical or inorganic fertilisers which do not and cannot carry E.Coli bacteria. The farms in Germany also happen to be very close to Biogas farms which sell the solid wastes as fertiliser (organic).

    They are currently investigating this Biogas as the source of the outbreak http://crofsblogs.typepad.com/h5n1/2011/06/did-ehec-arise-in-a-biogas-facility.html

    This is where a renewable resource such as Biogas maybe be worse than nuclear and coal.


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    Mark D.

    Dave @ 70, Point well made.

    “organic” = smarmy Green

    Deep Green = Population control

    Coincidence? You be the judge


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    Roy Hogue

    Speedy,

    No answer? I’m not surprised. I don’t know what it means to be human myself and I don’t know anyone who does. I don’t even have a clue where you might go to get the answer. It’s here we are and dang it, someone forgot to leave the instruction manual! Nuts!

    I have had all sorts of stuff pulled on me as justification to get me to go along with whatever someone wants me to go along with. I finally learned to run it all through my — forgive the term — BS filter. That saves a whole lot of mistakes.

    The problem here is that there is no argument you can make that’s anything but subjective, purely someone’s opinion and nothing more. No argument I’ve ever heard for government to take on a job it doesn’t rightfully have has ever been anything but subjective. And worse, some of it is malicious.

    By contrast it’s quite obvious exactly what really works and what doesn’t if you actually look with an open mind. It’s quite objective. Failure after failure of government programs is convincing evidence that government just doesn’t have those responsibilities.

    So you put out an indictment of our position and you tied it very firmly to what it means to be human. I just wanted to know if you could tell me what it actually means to be human. It’s a tough question, yes?

    Peace and Cheers! :)


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    Speedy

    Roy

    If I had the answers I’d be in another business I suppose! I’ll put something together tonight after work but am aware it’s not likely to provide the cast iron proof Lionel will inevitably want.

    I’m sorry if I impugned your character – that wasn’t the intent. I was trying to say that we need to care about others and share with them if we are to live a complete life.

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    Graeme Bird

    Before alleged climate scientists, and their skeptical competitors receive more research grants, I’d like them to be able to explain pretty simple stuff about the weather. For example there has been another water spout out at sea. I haven’t heard of convincing conventional explanations for all these tornado attacks and water spouts. Or even for just one of them. Why aren’t people out there tracking these things, and seeing what they can find out about whats underneath the water where the waterspout goes? I suppose its because they have not noticed that they have no good explanation for these weather events.

    The best weather forecaster I’ve seen is probably Piers Corbyn. He works with sun-earth-moon scenarios of the past. He says whats going to happen on that basis, but he doesn’t really show why.

    An even more sophisticated vision of what the weather is about is coming from the scientist James McCanney. I got his self-published book straight from his website. His understanding of things gives a good explanation for why Piers Corbyn is getting such good results. But James McCanney could not now ever pass peer review in a blue fit.

    James cannot even get in the wikipedia anymore. You go to wiki and an iron-locked page tells us that James McCanney doesn’t need to be in wiki because he’s only known for “that electric universe thingy.”

    I think we are just being herded. I think we have to give away any anti-conspiracy notions. Banks are still stealing hand over fist in the Northern Hemisphere and no-one can lift a finger to stop them. It looks like the Northern Hemisphere at the least is populated by people who are being ruthlessly shepherded along.

    There seems to be a pattern behind misunderstandings in science. For example why do we imagine that lightning can be formed by clouds alone? Water vapor, freezing to ice water leads to that sort of electrical charge? Just ridiculous. There is no known mechanism to produce these huge charges. But everything we have to believe negates the electrical solar system ideas.

    There was a breakthrough when the idea of the Dyson-Harrop satellite was allowed to become a mainstream idea. The powerful electrical currents in the solar system cannot be denied, at the same time as reports of how much energy a Dyson-Harrop satellite can theoretically generate, are allowed to get about as a mainstream idea.

    Allowing articles on Dyson-Harrop to get through to the lame-stream media comes across as a strategic mistake if you interpolate that some elite is buggering everything from the top down. If there is that much electrical energy up there in space we can see that earth weather is largely just about how some of this electrical energy manages to make its way down to the lower troposphere and into the earth.


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    cohenite

    This latest effort by Lindzen and Choi really puts a stake through the heart of AGW; heat in the ocean is counterbalanced by an increase in OLR at TOA; no pressure-cooker, no blanket. And it happens pretty much straight away; no lag, no pipeline and equilibrium sensitivity.

    David Stockwell’s new paper will tie up the loose ends, such as they are; here is the abstract:

    Here we present evidence and theory in support of the view that
    the dynamics of global temperature change, from the annual to the
    glacial time scale, is dominated by the accumulation of variations in
    solar irradiance. In a simple recurrence matrix model of the atmosphere/surface/deep ocean system, temperature changes are due to
    (1) the size of a forcing, (2) its duration (due to accumulation of heat),
    and (3) the depth in the atmosphere/surface/deep ocean system where
    a forcing is applied (due to increasing mixing losses and increasing
    intrinsic gain with depth). The model explains most of the rise in tem
    temperature since 1950, and more than 70% of the variance with correct
    phase shift of the 11-year solar cycle. Global temperature displays the
    characteristics of an accumulative system over 6 temporal orders of
    magnitude, as shown by a linear f-1 log-log relationship of frequency
    to temperature range, and other statistical relationships such as near
    random-walk and distribution asymmetry. Over the last century,
    annual global surface temperature rises or falls 0:063  0:028C=W2 per
    year when solar irradiance is greater or less than an equilibrium value
    of 1356:9W=m2 at top-of-atmosphere, which is consistent with the
    accumulation of heat into an ocean layer 159 meters deep. The notion
    of ‘climate sensitivity’ is superfluous in the model inasmuch as system
    behavior is dominated by a very slow characteristic time scale of the
    order of 3500 years, and so does not require a range of special feedback
    and lag parameters, and atmospheric forcings by greenhouse gasses are
    greatly attenuated by mixing losses. Thus recent warming may be
    explained without recourse to increases in heat-trapping gases produced
    by human activities.


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    Rereke Whakaaro

    memoryvault: #68

    Yes, that is interesting.

    The Epidemiologists have been running their models searching for a “source” of the outbreak; arbitrarily shutting down food producers across Europe, as they went.

    Of course, what they should have been looking for, with an e-coli outbreak, was the vector for the transmission of the bacterium. They don’t walk very far under their own steam.

    It looks as though the vector was hiding in plain sight all along. It is a pity they didn’t bother to do a media search.


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    lmwd

    My comment on the say yes site

    Having read the work of numerous independent scientists (that is, not on the Govt payroll) working in the field of climate, and including most recently the critical audit of Garnaut’s report, my answer is an emphatic NO! I do not support the taxing of carbon dioxide, otherwise known as, PLANT FOOD. Even at a price of “$25/tonne of carbon dioxide would cost around $100 billion by 2020, for a notional benefit of 0.0002O C (two ten thousandths of a degree) of warming averted” (see Professor Carter). This amounts to reckless waste of resources over what is emerging to be very dodgy science, with far too many people in on the climate gravy-train. Secondly, Ms Blanchett and co might want to review the latest satellite data – currently we are in a cooling trend (see Prof Spencer). If my comment is removed and labelled advertising, spam or as abusive, I’ll know that this country is on that slippery slope towards non-democracy and ideological censorship! My comment is cross-referenced elsewhere!

    Let’s see if it makes it past ‘moderation’.


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    Graeme Bird

    3) the depth in the atmosphere/surface/deep ocean system where
    a forcing is applied (due to increasing mixing losses and increasing
    intrinsic gain with depth).”

    That point 3 is something I’ve been waiting about five years to see. I would always say that placing a heater in the basement is more effective than placing a heater in the attic. The joules from the heater in the basement are doing double and triple duty. Thats the first time I’ve seen someone else even make that point.

    Supposing you have a lot of methane released. Methane being lighter than air. Climate jive-artists don’t seem to care where it is the alleged extra joules are allegedly added. They just whack it into their watts-per-square metre equations. But if the joules are added above my house then we need overturning to have them affect me much at all.

    This is why its still an open question whether these green house gases may actually cool the atmosphere in some circumstances. While if it were a simple matter of addition and subtraction, you would think they would be net warmers, if even in a trivial way.

    But since the methane would block incoming joules above where the water vapor is prevalent …. and since it would be pre-empted by water vapor in most places where it is supposed to warm lower to the ground … then all this panic about camels and baked beans would appear to have no apriori case at all.


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    Rereke Whakaaro

    Roy Hogue: #73

    I don’t know what it means to be human myself and I don’t know anyone who does.

    I know I am not human. I am just a collection of ones and zeros in some higher being’s computer model. Once you get used to that idea, it makes it easier to come to terms with not having a life.


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    memoryvault

    lmwd @ 79

    I wouldn’t be planning a party.
    They’re not very big on “facts” over at the Say Yes site.
    I think they share moderators with Septical Science and Unreal Climate.


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    KeithH

    I don’t like to rain on everyone’s parade but I’m afraid the “fix” is well and truly in and that no matter what we do, we are all going to be steamrolled by the huge universal financial juggernaut that is now ready to reap the rewards from the UN- and world governments-inspired morally corrupt CAGW scam! Check for yourselves and weep!

    http://www.climategate.com/follow-the-money-bbc-exposed

    http://www.iigcc.org/

    http://www.unepfi.org/

    http://www.ceres.org/incr/

    Follow the money!!!


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    rjm385

    Keith @ 84.

    I think the only thing I could recommend to the people who have investements in those funds is immediately demand them back or invest in anohter super fund because I reckon we can still win this and then they will all be in the shite !!!

    There precious pennies won’t be worth a carbon credit.

    I live in hope anyway :)


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    memoryvault

    KeithH @ 84

    One does not have to go overseas to “follow the money” where super funds are concerned. Here is a link to “the Australia Institute”:

    http://www.tai.org.au/

    Amongst other things these are the people who decide what your children will learn as “fact” at school.

    Here is a link to their Board of Directors:

    http://www.tai.org.au/?q=node/3

    Here is a link to their “links” page. These are all groups they have influence with, or who have influence on them:

    http://www.tai.org.au/?q=weblinks

    And here is a link to their “approved” course on climate change – as far as I know, the most widely-used “teacher resource” on climate change in Australia:

    http://www.teachingclimatechange.com.au/

    And finally, here is the site of the “sponsors” of their “approved” course on climate change:

    http://australianethical.com.au/

    Needless to say, if you delve around on YOUR superannuation company’s site, you will almost certainly find Australian Ethical listed somewhere, in some “advisory” capacity.

    Guess where a large chunk of YOUR super is invested?


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    Jenness Warin

    Mike Borgelt @#41
    The rest of the time science is a blood sport and it’s open season, no bag limit but you need to get published first.

    That seems an observant statement.

    MattB@67
    There is much productive land locked up in Australia. But it is currently less than productive or the rent extracted has not been spent on raising living, employment and education standards. And by all accounts morbidity and mortality rates are considerably higher in these areas. Mostly these rates are measured and presented as ‘A GAP’ aka mortality ratio- the 30 year difference between life years (expectancy) of Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

    Fortunately, and it was only recently, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reanalysed the ‘gap’ and found that in fact the mortality difference is not a national aggregate as previously presented but likely specific to specific locations. When disagregated. This does mean, hopefully, that $ expenditure etc can be much better directed.

    While it is clear that ‘Living on Country’ is an organic approach it remains to be seen whether reductions in infectious and communicable diseases, and chronic diseases will contribute to a reduction in this pattern of mortality. And whether the use of prevalence and incidence have been misapplied in some instances?

    No-one is too clear as yet, as the research is tightly controlled and published.


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    Michael of Brisbane

    Thank you SO much Jo, for this Blog.
    As I trawl through the ABC, and Skeptical Science and A Few Things Illconsidered blogs (which I read regularly), I always come back to your site for Sense and Reason.
    Thank you, once again!
    (as Craker24 knows, they’re “The True Believers” at Ill Considered!)

    Michael


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    cohenite

    David Stockwell has put up a graph showing the correlation between his accumulative solar model and temperature over the era of AGW since 1950:

    http://landshape.org/enm/files/2011/06/article-005.png


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    KeithH

    memoryvault @ 86.

    Truly alarming! Many naive well-meaning people are in for a very rude awakening in a few years when they realise the reasons why science and the economy have been trashed and a whole generation of children brainwashed and dumbed down beyond belief!


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    John Brookes

    Nice graph. How does their model go before 1950 cohenite?


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    memoryvault

    Hi John B

    Got your Plan B?


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    cohenite

    John Brookes; David’s model works over every period that the sun shines: David concludes:

    “The accumulation theory is more parsimonious, explaining the main
    features of 20th century warming and the amplitude of variations from one
    to one million years with a simple, single variable model.”

    and

    “The accumulation model is a credible alternative mechanism for explaining both
    paleoclimatic temperature variability and present-day warming without recourse to increases in heat-trapping gases produced by human activities.”


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    Speedy

    Roy/Lionel

    O/T but you did ask. It’s the God word. My religious faith is an important part of my personal identity. It provides me with a reference point in my life and guidelines for my interaction with others. My faith is intrinsic to the understanding of my humanity.

    As I alluded before, post-modernism cannot provide these – in fact post-modernism is the result of society’s rejection of absolute values – particularly in the traditionally Christian western nations. I view the flight to psuedo-religions such as AGW are an attempt to fill the vacuum produced by this rejection.

    In your eyes, this attitude may make me a simple naivette who believes that the universe and all the amazing things in it have been made by a omnipotent God. I would simply point out that the alternative would be to believe in a universe that created itself.

    Science alone is not enough. We need to know Why as well as How.

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


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    Speedy @ 74,

    I am not asking for iron clad proof. I am simply asking you to be clear by defining your fuzzy terms so that I can understand what it is that you mean. I may or may not agree with you but I do want to understand what you are saying.

    The context was abandoning the morality of sacrifice to be able to change the politics and you come up with care and share to live a complete life. At least this is something less fuzzy than “higher aspirations”, “ethical values”, and “…what it means to be human.” Yet it is still unclear to me what you really do mean.

    The critical questions now become:

    Who is it that we are to share with and care for?

    What is it that we are to share?

    What does the act of caring mean in your context?

    What is this “complete life” we are to live that you say “sharing and caring” makes possible?

    Note, I am not asking why. I am asking only what up to this point.

    The only how I ask is: are we to be free to choose or is it to be forced upon us by some outside authority such as the collective, the state, the church, an ancient sacred text, or a supernatural being?


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    Speedy @ 94,

    This is too easy.

    If the universe is required to be created by some anthropomorphic being (god), who created the creator? Who created the creator of the creator? Apply infinite regression to the succession of creators. It is creators all the way down and you can’t get to the bottom of it all.

    If the belief is that god was not created, he/she/it is eternal and he/she/it created the universe, how are two beliefs better than one: “the universe was not created, it is eternal”? Either position explains everything and nothing. The first is simply more complicated than the second an adds nothing to the understanding of the universe.

    The problem is that you are asking why something exists as opposed to nothing. Existence exists. This is a self evident inescapable fact. For without existence existing, the question why could not be asked. What existence is, is a separate and very challenging issue.


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    Speedy

    Lionel

    Still O/T

    I believe in God. That doesn’t believe you have to – but I note that western society doesn’t seem to have got happier or more satisfied since the widespread rejection of Christian values.

    In the Christian perspective, we are a family and have a responsibility to relate to each other on that basis. I’m no theologan, but I don’t think there’s a prescribed schedule of rates for sharing! But from personal experience, the essential part of giving is breaking down the barriers which separate us – to share of oneself. The founder of St Vincent de Paul, Frederic Ozanan, thought he was doing a great job helping the poor in Paris, but for many of them, it was more important that he spend time with them – not the material goods themselves.

    If we adopt the Christian model, then we look at Christ as our example. So the perfect Christian would answer like this.

    Who? Everyone. Refer the parable of the Good Samaritan.
    What? Everything. Refer to the crucifix.
    What does it do? Lower the barriers between people.
    Complete life? A life in a relationship with God and your neighbour.

    I’ve noticed that people with depression can be intensely selfish – it’s hard to tell which came first. But if you don’t believe me, try sharing a smile with someone today!

    As to your last question, I remember a line from Bruce Almighty:

    BRUCE: How do you make someone love you without taking away their free will?

    “GOD”: When you find out, let me know.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Speedy

    Lionel

    The universe is made up of material things – things that by their definition are limited and finite. Wonderful as it may be, the universe is still finite and not capable of self-creation. If it were capable of self-creation, why are we not seeing evidence of this today? Are the laws of conservation of mass and energy only a recent addendum to the universe?

    It seems more logical to me if the origin is God, who by definition is infinite. To know the mind of God is a challenge indeed.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    klem

    ““There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”

    Gillard did not lie when she said this. She was admitting that she did not lead the government, she only followed.


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    Roy Hogue

    I know I am not human. I am just a collection of ones and zeros in some higher being’s computer model. Once you get used to that idea, it makes it easier to come to terms with not having a life.

    Rereke,

    Sorry about your life! :( Bummer!

    But think about it a minute. If everything we see — the whole universe — was just a simulation in some giant computer, how could we tell the difference? What would we think about whoever built and programmed that computer? What would we call him/her/it?

    Interesting little thought experiment I think. It made one person I mentioned it to very uncomfortable. And yet I’m left with no answer except that, we couldn’t tell the difference.

    So be careful you don’t trip over the power cord and unplug everything…I still have a few good years to go. ;-)


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    Speedy @ 97,

    Thank you. I now understand where you are coming from. As long as I nor anyone is forced to believe and act as you do, go in peace and live your life as you wish. Just don’t expect me to follow or praise you for so doing. We have a total incompatibility of metaphysics and epistemology and thus cannot not have the same ethics or politics.

    Speedy @ 98,

    Things are what they are without regard to their so called definition nor anyone’s thoughts. Concepts, the fundamental packets of human understanding, are identified and distinguished by their definitions but not limited by it. They refer to a class of existents and all their properties, attributes, and behaviors.

    To be infinite means not to exist. One can approach infinity but never reach it as in one can always add one to a number no matter how large it is. To say god is infinite is saying nothing at all. It is the ultimate of fuzzy word salads.


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    Roy Hogue

    Speedy @74,

    Apology accepted, though it certainly isn’t necessary. I’m not angry and my character is intact.

    When I asked the question it wasn’t because I think we shouldn’t help each other. It was because you tied what you said to an unanswerable question, the meaning of being human — the meaning of life. Since you’ve already said you don’t think you can provide anything Lionell will accept, I will agree with you and say I don’t think you can come up with anything I can accept either.

    None of this means that you can’t make an argument that it’s good to help others. We’re all here together and really do need each other to get along. Just be sure it’s real help and not just a handout.

    Which leads me to what Lionell and I disagree with — the idea that government has a responsibility to take care of everybody and therefore the right to tell us what to do — no, actually they want the right to simply take our money and give it out any old way they choose.

    I can’t speak for Australia but this country is littered with the rotting remains of government programs that aren’t working. And they go on forever, unchecked and un monitored with no one ever looking to see what the result really is. It’s wasting our wealth for nothing useful. Government programs are never designed to get people out of them. They’re always designed to keep people in them.

    And now it’s not just our own country that we must sacrifice our hard earned money for but the whole world. And for what purpose? Just to solve a nonexistent problem. No big deal! Send $$$ to the UN and they’ll usher everyone into everlasting fat-dumb-and-happy land. But they won’t. They’ll just become dictators on our dime. You read the same stuff I do. Am I right or wrong?

    This is what Lionell and I don’t want any part of. Except for behavior that no society permits because it harms others (theft, murder, fraud, etc), a society clearly does not have the right to tell its members how they must live, where they can live, how they can spend their money and a considerable list of such things, including trying to protect them from themselves. To me they do not have these rights because when they try these things it simply doesn’t work, wastes time, energy and resources and is counterproductive.

    I’ll not go on but you can get the picture I think.

    If you want to reply by all means be my guest! :-)

    Roy


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    BobC

    Rereke Whakaaro:
    June 13th, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    I know I am not human. I am just a collection of ones and zeros in some higher being’s computer model. Once you get used to that idea, it makes it easier to come to terms with not having a life.

    This life is a test.
    It is nothing but a test.
    If this were a real life, you would have been told where to go and what to do.


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    Lionell Griffith

    BobC @ 103: If this were a real life, you would have been told where to go and what to do.

    Sorry that is not true. The life is real AND we must individually figure out what it takes to keep on living. Perhaps partly by learning from the experiences of others who have been more or less successful at doing it. However, you are ultimately on your own to live your own life, make your own choices, and do most of your learning from the bitter experience of a lot of failure and a few successes. There is no universal by-the-numbers instruction manual or all knowing benevolent dictator who can do any better than that and almost always will do much worse.

    The bottom line is you can’t have your cake and eat it too. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Someone somewhere always has to pay the bill. The sooner it is paid, the cheaper it is.


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    Speedy

    Roy

    Hard to disagree about that! Government programs are there to achieve political ends – they are the equivalent of dancing with an octopus. There’s no solid foundation to them that can’t be swept away. Our treatment of aboriginals in Australia is an example – just throwing money at people is only creating a dependency on social welfare, and doesn’t address the needs of these people for dignity or respect.

    Lionel – In the end the argument comes down to a matter of choice. Ultimately we have to define an absolute – either God or the physical universe. In either case there is no proof in the scientific sense that one or the other exists. I choose to live my life in the understanding (you might say misapprehension) of a structured, benevolent order. Why I would choose to a chaotic, indifferent or hostile order as my mental image of the universe is questionable.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Lionell Griffith

    Speedy @105,

    If the universe doesn’t exist, how can you ask for proof or know that such a proof is not possible? In fact, how can there be a you to ask the question and do the knowing?

    Like I say, we have totally incompatible metaphysics and epistemology and thus cannot come to agreement on any fundamental concept. Especially the most fundamental principle of metaphysics that existence exists. Its validity is implicit in every human thought or action since there were humans capable of asking a question. In fact, any attempt to deny the principle must use the principle as its starting point.

    The only place that choice enters into the equation is the choice to accept the above identification or to attempt to rewrite reality to better fit your arbitrary whims. You have chosen to rewrite reality. Good luck with that. Reality is as indifferent to your whims as I.


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    Patrick

    The experiences of Lindzen, McIntyre et al give a whole new meaning to
    “Publication bias” – a term normally referring to the fact that studies with positive results are more likely to get published. In the context of ‘climate science’ it has developed into “you can publish only IF you agree with AGW but not otherwise”. It could also be classed as a form of confirmation bias “Confirm the current mainstream AGW paradigm if you want to get published”. Alternatively it could be classed as a form of selection bias (exclude any contrary evidence from getting published). The Hockey Team certainly know how to ‘stack the deck’.


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    Patrick

    For those who think that science has all the answers, consider that baryonic (normal) matter comprises about 4% of the mass/energy budget of the Universe, dark matter comprises about 20% and the rest is dark energy. We know almost nothing about dark matter and dark energy – what are they? where did they come from? And what of the extra dimensions hinted at by string theory? Reputable scientists (Paul Steinhardt from Princeton and Neil Turok from Cambridge) have posited an ‘Endless Universe’ (see the book of that title) consistent with all the observational data so far.


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    John Brookes

    …but no one told you when to run, you missed the starter’s gun…..


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    This treatment feeds into the narratives of McKitrick, Spencer, Christy, Douglass and Michaels about unfair treatment of skeptics by the journal editors” says Judith Curry. In other words, their ‘narratives’ are true. Science departments need to segregate themselves from sociology and literary criticism and stop using words like ‘narratives’.


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    Mark D.

    Patrick @ 108, Please don’t tell Lionell these things, for him it must be felt to be real. 96% unknown may be difficult for him.


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    bananabender

    If we’d had peer-review back in 1896 Arrhenius’ CO2-based global warming nonsense would never have been published. A cursory check of his references would have shown that he had completely misrepresented Fourier and Tyndall. His methodology for calculating the alleged warming potential of CO2 would also have been shown to be erroneous and his understanding of physics to be totally outdated (Arrhenius still believed energy from the Sun was transferred via an invisible aether rather than electromagnetic radiation).


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    Graeme Bird

    “(Arrhenius still believed energy from the Sun was transferred via an invisible aether rather than electromagnetic radiation).”

    Excellent post. But I have to point out that since light moves in waves this implies an aether. Since waves are not what something is they are what a bunch of things do and every wave requires a medium.


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    Graeme Bird

    “For those who think that science has all the answers, consider that baryonic (normal) matter comprises about 4% of the mass/energy budget of the Universe, dark matter comprises about 20% and the rest is dark energy.”

    The problem is that this is all nonsense. Ad hoc constructions by incompetent science workers who refused to admit that they were wrong about a very great many things.


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    Graeme Bird

    “Lionel – In the end the argument comes down to a matter of choice. Ultimately we have to define an absolute – either God or the physical universe. In either case there is no proof in the scientific sense that one or the other exists.”

    No good. We are getting convergent evidence of the existence of the physical universe every waking moment, and it is convergent evidence that amounts to proof.


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    JPeden

    Colin Henderson writes:

    The IPCC and its ilk would have us believe that peer review is the equivalent of sound scientific validation, which is not true.

    Amen. The idea that a few selected peers will ensure that the study published is the “given truth” is completely antithetical to the real scientific method and process.

    It’s so directly opposite to the practice of real science that I’d never thought such an absurd claim was even possible. But then along came “Climate Science”.


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    Graeme Bird

    There is a perceived problem wherein people feel they cannot prove that existence exists through bivalent deductive logic. Such people haven’t been reading philosophy books all their lives because I can assure you that you cannot prove anything by this method. Even maths starts in induction.

    The standard of proof is convergent evidence. Not bivalent deductive exactitude. The reason why bivalent deductive exactitude was pawned off as a standard for truth is that theologians were very good at it. Whereas puny humans weren’t so good. Subsequently philosophers took over from theologians and they made heroes of anyone amongst their fold, who could over-emphasise the importance of bivalent deductive exactitude at the expense of other cognitive tools.

    A baby can practice learning by induction. There is no monopoly privilege in it.


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    Graeme Bird

    “The IPCC and its ilk would have us believe that peer review is the equivalent of sound scientific validation, which is not true.”

    There is that evil word again. We don’t want VALIDATION. Its verification we are after. Validation is failure to falsify. Failure to falsify is waste of money.


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    Graeme Bird

    “When I asked the question it wasn’t because I think we shouldn’t help each other. It was because you tied what you said to an unanswerable question, the meaning of being human — the meaning of life.”

    If you are an atheist these answers are not given to you, and you have to develop a meaning for your own life. Since there are no values without a valuer, one would see meaning in pursuing things that are valuable to yourself. But then it would make sense to find the intersecting set between those values which you would find worthy and which a lot of others would find worthy also.

    We cannot survive as a species if we don’t become a species whose major habitat is space. We won’t populate space if we continue with the current system which emphasises monetary and public service parasitism. So it would make sense to pursue those parts of the overall goal of reducing parasitism, making it easy to go from being poor to being reasonably wealthy, and making it easy for large numbers of people to get into space and make a fist of it.

    Because without intelligent beings to pursue values there can be nothing of value.

    Insofar as religions are concerned Christianity is surely the most compatible with this sort of framework. Because you have some interpretations of this religion that emphasize the importance of the individual, but not excluding doing the right thing by all the other fellows.


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    Roy Hogue

    To one and all: I have never discussed religion here. It is simply irrelevant to the subject matter and tends to divide people who should be together in a common cause.

    Graeme, I can assure you that I never read philosophy books. Talk about your subjective vs. objective…

    Have a great day everyone. I will be unable to respond again until at least tomorrow (6/15/11 California) if not later. :)


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    MattB

    “We cannot survive as a species if we don’t become a species whose major habitat is space.”

    If the planet is healthy and productive and civilisation is thriving, then who is going to want to leave that to colonise space.

    If the planet is dying and non-productive and civilisation is collapsing, then where is the money coming from to colonise space?

    Either way, you are predicting the deaths of billions of people yeah? When do you think this will occur?


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    Mark D.

    When do you think this will occur?

    No more than 80 years from now.


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    FijiDave

    Roy @102

    It was because you tied what you said to an unanswerable question, the meaning of being human — the meaning of life.

    It’s 42.


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    MattB

    “No more than 80 years from now.”

    As a result of?


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    MattB

    p.s. that’s pretty alarmist.


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    Graeme Bird

    “If the planet is dying and non-productive and civilisation is collapsing, then where is the money coming from to colonise space?
    Either way, you are predicting the deaths of billions of people yeah? When do you think this will occur?”

    Look at what happened to Mars. It has the very clear remnants of river beds on it. Even though the poles each year go through a phase where the CO2 goes from solid to gas and so if Mars lost its rivers a long time ago, all signs of Mars having had flowing water would have long since eroded.

    So we can say that Mars lost its atmosphere very recently. But then to have had liquid water in the first place, Mars must have had a closer orbit; given that we already know that we are talking about the very recent past.

    So you have a catastrophe where Mars was kicked out of its closer orbit, its atmosphere was sucked off it, the water subsequently evaporating to space. All this happened recently. Thousands and not millions of years ago.

    If it can happen to Mars something similar can happen to us. In the case of Mars the only thing that could do this is the close passage of a comet whose nucleus was larger than Mars itself.

    But we have also had many catastrophes in our history. And they were probably not all due to comets. Paul LaViolette points to another sort of shockwave, coming out from the galactic nucleus. One that pops stars and probably planets as well, with subsequent further shockwaves coming from those supernovae.

    So as I see it there are two types of major space-borne disasters heading for us. The comets leave us with just enough warning to watch a lucky few others able to prepare. The LaViolette shock-wave gives us no warning at all. The survivors see what caused the shockwave only after the fact.

    For the comet passage we need to be able to avoid the comet, so we need to have mobile habitats in space. For either of these we need more robust buildings. Still highrise but of a sort that can take most of what might be thrown at it.

    A 5 story pyramid with the outside used for growing would fit the bill;Its a fault of the free market in its current form that not enough land substitutes are being created to stop people getting panicky about the size of the population.


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    MattB

    Ok Graeme so you are talking about an external event, not something caused by say war, famine, cooling or warming, civilisation collapse kind of thing. So basically utterly unpredicable (as opposed to the 80 years Mark D suggests)?

    Are you sure about the erosion thing… if there is no atmosphere then what causes the erosion to remove the remnants of rivers? I think you logic implies that the atmosphere was lost not long after the rivers, but says not much about when that happened relative to today.


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    Graeme Bird

    There will probably be some sort of major economic collapse earlier. Since the bankers aren’t going to stop their stealing spree and the public servants aren’t about to campaign to have most government departments closed down.


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    Graeme Bird

    “Are you sure about the erosion thing… if there is no atmosphere then what causes the erosion to remove the remnants of rivers?”

    Every year you have two planet-wide sublimation events coming from either pole. Its a big deal because it warms the planet up many tens of degrees. Particularly the South Pole one.

    I had seen a Van Flandern presentation which put the last catastrophe at about 3 million years. But another camp which suggests just a few thousand years ago have a more plausible story to tell, given the relatively pristine nature of some of the things you see there in the older photos, and other convergent evidence.

    So its about ranking the alternatives. The more recent story seems the more plausible.


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    Graeme Bird

    “I think you logic implies that the atmosphere was lost not long after the rivers, but says not much about when that happened relative to today.”

    You need the atmosphere to hold the water. Once the atmosphere goes, the water evaporates off, or freezes under the ground. We ought to find plenty of water there but underground.

    The atmosphere goes first. Then the water. To be that warm to have liquid water you need a hotter sun or a closer orbit or a large gas planet like Saturn that could provide extra heat.

    So older catastrophes, if they aren’t about comets, have to be about exploding planets or exploding twin moons after the big gas giant has blown up. It really comes down to what you think is the more plausible story. But very clear river beds and other evidence coming from entirely different fields of endeavor (that is to say CONVERGENT evidence) would make the recent catastrophe the clear winner.


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    Speedy

    Graeme

    Of course I believe in the existence of the universe – although it is possible that my entire life and things I experience are actually only a dream-like perception! Unlikely of course – but possible. I only know that I think – therefore I am.

    What I question is the universe in it’s role as a self-propagating entity, or absolute. It is, after all, just bricks and mortar.

    That’s a bit deep for a bog-standard engineer like me but.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Mark D.

    MattB @ 124 and 125:

    “No more than 80 years from now.”

    As a result of?

    Duh OLD AGE.

    The number of deaths world wide 2011: 56,260,324
    80 years at same rate 4,500,825,920 deaths (there you go billions of deaths)

    But that is just normal lifespan loss of “billions”. From Wiki:
    Richard C. Duncan PhD, claims the “world population will decline to about 2 billion circa 2050″. See here: http://dieoff.org/page224.htm

    And what will cause this decline? “the collapse will be strongly correlated with an ‘epidemic’ of permanent blackouts of high-voltage electric power networks — worldwide. Briefly explained: “When the electricity goes out, you are back in the Dark Age. And the Stone Age is just around the corner.”

    p.s. that’s pretty alarmist.

    Yes and all the while you are spouting the “precautionary principle” over puny co2, the real problem looms right over your head and during your lifetime.

    Disclaimer: I am a skeptic so I don’t actually believe Duncan is right. (Personally I believe it will be a series of epidemics or plagues that does the job.)
    But he is an authority after all………


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    MattB

    What’s causing his blackouts? genuine q.


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    Graeme Bird

    “What I question is the universe in it’s role as a self-propagating entity, or absolute. It is, after all, just bricks and mortar.”

    Once you give up on the big bang you have to ask “how did the matter get here.” Looking around you see clusters of matter and a great deal of space. The assumption has to be that matter is made-on-location. That for reality to exist matter must be able to convert “stuff” not connected with the gravitational network to “matter” which interacts with other matter.

    Mainstream science has things being created ex-nihilo and wanting to get away very fast, from wherever it is. Like the idea of a photon. Just wants to run away from wherever it is. Never likes where it was born. Once you give away ideas like this things have to change.

    Where matter creation is concerned mainstream science divides things up into an age of miracles and then a prosaic age. But production processes take time. Its more rational to assume that matter is being created, or at least converted, on an ongoing basis.


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    Mark D.

    What’s causing his blackouts?

    Don’t you read links?

    Excessive ethanol I imagine

    I’d state publicly; lack of nuclear generation.


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    Graeme Bird

    “What I question is the universe in it’s role as a self-propagating entity, or absolute. It is, after all, just bricks and mortar.”

    Right. I think I see what you were driving at. We make a series of assumptions that are hard to prove. Basic irreducible assumptions that allow us to make it to work on time, and function in some sort of rational way. The general rule is not too many more of these than you need. And if you do implicitly, at least become aware of this baggage.

    Bringing a God into it is only one extra assumption then what is really needed. Thats hardly a thought crime. The fundamentalist is one who abuses the privilege and instead of one extra assumption he adopts an whole series of assumptions that he treats as if axiomatic. This means he is always experiencing cognitive dissonance when he deals with unbelievers and he winds up being angry all the time. I’m angry all the time also but for other reasons.

    But when you consider that the big bang is nonsense and you realise that time is a derivative concept, so that what we call time is essentially infinite ….. then it could always be the case that with infinite time an entity could have reached the god status and now be directing things.

    The thing to ask God is:

    “Are you a product of evolution?”

    And the God fellow might say:

    “I really can’t remember.”

    And why wouldn’t an entity have reached that status with a hundred trillion years head start? So while I think that the belief in God is one more primary assumption then we really need, I certainly cannot rule it out that the believers are right, and its not for me to disrespect this belief.


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