Debunking Science with Handwaving and Bullshit

I came across a story on Fox news’ site this morning (which was mildly traumatic) and saw that they had a video about this book in their “science” section. The title of the video is/was “Science: A Liberal Plot?” If it weren’t so depressing it’d be funny.

I love Fox news’ perspective on science.

Amazon.com: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science: Books: Tom Bethell

“If the globe is warming, is mankind responsible, or is the sun?” Such a statement does not appear out of place in Bethell’s entertaining account of how modern science is politically motivated and in desperate need of oversight. Bethell writes in a compulsively readable style, and although he provides legitimate insight into the potential benefits of nuclear power and hormesis, some readers will be turned off when he attempts to disprove global warming and especially evolution. Throughout the book, Bethell makes questionable claims about subjects as varied as AIDS (“careful U.S. studies had already shown that at least a thousand sexual contacts are needed to achieve heterosexual transmission of the virus”) and extinction (“It is not possible definitely to attribute any given extinction to human activity”), and backs up his arguments with references to the music magazine SPIN and thriller-writer Michael Crichton.

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27 Responses to Debunking Science with Handwaving and Bullshit

  1. GMB says:

    But the global warming movement is a clear fraud. I think there is human warming but its a good thing. Nothing could be more benign then CO2 based warming.

  2. Yes, clearly all of the research that indicates rapid human-induced warming and catastrophic rises in the level of the world’s oceans is fabricated.

    I have a feeling a number of cities and countries near sea level and with a lot of shoreline might disagree with you on how benign such warming might be. It’s not the whole issue, but it’s certainly an aspect of it worth considering as somewhat harmful.

  3. By the way, Everyday science actually predicted your response about global warming a few weeks ago.

  4. GMB says:

    Catastrphic??

    I think not. Its glaciation that is the only real looming catastrophe. We’ve had more then 20 such catastrophe’s in the last three and a half million years. And the time spent in horrid iced over conditions is more then 80 or 90% during that time. Clearly this shows that the campaign against warmer winters for the Siberians is a massive fraud.

    Everyday science anticipating with instead of agreeing with my response would be more tendentiousness on the part of these ‘science workers’ in the aid of this massive mass idiocy.

  5. GMB says:

    I go to the link and I find they haven’t anticipated my particular objections to the mindless unscientific science workers fraud at all.

  6. I was referring to this,

    “I think there is human warming but its a good thing.”

    From the link:

    The evidence for global warming is getting so conclusive that even the right-wingers are having a harder time justifying their nonsense. So what next? My guess is that they are going to start claiming that global warming is “good”.

    And even though you say there is actually global warming happening, you think the evidence of warming by “mindless unscientific science workers,” is fraud.

    Which is it? Is there warming, or isn’t there?

  7. GMB says:

    I was claiming this long before “a few weeks a go” and I can link my objections to prove it. “It happens to be a fact” as you would say. One doesn’t resuce reason by abandoning the process.

  8. GMB says:

    “Which is it? Is there warming, or isn’t there?”

    I already told you that I think there is some human induced warming. Looks like you have to pick your act up fella.

  9. Wait, wait. Based on what evidence is there warming? The fraudulent data to which you refer? This is getting tedious.

    Or is this based on your own, careful observations?

    “One doesn’t resuce [sic] reason by abandoning the process.”

    Are you disputing that evolution via natural selection occurs? One very, very simple example that I have already mentioned is the development of antiobiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Do you dispute that there are such strains, or that they develop in response to the use of antibiotics? I didn’t really think people disputed that.

    Anyway, that’s enough troll-biting on this topic for today.

  10. GMB says:

    Yeah I think there is warming. And I think that some of it is human-induced as I’ve stated twice already. So you really must get your act together. The dissenting studies also assume that there is a little of the human-induced stuff. And there better be. Or else we are in deep trouble. If we don’t have human-induced warming then the natural tendency would be to glaciation. As I’ve said this is the major looming catastrophe.

    You calling me a troll is another sign of your need to get your act together. You are being whipped like a red-head step-child.

    Yes AND I STARTED OFF BY SAYING I AGREED WITH NATURAL SELECTION.

    You could have not shown yourself to be more unreasonable. Get your act together.

  11. Aussie Cattleman says:

    For a good read on the Climate Change debate checkout the following web page & click on “Global Warming.” Some very good points are made that signify that the whole GB thing is purely to produce ongoing finances for thousands of so called scientists hellbent on securing their yearly alotment of the goverment take. http://www.predictweather.com/ ………No it’s NOT my webpage!!

  12. Some very good points are made that signify that the whole GB thing is purely to produce ongoing finances for thousands of so called scientists hellbent on securing their yearly alotment of the goverment take.

    That is an interesting page, but I have two concerns:

    No evidence is cited
    As a scientist paid from government funds, I can tell you that it’s not a free-for-all. Someone peddling bullshit will usually be pounced on by other scientists or those reviewing grant proposals

  13. GMB says:

    Well not this time rescuing reason. This is the most gigantic bullshit-peddling that the world has yet seen from the left/science/media nexus.

  14. GMB: There is a strong incentive to criticize other people’s research, since proving it wrong usually involves more publications/grants/money. It’s odd, then, that every study I’ve seen disputing human-caused global warming is paid for by oil and energy companies, and not by government agencies or other funding sources.

  15. Aussie Cattleman says:

    The last time I got involved with this form of debate I initiated the thread and it went on for seven months with over 25 thousand hits involving countless contributors.

    The subject matter was not resolved and for me the jury is still out on whether human activity really does contribute to the present phenomenon we call climate change.

    Incidentally, Ken Ring, the compiler of the PredictWeather page simply earns his living as a long range weather forecaster & has no connections with oil and energy consortiums. I believe his thesis on GB is as scientifically based as any other I have read but I continue to be unswayed completely by either camp at this time.

  16. GMB says:

    Well that’s because you didn’t wind up talking to me Aussie cattleman. The topic went on so long because not all of us are coming from a righteous point of view. A lot of people are involved in a process of doing everything to knock the debate off track.

    Now tell me what you want resolved. We can sort it out right now.

    Rescuingreason sez:

    “GMB: There is a strong incentive to criticize other people’s research, since proving it wrong usually involves more publications/grants/money.”

    I don’t buy this at all. I think you’ve made it up.

    ” It’s odd, then, that every study I’ve seen disputing human-caused global warming is paid for by oil and energy companies……”

    Which is counter-evidence for your thesis that I disagreed with.

    “……….. and not by government agencies or other funding sources.”

    I don’t think its odd at all. Can you tell me why you think its odd.

    The campaign against warmer winters for the Siberians is a clear fraud. Put up a case for why the taxeaters think they are within their rights to expect the taxpayers to spend money on this nonsense.

  17. Aussie Cattleman says:

    GMB. If you really interested in a real debate about climate change & think you have something to offer first check out one page of the thread I started on a British website. Bare in mind this a single page of just one of a three thred series. My alias therein is Stockman. The series was finally shut down by the moderaters because it became too heated with person insults almost becoming the norm and detracting from civil intercourse. Be prepared for some highly intellectual exchanges from both camps.

    Enjoy! Cheers……AC

    http://www.net-weather.co.uk/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t13792-350.ht

  18. Aussie Cattleman says:

    Did that time!! Enjoy.

  19. chagnon says:

    If the “jury” were to consist of atmospheric and oceanic scientists, the verdict on human-influenced climate change would be a very nearly unanimous “guilty”, as one could easily determine through a search through the relevant scientific literature on the topic. The trial in which these jurists have been participating is one that demonstrates phyical evidence supported by simple theoretical expectations. A lovely compendium of the relevant “case law” is available on http://www.realclimate.net . Cutting edge research intended to assign better probabilities to prediction of climate change scenarios is being undertaken at http://www.climateprediction.net . If nonscientists, bloggers, and journalists should like to question the reality of global warming, then they are obliged to examine the scientific case and demonstrate the flaws therein. As an atmospheric scientist, I can admit that the problem is quite complex and challenging, but that careful and creative techniques are succeeding in reducing the uncertainty. To me, it appears that FoxNews and journalists like Steve Milloy have made up their minds without any consideration or appreciation of the science. There are still important debates to be had on the science, and notable skeptics such as Richard Lindzen should be heard, but in the context of a debate with equally prominent and knowledgable scientists. Journalists would do well to facilitate such a debate, in proper context, rather than editorialize on issues that they don’t understand.

  20. graemebird says:

    This is a planet hard-wired for catastrophic cooling.

    Not catastrophic warming.

    The debate is so dishonest it almost makes me physically sick.

    You appear to be saying that if some small sliver of warmth is human-induced then the environmentalists have a case and can impose costs on us.

    We are in a fucking ice age so everyone has to put their best foot forward to end this most massive of all frauds.

    Catastrophic warming is not only unlikely its just impossible.

    http://graemebird.wordpress.com/2007/01/27/continental-layout-and-ice-ages/

  21. John Howard says:

    The global warming crowd has several sound arguments:

    a) the debate is over
    b) nobody disagrees
    c) if anyone disagrees, they have naughty motives
    d) there are no advancing glaciers
    e) we have to do something immediately
    f) it needs to be forced on everybody by law
    g) oh goody

  22. John Howard says:

    One of our authors writes,

    “I have a feeling a number of cities and countries near sea level and with a lot of shoreline might disagree with you on how benign such warming might be. It’s not the whole issue, but it’s certainly an aspect of it worth considering as somewhat harmful.”

    Ah yes! The right way to do science is to take a poll of people at various sea-levels and determine scientific truth by measuring the fear expressed by those at the most vulnarable altitude. Who needs that silly old evidence stuff? Is not public opinion the final font of unimpeachable truth? Isn’t consensus much more trustworthy than mere facts?

    Go government education!

  23. John Howard: The point was not that scientific conclusions could be reached by popular opinion. The point was that some people are arguing that a global-warming-induced rise in sea level would be fine or beneficial, but that people who stand to lose their homes and property from such a rise might beg to differ on whether it’s a desirable outcome. I think that’s fairly obvious from the original comment that that’s what I was getting at, yet you fired off a snarky comment that seemed to miss it.

  24. John Howard says:

    Sorry if I misinterpreted your intent, but no matter how the climate changes, there will always be advantages for some and disadvantages for others. This would be true even if climate did not change. So it is pointing at the obvious. I assumed you meant something more than the obvious.

  25. John Howard: It was mostly a reaction to the consistent assertion by graemebird, here and elsewhere (catallaxy, his own blog) that we should be trying to warm the earth and that it would be a win hands-down. As someone who formerly lived in a certain coastal city below sea level, I know it would not have been a win for myself or other denizens of that city.

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