more on -er (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Tue Dec 1 20:45:14 UTC 2009

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
> Behalf Of victor steinbok
> Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 1:42 PM
> Subject: Re: more on -er (UNCLASSIFIED)
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> --------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       victor steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: more on -er (UNCLASSIFIED)
> --------
> These are fair points for discussion and probably should have written
> "manufactured" instead of "fictitious". As I said earlier, the issue
> here seems to be more "science as sausage making" than "science as
> politics". #2 is just plain wrong--if you want to see "huge fudge
> factors" try economics. As for the rest, just substitute "evolution"
> for "AGW" and "Creationism" for opposition, and try to explain how
> that would be a controversy. Furthermore, for at least 120 years now
> scientists have colluded to exclude papers on perpetual motion form
> scientific journals, yet, aside from a handful of delusional
> crackpots, there seems to be no controversy about that decision.
> It is not uncommon for normal science to be overly contemptuous of
> perceived crackpot theories. This is particularly true if the
> opposition is perceived as political (which also may make the support
> political). And, occasionally, the "groupthink" may be wrong. This is
> not an excuse for eliminating bullshit threshold and turning science
> writing into a version of contemporary US journalism where facts
> matter less than balancing of competing opinions.
> So I will respectfully continue to disagree with the view that there
> is a meaningful controversy here.

If your position is that there is in fact a controversy, but it is
meaningless, that's different.  I was responding to your post that it
was fictitious/imagined.  That I put some of the reasons that it is seen
as controversial could lead us into a discussion of whether GW exists (I
think it does) and whether it is man-made (I tend to think that the
trends we currently see are primarily the result of millennia-scale
cycles -- "ice ages" -- but agree that the air pollution of the
industrial age can't be a good thing).

I further think that some of the points that deniers are making, based
on the hacked files, are valid.  The fact that they start from a denier
mindset doesn't mean that everything they say is wrong.  For example,
the IPCC and the East Anglia GRU have consistently failed to make their
models and source code available for review.  The hacked files indicate
that the models were "tweaked" to give desired results, that certain
data sets were ignored because they contain trends which aren't
currently explainable in the context of GW, and now the original data
sets are lost.  While their ultimate conclusions may be true, this isn't
how good science is supposed to work, and their shoddy methods means
that it is fair to skeptically (I use the word in its best sense)
challenge what they say.

And I don't think it's fair to equate perpetual motion (for which there
is _NO_ theory or data to support it) with skepticism of AGW (for which
there is much unexplained data, and data which lie out of the sets which
support AGW; as well as theory to go along with it).

> VS-)

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