See xkcd.

Comments

  1. #1 ScruffyDan
    December 14, 2009

    Make sure you read the mouseover text

  2. #2 Marion Delgado
    December 14, 2009

    You just live to crush our generation’s Galileos, don’t you, Lambert?

  3. #3 JamesA
    December 14, 2009

    So true. When I was a physics undergrad, I can certainly remember a certain subset of students with that attitude. I even remember getting a spammed email from another university in another country (I forget which) by some hapless student that was determined to deconstruct Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle in front of the world.

    He didn’t succeed.

  4. #4 frankis
    December 14, 2009

    Hands up those of you delusionals “skeptics” who a) get the joke but b) can explain why nobody should be laughing at you.

  5. #5 Douglas Watts
    December 14, 2009

    It’s amazing how many independent, amateur scientists have to prove with pen and paper that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics before the world will listen.

  6. #6 Andrew Dodds
    December 14, 2009

    Douglas Watts -

    Equally amazing is the size of the intersection between ‘People who are convinced that major scientific theory X is false’ and ‘People who could write a 500 word essay on major scientific theory X without making any really massive howlers. (google access allowed)’

    It’s always entertaining to watch GW-skeptics avoid the question ‘So, can you accurately describe this theory that you know to be incorrect?’

  7. #7 Chris S.
    December 14, 2009

    “It often happens that the mind of a person who is learning a new science, has to pass through all the phases which the science itself has exhibited in its historical evolution.”
    -Stanislao Cannizzaro, 1860

  8. #8 Crust
    December 14, 2009

    Very funny

  9. #9 tomhuld
    December 14, 2009

    I just saw that the same link was up on Pharyngula. Funnily enough, PZ Myers sees this as a perfect example of how creationists argue. That shows that it is very hard to tell creationists and denialists apart. I’m certain it was during the recent Drudge infestation here that someone argued that AGW is wronge, because it would violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

  10. #10 ScruffyDan
    December 14, 2009

    “That shows that it is very hard to tell creationists and denialists apart.”

    Creationists are denialists. They just deny biology rather than climatology.

  11. #11 Douglas Watts
    December 14, 2009

    As someone noted here a few days ago, denialists follow the Creationist Law of Inductive Atomism, which presumes that the fundamentals of any large body of science X teeters on on the absolute certainty of its most minuscule supportive detail, Y. By “debunking” any Y, then X in its entirety must necessarily fall.

    Or in the colloquial, if I use a crappy plastic protractor and the angles of my triangle add up to 181 degrees, all of Euclid is so totally wrong.

  12. #12 el gordo
    December 14, 2009

    Creationists think women are an intelligent design, but as a member of the Denialati I am not at liberty to offer unsolicited advice on that matter.

    They’re chalk and cheese.

  13. #13 David Kane
    December 14, 2009

    My undergraduate degree was in philosophy, not that there is anything wrong with that! ;-)

  14. #14 Bernard J.
    December 14, 2009

    Ahhh…

  15. #15 Josie
    December 14, 2009

    Actually, one of the things that philosophy teaches you is to think rationally, which should make you much less likely to engage in this kind of behaviour. The cartoon would be far more convincing if the person was an engineer.

    Just for information: Einstein was strongly influenced by reading Kant. But hey, doesn’t everyone love to bash philosophers (Not that I’m bitter or anything).

  16. #16 Nils Ross
    December 14, 2009

    “It’s amazing how many independent, amateur scientists have to prove with pen and paper that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics before the world will listen.” -#5 Douglas Watts.

    This better be a troll to illicit a response. The second law of thermodynamics only dictates that the energy of any closed system increases. The universe is the closed system, not the individual organism. No process necessary for the continuation of life or evolution violates this principle. Any gain in small-scale ordering is offset by a massive (inefficient) output of heat, the lowest form of energy. The relevant equation in the isothermal case (large heat bath in relation to the system) is:

    Delta S = Q / T

    Where Delta S is the change of entropy associated with flow of heat Q.

    But you knew that, of course, and were just testing us, because otherwise you’d look like an ignoramus.

  17. #17 Craig Allen
    December 14, 2009

    Nils, it’s the entropy of an enclosed system that increases, not the energy. That’s a bad typo to make when you finish by calling the guy an ignoramus (not that I can talk, mildly dyslexic as I am)!

  18. #18 Michael Ralston
    December 14, 2009

    Nils: I’m pretty sure DW at #5 was being sarcastic, not trolling or serious.

    There are quite a few creationists who really do think that the 2LOT disproves evolution, and that somehow all scientists have failed to realize this until now. But I’m believe I’ve seen DW post things in the past that indicate that he’s a member of the reality-based community.

  19. #19 carrot eater
    December 14, 2009

    Yes, that comment was sarcastic.

    I think Second Law crankdom is more common among creationists, but you do see it with global warming contrarians as well.

  20. #20 silkworm
    December 14, 2009

    This is a bit off topic, but is very topical, and hopefully will go viral. Watch this video of Monckton in Copenhagen abusing members of SustainUS (Gore Youth) at their stand. SustainUS invaded one of Monckton’s talks at Copenhagen, and Monckton has his revenge by calling the small group of SustainUS workers “Hitler youth.” It gets ugly very quickly, and one of the SustainUS workers identifies himself as Jewish and shows great offense, so what does Monckton do but continue the insult. I am kind of amazed that Monckton didn’t get punched in the face, but I am pretty sure that that is what Monckton would have loved to happen, because the denialists would pick it up straight away. But before someone does a Berlusconi on Monckton, here is the ugly little incident that realists can use against denialists to show just how psychopathic their hero Monckton is.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne-X_vFWMlw&feature=related

  21. #21 dhogaza
    December 14, 2009

    I think Second Law crankdom is more common among creationists, but you do see it with global warming contrarians as well.

    Yeah but how many of them are physicists like Gerlich and Tscheuschner and get them published in the “International Journal of Modern Physics”?

  22. Sorry for the confusion, Nils. That comment was in made in sarcasm extremis.

    As a science journalist and follower of science I do note a convergence in AGW denialists and creationists in the manner described above, ie. the “Law of Inductive Atomism.” The same law is also used by Apollo Moon Hoaxers as well.

    A law new to AGW denialists is the “Sen. Joe Barton Law of Fractal Consequences” which means that, whilst simultaneously claiming the climate is cooling, and the climate is warming by natural forces, and CO2 has no role in climate warming or cooling, you are free to claim that global warming due to manmade CO2 will be great for plants, therefore people.

    The fractal part is that no matter how closely you study one of its components, it is just as stupid as the whole.

    Creationists haven’t caught up with this one yet, although Michael Behe has been trying with his ‘irreducible complexity’ thing.

  23. #23 el gordo
    December 14, 2009

    Beautifully put together, Uckggo.

  24. #24 Gareth
    December 15, 2009

    …here is the ugly little incident that realists can use against denialists to show just how psychopathic their hero Monckton is.

    And here (Something potty in the state of Denmark) he gets his come-uppance.

    Literally.

  25. #25 Nils Ross
    December 15, 2009

    Yeah yeah, entropy. Obviously meant entropy. Typing while eating cereal hurrr. My bad. I didn’t pick up the sarcasm in your post — you need to put a little :-| or something to indicate sarcasm, it doesn’t come through well in text.

  26. #26 Bernard J.
    December 15, 2009

    [Josie](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/its_like_he_was_reading_the_co.php#comment-2144585).

    My comment had rather less to do with what philosophy teaches one, and more to do with what it doesn’t teach – statistics :-)

    It’s a historical thing on Deltoid…

  27. #27 JamesA
    December 15, 2009

    Given the topic, this seemed appropriate:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFyZOO4Bezg

    It’s probably done the rounds a million times already, but I only just discovered it and it nearly made me laugh myself to death.

  28. #28 Paul UK
    December 15, 2009

    The Telegraph thinks:

    “[Hansens] comments contradicted those made by a study led by Lord Stern of Brentford, Britain’s leading authority on climate change…”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/copenhagen-climate-change-confe/6713581/Copenhagen-climate-change-talks-should-fail.html

    Stern is now “Britain’s leading authority on climate change”????

    Since when has an economist been an expert on climate change?
    Oh yes, I forgot, economists are experts at everything.

  29. #29 wagdog
    December 15, 2009

    “That shows that it is very hard to tell creationists and denialists apart.”

    Creationists are denialists. They just deny biology rather than climatology.

    @ScruffyDan: Except that all the AGW denialists have become conspiracists now. Apart from the insinuations in Expelled, are there are any Creationists claiming evolution is one big hoax, i.e. planting fossils a la Piltdown Man, using “tricks” in dating the Earth, “hiding the Divine”, etc?

  30. #30 JamesA
    December 15, 2009

    “Since when has an economist been an expert on climate change? Oh yes, I forgot, economists are experts at everything.”

    Unlike Hansen, most UK climate scientists have tended to shy away from saying anything too controversial on the policy side of things and therefore largely stay below the Torygraph’s radar. Because it was Stern who carried the flag into the political battlefield, he automatically became the authority their eyes.

  31. #31 Brian D
    December 15, 2009

    Wagdog: Far too many, but they don’t usually use “conspiracy”. In much the same way McIntyre accuses people of fraud without saying “fraud”, most of the time the creationists will point out perceived flaws in science and implicitly mock scientists as perpetuating misinformation (i.e. they won’t say we’re hiding fossils, but they will say we’re hiding ‘alternate explanations’). A great example is Kent Hovind – his “doctoral dissertation” (read: final paper from a diploma mill) was recently leaked, and it’s a hoot to read through.

    Btw, if you haven’t seen Just a Theory yet, I suggest you do.

    That said, even if the details vary slightly, the tactics of the climate deniers and creationists are precisely the same. Consider, for instance, Lee Doren, the CEI mouthpiece attacking Peter Sinclair recently.