The Stoat’s burrow

Well, it has finally happened – I’ve decided to make a place to keep all the comments I don’t publish because they are noise, stupid, or whatever. And I’ll take the opportunity to add here all the ones I feel obliged to partially censor, for whatever reason (other than simple gross personal attacks, which will still just get redacted out).

Commercial linkspam will still be just junked; I’ve included an example of that for your entertainment.

To add: you’re welcome to comment here, if you like. Obviously, comments that are simply stupid will just stay in the comment thread and won’t be moved :-).

Note: some people are going to get a slightly hard time, in that they will want to talk about stuff that I’ll regard as just trolling or flamebait. Well, tough.

Warning: some of the comments below here are Rude. Read on at your peril.

Doug Cotton on The idealised greenhouse effect model and its enemies.

No young William, it is yourself spamming the internet with IPCC junk science like this post. You prove my point that this is not a scientific forum and you have no guts to face up to counter arguments. You are wrong and I am right about the gravito-thermal gradient which smashes the greenhouse.


The now proven existence of the gravito-thermal gradient in any planet’s troposphere and even sub-surface regions completely over-rides any effect of radiation, because the pre-determined thermal profile sets the supporting surface temperature. Back radiation and also conduction at the surface-air boundary slow the rate of cooling in the early pre-dawn hours as the supporting temperature is being approached. Without it, rapid cooling would continue all night through. Radiation plays only a minute role in slowing that portion of surface cooling that is itself due to radiation, but non-radiative cooling accelerates to compensate anyway. It is the supporting temperature at the base of the troposphere which determines mean temperatures in the surface, not radiation which passes through the transparent thin surface layer of all the water surfaces anyway.

Douglas J Cotton on A reader writes: Why are there people who seem hell-bent on denying anthropogenic global warming?

With the Global Precipitation Mission being launched today it is timely to note that precipitation holds the key to the answer to the trillion dollar question which is “Does gravity induce an autonomous temperature gradient in all solids, liquids and gases?”

Josef Loschmidt first postulated that it would in the 19th century. Dr Hans Jelbring worked on it for his PhD and published a paper about a decade back. Now physicists are starting to realise that it is indeed a reality, and this can be shown using the Second Law of Thermodynamics in conjunction with Kinetic Theory.

But, most compelling of all is the empirical evidence which I have presented in a book “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” being released late April. Temperature and precipitation records are used to show that regions with higher precipitation do in fact have lower mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures than drier regions at similar latitudes and altitudes.

This means water vapour cools.

And this is evidence that gravity produces a “dry” gradient (aka lapse rate) at the molecular level (not requiring a hot surface or upward convection) and water vapour then reduces that gradient (as is well known) due to inter-molecular radiation (not well known) and this leads to lower surface temperatures.

The greenhouse is smashed,

D J C (i.e., Doug Cotton) on The idealised greenhouse effect model and its enemies.

The thermodynamics of planetary atmospheres is a very specialised field in which major advances have been made since about the year 2002 when some physicists began to realise there is a fundamental fallacy in the garbage promulgated by the IPCC, namely that their assumption of isothermal conditions is wrong, because the Second Law of Thermodynamics implies isentropic conditions prevail, thus smashing the GH conjecture.

Furthermore, the concept of “pseudo scattering” of radiation is also just starting to be understood. I was one of the pioneers in this field with my peer-reviewed paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” (Douglas J Cotton) published on several websites in March 2012.

Visiting Physicist 2014/02/16 on Arctic amplification dominated by temperature feedbacks in contemporary climate models.

Feedback models are based on wrong assumptions. The greenhouse radiative forcing conjecture starts with an assumption that there would be isothermal conditions in a troposphere that was free of radiating (so-called “greenhouse”) gases, including water vapour, or free of direct solar radiation.

[Why are you making up this nonsense? -W]

There are similar conditions in the Uranus troposphere where there is very little methane except in a layer in the uppermost regions. Virtually all the very weak solar radiation reaching the planet (nearly 30 times the distance from the Sun that Earth is) is absorbed and re-emitted back to space by this methane layer where the temperature is a very cold 60K or so, that being the radiating temperature of the planet. There is no internal energy generation that can be convincingly detected, yet the core is at about 5,000K and the base of the troposphere (where there is no surface being heated by any direct Solar radiation) is hotter than Earth’s surface.

The existence of isothermal conditions would be in violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics which says that a state of maximum entropy will evolve spontaneously. Such as state is isentropic, and so the sum of molecular kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy for each molecular has a propensity to be equal at all altitudes. This means that there is a temperature gradient, because temperature depends upon the mean kinetic energy, not the gravitational potential energy.

If there were isothermal conditions (an impossibility) then what is the sensitivity for each 1% of water vapour in the atmosphere above any region? Perhaps you would say something like at least 10 degrees of warming. Hence you would say in a dry desert (with say 0.5% water vapour) the warming would be 5 degrees, but in a rain forest with 4.5% water vapour it might be 45 degrees, making the rainforest 40 degrees hotter than the dry desert.

Need I say more about this ludicrous travesty of physics?

Mal Adapted on Arctic amplification dominated by temperature feedbacks in contemporary climate models


The question at hand is: what should we do. I tend to think nothing. But thats me. A [sic] interesting topic for future posts: would 2F warming be good or bad and why.

Sounds like kdk33 is a lukewarmer. He may accept that climate is changing, and even that it’s anthropogenic, but he’s not worried because he doesn’t think he’ll be much affected, and he doesn’t care about the poor people who will be.


Another interesting topic for a future post: What would -W have us all do to lower CO2 and why.

Yep, lukewarmer. Won’t support decarbonization if it means the slightest inconvenience to him.


The name calling and gloating and the posting on your blog your clever comments on other blogs so that you and your chums can laugh is all very childish. It is perfectly not technical.

He has no technical arguments himself, and the best he can offer is tone-trolling. Now we know he’s not a scientist — he’d never survive the snakepit:

Science doesn’t work despite scientists being asses. Science works, to at least some extent, because scientists are asses. Bickering and backstabbing are essential elements of the process. Haven’t any of these guys ever heard of “peer review”?

kdk33 on Arctic amplification dominated by temperature feedbacks in contemporary climate models


kdk33 on Arctic amplification dominated by temperature feedbacks in contemporary climate models

Hi kevin,

You’ve come pretty close to nailing it. Anectodal evidence that engineers have wacky ideas might meet your standard, but it doesn’t meet mine. It’s just name calling.

Conservative in a technical sense is different than conservative in a political sense. The observation that political affiliation explains views on AGW is misleading What’s viewed differently are the proposed solutions – conservatives tending to reject government driven solutions. It takes some effort to detangle these and people tend to be lazy.

But let’s now consider some not-anectodal evidence. Engineering schools are more selective. As a population, engineers have higher standardized test scores and better high school GPA’s. On the basis of these measures they are smarter. The curriculae is more demanding, as measured by students who leave engineering for the sciences and vice versa. Upon graduation engineers are both smarter and better trained. These facts are perfectly predictable. The market pays engineers considerably more so the field attracts better talent. Chemical engineers command a 25% premium over chemists. These are just the facts, mind you.

There is no physics in the atmosphere beyond the abilities of a modestly trained chemical or mechanical engineer. This is not a fact, it is my assertion, but it is true.

OK, now that I have defended the reputations of engineers around the world (couldn’t help it)…

Only those trained in climate science can have an expert opinion. I actually think I agree with that, but it wasn’t what I said. I said: objectively assess. They are different. To caricaturize your argument – should we have juries?

One of the smarter readers noted that science requires testable hypothesis and predictions. And I salute this reader. An interesting topic for a future post might be: An evaluation of testable climate science predictions – have they come true.

mike on

I just want to thank all you hive-bozos for a really interesting post and commentary that is so excruciatingly, mind-numbly in line with your standard-issue, basic, good-comrade, nerd-puke, group-think, bullshit-by-the-yard, agit-prop, trough-entrenched, I’ve-got-mine!, rip-off-the-coolie-peasant-helot-serf-peon-no-bodies-with-carbon-taxes, make-a-”greenshirt”-buck/make-an-eco-gulag, I’m-the-smarty-pants-and-you’re-not!, arthropod-parasites-rule!, hive-orthodox, PC-gotcha, Pavlovian-conditioned-reflex, Lysenko-would-be-so-proud! sense of rectitude.

Just one question though, from moi, in the peanut-gallery, to ye, my mighty, sociopathic, cull-crazy Philosopher-King-wannabe betters: So why doesn’t all this “peer review” crapola and associated, CAGW fear-mongering lead to:

-the cut-off of all fossil-fuel utilities, that provide “climate”-control to those hot-beds of CAGW, worry-wart, fear-mongering true-belief, like the West’s leading academic institutions, to those institutions’ work-spaces, dormitory spaces, and cavernous, lecture-hall spaces? You know, like, why don’t my obvious betters use layering of their clothing, like the low-carbon-lifestyle Eskimos, in winter, and, like, Bedouin-style, loose clothing in summer, in lieu of all that fossil-fuel, warm-and-toasty central heating and feels-good! air-conditioning conspicuously indulged in by my shot-caller-wannabe, greenshirt, top-predator aspirants?

-An end to all those carbon-piggie, blow-out, party-animal eco-confab bashes that could easily be video-conferenced with vast savings in CO2-spew and tax-payer dollars (not that the latter matters to you enviro-worthies, I know)?

-A complete rejection of corpulent phonies like Al Gore with their carbon-philic predilictions for gas-guzzling, bullet-proof limos; Gaea-insulting, frequent-flyer, private-jet jaunts; their yachts; and their GHG-a-go-go, beach-front bachelor-pads, alarmingly over-run with hordes of thong-clad, bunga-bunga, air-head beach-bunnies (Eli up!)?

-A determination by the hive’s best-and-brightest to convince the hoi-polloi that CAGW alarmism is not all a duplicitous, flim-flam, con-job scheme to pick the “little guy’s” pocket through carbon-tax scams by means of LEADERSHIP, BY YOU, MY BETTERS, FROM THE FRONT AND BY YOUR OWN “CONSPICUOUS-SACRIFICE”, CARBON-REDUCTION PERSONAL EXAMPLE and by means of PRACTICING WHAT YOU, MY ACKNOWLEDGED BETTERS, PREACH AS A TREND-SETTER EXAMPLE TO US ALL?

Answer the above questions to my satisfaction, my lefty, ol’ buddy, asshole sell-outs and I, and others like me, just might take your self-regarding, self-important, self-serving, high-dudgeon, CAGW “pearl-clutching” seriously. Or is that too high a hurdle for your creep-out, geek-ball leeches to handle?

Repeatability of Large Computations

Author : David Young

I see from W’s in line response to my last comment that the witch hunt has begun on qualifications. The default assumption seems to be that as soon as someone says something controversial, the demand to qualify yourself follows and I understand that urge.

There are a couple of papers I mentioned on James’ place on the “more on that recent sensitivity paper’ thread. You will also see some very intense name calling and slanderous comments too, something which I’m sure W does not allow here. ;-) The references give some details of our recent work. We are not in the business of “getting people to read our papers” so they are not that visible unless you know what to look for.

The doctrine that seems to me to be the basis of this whole thread and the previous one is the uniqueness of climate as a function of forcings. If this is false, pretty much everything else said here is questionable.

In Navier-Stokes simulation of fluid flows, 15 years ago had there had developed a similar doctrine. It’s true the Navier-Stokes equations at high Reynolds numbers is essentially ill-posed. But people had developed this dissipation called eddy viscosity that “time averages” the effect of small scale eddies and gives their effect on the resolved scales and converts an ill-posed initial value problem into a boundary value problem that was claimed to be well posed. In this case, the RANS problem really is a boundary value problem. This doctrine was supported by tons of computational experience that seemed to confirm it. Of course, there is positive results bias and the placebo effect but that’s another story. To be fair, part of this experience was based on the easier flow problem, namely the attached flow cases where the methods perform reasonably well, but not much better than simpler and far less costly methods.

F. Johnson with a team of top notch people set out to build a code that would embody this principle, use the latest methods, and would avoid the huge numbers of knobs used in existing codes. This effort went on for a long time and fell further and further behind schedule. Finally, people were forced to admit that the underlying assumption of well-posedness was probably wrong.

If you read AIAA 2013-0063, you will find a rather convincing proof that in fact there are multiple steady state fully converged solutions to the RANS equations given identical forcings. Further, which one you find is dependent on the details of the numerics used to get there as well as the grid. In fact, pseudo-time marching techniques are required to find converged solutions reliably. It is unknown whether all of these solutions are physical but at least some of them are as was shown by very early testing many decades ago.

There is an even more disturbing phenomenon of the “pseudo-solution” described in the paper. All other RANS codes simply NEVER converge to more than 4-5 digits in the norm of the residual. Hey, its a tough problem to converge reliably. The paper documents the existence of flows whose residual is order 5-6 digits lower than freestream flow that ARE NOT TRUE SOLUTIONS. If the algorithm is allowed to find a true solution, the overall forces differ by 70%. Does this mean all other codes are called into question? You can be the judge.

Further on the bad news front, the pseudo-solutions at least on a common test case are substantially closer to the test data than the true solutions. What does this mean? My guess is that the eddy viscosity models are incorrectly calibrated based on unconverged solutions. By the way, its commonly acknowledged by modelers themselves that the viscosity models are too dissipative in some common situations.

So, climate is the Navier-Stokes equations with lots of subgrid models of everything from aerosols to clouds, to albedo changes. Making something more complex doesn’t usually make it more stable. Linear potential flow methods are much simpler and are absolutely stable. Navier-Stokes is not. Generally, if you add chemistry or combustion, or convection to a Navier-Stokes simulation it merely makes the problem stiffer and less well-posed, but its hard to generalize on this subject.

I will generate a follow up comment on the relationship of numerical stability to well-posedness and sensitivity of results to compilers and other rounding error details. This subject is really pretty well covered in graduate school courses in numerical methods. Basically, if your problem is well-posed these rounding errors can be proven to not make much difference. For the ill-posed problems, they do make a difference and as discussed above. Of course if you add enough dissipation, you can make any problem well-posed.

If you use poor methods, like the leapfrog scheme that was known to be bad when I was in graduate school, you rather shoot yourself in the foot from day one as Paul Williams has shown rather convincingly. I know, GISS doesn’t use the method, but NCAR does.

[next comment]

Dhog, Airplanes are safe and i get on them all the time. Air travel is safer than any other human activity. You know that is due to observationally based methods and to very rigorous in service monitoring. Modeling plays a role of course. This was discussed at James’.

Please stop imputing to me things that i never said. Numerical modeling is very sound within its limits, such as elliptic problems Structural design problems are elliptic, so they are well posed. They are linear too or only mildly nonlinear. Nonlinear systems are another story. There are also really good simple methods well constrained by observations. There will be another paper appearing on this.

i said it above. For attached flow, we do an excellent job. But for separated flows, its another story. That’s because separated flow is much less well posed. I’m merely pointing out that there are not unique solutions for RANS equations and that there are many solutions for a given forcing in many common settings.

[next comment]

Dhog, Airplanes are safe and i get on them all the time. Air travel is safer than any other human activity. You know that is due to observationally based methods and to very rigorous in service monitoring. Modeling plays a role of course. This was discussed at James’.

Please stop imputing to me things that i never said. Numerical modeling is very sound within its limits, such as elliptic problems Structural design problems are elliptic, so they are well posed. They are linear too or only mildly nonlinear. Nonlinear systems are another story. There are also really good simple methods well constrained by observations. There will be another paper appearing on this.

i said it above. For attached flow, we do an excellent job. But for separated flows, its another story. That’s because separated flow is much less well posed. I’m merely pointing out that there are not unique solutions for RANS equations and that there are many solutions for a given forcing in many common settings.

[At this point I got bored. Further comments from DY will just get trashed if they're off-topic or trolling -W]

How’s my seaiceing?

Author : Graeme Bird (IP: ,
E-mail :

Aren’t you getting sick of being a science fraud “Stoat”?

I mean you’ve had a haircut. And you may even have a real job. But don’t you get sick of pushing brazen science fraud the entire time?

By the way? Are you a Jew?


Author : frank3 (IP: ,
E-mail :

why should i wait for your moderation my dear billi

let me thru to the world


Author : freddy (IP: ,
E-mail :

shitstoat, you think that with this text you evade the mis-percepetion that you are an honest, objective, or even a REAL scientist.

you are nothing the like, just a totally unmportant, uninspired, self-complacent idiot who thinks he has something to say out of his rotten brain.

you are truely a poor pig

ps: i am considering an investigation against you at scienceblogs as author because you have criminally disclosed my e-mail address and my ip-identity on your ridiculous webpage. i want scienceblogs to close your blog because of your severe inability to do a decent job as talker.

I have carefully documented all your actions against me as pdf files, so deletion of my posts to you and also your insane reactions against me does not help.

“Dr” Roy Spencer is sad and lonely and wrong (part II)

Author : oiuuojhrewqweuzt34 (IP: ,

E-mail :

are you an asshole fucker or not, conoli

Author : oiuuojhrewqweuzt34 (IP: ,

E-mail :

conoli, you must first wipe away your stinking asshole shit from your stinking asshole, otherwise you smell the whole day like your asshole shit. have you already cleaned your asshole today? be honest and don’t lie

Author : fmioztre (IP: ,

E-mail :

so conoli you have got your judgement that you are true adshole, your skill base is poor cumpter support

i will bring your censorship u at wuwt and everybidy will laugh at conoli the asshole

conoli the asshole, hahha, your rotten political fight is lost, becos assholes are never right

Author : fred (IP: ,

E-mail :

bil conoli, you must read this, as you shit arsehole want to censor what offends your low intellect as cheap computer programmer withour talent. compared to me you are a poor nobody, and even far too stupid to catch this in your small warming brain.

hahha, you asshole

haha, conoli you addhole, not all greens are assholes


Author : fred (IP: ,

E-mail :

bill conoli, have you any clue about the fact that you are one of the biggest assholes in the climate idiot church? selfish, unintelligent, schizoid, poor manners: just a plain village idiot without any significance in life and society

Shocker: solar physicists interested in solar physics

W, you are evading my question: the scientific answer to it cannot be “start reading there”. I expect a sentence about evidence. What is your problem with the question?

- freddy


Shocker: solar physicists interested in solar physics

William; Earth’s atmosphere including water vapour is around 4% GHG’s. Venus’ atmosphere is around 96.5%GHG’s. Yet the lapse rate and the temperatures at similar pressures are almost the same (allowing for their different proximity to the Sun).

Why do you think that might be so?

Gases under higher pressures have a higher heat capacity due to the higher resulting density. The pressure on Venus’ surface is 93 times that at Earth’s surface due to its high mass being acted on by gravity, producing a high surface level pressure.

Why then would you not expect the mass of an atmosphere to have a strong effect on surface temperature?

Astrophysicists do. I wonder why climate scientists don’t.

- Rog Tallbloke


GMOs: Seven Obvious Questions in Search of Straightforward Answers?

Mal congratulations on being sufficiently teflon coated to have avoided ever getting mired in factual debate.

You clearly feel that “environmentalist” scare propaganda can only successfully be pursued though rudeness, counterfactual assertion & censorship not factual scientific debate.

I think you are right.

- Neil Craig


People, if you want to argue with stoats, first read enough to be a weasel. Parrots needn’t apply

Ianam being an honest fellow since you clearly know Connolley depends on censorship you will (A) acknowledge this & (B) either provide evidence of censorship by a major sceptic site or acknowledge this was a lie.

Or not as the case may be.

W I note your censorship of my response. Perhaps you would be good enough to acknowledge that what I said fitted closely to the standards of politeness you aspire to here.

I note you have reinforced your claim that Lovelock is indeed a scinetist who supports catstrophism thoug that is obviously the total and exact opposite of the truth. You are right that i do not accept somebody who says the alarmist community is insane is their supporter.

I note also that yoi & indeed others here, are still unable to name a single ” other” scientist who in independent and supports alarmism.. So that makes it a scientific consensus.

The Himalyas will melt by 2035 claim was certainly a lie since Dr Pachauri, climate scientist er well actually railroad engineer, had certainly been informed by the sceptic community that it was untrue & continued to claim it for over a year after knowing this. I would be astonished if somebody wiki chooses to rewrite faqctual articles on the subject was unaware of this but then to be fair it would not say much for them if they thought you did know and were lyiing.

I note 7ou say of the IPCC predictions “all of them quite consistent.” which means that you are standing by them all. Or perhaps, having acknowledged the Himalyas prediction in nio way truthful you are saying that everything they say is similarly consistently untruthful (& you still support them all)?

Having to censor all the other points, including the one Guthrie refers to shows you know I am unanswerably correct on them all. It also shows your contempt for scientific principles.

- Neil Craig

IPCC report leaked, again

“Dullard” – I suppose this counts as ultras politeness from an eco-Fascist fraudster who thinks “denialist nutter” is normal courtesy.

But the fact that you have to rely on censorship is obvious & all you do by trying to play with words is demonstrate your own inability to be truthful.


So my post suggesting that Connolly taking advantage of Tim Worstall’s liberal commitment to free speech when “sciencebl;gs” depends on censorship has been censored.

Irony impairment meets with ignorance of scientific principles.

- Neil Craig


Richard are you willing to acknowledge that for “sciencebloggers” on your side to have chosen obscenities, insults and censorship in preference to debate is disgusting? That any decent person should condemn such behaviour. And that you publicly condemn such associates.

The point I made on this thread is that Mr Connolly had taken advantage of Tim Worstall’s commitment to free expressio0n and that of he believes in free speech he should condemn “scienceblogs” sitrs (almost all of them) which rely on censorship. Not doi8ng so seems hypocritical, don’t you thjink.

If you wish to address anything I have said on Casabon’s or here feel free to do so where I said it.

- Neil Craig

It’s Global Warming, Stupid?

No, only those who think carbon dioxide causes it are stupid …

Home experiment No.1

A plastic bowl in a 750 watt microwave oven is not heated by the high intensity radiation (photons if you like) whereas the same bowl in front of a 750 watt electric radiator is heated by a similar intensity of radiation. So the bowl “detects” the frequency difference. Many seem to think that would not be possible and that all photons are the same and all cause warming. The frequency of the microwaves is less than that of the spontaneous radiation emitted by the bowl itself at room temperature. But the frequency of the radiation from the electric radiator is greater. That’s all that matters. That is a simple demonstration of how a surface “pseudo scatters” radiation which has lower frequency than its own emissions, and is not warmed by such radiation. This is the whole point of Prof Claes Johnson’s “Computational Blackbody Radiation” paper. So I have provided at least one example of empirical evidence which is not in conflict with what he has said. There has never been any empirical evidence to disprove what he said, and never will be. I have explained more in the first five sections of my paper.

Home experiment No.2

Check the outside temperature just before, and then soon after low clouds roll in. Why is it warmer when there are low clouds? Water vapour radiates with many more spectral lines than carbon dioxide, so its radiation is more effective per molecule in slowing the rate of radiative cooling of the Earth’s surface. It is also much more prolific in the atmosphere, so its overall effect on this slowing is probably of the order of at least 100 times the effect of carbon dioxide. Hence it is not at all surprising that low cloud cover slows radiative cooling quite noticeably and, while it is present in that particular location, the rate of cooling by non-radiative processes cannot accelerate fast enough to compensate. But that is a local weather event, not climate. Over the whole Earth and over a lengthy period there will be compensation. In any event, what is being compensated for is almost entirely due to water vapour, with carbon dioxide having less than 1% of the effect on that mere 14% of all heat transferred from the surface which enters the atmosphere by way of radiation.

-Doug Cotton


Lindzen doesn’t like me

w, thank you for your friendly reply. as lindzen, i don’t like you too, since you are a green leftist partisan agw hysteric without formation and track record in meteorology, hence totally incompetent in climate and weather. i bet that i am the far better computer programmer than you and am able to code in many more programming languages complex computer programs.

furthermore i am happy that you have been thrown out of wikipedia as editor of the totally wrong written chapter on climate change. unfortunately for you and your agw church peers the global temperatures don’t go up and you will lose the battle on global warming. bad luck for you and your fans.



@gator, yes, kim il sung

- Kai


Adoration of the Lamb

Ha ha [PA deleted -W], burrow as in your mate the Rabbet?

- bushy


More use and abuse of IPCC 1990 fig 7.1(c)

bill, you are a real authoritarian asshole without any class



oh holy educator and master, thank you for your kind censorship and intolerance as well as hatred towards climate hysteric critics.

you are right, politeness is extremely important, far more than scientific truth and adherence to good science practice



mk and other green leftist hysteric warming alarmists: there is no global warming at all, and of course no anthropogenic one, since global mean temperature measurements are way too imprecise, error margin plus minus 0.5 C. so you better shut up with your warming tales and spend your life time otherwise, e.g the invention of better wastebaskets

- Kai


More weird sea ice stuff

the thing only is that arctic sea ice melting is irrelevant regarding any sea level rise, since the ice is already swimming in the water, hahahahahahaha, bravo. so if all arctic ice melts no alarmists dreams will come true of a threat to mankind: not one millimeter of sea level rise from complete melting of the arctic sea ice. surprised now, the catastrophics and climate hysterics?
and no, we don’t have a climate problem, and yes, we don’t have anything to do, and yes, there is no anthropogenic climate change.

the co2 alarmists may calm down, nobody will die from sea lebel rise in the next thousand years, basta!!!!

climate alarmists: please start facing real problems, e.g. fincancial debt crises in many countries, economical crises everywhere, high unempoyment rates everywhere, poverty of many millions of people.

and what are you, the climate alarmists, doing: nirwana computer gaming, wasting taxpayers money for nothing but hysterical hypocrisy: you are slaves of al gore’s dream to bring this guy and “top-most climate expert” more money and a bigger private jet. years ago this fundamentally profound climate scientist – al gore – exclaimed: “the science is closed, the debate is over”. no, he is wrong, the debate is never over. he also excremented: “you are welcome to join the consensus”: bullshit, he is welcome to join rationality and honest scientific search to find the truth without compromising with politics or even subordination under alarmistic green dictatorship.

alarmists: do better, and use your lifetime more meaningful than wasting it with nonsense

Name: Kai


Obama and Romney on GW

WMC: Please send any follow-ups to the “Burrow” thread

I would if I could, but I can’t so I shan’t. There appears to be no such means of commenting there [Err, that's a baffling one. Its a blog post, it has comments like all the others -W]. Besides, you were the one that raised the issue of religious fanaticism in this thread, not me. So I am at least on topic from that perspective.

I am simply asking you what you believe and why you believe it. It is not a trick question.

Name: GoRight


WMC: … we’re not a pile of religious fanatics …

LOL, for comparison purposes we in the USA have no counterpart to the Church of England whose Supreme Governor is the country’s head monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who just happens to also serve as the Queen-in-Parliament.

If memory serves it was British religious fanaticism (and it’s attendant religious oppression of other faiths) that actually led us Yanks to leave and subsequently kick your lot off the bloody continent all the way back to your tiny island home.

But all good natured jabs aside. :) I am curious about one thing. Are you yourself a) religious, b) agnostic, or c) atheist? Please explain your choice and why you have chosen that option.

Name: GoRight

[You're trolling, which is tedious. Signs of you genuinely wanting to talk rather than troll include, but are no limited to (a) politeness (b) no offensive false familiarity -W]


More weird sea ice stuff

The censors seems blind to his own ‘incivility’, and to that of his pals. He sets the tone, and then complains about it.

Name: Ben Pile


” [incivility redacted -W] ”

“[That's rich, coming from you -W]”

That’s rich, coming from you.

Name: Ben Pile

Global temperature response to radiative forcing: Solar cycle versus volcanic eruptions

In my view we need to focus on the assumed problem, namely carbon dioxide and, to a lesser extent, methane perhaps. If I refer to trace gases take it to mean these, because I refuse to call them greenhouse gases.

We have what we have in the Earth’s total system. Somehow, in some way we may never fully understand, a long-term near equilibrium situation has developed. We have some energy being generated in the core, mantle and crust, most likely by fission I think, but I won’t go into that. But it does set up a temperature gradient from the core to the surface which is very stable below the outer kilometre or so of the crust. However, it may vary in long-term natural cycles that have something to do with planetary orbits. Likewise, the intensity of solar radiation getting through the atmosphere to the surface may also vary in natural cycles which may have something to do with planetary influences on the Sun, and on the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit and on cosmic ray intensity and on cloud cover, ENSO cycles etc.

There is much to be learned about such natural cycles, and we have seen papers by Nicola Scafetta for example which appear to provide compelling evidence of the natural cycles. I believe that in fact such natural cycles are quite sufficient to explain all observed climate change, including what has happened in the last half century or so, right up to the present. The world has just been alarmed because the 1000 year cycle and the 60 year cycle were both rising around 1970 to 1998, just as they did by about the same amount 60 years earlier, and 60 years before that and no doubt further back. We cannot escape the obvious fact that there is a ~1000 year cycle which is due for another maximum within 50 to 200 years. Then there will be 500 years of falling temperatures.

But the central issue is whether or not trace gases are really having any effect at all on climate.

In my paper I have explained the physics of heat transfer and demonstrated why trace gases cannot have any effect whatsoever on what we call climate.

Climate may be thought of as the mean of temperature measurements, usually made in the air between 1.5 and 2 metres above the ground. Thermometers are affected by the thermal energy in that air near the surface. As you can read here thermal energy is distinct from heat. It is transferred by molecular collision processes (conduction and diffusion,) by physical movement (convection) and by radiation. . The energy in radiation is not thermal energy. Thermal energy is first converted to electromagnetic (radiated) energy and then that EM energy has to be converted back to thermal energy in a target. Hence, in a sense thermal energy only appears to be transferred by radiation.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics (SLoT) tells us that in any (one way, independent) spontaneous process, entropy cannot decrease unless external energy is added. There are no two ways about it. If spontaneous radiation emanates from a cooler object (or atmosphere) its EM energy cannot be converted back to thermal energy in a warmer target, such as Earth’s surface. This point is not debatable. A violation of the SLoT cannot be excused on the grounds that there will be some subsequent independent process (maybe not even radiation) which will transfer more thermal energy back to the atmosphere. If you disagree, you are mistaken.

However, the radiation from a cooler body can affect the radiative component of the cooling of a warmer body. Although such radiation undergoes what I call “resonant scattering” this does involve the “resonators” in the warmer body and uses up some of its radiating capacity. Because the incident radiation supplies the energy, the warmer body does not need to convert an equivalent amount of its own thermal energy. Hence it cools more slowly.

But, the resonating process involves all the (potential) different frequencies in the incident radiation. There will be far less effect when there are limited frequencies as is the case for radiation from a trace gas in the atmosphere. Furthermore, the effect depends on the temperature of that gas and is less when it is cooler. It is far less from space (equivalent to about 2.7K) and so there is no slowing of cooling for that portion of radiation which gets through the atmospheric window.

The remaining radiation (when we look at net figures, not all that backradiation) represents less than a third of all the cooling processes from the surface to the atmosphere. The other non-radiative processes can, and will, simply speed up in order to compensate, because they do so if the temperature gap increases. There are further reasons discussed in Q.3 in the Appendix of my paper.

So there is no overall effect at all due to trace gases on the rate of cooling of the surface. Thus there can be no effect upon climate.

Commenter name: Doug Cotton

How not to edit wikipedia

The fact you consistantly refuse to talk about the science and instead consistantly attack me shows you just dont understand what you are getting yourself into. This has nothing to do with some silly company called Wiki. This is to do with you publicly defaming my good name where you refused to talk about the science and instead just kept attempting to ridicule me. And the more you make silly comments about me the bigger the hole you are digging for yourself.

Commenter name: Anonymous, assumed to be Aej from context.

The New Aristotelians

Whether methane or CO2 it doesn’t radiate heat to the surface …

The Second Law can be illustrated with a hose used as a siphon to empty
a swimming pool, for example. It works if the other end of the hose
goes down a slope and is significantly below the bottom of the pool.

The water flows and entropy increase because we have a single process.
The SLoT requires a single process, as is obvious in everyday life.

If you cut the hose at the highest point you now have two processes,
and the water no longer goes upwards from the pool.

Any heat flow from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface is a single
completed process. The energy is not constrained to return by
radiation or to do anything in particular. It could be conducted
elsewhere in the surface for example.

Because it is a single process from atmosphere to surface, there is no
justification fro saying that any subsequent process can create a net
effect and thus excuse the violation of the Second Law. It would be
like water flowing uphill to the town’s water tank on the basis that it
would subsequently flow further downhill through pipes into houses.
But there is no constraint enforcing this, as there was with the siphon
before the hose was cut. After all, the tank might leak.

Hence, thermal energy cannot transfer spontaneously from a cooler
atmosphere to a warmer surface. Fullstop.

See my publication Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Commenter name: Doug Cotton

No solar hiding place for greenhouse sceptics?

Blogged by William Connolley: “Not having read the original, I’m not sure what was in it worthy of publication;”

Wow, maybe if you took time to read the original, you might at least have an idea. Use the same methodology to edit Wiki?

Commenter name: Darren Potter

Amerika headed for theocracy?

There is no systematic causal relationship between carbon dioxide
levels and climate change simply because the greenhouse conjecture is
not based on real world physics.

Prof Claes Johnson has proved in Computational Blackbody Radiation*
that energy in radiation only gets converted to thermal energy if the
peak frequency of the radiation from the source is above the peak
frequency of the radiation from the target.

This essentially provides a mechanism which explains why the Second Law
of Thermodynamics also applies for radiative heat transfer, as it does
for heat transferred by conduction.

There seems no plausible alternative explanation for the observed
Second Law, so I suggest we all heed what Johnson has deduced
mathematically, being as he is, a Professor of Applied Mathematics.

It is not the net radiative flux (or even its direction) which
determines whether (and in which direction) thermal energy is
transferred. For example, if the emissivity of two bodies is very
different, there can be more radiative flux from the cooler one. But
all that flux will be scattered by the warmer one and not converted to
thermal energy. Only the flux from the warmer one (no matter how weak)
will be converted to thermal energy in the cooler one. This “ensures”
that the Second Law is valid in all cases because it depends
on peak frequency which is proportional to absolute temperature – see’s_displacement_law

Thus the IPCC “backradiation” cannot affect the temperature of the
surface and there can be no atmospheric radiative greenhouse effect.


Commenter name: Doug Cotton

Chris Huhne

Let’s not forget that science and scientists gave us the pesticides and cancer causing chemicals that made environmental protection necessary in the first place.

Commenter name: Meme Mine

Aiiee, the stupid, it burns!

Commenter name: Alex Harvey

Steve Bloom, I will respond at the RealClimate open thread later.
William Connolley’s dishonest editing of my posts by selective
censorship (which is not visible to his readers) makes it pointless
trying to comment here, and this will probably be the last time I try.

Commenter name: Alex Harvey

Steve Bloom, further to the above and specifically on how do we know the true magnitude of the LGM cooling, Kohler et al. 2009 say (“What caused Earth’s temperature variations during the last 800,000 years? Data-based evidence on radiative forcing and constraints on climate sensitivity”, QSR):

It is difficult to obtain an LGM cooling from observations only, as the scaling of regional proxy data (e.g. from tropical sea surface temperature or polar ice cores) often involves model-based information (e.g. Masson-Delmotte et al., in this issue).

I am looking at Masson-Delmotte et al. now (2009, “EPICA Dome C record of glacial and interglacial intensities”, QSR), and it appears that GCMs enter the picture when relating Antarctic temperatures to the global average.

If so, I make two notes:

1) James Hansen’s argument (e.g. Hansen et al. 1997, 2011) that assume that the paleo record constrains sensitivity as 3 +/- 0.1 C on the basis that models are unreliable but the paleo record includes all the fast and slow feedbacks is circular. The same models he considers unreliable probably entered in his value of change in temperature.

2) It is even more circular to argue from such reconstructions that Lindzen is wrong, because the crux of Lindzen’s argument is that the models get the equator-to-pole temperature difference wrong and it is this precise feature of the models that the temperature reconstructions depend upon.

By the way, I find it really strange that Lindzen appears to have been the only critic of these early climate sensitivity from paleo studies (e.g. Lindzen 1993; Lindzen and Pan 1994). If you look at Covey et al. 1996 (Climatic Change), it appears that Lindzen was the only scientist to have raised substantial criticisms that needed to be addressed. Nearly 20 years later, we seen in Kohler et al. that the community now views these Hansen et al. arguments very skeptically. How come no one said so at the time?

Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge?

I put how I think this will fully develope in a fictional story.
‘Under House Arrest’ poses a realistic end-point to the progressive
encroachment. I invite you to visit and see for

Commenter name: Steve Ortwerth

On the Limits of Expert Credibility: Theory and an Application to Climate Change?

A more accurate theory about global warming/cooling/climate change is
quite simple. Some sorry good for nothing nutjob dumbass at the top of
the new world order foodchain is demanding MONEY in order to fund
various socialist/communist projects and using this scam called global
warming as a front to obtain the funds. All involved should be charged
with fraud, striped naked, given 25 lashes with a whip, then be sent to
prison in Sibria naked with only one candle to warm the place. This
whole thing is one big massive maarxist fraud and everyone involves
deserves maximum punishment.

Commenter name: Piltdown Man

Oh no! More snarking

Stoat:The link that you provide over at Deltoid [... is] evidence of
why Romm hates Kloor is appalling, killer evidence of the flaws in
Romm;Sorry, Stoat, you’ve repeatedly chanted the ‘Romm is over the top,
Romm is over the top, Romm is over the top’ mantra, but with zero
evidence to show for it.

Zero. Zilch. Nil. Nada.

There’s a line between asking for basic civility (while still paying
attention to facts) and being just a tone troll. And you just crossed
that line. You need to step back.

– frank

Commenter name: frank — Decoding SwiftHack

Architecture and morality


“If I’m Bangladesh (current population ~142,000,000) and it’s possible that global warming could render half of my productive farmland useless by several decades from now.”

And how do you expect this to occur from global warming?

What kind of fertilizers are you using?

“Do I trust some high-emitting country, say the United States, to make good on a promise they give now (not that such a promise has been offered) to feed, clothe, etc. half my population indefinitely into the future in the event the feared disaster comes to pass?”

Nope. You’ll have to elucidate on the nature of the danger you are fearing before I can tell you what to do. If there is a country-wide problem that they can’t solved then I expect them to do what most people do in such situations – move somewhere else.

The basic solution for nearly any national problem is to “get richer.”

CRU tooo?

Mr. Locust:

Please rent “The Wizard Of OZ”. What happened when the curtain was
pulled back is what happened when Deep Climate ran McIntyre’s

Also ; please tell me how a mining promoter (” we will make you rich if
you give us all your money”) can be portrayed as a scientist.A weak (
and discredited ) paper does not a scientist make. Useful scienctific
contribution does.

Do you believe that monetary contribution from oil industry stink tanks
the scientist make?

John McManus

Commenter name: John McManus

Can global emissions really be reduced?

How was that trolling?

Reducing oil/gas exploration/extraction before we can replace nitrate
fertilizers would kill billions.

Commenter name: TheGoodLocust

Can global emissions really be reduced?

Sans a technological revolution or worldwide disaster our emissions
will not be reduced.

But more to the point – why should we reduce them?

Until we have an equally good replacement for the nitrate fertilizers
that feed so many billions of us then it would be genocide to stop
oil/gas exploration and extraction.

Perhaps genetically engineering the bacteria and fungi in the soil
could solve that problem, which carries risks in and of itself.

Commenter name: TheGoodLocust

CRU tooo?

“[Well, you certainly got yourself banned from wikipedia due to your
faults -W]”

I assume you mean topic banned like yourself since I wasn’t banned (to
my knowledge – haven’t logged on in a while). In any case, that was
certainly an interesting decision since I hadn’t posted in any climate
change articles/talk pages for several months when that decision was
handed down nor was my content ever in dispute (IIRC).

Of course, I don’t consider it a problem either – perhaps an amusing
example of the Peter Principle though.

“[Appears to be a common illusion amongst the skeptics. will put you right (or rather
it would, if you read and understood it, but I'm pretty sure you'll do
neither) -W]”

I was just mentioning the criticism. I can’t speak to its validity and
since the conclusions of the Hockey Stick are clearly incorrect for
other reasons there is no point in studying it.

I merely note that other climate scientists and statisticians have
found the criticisms to have some weight.

Commenter name: TheGoodLocust

CRU tooo?

Paul S, in a just world an investigative journalist would be set upon
McIntyre. There’s more there than meets the eye. OTOH he’s pretty well
passed his “use by” date at this point.

Posted by: Steve Bloom | November 23, 2011 12:11 PM

Yeah! Right Steve – damn shame the News of the World is no longer
about. You could ask them to hack his phone for you.

Commenter name: Doug UK

SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling (and some other stuff)?

What a bunch of arrogant ignorant fools. Global warming is a con. Watch
the Great Global Warming Swindle, look up the educated scientists like
phycisist and meteorologist Piers. Check out the
website and Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change
website which are all full of scientists and even ex IPCC members that
are full of scientific studies that show there is no evidence of global
warming. Cooling is a part of the natural cycle and it is inevitable
and is actually due according to the 80 year cycle, don’t forget the
sun is in a quiet period which is due to get worse and places like the
Met office have finally agreed with the likes of Piers that the sun
does influence the temperature. The planet has been warmer when there
was less CO2 and there is scientific evidence that the last 10 years
has cooled which doesn’t make sense when considering CO2 levels have
increased. Then there is the fact that computer models get it wrong
constantly. The only comparison of CO2 and temperature is very close
but there is a chronological issue for global warming nuts, and that is
it gets warmer and THEN the CO2 levels increase and that is thought to
be due to the increase in eco activity when the planet is warmer.

Commenter name: Shaun

Piers Corbyn

The loan are useful for guys, which are willing to start their own organization. In fact, it is very comfortable to receive a short term loan.


The great global warming swindle?

Have got no chance to slip at night? Think about academic papers writing all the time? You have not to bother. You can just turn to Professional Custom Writing Services.



  1. #1 NC

    What ALL of them. I suspect we won’t be seeing the ones you censor because you know they are right and can’t answer the.

    After all where would “scienceblogs” be if its authors believed in open scientific debate?

    [It depends. If people start adding vast long screeds that get in the way by their sheer volume, then I'll probably trim them. Blogs are free nowadays; anyone with a theory to expound (rather than a comment to make) should do so elsewhere, and link to it here -W]

  2. #2 ligne

    oooh, i do love a good moderation martyr. thanks NC, that really made me smil.

  3. #3 Martin Vermeer

    Do remember to block the robots from indexing this

  4. #4 Eli Rabett

    Shaun doesn’t even know how to spell his own name.

    [I've fixed your embarrassing ;-for-' error :-) -W]

  5. #5 crf


    please post a review on the new horrible sequel: fox-shots part deux-and-a-half-degrees, the oily-sheen spreads.

  6. #6 Hank Roberts

    Well, you can’t beat New Scientist’s home page, their recent twit comments list nothing but bots:

    • By Bryon Ball
Spying begins on UK web users:
    The crux of your writing while sounding reasonable in the beginning, did not work very well wit…
    • By sexcams
Is Iran trying to build a nuclear bomb?:
There are many treatments available in the present day to deal with zits. The main goal of the …
    • By Kirby Albert

    Where is Happyville, USA?:

    The root of your writing while sounding agreeable originally, did not really sit very well with…

    [Or look at 95% of the comments at Curry's... -W]

  7. #7 SimoneSherman

    Only manual directories submission options by directories submission service can be effective if we speak just about traffic optimization. Nevertheless, lots of sites owners do not realize it. Therefore, they do not strive to use search engine optimization organizations and that is a great failure because specialists can improve a website quickly.

  8. #8 GoRight

    OK, seems fixed now. So will you answer the question here?

  9. #9 Marco

    So, GoRight, let me answer your question here on religious/agnostic/atheist. However, it does require you to first define the three terms, as there is significant overlap. For example, one would call a Buddhist “religious”, but at the same time could also call them “atheist”, as his religion in essence states there are no gods. Unless you redefine what “god” means.

    So, let us get the definitions *you* would like to use first, or we are going to talk at two different levels.

    [Well, if I ever wanted to blog about being an atheist or not I'm sure I'd do so. I do have -W]

  10. #10 GoRight

    Ah, so perhaps there is room for a discussion of the topic. Very nice.

    First, you get props for choosing to have clearly defined terms for the discussion. This is a point frequently overlooked and one that often leads to people who actually agree appearing to disagree with one another. :)

    Let us keep the definitions simple and to the point. Instead of “religious” let us instead replace the term with “theist”. So, we have the following core definitions:

    Theist : Someone who asserts affirmatively that a god (or gods the specifics do not matter) DO exist.

    Agnostic: Someone who takes no position whatsoever on whether gods (or other supernatural beings) either exist or do not exist.

    Atheist: Someone who affirmatively asserts that a god (or gods) do NOT exist.

    The terms god, gods, and supernatural beings shall be considered interchangeable for this discussion. They shall be assumed to exist (or not) in a realm that is “super-natural” meaning that it exists such that nothing about it can be discerned by any observation conducted within the natural universe, and it is by definition impossible for beings living within the natural universe to be able to gain knowledge of or information about such beings and their activities by observing the perceivable natural universe.

    These seem to be nice crisp definitions.

    My observation has been that many scientists tend to be atheists, owing to their adherence to a fundamental trust of the scientific method. I further observe that many of these individuals like to poke fun at the theists for their faith based beliefs.

    The question being posed here is, should a rational person who advocates the use of the scientific method in everyday life have a preference for any of the available choices? If so, which one or ones and why?

  11. #11 Marco

    Good, we have some definitions. In that case a scientist does not necessarily have to have a preference for the latter two options (agnostic or atheist), but would be hard-pressed to chose option 1: theist. Unless, and that’s a big one, they would openly admit that their choice for option 1 is *not* based on the scientific method. If you apply the scientific method to a belief in a supernatural being, you will quickly find there is no evidence obtained through the scientific method that supports the hypothesis. Now, some scientists may not be interested to apply the scientific method to a belief in a supernatural being and would thus best be described as agnostic. Others do apply the scientific method and can easily argue that the hypothesis of there being a supernatural being is a non-functional hypothesis. It does not allow for testable predictions! But if they are good scientists, they would be willing to test the hypothesis again if somebody *does* provide a testable hypothesis and allows it to be predictive.

    Just a small admission from my side: I know a few “theists” who are scientists, and who indeed admit that they do not apply the scientific method in that part of their life. Even funnier, some make fun of those theists who claim their beliefs are rational.

  12. #12 GoRight

    Well, you and I seem to be in agreement that given these definitions that the scientific method, by definition, cannot be used to provide evidence either for, or against, the existence of any supernatural beings. I wonder what WMC’s view, as an alleged atheist, is on this point.

    This then raises the next logical follow-on question in my mind, “are those scientists (or anyone for that matter but particularly scientists in this discussion) who are self-professed atheists somehow justified in deriding theists for their faith based belief in super-natural beings?”

    In other words, “is holding the position that god does NOT exist any less faith based than the counter position that god DOES exist?”

    Marco: Just a small admission from my side: I know a few “theists” who are scientists, and who indeed admit that they do not apply the scientific method in that part of their life. Even funnier, some make fun of those theists who claim their beliefs are rational.

    This raises another interesting follow-on question, “Given the above definitions, is there a conflict between being an advocate for the scientific method and holding a belief that God exists?”

  13. #13 Marco

    GoRight, I think you will find that those deriding theists for their faith generally do so in connection with those theists proclaiming they are *rational* in that faith, i.e., claiming they have tangible evidence for their beliefs. Holding the position that god does NOT exist is far, far less faith based than its counterposition, as it is almost by definition rational to not assume the existence of something for which there is no evidence for its existence.

    Also note that we have skipped the “deists”, which do not believe in a specific god like the “theists” do (i.e., the latter believe this god also has put down rules to abide by, or you’ll be in trouble).

    Regarding question 2: not necessarily. But like my dear friends, I’ll get very skeptical if those holding that belief claim to have tangible evidence.

  14. #14 PaulB

    While you’re defining your terms, I suggest you should specify whether you’re talking about a Russell’s Teapot sort of a God who doesn’t interact with the world at all, or one who actually does stuff.

  15. #15 GoRight

    Marco: I think you will find that those deriding theists for their faith generally do so in connection with those theists proclaiming they are *rational* in that faith, i.e., claiming they have tangible evidence for their beliefs.

    I’ve not noticed any such distinction. Take our hosts blanket assertion that the US is a bunch of religious fanatics. He intends it as a term of derision based on their faith based beliefs. There is no subtle distinction about rationality vs. not. Perhaps you can illustrate your point with some examples?

    Marco: claiming they have tangible evidence for their beliefs

    To what do you refer? Proponents of Intelligent Design? Something else?

    I don’t believe that the atheists poking fun at the theists for holding faith based beliefs are limiting their comments to just the proponents of things like ID.

    Marco: Holding the position that god does NOT exist is far, far less faith based than its counterposition, as it is almost by definition rational to not assume the existence of something for which there is no evidence for its existence.

    Sorry, but there are no nuances to be made here. Either a position is logically consistent and soundly supported or it is not. I agree that it is rational to not assume the existence of something without evidence. That is as you say, almost by definition.

    Taking the leap from not assuming something to the position of affirmatively assuming NOT something is every bit as much faith based as it’s counterpart. Do you agree that “an absence of evidence is NOT that same thing as evidence of absence?” Especially in the context that we have here where it is known that no such evidence is even obtainable?

    Marco: Regarding question 2: not necessarily. But like my dear friends, I’ll get very skeptical if those holding that belief claim to have tangible evidence.

    I don’t see any conflict whatsoever between being a proponent of the scientific method as a means of observing and explaining the natural universe since it can actually be meaningfully applied to the natural universe. Science is useful in the natural world as we all know.

    Science has no place in trying to prove or disprove the existence of super-natural beings, and yet there are so many atheists who proclaim to be rational because they have a science background who are totally oblivious to the fact that their beliefs, at least for those that claim God does NOT exist, are every bit as faith based as those they deride.

    Marco: Also note that we have skipped the “deists” …

    No, my definition actually lumps them together with the theists. From the perspective of using the scientific method as a means of proving or disproving their existence they are the same.

  16. #16 GoRight

    PaulB: While you’re defining your terms, I suggest you should specify whether you’re talking about a Russell’s Teapot sort of a God who doesn’t interact with the world at all, or one who actually does stuff.

    Why do you think this matters given our definitions? The two are indistinguishable from inside the natural universe by definition. For those who don’t tamper this is obvious. For those who do tamper their actions can only alter the natural universe is such a manner that those actions don’t create create observable effects.

    Any actions they may take which would/could create observable effects would be in contradiction to the definitions currently assumed.

  17. #17 Marco

    GoRight, ask one of those theists, like Mitt Romney, why he believes in a god. Watch him rationalize his belief.

    Regarding being an atheist: for all practical purposes the fundamental(!) inability to test something makes it fully valid to assume it does not exist – as an inability to test also means it cannot have an effect on our physical world.

    As they say: we are almost all atheists, I just reject one more god than you do.

  18. #18 GoRight

    Marco: for all practical purposes the fundamental(!) inability to test something makes it fully valid to assume it does not exist

    No, sorry. This is incorrect. If you know that you cannot, by definition, discern any information about something then you cannot make any assumptions about it. If you do so, you are doing so, again by definition, without any valid information.

    Making assumptions about anything without any valid basis (i.e. any valid information) is almost the definition of making that assumption on pure faith. You believe it simply because you believe it and for no other valid reason.

    Marco: ask one of those theists, like Mitt Romney, why he believes in a god. Watch him rationalize his belief.

    OK, take the counter point. Ask any atheist why they believe god does not exist and, similarly, watch them rationalize their belief.

    Neither has any valid basis for making their claims which is precisely what makes those claims faith based.

    This is why I argue that the only self-consistent position for a rational person to take is to be an agnostic. When you know that you cannot possibly have any valid information upon which to base an argument, either for OR against something, the only rational position to take is “I don’t know” which is essentially what the agnostic does. He doesn’t take a position either way.

    Now this raises the next follow-on question, “As an agnostic who is taking no position either way owing to the fact that there is no valid information upon which to base an argument, would such a person have any basis for deriding either the theists or the atheists for holding their personal beliefs?”

    I would argue that a rational person would not if they wanted to remain self-consistent. So as an agnostic I don’t deride either the theists or the atheists for believing what they want to believe about super-natural beings, however I can point out that when the atheists are deriding the theists that it is very much a case of the pot calling the kettle black with respect to making faith based claims. Both camps are clearly being irrational.

    Of the two I see the theists as being more self aware and therefore more self consistent. They at least acknowledge that their claims are based on faith. The atheists are seemingly clueless.

  19. #19 Marco

    I guess, then, GoRight, that you are agnostic about the existence of many gods, or a collection of gods working together, an alternate universe, the tooth fairy, and a lot of other things.

    I’d say my own view as an atheist is one of simple statistics: the chance there is a god as claimed by the theists is so small, that for all practical purposes it is irrational to not live with the view there is no god. Unlike with many theists, this supposed “faith”, as you like to call it, also does not have an impact on other people. The “self-awareness” of many theists comes down to “better give my views special privileges over yours!” – which works quite a bit easier with agnostics, since they must assume the possibility the theist is right as they do not want to take a position on that question.

  20. #20 Eli Rabett

    Strangely enough a colleague just asked Eli if there was a God. The Rabett’s reply was, hope not, it would be embarrassing.

  21. #21 GoRight

    Marco: the chance there is a god as claimed by the theists is so small

    On what are you basing your calculated probability? :)

  22. #22 GoRight

    Marco: this supposed “faith”, as you like to call it, also does not have an impact on other people

    This is not true. I see the atheists imposing their views on everyone else all the time. They have made the lawyers rich by their actions. :)

  23. #23 PaulB

    GoRight: in the case of an intervening God of the sort proposed by most theists, I do not accept your stipulation that the effects of the intervention can be undetectable.

  24. #24 GoRight

    PaulB: I do not accept your stipulation that the effects of the intervention can be undetectable

    OK, why do you find that stipulation problematic?

    Please clarify your point because this statement could be raising any number of issues. I have insufficient information to respond meaningfully.

  25. #25 PaulB

    If God intervenes in some not entirely random way, that changes things. How could those changes not be detectable?

  26. #26 Marco

    GoRight, I base that calculation on the many ways that theists claim god intervenes in the world. As PaulB notes: “how could those changes not be detectable”? In other words, mine to be exact, this makes the god hypothesis testable, and those tests have all failed.

    Note also that things like “no school prayer” is not an atheist view, but a view held by many people regardless of their religious affiliation. The constitution proscribes no preference of the government for a specific religion, and as such things like school prayers (which are bound to favor one religion), crosses (which favors a specific religion), etc etc are simply unconstitutional. And that constitution was not written by atheists…

    But perhaps you have examples where atheists have forced their views on others. And make sure those were atheists demanding special privileges for them vs those of non-atheists, and not atheists demanding equal privileges (i.e., the removal of special privileges for certain theist groups).

  27. #27 GoRight

    [I'm afraid you've got carried away. Please see the comment policy: anything you wish to develope at length is best placed on your own website or blog, and briefly linked to here. Extended conversations off-topic, ditto -W]

  28. #28 GoRight

    Fair enough. Since our host is not interested in allowing an extended discussion I would be willing to move this conversation to my own blog if there is any interest in continuing. If you are so inclined please let me know here and I will post a link to a suitable venue. Otherwise, thanks for the discussion.

  29. #29 GoRight

    I’ve reposted the comment WMC removed from here (but graciously emailed back to me) here:

    If you want to continue this discussion follow up over there.

  30. #30 Paul Kelly

    Let us at most require the same level of certainty from theists and climatologists. For my belief I rely on an apologia of definition.

    Start with a certainty. What there is is what there is. The universe exists. The universe is vast. It can be analyzed as orderly or chaotic. It’s components are infinitesimally small and fantastically large, moving at incomprehensible speeds.

    Uncertainty starts with question that are both scientific and theological. Is the universe finite? Does the universe exist beyond the last bit of matter and energy? Does space end?

  31. #31 GoRight

    I have developed a concise response to PaulB here:

  32. #32 JBL

    Hmm, you were right, Kai isn’t a bot and can be responsive (in a sense) — go figure.