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The Denver Atheists Meetup Group Message Board General Discussion › Is blind belief in scientists (not "science") different from any o

Is blind belief in scientists (not "science") different from any other blind beliefs?

Kyle
user 4078182
Denver, CO
Post #: 63
I have heard the claim that atheists just have "blind faith" in scientists and are therefore just as bad as the religious often enough that I thought I would attempt to explain the difference.

While atheism is technically only the lack of belief in a god, it is the reason that atheists don't believe that is important here. Most accept atheism as a result of skepticism and rationality. A lifelong atheist may never believe in a god because they never saw any evidence or reasons for belief. Atheists who were previously religious stop believing in God or gods because they discover that the reasons they were given for belief don't stand up to rational investigation.

Among rational thinkers, there is an emphasis on critical thinking and examining things for oneself. This is necessary, but there also is the realization that it is impossible to verify everything. Some fields are complex and require specialists. What is necessary in this case is to establish a reason for having confidence about observations made by others. In addition to being a methodology for systematic observations, science provides the framework for that confidence. They do this by using a peer-review process, where scientists present their evidence and conclusions and it is verified by those who have the relevant expertise. So when we have statements from reputable scientific organizations, we have reason to accept them. Of course, we do so tentatively and subject to further investigation, but then, that is just the nature of science, isn't it?

How is this different from accepting the proclamations of religious leaders? Because we have confidence in the scientific process. Not as absolute, but as our best chance to get at the truth. Religion is a black box enterprise where we are told to have "faith" and just accept things without evidence. Science is a white box process. The evidence is available, and questioning is not only acceptable, but encouraged. The only caveat is that if you are questioning the findings of mainstream science, at least continue to interact with it and see why it is that currently accept what they do.

Which brings us back to climate science. Why is it important to consider that 97% of climatologists accept that AGW is real? Because they have the relevant expertise and came to the conclusion based on the evidence. Don't believe that? Then at the very least, read the mainstream science. If you read the deniers, at least test their claims against the mainstream science. Attempt to find out why mainstream climatologists don't think that the ~800 year lag proves that CO2 doesn't cause warming. Or the importance of climate modeling as well as its limitations. Or the missing heat and what theories there are to account for it. From reading your blog, you haven't done that. Instead, you are just propagating the misinformation from those outside the scientific community who don't have the relevant background knowledge and are generally parroting misinformation that the climate scientists have debunked. For example, read this about the 800 year lag.

In short, we don't have "blind faith" in scientists. We have an appreciation for how the scientific process works. And a preference for both evidence and experts as opposed to knee-jerk denialism and hacks.
A former member
Post #: 2
Kyle, excellent response.
A former member
Post #: 8
Kyle,

I think you may have done a quick search for "800 years" on the climate blogs and found something with "800 years" - however, there are two entirely different arguments involved. The quick search you did, gave you responses to something else entirely, having nothing to do with what I say on my blog.

If you actually read and understand the details, there is NO response ANYWHERE to what I say on my blog. When you say "mainstream climatologists don't think that the ~800 year lag proves that CO2 doesn't cause warming " it's is about something else entirely, even though it does reference the "800 year lag".

What I say on my blog shouldn't be that hard to understand - it has been found that in nature, there is a steady and repeated pattern that a warm climate is always followed by release of CO2 800 years later. About 800 years ago, there was a warm climate, therefore now we have a release of CO2. Done.

Even with something this simple to understand, you simply believe that it must have been refuted, because something looks like a refutation... And after all, all those scientists can't be wrong, can they?

Same with "missing heat". The issue here is predictions, falsifications, verifications. The central point is that if a model's predictions continually fail to match the reality, and if the modelers continue to keep having to come up with excuses, it isn't science.

Now if the model had predicted (please understand that "predict" means say ahead of time, NOT after the fact) the "missing heat" would go to the ocean, it might have been interesting, never mind the ocean hasn't actually warmed since 2003 and the "ocean-warming" is same as "oil-funded deniers", a creation out of nothing by the media and climate "scientists" using the magic of words.

So tell me, if I see no actual logic, no attempt to address actual evidence on the part of the interested parties, how do I differentiate it from "all those priests can't be wrong, they do follow the prayer-process and receive wisdom" type of blind faith?

Frankly, what I am seeing is that you are starting from total blind faith, but you are then doing a fast-and-furious rationalizing of it from scraps of vaguely understood words found on various blogs, with no attempt to understand and address the actual issues to justify the faith. If you didn't have blind faith, you would undertake an effort to understand the issues. If you have blind faith, anything you see vaguely relevant is seen as clearly supporting your blind faith, even if it is not understood. You have blind faith that it is I who hasn't done the reading, because obviously, if I had read and understood the climate change material, I would have been a believer. (I don't mean to single "you" out, this is about all, every single one, of the climate change faithful.)
A former member
Post #: 9
Btw, re: atheists just have "blind faith" in scientists and are therefore just as bad as the religious

I resent this repeating implication that I am trying to say atheists and religious are the same.

So I feel I need to say this bluntly. What I am saying is really this:

You (climate change faithful) are not an atheist. I AM. You are merely someone who has replaced one blind faith by another.
A former member
Post #: 10
I am also going to explain the "other" 800-year argument for anybody interested.

Originally scientists noted (from ice-cores taken at the pole) that CO2 and temperatures seemed to climb together, each and every time. This was a major factor in the original popularity of AGW theory - the hypothesis that CO2 causes high temperatures.

Much later, scientists were able to drill down, and found that they didn't really climb together. CO2 climbed after the temperatures did. In fact 800 years after. Not before as AGW theory was saying.

Normally, they would have said "the original idea that CO2 causes high temperatures is wrong". But they couldn't say this. Al Gore had gotten the government to spend around 3-4 billion dollars (at that time, now it's higher) per year in grant money for climate change. Nobody wanted to see all that grant money dry up. So they came up with "Yes, CO2 rises after temperature, but there is no reason why it couldn't also cause temperature rise". Actually, if you follow the logical implication - CO2 causes high temperatures, high temperatures cause more CO2, more CO2 causes even higher temperatures, which cause even more CO2.... It's a death spiral with no escape, and it should have happened long ago. Since it didn't, that disproves AGW already. But since the AGW believing public doesn't think that deeply, all that was needed was an article or two at Wikipedia and realclimate.org and spekticalscience.org making bald assertions, which turned out to be more than enough given the blind-faith-based nature of the situation.

However, what I say at my blog at http://mukeshprasadus...­ in this context is not related to the original argument outlined above, it is something different and very, very simple: 800 years ago it was hot (MWP), therefore nature is releasing CO2 now.
Kyle
user 4078182
Denver, CO
Post #: 64
"800 years ago it was hot (MWP), therefore nature is releasing CO2 now."

Other than outlining various conspiracy theories, you did nothing to demonstrate this nor did you interact with the mainstream science.

Once again, the idea that CO2 rises because it was warm 800 years earlier is flat out wrong. If you read the article, you would know why. There is no credible mechanism that explains why a warm climate 800 years ago would trigger increased CO2 800 years later. None.

"Actually, if you follow the logical implication - CO2 causes high temperatures, high temperatures cause more CO2, more CO2 causes even higher temperatures, which cause even more CO2.... It's a death spiral with no escape, and it should have happened long ago." Once again, you demonstrate that you have not interacted with the mainstream science. No climatologist claims that CO2 is the only climate driver. Nor is there an infinite amount of CO2. There is also a carbon cycle which, although it lasts centuries, is not infinite.

"Al Gore..." Seriously, anyone that thinks that Al Gore should factor into a scientific discussion about the evidence for climate change is just clueless.
A former member
Post #: 11
"Once again, the idea that CO2 rises because it was warm 800 years earlier is flat out wrong."

Sorry, now you show that you are are not even aware of what climate scientists are saying.

No Climate Scientist can afford to agree with what you are saying above "flat out wrong". It is an established FACT, even to all those who preach AGW. The evidence is so irrefutable that they cannot escape it.

"There is no credible mechanism that explains why a warm climate 800 years ago would trigger increased CO2 800 years later. None. "

This much is true. Nobody knows why. However, it happens, that is a fact. It's been known and proven to happen in the past with steady regularity a large number of times. I didn't even realize it was something that climate change believers could be ignorant of, but I guess that's a fact too!

I did not say Al Gore provided scientific theories. I said he arranged for government money. If you think that's not true, to me it says you are the one totally clueless. Or perhaps merely blinded by deep faith.

I suggest you learn at least what IS accepted fact before you use the highly scientific and logical method of proof by labelling, e.g. "proving something wrong by using the label 'conspiracy theory'".
Kyle
user 4078182
Denver, CO
Post #: 65
"No Climate Scientist can afford to agree with what you are saying above "flat out wrong". It is an established FACT, even to all those who preach climate science. The evidence is so irrefutable that they cannot escape it."

Look up correlation vs. causality and get back with me, will ya? Because you are either flat out lying or failing to comprehend the science here. CO2 increases lagged temperature increases in the past, but it was never a case of a warm climate followed by a normal climate and then *poof* 800 years later there was CO2 increases. Instead, it was a sustained period of warmth over centuries (anywhere from 200 to 1200 years) that resulted in increased CO2 as a feedback.

So once again, it is flat out wrong to say that a warm climate causes increased CO2 levels 800 years later.

Kyle
user 4078182
Denver, CO
Post #: 66

I did not say Al Gore provided scientific theories. I said he arranged for government money. If you think that's not true, to me it says you are the one totally clueless. Or perhaps merely blinded by deep faith.

I suggest you learn at least what IS accepted fact before you use the highly scientific and logical method of proof by labelling, e.g. "proving something wrong by using the label 'conspiracy theory'".
Actually, what you have said without the slightest bit of evidence is that the reasons climatologists accept AGW is to ensure funding. Which is why you are a conspiracy theorist.


Kyle
user 4078182
Denver, CO
Post #: 67
Let me point out one other mistake you made earlier.

"Originally scientists noted (from ice-cores taken at the pole) that CO2 and temperatures seemed to climb together, each and every time. This was a major factor in the original popularity of AGW theory - the hypothesis that CO2 causes high temperatures.

Much later, scientists were able to drill down, and found that they didn't really climb together. CO2 climbed after the temperatures did. In fact 800 years after. Not before as AGW theory was saying."

Again, this is flat out wrong. Climatologists have known and said that past warming events were not triggered by greenhouses gases. The argument has ALWAYS been that greenhouse gases amplified and prolonged the warming. They didn't suddenly discover this information after the fact.
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