Tag Archives: creationism

Bad Astronomer, Worse Climatologist

There we go again…another Defender of The Science mixing up “weather” and “climate”. Will Phil be convinced by my “Space-Time has digested AGW” argument?

Maybe not. After all, who am I to pretend to be a climatologist. Well, then , perhaps the head of climate impacts at the Met Office Hadley Centre will make the Bad Astronomer change his mind.

people often make the same mistake but in the other direction, and link every heatwave, major flood, drought and famine to global warming.

Of course, we know that these things happen anyway, even without climate change – they may happen more often under a warmer climate, but it is wrong to blame climate change for every single event.

Climate scientists know this, but still there are people outside of climate science who will claim or imply such things if it helps make the news or generate support for their political or business agenda.

Bad Astronomer plus Official Minion
Bad Astronomer plus Official Minion

I have known the Bad Astronomer for many years (I have even met him once and he appreciated some “scientific” investigative job of mine) and he’s up there in my scientific Pantheon about Astronomy (and not just Astronomy).

Plait is also doing a great job in fighting the child-killing practices of the anti-vaxxers. And to prevent the silliness of creationists from spreading. He should then realize his own heavy responsibility in not placing himself at the forefront of misusing science.

Debating 2.0

(comment to Brian Dunning‘s “A Non-Debate with a Young Earth Creationist” entry in the new skepticblog blog)

[…] He gave me his 17-page tract […] It was the worst of the tired old arguments so poorly framed that even most Young Earthers don’t try to make them any more: […] Obviously, in Bill’s experience, he knows the scientific answers to all the claims in his document. He’s heard them a hundred times and he’s smart enough to understand them. He simply believes differently. There would be no point in having a conversation with me; he would hear the same answers from me that he’s heard a hundred times before. I’ve heard his claims a hundred times […]

How about asking questions like this one: “what kind of evidence would make you change your mind on transitional fossils?”

Methinks old-style debates are good up to a point, because they inevitably become the talking equivalent of medieval jousting.

Belief-changing challenges may provide the additional information that is otherwise likely to be missed, by the audience and perhaps even by some of the debaters.

For example, the fact that some people argue on pure faith. And if that’s the case, it is easy to show what an oxymoron their position is: out there trying to convince others, even if there is absolutely nothing that will ever make them change their own certainties.

Royal Diminishing Society

A slightly off-topic post…

I am talking about the Royal Society, once based on nobody’s words, but where today keeping up the appearances is the only thing that matters.

They’ve just sacked somebody everybody agrees with, including…the Royal Society!

Trouble appears to have been, the RS fears some words could be “open to misinterpretation”. The shock! The horror!

The end result is that they’re diminished, in the words of Lord Robert Winston. This most curious story may be useful to understand recent RS attitudes about people doubting AGW…

ps just to be clear, I do not think creationism can be taken as a viable alternative to evolution, and I consider Intelligent Design as bordering on the blasphemous