Tuesday, April 20, 2010

12 Rules to Crazy Thinking

It's crazy day, and what better way to spend crazy day then with crazy as a companion. Today's slice of crazy comes from this comment. What is sooooo cool about it is that it shows a fool-proof way to ....
to inoculate our youth against the rising flood of propaganda manufactured by Big Government, Big Media and Big Academia working together against the best interests of the American people.

How cool is that. This is like the daddy of all bullshit-detectors...
Jay Richards’ “When-Not-To-Believe-The-Science-Of-Scientists” is the best rebuttal to the relentless drum beat of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) zombies. ... Let's see, what might fit the logical absurdities ladled out in many of today’s AGW articles responding to ClimateGate revelations of scientific, political, media and academic misconduct and outright RICO ACT fraud? #10 looks pretty good to start with, but here, you choose the rest:

(1) When different claims get bundled together.
(2) When ad hominem attacks against dissenters predominate.
(3) When scientists are pressured to toe the party line.
(4) When publishing and peer review in the discipline is cliquish.
(5) When dissenting opinions are excluded from the relevant peer-reviewed literature not because of weak evidence or bad arguments but as part of a strategy to marginalize dissent.
(6) When the actual peer-reviewed literature is misrepresented.
(7) When consensus is declared hurriedly or before it even exists.
(8) When the subject matter seems, by its nature, to resist consensus.
(9) When “scientists say” or “science says” is a common locution.
(10) When it is being used to justify dramatic political or economic policies.
(11) When the “consensus” is maintained by an army of water-carrying journalists who defend it with uncritical and partisan zeal, and seem intent on helping certain scientists with their messaging rather than reporting on the field as objectively as possible.
(12) When we keep being told that there’s a scientific consensus.

OK, let's have some fun...
(1) When different claims get bundled together.

So bundling different things together makes them more likley not to be true. I don't see the logic in that at all. Lots of bits of science are inter-locking parts that mutually support one another, far from being a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength because it shows the predictive power of the theory. So what is commonly called evolution is in fact a number of interlocking ideas bundled together; natural selection, Mendelian genetics to name but two parts.
(2) When ad hominem attacks against dissenters predominate.

You mean like you called proponent of AGW 'zombies'? Should that not be re-phrased as 'When ad hominem attacks against me and the people who agree with me predominate'? Still that is not a logical position but an opinion as to how debate should be conducted.
(3) When scientists are pressured to toe the party line.

So when the Bush administration pressured scientists to toe the party line that proved AGW? Again, not a position of logic or evidence, but politics - which is subjective.

All the rest of these 'logical absurdity detectors' are subjective; i.e. down to the interpretation of the person involved; there is no logical framework at all, no reliance on data - it is a set of political guidelines designed to reinforce selection bias. If that is the basis for your understanding of science, then you are royally fucked...

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