Saturday, October 11, 2008

Turned out nice again

They are publishing our idiots, here. Yes, it's crazy but it's true: Muriel Newman is being cut and pasted by the Heartland Institute. And it's all about the Royal Society of New Zealand, which "beggars the imagination" (this must be the poverty of desire, one supposes) of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition. As you will read, the coalition of the unwilling has identified a clear conflict of interest among most of the scientists who sit on the Royal Society's climate change committee - they work for the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. That is to say, they are experts who are employed because of their expertise by a body which does atmospheric research; thus they are tainted.

If you can be bothered to read to the end of Muriel's piece, you will find that the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition describes those scientists who agree with it as 'Rationalists.' Call me old-fashioned, but I thought scientists were meant to be Empiricists.


Anonymous said...

Call me old-fashioned, but I thought scientists were meant to be Empiricists.

Well, at least during office hours. Which is why Pure Mathematicians (capitalizations theirs...) think though we might be playing a nice little game and finding out what works we aren't really finding anything TRUE (as represented by xkcd , the standard retort is, predictably, more vulgar.)

It seems the word rationalist has also come to mean people that don't believe in paranormal phenomena just because they've 'experienced' the evidence in Sensing Murder or Ghost Hunters (which makes a certain amount of sense). Perhaps the CSC just think it means people that don't believe stuff?

Anonymous said...

By the by, the 'Rationalist' bit of the NZARH always scared me away from signing up - somehow it paints an image of gentlemen spending their evenings thinking of ever more sophisticated and torturous arguments that god, in any form, could not possibly exist and further if such a being where capable of existence that very fact would mean He could not possibly have the features attributed to him by most belivers since.... and so on in a sort of theology for non-belivers. Not really a club I'd like to join.

Paul said...

Yes, that was pretty much what it was like, with wine and cheese evenings as well; and board-games.

There was also a lot of talk about Science by non-scientists; and a lot of talk about the Scientific Method, which is something that philosophers talk about, while scientists just get on with doing Science.

Paul said...

Truth to tell, Rationalist is really a euphemism for Atheist, dating from the times when declaring oneself an Atheist would get one a brick through one's window. Unfortunately, many in the NZARH took the word far too literally.