PDA

View Full Version : Thursday and Trusting in the Science of Scientists



FlaGator
09-30-2010, 08:54 AM
Overcast this morning but it is suppose to clear up and be a great day. Blue skies and temps in the 80s.

TOTD: In light of all the junk science that has been feed to the public as fact over the years, do you trust scientists to do their due diligence when releasing information to the public? The latest AGW scam is just the most recent in a long line of scientific dishonesty or of scientists jumping to conclusions before all the information was properly vetted. The 'saccharin causes cancer in lab mice' was another example along with the warnings of global starvation do over-population at came out in the 70s. Does anyone else remember Carl Sagan predicting the global ecological catastrophe that would ensue if Saddam set the Kuwaiti oil wells on fire? What do you think. Do you trust scientific news as much as you use to?

Ree
09-30-2010, 09:18 AM
About 50 here...


No I don't trust the so-called scientists...

linda22003
09-30-2010, 09:20 AM
I remember acid rain, alar, aluminum causing Alzheimer's, all sorts of things. I don't pay a lot of attention. Science news in the main is almost as boring as sports "news".

lacarnut
09-30-2010, 09:22 AM
A chilly 55 this am ....going up to the high 80's in big B.R.

TOTD. Junk science at it's finest was the acid rain bunk in the late 50's and early 60's from industrial pollution from Canada that was going to kill every tree north of the M.D. line and kill every fish in the Great Lakes. Thru advanced pollution equipment, their nightmarish projections were avoided.

Gingersnap
09-30-2010, 10:19 AM
Cooling down out here but still very nice. The trees are starting to turn.

TOTD: Being in the game, I've always had a somewhat jaundiced view of media-inflated science and the political hacks who seize on those stories to promote their own agendas. Science has never been pure or objective - that's just a crazy myth that got traction in the wake of WWII. There have always been a few outright frauds and a larger number of spinmeisters. Plagiarism is getting worse, I think.

Part of the problem today is that funding is so tightly tied to special interest money that the temptation to spin, cheat, or inflate is much greater. Research is being driven by politics and politicians are the most scientifically stupid group of people I have ever met. The other problem is that the nature of peer review is changing. In any field, there were a couple of prestigious "gatekeeper" publications that more or less bestowed legitimacy on certain areas of inquiry and on certain methods of investigation.

That's been changing and changing fast. There were huge "political" problems with the old way. It was an old boys club (literally) and there was a lot of behind-the-scenes politicking. Publication involved a lot of decidedly non-scientific elements like seniority, pay-back, institutional relationships, mentor relationships, and financial agreements. Now, that's breaking open and the old guard is none too pleased while the mavericks are becoming a shade too vindictive. The media naturally has no way of knowing who's who in all this.

The last thing that should give people pause is the exaggeration effect of media. A study may show a 25% increase in breast cancer patients who are obese. Yikes! Gain 10 pounds and you're headed for chemo! It's difficult to explain that a woman's lifetime chances are not actually as high as the cancer foundations claim, that a 25% percent increase in a very small number is still really small, that obesity is probably only a contributing factor to certain hormone-dependent cancers, that weight gain and age track together (masking the effects of age-related cancer formation), and that breast cancers over the age of 50 are very curable compared to breast cancers found before the age of 40. Newsies know their readers will drop out long before that explanation sees the light.

When you read scientific "news" just keep in mind that it is little different from other news: it's never as good (or as bad) as it appears, the news in completely framed by culture and politics, and science has gone boldly down innumerable dead ends in the past. Trust but verify over time. ;)

FlaGator
09-30-2010, 01:20 PM
I'm glad I had time to read that before time ended...

Gingersnap
09-30-2010, 01:40 PM
I'm glad I had time to read that before time ended...

Hey! This is my entire career, ya know. How often does a TOTD touch on anything worth writing about? :p

Articulate_Ape
09-30-2010, 02:22 PM
I'm glad I had time to read that before time ended...

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Apache
09-30-2010, 02:29 PM
Hey! This is my entire career, ya know. How often does a TOTD touch on anything worth writing about? :p

http://i55.tinypic.com/35bxrnn.jpg



:eek::p

noonwitch
09-30-2010, 02:39 PM
It's partly sunny and around 65 here.


TOTD: I'm not a scientist. Science and math were not my strong subjects in school, ever. I was never a big AGW person, but I also don't think that the email "scandal" necessarily debunks the theory overall-I don't know enough about the science involved to say for certain one way or the other.

If I remember correctly, though, acid rain was a real thing, and it killed off a lot of life in the lakes in the Adirondocks. In the 70s, a lot of environmental protections were put into place, and that is probably why we no longer hear about it. The late 70s was when the big, smelly pollution haze over metro Detroit began to disappear. The reason it affected that region was because of the pollution in Chicago/Detroit/Cleveland that was picked up by the weather and dumped on upstate NY.

I also will take scientific theory about evolution over a literal interpretation of Genesis, as far as the scientific orgins of life on earth is concerned. I'm not a fundamentalist, so it's no problem for me to view the creation story as set forth in the Bible as an allegorical truth, not a literal one. I never bought into the whole statement about God creating Eve from Adam's rib, after he had just created all the other animals both male and female.

Gingersnap
09-30-2010, 04:49 PM
It's partly sunny and around 65 here.


TOTD: I'm not a scientist. Science and math were not my strong subjects in school, ever. I was never a big AGW person, but I also don't think that the email "scandal" necessarily debunks the theory overall-I don't know enough about the science involved to say for certain one way or the other.

If I remember correctly, though, acid rain was a real thing, and it killed off a lot of life in the lakes in the Adirondocks. In the 70s, a lot of environmental protections were put into place, and that is probably why we no longer hear about it. The late 70s was when the big, smelly pollution haze over metro Detroit began to disappear. The reason it affected that region was because of the pollution in Chicago/Detroit/Cleveland that was picked up by the weather and dumped on upstate NY.

I also will take scientific theory about evolution over a literal interpretation of Genesis, as far as the scientific orgins of life on earth is concerned. I'm not a fundamentalist, so it's no problem for me to view the creation story as set forth in the Bible as an allegorical truth, not a literal one. I never bought into the whole statement about God creating Eve from Adam's rib, after he had just created all the other animals both male and female.

"Acid rain" is real more or less but most of the problems attributed to it in the 70s and early 80s were really caused by other issues. While regulation did speed up the adoption of more efficient technology by point sources, the technology itself was developed to greatly increase efficiency and lower unprofitable by-products as a cost-savings measure. The two converged.

We could do even more by adopting nuclear power. ;)