Daily archives: August 3, 2009

Barack Obama’s real birth certificate finally revealed 1

Or Nirth Certifikit, as Little Green Footballs calls it. LGF used to be home to some of the most hateful, uninformed, racist arseholes imagineable (based upon the few times I visited, which were unpleasant enough to keep me away for a long time). Now it seems to be one of the few relatively sensible right wing blogs in the USA. Anyone who upsets the idiots at Stop The ACLU is fine by me.

The rules for debating with climate change deniers 1

Climate change deniers have rules that they expect you to stick to when debating their latest weak attempt to disprove the theory. They look a lot like the ones posted here.

And please note, that when I say evidence, I mean:

1) Nothing that was recorded by instruments such as weather-stations, ocean buoys or satellite data. Since all instruments are subject to error, we cannot use them to measure climate.

2) Nothing that has been corrected to account for the error of recording instruments. Any corrected data is a fudge. You must use only the raw data, which is previously disqualified under rule #1. Got that? OK, moving along…

3) Nothing that was produced by a computer model. We all know that you can’t trust computer models, and they have a terrible track record in any industrial, architectural, engineering, astronomical or medical context.

4) Nothing that was researched or published by a scientist. Such appeals to authority are invalid. We all know that scientists are just writing these papers to keep their grant money.

I still occasionally interact with some folks online for whom the rules above aren’t satire. A good response- which they’ll still ignore, of course- is given by one of the commenters on the post-

Mole, you’ve also got to factor in the consequences of inaction into the assessment of data.

If, for example, despite the existing scientific evidence, you personally would ONLY be satisfied by a longitudinal study over the next 30 years – well, what if it turned out todays’s scientists were actually right, and waiting for that study took us through the tipping point?

Why would policy makers be wise to adopt your approach?

See – even if I am wrong, cleaning up carbon emissions will do no harm. Clean the air up a bit, less pollution, fewer illnesses among kids, etc. No problemo.

If you are wrong, however: life on this planet could well be reduced to a few green sites supporting half a billion people – instead of 6 billion – by next century.

You see why doubt-mongers are losing this debate? And that that is a good thing?

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Creationism in the UK

We should be better than this, and we should expect more from organisations like the National Recognition Information Centre, which has announced that a creationist course taught in religious schools should be considered equivalent to an A Level. This is an insult to everyone teaching real A Levels and all the youngsters taking them. This isn’t the USA or some other backward country. We need to demand that children are taught science, not fantasy, and anyone dressing up indoctrination as education should be punished, not accredited.