Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Do humans influence temperature records?

Can the methods of Intelligent Design be brought to bear to detect anthropogenic influence in temperature records? Core to the climate debate is the danger of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. We hear of “tipping points” promising coast lands drowning in glacial melt. Defining “very likely” as > 90%, the IPCC’s Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report holds that:

Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.

In The Smoking Gun At Darwin Zero Willis Eschenback examines temperature records at Darwin, North Australia. Read More ›

Puzzled about the climate uproar? Wonder why anyone cares? Before you run off to devour caviar in Copenhagen …

Here’s the clearest explanation of Climategate I have encountered, with charts showing how one can create global warming:

while reconstructions — as past temperature interpretations from proxy data are called – can differ greatly from one source to another, those generated by the CRU have often been accepted as the de facto temperatures of the past.

This is largely because the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) proclaims them to be.

Sound familiar?

I am not saying global warming or, anyway, climate change is not happening. Always has, always will. And some of it may be due to man. But, based on events at East Anglia, I just do not trust the people in charge of interpreting the data any more. For all I know, lots of other data has been fudged too.

If it were a bank, I would withdraw my savings immediately. Wouldn’t you? It’s no use the board of directors trying to tell me that only one branch is corrupt. Before, they told me all branches were honest.

The least useful thing I could hear is that man-caused global warming is “consensus science.” I’d expect to hear that if the scandal is widespread. Anyway, you will doubtless find Mark Sheppard’s explanation helpful. Also: In “Scientists Behaving Badly: A corrupt cabal of global warming alarmists are exposed by a massive document leak,” Steven F. Hayward for The Weekly Standard offers a basic outline of the scandal here.

Canada’s Rex Murphy, for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, is an honourable exception to a wearisome pile of legacy media sludge vendors, attempting to assure us mushrooms that there is nothing to see here instead of doing their job. Here’s Murphy:

Here is the transcript of his broadcast.

Murphy sees what the climate lobby doesn’t: The issues are trust, accountability, and transparency. Lines like

“Trust me, I’m an expert”, “You just fell off the turnip truck, whereas I am a famous scientist,” and “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” have been heard before by all kinds of people in all kinds of situations – and those lines are wearing very thin indeed.

Why does it all matter? Why can’t we just be more ecological? But what does it mean to be more ecological? What if we are doing the wrong things? For example, the mascot for global warming in these parts is the polar bear on the vanishing ice flow. But the bear himself is not vanishing, rather increasing in numbers, perhaps due to more sources of food.

While we are here anyway, other comments and links:

Read More ›

Food For Thought

From Blake Hounshell Percentage of Americans who believe in angels: 55 Percentage of Americans who believe in evolution: 39 Percentage of Americans who believe in anthropogenic global warming: 36 Percentage of Americans who believe in ghosts: 34 Percentage of Americans who believe in UFOs: 34

“The Totalities of Copenhagen”

Bret Stevens’ article today in the WSJ, “The Totalities of Copenhagen,” again shows the strong parallels between the global warming debate and the evolution debate, especially with the proclivity of AGW and evolution advocates to quash all dissent. Consider, from his piece, the following characteristics of the AGW advocates: • Revolutionary fervor: There’s a distinct tendency among climate alarmists toward uncompromising radicalism, a hatred of “bourgeois” values, a disgust with democratic practices. So President Obama wants to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 83% from current levels by 2050, levels not seen since the 1870s—in effect, the Industrial Revolution in reverse. Rajendra Pachauri, head of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, insists that “our lifestyles are unsustainable.” Al Gore Read More ›

Human evolution: Now “the Hobbit” may revise “major tenets of human evolution”?

In “Rethinking ‘Hobbits’: What they mean for human evolution”, we are advised by Scientific American (November 2009),

New analyses reveal the mini human species to be even stranger than previously thought and hint that major tenets of human evolution need revision.


Not only was H. floresiensis being held up as the first example of a human following the so-called island rule, but it also seemed to reverse a trend toward ever larger brain size over the course of human evolution. Furthermore, the same deposits in which the small-bodied, small-brained individuals were found also yielded stone tools for hunting and butchering animals, as well as remainders of fires for cooking them—rather advanced behaviors for a creature with a brain the size of a chimpanzee’s. And astonishingly, LB1 lived just 18,000 years ago—thousands of years after our other late-surviving relatives, the Neandertals and H. erectus, disappeared

More about the Hobbit (Flores man or homo Floriensis) controversy here. Read More ›

Junk Science at War With Civilization

The EPA declares carbon dioxide a danger to public health. Be afraid. Be very afraid. No, not about global warming, but about fraudulent “science.” President Obama, White House Climate Czar Carol Browner, and their Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are not waiting for Congress to pass cap-and-trade. Shrugging off the Climate-gate scandal, today EPA administration Lisa Jackson issues a so-called “endangerment finding,” paving the way for onerous greenhouse gas regulations to be shoehorned into the 1970 Clean Air Act.

Coffee wagon now fixed!!: Cosmology – A memo from the End of All Things Is at Hand Department

We are advised as follows at New Scientist, in “Dark galaxy crashing into the Milky Way” (22 November 2009): THE Milky Way’s neighbourhood may be teeming with invisible galaxies, one of which appears to be crashing into our own. In 2008, a cloud of hydrogen with a mass then estimated at about 1 million suns was found to be colliding with our galaxy. Now it appears the object is massive enough to be a galaxy itself. Called Smith’s cloud, it has managed to avoid disintegrating during its smash-up with our own, much bigger galaxy. What’s more, its trajectory suggests it punched through the disc of our galaxy once before, about 70 million years ago. I can’t wait till the movie Read More ›

Evolutionary psychology: If they are going to chase their tails anyway, why don’t they stick to origin of life?

British physicist David Tyler discusses recent evolutionary psychology speculations about the origin of religion: … the “potential answers” Culotta mentions at the outset have the word potential in bold and the rest is in the imagination. What is strikingly lacking in these studies is any questioning of the materialist mindset of the researchers. The most significant way they follow Darwin is in excluding any thought that intelligent design issues need to be addressed before we can properly understand humanity. Indeed, the researchers set up a culture that portrays teleology as anti-science. Culotta reports on the findings of cognitive psychologists working with some undergraduate students: “When the undergrads had to respond under time pressure, they were likely to agree with nonscientific Read More ›

New Dembski-Marks Paper

William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, “Bernoulli’s Principle of Insufficient Reason and Conservation of Information in Computer Search,” Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics. San Antonio, TX, USA – October 2009, pp. 2647-2652. Abstract: Conservation of information (COI) popularized by the no free lunch theorem is a great leveler of search algorithms, showing that on average no search outperforms any other. Yet in practice some searches appear to outperform others. In consequence, some have questioned the significance of COI to the performance of search algorithms. An underlying foundation of COI is Bernoulli’s Principle of Insufficient Reason1(PrOIR) which imposes of a uniform distribution on a search space in the absence of all prior Read More ›

Global Warming Quandary Resolved

New research out this week has resolved a long-standing, and important, quandary about the causes of global warming. While several models point to anthropogenic CO2 and other greenhouse gases as the leading cause of global warming, the warming trends do not quite match the history of anthropogenic CO2. In fact, shrinking glaciers and other undeniable evidences of warming trace back to about the mid seventeenth century. But this predates the significant rise in anthropogenic CO2 that came later in later centuries. Now environmental researchers have solved the puzzle. While CO2 is undoubtedly an important factor in certain warming events, by far the most significant cause is the hot air emitted by evolutionists. In other words, anthropogenic theory rather than anthropogenic Read More ›

Camille Paglia on Climategate before it was Climategate

Some UD readers seem upset that I quote Sarah Palin on Climategate. Just so the wine-and-cheese elite feel as welcome here as the unwashed masses, here’s Camille Paglia on Climategate before it was Climategate (commenting to someone named Hanson): Hanson: I too grew up in upstate New York. I am an environmental groundwater geologist (who almost majored in fine arts). Your take on the Al Gore/global warming pseudo-catastrophe was right on target. Anyone can read up on Holocene geology and see that climate changes are caused by polar wandering and magnetic reversals. It is entertaining, yet sad to read bloviage from Leonardo DiCaprio, who is so self-centered that he thinks the earth’s history and climate is a function of his Read More ›

Sarah Palin: Just say NO … to Copenhagen

From Sarah Palin’s Facebook page: Mr. President: Boycott Copenhagen; Investigate Your Climate Change “Experts” The president’s decision to attend the international climate conference in Copenhagen needs to be reconsidered in light of the unfolding Climategate scandal. The leaked e-mails involved in Climategate expose the unscientific behavior of leading climate scientists who deliberately destroyed records to block information requests, manipulated data to “hide the decline” in global temperatures, and conspired to silence the critics of man-made global warming. I support Senator James Inhofe’s call for a full investigation into this scandal. Because it involves many of the same personalities and entities behind the Copenhagen conference, Climategate calls into question many of the proposals being pushed there, including anything that would lead Read More ›

Stephen C. Meyer — WORLD MAGAZINE’s Person of the Year

Terrific News about Steve Meyer making the cover of WORLD MAGAZINE as their person of the year for 2009.# Much deserved! Steve has considerable visibility in the ID movement, but I’ve known him over the years as well for his indefatigable work behind the scenes to make ID into a thriving intellectual and cultural force. Many of the initiatives and projects that have signally blessed the ID movement have been at his instance (for instance, it was his vision that propelled the video UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY OF LIFE, which has spawned a host of other videos). #Meyer is the second ID proponent to receive this award. Phil Johnson did in 2003.