# YouTube warns us against questioning consensus science

August 20, 2018 | Posted by News under Climate change, Culture, Global Warming, Intelligent Design, Media, Science |

Further to kairosfocus’s thoughts yesterday on the digital empire suppressing the free flow of ideas:

Buzzfeed reported August 7 that “YouTube Is Fighting Back Against Climate Misinformation.”

As of July 9, “YouTube is now adding fact checks to videos that question climate change … as a part of its ongoing effort to combat the rampant misinformation and conspiratorial fodder on its platform.”

…

YouTube’s decision might be defensible if it were evenhanded.

If, on all videos addressing climate change, from any perspective, YouTube placed a notice that climate change is the subject of vigorous ongoing debate and that equally qualified scientists hold a variety of views on the magnitude, causes, and consequences of human-induced climate change and on the best responses to it, and if it provided links to the two sites providing the most in-depth information from competing perspectives—the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change—it would be doing a real public service.

Instead, it posts its notice only on videos that challenge some part of the conventional wisdom—call it “scientific consensus,” if you like, despite the dubious claim to such. Those that embrace the conventional wisdom get a free pass.

William D. Balgord and Calvin Beisner, “YouTube Is Fighting against Scientific Inquiry and the Expansion of Human Knowledge” atTownhall

Most critics of consensus science on climate change are critiquing the methodology of influential papers; they are not claiming that there is a vast conspiracy to mislead the public.

Michael Crichton (1942–2008) said it best: “I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet because you’re being had.”

Put less elegantly, a consensus does not start out as bunk but it quickly degenerates into bunk when it is put beyond critique.

Some think Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc., will run the world but others see them as spinning into an authoritarian black hole. That’s the view of tech guru (and ID sympathizer) George Gilder, author of *Life after Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy. * Hear why he thinks so.

*See also:* The ID issue vs Digital Empire/Cartel concerns: information utilities/ “superhighway” vs shadow-censoring, de-platforming information gatekeepers kairosfocus: BTW, consider the premise that if a service that costs considerable money to set up and sustain is free to you, you — more specifically, market research information you provide — will be the product being sold. Ask, who is buying, why, for how much, and where you draw the line.

George Gilder: Life after Google will be okay People will take ownership of their own data, cutting out the giant “middle man”

### 30 Responses to *YouTube warns us against questioning consensus science*

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Let’s stop right there.

Anyone care to guess what you might call all the colored squiggly lines that are supposed to represent something imaginary called “the earth’s climate”.

Andrew

See, the only thing about the weather system that actually changes is the weather.

Climate is a concept. The concept may change, but it’s all in your head.

Andrew

Warnings tend to backfire. Movie producers figured this out a long time ago with the G / PG / PG13 stuff. A properly placed warning increases the audience.

I’ve already found YT’s warnings to be a useful guide for likely truth. When I see a heresy warning, I’m more inclined to watch and trust the speaker.

News, anything that appeals to consensus as decisive and claims to be science is self-discrediting. Science advances by consensus-breaking. Have we forgotten terms like, paradigm shift? KF

Is the scientific consensus concerning the predictive power and accuracy of quantum theory a “pernicious development”?

Is the same consensus concerning relativity theory a “pernicious development”?

Is the scientific consensus that vaccines do not cause autism a “pernicious development”?

Should a scientist deny the persuasiveness of the available evidence for a theory just to avoid having his or her reputation being tarnished by accusations of belonging to a despised consensus?

Is Crichton right to imply that the maverick is always more likely to be right or is he guilty of a populist oversimplification?

If you want an apposite quote, how about Sagan: “The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”

Seversky, quantum theory is not presented as true or effectively and unquestionably true due to consensus. It is its degree of empirical support as accurate and reliable which grounds a high confidence in such reliability. As opposed to ultimate truth. When by contrast there is appeal to consensus to persuade the lay public of truth, in a context of suppressing and discrediting one side on a controversial and far less well supported claim, that raises serious questions about manipulative imposition. Further to this, we see agit prop techniques such as terming dissenters “denialists,” in willful echo of holocaust denialism. Notice, that the hurricane season projection on statistical models just was downgraded (thankfully), which shows difficulties of projecting across a season, much less decades or centuries. Where I must note too that climate is effectively a moving average across 33 years or so, i.e. it is a convenient fiction that stands in for trend patterns and projections, but which is inherently changing or “moving,” and not just in the time window used. There are questions of observation base, proxies, significance of the medieval and Roman period warm periods, and more, just on trends. As for driving dynamics, feedback factors (even +/-) and more, as well as granularity of data and models, we should be a lot more modest in claims than is often projected. The recent long pause is a further sign of our limited understanding. Some serious re-thinking on the nature and limitations of inductive reasoning and warrant for empirically based knowledge claims is in order, including specifically scientific ones. Most important, we each have a right to a range of information and perspectives, especially when policy measures are on the table, where due to the significance of the work-energy physical and economic relationships, we have to consider the degree of confidence in managing trends vs damaging economies. And, a good yardstick on degree of balance in the wider discussion is, willingness to embrace a test case low carbon alternative for energy: nuclear technologies including novel fission and fusion technologies. Consider pebble bed, molten salt Thorium reactors (the ones you just turn off and go home), fusion (including say exploring Bussard’s polywell) and more. KF

History has shown us that the scientific consensus is often wrong.

Seversky, I note that the Wrights went against and broke the dominant view of the day (with considerable support among leading lights) that heavier than air flight was dubious, Similarly, it actually took many years for Einstein’s novel ideas to find acceptance. And of course Semmelweis went against consensus on antiseptics. One of the interesting results out there is the pessimistic induction on the passing nature of scientific theories leading to the inference that the current crop are likely to ultimately fail or need drastic revision, too. KF

kf – of course current scientific thinking will be revised, and some of it is wrong. But some of it is right, and it’s certainly less wrong than in the past. Science isn’t about finding the Truth (that’s for mathematics), it’s about finding better approximations to the truth. And it’s the very nature of approximations that they can be improved.

BO’H, on track record, we have no basis for estimating that theories and similar model constructs are more or less approximately true. What we have is a test of so far empirical reliability, though ability to integrate across various domains that may seem otherwise disconnected may be of help in our confidence. However, that may simply mean there is an in-common error. T => O, O so T is strictly fallacious. Scientific theories on the whole are not going to be morally certain as truth though they may be as empirically reliable, hence how Newtonian dynamics gets used in a lot of engineering almost a century after limitations were clear. Observations have a much better truth claim, and they can be mistaken — where, that predictions of a given model are empirically reliable is an observation. Even Math, post Godel, cannot guarantee truth of “big” constructs though I take things like the Euler relationship between five keystone quantities as speaking to vast, deep coherence for domains of interest. Going back to key point, none of this gives us reason to be confident that arguments from alleged consensus which often suppress significant controversy among the informed have merit as grounding truth claims for theories. I particularly note that any probability other that certainties [0, 1] will automatically be an index of ignorance which peaks for flat random distributions or cases where we do not know enough to even guess at a distribution. This becomes highly relevant to claims regarding statistical trends and the like. KF

B’Oh, I suspect you don’t know what is wrong and what is right, since you admittedly refuse to examine the relevant information.

Andrew

Bob O’Hara you state,

First off, all ‘true’ science is based upon mathematics.

Moreover, the very fact that all ‘true’ science is based upon immaterial ‘platonic’ mathematics refutes the reductive materialism that Darwinian evolution is based upon as being a ‘true’ science.

In fact, both Albert Einstein and Eugene Wigner are on record as to regarding it as a ‘miracle’ that we can even describe nature with mathematics in the first place:

But Bob O’Hara, besides the fact that you, with your Darwinian worldview, have no grounding for explaining why the universe should even be describable by the ‘miracle’ of mathematics in the first place, you go on to claim that,

Now Bob, while everyone knows that Newton’s theory of gravity was an ‘approximation’ that was improved upon by Einstein’s General Relativity, I would certainly like to know exactly where you think this supposed ‘approximation’ is, experimentally, to be found for Einstein’s General Relativity, (and for Quantum Mechanics).

To the best of our experimental testing of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, thus far, we simply can find no variance whatsoever from what the mathematics predict, i.e. we can find no ‘approximation’.

Thus Bob O’Hara, since the best mathematical descriptions of the universe thus far, as far as we can tell by experimentation, are not ‘approximations’ as you claim that they are, then you have no experimental basis for claiming that the equations of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are only ‘approximations’.

Thus exactly how (and why) are you claiming them to be only ‘approximations’ aside from your a-priori Theistic philosophical predisposition? (i.e. aside from your “hidden” Theistic philosophical predisposition that there should be just one single overarching mathematical ‘theory of everything’, i.e. a single “Truth” that describes the universe?)

Moreover, Bob O’Hara, you also specifically claimed that,

And yet Gödel proved, with his incompleteness theorem, that “the Truth” is not to be found within mathematics alone.

Even Hawking himself admitted. in his book that was ironically entitled “The Grand Design”, that “Gödel’s incompleteness theorem (1931), proves that there are limits to what can be ascertained by mathematics. Kurt Gödel halted the achievement of a unifying all-encompassing theory of everything”,,

Moreover, Godel’s incompleteness has now been extended to physics and “challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description”.

Moreover Bob, “an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.”

Thus Bob, since “an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms” exactly how are you, or anybody else, to know exactly which mathematical theorem, or combination thereof, are to be considered “the Truth” as you termed it?

I hold that we need the “Agent Causality” of God in order, (besides explaining why the universe is describable by mathematics in the first place), to find “the Truth” from that infinite number of true, but ‘incomplete’, mathematical theorems.

As Dr. Gordon stated, “The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy. This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world.,,, Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.,,,”

Moreover, if we rightly let the Agent Causality of God “back’ into the picture of modern physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, (Newton, Maxwell, Faraday, Planck, to name a few), then “the Truth”. i.e. the “theory of everything”, readily pops out for us in Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

Verse:

asauber @ 11 – I actually have read some of the evidence – both the theoretical work in philosophy of science, and history of science too. I wouldn’t claim to be an expert, but I do at least have more knowledge than the layman.

kf –

The fact that QM and GR haven’t been reconciled with each other suggests that neither is fully correct.

Oh, rubbish. If a theorem has been proved, it is true (within that formal system, of course). What Gödel showed was that not all statements can be proved to be true or false.

Through formal proof. Pythagoras’ theorem

istrue (for Euclidean geometry, of course), and Gödel has no impact on that.To Bob O’H:

Linus Pauling, winner of 2 Nobel prizes wrote,

And Albert Einstein

“A healthy science is a science that seeks the truth.” Paul Nelson, Ph. D., philosophy of biology.

The truth need not be an absolute truth. Truth in the sense that Drs. Pauling, Einstein and Nelson are speaking is the reality in which we find ourselves. We exist. Science is to help us understand that existence and how it came to be.

As I like to say- science is our search for the truth, i.e. the reality, to our existence via our never-ending quest for knowledge.

definition of truth

So perhaps Bob has some other definition of “truth”- other than what Pauling, Einstein and Nelson were talking about. I always thought science was about uncovering reality- separating the real from the fantasy and fake and finding/ figuring out the truth behind some phenomena, object or event. That is what investigations are all about- at least the thousands of investigations I have conducted or been a part of were about that.

CO2 is not a driver of climate change. It is a simple molecule that only absorbs 8% of what the Earth emits. And given that the CO2 radiates randomly in all directions only less than 4% of what the CO2 emits is headed back towards the earth.

Why don’t the climate alarmist scientists tell the public that fact? It is because if the people knew then their chicken-little scare tactics wouldn’t work.

We need to stop attacking fossil fuel use and start going after real solutions- one is to cut our meat consumption I half. Why meat? Because the land use for grazing and raising for those animals costs the lives of millions upon millions of trees. Plastics? We need to get rid of those too. First we have to clean up what we have.

Glaciers melt because they are dirty. Dirty snow melts even in below freezing temps because the dirt absorbs the Sun’s rays, heats up and melts what is below it.

Bob O’Hara,

I stated:

Then you stated:

And that is precisely the point,,, you have no experimental basis for your claim that they are only ‘approximations, only an a-priori “hidden” Theistic philosophical belief.,,, as I stated previously, but you apparently did not fully appreciate:

Bob, you simply have no basis, other than hidden Theistic presuppositions, for believing there should even be just one mathematical theory of everything.

Your use of the word ‘approximation’, especially in regards to GR and QM, is a grossly inaccurate description of the present state of affairs as they currently sit in science.

I then stated:

Then you stated

I did not say that “A” truth cannot be ascertained by mathematics, I stated that “THE” Truth, (which is the exact term that you used), cannot be ascertained by mathematics.

As Jaki pointed out:

You mentioned Euclidean geometry,,,

Yet Hawking himself noted that:

To reiterate:

ba77 – as far as I understand it, there is experimental evidence for the dis-connect between QM and GR. Basically, both of them predict nonsense when extrapolated into each others’ domain:

kf (again):

And you’re wrong. If a theorem has been proven, it is THE truth that the theorem is true. This really shouldn’t be difficult to understand (although I know that at least one lawyer has had difficulty recently).

… exactly the same thing as I wrote. There are limits to mathematics: there are some statements that cannot be proved (within a formal system, of course).

BO’H, several times above you suggested or implied that I made comments I have not made, at 15 and 19. I agree, the issues between QM and Relativity are troubling. The state of strings etc is not so healthy either. Months ago I pointed out that there is a large body of math facts antecedent to the waves of axiomatisation which serve as implicit restraints on axiom systems. I also pointed out that systems in Math set up logic model worlds as abstract domains accessed through rational contemplation [big issue there], and that if things discovered in such are necessary, framework entities (beings) they will obtain in all possible worlds, e.g. distinct identity so two-ness and natural numbers thus extensions from those that take in a lot of Math. Such necessary beings will be truths beyond reasonable doubt. I note, truth, even necessary truth is not confined to Mathematics, there are many other necessary beings and necessary truths, so whoever said ““the Truth” is not to be found within mathematics alone” as cited in 15 is correct, this point is not rubbish. Godel showed incompleteness of axiomatisation for sufficiently complex domains of Math. In 19, “I did not say that “A” truth cannot be ascertained by mathematics. I stated that “THE” Truth. which is your term that you used, cannot be ascertained by mathematics” is not me. Math does not exhaust truth, but does contain truths, many of them, it is at a different level of warrant than sciences and statistically oriented computer models. I didn’t say again but note that a proved theorem is a logical consequent of first principles or axioms in some logic model world. It may be a truth but theorems individually or collectively do not even exhaust mathematical truth much less truth in other domains. And more but gotta go. KF

Bob (and weave) O’Hara. I had hoped that you may have grown beyond your pointless propaganda and would now focus on fact. Apparently not. You are still without integrity.

You state:

So what??? The equations are doing exactly what they were devised to do. Precisely describe their specific areas of description. GR and QM were not devised to describe each others areas of domain. It should not a-priorily be ‘expected’ for them to do so.

And again, to expect them to do otherwise is to import ‘hidden’ Theistic presuppositions about how nature should operate.

You then again demonstrate your propensity to (mis)use semantics in order to try to misconstrue the clear distinction that was made between “A” truth within mathematics and “The” Truth about the entirety of reality.

Shameless and pathetic on your part!

As to Euclidean geometry in particular, I would like to note the title of Wigner’s paper, “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences”.

Wigner’s main point in his paper is,,,

You, as an atheistic materialist, simply have no explanation for why the universe should be describable by math. Again as Einstein noted, “I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way”

For example, and in regards to Euclidean geometry in particular, the reason why Euclidean geometry is applicable in our science, engineering, and such as that, is because the 4-Dimensional space-time of our universe is exceptionally, and unexpectedly “flat”. As Fraser Cain stated “We say that the universe is flat, and this means that parallel lines will always remain parallel. 90-degree turns behave as true 90-degree turns, and everything makes sense.,,,’

If you were honest Bob (and weave) (instead of a troll) you would readily admit that this correspondence between nature and the applicability of mathematics is a ‘miracle’ and that you, as an atheist, have absolutely no coherent explanation for why the universe should be so precisely finely-tuned in such a way so as to make the applicability of Euclidean geometry to our (4-Dimensional) world possible.

kf – my apologies, I sometimes get you mixed up with bornagain77.

If bornagain77 feels slighted by this, then my apologies to him too.

ba77 @ 21 –

If they are not approximations of reality, i.e. they are exact, then they have to be extrapolatable beyond their realm of explanation. The fact that when you extrapolate them you get silly answers shows that they are not exact.

Mathematics (as a subject) isn’t about reality: it’s about manipulating mathematical constructs. And my point was that within that, there are statements which one can prove is true (or false!). Connecting these to the real world is another matter entirely. One could argue that the universe is regular enough that we can find mathematical approximations that work well enough to describe it. I’m sure it’s more complicated than that, but I’m not sufficiently versed in epistemology to know.

That’s OK Bob. We sometimes get you mixed up with someone who cares about reality and science. 😛

Touche ET!

No more needs to be said.

For the benefit of unbiased observers, the zero-infinity conflict between GR and QM is touched upon in this following video:

BO’H, could you kindly address the substantial points on the table? This is not a matter for rhetorical one upmanship; it is far too serious for such tactics. KF

F/N: The core of that substance is this from the OP:

Issues on strengths and limitations on scientific methods and on computer based statistical modelling vs Mathematics arise from that, and I have cause to stand by my remarks above, such as:

Now, do tell us, what in the above (given the sobering developments afoot) is not speaking to serious issues that need substantial focus?

In a world where digital empires are imposing ideological censorship, such matters need to be soberly faced on the merits. The potential for injustice and for pulling our civilisation down the terrible vortex of having to fight a 4th gen civil war for liberty in the face of the latest ideological threats and blatant agendas, censorship-enabling behaviour is utterly telling.

KF

kf 2 26 – I’ve been addressing the substantial points.

Or did you mix me up with ET? 🙂

BO’H: on fair comment for cause your last remark above, regrettably, is a second successive a wholly unnecessary barbed comment rather than addressing the substantial matter; in response to a corrective on misattribution. Where, given the gravity of the underlying issue as was raised in the OP, we are entitled to draw suitable conclusions. KF

Bob O’H:

Doubtful. You don’t appear to know anything about evolutionism and can only equivocate.