Archive for the ‘science’ Category

The Logical Failure Of Science Fans

January 27, 2019

If it’s science it must be right, coz science is kool, right?

Thus in essence is the basis on which many science fans argue in internet comment threads.
A question posted on Quora involved me in a discussion with a typical member of this group, he’s besotted with science and argues from the perspective of a religious believer rather that somebody who questions things objectively. To the question:

As a scientist, is there any possibility that evolution did not give rise to mankind?

I had answered:

Ian Thorpe
Ian Thorpe, writer, poet, free thinker

Sorry I can’t answer because I’m not a scientist.
But if I was a scientist I wouldn’t be a biologists so I’d probably give the same answer as would occurs to me as a well – read retired management consultant: There are always possibilities. It’s often said that we evolved from monkeys, but more likely we and monkeys shared a common ancestor which might have been so far back it was just a blob of jelly floating in a primeval salt marsh. Nobody truly knows.
Likewise human intelligence. The theory that we developed conscious intelligence spontaneously as our brains reached a certain mass has been debunked. Homo Neanderthalis had bigger brains than Homo Sapiens and yet they became extinct.

At some stage we progressed from Homo Sapiens (man who knows) to Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Man who knows he knows) with far greater cognitive skills and the ability to handle abstract ideas than our predecessors. When and how that change occurred is a mystery and so far no evolutionary evidence has been found to explain it.

Did aliens visit us and get jiggy with girl troglodites? Was intelligence seeded in us by a perhistoric super – race that knew they were dying? Was it some form of supernatural process? Did our ancient ancestors eat magic mushrooms and experience an expansion of consciousness? All these are theories believe by some.

My advice is don’t think about these things too much, it has driven people crazy.

Other studies show that is not true. Baysean inference might have been a factor in either conclusion. That’s the trouble with scientific studies.
However Chimps and Bonobos are reckoned to have evolved from a common species about a million years ago, around the same time as homo erectus separated into neanderthalis and sapiens.
Chimps are pretty much as they were then according to naturalists and anthropoligists, we made the leap from sapiens to sapiens sapiens and now construct tower blocks almost a mile high, fly around the world in jet aircraft, and invent increasingly sophisticated ways of killing each other. Given that they have had the same amount of time to develop, I’d say chimp intelligence cannot reasonably be compared with human intelligence.

So why have chimps not evolved when we have? That’s a part of the mystery.

Other studies? Well here’s one.
Pioneering brain study reveals ‘software’ differences between humans and monkeys

Then there’s Thomas Suddendorf’s work in which he identifies what he calls episodic memory as a big part of what differentiates us from all other species.
Episodic memory versus episodic foresight: Similarities and differences
(you have to have hacking skills to open this one, but it’s not that difficult
It’s late now and I don’t want to sit here all night compiling a comprehensive list, so I’ll leave you to continue in your own time.

Ian Thorpe

No, it doesn’t. That’s because the research paper is about the things that make humans unique among species. And the question asked was about whether here is any possibility humans are not a product of evolution. Thus my reply concerned that mystery of how we humans developed our unique intellige…


Phil Dunlap

First humans from Australia?
Human Origins Not In Africa?
Science and technology menu
Science Wins – Trump Administration Proposes Transgender Policy Based On Biology
Plants and Trees Are Conscious (sort of)


Ghost particle found beneath Antarctica holds key to breakthrough in understanding the universe.

July 13, 2018

Split an atom and a host of sub atomic particles are released. The problem is these are little fizzes of energy which dissipate in less than one millionth of a second. (Image: gawker)

In another great scientific breakthrough that will make absolutely no difference to anything but is likely to cost taxpayers a pile of money as scientists scam research grants out of politicians by selling the idea that it is really important we understand and learn to control processes which have worked for billions of years without needing assistance from scientists, the mystery of the origins of light are set to be unlocked by the discovery of an elusive “ghost” particle a mile beneath Antarctica, scientists have announced.

Astronomers have for the first time identified the source of a high-energy neutrino which shot through a solid ice laboratory at the South Pole last year in “a “triumph that promises to revolutionise understanding of fundamental physics.”

Sorry but the only breakthrough I can see here is that these scientists have taken the idiotic hyoerbole of cosmology further away from reality than ever before. For people who have taken little interest in theoretical physics, Neutrinos are, according to people who believe the meaning of life can be found in equations, are virtually massless, subatomic particles which race across the universe, passing unnoticed through planets and stars. Despite their abundance – hundreds of billions pass through each human every second – they have so far proved impossible to detect because they interact with matter so rarely.

Or in layman’s terms, they are imaginary things like fairies, demons and the Disney Princess who sings “Let It Go,” in Frozen.

The alleged detection of this frozen neutrino on September 22 2017 has since, according to its discoverers, enabled scientists to identify its point of origin. Using a complex network of ground and space-based radiation telescopes and the highly advanced scientific technique of making stuff up, the international team traced the particle’s provenance to a flaring galaxy, or “blazar”, with a supermassive black hole at its heart four billion light years away.

Quantum mechanics theory tells us a particle doesn’t exist until it is observed (by a cat which is simultaneously dead and alive or something), so how can this one have been tracked back to it’s point of origin before it interacted with the astronomers in Antarctica last September?

Nutrinos, like many other sub atomic particles, are based on a theory that has been ‘proven’ using other theories. Presumably these theoretical particles, which remember, are ripping through your body tissue at a rate of millions per second without you noticing, will be used to prove other theories down the line, the kind of theories beloved of modern science, because the high pontiffs tell us that like God, they must to be considered true until someone can prove they are untrue.

When they do, the rest come tumbling down like dominoes.Big Bang theory proposes that before BigBang everything was compressed into a single mass, The Singularity, a mass varying in size between a grain of salt and a small planet (I go for a rat turd). Question what existed before Big Bang, what did this very singular rat turd live in, what existed outside it, and you will be told, usually rather tetchily, that nothing existed.

“The cosmic rat turd was floating around an infinite void then?” You offer only to be told that a void could not exist, nothing could exist outside the rat turd. All the voids, all the time and space, all everything was compressed into the rat turd.

“So the rat turd existed in infinity?” you venture.

“NO YOU IDIOT, NNNNOOOOO, infinity was in the rat turd,” your physicist debating partner will scream.

And thus all the theories of cosmology built around Big Bang collapse.

The sciencetits do not give up however, original theories are ‘tweaked’ to add some special rule to fit the real world again, dark matter is invented, or dark energy. Gravitational waves are conjured out of thin air to prop up failed theories. And again the scientific academe insists they must be assumed to be true because nobody can prove they aren’t.

It all keeps the academics busy consuming our tax money in the form of research grants, and living well while people whose work actually matters struggle.

I cannot be the only one who considers that modern physics (i.e. theoretical physics) in which any ‘proofs’ offered are nothing more than mathematical speculations based on other theories is a load of bollocks. Just as climate change scaremongers tell us ‘the science is settled’ and dismiss any criticism of the all too obvious flaws in their ‘science’, so physicists dismiss any criticism as coming from people outside their quasi – religious cult. My experience has shown that such attacks are used in self-interest. This latest non – revelation is just more of the same.

So long as politicians keep wasting our money funding them, physicists will continue to learn more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing. Biologists and Chemists don’t have it so easy, they have to deal with things that exist in reality.

I should add here that in the 1980s I worked in several organisations involved in atomic research, and though my job was in computer systems, I learned a little from talking to the engineers and physicists involved in real world stuff. And those guys unanimously regard the theoreticians of the academic world as a bunch of clowns.

Landmark climate change report leaked online

December 14, 2012

Landmark climate change report leaked online

Draft of IPCC’s fifth assessment, due to be published in September 2013, leaked online by climate sceptic Alex Rawls. It’s a safe bet that the content differs widely from what will eventually be published by mainstream media.

Th draft of a major global warming report by the UN’s climate science panel has been leaked online.

The fifth assessment report (AR5) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is not due to be published in full until September 2013, was uploaded onto a website called Stop Green Suicide on Thursday and has since been mirrored elsewhere on the internet.

The IPCC, which confirmed the draft is genuine, said in a statement: “The IPCC regrets this unauthorized posting which interferes with the process of assessment and review. We will continue not to comment on the contents of draft reports, as they are works in progress.”

A little-known US-based climate sceptic called Alex Rawls, who had been accepted by the IPCC to be one of the report’s 800 expert reviewers, admitted to leaking the document. In a statement posted online, he sought to justify the leak: “The addition of one single sentence [discussing the influence of cosmic rays on the earth’s climate] demands the release of the whole. That sentence is an astounding bit of honesty, a killing admission that completely undercuts the main premise and the main conclusion of the full report, revealing the fundamental dishonesty of the whole.”

Climate sceptics have heralded the sentence – which they interpret as meaning that cosmic rays could have a greater warming influence on the planet than mankind’s emissions – as “game-changing”.

The isolation by climate sceptics of one sentence in the 14-chapter draft report was described as “completely ridiculous” by one of the report’s lead authors. Prof Steve Sherwood, a director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, told ABC Radio in Australia: “You could go and read those paragraphs yourself and the summary of it and see that we conclude exactly the opposite, that this cosmic ray effect that the paragraph is discussing appears to be negligible … It’s a pretty severe case of [cherry-picking], because even the sentence doesn’t say what [climate sceptics] say and certainly if you look at the context, we’re really saying the opposite.”

The leaked draft “summary for policymakers” contains a statement that appears to contradict the climate sceptics’ interpretation.

It says: “There is consistent evidence from observations of a net energy uptake of the earth system due to an imbalance in the energy budget. It is virtually certain that this is caused by human activities, primarily by the increase in CO2 concentrations. There is very high confidence that natural forcing contributes only a small fraction to this imbalance.”

By “virtually certain”, the scientists say they mean they are now 99% sure that man’s emissions are responsible. By comparison, in the IPCC’s last report, published in 2007, the scientists said they had a “very high confidence” – 90% sure – humans were principally responsible for causing the planet to warm.

Richard Betts, a climate scientist at the Met Office Hadley Centre and an AR5 lead author, tweeted that the report is still a draft and could well change: “Worth pointing out that the wording in the leaked IPCC WG1 [working group 1, which examines the “physical science basis” of climate change] draft chapters may still change in the final versions, following review comments.”

Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science, said that Rawls appeared to have broken the confidentiality agreement signed by reviewers: “As a registered reviewer of the IPCC report, I condemn the decision by a climate change sceptic to violate the confidentiality of the review process. The review of the IPCC report is being carried out in line with the principles of peer review which operate throughout academic science, including an expectation of high standards of ethical behaviour by reviewers. It is disappointing, if not surprising, that climate change sceptics have been unable to meet these high standards of ethical behaviour.”

The IPCC, which publishes a detailed synthesis of the latest climate science every seven years to help guide policy makers, has experienced leaks before. In 2000, the third assessment report was leaked to the New York Times, while the fourth assessment report was published in 2006 by the US government a year ahead of its official publication.

Prof Bill McGuire, Professor of Geophysical & Climate Hazards at University College London and contributing author on the recent IPCC report on climate change and extreme events, said that sceptics’ reading of the draft was incorrect: “Alex Rawls’ interpretation of what IPCC5 says is quite simply wrong. In fact, while temperatures have been ramping up in recent decades, solar activity has been pretty subdued, so any interaction with cosmic rays is clearly having minimal – if any – effects. IPCC AR5 reiterates what we can be absolutely certain of: that contemporary climate change is not a natural process, but the consequence of human activities.”

Prof Piers Forster, Professor of Climate Change at the University of Leeds, said: “Although this may seem like a ‘leak’, the draft IPCC reports are not kept secret and the review process is open. The rationale in not disseminating the findings until the final version is complete, is to try and iron out all the errors and inconsistencies which might be inadvertently included. Personally, I would be happy if the whole IPCC process were even more open and public, and I think we as scientists need to explore how we can best match the development of measured critical arguments with those of the Twitter generation.”

What we may note from the above is how dishonest those who ride the climate change gravy train are prepared to be in defence of the fake science that gives them luxurious lifestyles. Firstly the accusation that Rawls has misinterpreted the report. This really is just the old argument from authority trick, saying in effect, “He’s not a scientists so he cant understand the science. Really however the language is fairly straightforward, it says what it says and there is only so much room for interpretation.

Then there is the claim that ‘temperatures have been ramping up l.ately’. This is a blatant lie, while the ‘adjusted data’ shows eash succeeding year is the ‘hottest on record’ (although even that depends on whose records you look at) raw data shows 1998 was the hottest in the modern era and surface temperatures have not warmed significantly since.

It is possible to go on and on providing hundreds of items of evidence that show climate change (which is a constant and natural process) is not being caused by human activity, but there’s no point. The believers will go on praying to their science God for some Sodom and Gomorrah style even to punish the faithless, the sane will go on living their lives safe in the knowledge that no global catastrophes are imminent and the ruling elites will go on exploiting scaremongering propaganada to justify punitive taxes on energy and other essentials.