Posted On: Thursday - July 26th 2018 5:48PM MST
In Topics:   Global Climate Stupidity  Science
No, wait, SCIENCE! It's a real shame Peak Stupidity has featured the Thomas Dolby song Blinded Me with Science already on our post about the recent solar eclipse. The biggest piece of stupidity associated with the Global Climate DisruptionTM scam that I have been sucked back into writing about lately is the use of the belief (there's that belief again) in CONSENSUS as a part of the scientific method... well, at least when it comes to a specific topic in Climatology. No, having a consensus of the theoretical experts in a field to close the book on a theory is wrong. Science does not work like that.
Scientists and research engineers publish the descriptions of their observations, experiments, and theories in "papers" in the appropriate journals for their fields. These papers are formatted in generally the same way, with a quick Intro., or "abstract", math that describes the theory in question, descriptions of the experimental or observational set-up, presentation of results, conclusions, and then a quick summary. We've written before in this and this post, both descriptions of how science/math-illiterate journalists, and subsequently politicians, make use of nothing but the summary, the only part of a paper they can read, if that. They don't get the assumptions involved, the still-needed work, and the limitations and uncertainty in the results. That's most of the reason that the climatology topic in question has gotten to be so altered and distorted from the real science.
Now, the scientific/engineering papers number in the thousands that come out in various fields weekly, and the sum total for a field is called "the literature" (yeah, it's an unusual use of that word). The literature in a field is an on-going narrative of what people have been thinking, doing, and discovering. People in any specific field are supposed to, if not reading all the papers in their specific field, at least keep up with what the journals have in them, and thoroughly study the papers that relate specifically to their areas of research. OK, got all that? Let me get to the point finally.
As an example, you've got a bunch of papers coming out on, let's say stress analysis of reinforced concrete, a subset of stress analysis (a big area) and also of concrete construction techniques (also a big area). One of them says, that a certain new type of analysis results in these basic technical formulae that will work for this type of design. If an engineer who's got something to do with that specific area sees a problem with ANY part of the experiments, analysis, or results, he will speak up during peer-review, or at least have to write something to correct it and publish that. Everyone is in this field together, and you can't have erroneous information out there. At last resort, someone else uses this paper to continue the work in some way, and realizes that the basics are wrong.
If there are 20 papers on this new technique, and variations thereof, that have been published, then THEY HAVE TO AGREE! It's science, or engineering. If any of them do not agree, than there must be reasons why they don't, engineers have to figure out why, and the erroneous stuff must be removed from "the literature" or corrections issued. There can be no such thing as "well, 17 of the 20 papers on the new method reinforced-concrete stress analysis say it works, and only 3 say it doesn't. That's good, 85 %!". It could be determined that those 3 papers all had problems with the experimental or observational methods, the same or different problems. OK, fine. However, if even ONE paper that doesn't agree can't be rebutted, then there is a real problem. We can't trust any of it, YET, until some smart guy gets to the bottom of it.
You may think "hey, this guy is arguing FOR consensus", come to think of it, but that's not the meaning of the word as used by these climate guys. They use the term to describe how most of the pre-eminent scientists say this or that, but leave out the fact that the "deniers" have NOT BEEN SCIENTIFICALLY REFUTED. How can they be, in a subject that purports to understand how the earth's climate will change in the future, when THERE! IS! NO! WORKING! MATHEMATICAL! MODEL! OF! IT!, DAMMIT!? Their consensus means that these scientists speak up at big conferences and to the press with small factoids of their results and tell everyone that there is no need to understand anyone else on the topic - case closed. If they spent the time to scientifically refute all the science that does not agree, then they wouldn't have time for the fancy press conferences, as that's a bunch of work, as it must leave the "denying" scientists satisfied, that "yes, indeed we see the errors you have pointed out." That's how science SHOULD work.
Consensus is for politics, and even then it's usually a crock.