25 April 2008

Confusing Computer Fantasies With Reality

Lately, it is not just the science journalists who are confused about what science is. More and more, the "scientists" themselves appear to be confusing hypotheses with research. Computer models are hypotheses--attempts to generate hypothetical data that can be tested by real world observation and experiment. Computer models should not be viewed as research studies. Consider:
The study results are published today in the journal Science Express. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), NCAR's principal sponsor, as well as by NASA and other agencies.

"Our research indicates that trying to artificially cool off the planet may be a perilous endeavor," Tilmes says. "While climate change is a major threat, this solution could create severe problems for society." NSFNews
But what was this "research", what was this "study?"
To determine the relationship between sulfates and ozone loss, the authors used a combination of measurements and computer simulations.

They then estimated future ozone loss by looking at two geoengineering schemes--one that would use volcanic-sized sulfates, and a second that would use much smaller injections.
In other words, they did runs of a computer model. They generated hypotheses--they did not do a research study. The same "bait and switch" technique is used to breathlessly report on "climate change", "ocean acidification", dangers to coral reefs, and many other areas of environmental research. This deception becomes particularly dangerous when political decision-making is unduly influenced by these shenanigans.

If the National Science Foundation allows itself to be fooled by a vacuous "non-science science", how can the public be expected to know any better?

If you would rather see data than to self-stimulate over a computer climate fantasy, take a look at the graphs here. If university students are being taught to hand over their critical thinking functions to computer models, the scientists of the future will reflexively continue to do so. And since they are all oscillating to the same computer models, they will be in perfect consensus.

The perfect "ex cathedra" computer models. Something to look forward to.

H/T Tom Nelson

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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