Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, July 07, 2014

Mr. Kahan's study suggests that more people know what scientists think about high-profile scientific controversies than polls suggest; they just aren't willing to endorse the consensus when it contradicts their political or religious views. This finding helps us understand why my colleagues and I have found that factual and scientific evidence is often ineffective at reducing misperceptions and can even backfire on issues like weapons of mass destruction, health care reform and vaccines. With science as with politics, identity often trumps the facts.

So what should we do? One implication of Mr. Kahan's study and other research in this field is that we need to try to break the association between identity and factual beliefs on high-profile issues – for instance, by making clear that you can believe in human-induced climate change and still be a conservative Republican like former Representative Bob Inglis or an evangelical Christian like the climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe.

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Or put another way, when the political or religious views of rightwingers are challenged by facts or reality, they opt for dishonesty.

#1 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-07-07 05:30 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 4

Or put another way, when science challenges rightwingers' views they opt for the full retard.

#2 | Posted by Harry_Powell at 2014-07-07 05:32 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 2

The right-wing war on science is legendary. Just not long ago they were telling us that asbestos, lead in paint, cigarettes, air pollution, agent orange, nuclear waste and arsenic in water are all harmless.

#3 | Posted by SammyAZ_RI at 2014-07-07 06:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

Amen!

#11 | Posted by mysterytoy at 2014-07-07 08:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

Why waste your time trying to reason with an idiot?

#12 | Posted by squinch at 2014-07-07 10:26 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

Squinch, hard to tell from your comment where you land on this. Should I assume you do not believe in MMGW?

#13 | Posted by sawdust at 2014-07-07 11:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

really ? it's not doubters who were caught with email LIES and distortions.....its not doubters who were WRONG about an ICE AGE NOW back in the 70's...and it's not doubters who now see RECORD ICE in some places..

just sayin.......

You realize every single one of these talking points is easily debunked right?

Read something other than a "Conservative" Chick blog and you would be aware of that.

#14 | Posted by jpw at 2014-07-07 11:55 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

most of the points made in this article can just as easily be applied to clinging to a scientific "consensus" because it reinforces political or religious views too.

I truly believe a rational look at the evidence would conclude that there is intriguing evidence, but the prediction models are still very flawed and until predictive ability is there, the theory remains just that, and more work is needed.

given that view, anyone burying their head saying nope nope nope, would be an idiot, and anyone looking to tax every carbon atom would be too.

That is my problem with MMGW CC, whatever the heck you choose to call it. Everyone is positive they know exactly what is going on in either direction, when a true look at what the science can definitively prove isn't there.

It's a solid theory, some evidence is there, other evidence hasn't panned out as thought.... Keep working the science.

#15 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2014-07-08 12:04 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Theory" I don't think that word means what you think it means.

#16 | Posted by schmanch at 2014-07-08 01:16 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

I'd look it up schmanch... you might be surprised. Make sure you use a technical source too as it's meaning isn't quite the same in the scientific method.

#17 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2014-07-08 01:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

It's funny to me that warmers deride the so-called 'deniers'. The reason it's funny is that they cite debunked claims like '97% of scientists claim it's real.'. As if the discipline of science is consensus-based.

I can (and have) provide a litany of problems with the data collection, the computer modeling and other issues that underpin this theory. And these are scientific problems.

I can (and have) cite some of the scandals that have plagued proponents of this theory, like Mann's 'hockey stick' graph and the East Anglia emails, to name only a couple.

A lot of good and scholarly work has been produced in this field. Over time, this theory may be validated, at least to a degree. But to mock skepticism toward a theory like MMGW within a macro-climate that is almost impossibly complex? That's not science. That is like a high school clique. Such an attitude is not only immature, it's completely contrary to the discipline of science itself.

#18 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-07-08 01:51 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

According to NOAA, the average temperature in the United States has declined 0.4 degrees Celsius from January 2005 through April 2014.

#19 | Posted by Visitor2 at 2014-07-08 02:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

# 15...."...whatever the heck you choose to call it."

The new term is 'climate disruption.'

#20 | Posted by Visitor2 at 2014-07-08 02:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

and the East Anglia emails

I can, and have, pointed out that this was a made up scandal from cherry picked quotes that was found to absolutely not be anything near scientific misconduct by the researchers.

But keep trotting it out.

#21 | Posted by jpw at 2014-07-08 03:47 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Again, as mentioned above, when the facts don't support rightwing predilections they opt for dishonesty. The comments by many rightwingers on this very thread reflects that.

#22 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-07-08 04:51 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

The comments by many rightwingers on this very thread reflects that.

Every one of those dopes can post someplace else for three weeks. I'm tired of the willful dishonesty here about science, in particular climate science. It prevents intelligent discussion from taking place on these subjects.

#23 | Posted by rcade at 2014-07-08 09:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

Ah, ---- it. I'm going to find some other way to handle this so we can weed out climate denial BS and other anti-science stupidity. Those dopes were let back out.

#24 | Posted by rcade at 2014-07-08 09:37 PM | Reply | Flag:

"A lot of good and scholarly work has been produced in this field. Over time, this theory may be validated, at least to a degree. But to mock skepticism toward a theory like MMGW within a macro-climate that is almost impossibly complex? That's not science. That is like a high school clique. Such an attitude is not only immature, it's completely contrary to the discipline of science itself."

It's also sort of like pretending the house isn't on fire until it is too late to save it because the smoke alarm didn't go off.

"We can see the flames but the alarm didn't go off so we don't believe it's really on fire."

#25 | Posted by danni at 2014-07-08 10:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

#25: But you are not asking the right question. Did the homeowner set his house on fire or was it the lightning strike from the thunderstorm?

#26 | Posted by Daniel at 2014-07-08 10:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Did the homeowner set his house on fire or was it the lightning strike from the thunderstorm?"

On the first 50 homes we considered that possibility but when it was 1000 homes we looked elsewhere for an answer. When it was the melting of the Antartic we sort of started ignoring those who said it was lightning. When the glaciers melted we realized that some people don't want to know, much less recognize, the truth. Most people of note who feel this way, have some economic reason for their idiotic opinion, that doesn't mean that they actually believe it. When there is money involved people have a tendency to take the money and shut up about the real threat to our environment.

#27 | Posted by danni at 2014-07-08 10:32 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Every American and European could disappear and global warming would only slow a bit. India and China will keep fueling it until they run out of coal. No voluntary effort will put a dent in it. Smart people know this. Why suffer for nothing. We do what makes sense. I insulated my roof and painted it white because I needed a new roof and the panels had to be painted, no extra cost or work there. I reduced my cooling bill 30% because my big central unit died and I could only afford to replace it with a few window units. They're noisy but cool good enough. If I had the money I would have put in a nice, quiet 5 ton unit. Conservation laws would require people to use noisy room units or expensive zone cooling devices.

#28 | Posted by jdmeth at 2014-07-09 03:05 AM | Reply | Flag:

I can, and have, pointed out that this was a made up scandal from cherry picked quotes that was found to absolutely not be anything near scientific misconduct by the researchers.
But keep trotting it out.

#21 | POSTED BY JPW

Um, no.

The 'investigation' into the emails was done by the perpetrators.

But, go ahead and keep defending the indefensible.

Ah, ---- it. I'm going to find some other way to handle this so we can weed out climate denial BS and other anti-science stupidity. Those dopes were let back out.

#24 | POSTED BY RCADE

In order to do so, you have to be fundamentally opposed to what science truly is.

Try this quote:

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. 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.

Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.

- Michael Crighton

www.commentarymagazine.com

You can slaughter Michael Crighton as the source of the quote all you want. But I challenge you to point out where he's wrong. In fact, I triple dog dare you to try and do so.

#29 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-07-09 07:43 AM | Reply | Flag:

#29 well that will end this thread, because you can't.

#30 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2014-07-09 11:04 AM | Reply | Flag:

Firstly, it is Crichton, not Crighton. More importantly, "consensus" in this context does not mean personal feelings or beliefs. Consensus refers to the logical and reasonable conclusions based on the objective evidence. It is a game rightwingers often play when confronted with scientific facts. They try to make the conclusions somehow appear to be merely subjective opinions of scientists when in fact they are not.

#31 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-07-09 11:35 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

I find it really shocking that some think it is impossible for 2 people to look at the same set of data and draw different conclusions. I work for a tech company and we do it all the time. Further, we do it without calling someone a Signal to Noise denier or claiming the other is absolutely stupid for their beliefs. Whether you believe in MMGW or not, some of the arguments against it are valid. For example, what is the influence of H2O and cloud cover on MMGW? Well, I can tell you from studying the models that, despite the consensus, some model treat them as a positive and some treat them as a negative feedback. Given MMGW is less a concern about the doubling of CO2 and more about positive feedbacks (that is what causes the catastrophic warming), you would think they would model clouds consistently because that is the single biggest feedback effect. Perhaps the Indian railroad engineer that heads up the IPCC could actually study climate science so he could add something to the debate other than weird facial hair and choo-choo sounds.

#32 | Posted by TheQ at 2014-07-09 12:41 PM | Reply | Flag:

Moder8 since they it's all scientific facts we are being confronted with...then they should be able to make some repeatable and verifiable experiments right?

oh, that hasn't happened yet.

Interesting, seems there is more science to be done.

#33 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2014-07-09 01:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

It has. But shock of shocks, rightwingers seem to always have a problem with the conclusions. It is no small feat when a relatively recent scientific development such as MMGW already has a 97% consensus. To a reasonable detached onlooker, it suggests that the evidence is overwhelming and uncontroverted.

#34 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-07-09 01:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

And to someone who studied a related field, based in scientific method, it's down right frightening that everyone just immediately jumps to consensus.

Pepper in that the predictive models have failed, and it's even more a bastardization of scientific method.

Add in that anyone who questions the consensus view is immediately shouted down and derided as denier, and it's absolutely horrifying.

If you disagree, review our past, and think of what our world would be like if key scientists didn't go against the accepted consensus view? Views that had been held for much longer than this.

#35 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2014-07-09 01:35 PM | Reply | Flag:

and...."it has"?... what have they accurately predicted? and shown to be able to repeat said predictions?

#36 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2014-07-09 02:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

"and...."it has"?... what have they accurately predicted? and shown to be able to repeat said predictions?"

The correct answer is absolutely nothing. Remember, when you take a climate model that was released in say, 2004, they will show a complete time series dating back to 1890. However, the true predictive element is from 2004+ regardless of how much they try to make the past data match. And, we all know all of the models have dropped below the 95% confidence interval making their predictive qualities null and void. However, liberals don't understand science much less statistics. Hell, "it just feels right" is enough for them.

#37 | Posted by TheQ at 2014-07-09 02:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

Um, no.

The 'investigation' into the emails was done by the perpetrators.

But, go ahead and keep defending the indefensible.

As well as multiple review boards from other institutions because, not being idiots as you seem to think they are, they knew an internal review alone would not be believed.

www.skepticalscience.com

Keep spouting dishonest nonsense. It's the reason climate denialism isn't welcome here.

#38 | Posted by jpw at 2014-07-09 03:27 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#37 -
Yes, all those scientists that you should be talking to and explaining how clueless they are...

#39 | Posted by YAV at 2014-07-09 03:48 PM | Reply | Flag:

If that's what you took from that Yav then you're the clueless one.

#40 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2014-07-09 03:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

In fact, I triple dog dare you to try and do so.

Fine, I will.

This line alone is worthy of derision:

There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.

This is such over-simplified drivel that only a lay person would find profound.

You absolutely can have science that is "consensus" (quotes because it is a loaded word with obviously twisted connotations). Does the fact that 100% of biologists accept that DNA is made into RNA make it not science? Does the fact that 100% of biologists accept that RNA is translated into proteins make it not science? For decades this (DNA to RNA to protein) was the central dogma in molecular biology. Until the discovery of an enzyme called reverse trascriptase that turns RNA into DNA.

Does all this become not science or even wrong because it was found to be incomplete? Does the existence of reverse transcriptase become not science because 100% of biologists accept it breaks the central dogma and turns RNA into DNA?

No. Absolutely not and to assert so is patently absurd and ignorant.

You cannot approach science as a black and white, true or false dichotomy. You simply cannot or you will look like a fool. Science offers what are the best answers to the best questions at the time. The ground breakers aren't some grouchy contrarian who views everything as false. They're the ones accepting information and asking the best new questions with the willingness to consider current information as incomplete.

I doubt you'd find a climate scientist who thinks the knowledge base they're working on is complete. I doubt you'd find one who doesn't acknowledge the holes in the data or conclusions. They themselves are using those very holes to guide their research.

The reason why climate denialists are so absurd is because they're denying a well supported conclusion from multiple disciplines of research because the flaws while ignoring all the rest. The reason the 97% stat is compelling is because clearly a vast majority of those familiar with the information find the conclusion from the majority of information compelling. If it's strong enough to sway the vast majority familiar with it, it's pretty f'in strong.

#41 | Posted by jpw at 2014-07-09 04:38 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Ecologist Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, warned "I fear a global cooling," during his keynote address to the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Moore noted that a cooling would adversely impact agriculture, and said: "Let's hope for a little warming as opposed to a little cooling. I would rather it got a little warmer."

Moore noted that "the U.S. is currently been cooling" and noted that there has been "no global warming for nearly 18 years." He also mocked the notion that "everything is due to global warming."

#42 | Posted by Visitor2 at 2014-07-09 04:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

"You cannot approach science as a black and white, true or false dichotomy."

You are 100% correct. But that must be applied to both sides. Skepticism is very important in science as that is what changes and advances what we know.
But this is not even really a science issue. It is not the scientists who are putting the weight on it. It would be irresponsible for a climatologist to say that because of what we have observed these are the changes needed and possible to make. It is outside his field in the very least.
But as you say there are very few scientists who believe we have the whole picture. Just as there are virtually none who believe we have no concept.

But assuming a conclusion is correct while acknowledging flaws in method and data while summarily dismissing any contrary theory is the antithesis of science.
Unfortunately this is such a polarizing issue(eh, get it?) that the only voices you hear are come from the ones shouting the loudest and those, on both sides are the ones who think they have all the answers. In both cases they do science a disservice and have muddied the waters so much that the issue itself has become toxic.

#43 | Posted by salamandagator at 2014-07-09 04:55 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

But assuming a conclusion is correct while acknowledging flaws in method and data while summarily dismissing any contrary theory is the antithesis of science.

You can assume a conclusion correct while acknowledging flaws. It happens all the time and is a great hypothesis generator, particularly when it is found to only be partly wrong.

Also, the best way to determine if it's false is to test the predictions made by assuming it's correct. You analyze the data to the best of your ability, make a prediction and test it. If it doesn't pan out, you begin the process of testing your initial assumptions.

In any case, you got a NW flag for this line if nothing else:

But this is not even really a science issue. It is not the scientists who are putting the weight on it. It would be irresponsible for a climatologist to say that because of what we have observed these are the changes needed and possible to make. It is outside his field in the very least.

Most of what's being argued is not the actual science. It's media presentations of the science as well as politician's and media figure's interpretations of the science. It's become almost impossible to have a discussion of the actual issue without the politics overtaking it.

Sadly, a discussion of the actual science is what is needed. The politics should come secondary.

#44 | Posted by jpw at 2014-07-09 06:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

"You can assume a conclusion correct while acknowledging flaws"

I would amend that to state that it can be partly correct.

"You analyze the data to the best of your ability, make a prediction and test it. If it doesn't pan out, you begin the process of testing your initial assumptions."

That would be normal yes. But you cannot test the climate. And models have been very wrong but are not a fair measure.


"Sadly, a discussion of the actual science is what is needed. The politics should come secondary."

Most definitely, but it seems that ship has sailed.

#45 | Posted by salamandagator at 2014-07-09 06:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

Sadly, a discussion of the actual science is what is needed. The politics should come secondary.

#44 | POSTED BY JPW

I'd love to have it. But actual science involves skepticism. It involves prevailing theories to constantly be challenged. Skepticism is not only unwelcome, but it is fiercely shouted down when it comes to this theory.

#46 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-07-09 06:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

I'd love to have it. But actual science involves skepticism. It involves prevailing theories to constantly be challenged. Skepticism is not only unwelcome, but it is fiercely shouted down when it comes to this theory.

Posted by JeffJ at 2014-07-09 06:26 PM | Reply

HEAR HEAR

#47 | Posted by LarryMohr at 2014-07-09 06:50 PM | Reply | Flag:

But actual science involves skepticism. It involves prevailing theories to constantly be challenged. Skepticism is not only unwelcome, but it is fiercely shouted down when it comes to this theory.

I think the reason why my gut reaction to this is "what nonsense" is because you seem to be of the impression that there are Alex Jones-ish scientists out there, making grand challenges to prevailing theories.

Sorry, it's much more boring than that. Challenges have to be based on either contradicting data or a methodology that is perceived to be better in some way. Simply doubting or questioning without a rationale is the territory of loons or disgruntled old timers.

And that is the primary reason I'm so hard on denialists. Simply asking questions without supporting data is not being "skeptical" and it certainly doesn't mean you're entitled to an answer. Particularly when the question is a common one (or a variant of a common one) that has been absolutely beaten to death multiple times over.

#48 | Posted by jpw at 2014-07-09 08:23 PM | Reply | Flag:

If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.

So physics, algebra and gravity and chemistry isn't science? I don't think you'll find too many doubters about those fields, JeffJ.

PS 1+1=2 all the time, no matter how much the Heartland Institute says otherwise.
###
"You cannot approach science as a black and white, true or false dichotomy."

Really? Even when the evidence is overwhelming? Or are there scientists still holding out on the Theory of Gravity? If you jump off the roof of the Empire State Building, you will hit the ground. True or false? What's the gray area? How many times you bounce?

#49 | Posted by northguy3 at 2014-07-09 09:24 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

There are as many 9-11 deniers than there are MMGW deniers, they just lack the oil company funding that the climate deniers get. So I'm assuming all the climate deniers here will admit we really don't know the extent of Bush's involvement in the attack or why Building Seven collapsed.

JeffJ?
Sal?
Anybody?

#50 | Posted by northguy3 at 2014-07-09 09:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

Really? Even when the evidence is overwhelming? Or are there scientists still holding out on the Theory of Gravity? If you jump off the roof of the Empire State Building, you will hit the ground. True or false? What's the gray area? How many times you bounce?

LOL did you read the rest of that paragraph?

An idea/theory/law doesn't have to be wrong, just found to be incomplete and, therefore, in a state of flux in regards to our understanding.

I'm dredging my memory here back to my college physics but the issue with gravity is that it behaves differently from Newtonian physics to general relativity to quantum mechanics (which I think it's completely incompatible with).

#51 | Posted by jpw at 2014-07-09 10:41 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Really? Even when the evidence is overwhelming?"

The repetition that the evidence is overwhelming does not make it so. Mostly you are dealing with interpretations. But a hard line unquestioning approach does not serve anyone.
I think it is interesting that the skeptics have now been driving some of the science by calling out errors and forcing things to be redone. This has resulted in a lot less end of the world crap then there was initially. IT is the skeptics that are trying to keep things from getting overblown without balance.
It is a very important part of science to have people that doubt force full accounting.
No one questioned Newton's figure on the the mass of the earth for 300 years, the consensus was that it was right. It took two students to run his figures again and find the error.

#52 | Posted by salamandagator at 2014-07-10 11:54 AM | Reply | Flag:

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