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« Horner on the struggle for the Mann emails | Main | Murdoch, media and the climate »
Wednesday
Apr252012

Quiet

I'm off to St Andrews in an hour or so. Blogging will therefore not happen today.

Back tomorrow.

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Reader Comments (41)

Enjoy the day. Note that St Andrews has a dreadful proposal to make money by putting up 6x100m turbines on a ridge overlooking the coast, on land it owns.

Apr 25, 2012 at 8:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

have a good day.

a laugh. this is the best Wikipedia can manage on the Lovelock backdown:

Wikipedia: James Lovelock
Reversal on Global Warming Theory
In an April 2012 MSNBC interview, Lovelock backtracked on previous predictions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Lovelock

Apr 25, 2012 at 8:48 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Break a leg Bish!

Apr 25, 2012 at 9:11 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Pity, I'm already bored.

Anybody want a scrap while the Bish is away?

Apr 25, 2012 at 9:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

We'll just have to watch the Leveson Inquiry on Telly.

Apr 25, 2012 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneToTheSlammer

Cat is away

Mice will play


.... or something like that!

I hope you enjoy your visit to St. Andrews.

Apr 25, 2012 at 9:30 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Here's a fascinating little OT titbit to fill the gap ........

The lady head of the International Energy Agency, who has two articles in the Guardian today, whipping up a warmist energy angstfest at their conference in London...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/25/governments-catastrophic-climate-change-iea

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/24/we-can-have-safe-sustainable-energy?intcmp=122

...... is revealed by a CIF commenter as being a creationist

science and education minister Maria Van der Hoeven recently announced plans to stimulate an academic debate about "intelligent design" (ID)—the movement that believes only the existence of a creator can explain the astonishing complexity of the living world . . . (Enserink, 2005, p. 1394).

http://www.icr.org/article/2701/314/

The central processors of the regular CIF greenbots have obviously overheated at the implication that their Graun programmers are promoting one of their favourite hate objects - so they've gone into protective shut-down & ignored it.

Apr 25, 2012 at 10:14 AM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Intelligent design is quite different from youth-earth creationism, Foxgoose, as has been said here before. The term creationist on its own could be said to apply to any Christian, Muslim or (believing) Jew, including those that reject both youth earth literalism and ID's much more sophisticated, mathematical critique of the likelihood of known natural processes producing something like DNA. If Maria Van der Hoeven thinks ID is worthy of more attention, then let's please say that, and criticise that, not slap the misleading creationist label on her. That's like calling someone a denier knowing it has connotations of holocaust denier. A climate sceptic should know better than to do that.

Apr 25, 2012 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Say hello to Trump for me.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9225365/Alex-Salmond-declares-war-on-Donald-Trump-over-wind-farms.html

Apr 25, 2012 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

The term creationist on its own could be said to apply to any Christian ...
Not quite, Richard.
My Chambers definition of creationism is the theory that "everything that exists had its origin in special acts of creation by God" (my emphasis). This denies evolution, a subject on which the Catholic Church at least has no specific view. Mainstream Christian teaching is that God created the universe not that each species or individual is created separately. (The question of the creation of individual souls is a whole different matter with which I shall not bore you!).
I consider myself a Christian but certainly not a "creationist" in the pejorative sense which Foxgoose describes above.
And for what it's worth none of my Christian friends and acquaintances see any conflict between their faith and the scientific pursuit of knowledge, though we may occasionally have some reservations about the purposes to which that knowledge is put!

Apr 25, 2012 at 2:08 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

What do laughing stocks and the MET Office have in common?

SUMMARY - PRECIPITATION:

The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier-than-average conditions for April-May-June as a whole, and also slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/publicsector/contingency-planners.

Will the nutters in the MET Office never give up? April being the driest? :-)

What a joke they are.

Apr 25, 2012 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Apr 25, 2012 at 12:39 PM | Richard Drake

'mathematical critique of the likelihood of known natural processes producing something like DNA'

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/20/artificial_dna_evolves_by_itself/

Apr 25, 2012 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

Mike, you're saying the Chambers definition denies any role for evolution and that's certainly true for youth-earth creationists. Whatever the dictionary says, I agree with you that creationist is normally used in a pejorative way for those whose 'literal' interpretation of Genesis 1-3 and the rest of the Bible leads them to believe that the earth can be no more than 10,000 years old. ID allows evolution a role and has no argument with the standard model of cosmology, including the earth being around 4.5 billion years old. The two are very different.

What's interesting is that two views, the young earth one and standard model of cosmology based on discovery of background radiation predicted by the Big Bang, arose in the early 1960s. Science and an errant branch of biblical interpretation took off in very different directions, one using the data of the background radiation in the right way and the other using the data of scripture in the wrong way. This has caused problems since but it's a false alternative. The Christians originally called fundamentalists in the late 19th century (such as RA Torrey) all accepted an ancient earth and, as you say, the same goes for Catholics and many others. The originator of the Big Bang theory was brilliant Catholic priest, indeed, whose radical ideas were supported by Einstein long before they were borne out by real world data. The young earth stuff has been a terrible diversion.

ID is different to that. It goes with modern science but thinks that the mechanisms we've discovered through science don't explain the information processing system of DNA itself. It's a technical argument that has nothing to do with creationism as Foxgoose, you or Chambers define it. And that was my point.

Apr 25, 2012 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Two points -

1. Although I'm a lifelong atheist, I've also been married for many years to a practicing Christian and I've met religious people of many faiths who have earned my respect. I used the word "creationist" in a pejorative sense only to emphasise the point that the Guardian were promoting someone whose beliefs their readership normally profess to despise.

2. I don't buy Richard's "thinking Christians differentiation" between intelligent design and creationism. The theory of evolution has been tested and proved repeatedly over the last couple of centuries, in minute detail, without any serious attempt at falsification. If you accept evolution, I don't see how you can graft onto it some sort of "divine steering hand" as many sophisticated Christians attempt to do. The essence of evolutionary theory is that the repetitive normal processes of adaptation and reproduction gradually optimise life forms to fit into their prevailing environment. I really don't see how you can profess to believe this, but try to bolt on the possibility of some sort of overriding divine control - the two concepts are, to me, irreconcilable.

Sorry.

Apr 25, 2012 at 4:16 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Richard
Agreed. But as you can imagine I get a bit tired of having all these things conflated into a stick to beat theists (in the broadest sense) with. Even Intelligent Design is, by some, equated with creationism in the young earth sense. I find it a distraction and a wonderful excuse to pigeonhole all those who believe in any sort of divinity as thereby anti-science.
Unfortunately one of the earliest Douai translations of the Bible (ie for many years the 'orthodox' Catholic version) placed the creation at about 4000 BC, which didn't help matters. My reading of Genesis tells me that it follows pretty closely (given that it was written as a religious text not a science manual) our understanding of the order in which the natural world developed.

Apr 25, 2012 at 4:24 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Foxgoose
Evolution does not preclude the existence of a guiding hand.
I see a universe designed by an intelligent being. But having designed it and created it and presumably created the laws that govern it he has then left it to develop according to the natural behaviour of its inhabitants.
The fact that entities evolve does not mean that they were not originally set out on their course by a creator. You can argue that evolution does not mean that they were. I don't think you can claim that it does mean that they weren't.

I hope I've got all my positives and negatives in the right places, there. [;-)

Apr 25, 2012 at 4:34 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

If you look at the above discussion about ID and creationism, it seems that the stumbling block always reverts to the issue of time and the alleged creator. Such phrases in relation to evolution as "the guiding hand" seem fine initially but virtually require the creator to be time-bound, like evolution itself. Since a deity who was so constrained could not be a deity, surely this argument has to fail.

Apr 25, 2012 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterW E Radcliffe

Apr 25, 2012 at 8:48 AM | pat

Pat, Wikipedia doesn't actually write anything. I think you're free to add any reasonable entry that you want.

Apr 25, 2012 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

I think you're free to add any reasonable entry that you want.

In theory yes, in practice, particularly in topics like Climate Change, no.

Apr 25, 2012 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

"The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier-than-average conditions for April-May-June as a whole, and also slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months"

Aw, c'mon Stacey, give the Met Office a break. They got it right about the "barbeque summer" didn't they? Oh.......er....... bugger...........

Apr 25, 2012 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

W E R
Forgive me for not pursuing this further. We are in grave danger of straying into theology which would require not just a new post but a new blog!
Suffice to say that I agree with your contention that a deity constrained by anything would not be a deity but that I still believe in God.
You see why I'm reluctant to open up that particular avenue!

Apr 25, 2012 at 7:25 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I see a universe designed by an intelligent being. But having designed it and created it and presumably created the laws that govern it he has then left it to develop according to the natural behaviour of its inhabitants.

I can imagine God setting the initial starting point and then looking aghast as he sees what's happening does bear any relation to his early model results. ;)

Apr 25, 2012 at 7:55 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

"I can imagine God setting the initial starting point and then looking aghast as he sees what's happening does bear any relation to his early model results. ;)"

Perhaps God should contact the Met Office? Although the MO's models are hopelss at forecasting the weather for the coming summer, and have been proven hopeless in forecasting climate trends over the last 10 - 15 years, they are accurate enough to base our entire economy upon in the decades to come.

Perhaps God will pay for the cost of the £60 million supercomputer that endowed us with this capability?

Apr 25, 2012 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

does this not amount to what happened before the Big Bang? a topic that even the royalty-hungry Hawking did not answer in his book about Time

Apr 25, 2012 at 9:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Andrew, if you get the opportunity, could you thank them for their friendly and enjoyable debate.

Most importantly (given I've been a student for a year and ... I know what it can be like getting lectured to) I hope the students found it worthwhile.

As for the £5000 bet - as I don't have £5000, as I support warming, I felt that was rather below the belt from someone who had made a lot of money promoting the warmist view whereas I have had to give up money in order to make the sceptic view. However, he was not to know.

Perhaps a better bet, would be:

The bet is whether the climate in the next 10 years rises by 0.14C (the lowest estimate of the IPPC).
The looser to walk down market street on Raisin day wearing a sign saying "I admit I was wrong" ... and then to jump off the peer.

Apr 25, 2012 at 10:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Haseler

http://www.campaigncc.org/node/787

And a another Climate Change Groupie politician bites the dust

Apr 25, 2012 at 10:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/apr/25/alex-salmond-jeremy-hunt-bskyb?newsfeed=true

Scotlands top political Global Warming groupie also has a few questions to answer to lord justice Levison

Apr 25, 2012 at 11:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

NW - indeed. It's as easy to get some sense uncensored on Wikipedia as it is at SkS.

Apr 25, 2012 at 11:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnteros

back to UEA/Outside for a moment. has Bish or anyone else ever discovered who this other "crisis PR consultant" was?

24 April: Guardian: Leo Hickman: University of East Anglia spent £112,870 on 'climategate' PR
UEA also said that it employed the services of a separate crisis PR consultant "for a short period of time at the end of 2009 following the hacking and release of the emails". It wouldn't say who this was, or how much it spent doing so.
To be honest, it is a surprise to learn this as this covers the period when they were being criticised for, in effect, being rabbits in headlights and for allowing the accusations made against their scientists to go unchallenged. It doesn't appear to have been money well spent, that's for sure...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/apr/24/uea-climate-change-email-publicity

Apr 26, 2012 at 2:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

I made a vow yesterday only to point out the difference between creationism and ID, as best I could, and not to enter into the arguments pertaining to the latter, and I'd like publicly to pat myself on the back for keeping to this. All the same, thanks to Shevva, Foxgoose, W E Radcliffe and others for their later thoughts. I'm sure we all look forward to hearing how it went yesterday from St Andrew himself :)

Apr 26, 2012 at 6:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I've added some material regarding the debate on my blog

This is mainly to cover points raised, which would have been too complex to debate at the time.

If anyone else has material (including non-sceptics, then I would be more than happy to put the material on my blog ...)

Things I wish I had said yesterday

Apr 26, 2012 at 11:20 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

"The Royal Society’s sideways step from climate alarmism to Malthusianism"

I believe this article by Ben Pile on the Royal Society's just published population/consumption report is a must read this morning. That Donna Laframboise considers it "awesome" should be sufficient recommendation. Then, when you've read that, I suggest a look at the "forum" (on the same subject) Leo Hickman is hosting at the Guardian - link. Note Matt Ridley's contribution.

Apr 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Mike: thanks so much for writing this up in such passionate, but reasoned fashion. I've had a quick peek at lunch and probably won't be able to give this my attention till later today - but many thanks.

Apr 26, 2012 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Mike Haseler; http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/figure-102.png

Latest data show continued rapid cooling; it's the Arctic freezing hence our wet and cold weather.

I would be very surprised to see any more than -1 K 'warming' by 2035!

Apr 26, 2012 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Richard, the real key point is that hopefully in 10 years, and I'd say certainly 30years we sceptics will be proved to have been wrong ... and so will you ... and if any of us knew what we will know, we'd be millionaires and not sceptics.

But in 30 years, those students will hopefully be some of the leading lights in our society.

The most important thing is that they learn the critical faculties necessary to take arguments like global warming and understand how it ticks ... and as the sceptics would view it ... lessen the chances that we waste so much money in future, and as the warmists view it ... prevent the science from being undermined by shoddy work and generally make a more convincing argument.

I think it's the "give them a fish ... or give them a fishing net".
We sceptics can win the argument easily ... but the real war is ensuring academia produces the kinds of graduates who can keep this country on the right track no just for my lifetime but for theirs.

Apr 26, 2012 at 1:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Haseler

But in 30 years, those students will hopefully be some of the leading lights in our society.

Heard a snippet of a talk on Radio 4 yesterday, a Prof was going on about population growth and resource depletion and living longer made this current society unsustainable and we should stop living longer. The presenter then pointed out that all these predictions had been made many times in the past and never came to fruiction as new technologies always seemed to allow these tipping points to be broken. Profs feeble answer was, well then as least we can meet and discuss this again in 30 years.

In 30 years time the doomongers will still be here like a bad penny.

Apr 26, 2012 at 2:20 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

I've long been amused by the irony that though the mechanisms for the development of the things like flagellae and the clotting cascade have not been elucidated, it is taken on faith that they are evolutionary processes.
============================

Apr 26, 2012 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Another point. Those two gave mobility and preservation of the 'internal milieu'. Those are huge, probably underrated by the IDers, survival advantages.
=================

Apr 26, 2012 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Off to St Andrews.... and there I was hoping his short game was in order...

Apr 26, 2012 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterTony Hansen

Apr 26, 2012 at 1:34 PM mydogsgotnonose

Latest data show continued rapid cooling; it's the Arctic freezing hence our wet and cold weather.

I would be very surprised to see any more than -1 K 'warming' by 2035!

The one thing I learnt trying to predict the climate ... is its very difficult to predict. Any anyone who says they can is usually wrong.

Indeed, far from being difficult to predict ... it lays false trails and convincing trends which the unwary will believe they can follow, only to find they are wrong.

Apr 26, 2012 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Haseler

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