Friday, August 22, 2014

Cosmos again

I've been watching Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

I've always like Neil DeGrasse Tyson.   Smart guy, articulate, seems to have a sense of humor. I was a little annoyed that he demoted Pluto but he was right.  I really enjoyed the  original Cosmos. The new one is also very good, flashy, but solid and informative.  I've been a bit surprised to see Mr Tyson's opinions on religion not come pouring out unlike another special he did, where he fairly constantly referred to all religions as ignorant superstitions.  Yeah I know that's the standard opinion of virtually every atheist I've ever met.   Those of us who don't care for organized religion and don't like to be preached at by the church, don't much like to be preached at by the other side either.  (I suppose I could be misjudging him on this but it's sure the feeling I got from his other show - The Inexplicable Universe.

One thing I found a little irritating was the time spent on global warming -slightly dates the show doesn't it? It's climate change this week.  It was expressed much as the alarmists would have it, fate accompli, the Science is Settled™.  This global warming episode was preceded by an episode that pointed out a number of scientists who were ridiculed by the "in" crowd, like the fellow who first postulated plate tectonics.  It was followed by this, from the last episode:
Only a few centuries ago, a mere second in cosmic time, we knew nothing of where or when we were. Oblivious to the rest of the cosmos, we inhabited a kind of prison, a tiny universe bounded by a nutshell. 
How did we escape from the prison? It was the work of generations of searchers who took five simple rules to heart.
(1) Question authority. No idea is true just because someone says so, including me.
(2) Think for yourself. Question yourself. Don't believe anything just because you want to. Believing something doesn't make it so.
(3) Test ideas by the evidence gained from observation and experiment. If a favorite idea fails a well-designed test, it's wrong. Get over it.
(4) Follow the evidence wherever it leads. If you have no evidence, reserve judgment.
And perhaps the most important rule of all...
(5) Remember: you could be wrong. Even the best scientists have been wrong about some things. Newton, Einstein, and every other great scientist in history -- they all made mistakes. Of course they did. They were human. 
Does that sound anything at all like Climate Science? You know the Science is Settled™, shut your mouths or we'll send  you to re-education camps, or GitMo or some other very unpleasant place.   No?  Do you suppose it's because it's not Science?  Maybe because it's the religious dogma of the leftist ideology? 

  • What happens when you question them?  They tell you to shut up.  (Rule 1 - FAIL)
  • What happens when you try to do your own analysis?  They try to shut you down by hiding the data (Rule 2 FAIL) 
  • What happens when you compare evidence to theory? They Deny your results - Our Models Tell Us!  The evidence must be wrong! (Rule 3 FAIL)
  • What happens when you ask them to follow the evidence - Prevarication, Obfuscation, Dogma (Rule 4 FAIL)
  • What happens when you bring up rule 5?   Outrage  - DENIER! Off with their heads!   (Rule 5 FAIL)

Must not be Science.

Related: Why there is no Science in Climate Science

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