Re: [asa] Subglacial Water System Moving Faster Than Previously Thought

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Fri Feb 16 2007 - 13:19:40 EST

On 2/16/07, David Opderbeck <> wrote:
> I think you'd agree that the epistemic imperative must be different when
> it comes to a scientific consensus -- right?

You miss my point. I am saying using uncertainty to avoid dealing with some
possibly very nasty consequences is as lame as the excuse recorded in Acts
17. If you're acting as legal counsel and warn your client of a potential
but not certain consequence of an action, and your client rejects it because
of an anonymous comment to a blog is your client being wise? People seem to
easily reject expert counsel and conservative Christians seem to be
especially prone to this. The other group that seems to be especially prone
to the I am not a -- fill in the blank, lawyer, scientist, etc. -- but I
will reject expert advise without evidence is middle management. Pardon my
bluntness, but this attitude betrays a profound hubris. Note: I am not
saying you have this attitude but it is all-to-common amongst
evangelicals. Scientists and engineers are very up front when there is or is
not consensus. My detailed study of the climate change issue shows that your
question about evaluating consensus as a layman is that you should take such
statements by the IPCC at face value and not play junior detective trying to
find hidden agendas. The same would hold true for me if I hired you as my
legal counsel. If I have to constantly second guess you then I should hire
someone else. If the governments are not satisfied with the quality of
scientific advise, then they should have nominated other, more qualified,
scientists for the IPCC work when they were given that opportunity. The
truth is that the governments did nominate qualified individuals and when I
look at the results of their work I find that they were worthy of the trust
of the governments that nominated them.

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Received on Fri Feb 16 13:20:49 2007

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