RE: [asa] Trees don't lie

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
Date: Sat Mar 21 2009 - 16:01:37 EDT

Hi Glenn:

 

I hope you are back, we missed you. Now having said that, and having a
little experience in how you occasionally let emotions prevail, you said:

 

"And one thing that should have been learned, but apparently hasn't been by
many in the field of science, NO ONE can predict the state of a nonlinear
system after a certain period of time. The physicist is as helpless as the
plumber or homeless person and thus, all guesses will have the equivalent
chance of success."

 

On reflection, I'm sure you would agree that someone well-educated and
skilled in analytical thinking would be better able to use inductive
reasoning on a variety of subjects even some ourside his/her immediate area
of expertise. Also, data and evidence available to all in this age of the
Internet can be marshalled in favor of one opinion versus another. Again, a
skilled physicist or any other qualified scientist should be better capable
of that than a "plumber" in your example.

 

A quickie example of that would be to ask a number of meterologists to tell
the high temperature on a particular day that is one year in the future.
Take the average number from the estimates of 100 trained meterologists,
versus a similar average from 100 "homesless persons." Wouldn't we expect
the meterologists to be closer to the real number? Or take the NCAA
brackets filled in by sports analysts versus one be Barak Obama. Would you
not expect the sports analysts to have a better percentage of correct picks?

 

Personally, I think it is a waste of money to change our living patterns in
an effort to change the world's temperature. Improving the quality of our
air and water is another story.

 

Dick Fischer, GPA president

Genesis Proclaimed Association

"Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"

www.genesisproclaimed.org <http://www.genesisproclaimed.org/>

 

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Glenn Morton
Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2009 3:06 PM
To: George Murphy; William Hamilton; mrb22667@kansas.net
Cc: asa
Subject: Re: [asa] Trees don't lie

 

George wrote Saturday, March 21, 2009 10:11 AM

 

> I agree that in some fields "expertise" is overrated. It's pretty funny,

> in a gallow humors way, to hear the argument that financial firms have to

> pay big bonuses in order to hold on to the people whose "expertise" has

> driven the company, & maybe the country, into the ground. OTOH there's a

> populist temptation to debunk the idea of expertise because then "we're

> just as good as they are." & it's not clear that being able to predict

> the future is always the best criterion.

 

 

There is no doubt that a physicist knows the equations and where it comes to

deterministic systems, the physicist will do way better than anyone else.

But, most systems we humans deal with are decidedly NOT linear or

deterministic. They are non-linear. And one thing that should have been

learned, but apparently hasn't been by many in the field of science, NO ONE

can predict the state of a nonlinear system after a certain period of time.

The physicist is as helpless as the plumber or homeless person and thus, all

guesses will have the equivalent chance of success.

 

that is why experts differ on what the stock market will do, what the

weather will be like next week etc. And when it comes to global warming,

everyone is absolutely sure that they know what this grand nonlinear system

we call climate will do. They are acting as if it is a linear system when it

is decidedly nonlinear.

 

 

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Received on Sat Mar 21 16:02:18 2009

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