Re: [asa] World sets ocean temperature record

From: Cameron Wybrow <>
Date: Sun Aug 23 2009 - 20:37:15 EDT

Dear Richard:

Your sweeping comments and criticisms below imply that you purport to have expertise in several different scientific fields: computer and information science, climatology, various branches of biology including evolutionary theory, etc. I am curious to know exactly what your Ph.D. is in, and what fields of science you have actually worked in and peer-reviewed papers in. Based on the contents of your postings over the last ten months or so, which are predominantly about the politics of global warming, and rarely if ever about technical matters of biology, information science, philosophy of science, etc., I would guess political science.

I notice that you made no comment about the survey result that I linked to. It appears to contradict your view about the overwhelming consensus of scientists in favour of significant human contributions to global warming. Apparently a statistical analysis of published articles in scientific journals does not bear out your claim that an overwhelming majority of scientists think that AGW is the serious problem that many have made it out to be. Unless you can point out flaws in the methods employed by the survey, it looks as if you are simply ignoring important evidence that the "consensus" is no longer there. This makes your indignant protest and hard-line position seem much less credible. (Please do not reply to this point unless your reply eschews all polemics and rhetoric and consists entirely of a factual and methodological response to the survey.)

It is true that when a certain person was the head moderator on UD, people were frequently banned, and not just TEs, by the way, but anybody who for any reason aroused that moderator's pique, including ID supporters such as Timaeus. However, that person is long gone. I am aware of no TE bannings under the new management.
Finally, I don't think you should be complaining about a "culture-war agenda", when you make blanket charges of "lies and deception" against ID supporters, and when in another post you endorse Chris Mooney's paranoid, hyperbolic rhetoric about Republican hatred of science as serious social and political analysis. Mooney's sensationalistic and misleading journalism is a prime example of culture war activity. You apparently don't object to culture war activities when they support your own position. I find all double standards odious.


From: Rich Blinne
  To: Cameron Wybrow
  Cc: asa
  Sent: Sunday, August 23, 2009 10:12 AM
  Subject: Re: [asa] World sets ocean temperature record

  On Aug 23, 2009, at 1:08 AM, Cameron Wybrow wrote:

    I won't reply to any further discussion on this thread, but in the meantime, if Richard and Burgy wish, they can comment on this web article and the scholarly literature that it links to:

    If they use the search engine on Uncommon Descent, they can type in "global warming" and find many other UD articles on the subject. Even if they completely disagree with the UD "spin" on the subject, it would at least be responsible to check out the *sources* cited by the UD authors before automatically declaring them wrong.


  I've had checked out their sources and they are extremely wanting. Marc Marano provides the worst kind of deceptive misinformation. If you see his name attached to anything run far, far away. The reason why you get such a strong response in different areas is because of our expertise. You hear from the biologists that UD is lying about biology. You hear from those of us who have expertise in the physical sciences that UD is lying about global warming. Specifically, I am talking about misrepresenting the absolutely huge consensus for both the reality of anthropogenic global warming and common descent with modification. You can disagree with these conclusions but at least have the academic honesty to state that you are in the EXTREME minority. There is a huge consensus in both areas and to state otherwise is simply put, lying. For example, in January 2009 the AGU surveyed those who publish peer-reviewed climatological papers and 97% hold to anthropogenic global warming. The other reason why I react so strongly is the high school level errors in their work. Many of us have participated in the peer review process and recognize the importance of it. The reason why so few get through is not some conspiracy against Christians but their work is wanting. If I was peer reviewing their work I would flunk it even though I am sympathetic to their Christian views. As Christians, we ought to believe in the truth and allowing false papers to go forward just because it was submitted by a Christian is academically dishonest and thus at its core, anti-Christian.

  Even when the papers do get published UD misrepresents the import of it. For example, Dembski's recent paper in IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics has a concept of active information. What this "means" is the search field can transfer information to the genotypes. If you have a search problem that doesn't have a lot of potential wells and has "active information" as Dembski coins, a search algorithm that is undirected can find a solution. Evolution has such a search field. Even though there are many, many mutations most of them don't immediately turn us into a pile of goo. Problems also can be solved in multiple fashions. That is, there isn't one right answer making the search algorithm to work. So, could argue that God designed through the evolutionary process by establishing the rules of biochemistry that allows for evolution to proceed? I think you can. What you cannot conclude, however, that evolution doesn't "work" but that's the warp and woof of UD's argument.

  UD is not a friendly place for TEs. Any time any of us try to present a synthesis of intelligent design and theistic evolution we are usually quickly banned. The same is the case if we don't buy into their culture war agenda. (I suspect the latter is even more common.) That's why the heat turns up here when UD is brought up here. It's not that we are unsympathetic to the concept of intelligent design because you if you are a Christian then it immediately follows there is an intelligent designer. Rather, we have grown tired over the years of the lies and deception done in the name of our Lord and Savior and we grieve when young people reject Christianity because of it.

  Rich Blinne
  Member ASA

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Sun Aug 23 20:38:25 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Aug 23 2009 - 20:38:25 EDT