Almindelig praksis ifølge professor Phil Jones

Diverse — Drokles on March 3, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Mens forårssneen pryder landskabet kan vi friske lidt videnskablig essens op, som Resilient Earth beskriver den

Popper made the following observations as to what makes a good scientific theory:

  1. It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory — if we look for confirmations.
  2. Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theory — an event which would have refuted the theory.
  3. Every “good” scientific theory is a prohibition: it forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory forbids, the better it is.
  4. A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory (as people often think) but a vice.
  5. Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute it. Testability is falsifiability; but there are degrees of testability: some theories are more testable, more exposed to refutation, than others; they take, as it were, greater risks.
  6. Confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory; and this means that it can be presented as a serious but unsuccessful attempt to falsify the theory. (I now speak in such cases of “corroborating evidence.”)
  7. Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are still upheld by their admirers — for example by introducing ad hoc some auxiliary assumption, or by reinterpreting the theory ad hoc in such a way that it escapes refutation. Such a procedure is always possible, but it rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying, or at least lowering, its scientific status.

Popper made a distinction between what he termed conditional scientific predictions, which have the form “If X takes place, then Y will take place,” and unconditional scientific prophecies, which have the form “Y will take place.” It is the former rather than the latter which are typical of the natural sciences. This means that predictions made by scientific theories are typically conditional and limited in scope—taking the form of a hypothetical assertion stating that certain specified changes will come about if particular preceding events take place. Conversely, if X takes place and Y does not, then the hypothesis must be false.


The reason for this lies in the concept of falsifiability—a condition that must be met by all valid scientific theories. Popper noted that it is easy to obtain evidence in favor of virtually any theory, and he consequently held that such corroboration should count scientifically only if it is the positive result of a genuinely “risky” prediction. Risky here means that the prediction could conceivably have been false. For Popper, a theory is scientific only if it is refutable by a conceivable event. Every genuine test of a scientific theory, then, is logically an attempt to refute or to falsify it, and one genuine counter-instance falsifies the whole theory.

Basically, a theory must make predictions about how nature behaves so that the validity of the theory can be tested through experimentation and/or observation. For example, say I claim that all swans are white, based on my direct observation of a sample of swan populations. If someone finds a single black swan and is able to document the observation (e.g. by taking a picture or capturing the beast) then the white swan theory is disproved. In this case a single contradicting observation is sufficient to invalidate the theory.

It is possible that a disproved theory can be modified to better fit nature as observed—the white swan theory could be amended to say “most swans are white.” In this case the new theory could not be disproved by a single black swan siting, it would take finding a numerical majority of non-white swans to disprove it. Scientific philosophy would say that the first white swan theory is a stronger theory, the assertion that all swans are white being much more restrictive than the modified “most swans” theory. Simply put, the stronger the theory the simpler it is to disprove, the argument being that an easily disprovable theory which stands the test of time is stronger than a theory, which would take a much larger effort to debunk. It takes a deeper understanding of the assertions made by a theory to know what kind of argument is needed to disprove it.

When it comes to the AGW theory, which states that human generated CO2 is the reason for increasing world temperature, there is some wiggle room for its proponents, but not much. If it can be shown that the sum total of other contributing factors is more influential than CO2 then the theory is proven false. Any valid observation which shows CO2’s influence is less important to climate change than other factors diminishes the validity of the theory. Moreover, if many of the predictions made by the theory are shown to be false then the theory is weakened—the death of a thousand cuts scenario.

If a theory claims to explain climate change and new work shows that there are phenomena that the theory does not explain then that theory is incomplete. If nature shows assertions made by the theory to be wrong then the theory is false. The papers I cited showed that there is dispute among scientists, that nature is still serving up big surprises that climate science is at a loss to explain, that the science is not settled. Given this evidence, for any layman to state otherwise is preposterous but as Popper himself said, “irrationalism will use reason too, but without any feeling of obligation.”

D L Hoffmann, der er manden bag Resilient Earth gennemgår på den baggrund teorien om den menneskeskabte globale opvarmning, som De ikke bør snyde dem selv for at læse kære læser. Han kommer til nogenlunde samme konklusion, som Bob Carters torpedoer, som De heller ikke bør snyde dem selv for at se eller gense. Med Popper og almindelig vedenskablig praksis in mente var det derfor meget bemærkelsesværdigt da Phil Jones overfor det britiske parlament indrømmede bevidst at have skjult de rå data fra alverdens vejrstationer og desuden desuden ifølge Daily Mail fortalte

He admitted withholding data about global temperatures but said the information was publicly available from American websites.

And he claimed it was not ’standard practice’ to release data and computer models so other scientists could check and challenge research.

‘I don’t think there is anything in those emails that really supports any view that I, or the CRU, have been trying to pervert the peer review process in any way,’ he said.

Så meget for Jones og konsorter selvfølgelig. Så meget for Peer Rewiev. Og så meget for den forskning, der byggede på resultaterne af hans produktion. Jones og resten af denne klimaelites praksis er heldigvis heller ikke videnskabelig konsensus, som Watts Up With That fortæller

Earlier we reported on The Royal Society of Chemistry making a statement to the Parliamentary inquiry saying they as an organization support open data sharing. They join the Institute of Physics in making a strong statement on the practices of UEA/CRU. Now the Royal Statistical Society has weighed in with much the same opinion.

Som Hoffmann gerne slutter sine artikler; Stay Sceptical and be safe.

6 Kommentarer »

  1. Her er DR Udlands version af samme. Man er målløs:

    Comment by Universalgeni — March 3, 2010 @ 11:59 pm
  2. Glemte at skrive, at DR2’s indslag er fra i tisdags 2. marts 2010.

    Comment by Universalgeni — March 4, 2010 @ 4:00 am
  3. As I see you are dealing with statistical research: I have put one of the most comprehensive link lists for hundreds of thousands of statistical sources and indicators on my blog: Statistics Reference List. And what I find most fascinating is how data can be visualised nowadays with the graphical computing power of modern PCs, as in many of the dozens of examples in these Data Visualisation References. If you miss anything that I might be able to find for you or if you yourself want to share a resource, please leave a comment.

    Comment by CrisisMaven — March 4, 2010 @ 5:37 am
  4. Faldt lige over denne kommentar (vistnok inspireret af Monty Python):

    Comment by Jens Hansen — March 6, 2010 @ 6:59 pm
  5. Tak for linket Universalgeni, det er godt. Rart at se at du er begyndt igen efter en alt for lang pause.

    Og jo Jens Hansen, det ligner meget Monty Pythons sorte ridder sketch. Og ganske velvalgt.

    Comment by Drokles — March 7, 2010 @ 2:31 pm
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