Monday, September 7, 2015

Conclusions In The Face Of Reality!

By Rich Kozlovich

Maury Siskel is a retired scientist in Texas who sends me stuff every day. Mostly serious stuff, but occasionally he’ll send a joke, a humorous story, or some cartoons - some funny and some political. The interesting thing about humorous stories is they so often reflect how we humans live our lives. Maury and Dog sent this story last night, and I think it’s reflective of why people fall for so much clabber from the world’s activists.

On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts. "One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me," said one boy. Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence.

Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, he heard, "One for you, one for me, one for you, one for me ...."He just knew what it was. He jumped back on his bike and rode off. Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along.

"Come here quick!" said the boy, "You won't believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls!" The man said, "Beat it kid! Can't you see it's hard for me to walk?" When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled slowly to the cemetery. Standing by the fence they heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me." The old man whispered, "Boy, you've been tellin' me the truth. Let's see if we can see the Lord!" Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.

At last they heard, "One for you, one for me. That's all. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence and we'll be done...."They say the old man had the lead for a good half-mile before the kid on the bike passed him.

So, what’s the moral of this story? What message could I possibly take away from this? How about this - people will fall for anything if they start out with the wrong conclusion already in their heads!

This tale has a young boy hearing an ambiguous and incomprehensible conversation and quickly arriving at a conclusion. If we conclude from this story he came from a Christian ethic we can understand his conclusion, but it was a conclusion he didn't bother to investigate. He panics and then runs off in an emotional state and involves another party, an old man. But he was just a kid you might say. True, but what really makes this story work is bringing in an old man. Someone who should have known better, and then having him fall for the same fallacious conclusion as the young boy, both becoming embued with an irrational panic!

But what's the big deal - after all, this was just a story! It’s not real! No, but the theme is very real! Unfortunately for humanity much of what poses as science in the real world follow the concept of this story - fallacious conclusions! Conclusions charged with emotion and filled with logical fallacies, such as the Anecdotal fallacy - using a personal experience or an isolated example instead of sound reasoning or compelling evidence, the Appeal to probability – is a statement that takes something for granted because it would probably be the case (or might be the case), the Base rate fallacy – making a probability judgment based on conditional probabilities, without taking into account the effect of prior probabilities, and then there’s the Unwarranted assumption fallacy - The fallacy of unwarranted assumption is committed when the conclusion of an argument is based on a premise (implicit or explicit) that is false or unwarranted. An assumption is unwarranted when it is false.” Much of what impacts us from scientistst involved in the world of activism ends up being conclusions in search of data to promote some cause or other."

Rachel Carson promoted the idea DDT was destroying the world’s bird population in her book Silent Spring. That was a lie and she had to know it. Rachel Carson is touted as a great scientist. She wasn’t a scientist at all.  She did no research. Carson was a writer with a science degree writing for the Fish and Wildlife Service writing about the research done by others. As a result we know she had to have access to the actual bird counts performed by the Audubon Society. She had to know the bird population of North American increased dramatically during the DDT years, including the Bald Eagle. And the robin was the most populous bird in North America. In short– she deliberately lied – and the world accepted it, as did most in the scientific community. People who had to know better!

Now we've "returned to the future", with the cycle of lies constantly being repeated by activists. They claim neonicotinoid pesticides cause Colony Collapse Disorder - that's a lie. As that lie finally unfolds they shift back to the Carson premise claiming neonicotinoids are killing birds - that's a lie too. They report "declines in certain groups and species of birds" but fail to report those declines preceded the introduction of neonics by decades. They also fail to report “other birds that rely on wetlands, such as waterfowl, have been increasing over the same period.” Clearly they should know better, but academics willingly jump on board with that same pattern of lies they accepted about DDT. It would appear fifty plus years of fact based reality haven't made a dent in their willingness to draw preconceived unfounded conclusions.

Let's try and get this once and for all - the greenies lie - lies of commission and lies of omission! That's why logical fallacies play such a large role in their pronouncements. In his book, Economic Facts and Fallacies Thomas Sowell said logical fallacies;

"are not simply crazy ideas. They are usually both plausible and logical – but with something missing. Their plausibility gains them political support. Only after that political support is strong enough to cause fallacious ideas to become government policies and programs are the missing or ignored factors likely to lead to “unintended consequences,” a phrase often heard in the wake of economic or social policy disasters. Another phrase often heard in the wake of these disasters is, ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time.” That is why it pays to look deeper into things that look good on the surface at the moment."

This is true of virtually every issue promoted by the anti–everything activists, along with their myrmidons in government and science. The universities are now so addicted to government grant money they can no longer to be trusted regarding anything they promote or publish.

Dr. Jay Lehr, one of the original founders of the USEPA, says:

" is following the government money, and it’s a problem in all industries. We’ve totally distorted science, not all of it, but certainly at the university level. They know they have to say what the government wants to hear in the grant proposal process in order to get their money.

"U.S. EPA rules the roost, and if they’re not out to prove or say bad things about chemicals of all kinds, they won’t likely get the money. This is all driven by the environmental advocacy groups that control U.S. EPA today. It’s a horrible thing, and what it has done to science mostly at the academic level is bad. But U.S. EPA’s goal is to remove every useful chemical from the environment." (Read the entire interview here. RK)

Every year Retraction Watch lists hundreds of papers that have to be retracted, and many of them due to fraud. In one period in 2012 two hundred and thirty papers were retracted out of about fifteen hundred. And those were the ones caught. It's my belief there are far more that should be retracted and aren't because of the collusion among "scientists" of like persuasion. Government grant money has made science rich. When science becomes rich it becomes politics. When politics dominates science the term scientific integrity becomes an oxymoron.

De Omnibus Dubitandum – Question Everything. That's my personal motto, and is supposed to be the personal motto of every scientist in the world. Well, truth is no longer the Holy Grail of science, it's grant money. So what's to be done? Society must take oversight of science into its own hands, and that oversight should include serious penalties for fraud. When fraud is exposed, as was done in the now infamous Tulane endocrine disruption study, someone should be charged criminally. In the Tulane study not one person was charged with a crime. And as far as I can tell - that never happens in science - making science a Sacred Cow! That needs to be changed!

The term "citizen scientist" came into existence in 2014 and includes anyone “whose work is characterized by a sense of responsibility to serve the best interests of the wider community" or "'a member of the general public who engages in scientific work, often in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions'" an amateur scientist.” That’s who we all have to become, but without allowing ourselves to be enfolded into the scientific community and used as "helpers", as is the current defining trend. If citizen science is to be effective it should be a movement of heterodoxy - having the courage to stand up to the conventional wisdom and tell the world -"you're wrong, and I'm going to tell you why!"

We cannot entrust policy promoted by “scientists”, because we know the scientific community isn't trustworthy. If we don’t stand up to be counted we will all end up like the old man and the young boy, panic stricken and running like chickens with their heads cut off, which is just what the activists want. A society that's panic stricken, ignorant and compliant to a movement that's irrational, misanthropic and morally defective.

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