On Science and the Scientific Method


This section is included in the website because of the brazen and outlandish claims of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) alarmists that the “science is settled”.  It is very clearly not, and will never be.  In reality such claims expose an extreme anti-science mindset that is being used to promote dogma to exert political and financial control over people’s lives.  Anyone not religiously adhering to the alarmist propaganda is branded a “denier”, or other derogatory term, attempting to taint them with a comparison to “Holocaust Deniers”, and often threatening legal action to silence them.  In California, a bill was actually introduced to criminalize “Climate Change Deniers”.  Article Link


Consequently, it is worthwhile to discuss the nature of Science, and the Scientific Method for its own sake.


To begin the discussion are some pertinent and interesting quotes:


From the late Michael Crichton:

“In science consensus is irrelevant. … There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”


Murry Salby:

“The traditional role of science is to understand nature.”


 From the late Dr. Richard Feynman: How science works – Scientific Method

"In general, we look for a new law by the following process. First, we guess it (audience laughter), no, don’t laugh, that’s really true. Then we compute the consequences of the guess, to see what, if this is right, if this law we guess is right, to see what it would imply and then we compare the computation results to nature, or we say compare to experiment or experience, compare it directly with observations to see if it works.  If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science.  It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”




Link to very entertaining video of Feynman:



Skepticism and debate are absolutely essential to Science, for it is only through the free exchange of ideas, information and experimental results, that the reality of how the universe around us works is determined.  And that determination itself is in constant flux and refinement.  All we can say today is that this is how we understand things to be now, but that understanding is not likely to stand the test of time, and our knowledge will continue to grow and develop, becoming ever more extensive.  Questioning of “established facts” is relentless.


All the major breakthroughs of science are a result of scientists departing from the “consensus” beliefs.  Perhaps the most significant example is in the early 1900’s, “classical physicists”, with the understanding of Newton’s classical mechanics, thought they had reached the boundaries of science, beyond which there were only more decimal places to be added to the accuracy of measurements.  But then the whole field of physics was blown open with the “Ultraviolet Catastrophe”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraviolet_catastrophe , that ushered in “modern physics” and quantum mechanics, very clearly a dramatic departure from consensus.


A quote from Galileo is pertinent to the AGW claims of “consensus”: 

“In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”  BrainQuote Link


From Wikipedia,

“Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. “  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science


It is this aspect testability that is so crucial to science and so devastating to the AGW belief in “climate change”.  Karl Popper [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper ] is generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science in the 20th century, and is known for his “empirical falsification”, which basically states that unless a theory can be falsified, it cannot be considered tenable.  In this sense, a theory can never be “proven”, but can be tentatively accepted as long as it withstands experimental scrutiny.

  As Albert Einstein once said about the book "One Hundred Authors Against Einstein":

“Why one hundred? If I were wrong, one would be enough.”


In our very recent past, there is a sterling and provocative example of how science should work:  Scientists at CERN in Switzerland fired a neutrino beam from their particle accelerator near Geneva, to Gran Sasso, a laboratory in Italy, some 730 kilometers away.  The beam had apparently traveled the distance 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Scientists calculated the margin of error at just 10 nanoseconds, making the difference statistically significant.

Reference Link


So, what happened?


James Gillies, a spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, told The Associated Press that the readings have so astounded researchers that they supplied data, asking others to independently verify the measurements before claiming an actual discovery.



At the 25th International Conference on Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics in Kyoto, Cern's research director, Sergio Bertolucci, presented data on behalf of four separate instruments at Gran Sasso (Borexino, Icarus, LVD and Opera) that had tried to replicate the anomalous result. All of them had failed to do so, finding that the neutrinos respected the universal speed limit.


"Although this result isn't as exciting as some would have liked, it is what we all expected deep down," said Bertolucci. "The story captured the public imagination, and has given people the opportunity to see the scientific method in action – an unexpected result was put up for scrutiny, thoroughly investigated and resolved in part thanks to collaboration between normally competing experiments. That's how science moves forward."

Link to Guardian Article 


Nine months after its results caused such excitement, the experiment that suggested neutrinos could travel faster than light declared faulty.


This is a model of example of how science should work, and a very germane lesson for AGW alarmists.


A last major point to be made that is extremely important to understand, especially as it relates to the whole climate change issue, is that models are not science!  Models are an attempt to describe complicated phenomena, and computer calculations are an integral part of analyzing theories, but they should not be construed as science, or a substitute for science.


Please check the AGW of this website for more details on the problems associated with (failed) attempts to back up their fallacious claims with pseudo-science and models that are erroneously CO2-based, and which are departing increasingly from reality.


Section for a video or follow-on comment

We should revisit occasionally what the proper role of government is.   As the constitution was a good sense of direction, we need a core set of principles to add in order to deal with the future.


So many want to engineer society, remove risk, assist certain groups, rather than let individuals thrive and raise communities.  Why?


Is Democracy where we all "get it good and hard" or is it the best means to a free society?


Should we roll with the special interests, or make the government achieve its proper role, what is that role, and how to do this?


When do deficits and governments become too large?


Government is becoming more elitist while trying to sell corrections to problems it created, what makes this possible?


Could include a pic

This could also be inserted into the field above, or erased


Currently as a society, we are having a most difficult time discussing political issues.  What is driving this?   And why a rebirth in political culture would be a good thing.


Market Economy

Are "markets" dead as some would conjecture? Or is free enterprise what got us here?


Economic Theories

At the heart of economics there are several possible economic schools of thought, the essence of these schools of thought and how they relate to our lives.


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