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Topic: "Scientists Say" blather (Read 34727 times)

"Scientists Say" blather
Are you, too, bothered by internet news reports that "scientists say" this or that. I find it utterly annoying. Who are these scientists? Are cosmologists qualified to say anything meaningful about high energy physics, biologists about the orbit of Enceladus?

What think you?

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #25
[ad hom ignored...] just about about any study in any field is likely to have flaws. However, those flaws don't necessarily make the outcomes untrue; although if there were too many they might.
That's very "science-y" sounding, Sang!

What it means is that you believe what you believe, regardless of the evidence or arguments... No?


But your field was Sociology, wasn't it? :)
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"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Belfrager
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #26
There are scientists and there are scientists but most, if not all of them, have to make a living from their work.

Private funding system means that a leading scientist, responsible for the project funding and getting results, hires the less expensive "colleagues" he can find. Many of these do absolutely no science at all, they limit themselves to do daily routines as taking note of variables, things like that. But their names appears at the published papers, they are "scientists" and they try to build a "career" from there. Everyone has interest that newspapers publishes something about their work, whatever it will be published.

Much more important for science credibility it's the problem of scientific magazines and "peer review". That's where shit is done.
A matter of attitude.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #27
Much more important for science credibility it's the problem of scientific magazines and "peer review". That's where shit is done.

Pray tell, from where do you think the "scientists say" statements come? The journals, and university press releases...of course.
(The idea of menial underlings having a hand in this dissemination is -if not ludicrous- at least unlikely.)
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • Belfrager
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #28
Pray tell, from where do you think the "scientists say" statements come? The journals, and university press releases...of course.

You're not understanding me, my fault...
With all the words it goes as "scientists says it's not the biggest problem science credibility has",no one trusting newspapers.
Investigating things as "The influence of moon phases into the ovulatory cycle of female rats" is.
That's an actual science project, published and funded by the EU.
A matter of attitude.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #29
I'd disagree:
There are many, many similarly bizarre studies funded here, both by government and industry (and, less often, by private foundations). But they are not all useless or silly: Basic research does often lead to basic insights worth pursuing.
My main objection is to patently fallacious reasoning, bad statistical technique, and sloppy data acquisition... And, of course, the prominence given in some fields to political ideology!
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #30

(The idea of menial underlings having a hand in this dissemination is -if not ludicrous- at least unlikely.)

The underlings are not menial, and they are not really even underlings. The assistants have earned their own degrees or are at least students. Otherwise you don't get to be an assistant in the first place. Most people need to work as assistants in some project before becoming a project manager. The difference between an assistant and the project manager (or whatever they call it these days) is not that steep.

Of course you knew it already and were just quibbling for the sake of quibbling.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #31
Of course you knew it already and were just quibbling for the sake of quibbling.

No, sir! We are here attempting to come to an understanding of both the sources of "scientists say" stories in the press, and the trivialization and subversion of science for "unscientific" motives... Are we not? :)
And (although I'm not sure Jaybro would approve...) we'd like to know why so many presumably well-educated people readily accept balderdash from sources they know (or should know!) are suspect -- at least in terms of intellectual sophistication: The "hangers on" of the Hip Crowd.

The God Particle was -maybe- found at CERN. "That's not really important."

That one's political rivals are determined to be deviants, "That, my friend, is news!"

It's the News You Can Use meme.

Science is supposed to be "dispassionate"... (An old legal term that has much to recommend it.) That is, the search for truth and understanding is what I think most of us take science to be.
Whatever our prejudices, biases, and ulterior motives (Freudians welcome! :) ) we should be willing to put them aside -- if the science warrants.
That's the opposite of the News You Can Use meme.

Or am I just blathering? (Should I try to overthrow the powers that be, to make a more convivial world? :) )
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #32

Of course you knew it already and were just quibbling for the sake of quibbling.

No, sir! We are here attempting to come to an understanding of both the sources of "scientists say" stories in the press, and the trivialization and subversion of science for "unscientific" motives... Are we not? :)

well, why are you then demonstrating absolute unwillingness to understand?


Science is supposed to be "dispassionate"... (An old legal term that has much to recommend it.) That is, the search for truth and understanding is what I think most of us take science to be.
Whatever our prejudices, biases, and ulterior motives (Freudians welcome! :) ) we should be willing to put them aside -- if the science warrants.

Yes. Please do.


That's the opposite of the News You Can Use meme.

Or am I just blathering?

That thing about meme and everything I omitted is blather. I'd attribute it to allergic reaction to some inconsequential reporting. It's easy to avoid, but you chose to overexpose yourself instead. Let's hope you recover soon.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #33
well, why are you then demonstrating absolute unwillingness to understand?

Because I'm not within the grasp of a totalitarian government! I don't have to kow-tow. Howie and his ilk (you may be one of them...) think otherwise but:
I'd attribute it to allergic reaction to some inconsequential reporting. It's easy to avoid, but you chose to overexpose yourself instead. Let's hope you recover soon.

We can't all be hermits, ersi. And we shouldn't all want to be... Are you hoping to be a Cult Leader sometime in the future? :)
One can avoid the most annoying aspects of Reality by early suicide... Do you recommend it? :)

Of course, you'd only recommend it to -- others.
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #34

We can't all be hermits, ersi. And we shouldn't all want to be... Are you hoping to be a Cult Leader sometime in the future? :)

Sure you can't do everything like me. And I don't ask you to.

You have chosen your poison and you live your life accordingly, yet you blame me for it. As long as we inhabit the same forum, I guess I just have to tolerate your irrationality.

  • mjmsprt40
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  • Global Moderator
  • undocumented space alien
Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #35
To really come to grips with "scientists say" stories, you first have to understand that at least here in the States journalists have become little more than talking heads. Nobody in journalism seems capable of original thought so they spew the same talking points they're fed, and report to us what they were told to regurgitate.
What would happen if a large asteroid slammed into the Earth?
According to several tests involving a watermelon and a large hammer, it would be really bad!

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #36
Yes, I'd agree that my tendency to irrationality is obvious. I expect my rational impulses to -eventually- coalesce into some sort of coherent answer to the questions I find interesting. There's the nub: We don't find the same sort of questions interesting...
But I blame you for nothing! (That was an odd -but almost understandable- accusation...) I do, sometimes, enjoy our exchanges of text. You make me think deeper about things than I'd otherwise do. But you also make me worry about you... And, of course, that's silly: What do disputes about ontology matter, really?
Let me repeat that, so you can savor it: What do disputes about ontology matter, really?
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #37
@mjm: Would that that were the problem.
The schools (universities, journals, professors and their students) have become, to a great extent, co-opted by a few ideologies...
Journalists are just like you and me, boy-o. Don't blame them for what has happened: Science and politics (and, of course, Academia - all the "studies" departments) have become our masters... At least, they think they have.
Don't tell me it's because reporters are -nowadays- stupid.
They're -nowadays, and for a long time- indoctrinated. But we needn't be.
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #38

Let me repeat that, so you can savor it: What do disputes about ontology matter, really?

The funny thing is that this realisation won't stop you from disputing it anyway.

  • Belfrager
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #39


Let me repeat that, so you can savor it: What do disputes about ontology matter, really?

The funny thing is that this realisation won't stop you from disputing it anyway.

Disputes about ontology are the only thing that truly matters. Ontology (at it's wider sense) seeks to define the identity of things and your brain can't function without establishing some sort of identity in the first place. No ontology at all and you'll be in coma.
Other "logies" are secondary.

But I suppose what Oakdale is asking is if Café Talk matters. Course it matters, that's what men should be doing, not working. :)
A matter of attitude.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #40
But I suppose what Oakdale is asking is if Café Talk matters. Course it matters, that's what men should be doing, not working.

I'd take that as an interpretation, gladly! (The humorlessness of some is -to me- dismaying...) But consider this, an obvious observation: Noone "chooses" their everyday ontology.
It's only in fields far from everyday concerns that such come into focus, and dispute.

In some of those fields, it matters what is taken as real. (Set Theory, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics...) But -usually- it only matters to specialists... Or, as you say quite cogently, Café Talkers!
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #41
hat's very "science-y" sounding, Sang!

What it means is that you believe what you believe, regardless of the evidence or arguments... No?

No. It's called having some understanding of the scientific method. I doubt there's a study in history that doesn't have valid criticisms of it. Sometimes those criticism render the conclusion invalid, sometimes not. Often the study is redone by a different team, correcting the original one's methodology, but achieves the same result. In scientific debates a study often gets answered by a counter one. Bad methodology on one other side's research teams doesn't discredit all their arguments. I don't know if the study in question is good or bad and admit to not reading it. However, the weight of evidence does point to anthropogenic climate change regardless of any particular study.

I don't think your name has to Albert Einstein to understand this.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #42
No. It's called having some understanding of the scientific method.

You're hopeless, Sang! Of course, you didn't read it: Why make the effort to know what you're talking about...
Anthropogenic climate change (you know, the science-stuff?) had nothing really to do with the three studies I mentioned. And studies that fail to support the conclusions they purport are -simply put- trash. They're not maybe true; they're shoddy work, and should be branded such.
Just because they (somehow...) support the political prejudices of the researchers (and like-minded readers -- such as yourself) doesn't make them better than they are.
Being wrong is always a possibility. That's not what we're talking about here. Being inept and deceitful is not just being wrong...
Do you disagree?

Or would you first have to know whether you "like" the flavor of the unsupported conclusion? :) In a science-y way, of course!
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • mjmsprt40
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Global Moderator
  • undocumented space alien
Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #43
Well, Jimbro, you wanted a thread full of scientific blather and you got one! As this breaks down into another of the interminable discussions of pro-or-con CAGW, it will get as full of blather as a body can stand.
What would happen if a large asteroid slammed into the Earth?
According to several tests involving a watermelon and a large hammer, it would be really bad!

  • ersi
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #44

Anthropogenic climate change (you know, the science-stuff?) had nothing really to do with the three studies I mentioned. And studies that fail to support the conclusions they purport are -simply put- trash. They're not maybe true; they're shoddy work, and should be branded such.
Just because they (somehow...) support the political prejudices of the researchers (and like-minded readers -- such as yourself) doesn't make them better than they are.
Being wrong is always a possibility. That's not what we're talking about here. Being inept and deceitful is not just being wrong...
Do you disagree?

What's the point here to agree or disagree with?

Is your point that anthropogenic climate change is a hoax? But then you say that the science in question has nothing to do with your point. Then this cannot be your point.

Is your point that science, regardless of topic, is sometimes practised shoddily, ineptly and deceitfully? But this is completely trivial per se. Not just science, but anything can be done shoddily, ineptly and deceitfully. Shoddy science is not proper science anyway, so why talk about it as if science?

Is your point that political prejudices get mixed with science to support ideologies and foregone conclusions? This is again completely trivial, and inessential to both politics and science. If you really are interested in politics and/or science, why not talk about some essential feature of theirs? Or is it about the way politics get mixed with science in this particular case? Yet you say nothing to specify.

We are left with two options. Either (1) you are incredibly shoddy, inept and deceitful when making a point, whatever the intended point, or (2) you have no point.

So, nothing here to agree or disagree with. Enjoy the blather.

Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #45
You're hopeless, Sang! Of course, you didn't read it: Why make the effort to know what you're talking about...

Because thread is not about climate change.  It's about poor science reporting. Now food for thought, if I was so Leftist and some kind of climate change activist, don't you think I would have already read the thing?

Why is that you focus in on my last statement, which is a throwaway remark,while missing the main point of my post? While we can debate the merits that one sentence in a climate change thread, the rest of my post is all but inarguable and simply how research is done and how scientific debate is conducted.
Just because they (somehow...) support the political prejudices of the researchers (and like-minded readers -- such as yourself) doesn't make them better than they are.

And it doesn't occur to you that climate skeptics have political prejudices and agendas? You seem to think only one side might have agenda. However, there are tainted and sincere researchers on both sides. To me this so self-evident that it should require no explanation.

  • string
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  • Forum Staff
Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #46
I'd not bother with blather
except that I gather
it's not altogether
just about weather

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #47
ersi, you can't have mis-read so badly... (Bad Eliza!)
Because thread is not about climate change.

That's why I said you're hopeless: The three papers I mentioned are not about climate change. How you fail to know that is beyond me. (At least, without insulting your intelligence -- which may be impossible anyway! :) )


The fields of Cognitive Psychology and "Climate Communication" (whatever that is :) ) may not be to your liking. But it's the quality of the work, and its reception in the press, that seemed pertinent...

--------------------------------------
@string: Thanks for the verse. Of course, I mentioned the papers I did because I am familiar with them, and how they were received -- both in the general press and in the blogosphere... I hadn't thought anyone would think the subject was being changed; certainly, not to that of climatology!
Ah, well.
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman

  • ersi
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #48

The fields of Cognitive Psychology and "Climate Communication" (whatever that is :) ) may not be to your liking. But it's the quality of the work, and its reception in the press, that seemed pertinent...

Seemed pertinent to you. But wasn't to anyone.

Liking has nothing to do with it.

  • OakdaleFTL
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Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Reply #49
So. Let me see if I've got this right... Discussing actual blather said by credentialed and published scientists, which was then reported -often via the "scientists say" blather in the media, is not pertinent in a thread titled "Scientists Say" blather?

I'm mystified... :) What's the largest integer not namable in less than nineteen syllables?


It's a paradox, is it not, that some posters to this thread who cannot parse its title's meaning then criticize another -- for not being so obtuse?
进行 ...
"Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility." - James Thurber
No one listens to me as much as I do and even I have my limits...
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts!" - Richard Feynman