Originally posted by budski
ah, so abuse is a form of legitimate argument now.
the real fact is that theories are not facts
A theory is a guess that fits some of the known facts, and the current science regarding this topic is full of wild guesses.
By your argument, we should believe that science (as we know it) is infallible and that we should blindly follow where science leads.
My point is that science has got it wrong on innumerable occasions, and will continue to do so.
Perhaps you have taken this line because of my comments about our secular society, and the human need to believe in something - this is an observation
and has nothing to do with my own beliefs. Personally speaking I am an atheist, as far as organized religion is concerned.
It is a common form of argument used by a creationist. There was no abuse intended in the comment, and if you felt there was, I apologise.
A theory is not a simple guess. No-one expects you to follow anything blindly, as long as you can accept your position is faith-based (i.e. lacking
evidence), then believe what you like. Science depends on scepticism, even someone like Lindzen (who was the most respectable contrarian) is important
for science, but his own Iris theory was wrong, he needs to get over it.
Science is not perfect. But neither is much human endeavour. But it is damn good at providing a model of the real-world, producing reliable and valid
knowledge, in fact, it is the best we have. It is also self-adjusting, so if the evidence is produced, it will be accepted when found to be reliable -
like throughout the history of science.
I've followed this for 20 years, in those days, the evidence was quite sparse. We knew CO2 was an IR absorber, even Arrhenius predicted in the late
1800s what could happen if CO2 increased, and it was, and temperatures were too. But we didn't really have enough knowledge to make firm conclusions,
other competing causes existed.
The only way to make realistic predictions was to use mathematical climate models. One of the first was Jim Hansen's in 1988, it made predictions
that were almost on the money 20 years later (although with a little luck). A year later, Roble & Dickenson made predictions about climate in the
middle atmosphere, again, 20 years later they have been found to be correct. These are just two of the numerous models shown to be essentially
correct, making real predicitions about future scenarios. Fingerprints of GHG warming have been found elsewhere, the evidence has been collecting,
other theories have been shown to be unable to account completely for the current warming trend. Only with human activity can we account for the
Newer more advanced models are doing the same, predictions have been made, time will tell.
The position is that we do have evidence that human activity is affecting climate (in numerous ways, not just CO2). Predictions have been made of what
will likely happen if we ignore the science and don't act in some way. The same was done in 1988, the NASA model was pretty close to reality.
So, what do we do? Ignore it in the hope the science is wrong?
Or do we act on the evidence we have?
Could we be wrong? Of course, but at least I know I followed the evidence rather than my wishful-thinking.
[edit on 4-4-2007 by melatonin]