When Paleontologists Attack...

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by PoliticalChic, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Platinum Member

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    Need a look at how the rabid modern liberals can pollute and corrupt every sphere of endeavor? Obviously it is easier to politicize fields like law or history, but even science?

    Here, from the New York Times is a cautionary tale, and an illustration of the method of intimidation…and, yes, it even works on scientists.

    It seems that some paleontologists doubted the “widely publicized scientific theories of recent years holds that the dinosaurs were wiped out 65 million years ago by the impact of a large meteorite.”

    “[At] the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontologists this month in Rapid City, S.D., asserted in interviews, moreover, that the impact theory has had pernicious effects on science and scientists. They charged that controversy over the impact theory has so polarized scientific thought that publication of research reports has sometimes been blocked by personal bias.”

    Any of this begin to sound familiar?

    “According to a few paleontologists, dissenters from the meteorite theory have faced obstacles in their careers and are sometimes even privately branded as militarists, on the supposed ground that anyone who questions the catastrophic theory of dinosaur extinction also questions the theory that a lethal ''nuclear winter'' similar to the climatic effect of a meteorite impact would follow a nuclear war. The nuclear winter prediction is a major talking point of the movement for nuclear disarmament, and debate over the accuracy of the prediction has become political as well as scientific.”

    Does ‘dissenters’ sound a bit like ‘deniers’?

    Could it be, a liberal political perspective influencing the imposition of a theory?

    So, if one doesn’t toe the party line, their careers are in jeopardy?

    Sort of like not getting grants?

    And they are called names? Like ‘militarists’? Militarists?

    Read the article @ DINOSAUR EXPERTS RESIST METEOR EXTINCTION IDEA - New York Times
     
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  2. Dr.Traveler
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    Dr.Traveler Mathematician

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    The problem here is that there doesn't appear to be a better theory to fit the facts for the dinosaur extinction than a catastrophic hit. We have all the evidence of a catastrophic hit, a mass die off that chronologically followed, etc. As far as theories go, its practically a slam dunk.

    So what do you do with folks that want to ignore facts without any basis? I mean really, what do you do? Mathematicians all over the country gets "proofs", and I use the term loosely, by amateur mathematicians that claim to have squared the circle, doubled the cube, or developed a method to trisect any angle. We still get folks that want to "prove" the parallel postulate despite the fact that the issue has been settled for hundreds of years.

    At some point, you just have to laugh them off and ignore them.

    There is a flip side. In mathematics the folks that settled the parallel postulate also frequently met with rabid resistance. Even in a field like mathematics where truth is demonstrable, there is a resistance to new ideas when old ones seem to work. It might be these paleontologists have a good theorem and are encountering the natural resistance to that.

    That natural resistance is a good thing actually. It means that science doesn't jump willy nilly from idea to idea on a weekly basis. It means that all ideas get a through vetting before they become accepted. Or at least that's the theory. Math is filled with new ideas that needed fundamental work in order to be correct. Calculus and Set Theory had substantial fundamental flaws that had to be worked out over time. These problems were found and fixed because of a healthy skepticism about new ideas, and thanks to that we have a more rigorous theory.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  3. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Gold Member

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    The impact theory of the KT extinction event rests on very good geo-chemical and fossil evidence. That there may have been a few places in the world where the dinosaurs held on for a few more years, or even hundreds of thousands of years does not change the fact that there is a distinct line, found worldwide, where the life, whether on land or sea, changes radically after that impact.

    Mexican geologists located the impact site at Chixalub, and there has been a great deal of mapping of the gravity contours since then. Both the amount of carbon, and platinum group metals in the layer found worldwide tells volumes about what happened after the impact.

    As much respect as I have for Bakker, his theories just do not stand up to inspection. The dinosaurs had been successful for 150 million years. During this period there were many times new types of dinosaurs moved from one continent to another, and doubtlessly spread disease. But there was not a simultaneous extinction event on all the continents.

    That the life at that time was already under stress is a fact. The Dakkan Trapps had been erupting for about 3 million years and would continue to erupt for another 2 million years. Trapp volcanics release vast amounts of GHGs, and create a warm period during the time that they are erupting. If they extrude onto a continental shelf that has clathrates on it, they can trigger a very rapid climate change, and a major extinction period, the P-T and PETM periods are examples.

    A strike like that at Chicxulub would create a rapid, weeks, cooling, lasting maybe as long as three to five years. For North America, and sea shore areas around the world, there were huge tsunamis. The rain from the water evaporated at the strike, both from the initial impact and the ocean rushing back in on raw magma, was very acid. The shards of ocean floor blasted into suborbitual trajectories came back in with enough speed to create forest fires world wide. And afterward, when the areasols cleared from the atmosphere, the GHGs that the impact created made an even warmer world. There is no way that a strike like that at Chicxulub could not have created an extinction event.
     
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  4. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Platinum Member

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    Math-boy, I expected you to be better able to connect the dots, read between the lines, perceive the allegory...now put down your slide rule and pay attention.

    (sigh)...

    OK...The point is that this is the same course of events that the the radical egalitarian liberal/progressives used against actual scientists who were unconvinced by the by the greeniac scam known Global Warming...does the name ring a bell?

    Does Quasimoto?

    Get it now? I was alluding to the scam! Calling names, threatening careers, politicizing...

    Never mind.
     
  5. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Gold Member

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    Come on, PC, enough bullshit.

    Very few paleontologists dismiss the massive strike at Chixculub as immaterial to the extinction event at the end of the Creteceous.

    Very few climatololgists dismiss man's influence through the massive release of GHGs from fossil fuel use in the present warming that we are seeing.

    If the reality of the scientific consensus is offensive to you because of politics, perhaps you should change your politics to include reality.
     
  6. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Platinum Member

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    I must have expected far too much from you guys...

    Do I have to lay out everything?

    OK, let's go through this again.

    From the Sixties, the radicals have tried to foist all sorts of nonsense on the public, and they were smart enough to realize that rational thinking would destroy their plans...so they used the idea of post-modernism, from literature, in other areas...including science.

    a. In light of the fact that rational though can imperil many of the premises of the radical left, there has grown what is called post-modernism, an outright denial of truth. Even in science…

    b. The leading proponents of ‘post-normal science,’ PNS, Funtowicz and Ravetz, have written that, in issue-driven science, ‘facts’ and ‘values’ are unified by replacing ‘truth’ by ‘quality.’ http://www.ecoeco.org/pdf/pstnormsc.pdf

    c. Students are taught by left-wing professors that traditional respect for logic, evidence, intellectual honesty, and the other requirements for scholastic discipline are not merely passé, but repressive, attempting to support a society that benefits only white, heterosexual males.

    d. The absurdity of post-modernism, specifically post-normal science, was exposed by Alan Sokal’s article “Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity,” which was accepted and published by ‘Social Text,’ in an issue about ‘Science Wars.’ Appealing to the editors’ ideological preconceptions, he stated in part:

    “But deep conceptual shifts within twentieth-century science have undermined this Cartesian-Newtonian metaphysics; revisionist studies in the history and philosophy of science have cast further doubt on its credibility; and, most recently, feminist and poststructuralist critiques have demystified the substantive content of mainstream Western scientific practice, revealing the ideology of domination concealed behind the façade of ``objectivity''. It has thus become increasingly apparent that physical ``reality'', no less than social ``reality'', is at bottom a social and linguistic construct; that scientific ``knowledge", far from being objective, reflects and encodes the dominant ideologies and power relations of the culture that produced it; that the truth claims of science are inherently theory-laden and self-referential; and consequently, that…” Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity

    e. After publication, Sokal revealed that the article was a hoax, designed to show the absurdity of ‘post-normal science:’ “Anyone who believes that the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited to try trangressing those conventions from the windows of my (25th floor) apartment.” Alan D. Sokal, “ A Physicist Experiments with Culture Studies,” Linguafranca, May/June 1996, p. 62 A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies
    He said that any undergrad physics or math major should have spotted the article as a spoof. Ibid.

    I got a kick out of Professor Sokal's jerking the chain of the post-modernists, and noticed how it applied to the Warmist nonsense as well.

    Did you?
     
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  7. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    They can't see it because they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
     
  8. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Platinum Member

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    Hey Buddy, didn't you get the Memo? You're extinct!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Modbert
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    He gives you a answer that's not copied and pasted from somewhere. And your answer is just to say "Well, you clearly have no idea what you're talking about. It's the Liberals fault! Now excuse me while I connect this to the people who believe in Global Warming!"

    Least you admit though you had no real intention of actually wanting a discussion.
     
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  10. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Gold Member

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    Let me lay it out for you. This is an issue involving physical evidence concerning physical processes. Perhaps you do not realize that politics does not determine absorbtion spectra, nor the melting rates of ice caps.

    I really don't care that you quote some ersatz philosopher concerning some idiocy concerning postmodernism. It does not affect the temperature of the oceans at all. What affects the the things that matter in climate are solar radiation, orbitual mechanics, and GHGs in the atmosphere. The rest is cause and effect.

    The fact that you pose this as a political arguement demostrates your lack of connection with reality. Climate does not respond to ideology or what we would wish it to be.
     
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