from a scientist

Published December 31st, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

I support your intent of countering the “intelligent” design “theorists” and their stealth efforts to bring in Creationism into the classroom (and kick out science). However, what’s this business of pirates vs. global surface temperature. Sure, you make a point that there’s a difference between correlation and causation. Perhaps you’re trying to point out that the true cause of GW may not be man-made green-house gas emissions. Well, the scientists have studied this problem and have come to the conclusion that it is. Please don’t give with one hand and take with the other. You support the scientists in Darwinian evolution and on the other hand don’t in GW science.
I suggest you remove your references to pirates and global surface temperature (your curve does look compelling though).

[A response: No deal, Alan. I tend to agree with the Global Warming hypothesis, and I certainly think it makes sense to err in that direction whether or not you agree with it - I'm all for conservation and green technologies. But, there is an almost religious type of dogma surrounding the Global Warming issue that makes me uncomfortable. Global warming is probably happening, but that is a world apart from saying it is Truth that must be supported. I'm against dogma and a priori reasoning, not any specific beliefs. -bobby]

75 Responses to “from a scientist”

  1. GL says:

    I think the GW thing is just a continuation of the attitude shown towards “intelligent design”- i.e. science provides a logical and sensible explanation for how we came to being.

    In the same way, science provides a logical explanation for the reasons behind global warming.

    In both cases however, people refuse to believe the logical and go for the illogical and unproven-
    instead of evolution, it was an invisible almighty guy in the sky (parodied by the spaghetti monster) and
    instead of human activity causing global warming, it’s just a random phenomena (parodied by the reduction in pirates)

    Both parodies are ridiculous to emphasise the logical explanation.

  2. Teh Spag-worshipper says:

    It’s misleading to suggest that scientists have unanimously agreed that GW is the result of human activity, or even of greenhouse gases. Quite a lot of geophysicists think that it’s another spike of heat in the natural progression of the cycle of Ice Ages. Hell, some Christian scientists even think that God’s causing it (although how they can call themselves scientists, I don’t understand). The diminishing of piratical activity isn’t that stupid. In fact, it’s sorta scientific – you take two pieces of evidence, compare them, note any correlation, and make a conclusion based on the data. So… if that’s unscientific, how did the other scientists come up with their more scientific theories?

  3. N says:

    The difference between the science of global warming and the pirate correlation is huge. Scientists point to specific pathways and causal mechanisms (many of which can be backed up, albeit on a smaller scale, through laboratory experiments) through which human activity, or natural phenomena, affect the global climate. It is not a simple correlation. Pirate related global warming, however, provides no such causal explanations – pirates are just human beings, and beyond the effects of accelerated ship-building, cigar-smoking, and burning of other ships, there is no reason to believe that they have any exceptional impact on the environment. There is no way you could really prove it was the number of pirates per se, or eye patches, or peg legs, etc. because you have nothing but a correlation. The reason global warming is better than, say, a lot of nutrition science, is that many of the particular physical processes that would contribute to it can be demonstrated through controlled experiments. To the extent that the science relies on computer modeling and more inferential approaches, it is on shakier ground than, say, organic chemistry, but you can’t compare it with pirates.

  4. Eric Threepwood says:

    Hi Jenny! Someday the people near me will die. I don’t like it, but it is inevitable, so I accept it. In the same way as I accept that most probably our specie will go extinct some day (unless we’re going Star Trek). I guess we just have to agree to disagree on this one.

    Pluto: I wasn’t really asking if you were serious, but who cares. I think hat we will still identify ourselves as humans, no matter how much we evolve. As long as we have the collective memory we have now, civilization and technology and all, we will still identify ourselves as humans.

    Another thing is how much we are evolving. Most people goes through life relatively untouched by selective pressure (at least in the western world. It can be debated in development countries, but so far our technology seems to evolve much faster than we do). Of course lots of things can happen in the geological timescale, my guess however, would be that any major evolutionary changes of humans would be resistance to some bacteria and viruses.

  5. ҬЯĨЖ яąßБΪŦ says:

    Just because I like the theory of evolution, doesn’t mean I have to believe in the standard GW theory. That’s like saying if I vote for Ron Paul, I have to be republican (I’m a democrat)

  6. Fred Flinstone says:

    Boy some people just don’t get it do they?

    Do you think the post from ‘the scientes’ is real?

    Some of the comments in the hate mail section are just halarious.

    That section is probably the best argument AGAINST evolution; I mean, how can some of these people survive? Survi al of the fittest….please.

  7. Wench Sophie says:

    Dude! I thought scientists were supposed to be cool! Rocking With Hawking is my favorite shirt on ThinkGeek!

  8. Cape Buffalo says:

    For a scientist, you don’t use your head much do you?

    Pirates cause global warming. Its a completely off the wall crazy ass made up silly piece of bullshit. It is ment to reflect the breing to light the off the wall crazy ass made up silly pieces of bullshit that EVERY religion is made up of.

    You see, Bobby was very smart. He wanted to end ID in the schools, not add yet another wacky ass religion to science class. So just in case Florida and Kansas would actually start teaching FSMism, he told them to do it in complete pirate regalia so at least then they would look fucking stupid doing it.

    It should be aganist the law not to perform a mercy killing on anyone so fucking stupid and brainwashed that they would want to do society such a disservice as teaching ID or religion in the classroom.

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