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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Global Warming (Dumbing) - Fallacies Revealed!

Yes, the comments are worth posting and answering for the richness of their logical poverty! Let us begin and, as usual, commenters are in italics:

One thing that always amuses me, Radar, is that you are constantly forced to seek support for your positions from folks who base their conclusions on a coherent worldview that completely clashes with your own, i.e. YEC.

There's mention here of a 10,000 year something or other... Radar, according to your beliefs, there is no such thing as 10,000 years! What's going on here? Could you square this circle for us?


First, this is a straw man argument, since we are talking about so-called global warming and not the correctness of the YEC position. Argumentum ad logicam. Second, when I use sources from sites my readers don't like, I get attacked for the source rather than the content, as we shall soon see...

You believe that the Earth did not exist 6,000 years ago, and yet you cite an article (which can be found here) that also contains the following (emphasis mine):

"Over the last 700,000 years, the climate has operated on a relatively predictable schedule of 100,000-year glaciation cycles. Each glaciation cycle is typically characterized by 90,000 years of cooling--an ice age--followed by an abrupt warming period, called an interglacial, that lasts 10,000 to 12,000 years. The last ice age reached its coolest point 18,000 to 20,000 years ago, when the average temperature was 9 to 12.6° F cooler than today. Earth is currently in a warm interglacial called the Holocene, which began 10,700 years ago."

How can you cite an article to support your positions when you completely, undeniably, 100% utterly disagree with the very foundation on which it bases its conclusions?


I realized that the author and I disagree concerning the age of the earth, but he was presenting undeniable facts about the weather patterns of the last 2,000 years in a comprehensible manner and therefore I thought that portion of his thoughts were worth sharing.

Is your own position that unsupportable that you cannot back them up in a slightly more coherent fashion?

Since this discussion is not about YEC, I wasn't attempting to support that particular position at all, thank you very much!

Or have even you decided that the YEC position cannot be seriously maintained?

Any reasonable perusal of this blog over the last year or so would glean literally thousands of words and many, many sources and links defending the YEC position. This post didn't happen to be one of them. Way to try to take the focus off of both the subject matter and the content of the post you commented upon!

In any event, I did say that..."It doesn't matter where I got the information. Your argumentum ad hominem attacks miss the point entirely. Was there a long period of warming? Yes. Was there a "little ice age?" Yes. In fact, were cycles like this identified before any men were making any kind of a "carbon footprint?" Yes.

Suppose you naysayers discuss the facts as presented rather than trying to avoid the argument by attacking the source. I'm still waiting for the first logical response..."

Ad Hominem is most often used concerning a personal attack against a person himself , but in this case the commenter is attacking the source itself rather than the facts contained therein. Therefore it is a form of an ad hominem attack.

1. It's not that it matters where you got the information, it's that you're not presenting a coherent position, since you're apparently endorsing something that you utterly disagree with elsewhere on your blog. You can't claim that you hold a position on global warming that's based on conclusions drawn from certain climate patterns over hundreds of thousands of years, and claim elsewhere that you believe that clearly nothing existed, say, 6,500 years ago.

Repeat to me what position I stated in that post that refutes my belief in YEC? (Again, not that it would matter in this case).

Those two positions are incompatible, regardless of where the information come from.

Do you agree with John Carlisle that there are climate patterns that go back hundreds of thousands of years?


No, I do not. I agree with him that there are climate patterns that go back through recorded history, however, and that is what I posted.


2. It was not an ad hominem attack, since I critiqued your position (and its inherent incoherence), not you as a person.

You attacked the source as a source, not the material presented.


3. "In fact, were cycles like this identified before any men were making any kind of a "carbon footprint?" Yes."

Could you present any evidence of this that actually is consistent with your own worldview, YEC?


Reread the post. What did I say that refutes YEC? Quote, please!


4. "Suppose you naysayers discuss the facts as presented rather than trying to avoid the argument by attacking the source."

I am not a naysayer. I'm doing what you have elsewhere professed to be doing: I look at all the evidence and then make up my mind. And so far I haven't made up my mind. I do, however, have a basic mistrust of any politically-charged arguments, such as the "draw-a-line-in-the-sand-and-make-fun-of-people on-the-other-side" mentality. I can't think of an instance when this led to clear thinking and analysis.


You are in favor of draw-a-line-in-the-sand-and-attack-sources-rather-than-statements-of-fact?

5. "Oh, and Joe, I don't agree with everything the director stated or believes. That doesn't mean I reject everything he believes out of hand. Once he leaves recorded history and gets into speculation, then he and I diverge."

It's exactly the other way around - you reject his presentation of recorded history, and you agree with his conclusions, whether speculative or not. Which is hardly the same as examining the evidence and then making up your mind.


The above statement is remarkably incoherent. There isn't any "recorded history" from 10,000 years ago. Can't you find ANY FACTS AT ALL TO ARGUE WITH????

I'm not a scientist. I don't purport to be one.

I'm not a 100% believer in GW- but I lean that way.

Am I going to put any weight into something Exxon Mobil or anybody else closely tied to fossil fuels funds regarding GW? No. Did you believe when the cigarette companies told you nicotine wasn't addicting? Its the same basic idea- when someone has a bias, you really have to look twice at how they skew the facts---


But when Greenpeace types with stated idealogical agendas proclaim that Global Warming is a fact, you take them utterly at face value??? Hey, a guy wearing nothing but a sandwich board and a smile might tell you something and, despite his appearances, it just might be true. Examine the facts, friend, and don't be blinded by the source on either side of the question.

My logical response(as explained in a previous reply to some blog about GW or evolution) summed up again here- let's use Occam's Razor- what is the simpler answer- There is some sort of world-wide liberal monster brainwashing and compelling scientists to support global warming? Or- scientists world-wide are coming to a general consensus about GW, that man has something to do with it? Until someone comes up with a plausible reason why scientists(word-wide) would have some sort of ulterior motive, I'm going to believe they have integrity and retain credibility as a whole(unlike Exxon funded publications).

Oh, brother, this is a whopper of a logical leap! Occam's Razor deals with facts, you are trying to apply opinion polls to the issue as if they were facts. Argumentum ad numerum. You want to make us believe because there may be a majority, that majority must be right. In fact, Occam falls to my side of the issue:

The earth appears to be on a warming cycle.
The earth has experienced such cycles before.
There is no evidence that such cycles were manmade in the past.
Cooling cycles have followed warming cycles.
There is no evidence that the cooling cycles were manmade.
Therefore logic indicates a cooling cycle will follow.
Logic also indicates that it will do so independent of mankind.

Just because A (warming trend) follows B (higher greenhouse gas emissions) doesn't mean that B caused A. That is a logical fallacy as well. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc. I can illustrate this easily enough:

George sneezes. A car passes by the front window. Therefore, George caused the car to come by with his sneeze. Uhm, NO! I am afraid that such logic is the basis for the current Global Warming hysteria.

So, again, I ask commenters, bring some facts next time, okay? Thanks!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

"First, this is a straw man argument, since we are talking about so-called global warming and not the correctness of the YEC position. Argumentum ad logicam."

Not a straw man argument, but a critique of your position as a whole. When you try to take a stance on global warming and base this on climate cycles that completely contradict what you claim or believe to be true about the world's past, then you are not properly supporting your own stance in a coherent way.

It's a mental disconnect, Radar. On the one hand you're building up all these arguments for YEC (regarding which you have left a trail of unanswered questions, by the way)...

... and on the other hand you come to conclusions regarding global warming based on things you deny, such as dendrochronology, ice cores and other methods used to determine information about our planet's past. You deny their validity when trying to support YEC, yet accept them as sources when trying to support your stance on global warming.

Pointing this out has nothing to do with what a straw man argument is. A straw man argument would be if I ascribe a position to you that is not yours, while YEC is a position you have clearly, undeniably taken on board. And since it contradicts the basis of the argument you presented in the previous post, it is entirely fair to point out this contradiction and ask you to present your actual position, based on things you do believe in, not things you reject.


Nor did I indulge in an argumentum ad logicam, since, while I do criticize your reasoning in which you arrive at your conclusion, I did not conclude that as a result the conclusion itself should be rejected. That fallacy was not made here.

The conclusion may well be true based on sound reasoning, but you have not presented any such reasoning that is coherent with your worldview.


"Second, when I use sources from sites my readers don't like, I get attacked for the source rather than the content, as we shall soon see..."

You say this in a response to my post, but I don't see how it applies to what I said. Lava has attacked the source; I haven't. I question the logic of you using the substance of what this source presents to bolster your own position, since you disagree with so much of what Carlisle uses to come to his conclusion.


"I realized that the author and I disagree concerning the age of the earth, but he was presenting undeniable facts about the weather patterns of the last 2,000 years in a comprehensible manner and therefore I thought that portion of his thoughts were worth sharing."

How are these "undeniable facts" about weather patterns of the last 2,000 years arrived at? Something you might want to consider as a way of examining the facts before solidifying your conclusion. Especially since your YEC stance requires you to jettison the reliability of a number of methods used by scientists.


"Since this discussion is not about YEC, I wasn't attempting to support that particular position at all, thank you very much!"

... and...

"Any reasonable perusal of this blog over the last year or so would glean literally thousands of words and many, many sources and links defending the YEC position. This post didn't happen to be one of them. Way to try to take the focus off of both the subject matter and the content of the post you commented upon!"

Surely your positions should be consistent with each other, no? You've spent a lot of time trying to convince us you believe in a young Earth, and now you trot out and apparently endorse arguments that are incompatible with a young Earth.

What is, for example, the Discovery Institute's position on global warming/climate change, and how do they base this on scientific data as they interpret them?

"Ad Hominem is most often used concerning a personal attack against a person himself , but in this case the commenter is attacking the source itself rather than the facts contained therein. Therefore it is a form of an ad hominem attack."

Please show me where I attacked the source, either John Carlisle or the Environmental Policy Task Force. I only attacked the lack of consistent logic in your position.


"Repeat to me what position I stated in that post that refutes my belief in YEC? (Again, not that it would matter in this case)."

It does matter indeed. If you endorsed even the parts of the article that you chose to quote (which you appear to be doing by typing "Yeah, what he said" without further qualifiers after the quote you posted on your blog), then the parts in your post that clash with your belief in YEC is anything that is based on a planet older than 6,000 years, as well as anything that is based on a method used by scientists that you refute as not being elsewhere.

So, again:

Could you present any evidence of warming and cooling cycles like this identified before any men were making any kind of a "carbon footprint" that actually is consistent with your own worldview, YEC?


creeper: "Do you agree with John Carlisle that there are climate patterns that go back hundreds of thousands of years?"

radar: "No, I do not. I agree with him that there are climate patterns that go back through recorded history, however, and that is what I posted."


... and...

"The above statement is remarkably incoherent. There isn't any "recorded history" from 10,000 years ago."

Define recorded history in this context, Radar. If you are talking about actual data written down by man, then that gets us no precise, detailed temperature records that go further back than the 18th or 19th century.

And yet there is talk in this article of fluctuations of a single degree here, a single degree there, going back hundreds, even thousands of years. This is based on, among others, ice cores and dendrochronology.

Ask yourself how these conclusions were drawn, if not by methods you have rejected as being invalid. If you want to proceed from the facts, you cannot include a source of information such as dendrochronology as an input.

And if you do accept ice cores, glaciers and dendrochonology as being valid methods of looking into our planet's past, then you'd also have to conclude an old Earth, since they don't magically stop at 6,000 years (not that your stance on dendrochronology doesn't have other problems, as has also been pointed out to you).


"You are in favor of draw-a-line-in-the-sand-and-attack-sources-rather-than-statements-of-fact?
"


No, I am not, nor have I done so. Can you present an instance of where I attacked John Carlisle or the Environmental Policy Task Force?


"Can't you find ANY FACTS AT ALL TO ARGUE WITH????"

Perhaps you're assuming that I'm automatically supposed to take a contrary position to yours and assemble talking points to bolster my position. That's not what taking the facts into account and then drawing conclusions is about.

I do find plenty to argue against in your post, since you are either presenting a line of argument cynically or insincerely, since it is incompatible with your other beliefs, or you are confused and haven't thought this through.

Regarding the title of your other post: do you think that it is you or John Carlisle who is ignorant of history? You have wildly clashing views, and you can't both be right.

-- creeper (between browsers, have to find my password...)

Lava said...

So radar, are you and John Carlisle(and the rest of the exxon funded scientists) smarter then the majority of the rest of the scientists who believe GW is seriously influenced by man? Are you guys just impervious to liberal brainwashing? Or does the majority of the scientific community just lack credibility and integrity? Really, what is it?

Anonymous said...

Oops.

"anything that is based on a method used by scientists that you refute as not being elsewhere"

should read

"anything that is based on a method used by scientists that you refute as not being valid elsewhere"

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

I have a question. The President and politicians of all kinds want to develope alternative fuels. One type that is always mentioned is ethanol from corn of other crops. Does this type of fuel produce less CO2 or water vaper or other poisonous gasses? And if this type of fuel is the answer to save us from relying on foreign oil, wouldn't a longer growing season brought on by global warming be a benefit?

cranky old fart said...

Where DO the YEC "scientists" stand on this issue?

Just curious.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, brother, this is a whopper of a logical leap! Occam's Razor deals with facts, you are trying to apply opinion polls to the issue as if they were facts. Argumentum ad numerum. You want to make us believe because there may be a majority, that majority must be right. In fact, Occam falls to my side of the issue:

The earth appears to be on a warming cycle.
The earth has experienced such cycles before.
There is no evidence that such cycles were manmade in the past.
Cooling cycles have followed warming cycles.
There is no evidence that the cooling cycles were manmade.
Therefore logic indicates a cooling cycle will follow.
Logic also indicates that it will do so independent of mankind."


Fallacy: just because the warming and cooling cycles were not influenced by man in the past doesn't mean they aren't being influenced by them now (especially since, as you've pointed out before, there was no "carbon footprint" to speak of in previous times).


"Just because A (warming trend) follows B (higher greenhouse gas emissions) doesn't mean that B caused A. That is a logical fallacy as well. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc. I can illustrate this easily enough:

George sneezes. A car passes by the front window. Therefore, George caused the car to come by with his sneeze. Uhm, NO! I am afraid that such logic is the basis for the current Global Warming hysteria."


A poorly chosen (and leading) analogy, since to our understanding George sneezing could not have caused the car to pass by the window. It is not impossible, however, that carbon emissions made by man can have an effect on the atmosphere. (Actually, it's kind of a strawman argument, since you're presenting a caricature of the opposing argument in order to provide yourself with an easier argument to bat down.)

-- creeper