[PODCAST] #348: Scientific Consensus vs. Dissent (Part 4) – Why Am I Here and What Am I Trying to Do?


Part four, and the last of the foundational episodes, in our series examining the concept of scientific consensus and contrasting it with the voices of dissenters who find value in minority scientific opinions, theories and conclusions. It will also ask the question: is there any way to bridge the gap? Darrell Becker will be co-hosting all episodes in this series.

In the second installment of this series, we explored strategies for more constructive and connected communication with others. Today we discuss strategies for better communication with ourselves.

We discuss some of the meta-talk in this climate change "debate"

Dimensions of the Habits of Mind

Value: Choosing to employ a pattern of intellectual behaviors rather than other, less productive patterns.

Inclination: Feeling the tendency to employ a pattern of intellectual behaviors.

Sensitivity: Perceiving opportunities for, and appropriateness of, employing the pattern of behaviors.

Capability: Possessing the basic skills and capacities to carry through with the behaviors.

Commitment: Constantly striving to reflect on and improve performance of the pattern of intellectual behaviors.

Policy: Making it a policy to promote and incorporate the patterns of intellectual behaviors into actions, decisions, and resolutions of problematic situations.

7 Ways to Deal with Uncertainty to be Happier and Less Anxious

1. Replace expectations with plans.
2. Prepare for different possibilities.
3. Become a feeling observer.
4. Get confident about your coping and adapting skills.
5. Utilize stress reduction techniques preemptively.
6. Focus on what you can control.
7. Practice mindfulness.

Source: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/7-ways-to-deal-with-uncertainty/

See Brett's notes here.

Series Background:
"My thesis is that the criteria by which individuals are deemed qualified or unqualified to become professionals involve not just technical knowledge as is generally assumed, but also attitude—in particular, attitude toward working within an assigned political and ideological framework. I contend, for example, that all tests of technical knowledge, such as the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), are at the same time tests of attitude and that the examinations used to assess professional qualification are no exception. I consider in detail how the neutral-looking technical questions on such examinations probe the candidate's attitude.

The qualifying attitude, I find, is an uncritical, subordinate one, which allows professionals to take their ideological lead from their employers and appropriately fine-tune the outlook that they bring to their work. The resulting professional is an obedient thinker, an intellectual property whom employers can trust to experiment, theorize, innovate and create safely within the confines of an assigned ideology. The political and intellectual timidity of today's most highly educated employees is no accident."
-Jeff Schmidt, Disciplined Minds

Bumper Music:
"Lucky Man" The Verve

Look Closer:
Darrell's Site: Voluntary Visions - http://voluntaryvisions.com/

Darrell's Communication Glossary - http://schoolsucksproject.com/practical-definitions-voluntary-communication-by-darrell-becker/

Scientific Consensus and the Argument From Authority - https://skeptoid.com/blog/2013/04/09/scientific-consensus-and-the-argument-from-authority

T&H Trivium Resources - https://www.tragedyandhope.com/trivium/

Logic Saves Lives Series - http://schoolsucksproject.com/category/podcast/logic-saves-lives/

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One comment

  1. Just listened to your guy’s most recent podcast. I think you’ve misidentified Piers Morgan question when you label it as the logical fallacy of appeal to catastrophe. For it to be a logical fallacy, there has to be a conclusion that is not supported by the premises. If Mr. Morgan had said, “If you’re wrong about climate change, we’ll all be screwed, therefore climate change is real,” you would have your fallacy. However, that’s not at all what he said. He said “if you are wrong, the implications are catastrophic. If you are right, and this is unnecessary, what you see is some economic hardship in the short term.” He’s applying a gambling approach (note, not gamblers fallacy) to evaluating risks and rewards, not making a claim about global warming.

    You also mention Morono’s justifiable frustration because of non-responsiveness, but my impression of the debate was that he was making rapid fire claims. In the first 7 minutes of the video (which is how long you played in your podcast, at least up to the point I’ve listened to), Nye makes 7 claims or offerings of evidence (1. refutes roman period info 2. As a child ppm was around 300 3. CO2 levels are rising fast 4. Increase in rate is due to humans 5. Gas trapped in ice reveals this 6. Population has exploded and they live heavy CO2 producing lifestyles). Morono makes 15 by my count. (1. warming has multiple causes 2. You’re argument is tail wagging the dog 2. Your claims are not supportable 3. Roman period data shows warming 4. UN data shows no changes in 20 years 5. You’re acting like acts of congress can change weather 6. There’s no unusual weather 7. CO2 is rising 8. Bill Nye’s wasted everyone’s time 9. CO2 isn’t correlated with heat 10. There is no hockey stick 11. CO2 is not harmful 12. You’re using anecdotal evidence 13. Tornadoes haven’t increased 14. Longest period without category 3+ hurricane making landfall in US 15. No change in US drought in 60 years).

    All this is to say that I think those two judgements you made are off, but most especially the misapplication of the catastrophic fallacy. I will say that Morono correctly calls out the anecdotal evidence and that the time balance was off (Nye and Morono had roughly equal time, but Morgan’s questions were weighted and shifted time in his and Nye’s favor).

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