We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“Indeed, it would be helpful if the climate scientists would tell us what weather pattern would not be consistent with the current climate orthodoxy. If they cannot do so, then we would do well to recall the important insight of Karl Popper — that any theory that is incapable of falsification cannot be considered scientific.”

Nigel Lawson

9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • We should also remember:

    Any theory that is a good theory in effect says certain things cannot happen: it denies truth to certain statements. These statements are its potential falsifiers. If observation leads us to accept one of these statements as in fact true, then the hypothesis in question has been refuted

    Seems to describe Warble Gloaming pretty accurately…

  • Lucis Ferre

    Brilliant quote. And I would add that if something is not falsifiable, that is, if it’s false then we can’t know it, then we can’t know if and when it’s true (not false) as well.

  • Stonyground

    I thought that this comment was worth considering:

    I am glad Lord Lawson brings Popper into the equation. Falsificationism is an external evaluation standard. Climate science deal with complex and essentially chaotic structures, so strict falsificationism is not applicable. It should be like comparing a successful gambler on horse racing and a gambling addict, both with special systems to beat the odds. The successful gambler will not win every bet, but over time will break even or better. His system will “beat the odds”. The gambling addict will trot out a series of very plausible excuses for failure but never admit it is the special system that is false.
    Climate science is like a gambling system. It cannot predict every change in the weather, but it should have established by now a track record of more short term successes than failures. It is on this weaker form of falsificationism that climate science fails.

    May 1, 2014 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

  • So the analogy is they are drugging the horses, fixing the races and still losing every time?

  • nemesis

    Richard Feynman (my hero) on Scientific Method.

  • veryretired

    Science is this generations’ Trojan Horse.

    The semblance of science is being used to hide the true agenda, which has nothing to do with science at all, and everything to do with political and economic power, with the latter being derived from control of the former.

    When you can’t actually innovate, or produce a value, or render a truly useful service, then you move into politics, and attempt to seize control of resources by force, because you can’t acquire them any other way.

  • David Davies

    It is a question which can be asked to anyone with an opinion about absolutely anything. What would have to happen to make to change your mind?

    If the answer to that question is “nothing at all” (as opposed to nothing likely)then their opinion is immediately rendered worthless.

  • David Davies – There are some absolutes, like the laws of thermodynamics, but fundamentally, I agree.

    An inability to change views based upon new proof is the sign of a stagnant mind and the mark of zealot, although accepting new ideas and discarding old ones takes time and allowance must be made for that.

    However, CO2 output has continued to rise and despite all the predictions of of the CAGW crowd, global temperatures have remained relatively flat for 15-20 years, indeed we are on course for actual temperatures to drop out of the bottom of their range of temperature predictions, if we have not already done so.

    This “settled science” of theirs is nothing of the sort, merely a bought-and-paid-for excuse for controls by the elite on the general population as well as expansion of the tax base to sustain bloated government bureaucracies.

    This is politics, pretending to be science.

  • Fraser Orr

    When I was reading his article he had mentioned how people wanted him to shut up about this because he isn’t a climate scientist. He rightly pointed out that if that is to be true, other politicians should similarly zip it too.
    However, what it made me also think is that scientists should similarly shut up about politics. After all, that really is the big problem. Let us take the prognostications of the scientists at face value, something which seems more and more unreasonable given their almost 100% record of failed predictions.

    Even were we to do so their idea that somehow state control can fix this betrays an utter lack of understanding of the mechanism and capabilities of governments as would be had were we to predict the climate with chicken bones and divining rods.