Global Warming: Thirty Years of Hype, Hysteria and Hullabaloo

Unhappy Anniversary

By William M Briggs Published on June 24, 2018

In the late spring of 1988, Senator Tim Wirth from Colorado (guess his party) called the Weather Bureau and asked what historically was the hottest day of the year in Washington, DC.

He needed heat for the theater he was cooking up.

He got it. That June, he recalled, was “stiflingly hot.” To give nature a boost, on the night of June 22, he snuck into the Senate hearing room and opened all the windows. The air conditioning was either switched off or chose that moment to break.

Wirth later boasted to PBS that

when the hearing occurred there was not only bliss, which is television cameras in double figures, but it was really hot …

So [NASA’s James] Hansen’s giving this testimony, you’ve got these television cameras back there heating up the room, and the air conditioning in the room didn’t appear to work. So it was sort of a perfect collection of events that happened that day, with the wonderful Jim Hansen, who was wiping his brow at the witness table and giving this remarkable testimony.

In that manufactured swelter on June 23, 1988, Global Warming was born. Happy Anniversary.

Today, thirty years later, Global Warming is dead. Make that undead. Its corpse still walks among us, awaiting its final stake through its heart.

Winter is Coming

Politicians like Wirth, and the scientists in their employ, had a streak of good luck. Hansen said it would get hotter, and then it did. People doing things like breathing and driving cars were adding “greenhouse gases” to the atmosphere at rates faster than ever before. The correlation between increasing heat and gas was obvious, and it quickly became a cause. Both in the physical and social sense.

There was some reason to believe Hansen was right in those early days. It is a trivial truth that man influences the climate. And scientists had already accepted the idea that man could significantly affect it. A decade before Hansen’s performance, the consensus was that man was driving temperatures dangerously down. Pollution from cars and the like was knocking back the sun’s rays, which was going to cause global cooling.

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Global cooling was no small thing. In April 1975 Newsweek spoke fear in “Our Cooling World.” Global cooling was going to cause “serious political implications for just about every nation on earth,” “The drop in food production could begin quite soon,” “devastating outbreak of tornadoes,” “national boundaries make it impossible for starving peoples to migrate from their devastated fields,” and so forth.

Sound familiar?

When All Agreed

The global cooling consensus of the 1970s was small, but not insignificant because climatology was only then developing into a separate field from meteorology and other atmospheric sciences, and all these sciences were small.

That man was having a devastating, irreversible-without-government-action cooling effect on the earth’s climate would later become something of an embarrassment to climatologists. Which is why they did their best push global cooling into the memory hole. But there was so much material, it overflowed. Even Spock warned of the coming snow. And don’t miss the earnest interview with Stephen Schneider, who would go on to give many earnest interviews about global warming.

But by the time Wirth staged his event, 1978 was ancient history. We knew lots more about the atmosphere in 1988 and had exponentially better computers. Besides, just look at those thermometers inching up! And did you see that scary hockey stick? We must Save The Planet!

Celebrities Are Our Leaders

It wasn’t long before a politician made an Oscar-winning documentary film about global warming. That the film was saturated with errors and made laughable predictions did not matter. Global warming had to be as frightening as the film portrayed, otherwise the politician-turned-actor hosting it would not have looked so serious.

It wasn’t just politicians. Important people the world over were warming to the coming heat. Actors, musicians, pastors, people famous for being famous, chefs, novelists, school teachers, bureaucrats, activists, academics in such widely varying fields as sociology to psychology, and of course lawyers and news readers. Oh, plus a handful of physical scientists (most kept their heads down).

When celebrities speak, we listen. Even if they’re wrong in the details, that so many elites knew global warming was on its way was convincing enough evidence something had to be done.

Nine Most Terrifying Words

That something was government. More and larger government. The government took up this challenge and did what it did best: spend money. Lots of it. Soon, every major grant-reliant scientific association, no matter how tenuous its connection to atmospheric physics, issued official statements on how horrible global warming was going to be — once it got here.

If the animal bit, stung, poisoned or was ugly, global warming was going to cause more of them. But if the beast was photogenic, cute, or delicious, global warming was going to devastate them.

Researchers ran to their computers and offered “studies” showing global warming was going to cause an increase in mosquitoes and a decrease in polar bears. Ambulance rides were going to become more frequent in Australia. Prostitution would flourish in the Pacific. Fish were going to grow to abnormal size and clean out the oceanic grocery store. Fish were going to shrink to cope with the heat.

As I have long said, if the animal bit, stung, poisoned or was ugly, global warming was going to cause more of them. But if the beast was photogenic, cute, or delicious, global warming was going to devastate them. Numbers Watch compiled an enormous partial list of everything that was going to go wrong when global warming showed up.

Yet that global warming would have increased the frequency of warm summer afternoons and would produce richer and more abundant crops (by eating the extra carbon dioxide) was not welcome news. When economist Bjorn Lomborg suggested that even at its worst global warming would be easily coped with, he was scientifically lynched. When a team of four scientists (of which I was one) suggested we’d only see maybe 1 degree of warming, and not the four, five, six or more claimed by the Consensus, the establishment turned into Lost In Space’s Dr. Smith.

The Great Stall

Amidst all the marches, protests, dire warnings of “tipping points,” announcements of “record” heat (in very short periods of time), and cries of climate “denial” something funny happened. The temperature stopped cooperating with climatologists’ models.

Scientists said the mercury had nowhere to go but up. The atmosphere disagreed. A fundamental tenet of science is that its theories must match reality. When reality differs, the theory is wrong. Scientists in control of the Consensus knew they were in deep kimchi, but they were loathe to admit their critics’ points.

Then some wag hacked the emails of Consensus scientists. They spoke of using tricks and hiding declines in temperatures. They boasted of political prowess in keeping peers from publishing skeptical views. Climategate revealed scientists to be as backbiting, manipulative, hateful, suspicious, and cocky as, well, politicians.

Doubt in global warming catastrophe grew. This worried the catastrophists. If global warning was not a problem, then it didn’t need a solution. But the solution was too intoxicating to abandon.

Neither Hot Nor Cold

Enter “climate change.” Global warming became like that movie where the lady on the train vanishes, and where everybody claimed never to have seen her. Climate change, not global warming, was always the real worry.

This was a brilliant move. The earth’s climate was never static; it is impossible that it should ever be static; therefore, it will always change. When anything bad happened, which was certain, it was climate change. When anything good happened, it was Look! Squirrel! Every ill and misfortune could once again be blamed on lack of government.

Wouldn’t you know it, though. The atmosphere again refused to cooperate! Oh, sure, there was the occasional hurricane or drought to keep things spicy. But on the whole it was nice outside. And nobody would ever admit that it being nice outside was because of climate change. Climate change by definition brought only evil.

Finis

Here we are, thirty years after the klaxon. Life is better, or at least no worse, as far as environmental conditions are concerned. Whatever trouble we had from global cooling, or rather global warming, was not that bothersome. We discovered there are plenty of more pressing problems to worry about.

The boorish behavior of activists, the endless hectoring of politicians, the realization of what shutting off fossil fuels really meant, the whopping pile of failed predictions, all that and more, killed global warming as a mass cause.

The undead corpse of global warming is animated now only by the hopes of a handful of true believers.

Smarter activists see the futility of climate change and have begun the work of metamorphosing the cause into something grander.

The seeds for this growth were planted in the Paris “climate” accord, which called for “gender equality, empowerment of women, and intergenerational equity” as well as “climate justice.”

All that was missing was transgender “rights.” But don’t worry. That’s being taken care of, too.

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  • Paul

    Does anyone remember the peak oil hysteria? I’m sure many of those same alarmists now are ringing the climate change bell since ultimately they share similar goals, more govt and stop using fossil fuels.

    • Kevin Carr

      I do. At one point the ice caps were supposed to be in Georgia. I wondered how come nobody ever asked Al Gore, if as he says the oceans were rising, why then shortly after he and Tipper divorced did he spend 8 million dollars on a mansion on the coast in San Diego.

      • CB

        “the ice caps were supposed to be in Georgia”

        According to whom?

        “Data from NASA’s GRACE satellites show that the land ice sheets in both Antarctica and Greenland have been losing mass”

        (NASA Global Climate Change, “Vital Signs of the Planet: Land Ice”)

    • With Respect

      This peak oil hysteria you write about, was that the one where by 2020 oil prices will have reached over $100/barrel several different times before expensive exploration and innovation could catch up, enough to make it worth manufacturing synthetic crude out of North Dakota and Athabasca, a peak where the Saudi’s could not produce 10 bbl/day on demand, a world where a single transformer failure could spike the price of gasoline at the pumps for a month? Oh. wait. No. That’s today.

      • Dee Bee

        Given oil has travelled to way above 100 and then down to 25, WTF is your point?

        • With Respect

          Case in point. Price of oil is determined by geopolitics, shenanigans and manipulation, not by Market forces. Were the $5.3 Trillion worldwide in fossil subsidies cut to zero, renewables would push fossil off the end of the table, and economies of scale would send renewables into prices so low energy will be just slightly above the price of clean air.. and clean air will be far more available.

  • Diogenes71

    Well done!!

  • Global Warming/Cooling/Climate Change due to human activity was ALWAYS preposterous, straight from the beginning. Anyone who paid attention in grade school classes mentioning the Carboniferous should have known that this was a scam right from the start.

    • Boris

      Where did you get your degree in climate science may we ask? I suppose you can debunk evolutionary theory as well. Modern Cosmological Theory – putty in you hands right? The arrogance of you science deniers is just of the charts. People who know absolutely nothing about the real world always claim to know everything about it. Thump that Bible harder Boy and squeal a little louder for us too. I said louder Boy.

      • So, you slept through paleontology class in grade school, then. You sad man.

        • Boris

          I had Biology 101 at a private Christian college in Pennsylvania. I learned about your species there which we call Creationopithicus Alabamas which is descended from another sub-human species known as Bible Thumpicus Mississipus. You know I can have an awful lot of fun at your expense so keep it up.

          • Please point out where in this thread I have uttered a single diphthong about religion. All I’ve done is make use of the most basic scientific principles possible, so that even you should be able to understand my arguments. So, if you really WANT to keep insulting religious people, go right ahead. It will be at you own expense of embarrassment, not mine. I’ve stuck to science.

          • Boris

            “Global Warming/Cooling/Climate Change due to human activity was ALWAYS preposterous, straight from the beginning.”
            That is science denialism, not sticking to science. Now anybody can study Nature. And when you have finished all of your experiments and made all of your demonstrations and put your ideas into practice and produced results and got your papers on this subject peer-reviewed you let us all know okay? I don’t think you can even define the word science without looking it up first.

          • Being a past member of AAAS, I’m pretty sure I know what science is.

          • Boris

            Okay Bill Mad the Science Dad, what is it?

          • Science is the pursuit of an accurate explanation of the workings of reality.

          • Boris

            Workings of Nature.

          • Does that include information?

          • Boris

            Define information. Don’t be vague like Dempski either.

  • pseudo-intellectual

    30 years ago I moved to southern California.

    By May it was already in the low to mid-90s.

    Fast-forward to this spring (and currently)… in the 70s, mostly, the last 2 months.

    FIFTY years ago, the night of my high school graduation… in the 90s.

    • pseudo-intellectual

      Alarmists will always be able to find some locale experiencing unusually warm- not necessarily HOT – weather.

      They don’t work nearly as hard (or at all) finding all the cold spots.

      • Ye Olde Statistician

        That’s why the weather reports now include not just the temperature, but also ‘degrees above rhe “normal” temperature.

    • Myth Buster

      This is why it’s called “Global Warming”. It measures temperature averages throughout the globe; not just focusing on a few areas. in terms of “Global Warming” – the last 14 of the 15-years average temperatures have been the hottest ever recorded.

  • Boris

    Spectroscopy is hard science. Fundamentalist Bible believers try very hard to deny science. Always have, always will. We don’t have to model or predict to show how burning fossil fuel warms the planet. By simply pointing our spectrometers at the sky, we can, right now, directly observe and identify the greenhouse gases, and measure exactly how much radiative energy the atmosphere is absorbing and keeping here on Earth. This direct, non-ambiguous spectroscopic reading is the “smoking gun” that proves the excess heat energy being trapped in our atmosphere is due to CO2. That excess CO2 is produced by humans burning fossil fuels. The same self-proclaimed “experts” who “know” evolution is a bogus theory are also just as “expert” on climate science. And don’t forget cosmology and their “First Cause” argument which no real scientist on the planet accepts. Bible believers are the most arrogant people on the planet. And they nothing at all to be arrogant about.

    • Paul

      So how do you explain away the ice age alarmist scientists I remember hearing so much from in my youth?

      • Boris

        We are due for another ice age. However science accumulates new data every day and this is why no finding is the final word and all findings are subject to future revision and even outright rebuttal. I don’t know how old you are but apparently you have not kept up with the latest scientific research and its findings. Why should you? They could change again tomorrow. Scary huh? Much better to cling to the beliefs you already have and ignore all that science stuff huh?

        • Nathan James

          Did you ever stop to think that science can’t tell you to trust science?

          • Boris

            That may be true. But science can tell you not to trust religion.

          • John Doe

            You will get religion shortly after your suck your last breath ( 20 years,tops, is my guess ) and then most likely experience a type of global warming you can`t even begin to possibly imagine. If I`m wrong I still win the debate……….

            Pascal’s Wager – Wikipedia.

          • Boris

            How about Pascal’s Wager refuted? Look that up. The New Testament is a fraud and Jesus and his reindeer never even existed. And if you think spending your life in intellectual servitude to provably false beliefs wins you anything, you are dead wrong. Thanks for proving that Christianity only really appeals to the base human emotion of cowardice. How frustrating it must be for you to have been so easily frightened into your religious superstitions by OTHER PEOPLE yet you find it impossible to frighten other people with the same kind of taunts that frightened you so much. There’s a reason for that. See if you can figure it out. On your own. By yourself. No one else.

          • John Doe

            My apologies for making you so emotional.I see that death scares you ; it should ! I live a life of hope that brings joy to me and those around me of like mind and is most unlike your life that began as nothing and ends in nothing serving no real purpose nor has any direction outside of yourself ; good luck with that! We will both find out very,very,soon……..

          • Boris

            Death does not scare me. Dying might be a little troublesome. It’s true life has no real inherent purpose or meaning. This is not a bad thing. We can each give our own lives whatever meaning and purpose we choose. You chose to let other people tell you how to live, what to live for and what the meaning and purpose of you life must be. I’m not wasting my life like that. The thing about your last statement is that you won’t find out. The cause of death for every human is the same: lack of oxygen to the brain. Once that happens what were once your hopes, dreams, memories, thoughts, expectations and superstitions will vanish like they never were there. Gone forever. If I were you I would not waste anymore time on childish hopes and superstitions. They are not going to save you.

          • John Doe

            I must have missed that great worldwide scientific announcement that definitively proved that there is no God , nor life after death.The vast majority of what you believe from science is based on the testimony you received from other men; same for history and that is your chosen faith. Again, I say, that you will find out sooner than you think.

          • Boris

            Science is not based on testimonies. That’s all your religion is based on and none of them can be trusted as truthful. Not one, not ever.
            Science is based on what works, not on what gets written about it. Scientists use experimentation and demonstration not arguments. They put their knowledge to work. For example studying how the human immune system evolved has helped us fight the disease that attack the immune system. My daughter is a biologist who works at a hospital doing this very thing. She doesn’t write papers for peer-review but does what most scientists do which is toil away in obscurity trying to make the world a better, safer and healthier place.
            So tell us all what have your Creation Magic “scientists” or your Intelligent Design magic “scientists” done to make the world a better place with all their new “science” may I ask? How does your magic tree – rib woman – talking snake “science” advance biology, immunology, medicine, farming, pest control, fishery management and all the things a it would have to do if you hope to replace evolutionary science with your pseudo science? It’s hard to imagine anyone being played for a bigger fool than you have. All other people had to do was frighten you with a bunch of goofy tales about what will happen to you after you die and you went right to your knees groveling like a scared child. And why wouldn’t you? That’s exactly what you are.

          • Myth Buster

            Well said…..

          • John Doe

            So tell us all what have your Creation Magic “scientists” or your
            Intelligent Design magic “scientists” done to make the world a better
            place with all their new “science” may I ask?

            Glad you asked, Boris!

            They founded the greatest civilization that’s ever existed giving the entire world technologies, advancements,and innovations in all areas of human advancement that have made it possible for people like you ,for one, to get all emotional on a vast informational and communication network………………….stating from religion that a Creator gives us rights, not other men, and founded this Nation……rights from God ………something that is “self-evident” .

            We hold these truths to
            be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed
            by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are
            life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

            Having read your highly emotional responses I am relatively certain that you are either a woman or an accomplished Beta-Male who refuses to even consider belief, not because science has proved that God does not exist, but because you would be forbidden certain types of behavior and that you are not man enough to sacrifice for the betterment of yourself and others but prefer comfort and ease rather than sacrifice and work. Are you sure your name isn`t Doris??????

          • Michael

            “This is not a bad thing”. How could it be? Your previous sentence emptied the universe of the meaning of the word “bad”.

          • Boris

            We humans define our words. If you don’t understand the meaning of them get someone to show you how to use a dictionary.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            “Death does not scare me.”But perhaps the possibility of an afterlife does? That’s what you deny, after all.

            M: If the natural world has no meaning or purpose

            m: And human beings are only part of this natural world,

            /.: How can we “give our own lives whatever meaning and purpose we choose.” From where did our brain synapses get these meanings and purposes?

          • Boris

            There is no afterlife and besides the after life would be totally meaningless without an after after life. Would good is heaven if there’s nothing to look forward to after that? What are meaning and purpose?Things we humans invented. Just like we did with morality.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            “There is no afterlife” We are tempted to ask how you know this, since you have stated it so absolutely, (No “probably,” e.g.)

            Reincarnationists and New Agers believe in a succession of lives. In paganism, Judaism, and some others, it is a shadowy sort of existence. In Christianity, it is not actually ‘life’ but rather some sort of eternal existence. [Nor does ‘eternal’ mean a very long time, btw.] It is said to be a state of perfect happiness. What can there to look forward to beyond perfect happiness.

            We can only imagine why you prefer to reject morality; so you can appreciate why we keep our powder dry. But otherwise, why not read Aristotle’s ‘Nichomachean Ethics’?

          • Boris

            There is no afterlife because the cause of death for every human is lack of oxygen to the brain. If you’d like to explain how something survives after that go right ahead. The explanation for superstitions about an afterlife are easy to understand, although maybe not for you. Our ancestors saw their dead friends and relatives in dreams didn’t know what dreams are and so they assumed that these people were still alive in some kind of netherworld. I know you don’t but some us know better now because we know what dreams are. I do not reject morality. Morality is based on choices and choices are rooted in values. For humans the most basic choice is between life and death so the ultimate value is life. That which protects and enhances human life is termed “good” and that which harms and destroys human life is termed “bad” or “evil.” Pretty simple system and it’s the only one we’ve ever really had. I had four years of Ancient Greek. I’m done with the Greek philosophers.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            Our ancestors saw their dead friends and relatives in dreams didn’t know what dreams are and so they assumed that these people were still alive in some kind of netherworld

            How do you know this? What is your evidence?

          • Boris

            Coffin texts from Egypt.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            Which ones? What do they actually read? Did you read them yourself (from your knowledge of demotic or hieroglyphic) or did someone tell you about them — or even tell you what the supposedly read? Do they tell us how the Persians or the Chinese developed their afterlife states?

          • True Faith

            Dear Boris, if you truly believe that life has no meaning or purpose then in my (admittedly limited) mind it follows logically that one cannot “waste” it. How can one “waste” what has no meaning or purpose? If you could explain I would greatly appreciate it.

          • Boris

            You waste your life when you let others tell you what the meaning and purpose of your life must be. You can do that for yourself. You don’t need other people to tell you how to live. But you are so willing to do that anyway, aren’t you? Why? Tell us all why you can’t think for yourself.

          • John Doe

            Dear Boris, if you truly believe that life has no meaning or purpose
            then in my (admittedly limited) mind it follows logically that one
            cannot “waste” it. How can one “waste” what has no meaning or purpose?
            If you could explain I would greatly appreciate it.

          • John Doe

            Please answer the question posed to you from “True Faith” first Boris. Should be easy for you with all that science backing you up. I`ll even post it again for you.

            Dear Boris, if you truly believe that life has no meaning or purpose
            then in my (admittedly limited) mind it follows logically that one
            cannot “waste” it. How can one “waste” what has no meaning or purpose?
            If you could explain I would greatly appreciate it.

          • Boris

            I said life has no inherent meaning. If mom did not teach you what “inherent” means when she home schooled you then you need to look it up. Each person gives their own lives meaning and purpose. These things do not come from any external source. Like morality. We humans invented that as well and it does not come from any external source either. I hope you can understand these very simple but true concepts. If not shame on you for being so poorly educated.

          • John Doe

            Then you are fine with murderers, child molesters, rapists,terrorists,dictators,tortureres and the like as if life , in your perverted mind anyway, has no permanent meaning what difference does it make if you feed someone or kill them if in each case the “individual
            finds “meaning” and “purpose” by the act? You are one sick tool, Boris!

          • Boris

            “… murderers, child molesters, rapists,terrorists,dictators,tortureres…” What are you bringing the Catholic Church and their priests, bishops, cardinals and popes into this conversation for? The fact that you people let this church exist shows just how evil you really are.

          • John Doe

            I see you never address the questions posed before you. You`re obviously a woman! LOL!
            Good luck Boris, Doris, Chorus, or whatever you identify as …………it`s time to let the dead bury the dead! See you at the general judgement!

          • Boris

            No you won’t.

          • John Doe

            Oh yes I will!!!!

          • Boris

            Prove it.

          • Boris

            That isn’t what I said and you know it. Attack the straw man. I’m not fine with with people finding meaning and purpose harming other people. They are the sick tools, not me.

          • Michael

            Wow, Boris, you don’t disappoint. The evidence that Jesus existed is overwhelming. Far better than most historical figures.
            You have managed not only to not talk about the article, but have indulged in straw men, mind reading, and pretending that you have knowledge of others that you can’t possibly possess.
            And yet, hilariously, you believe yourself to be the only really truly rational one – here to save us all from our infantile lack of intellectual honesty – while you take pains to prove without a doubt the exact opposite.

          • swordfish

            “The evidence that Jesus existed is overwhelming. Far better than most historical figures.”

            Jesus may or may not have existed, but the evidence that he did is definitely NOT ‘overwhelming’ – it’s more like ‘underwhelming’. There’s actually only the Gospels and a few thin external references. The Gospels disagree with each other when they’re not copying each other and were written decades after Jesus died. It’s difficult to imagine less convincing evidence.

          • Bryan

            “The Gospels disagree with each other when they’re not copying each other…”
            I wanted to bring to your attention a flaw in your argument. The statement above is a contradiction. Either the Gospels were copies of each other or they are not but they can’t be both and not have historical value. As for the other points you make, without backup or reference, read Lee Strobel’s Case for Christ. Besides the interviews he conducts, there are several footnotes with references to other material. Many are peer-reviewed journals or other works which contradict each point in your comment.

          • Boris

            I love how you Bible thumpers always tell us, “If you’ll just read what So and So wrote that will clear things up.” You people are incapable of making your own arguments. You can only repeat the lies your cult leaders tell you to repeat. No minds of your own whatsoever. Mindless yes people are all you are. Lee Strobel simply repeats the same old debunked arguments we’ve hard and seen for centuries. If the existence of Jesus is such a slam dunk then why have there been a dozen or so books written recently like this one trying to make the case that he did? The reason is because the cat has gotten out the bag and the general public is discovering very quickly that Jesus and the apostles are as mythical as Santa and his reindeer. The panic in the Bible thumping community is palpable. How does it feel?

          • swordfish

            “Either the Gospels were copies of each other or they are not but they can’t be both and not have historical value.”

            Some parts were copied, other parts disgree on facts. Both these criticisms can coexist while remaining valid.

            “read Lee Strobel’s Case for Christ”

            No. It is documented online that Mr. Strobel is a liar.

          • Bryan

            I’d like a link to your claim regarding Mr. Strobel. Also, my reference to the book mentioned his documentation of where he got his sources. Are you also claiming that all of these works are demonstratively false?
            The parts that disagree are generally of the type “I saw two red cars” and “I saw one red car and one maroon car”. Whether the women were the first to see Jesus resurrected or only one woman saw Jesus resurrected before telling the others depends on who is talking to whom. The fact that Jesus is resurrected is the same in both accounts.
            There are four accounts of Jesus. They agree on the essentials, that Jesus lived and preached in the regions surrounding Jerusalem, that he was tried and condemned to death, that he has crucified, and that he rose from the dead and was seen by many people living at that time.
            Some parts were copied or as others have noted, they used Mark as their source. That’s probably because Mark is most likely Peter’s account. Each account has a slightly different perspective. Does that make what they agree on less valid? You are using as your source of information some nebulous research, done by others, available to be copied and edited on the Internet. How do you know that your material is more true than the biblical accounts? The skeptics you reference weren’t alive when the Bible was written. The authors of the Gospels were. Who would you give credibility to just based on that?

          • swordfish

            Regarding Mr. Strobel, I can’t post links, but you can search on ‘deeplyblasphemous’ blog (and elewhere). You may not agree that he is technically a liar, but as various reviewers point out, if you say you’re going to be highly sceptical of Christianity, then only give very soft interviews to Christian writers and completely fail to be sceptical at all, there’s something wrong somewhere.

            “The parts that disagree are generally of the type “I saw two red cars” and “I saw one red car and one maroon car”.”

            Usually angels rather than cars. You would have thought the gospels would agree on numbers of angels – or were angels so commonplace in those days as not to warrant paying attention to?

            “and that he rose from the dead and was seen by many people living at that time”

            …according to the (later) gospels. You can’t use a claim in the gospels to prove the gospels are true.

            “The skeptics you reference weren’t alive when the Bible was written. The authors of the Gospels were.”

            The earliest gospel (Mark) was written (in Greek) about AD60-70, the others decades later. None of them were written by eyewitnesses to the life of Jesus. Mark mentions very little about the resurrection, and what is mentioned is questionable. Let’s not forget also that the four gospels were originally many more – only the best ones were selected for inclusion in the Bible.

          • Bryan

            So I read the blog you mentioned. Mr. Bradley is far from convincing in his post on Mr. Strobel’s book. By the way, this isn’t the same book that I was referencing in my earlier comments. Mr. Bradley, in my opinion, does the exact same thing he accuses Mr. Strobel of doing, namely, starting from a biased position and arguing ineffectually. The problem in Mr. Bradley’s case is that he does not do much to support his arguments against Mr. Strobels claims. For example, his criticism of Dr. Brown stems from the fact that Christianity has a “history of antisemitism” and that a Messianic Jew was a poor choice for an interview, Dr. Brown’s credentials aside.
            To your other points:
            Whether the discrepancy is cars or angels is not really the point. One account says there were two angels, another says one angel spoke. Are those a disagreement on the number of angels or a different perspective?

            The claim that Jesus rose from the dead and was seen by many is also in Acts (Peter’s first sermon) and in one or more Pauline Epistles.

            There is evidence that Mark was written earlier than 60 or 70AD. I think as early as 40’s AD. The Pauline Epistles where written earlier than 70 AD as well. I don’t have the reference in front of me, nor the time to look it up at this moment.

            Finally, you and Mr. Bradley, (and Boris and others in this thread), assume that the Gospels cannot be used to prove the veracity of any Biblical claim. Why is that? At their most basic level, these are historical documents copied and preserved through out history in much the same way as the works of Plato or Homer or Sun Tzu or thousands of others. To claim that they must have outside verification (which they do), is to treat them much differently than any other piece of ancient history, including many of the “other gospels”. I can understand a hatred of religion. (According to the gospels, Jesus hated religiosity for its own sake.) But it seems your hatred of religion has blinded you to seeking truth. You want truth but you are unwilling to allow for the existence of truth if it comes in a form you disagree with.

          • Michael

            The evidence for Jesus is far better than the evidence for many other ancients about whom nobody bothers to question.

          • Boris

            Good, then you will have no problem telling us all what this evidence is. Contemporaneous evidence only please. If you don’t know what that big word means because of Mom’s homeschooling then you need to look it up. We don’t accept hearsay accounts written more than half century after the events they supposedly described supposedly occurred. That might be good enough for historical figures we have no reason to believe didn’t exist. However if you are going to claim that God took human form, became as widely known and famous as the Bible claims he did, then you need some pretty good evidence from outside of the Bible to support that claim. You don’t have such evidence. The thing about that is had you known this BEFORE you got indoctrinated into the world’s largest cult of stupidity and ignorance you would never have believed what you now do in the first place and you know it. Now you’re stuck trying to believe what you know ain’t true. I wouldn’t trade places with you for a billion dollars. You’re in a kind of hell just as bad as the one you are trying to void. Only this hell is real and you are really in it.

          • Michael

            I’m only answering this time because the towering and melodramatic disdain you have for your made up version of my intellectual history is really priceless. A little neurotic, but it’s very entertaining.
            So Josephus, Tacitus, Phlegon, Origen, the Jewish Talmud and the Gospels are all credible sources. But you could have looked that up yourself.

          • Boris

            Outside of the Bible here are no witnesses to any of the central events your entire religion is based upon. No witnesses to this supposed trial, to this supposed crucifixion, to this resurrection, to dead people climbing out of their graves, the world going dark, Herod’s supposed slaughter of the innocents (a common theme in this type of literature) or any other incident described in the New Testament. And the real elephant in the room is that we have no evidence contemporaneous or otherwise that any of the apostles ever existed either. No evidence that Paul ever preached on Mars Hill or anywhere else. No accounts of Peter bringing new doctrine to Rome or anywhere else. No accounts of any apostles being martyred or doing anything else. These men were told to go and make themselves known to the world and yet the world never heard or saw any of them. Origen read Josephus, glad you brought that up. Now why didn’t Origen see those passages in Joesephus that supposedly mention Jesus? Because they were not there until Eusebius forged them and put them there. The Gospels are credible? ROFL! We know the authors of Matthew and Luke used Mark as their main source material along with their own imaginations and religious agenda. So you have maybe one and a half gospels, not four. Do some research. You’re about four centuries too late.

          • Michael

            From Wikipedia:

            “Contemporary scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed, and biblical scholars and classical historians recognize the theories of his nonexistence as effectively refuted.[5][7][8][30][31][32] There is no indication that writers in antiquity who opposed Christianity questioned the existence of Jesus.[33]”

          • swordfish

            That’s probably because those other historical figures aren’t claimed to be able to walk on water and come back from the dead.

          • Boris

            Contemporaneous evidence that Jesus Christ actually existed please. Stop the babble and post this evidence right here and right now.

          • Boris

            The silence is deafening. Ask a Bible believer for evidence and you can hear a pin drop.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            How frightened is one that his sinful acts may be punished, that he is driven by fear to deny the consequences?

            The myth that Jesus never existed is one that you cling to, but nearly all historians believe on the evidence that he did, even when they do not accept the miraculous claims.

          • Boris

            What evidence is that Jesus and any of the apostles actually existed? For all of your hot air and blowhardism you don’t even know the difference between evidence and arguments. You don’t know the difference between science and pseudo science. And you don’t know the difference between your behind and a hole in the ground. Your lack of education and critical thinking skills is astounding. Don’t waste my time babbling your ignorance.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            So science can tell us it is wrong to feed the hungry and to love our neighbor? Who even knew the were questions dealing with the measurement of the properties of physical bodies?

        • Paul

          In other words, the ice age alarmist scientists were wrong but no one wants to talk about it. If we heeded their false warnings and reorganized our society the way they demanded we would have wadted trillions of dollars on a fools errand. Same goes with the peak oil scientists wringing their false alarm, again reorganizing our entire society in accordance with their wrong findings would have been a waste of trillions of dollars on another fools errand. But now it is global warming, or is it climate change, reorganizing our entire culture spending trillions will once again be a fools errand.

          • Boris

            The ice age alarmists were in the media, not in the scientific community. A brief study of the climate science literature from 1965 to 1979 will show you that this notion your right wing politicians are fooling you with about Ice Age alarmists in the scientific community is a myth. The myth’s basis is due to a purposeful selective misreading of this literature by both some members of the media at the time and by science denying politicians and religious apologists today. Even back then you were accepting what the media and non-scientists were saying instead of reading the actual scientific literature for yourself. The fact is that the emphasis on greenhouse warming dominated the scientific literature even 40 years ago. In 1970 there were 6 times as many scientists predicting global warming as opposed to an impending Ice Age. Now with 40 more years of data to analyse, there is a clear scientific consensus among working climate scientists that human beings are causing global warming. Scientists are not the alarmists. They aren’t the ones who on the left want to throw money at the problem nor are they the ones on the right who want to ignore the problem altogether pretending it doesn’t exist. You’re trying to kill messengers when it’s these politicians on both sides of the aisle who are the problem.

          • Paul

            Bull longreads(DOT)com/2017/04/13/in-1975-newsweek-predicted-a-new-ice-age-were-still-living-with-the-consequences/

            Also scientists thrive on the grant money, need to keep ringing the alarm to milk the cash cow

          • Boris

            I just told you why no one should get information about scientific research or the data from the media. What do you do? You don’t refer me to any peer-reviewed scientific literature on the subject but rather to a sensationalized News Week article. Unbelievable! Of course it has a completely bogus claim “still-living-with-the-consequences” in the title. What may we ask are these consequences we are supposedly still living with? No one spent a dime or did anything else because they thought there was going to be an ice age. Yeah those scientists need money. That’s because they don’t sit on their behinds all day making stuff up like your heroes at the Discovery Institute, a place where nothing has ever been discovered yet people like you keep buying their books and sending them money. Scientists produce results that make the world a better place.

          • Paul

            National Academy of Science and NOAA were warning about the coming ice age and were referenced in the newsweek article. Same institutions now blow alarms about warming.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            But you can’t fool those of us who were there. Read Gribbin’s Forecasts, Famines and Freezes for a straightforward account. But if you mean there was not a cadre of scientists whose very livelihoods depended on advocating the theory, then no, they weren’t as organized and the scientists who disagreed or even were less catastrophic about it were not attacked and ridiculed in those days, when actual science was practiced. Perhaps, you have allowed others to do your thinking for you and are merely repeating what you have been told about those days of yore. Last I looked, Lindzen, Curry, Happer, Dyson, Svensmark, Spencer. Christy, Deming, McKittrick, Baliunis, Ball, Singer were also scientists

          • Myth Buster

            That’s interesting. I didn’t know the ice age alarmists were in the media, not in the scientific community. I hear that as a right wing counterargument, but didn’t know the source. This is also part of the problem – the counter global warming believers are often extremely disingenuous in their arguments and facts they counter with. Now, 97% of scientists who are studying global warming believe it is real and man-made. The others are still doing research or a small number working for the fossil fuel companies (like those 50-years ago working for the cigarette companies claiming their products didn’t cause cancer).

          • Slightly Salty

            This is true. Back in the 1970s scientists were gathering data from around the world to come up with global average temperatures, and they found that temperatures had been cooling since about the 1940s. However, the warming effects of CO2 had been known for over a century, and new research in that area was showing that its warming would more than compensate for the cooling caused by aerosols, resulting in net warming. In other words, the earth had been going through its natural cooling effect, but CO2 was changing this trend and evidence was just becoming available indicating this. A lot has happened over the past 4 1/2-decades – some need to catch up in their reading. Today, when there really is a consensus about climate science and 97% of climatologists agree that adding CO2 to the atmosphere is leading to climate change, only 45% of the public know about that consensus. The other 55% must think we’re still in the 1970s when scientists were still debating the issue.

            Using this logic one could claim back two thousand years ago most people were pagans and they’ve been proven wrong; therefore, the is no validity to the christian religion. They conflating issues to reach a desired conclusion without looking at facts.

          • Boris

            Exactly. There’s this huge anti-science bowel movement in this country which is being pushed by religious leaders and conservative politicians. Other countries don’t have this problem. There’s a reason Ken Ham put his Ark Park in the United States and not in his own country.

          • Slightly Salty

            Someone wrote a book a few years ago about the creation of the anti-science moment in the US and I listened to them on NPR. It started during the 1960s with the cigarette industry attacking researchers connecting their product with cancer; then was co-opted by the creationists to attack evolution and now we see it again dealing with global warming. In fact, we’re one of the only western industrialized countries that has this type of view on science in the 21st Century. Sadly, the average American doesn’t even grasp how science works: hypothesis, theory, scientific laws and peer review process, and are vulnerable to right wing propaganda that implies its a huge conspiracy that oddly would be almost impossible to engineer; yet, they gullibility believe it. It’s also one of the key reasons many Europeans think Americans are stupid.

    • Nathan James

      “And don’t forget cosmology and their “First Cause” argument which no real scientist on the planet accepts.”

      This is quite an ignorant comment. Anyone accepting or rejecting the first cause argument necessarily does so on non-scientific grounds.

      • Boris

        Science does not deal with philosophical or theological arguments. Arguments are not evidence and are mostly used to defend beliefs for which there is no evidence as is the case for the First Cause fallacy. However philosophy and logic do. The First Argument is used as an example of the logical fallacy known as Special Pleading in philosophy and logic classes. There’s so much wrong with this argument I can’t cover it all right here. “Everything that begins to exist must have a cause.” The burden of proof is on the person who claims the universe began to exist. How do you intend to prove that the mass/energy that comprises the universe has not always existed in one form or another?

        • Michael

          Yes but that “explanation” of the origins of the universe, doesn’t explain anything now, does it? Special pleading indeed!

          • swordfish

            ‘God created it’ is actually less than useless as an explanation because if taken seriously by science, there wouldn’t be any point in researching the subject at all.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            But that is not the explanation. Scientists cannot accept it (except for a range of Nobel Prize winners) as a scientific hypothesis because it does not involve the metric properties of physical bodies.

          • Michael

            It’s not at all “less than useless” to say that God created it. It is tremendously useful to believe, for example, that since we are created in the very image of God, then His creation ought to be intelligible to us. It is also very useful to believe that to study the universe is to approach an understanding of the mind and the will of God. It is also very good indeed to see that since He created it and deemed it good that we ought to respect and give due reverence to all creation.
            None of these things, furthermore, render the task of science irrelevant. In fact many great scientists carried these very notions in their heart as they studied the world around them. You would find, if you looked, that many scientists in fact were and are in awe of creation and are eager to draw closer to God through their work

          • Boris

            Yeah 400 years ago scientists believed in God. You won’t find too many today.

          • Michael

            “The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the
            five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole, in that the universe appears to have order
            and purpose.”
            Arno Penzias (b. 1933), American physicist and Nobel Laureate for the discovery of the
            cosmic background radiation which substantiated Big Bang theory.
            “The laws of [physics]…seem themselves to be the product of exceedingly ingenious
            design…[there] is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all…It
            seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe…The
            impression of design is overwhelming.”
            Paul Davies (b. 1946), contributed to black hole and Big Bang theories.
            “The book of nature which we have to read is written by the finger of God.”
            Michael Faraday (d. 1867), established the existence of the magnetic field, discovered
            electrolysis, diamagnetism, electromagnetic induction and benzene. He invented an
            early version of the electric dynamo. His work laid the foundation of the modern
            electrical system. By showing the inter-relation between magnetism and light, he laid
            the groundwork for a unified field theory.
            “Religion and science demand for their foundation faith in God. For the former (religion), God
            stands foremost; for the latter (science), at the end of all thought, For religion He represents a
            basis; for science, a crowning solution towards a world view.”
            Max Planck (d. 1947), the founder of quantum physics and one of the most important
            physicists of the twentieth century.
            “The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel
            and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”
            Isaac Newton (d. 1727), developed calculus and described it in Principia Mathematica,
            from which the above quote is taken. He described universal gravitation, the three laws
            of motion, and developed color theory. He wrote more on theology and religion than he
            did on science.
            “I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in
            the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.”
            “The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a
            huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The
            child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does
            not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the
            arrangement of the books… a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly
            suspects.”
            “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals
            himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply
            emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the
            incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.”
            Albert Einstein (d. 1955), among his numerous discoveries, he developed the special and
            general theories of relativity, the law of mass-energy equivalence, and received a Nobel
            Prize for describing the law of photoelectric effect. He denied the inspiration of Scripture
            and the idea of the Chosen People.
            “I am a scientist and a believer, and I find no conflict between those world views. …and neither
            apparently do the 40 percent of working scientists who claim to be believers [in a personal God].
            Francis Collins (b. 1950), leader of the Human Genome Project, director of the National
            Human Genome Research Institute.
            “In the last few years astronomy has come together so that we’re now able to tell a coherent story
            [of how the universe began]…This story does not contradict God, but instead enlarges [the idea
            of] God.”
            Joel Primack, Fellow of the American Physical Society, Professor of Physics at the
            University of California, Santa Cruz. He studies dark matter, particle astrophysics,
            cosmology and quantum field theory.
            “As the depth of our insight into the wonderful works of God increases, the stronger are our
            feelings of awe and veneration in contemplating them and in endeavoring to approach their
            Author…So will he [the earnest student] by his studies and successive acquirements be led
            through nature up to nature’s God.”
            William Lord Kelvin (d. 1907), inventor of the Kelvin temperature scale, ennobled for for
            his feats in science and engineering.
            “When I tell a young person: Look, there is a new star, a galaxy, a neutron star 100 million
            light-years away, yet the protons, electrons; neutrons and mesons which are found there are
            identical with those which are found in this microphone…Identity excludes probability. That
            which is identical is not probable…Therefore there is a cause, outside of space, outside of time,
            the master of being, which made being to be in this way. And this is God…”
            “The being – I am speaking scientifically – which has caused things to be identical at a distance
            of billions of light-years, exists. And the number of identical particles in the universe is 10
            raised to the 85th power…Do we wish then to take in the song of the Galaxies? If I were Francis
            of Assisi I would say: O Galaxies of the immense heavens, give praise to my Lord, for He is
            omnipotent and good. O atoms, O protons, O electrons, O bird-songs, O blowing of the leaves
            and of the air, in the hands of man as a prayer, sing out the hymn which returns to God!
            Enrico Medi, chair of geophysics, University of Palermo
            “While…media attention goes to the strident atheists who claim religion is foolish superstition,
            and to the equally clamorous religious creationists who deny the clear evidence for cosmic and
            biological evolution, a majority of the people I know have no difficulty accepting scientific
            knowledge and holding to religious faith.”
            “…Why do I believe in God? As a physicist, I look at nature from a particular perspective. I see
            an orderly, beautiful universe in which nearly all physical phenomena can be understood from a
            few simple mathematical equations. I see a universe that, had it been constructed slightly
            differently, would never have given birth to stars and planets, let alone bacteria and people. And
            there is no good scientific reason for why the universe should not have been different.”
            “Many good scientists have concluded from these observations that an intelligent God must have
            chosen to create the universe with such beautiful, simple, and life-giving properties. Many other
            equally good scientists are nevertheless atheists. Both conclusions are positions of faith…I find
            these arguments suggestive and supportive of belief in God, but not conclusive. I believe in God
            because I can feel God’s presence in my life, because I can see the evidence of God’s goodness
            in the world, because I believe in Love and because I believe that God is Love.”
            William D. Phillips, a Nobel Laureate in physics, fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute of
            the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology
            “To find the metaphysical beliefs…governing scientific research…it would have been enough to
            speak of one belief, the belief in a personal rational Creator. It was this belief, as cultivated
            especially within a Christian matrix, which supported the [scientific] view for which the world
            was an objective and orderly entity investigable by the mind because the mind too was an orderly
            and objective product of the same rational, that is, perfectly consistent Creator.
            Dr. Stanley Jaki, Templeton Prize winner, Distinguished Professor of physics, Seton Hall
            University
            “I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing
            principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there
            is something instead of nothing.”
            Allan Sandage (b. 1926), winner of the Crawford Prize in Astronomy. He was regarded
            as the pre-eminent observational cosmologist in the world from the 1950s through the
            1970s. His research led him to become a Christian at the age of 50.
            “We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures….If the
            Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into
            existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to
            live in.”
            John O’Keefe (d. 2000), NASA astronomer, major leader in the American lunar program
            and the first to propose the idea of the scanning electron microscope.
            “I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a
            superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologians who
            would deny the advances of science. And there is certainly no scientific reason why God cannot
            retain the same relevance in our modern world that He held before we began probing His
            creation with telescope, cyclotron, and space vehicles.”
            “Can a physicist visualize an electron? The electron is materially inconceivable, and yet it is so
            perfectly known through its effects that we use it to illuminate our cities, guide our airlines
            through the night skies, and take the most accurate measurements. What strange rationale makes
            some physicists accept the inconceivable electron as real, while refusing to accept the reality of
            God on the ground that they cannot conceive him?”
            “My relationship with God is very personal. I think you can be on first name terms with Him,
            you know, and tell Him what your troubles are, and ask for help. I do it all the time and it works
            for me.”
            Werhner von Braun, NASA engineer and scientist, designer of the Saturn rockets.

          • Michael

            Put that in your pipe and smoke it

          • swordfish

            None of the stuff you mention directly addresses the point I made. If you think God created the universe, then there’s no point studying how the universe came to exist. Maybe it has always existed, but you wouldn’t look for evidence for such a state of affairs.

            “many scientists in fact were and are in awe of creation”

            Statistically, there are far fewer religious believers amongst scientists than amongst the general population.

          • Michael

            No, you continually indulge in a category mistake: belief in God is in fact a foundation for believing that the universe is ordered in a way that it can be understood. Such belief informs and gives meaning to the study of nature, very much the way a belief in a universal aesthetic informs and orders the pursuit of, say, portraiture.
            You missing the point is not actually an argument.

          • swordfish

            “belief in God is in fact a foundation for believing that the universe is ordered in a way that it can be understood”

            I can’t see any justification for claiming this. We can observe order in the universe, but we can’t observe God, and the majority of scientists are atheists.

          • Boris

            Why doesn’t it explain the existence of the universe? Because it leaves God out of the equation and any equation like that is unacceptable because it runs counter to what other people have already brainwashed you into believing.

          • Michael

            Well try using “it always existed” as an explanation for anything else in your experience and then maybe you’ll see what’s dissatisfying about it.

          • Boris

            We’re talking about the universe, not anything else. Man, I would not want to be you. It’s like an early onset of Alzheimer’s. No thinking skills at all.

        • Ye Olde Statistician

          Ah, I was right. You don’t even know what the argument from the ordering of efficient causes is. You say “Everything that begins to exist must have a cause” is an unsupported claim. [A counterexample would be useful.] But this was already denied by Aquinas, so you are late to the party.

          You also seem unclear on the nature of special pleading.

          • Boris

            Aquinas? Oh yeah there’s a real genius! LOL.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            More than some here; but since you were agreeing with him about what now called after the muslims the ‘kalam’ argument, it seems an ungrateful comment.

          • Boris

            I don’t pay any attention to arguments. People without evidence are the only ones who need them.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            Nice dodge. I take it then that you pay no attention to mathematics or theoretical physics.

            What is the ‘evidence’ that a physical universe exists outside your mind?

          • Boris

            I am made up of star matter just like everything else we can see right now in the universe. Many of the elements that I am made of can only come from inside a supernova and can only get out when this huge star explodes and then dies so to speak. So forget Jesus, a star died so that you could live. So what we are is part of the universe but a very special part of the universe which is actually becoming aware of itself. Except for you I guess. The left behind.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            That being so — you were told this by other people, right? Surely, you don’t have the experimental apparatus in your basement! — but what does that mean? Poincare noted that a house is a pile of stones, but it is not only a pile of stones. In the same way, he said, a science is not just a pile of facts. As important as the subject matter is, it is nothing actual until it is informed. The arrangement is as important as the matter.

          • Boris

            How do you know this? You were told this by other people, right? Touche Mr. No Self-awareness. Science is not a pile of facts or a body of data. Science is a method. How old are you anyway? You are appear to be geezing quite a bit.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            Is that an ageist remark? Do you contend that an argument is invalid because the speaker is an elder? Look up the actual definition of ad hominem while you’re at it.

            Nearly all of what anyone knows was told to him by others. Perhaps by teachers; perhaps by reading books. That’s because no one has the time, interest, or skills to develop expertise from scratch. I know nothing about French impressionism or organic chemistry, for example. So I would hate to tell an art critic that his appreciation of Cezanne was all wrong. This is independent of one’s taste. If I do not like impressionism, that does not mean a treatise extolling the movement is wrong.

            Similarly, you do not know what primary causation is; and you may lack the time, interest, and skill to master it; but that does not affect the logical structure of the argument itself.

            You will have to take up the question of science as an arrangement with M. Poincare, who I am informed was a scientist of no mean repute and bequeathed the well-known form e=mc² to Hr. Einstein for later use. There is no ‘method’ of science. People like Ampere, Maxwell, Mendel, and Darwin employed very different methods. Were three of them therefore not “scientists”? The method you are doubtlessly thinking of — the hypothetico-deductive method – was devised by Robert Grosseteste in the 13th century, based on Aristotle. It was also devised by al-Haytham using the same sources. All long before F. Bacon or Descartes appeared on the scene.

          • swordfish

            Cezanne, Poincare, Einstein, Ampere, Maxwell, Mendel, Darwin, Grosseteste, Aristotle, al-Haytham, Bacon, and Descartes in the same comment 🙂

          • swordfish

            “You don’t even know what the argument from the ordering of efficient causes is.”

            It’s hard to imagine a less useful thing to know about, and it suffers from the same SPF anyway.

            “You say “Everything that begins to exist must have a cause” is an unsupported claim.”

            It’s an unsupported claim because nothing in the universe ‘begins to exist’ – everything we’re aware of is simply a rearrangement of existing matter and/or energy.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            It was Boris who claimed that. (And thus agreed with Aquinas before mocking him.) I merely asked whether he had a counterexample. Your contention that “everything we’re aware of is simply a rearrangement of existing matter and/or energy” is odd. It is true in a limited sense, but of what is the Pythagorean Theorem made? Of what is the number three? Let alone cowardice or love?

            If Boris professes to refute the Second Way, then it behooves him to know what it is. There are all kinds of things of no immediate use. What use are Emily Dickenson’s poems? Or as B. Franklin said, “What good is a newborn baby?”

          • swordfish

            “There are all kinds of things of no immediate use. What use are Emily Dickenson’s poems? Or as B. Franklin said, “What good is a newborn baby?””

            A newborn baby grows into an adult. Poems entertain people. The Second Way is useless. There’s a difference between something not having an immediate use and not having a use at all.

            “[everything we’re aware of is simply a rearrangement of existing matter and/or energy] is true in a limited sense, but of what is the Pythagorean Theorem made? Of what is the number three? Let alone cowardice or love?”

            They aren’t things, they’re perceived or invented relationships between things.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            If you don’t care for Dickenson’s style and sensibility, then they do not entertain. Genghiz Khan might not find them useful, just as you do not find the first theorem in the Summa theol. useful. Like the first theorem in Euclid, it is an underpinning of much that follows and is useful on that account.

            “Useful” carries an implication of immediate practical use. A newborn baby may grow into someone who can be used by the State for one purpose or another, but canno be immediately used for anything practical, let alone Man’s conquest of the universe.

            But you had said “everything we’re aware of” (omitting the conjunction), You did not restrict yourself to ouisia. We are aware of Three and Love. So what [re]arrangement of mass-energy comprises those? How do you define “thing”? Is global warming a thing?

          • swordfish

            “We are aware of Three and Love. So what [re]arrangement of mass-energy comprises those?”

            I already said, they’re perceptions of things (love) or relationships between things (three), where ‘things’ are composed of matter and/or energy.

            And I don’t know where you hope to go with this as ‘love’ and ‘numbers’ don’t ‘begin to exist’ other than as the product of thought processes which are physical states of our physical brains.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            You mean there would be no such thing as Three if no one ever thought about it? The Pythagorean Theorem would not be true?

            Love is not a ‘perception,’ but an act of will.

            If you meant something other than ‘being aware of’, you ought to have stated so. Instead you have defined ‘thing’ so as to be a tautology, thus begging the question. otoh, you are parroting Aquinas so I really shouldn’t complain.

            If Love were a perception, as you claim, then it would ‘begin to exist.’ viz., at the moment it was ‘perceived.’

            If you can ‘perceive’ something, then it must have impressed itself on your senses. Otherwise, you have to have CONceived it, which does not require a material thing. (And which
            entails eventually that the intellect and will need not perish with the
            body.

            And how exactly is Three a relationship? What two things are related?

          • swordfish

            (As all of mine and Boris’s comments are in moderation, there’s probably not much point replying, but just in case…)

            “You mean there would be no such thing as Three if no one ever thought about it?”

            Yes. There was no zero until people invented it, no square root of -1, no Fermat’s last theorem.

            “Love is not a ‘perception,’ but an act of will.”

            Whatever. An act of will is still something happening in our physical brains.

            “If Love were a perception, as you claim, then it would ‘begin to exist.’ viz., at the moment it was ‘perceived.'”

            No, because it’s just the result of a change of state of our brains.

            “If you can ‘perceive’ something, then it must have impressed itself on your senses. Otherwise, you have to have CONceived it, which does not require a material thing.”

            Except a brain…

            “And which entails eventually that the intellect and will need not perish with the body.”

            Except you need a brain to think, or perceive things, or conceive of things.

            “And how exactly is Three a relationship? What two things are related?”

            I just mean relationship as in: counting things, which requires us to perceive that there are separate things with relationships between them.

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            swordfish: (As all of mine and Boris’s comments are in moderation,
            there’s probably not much point replying, but just in case…)

            Just as Against Celsus and other lost ancient texts have bee recreated from citations in surviving texts, we have reconstructed Mr. Swordfish’s moderated comment in this response. I notice that all such comments have disappeared, even those that had already appeared, which I find very Stalinesque. (Recall how he removed those fallen from favor from the photographs atop Lenin’s tomb!)

            There was no [such thing as Three if no one ever thought about it]; no zero until people invented it, no square root of -1, no Fermat’s last theorem.

            As mathematician Leopold Kronecker said, “God made the integers, all else is the work of man.” I.e., the others require operations to be performed upon the integers, and operations are Acts [taking an inverse, a ratio, a square root, a Dedekind cut, etc.] So SQRT(-i) is indeed an invention. Fermat’s Last Theorem is a different sort of thing. It is immaterial like the numbers, but i9t is a proposition like “Snow is white.” THere is no proposition until it is proposed. But there can be three apples on the ground whether they have been counted or no.

            “Love is not a ‘perception,’ but an act of will.”
            Whatever. An act of will is still something happening in our physical brains.

            Maybe so, maybe no. But Boris’ contention was that Love would have to consist of matter and energy, not that it would have to take place in a material body. If I perceive an apple, for example, the apple is material; not the perception of it. If I love a good steak, the steak [or at least a specific instantiation of Steak] is material, but not the love. “Happening in the brain” is no more substantial than that “Snow is white” happens on the screen [or a scrap of paper, etc.]

            [Love} is just the result of a change of state of our brains.

            If this were so, then this, too, would “begin to exist.” [you had claimed that it did not] And if it is a change in “brain state,” in which brain does it occur? YOS might love corn on the cob and Swordfish may love cotton candy, but where does Love [as opposed to instantiations of Love] exist.

            “If you can ‘perceive’ something, then it must have impressed itself on your senses. Otherwise, you have to have CONceived it, which does not require a material thing.”

            Except a brain…

            I was unclear, The thing conceived requires nothing material, regardless of what material instrument we use to conceive it. Of what is Love made? Or Three? I can PERceive this apple, that apple, and the other apple. I do not perceive Three.

            Material qualities require material sensors. Color — eye;sound — ear; odor — nose; touch — skin. The inner senses — integration, imagination, memory — require the brain. Clearly if these material organs vanish, so do the sensations. We can all cite cases of blindness or memory lapse. But there is no sensation for a CONcept, whether number, universal, or proposition. [Try to imagine Dog. You can only imagine specific dogs with particular colors, sizes, shapes: e.g. poodle, setter, pit bull, Great Dane, S. Bernard. But you can conceive Dog. Concepts cannot be identical with their material instantiations. If they were, your Three existing in your brain would be a different thing from the Three in my brain. Yet, Three is Three in each of our brains; just as if you wrote the proposition that snow is white, and I were to do the same, and Leitgeb were to write “Scnee ist weiß” there would be three sentences but still only one proposition.

            you need a brain to think, or perceive things, or conceive of things.

            The proposition embodied in the Pythagorean Theorem remains true whether you think of it or not, You do need a brain to imagine it or remember it. [That’s why thoughts always leave footprints in the brain.] but you are only assuming you need a material organ to handle an immaterial entity.

            “And how exactly is Three a relationship? What two things are related?”

            I just mean relationship as in: counting things, which requires us to perceive that there are separate things with relationships between them.

            Counting is not a relationship, unless it is a relationship between the things and the ordinals. There is no requirement that the things be related to one another. If I have an apple, a pear, and an aardvark, I still have three things.

    • Michael

      What a spite-filled rant. The supposed problem with human influence wasn’t simply that we were putting CO2 into the atmosphere, and that it absorbs certain frequencies of light, but it was the “climate forcing and feedback” disaster that was supposed to happen. We were going to be victims of the blanket of water vapor that would be produced as a result of the added CO2. This water vapor was the real problem and would cause runaway heating and the end of all polar bears as we know them.
      What’s fun about your post is the slight of hand of bringing in the religious element. It’s hilarious and says a lot more about you than it does about the controversy.

      • Boris

        The only reason there are man-made climate deniers is because of religion. Religitards cannot accept that we humans are in control and not their Jebus.

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      There have not ‘always’ been fundamentalists. It’ a 19th century thing from backwoods America. Argumentum ad hominem — asserting that an argument if false because some making them are Not Like Us — is bogus logic. Sometimes people are right for the wrong reasons; sometimes wrong for the right reasons.

      I understand that the Arrhenius Effect is logarithmic. Successive doubling of CO2 produce successively smaller increases of temperature, so most of the CO2-induced warming has already happened. Perhaps the warming was enough to stop the global cooling that so exercised the first Earth Day.

      What exactly is “excess” CO2?

      First Cause is not fundamentalist. It’s a product of the Catholicism they hate so much, and stems ultimately from ancient Greece. It has nothing to do with cosmology in the modern sense. Fundamentalists and atheists never seem to understand it anyway. Some scientists resisted the Big Bang because they thought it smacked of creation, and its inventor, Fr. Georges Lemaitre, had to tell them otherwise.

      I understand that the Gish Gallop — piling on any number of irrelevant additional claims — is a standard tactic, whether the theory of evolution is true or not has nothing to do with whether global cooling/warming/change is true or not. Evolution is a fact, not a theory. The theories of evolution may be true to these facts or not. Whether natural selection is a “bogus” theory or simply a tautology is not really part of this topic.

    • Myth Buster

      Couldn’t have said it better.

  • MikeW

    As a climate scientist myself, I can report that Global Cooling of Doom (GCOD), Global Warming of Doom (GWOD) and Climate Change of Doom (CCOD) are not the only climate threats that we face. Results from my own consensus climate models prove that even if the climate stabilizes, Climate Stability of Doom (CSOD) caused by the CO2 from fossil fuels will result in widespread weather disasters and other environmental catastrophes within 50-100 years unless we act now. The only way to prevent CSOD is to send me lots of money, and to transfer ownership and control of all fossil fuels to me. Anyone who disputes my claims is a climate denier.

    • Boris

      Thump your Bible. That’s how you get money from delusional Christians. Tell them to plant a seed with you and then expect a harvest. Christian Bible thumpers will not give a penny for science but they’ll mortgage their house to send some seed money.

      • Myth Buster

        The crazy thing about right wing evangelicals is that they don’t believe in science, can’t really explain how it’s rules work, have no knowledge of the peer review process and amazingly few of them have ever read the Bible; yet, they will tell anyone willing to listen, they believe it literally and it should be taught in schools. If you wish to watch one run tell them you’ve read the gospels and would like to talk about Jesus’ hatred of Idolatry of Money and the fact he was PC, never said anything about abortion or gays in either of the four books. Then, with the gospels as your reference ask them why they backed Trump. They’ll run….because they’re hypocrites.

    • CB

      “CO2 from fossil fuels will result in widespread weather disasters”

      Yes!

      That’s absolutely correct!

      “The primary cause of global warming is human activity, most significantly the burning of fossil fuels to drive cars, generate electricity, and operate our homes and businesses.”

      (Union of Concerned Scientists, “Global Warming 101”)

    • cunudiun

      I hear they need a replacement for Scott Pruitt.

  • With Respect

    Ah. Everwrong Briggs, repeating the same failed refrain every day for three decades, despite his shameless face being rubbed in the facts, now more than ten thousand times a year as new scientific studies confirm what Briggs’ feelings tell him to object to with every trick in the book.

    Small wonder the comments so quickly veer from the topic of what to do about the cost of fossil fume disposal to any other topic than taking personal responsibility, and paying for fossil fume dumping.

    • Dee Bee

      You sir, are indeed a fossil doing a lot of fume dumping by bastardizing the language.

      • With Respect

        The language is doing just fine. I’m using words in their proper meaning, disabused of the rhetorical tricks and ambient abuses of gaslighters, propagandists and snarks.

        So when you see “personal responsibility”, use some for a change.

  • With Respect

    Strange how many comments have been suddenly thrown into moderation. I have no doubt this comment will soon follow.

    What is it about some who believe censorship of ideas and manipulation of appearances are such good things that they violate their own terms to inflict such pettiness on the world?

  • cunudiun

    “But by the time Wirth staged his event, 1978 was ancient history. We knew lots more about the atmosphere in 1988 and had exponentially better computers. Besides, just look at those thermometers inching up! And did you see that scary hockey stick? We must Save The Planet!”

    Great chronology! Mann didn’t create the hockey stick until 1998, but given the rest of what you believe, time travel isn’t out of the question.
    /s

  • cunudiun

    Wirthless

  • cunudiun

    Here. Delete it again, coward:

    “But by the time Wirth staged his event, 1978 was ancient history. We knew lots more about the atmosphere in 1988 and had exponentially better computers. Besides, just look at those thermometers inching up! And did you see that scary hockey stick? We must Save The Planet!”

    Great chronology! Mann didn’t create the hockey stick until 1998, but given
    the rest of what you believe, time travel isn’t out of the question.
    /s

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