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(The New York Times)   Bill Nye, the "please stop being science denying idiot" guy   (nytimes.com) divider line 494
    More: Hero, Big Man on Campus, age of the earth, Bill Nye, the Science Guy, Inhofe  
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25743 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Jun 2013 at 8:17 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-18 09:09:31 AM

chimp_ninja: joeshill: In science, it's generally considered a good thing to continually come up with ways one might disprove a theory, until one can no longer come up with a way to disprove (falsify) a theory or model. In which case, it might be somewhat possible to accept a theory or model as an adequate description of how a process works.

In practice, this is done by examining the accumulated evidence from professional studies.  Guess what they say about climate change?

[www.jamespowell.org image 800x544]
But hey, don't believe me.  Use this guy's handy page to examine recent publications for yourself.

At some point, you need to move off of endless "what ifs", and move on to policy recommendations.  At what level of certainty would it be worth considering a new energy policy?  75% confidence?  90% confidence?

We make policy decisions on those kinds of margins all the time.  When we adjust a tax rate or take military action or move a budget, we're a lot less than 90% certain of the economic and national security outcomes.  But we look at the problem, realize that doing nothing has its own price, and say "I'm 90% certain this is the way to go.  Let's take action and monitor as we go."

And yet, the level of scientific certainty is much higher than 90%.  The is backed by meta-analysis of the published evidence, by surveys of publishing professionals, by the public positions of worldwide scientific organizations, etc.  The only reason we don't do more is because there is a lot of lobbying power holding us to the status quo.  It's literally the same pay-for-opinion whores that told us that the link between cigarette smoke and cancer was nothing to worry about.


The same thing has essentially happened in GMO space. 99% of all studies have returned safe, with the 1% being subsidized as very specific lecturers who profit from tipping the boat. And we're still in the 'WHAT IF' space.
 
2013-06-18 09:09:38 AM

utah dude: science is just another religion.


Sure.  Except that science is reality based. Religions are fairy-tale based. Other than that, they're exactly the same.  Whatever gets you through the night.
 
2013-06-18 09:10:03 AM

meanmutton: utah dude: science is just another religion.

I totally agree, except the exact opposite of that.

Faith requires belief absent, or even in the face of, evidence.

Science is a method of looking at the world and making determinations based on evidence.


Both of these statements are absolute. Examples to the contrary exist. Historical and literary evidence is evaluated by individuals with academic credentials in religious fields. Forces of physics which are not understood, such as the Bermuda Triangle, remain hypothetical.
 
2013-06-18 09:11:20 AM

tenpoundsofcheese: Some TV guy with a mechanical engineering degree is lecturing people about climate change and how tornadoes are caused by global warming?


So if someone reviewed over three thousand surveys filled out by Earth scientists, and noted that 97% of publishing climatologists answered 'Yes' to the statement "Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?", and had his findings reviewed and published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, that would be compelling, right?

Because you're a "skeptic", right?  Not a troll, certainly.  And skeptics are persuaded by evidence.  So it would be compelling to see an overwhelming consensus of experts agreeing that the recently observed climate change is real, significant, and primarily driven by human activities?  Right?
 
2013-06-18 09:13:33 AM

FLMountainMan: Why can't science develop a race-neutral test of cognitive abilities?


Cultural, educational, and nutritional differences between "racial" groups.
 
2013-06-18 09:14:06 AM
I have been on Fark and while and done some exhaustive research on this subject, I can confidently say this thread will change no minds and will suck real hard.
 
2013-06-18 09:14:48 AM

Kinek: The same thing has essentially happened in GMO space. 99% of all studies have returned safe, with the 1% being subsidized as very specific lecturers who profit from tipping the boat. And we're still in the 'WHAT IF' space.


Absolutely.  I'm all for GMO food to be sold, although I agree that accurate labeling is a good safeguard that would allow consumers to make their own decisions.  I'd buy it.

Of course, we all buy genetically modified food every week.  The public accepts one form of genetic modification (phenotypic screening and selective breeding in a field) but not another (directed transfer of genes in a laboratory).
 
2013-06-18 09:14:56 AM

GilRuiz1: PC LOAD LETTER: "why" is continual punting down the road. It's a useless question. "How" is the only relevant thing to ask, as "why" will always be met with more "why" each time

How do you know that "why" has no answer?  Isn't it possible that perhaps there is an answer to "why," but we just haven't discovered it yet?


Because even if God were real and everything about religion was true, there is no possible avenue for anything to answer why existence exists.
 
2013-06-18 09:15:06 AM
It is funny when they feel the need to say things like:

"They have gone from watching him explain magnetism and electricity to defending the scientific evidence forclimate change, the age of the earth and other issues they have seen polemicized for religious, political and even economic reasons. "

If they really believed in climate change, they wouldn't need to specify "defend the scientific evidence" and could just say "defend climate change". Like a criminal being interrogated, they feel the need to restate minor details thinking they are making their story more believable, but when in reality they're flagging themselves as liars to anyone trained in behavioral psychology.
 
2013-06-18 09:15:30 AM
Bill Nye is one of the major influences in my life to become a Mechanical Engineer. Between him, the Mythbusters and my innate ability to fix/break things, I think I'm finally on a real path for life.

But I have to say it, I HATE BOW TIES!
 
2013-06-18 09:15:41 AM

namegoeshere: I have a secret nerd crush on Bill Nye.


Me too.

He's sexy. Just sayin'.
 
2013-06-18 09:16:43 AM

Graffito: Yea, but my gut believes the little red sliver.  Besides, there was that one time when the minority were right and everybody else was wrong so I've got that going for me.  Most of all - AL GORE!!!


My understanding of the denier argument is that Al Gore is fat, and therefore climate scientists are rolling around in their gold-plated Ferraris and Sarah Palin is automatically the Channel 5 weathergirl, and such.
 
2013-06-18 09:17:17 AM
i3.ytimg.com
PROFESSOR JULIUS SUMNER MILLER (The Hilarious House of Frightenstein)

/was into science BEFORE there was science!
 
2013-06-18 09:17:46 AM

Skywolf the Scribbler: However, I cannot cite him as an example of critical thinking and his statement that individuals should search for the truth for themselves is fallacious. A scientist and a scholar does not flat deny a theory without evidence which directly contradicts it, as so doing may preclude multiple logical possibilities from being examined academically.


A bunch of big words to say "Bill Nye should throw science away and look for Jesus".  Because that is what I think you actually meant to say.  You are part of the problem.  You try to sound intelligent and knowledgeable by using big words and flashy sentences while what you are really doing is trying to look smart while claiming "JESUS".

You are what Bill is fighting against.  I hope he wins because your side, the "oh but it could have been JESUS" side are gaddammed morans.
 
2013-06-18 09:18:12 AM

dryknife: I still want you Bill!

I'm outside your house right now!

[www.john-robert-brown.com image 400x286]


I met her a couple of years ago at a journalism mixer in WeHo. She was freelancing for the NY TImes at the time. She was in her element at the mixer.

Googled her later and realized she has major "issues."

/that photo sucks, she actually quite cute.
 
2013-06-18 09:18:54 AM

Bullseyed: It is funny when they feel the need to say things like:

"They have gone from watching him explain magnetism and electricity to defending the scientific evidence forclimate change, the age of the earth and other issues they have seen polemicized for religious, political and even economic reasons. "

If they really believed in climate change, they wouldn't need to specify "defend the scientific evidence" and could just say "defend climate change". Like a criminal being interrogated, they feel the need to restate minor details thinking they are making their story more believable, but when in reality they're flagging themselves as liars to anyone trained in behavioral psychology.


And of course if they said that, the same troll would be here saying "It's funny that they defend a THEORY but don't mention the evidence!"  Except they would write THEORY 72 times bigger, because they don't understand the word in its context and think it makes them look smart.
 
2013-06-18 09:19:25 AM
Graffito:
Yea, but my gut believes the little red sliver.  Besides, there was that one time when the minority were right and everybody else was wrong so I've got that going for me.
Most of all - AL GORE!!!


The ad hominem of "Al Gore supports it and is making hundreds of millions of dollars off of hyping the dangers if it and lives a lifestyle which radically betrays his claim to support fighting global warming" should not be convincing to a rational person; however, it has been one of the biggest causes of the slip of people who believe that global warming is happening.

The community would do well to say "Al Gore is a profiteering, hypocritical idiot but the issue is absolutely real".
 
2013-06-18 09:19:56 AM
You won't get a PHD if you say climate change is not caused by man.
Just like you won't get a PHD if you say the Egyptians didn't build the pyramids.
 
2013-06-18 09:20:42 AM

Wise_Guy: [i.imgur.com image 480x640]


science is observation - the rack on the right is merely "what" not "why."  Practically all the greatest scientific minds in human history were also religious...if they could manage it, maybe - just maybe - they're not diametrically opposed...

//feeding troll, meh, whatever
 
2013-06-18 09:21:03 AM
Except for the part where Bill Nye is one of the chicken little types who runs to the nearest camera to blame every weather related disaster on climate change then just moves on when what he just said doesn't match up to reality down the road.
 
2013-06-18 09:21:09 AM
Bill Nye was a major influence in my current academic career. I'd love to meet him and to thank him for being awesome.
 
2013-06-18 09:21:32 AM
I wonder if Nye has any political aspirations or what his social positions are...

I'd vote for him for almost any office just knowing that he'd be data-driven with regard to his decision making and policy. I'm a faculty researcher at a University(csb) - not a huge deal but you do need to understand research methodologies and the importance of data - and we need far less ideology out of everybody and far more evidence based approaches like what Bill is explaining to everybody who will listen.
 
2013-06-18 09:22:26 AM

Goodluckfox: I would like to point out that Bill Nye is not a Phd. Just sayin'. I like him as much as anybody for what he does... but isn't he an edutainer, in the same way that Fox News (or really all modern television "journalists" are infotainers?


The man has three honorary doctorate degrees. (near the bottom)
 
2013-06-18 09:23:38 AM
Wow, the trolls are up early today.
 
2013-06-18 09:23:52 AM

randomjsa: Except for the part where Bill Nye is one of the chicken little types who runs to the nearest camera to blame every weather related disaster on climate change then just moves on when what he just said doesn't match up to reality down the road.


[citation needed]

Seriously. Where did he state that he explicitly had evidence that any specific storm was unequivocally, directly related to climate change?

Or are you going to run off without answering any questions that might challenge your worldview?
 
2013-06-18 09:23:59 AM

Goodluckfox: I would like to point out that Bill Nye is not a Phd. Just sayin'. I like him as much as anybody for what he does... but isn't he an edutainer, in the same way that Fox News (or really all modern television "journalists" are infotainers?


well, the only trouble with your little analogy is that bill nye tends to be correct and fox tends to be incorrect. plus fox has a political agenda and bill nye has none.
 
2013-06-18 09:24:05 AM

Skywolf the Scribbler: mbillips: Genesis is pretty clearly based on a flat Earth scenario

Que?


Genesis 1:7: And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
1:8: And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
1:9: And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear, and it was so.

Genesis 11 has land plants emerging before the sun and moon are created in Genesis 14. Not exactly paralleling scientific theory. Not to mention, water-living animals (sponges) predate land plants (in contradiction of Genesis) by 100 million to 250 million years.

The "firmament" is a solid barrier between the heavens and the earth, upon which the sun, moon and stars are set. They are "above" and the land and seas are "below." That's pretty much a flat earth. There are other scriptural references to flat earth in the Bible (the four corners of the Earth in Revelation, etc.). That's why early 20th century, fundamentalist science deniers often believed the earth was flat. Unlike today, nobody much listened to them.
 
2013-06-18 09:25:28 AM

Jorn the Younger: mbillips: I like Bill Nye, but he's no Beakman.

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 324x400]


I preferred Mr Wizard

[boingboing.net image 410x287]


As a child of the 80s, I couldn't agree more. I think Bill Nye wrote a real nice obituary for Mr. Wizard, though.
 
2013-06-18 09:25:31 AM

cameroncrazy1984: randomjsa: Except for the part where Bill Nye is one of the chicken little types who runs to the nearest camera to blame every weather related disaster on climate change then just moves on when what he just said doesn't match up to reality down the road.

[citation needed]

Seriously. Where did he state that he explicitly had evidence that any specific storm was unequivocally, directly related to climate change?

Or are you going to run off without answering any questions that might challenge your worldview?

 
2013-06-18 09:25:59 AM

Skywolf the Scribbler: meanmutton: utah dude: science is just another religion.

I totally agree, except the exact opposite of that.

Faith requires belief absent, or even in the face of, evidence.

Science is a method of looking at the world and making determinations based on evidence.

Both of these statements are absolute. Examples to the contrary exist. Historical and literary evidence is evaluated by individuals with academic credentials in religious fields. Forces of physics which are not understood, such as the Bermuda Triangle, remain hypothetical.


Religion and science are two different things.  There have been many very religious scientists over the years who have contributed heavily (Gregor Mendel, for instance).

Oh, and the "Bermuda Triangle" isn't a particularly dangerous area; it's just a highly trafficked one.
 
2013-06-18 09:26:11 AM

randomjsa: Except for the part where Bill Nye is one of the chicken little types who runs to the nearest camera to blame every weather related disaster on climate change then just moves on when what he just said doesn't match up to reality down the road.


I'll take what Bill Nye says more seriously then anything you have ever said, or are ever to likely say.Bill Nye is just a better human being then you.He's also waaaaaay more Academically credible then you.


Also he's way more ethical than you.

 
2013-06-18 09:26:15 AM
If you seriously dislike Bill Nye then you have a problem in your head.  The guy's goal in life is to change the world by encouraging kids to use science.  People who have a problem with this:
- Religious zealots who are offended that their faith isn't logical
- Political enemies of anything that exposes the negative consequences of greed
- Assholes who mock intelligence and education because they are insecure
 
2013-06-18 09:26:39 AM

Deep Contact: You won't get a PHD if you say climate change is not caused by man.
Just like you won't get a PHD if you say the Egyptians didn't build the pyramids.


Wat?
 
2013-06-18 09:27:12 AM

tenpoundsofcheese: Some TV guy with a mechanical engineering degree is lecturing people about climate change and how tornadoes are caused by global warming?

This is why we can't have nice things.

I'll wait until Natalie Portman writes a paper.


Nice to see you out early, and wrong again, as usual.
 
2013-06-18 09:27:46 AM
Oh ffs. Climate change is real. It is, and everyone knows it. The question is what to do about it, because recycling your cardboard twice a month is not going to make any dent in the problems caused by, say, giant garbage tankers and massive rainforest deforestation. This is where the natural and social sciences can really work together.

Go Bill Nye. The man got NASA funding reinstated. He is awesome.
 
2013-06-18 09:27:52 AM

chimp_ninja: Graffito: Yea, but my gut believes the little red sliver.  Besides, there was that one time when the minority were right and everybody else was wrong so I've got that going for me.  Most of all - AL GORE!!!

My understanding of the denier argument is that Al Gore is fat, and therefore climate scientists are rolling around in their gold-plated Ferraris and Sarah Palin is automatically the Channel 5 weathergirl, and such.


Then you're an idiot.  The argument is that Al Gore is a hypocrite and a profiteer who has made literally hundreds of millions of dollars hyping the issue.

The correct response to these people is "So, what?  Yeah, he's a hypocrite and a profiteer but that doesn't invalidate the science".

Also, whenever you use the term "denier", you're implicitly undermining your own argument by going all Godwin on it.
 
2013-06-18 09:27:57 AM

Queensowntalia: oryx: Bill, stop wearing the bow-tie guy.

Bowties are cool.

The Doctor deems it so, it must be true.


damn, beat me to it!

If you have ever watched that show "Life with Ed", Bill is Ed Beagly Jr's neighbor. Trust me, Bill is the more sane one in the neighborhood!
 
2013-06-18 09:28:28 AM
So who else followed the link and  joined the Planetary Society?

/I love all who advocate science and critical thinking.
//Bill Nye is my hero, no secret about that.
 
2013-06-18 09:30:27 AM

TheManWithaPlanet: I wonder if Nye has any political aspirations or what his social positions are...

I'd vote for him for almost any office just knowing that he'd be data-driven with regard to his decision making and policy. I'm a faculty researcher at a University(csb) - not a huge deal but you do need to understand research methodologies and the importance of data - and we need far less ideology out of everybody and far more evidence based approaches like what Bill is explaining to everybody who will listen.


He has admitted in the past that he wouldn't do well in politics. In the past, he has been full-on eco and government involvement in science, but more libertarian in most of his other views. He is one of those people who just doesn't fit any of the current mainstream political parties very well. The most political he gets involves his push for science and space exploration to whatever party will listen.
 
2013-06-18 09:30:32 AM

THE GREAT NAME: The mushy bit in the middle is increasingly sceptical about AGW. Rightly so, since it is utter nonsense.



Bill had me convinced, but now I'm swinging your way.  Great point, man.
 
2013-06-18 09:30:39 AM
He was awesome on Penn's Sunday School a few months back.
 
2013-06-18 09:30:50 AM

frepnog: A bunch of big words to say "Bill Nye should throw science away and look for Jesus".


Invalid argument. I assert that Bill Nye should not discard a theory which has not had direct evidence to the contrary, and should instead evaluate the evidence for multiple theories and reach the conclusion which he believes is most accurate.

frepnog: Because that is what I think you actually meant to say.


It does not matter what you think about me. While I give it consideration, it does not impinge upon who I am and how I actually think.

frepnog: You are part of the problem.


If you consider opposing arguments to be a problem, then I would like to know why that is so.

frepnog: You try to sound intelligent and knowledgeable by using big words and flashy sentences while what you are really doing is trying to look smart while claiming "JESUS".


I  am not and no one is intelligent. Intelligence is simply a passion for knowledge and striving for the logical truth regardless of what society at large perceives. After evaluating the evidence which I am cognizant of and exhausting every resource available to me, my conclusion is that the occurrence of macroevolution and abiogenesis is exceedingly slim, and that science is not willing to attribute the necessary amount of power to the entity which generated this reality.

You are what Bill is fighting against.  I hope he wins because your side, the "oh but it could have been JESUS" side are gaddammed morans.

I operate in academic and moral debates with as entirely a purely logical mindset as is humanly possible, and therefore I do not comprehend the injection of emotion into this academic debate.
 
2013-06-18 09:31:26 AM
For a "theory" to be scientific, it must be:
1. Naturalistic: cannot be based on presently unknown laws, and must be supported by independent reproducible experiments.
2. Predictive: under controlled conditions, it must predict what will happen, and get it right up to knowable experimental uncertainties.
3. Falsifiable. if no experiment is possible that could refute the theory, it isn't scientific.

cheers
 
2013-06-18 09:31:39 AM
THE GREAT NAME:

The mushy bit in the middle is increasingly sceptical about AGW. Rightly so, since it is utter nonsense.

The fact that you are too dumb to understand the science doesn't make the science wrong.
 
2013-06-18 09:32:31 AM

mbillips: Skywolf the Scribbler: mbillips: Genesis is pretty clearly based on a flat Earth scenario

Que?

Genesis 1:7: And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
1:8: And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
1:9: And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear, and it was so.

Genesis 11 has land plants emerging before the sun and moon are created in Genesis 14. Not exactly paralleling scientific theory. Not to mention, water-living animals (sponges) predate land plants (in contradiction of Genesis) by 100 million to 250 million years.

The "firmament" is a solid barrier between the heavens and the earth, upon which the sun, moon and stars are set. They are "above" and the land and seas are "below." That's pretty much a flat earth. There are other scriptural references to flat earth in the Bible (the four corners of the Earth in Revelation, etc.). That's why early 20th century, fundamentalist science deniers often believed the earth was flat. Unlike today, nobody much listened to them.


It's certainly based on a geocentric universe. Joshua makes the sun stand still outside Jericho.
 
2013-06-18 09:32:45 AM
When y'all are ready for a real science broadcaster, let me know.  I'll make the Connections.

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-06-18 09:32:56 AM

Want to see just how easy it is to get people to believe you?



Watch Kumare
 
2013-06-18 09:32:56 AM
Mr. Titanium:

In general a Scientist is a seeker of truth.  An  Engineer wants an answer that works, on time, and within budget.

/Yes, I respect Bill Nye.  He is an excellent educator.


Exactly. I'm not hating on Bill Nye. The man is obviously a gifted educator, and attained an engineering degree where I was unable to (damn Calculus IV and differential equations... those equations are hairy and they shoot back!). Yes, he has a better handle on science that the vast majority of people. And I like him. And I'm not saying he's trying to be something he's not.

But, I couldn't call him as an expert witness about anything but mechanical engineering or science education. He woulnd't survive voir dire on climate science. Dr. Tyson might not either, but he's an astrophysicist.

Maybe what I'm really saying is that presenters need to be careful when they're talking outside of their field of expertise? I mean, would we want the Top Gear crew testifying before Congress on Highway Safety? Yeah, they know cars, but it's a slightly different issue. Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs gave testimony about the state of our skill pool and the necessary skilled trade jobs that run the world and how they're going to go unfilled if we don't do something, but I don't think that would qualify him to talk about macroeconomic unemployment or economic policy.

I believe Bill Nye is on the right side of the argument. He's a wonderful science educator, and does an enormous amount of good.  I'm saying, however, that I would give more weight to the opinion of a doctor speaking within his field than I would the opinion of a beloved science educator speaking outside of the field of science education.

Unless that opionion was "See these papers by these doctors over here."

Crap, is there a way to get my account across that doesn't make me look like a douchenozzle? :)
 
2013-06-18 09:34:59 AM

chimp_ninja: tenpoundsofcheese: Some TV guy with a mechanical engineering degree is lecturing people about climate change and how tornadoes are caused by global warming?

So if someone reviewed over three thousand surveys filled out by Earth scientists, and noted that 97% of publishing climatologists answered 'Yes' to the statement "Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?", and had his findings reviewed and published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, that would be compelling, right?



Are you still pulling this old con, chimp ninja? For anybody not already aware, these "meta-studies", which are made by environmentalist activist groups, not proper scientists, count virtually all opinions as being in the "pro" AGW group. That includes most rational climate sceptics, suck as myself, who accept that human emissions probably are causing some warming (just not very much).

Because you're a "skeptic", right? Not a troll, certainly. And skeptics are persuaded by evidence. So it would be compelling to see an overwhelming consensus of experts agreeing that the recently observed climate change is real, significant, and primarily driven by human activities? Right?

Putting your sarcastic and ranty tone to one side for a moment, scientists are compelled by compelling scientific evidence. Not by some consensus (real or invented). Remember, the consensus once was that the earth was flat. By your logic we would still believe that. We changed our minds because some good scientists concentrated on the scientific evidence, and saw that there was none for the flat earth theory, so they abandoned the theory.

Catastrophic AGW theory (the one with the large positive feedbacks leading to high CO2 sensitivity) should be abandoned too, because it also has no scientific evidence to support it.
 
2013-06-18 09:35:54 AM

utah dude: science is just another religion.


But you don't have to believe in it for it to work.
 
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