Miriam O’Brien says: Belief trumps fact at WUWT. And are fake sceptics “cynics”?

New Post at HotWhopper. Spinning Sou tries (and fails) at criticizing Anthony’s post.

WattsUpWithThat post: Michigan State professor labels skeptics as “global warming cynics” due to not getting on board with the extreme weather link

HotWhopper Reply from Tuesday, November 25, 2014 [archived]: Belief trumps fact at WUWT. And are fake sceptics “cynics”?

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About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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2 Responses to Miriam O’Brien says: Belief trumps fact at WUWT. And are fake sceptics “cynics”?

  1. Michael 2 says:

    “Miriam O’Brien says: Belief trumps fact at WUWT. And are fake sceptics “cynics”?”

    Belief is the consequence of exposure to claims; sometimes those claims are factual and sometimes not. Consequently, belief and fact are somewhat orthogonal, one does not lead to the other.

    Fake skeptics can be pretty much anything they wish to be. As a “skeptic” is a not-yet-believer, a fake skeptic is therefore a believer — but pretending not to be. This pretense is usually easy to unravel since warmists tend to belong to a herd, they think like a herd and it leaks out usually in the “we” declarations. A skeptic, on the other hand, doesn’t know for sure what he or she thinks about a thing, much less what anyone else thinks about a thing, and much less frequently will claim to speak for others by saying “we”.


  2. Michael 2 says:

    A more sinister description is to be found, the usual “I am smart and you are stupid” thinking of the left wing:

    “There are some scientists who believe that, provided the science is explained to people, they will understand and accept it. Science communicators and others who work in communication (and politics and behavioural science) know this is nonsense. Many human brains don’t work like that.”

    This is the basis if elitism. *I* understand it but you are not going to. Therefore I will tell you what to think and do.

    The truth is that scientists CAN explain things but it can take a very long time since the reader may have to obtain some calculus, some physics, some computer science, and so on to understand the explanation.

    “A belief can be quite different from a fact or set of facts. A belief is like an end result in the mind. It can just arrive fully formed (without supporting evidence or information) or it can evolve over time.”

    Agreed, more or less. Belief is what exists in a human mind. In this context it is the ONLY thing that exists in a human mind; since what one believes is a fact is still a belief.

    “Religious beliefs are probably the most-cited examples. When I was taught religion it was made plain right from the earliest times I can recall, that there was this thing called faith. Faith is something one is expected to accept without question and without evidence, if one belongs to a religion.”

    Here I depart from agreement. Faith requires evidence; however one is concluding rather more than the evidence directly supports. This is clearly seen in climate panic — some evidence exists, but from that evidence people have faith the seas are going to boil away.

    “It’s something to be proud of if one has faith. It’s considered a gift. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside to be able to say proudly I believe without question. It’s like a feeling of belonging. It binds one to other people. A sense of belonging is really, really important for social animals like humans.”

    A sense of belonging is more important to members of the left wing, the group think, the herd. This is what gives Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” such power because these rules threaten your belonging to a group. But libertarians don’t care about the group, don’t want to belong to a group (but instead may be quite happy belonging to a family or clan).

    She is also revealing a rather common alignment between environmentalists and atheism. But more on that as we continue:

    “The same sort of thing operates in a lot of spheres besides religion though. Think about it. Almost everyone has beliefs they have never questioned.”

    Yes, like much of Global Warming theory. How CAN you question it? To whom would you address your questions?

    “Not everything we assume about ourselves or the world around us is based on something we’ve carefully researched and come to a reasoned conclusion about.”

    Obvious statement of the day. Pretty much everyone must believe (or not) someone else’s claim about something.

    “There’s just not enough time in any one life to research everything we think we know. Nor do we have to.”

    I expected her to write, “…because we have experts who have done the research FOR YOU!” You need only trust the experts!”

    Which takes us full circle to belief and faith. But she didn’t write that. The article loses focus for a while but eventually comes to:

    “Which is what makes it important to spread the 97% message got from the Cook13 study and others like it.”

    Hope people believe it and have faith in a propagandist.


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