Saturday, 15 January 2011

The Greenfyre strikes back

Greenfyre - the man who "doesn't debate" - does not take criticism as well as he hands it out and has responded to the deconstruction in my previous post. Unlike Greenfyre, I allow people right of criticism so his original comments are welcome and untouched.

Now let's respond. My previous article was long so I'll make this rebuttal as quick as possible.

    GF says.... 

i) In that whole long screed you can't accurately quote & link a single specific [sic] to substantiate any of your claims ... that tells any thinking person all they need to know;

Any "thinking person" would see that I had made several links in the article. Since GF omits to mention what the "specific" is (irony, anyone?) this is a pretty appalling response.

   GF says....
ii) You need to look up "argumentum ad ignorantiam", you clearly do not understand it;

Here is the definition from as I specifically linked to in the article:

Argumentum ad Ignorantiam: (appeal to ignorance) the fallacy that a proposition is true simply on the basis that it has not been proved false or that it is false simply because it has not been proved true. This error in reasoning is often expressed with influential rhetoric.

A. The informal structure has two basic patterns:

Statement p is unproved.
is true.

Statement not-p is unproved.
is true.

Let's look at the second basic pattern: "Statement not-p is unproved..." "Santa Claus does not exist" is an unproven statement, because a negative cannot be proven. We can show it's very unlikely that he exists and it would be impossible for him to visit every home in one night, but we cannot categorically prove he doesn't exist.

"The current global warming is not entirely due to anthropogenic activity" is an almost identical premise. The only exception being that basic theories of heat transfer and radiative forcing make it likely that some of the heating is being accelerated and slightly exacerbated due to man's activity. However the premise remains the same, it's impossible to prove that all the heating is not due to us humans.

So when it's pointed out that climate science is a new science, unbelievably complex and not yet understood fully by anyone, so we should be careful about abusing other opinions, then how is the argument ad Ignorantiam an acceptable response? It's not. It's simply saying: "I'm right, because you can't prove me wrong".

There's one more area I should be more clear about. In my article I mentioned:
His comment policy warns us that any "gibberish" will be deleted. His idea of "gibberish" is quite broad of course and includes theories relating to Climate Change papered by highly qualified scientists.

The actual wording of GF's comment policy is:
Comments that are not relevant to the post that they appear under or the evolving discussion will simply be moved or deleted, as will links to Denier spam known to be scientific gibberish

In short: "I'll censor anyone who disagrees or disputes with me". Notice what the final words link to;  the index already discussed that features "Skeptic  Vs Science"  arguments. Those "skeptic" arguments very loosely and sloppily cover arguments from sunspots and solar activity as discussed by astrophysicist Piers Corbyn, a dismissal of  the clear growth of Antarctica's sea ice as discussed by Syun-Ichi Akasofu. Perhaps most ludicrously of all it rejects the overwhelming evidence that the Medieval Warming Period was warmer than today. The lie to this is given by a plenitude of papers as disseminated by the Idso family, all respected scientists.

That's just three examples. So by describing arguments advanced by such people as "gibberish" seems a bit rich for an NGO. Minority? Maybe. Gibberish? Hardly. And apart from some bluster, we've now dealt with the full extent of GF's response. Perhaps now it's becoming clearer why he "won't debate".

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