"Aliens Cause Global Warming” is a rather interesting speech given by Michael Crichton which may have you thinking hard about your opinions on such things as global warming and the danger of secondhand smoke.
We often base our own views on controversial subjects on our understanding of what most experts think, but this sort of reasoning is fallacious, even if we don't have a real alternative.
Oh yeah? Says who?
I admittedly have mixed feelings about Crichton - I wrote the screenplay for his movie, "Congo," which was largely discarded in favor of a piece of garbage that barely deserved to be called a movie.
That aside, he makes some very valid points, with evidence to support them, regarding the political misuse of scientific data. But then, after laying down case after case, he lumps in global warming and the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, via guilt by association.
This year alone, the polar ice cap lost a record amount of ice, due to melting, hardly a misuse of scientific data. He further states, "The belief that there are other life forms in the universe is a matter of faith." and in doing so, he maintains that because of the faith factor, it has become a religion. I maintain that that belief, rather than being a matter of faith, is a matter of probabilities - the highly unlikelihood that in this vast universe, filled with an untold number of planets, this unremarkable little planet should possess the only forms of life.
They did a much better job with my script for Jurassic Park.
BTW, was it Crichton who rejected or changed your script? If not, I'm not sure why it was worth mentioning, unless you just wanted us to know that. It's an interesting fact, I suppose.
As for intelligent life (or even primitive life), I think it highly unlikely we'll find even primitive life in our solar system. Beyond our solar system, even if the probabilities favor it, I doubt if we'll ever know. Given the vast distances, there won't be any sort of dialog. UNLESS, of course, they show up on our doorstep. But that's unlikely for the same reasons it's unlikely we'll ever be at their doorstep.
There's no doubt that there's unprecedented melting going on (in terms of recorded history). That's a fact. What causes it is still conjecture. Also, even if it is a fact, can we really stop it or will we have to adapt?
If you're up on the arguments by the proponents of climate change, are you equally up on the arguments of the doubters, such as you might find here.
I mentioned it because it gave me reason to doubt Crichton's judgement in some matters.
I didn't say we'd ever take long showers with intelligent alien lifeforms, only that probilities imply they must exist.
Will we have to adapt? Considering that at one time, there was a great, shallow inland ocean that covered most of the mid-western US, my way of adapting is training to tread water.
RE: proponents v. doubters - I try to keep abreast as much as I can, as to what is going on, via global warming, as I have descendants to whom I'll be leaving my world. Other than that, my plate is so full at the moment, that I have little time for anything else. I get most of my global warming info here: http://atheistuniverse.net/group/science/forum
Thank you for the link to Atheist Universe. I hadn't heard of that site before and am now just waiting for a mod to approve my joining so I can start posting there too. I am new here too, and enjoying this site very much as well. :)
Kat, Atheist Universe is not quite as active as this site, in terms of consistent posting, but it is loaded with fascinating scientific information that its administrators actively seek out and present. By becoming a member and subscribing to email alerts, you'll be notified when articles are posted by "Doone" and "Adrianne," some of which you may find useful to rehash here.
In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change concluded in a very detailed and exhaustive report over many years that the probability of man-made global warming is 90% or above. All of the data shows a clear correlation between human carbon emissions and warming of the planet. There is loads of evidence to show this, so it is more than conjecture. You might like this siite.
The question is, as a race, can we afford to adopt the position that mankind is not contributing to the global melting phenomena. If we decide to immediately take measures to substantially lessen our impact on the environment it might make a HUGE difference for generations down the road. There would be no short term benefits necessarily but our great great grandchildren might be thankful we decided to act now.
The problem I have with being "up on the arguments of doubters" is that said arguments are consistently based on bad sources, misquotes (i.e. dishonest arguments from authority), strange ways of interpreting data (i.e. cherry picking 10 year periods to show temperatures dropping) and other false premises.
Its interesting that the site you linked refers to Climategate. It should be obvious by the fact that the so-called Climategate event involved the spreading by right-wing conspiracy nutters nothing but leaked one-liners and pieces of e-mails rather than the entire e-mails in their full contexts... that the people propagating it had no actual interest in the truth. The guy in this youtube link reiterates this point, but also provides some examples of the actual e-mail bodies that were cherry picked from.
Here is another example; an actual scientist rips into a so called "skeptical" scientific organization by demonstrating fatal flaws in its reports and claims from the organization which were spread by Lord Christopher Monckton.
Should be noted that potholer54 is actually science journalist Peter Hadfield, and not just some random YouTube crank.
Thanks for pointing that out. I find his logic (i.e. be skeptical towards people who give you out of context quotes) and information (in context quotes w/ sources) speak for themselves.
A study out this week attempts to probe why attitudes on climate risks by some segments of the public don’t track the science all that well. Along the way, it basically debunks one simplistic assumption: that climate skeptics, for want of a better term, just don’t understand the data — or perhaps even science.
Quite the contrary: In the new survey, the most science literate skeptics were also those individuals who were most likely to dig in their heels and reject a consensus view on climate risks. (Science Digest)
The people who doubt the current climate orthodoxy aren't necessarily idiots. There are cultural and attitudinal roots to much of the doubt having nothing to do with self-delusion but rather with values.