Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Science is Dead, Long Live Science!

A smorgasbord of articles on science I've been hoarding for a while. First, a conversation between Dr. Jordan B Peterson and Dr. Bjørn Lomborg. Generally, I see them talk past each other, both coming from fields with heavy jargon. I'm more of a Lomborg guy myself, as much as I admire Peterson's bravery in the face of the woke mob: The World is Not Ending | Bjørn Lomborg and Jordan Peterson

Leslie Eastman at Legal Insurrection, Associated Press Took $8 million in Donations to Fund its 2022 Climate “News”. The best coverage money can buy.
A new report alleges the Associated Press took millions of dollars in donations and used it to fund its “climate crisis” coverage.

The Associated Press took $8 million in donations to fund climate coverage in 2022, with the news cooperative and several other major media publications engaged in dubious claims about climate change, according to a new, exclusive year-end report.

The “Climate Fact Check 2022” report, presented by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the Heartland Institute, the Energy & Environmental Legal Institute, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), and the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), stated that “climate alarmists” and members of the media engaged in claims about the relationship between manmade emissions and natural disasters, claims that clashed with “reality and science.”

In February, the Associated Press admitted that they would assign more than 24 journalists across the globe to cover “climate issues” after receiving more than $8 million over three years from various organizations.

Also from Leslie, Proof that Ideological Capture of Our Scientific Institutions Kills Innovation "There are so many reasons for the decline of “disruptive science”, but the redirecting of research from a quest for new knowledge to the support of political narratives is the most important one."

Over the past few months, I have been exploring the ideological capture of our scientific institutions.

I have reviewed the mainstream media’s roll is strangling rigorous scientific debate. I have explored how government agencies block access to important taxpayer-funded databases if they assert a scientist’s research may enter “forbidden” territory.

I, along with many others, have warned that the commandeering of science to push social, environmental, and corporate agendas would have a tsunami of unintended consequences. The scientific journal Nature has noted one of the most significant repercussions of ideological capture: The death of scientific innovation.

The journal recently published an analysis of a report that showed the proportion of publications that send a field in a new direction (i.e., innovation) has plummeted over the past half-century.

Data from millions of manuscripts show that, compared with the mid-twentieth century, research done in the 2000s was much more likely to incrementally push science forward than to veer off in a new direction and render previous work obsolete. Analysis of patents from 1976 to 2010 showed the same trend.

“The data suggest something is changing,” says Russell Funk, a sociologist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and a co-author of the analysis, which was published on 4 January in Nature. “You don’t have quite the same intensity of breakthrough discoveries you once had.”

I have degrees in geology and chemistry. My son is getting a degree in physics. So, for me, the graph charting the absolute plunge in physical science “disruption” is chilling.

Adam Mastroianni,  The rise and fall of peer review "Why the greatest scientific experiment in history failed, and why that's a great thing" Been there done that, both at the reviewer and the reviewee, and the system is flawed. But advancement in science pretty much depends on getting papers (and grant proposals) through peer review. It's going to be a tough system to change.

For the last 60 years or so, science has been running an experiment on itself. The experimental design wasn’t great; there was no randomization and no control group. Nobody was in charge, exactly, and nobody was really taking consistent measurements. And yet it was the most massive experiment ever run, and it included every scientist on Earth.

Most of those folks didn’t even realize they were in an experiment. Many of them, including me, weren’t born when the experiment started. If we had noticed what was going on, maybe we would have demanded a basic level of scientific rigor. Maybe nobody objected because the hypothesis seemed so obviously true: science will be better off if we have someone check every paper and reject the ones that don’t pass muster. They called it “peer review.”

WUWT, Record Great Barrier Reef Coral Cover – Time to Pull the Climate Crisis Funding?

The Guardian talking up the alleged climate risk to the reef, in the midst of a record boom in coral cover.
Great Barrier Reef’s record coral cover is good news but climate threat remains

Graham Readfearn

The world heritage site still has some capacity for recovery but the window is closing fast as the climate continues to warm

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The Great Barrier Reef is one of the planet’s natural jewels, stretching for more than 2,300km along Australia’s north-east.

But as well as being a bucket-list favourite and a heaving mass of biodiversity across 3,000 individual reefs, the world heritage-listed organism is at the coalface of the climate crisis.

Yet this week, a report on the amount of coral across the reef showed the highest level in the 36 years of monitoring in the north and central parts.

But that does not mean the crisis is over.

…Read more:
Have you ever read anything more absurd?

That's a pretty high bar.  For example, try this, Dave Strom at Haut Hare, Mathematx is the new hotness

We all know that math is racist. It is used to enforce Whiteness on people by emphasing universalism (there is a truth) and requiring precision (apparently your ability to be precise is highly dependent upon melanin content in the skin). It is a construct that is inherently anti-radical as it assumes some inherent structure to the universe, and that there are “right” answers and wrong ones.

That, at least, is the contention of some mathematics educators, including Dr. Rochelle Gutierrez of the University of Illinois at Urbana. Dr Gutierrez teaches not only Latina/Latino studies, but is also a professor at the School of Education, focusing on curriculum and instruction.

In other words, she is one of the people who trains students to become teachers.

One might be tempted to think that there is a benign intention behind Dr. Gutierrez’ attempts to reform the way that math is taught to students of color. After all, statistics indicate that many such students are having difficulty in math classes and have fallen behind their white compatriots. To the extent that is the case it obviously behooves us to understand why that is and find ways to remedy it.

But no, that is not Rochelle’s approach to the issue at all. The inability of students of color to perform well in math indeed is connected to the way that math is being taught, but that is because math itself is White. So trying to get students up to standard in White math is White Supremacist, and should be stopped.

I subjected myself to a loooooonnnnnnggggggg video of Gutierrez discussing her approach with mathematics educators, and needless to say it is not only filled with buzzwords appropriate to the genre, but vile ideas about racial differences between students. She doesn’t quite come out and say it, but apparently students of color can’t do math because they are not White and are resisting Whiteness. And this is a good thing, apparently.

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