Saturday, March 12, 2016

Unrealistic technological optimism inhibits technological progress

"A regenerative medicine specialist has called for a crackdown on the increasing number of doctors offering unproven stem cell treatments, as skepticism about the practice threatens a potentially groundbreaking clinical study."

Another newspaper story describes the details:

These headlines speak for themselves. Premature application of breakthrough medical technology can result in legal complications that may slow down the research. If the research area is discredited by premature application, future funding for the area may become more limited. 

Unfortunately, this same dynamic is seen in the life-extension area. In particular, cryonics has been promoted for a long time as a potential method to extend life. However, those in favor of a truly scientific approach feel that current methods discredit serious researchers

Kenneth Hayworth comments:
A rush to human application may sound humanitarian, but I believe it will only result in further delaying the eventual, inevitable embracing of cryonics (and other methods of brain preservation) by mainstream science and medicine. Simply put, rushing to human application will, in my opinion, only result in many more lives lost over the long run.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Admissions of Lack of Consensus by prominent “alarmists” in the climate change debate

Even prominent “alarmists” in the climate change debate admit there is noconsensus. Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, when asked if the debate on climate change is over, told the BBC, “I don’t believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this. This is not my view” (BBC News, 2010). When asked, “Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860–1880, 1910–1940 and 1975– 1998 were identical?” Jones replied, Temperature data for the period 1860-1880 are more uncertain, because of sparser coverage, than for later periods in the 20th Century. The 1860-1880 period is also only 21 years in length. As for the two periods 1910-40 and 1975-1998 the warming rates are not statistically significantly different (see numbers below). I have also included the trend over the period 1975 to 2009, which has a very similar trend to the period 1975-1998.
So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.
Finally, when asked “Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming” he answered “yes.” Jones’ replies contradict claims made by IPCC.

Mike Hulme, also a professor at the University of East Anglia and a contributor to IPCC reports, wrote in 2009: “What is causing climate change? By how much is warming likely to accelerate? What level of warming is dangerous? – represent just three of a number of contested or uncertain areas of knowledge about climate change” (Hulme, 2009, p. 75). He admits “Uncertainty pervades scientific predictions about the future performance of global and regional climates. And uncertainties multiply when considering all the consequences that might follow from such changes in climate” (p. 83). On the subject of IPCC’s credibility, he admits it is “governed by a Bureau consisting of selected governmental representatives, thus ensuring that the Panel’s work was clearly seen to be serving the needs of government and policy. The Panel was not to be a self-governing body of independent scientists” (p. 95). All this is exactly what IPCC critics have been saying for years.