MEMBERS COMMENTS

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Luxury two-pool house 86% Posted Mar 2018

Luxury two-pool house

Comment: 121 days ago

Not my kind of place. I like privacy.

Let minnow if you catch anything 85% Posted Mar 2018

Let minnow if you catch anything

Caption: 125 days ago

UK fishing industry post Brexit.

TYT - The real reason Russia meddled in US election 87% Posted Mar 2018

TYT - The real reason Russia meddled in US election

Comment: 126 days ago

You could well be right. Once the Exxon-Rosneft deal was no longer possible, Tillerson is not needed anymore. So it's quite likely he was about to jump anyway.

It's really disturbing how blatant and deep the corruption is - and Trump fans still support him.

TYT - The real reason Russia meddled in US election 87% Posted Mar 2018

TYT - The real reason Russia meddled in US election

Comment: 126 days ago

He was pushed. He learned of his sacking via Twitter. https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/13/17113950/trump-state-department-rex-tillerson-fired-tweet-twitter

TYT - The real reason Russia meddled in US election 87% Posted Mar 2018

TYT - The real reason Russia meddled in US election

Comment: 126 days ago

Tillerson gone. Good call Cenk.

Arctic temperature soars 45F (22C) above normal 65% Posted Mar 2018

Arctic temperature soars 45F (22C) above normal

Comment: 127 days ago

I was hoping to live into ripe old age, but now I'll have to change my plans. Bummer.

SpaceX - Falcon Heavy and Starman lift off 88% Posted Mar 2018

SpaceX - Falcon Heavy and Starman lift off

Comment: 127 days ago

You can interpret "operational" how you want. Not sure anyone really cares.

SpaceX - Falcon Heavy and Starman lift off 88% Posted Mar 2018

SpaceX - Falcon Heavy and Starman lift off

Comment: 127 days ago

I read it different. SpaceX could have omitted "operational" - and if the issue arose, then claim that it is the most powerful rocket in the world because Saturn V is no longer. 

But instead, they added "operational" in the interest of accuracy. I think my reading is more in keeping with Elon Musk's general philosophy.

Lawrence Krauss - Why religion is outdated in the 21st century 88% Posted Mar 2018

Lawrence Krauss - Why religion is outdated in the 21st century

Comment: 137 days ago

You have to admit, he makes some excellent points.

Trump: I would have run into Florida school even if I didn't have a weapon 86% Posted Feb 2018

Trump: I would have run into Florida school even if I didn't have a weapon

Comment: 139 days ago

This is what delusion looks like.

African children hear fiddle music for the first time 74% Posted Feb 2018

African children hear fiddle music for the first time

Comment: 145 days ago

When was the last time you came across bluegrass fiddling on the internet?

Instravel - A Photogenic Mass Tourism Experience88% Posted Feb 2018

Instravel - A Photogenic Mass Tourism Experience

Comment: 153 days ago

We like to think we're unique. 

US Navy's new driverless warship hunts submarines 87% Posted Feb 2018

US Navy's new driverless warship hunts submarines

Comment: 153 days ago

Future wars will be people in armchairs enjoying the spectacle of machines hunting machines - a bit like the TV show Robot Wars but on a terrifying scale.

British farmer's son speaks his mind 63% Posted Feb 2018

British farmer's son speaks his mind

Comment: 155 days ago

Lab-grown meat and solar-powered indoor vertical farming on a global scale. Food production issues solved. Deserts could become the most "fertile" land in times of extreme and unpredictable weather.

Tesla and Starman on their way to Mars 88% Posted Feb 2018

Tesla and Starman on their way to Mars

Comment: 155 days ago

My other car is a Saturn V.

Tesla and Starman on their way to Mars 88% Posted Feb 2018

Tesla and Starman on their way to Mars

Comment: 158 days ago

For the same reason you don't see stars on photos from the moon landing.

Camera exposures are set for the sunlight that illuminates the car and Earth, which are much brighter than the stars. It's the same reason you don't see stars at night when you are in a city - your eyes adjust to the surrounding city lights, which are much brighter than the stars, so the stars become too dim to be visible.

Climate change and America's military 87% Posted Jan 2018

Climate change and America's military

Comment: 160 days ago

I wish you'd just watch that video about what causes ice ages, then I wouldn't have to waste my time explaining it to you. 

The Quaternary ice age has had many glaciations, that's like little ice ages within the main ice age. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaternary_glaciation If humans were not around, the climate would be cooling towards the next glaciation reaching the coldest years in 25,000 to 50,000 years time before slowly warming again. The cooling is so slow it cannot account for a 1C temperature change in 100 years - and of course, it is COOLING, not warming.

So what about the sun's output? Here's the space.com article you referred: https://www.space.com/2942-sun-activity-increased-century-study-confirms.htm In it, it says: "The rise in solar activity at the beginning of the last century through the 1950s or so matches with the increase in global temperatures, Usoskin said. But the link doesn't hold up from about the 1970s to present. During the last few decades, the solar activity is not increasing. It has stabilized at a high level, but the Earth's climate still shows a tendency towards increasing temperatures" This article was published in 2006.

Now turn to the New Scientist article that was published in 2013. com/article/dn24512-solar-activity-heads-for-lowest-low-in-four-centuries/ The article begins with: "The sun’s activity is in free fall ..."

Now with both articles in mind, space.com's 2006 article and New Scientist's 2013 article, take a look at this graph that shows solar activity compared to global temperatures since 1880: https://static.skepticalscience.com/pics/TvsTSI.png

Factor in the dates of the articles, and you can see quite clearly what they are referring to. You can also see that something else is up the temperature.

So we now know it's not ice age cycles, and it's not the sun's output, what about that 40% increase in CO2? Why do you think increasing greenhouse gases won't warm the planet when greenhouse gases trap heat?

Climate change and America's military 87% Posted Jan 2018

Climate change and America's military

Comment: 161 days ago

When do you think the planet would have recovered from this ice age if humans were not on the planet? You didn't watch that video did you? The answer is there, but I'll summarise.

Right now we are in a warm period of the Quaternary ice age that began about 2.5 million years ago, heading towards the next glaciation (cold period) within the Quaternary period. If humans did not exist, the climate would be cooling, reaching the the coldest period in 25,000 to 50,000 years before it warms up again. These cycles are caused by a combination of factors that include the Earth's orbit around the sun, the Earth's tilt and wobble, and Jupiter's and Saturn's orbits. 

Also, we don't "recover" from ice ages. Ice ages last much longer than warm periods.

What year will it be now that humans are on the planet when all the ice is gone? That depends on what humans do. If we keep adding billions of tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere every year, then probably not very long. On geological time scales, pretty much instantly.

If you look at the whole picture, it's easy to see why humans are responsible for the warming today. 2 factors dictate the climate, the heat from the sun and the composition of the atmosphere. The ice age cycles are caused by the movement of planets, so only affect the heat from the sun. Because orbit changes cycle over tens of thousands of years, even hundreds of thousands, they cannot account for the rapid temperature change we have had - 1C in 100 years.

The sun also has its own cycles. There's an 11 year cycle for something, can't remember exactly what. And there are other cycles as well. In the 20th century, the sun's output did rise, and so did the temperature of the climate. But since the 1970s, the sun's output has been reducing yet the temperature has continued to rise. So global warming today is not caused by more heat coming from the sun, because less heat is actually coming from the sun.

The other factor that affects the climate is the composition of the atmosphere. Many things can affect the atmosphere, like an asteroid strike, over active volcanos; global algae bloom, nuclear war etc. The atmosphere has dramatically changed in the last 100 years, or at least the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. CO2 has increased by over 40%. Methane by 250%. Both are powerful greenhouse gases, meaning they trap heat.

So there you have it, It's those pesky greenhouse gases that done it.

Climate change and America's military 87% Posted Jan 2018

Climate change and America's military

Comment: 163 days ago

Thinking about it a bit more, I don't think climate science is agnostic. Climate science is a subset of science. Climate science commits to established scientific theories, like the quantum effect that causes CO2 to trap heat.

But science itself is fundamentally non-committal. The underlying principle is that the knowledge we have is only as good as the best evidence so far.

Russell Brand & Brian Cox - 'Under The Skin' teaser 86% Posted Jan 2018

Russell Brand & Brian Cox - 'Under The Skin' teaser

Comment: 163 days ago

You are confusing science (a method for acquiring knowledge) and scientists (people who use that knowledge - the theories).

Scientists commit to what works. Whether a theory is correct or even understood, is not the issue - as long as it works. Newton's laws are not technically correct, but they work accurately enough for most cases, and are much easier to use than Relativity. 

"But science doesn't know there's a better theory out there." I think science does "know" there is a better theory out there. Until we know everything, then there will always be a better theory out there. Isn't that logical?

"It (science) only ever tweaks its commitments if it is forced to." You're right in some sense. In evolution, mutations are tweaks but tweaks are not all equal, and they add up. Some tweaks make a huge difference to survival chances, other tweaks less so. Evolution of the cortex, the part of the brain that deals with thinking, gave humans an enormous advantage over other species. Evolution of our big toe, probably less so.

Same goes for our scientific knowledge. In 1998, we discovered the expansion of the universe is actually accelerating, which led to ideas about dark energy and the nature of empty space itself. I'd class that as a pretty big tweak in our knowledge. And what if we come to understand the nature of consciousness, that would be the mother of tweaks. I wonder how big the tweaks we have to look forward to if we find alien life.

"Falsification doesn't mean scientists must constantly scrutinise every theory." True. Scientists are too busy to be constantly scrutinising well established theories. But we are not talking about scientists, we are talking about the discipline of science. Every scientific theory is open for falsification, and that door is never closed. That is why science is fundamentally non-committal.

Great quote from Sarton. Then you follow it with " Science is fundamentally committal otherwise it wouldn't be progressive" No, scientists are committal otherwise they wouldn't progress. Scientists commit to (accept as truth) theories otherwise they wouldn't progress. But science itself has to be non-committal to be able to progress.

I think you are describing something fundamental about how scientists work in the real world - that they commit to established theories; I'm describing something more abstract and fundamental about the nature of science itself - that only when everything is known, that it can fully commit to anything, therefore it is fundamentally non-committal.

Great Asimov quote, but what's the relevance?

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