More Good Stuff on Mercier and Sperber’s Argumentative Reasoning Theory

You folks in the comments should stop arguing for a minute and check this out. Jonah Lehrer’s latest Wired Science column has more reaction to that very cool recent study by Mercier and Sperber on how confirmation bias can be explained as an evolutionary adaptation to the particular needs of reaching good decisions in a group context: The reason we reason. (With professional basketball content, too!)

It includes a link to an even cooler interview with Hugo Mercier from Edge.org: The argumentative theory: A conversation with Hugo Mercier.

Psychologists have shown that people have a very, very strong, robust confirmation bias. What this means is that when they have an idea, and they start to reason about that idea, they are going to mostly find arguments for their own idea. They’re going to come up with reasons why they’re right, they’re going to come up with justifications for their decisions. They’re not going to challenge themselves.

And the problem with the confirmation bias is that it leads people to make very bad decisions and to arrive at crazy beliefs. And it’s weird, when you think of it, that humans should be endowed with a confirmation bias. If the goal of reasoning were to help us arrive at better beliefs and make better decisions, then there should be no bias. The confirmation bias should really not exist at all. We have a very strong conflict here between the observations of empirical psychologists on the one hand and our assumption about reasoning on the other.

But if you take the point of view of the argumentative theory, having a confirmation bias makes complete sense. When you’re trying to convince someone, you don’t want to find arguments for the other side, you want to find arguments for your side. And that’s what the confirmation bias helps you do.

The idea here is that the confirmation bias is not a flaw of reasoning, it’s actually a feature. It is something that is built into reasoning; not because reasoning is flawed or because people are stupid, but because actually people are very good at reasoning — but they’re very good at reasoning for arguing. Not only does the argumentative theory explain the bias, it can also give us ideas about how to escape the bad consequences of the confirmation bias.

People mostly have a problem with the confirmation bias when they reason on their own, when no one is there to argue against their point of view. What has been observed is that often times, when people reason on their own, they’re unable to arrive at a good solution, at a good belief, or to make a good decision because they will only confirm their initial intuition.

On the other hand, when people are able to discuss their ideas with other people who disagree with them, then the confirmation biases of the different participants will balance each other out, and the group will be able to focus on the best solution. Thus, reasoning works much better in groups. When people reason on their own, it’s very likely that they are going to go down a wrong path. But when they’re actually able to reason together, they are much more likely to reach a correct solution.

See? I knew there was a reason for continuing to engage with shcb.

Lies.com: Fulfilling the evolutionary imperative for argumentation since 1996.

62 Responses to “More Good Stuff on Mercier and Sperber’s Argumentative Reasoning Theory”

  1. shcb Says:

    At one point I was an application engineer in a room with 3 other engineers, we didn’t have cubicles, just a desk in each corner. We each came from a different discipline of automation. We would routinely spin our chairs to the center of the room and have a spirited brainstorm session to decide the best solution to create an automated system to produce a product.

    We would of course start out lobbying for the equipment to be made in our area expertise and would eventually compromise on a system that was a combination at least a couple of the disciplines. But this seemed to only work if one of us had done some work on the concept before it was presented to the group. It seemed the group needed an argumentative starting point, if the group lacked that rudder (of someone doing some early groundwork) everyone tried to get their discipline used without regard to the others and nothing was accomplished.

    This only works if the vision of the group is consistent, or nearly so. In my example above there were three visions at work, the vision of the company, that of the customer and that of the individual.

    The vision of the company of course is profit, there is little reason to take on a job that is going to lose money, but there is also how much debt is the company willing to go into, the amount of people it is willing to dedicate to the job etc. Next is the vision of the customer, how much money can/will they spend, and that is tied to the factors above. Now both those visions have to be satisfied before personal vision can even be brought into the picture, but it make it there eventually. In my example those two most important visions were almost givens so the next level (personal vision) had a chance of compromise.

    Personal vision is usually a mixture of pride and worth, people will tend to fight harder to get the vision they are most comfortable with, this isn’t really a bad thing, they are proud of the work they have done to get to this point in their lives and they should be, they want to showcase that hard work. They also want their vision front and center because of worth, personal worth (higher salary, job security, but also worth in the sense of making a difference. Like politics where you can’t make a difference until you are elected, a person’s vision won’t be utilized until it is used.

    Pretty complicated for something as simple four guys arguing over whether to use a conveyor or not, imagine how complicated AGW and its effect on global economies is.

    The part I disagree with is:

    Thus, reasoning works much better in groups. When people reason on their own, it’s very likely that they are going to go down a wrong path. But when they’re actually able to reason together, they are much more likely to reach a correct solution.

    When people reason on their own they are more likely to go down the same path, if it worked before it will probably work but that doesn’t necessarily make it a wrong path. When people reason in groups they are more likely to go down a different path, one that may or may not be the right path, but it is a different path and that is what leads to innovation and progress whether that path succeeded or failed.

  2. knarlyknight Says:

    Well said, shcb. When I was younger I would have argued, providing examples of extraordinary people who derived solutions witht thier own intellect and open minds: Albert Einstien and Wade Davis may be two examples. Yet, for every example I could give, a hundred counter examples support decision by argumentative reasoning as superior – provided of course that there are enough participants to properly represent the views…

  3. shcb Says:

    Right, and people who can buck the trend and do it all on their own correctly are called genius, at least your examples are because it is and they are so rare.

  4. knarlyknight Says:

    Okay, finally we agree on something.

    FYI- if you put a dozen of Einstein’s colleagues in a room with him and asked for them to provide a single answer to why an apple falls to the ground, Einstein’s answer probably would not have been the one selected…

    According to Einstein, an apple falls to the ground not because it feels the force of Earth’s gravity but because the apple is responding to the curvature of space-time near the Earth’s surface caused by the planet’s huge mass.

    Albert Einstein was right, say scientists, 100 years on

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/may/07/scientists-prove-einstein-right

    You see shcb, Einstein was way ahead of others, sort of like how JBC is leading the progressive thinking about AGW.

  5. shcb Says:

    Tongue in cheek I hope :)

  6. shcb Says:

    No, wait JBC is in the 98% majority that think the answer is gravity does that make me Einstein? No because i’m just one of the 40% minority

  7. shcb Says:

    one other thought, since JBC is on this conformational bias kick, I wonder what the political preference of the 98% of scientists in that poll is, wouldn’t it be a hoot if it were, oh say 98% Democrat?

  8. shcb Says:

    speaking of genius, this kid came up with this idea when he was 17, it is now 4 years later, so he is, let’s see, carry the one… oh hell with it, he has a bright future whatever age he is now.

    http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2011/05/09/transforming-electric-motorcycle-future/?test=faces

  9. Anithil Says:

    “one other thought, since JBC is on this conformational bias kick, I wonder what the political preference of the 98% of scientists in that poll is, wouldn’t it be a hoot if it were, oh say 98% Democrat?”

    If the implication is that these scientists are biased, I think that’s a backwards way of looking at it.

    Seeing as a person’s political tendencies are based on what policies they want to see implemented, and the fact that democratic politicians are _mostly_ supporting action towards AGW…mostly.

    So, it would make more sense to say that 98% of the scientists are democratic because of their attitude towards AGW…not the other way around.

  10. knarlyknight Says:

    anthill – you’re too logical to reason with shcb. Good luck anyway.

  11. shcb Says:

    That is the old chicken or egg argument. In this case the 98% may be Democratic because they want the party agenda advanced.

    When I refer to the 98% I am referring to an article about a study that said 98% of climate scientists support AGW, or at least that is how the statement was distilled by the time it made it to the blogs. The study was of about 1000 climate scientists that had published a minimum number of articles on global warming, 10 or 20 comes to mind. Of those scientists 40 or 50 percent were skeptical to one degree or another, the study them systematically tightened up the qualifications of who should be considered an expert until they reached 98% in favor of AGW theories. By this time the number was down to a few dozen scientists. I think it is plausible that in that circumstance the political leanings could be a major factor in supporting AGW, since many of the solutions for AGW are socialistic and would be desirable to Democrats on their own, or at the very least they wouldn’t be seen as detrimental to their political vision. The more you refine a group the more likely it is going to be partisan, especially if that is your intent.

  12. Anithil Says:

    Well, I guess that’s a pretty convenient way to look at it if you want to blindly stick to the answer/belief you’ve latched onto. “Oh, those scientists are democratic, they want to further the socialist agenda of that party”. First of all, there are so many things wrong with that sentence, but I have a feeling that has already been pointed out many times by commenters before me. Refer to them.

    My point being, it’s easy to dismiss a view as being held only because of the party they support. It’s harder to completely ignore the politics and look at the science itself. What I’ve gotten from looking at the situation minus the politics and ~***taking into account the cost-benefit thinking***~ (starting to think no matter how many times I bring that up it’s not going to get through, maybe some stars and swirleys will help), I’ve come to my conclusion…*regardless* of what my political beliefs might be.

    What’s that? Most democratic politicians agree with my view of what we should do about AGW? Well golly, I just may vote for those ones.

    And that’s a pretty interesting story there about the blogs reducing the studies down to minute, false representations. Great fiction right there.

    And if people are biased based on their “political agenda”, then that argument can be completely turned around towards republicans as well. And although I think that conservatives base their AGW opinion on their party loyalties as well, I’m not going to factor that in to my decision on AGW. Just saying.

    Also, to end this comment, I would like to say…

    ~******COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS!!******~ (More stars and swirleys! Man this must be important. Wonder why it’s not being addressed in opposing arguments?)

  13. shcb Says:

    I’m not ignoring your cost benefit analysis point, I would love to have a discussion of that on this site but I gave up on that a long time ago with the regulars here. I’ve said for years that I’m all in favor of doing what we can to limit AWG even though I don’t believe in AWG as a crisis as long as the specific proposal to “limit AWG” has other benefits, reducing pollution for instance, as long as it doesn’t cause too much damage to the economy and doesn’t make other matters worse, growing corn for fuel instead of food just because it burns a little cleaner while burning more fuel than you gain for example.

    Don’t take the 98% of scientists being Democrats/socialists comments above too literal, that was mostly a jab at JBC from a silly article he linked to months ago and the rest of the guys on this site that couldn’t see how absurd it was. I’m not saying there is some huge conspiracy of socialist scientists of which 98% of the community holds those views, I’m sure it’s like every other profession, there are people of all walks and all political persuasions in the mix. The article and study in essence took a large group, asked them a question, didn’t like the answer and then made the group smaller and smaller until it got the answer, I’m just saying that when you do that you can get any answer you want. In this case they said 98% agree with AGW, you could do the same and say 98% are Democrat or have red hair or whatever.

    And just to be clear, I’ve come to my conclusion without regard to my biases (as much as possible) in the beginning I believed the AGW theory because, well, the experts said it was so and decided if this is a crisis we need to do something about it, gonna suck but if we have to , we have to. But then I started to see the signs of people making more of something than there is (the scam aspect) the only solution was taxing the rich (countries) AlGore saying “the science is in”, scientists not releasing data, even under FOI requests, etc. It all stunk of bad science. I might be wrong, maybe I’m the one that has been duped but as much as I can I’ve taken the data I can find, made my own charts, done my own analysis and came to my own conclusion.

  14. NorthernLite Says:

    Speaking of a cost/benefit analysis…

    How much has it cost the US over the past 10 years following 9/11, as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    the two post-9/11 wars will end up costing taxpayers somewhere between $4 trillion and $6 trillion. That includes not only money already appropriated for the military campaigns ($1.3 trillion at last count), but also the immense cost of long-term health care for returning soldiers, and such things as interest payments on all the extra borrowed money and the increased volatility of oil prices since the invasion of Iraq.

    “One of the main reasons that our national debt has increased so much over this past decade is because of the spending on the wars and the military buildup,” Bilmes told The Huffington Post. “All of that money has been borrowed.”

    More tax cuts, also! (wink)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/11/reassessing-the-cost-of-9-11-bin-laden_n_860186.html

  15. shcb Says:

    “We could have gone down a different path,” said Neta Crawford, a Boston University political scientist and one of over a dozen scholars embarked on a cross-disciplinary assessment of the costs of the post-9/11 era. Their report is due in late June.

    Yes we could have, my friend that grew up in Baghdad wanted to just nuke the whole area, wouldn’t have cost a penny and would have won the war in an afternoon with no American lives lost, cost/benefits.

  16. NorthernLite Says:

    Yeah I guess starting a nuclear war is one way you could have went…

  17. shcb Says:

    Yeah, or we could have done nothing, you never know what is best and invarably you wish you would have took a different path no matter which you took.

  18. Anithil Says:

    Nuclear fallout = not entering Iraq? I don’t think the two are remotely comparable. Pretty sure I’d take the second one any day.

  19. enkidu Says:

    So… just nuking the entire middle east all the way to Pak/Indian border enough genocide for ya? Or do you keep going all the way across China? How will The Donald seize their oil if the place is nothing but radioactive glass? Who will work in the sweat shops making Trump’s line of clothing and gewgaws? What is the cost benefit analysis of nuclear holocaust?

    You know, it only took Anithill a few posts to realize shcb is a wwnj. Sure wwnj is being ever so nice to the new poster, but a few homey anecdotes doesn’t cover over the racism, wrongness and bile. It bubbles to the surface if you dare disagree with his nonsense. For example, we had an absolutely fantastic debate about the meaning of the word “up” and how it isn’t flat, down or sideways. I’m pretty sure wwnj still doesn’t get it, but with a patient approach someday he’ll not explode in a profanity laced tirade if you dare mock the bullshit (note, I use this term advisedly, please see the lies.com manifesto penned by jbc for the site’s (ahem) mission statement).

    I’m all for substantive debate and argumentative reasoning, but if the fringe is yelling “unbridled socialism” while the majority is trying to have a decent discussion about cost benefit analysis, possible outcome planning, remediation, intervention and actually, you know, coming to grips with a real world problem. We’ve slowly moved wwnj into admitting something is happening, but he blames it on tides… seriously, how do you have a serious discussion with that?

    I enjoy mocking his nonsense. ymmv. enjoy

  20. shcb Says:

    You guys just take things too literal, NL got my point, I think Anithil did, Enky doesn’t have a clue.

    Neither doing nothing nor nuking the whole region (she wanted to wipe Israel off the map too by the way) would be proper. The point is our choices were really somewhere in between those extremes, but how much y’all wonna bet the upcoming study of this group in the article will be really, really close to doing nothing. That tactic is just as wrong as this lady of Iraqi birth wanting to take out all her remaining family along with what she considers a pretty ugly group of people. I was rather stunned to hear a mild mannered little lady wanting to kill em all, but, I needed a Chinese visa in a fortnight and she was the only one that get it done so I just shook my head in agreement and learned a lot about the mentality of people in that area, quite an afternoon.

    Enky, I never said I agreed with her, read what I say, not what you want me to say.

  21. knarlyknight Says:

    Anthil, I appreciate your posts, even though they fall into the been there done that category (we’ve been around the block with shcb enuf times to kick ourselves out of the rut when we start to fall into it again.)
    In appreciation, I hope you will enjoy this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LJQ27vkJhM&feature=player_embedded

  22. enkidu Says:

    It has been humorous to watch Anithill’s transition from ‘let’s have a blog chat’ to ‘omg is this guy a partisan tool!’

    And just to clarify, shcb has threatened folks with death (jes a lil joke har har!)

    shcb has threatened folks here with maiming or worse (jes a lil joke har har!)

    shcb wants to solve the immigration crisis by means of nuclear genocide

    shcb has stated he’d like to do the same elsewhere (was is SF? NYC? libville USA?)

    he thinks the financial meltdown was because we gave loans to “negroes and mexicans” (who wants to bet he had to retype that after initially putting in “π!@@#&$ and $p!ç$” no takers on that bet? yeah)

    he thinks tides are causing global warming (seriously)

    and (a site favorite) his description of how much he despises anyone from, what was that piquant phrase? oh yes “mudhut countries”

    These are just some of the more humorous examples (I love pulling the beards of zealots, the resulting humor is priceless. hey, it’s a hobby)

    You can have a reasonable debate with reasonable folks, but wwnj (wrong wing nut job) simply isn’t a reasonable person. He has had his ‘oh poor me enlightening these silly libs!’ schtick going lately, but that pose is already wearing thin (he can’t help himself) His right wing polarizing filter is so hideously strong. So strong he can’t even agree to the definition of the word “up” (as in “over the last few decades, the temps on this graph are going ___”)

    I have said in the past and I’ll say again, there are fewer death threats on lies.com as say two or three years ago (to say nothing about the period around shrubco’s lies to get us into Iraq [hey how'd that turn out? oh...]) wwnj uses fewer racist bon mots and tries to moderate his language, simple and tortured as it may be. hey that’s a winning slogan for 2012. Republicans! Not as wrong and racist as they were (well, at least not where the mudhut folk could catch wind of it! har har wink!) Also, birth certificate! sociamalism! grrrrr

    Too long for a bumper sticker.

  23. shcb Says:

    Boy, I’m quite the monster, wonder why I’m not in prison :)

  24. enkidu Says:

    (insert jocular anecdote here)

    unbridled sociamalism!

    rinse, repeat

  25. Anithil Says:

    Yes, I’m seeing now through a brief time travelling trip on this site that this whole argument with shcb has, indeed, already happened….several hundred times, it looks like. In which case, there is nothing I can say that I hasn’t already been said.

    The general attitude in my generation is one of optimism tempered with stress and an urgent need for the “truth”, whatever that may be. Optimism, in that we think that through logic and reasoning, how can anyone deny what is happening, or what needs to be done? It’s fitting that this comment happens in the post where jbc talks about the evolutionary need for discourse and argument….I find that very interesting. But at the same time, when people are so set in their argument, and when it’s something that actually affects the potentially near future, it’s pretty scary when logic falls on deaf ears. I don’t really care which side is right or wrong. I don’t care about whatever agendas are held by whatever politicians, etc, etc. I care what is the logical thing to do with the information we have. Waiting could be a very big problem. I could bring up graphs and studies, but again, they’ve already been presented. So instead I offer my general opinion on this discussion:

    ……………………………………..________
    ………………………………,.-’”……………….“~.,
    ………………………..,.-”……………………………..”-.,
    …………………….,/………………………………………..”:,
    …………………,?………………………………………………\,
    ………………./…………………………………………………..,}
    ……………../………………………………………………,:`^`..}
    ……………/……………………………………………,:”………/
    …………..?…..__…………………………………..:`………../
    …………./__.(…..”~-,_…………………………,:`………./
    ………../(_….”~,_……..”~,_………………..,:`…….._/
    ……….{.._$;_……”=,_…….”-,_…….,.-~-,},.~”;/….}
    ………..((…..*~_…….”=-._……”;,,./`…./”…………../
    …,,,___.\`~,……”~.,………………..`…..}…………../
    …………(….`=-,,…….`……………………(……;_,,-”
    …………/.`~,……`-………………………….\……/\
    ………….\`~.*-,……………………………….|,./…..\,__
    ,,_……….}.>-._\……………………………..|…………..`=~-,
    …..`=~-,_\_……`\,……………………………\
    ……………….`=~-,,.\,………………………….\
    …………………………..`:,,………………………`\…………..__
    ……………………………….`=-,……………….,%`>–==“
    …………………………………._\……….._,-%…….`\
    ……………………………..,<`.._|_,-&“…………….`

    (Sorry for the spacious comment, but I felt it sums up my attitude pretty well).

    Also, nice video KK. Thanks for the link.

  26. enkidu Says:

    nice ascii art!

    We’ll put you in the category of reasonable folks who know what the word “up” means. Welcome aboard!

  27. shcb Says:

    Oh my, an AGE proponent saying the science is complete and anyone that disagrees is stupid, as stupid as a cartoon character no less, golly that hurts.

  28. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb = epic fail

    go ahead, keep on showing us how stupid you are with comments like your last that have no basis in reality

  29. shcb Says:

    How so?

  30. enkidu Says:

    Anithill – see what I mean?

    OK wrong wing nut job, I’ll ask: what is AGE? algore’s global extremists?

    I don’t think Anithill is saying the science is 100% (has anyone here ever indicated they thought the science and data gathering/analysis is over and done?). But it is enough of a % of certainty (and of a potentially calamitous civilization-scale ‘world-o-hurt’), that we should start, you know, doing something other than arguing about the meaning of the word “up”

    No one called you stupid until you called yourself stupid (twice). And who said anything about a cartoon character? Is it Anithill’s ascii art? What do you see there? This should be an interesting Rorschach test of the fevered psyche of our loquatious lunkhead. I’ll give you a hint: stng

  31. Anithil Says:

    Yep pretty much sums it up, I have *never* said that I think the science is complete…I’ve actually tried to make a point writing disclaimers about how I know how much debate goes on in science. But it is enough of a percentage, COUPLED with the potential consequences, that influences what I think should be done.

    I never said that anyone who disagrees is stupid, I know intelligent people who share your view. I just happen to believe that it’s the wrong view, and even if I am wrong and it is the right view, we stand to lose much more if we assume the anti-action view is right when it is in fact, wrong. I can make assumptions about your intelligence, but despite being anonymous on the internet, I am not going to come out and accuse you of being stupid because you’ve argued against me. And, I’m pretty sure I’ve actually never done that.

    Sorry to cut short the rorschach test (hehe), but the cartoon is a depiction of the concept “facepalm”. It is a general statement of resigned frustration.

  32. shcb Says:

    Well, I’m in a giving mood, I accept both your apologies, just kidding I know you would never do that. But yes Envy several of the folks here has said in moments of frustration “the science is in” and lorry! We all agree research should BO on. So it seems all we are arguing about is how much danger we’re in. We’re making some good progress for a Sunday morning. But alas I have a 5 hour drive ahead of me this morning, ttfn!

  33. Smith Says:

    “So instead I offer my general opinion on this discussion:”

    Told you so.

    I fell in the same trap as you once and thought perhaps a worthwhile conversation could be had with shcb. I eventually realized he has no desire to participate in real discourse and stopped wasting my time. I’ll congratulate you for possibly figuring this out faster than I did.

  34. knarlyknight Says:

    and Smith you were way faster than me.

    Enk, I think “AGE” is shcb’s way of saying he can’t remember the acronym AGW. / Anthil’s awesome ascii art does look like Picard but like any good Rorschach you do have to squint a lot to

    I hope shcb doesn’t drive like he reasons. If so, he’ll be hell bent on passing a long line of cars in a blinding rain on a two lane road, come up alongside a rocky mountain double and see a light appoaching. “Well gee, Maybelline, calm down would ya? That might be an approaching truck, but it could just as easily be a little motorcycle, or maybe just a reflection of the headlights on my fogged up windshield of all the cars of all I’ve been passing! Heck, we’re making such good time now it’d be a shame to get back into my lane until we know for sure if anything is approaching. Besides, I bet it’s just an old fishingboat washed to the side of the road by the TIDES.

  35. shcb Says:

    Funny you should mention that, on the way home yesterday an elderly couple got on the interstate the wrong direction in front of us. All ended well, they found a place to cross to the right direction but it was a little touch and go for a few seconds.

  36. enkidu Says:

    AGE = AGW, got it thx
    Most folks call it climate change, or perhaps climate disruption

    wwnj, those folks weren’t on the wrong side of the freeway, you were.

    So what did you see in that ASCII art wwnj? Sociamalism? Scary Brack Man? Do tell!

    Why in the world should anyone apologize to you?
    For you calling yourself stupid twice?

    So please show us the link where any dum lib here at lies.com said ““the science is in” and lorry!” btw – wtf does lorry mean in this context? Truck? perhaps lorry is sorry? worry? You really shouldn’t drink so early in the AM. What does “research should BO on” go? Barak Obama? Again, heavy drinking and blog posting should be avoided. Even more unintelligible than usual. Anyone have that Wingnutoverse to English translator working yet?

    knarly, funny wwnj driving bit! You can’t ‘debate’ anyone who thinks climate change is caused by the tides (or sudden heating from the earth’s core – I mean really! ;)

  37. shcb Says:

    They are called typos, mostly from little tiny keyboards on little tiny phones without reading glasses, but thanks for being so understanding. When I first looked at the artwork I though it was Homer after he had done something stupid, but now that it has been explained it wasn’t a shot at the intelligence of skeptics I can see it is Einstein with his hand on his forehead pondering the wonders of nature. I guess I just didn’t look at it close enough the first time.

  38. enkidu Says:

    http://files.sharenator.com/wpid_picard_facepalm_RE_The_world_according_to_America-s921x606-115737.jpg

    Again, please identify a post by me, or lets say any other lib here, where we said there was no need for further research on climate change and man’s impact on the environment. That sounds more like you wwnjs, just shut the whole thing down and trust the oil, gas and coal companies, right?

    See above link.

  39. shcb Says:

    I don’t know if anyone here has used those exact words, the quotation marks are to denote a paraphrase of AlGore using those words.

  40. enkidu Says:

    So which is it “several of the folks here has said in moments of frustration “the science is in” and lorry!” or Algore said it? Is anything in that mixed up wwnj nuggin of yours ever straight? Other than your usual schtick of libs is stupid and evil (thankfully you usually reserve the Very Bad Guys!™ moniker for brown folk from mudhut countries).

    and lorry! (actually, I have no idea what that means, but it sure sounds funny!)

  41. shcb Says:

    Several of the people have said the same thing even if they didn’t use those exact words, that is why I said it is a paraphrase. I think NL may have actually said “the science is in” (that time it was meant as an actual quote) because I recall you and I having this discussion then, I had mistakenly said you had used those words when it was someone else and I corrected myself. You seem to get your kicks out of trying to catch people in little gotchas and then using that as a basis for your rebuttal, I guess whatever spins your propeller.

    As far as “and lorry!” your guess is as good as mine, I don’t know what I was thinking at five o’clock in the morning.

  42. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb complaining about people finding little gotchas and then using that as a basis for rebuttal? Irony / hypocrisy gets no thicker than that.

    lorry!

  43. enkidu Says:

    It isn’t a gotcha to quote you verbatim.

    OK, I’d like to introduce you to this web service called “The Google”
    popularly called a ‘search engine’
    go to google.com
    click on advanced search
    now in the box marked “this exact wording or phrase:” please type “the science is in”. Now go down to “Search within a site or domain:” type in lies.com
    hit return
    viola!
    you have made your very first search (it works just like conservapaedia, but it actually searches in reality rather than the wingnutoverse)

    I then clicked on each of the ten results and then searched for the phrase “the science is in” or “science is in”.

    And I noticed a pattern: wwnj is the *only* person who used the phrase “the science is in” (facepalm)

    Why?

    My hypothesis: it is some bullshnitzle that he heard on AM hate radio or rush or beck or hannity or… well, you get the picture. But basically wwnjs do not live in a reality based universe. Belief – whether it be in a sky fairie or giant tea pot circling the sun exactly opposite Earth or that Saint Raygun was the Bestest President Evar! or maybe GWB! – belief drives wwnj ‘thinking’ which is probably a little lower on the brainstem, if ya know what I mean.

    To use a phrase from the lies.com manifesto: it’s bullshit.

  44. knarlyknight Says:

    lorry Enk, i think you nailed it.

  45. enkidu Says:

    lorry!

  46. shcb Says:

    I told you who said it, AlGore.

  47. shcb Says:

    Or at least used thou words, you all have paraphrased it. As I said.

  48. knarlyknight Says:

    I accept your apology, shcb.

  49. shcb Says:

    Good ! Thank you!

  50. shcb Says:

    ok, before you jump on me enky, Thou should be those, my phone just inserts words sometimes.

    The only thing that makes these frustrating exchanges with Enky worthwhile is it reinforces so many stereotypes of liberals single dimensional thinking, a lack of knowledge of how the real world works, they don’t want to debate just pontificate, but mostly they will accuse you of doing whatever it is they are doing even if you aren’t doing it.

  51. enkidu Says:

    and lorry!

    Look wrong wing nut job, we are just trying to parse your keyboard smashings and incoherent rage into something approximating English. I know google is working on a wwnj to English translation filter, but there are some problems that simply defy easy solutions in the real world (in the Wingnutoverse you just blame libs or barney frank or sociamalism).

    The only person on lies.com who used the phrase “the science is in” is…. you. In fact I noticed that you accuse posters here of using that phrase over a period of years, being corrected every time and then you make the same ridiculous claim year after year. Now you claim you are just paraphrasing Algore… what will your constantly shifting goalpost be tomorrow? next week?
    whtvr

    Funny how random posters come in, you put on your happy face, and after a week or three, new poster pretty much has your number: total fucking tool.

  52. shcb Says:

    No, I am saying you guys are paraphrasing AlGore, Gore used those exact words. When I was doing that same search a day earlier than you I found where you picked a random number, 80% of the science was in, so no, not 100% but close enough to mean the same as what Gore was talking about. You can word that sentiment in countless ways but it means the same thing, you guys think there is enough data and that data has been analyzed properly and enough to trudge forward, pulling out all the stops to fix global warming. But you really don’t want to discuss it, you just want to lay in the grass and pounce on the first phrase you find even slightly out of place. Whatever.

  53. knarlyknight Says:

    After reading shcb’s latest repeat BS, I echo the sentiments of Anithil:

    “…I offer my general opinion on this discussion:

    ……………………………………..________
    ………………………………,.-’”……………….“~.,
    ………………………..,.-”……………………………..”-.,
    …………………….,/………………………………………..”:,
    …………………,?………………………………………………\,
    ………………./…………………………………………………..,}
    ……………../………………………………………………,:`^`..}
    ……………/……………………………………………,:”………/
    …………..?…..__…………………………………..:`………../
    …………./__.(…..”~-,_…………………………,:`………./
    ………../(_….”~,_……..”~,_………………..,:`…….._/
    ……….{.._$;_……”=,_…….”-,_…….,.-~-,},.~”;/….}
    ………..((…..*~_…….”=-._……”;,,./`…./”…………../
    …,,,___.\`~,……”~.,………………..`…..}…………../
    …………(….`=-,,…….`……………………(……;_,,-”
    …………/.`~,……`-………………………….\……/\
    ………….\`~.*-,……………………………….|,./…..\,__
    ,,_……….}.>-._\……………………………..|…………..`=~-,
    …..`=~-,_\_……`\,……………………………\
    ……………….`=~-,,.\,………………………….\
    …………………………..`:,,………………………`\…………..__
    ……………………………….`=-,……………….,%`>–==“
    …………………………………._\……….._,-%…….`\
    ……………………………..,<`.._|_,-&“…………….`

    "

  54. NorthernLite Says:

    I know shcb can be frustrating to discuss things with but you have to admit, he’s a pretty good sport. I think we all are.

    It reminds of the looney tunes cartoon of the sheep dog and the wolf who would go at it all day and then at the end of the day say, punh out and say, ”see you tomorrow Ralph!”

  55. enkidu Says:

    Well, looks like John Huntsman just took himself out of the race:

    “I’m not a meteorologist. All I know is 90 percent of the scientists say climate change is occurring. If 90 percent of the oncological community said something was causing cancer we’d listen to them.”

    See wwnj, the ” ” symbols denote a quote. The ‘ ‘ symbols means a paraphrase. You said some dum lib on lies.com said that “the science is in”
    The only person on lies.com to say that (over the course of years I might add) has been you. All ten search results. You’ve been listening to too much right wing bullshit. The nutjobbery is strong with this one…

    “But yes Envy several of the folks here has said in moments of frustration “the science is in” and lorry!” Pretty clear you thought someone here said “the science is in” only trouble is, you were the only one saying it! and lorry!

    Reminds me of the recent Saturday Night Live bit where they had the Rs in a ‘debate’. Tina Fey/Palin says something like (again, a paraphrase, not a quote) ‘an I sure hope the lamestream media don’t twist my words by repeatin em verbatim” (wink!)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNoksThSBcY

    Special appearance by my man, Jimmy!

  56. shcb Says:

    Nl, imagine how frustrating it is for me :)

  57. Anithil Says:

    “The only thing that makes these frustrating exchanges with Enky worthwhile is it reinforces so many stereotypes of liberals single dimensional thinking, a lack of knowledge of how the real world works”

    See, this is kind of interesting (and by “kind of” I mean “really”), because that is the exact stereotype I have seen reinforced by the single dimensional thinking of conservatives. So liberals (and the conservatives who share my view, because they do exist in great number) that believe AGW deserves direct action are showing a lack of knowledge of how the real world works?

    Because I don’t think Fox news provides any semblance of how the real world works. But it sure does conveniently tell anti-AGW what they want to hear.

    And last I checked, despite my frustration with my comments not getting through, I had not pounced on every little mistake you had made for the sake of pontificating, or whatever. I think most of the others here have already said their piece many times, leaving them with no alternative but general frustration and being upset (which I can understand). You see, this all comes down to those with your view not being reasonable. And I know that you’re going to want to argue that no, in fact, we are the ones being unreasonable, jumping into action way too soon to know!

    That is, uhm, completely and totally wrong. The costs of not acting are so very high. The costs of acting if we ARE wrong, are *nowhere* near the post-apocalyptic world you depicted before. They just simply aren’t. I don’t know who told you we would all be starving to death if we started putting resources towards AGW adaptation, because that’s ridiculous. I’m curious, where did you hear that prediction?

    And I know, I know, it’s pointless to argue. It pretty much is, by this point. But this beats the work I’m supposed to be doing right now anyways, and for some reason, I find myself evolutionarily *compelled* to type responses!! (see jbc post)

  58. NorthernLite Says:

    And if he didn’t come here it’d just be a group of us basically agreeing with each other all the time and well, how fun would that be?

  59. enkidu Says:

    Well the problem is most right wingers can’t be reasoned with. By that I don’t mean 99%, but perhaps 51%. The reasonable Rs (like say my brother) are actually up to a debate and can handle disagreements or dissenting points of view without resorting to swearing tirades, shouting “unbridled socialism” and death threats. Unfortunately the lunatic wing of the Rs appear to be in control (you know, the ones who wear colonial costumes, the social whackadoodles and raving moonbats [along with a healthy sprinkling of racists and microcephalics]).

    Fairly reasonable conservatives like poor pearl clutching long-lost Craig here on lies.com just can’t bear to hear the wwnj narrative revealed to be, well, bullshit. There is a minority of the minority (like say my brother) who can shake their heads at the extremes of their party and support the moderates and work out a deal that might be called middle of the road.

    My problem is that the right has gone so nuts – I mean come on, the first R ‘debate’ on FoxNEWTS was sponsored by the frikin John Birch Society! and the Promise Keepers – I say again the right has gone so nuts that they want to shift the national narrative back to the 50s, the 1850s. bump that

    Debate is great. Consensus better. But you have to exclude the voices that just spout utter nonsense. The wwnjs howled when we fixed CFCs and SO2. Are we in some post-apocalyptic wasteland? well other than Texas and along the mighty Mississippi. No.

  60. shcb Says:

    The key word in the last posts not counting NL is reasonable. My guess is NL and I left by ourselves could come to a lot of “reasonable” agreements, and a few things we will never agree with each other. I don’t think that would ever happen with Enky and I, or Smith for that matter, although it has a slightly better chance.

  61. enkidu Says:

    Looks like the Secret Service agrees with me ;)
    (from their twitter account)

    “Had to monitor Fox for a story. Can’t. Deal. With. The. Blathering.”

    sounds reasonable

    and lorry!

  62. Four Grades of Collective Wisdom « Future Perfect Says:

    [...] overconfidence.  This result has been discussed by Mercier & Sperber (and blogged here, here, here, and recently team member Robin Hanson here; see also my earlier callout in this blog).  [...]

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