Archive for July, 2011

Nothing to see here folks! Move along, move along.

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Norway is under attack! A massive car bomb and near-simultaneous shooting spree at a resort island. Sounds like the terrorists are at it again! On a per capita basis, Norway lost twice as many people in this attack as the U.S. did on 9/11. Imagine the political repercussions throughout the world if double-9/11-scale damage had been done by an al-Qaeda offshoot.

Damn those Al Q… what? Say again? Really? It wasn’t a super secret sleeper cell of brown skinning islamic extremist nutjobs? The person arrested for the shootings on the island is (allegedly) one Anders Behring Breivik. Active in right wing circles… rabid ‘nationalist’… writes über long screeds (presumably as partially nonsensical as our resident wwnjs) against Muslims… hates him some immigrants… fundi Christian… owns three guns (glock, rifle, shotgun)…

Of course, he must have felt justified cuz he was just shootin The Bad Guys™.

Oh wait, he’s just a lone crazy person, nothing to see here folks. Move along, move along.

Franken on Focus on the Family’s Minnery on the Blackwell HHS Study

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Good job, Sen. Franken.

Gutting on Experts and Global Warming

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Gary Gutting, a philosophy professor at Notre Dame, offers a pretty rock-solid argument that I recommend to our resident AGW denier: On Experts and Global Warming.

How can we, nonexperts, take account of expert opinion when it is relevant to decisions about public policy?

To answer this question, we need to reflect on the logic of appeals to the authority of experts. First of all, such appeals require a decision about who the experts on a given topic are. Until there is agreement about this, expert opinion can have no persuasive role in our discussions. Another requirement is that there be a consensus among the experts about points relevant to our discussion. Precisely because we are not experts, we are in no position to adjudicate disputes among those who are. Finally, given a consensus on a claim among recognized experts, we nonexperts have no basis for rejecting the truth of the claim.

There’s really no way I can see around his logic. I’m sure shcb will find a way, but I think that’s more a testimony to the power of motivated reasoning and the plasticity of shcb’s reality than it is to the merits of Gutting’s argument.