Posts filed under “Science”

Statistics: Scientific Consensus on Climate Change?

One of the memes I’ve heard recently in the climate debate is that there is no scientific consensus — that there is actually strong disagreement.

The main basis of this argument is that 31,486 dissenting scientists have signed a petition against the belief that Global Warming is man made at the PetitionProject.org.

I don’t want to debate climate change; rather, I want to look at that argument to see if there are any statistical flaws in it.

My problem is whenever anyone uses a single, out of context, data point. What does this number actually mean? Is 31,486 alot or a little? How many scientists are there in the US? etc.

I heard this argument the other day, and went hunting down a visual way to express it, and found this via Information is Beautiful:

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This does not resolve the debate — there are more variations (Climate Change: A Consensus Among Scientists?) — at but it demonstrates an obvious flaw in the “dissenting scientist” argument.

Here is the breakdown of skeptics, by field:

Interesting stuff . . .

Category: Mathematics, Really, really bad calls, Science

Solving the Climate Debate

Here is a fascinating suggestion — from an economist, yet — on how to reconcile the debate between those who believe Global Warming is real and man-made, versus those who don’t: “To end this political stalemate, Dr. McKitrick proposes calling each side’s bluff. He suggests imposing financial penalties on carbon emissions that would be set…Read More

Category: Science, UnScience

The Known Universe

The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world’s most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated…Read More

Category: Science, Weekend

Finding Planets in Other Solar Systems

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Source: Looking for alien Earths? Here they come Space probes pick up exoplanets galore, beginning with the weirder ones Alan Boyle msnbc.com Dec . 11, 2009 http://www.today.msnbc.msn.com/id/34350505/ns/technology_and_science-space/

Category: Science, Weekend

Hubble’s Festive View of a Grand Star-Forming Region

Fantastic photo from Hubble: Hat tip GMSV

Category: Science, Weekend

H1N1 Not So Deadly After All . . .

Back in October, we discussed what I described as an over reaction to Swine flu: H1N1 Fatality Rates: Overreaction? Many of the comments disagreed. The WSJ reports today that 1 in 6 Americans were exposed to H1N1, and of those “47 million Americans who were sickened with swine flu from April to mid-November, 9,820 of…Read More

Category: Psychology, Science

Dumb Discovery of the Day: All Men Watch Porn

Here is yet something else I missed while out to sea last week:  All men watch porn, scientists find. Regular readers know I am very pro-Science, but I cannot see how this research adds anything: “We started our research seeking men in their 20s who had never consumed pornography,” said Professor Simon Louis Lajeunesse. “We…Read More

Category: Science

What Earth Would Look Like With Rings Like Saturn

Roy Prol wonders: What the rings would look like from different cities and latitudes accross the world. It’s interesting to imagine how it would effect culture throughout time. It would have influenced religion, mythology, navigation, etc.. Hat tip kottke

Category: Science, Weekend

Climate Skeptics vs Scientific Consensus

I love information, and I especially appreciate a good depiction of information. This ginormous graphic, from Information is Beautiful, does an excellent job conveying a lot of info in an easily digestible manner: Global Warming Skeptics versus Scientific Consensus click for ginormo chart

Category: Science

Its All Relative: Cell Size & Scale

University of Utah’s Learn Genetics site has this terrific animation showing relative size in the micro world: click for interactive chart: via Cell Size & Scale > Previously: Science: It Works, Bitches (November 4th, 2009) http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/11/science-it-works-bitches/

Category: Science