Richard T. Fowler

Offering Christian and Christ-centered commentary about climate- and energy-related issues.

There’s More to Being a Climate Realist than Speeding Up Drilling

Climate realists can be defined as those of us who accept that the effect of CO2 on temperature is not settled , and/or is less of an effect than is generally claimed by professional “science” .

Many, if not most , of us also believe that the effect of CO2 is small enough that global temperatures are in fact falling perceptibly even as CO2 levels rise rapidly .

There will be many presidential candidates who will court our vote by :

1) claiming there is misrepresentation about the state of the current knowledge , and
2) affirming that they will support lots more drilling as the solution to the problem .

They may also decide to take a strong position in favor of more new nuclear energy projects .

Now it is obvious that we need more drilling , and will continue to need more drilling for a good length of time . And it is also clear that some more nuclear projects will be needed , if a way can be found to make them happen more economically . But these candidates who adopt this strategy for responding to people’s “climate” concerns are side-stepping the issue .

The real issues are twofold : 1) reversing the fraud , and 2) what the real data imply for our climate and CO2 policies . We should be very careful not to let ourselves get talked out of focusing on these two things . They are the real issue . Drilling is a foregone conclusion for conservative candidates (as well as for fake conservative candidates) . So is more nuclear .

Anyone can support these things even if they still want massive carbon taxes , even if they still want draconian mandatory {{cuts}} in CO2 emissions , even if they still want the research fraud to continue , even if they want a new wave of record subsidies for wind , solar , etc.

So one of the purposes of a strong and well-organized national movement for climate realism is to make sure that conservative (and “conservative”) candidates understand that the things they’ve been offering as solutions are insufficient , and thus , by themselves , are Not Acceptable .

We have to try to make them understand that if that’s all they have or all they want to pursue , they will receive a failing grade from us on climate and energy policies .

If you are a climate realist , please consider leaving a comment indicating whether you agree or disagree , and your reasons . Thank you .

– RT

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93 responses to “There’s More to Being a Climate Realist than Speeding Up Drilling

  1. omanuel 2015/05/19 14:04 at 14:04

    Richard,

    The problem is the National Academy of Sciences is not accountable for

    1. DECEIVING CONGRESS, and

    2. ABUSING NAS BUDGET REVIEW for federal research agencies to deceive the public about the energy that provides heat and light to planet Earth and sustains our lives.

    Although the Sun is undoubtedly the pulsar remains of the supernova that made our elements and birthed the solar system five billion years ago, the National Academy of Sciences is not at fault for deceiving Congress and the public, because

    “The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars. Established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology.” http://www.nasonline.org/about-nas/mission/

    Can the present descendants of “a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars” from 1863 be accountable for “providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology” in 2015 ? Obviously not !

    NAS did not become responsible for reviewing annual budgets of billions of dollars for all the federal research agencies until after Eisenhower established the gigantic federal-military-industrial-research complex in the 1950s.

    Who is to blame? Perhaps President Abraham Lincoln erred by assuming that the distinguished scholars of 1863 were altruistic and unselfish, but WE ARE ALL TO BLAME for assuming, one hundred and fifty-two years later, that descendants of this original group of scholars could unselfishly review the budgets of federal research agencies for Congress.

    Now is the time to gracefully acknowledge and start correcting factual errors in:

    #1. Standard Nuclear Model: The force between neutrons is repulsive

    #2. Standard Solar Model: Ordinary stars make and discard hydrogen

    #3. Big Bang Cosmology: The cosmos has no known age/space limits

    #4. Anthropologic Global Warming: The pulsar-centered Sun controls the climate of every planet in the solar system.

    With kind regards,
    – Oliver K. Manuel
    PhD Nuclear Chemistry -U Arkansas
    Postdoc Space Physics -UC Berkeley
    Fulbright Astrophysics -Tata Bombay

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/05/19 17:51 at 17:51

      Oliver , thanks for sharing your thoughts about this subject .

      You say the NAS is not at fault for deceiving Congress and the public , but the rest of us are at fault for bad policies that result from the deception because we all assume (I guess you mean , at some point or another) that the NAS scholars are even capable of doing what they’re charged by law with doing , i.e. , objectively reporting the facts as they understand {{them}} without injecting a political agenda .

      Can you elaborate a little on this ? Your argument seems to suggest that it would only be reasonable for those of us who don’t specialize in these fields to have assumed that everything that comes out of the NAS on these and other issues is a lie , on the grounds that since they’re being held to the honor system , they would naturally lie as much as they possibly could in order to achieve their political objectives .

      My perspective is that they are at fault for failing to tell the truth , because we are all under an obligation to tell the truth , and also because they take money in exchange for doing so , and are thus obligated to tell the truth by their contract with the American people . Moreover , to take the money on false pretenses without the intention to ever perform one’s own end of the contract and to then fail to perform the contract , is theft . Therefore , they are to blame in two ways : for both the lies and the theft .

      As for the rest of us being to blame for believing them … while I am one of a very few who was privileged to be shown the truth in contrast to their lies almost from the beginning of when I encountered those lies , I don’t accept that I am to blame for ever having believed them or accepted them at face value . Why not ? Because they have gone to great lengths (as do most scientists , whether they’re telling the truth or not) to give an impression that they are honest and trustworthy . Legally , we’re not to blame if we make a reasonable effort to check into an assertion that happens to be false , and fail to uncover the scam . The key word here is “reasonable” , and this doctrine implies that the reasonable person is not to blame , because they took reasonable efforts to verify , and in actual fact the scam was so well protected that it would have taken more than reasonable efforts to uncover it . If we’re on the hook for every false belief sold to us by a con artist , regardless of how difficult it is to uncover the falsehood , almost no progress would be possible in life .

      What say you to this ? Thank you .

      — Richard T. Fowler

      • omanuel 2015/05/19 22:30 at 22:30

        I was angry with NAS members myself for many years for using public funds to deceive the American public.

        Then I realized that we were also wrong to assume that any group of scientists – whether distinguished or not – could control the distribution of billions of dollars of research funds without the need for routine audits or checks to make certain the funds were being used for the benefit of society.

        It is not entirely the fault of NAS that funds Eisenhower spent on the military-industrial-research complex instead built an “Orwellian Ministry of Scientific Truths” to rule the public with lies.

        • Richard T. Fowler 2015/05/19 22:50 at 22:50

          You are right that they’re not entirely to blame . That’s why I’ve been blogging recently about the need for a more organized movement . There’s a lot of responsibility that has been shirked , including by elected officials and candidates for office . We the people , now that we know what’s going on , are also responsible for acting in an organized way . Not just talking/writing about it and trying to educate (though these are important first steps) , but also demonstrating … preparing , signing , and distributing petitions … acting in unison at the ballot box to make sure that errant politicians (including errant conservatives!) are removed before they have a chance to do any more damage … and perhaps eventually , getting one or more lawsuits rolling .

          If you’re suggesting that the scientists who , knowingly or not , have misled , are not the only group of people who merit our attention right now , I wholeheartedly agree !

  2. Reality check 2015/05/23 21:32 at 21:32

    Back in March, Obama’s Organize for Action group had been encouraging people to write or call their representatives and tell them why climate change is so important and they had Climate Change Fantasy Tournament to name the biggest climate “denier”. Inhofe was declared the winner. I encouraged global warming realists to congratulate Inhofe and encourage him to keep up the good work. Also to let the other contenders know we support them, too. This is the link if you are interested:
    https://www.barackobama.com/news/climate-change-fantasy-tournament-winner/

    I agree it’s important to let your representatives know you are behind them when they refuse to endorse the global warming myths. It may help if you include why you yourself do not buy the myths. Not all know the science.

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/05/24 14:49 at 14:49

      Thanks RC , I’ll look at that right now !

      — Richard

    • omanuel 2015/05/24 15:38 at 15:38

      Thanks for that link. I posted the following factual information there:

      AGW is the fourth in a series of MAJOR LIES invented after nations (UN) and national academies of science (NAS) were united on 24 Oct 1945 into an Orwellian Ministry of Consensus Science Truths to forbid public knowledge of Neutron Repulsion – the major source of energy in cores of heavy atom, some planets, ordinary stars, galaxies and the universe:

      1. SSM- standard solar model
      2. SNM- standard nuclear model
      3. BBC- Big Bang cosmology model
      4. AGW- anthropologic global warming

      One suggestion for society’s escape from this Seventy-year Old Matrix of Deceit is a series of short papers for the teachers of future generations:

      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Introduction.pdf

      Your comments, corrections or criticisms would be appreciated.

  3. geran 2015/06/09 17:20 at 17:20

    Hey Richard, it’s good to see you are cleaning up your act, somewhat. As I recall, you used to be more in the “Luker” camp, adhering to the “science” that “CO2 produces warming”. Glad to see you have moved more to the actual science.

    Here’s some info to help you further “clean up your act”:

    http://www.homefacts.com/offender-detail/MO1097755/Oliver-Keith-Manuel.html

    http://journalistatheart.blogspot.com/2011/10/dr-oliver-manuel-arrested-for-multiple.html

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/09 19:19 at 19:19

      What on Earth are you talking about?? I haven’t been a lukewarmer since before I started posting online about climate in about 2008.

      You recall utterly wrong!

      Can you please stop making blatantly false statements about me?

      • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/09 19:23 at 19:23

        Also, I really resent your statement that there was something “dirty” about my act at some point. If you think that’s the case, state why, or else cut it out.

      • geran 2015/06/09 21:09 at 21:09

        Richard, perhaps you forgot. I was trying to explain some basic science to “Goddard”, and you interjected yourself, trying to shut me down.

        RTF says: “At risk of provoking more insults (which I’d just as soon do without), you have raised a false dichotomy. There are other options besides adopting your view that CO2 doesn’t cause any warming, or rejecting all of Tony’s past research. Atmospheric physics is not nearly as settled as you are portraying it — quite the contrary, in fact. But you don’t seem to want to discuss that possibility. Your mind is made up, therefore the rest of us are all expected to fall in line. What a pity.”

        Sounds pretty “Luker” to me. Sounds like you are clearly taking the side of “Goddard”. And, I was the one you were slamming, so it’s a little hard for me to think you were on my side.

        And, if you want to reject the facts about “Iron-Sun” man, that’s your problem.

        • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/09 21:36 at 21:36

          Ha, I certainly haven’t forgotten that conversation. As you ought to remember, I was referring to the theories promoted by Claes Johnson. Now pay close attention, because it seems you may have missed or glossed over the following in the past:

          If CO2 at a certain concentration causes an amount of warming that is so small that it can’t be measured, and so small that a routine reduction in solar activity causes global mean temperature to plunge at the drop of a hat, and if I subscribe to all of this, then I am not a lukewarmer, because a lukewarmer as I have understood it is someone who believes that the Earth is warming over the time that anthropogenic CO2 has been markedly increasing, say, since 1900 or 1920. I have repeatedly expressed doubts at Real Science that the global mean temp has increased over various time scales, including since 1900 and since 1975. To be clear, I believe that the current CO2 sensitivity (based on current concentration) is almost non-existent, certainly not measurable with currently deployed methods, and I believe that the amount of warming attributable to all the CO2 up to the level it was at in 1900 is between 1 and 3°C, rather than 33°C as is often cited by the folks I know as “lukewarmers”.

          The reason for my disagreement with the lukewarmers is complex but in a nutshell it is a consequence of the fact that I reject the existence of photons, quantum mechanics, Einsteinian relativity, curved space, the Big Bang, the lack of an aether, action at a distance, conservation of energy, constancy of the speed of light, biogenic crude oil, and the most common understandings of entropy. I believe that we are colder at the moment than we were in 1975, 1979, and 1985. I know, not only that the official historical temperature data are being adjusted in the way that Tony adeptly demonstrates, but also that the instant temperature readings that are called the “raw data” are also falsified, as I have caught them red-handed on numerous occasions reporting false temperatures in the location I was at — temperatures that were often five or more °F higher than the actual temperature at that location. I also know that they are doing this with the knowledge that their CO2 physics is false, and this is the only way to sustain their physics lies and try to avoid getting caught.

          Much of what I’ve just told you is discernible from an inspection of this blog and my comments at RS. But of course you have to actually care, which you obviously don’t, because I already told you that “I am not with Goddard” on this issue, and that you already “know or ought to know” as much. To an honest and curious person, that would have triggered a desire to inspect and find the truth, but so far all I see from you is a ridiculous effort to smear me with statements that are false and/or out of context. You have proven yourself to be dishonest and incurious, and if you don’t rectify that at some point, I will eventually have to put a stop to your efforts. People like you are, thankfully, few on our side, but you do exist, and you should not be allowed to invent your own caricatures of people.

          I didn’t start blogging with the desire to have someone like you come on here regularly and spew venom while claiming to be trying to “fix” me. Indeed, I know of few alarmists who would stoop to such disgusting tactics against such a small and unassuming blog.

          • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/09 22:19 at 22:19

            Oh, p.s. : the reason I went after you and not Tony is because I was upset by your counterproductive debating tactics. If you’re a professional engineer, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out!

            • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/09 22:20 at 22:20

              But then, there’s no accounting for common sense.

            • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/09 22:28 at 22:28

              In fairness, there’s another independent reason why I did : because Tony was threatening to silence people who disagreed with him. In other words, I saw no realistic opportunity to convince him, but I (stupidly) thought at the time that I had a slim chance of convincing you that I wasn’t in agreement with him. A fact which (that is, the fact that I disagree with him) is blindingly obvious to all lukewarmers after even a little bit of conversation with me about CO2.

        • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/10 00:08 at 00:08

          I’m not “reject[ing] the facts” about Oliver Manuel ; I am questioning the relevance to the present discussions of whatever you’ve offered about him . It’s only a problem for me if the facts are both true and relevant , and I censor them , or if they’re not and I allow them to remain .

          If I don’t see any further submission of quotes or anything else from you , I’m sure I will go and look at them before removing them . I certainly don’t claim that no true facts about a person’s past should have any place online , only that this might not be an appropriate place for them , if they don’t clearly go to his credibility .

        • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/10 07:34 at 07:34

          Huh, I’ve just noticed another massive oversight in your latest comment.

          You wrote, “And, I was the one you were slamming, so it’s a little hard for me to think you were on my side.”

          So this means that despite my explicit statement that I was in a place between you and Tony, you are arguing that if I was against Tony, that necessarily implies that I had to be on your side. After I explicitly said I was not on your side, in the very passage of mine that you quoted:

          “There are other options besides adopting your view that CO2 doesn’t cause any warming, or rejecting all of Tony’s past research.”

          I was clearly stating (at least it’s clear in context, but I’m not going to go dredge up the whole conversation right now to quote it) that since your position was that Tony’s research implies that CO2 doesn’t cause any warming, that there was a middle ground to be found which, if that middle ground is correct, would mean that both your view of CO2 and Tony’s view of CO2 is wrong.

          My argument was very simple and straightforward, and until now it didn’t occur to me that it could have gone over your head.

          So clearly I’m dealing in you with a powerfully deluded individual. My advice to you is to recognize the high-powered insanity in this argument of yours I just quoted, so that you will become more humble in your online discussions about climate or energy, and maybe even ask a question or two before popping off, especially if there’s an argument that you can’t honestly say you have a total understanding of.

          • geran 2015/06/10 09:37 at 09:37

            Richard, your rambling effort to spin yourself out of this is both hilarious and pathetic. I guess that’s why my comments are so brief–I don’t have to ramble endlessly, in circles.

            • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/10 09:43 at 09:43

              Your comments here will become a lot briefer if you don’t start acknowledging the reality that I’ve shown you about the conversation

              • geran 2015/06/10 11:38 at 11:38

                [Snip. You are not an honest broker of information. Get out of here. – RTF]

                • geran 2015/06/11 19:25 at 19:25

                  Cool! Richard is not even “sniping” anymore, he is now deleting the comment entirely. It’s like he is trying to censor the world. (He probably doesn’t even know about “screen shot”.)

                  [Wrong. I know about it. But I’m flabbergasted that you’d think this conversation so important as to resort to saving images of it. As far as I can see, I’m not nearly important enough to be worth the effort you’re investing in trying to defame me. Get out of here now. -RTF]

                  • geran 2015/06/13 18:21 at 18:21

                    Okay, Richard, I’m going, since you asked so nice! :)

                    I’ll leave you with one thing to think about:

                    What is the difference between an “intellectual” and a “phony intellectual”?

                    There is no difference….

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/09 19:36 at 19:36

      Without clicking your links, I’ve given some consideration to their relevance. My conclusion is that I want to hear more from you about why these links are relevant to any of the research that’s been discussed here thus far. I will give you 24 hours to convince me, using only words you post here, not things you link to without quoting them here.

      If you don’t respond or fail to persuasively argue for their relevance to this blog, I will remove them. The reason is because on its face, your comment seems to suggest that whatever is behind those links means I should have nothing to do with any part of Oliver’s work, or somehow calls his credibility into question. If what’s at the links is similar to rumors that I’ve read in the past, I disagree that that would make it unacceptable to communicate with him at all, or about his work in chemistry and physics, or to comment about the same.

      I’ve been expecting someone to go there eventually, and somehow I’m not very surprised that it’s you.

      • Reality check 2015/06/09 20:22 at 20:22

        Agreed, Richard. There were complaints about letting Oliver post on my blog. I removed all comments not relevent to the actual discussion at hand. This is purely spiteful behaviour and I don’t allow it. It’s an ad hominem attack. I have read some of his work and it’s interesting. I don’t have the knowledge to understand all of it, but I do keep reading and learning.

        • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/09 20:36 at 20:36

          I don’t want to have a policy of deleting things just for being OT or garden variety ad hominem. But I have a big problem if someone is attempting to recall major sins of the past, not related to credibility, as an alternative to having to refute scientific claims. And I shouldn’t have to click links to get the details. If the details are not something he’s comfortable writing down himself, then that suggests to me that the relevance to Oliver’s credibility is slim-to-none.

  4. Reality check 2015/06/10 08:17 at 08:17

    By now, if you have clicked on the links, you know they have no relevence to Oliver’s credibility. This comes up on other blogs and is often shut down with an “ad hominem” label. Some blogs seem to be fine with looking at the person and not the data as it’s so easy to find something to claim is the reason AGW is rejected or the speaker’s ideas rejected. Thought is much harder.

    I am interested in your stance on some of what I would consider solid science (Big Bang not included.) However, since I am the type to actually check out someone’s views, I will look through your blog and see what you have given as reasons, then address any questions on those posts.

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/10 08:28 at 08:28

      Thanks RC, my expressions of my reasons are a bit disjointed at this point, but much can be learned about my reasons if you read my comments at the Claes Johnson pages that I link to, and the pages before and after them.

      And I’m open to questions and criticism. Don’t hold back, because I don’t mind getting into the weeds, and I don’t claim to have all the answers about these things, or to be an expert.

      Regarding OM, I haven’t but will do so now. I don’t want to be someone who’s “fine with looking at the person and not the data.” At the same time, I’m comfortable giving Geran 24 hours as I promised. If it’s ridiculous as I suspect it is, I will not be so generous the next time.

      • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/10 09:37 at 09:37

        All right, I have an update. Having read the material and done some searching, it’s not exactly what I was expecting. I can see how some of it goes to credibility, if there was a not-guilty plea which was then changed to a guilty plea. That having been said, people can change, and none of this establishes or even suggests that Oliver would have had a motive to lie about his science. Is he entirely truthful about his understanding of the evidence for his claims? At this, point, I’ll leave that to others to judge. I do think that in this particular case, some leeway is warranted. I will allow those links to stay where they are unless additional information is presented to impeach them. I will not allow the same information to be raised again, or linked to. Only if new and different information is presented will I give it any consideration. I also warn anyone thinking about making this a key issue that the key issues are really physics, nuclear chemistry, energy supply, CO2, climate, and the like. While I don’t agree that ad hominem is never acceptable, I also think it’s very poor practice to rely on it as a central plank of one’s scientific arguments.

        The thing about argumentum ad hominem is that it can sometimes go to credibility, and if we shut that down then we’re engaging in a level of censorship that introduces an unacceptable bias into the debate or discussion. I’m not going to go to that extent. I think that sometimes when we’re convinced that we’ve got the truth, we can get carried away with things like that. When dealing with the issue of someone’s credibility, one has to find a reasonable balance between addressing their evidence or data, and addressing their credibility in reporting the same. One can neither ignore it, nor allow it to become the only issue.

        So that’s my decision. If anyone wants to discuss my decision including its merits, I’d ask for brevity, because this page is not going to become a second inquest for Oliver on these charges. If anyone wants to do that, do it somewhere else.

        • Reality check 2015/06/10 09:45 at 09:45

          I’m curious when you think an ad hominem attack is acceptable. When is attacking the person’s actions relevent to the truth or falsity of a scientific theory? I can’t think of any examples, so maybe if you could provide one?

          (Since you are allowing leeway, can I ask geran why the last IPCC chairman resigned and if that is a reason to reject everything said person did as chairman?)

          • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/10 09:49 at 09:49

            Sure you can, RC. That’s a different topic from Oliver and the links.

            As to ad hominem, as I said, it can go to credibility. In this case, there has been some evidence I found through Google that he changed his plea. Due to the nature of the charges, it is implicit that he knew from the start whether or not it was true.

            If a person has been found to have lied in the past, it’s relevant to whether or not they’re lying now.

            Other examples include where another person is engaging in ad hom and won’t get back to the issue at hand. If they’re hypocritically attacking someone’s character and ignoring their claims, and won’t stop.

            • Reality check 2015/06/10 10:05 at 10:05

              As a Christian, you are surely aware that all people lie—it’s the reason we need forgivenss. No one is perfect. So, based on that human characteristic, everyone’s credibility is suspect.

              I don’t really understand your last comment. It seems to me that if someone sticks to an ad him, it means they don’t have any reason to reject a theory and they are just hoping to rip apart the person and no one will ask about data and messy things like that.

              • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/10 10:11 at 10:11

                Yes, you’re right about all that. I wasn’t seeking to defend their ad hom, merely the use of ad hom in response. If I see someone do an irrelevant ad hom once, I may ignore it, not because I think it’s right but in the interest of open discourse. If it persists, I will probably stop it. We absolutely have to try to focus first and foremost on data. But I’d remind you that this entire climate debate began as an inquiry into whether temperatures and proxies were being reported honestly, or dishonestly.

                • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/10 10:13 at 10:13

                  In other words, if a person has proven to be an unrepentant liar outside of their scientific work, this is relevant to their credibility in the experimental results they report.

                  • Reality check 2015/06/10 10:47 at 10:47

                    There is no way to know if a person is a repentent liar or not, short of outright asking. Changing a plea to guilty could be construed as at least accepting responsibility, if nothing more. Short of pleading guilty right away, there’s no way then to be take as credible from that day forward? I guess I’m quite bothered by your reaction here. Had he lied on his taxes, would you also dismiss him. (I’m not saying not to check his work—I’m saying rejecting it for reasons other than the data itself is not defensible.)

                    Yes, there appear to be far too many data manipulations in global warming science. But we don’t prove that by saying, for example, Scientist A cheated on his taxes and walked out on a couple of waitresses without paying for the meal. We prove it by looking at the data and finding the changes.

                    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/10 11:24 at 11:24

                      By Oliver’s prior testimony, he is unrepentant.

                      As far as changing a plea, the change establishes a lie.

                      As far as the tax question, I’d point out I haven’t dismissed “him” or rejected his work. And if a false guilty plea were made only about a tax evasion, that’s much less severe than lying about what Oliver was charged with.

                      Again, there are two questions when analyzing someone’s work: the logical consistency of the results they report, and how much trust we can have that they reported accurately and did not lie to benefit themselves.

                      I don’t endorse exposing lies just to try to silence someone. But I also don’t endorse silencing the attempt to expose a lie. I’m trying to chart a middle course here, because I believe I have to.

                    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/10 11:26 at 11:26

                      And also, it’s not just about proving or disproving, as it is in formal logical discourse. In science, we’re often trying to estimate the probability that a proposition is true. Between those two, there is room for disparity in how we treat an ad hom argument. In formal logic, ad hom is never acceptable, because it can never prove the proposition false. But this is science, not formal logic.

                    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/10 11:35 at 11:35

                      Also, in a tax evasion case, it is certainly plausible for someone who is guilty to have a sincere belief in their own innocence. In this case, based on what I’ve read, I see no way that Oliver could have sincerely believed he didn’t do it.

                      If, on the other hand, the argument is that he didn’t consider the statute to be lawful, that calls his judgment into question, so I’d say it’s still marginally relevant.

            • Reality check 2015/06/10 10:48 at 10:48

              As for Mr. IPCC chairman, how is it different?

    • geran 2015/06/10 09:34 at 09:34

      “By now, if you have clicked on the links, you know they have no relevence to Oliver’s credibility.”

      Wow, what kind of heinous crime would someone have to commit before it is relevant to their credibility?

  5. Reality check 2015/06/10 12:06 at 12:06

    I’m going to let this go. As I suspected, this is based on society’s special treatment of certain crimes and why people react the way they do. We have seen that before in history and the outcome was not good. I know you have not rejected his argument, but you have said it’s okay to smear someone for past trangressions. Watching what is being done to the Duggars right now, I find this whole thing highly distasteful. I don’t find this to be the type of behaviour I could ever possibly endorse. You, of course, are titled to your beliefs. I just cannot endorse your behaviour here. I did note you snipped a comment, so perhaps there are limits.

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/11 19:36 at 19:36

      Greetings RC, I had taken a break and just saw your comment. I want to thank you for leaning on me to defend myself when you saw things that didn’t sit well.

      I want to also state for the record that the situation we’re disagreeing about involves, not just child rape, but the rape of one’s own children, from a very young age. To lie about that is very serious, and I would point out again that I have tolerated just this one mention of it and will delete any further references to the same information. This is hardly the same thing as saying I find it always acceptable to bring up past transgressions. It is much more accurate to say that I am finding it to be almost always {{un}}acceptable.

      As far as the Duggars, I perhaps haven’t followed that as much as you have, but I certainly find the degree to which they are being denounced and attacked to be, not only distasteful, but infamous. But do I think that the information never should have seen the light of day? No. Do I think Joshua Duggar should have retained his role-model position at the Family Research Council? No. Do I think he should have disclosed his past before accepting a position there? Yes. Do I think he merits criticism for this? Yes. Will I be leading the charge to criticize him? No, but I think it falls within the business of the Church to do things like this.

      I think it is actually a good thing to draw a distinction between different crimes. Some are too petty for it to ever be proper to bring them up in a public discussion of someone’s work. Some are a gray area and require case-by-case judgement calls. (Taxes are an example that might fall into this group.) Some scream out for at least a single mention. Lying about serially raping one’s own children falls into that last category. There will of course be websites where this sort of fare is the focus, rather than any legitimate work the person might have done. That’s “distasteful”, disgusting, infamous, a travesty, and many other things. But that’s not going to happen here.

      What I really detest about this matter is that it took a Geran to bring it up. Since Geran should never have been here in the first place, I would argue that it would have been better to have been handled by someone else more of your caliber than of Geran’s. Indeed I might have handled it myself if I had known about it before, and I guarantee you it would have been handled in a way you wouldn’t have found quite as distasteful. But I can’t go back and re-write people’s posts for them. And I can’t just wipe the whole conversation. That would be unfair, not only to you and –urk– to Geran, but to readers as well. And for what it’s worth, it would be unfair to the victims who came forward to accuse their father, who then called them liars in open court.

      If you want to have a last word on this, you are welcome to it. Perhaps you have an observation that I’ve missed that would change my mind.

      Thank you again for your contributions, which are highly valuable, not only to me, but to all who search for truth.

      RT

      • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/11 20:17 at 20:17

        CORRECTION: It is much more accurate to say that I am finding it to be almost always unacceptable.

        I was typing quickly and trying to address someone else’s need here at home at the same time. So I dropped off that very important little part.

      • geran 2015/06/11 20:28 at 20:28

        [Snip. I’m not starting to see anything. It’s you who are starting to see, yet you can’t even see that. You have a lot more to learn about me. -RTF]

  6. Snowleopard 2015/06/10 18:21 at 18:21

    Plumbers have a saying “$h*t don’t flow up hill”. The Romans had another “The laws of gods do not apply to cows.” By “cows” they meant slaves, serfs and peasants.

    Those perpetrating the “climate change” hoax (and the other hoaxes) are not subject to correction by “the people”, when the purpose of the hoaxes (fiat currency & inflation, AGW, terrorism, “politics defines science” etc) are to “milk” the people. Since they own the media, the money printing press and the intel boys, no one they disapprove can be elected anyway.

    Displacing them by violence, is not likely either, the attempt just excuses more control. But any power that managed displacing them (against the odds) by violence would likely, despite initial intentions, evolve quickly into a similar control scheme. Or to put it another way, in order to overthrow them you must become worse than them.

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/11 20:11 at 20:11

      Good evening Snowleopard.

      I have to agree with your last paragraph. Well stated.

      As to whether the perpetrators of government/Globalist hoaxes are subject to correction by “the people”, I would argue that that depends on how well the people resist / fight back, and how seriously they take the task that lies before them.

      As to whether anyone they disapprove can be elected, I’d agree that the vast majority don’t get through the gates without their approval. But that doesn’t mean we can’t sometimes influence who they end up approving, and also box in people who don’t agree with us so that they do what we want anyway.

      I certainly don’t seek a general victory over all the evil, but I think that a short-to-medium-term victory (of sorts) over the climate and energy hoaxes is attainable, and that we should shoot for it. Ultimately, what matters is not whether we win or lose, but which side we were on and whether we did our best. Would you at least agree with this last statement? Thank you for your input.

      RT

      • Snowleopard 2015/06/18 23:09 at 23:09

        Sorry for the delay in response, some family matters required my full attention.

        Few are willing to speak truth to power. Some who do suffer consequences. I see those willing to face consequences and speak their truth as admirable, regardless of the effect. Sometimes a peaceful action can be more powerful than speech as we saw with the man who stopped that column of tanks in Tienanmen square. That man decided, on his own authority, to peacefully oppose what he saw as wrong, and his willingness to do that was more important than what happened afterwards.

        And yes, I agree with your last statement if by “side” you mean the side of truth vs lies; or the side of critical thought vs acceptance of popular propaganda..

        I suspect very few understand how many illusions there are and how well they intertwine. But perhaps there is some slight chance that the right truth at the right time might shatter the illusions and the “emperors” will stand naked.

        • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/19 19:11 at 19:11

          Thanks for the clarification ! Your family is in my prayers .

          Sure , that’s the side I mean ! I could add other characteristics , but that’s more than enough to draw the distinction and identify the two sides that are locked in battle today .

          You are right about the small number of the aware . And it will get smaller before it gets larger . But again , what counts is not our numbers but the fact that we are on the correct side , which is also , by the way , the side that will be victorious . Though there will come a time wherein it will seem to many as if all is lost , that time will be fleeting .

          Thanks for taking the time to respond ! Do remember that this is a slow process and we all have a role to play .

          Take care and do keep in touch .

          RT

  7. Reality check 2015/06/11 21:08 at 21:08

    Richard: I continue to disagree that this is somehow relevant to the man’s academic work. Unless you can show that sex offenders lie more often in all areas than other people, I can’t see how that works.

    You are assuming the charges, all of them, were true. He plead guilty to one and on the others the statute of limitations ran out, it seems. There are inconsistencies in this that make me not as quick to judge as others seem to be. Maybe it’s because the person who sang in my wedding was the minister’s son, who went to jail for molesting children in the church. I find it hard to paint this person as having devil horns, a tail and pitchfork. Maybe I’m too forgiving, but maybe, just maybe, I see that painting this as the worst thing a person can do and damning them for eternity is giving all the power to the perpetrator. It eternally victimizes children. They are told they are forever damaged. And trust me, there are far worse crimes out there. I’ve seen these things up close and there are far worse crimes.

    As for the Duggars, I don’t think the information ever needed to “see the light of day” except perhaps in the church. I can tell you for a fact that these things tear apart churches, so I guess it depends on what you want. The family handled this, it does not appear to have been repeated, the children were not even aware of what happened, etc. I guess it’s to me like if you cheat on your wife, are you obligated to confess to her? If so, are you doing it for you or her? I’m pretty sure it’s for you. Are some secrets best left secret–yeah, I think so. Forgiveness had occurred, the action atoned for, and now it’s being rehashed for what? Keep in mind Duggar was a CHILD at the time, 14 years old. Yet that makes no difference here but it seems to in most other crimes.

    Actually, you can go back and delete posts if you do so in a timely manner. It’s your blog. I have banned people from mine for bad behaviour. Why tolerate bad behaviour from people? At this point, you’re right, you can’t just wipe the whole conversation. And Geran is right–there are screenshots. I’m sure a couple of very nasty trolls on my blog are posting screenshots around after being banned. So be it. I cannot and will not tolerate people behaving in the way Geran is. (I did not bring this up because I saw no reason to. I dealt with it on my blog and moved on. I can tell you I had people who were not so rude as to post in the comments and sent me an email about this instead. Also, I moderate all comments on one blog to avoid this problem. You might want to consider having a method other than the comment box for people to contact you. I doubt Geran would have taken advantage, but others might have.)

    Whether or not you change your mind is up to you. I am letting you know why I believe as I do and how I handled this on my blog. As noted, this is your blog and I am not telling you what to do, just that I did not handle this way you have and why.

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/11 22:17 at 22:17

      RC,

      We all have to forgive everything, from the least to the greatest. But as far as forgetting, there are times and things we might recall for the protection of others, never for retaliation or retribution. In the end, all sin will be forgotten, as is fitting for a restored world. For more on this aspect of the question, please see:

      https://richardtfowler.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/to-forgive-a-sin-that-has-not-been-atoned-for-does-not-mean-we-cant-talk-about-it/

      Thanks for your advice, which I will take into consideration.

      –Richard

      • Reality check 2015/06/12 08:56 at 08:56

        With an electronic scarlett P branded on these individual’s heads, no one is ever going to forget. I read that blog post—I don’t know how this can be atoned for as far as society is concerned. I don’t think society even believes such atonement is possible—all these people are going to straight to hell and society is giving hell a head start. God may have different ideas. You have not considered that the changed plea saved anyone from testifying in court. That was why my minister’s son changed his plea—so no one would have to testify. A true cad would have dragged the kids through court. Women do it all the time in divorces.

        Another point: Oliver could very easily have not used his real name, much the same as the individual “outing” him has chosen to do. He used his full name and former occupation. He is apparently compliant with reporting, so it’s very easy to find this information. If he were a liar and dishonest type person, I can’t see why he would have used his real name. He could have used a pseudonym and avoided any detection. He chose not to.

        • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/12 09:06 at 09:06

          Some good points. As far as the scarlett P, I just wish he’d talked about it a little bit more and more detail. Healing is possible, and forgiveness is possible, at least from many. But not if the subject of the controversy tries to ignore it or act like it’s all over. It’s not all over for those who are just finding out about it.

          • Reality check 2015/06/12 10:17 at 10:17

            I am curious here what you think a person should do. Should they start out their post with “I’m a convicted sex offender and here’s my comment on your blog post”? How does one deal with this?

            • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/12 10:57 at 10:57

              No. First of all I didn’t mean to reference sex crimes in general. Also, I didn’t mean with every post. Just if the subject comes up. And he could just post something once in a certain place and then, if it comes up in the future at another place, then link to it as a response to people’s concerns.

              But again, with a person who has rejected Jesus Christ, it’s mostly academic because he needs Jesus in order to be meaningfully healed of this. And if in the future he does find Christ and is meaningfully healed, I’d hope that that he’d see value in talking about it, as a valuable topic its own right.

              Truly, you can’t sweep things like this under the rug and then go out and suggest to everyone that you’ve been healed. (Which he certainly has done several times.) Those two things are contradictory. The desire to erase it from people’s consciousness signifies a lack of healing; the experience of true healing produces a desire for people to know, because when people understand the healing that Christ would have worked in him, that can then engender further healing in others and spur them to come to God on their knees.

              Instead, what I’ve seen from him thus far is arguments along the lines that everyone is automatically excused for all misdeeds (excusing is not equal to forgiving, if you have an excuse for your action, that means there’s nothing in need of forgiveness), and that perpetrators of past fraud are “not entirely to blame” {{“not entirely [at] fault”}} because we’ve all made mistakes. (The latter argument is a diversion and an invalid tu quoque defense.)

              I also think that until healing has been proven, people have a right to know that a person that they have routinely interacted with might be capable of repeating such an action.

              I have to go somewhere, so I’ll be offline for a little while.

              • Reality check 2015/06/12 13:51 at 13:51

                People can easily find out if someone is a registered sex offender. There’s internet sites in every state. There are no sites to tell you if your next door neighbor is out of prison after serving a sentence for homicide. He might do this again, too. So every non-Christain violent crime person should be suspect for life? This is encompassing a lot, lot of people. My neighbor used to sell meth. He’s not Christian so I should fear him and put his crime up on my fence so everyone knows (Of course, he brags about, so in his case there’s nothing to out.)

                I must not be reading the same links you are, as I have not actually found anywhere he even discusses this.

                People have often accused me of being too harsh and unforgiving, but the more I see in this world, the more I think I need to up my game and really trash people if I want to keep that assessment as being accurate. I am apparently a push-over who actually believes in giving people a second chance, without regard to their race, religion or crime. I will have to ponder this. Perhaps it is time to really come down on those who do bad things and punish them for the rest of their lives.

                • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/13 18:40 at 18:40

                  We’re getting a little bit far afield here.

                  I said not that people have a right to go find out, but a right to know. By this I meant they have a right to be informed. By the person in question.

                  Again, I was not referring to all sex offenders, and certainly not to non-sex-offenders. And to be completely clear, I do not mean that the people I’m talking about should be forced to do this. Indeed, if in fact a person would have us believe he’s healed, he should want to do this, as opposed to wanting to sweep it under the rug.

                  Now to address your issue about whether perpetrators of violence should be suspect for life. This is a New Testament question you are raising. I could answer your question, but I actually am a little curious what you may know that the New Testament says about this. Any interest in trying to answer, yourself?

                  A few other notes:

                  1) If by “Christian” you mean anyone who’s made a profession of faith, you are encompassing a very large number of people who are unregenerate.

                  2) I don’t say that the world must trust the saved more than the unsaved. They may, if they want to, of course. But they are under no obligation to do so. We, on the other hand, are obligated to try to earn the world’s trust, to the best of our ability.

                  3) Regarding second chances, I give plenty of second chances. This is routine for a believer in Christ. But generally, I give second chances which will place my own security at risk, and I don’t needlessly place those at risk who have trusted me with their security.

                  Listen, we’ve all fallen short, as you’ve aptly stated above. We all need second chances. Sometimes we third, fourth, and additional ones. I have simply suggested that I wish I’d had this information sooner … that it should not be eliminated entirely from public and private records … and that it is sometimes appropriate to remember such information for possible future reference. I have not advocated punishing anyone, let alone for life. I have advocated protective actions for the protection of others, not oneself. That does not fall within any reasonable definition of “punishment”.

                  4) I’m going to post the following in a new post, because it is very important as a response to your overall message here. It is about how to distinguish between the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error:

                  Beloved , believe not every spirit , but try the spirits whether they are of God : because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know you the Spirit of God : Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God : and every spirit who confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God : and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come ; and even now already is it in the world. [. . .] They are of the world : therefore speak they of the world , and the world hears them . We are of God : he who knows God hears us ; he who is not of God hears not us . Hereby know we the spirit of truth , and the spirit of error.

                  — from I John 4:1-6

              • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/13 19:15 at 19:15

                Correction: I misquoted Oliver as having written “not entirely to blame”. He actually wrote “not entirely the fault” of NAS fraudsters. This correction has been reflected in the original.

          • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/13 19:24 at 19:24

            With an electronic scarlett P branded on these individual’s heads, no one is ever going to forget.

            With God, all things are possible.

            I don’t know how this can be atoned for as far as society is concerned.

            Atonement is an act of God which either happens, or doesn’t. What “society” thinks about whether an individual has received atonement for his sins is immaterial.

            With this statement, it kind of appears as if you’re suggest that we should, or must, adjust our actions (in this case, by deleting all records of something) in order to conform to what “society” demands of us, or what we think it demands, or what we think it will demand.

        • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/15 09:50 at 09:50

          I would be very surprised if Oliver is permitted to converse online with people under a false name.

        • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/15 09:53 at 09:53

          Liars sometimes comply with requirements so that they won’t get in trouble. Complying with mandatory requirements to tell the truth is not a boost to one’s credibility.

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/12 09:02 at 09:02

      You have a point about Josh Duggar’s relative youth at the time. I gave this consideration before commenting, but for me the overriding factor was the television show and how it’s been used to promote our faith to the world. Hypothetically, this can be helpful if it’s done well and if the principal participants are indwelt by the Holy Spirit throughout the whole time, acting in Christ for the magnification of His Church and to be of service to Him.

      Truly, if I were James Robert Duggar, this show is something I would never have considered doing, precisely because of the potential for it to become a stumblingblock. The enemy always seeks to get his foot in the door, and for that reason we’re called on to be careful how we present ourselves to an unbelieving world. That doesn’t mean never to operate boldly in the world, if we hear the calling and the opportunity presents. It’s just that I had always thought that that show took things too far in that regard, crossing a line from boldness to carelessness. Actually, you’re absolutely right about the fact that sometimes things need to be private. Much of the content of this show falls into that area. Because the show, such as it is, has a weak link: it only succeeds if every single child who enters adolescence makes it through without a catastrophic failure of the flesh. To start the show is to assume that this won’t happen, and this was never a reasonable assumption. Now that there’s been problem, I see the parents are not questioning the show’s format, specifically, its practice of deep coverage of the children’s affairs, and holding them up as examples for the world. This is a further mistake, because it asks too much of children who’ve already been through a lot. God willing, they’ll come to their senses.

      • Reality check 2015/06/12 09:35 at 09:35

        I fully agree with you on this. Television is no place to raise a family, it definately expects too much of the children, and it’s never a good thing to let the media document your life. Even with the Duck Dynasty people, there were endless problems, they were ripped apart for their beliefs, and until they starting airing some of their dirty laundry. While it may serve as example to others how to weather mistakes, most of the time the media just laps it up and presents this as how we should behave, not as mistakes. It’s best to just avoid the whole messed up media altogether.

  8. Reality check 2015/06/13 20:20 at 20:20

    Okay, I am not really sure what you are asking with the New Testament question, but I’ll give it a try: We can be forgiven, but we still have to face the consequences. Beyond that, I don’t know.

    [RTF: “You shall know them by their fruits”, et cetera.]

    1. I’m not using “Christian” to mean anyone who’s made a profession of faith. I am referring to those who accept Christ as their savior and attempt to live a godly life. Actions count more than words.
    2. More or less agree with that statement.
    3. There is no security risk in any of this. There is no protection necessary. Only the blog owner knows email addresses, etc, of the commenters. No one has to use their real name. Trying to reach someone through a blog post if you don’t own the blog is not worth the effort. There are so many faster, easier ways, the risk is no more than walking through a mall or chatting with someone at a bank.

    [RTF: You’re misunderstanding me. I refer to the prospect of being in regular contact with people in the real world. Certainly if one goes no further than what you’re laying out, that is different. But you’re just assuming that both parties only want that. As a preacher, I’m often called on to interact in close quarters with people of all backgrounds. And it’s not just preachers who find themselves in that situation. It can happen to anyone.]

    Okay, all things are possible with God, but I don’t see God jumping in and erasing the electronic P. That’s more in our jurisdiction.

    [RTF: RC, the only reason this is even on my blog is because it goes to the credibility of his scientific claims. If he weren’t making extraordinary claims, I wouldn’t allow it. I believe we’ve covered this already.]

    I know atonement is an act of God. However, you seem to be setting requirements for people to meet before you allow that they can be trusted. So does society. In these cases, there appears to be no way to ever be allowed trust or even marginal citizenship in the human race. This crime makes people into monsters as far as society is concerned. They can never be human again. Yet nowhere in the Bible as far as I know is this stated to be the correct way to handle a violation of the law.

    [RTF: I’m not setting the requirements. God set them. I merely represent Him to the best of my ability. I asked you the question I asked to see if you could find the answer.

    Again, it’s immaterial what requirements society sets. We are not accountable to them for our moral standards or the rules we live by. We are not to allow society to dictate our moral choices to us. This is covered extensively in the Word.]

    I fail to see how there is any “deleting of all records”. There’s a registry for sex offenders online for every state. One can look up the information. [RTF: I was under the impression that you wanted all records deleted, because you believe that’s the only way people can forget.] Again, did you want the person to say “Hi, I’m a registered sex offender and I”m commenting on your blog”. [RTF: Again, not exactly. This has been covered.] I am not saying you have to delete all records. I am saying that by leaving them, you are advocating the use of an ad hominem attack to discredit a theory, not science. [RTF: So then, you are saying records should be deleted! I’m glad that has been clarified.] If you are not concerned about the science here, then my objection is mute. [RTF: Covered already.]

    I still don’t know what you are referring to when you are saying “not entirely at fault”. If you don’t want to answer that in the comment section, send me an email. Nothing I found contains that statement so apparently I missed something.

    [RTF: Sorry, I’m still getting the quote wrong. I will have to fix it again. Should be “not entirely [at] fault”. It’s here:

    https://richardtfowler.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/theres-more-to-being-a-climate-realist-than-speeding-up-drilling/#comment-1061 ]

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/13 20:59 at 20:59

      My responses are inline. -RT

      • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/14 06:42 at 06:42

        P.s. God will erase the records, eventually, as I wrote in the post I linked to about forgetting.

        • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/14 07:01 at 07:01

          Well, I suggested it, anyway. “When God forgives , all is forgotten”

          RTF

          • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/14 07:33 at 07:33

            Note also the following , which applies to our ability to forget things when there are still records out there .

            In Mark 10 , Jesus teaches His disciples that a person must give up all assets in order to be saved . In the King James , His choice of word is translated “riches” as opposed to assets . But we know He means all assets , because of what follows :

            {And they were astonished out of measure , saying among themselves , Who then can be saved ?}

            You see , if Jesus had meant to say that it’s all right to hold back even a tiny bit for oneself , their question “Who then can be saved” would make no sense at all . Continuing :

            {And Jesus looking upon them says , With men it is impossible , but not with God : for with God all things are possible . Then Petros began to say to him , Lo , we have left all , and have followed you .}

            So with this passage it is made clear what is meant by “with God all things are possible”. It is a reference to the natural vs. the supernatural . “With men” means ‘with men using only their natural God-given power’ . “With God” means that men can do anything that God wills them to , because God can and does grant supernatural abilities . So yes , we can forget in the here and now , without destroying all records . Not through our own natural power as men and women , but through the working of a supernatural strength which God can grant us for that specific purpose .

      • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/14 08:08 at 08:08

        Oh , I just noticed that you’re restating your claim that an ad hominem argument can never be a part of science. We’ve covered this ground already , but I feel I need to restate my response :

        An ad hominem argument can be part of science or scientific inquiry , if it goes to the credibility of a scientific claim . Indeed , if such an argument exists and is factually based , it would {{be}} anti-science to suppress it !

  9. Reality check 2015/06/14 09:10 at 09:10

    Richard: I disagree that an ad hominem ever counts. First, virtually all ad hominems launched at skeptics would count if the criteria is it calls into question their credibility. If one believes in conspiracy theories, if one backed tobacco’s claims about cancer (whether they were correct or not–it was mainstream belief that cigarettes cause cancer), if one believes in UFOs etc are all reasons to question someone’s judgment. And we all know money can buy people’s allegiance, so there enters the “money from fossil fuel companies”. And every ad hominem becomes justified. People also lie. Some are big lies, some small. If the person lied int eh area of science they work in, that’s a problem. If they are a pathological liar, that’s a problem. I still have not seen a lie, except if you want to call this a lie of omission. You have not answered my question on how one should reveal their past and when in commenting on blogs.

    Science is about evidence, not the character of the person. If you question the evidence, and it comes up short, then you can reject the science. It doesn’t matter if the experimenter was a serial killer or a priest. The evidence is what you look at. That’s what makes science different from religion, social science and politics.

    I get the feeling we are just rehashing on this. Perhaps it’s time to call it quits and take it up again at a later time.

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/14 09:40 at 09:40

      As I’ve already explained , a person’s character is evidence about their credibility . The reason for your discomfort seems to be a latent denial about the nexus between science (“scientia” = “knowledge”) and moral questions , which also hinge on the nature of the universe and what is true . You can’t separate them . This is what atheists do , and what they constantly seek to compel us to do . For that reason , most of them would be very much at home with your argument about ad hominem . It enables them to take whatever aspect of reality they are uncomfortable with and just declare it ex cathedra to be ‘outside the bounds of science’ . It also enables them to try to fence off “science” for themselves and try to ban theists like us from participating , or at least to build a case that “science” is none of our business and we need to stick to our side of the fence . The logical end of this is them declaring plenary authority over all of our beliefs . Welcome to the prophecy of Revelation .

      Whatever you may want to think , your disagreement with me is a spiritual one .

      You have not answered my question on how one should reveal their past and when in commenting on blogs.

      Yes , I have . Perhaps it just got lost in the shuffle .

      “I didn’t mean with every post. Just if the subject comes up. And he could just post something once in a certain place and then, if it comes up in the future at another place, then link to it as a response to people’s concerns.”

      https://richardtfowler.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/theres-more-to-being-a-climate-realist-than-speeding-up-drilling/#comment-1117

      “If they are a pathological liar, that’s a problem.”

      I believe there is some evidence in support of that in this matter . As I wrote before , I’ll leave that for others to judge , for now . I could make a case either way . But I don’t want others to just read and follow my conclusions (not that they would anyway) . I want them to examine all the evidence (including past statements of his about energy , matter , stars , conspiracy , nuclear power , etc. ) and make up their own mind . Some of his conclusions clearly have some credibility . Others , I am uncomfortable with . I think (and I’ve told him before) that he may be on to something with some of his ideas . But this new information casts everything in a different light for me , (by calling into question his motives for publishing all of his ideas) and requires a careful re-assessment , which I will do at some point . Right now , I just want to the let the information steep , pray about it , and let others draw their own conclusions .

      • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/14 09:45 at 09:45

        I still have not seen a lie, except if you want to call this a lie of omission.

        The not guilty plea was a lie of commission . There can be no question about that , because if was true , he’s had ample opportunity to say so , and in fact he says the opposite , i.e. his approximate statement is that he’s done something very bad , but it is all behind him now . If it were not the case , then that would mean Oliver is implying with his current position that he’s lying now. Either way , we have irrefutable proof of a lie , and I’m certain Oliver himself would have to agree with this statement .

      • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/14 09:59 at 09:59

        The argument :

        You believe in Conspiracy Theory X , therefore this calls your competence , and therefore , the truth of your claims , into question .

        Is a valid scientific argument if , and only if , Conspiracy Theory X is considered un-credible . Therefore the argument must be judged on a case-by-case basis . I definitely wouldn’t have a policy of blanket deletion of all references to conspiracy theories as being outside the bounds of scientific inquiry . Again , there are two major questions : the logical consistency of the arguments , and the scientist’s credibility in reporting his results . Ad hominem can sometimes be relevant to the latter , but never to the former .

  10. Reality check 2015/06/14 10:10 at 10:10

    Okay, you are angry that Oliver did not jump in and elaborate on the conviction? Perhaps the error here is that Oliver thought we were discussing science, not theology. My suggestion is Oliver more carefully read what type of blog he’s commenting on.

    NO, NO, NO. Believing in Conspiracy Theory X means nothing. It may call into question your competence, but only the evidence counts. Einstein believed in God, therefore he could not be right about physics? NO. Your beliefs on science are not at all scientific. It seems you have created your own definition and if I can’t buy into that belief, then you don’t care. Redefining words to mean what you want them to mean is called “making up reality”. Global warmists and Democrats are great at it. Cold now means hot, female means whatever the person wants it to. I think you may actually be on the opposing side and not realize you’ve crossed over.

    I have never felt like theists could not be part of science. Many are and are greatly respected. I don’t see this as a problem as you apparently do.

    Character questions ARE outside the purview of science. Science is about evidence. If you believe my thinking makes me an atheistic, then we are finished with this discussion. I am already uncomfortable with your EXTREMELY judgmental commentary and inability to ever forgive or overlook past transgressions, so it’s best I leave now.

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/14 10:37 at 10:37

      It is modern-day “scientists” who have redefined science . Scientia means simply “knowledge”. That’s all it means , ab initio.

      Of course I forgive Oliver . What does that mean ? Read the post about that again . It means I don’t do anything to him . I forgive everyone . Jesus said we have no forgiveness from Him or the Father if we fail to forgive even a single sin . Also I’ve told you that I overlook all past transgressions when I see convincing evidence for atonement . You yourself said actions are more important than words .

      It may call into question your competence, but only the evidence counts.

      Again . The evidence for one’s credibility , that they have accurately reported their results , includes evidence about their competence , either way . You yourself just said you are already uncomfortable with my arguments because you question some of my other conclusions . So you’re doing the same thing you criticize , apparently without realizing it .

      You’re welcome to hang around , and I hope you will continue to comment . But I ask only this , that if you aren’t sure where I’m coming from with something , or what I mean by something , or whether I’m not forgiving people their transgressions , give me the benefit of the doubt , as I’ve given Oliver for years , and still do , and will continue to do .

      • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/14 10:45 at 10:45

        Truly , I think I’ve publicly given more benefit of the doubt to him than you have , and nearly everyone else online has , over the past five years . I’ve been promoting him for some time , because I read his work and saw value in it . So it does baffle me that you’d be offended by my treatment of him now . I’ve been offended (and still am) that people were ignoring his work so much . So unless you can show me where you’ve given his work as much positive attention as I have in comments here and at Real Science, and at Suyts Space , I have to stand by my statement that he’s gotten more public benefit of the doubt from me . Now I find out that he’s been hiding something from me , and , I believe , on purpose . I’m supposed to be fine with that , or else I’m anti-science , overly judgemental , and “making up” my own realities ? Sorry , I can’t agree with you on that .

        Why am I one of the last people in our online community to know the story ? Did you ever think that I might be one of the only ones who didn’t go looking for it myself , after reading the rumors ? Instead I just assumed that it wasn’t so bad . And I’d do it again , just the same way . But to ask me to accept that it was good that he hid the truth from me is a bridge too far .

        • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/14 10:53 at 10:53

          And since you accept that actions are more important than a person’s words in judging their character , perhaps you could be called on to answer the following question : how are we to know about a person’s past actions , if we don’t accept that there should be any record of them ?

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/14 10:57 at 10:57

      I’ve read that Einstein made clear he did not believe in a personal God , but more along the lines that “God is everything” , like Oliver has occasionally expressed . In other words , Pantheism . If one “believes in God” but that He is not a person , then that’s not a true belief but just a cop-out .

      Einstein’s critics , to my knowledge , never cite his religious beliefs to impeach his “science” . In fact , the Atheists seem to implicitly trust his work , and it’s much more likely for Theists to oppose or question it , than Atheists .

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/14 11:01 at 11:01

      Perhaps the error here is that Oliver thought we were discussing science, not theology. No . Oliver is well aware of my interest in theology . Actually , he discusses religion and the supernatural almost as much as I do . We have discussed these matters many times . That’s not why he didn’t mention it . Probably he would argue , like you have , that he doesn’t think it’s relevant because it’s in the past . A philosophy elevated practically to an art form by William J. Clinton .

  11. Reality check 2015/06/14 12:45 at 12:45

    You’ve given him more benefit of the doubt than I have? If you have known of his work for five years, why suddenly do you have a problem here? It seems you had no problem because you did not know something you now think is important. Now things have changed? Now you know he “hid the truth”? No, you just didn’t look, even when you had the chance. Maybe you should be mad at yourself for not bothering to check this out. Oliver hid nothing–you knew there was something amiss and just did not look.

    For the at least fourth time, I never said anyone should hide their actions. I also never said they should have to introduce themselves as a parolee, a sex offender, etc. on blog comments. You clearly had knowledge that something was out there, yet you’re angry now because you didn’t bother to look before. I also never said there should be no record. I did say if we are going to brand people with an electronic “p” there should be an M for murder, AR for armed robbery, etc. We should be consistent in our punishments. Branding people for life should be applied to all that go to jail or none. If they can’t be trusted, keep them jailed.

    We are not talking politics here, we are talking science or I thought we were. If Oliver knew your theology, then he posted with full knowledge that when you found out his “secret”, you’d come down on him. Fine, I suppose he asked for it. As for Clinton, there is no comparison between a lying politician and the work of a physicist. You clearly have no understanding of the scientific method and how it works. That’s a problem. (NOTE: I am not arguing that Oliver should teach high school science or the like. THAT would be a problem and his past would be relevant.)

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/15 06:44 at 06:44

      Hey man, unlike yourself, I had faith in him that he wouldn’t do something like that. He could see that, and it was on him to inform me. I did right by him by not searching for what he did, and assuming it was something that wasn’t relevant to his science. Moreover, of the two of us, it now appears that I am the only one who doesn’t believe in digging up information about people’s personal background before deciding on their credibility.

      I’m not mad or angry at Oliver. I’m just disappointed in him. Maybe you want to believe that I’m mad or angry. I haven’t given you any reason to think that.

      You are now arguing against giving people the benefit of the doubt about their character. This conversation started with you saying that I was wrong in not giving him enough of this, and is now ending with you saying I’m wrong in giving him too much. I find it impossible to argue with such a fluid position.

      By your advocating punishment, it becomes clear why you are so upset with me. It is the same reason why Gator was. Both of you seemingly cannot believe that I’m telling the truth when I teach against punishment. So if you think I’m lying about that, then all my judgements of sin must imply to you that I’m setting up a pretext for punishing everyone who does any of those things. You are projecting your own unforgiving nature onto me. This is very sad.

      Is it that I have no understanding of the scientific method, or could it be that I reject the idea that it is sufficient? Those are two different things. The second is truth, the first is a cavalier and baseless conclusion.

      I’m going to ask you to refrain, on this page, from finding further fault with my understanding of the scientific method. I asked for brevity in this conversation. Expanding the conversation to include a debate about my understanding of the scientific method is inconsistent with that request. I must also now ask that you adhere to that which you absolutely know about someone’s state of mind, not speculating about it.

      You’re right that Bill Clinton is not comparable to a physicist. I didn’t suggest that he was, and again, your words are inappropriate because there’s no reason to think I was suggesting that. Your deductive reasoning is not quite what I was expecting. I was drawing a parallel between the philosophy of two people, one of which was you, since I had just been implicitly called a crypto-Leftist by you. I have speculated that OIiver shares your view about the reason for not disclosing, but to be clear, I don’t know this to be true. Indeed, if does agree with you, I’m hopeful that reading this conversation might change his mind.

      • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/15 06:48 at 06:48

        When you write, “(NOTE: I am not arguing that Oliver should teach high school science or the like. THAT would be a problem and his past would be relevant.)”

        this shows you have next to zero understanding of what I’m trying to say about why he needed to disclose it to me. I’ve tried to suggest it to you without explicitly saying it, but I keep forgetting that common sense is very uncommon these days, and most people simply no longer possess any significant power of inference, a power which that was almost universal only 60 years ago.

        Given that fact, we should just drop the subject.

        • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/15 07:55 at 07:55

          Héla! You have implied that it is sometimes acceptable to remember a sin, even though it’s already been forgiven. You have completely acceded to my position about that. Will you have the integrity and honesty to admit it??

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/15 10:03 at 10:03

      you knew there was something amiss and just did not look

      That’s right! As you’ve been advocating I shouldn’t!

      This is the most bizarre thing yet. I actually did, then, what you say I should do now, and always, and when I got hurt by it, and said, essentially, “ow” … you’re telling me I shouldn’t have done it, I should have known better, and I’m the transgressor for complaining!

      Your words are driving me to tears.

  12. Reality check 2015/06/15 07:52 at 07:52

    Fine. I will avoid commenting on your blog. Much like you, I foolishly thought you really did want a conversation and were interested in finding the truth. Much like everyone else who makes that claim, you are not. You are the one who extended the conversation, not my self. I stopped, you continued. Since you have no desire for an actual conversation or to find the truth, demonstrated through your actions (proof of your actual beliefs according to your own standards), I will be leaving your blog. I don’t comment on dishonest blogs.

    • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/15 08:01 at 08:01

      Nope, I just responded to you. I asked for brevity, you continued, I responded. You’re still continuing!

      We can surely have a conversation about the scientific method, but I don’t want it to continue on this page, because it’s becoming too much. I’d ask that you pick a different page, and link to it here. Could be on this blog, could be on yours.

      You’re the one who’s been advocating here for more censorship. Is it honest, then to claim that I’m dishonest because I’m trying to do justice to Oliver by limiting the discussion about this?

      If you want to make claims about me, you need to back them up. You are just making claims, some of which I know to be false, and if you just want to make the claims and move on to new subjects, and just leave the claims hanging, that’s unfair. If you want to discuss my state of mind, you have to be fair.

      • Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/15 08:12 at 08:12

        What’s totally ridiculous about your current position is that the only other way I could have handled your disrespect for the limiting rule was to snip the comments. In the interest of good will and in good faith, I made exceptions and allowed things that I considered unfair to Oliver to stay. If I had snipped them, what conclusion would you have drawn about me then!?

        Apparently you were for censoring unfair content before you were against it. Are you just for whatever can be used against me? Is that your understanding of “science”? If so, you have a lot of company, but count me out.

  13. Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/15 11:06 at 11:06

    There are so many fallacies on this page that I’m still noticing them.

    You have not considered that the changed plea saved anyone from testifying in court. That was why my minister’s son changed his plea—so no one would have to testify. A true cad would have dragged the kids through court. Women do it all the time in divorces.

    That’s what nolo contendere is for. The report said he changed his plea to guilty. Enough said.

  14. Richard T. Fowler 2015/06/17 06:31 at 06:31

    Reality Check,

    You say that “everyone else who” makes the claim that they are “interested in finding the truth” is not, and you include myself. But not yourself, apparently.

    This implies that you never comment on any other blog that claims to be interested in finding the truth. Is that true?

    Your blog states that it “is not a platform to launch a political tirade nor to twist facts so your side wins.” (On the main page.)

    How is that any less stringent than the standards I’m trying to apply that you are objecting to? I remind you that the discussion on the current page is tied up with the Oliver matter, which I do not want to drag on because it’s unfair to him and actually is not relevant to his work. Your invocation of my mentality and beliefs is part of your effort to prove me wrong in my conclusions about that matter. The conversation about me (absent further conversation about that other matter) can continue apace, but on another page, as I’ve already suggested.

    Let’s look again at your blog’s statement about limiting contributions. You’ve suggested that honesty includes having a “desire for an actual conversation or to find the truth”. If by “actual conversation” you mean one with no limits on the scope of the participants’ contributions, it appears from that that you fail your own test of honesty. On the other hand, if by “actual conversation” you allow for limits on “tirades” and on “twisting facts”, these are both standards that I not only adhere to, but was trying to apply myself to the current conversation.

    When I’ve sought to limit your discussion of things, it is because they tend to lead back to Oliver (you may not see how, but I can see more about this than you can because I know more of the relevant facts), and there has already been enough discussion of that matter. That’s the only reason, as I’ve tried to make clear. If you want to have an unrestricted conversation about Oliver (I doubt you do, but just if), I’d suggest that you take it to a site where that topic is relevant to the site’s area of focus. This blog is not intended to be like a personal or social media site, where any topic imaginable is parsed to its fullest extent, with no serious attempt made to limit the range of subjects.

    Off-topic comments are permitted here (unlike most {{many}}other climate and energy blogs), but (and until now I haven’t really made this clear) I don’t seek to fully participate in just any topic that is raised by contributors. I intend to try to stick to the topics that I’ve already outlined, unless I feel the need to make an exception. That doesn’t mean I don’t welcome any off-topic comments. It just means that I don’t consider a few limits on my own participation to be dishonest.

    Again, subject to the general house rules, you are welcome to comment about me to your heart’s content.

    Now my state of mind or my beliefs are always an acceptable topic (subject of course to the general rules for commenting which are the Holy Scriptures), and I’ve tried to suggest this to you. But because (for the simple reason that it’s tied up with the Oliver matter) it can’t continue on this page, I’ve suggested that you choose another page, and we can continue the discussion there. It has never been my intention to cut off all discussion of my mind or my beliefs. If you feel there’s something to be proven there, you are free to go ahead, and you’ve always been free to go ahead. If you’ve had a different impression about that, based on something I wrote, then either you misunderstood or I miscommunicated, or both.

    –Richard

    [Correction: I don’t know if it’s “most” climate and energy blogs that use “OT” as a reason to censor, but it is many of them. The comment has been corrected accordingly. –RTF]

    [And a clarification: what is not relevant to Oliver’s work is everything that would come up if the discussion continued. –RTF]

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