William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

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Junk Science and Cheap Moralism on the Tiber: The Church And Global Warming


Today’s post is at The Stream.org.

Junk Science and Cheap Moralism on the Tiber: The Vatican’s top science officer lashes out at critics, defending his alliance with abortion advocates and failing to answer basic questions.

The Vatican has interested itself in global warming, going so far as to stage an invitation-only exhibition on the matter, and to release through the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences the curious document “Climate Change and The Common Good.” The document’s main author is the Chancellor of the Academies, Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo…

An article about the man behind the Vatican’s global warming push. He has been jetting around the world telling people global warming will cause abortions, so he has teamed with the UN and Jeffrey Sachs who want to provide more abortions. Go there to read the rest and see if you can make sense of it.

The Stream? Brand New-ish site, still trying to find their audience. Here’s their tag:

The national daily championing freedom, smaller government and human dignity. Offering both original content and the best from across the web, The Stream challenges the worst in the mainstream media while offering a rich and lively source for breaking news, inspiration, analysis and entertainment.


They’ve edited and reprinted my article Gay-conversion Therapy Bans And The Origin Of Homosexual under the New & Improved! title “They Enshrined ‘Homosexual’ as an Identity; Next They Will Ban Gay ‘Conversion’ Therapy“.

Go over and see what else they have. Regular readers will enjoy John Zmirak.

Reminder I’ll be speaking at Heartland’s climate conference in DC in June.

What Went Wrong In Ireland, And What Will Go Wrong Here


What went awry in Ireland was not the result of the vote, a result which was, of course, the wrong decision. The offense was something much deeper, something basic. It was the vote itself.

That a people could think, could even let themselves imagine, voting for something fundamental and unchangeable as marriage was a collosal breach of civil order, an act that must presage greater disorders to come. And this would still be so had the vote gone the other way.

Voting whether to call marriage something other than it is, is like voting whether to expand triangularity to include objects with more than three sides (in the name of equality), or like voting to kill citizens whose lives have fallen below some utilitarian threshold (via, say, abortion). It’s like voting to call black white or up down or for anything which is impossible but which is desired. It’s like voting that everybody gets to go to heaven.

That people cannot see this is the cause of the problem. Of course it is! Folks in democracies have fallen victim to the propaganda that voting is a good, and since voting is a good, it is always good, and since it is always good, anything, anything at all, can and should, eventually, be voted upon. “Truth” can be discovered by voting. The “wisdom” of the crowds!

This must lead to tyranny. It already has. To be forced to call a thing which it is not is tyrannical.

Voting is a good and does have it uses, but under only very limited circumstances, such as in small groups where all share a common goal and where the consequences of a decision are largely uncertain, and when there is no leader to assume responsibility. Leadership removes the burden of voting. Captains do not ask the crew which direction to steer. Voting leads to shipwrecks.

Most people do not have the capacity to understand the uncertainties and complexities of major decisions, though they are easily manipulated into thinking they do. Most do grasp the consequences of simple decisions. A group of (similarly ranked) colleagues deciding where to go to lunch might successfully vote. But a nation of every citizen eighteen and up deciding fundamental questions of life and of death? Guaranteed eventual disaster.

Worse, egalitarianism insists that an ever greater fraction of people get to vote and get to vote on more things.

Now if you were among the minority in Ireland, you are likely already convinced about the dangers of voting. But if you are with the majority celebrating “equality”, that most dreadful condition, you might not be. Voting, after all, got you what you wanted. Consider California. That State voted to ban gmarriage (remember Prop 8?). Was that the right vote? Did voting, forever after, reach the truth?

If you say yes, because you’re determined to hold onto the principle of voting, then you cannot say California came to the wrong conclusion. You must agree that it was the right decision. Which means you must change your own belief and say with the majority, “Same sex marriage is wrong.”

But if you say California came to the wrong conclusion, you must then agree that voting can be dangerous. And if voting is dangerous, its use should be restricted.

And that’s what gmarriage supporters did. They eliminated the vote by appealing to State leaders, who by fiat ushered in gmarriage. Believe it or not, this is a better situation than if the citizens of California originally voted for gmarriage, because leadership in some form has been exercised. But it is still bad because the original vote imbued in (all) citizens the illusion they could decide Truth. (Of course, the situation in California is even worse than I paint it, because the leadership erred and now citizens must recognize four-sided “triangles.”)

Voting saps the energy of losers—I speak here of voting on Truth, on foundations, and not on situations where there is a general understanding of uncertainties—which is good when the vote has reached the correct decision, but awful when the wrong decision is made. The losers say to themselves, “The outcome is sad, but we must abide by the will of the people.” But there is no such thing. Thinking there is, and thinking voting is always good, in time compiles error upon error, until, as the man said, the center cannot hold.

Solution? If you’ve understood the argument above, you already know.

Something To Cheer The Irish (And The Rest Of Us)


Given the state of the world, and because this is a long weekend with scarcely anyone around, this picture. It is Bubba Anderson, a (then) girl who went to the same high school as Yours Truly, though a couple of years behind me.

She was a track star and the Otsego County Fair Queen in 1987. This is her official picture. The look upon her face could cheer even an Irish ‘No’ voter.

The Week In Doom: Nervous Sheep & Intolerant Irish

Return of the snakes

As of this writing, Ireland has voted 60%-ish to allow two men or two women—and only two at this point; arbitrary discrimination, no?—to pretend to be married. The final numbers come in around 11 am NYC time. See this for background.

Three things are clear: (1) The polls were about 70%, the vote tally about 60% (so far), meaning there might have been many frightened liars, which the press there called a ‘shy No’; (2) The 40% who retained their sanity will soon be forced to play along: will telling two (why two?) men they aren’t really married be labeled criminal “hate speech”?; and (3) St Patrick will be setting off for greener shores.

Richard Dawkins—yes, that Richard Dawkins—asked the best question of the day: “Majority of Irish ‘identify’ as Catholic. Yet most surely don’t support Catholic doctrine. So why ‘identify’ as RC?” We have no answer for you, Ricky, old boy.

Tim Stanley has some ideas, though: The Irish referendum on gay marriage was about more than just gay marriage. It was a politically motivated, media backed, well financed howl of rage against Catholicism.

Update Tallies as of 11:30 am ET: 62% yes, 13 out of 43 constituencies counted.

Update All in now 62% vs. 38%. This will be called “Ireland votes for same-sex gmarriage”, when in reality 38% of folks stuck to reality. Only Roscommon-South Leitrim was the no vote greater than 50%. Somebody please check this prediction: people from Roscommon-South Leitrim will be subject to any amount of abused; “backward people”, “homophobic”, etc.

Update Called it: “We are hameorragning young people from the county and I hope that doesn’t increase now because of this conservative opinion.

Nervous sheep

Sheep stay silent in war of words over whether animals can suffer verbal abuse. PETA lodged a complaint in Australia at a sheep sheering station at which a man yelled at a sheep.

“The basis for the concerns was the rights of the animals, that they might have been harassed by viewing things they shouldn’t have seen or verbal abuse by people using bad language,” he said.

“To my knowledge, there was no actual cruelty on the job.

“The allegation was that bad language was used by an employee on the property in front of the sheep, and that they could have been offended by the use of bad language.”…

Lynda Stoner, CEO at Animal Liberation NSW, agreed.

She said animals did not need to understand language in order to comprehend that a human speaker was frustrated or angry.”

After you have your chuckle, reflect. This was on ABC, Australia’s (just as leftist) version of the New York Times or CNN. Do you seriously think your (appropriate) laughter will be enough to slow this kind of mental rot?

In democracies, “truth” is decided by vote. Can that be repeated too often?

That’s offensive!

University students vote to ban Bibles from halls.

A motion passed at an Aberystwyth University Students’ Union meeting, called for an end to the tradition of having Gideon Bibles in students’ bedrooms, branding it “inappropriate in a multicultural university”.

A critic said the move “seems illiberal and intolerant.” Seems. The last sentence is a kicker: “In 2013 a company managing Huddersfield University accommodation called for Bibles to be banned arguing that it wanted its properties to be ‘ethically neutral’.”

Does it do any good to say there is no such thing as “ethically neutral”?

The answer is: no.

Nipple heads

Continuing a world-wide trend, female students at University of California, San Diego doffed their shirts this week to display their breasts in protest (no pics at the link; sorry), to the delight of many male students (and probably male professors, too).

The main complaint, as far as I could make it out, is that these ladies don’t like that they aren’t men. They discovered that men have nipples and that they have nipples, and that this led to a eureka moment where one lass said, “We both have nipples. Equality!” They then pretended walking around semi-naked allowed them to keep their sexual allure.

Who said that college education was too expensive?

Nipples heads redux

‘Men’s Lingerie’ Raises Question: Is Western Civilisation Over?. The answer is, surprisingly, not yet. But close.

They speak of a line of undergarments in Europe for men who have lost their masculinity, a larger and larger market. Unbridled capitalism at work—looks like Pope Francis was right!

Responding to this (in part) was Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky: “There’s no limit to our outrage. It’s the end of Europe. It has turned wild. They don’t have men and women any more. They have ‘it’.” God bless Russia.

It reborn

Transgender ‘Baptism’ Ceremony Is Now a Thing, According to the Church of England.

The Church of England is set to debate plans for a ceremony akin to a baptism for people who have recently undergone gender reassignment surgery…

The motion reads: “That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.”

Does it do any good to say there is no such thing as “gender reassignment surgery” or “gender transitions”? Same answer as above. But this language does prove what I said yesterday: lunatics think abnormal (in the biological sense, of course) sexual preference turns you into non-human creatures. Why else would you need to be re-re-born?

This hasn’t been made canonical Anglican law yet. But would any of you bet against it?

Told ya so

Proving that what is demanded is complete and total submission comes this sad story: Canadian jeweler threatened for opposing gay marriage — after providing service to gay weddings.

A lesbian couple came into the jeweler’s shop looking for custom-made rings for their wedding. No problem, he told them. Later the couple recommended him to some friends, who dropped by — and noticed a sign on the wall that read, “The sanctity of marriage is under attack. Let’s keep marriage between a man and a woman.” The lesbian couple then decided they wanted a refund on their rings, the media picked up the story, and now the jeweler’s being threatened for his thoughtcrime. Of such things are the mileposts on the road to perfect tolerance made.

The man eventually refunded the money, but this—surprise—was not satisfactory nor sufficient.

Jardon said he’s getting a big backlash from social media.

“I had to shut down the Facebook page because of so many hate emails and phone calls and just, really nasty stuff,” he said.

Now everything I know about Canadian law I learned from the McKenzie Brothers, so I have no good guess what will happen. But isn’t it the case that you are allowed to offend no one but traditional Christians?

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