William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

“I Believe In Science” — Which Is Not Believing In Much

Hillary-Clinton-90045

Today’s post is at The Stream: Hillary Believes in Science — Which Isn’t Saying Much.

You just knew it was going to be a good night. Hillary shined on that stage. Her tics and tremors and mysterious coughs were all but absent. Her voice had little of the usual blood-freezing screechiness. She looked human

She hit her verbal stride. She was smooth. She was doing so well that she had the audience ready to whip out their wallets and give their last to the Clinton Foundation. It was so emotional!

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, she said it. She said it! She said, “I believe in Science“!

Me too! Me too! I believe in Science, too!

Isn’t Science great? Isn’t it wonderful? Worthy, even, of worship? Why, there’s no question Science can’t answer!

Take, “Should the United States turn a blind eye to illegal immigration, a policy Hillary favors?” Science answers, “I have no idea!” Or this: “Is it right to kill the unborn, an act Hillary condones and even encourages?” Science says, “Beats me!” Or maybe this: “Should the United States increase taxes and swell the size and reach of its government, programs Hillary promises?” Science snaps back, “Not a clue!”

These aren’t the most helpful answers, but they are answers, and true answers at that. Turns out Science, despite its reverent awesomeness, besides it being a thing we should all believe in and swear fealty to, is useless in answering many questions.

Well, we don’t need Science for morals, anyway. We can use…

Darwin would want you to go there and read the rest.

30 Comments

  1. As a scientist would you comment on the EPA’s ” U.S. EPA Region 3 RSLs have been updated based on the U.S. EPA Human Health Evaluation Manual, Supplemental Guidance: Update of Standard Default Exposure Factors and are based on a target cancer risk of 1E-6, or one-in-a-million, or a hazard quotient (HQ) of 0.1.” In accordance with U.S. EPA RAGS Part D, risk screening was summarized using RAGS Part D.

  2. Milton Hathaway

    August 2, 2016 at 8:46 am

    If economics is science, then one can say it is a scientific fact that it isn’t possible to “create jobs” while decreasing productivity (by making the energy industry grossly inefficient, in this case). Squeezing a balloon does make it look bigger, from a certain angle.

  3. Science is not supposed to judge facts, but that really hasn’t stopped it.

    Is Hillary’s belief in climate change the problem or her understanding economics only through the eyes of a con artist? SHE makes money.

    Do we trust Hillary to change the toilet paper roll in our bathroom without searching her for stolen goods before allowing her to leave? I don’t.
    Hillary believes in whatever makes HER the very most money and would sell Chelsey to the highest bidder if need be. The woman is just a vile human being. Were it not for years of blackmail and pressure combined with stupid women who vote with their sex organs, she’d have toast long ago. Hillary feeds on stupidity of human beings. She’s grown very flush using it.

  4. Sheri,

    Judging by who Chelsea married to, a hedge fund manager and former Goldman Sachs investment banker, I would say she did sell her to the highest bidder.

  5. As I mentioned over at The Stream, this post is very dishonest, a regurgitation of simple-minded right-wing talking points.

    JMJ

  6. Phil R: Good point.

    JMJ: You’re somewhat more articulate at the Stream. Guess you think Brigg’s readers are worth taking any time for. I notice your reception was not much warmer there, however.
    Speaking, of simple-minded politics, your comments are very short and meatless. Shall we ascribe that to “simple minded politics” on your part?

  7. Ignoring comments about science by those who have never engaged in science–could this be you, JMJ?, I’ll put forth Fr. Stanley Jaki’s aphorism, that says it all.
    (Fr. Jaki, besides being a Benedictine priest, got his Ph.D. in high energy particle physics.)
    “To answer the question ‘To be or not to be?’ we cannot turn to a science textbook.”
    Fr. Stanley Jaki, The Limits of a Limitless Science.

  8. Briggs, from the linked Stream article:

    – “Science isn’t always right about facts, either. And that’s because Science is made by scientists and scientists are people and people make mistakes.”

    – “Well, we don’t need Science for morals, anyway. We can use religion and commonsense instead.”

    Why—because the religious-people who apply faith & “commonsense” can do so more infallibly in such [partially non-factual] matters than the scientist-people [working with “facts”], eh?

    Really!?!?…How has that turned out in actual practice; what does history reveal to us about that?

    Of course, the first facet of any response to explaining how “religion” can solve moral dilemmas MUST address “which religion” and “which doctrine/values” apply. “Christianity” [for example] cannot be the answer because there are so many mutually-incompatible versions of “Christianity.” It’s a nice philosophical sentiment, claiming that “religion” can resolve moral dilemmas … until one tries to pin down the details…

    Then it starts looking a lot like “science” — which endeavors to pin down the details from the outset.

  9. One of the typical intellectual failings of conservatives is their lousy judgement of character. From reading just my comments here, you should see that I have a pretty good layman’s understanding of science. Having been an SAE inspector, ‘back in the day,’ I also have some practical background. As well, I have taken up video game design as a hobby, with all that goes with that. I was also an excellent science student in high school and college.

    The point I was making, (another conservative failing is the inability to grasp differing concepts), is that the application of the scientific method to Brigg’s questions shows the premises of the questions to be dishonest, misleading, and incorrect, lack of morality being a main conservative failing.

    JMJ

  10. Ken: “Why—because the religious-people who apply faith & “commonsense” can do so more infallibly in such [partially non-factual] matters than the scientist-people [working with “facts”], eh?” No, because science does not address morals. Morals are not objective and cannot be discovered by science. Hitler proved that—he taught people it was moral, due to the need to purify race, to kill Jews. One can “prove” many things with science. The inferiority of a race, the need to purge the impaired humans from the gene pool, etc. Purely Darwinian ideology would seem to call for humans to stop saving the impaired and sick because such actions water down the species. Survival of the species and improvement thereof is what all of life is about, according to Darwin.

    JMJ: Knowing science and being a scientist are not the same thing, just as knowing religion and being religious are two separate things. From your comments here, most of time you appear to be an insulting bully. There are both scientific and unscientific bullies, so it’s hard to know the difference. Plus, you have a talent for making totally unscientific, and completely devoid of content, comments. If you actually articulated why you believe what you do, it might help. Or it might prove you are indeed clueless. Guess you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth the effort. (Anyone who constantly groups all conservatives into one group obviously slept through much of the science classes and logic classes.)

  11. Hillary obviously thinks that science is a belief system, instead of a method, i.e. the testing of hypotheses with real world data. She undoubtedly believes in the scientific consensus of global warming where reality is determined by the number of people that believe it. Especially if the believers have an advanced degree.

  12. Ye Olde Statistician

    August 2, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Also, to credit “religion” or “science” with anything is the dread fallacy of reifying an abstraction. As if Finnic shamanism is even the same kind of thing as Buddhism! Or biology can suit up in a game of physics.

  13. JMJ–I apologize if I denigrated your accomplishments as a lay devotee of (to?) science (Science?) . My requirements for someone to know about science is
    1) to have carried our research and supervised a research group;
    2) to have published and refereed papers;
    3) to have obtained research grants and sat on boards reviewing grant proposals;
    4) and most important–to have read works on the history and philosophy of science.
    I myself didn’t meet that last requirement until after I retired. I doubt that very many correspondents on this blog, even if they have met the first three, have done the fourth.

  14. aaargh…proof-read but missed it: “our”—> “out”

  15. and “is”—> “are”
    d—n!

  16. Ye Olde Statistician

    August 2, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    I think the distinction is between “knowing” and “knowing about,” and regarding “knowing,” a further distinction between “know what” and “know how.” (That latter distinction was that between the BS and the BA.)

  17. I’m quite sure JMJ is an awful person. Bit of a stalker as well. Gamma male behaviour.

    I’m also kinda sure Hillary has profound health problems on top of the psychological ones.

  18. Milton Hathaway

    August 2, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Bob Kurland – you do realize that you just apologized to an AI app, right?

    I’ve been trying to track down the source for the JMJ App for a while now. Recent JMJ output reminded me of the old “valspeak” Unix filter. Maybe someone has written a “libspeak” version, but significantly more sophisticated than the simple word substitution used in valspeak.

    Still no luck in my research, although sometimes entertaining stuff turns up, such as:

    http://www.akdart.com/libspeak.html

  19. MH–what a great link! And do we know that AI apps aren’t self-aware and don’t have feelings?

  20. Leftoids sing the praises of SCIENCE! until you point out little things like IQ gaps between the races and sexes. Or representation in violent crime between the races and followers of different creeds.

    In either or other cases, expect to see the following:

    “muh poverty”

    “muh slavery”

    “muh White Privilege/Male Privilege”

    “muh microagressions”

  21. Here’s how to take McJones; visualize a dwarf, as the classic court jester. His job is to be outrageous and provocative and amusing. Look at his avatar – the hat, the cig, the comical expression — it’s funny. Now imagine this three-foot tall fellow blustering about on his ridiculous legs, chest puffed out, waving his cigarette, and making absurd blather calculated to epater les bourgeoises, all for the fun of it! Once you see this scene you have to admit it’s quite funny and well done. Jersey McJones, Court Jester to King Briggs — ha!-ha!-ha!-ha-hahhhhhhhh!

  22. JMJ does not seem to be an AI—he has in the past had blogs, shows up on linked in and is referenced in multiple blogs (concerning where he disappeared to). If he is an AI, we’re a lot further along in AI than we’ve been led to believe. Maybe Bob Kurland is on to something.

    As to his beliefs, there were some interesting posts concerning his past leanings versus his current ones.

  23. Bob, the great thing about science is that it follows from basic tenets. You do not have to be a scientist to understand and engage science. And whether we realize it or not, we are regularly engaged in some kind of science. You should know all this, right? Otherwise your background strikes me as funny as all hell.

    You can apply the scientific method to anything. It may not accomplish anything, but you just so much as observe, you just may come onto something. You can easily do a little research, say for 30 seconds or so, and see Hillary Clinton has long endorsed serious immigration reforms. Mind you, we’re not talking serious-conservative-science-thinking like securing the border to the point where ant colonies are permanently walled apart first, because obviously nothing else could ever happen before that!

    Idiocy.

    If you have been paying attention to Clinton at all over the 25 years while she’s been plastered all over the media in front of all of us, you’d already know the woman certainly doesn’t encourage abortion. It’s absurd on the face of it, it completely rejects all the Right’s arguments about the science of conception, and it completely ignores the real science of biology.

    A joke.

    Moody’s Analytics looked at Clinton’s economic plan, and based on what we as a society consider economic growth, said the plan would lead to some growth, though not that much. Trump’s plan showed all sorts of problems and economic retraction. Science may not tell us whether we should be miserable about a bad economy or not, but it can tell us a lot about why the economy is what it is.

    You guys are “throw up your hands conservatives.” Crime bad among a certain minority? They must just be that way, nothin’ we can do about it but shoot ’em when they get out of line. Sectors of the economy misbehaving? Government regulation is always bad, nothin’ we can do about it, if granny looses her life’s savings, tough sugar-cookies for her. The climate changing weirdly? No sense even trying to figure that out! No! Don’t even look at it. That’s waaaay too complicated for our poor little mortal minds. The guys at Exxon, they know what they’re doin’. Everything will be okay.

    Conservatives are intellectually lazy people.

    JMJ

  24. Ye Olde Statistician

    August 3, 2016 at 8:05 am

    You can apply the scientific method to anything.

    What is “the” scientific method? Is it the one used by field naturalists or the one used by particle physicists? Is it the one used by Maxwell or the one used by Ampere? Or are you conceptualizing “science” in such a broad manner as to become virtually meaningless except as useful to toss the mantle of the White Lab Coat over all sorts of miscellany? Perhaps you are going back to the medievals, when scientia simply meant systematic knowledge and from whom we get “military science” and “political science” as well as the “sweet science of boxing”?

    You can apply the scientific method to anything. … You can easily do a little research, say for 30 seconds or so, and see Hillary Clinton has long endorsed serious immigration reforms.

    And immigration reform is science, how? Is there a hypothesis being tested? How is the experiment designed? (E.g., Is it crossed or nested? How many replicates per block?) Which individuals will comprise the control group? What are the confounding variables? What were the results of the preliminary trials (no doubt conducted when her husband was president and her party controlled both houses)?

    You can apply the scientific method to anything. … Moody’s Analytics looked at Clinton’s economic plan, and based on what we as a society consider economic growth, said the plan would lead to some growth, though not that much. Trump’s plan

    And this is science, how? Is looking at a politician’s plan just like looking at stellar spectra or even germinating pea plants? What hypothesis about the natural world was being tested? Which variables have been included in the plans? How will they be measured? Do these account for all the relevant variables? What has been the prior record of such prognostications at other matters? Is there any reason to take these analyses any more seriously than the “plans” being analyzed?

    You can apply the scientific method to anything. … doesn’t encourage abortion… and it completely ignores the real science of biology

    Is abortion a science or is it a political policy, like eugenics? Those who opposed earlier forms of eugenics (early 1900s) were also accused of being against science and ignoring the realities of biology.

    if granny looses her life’s savings, tough sugar-cookies for her.

    Even if it is a progressive experiment that tampers with existing structures? Did anyone realize before jumping on board that mandating mortgages for people unlikely to pay them back was building up a house of cards that was bound to collapse? Or were there scientific experiments performed prior to introducing mortgage rule reforms.

    Government regulation is always bad

    Surely not always! Outlawing slavery was a good for moral reasons, even though the science of the times and the economics of the “peculiar institution” favored it. It’s just that’s the way the smart money bets (cf. “Affordable Housing Act,” previously alluded to). Government regulation is usually inept, excessively micromanaging, seldom addresses the actual problem that motivated it, and almost always benefits established interests over those it supposedly benefits.

  25. Clown shoes, electric blue velvet pants, oversized lime green jacket with gold epaulettes, polka dot waistcoat, gold lamé shirt, bright orange necktie short and fat with embroidered watermelons. Hell of a getup, McJones.

  26. JMJ: Doesn’t the scientific method say a serial liar such as Hillary is probably still lying? Doesn’t it say that a woman who cares about nothing but becoming president and will destroy anything in her way is likely to do whatever SHE wants and not what the voters wanted? Doesn’t science say your continual use of lies about the conservative movement and the lumping of all conservatives into your neat little idea of what conservatives MUST BE is as scientific as belief in chemtrails and alchemy? Why, yes, it does.

    YOS: Eugenics is a great example of science run amok. Funny how proponents of science seem to ignore that episode of scientific “advancement”, even those who call things “old-fashioned” now. I see confirmation bias running rampant.

  27. Jersey McJones how come women have contributed so little when it comes to science? And how come Blacks have such low IQs and overrepresentation in violent crime?

  28. Salwin,
    It’s the legacy of slavery. What happened to your ancestors over 150 years ago can make you a stupid criminal today. If you don’t believe me, just ask Al Sharpton.

  29. JMJ hopes to convince us that he is intelligent. Yet only confirms his ignorance.

    A reflex leftie, incapable of thought, thankfully descending from on high to instruct us rubes how to behave.

    No thanks.

  30. Milton Hathaway

    August 3, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Interesting, the JMJ AI has a very robust projection algorithm. There are glimmers of independent reasoning and coherent argument presentation near the beginnings of some paragraphs, but the AI reverts to logical fallacies before it can close the deal.

    The AI is clearly aware of the responses it evokes, and seems to be adapting.

    Impressive.

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