$30,000 Challenge Submission – Scientific Method Cannot Be Used

You want to use the scientific method as a form of proof. This already demonstrates you do not understand what the scientific method is, nor how it works. In mathematics we have theorem proving, but in science everything is a theory, and every theory is open to new evidence that comes to light. A general concept cannot be proven nor disproven by the scientific method.

Allow me to demonstrate. Please prove, via the scientific method, that God did not create the Universe. Give it a try, and hopefully you will discover that it cannot be done. Science cannot be used to prove their either is or is not a God. Next week God himself may sit down next to you and say, “Ha! fooled you!”, if not next week then maybe the week after, or after that. You cannot prove it will never happen. All you can say is so far it hasn’t happened yet.

I can use the scientific method to disprove specific theories about global warming.

For example, back in 2000 a now famous article was titled “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past” where Dr David Viner, of the University of East Anglia, said that snowfall would be “a very rare and exciting event”. The same article cited David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire with the claim that British children would have to make do with “virtual snow” because they would never see real snow.

Clearly these people made a prediction, and the prediction can be verified (a decade and a half later) as wrong. Their prediction was based on theory, the facts did not fit their theory and thus the specific theory must be wrong. Of course, you could now point to a different theory, and probably you will, but I can’t prove all possible theories wrong even the ones that the AGW alarmists will come up with next year, and next decade and whenever a new idea jumps to mind.

Another specific example would be the IPCC prediction from 2007: “Sea ice is projected to shrink in both the Arctic and Antarctic under all SRES scenarios. In some projections; arctic late-summer sea ice disappears almost entirely by the latter part of the 21st century” (AR4 SPM p15 also in AR4 ch10).

We know this did not happen. Global sea ice is actually growing, and there’s no evidence of the arctic being ice-free, nor even close. Again, a specific prediction can be disproven by the scientific method… but the IPCC just come up with more of them!

Finally I’ll point out that “man-made global climate change” is not clearly defined. Do you mean, any change caused by humans, even the slightest amount? Do you mean measurable change that can unequivocally be attributed to humans? Do you mean that climate change is mostly caused by humans? What about local climate change such as UHI, or cutting down trees? Those are not global by any means, but they could well have some tiny effect on a global measurement (note that all so called “global” measurements are really just the average of a bunch of local measurements). Can we ignore any local effects and only look at genuinely global effects?

How can I disprove something unless you clearly define what you are talking about?

I’m not claiming the prize by the way, I don’t seriously expect you will ever pay out, but at least you might take the trouble to fix up the question.

Results:

I have to say that you are the one that does not understand the scientific method. Your statements are disturbingly wrong.

Let us begin with a discussion of what the scientific method is: It is a never-ending process of observing something, forming a hypothesis to explain it, making a prediction based on the hypothesis, testing the prediction, observing the results and then doing it all over again. If something is tested over and over and never fails the test it can, at some point, be declared a theory.

There are different ways of expressing this process, but that is the gist. And, this is the definition of science. Something that follows the scientific method is a science. Something that doesn’t follow the scientific method is not a science. Pure and simple. This is not to say something is inferior if it doesn’t follow the scientific method, it just means it is not a science. Music does not follow the scientific method, so it is not a science, but it is in no way inferior.

I included the requirement that any submission must follow the scientific method because I did not want to get submissions that said man made global warming is not real because God said so. (There! Prove me wrong!) Also, I did not want submissions like yours that are baseless exercises in faulty logic. Why do I say that? Let’s take a look.

You said,

I can use the scientific method to disprove specific theories about global warming.

For example, back in 2000 a now famous article was titled “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past” where Dr David Viner, of the University of East Anglia, said that snowfall would be “a very rare and exciting event”. The same article cited David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire with the claim that British children would have to make do with “virtual snow” because they would never see real snow.

Where is the scientific method here? Someone wrote an article and made a prediction.  Where is the science? I can make all sorts of statements in an article, that doesn’t make it science. Where is the hypothesis? Where is the data? Maybe the people in this article had all sorts of experiments and data to back up their claims, but you can’t tell it by your statement here. And, so what? Does the fact they were wrong mean man made global warming is not real? Most certainly not. What if we went back to and dug up every article about medicine that made mistakes, would that mean modern medicine is wrong? Would you refuse to go to the doctor when you are sick or injured because someone wrote an article that turned out to be wrong? Of course not!  So, how does a single article prove man made global warming is not real or that you can’t use the scientific method?

By the way, did you just ignore all of the papers that were right, or did you just fail to do your homework?

Also, you are 100% wrong about sea ice. The Arctic sea ice is disappearing very rapidly. In my personal opinion, based on the rate of decline, the idea that we will have any sea ice at the end of summer in the year 2100 is a fantasy.

Antarctic sea ice is increasing during the winter time, but it nearly all melts in the summer. Much of that sea ice is the result of glaciers running off the land at an increasing rate. The formation of sea ice around Antarctica during the winter is most definitely not evidence against man made global warming.

And, by the way, all land ice is declining, especially on Greenland and Antarctica.

As for defining what is meant by man made climate change, that is up to the deniers. I have stated, unequivocally, and done so many times, this challenge is in response to deniers claiming man made global warming is not real and they can prove it. So, here is their chance. If they can prove it, then great, they have $30,000 coming their way. If they can’t prove it, then they need to shut up and stop saying they can.

So, what is man made global warming? Well, that all depends on what the denier is saying it is. I am not the one making the claim. I am just providing a venue. If you are making the claim that man made global warming is not real, and you don’t know what it means to say “man made global warming,” then you have a serious problem.

And, yes, the scientific method can be used because climate science is a science and not some logic argument.

You did nothing to prove that man made global warming is not real. You certainly didn’t do it using the scientific method, but you didn’t using just a logic argument, either.

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