Comments about ‘Letter: Unsettled science’

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Published: Thursday, May 1 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

Newtonian physics is still good in context. It is the physics of almost all engineering. So for the physics of most applications, Newtonian physics is settled and rules.

Here, UT

I'll take "unsettled science" over "settled religion" any day.

Everett, 00

Let's see...

Michael uses an example of Scientific theory and Astro Physics --
from over 113 years ago,
When most people still traveled by horse and buggy,
few electric lights,
few phones,
fewer automobiles,
no TV, and no radio,
The 1st airplane would not fly for 2 more years,
and about 50 years before the first computers.

98% of Science tells us man-made Global Climate Change is real and indeed happening.

Tell me --
If 98% of Science predicted doom if --
If you found a crack in the wing of jet, would you still fly in it?
A major earthquake just happened off the coast of Japan, Thailand, India, or Hawaii -- and not move to higher ground?
Schedule a canoe trip with a Hurricane moving in?
Hike Mt. Timpanogas with major a snowstorm 12 hours away?

98% prediction pretty much "settles" it for most of us.

Phoenix, AZ

The Theory of Relativity is just that... a theory, and a bogus one at that. Anyone who believes in that Theory is lost somewhere out in the Space Time Continuum.

Hayden, ID

Excellent and accurate article. As our grandparent's science is to us, so will our science be to our grandchildren. Everything we think we know today will eventually be proven to be completely wrong or at least very incomplete. So much for "settled" science! As far as religion goes, my religion is incomplete as well because I believe in everything God has revealed, everything He does now reveal and I believe God will yet reveal many great and important things in the future. Personally, I could never embrace a religion that teaches otherwise any more that I could embrace science that tries to tell me anything is "settled".

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Follow the money. When government funds "scientists" to "prove" that man is causing global warming, and when the desire of government is to tax the people for emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, just what is a scientist to do?

NASA scientists found: "As reported by Principia Scientific International (PSI), Martin Mlynczak and his colleagues over at NASA tracked infrared emissions from the earth’s upper atmosphere during and following a recent solar storm that took place between March 8-10. What they found was that the vast majority of energy released from the sun during this immense coronal mass ejection (CME) was reflected back up into space rather than deposited into earth’s lower atmosphere."

James Taylor wrote this in Forbes: "People who look behind the self-serving statements by global warming alarmists about an alleged “consensus” have always known that no such alarmist consensus exists among scientists. Now that we have access to hard surveys of scientists themselves, it is becoming clear that not only do many scientists dispute the asserted global warming crisis, but these skeptical scientists may indeed form a scientific consensus."

salt lake city, utah

I presume the writer is referring to climate change. In a sense the writer is correct. Climate science is one of the youngest sciences and readily admits one of the most complex therefore one of the least settled in it's details.

None of that however casts any doubt on the general theme that currently the climate is changing with the influence of human activities.

A better comparison would be evolution. The details of how evolution occurs and has occurred are always changing, but none of the discoveries cast any doubt on the process of life developing through the evolutionary process.

One of the problems with climate science in my opinion is that it has developed during the era of the 24/7 news cycle, and has become embedded in political policy, so everyone is always looking for the dramatic. A consequence of this is predictions that are not well founded.

Most sciences use predictions as a source of driving research and questioning. I'm sure climate scientists do this also, but their predictions unfortunately also get hijacked and used as a guide to what the future "will" look like.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

@ Mike

The idea that the gov't is funding scientific inquiry on climate change as a conspiracy to tax people is silly.

The reality is that gov't subsidizes the very things causing global warming -- from the incentives and subsidies for drilling and mining fossil fuels to the water necessary to create steam for electricity from burning fossil fuels to the railroads and pipelines to transport fossil fuels to the ObamaCare needed to treat Black Lung Disease from coal workers. By your logic, people could think gov't was out to destroy the planet by keeping the flame burning on fossil fuels.

The denial of climate change is largely because the science doesn't fit conservative's values and sensibilities. If climate change were determined to cause "problems" conservatives cared about -- like increases in gay marriage or acceptance of evolution or harm to "traditional families" -- you'd see greater acceptance and demand to address climate change.

The problem is climate change is often tied to demands for carbon taxes, collective action, and clean, price-stable energy -- issues abhorred by conservatives.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Re: "I'll take "unsettled science" over "settled religion" any day"...

But... Global Warming (and environmentalism) IS "religion" to many hippies....

I mean if you've been to any earth/human worshiping rallies conducted by the so called "environmentalists"... you would KNOW it's their religion. And that's OK. To each his own.

Just don't force YOUR religion on ME...

And don't use the Government to force me to live YOUR religion...


I was going to say, "Oh... not again", when I read the headline... but this is kinda fun...

At least it gets us THINKING about Science... and Religion...


I don't think science and religion are necessarily in conflict BTW. If YOU do... you probably need to re-think your religion.. or your science. I think science and religion fit well together and are not enemies.

Google "List of Christian thinkers in science"... it's a huge list.

I think you must understand science to understand religion and why things are the way they are. But just one or the other alone... is not complete.

American Fork, UT

You're confusing Newtonian science with the principle of "OJ Simpsonian" justice. That is, as long as there's a shred of evidence against it, the entire body of evidence is void because that's what you want of it.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Mike suggested that you Follow the money. So with that advice...

When the Oil, Coal and Gas Corporations fund "scientists" to "prove" that God is causing global warming, and when the desire of corporations is to maximize profits, Whom to believe a scientist with a measly stipend grant or the above?

Incidentally do you believe that cigarettes are safe?

Mtnman You got the part about religion not being settled, correct. However science never claims perfect knowledge, and, although sometimes stubbornly, changes when new facts are discovered. There is competition among scientists to prove or disprove theories based on facts, and most scientist readily admit little is settled.

Science and religion should not compete, but often do, when religions cling to their grandparents knowledge of science as magic or acts of God, when science can now explain them to folks who can understand.

Salt Lake City, UT

If I follow the money....why does BYU teach evolution? Because most Mormons think that science are religion are in tune with each other. As for people who "claim' that scientists are following the money, that is bogus and dishonest. The scientific community , for the most part follows guidelines that protect that from happening. My family gives a lot of money to the University of Utah science and research programs. I'm insulted when I see people bad mouth scientists! We put our money where our moth is.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

re: Mountanman

But, what if God the ultimate scientist (physical, natural, & social) uses scientists (Hawking, Einstein, etc...) as his heralds?

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@2 bits – “But... Global Warming (and environmentalism) IS "religion" to many hippies....”

So now we’re comparing thousands of PhD climate scientists from countries around the world to a bunch of stoners at Burning Man? Ok…

As a reminder to maintain a healthy skepticism this is a good letter, and I have yet to meet the scientist who is not deeply wired with this orientation already. Of course we all know the real intent of the letter, so in that sense… not so much.

If the letter writer truly wants to engage in the behavior of a skeptic, he would do well to read the article by Dr. David Brin on Climate Skeptics vs. Climate Deniers to see what true skepticism looks like.

Or if his goals are really just political, he can follow the other 99% of the party of deniers who have been hijacked and used like puppets by an extremely well-funded propaganda machine that happens to own a major network.

Skeptic or Denier (i.e., thinking individual or zombie puppet)… you decide.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Tyler D,
I wasn't talking about the thousands of PhDs. I would NEVER disparage a PhD. They are above reproach or questioning...

I was talking about the kind of people who show up at a SUWA meeting, or a Save the Whales rally, or a Save the Rain-forest rally, or a Save the Earth rally...

I described them as "hippies" to get your attention. But they are better described at "environmentalists". And yes.. the environment IS their religion. They have perfect faith in Global Warming, and they proselyte and defend it the same way I would my Religion.


I like environmentalists... we have the same goals... we just differ in our extremism or our level of radicalization for the cause. And they are very good people. But don't deny that they have religion (even if deity isn't involved).

I think they have a right to their religion, and to observe it ANY way they want. Just don't force ME to observe it... or pass government regulations forcing ME to observe THEIR religion.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah
Follow the money.


OK, guess what?

It leads to OIL, Coal, Gas companies -- who already make $100 Billions in annual profits,
and STILL get $10's Billions in Government hand-outs.

You remind me of those who listened to BIG Tobacco and their "hired" Scientists insisting that Tobacco does not cause cancer, heart or lung diease.

Salt Lake City, UT

Here's the problem... there are people who take the existance of uncertainty over future warming projections (the range is pretty high, something like 1.5-4.5C by 2100 in the IPCC report because contrary to popular belief they do account for uncertainty) and then start rejecting things that are categorically proven like "the Earth has warmed the past century" and "CO2 is a greenhouse gas". All justified with a shrug and "science changes". Yeah, science does change, but if you applied that logic as universally to medicine you wouldn't trust any medical procedures at all. It shouldn't be used as a means to justify rejecting anything you find inconvenient.

There are going to be errors. Arctic sea ice was still below every IPCC model projection for 2013 (even with the bounceback from the very anomalous 2012). But that doesn't mean that everything should be scrapped (especially when the error shows greater/faster than expected change since it doesn't make sense to conclude something doesn't exist when something is even worse than predicted), it just needs to be refined.

Durham, NC

Conversely you have those that feel if something is not 100 percent locked down as a known, it isn't something worth listening to.

I am assuming this is all about the science about weather. The difference here being there are those who say we should not act at all. Given the example Sir Issac Newton, people didn't ignore, nor discredit it, but they tested it, and built new science on top of it. There is a huge difference there. No one said Newtons laws don't apply, rather they found instances where it doesn't apply - which are fewer than when the rule does work.

Net\Net - they found the exceptions to the rule, rather than saying the existing rules were bunk. Entirely different process, and results.

Doing nothing... doesn't prove anything.

Murray, UT

Settled science of the 70's and 80's told us that we would all be starving from overpopulation of the earth today. Instead we are fatter than ever.

So much for settled science. It is a total myth, used by greedy and power hungry leeches to feed on the masses.

Pasedena, CA

I am still amazed at the lemmings that trust the climate scientists and their projections.

According to a 2008 report by the NOAA, it was virtually impossible that we would experience more than 15 years without any statistically significant warming. We are now going on 16 to 17 years without any warming. That means that the models are wrong.

If the models are wrong, why do we still trust the conclusions based on those models?

Recently scientists have found that the earth sheds more heat than previously thought. Again, showing that the models are bad.

NASA can't account for where most of the CO2 in the atmosphere goes.

The GISS data points require significant amount of interpolation throughout most of the world becuase we have few data collection sites in the oceans, Africa, South America, the poles, and Asia.

If that isn't enough, NASA has been caught adjusting the raw data to make global warming appear larger than it really is.

The amount of information out there that should cast doubt is astounding. The only thing more astounding is the number of people that believe in man-caused climate chage despite the facts.

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