Wednesday, March 27, 2013

News Flash: Anthony Watts claims all Christians believe the Bible 100% Infallible

Title edit:  Over at CFI another gent has taken me to task about my title.  In fact, his complaints were fair... while replying... I better appreciated how sloppy my original title was.

I have corrected that error.

{edited... ironically, or not, April, 1st 2013}

{Tip of the Hat to Sou and her for alerting me to this latest example of Watts deception.} {edited for typo and grammatical errors, last edit March 29, 2013 noon}
{It's also been pointed out that my original title was inaccurate, because it is possible to see creation behind the billions of years old process of physical creation our Universe has been evolving though.  I agree, so have corrected my title}
{At the end of this post, I have added portions of a couple interesting articles that support my labeling Dr. Spencer a "Young Earth Creationist" }
{And make another slight wording change 3/31/2013 pm}
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Here is an excellent example of the malicious rhetorical sleight of hand WUWT's Anthony Watts excels in:

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Anthony Watts asks: "A question for Dr. Michael Mann – Would a professional scientist behave this way?" 
Posted at WattsUpWithThat on March 25, 2013 by Anthony Watts 
Watts says: Some days you have to wonder how supposedly rational and intelligent people who are considered professional scientists allow themselves to behave like this.From Dr. Mann’s Twitter feed: 

Watts continues: A simple “no” would suffice, but Dr. Mann seems determined to denigrate people that have different views than him such as Dr. Spencer’s Christian faith. How unprofessional.It is yet another example of Climate Ugliness that pervades the mindset of AGW proponents.

Notice Mann said not one word about "Christian faith."

Please look at Michael Mann's words :"No, I'm not interested in "debating" climate change & evolution denier Roy Spencer on your "news" network."

Seems simple, straight forward and polite.
Roy Spencer rejects current climatological understanding.  
True, check out Roy's website.
Roy Spencer also believes the Bible is 100% perfect.  
{a notion that can not survive rational scrutiny}.

Follow the logic here, 
it is Watts who drew the direct line between "rejecting evolution" and Christianity.
Now, is it fair for Anthony to claim all who "reject evolution" are Christians?
Incidentally, Anthony Watts' own "update" reaffirms such an impression.
Raspberries may be fruit, but not all fruits are Raspberries.

Back to Anthony's complaint,
seems to me Dr. Michael Mann ~ despite all the time wasted defending himself against frivolous attacks has remained a full time scientist.  He budgets his time for science not for philosophical debates with someone who doesn't accept foundational precepts of modern scientific knowledge.  Watts' wrong with that?  

To me it sounds like Spencer and Watts are over estimating their own worth; and getting upset cause the world doesn't agree.

Hmmm, wonder why Watts is trying to exploit this whole silliness?  
I suggest he's trying to drown out the more important information being reported on these days.  
Shame on him.

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As to the other complaint: "Why won't you# debate me*?"  
# = scientists
* = Spencer or Watts, or the Lord M or FOX,  or whoever's batting that meme around.
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It's like this...
that question coming from the likes Spencer and FOX is
sort of like asking: 
"Why won't I participate in a friendly sparring match with you?"  
Even though I know you're wearing brass knuckles, like fighting dirty, hate my guts and want to kill me. 
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Am I exaggerating?

Let's consider the 1999 Mann et al paper, the one denialists want to destroy Mann's career over:
Title: "Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium: Inferences, Uncertainties, and Limitations" 

"Building on recent studies, we attempt hemispheric temperature reconstructions with proxy data networks for the past millennium. We focus not just on the reconstructions, but the uncertainties therein, and important caveats. 
Though expanded uncertainties prevent decisive conclusions for the period prior to AD 1400, our results suggest that the latter 20thcentury is anomalous in the context of at least the past millennium. 
The 1990s was the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, at moderately high levels of confidence. The 20th century warming counters a millennial-scale cooling trend which is consistent with long-term astronomical forcing."
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. . .  and for this piece of pioneering scientific work Republican politicos want to lynch Professor Mann !

Interestingly enough, minor errors were found.  The sorts of errors that are routine and part of the scientific learning process.  Keep in mind that no scientific work is perfect.  
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But, back to Watts' latest and his political theater; look at the wording used by Mann et al.! 

Mann et al's study is all about uncertainties and caveats and focus on learning how to make future research more accurate - what more did/do Watts and McIntyre expect?  

Who knows, or cares, if with 20/20 hindsight Mann's team may have done a few things differently - because today, if you lay that 1999 graph across the many subsequent proxy studies, it has stood the test of time impressively well.  Another one of those facts Watts and his fans do their best to hide from the public, rather embracing some global conspiracy parania than facing the down to Earth evidence.

In reality Mann et al's study was a great step forward that's been unjustly slandered with endless Yellow Journalism tactics; resulting in a great step backward for society.
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This brings me back to the question of why not debate.  

A constructive debate demands a level playing field, a landscape of trust and respect.  Along with mutually agreeable guidelines of behavior and evidence.  

Scientific consensus skeptics have shown repeatedly that fidelity to the truth and mutual respect along with some introspection and self-skepticism are totally absent from their own world views.  Furthermore, they love drama and demonizing.

Scientists aren't into any of that stuff - ignore real facts, avoid questions, attack with misdirection, Your done - times up!!!  BS and salesmanship and deceptive wordsmithing is NOT their style.  They don't have the time - life is too short!  If you ain't got any integrity and base honestly they ain't got the time or interest.

That, and more, is plenty enough reason for serious scientists to stay away from Watts/Spencer/LordMonckton style mud fighting... er "debates"  wink, wink.

But hey, I'm just a citizen and I been paying attention to the modern society driven global warming issue since the early seventies, I'd be happy to "debate" Roy Spencer or Anthony Watts, let's see where the pieces fall,   ;-)

My first question would be: 
"Can you describe your conception of our Global Heat Distribution Engine?"


Back to my opening claim: "Anthony Watts claims all Christians are Young Earth Creationists!"

The question comes up, have I misrepresented Dr. Spencer's views.  A closer reading reveals him to advocate "Intelligent Design" now a six day magical creation.  I think the best way to answer that is to share what some else who's spent more time looking into this distracting nuance than I have:

The Way Things Break: Yes, Roy Spencer IS a creationist.Posted on July 28, 2008 |  

[UPDATE: For those who are unaware, Roy Spencer is a vocal climate change "skeptic", but a particularly influential one as a member of the UAH remote sensing team. He has been making the rounds of late peddling a "climate is self-stabilizing due to large negative feedbacks" take on the issue. He is a member of the Heartland Institute, a contributor to the George C. Marshall Institute, and the favorite climatologist of Rush Limbaugh.]
Some people have for whatever reason argued that Spencer is not a creationist, perhaps because in defending the idea that neo-creationist Intelligent Design should be taught in public schools, Spencer plays dumb at who or what the Designer is supposed to be, a common creationist tactic:
{... for the juicy quotes here's the full article ...} 
Perhaps more puzzling, he believes that the Bible offers a consistent and error-free narrative which itself is evidence of its truth: 
Roy Spencer:  I was struck by the unity of the Bible’s message – the way it agreed with itself even though it was written by 40 different authors over a period of 1,600 years. I realised that the gospel records were free of comment from the writers. They merely recorded what they saw without exaggerating the events, without covering up the faults and failings of the followers of Jesus and without trying to present the story in exactly the same way. There were enough differences between the four gospels to prove they had not collaborated, but not enough differences to stray into the area of outright contradictions and errors. 
Yes, if the Bible is known for anything, it is its consistency and freedom from errors.
For good measure Spencer also indulges in the right-wing DDT ban/malaria death fantasy.
For good measure Spencer also indulges in the right-wing DDT ban/malaria death fantasy. 
[LATE UPDATE: And maybe most bizarrely of all, Spencer writes anti-climate change song parodies for his Christian rock band. The horror.]
Then there are these thought worth considering from the Science blog 

A Few Things Ill ConsideredCan a creationist be a good scientist?

But can you really trust a climatologist who believes, in the face of mountains of evidence, the following
"We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.  Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history." 
and this: 
"We deny that carbon dioxide—essential to all plant growth—is a pollutant. Reducing greenhouse gases cannot achieve significant reductions in future global temperatures, and the costs of the policies would far exceed the benefits." 
Dr. Roy Spencer has signed a statement that includes the above passages, a fact which does much more to explain his error ridden work on the satellite temperature record than an accidental swapping of a negative and positive sign on a crucial corrective adjustment ever could.  
It is also yet another clear indicator of the false skepticism of the climate denialist community that such an attitude does nothing to encourage a questioning of this man’s stated opinions on climate science, opinions that fly in the face of 97% of the domain expert opinions out there and more importantly fly in the face of all evidence.



Steve Finnell said...

It seems odd that people believe the "Math Book" to be inerrant, but question the infallibility of the "Bible" when it does not suit their doctrinal positions.

MATH BOOK: Chapter 2 page 7 Two plus two equals four.

Did you ever hear anyone say Ch 2.7 is not included in some versions of the Math Book, therefore; two plus two does not equal four? No, everyone trusts the Math Book.

BIBLE: Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

Some believers say this verse is not included in some translations of the Bible; therefore water baptism has nothing to do with your salvation. Leading some to believe the Bible cannot be trusted.

MATH BOOK: Chapter 2 page 7 Two plus two equals four.

What if a math teacher said, "In my opinion two plus two equals seven?" Would you believe that? No, you would believe the Math Book.

BIBLE: 1 Peter 3:21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you---not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience---through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Some preachers say baptism has nothing to do with salvation. I guess the Bible is in error once again.

MATH BOOK: Chapter 2 page 7 Two plus two equals four.

If you looked in the Math Book commentary and it said that two plus two equals four is a mistake; because in the original language it means two alone equals four and the other two was mistranslated. Would you believe the commentary? No, you would believe the Math Book.

BIBLE: Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Some men say that "for" has been mistranslated and should be translated as "because of." Should you trust what some men say or trust the Bible?

Believers and non-believers alike never question that Hannibal crossed the Alps on elephants. No one doubts that George Washington was the first president of the U.S.A. We understand that Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic in three small boats, no question about. The only proof we have confirming these historical facts are books. We trust history books written by men, however,we doubt the facts recorded in the Bible.

THE MATH BOOK: We trust to be infallible!
THE BIBLE: Many believers say it has been mistranslated; therefore, we can adjust the facts to comply with our doctrinal view.

1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endures forever....

Can anyone find God's truth if they believe they are searching for truth in a FUZZY Bible?

(All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)


citizenschallenge said...

OK I looked at your site.

The first question I'd like to ask you:
Do you actually believe you understand the "Word of God" ?

I mean aren't you another mere silly mortal... How is it that you presume you can represent God's Will?

In friendly curiosity.