Correcting Misinformation While Minimizing the Backfire Effect

christian misinformation backfireIn part 1, we explored the Backfire Effect, the surprising effect in which a correction to deeply held misinformation often reinforces that misinformation.

The first lesson is that the obvious path—simply providing the new information with references—is not the best when recipients could see this as an attack on their worldview. Let’s see if we can do better.

1. Avoid reinforcing the misinformation

The Debunking Handbook is a great resource for understanding the Backfire Effect and how to minimize it. Their first tip is to focus on the facts, not the myth. Using “President Obama is a Muslim” as our example, the last thing that the corrector of this misinformation should do is give any more airtime to the myth. In other words, don’t title the article, “Is Obama a Muslim??”

It’s analogous to how to avoid trouble when driving. When bad things are suddenly happening around you, focus on the safe route through the chaos, not on the accident. And with myths, focus on the truth, not the myth.

The article recommends sandwiching the myth in the facts.

  • The title should focus on the facts without acknowledging the myth: perhaps “Obama’s Christianity Is as Deep as MLK’s.”
  • Begin the article with facts: Obama’s connection to the church since his 20s, say, or his participation in Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church.
  • Briefly acknowledge the myth, but clearly label it as wrong: “Some people incorrectly think that President Obama is Muslim” for example.
  • Conclude by showing how the myth is flawed. Give quotes from respected people making the point or quotes from Obama showing his publicly acknowledged faith, say. End with a quotable line that summarizes the fact.

2. Avoid overkill—less is more

There’s a debate maxim that if you’re explaining, you’re losing. That’s the genius behind the “Gish Gallop,” the technique made famous by young-earth Creationist Duane Gish. During interviews and debates, he would puke out a torrent of flawed but compelling challenges to evolution. Biologists interviewed with him would often take the bait and carefully explain why each was crap, but these explanations are long and boring. Gish was firing blanks, but he made a lot of noise and often made the better showing.

When correcting a myth, don’t put up obstacles for your reader. A mountain of information may be too much to bother with. Make it easy to access, process, and accept. Instead of a pile of arguments, give just a few key arguments that make the point clearly and painlessly. Remember that you’re arguing against a simple, pleasing myth. Your reader doesn’t want to wrestle with a long and boring dissertation.

The basics of clear communication also apply. Use graphics when possible, use short sentences and short paragraphs, and use headings and simple language. Avoid combative language that will alienate.

The journalist’s pyramid model is another tool. The reader might leave at any point, and you want the information to that point to be as complete as possible. Start with a broad, high-level view, and work your way down to the details.

The Debunking Handbook gives an example where three tabs on a web page allow readers to choose to read the information at a basic, intermediate, or advanced level based on their knowledge and interest.

3. Avoid attacking worldviews

Attacking someone’s worldview will likely trigger the Backfire Effect and reinforce their commitment to the misinformation, but there are a couple of tricks to Trojan horse the message past the mental barricades. First, putting people in a positive frame of mind—for example, by asking them to write a few sentences about a time they felt good after acting on an important value—makes a new idea less threatening. The article “How facts backfire” observes:

This would also explain why demagogues benefit from keeping people agitated. The more threatened people feel, the less likely they are to listen to dissenting opinions, and the more easily controlled they are.

Another approach is to frame a message through word choices that minimize attacks on someone’s worldview. The organizer of Seattle Skeptics once made a nice save using this approach. He was giving a talk about the 9/11 Truth movement, which argues that the 9/11 attacks were a conspiracy. He expected an audience of skeptics who accepted the official explanation, but it turned out to be an audience of 9/11 Truthers. He reframed his message to be more acceptable by using one of their favorite lines: “Why do they not want you to know this? What are they hiding?” The Truther-flavored argument went something like this: Here’s a response to one of the popular Truther arguments. Why did I have to tell you this instead of the Truther web sites? What do you suppose they’re hiding?

Does this sound like cheating? The article disagrees: “Self-affirmation and framing aren’t about manipulating people. They give the facts a fighting chance.”

A third option focuses on the source of the flawed information rather than the consumer. Make it hurt to spread misinformation. Increase its reputation cost. For example, FactCheck.org is one organization that tries to hold politicians to a high standard.

You may need to focus your message on the winnable subset of the audience. The curious, questioning, or undecideds may be reachable, while you may have to write off those who have no interest in listening to threatening new ideas.

4. Avoid leaving a mental hole

Don’t simply eliminate the myth in someone’s mind. An incomplete model—that is, a model of how things work with the myth crossed out—causes discomfort. The human mind prefers an incorrect model to an incomplete one. Quickly fill that hole with the correct facts, neatly packaged to drop in as a replacement.

To help pry out the myth, you may want to highlight the techniques that made the myth seem plausible—perhaps they used experts who weren’t experts or cherry picked the data. Also consider exposing the agenda of whoever is pushing the myth.

5. Avoid a combative posture—be partners instead

Instead of an “I’m right and you’re wrong” approach, go into the discussion seeing it as a partnership, with both of you trying to figure out the right answer.

Am I worried that Christians will improve their arguments with information in this post? Not at all. When all communication is clearer and biases are avoided, I win. I suspect that a clearer atheist position will even more strongly beat a clearer Christian position.

And that’s the point about beliefs—they don’t change facts.

Facts, if you’re rational, should change beliefs.
—  Ricky Gervais (The Unbelievers movie trailer)

Education is a condom for your brain.
— seen on the internet

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Sophia Sadek

    I like to use a ladder approach where I bring the cult member up the rungs of a ladder that is littered with familiar catch phrases. When they get to the top rung of the ladder, they are prepared for the kicker.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Tell me more. You’re saying that you use the cult’s own internal slogans against them?

      • Sophia Sadek

        Yup. It is all a matter of looking at Bible passages from a completely different frame of reference. The ladder is a way of progressing from the traditional frame to a different frame in easily grasped increments. It gets the individual who has been subjected to indoctrination to question the assumptions behind his programming.

        • Pofarmer

          So, lemme see if I just got lucky. I started out trying to decide if Catholicism was “true”. I wound up at CARM, where Matt Slick convinced me, that, in fact, Catholicism was largely non biblical. I then wondered “What about the bible” and I turned Slicks methods on the Bible itself. I found John Spong, Robert M. Price, Richard Carrier, and finally Bart Ehrman. From there, the list gets very long. Did I just get lucky I didn’t try to go cold turkey? Once I was sufficiently satisfied that Catholicism wasn’t well, reality based, then I was ready to look at the rest of it? Why didn’t I just stop and become a devout protestant? Well, I suppose in there too, I found Neil Degrasse Tyson, and Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins for hours on Youtube while riding around in the tractor. Maybe I just got lucky. I remember when I first started reading the atheist blogs on Patheos I was like “Holy Cow” but as I studied more I came to realize, “Shit, these guys are right.” Sorry about the world salad.

        • Sophia Sadek

          Bart Ehrman is an excellent resource all by himself. He taps into a great deal of scholarship on the Bible. My technique does not depend on his work, but he may be able to shake up fundamentalists by questioning the firmness of the foundation that they assume to be divinely inspired.

        • Pofarmer

          Once I started to see the Gospels from Bart ‘ s perspective, and actually read them as they were written, not as the interttwined narrative that is presented, it was lookout below, really.

  • ElderMusician

    Oh, darn! I guess I shouldn’t be starting my arguments with “Why am I even talking to these assholes?” This isn’t the best technique after all. Well, back to the drawing board ……… :-) g

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      That’s normally my first instinct.

    • Pofarmer

      Run what ya brung, I say.

  • smrnda

    With “Obama is a Muslim” you might ask people how they would determine if a person is a Muslim. A sort of checklist. Then they can see if Obama met any of those tests.

    Though it might not change their mind, they might at least be forced to admit that the evidence that Obama is a Muslim is no greater than the evidence that any random person is a Muslim.

  • MNb

    Totally off-topic, but I’m pretty sure Pofarmer is going to like this:

    http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/13912/Rooms-katholicisme/article/detail/3808150/2014/12/10/Eijk-aartsbisdom-gaat-krimpen-van-300-naar-20-kerken.dhtml

    Eijk is archbishop of Utrecht. According to his prognosis the archdiocese will go back from 300 churches to 20.

    • Pofarmer

      Its a start.

  • Rudy R

    This may be my own theory, but I think the “is he or isn’t he a Muslim” stems from the psychology of in-group and out-groups. Most of the people who claim Obama is a Muslim look like they are mostly white, maybe lower class, and don’t feel they have anything in common with Obama. It probably doesn’t matter to them whether the claim is true or not, because he isn’t “one of them” anyway, regardless of his religion.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Perhaps “I don’t trust him because he’s black” won’t do in these PC times, but they have no problem saying, “I don’t trust him because he’s Muslim–and a secret Muslim at that.”

  • KarlUdy

    Good post. Just remember, it cuts both ways.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Meaning that atheists are closed minded as well? If we assume that the person who’s right is entitled to be closed minded, I wonder if there’s a way to figure out who’s right.

      • MNb

        That person never can be absolutely sure that he/she’s right, so no, he/she’s not entitled to be closed minded. You already know the way to figure it out – the scientific method. That’s the problem of all apologists. They don’t have an similarly reliable method.

        • Pofarmer

          But Mark, revelation and reason, smattered with a helping of theology is all, they need. Never mind that the scientific method absolutely dusted those methods at dealing with our physical reality. When dealing with the metaphysical, the scientific method is absolutely unreliable, and we must fall back on trusty deductive philosophy.

      • KarlUdy

        If we assume that the person who’s right is entitled to be closed minded

        You mean it’s not paranoia if they really are out to get get you?

  • Maine_Skeptic

    “When all communication is clearer and biases are avoided, I win.”

    Excellent article, Bob. Thank you.

  • RichardSRussell

    Also, be aware of your audience. If it includes a lot of people who haven’t yet taken a position one way or the other on the topic you’re discussing, maybe those are the people you should really be trying to reach, rather than the more arduous task of convincing someone who’s already on the other side of the fence.

  • RichardSRussell

    Anyone who doubts that the Backfire Effect is real need only listen to what Dick Cheney’s had to say about torture in the last couple of days.

    • primenumbers

      Was that not just pure self-protection, denial or cognitive dissonance?

  • old_303

    Speaking of misinformation, what was Mathew 21:7 Bob (not in the BSV either – see my other post), i.e. a real translation please.

  • Luke C.

    Wow. Thoroughly impressed with this two-part series. Thanks. I will surely be back.

  • دردشه ولع كام الصوتيه
  • دردشه ولع كام الصوتيه
  • Tubular

    Practice what you preach bud. When I asked that being an atheist be considered separately from one’s view on global warming, and that the use of the term “denier” was pejorative, I was dismissed summarily by being called a “denier”. Apparently some views are strongly held here.
    Number 4 is especially relevant to my position. Nonetheless bring on the ad hominen attacks again. I’m used to it.

    • CB

      “I was dismissed summarily by being called a “denier”. “

      That’s because you’re a Denier.

      Climate Science Deniers display a contempt for science to rival any young Earth creationist… but I agree, your mental illness in regard to climate change should be kept separate from any religious mental illness you might suffer from.

      • Tubular

        I’ve gathered that you’re not too bright there CB. I’m an atheist, and a very good one at that. I have no religion. Got that? Good.
        My point, if you are capable of following it, is that linking one’s views on climate with one’s position on religion, is a mistake.
        Two separate issues. Two. Separate. Issues.
        The skepticism I bring to the issue of “global warming” is exactly the same one I bring to religion. Prove it. But they are still separate.
        I’ll repeat if needed.
        Oh and tell Dys that the term “denier” is pejorative as it is linked to the holocaust denial issue, which, as you might guess, is also a separate issue.
        That’s three issues. Can you keep them straight?

        • Dys

          linking one’s views on climate with one’s position on religion, is a mistake.

          Granted. Simply being an atheist does not say much of anything on one’s views on anything else.

          Oh and tell Dys that the term “denier” is pejorative as it is linked to the holocaust denial issue

          But now you’re engaging in semantic nonsense. Really? Any use of the word denier is automatically linked to holocaust denialism? Methinks thou dost protest too much. If I had to wager a guess, it sounds more like the deniers are intentionally trying to create that link in order to guilt-trip people out of using the appropriate label.

          You’re not a climate change skeptic, you’re a climate change denier. The scientific consensus is in on the issue of climate change – the real debate on climate change now is the politics and economics behind actually doing anything about it.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m confused. What’s your position w/r science? And what’s that of CB? I thought you rejected CB’s position because he chose his own science, but I could’ve misunderstood your position.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          That sounds tricky. So you just evaluate the scientific claims yourself? You have little use for the consensus view?

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Dys

          Truth is not discovered by consensus.

          As a response to a comment appealing to the scientific consensus, this is practically an admission that you don’t understand how science works.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Dys

          And your responses reveal that you’re an arrogant fool with a serious case of Dunning-Kruger. You’re not an expert, you’ve provided no reason why anyone should place any value whatsoever on your opinion, and most importantly, you’ve done absolutely nothing to substantiate your claims. You’re just another climate change denier trying to defend their pet conspiracy theory.

          More to the point per your accusations, your continue to demonstrate your own ignorance. Hate to break it to you, but the scientific consensus does actually matter. I know climate change deniers have their little fantasy of being the anti-establishment heroes, but your position is the exact same one that the intelligent design movement perpetuates about itself.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I hope Jack has been stockpiling guns for when the black helicopters come.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          Keep drinking the kool-aide. Big Brother loves you

          Because the Illuminati are funding the global warming hoax through the New World Order on behalf of their Anunnaki overlords. I heard they’re also suppressing evidence of Bigfoot.

          Or do you subscribe to a different conspiracy theory Jack? Deniers have so many, it’s difficult to keep them straight.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Dys

          No, you’re definitely the one alluding to conspiracy theories in regards to climate change. No idea how you erroneously decided I was paranoid, but at this point I think it’s fairly clear you’re not the deep thinker you desperately want people to believe you are.

          But since it’s become apparent that you’re nothing more than a forum troll with delusions of grandeur, it’s time for me to stop feeding you.

          Can I expect some type of hypocritical “why you running away” comment after you previously tried to chastise me for responding to you? Or can you restrain your ego from making you look even more foolish?

          PS. I guess it was too much to hope for. Keep on trolling, idiot.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Uh … you’re the one on thin ice, Chester.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’ve always had a fondness for the Reptoids.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It’s fine for a non-scientist to have an opinion about a scientific field in which he’s not an expert and not even qualified to evaluate the evidence. What’s impossible is that that opinion be worth more than the scientific consensus.

          Same deal with medicine: you’re not a doctor? Don’t expect me to have any interest in your rejection of a consensus in that field.

          Or flying a plane. You’re not a pilot? Don’t try to get into the cockpit to give tips to the pilot.

          And yet again, I challenge you to offer me another approach. I hear lots of bluster, which makes me conclude that you’ve got nothing.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          No other approach? So then we agree on how laymen should accept the scientific consensus?

          Climate science is at a point similar to that of medical science before the invention of the microscope.

          I praise God that you’re able to see things correctly and pass along those insights.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          No one said that consensus = truth, but thanks for treating us like children.

          Get a doctorate in climate science and then I’ll be interested in your opinion about climate science.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Dys

          Yep…climate science isn’t science because Jack has decreed it so. And he certainly doesn’t suffer from a massive ego or a crippling case of Dunning-Kruger.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          … but didn’t you say that their models sucked? How would you know that unless they were comparing it against data? Sounds pretty falsifiable to me.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I don’t falsify a scientific theory. Layman, remember?

          Climate scientists falsify their models when they don’t stand up well against the data. Or was this a trick question?

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • MNb
        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What luck that 2015 has drooped Jack the Magnificent into our little community! I’m sure we’ll learn much.

        • CB

          “What luck that 2015 has drooped Jack the Magnificent into our little community!”

          I’m so sorry to have dragged Jack into this thread. He’s been stalking me for months now… very unhealthy.

          Did you delete all his posts, or did he do that himself?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I blacklisted him, but for some reason, Disqus made his comments just dots. I tried to figure out what went wrong but then remembered that it’s just Jack’s comments–it’s not like they were anything important.

          I’m sure he’s able to add to a conversation, but I’m surprised that he had no interest in doing that here. Is he always so childish? He could be a good asset to the atheist community, but if that’s the baggage that comes along with it, I’ll pass.

          Don’t apologize. Thanks for getting him here. Encourage others to drop by as well.

        • CB

          lol! Ah, I see…

          Jack is severely intellectually and emotionally regressed and actually may be a child. I’m not entirely sure.

          He seems to be a common attention troll who disregards almost every single question posed to him, crafting each of his posts with the sole aim of getting attention.

          He’s on my naughty seat right now, with a very short list of other stalkers.

          I was surprised at the thread he spawned! lol! I’m glad you enjoyed him.

        • Greg G.

          Not all of his posts became dots, though, at least no yet. His arguments are less fallacious as dots. He would do well to express his thoughts as a short series of periods.

        • MNb

          Don’t apologize indeed. I have had two days of great fun with him. Moreover Jack is a magnificent reminder that atheism does not automatically lead to sound arguments. He has made me realize once again – and it’s never enough – how important it is to scrutinize arguments and evidence.
          You will stay here, I may hope?

        • CB

          I love Patheos! My primary focus is climate science, but I do find myself here from time to time. This article in particular has a good deal of crossover and I think some decent advice on persuasive argumentation.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If climate is your interest, you should read the Debunking Handbook (link above). Quite good.

        • Greg G.

          Hey CB,

          A few years ago, I looked into the climate science debate. It seemed to me at the time the web pages that explained the climate change model were written at the sixth grade level as if it was for people who never had high school science. The denier pages had lots of college level science but seemed to be from people who skipped a lot of classes or dropped out because they always left something important out. Of course, the omitted part would have refuted their claim but I’m sure that had nothing to do with it.

          The other night, I was explaining what I could recall to Jack but I didn’t have my notes so it was from six year old recollection. It was OK because I didn’t want to get too technical anyway. Since climate science is your interest, I would appreciate if you would double-check my explanation to see what I forgot and what I had wrong from the outset. I didn’t have a good narrative to explain things efficiently so I’d like some pointers there, as well.

          Please check them out:

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/12/correcting-misinformation-while-minimizing-the-backfire-effect/#comment-1769272865

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/12/correcting-misinformation-while-minimizing-the-backfire-effect/#comment-1769278287

          Thank you.

        • CB

          …so I think you’ve got bits and pieces of it.

          The biggest part I think people don’t understand is blackbody radiation, what you’re referring to as the Doppler effect.

          Everything in the universe above absolute zero emits electromagnetic waves in a very specific frequency distribution. This frequency distribution is based entirely on the temperature, and not the chemical composition:

          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-body_radiation

          In the image you posted, you can see that both the downward solar radiation and the upgoing thermal radiation fit this curve, called the Planck curve, quite nicely. This is because the sun too is a blackbody radiator, but at a much higher temperature.

          Because of this, the sun’s radiation is shifted to a higher frequency and zooms right past the greenhouse gasses on the way in. It gets absorbed, turned into heat energy that’s at a much lower temperature and what comes back matches the absorption spectrum of those greenhouse gasses very well. It’s very clear where the various greenhouse gasses have absorption bands by the parts of the Planck curve that are carved out.

          You can kindof see it in the image you posted, but here’s a bigger one that’s easier to see:

          http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/schmidt_05

          Is that what you wanted to know?

        • Greg G.

          Thank you very much. That feedback helps. I understand the black body radiation emitting at frequencies related to the temperature of the body. But, as I understand it, each GHG molecule absorbs photons that are at very specific or discrete frequencies as “seen” by the molecule. But at the speed gas molecules travel, photons can be red-shifted or blue-shifted by the velocity of the molecule with respect to the source emitting the photon. So many frequencies emitted by the source will appear to the molecules as one of the specific frequencies it absorbs. That is due to the Doppler Effect. Is that not correct?

        • CB

          “many frequencies emitted by the source will appear to the molecules as one of the specific frequencies it absorbs. That is due to the Doppler Effect. Is that not correct?”

          I want to say no, but I could be wrong. The Doppler effect is just a red or blue shift based on the speed of the object… actually, it could have something to do with it, since warmer particles are moving faster and are shifted higher…

          I think when you get down that tiny, scientists don’t really know for sure what’s going on, though the absorption bands we’re talking about can actually be predicted…

          …by quantum mechanics.

          It’s way above my pay grade. My friend Skyhunter and I actually had a conversation about whether or not emissions spectra and blackbody spectra are the same thing, and I’m fairly certain they aren’t. You have to heat molecules to extremely high temperatures to see the emissions spectrum rise out of the blackbody spectrum.

          What is clear is that blackbody radiation is a smooth curve, dependent entirely on temperature and without regard to chemical composition, whereas the absorption/emission spectra are discrete and very specifically identify chemical composition… which is why we know for sure that greenhouse gasses are warming the planet.

        • Greg G.

          http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/GWnonlinear.htm

          This page seems familiar and may well be one of the pages I used six years ago.

        • CB

          The logarithmic nature of the relationship between greenhouse gasses and temperature was the 2nd biggest AHA moment for me. Temperature rises a fixed amount with each doubling of CO₂, so you can’t just predict out a fixed number of degrees with each additional PPM.

          EDUs are usually fairly accurate, though there is a small mistake in the source you found!

          The atmosphere is saturated in regard to CO₂. This occurs within only a few meters of the purified gas, and what it means is that 100% of the radiation in the IR bands is absorbed, and adding more does not reduce the amount of radiation passing through.

          …what people miss is that the atmosphere itself is generating blackbody radiation. It’s not a simple pane of glass or a tube in a lab you’re firing a laser through. Because of this, the more CO₂ you add, the slower the rate of outgoing energy flow and the warmer the entire system gets.

          This is called “the saturation fallacy” and it was resolved in the late 19th century.

        • Greg G.

          CO2 is a very effective GHG so that the small amount in the atmosphere can block all the emissions at certain frequencies. But the blockage tapers off at the edges. Increasing the CO2 increases the width of that barrier so that more wavelengths at the fringe become totally blocked. When that portion of the radiation window becomes blocked, the temperature must rise until it can radiate an amount of energy equal to the incoming energy.
          In the graphic I linked to, the blue curve represents 260K or -13C. The violet curve represents 310K or 37C (about the temperature of a human body). The actual curve for the Upgoing Thermal Radiation would be one somewhere between the blue and the violet one. Blocking additional wavelengths of the CO2 barrier moves it toward the violet curve.

          …what people miss is that the atmosphere itself is generating blackbody radiation. It’s not a simple pane of glass or a tube in a lab you’re firing a laser through. Because of this, the more CO₂ you add, the slower the rate of outgoing energy flow and the warmer the entire system gets.

          I would point to the mesosphere to illustrate this. It is the coldest part of the atmosphere. The atmosphere above is warmed by solar radiation and below is warmed by energy radiating from the Earth. Just as CO2 is warmed by absorbing photons, it is cooled by emitting them. At the mesosphere, the CO2 is thin enough that a released photon that cools one molecule is not absorbed by another leaving the system cooler..

        • CB

          “Increasing the CO2 increases the width of that barrier so that more wavelengths at the fringe become totally blocked”

          I think this may happen to a certain extent, but it wouldn’t need to. If you were to add more CO₂, you’d drive the trough in the graph lower, because there would be more CO₂ to block the radiation coming from the atmosphere beneath it.

          Your last sentence is a good way to think of it. Outside of the atmosphere, the system is closed. Matter isn’t getting in or out. Energy comes in from the sun and leaves through blackbody radiation, and this energy must match, as you said. If you push down on one part of the curve, the rest of the curve rises up and the system warms.

        • Greg G.

          I like that terminology of “driving the graph lower”. You had mentioned that the CO2 was in saturation so I talked about the fringe. In the graphic I posted, you can see where the saturated frequencies are by the flat top of the barrier (which the graph would be pushed up). So adding more CO2 would push the graph so that the flat part was wider at the top and the rest of the curved part would be higher, too.

        • CB

          You wouldn’t be able to see which frequencies were saturated from space!

          Saturation describes the amount of a substance required to block 100% of the radiation. You can figure that out in a test tube by filling it with more and more of a gas and firing a laser at it until none of the light makes it through.

          In the real world, that light isn’t coming from a laser, it’s coming from the gas itself… as well as the ground.

          All saturation tells you is that none of the light you’re seeing from space at that particular frequency comes from the ground. It all comes from the sky.

          Your graph is a little bit misleading, actually, because it makes it look like there’s no radiation at all in those frequencies when there really is…

        • zlop

          “The Greenhouse Effect and the Infrared Radiative Structure of the Earth’s Atmosphere” http://judithcurry.com/2015/01/08/miskolczi-discussion-thread/
          http://www.seipub.org/des/paperInfo.aspx?ID=21810

          For the greenhouse effect to increase, clear sky optical depth would also have to increase.

        • CB

          No, those are not reliable sources of information.

          What you’ll be looking for is NASA, NOAA or one of the EDUs.

        • zlop

          NASA Global warming and Moon Landing fraud — NOAA Ocean Ph fraud
          EDUs are a mixed bag — SuperBowl fix — How does it all work?

          “Bullingdon Club restaurant-wrecking gig” is the model, for many a crime (False Flag) operation.
          After a crime, Victims are offered a choice; Death or generous compensation.

          However, the crew that filmed the Moon Landing were still killed, Stanley Kubric included.

        • adam

          So Stanley Kubric was killed 30 years later?

          THAT is a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time that he could have let the secret out…..

          EXTREMELY poor quality control for those trying to keep the ‘secret’…

        • zlop

          “EXTREMELY poor quality control for those trying to keep the ‘secret’..”
          Yes, CIA assassins always get their man, eventually?

        • zlop

          My reply disappeared — good watch, near the end.
          “Dark Side of the Moon: Stanley Kubrick and the Fake Moon Landings”

        • adam

          If they let everyone live out their normal lives after the ‘hoax’ you are claiming, I will pass on the propaganda.

        • zlop

          “If they let everyone live out their normal lives after the ‘hoax'”

          Cover-ups are not perfect. Sometimes, sealed for 75 years,. Occasionally, details do leak out, before. Remember, Copenhagen climate hoax, USS Liberty, 9/11, Gulf of Tomkin, NOAA Ph fraud . .. …

        • Dys

          Are there any conspiracy theories you don’t buy into?

        • zlop

          “any conspiracy theories you don’t buy into?”

            Do you believe any of the government/corporation propaganda? Turn the other cheeks, give to Caesar, wait till Heaven, Paying Carbon Taxes will save the climate . .. …

        • Dys

          Let me guess…it’s the Illuminati, and they’re running the NWO on behalf of the Anunnaki until they arrive from Nibiru. And they’re controlling the population through chemtrails.

        • Dys

          Yeah…the entire “moon landing was staged” thing has been completely and utterly debunked.

        • zlop

          ” “moon landing was staged” thing has been
          completely and utterly debunked.”?

          Give me a debunking example.

        • Dys

          There’s plenty of websites out there that shred the idea to pieces, surely you don’t need me to point them out to you. Moon landing hoaxers are a joke. Mythbusters demonstrated a few of the more common hoax notions are bogus. The notion that Kubrick filmed it is ridiculous, and the fact that his moon physics in 2001 aren’t accurate (and are different than the actual moon landing footage) doesn’t help your case. The litany of problems with the idea it was all a hoax are too much to get into here.

          Suffice to say, there’s a very good reason moon landing deniers aren’t taken seriously – they’ve kept up their nonsense despite being proven wrong repeatedly. They just invent new excuses.

        • 90Lew90

          T-hhhuh. T-huh-huh-huh. Shut up Beavis.

        • Pofarmer

          Neil Dgrasse Tyson says it’s easier to just go to the moon than try to stage it. There’s a great Joe Rogan Experience on youtube where he talks about it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The Bad Astronomer did a nice debunking of the moon hoax hoax here.

        • 90Lew90

          Your reply disappeared? Hmm. That’s fishy. Speaking of which, although I shouldn’t mention it in case they catch on, it’s probably been deleted because of your scrotum. Remember they don’t want anyone to know that although your scrotum is tender and not much protection for your balls here on Earth, in space it’s a lethal weapon not only capable of stopping asteroids in their steps but by the spring-loaded action of the mighty pubes it can actually fire alien craft right back to their resource-depleted planets. Engineered by them and hidden between your legs because that’s the last place anyone would want to look, I think your scrotum is ingenious. Really. Wish I had it instead of my spotty old thing. Think what you could do with a foreskin! Wallop! Or maybe just… Ping! Who cares about size when your name is Zlop.

        • 90Lew90

          No need to worry about the graph. I’m driving. Pour me martini. Shaken, not slurred.

        • Rudy R

          I’m not at all convinced Jack is an atheist. I found his comment “You do not live in a binary culture” eerily like Luke Breuer’s mindset, an earlier Christian troll. Nevertheless, as I suspected, he let the cat out of the bag and exposed himself as a Republican when he stated”

          There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          I’ve never been convinced that Republicans were climate change deniers, because of lack of scientific evidence, but deny the science, because their job depends on them denying it. They are fully funded by the oil industry and march to the tune of their masters.

        • Dys

          Climate science at this point in our history has more in common with phrenology or creationism.

          I’m sure it seems that way when you hang out on the denier sites.

          I’d suggest you read Kuhn, but you’d probably just misunderand him.

          I’m guessing by this reference that you’re waiting for the magical day when the deniers somehow manage to force a paradigm shift. Which will be interesting, since you’ve disqualified anyone capable of honestly doing such a thing as pseudo-scientists. But the deniers need their hero fantasy, so the myth will continue.

          Climate science at this point in our history has more in common with phrenology or creationism.

          Your denialism has more in common with the anti-vaxxer movement and creationism than rational skepticism.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Dys

          Magical day? Do you believe in magic?

          I understand that the English language can pose severe problems to some pompous asses such as yourself, who don’t quite grasp devices like hyperbole.

          I don’t believe in anything.

          Yeah…that’s not possible. Everyone has beliefs about things.

          Belief has no place in science.

          Wait…you’re going to attempt to pitifully school me in philosophy of science, and then make a quote this incredibly ignorant? You really don’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          Aw, Jack thinks he hurt my feelings. Don’t worry Jack, you didn’t. It’s a bit funny that you think you’re anywhere near important enough to have that kind of effect, but it seems you have an undeservedly high opinion of yourself, and if you need to engage in some mental masturbation, well, it’s your ego.

          Climate science is just a religion.

          Hey look at that…I made a prediction, and you followed through. False equivalences are fun, as long as you don’t care about accuracy. And I think it’s fairly obvious you don’t.

          It’s not real. Not yet anyway. Maybe some day.

          Keep telling yourself that. It’s what most deniers of science tend to engage in. Much like the creationists and anti-vaxxers you resemble.

        • Jack

          You can’t even admit when your feeling have been hurt. No wonder you can’t admit that you’re in the grips of religious belief when it comes to climate science. The faithful are always the biggest deniers.

        • Dys

          So we have another shitty mind-reader who mistakenly believes he’s qualified in any way to tell me about myself….where else do I see those kind inane assertions? Oh right – creationists.

          And apparently wanna-be experts like Jack here. Sorry Jack, but you’re not that important. Idiotic climate change deniers such as yourself don’t hurt my feelings, because you’re not worth taking seriously.

        • Jack

          And yet, you keep replying to my posts. I guess you have nothing better to do with your time. You’d think an intellectual giant like yourself would be busy in the lab working toward that next important breakthrough.

        • Dys

          The argument from better things to do? Really? So you can be adequately written off as a troll then, I suppose.

          And honestly, between the two of us, you’re the one who seems to desperately want to believe he’s an expert and intellectually superior. So you can stop projecting your arrogance on me. It’s kind of pathetic.

        • MNb

          Yup – nr. 6.

          “you keep replying to my posts”
          hence your evolution/climate change denial must be taken seriously.

        • Jack

          You need help, little man.

        • MNb

          Oops! That’s nr. five.

          “You can’t even admit when your feeling have been hurt.”

          Creationists love to write that about evolutionary biologists.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          Your remark about Einstein above shows you know even less.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You a scientist? In whatever field you have a doctorate, I support you being a maverick.

          If you’re just a layman, you have no platform from which to reject the scientific consensus. Sucks to not be omniscient, eh? Join the club.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Sure, that, or you could actually respond to the issue.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          Oh boy…now you’re going to make fallacious analogies to religion?

          Are you sure you’re not a creationist? That’s one of their go-to tactics.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Dys

          You’re the one using their tactics. But hey, I understand your need to project.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          And now you’re resorting to a strawman. Do you have their playlist printed out in front of you, or does it just come naturally?

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          You sound more desperate with every reply, little man.

          I’m not the one using the creationist playbook. You are. If that doesn’t reek of sad desperation on your part, I don’t know what does.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          Sorry, I don’t follow creationism.

          And yet you have their tactics down pat.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          Nope, he just can read, exactly like me. Thus far you have no less than four points in common with creationism. I’m happy to repeat them:

          1.You only accept experimental/operational science;
          2.You wrote that science was wrong in the past, so evolution theory eeehhhrrr climate change theory must be wrong now.
          3. You wrote (wrongly) that Einstein (Galilei is another popular example) overturned scientific consensus, hence that you are free to overturn scientific consensus now;
          4. you call climatologists pseudo-scientists by twisting the meaning of the scientific methods

          You’re well on your way, climate change denier Jack. Oh – and just to rub it in – Holocaust deniers use such arguments as well.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Tip: impress us with your reason, arguments, and data. Leave the schoolyard taunts in the schoolyard.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Poor baby. You come in here spouting bullshit, wearing your Crown of All Science cut from a paper bag, and you’re wondering why you’re getting a bit of pushback?

          You’re in my kitchen, bitch. I’m pretty easygoing, but I do have limits.

          I’m trying to help you out. People with different points of view who are reasonably polite, offer reasonable points fairly often, and occasionally stand corrected are always welcome. You’re not getting straight A’s.

          Make good arguments and your ego will be able to fend for itself.

        • Jack

          Your kitchen? No wonder I hear the smoke alarm going off.

        • 90Lew90

          You don’t happen to have shares in an oil company, do you?

        • Jack

          ……

        • 90Lew90

          I was just wondering because the only scientists who profess to be climate change doubters usually tend to be found somewhere on those payrolls.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • 90Lew90

          Just a theory.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • 90Lew90

          Boink. Genius.

        • Rudy R

          I’m curious why you specifically include climate science as a pseudo-science. It’s commendable you include creationism, but why didn’t you include others? Lines are usually drawn between political parties on this issue. For the most part, Republicans deny climate change because their job depends on it and Democrats believe it because their job depends on it. Any particular reason why you deny the science? What specifically in the science do you not believe?

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Rudy R

          The rub is that if the models are correct, we don’t have a long period of time.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I think the urgency of the situation is why waiting to let things mature isn’t practical. I agree that in 30 years, we’ll understand things a lot better. But when change needs to happen, delaying that change by 30 years might be irresponsible.

        • Jack

          And wasting financial resources on a non-problem is also irresponsible.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So what do we do?

        • Jack

          Continue to gather data and try to learn more and more about weather and climate systems (and everything else). And stop running around like doomsday soothsayers.

          The future rarely plays out the way the “thinkers” say it will. Just look at the situation with oil. The US was never going to be major producer again, right? Gas was going up, up , up and never coming down again. And yet, I see gas at $1.99/ gallon just down the road.

          So, finally, why not trust the science you cherish so dearly–and the free-market economy that fuels invention–and assume that the two together will create a solution to the problem if there really is one.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Doesn’t help. You don’t want to take action now, but then I suppose you don’t want to work on it for 30 more years before taking action.

          You’re certain that drawing a tentative conclusion right now is too soon–despite the possibility that the problem is quickly getting worse–so I ask again: what do we do? You’re obviously the God of All Science, so all eyes are on you.

          Capitalism, science, and engineering can make sweet music together, but that doesn’t solve all problems. Remember the problem of leaded gas? It’s gone because of politicians. I don’t know what market forces would’ve pushed to rid gasoline of the lead.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So then you agree with me: the free market isn’t the best way to get every problem solved.

          My suggestion: just say, “I agree” next time. That’s much easier all around.

        • Dys

          And since your opinion of me isn’t based on anything more than what little I’ve written here, your opinion is relatively worthless. Now you can go back to playing conspiracy-monger and ignoring inconvenient science.

          The climate change deniers MO is pretty much the same as that of anti-vaxxers and IDers – pretending at skepticism as a cover for reality denialism. Make allusions to some pet conspiracy theories, and you’re all set.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          Only a fool would accept either one.

          You’d better go alert the majority of climate scientists who accept AGW and explain that you know their topic of expertise better than they do. I’ll wait.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Dys

          Gotcha…so you don’t accept that climate science is legitimate science, and classify all of them as pseudoscientists, making casual dismissals that much easier. Which is what creationists tend to do to evolutionary biologists, and young earthers do to geologists.

          It seems you’re merely begging the question on what you’ll accept as legitimate science – legitimate science is the stuff you agree with, pseudo-science is all the stuff you don’t.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So there are unanswered questions in a difficult new domain so therefore it’s all bullshit?

          I’m still having a hard time seeing how you and your not-climate scientists reject the consensus view. Wouldn’t it help if you were an insider before you did that?

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It’s hard to believe that you could misunderstand, but let me be charitable and assume that.

          Einstein was a scientist. He had a doctorate. Given that, he was in a position to overturn the consensus. See how that works?

          My point remains: laymen crowning themselves as the Lord of All Science is kinda dumb. Stick with the consensus. When that changes, then you can change.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          OK. I get it. You’ve walked away from the issue enough that I see that this is a sensitive point for you.

          I’ll not continue to rub your nose in your inability to respond. Often.

        • Jack

          Delude yourself if you must.

        • MNb

          Nr. 8. Creationists call Evolution Theory a delusion as well.

          http://www.newlifepublishing.co.uk/wp/delusion/

        • Jack

          Well, I call creationism a delusion. So what?

        • MNb

          Creationism is as much a delusion as your denial that humans caused climate change.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          Excellent combination of strawman and non-sequitur.
          Yup, before humans there was climate change. It was not manmade. I never claimed that (there is the strawman). However there are some significant differences between the current climate change and several in the past. They demand explanation. Humans causing it is the only one – you have failed to bring up any alternative.
          Hey, a tasty bone for you. there is a theory that dinosaurs caused climate change as well.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/07/dinosaur-farts-climate-change_n_1496476.html

          I suppose you reject that one as well – because if dinosaurs could pull it off, so can homo sapiens.

        • MNb

          Hey, another popular creationist argument! Science was wrong in the past, so evolution theory eeehhhrrr climate change theory must be wrong now.
          That’s two points for climate change denier Jack.

          “But then that kook Einstein came along and disagreed with the consensus.”
          The score is three! Lying and misquoting regarding Einstein. Nope, climate change denier Jack, when Einstein published his paper in 1905 the consensus already was that ether doesn’t exist – because the experiment of Michelson and Morley many years before.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          You. You didn’t bother to look up the experiment of Michelson and Morley. You have never heard of Lorentz and Poincaré.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          I never wrote that the consensus didn’t change. I wrote that in 1905, when Einstein published his paper, the consensus already was that ether doesn’t exist. The consensus already had changed years before Einstein.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          Irrelevant here. Before the Michelson and Morley experiment the consensus was ether. Afterwards the consensus changed – well before Einstein.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA! Just like many a creationist you forget what you write yourself.

          “then that kook Einstein came along and disagreed with the consensus.”
          This is wrong. Period. I showed you why. The “consensus going back and forth for centuries” is irrelevant here, simply because there are no centuries between the Michelson and Morley experiment and Einstein’s paper.
          Einstein doesn’t justify your mmcc denial just like he justifies creationist skepticism towards evolution theory. Not that you will ever admit it – creationists never do either.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          WTF?? Aren’t we done with you? You just gotta come back with more taunts?

          Leave.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You were likened to a Creationist. Appropriately, IMO.

          So are you leaving or not? Don’t tease us with that delightful option if you’re not going to carry it out.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          You keep engaging me. If you want me to go away, stop engaging me.

          Because your childish ego can resist last-wordism?

          FYI, I was wrongly likened to a creationist.

          No, you weren’t. You were given multiple examples, and then you continued to provide more.

          That line was sophomoric and the poster is probably a mediocre undergraduate

          So, given the level of insults you’ve managed to descend to here, we can reasonably assume that you didn’t make it through high school.

          At least you’re not about blatant hypocrisy Jack.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          And, really, you don’t see how sophomoric that “argues like a creationist” tactic is?

          It’s not a tactic – it’s how you’re behaving.

          And please grow up. If you’re going to accuse others of sophomoric behavior, you really need to pull your head out of your own ass and realize it’s pretty much all you’ve been doing.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          If it’s a lame tactic, and yet an accurate labeling of your behavior, that doesn’t say much for the level of your arguments, which have been laughably bad.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          But like middle school kids, you don’t have the maturity to just walk away.

          Says the guy who insisted he was going to walk away. Doesn’t say much about your maturity level. And your hypocrisy on it doesn’t help either.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          It’s not like I’m going to be hanging out here. I slid in on a whim and tomorrow I’ll be doing something else

          Are you going to whine that “insist” was too strong a word for your stated intentions so you can still be right?

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          If it’ll make your fragile ego feel better, you can be right on this one Jack. You’ve been pretty much wrong on everything else, so I guess you kinda need this one.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          I’m sorry Jack…you’re right. Insist was too strong. I should’ve just used “said” or “stated”. Regardless, you’re still here after saying you’d be running along.

          But really, haven’t you been reading your own responses? You’re clearly the one with the ego problem. I’ve an idea – tell us how long you’ve been an atheist again, or about that advanced degree of yours. Or the software program you wrote. Or something else that’ll help salve that poor ego of yours.

          I mean your Plan A was kinda flaky, since it didn’t involve anything more than making assertions, insulting anyone who disagreed with you, and pretending you’re an expert on things you’re clearly not, but I’m sure you’ve got a stellar Plan B lined up. And I’m sure it involves something more than the sad pathetic insults you’ve been reduced to dishing out.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Dys

          The fact that I could copy/paste your response and have it be far more applicable to you makes my point.

          We get it, you’re a useless troll who wants to feel important. You said you’d be taking off, and yet you’re still here, so you’re not even an honest one. You rant about how intellectually superior you think you are, yet fail to demonstrate any of it, and you resort to piss poor insults and then pretend you’re in position to call someone else out on their maturity level.
          You’re a joke and a hypocrite Jack.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          Wow, you really told me! Great, now you’re free to move on and do something useful with the rest of the day. Unless your personality disorder compels you to post again. Or maybe you just have a crush on me and can’t bear parting.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          Apparently Jack isn’t intelligent enough to see the inherent hypocrisy in his own behavior.

          And implications of homosexuality are the height of maturity. Are we sure you’re not 12?

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Greg G.

          There’s a meme on the internet that “arguing with a creationist is like playing chess with a pigeon. They knock over the pieces, crap on the board, and declare victory.” You just did that which makes MNb the winner!

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          Nobody has called you a creationist and this has been explained to you repeatedly, yet you keep making the claim, which is like a creationist. Saying someone runs like a deer does not mean you are calling that person a deer. Saying you argue like a creationist is not calling you a creationist.

          I’m not calling you a creationist because I don’t want to hurt their feelings.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          You do not argue like a typical atheist because atheists tend to not conflate “similar to X” with “identical to X”. Creationists are prone to that error, however.

          You are in too deep. You should stop digging. You may disturb a Balrog.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          I am hurt. Nobody has ever said that to me before. You must be repeating something you have heard a lot.

          Still, creationists tend to make that error more often than atheists if for no other reason than most atheists do not express their arguments.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          I didn’t make a blanket statement. You are grasping at imaginary straws. Do you have any real arguments?

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          A blanket statement would imply “all”. The word “tend” implies “not all”. Therefore no blanket statement was made.

          Which implies that you do not have any real arguments in answer to my question. Stop using your PhD (Posthole Digger). You are in too deep.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          Blacks tend to have a darker natural hair color than I do.
          Jews tend to have a darker natural hair color than I do.
          Asians tend to have a darker natural hair color than I do.
          Women tend to have a darker natural hair color than I do, for that matter simply because I am a natural blond so my hair is lighter than the average human hair color.

          Here is a blanket statement: All albinos have lighter natural hair color than I do.

          You have moved the goalposts now when I showed you were wrong. You tried to make an emotional argument out of it. Creationists use that tactic, too!

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          You are too predictable. I put that in just to see if that is what you would respond to. I did not say that it wasn’t a universal tactic that was used by most everybody.

          I wonder what you will flail at now.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.
          s.

        • Greg G.

          You quotemined what I said. You failed to quote half my statement. Creationist literature is full of quotemines. I haven’t been counting but are you trying to reach “a 100”?

          Creationists outnumber atheists in this country by about a three to one margin. Many atheists are closet atheists because of the possibility of retaliation in some localities. So creationists will make three times as many statements as atheists on the subject. Unless creationists are smarter and/or better educated than atheists, they will make three times as many fallacious statements. Q.E.D.

          The fact is that when you say that a cohort “tends to,” you ARE making a generalization.

          You are making a generalization about the phrase “tends to”. If I say a six year old tends to be more careful crossing the street than a two year old, it is a comparison but it is not a generalization that six year olds are particularly careful in the street. That seems to be the point you are trying to portray me of making.
          You are getting tedious. Do you not have an interesting topics to discuss? It is always fun to discuss whether there is sufficient evidence to claim that Jesus existed.

        • Jack

          …………

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Can you discuss something interesting rather than just taunting people? Show me something useful or get banned.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          OK

        • Greg G.

          Told ya.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          “You’d be doing me a favor”?? I wonder why he didn’t just leave. Jack has way too much fun being an asshole.

        • Greg G.

          I bet he is feeling remorse already. If I didn’t add this sentence, he would probably create a sock puppet to deny it.

        • Greg G.

          Huh? You are the one who won’t get on topic. The name of the blog is Cross Examined which discusses Christianity. Why wouldn’t I bring up the religion that the blog focuses on?

          I gave you a response as good as you deserve.

          You are being manipulated to make specific arguments just for the fun of it because you haven’t shown you are good for anything else.

          Do you want to try an on topic argument or do you want to get banned. Bob seems to have given his final warning.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Jack will be stamping his little feet, I imagine. He’d prefer people remind him how smart he is.

        • Greg G.

          I have nearly an hour and a half to see whether I can get him to make specific arguments, like creationist Bingo. Does everybody have their cards? Maybe we can make it a drinking game. Do a shot whenever he argues like a creationist.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Knowing that his own passion for schoolyard taunts, I’m amazed that he also gave his long resume of intellectual accomplishments.

          I guess he wants to have it both ways–intellect and bully. What a nice addition to our little community.

        • Dys

          And then thinks he has some kind of ground to talk about maturity levels. Are we sure he’s not a creationist?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          He claims to be the intellect in the conversation but then engages people to mock them for engaging with him.

          His thinking is too advanced for me.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Dys

          *Yawn* You’re right Jack…you’re boring, and honestly not worth wasting any more time on. It’s laughable that you keep going on about how my continuing to respond somehow means something when you keep doing the same, but I think we’re both aware that you’re a blatant hypocrite at this point.

          Go read a few books, pull your head out of your ass, and learn a few things, so the next time you stop by you can try and have an intelligent conversation.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I was hoping you’d be an adult in this conversation. But you’re right–if you won’t be, I’ll have to try.

          Good call about “Wayne’s World.” Loads of people being called Creationists in that movie.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          I don’t call you a creationist.
          I maintain that you argue like a creationist.
          Liar, liar, liar.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          That’s correct – because it doesn’t require any more education to expose your lies and creationist-like arguments. Middle schoolers totally can see through your schtick.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          Jack, you’re an idiot. We’ve been telling you that you argue like a creationist, and you do. Hence all the comparisons between you and creationists. That’s different that saying you are a creationist.

          Try learning to read a little better, and you’ll stop making such silly mistakes. And really, with the amount of bullshit you’ve been spreading, your poor understanding of science, and your desperate need to pretend you’re some kind of expert, you’re in no position to call anyone a fool.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          Is that the royal We or are we talking multiple personalities?

          Well, since both MNb and I have been telling you that you argue using creationist tactics, a plural pronoun was appropriate.

          You really are a fool, to call me a creationist.

          Except that’s not what I did. But your reading comprehension is such complete shit that you’re incapable of understanding that basic fact. Your tactics were compared to those of a creationist – you were not actually called a creationist. This isn’t difficult to understand – try paying attention.

          So if you think I have a weak understanding of science

          You’ve done a stellar job of making yourself look like an idiot when discussing the topic. Stop pretending you’re any type of expert, you’re not. What you do have is a massive case of Dunning-Kruger.

          Have fun circle jerking with your multiple personalities.

          Since the accusation on multiple personalities is based on your inability to read, we’ll just let you get back to your grade school trolling. Maybe you can call me another name…that’ll make you feel better.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          Yes, that was another instance of comparing you to a creationist, not calling you one. Forget about your piss-poor understanding of science, you can’t even read English properly.

          What you have is a massive ego and a misplaced sense of intellectual superiority. What you lack is any ability whatsoever to demonstrate it. You certainly haven’t acted rationally here at all – you’ve acted like an arrogant, pompous ass who thinks he has some kind of authority to dictate science to us. You don’t. You think you’re an expert, and you’re not (or at least you act like it). That’s Dunning-Kruger. You don’t like the label, stop deserving it.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Dys

          Nope, not at all. I never claimed to be an expert at all. Quite the opposite, actually.

          Go back to the high school insults – it’s the only thing you’re good at.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Dys

          Aw, come on Jack. You can do better than that. How about “I know what you are, but what am I? I mean, that’s the level you’re operating at (and has been since you stopped by).

          Trumpeting an advanced degree and patting yourself on the back for programming software doesn’t mean much when you can’t read and insist on acting like immature teenager. Grow up.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Jack’s clearly got the biggest dick. I’m out.

        • Dys

          Eh…for all his talk about how intelligent he wishes he were, Jack’s just another run of the mill self-important troll. Nothing special.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Nothing special?! Given those accomplishments, I’m mentally placing him as a VP or Hewlett-Packard or Microsoft.

          Jack for President!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I have “I know you are, but what am I?” and “Nuh uh!” on my Jack Bingo card.

          Shouldn’t be long now.

        • MNb

          Liar, liar, liar.
          I didn’t call you a creationist.
          I wrote that you argue like a creationist.
          Because you do.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          Tu quoque is a logical fallacy popular among creationists.
          You are the one who has 10-20 things in common with creationists, not me.
          Liar, liar, liar.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          The difference is that I can prove you’re a liar. You deliberatly wrote, while knowing better:

          “Calling an atheist a creationist”.
          I never called you a creationist.
          I maintain that you argue like a creationist and I have more than 10 pieces of evidence.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          Ken Ham just like you also accepts experimental science. So you confirm what Dys wrote:

          Which is what creationists tend to do to evolutionary biologists, and young earthers do to geologists.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I didn’t realize that astrology was a science.

        • Dys

          Jack’s definition of science automatically excludes science he doesn’t agree with. So he can fallaciously equate astrology with climate science regardless of how incredibly stupid it is to do so.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Jack’s definition of science automatically excludes science he doesn’t agree with.

          I thought only omniscient beings could do that.

          Hey, you don’t suppose … ?

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I challenge you to provide another approach for a layman to estimate the truth about nature, and all you have is bluster. Why not seek this point of concord and agree with me?

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So your point is that you, a smart layman who’s well-read on the issues, is able to critique the consensus view in a branch of science and, if necessary, reject it as invalid?

          You’ve got a bigger dick than I thought. Or maybe just more hubris.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, many scientific consensus views have been discarded over the last century.

          Show me how this is relevant to our goal of finding out how laymen should approach the consensus.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I don’t know what your point was, but mine was that astrology is not a science, while biology, chemistry, climate science, etc. are. Y’know–those fields that you need a doctorate to be counted within the consensus?

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          It does not. Of all fields that offer doctorates, scientific ones are just a subset. (There isn’t a consensus among theologians on much of anything anyway, which is another reason why this is off topic.)

          Laymen have no option but accept the scientific consensus as the best provisional approximation of the truth. It ain’t perfect, but it’s the best we’ve got.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          O Enlightened One, I pray for the day when you’ll actually deign to explain why. I long to know what is a better guess at the truth than the scientific consensus.

          Perhaps you have no good reason.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • MNb

          Thanks for confirming what I wrote above. Exactly what Ken Ham argues for: “try experimental science”.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          https://answersingenesis.org/what-is-science/two-kinds-of-science/

          He calls it operational science, but it’s obviously exactly the same as what you mean.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          I perfectly understand what you mean. What you mean with “experimental science” is exactly the same as what Ken Ham means with “operational science”. Keywords:

          ” testable and repeatable.”

          Exactly what creationist Ken Ham demands.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • MNb

          Thanks for confirming Dys’ point underneath – Ken Ham also claims that he uses the scientific method and that evolutionary biologists don’t. Just like you he is lying.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • MNb

          Yup – just like creationist Ken Ham argues that evolutionary biologists don’t accept the scientific method. And just like Ken Ham you persist with your lies:

          “MNb, struck blind by Creationism.”
          Your climate change denial has at least ten points in common with creationism. My acceptance of it exactly zero.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • MNb

          Great. Then read everywhere “denial that climate change is caused by humans”. The ten points still are valid. You argue like a creationist.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          And you still argue like a creationist. There are at least ten features of your method the same.

        • Greg G.

          Do you deny that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contributes to climate change?

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          Are you familiar with the Beer-Lambert law? What needs more study about that?

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I wonder when the dick-swinging part will end and you’ll move on to actually providing us something useful.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Right now you’re an annoying pain in the ass. When we’re pals we can worry about fun. Right now, my advice is to focus on thoughtful, useful commentary.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          The ban hammer is not beyond Bob’s control. He is warning you.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          It’s not like I’m going to be hanging out here. I slid in on a whim and tomorrow I’ll be doing something else, probably not involving climate change or comments.

          Is that a promise? Why don’t you try learning something before you go? You have been misinformed by the AGW deniers. You should change that. You’ll probably experience the effects more than us old guys.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          There are ignorant skeptics and there are informed skeptics. Dunning-Kruger is strong in you.

          You can’t think for yourself if you are not informed.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          Please tell me where am I wrong here and here before you get yourself banned.

        • MNb

          “I think for myself. I’m not a denier. I’m a skeptic.”
          Yeah, that’s what creationists say as well. They don’t live up to it, exactly like you.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So this is all just performance art? You just flit in, fart, and then you’re off to find somewhere else for more praise?

          It don’t work that way here. Intelligent conversation, please.

          If you’re just going to move on, then do so. No one is much amused at your performance.

        • MNb

          For me you’re fun indeed. But I don’t control the ban hammer and BobS is not like me. He has robbed me from funny guys and girls like you before.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Imagining you with a sad face has stayed the executioner’s hand many times.

        • Greg G.

          If that is the level of your understanding, it may not be possible to correct you.

          Certain atoms and molecules absorb specific wavelengths of light but due to the Doppler Effect, and the speed that gas molecules travel, a wider band of wavelengths are absorbed and emitted in random directions. If the molecule collides before emitting a photon of that energy level, the momentum and kinetic energy of the photon is transferred to the other molecule. If it happens to be a nitrogen or oxygen molecule, for example, then the energy will raise the temperature of the gas.

          If more energy comes into the system than goes out, the temperature rises. If more goes out than comes in, the temperature falls. When the temperature goes up, more energetic photon are radiated out so it can cool faster.
          The sun emits energetic photons to all the planets. The planets emit photons at wavelengths that can be approximated by Wien’s law, related to the temperature of the planet. It must emit exactly as much energy as received from the sun or the temperature will change until it reaches a temperature that will emit higher energy photons. The photons from the sun are far more energetic than photons emitted by a planet so the planet must emit many times more photons.

          Planets with atmospheres tend to have higher surface temperatures than they would have without an atmosphere. This is due to the “Greenhouse Effect”. The wavelengths of the photons that Earth would emit without an atmosphere are blocked by water vapor, so the temperature increases to a temperature that the Earth can emit photons of a wavelength shorter than is blocked by water vapor but there is a wavelength that is absorbed by carbon dioxide at there, so the temperature has to be greater than that.

          When parts of Earth receives more direct sunlight, it must emit more energy in the form of photons and the temperature goes up until it reaches a balance. We call this phenomenon “summer”.

          If more CO2 is added to the atmosphere, the barrier of the wavelengths that are blocked is widened, so the temperature must rise until it reaches a temperature that emits photons of a wavelength that is not blocked by that barrier.

          Nature reached a balance between the amount of CO2 emitted by volcanoes and such vs the COs removed from the biosphere and life adapted to that level.

          It is impossible to add CO2 to the atmosphere without causing the temperature of the planet to rise. Humans have added CO2 to the atmosphere without doing anything to offset the temperature rise. It is irrational to conclude that humans have not caused the observed temperature increase.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You have great patience. I’m impressed. I fear, though, that Jack has his fingers in his ears.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          But the other mechanisms cannot kick in until the temperature changes. Albedo works both ways. It cools off faster on a clear night than a cloudy night. There might be such mechanisms but a skeptic would not assume they are there without evidence of them. Yeah, maybe there are temperature lowering pixies but I doubt it.

          EDIT: I just wanted to point out that the planet with the highest albedo is also the hottest.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          Which Lovelock? Gaia hypothesis, the alarmist, or the one who is less worried about how fast climate change is happening?
          Humans have proven to be quite tolerant of temperature ranges, but not so for our food supplies.
          For temperature to go to runaway extremes, it would have to go above 150 degrees F but we would be dead before then. For CO2 to get that bad, we would die of CO2 toxicity long before then.
          If you mean the “Gaia hypothesis”, wouldn’t that just eliminate humans?

        • Jack

          ……

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          The density itself is not the issue, it is the density of greenhouse gases and it is almost all CO2. The temperature of the planet causes it to emit photons at a wavelength that is not blocked by CO2 to maintain the temperature. It cannot emit photons at a cooler temperature because CO2 would block them so it cannot cool down.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          If the atmosphere was pure nitrogen, the density would be irrelevant because it is not a greenhouse gas. It does not block infrared radiation.
          The density does increase the absorption of the photons but CO2 is so efficient that even at the amount in the atmosphere, almost all the photons are absorbed in 30 feet but most of those are absorbed in the first few inches as it is a decay function. But increasing the density widens the barrier because of more molecules at extreme Doppler speeds block a wider range of wavelengths.

        • MNb

          See? The only thing you do is criticize a scientific model. You don’t provide any alternative.
          Exactly what creationists do with evolution theory.

        • Greg G.

          This graphic shows the barriers for specific greenhouse gases and the temperatures that the earth emits infrared photons at.

        • Rudy R

          Where’s your evidence that climate change is not caused by humans? You say the models are wrong, but where’s the evidence.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You making a claim? Justify it.

          That’s fair whether your claim is about God not existing or AGW not existing.

        • Rudy R

          No. You made a positive claim that the climate models were a failure. And incidentally, you were the one who introduced the climate change subject that was not germane to the article.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Rudy R

          Your mother would be so proud!

        • MNb

          Just like the creationist refuses to provide evidence for the act of creation you refuse to provide evidence for any alternative cause of climate change.

          Creationist: naturalistic factors don’t cause evolution, hence god.
          Jack the denier: humans don’t cause climate change and I don’t care what does.

        • MNb

          And you still argue like a creationist – hence wrong. The creationist says “and there is still no evidence that animals and/or plants evolve beyond their own kind, only evidence for evolution within a bandwith.”

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          “Those are the same points leveled against creationism.”
          Nope – those are the same points USED by creationists. Take this one:

          “the absence of experimental science in both.”

          A very popular creationist objection against Evolution Theory.
          The creationist does denies that life originated by naturalistic means; the mmcc denier denies that the climate changes by human means – which happen to be naturalistic as well. That’s why your last comparison fails – hand of god is supernatural, hand of man isn’t.

        • Dys

          Hurray! Now you can take your pseudo-intellectual nonsense elsewhere and pretend you’re an expert there. You might want to brush up on your arguments though…the ones you tried to use here were pathetic.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Hmm–I think I’m seeing your point.

          You make a climate model, and then you compare its predictions both with past data and the ongoing data collected daily. Depending on how good it does, you adjust it or perhaps discard it in favor of another model.

          I like it! I’m convinced.

          (But … doesn’t it already work that way?)

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So then it is experimental science.

          Gee–I’m seeing a lot more to agree with here than I expected.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          Ah – the manmade climate change denier now presents his version of the Häckel and Piltdown hoax.

        • MNb

          Great! Point nr. 4: you call climatologists pseudo-scientists by twisting the meaning of the scientific methods. Exactly as many creationists do:

          http://creation.com/is-evolution-pseudoscience

          “Thus, of the ten characteristics of pseudoscience listed in the Skeptic’s Dictionary, evolution meets nine. Few other pseudosciences—astrology, astral projection, alien abduction, crystal power, or whatever—would meet so many.”

          I fully trust you to use the same “method” to dismiss climate change theories.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          Next to the climate change denier behind the same tree.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          You. Up to now.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What Dys said.

          You get the climate scientists to stop being such boneheads and accept your wisdom, and I’m there. Until then, I’ll just laugh at you from the sidelines.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          As a wise man once said, “thanks for missing the point.”

        • MNb

          Actually climate change denial has a lot of common with evolution denial.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • MNb

          Oh, but you already have shown on this very page what you have in common with evolution denial:

          “try experimental science”.
          That’s a common creationist argument. Ken Ham is as fond of it as you:

          https://answersingenesis.org/what-is-science/two-kinds-of-science/

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • MNb

          Nr. 9 I think: “you climate change disciples” is the same as “you disciples of Darwin”.

          “a person who’s skeptical of CAGW must also be a creationist”

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          I never wrote that. I just point out that your “METHOD” to deny climate changes is THE SAME as the “method” used by creationists to deny evolution. Thus far I have pointed out nine similarities.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          Yeah, also a common reaction among creationists. Small problem for you is that I have pointed out no less than ten features you share with creationists.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • MNb

          Except that that is not a point at all – the point is that you argue like a creationist, smaller man.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          That’s what creationists say about people who defend Evolution Theory as well.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          See my previous comment – you are just like a creationist.

        • MNb

          What you think is as irrelevant for climatology as what Ken Ham thinks is for evolution.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          Who says? You? Still irrelevant. Thanks for confirming underneath that you think along the same lines as Ken Ham with your “try experimental science”.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          Uh-oh! I never wrote that you ‘deny’ evolution. I wrote that the method you use to deny climate change is the same as the method used by creationists to deny evolution.
          And that’s nr. 10 – the last one before I lose count. Just like creationists you lack comprehensive reading skills and hence attack strawmen.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • MNb

          Yup. Note that you haven’t addressed a single point out of the ten. You argue like a creationist – this time by trying to change the subject.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          The ultimate rebuttal of the creationist.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          That’s how creationists like to proceed as well.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • MNb

          You argue like a creationist. Not me.
          Hey, dear pseudoscientist and fact denier Jack, I’ve got to go. I hope we’ll meet tomorrow. You’re great fun.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Find another hobby. Or practice yours elsewhere.

        • MNb

          We know. With every single comment you bring out the crazy in crazy yourself.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • MNb

          Little problem for you is that you don’t support the scientific method. You claim to do so, in exactly the same way as creationists do.

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          I know because of what you wrote yourself: “try experimental science”. The scientific method is more than experimental science. One time observations are equally valid.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Greg G.

          It takes more than experimental science to know what experiments to do. Theory leads experiments which support or refute theory.
          We are doing an experiment on the atmosphere and it is confirming the theory that adding CO2 will cause the surface temperature of the planet to increase. We will maintain adding CO2 to the planet until the biosphere is outside the optimum parameters for our species.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And what do the relevant scientists (y’know–the ones who are actually able to evaluate the evidence, unlike you and me) say when confronted with this? Do they agree with your conclusion?

          If not, why should I?

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          My Kuhn must be rusty. Remind me how it tells me, a layman, how I should respond to the scientific consensus.

        • Jack

          ……

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Which, of course, bypasses the question. Again.

          No one cares about your analysis of a field created by experts in which you’re not an expert. You should be least impressed by your own analysis since you best know your limitations.

          And we’re back to the layman declaring himself Judge of All Science. And that’s where I’m stuck. You, too, I think.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Ultimately, we all rely on our own judgment.

          Right. And one conclusion would be, “Science has given us so much that I couldn’t even dream of, I think I’ll rely on its consensus as the best approximation of the truth from now on.”

          No one’s interested in scientists. The focus is on the scientific community.

          Your tired response will be that science has been wrong in the past. You’re right, but what do we have that’s more reliable than accepting the scientific consensus?

        • Jack

          ……

        • MNb

          Yup, still arguing like a creationist.

          “Claiming that neither science nor scientists are perfect is a convenient and ineffective excuse to gloss over a history of revision, error and fraud.”
          You could have written this. But it comes from

          http://creationwiki.org/Scientific_findings_are_always_changing_(Talk.Origins)

        • Dys

          I’ve never seen someone hit the creationist playbook on dismissing science they don’t like while not actually being a creationist. Yet Jack has managed to use pretty much every single one of them. Hell, he even went with the close-minded accusation.

        • MNb

          Then you have never discussed any Dutch islamophobe – even your last sentence applies to them. One wrote me more than ten years ago: “how can you not see it?” – he began with assuming that I was a Moroccan pretending to be a cheesehead.

        • Dys

          Nope…I have never had the misfortune.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So I’ll just repeat the obvious problem: yes science has been incorrect in the past, but what alternative do we have? You think you, an outsider, have the insights and experience to point out these errors? Santa may have given you an excess of hubris this Christmas.

        • Greg G.

          If you are not getting your information from deniers, why are you making these claims? The 1993 predictions are not that far off but you ignore the predictions made by the IPCC in 1995, which are very close.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.
        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Greg G.

          Disqus has become so sluggish, it is far more tedious than you could hope to be. I wanted to add more to the previous post but I couldn’t get the focus inside the box and hitting the space bar posted what I had.
          If you look at the chart, the IPCC SAR prediction looks to be right on the money. But the observed temperatures fluctuate with some above the curve and some below. The deniers like to point to it in the years the observed temperatures happen to be below the curve but only use the temperatures above the curve to make it look like the temperature increase between the high year and a low year is less than the trend.
          Be skeptical of the claims of the deniers who use statistics that way.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          I see different projections based on different assumptions. One is the most extreme, one is the least extreme and one is the most probable. It seems to me that it is most reasonable to judge them on the most probable prediction for the whole time instead of just on one fluctuation that may not be GHG related. What point are we in some of the decades long cycles?

        • MNb

          That doesn’t contradict in any way what I wrote:

          “The scientific method is more than experimental science. One time observations are equally valid.”
          In your logic supernova’s don’t happen either. You can experiment with them.
          But of course you are as inconsistent and incoherent as a random creationist.

        • Greg G.

          “a 100”
          ???

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          You have avoided my main post while responding with stupidity to offhand comments. Perhaps we have discovered the extent of your capabilities.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Greg G.

          We get all kinds posting here. Some are smarter than others. When you get tedious, you will probably get booted.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m sure Jack was in earnest when he said that he’d be gone in a day. Surely he’s just taking a mental walkabout and will soon be gone.

          If not, I’ll hasten his departure.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          Shoot, I had to dredge up some old memories on how the greenhouse effect works. I thank you for that!

        • MNb

          Criticizing my ability to count? That’s all you got left. You are the sad one.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Agreed. So therefore climate science is bullshit?

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Greg G.

          But AGW has far more credibility than creationism. Adding CO2 to the atmosphere should cause the temperature to increase. We have added CO2 to the atmosphere. We have measured an increase in world temperatures. That is a reason to pay attention because changing the climate civilization has prospered at could be catastrophic. It would be better to play it safe.

        • Jack

          Speak for yourself, monkey brain.

        • Greg G.

          How do you feel about playing it safe? Is that out of the question?

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          Well, you can play the percentages. That CO2 is a greenhouse gas is understood. There is an increased level of CO2 in the atmosphere that coincides with the increasing use of fossil fuels that adds CO2 to the air. So there is a strong correlation between the additional CO2 from fossil fuels and unprecedented temperature increases.

          Reducing CO2 emissions is not an unreasonable response. It is the Tragedy of the Commons where each party acting in their own rational self-interest is irrational for the group.

        • Jack

          ……

        • Greg G.

          Correlation is not causation except when it is. It would be a tragedy to change the climate that civilization is optimized for.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • Greg G.

          Just like Europe adapted to the Black Plague. The adaptation will involve massive starvation. It would be a shame to not do it in a way that reduces suffering.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’ve heard conservatives (typically Creationists) say that since life adapts, what’s the problem?

          Hard to believe. I suppose he hadn’t thought through the quadrillions-of-dollars hardship that this would cause humanity.

        • MNb

          As if I need you to open my eyes. I’m Dutch. In the Netherlands you will find atheists from the far right to the far left. I have know that since 30, 40 years.
          You’re not exactly the smartest guy around.

          Addition: the guy has removed most of his comments and repeated this one a gazillion times.
          That’s a sad way to spend your time.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          You say you accept Evolution Theory. That means you have a monkey brain too.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The AGW deniers can make the valid and obvious point that we want to avoid doing things that will hurt the economy. If avoiding AGW costs jobs or reduces productivity or something, that would be a concern and good reason to want to make sure we’re jumping into CO2 prevention/sequestration/whatever with our eyes open.

          Surprisingly, Jack hasn’t brought this up. Seems like he’d prefer antagonizing and then playing rhetorical games from second grade.

        • Greg G.

          I reference the Tragedy of the Commons because it shows that each individual acting rationally for their own self-interest hurts their self-interest in the long run. I doubt the world will develop the fortitude to work out a solution that controls the suffering. Our monkey brains have us stuck in a trap because we can’t release the orange in our hand.

        • MNb

          Yes, that’s why libertarianism fails.

        • MNb

          Most AGW deniers do. Arguing against doing something because it will hurt the economy implies AGW. Moreover it leads us to the annoying question: how much climate change do we allow to avoid hurting the economy? That’s a very difficult question, that only seldomly is asked. I don’t have a good answer.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And an equally obvious point from the other side of the economy question is: if there’s money to be made with green energy (wind turbines, new research, and the like), let’s get in there and make it.

          I remember seeing some new wind turbines being trucked through Maui (Hawaii). It was pretty cool seeing them up close because they’re huge. Anyway, they were made by Siemens, not an American company (Westinghouse, GE, etc.). Seems like an issue that would make a true patriot like all the AGW deniers take notice.

        • MNb

          Siemens, as you undoubteldy know, is German and Germany is leader in non-fossil energy sources. The Netherlands lag far behind the USA.

        • CB

          “I’m an atheist, and a very good one at that”

          LOL!!! Did you receive high marks in atheism school?

          Did you get your diploma in the mail yet?

          Congratulations, BTW! Your parents must be quite proud.

        • Jack

          To my fellow atheists:

          You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

          You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

          So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

          Open your eyes. See.

        • MNb

          “Two separate issues. Two. Separate. Issues.”
          Exactly what CB wrote:

          “should be kept separate”

          You can’t even keep one issue straight. So if you don’t mind I’m not going to address the rest of your nonsense.

      • Jack

        To my fellow atheists:

        You do not live in a binary culture. That is a fiction propagated by politicians and the media. There are, in fact, fiscally-conservative, socially-liberal atheists who find merit in the theory of evolution but are skeptical of climate science.

        You encountered one this weekend and it fried your circuits.

        So you’ve woken up and freed yourself of the god delusion. Congratulations. Now take the next step and escape your tribalistic tendencies.

        Open your eyes. See.

        • Dys

          We encountered an arrogant, pompous, irrational, hypocritical, ill-informed troll with an over-inflated estimation of his own intelligence.

          Jack arrived here, made assertions he didn’t back up, and immediately insulted anyone who disagreed with him. He then proceeded to engage in grade school insults while acting like he should be taken as an expert on the science of climate change. Jack decided the most effective method of arguing against science he disagrees with was to engage in the exact same tactics used by creationists against the theory of evolution.

          Jack isn’t a skeptic. He’s a climate change denier, a conspiracy theorist with fragile ego who constantly needs to pat himself on the back for how rational he mistakenly believes he’s being. The fact that he went through and copy/pasted his canned response multiple times here makes that point quite clearly.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’m still puzzled why Jack wouldn’t toss out an argument against ill-advised action to address climate change. Surely he’s read them. But he prefers to tease and taunt.

          I don’t think I’ve seen that combination before.

        • Dys

          I think what bothers me a bit about his Parthian shot is that he’s playing like he wants to be a promoter of skepticism, when all he really did was act like a know-it-all jackass who couldn’t be bothered to actually back up his points. He simply dismissed climate science as junk out of hand, and acted like that was the final word on the matter. On a side note, since it’s just a troll from him anyway, is there any chance of cleaning up his multiple copy/pastes?

          The impression I got from Jack is that he so desperately wants to be seen as an authority figure that he doesn’t feel the need to bother arguing. So there’s no real argument from him – it’s just assertions, then endless insults if you don’t agree.

    • Dys

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/12/16/climate_change_deniers_are_not_skeptics.html

      Nonetheless bring on the ad hominen attacks again. I’m used to it.

      The correct labeling of someone as a climate change denier is not an ad hominem. I’ll break out the violin for you.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Am I missing some context here?

  • TheNuszAbides

    Thanks for the etymology of ‘Gish gallop’! I’ve run into the term countless times in comment threads (mostly under debate vodeos, iirc) but never remembered to check its significance because the exchanges were either forgettable or had too much more-engaging content.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      A pleasure. What does it say about Christian apologetics that they need to use tricks to win their arguments?

      However, this comment from someone called “The Nusz Abides” does invite a similar question: where does that come from?

      • TheNuszAbides

        Oh, in early college days a circle of friends was quite enamored of ‘the big lebowski’ and i (‘nusz) was (arguably-favorably) compared to the main character ‘the dude’, whose final line (spoiler alert!) is “the dude abides.”

        • Greg G.

          When we returned from summer break for sophomore year, our group got together to go see “Caddyshack”. When we were trying to come up with a name for our intramural football team, we went through “Caddies” and names like that. But when I said “Dangerfields”, it was the end of the discussion and all of our teams used that until we graduated.

  • MNb

    Last few days we have had a very fine example of someone sticking to misinformation – Jack the Denier. Others on Patheos have also argued against the firebrand attitude. Indeed I do realize that my sarcasm and mockery do not contribute much to convince anyone, though Coyne and Dawkins have made claims that they have done so. If I have succeeded I cannot remember.
    Now what intrigues me is this. Those who oppose the firebrand attitude (disclaimer: I’m not a firebrand atheist, because I do not aim to deconvert anyone) and refer to the backfire effect ao, how do they discuss folks like Jack the Denier? Do they really think a constructive approach (ie without sarcasm and mockery) will have any effect on him?
    Anecdotal evidence: a few years ago on a Dutch blog a self proclaimed bridge builder objected to my attitude towards islamophobes. Especially one compatriot got my full treatment. So I challenged the bridge builder and promised to stay out of the discussion for a while. The bridge builder failed miserably – the islamophobe wrote within a day that nothing would change his mind. The bridge builder gave up in less than a week.
    It’s the same here. I don’t think anything can change the opinions of Jack the Denier, Norm, Cody and all the others whose names I have forgotten. The Sensuous Curmudgeon sensibly advises to run away when such folks come around. He bans creationists very, very fast. But as long as BobS allows me I don’t see why I can’t have some fun at their expense.
    What I do have noted, even on this blog, is how the good guy, bad guy scenario works. Understandably folks get fed up with me. But then someone else comes along, says essentially the same in a constructive way and they begin to move – not much, but a bit.
    The good guy, bad guy scenario is very well documented and may even expand on the backfire effect. If that’s correct both approaches are valid. It’s very convenient that this reflects my feeling that bloggers should argue the way and use the style they are most comfortable with.

    Disclaimer: I do not say that my analysis applies to daily life as well.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      One of the Atheist Experience guys objected to the argument that being mean to people is useless. It can be (yes, the Backfire Effect), but when someone thinks he has a good argument and receives ridicule in addition to good reasons to see the flaws in the argument, he might go back and rework or discard that argument. Which is what I’d hope he’d do.

      Another positive with pushback is the “put a stone in their shoe” idea. It won’t work for someone who’s closed minded, but a nagging objection that they puzzle over but can never resolve can grow into a big doubt.

      I like your good cop/bad cop analogy. You’re definitely the bad cop.

      I wonder if there’s been research on that. There is the Overton Window (though I’ve seen objections to the idea) that extreme positions soften the ground so that they gradually become more acceptable.

    • http://atheistjourneys.blogspot.com/ Atheist Journeys

      If someone says that nothing will change their mind, you can say, “Then you better hope that you’re not wrong.”

      • MNb

        “I’m sure I’m not wrong.”

        • http://atheistjourneys.blogspot.com/ Atheist Journeys

          “Okay. I hope you’re right about not being wrong.”
          Maybe a better way to phrase it would be, “What if you’re so sure, and yet you’re wrong? Isn’t it better to allow for the possibility that you could be mistaken?” Maybe drawing attention to the possible consequences of being wrong would be better. Or even gently asking if they know everything, like God, and maybe suggesting that a more humble approach is in order?

        • MNb

          “Okay. I hope you’re right about not being wrong.”
          “I am right about not being wrong.”

          “What if you’re so sure, and yet you’re wrong?”
          “I’m not wrong – that’s why I’m sure.”

          “Isn’t it better to allow for the possibility that you could be mistaken?”
          “Yes, if I were mistaken, but I’m not.”

          “gently asking if they know everything”
          “Strawman – I never said I know everything. Just on this point I’m right.”

          “suggesting that a more humble approach is in order?”
          – Actually I have tried this suggestion. I got
          “Being right has nothing to do with being humble. I am humble because I submit to a Higher Authority, whose Word I accept. That’s how I know I’m right.”
          – This latter can’t be used by atheist climate change deniers of course, but they will reply to your gentle question that they don’t believe.

          I have a lot of experience with especially creationists (in all varieties). Look, I don’t argue against gentle approaches. I think they are valuable. If I see someone trying it I generally don’t interfere or I restrain myself. But it’s no miracle cure and more often than supporters of gentre approaches like to admit they simply don’t work.
          It doesn’t say much, but I’ve noticed that BobS (who has found a middle ground for himself, but allows me to be mean) attracts a lot more believers than the proponents of the gentle approach on Patheos Atheist. The number of comments on BobS’ articles often surpass the thousand, while Daniel Fincke (whom I respect very much, but who does not allow me to be mean) hardly ever reaches the 50.
          So there is a place for mean guys like me as well. So my suggestion is: why shouldn’t we join hands and support each other iso bickering what the best approach is? I think that a waste of time and yes, I’m specifically thinking of Steve Neumann with his crusade against firebrand atheism. I’m not a firebrand atheist though, but that’s another story.

        • http://atheistjourneys.blogspot.com/ Atheist Journeys

          Thanks for your reply. I didn’t mean to bicker. I just don’t understand how anyone can be so certain of anything. Wouldn’t God want humility from His own children? And I don’t understand how submission is the same thing as humility. I would love to ask these people whether they think they could ever be wrong about God’s message. Who do they really think is infallible?

        • Pofarmer

          Well, considering Islam means “submission” you’ve got a problem with those guys.

        • MNb

          Really? Why don’t I have any problem with the muslim guys in town then? Please enlighten me.

        • Pofarmer

          It was meant more tongue in cheek.

        • MNb

          Ah – that didn’t come across to me.

        • MNb

          You didn’t bicker. You gave me a fine opportunity to parody the line of creationist thinking.

          “I don’t understand how submission is the same thing as humility.”
          Creationists do.

          “I would love to ask these people whether they think they could ever be wrong about God’s message.”
          Answer: no, because they have the Bible.

          “Who do they really think is infallible?”
          God’s Word as written down in the Bible. That’s all you’ll get.

        • Pofarmer

          Pascals wager? C’mon.

        • http://atheistjourneys.blogspot.com/ Atheist Journeys

          That’s Pascal’s wager? Who knows, they do that to us, maybe that will work on them! (Joking here.)
          But seriously, how do you get someone to see how conceited this is? They not only think that God can’t be wrong, they think that they can never be wrong about God. They pretty much see themselves as being as infallible as God.

        • Pofarmer

          I got poe’d here.

        • http://atheistjourneys.blogspot.com/ Atheist Journeys

          Still…even if they get mad at me and say “I never said I knew everything!” that would probably still feel like a victory to me.

          Of course, that may not be normal. I once was in an argument for days with a Christian on Twitter because I told him I loved him as a person, and he didn’t believe me (first I couldn’t love anyone if I didn’t love God, then I stole love from God, then Argument From Morality, then Cosmological Argument).

          This guy was so arrogant, but I finally got him to say it back to me. I was basically forcing him to love his enemies.

          You’re welcome, Jesus.

        • MNb

          Good job.

        • Pofarmer

          That’s because at it’s base, Christian belief isn’t about love, it’s about fear.

        • http://atheistjourneys.blogspot.com/ Atheist Journeys

          By the way, here’s something I wrote about my thoughts on this issue, if you’re interested:
          http://atheistjourneys.blogspot.com/