Computer Models are Powerful — But Often Misused — Tools

“Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, is false.”

Currently, Computer Models are Ridiculous Failures — At Least When Used in Climate

The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models. –Freeman Dyson in Edge

Computer Models are Incredibly Useful For What They Can Do

Computer model output is not science, and cannot substitute for scientific experimentation. Computer models can only process data, using the assumptions and hypotheses that are force-fed into the model. The output of computer models — once validated — can lead to revolutionary new hypotheses which can be tested by more experiments in the messy, muddy, real world.

Computer models and their output are not evidence of anything. Computer models are extremely useful when we have hypotheses about complex, multi-variable systems. It may not be immediately obvious how to test these hypotheses, so computer models can take these hypothesized formulas and generate predicted values of measurable variables that can then be used to compare to actual physical observations.Warren Meier

More details on underlying climate feedbacks

Upcoming Conference on Computer Modeling: Reproducibility, Sustainability, and Preservation

This week in Oxford, an important conference on improving the credibility and usefulness of computer modeling will be held at the Alan Turing Institute. If one of the outcomes of the conference is an improvement in data transparency and reproducibility — and an upgrading in model validation — we may begin to see computer modeling come into its own, instead of being used as a tool of political policy deception.

Modelling is used across scientific fields – ranging from astrophysics and climate prediction to bioinformatics and economics. But there is increasing debate about the fact that this science is difficult to validate through reproduction.

… Humans – even scientists – are after all fallible. Transforming any information into a program almost invariably introduces bugs along the way.https://theconversation.com/science-relies-on-computer-modelling-so-what-happens-when-it-goes-wrong-56859

Even if models are built and used with the best of intentions — a big “if” in modern climate policy-making — inadvertent mistakes are always built into the model, which can be almost impossible to discover without painstaking validation. Today’s climate scientists, activists, and policy-makers do not want to get their hands dirty with the hard work of testing their models. They would rather assume that if their models tell them what they mean to hear, that the model is virtually omnipotent.

People Cling to the Illusion of Certainty to the Bitter End

In his fascinating 1950 book “Unpopular Essays,” mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote that

“Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, is false.”

He explained how the nature of people made such inflictions possible.

The demand for certainty is one which is natural to man, but is nevertheless an intellectual vice. So long as men are not trained to withhold judgment in the absence of evidence, they will be led astray by cocksure prophets, and it is likely that their leaders will be either ignorant fanatics or dishonest charlatans. To endure uncertainty is difficult, but so are most of the other virtues. – Yes, You are certain it is true! But is it true?

Why IPCC Models Cannot Reliably Predict the Future

The climate is a complex, multivariate system which displays emergent behaviour. This makes a big difference when predicting future system behaviour.

“Reductionism argues that deterministic approaches to science and positivist views of causation are the appropriate methodologies for exploring complex, multivariate systems … where the behavior of a complex system can be deduced from the fundamental reductionist understanding. Rather, large, complex systems may be better understood, and perhaps only understood, in terms of observed, emergent behavior. The practical implication is that there exist system behaviors and structures that are not amenable to explanation or prediction by reductionist methodologies … the GCM is the numerical solution of a complex but purely deterministic set of nonlinear partial differential equations over a defined spatiotemporal grid, and no attempt is made to introduce any quantification of uncertainty into its construction … [T]he reductionist argument that large scale behaviour can be represented by the aggregative effects of smaller scale process has never been validated in the context of natural environmental systems .”http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/eost2009EO13/pdf quoted by Dr. Norman Page in WUWT

Again, today’s climate scientists, activists, and policy-makers do not want to get their hands dirty with the hard work of testing their models. They have painted themselves into a corner where they have no choice but to claim that their models are virtually omnipotent.

[Thanks to http://thegwpf.org for image above and editing assistance __ administrator]

We recently took a brief look at complex adaptive systems, and complex evolving systems. The better one understands such systems, the more carefully and critically he will look at any persons or institutions which make grand claims of reliably predicting how such systems will behave over various time scales.

Science is Misunderstood by Almost Everyone, Even Scientists Themselves!

Science isn’t true, it’s what works to predict the future, and if it fails to work, it’s not Science any more. __ Leo Smith in WUWT

Science is not a thing, it is a method. When the method is followed and procedures are meticulously carried out — with full transparency and reproducibility — science often works to help humans to predict and control their environments. Computer models are not science, but if modelers follow the rules of validation & transparency and understand that they are only generating hypotheses — and are not producing DATA — computer models can be very useful for illustrative purposes, and for provoking new questions.

Modern Climate “Science” Based Upon Computer Modeling is a Cult, Not a Science

Not only is modern climate “science” a cult, it is becoming a bloody inquisition! And it is all based upon faulty models that are being mistaken for science by politicians, bureaucrats, activists, educators, journalists, political lobbyists, and policy makers and planners of all stripes — at all levels of society.

Members of the cult of climate apocalypse inquisition range from US President Obama, former US Vice-President Albert Gore Jr., Francois Hollande, and powerful members of governments across Europe and the Anglosphere. Resources that could be better utilised to create a more expansive and prosperous human future, are being squandered on a school-boy level, error in logic. Quite an epitaph for a golden age of discovery.

Computer Models Themselves Can Be Used to Fight the Idiocracy

Computer models can make many complex ideas more understandable, if assembled and processed carefully and transparently. They can also suggest important questions which need to be followed up.

But computer models can only be optimally useful in an environment of free inquiry. In the modern world of political correctness, some of the most important questions cannot be asked publicly, for fear of loss of employment, loss of contracts, denial of tenure, or even loss of freedoms and one’s very life.

In the prison nations of the world — North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, etc. — one can be summarily killed or imprisoned for asking the wrong questions.

Creating a New, Expansive, Open and Prosperous World in One Fell Swoop is Not an Option

Institutional resistance against free inquiry and open science is so fierce — even in the freest of societies — that wise persons must often “hide in plain sight” when taking effective steps to oppose prevailing movements that spread deception, intolerance, waste, and corruption.

The underlying ideas of the Al Fin blogs — The Next Level, The Dangerous Child and Dangerous Communities, and Creative Apocalyptology — are all influenced by such plans.

Everyone has the choice of whether to think for himself, or to be just another chump in the crowd, floating in a groupthink bubble of fellow travelers and echo choirs. Hint: Everything you think you know, just ain’t so.

More: The climate apocalypse cult of Gore, Obama, Hansen, and the IPCC, is so much half-assed fakery

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6 Responses to Computer Models are Powerful — But Often Misused — Tools

  1. Craig says:

    Why Global Warming activism works, it’s all in the language…

    Global Warming activists: The Earth is warming because of power plants and SUVs. We’re all gonna die!!!

    Normal People Translation: The Earth is warming because of power plants and SUVs. We’re all gonna die!!!

    Global Warming skeptics: the Global Climate Model is the numerical solution of a complex but purely deterministic set of nonlinear partial differential equations over a defined spatiotemporal grid, and no attempt is made to introduce any quantification of uncertainty into its construction.

    Normal People Translation: the global warming hysteria is based on really hard mathematics with a predetermined outcome because the numbers are half-baked without regard to the reality that unforeseen shit can and will happen.

  2. jccarlton says:

    Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    I’ve played with various computer models since I was 15 or so when when I ran the “limits model” on the high school’s minicomputer with punch tape feed and teletype output. I’ve done enough work to know that the model is terribly sensitive to the users use of boundary conditions and constraints. Computers are not oracles, just fancy calculating machines and treating them as oracles just screws things up.

  3. sth_txs says:

    Computer models do a fairly good of predicting the weather for about 3 days out and that’s about it. Making monumental changes on the basis of a climate model is ludicrous.

    Though it is Nova, this a good documentary about the data they are getting from satellites. I’d be surprised if any computer modeler could watch this and tell me that they can simulate all these aspects of ocean currents and atmosphere and the sun into an accurate prediction.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/earth-from-space.html

  4. Pingback: Climate “Science” Based Upon Computer Modeling Is Magic, Not A Science | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  5. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #222 | Watts Up With That?

  6. Paul Dellevigne says:

    I recently read an cogent posting. “The plural of anecdote is not data” Perhaps there could be a variant for this discussion. The singular of simulations will not be a fact.

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