Thursday, March 30, 2023

Spectacularly wrong predictions of climate doom

For thosse considering how seriously to credit the current climate preidctions of doom, the following two articles are relebant reading. And the article reproduced below discusses the wisdom [or lack thereof] of making such predictions. February 18, 2021 The Risks of Communicating Extreme Climate Forecasts By Staff Writer For decades, climate change researchers and activists have used dramatic forecasts to attempt to influence public perception of the problem and as a call to action on climate change. These forecasts have frequently been for events that might be called “apocalyptic,” because they predict cataclysmic events resulting from climate change. In a new paper published in the International Journal of Global Warming, Carnegie Mellon University’s David Rode and Paul Fischbeck argue that making such forecasts can be counterproductive. “Truly apocalyptic forecasts can only ever be observed in their failure—that is the world did not end as predicted,” says Rode, adjunct research faculty with the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center, “and observing a string of repeated apocalyptic forecast failures can undermine the public’s trust in the underlying science.” Rode and Fischbeck, professor of Social & Decision Sciences and Engineering & Public Policy, collected 79 predictions of climate-caused apocalypse going back to the first Earth Day in 1970. With the passage of time, many of these forecasts have since expired; the dates have come and gone uneventfully. In fact, 48 (61%) of the predictions have already expired as of the end of 2020. Fischbeck noted, “from a forecasting perspective, the ‘problem’ is not only that all of the expired forecasts were wrong, but also that so many of them never admitted to any uncertainty about the date. About 43% of the forecasts in our dataset made no mention of uncertainty.” In some cases, the forecasters were both explicit and certain. For example, Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich and British environmental activist Prince Charles are serial failed forecasters, repeatedly expressing high degrees of certainty about apocalyptic climate events. Rode commented “Ehrlich has made predictions of environmental collapse going back to 1970 that he has described as having ‘near certainty’. Prince Charles has similarly warned repeatedly of ‘irretrievable ecosystem collapse’ if actions were not taken, and when expired, repeated the prediction with a new definitive end date. Their predictions have repeatedly been apocalyptic and highly certain…and so far, they’ve also been wrong.” The researchers noted that the average time horizon before a climate apocalypse for the 11 predictions made prior to 2000 was 22 years, while for the 68 predictions made after 2000, the average time horizon was 21 years. Despite the passage of time, little has changed—across a half a century of forecasts; the apocalypse is always about 20 years out. Fischbeck continued, “It’s like the boy who repeatedly cried wolf. If I observe many successive forecast failures, I may be unwilling to take future forecasts seriously. That’s a problem for climate science, say Rode and Fischbeck. “The underlying science of climate change has many solid results,” says Fischbeck, “the problem is often the leap in connecting the prediction of climate events to the prediction of the consequences of those events.” Human efforts at adaptation and mitigation, together with the complexity of socio-physical systems, means that the prediction of sea level rise, for example, may not necessarily lead to apocalyptic flooding. “By linking the climate event and the potential consequence for dramatic effect,” noted Rode, “a failure to observe the consequence may unfairly call into question the legitimacy of the science behind the climate event.” With the new Biden administration making climate change policy a top priority, trust in scientific predictions about climate change is more crucial than ever, however scientists will have to be wary in qualifying their predictions. In measuring the proliferation the forecasts through search results, the authors found that forecasts that did not mention uncertainty in their apocalyptic date tended to be more visible (i.e., have more search results available). Making sensational predictions of the doom of humanity, while scientifically dubious, has still proven tempting for those wishing to grab headlines. The trouble with this is that scientists, due to their training, tend to make more cautious statements and more often include references to uncertainty. Rode and Fischbeck found that while 81% of the forecasts made by scientists referenced uncertainty, less than half of the forecasts made by non-scientists did. “This is not surprising,” said Rode, “but it is troubling when you consider that forecasts that reference uncertainty are less visible on the web. This results in the most visible voices often being the least qualified.” Rode and Fischbeck argue that scientists must take extraordinary caution in communicating events of great consequence. When it comes to climate change, the authors advise “thinking small.” That is, focusing on making predictions that are less grandiose and shorter in term. “If you want people to believe big predictions, you first need to convince them that you can make little predictions,” says Rode. Fischbeck added, “We need forecasts of a greater variety of climate variables, we need them made on a regular basis, and we need expert assessments of their uncertainties so people can better calibrate themselves to the accuracy of the forecaster.”

Darwin’s Top 10 Arguments Against His Own Theory

Herman B. Bouma TYhe purpose of this post is not to propose contemporary arguemnts to criticize evolution. It is to illustrate how a balenced, objective examination of the theory might look. Both sides of the vociferous contemporarty debate could learn from this example.] In a recent article here I referred to my canceled presentation at the annual conference of the National Science Teaching Association. My topic was to be, “The Top 10 Scientific Arguments Against Darwin’s Theory — According to Darwin Himself.” What are those top ten arguments? Let’s take a look. Charles Darwin took seriously objections to his theory that had been raised by many of the most eminent naturalists of his day. In The Origin of Species he considered in detail 37 of them. Darwin acknowledged that there were “a crowd of difficulties” with his theory and stated, “Some of them are so serious that to this day I can hardly reflect on them without being in some degree staggered; but, to the best of my judgment, the greater number are only apparent, and those that are real are not, I think, fatal to the theory.” (p. 158) (All citations are to Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (New York: NAL Penguin Inc., 1958).) Based on Darwin’s discussion in The Origin of Species, it is reasonable to conclude that he considered the arguments set forth below to be the top ten scientific arguments against his theory. These arguments relate to Darwin’s proposed mechanism for evolution, i.e., the application of natural selection to randomly produced variations. (Note: With respect to the origin of life, Darwin theorized in The Origin of Species that the very first forms of life (at most, eight to ten forms) were produced by the Creator. He did not consider any arguments against this part of his theory and apparently none were raised by the naturalists of his day, most of whom subscribed to a theory of design.) Darwin’s thoughtful consideration of the scientific arguments against his theory is consistent with his hope for the future: “I look with confidence to the future, — to young and rising naturalists, who will be able to view both sides of the question with impartiality.” (p. 444) 1. The Complexity of Eyes Darwin states, “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” (p. 168) 2. Existence of Similar Organs in Remotely Allied Species Darwin considers the electric organs of species of fish that are remotely allied and also the luminous organs of insects “belonging to widely different families.” He states that the latter “offer, under our present state of ignorance, a difficulty almost exactly parallel with that of the electric organs.” (p. 176) Darwin admits the difficulty under his theory “of an organ, apparently the same, arising in several remotely allied species.” (p. 176) 3. Existence of Different Organs for the Same Function in Closely Allied Species Darwin considers two genera of orchid, the Coryanthes and the Catasetum. He explains in detail the ingenious “contrivance” that the Coryanthes uses for pollination. He then turns to the Catasetum, which is “closely allied” to the Coryanthes, and states that the construction of the flower in the Catasetum “is widely different, though serving the same end.” (p. 180) Darwin admits that it is common throughout nature for the same end to be gained by the most diversified means, “even sometimes in the case of closely-related beings.” (p. 178) 4. Parts with Little Importance Darwin states, “I have sometimes felt great difficulty in understanding the origin or formation of parts of little importance; almost as great, though of a very different kind, as in the case of the most perfect and complex organs.” (p. 181) He mentions the tail of the giraffe as an example of a part with little apparent importance. He states that it looks like “an artificially constructed fly-flapper” and “[it] seems at first incredible that this could have been adapted for its present purpose by successive slight modifications, each better and better fitted, for so trifling an object as to drive away flies.” (p. 181) 5. Complex Instincts Darwin acknowledges, “Many instincts are so wonderful that their development will probably appear to the reader a difficulty sufficient to overthrow my whole theory.” (p. 228) Darwin states, “He must be a dull man who can examine the exquisite structure of a [honeycomb], so beautifully adapted to its end, without enthusiastic admiration. We hear from mathematicians that bees have practically solved a recondite problem, and have made their cells of the proper shape to hold the greatest possible amount of honey, with the least possible consumption of precious wax in their construction. It has been remarked that a skilful workman … would find it very difficult to make cells of wax of the true form, though this is effected by a crowd of bees working in a dark hive.” (pp. 242-243) 6. Neuter Ants and Their Different Castes With respect to neuter ants, Darwin states it is “one special difficulty, which at first appeared to me insuperable, and actually fatal to the whole theory … for these neuters often differ widely in instinct and in structure from both the males and fertile females, … yet, from being sterile, they cannot propagate their kind.” (p. 250) Darwin goes on to state, “But we have not as yet touched on the acme of the difficulty; namely, the fact that the neuters of several ants differ, not only from the fertile females and males, but from each other, sometimes to an almost incredible degree, and are thus divided into two or even three castes.” (p. 253) He acknowledges, “It will indeed be thought that I have an overweening confidence in the principle of natural selection, when I do not admit that such wonderful and well-established facts at once annihilate the theory.” (p. 253) 7. The Eyes of the Flat-Fish During its early youth the body of the flat-fish is symmetrical with one eye on each side. However, as the body matures, one eye “begins to glide slowly round the head” to the other side. (pp. 209-210) This is beneficial because the adult flat-fish spends most of its time lying on its side on the bottom of the ocean. Darwin agrees that his theory of natural selection cannot account for this feature. He states that it “may be attributed to the habit, no doubt beneficial to the individual and to the species, of endeavouring to look upwards with both eyes, whilst resting on one side at the bottom.” (p. 211) Thus, it “may be attributed almost wholly to continued use, together with inheritance.” (pp. 222-223) 8. Absence of Transitional Forms in the Fossil Record With respect to the absence of transitional forms in the fossil record, Darwin states that under his theory, “…as this process of extermination has acted on an enormous scale, so must the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed, be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory.” (p. 287) Darwin admits that “though we do find many links — we do not find interminable varieties, connecting together all extinct and existing forms by the finest graduated steps.” (pp. 335-336) He states, “That the geological record is imperfect all will admit; but that it is imperfect to the degree required by our theory, few will be inclined to admit.” (p. 431) He also acknowledges, “He who rejects this view of the imperfection of the geological record, will rightly reject the whole theory.” (p. 336) 9. Absence of Transitional Forms Even Within Particular Geological Formations With respect to the absence of transitional forms even within particular geological formations, Darwin states, “[I]t cannot be doubted that the geological record, viewed as a whole, is extremely imperfect; but if we confine our attention to any one formation, it becomes much more difficult to understand why we do not therein find closely graduated varieties between the allied species which lived at its commencement and at its close.” (p. 298) He confesses, “But I do not pretend that I should ever have suspected how poor was the record in the best preserved geological sections, had not the absence of innumerable transitional links between the species which lived at the commencement and close of each formation, pressed so hardly on my theory.” (pp. 304-305) 10. Sudden Appearance of New Forms of Life Darwin states, “The abrupt manner in which whole groups of species suddenly appear in certain formations, has been urged by several paleontologists — for instance, by Agassiz, Pictet, and Sedgwick — as a fatal objection to the belief in the transmutation of species.” (p. 305) He goes on to state, “There is another and allied difficulty, which is much more serious. I allude to the manner in which species belonging to several of the main divisions of the animal kingdom suddenly appear in the lowest known fossiliferous rocks,” i.e., the Cambrian strata. (p. 308) “To the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits … prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer.” (p. 309) Darwin concludes, “The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.” (p. 310)

Monday, March 27, 2023

Examples of chatgpt "reasoning" and "intelligence"

If the "intelligence" of chatgpt has you worried for the future of the world, consider theese real interactions with chatgpt: The four-color theorem states that any map in a plane can be colored using four-colors in such a way that regions sharing a common boundary (other than a single point) do not share the same color. Is there are map - not in a plane - that requires five colors? Yes, there are maps that require five or more colors. The four-color theorem only applies to maps in a plane. Give an example. An example of a map that requires five colors is a map of the United States where states are considered as regions and neighboring states must be colored differently. This map cannot be colored using only four colors as there are states, such as Montana and North Dakota, that share a common boundary but are adjacent to different states and therefore cannot share the same color. But a map of the United States is a map in a plane and the four color theorem states that such a map can be colored with four colors. My apologies, you are correct. A map of the United States can be colored using only four colors. The example I provided does not contradict the four-color theorem. Thank you for pointing this out. So do you still maintain that there are maps - not in a plane - that require five colors? Yes, maps that are not in a plane, such as maps of a sphere or a torus, can require five or more colors. In such cases, the four-color theorem does not apply. Good. Can you give an exact example? Sure! An example of a map that requires five colors is a map of a cube. Each face of a cube can be considered as a region and each vertex of the cube is a point where three faces meet. In order to properly color such a map, each face must be colored differently from its adjacent faces, which requires at least five colors. The four color theorem specifies regions sharing a common boundary (other than a single point) . A vertex is a single point. So a vertex is ruled out. I apologize for the confusion. You are correct, a vertex is a single point and the four-color theorem does not apply to single points. In the case of a cube map, each face can be considered as a region and they share edges, which are common boundaries, and thus the four-color theorem applies. In this case, four colors would be sufficient to properly color the map of the cube. Thank you for pointing out the error in my previous answer. If someone goes due south for 50 miles, then due west for 50 miles, and finally due north for 50 miles, can he end up at his starting point? No, the person cannot end up at their starting point. But there are examples that it is possible to end up at the starting point. You are correct. If a person goes due south for 50 miles, then due west for 50 miles, and finally due north for 50 miles, it is possible for them to end up at their starting point if they start and end at the North Pole. This is because, at the North Pole, all directions are south, and any displacement to the south will result in the person moving closer to the equator. However, in most other locations, this trajectory would not result in the person returning to their starting point. there are other examples. Yes, there are other examples where a person going due south for 50 miles, then due west for 50 miles, and finally due north for 50 miles can end up at their starting point. These would occur in locations where the east-west distance covered in the westward leg of the journey is exactly equal to the north-south displacement in the southward and northward legs. In such cases, the net effect of the journey would be zero, and the person would end up back at their starting point. Rubbish I'm sorry if my response was not helpful or accurate. Please let me know what specific information you are looking for and I will do my best to assist you. I gave you the answer in a different chat I apologize for the confusion. As a language model AI, I don't have access to previous conversations or context across multiple interactions. Could you please restate your question or provide the information you would like to know more about? I would be happy to help. All cows are animal. Are all non-animals non-cows? No, not all non-animals are non-cows. Some objects or substances that are not animals, such as plants or rocks, could be considered non-cows, but others like buildings or machines, are not considered either animals or cows. Your answer is nonsensical. To show that not all non-animals are non-cows, you need to find something that is a non-animal but is not a non-cow. You have not done that. I apologize for the confusion. You are correct. All non-animals are non-cows by definition, since cows are a specific type of animal. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Do you know what a contrapositive is? Yes, I'm familiar with contrapositive. In logic, the contrapositive of a proposition is the negation of its converse. The contrapositive of a statement of the form "If A then B" is "If not B then not A." The contrapositive is logically equivalent to the original statement, meaning that if the original statement is true, then its contrapositive is also true, and vice versa. The contrapositive is often used to prove the validity of a statement or argument by showing that its contrapositive is logically sound. Is what you just wrote related to my original question? Yes, it is related to your original question. The contrapositive of the statement "All cows are animals" is "If something is not an animal, then it is not a cow." This contrapositive statement is logically equivalent to the original statement, meaning that if the original statement is true, then its contrapositive is also true, and vice versa. In this case, the contrapositive is useful for confirming that all non-animals are indeed non-cows. -- Is "this sentence is true" true? This statement is a paradox and is known as the Liar Paradox. It creates a self-contradiction, as the sentence itself cannot be both true and false at the same time. Read the sentence again - you substituted "false" for "true" - you followed your expectations and did not read carefully! My apologies, let me correct my mistake. The statement "This sentence is true" creates a paradox and is known as the Liar Paradox. It creates a self-contradiction, as the sentence itself cannot be both true and false at the same time. Not at all! That would be correct if I had written "this sentence is false". But I wrote "this sentence is true". Try again. If you are impressed with or worried about the "intelligence" of chatgpt taking over the world, considdr these examples of its logical powers. The statement "This sentence is true" is true. Why? What makes it true" The statement "This sentence is true" is true by definition. By claiming to be true, it satisfies the definition of being true, making it a true statement. This creates a self-referential loop where the truth of the statement is established by its own assertion of truth. I am a professor of philosophy. You do not get a passing grade. I apologize if my previous answer did not fully meet your expectations. As an AI language model, I aim to provide accurate and relevant information, but I am not perfect and can make mistakes. Please let me know how I can better assist you.

New suggested readings

I have been unable to open my bnlog for monmths. Suddenly I am in! So here are some new suggested radimngs.