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Into to Environmental Science: Week 2

by: Sadie Shelton

Into to Environmental Science: Week 2 ENSC 001

Marketplace > University of Vermont > Environmental Science > ENSC 001 > Into to Environmental Science Week 2
Sadie Shelton
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About this Document

This includes note for a hybrid class reading and video lecture.
Intro Environmental Sci
Nicholas P. Perdrial
Class Notes
ensc, ENSC 001, ENSC 1, Into to environmental science, week 2, hybrid class, Nico, UVM




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sadie Shelton on Thursday January 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENSC 001 at University of Vermont taught by Nicholas P. Perdrial in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Intro Environmental Sci in Environmental Science at University of Vermont.

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Date Created: 01/28/16
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 Hybrid Class 1: Scientific Method ENSC 001 The Fine Art of Baloney Detection - Many people seek out help from astrologists and psychics - Science deals with experimental results, data, observations, measurements - Skeptical thinking boils down to the means to construct, and to understand, a reasoned argument - Baloney detection kit — tools for critical thinking: • There must be independent confirmation of the facts • Arguments from authority carry little weight; there are no “authorities” in science, there are experts • Debate the evidence by knowledgeable people • Come up with more than one hypothesis - Don’t get too attached to a hypothesis because it is yours • Quantify • If there are multiple parts of a hypothesis — every part of the hypothesis must work for the entire hypothesis to work • Occam's Razor. - Rule-of-thumb: when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well, choose the simpler one • Always ask if the hypothesis, at least in principle, can be falsified - Hypothesis that can not be tested are not worth much - Carefully designed and recorded experiments - Control experiments are also key - Variables must be separated - “Double-blind” experiments sometimes must be done 1 Tuesday, January 26, 2016 • Anyone hoping for a certain outcome does not influence the results - We also need to know what not to do — many good examples come from religion and politics: • ad hominum — Latin for “to the man” attacking the arguer not the argument • Argument from authority • Argument from diverse consequences • Appeal to ignorance — claim that whatever has not been proved false must be true • Special pleading — to rescue a proposition that is in rhetorical trouble • Begging the question — assuming the answer • Observational selection — enumeration of favorable circumstances • Statistics of small numbers — a close relative of observational selection • Misunderstanding the nature of statistics • Inconsistency • non sequitur — latin for “it does not follow” • post hoc, ergo propter hoc — latin for “it happened after, so it was caused” • Meaningless question • Excluded middle, or false dichotomy — considering only the two extremes in a continuum of intermediate possibilities Short term vs long term — a subset of the excluded middle, but so important • • Slippery slope , related to excluded middle • Confusion or correlation and causation • Straw man — parodying a position to make it easier to attack • Suppressed evidence, or half truths • Weasel words - This tool kit helps to evaluate our arguments before we present them to others 2 Tuesday, January 26, 2016 Dr Richard Milne Video Lecture - Greatest problem that humanity has and will ever face - You do not need to be a scientist to see that climate change is caused by man and true - Politics is about one question: “What do we do?” - Science is about a different question: “What are the facts?” No ones opinion matters • - Politics should never affect science and scientific facts, but science should affect political decisions - Skeptic is there to question and check for mistakes Provides evidence! • • Tests theory - Denier is there to destroy public trust in the scientists to further their own gains • Ignore or attack scientific community • Convince the public by any means • Doesn't worry about evidence Denier Methods - Cherry Picking — looking for evidence to support their view point and ignore the rest • Good science approaches that anything is possible - Discredited Data - False Experts — people with no training in science who are paraded in front of the media - Tabloids call wolf not scientists — they are there to sell themselves - Logical Fallacies — Creating false correlation - Conspiracy 3 Tuesday, January 26, 2016 Consensus vs Mavericks - The Consensus believes the generally accepted theory or idea - Mavericks are like skeptics who believe in another theory or idea • A Maverick must act like a skeptic and not a denier to overturn the consensus • They must provide hard evidence and not just their opinion - Most Deniers are right wing — this is world wide 4 Thursday, January 28, 2016 Lecture 2: Flipped Class — Critical Thinking ENSC 001 Using the Baloney Kit & Critical Thinking: Chemtrails from plane - The government is using planes to spray chemicals into the air and control the weather. The trails planes leave behind is evidence to this. Arguments: 1. The persistence (lingering) of the clouds is new, started in 1995 • Disproving Experiment: look in pictures for the clouds before 1995 - There were contrails created by planes before 1995, first noticed during high- altitude flights in the 1920s 2. The patterns of the clouds are weird • Hypothesis: the patterns are made to create large clouds that will stop solar radiation and cool the earth’s surface 3. Pictures of planes • Pictures that are evidence that planes are modified to spray chemicals 4. Rain and water analysis • They say the water contains 6.8 ppm Barium, but the evidence they provide shows 68.8 micrograms/L which is actually 0.068 ppm - Incorrect math and conversions 5. Politicians and scientists deny it • This is a plot that would require worldwide collusion between government, scientists and airline companies and pilots to amass and spray unimaginable amounts of chemicals from altitudes of 10,000 meters or more 1 Thursday, January 28, 2016 What they didn’t do: • Spin more than 1 hypothesis • Try not to get overly attaches to a hypothesis • Quantify • Encourage substantive debate • Independent confirmation of the facts If there is a chain of arguments, every link must work • • Ask if the hypothesis can be falsified What they did: • Observational selection • Appeal to ignorance • Argument from authority • Statistics of small numbers • Confusion or correlation • Suppressed evidence • The patterns of clouds is weird 2


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