Sounds nice BUT ‘our opinions’? And the important thing is to keep asking questions of the evidence. Often, the decision to pursue self-interest puts that individual in a losing situation. First off, Crichton’s statement: “Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough.” — this is ridiculous. Many of the issues seem comparable to me. Rigorous questioning is how a solid foundation is formed, a foundation from which the next steps can be taken. It gets somewhat far afield from the subject here, but what’s usually missing from discussions of WMDs and Iraq is that what was being produced were threat assessments, not proofs. People were brought into conformity (quibbling all the way) to match the interests of an underlying agenda. In the 1920s in America, tens of thousands of people, mostly poor, were dying of a disease called pellagra. The level of proximity between the child and her environment is very high. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way. It was a consensus of "experts" that said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological and possibly nuclear. If people stop asking questions and challenging assumptions, power gathers and if we’re not careful we all could end up in some regrettable place (like Iraq) wondering which questions we forgot to ask before we agreed to consent to someone else’s explanations of the evidence. Writers such as Plato and Rousseau had stressed means of avoiding conflict by creating the ingredients for consensus. There has been some controversy in recent years over how “review articles” are put together. Climate Alarm- Where Does It Come From? On the contrary, consensus is what happens when the science IS solid enough. But in the climate field, and for multiproxy work in particular, I am really struck by the extaordinary prevalence of defects in the work of the most influential authors. And despite the constant ongoing deaths of women. Over time, most of the outliers whose views lie outside that consensus turn out to be wrong, and the consensus holds. We are very motivated to want to move with the crowd because we’ve been taught there’s safety in numbers. Skepticism is essential to science — consensus is foreign,” Lindzen said. (Again, that’s why I spend time reading Steve’s work.). Of course it’s the warming crowd who both rely on threat assessments (climate models) AND prevent the inspectors (Steve et. I think you’re right that a consensus isn’t worth much “in the absence of cold, hard, evidence that has been checked and audited and replicated,” and that’s what’s happening now. But the issues remain: science is subject to the forces of society, including the political apparatus that operates with and without the findings of science (or evidence, or reason, for that matter). Below are two false consensus examples: 1. Or do you follow the Crichton/Iraq example, and assume they must be wrong and do the opposite? For example, the opposing view of Functionalists and Marxists of the media. When he says science is the opposite of consensus he means it should avoid blind conformity in favor of the possibility of revised consensus based on new evidence. But sometimes facts change, or new ones emerge which may run counter to the paradigm. People experience the false-consensus effect in many areas of life, and the best-known example of this cognitive bias appears in a 1977 studyon the topic by Lee Ross and his colleagues. The reality is, teens may be different than their parents but they’re just the same as their friends. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner ‘I stand for consensus’?”, “¢’‚¬? How the heck do these scientists know anything? Ironing out the Buying Thought Process - influencePEOPLE, Don’t be so Quick to Restock that Shelf - influencePEOPLE, A Call to Lay Down Your Weapons of Influence - influencePEOPLE. Having said that, his point about “consensus” is interesting. Today I would like to take some time to explore the premise of Contingency Theory and how it relates to real-world situations. Has there been any attempt to amalgamate those into some “consensus view”? What is it? And power only wants more power. Then suppose they asked this IPCC to produce recommendations. Would you like Weekly Updates? For that reason, functionalism is viewed as a conservative perspective that supports the status quo. He demonstrated that the disease was not infectious by injecting the blood of a pellagra patient into himself, and his assistant. The consensus remained wedded to the germ theory. Is global warming real or not? I rely on a consensus of experts to tell me what the consensus is, but also to rigorously check that that consensus continues to be backed up by unimpeachable empirical data. The other is as a theory and practice of getting such agreements e.g. I mean flawed data. The Principle of Consensus tells us, when people are unsure how to act in certain situations, they tend to look to others to see how they should respond. I think Steve’s onto something far more useful here than Crichton – a specific critique of the process used in this case to come to our understanding of the majority of expert opinion, rather than the more general (and I would argue useless) critique that Crichton has offered, in which any appeal to consensus is automatically invalid ’cause that’s not how science works. Perhaps they don’t, but if so they have sure taken a funny way to reassure the public that they don’t have WM.. Your email address will not be published. 2. Research on a similar theory, explanatory style, has found that an individual's explanatory style people is linked to their health and levels of stress. […], […] – if there’s not. He … … There is no such thing as consensus science. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. This system includes a child’s parents and family, school, peer group, neighborhood, etc. These two theories are very much used in social sciences. (p.227), After months of effort, Karen Denne from Enron’s public relations office landed the big fish: CFO magazine had selected Fastow as one of the year’s best chief financial officers. I agree that merely being an outlier or bucking an establishment is no guarantee of success. I was merely suggesting that Crichton’s slab handed assessments of the nature of science are on the right track: if the paradigm fails to answer the question, and a better solution exists, then test your mettle and publish something. He himself says it this way: “Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough.” Agreed. (If you want a new plasma screen TV, maybe you should rethink your findings.) I would ask you, John: when you face a medical decision, do you attempt to see what the bulk of experts in the field say should be done and then follow that course of action? Attribution theory is concerned with how ordinary people explain the causes of behavior and events. Not until the 18th-century revolutionary tradition did the essential idea of conflict take center stage. Only when Marxist, anarchist and racialist theories began to develop in the middle of the 19th century did notions of conflict replace those of consen… It’s as significant as Copernican or Darwinian theory and must not be accepted as true based on the esoteric “knowledge” of a handful of scientists. One clue may be in the IPCC process itself. The consensus theory emphasizes that the social order is through the shared norms, and belief systems of people. So, all the conditions are satisfied for applying this theorem. Example-1. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigat… Two ways. Consensus decision-making. My impression is that many climatologists and climate researchers rarely provide an assertion either way in their papers. The question is what to do in these situations where most of the scientists working in a field believe “A,” while some handful say no, it’s “B.” If it’s black holes, we can all watch with patient amusement while they duke it out. And unlike Mr. Fleck, I don’t think Crichton’s words stray that far from what Kuhn was saying — or from what science history tells us. For millennia, human decisions are guided by interpretations of entrails, smoke, dreams, and the like; hundreds of generations of Chinese rely on the poetic wisdom and divination instructions compiled in the I Ching. Astute observation. Consensus is a condition that is both a necessity to the foundation of any field of science shared by more than one scientist and a contingency that should be revisable when evidence suggests as such. No consensuses are invoked, and I am encouraged to ask tough questions about its implications without anyone impugning my possible links to shadowy Newtonian thinktanks. Link. If so, does it matter how many scientists believe it? Steve. I don’t know if he’s right or not in his criticism of the consensus. There is no shortage of other examples. The outliers poke away at the inconsistencies. Nobody has seen e=mc^2 written as divine revelation, the stars did not move in the sky for some scientist, and read “e=mc^2.” Rather, scientists have performed a bunch of expirements that conform with our understanding: e=mc^2. Good. The best science is that which explains the most about the phenomenon in question (“To be accepted as a paradigm, a theory must seem better than its competitors, but it need not, and in fact never does, explain all the facts with which it can be confronted”). Please tell us all what a consensus of anything means in the absence of cold, hard, evidence that has been checked and audited and replicated. An attractive male comes along and asks the … But we should never say that we have access to fact, when all we have access to is consensus. I felt comfortable because people just like me (principle of consensus) thought highly of each model so I felt better and better about my potential Shark […], […] consensus – we look to others to see how we should behave in certain situations. (Well aimed Exocet for the wrong reasons). Consensus arises when there is uncertainty about something and a show of hands is required to resolve the issue. http://www.learn-usa.com/transformation_process/~consensus.htm, Meteorologist Likens Fear of Global Warming to ‘Religious Belief’ Yes, AGW is a fundamental paradigm change in science and has consequences for the whole of society. Sure. However, to accept a view without question, be that Crichton’s or theories of an impending ice age, is to ignore the practice of scientific inquiry (a hard won discipline, at that). The Principle of Consensus tells us, when people are unsure how to act in certain situations, they tend to look to others to see how they should respond.It makes me think about the old saying, “There’s safety in numbers.” For example, when making a major purchase on something we don’t know lots about, we just feel better when we know there have been many other satisfied customers. Its opposite, femininity, stands for a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life. When consensus does not exist, then communication becomes more … Cheers, Steve. It can be between people one is not even associated with. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. In inequality there is family, health, and property. But history has thrown up many examples of scientific consensuses that were wrong, and despite being wrong, continues to disregard and suppress the truth using political power. Also in terms on reliance on reports from large committees of climate scientists: think about other types of decision making. How was agreement developed? John (Fleck), I think that there’s a qualified compliment here and if so I appreciate it. However, palaentologists are what we call, with warm affection, “soft-rockers” and I suspect our geologist is unfamiliar with the JORC codes and other Corporate mandatory reporting requirements. We can perform experiments, and we can talk with people. The second way would be to share with them what people like them are doing. Or do you follow the Crichton/Iraq example, and assume they must be wrong and do the opposite? I suspect that the “science” that “proved” WMD as a “fact” was not in consensus. Thus the consensus took one hundred and twenty five years to arrive at the right conclusion despite the efforts of the prominent “skeptics” around the world, skeptics who were demeaned and ignored. With respect to science, the assumption behind the [alarmist] consensus is science is the source of authority and that authority increases with the number of scientists [who agree.] I’m not sure how adding another example of a case in which a consensus was wrong helps here. Thus the IPCC itself may be distorting the lens. The prisoner's dilemma refers to a situation, wherein an individual has to choose between self-interest and mutual interest. Was the WMD information subject to verification outside Langley or MI5 et al? If the Kyoto Protocol is actually about reducing climate change, why is it so ineffective? Consensus between scientists is built from evidence. has equally glaring defects, which I’m in the process of documenting. E=Mc^2 is not consensus – it is fact. 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