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Skeptical Science Educates My Students

Posted on 21 May 2011 by ProfMandia

A guest post by Professor Scott Mandia, reposted from Global Warming: Man or Myth?

I teach MET295 – Global Climate Change to first and second year community college students.  MET295 is a three credit lecture course that serves as a science elective for the general student population.  Basic high school algebra is the only prerequisite.  (See the course outline.)

I used John Cook’s SkepticalScience.com as the student resource for this semester’s research papers.  As you will see from the four example papers highlighted on this blog, information found at SkepticalScience.com is accessible to the typical college student and likely to the general public.

The assignment:

Each student was randomly assigned a topic from Skeptic Arguments & What The Science Says.

Students were asked to carefully study all the information appearing in the Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced tabs.

Students were required to summarize, in their own words, the information learned from researching the topic.  Students were also encouraged to use other resources, especially course notes, to help them complete the paper.  Students were to use proper APA Citation Style formatting within the content (parenthetical citing) and in a Works Cited page appearing as the last page.

I asked all students to please refer to the Term Paper Grading Rubric to maximize their final paper grades.

Sample of Four Student Papers Debunking Skeptic Arguments:

Skeptic Argument: Antarctic Is Gaining Ice debunked by Angela Flanagan

Skeptic Argument: Oceans are Cooling debunked by Ryan Maloney

Skeptic Argument: Hurricanes are not Linked to Global Warming debunked by Nick Panico

Skeptic Argument: IPCC is Alarmist debunked by Jason Quilty

Note: Each of these students gave me permission to post their papers and names on this blog.

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Comments 51 to 100 out of 116:

  1. Our science faculty of 10 (2 PhD's, 1 PhD pending, and 6 more teachers holding a combined 9 Master of Science degrees) is a very intelligent and experienced group. All of the teachers (including me) believe that humans do have an effect on the environment, and that the climate is warming. However, only one (Honors Chemistry and Honors Physics)believes that the influence humans have on climate change could be called significant. None of us believe that any human induced or human influenced climate change presents any case for alarm or legislated action to prevent or mitigate possible changes. In my interactions with other science instructors at the Middle School, High School, College, and Post-Graduate levels, what I stated in the above two paragraphs generally holds true. Interestingly more of the faculties outside the field of science support a pro-AGW theory than the science faculties. Even our textbooks (2009 editions) are not fully committed to supporting the AGW theory.
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  2. apirate said: "Instead of "controversial", a better word choice would have been "polarizing"." Yes. Perhaps an even better word would be "emotional". I had a student once that mentioned to me that she didn't like what she was hearing in her human anthro (and my) class. After class she described how she could almost see how plants could evolve, and possibly even animals, but humans? No way. One thing I have observed with many students is that the closer the science gets to us (humans) the more emotional the response. The problem with most human beliefs is that if they were not originally arrived at through an evidence based process, there is often no way in which evidence can change someone's mind. The difference between moral intuition as opposed to moral reasoning is instructive in this regard. For example, we automatically "know" what is right and wrong using our evolved moral intuitions (which can be observed to some extent even in other primates) but we then later seek to justify those intuitions through subsequent moral (post hoc) reasoning, often without any understanding the evolutionary reasons for the original intuition. I see a lot of this type of behavior in climate science discussions which is I think why the nonexpert positions often seem to divide on ideological (intuitive) grounds, but are then argued on "science" grounds (the post hoc reasoning point discussed above). The problem again of course is that if the decision was originally arrived at on the basis of an emotional/ideological intuition (it's bad for the economy, too many regulations, loss of national autonomy, etc.) there is little that science can do to change ones mind. The public controversy (or polarization if you will) of evolutionary science is indeed another excellent example of this behavior since I suspect most people who do not accept evolutionary science do so for what are ultimately moral reasons (if we are decended from animals then we'll act like animals, if the bible is not literally true then we can't trust any of it,, etc.), but argue instead about the "science" (where are the transitional fossils, radioisotope dating isn't reliable, etc.) I just saw your comment on your faculty polling. The humanities are often more politically progressive than the sciences so for non experts in climate science, that alone might explain your observation there, but I hope you realize that textbooks are always playing catch up to the science, not the other way around! Would you tell us what school you teach at?
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  3. apiratelooksat50 @ 51 (hmmm...just noticed the irony there) Re your poll... That's funny. I'm having a hard time thinking of a single colleague out of hundreds who doesn't think humans are the primary cause behind the recent warming. Almostall think there is a high likelihood of significant impacts from continued warming in the future. I have worked at a three tier one research universities in the US and have worked in Europe and Canada as well, and I go to meetings regularly, so it not like I'm out of touch. Not sure what's going on in the local high schools in my area, but it would be easy and interesting to find out. High school curricula often plays catch up in these fast breaking areas. I remember my first year in college finding out that a lot of what I learned in high school was off the mark according to more recent research. As for debating, there are legitimate reasons for them in class. I have done them myself. The lesson just can't end there. The discussion about the differences between arguing as an advocate in such a defined forum and conducting research and evaluating evidence as part of the scientific community should be made clear.
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  4. apiratelooksat50 at 04:02 AM on 23 May, 2011 It is a very compelling assertion. I assume your group is not just handwaving, but have actually specific objections to the AGW scientific basis. My suggestion: take a few of these objections and describe them on the relevant thread here at SkS. This way the interaction can be much more productive.
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  5. #51 apiratelooksat50 at 04:02 AM on 23 May, 2011: This is a great example of how even very intelligent people can be so confused because they have failed to follow the literature. I highly suggest that your uninformed colleagues visit: http://americasclimatechoices.org/panelscience.shtml
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  6. chris1204 Learning about how science progresses is really important, and I wish the history and philosophy of science I've studied was more available and known. That background can inform further thinking considerably, IMO. But - learning actual physics is not the place for the history of physics. And it's certainly not the place for presenting discredited or out of date hypotheses (like ether) on an equal footing with what we consider correct.
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  7. John Donovan - Your class on "Weird Science" sounds fantastic - my compliments on presenting such a wonderful experience to your students.
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  8. JD @ 52 You are spot on on your observation about emotions beginning to rule the closer it gets to humans. I have had the same experience time and time again. The statement, "I didn't come from a monkey!" is what I often hear. I respond by saying, "I never said you came from a monkey. But, you do share a common ancestor with a monkey." Your observations on how people arrive at their opinions on the AGW issue is also very interesting. That could go to great lengths explaining the divide between liberalism and conservatism and their stances on this issue (and others). I teach at a very large public high school in the American south. Our school district has 3 high schools, and our county has at least 10 high schools with which we regularly interact with other faculty members. And, of course we see many more during the summer in our continuing education courses. Interestingly, of the two universities I work with the most in getting CEUs or placing students, one has 18,000 students and is just up the road. The various science departments at that school are heavily slanted towards support of the AGW theory. However, the faculty at the state university of about 30,000 students generally leans toward support of natural causes of GW. There exist somewhere a survey conducted at all the state colleges on this subject and I will see if I can find it. Neither school is religious based or labeled liberal or conservative. I have an idea on the difference, but I am interested in hearing your opinion first.
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  9. Barnes @ 53 I can't tell you why there is a difference between my experiences and yours. I'm sure we are both being honest. I would like to see a formal poll on the matter. And, point taken on your last paragraph. We do exactly that.
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  10. ProfMandia @ 55, With all due respect, how about links to sites that are relatively neutral on their stance where merely the science is shown? I would never tell my students to only get their information from either SkepSci, or WUWT. I teach 3 classes of a fairly technical level Environmental Science class, 2 of College Prep Biology and 1 of Honors Chemistry. As you know, there are certain things that students of different abilities can do. With my Honors Chemistry class (regardless of the subject) I make sure I supply them with various sites for their research, and they invariably find others which are added to our list. They at least have the opportunity to see all sources of information.
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  11. apiratr #60 - with all due respect, again you seem to favor teaching the controversy to teaching the science. A "neutral" stance is not always a correct one. For example, if I were teaching a biology class, I would refer my students to websites which examine the science behind evolutionary theory, not websites with "neutral" stances which also present Creationist arguments. Same for flat Earthers, those who think the Earth is the center of the universe, or only 6,000 years old, etc. Some arguments are just wrong and have no place in a science class because they are not based on scientific evidence.
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  12. Apirat @60 I'm actually interested in what specific part or section of skeptical science you think is not scientifically founded? As Dana points out, taking a position on an issue is not, in and of itself, a sign of being slanted in a scientific sense. Is there a post or a section that you think seems to not reflect a proper summary or evaluation of the evidence?
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  13. I tell my students to be strongly selective for their sources, expecially on the internet.
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  14. apiratelooksat50, Can you find a "skeptical" site that you consider to demonstrate good science? Just one? One that demonstrates the science in a balanced way, with no games, no tricks, no misrepresentations, no blatant falsehoods? If you find one, let me know. If you can't... that sort of says something, doesn't it?
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  15. Apiratelooksat50 - what appears to be missing from your comments is your self-knowledge that as a personal denier of global warming, you are deeply biased in your presentations to your students. Thus your first attempt is "controversy" - when there is none. Even "polarizing" is not particularly correct. There are those who go where the science leads them (even if it is uncomfortable) and those who continue to find controversy and polarization where none exists. The problem, of course, is that your students suffer. Teach reality, not your own personal anti-science prejudices (as you have previously shared here on skepticalscience).
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  16. apiratelooksat50 at 07:36 AM on 23 May, 2011 "....The various science departments at that school are heavily slanted towards support of the AGW theory. However, the faculty at the state university of about 30,000 students generally leans toward support of natural causes of GW. " Seems a little perverse to me. Does the state uni have science departments? Can you tell us which State you're referring to? I'd be interested in looking at the publications of the relevant science faculty. There's really little question that 20th century and contemporary global warming is dominated by anthropogenic contributions. It's not a subject that there is much doubt about. The last century has seen a truly massive amount of excess energy in the climate system, and there simply isn't any sensible evidence for natural causes (which "natural causes"?). The enhanced energy must be the result of an external forcing, and there simply isn't another possible source for this. So if an entire uni faculty have come to some contrary collective decision on this, there's something a little skew-whiff!
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  17. apiratelooksat50 Do you consider to be adequate to teach students about HIV being the cause of AIDS, including the ways to avoid infection, or would you prefer a "balanced" approach? A Dr. Gallo and a Dr. Duesberg say the HIV-hypothesis is a hoax, and AZT is in fact the cause of the disease. Should teachers go for this "balance"? Why?
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  18. And is the "skeptical" opinion of the students based on published scientific research - or on what they have read on some pseudo-skeptic website? The problem here is that high-school students do not have skills, nor domain knowledge to sort out the lies on such sites, even with skepsci to help them because they cannot evaluate conflicting sources of information. It will come down to a "trust" issue and that will likely follow the beliefs of their "tribe".
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  19. You know, back when I was doing my Year 12 (c1990), we were taught about Anthropogenic Global Warming-in our Chemistry & Physics Class-in a very matter-of-fact way. No polarization, no controversy, it was just taught as a logical outgrowth of basic chemistry (CxHx + O2 = CO2 + H2O) & the physics of the C=O bond in relation to absorption of Infrared Radiation. The same goes with Genetics & Evolution. Judging from apirate's comments, though, the current crop of teachers seem to think its "cool" to cast doubt on the basic science by allowing debate of even the most crack-pot ideas, or to otherwise allow their personal bias to influence how the teach. That might be acceptable in subjects like Drama, English or Music-which are open to subjectivity & opinion, but not subjects like Maths, Physics, Biology or Chemistry.
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  20. KR @ 56: Oddly enough, ether, or aether is coming back into fashion in modern physics known variously as Dark Matter or Quintessence. Maybe rumours of Aristotle's demise are somewhat premature.
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    Response:

    [DB] Fixed html.

  21. Chris, I am lost or puzzled. In what way is dark matter puzzle in physics related to ether theory in physics? This isnt a connection that I can see.
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  22. apirate said: "Interestingly, of the two universities I work with the most in getting CEUs or placing students, one has 18,000 students and is just up the road. The various science departments at that school are heavily slanted towards support of the AGW theory. However, the faculty at the state university of about 30,000 students generally leans toward support of natural causes of GW. There exist somewhere a survey conducted at all the state colleges on this subject and I will see if I can find it. Neither school is religious based or labeled liberal or conservative. " These conclusions of yours are based on this state survey you mentioned previously? By "faculty" do you mean the non-expert faculty? Again I would assume that non-expert opinion would generally follow along ideological lines much as public opinion does. A recent Gallup survey published April 22, 2011 has the US opinion at 34% attributing global warming to humans and 47% attributing it to natural causes (these numbers are somewhat reversed in Asian and other developed countries). Since the faculty at most US schools are usually more progressive than the general public that would explain part of your observations. However, the fact that you claim the faculty at these two schools are so different suggests an unusual ideological mix at the other school to cause such a pronounced divergence. But I would be very surprised if the climate science (and even the general earth science) faculty at either school would be generally opposed to the scientific consensus on this (or any other) field of study. Do you have a breakdown by fields of study? Was the survey only on climate issues or also other fields of science inquiry as well? Can you provide a link to the survey data you base your conclusions on? Or at least supply the names of the two state schools so we can research this ourselves? The academic survey data I have seen (Doran and Zimmerman, 2009 for example) showed that 97% of climate scientists agreed with statements that attributed human causes to global warming, which dropped to 82% for all earth scientists with meteorologists at 67% and economic geologists agreement at 47% (which brings to mind Upton Sinclair's observation that which is paraphrased something along the lines of "it is difficult to get a man to understand a proposition if his salary depends on him not understanding it". But the phrase that struck me most of all in your response was the statement "The various science departments at that school are heavily slanted towards support of the AGW theory." I find that wording itself "heavily slanted". How can the faculty be "heavily slanted" if they agree with the current expert scientific consensus? Would we not expect that a science faculty agrees with current scientific expertise? Would you also describe the science faculty there as "heavily slanted" towards evolutionary theory? I find your wording most problematic. Please share the survey data with us as I would be most interested to understand why one college in your area (even considering it is in the southern US!) is noticeably outside the scientific mainstream on any field of science. I can't provide an opinion without more data.
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  23. scaddenp @ 71: Maybe this link will help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintessence_%28physics%29 However, I was being tongue in cheek.
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  24. Missed the tongue in cheek - nothing to do with ether theory.
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  25. "However, the faculty at the state university of about 30,000 students generally leans toward support of natural causes of GW." The science faculty? The basis for such a statement would be very interesting. Frankly, I would expect science departments of all varieties to support the view of published science. If it doesn't, then sounds like your country is utterly stuffed. The typical "skeptic" scientist is someone from outside climate science who has "gone emeritus". This isnt too unusual - look at Pauli and Hoyle - but finding an instance of such folk being actually right is whole lot tougher. Examples anyone?
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  26. Sorry, I can't get the link to work. However, if you trawl through the Wikipedia entries on Quintessence and Dark Matter, you'll find references to the ether of early classical physics (not the same thing but nevertheless we see some evidence of recycling of an ancient concept). After all, leeches are now all the rage in some fields of medicine today (but of course, they're bred in aseptic settings).
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  27. 76 - Chris: Totally off topic, but that is a cheep bit of philosopause you're doing there. Quintessence is not re-cycling of an ancient concept, but an ancient name - indeed, in a tongue-in-cheek way. Nor (re 70) is Quintessence identical with Dark Energy - it's a mathematical formulation of a kind of scalar field which may be a candidate for modeling dark energy. I wouldn't bother mentioning it; but this is exactly the kind of woolly reasoning that crops up in "skeptical" arguments - like "well, the sun produces heat so much be responsible for GW", in which folks don't appreciate the details and the degree to which these things are quantifiable can calculable.
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  28. Dear les and scaddenp The world comprises two groups of people - those who appreciate my sense of humour and those who don't. Admittedly, there might just happen to be other ways of classifying people but let's not go there :-) Oh well, I'll have to pick my audience more carefully next time.
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  29. 78 Chris: I did appreciated the humor of 70 and, even more so, your other weird takes on the history of physics and philosophy... but 'repeating' a witticism (76) seems to indicate that it is you who are taking your ideas seriously! But, yes, the appropriate audience may, indeed, be amongst the more easily impressed.
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  30. apiratelooksat50,
    The various science departments at that school are heavily slanted towards support of the AGW theory. However, the faculty at the state university of about 30,000 students generally leans toward support of natural causes of GW.
    And what does this tell you? The people who are qualified to make the call (i.e. that understand and respect the science) are "heavily slanted" towards accepting AGW. The rest don't want to believe, and don't have the foundation in the sciences which would force them to accept the truth, so they rather casually refute it. I say "casually" because I know that if they understood it, or even talked to the science department, they would not hold the position on the issue that claim. I think it's your job to teach science, not your own interpretation of the science. So far, actual climate scientists (that whole 97 of 100 thing) say "AGW," and the science departments at your nearby university say "AGW. The English and history and art teachers all say "natural," and the uneducated student body says "natural," and you say "natural", and then you present that as a "balanced" position to your own students (and probably with more than a little "hint" in your voice, because you agree with the English teachers and the uneducated college students). Where are you failing in this picture? No one who understands the sciences has doubts about this. If you honestly have doubts, then you don't understand the science. If you are a science teacher, that's unacceptable. Comment less and study more, pirate.
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  31. Shucks, les, and here I was taking you seriously all this time. Win some, lose some.
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  32. 81 - Chris. It's a little difficult. the SkS site isn't a bulliten board or such. There's no 'like' button and chat / off topic meanderings is largely not appreciated... so people may not reply or respond to all your posts. Could be the best place for your contributions re: Aristotle, physics etc. would be FaceBook?
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  33. Alas, dear les, I never expected my humble offerings to get so much attention.
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  34. Don't worry Chris, I'm not typical ... they probably haven't got that much attention overall.
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  35. Dana @ 61 "For example, if I were teaching a biology class..." But, you're not. I am. I have to teach to the curriculum standards because we have state mandated end of course testing. We never see the exam prior to handing it to our students, and the testing is monitored. Now you will just have to take my word on this because I can't supply you the evidence due to privacy concerns, but my students routinely score at the top levels as compared to their peers in our school, district, region and state. As a matter of fact, my Tech Prep students can match up against a lot of College Prep students. However, I am not so concerned about those numbers, as long as when my students leave me at the end of the year knowing how to "think" logically. So, if a kid comes to me and has a strong fundamentalist religious background and believes in Creationism - I tell them fine, but you still have to demonstrate your case to me and the class during your required presentation in a logical, scientific manner. During explorations of various topics, I've yet to see a faith-based site trump a science-based site, but I have seen the reverse happen.
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  36. Harry Seaward @85, if a student presents you an assignment arguing for creationism, then it is not possible that they have argued in a logical manner based on the evidence. The evidence for evolution is not weak, and any body who believes the scientific evidence supports creationism has either misrepresented the evidence, cherry picked evidence, or failed to treat the evidence in a logical and scientific manner. Most probably they have done all three. If you cannot detect that, and fail to mark down their selective argumentation, or logical fallacies, you have no place teaching biology. Much the same can be said about teaching climate science. If a student thinks they can show the Earth's temperatures have not risen, that the greenhouse effect does not exist, or that humans have not caused the large recent increase in CO2 levels, they should fail the course for they have either not understood the content, or failed to apply scientific thinking to that content. The should fail for exactly the same reason a student who exits a course on Newtonian dynamics and gravitation should fail if they still think "what comes up must come down" or that there exists an inertial force.
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  37. I teach at a public high school in the south and I find it impossible to believe Pirates claim, that the majority of his students at a public school in the US South would believe the theory of evolution. Many students do not believe the Theory of Evolution, but will not state their beliefs to a science teacher they do not trust. A more likely explaination would be that Pirate reaches incorrect conclusions in his informal surveys. Pirate has previously posted his students on line surveys which reflect his (Pirates) opinions, so his claims to be teaching how to think independently are falsified by his students work. As others have pointed out, how can Pirate be claiming to be teaching science when he does not teach what the National Academy of Science says about the subject? Perhaps he has a better authority on science? Who?
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  38. Harry Seaward: So, if a kid comes to me and has a strong fundamentalist religious background and believes in Creationism - I tell them fine, but you still have to demonstrate your case to me and the class during your required presentation in a logical, scientific manner. Interesting. Could you give us an example of a "logical, scientific" argument for the Earth being, say, 6,000 years old? Sphaerica: Comment less and study more, pirate. Pirate was trumpeting his informal survey of the faculty at his unnamed school months ago; despite all the resources for self-education he's fortunate enough to have, he still seems to feel that his casual exercise trumps actual scientific data. It's kind of sad to see someone with so many opportunities to learn, and so little interest in making the most of them. To me, what Harry and Pirate both indicate is that too many Americans apply a sort of libertarian property-rights doctrine to personal opinion, so that correction becomes something akin to trespassing or theft. In the real world, of course, some people are actually just wrong, and the "willful" part of willful ignorance is the problem, rather than a mitigating factor.
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  39. Phila, Yes. My main point is that Pirate's predilection for believing in his own version of the science, rather than science's version of the science, is that as a science teacher he is then imposing his ignorance on pupil after pupil, year after year. He needs to hold himself to a much higher standard. Being part of the crowd (and jumping off the bridge because Johnny did it, too) is unacceptable. I don't care how many thousands of people he thinks believe the GW is natually caused. It doesn't matter. He's a science teacher. If he's going to express any opinion or knowledge of the subject whatsoever to his students, he owes it to them, his school, his school's townspeople, and all of the rest of us to understand what he's talking about before he says a word. And if what he believes is at odds with the published science, the various science organizations and academies around the globe, the science faculty at a local university, etc... then he better be dang sure that his Galileo complex is well-earned... because otherwise, he's the Spanish Inquisition imposing his own personal views of science (no matter how popularly they may or may not be shared by the less educated around him) on his pupils.
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  40. Some teachers approach the topic of global warming like it's a debate on a political topic, like it's "abortion rights - pro or con". Students are asked to chose a "side", either "pro" global warming or skeptic, and then conduct debates for or against each position. The end result is those choosing (or being assigned) the "skeptic" side will inevitably gather and present material from denier blogs, with of course little consideration for the scientific validity of the arguments gathered from search engines. Such "debates" are won by who sounds most convincing, not on the evidence presented. I don't think that's the best way to teach science to non-technical audiences. It works when the students have the technical competency to sort through various arguments, as it mostly would in a debate about abortion, where much is a value judgment. If students have minimal background on the hard sciences, such a "debate" on science topics is of limited value. It's not as if the students will end up with real discussions on radiative forcing and climate feedbacks. I don't know of formats for debating whether or not the Earth is flat, or the basics of gravity and Relativity. Why must teachers succumb to the false balance on the topic of climate change that is evident in mainstream media and political spheres? It all goes back to: Teach the Controversy
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  41. Prof. Mandia: Thank you for sharing this post. And, more importantly, I commend Angela, Ryan, Nick, and Jason for sharing their papers. They all did excellent work, and I hope they continue to take a very critical look at skeptic arguments and formulate (and defend) their own opinions on the science.
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  42. Sphaerica at 89 How dare you call me ignorant. That is a very arrogant assumption on your part because you and I do not exactly agree. Once again - my stance on this issue: 1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming, which is necessary for life on Earth as we know it. 2. The burning of fossil fuels and land use practices by humans affects the amount of CO2 entering the atmospheres and oceans. 3. Climate change is a naturally occurring phenomenon. 4. However, humans are partially responsible for changes in the climate. 5. Climate change effects may range from benign to serious and there are some catastrophic predictions. That is what I teach. I also encourage my students to explore and research on their own before they come to any conclusions. I teach them how to think and how to research and to have open minds. You and I really aren't far apart on GCC. We differ on what we believe the effects will be and methods of mitigation.
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  43. Sphaerica @ 64 Can you find a "pro" site that you consider to demonstrate good science? Just one? One that demonstrates the science in a balanced way, with no games, no tricks, no misrepresentations, no blatant falsehoods? I will play your game and say that I do get some good information from WUWT. I also get some good information from SKS. Eventually, though, investigation will lead to sites like the following 3 examples: http://sealevel.colorado.edu/ http://www.noaa.gov/ http://www.nasa.gov/
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  44. Apirate @93, I'll remind you of the question: "Can you find a "skeptical" site that you consider to demonstrate good science?" So stop insulting us by playing games and answer the question posed @64. The poster was very clear, and asked you to provide a "skeptic" site (note the quotation marks). While your sad attempt to avoid the question is entertaining, I for one would appreciate an unambiguous answer. Truth is you will not be able to find a 'skeptic'/contrarian/denier site that meets specified criteria. Sad that fact does not seem to register with your or bother you in the least.
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  45. I provided the requested answer in the second paragraph. No insult intended so you shouldn't feel too bad.
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    Response:

    [DB] For clarity's sake, you consider WUWT to be an example of a skeptical site doing good science?

  46. Apirate @ 95 APirate "I provided the requested answer in the second paragraph" Did you mean this? "I will play your game and say that I do get some good information from WUWT" The games continue. WUWT is a disinformation machine, set up to feed fodder to the 'skeptics' and those in denial about AGW. It is also, for the most part, a faux science site. WUWT does not satisfy the criteria outlined in the post @64 ("One that demonstrates the science in a balanced way, with no games, no tricks, no misrepresentations, no blatant falsehoods?"), not even close. So you answer (WUWT), whether or not it was intended, is insulting. You tried to answer the question, but failed. Try again.
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  47. DB @ 95 and Albatross @ 96 For clarity's sake: I find both WUWT and SKS to be basically diametrically opposed on the GCC topic. I don't take either one at face value. I like to look at each and follow links and develop my own thoughts. If you will notice I listed just a few sources where a researcher can go to find the actual data and not the opinions of others after digesting and regurgitating that data. There are plenty more available. You may find WUWT to be a disinformation machine, and on the other hand I'm certain that the followers at WUWT find SKS to be a propaganda machine. Regardless, both can be used as a lead-in to investigation of new evidence. I'm really more of a centrist on the issue of AGW and enjoy reading different viewpoints. I prefer to go to the source and analyze the data myself rather than reading another person's breakdown of the same data. I am very open minded on most issues (including AGW). I have a BS and an MS degree in science disciplines, have over 20 years experience in environmental consulting, 5 years experience in environmental science/biology education, and 9 years experience running a successful environmental consulting company. Question me if you want, denigrate me if you want, but you are really doing yourself a disservice. I agree with you mostly, but not totally. And, I suggest that we stop using terms like 'skeptic'/contrarian/denier and their opposites believer/warmist/alarmist. A reasonable discussion without the "tagging" would be more productive.
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  48. Anyone who gives any credence to WUWT as a source of unbiased information (of any sort, let alone scientific), needs to go to WottsUpWithThat now and again, if they want to stay properly informed. They must obviously also have missed this classic : Canadian Harp Seals In New England (“prediction” of cooling?) And his use of dodgy photos : Ice at the North Pole in 1958 and 1959 – not so thick Also, don't forget the many Steven Goddard 'classics' - so many, in fact, that even Watts had to let him go. (And that is just skimming the surface of the murky pond) Anyone who wants to maintain any scientific credibility does NOT refer to WUWT for anything but laughs.
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  49. Apirate - how many articles at WUWT would we have to debunk with published science before you changed your mind? Or are you saying you cant distinquish between pseudo-science there and real science here? A blog post is as good as a peer-reviewed paper?
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  50. JMurphy @ 98 and scaddenp @ 99 One question with a yes or no answer: Is SKS unbiased? Even more: Question 2: Are you unbiased?
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