Climate: Can predictions be made using less than 1% of the data?

For the past 33 years, I have worked with several secular consumer advocacy groups combatting junk science issues in the health, fitness and nutrition marketplace. In a previous column for WND, I highlighted how recognized the problem is even within the science community itself, the prevalence of it, and how the left embraces junk science and can’t seem to separate when it is actually raining from someone just peeing on their leg, as Frank Schnell, Ph.D., pointed out in his article “The Age of Stupid.”

In this column, I wish to highlight a point using the analogy of this past election with a simple question. Over the course of election night, regardless of the source of your political news, did any news source make any predictions based upon less than 1% of the precincts reporting? Of course not. Let me elaborate a bit and explain how this ties into the global warming fiasco.

Early in my career I ran an exercise physiology (metabolic) lab for a large medical practice. One of the tests I would run, per the request of a local cardiologist for some of his cardiomyopathy patients, was O2 pulse. This test provided an assessment of just how much oxygen the patient’s heart could utilize per beat. The test was used to help assess the appropriate medication adjustments. However, the test itself is quite cumbersome with the headgear and breathing apparatus involved, so it was always difficult to get the patient to reach a level of effort, or time on the stationary bike, to acquire the necessary number of data points.

The goal of each test was to push the patient to just 60% of their predicted maximum heart rate. At this point the cardiologist felt he would have enough data points to make a reasonable end point assessment using a linear regression equation, to determine a trend analysis of what may occur, in other words, predict the future, without having to actually push the patient to his maximum levels. However, if I were to approach the cardiologist with anything less than 50% to 60% of the necessary data points, he would have simply discarded the data as useless. He understood that without sufficient data, it would be foolish to assume that the regression line would be linear. It could just as easily flatten out or trend downwards.

So here is the main point: Global climate data has been collected since roughly 1880 (141 years), according to most reports. The accuracy of this data can be debated, such as collection methodology, data handling, interpretation, etc. This is irrelevant to my point, but can be found to be explained very well here. The “data,” if it is even accurately assessed in the first place, represents far less than 1% of the earth’s history if you embrace the long-age view of 4.5 billion years, resulting in .000000031% of earth’s history. In the case of a 6,000-year-old planet, 141 years is just 2.35%. So, since most who embrace global warming as a major issue for mankind are evolutionists, or embrace billions of years of earth history, why is it considered irrational to predict an election or make serious medical decisions based upon less than 1% of the necessary information, but somehow climate “science,” is rational? Not only are the data point numbers used to support global warming insignificant, but as the review mentioned above points out, “temperature collection data margin of error significantly exceeds the global temperature increase reported for the past 100 years.”

Therefore, we have global hysteria claiming “climate chaos will require a major transformation of society and the world economy that is unprecedented in scale, and that we are running out of time to avert the disaster,” which is the common narrative from liberals in the media and academia, as well as it being a moral issue we take action. Is this hysteria based upon science or another misguided paradigm based on the erroneous worldview of evolution, which assumes the earth is billions of years old and that the earth’s atmosphere, which now supports life, was derived from some continuously varying mix of poisonous gases and took billions of years to evolve into the mixture of gases that now support life? Or, was the earth’s atmosphere created very stable with some random variations over time? Is it far more robust than some randomly evolved atmosphere? Consider the following.

There are two types of science:

Operational (Observational) Science: a systematic approach to understanding that uses observable, testable, repeatable and falsifiable experimentation to understand how nature commonly behaves.

Historical Science: interpreting evidence from past events based on a presupposed philosophical point of view [my emphasis]. Historical sciences include cosmology, astronomy, astrophysics, some aspects of geology, paleontology, archaeology and climate science.

The past is not directly observable, testable, repeatable, or falsifiable; so, interpretations of past events present greater challenges than interpretations involving operational science. Although climate science is partly based upon present observable events, its assumptions are that these events are man-made, and it assumes these events are not a natural historical pattern because we have no reliable historical data.

Each is based on certain philosophical assumptions about how the Earth began. Naturalistic evolution assumes that there was no God, and undirected random processes has brought us to this point in time, a purported unstable atmosphere. Biblical creation assumes that there was a God who created everything in the universe, which is stable and with a purpose. Starting from two opposite presuppositions and looking at the same evidence, the explanations of the history of the universe and the variations we observe in our natural environment are very different. The argument is not over the evidence – the evidence is the same – it is over the way the evidence should be interpreted.

With regards to climate science or global warming, the finger-pointing has been to man and our activities, but this is pure speculation loaded with assumptions. It is also the failure to recognize that a correlation between two things, man’s activities and temperature change, is causation vs. just a correlation, or an uninvolved variable. This is a basic science principle taught to any beginning science student. Cherry-picking the wrong variable to prop up one’s ideology may be suitable for power, financial gain and control, but it is not science.

Academics, the media, environmentalists and liberals all understand that fear is a motivator, regardless how hypothetical it is, and a sure path to control and monetary gain. They understand how to utilize the illusory truth effect to their advantage, which simply means, if you tell a lie often enough people will begin to believe it. Repetition becomes truth, so beware of pseudo-intellectual babbling – Colossians 2:8 – because this dogma and the proposed solutions to the “problem” will have a major direct negative effect on those who rely on fossil fuels for their lifestyle, which is all of us.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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