Thursday, January 13, 2005

Beautiful models

Now that I have your attention, I do, in fact, have something to say about models, the scientific kind. We've been hearing from global warming skeptics that climate models aren't really science. Let's see. Some of the skeptics are economists who use models all the time to predict the effects of taxes, spending, interest rates and so on and to make policy at all levels of government. Some of the skeptics are oil companies which use models all the time to tell them where to drill for oil and gas and how to exploit known fields better. The companies also use models to insist that certain public lands onshore and offshore be open to drilling because their models tell them that these areas contain a lot of oil or gas. And, some of the skeptics are nothing more than public relations specialists who use statistical analysis and modeling to predict and analyze the outcome of their work. So, it seems the only place the critics don't want to allow modeling is when it comes to climate. And the only modeling that they don't want to affect government policy is climate modeling. Aren't they being just a wee bit hypocritical?

For a discussion of why modeling is and always has been sound science and even a good example of the essence of science, see this informative post at RealClimate.

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1 comment:

Steve said...

A Brilliant Post. What sort of Scientic Models are there for "Intelligent Design"? Are they carved in stone on a tablet at the Alabama courthouse?