Tuesday, January 10, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Michael Mann: Standard Model is a climate model

Freeman Dyson shouldn't be allowed to use cars, airplanes

A superstitious tabloid ironically calling itself Scientific American has asked one of the most notorious fraudulent crooks on this planet, Michael Mann, to defend the climate models.

If you need to increase your blood pressure just like I did 10 minutes ago, click at the link above and listen to the 5-minute interview with Michael Mann (or read the transcript).

First, Michael Mann attacks Freeman Dyson and tells him that he shouldn't be using cars and airplanes because they have been designed by models similar to climate models (wow). The only problem in this comparison is that the climate airplanes don't fly and don't land.

I find it kind of amazing for someone like Mann who hasn't ever contributed anything of positive value to the mankind to tell Freeman Dyson that Freeman Dyson has no idea how cars or airplanes are designed or produced. Freeman Dyson has been the main person in several projects that have designed nuclear reactors that were later used all over the world, not to speak about nuclear-powered spacecrafts and other things.

If this message to one of Princeton's most prominent veteran scientists from a scientific zero (or minus epsilon) isn't arrogant enough for your taste, you may appreciate that Mann also lectures Freeman Dyson about quantum field theory, a thing that Dyson has studied at the global top level for decades. Not bad. We learn that another success of computer models occurred last month when the LHC announced the evidence for the Higgs boson, thus confirming the Standard Model.

The only problem, aggressive crackpot Michael Mann, is that the Standard Model isn't a computer model at all, despite the name that may confuse scientifically illiterate morons similar to yourself. Instead, it is a physical theory (particle physicists use the term "model" for a fully specified detailed theory) so your whole "argument" is complete rubbish. The Standard Model is a result of proper science that builds on actual evidence and quantitative tests and doesn't depend on any tricks, on hiding, or on impressive "superficially realistic" computer games – exactly the kind of science that you have fought against throughout your inappropriate life.

Just a preemptive comment: this Czech model and tsunami survivor isn't a computer model, either!

I urge Michael Mann to move to Guantanamo Bay because what he has done away from the detention camp has already been a little bit over the edge.

Bonus: Page turner

The following video may resemble a climate model; it is a biologically and chemically flavored mechanical Rube Goldberg machine. Its goal is to turn a page of the newspapers. The algorithm is "clever" (the unnecessarily contrived character of the cleverness is a part of the charm) and makes people including your humble correspondent to spread the video and watch it en masse:

However, the impressive features of this model don't guarantee that it is the right theory of the mechanisms that actually make pages being turned in the real world. Those may be different and obey different rules; so the predictions of the video above for the turning of pages in the real world may be wrong, despite those 400,000 visits that the video has deservedly attracted in two weeks.

Computer models, like Rube Goldberg machines, often focus on detailed realization of intermediate steps needed to emulate the reality, steps that are not separately compared to the observations. But much of the hard work and appeal of such models and Rube Goldberg machines does boil down to the "unphysical" intermediate steps. That's very different from physical theories that are evaluated only according to the final observations while scientists must stay open-minded about the detailed mechanisms that lead to the final predictions.

Video via Jorge

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