Cross-posted as a long comment on WattsUpWithThat, on its post entitled Antarctic ice models “not correct,” sea level rise “complicated”:
This is the way of learning new things: At first (IMHO the first century or five) simplistic ideas pop into mind, and we think we have a basic understanding of a phenomenon, and later on we learn of complications that tell us we have to add complexity to our understanding.
It isn’t that we are stupid, but it IS because we think that the model we have conjured up in our heads matches the reality. And once the brain model takes form, it is that which we are seeing when we see the phenomenon’s evidence being unveiled over time – we color our perceptions by the expectations that we have about our brain model, that it will prove out to be correct. So we keep crowbar-ing the evidence to fit the model.Some of us will see the Emperor’s New Clothes and push for modification of the model/paradigm/construct, against some level of resistance by the rest. Progress does get made, but those brain models keep fighting for their very lives.
…ALL brain models are wrong, in that they oversimplify. The real reality is much more complex than we will admit. So far, every step forward in information manipulation (i.e., computer CPU speeds and capacities) we believe that now we can get the complexity figured out. But IMHO we are centuries away from having the CPU/brain power to handle the complexities. Of course, the programmers and the scientists don’t want anyone else to know any of this; they make a living off people who think the programmers and thinkers are equal to the task. But good programming and good thinking need enough evidence and very solid methods in order to know the right approach. We are making a good effort, but we simply are too early in the game to do more than find new questions to ask.
And that is a GOOD thing, to get to asking those new questions. But we are only a very short way along the continuum. No, the programmers and the scientists don’t want people to know that we are a long way from really knowing what is going on. Our human hubris screams, like a 2-year-old, “I can do it myself!”
But in reality, we are only stroking ourselves and our vanity. Science is best approached with humility. Someone please tell Michael Mann that.
The AGWers are doing their bests, but their brain model is wrong. The skeptics’ brain model is wrong, too – but at least we admit it. And we can see to a good degree how wrong theirs is, too.
This study flat out craps on the simplistic idea that they understand what the ice cores mean. Everyone – inside their circles and outside – knows that the “understanding” of ice cores is based on an assumption. Now we find out about ONE of the complexities that muddies the water. Others will come…