These theorists … The theory was most vigorously denied by the great names of geology-until 1961, when it began to seem as if the sea floors were spreading. IPCC AR5 WG2 on Yield Sensitivity: Statistical Malpractice. “Teach the controversy!” On climate change, it’s the left hitching its wagon to the consensus while the right embraces the Crichton argument. Some of the examples that would be used in the social conflict theory are authority. Then, they were then asked to estimate the portion of their peers that would agree to do the same: 1. The child builds his or her ‘first perspectives’ through the family and people who are close. These "expert consensuses" are not passive but have actively suppressed, delayed, censored or ignored contrary evidence which has later shown itself to be correct. The fact (reiterating Mr. Fleck) is that Einstein had the scaffolding built of years of others’ solid work to launch from. As the two theories aimed at understanding the human behaviour, knowing the difference between conflict and consensus theory can only be more helpful to you. He demonstrated that the disease was not infectious by injecting the blood of a pellagra patient into himself, and his assistant. John Fleck: You are right. In science consensus is irrelevant. I mean flawed data. For example, the opposing view of Functionalists and Marxists of the media. Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. In the 1920s in America, tens of thousands of people, mostly poor, were dying of a disease called pellagra. When consensus does not exist, then communication becomes more … Result-despite a twentieth century epidemic, the consensus took years to see the light. Actually this isn’t all that far from AGHW, though. Society at large is more consensus-oriented. John (Fleck), I think that there’s a qualified compliment here and if so I appreciate it. Research on a similar theory, explanatory style, has found that an individual's explanatory style people is linked to their health and levels of stress. But history has thrown up many examples of scientific consensuses that were wrong, and despite being wrong, continues to disregard and suppress the truth using political power. Some climate scientists have abused and continue to abuse science with political stunts and fake appeals to consensus and authority. According to Kuhn, normal science “is predicated on the assumption that the scientific community knows what the world is like”…”normal science often suppresses fundamental novelties because they are necessarily subversive of its basic commitments.” Paradigm-based research is “an attempt to force nature into the preformed and relatively inflexible box that the paradigm supplies.” Kuhn adds that most scientists are engaged in mop-up operations, much of which is intended to stifle dissent for the prevailing paradigm. What does CONSENSUS THEORY mean? These two theories are usually spoken of as in opposition based on their arguments. […] had 4.5 stars, some with more than 100 reviews. When he says science is the opposite of consensus he means it should avoid blind conformity in favor of the possibility of revised consensus based on new evidence. I think it is important to note that Crichton’s opinions are a reiterating (just as I am) Thomas Kuhn’s brilliant work from almost half a century ago. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. One of the curious features of this process is the vast number of meetings at various relatively nice places all over the world, at which the scientists attempt to reach “consensus”. When there is a consensus that it’s the time to buy stocks, smart money is usually heading for the exits. The other is as a theory and practice of getting such agreements e.g. For example, people are more likely to feel pride if they believe that they succeeded due to internal characteristics, such as innate talent, rather than external factors, such as luck. Unquestioning conformity (or mindless consensus if you must) is the goal of power. It gets somewhat far afield from the subject here, but what’s usually missing from discussions of WMDs and Iraq is that what was being produced were threat assessments, not proofs. The consensus remained wedded to the germ theory. None of us work in climatology…all have to listen to the weather forecast to know if it’s going to rain…’our opinions’? It would never occur to anyone to speak that way. I only wish we could excise the phrase “the vast majority believe…” from our collective vocabulary because it doesn’t mean squat! Another problem with the climate change issue is that the scientists involved in the IPCC process have not provided probabilities for any of the forecasts of potential future effects of increasing CO2. The consensus is undefined if there is more than one opposition. I don’t know if he’s right or not in his criticism of the consensus. A consensus theory approach sees sport as a source of collective harmony, a way of binding people together in a shared experience. We can perform experiments, and we can talk with people. It would be interesting to know what the “textbook” probability distribution for the GCM model forecasts would be. Consensus is the business of politics. Posted by Eric Falkenstein at 8:19 PM. Please tell us all what a consensus of anything means in the absence of cold, hard, evidence that has been checked and audited and replicated. 13 Educator answers eNotes.com will help you with any book or … Experiments are facts. Getting back to MBH98, I see an untested and unvalidated study which flies in the face of most studies carried out before and quite a few since, being written into a bureaucratic and unneccessary review of the state of climate science and being unjustifiably promoted as the “consensus view” – then when someone checks the method and finds very large flaws, the screaming begins. Your email address will not be published. To see scientists fall to a power play is sad (though far from unheard of). That’s a shame because once you’ve started down the road of playing politics you’ll find that real politicians wielding real political powers will beat you every time. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigat… I would ask you, John: when you face a medical decision, do you attempt to see what the bulk of experts in the field say should be done and then follow that course of action? While I’ve opined about MBH, IMHO the work of Jones, Briffa, Crowley etc. Often, the decision to pursue self-interest puts that individual in a losing situation. For example, the consensus of ¯ and ¯ is ¯. I agree that merely being an outlier or bucking an establishment is no guarantee of success. It can be between people one is not even associated with. This may make it easy to write “consensus statements”, but those statements are worthless for rational policy evaluation since we need to be able to weigh likely costs and benefits to make policy decisions. The Greeks consult the Oracle of Delphi. 19 Examples of Chaos Theory posted by John Spacey, September 28, 2019. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Or let’s suppose that for some reason world leaders had taken it into their heads 10 years ago to create an International Panel on Curing Cancer with seemingly unlimited budgets for meetings. (If you want a new plasma screen TV, maybe you should rethink your findings.) (Again, that’s why I spend time reading Steve’s work.). This argument plays out in interesting ways in the political sphere, with both left and right hewing to the consensus view when it suits them and citing the outliers when that meets their needs. There was, in addition, a social factor-southern States disliked the idea of poor diet as the cause, because it meant that social reform was required. My impression is that many climatologists and climate researchers rarely provide an assertion either way in their papers. It would probably work a lot like the present IPCC. But Crichton doesn’t say that. Y’all obviously disagree. Astute observation. Period. And it’s always within our heads. These two theories are very much used in social sciences. I often hear people say things like “the vast majority of credible scientists believe global warming….” and I think “so what?” Does AGW theory “explain all the facts with which it can be confronted”? You know…what happens if there is no Henry Fonda holdout in the jury room…. Below are two false consensus examples: 1. I see Chrichton’s view as a criticsm of the latter as a way of conducting science and I agree. Chaos theory is the study of small changes that completely transform the future of a system. Now REAL politicians are involved in decisions of science because real money, real economies and real people’s lives are at stake. Jenner and smallpox, Pasteur and germ theory. A conflict can, for example, be between people and the prevailing laws. http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=264, There is also a lot of writing around the concept of “group think”. I suspect Dr. Crichton would agree. The outliers poke away at the inconsistencies. And the important thing is to keep asking questions of the evidence. If not by seeking out majority expert opinion, how else might you suggest we approach decision-making in the face of scientific uncertainty? The question is what to do in these situations where most of the scientists working in a field believe “A,” while some handful say no, it’s “B.” If it’s black holes, we can all watch with patient amusement while they duke it out. The second principle was scarcity – we value things more when they’re rare or diminishing. I’d be more inclined to compare the “consensus” on climate to the consensus on certain forms of medical treatment, rather than to the consensus on the view that e=mc2. If climate models are so accurate, why can’t they predict something, instead of being used to rewrite the past? If you’re the parent of a teenager, you know this principle is true because you’re constantly warning against “peer pressure” when it’s related to bad choices. "cat"), communication is clear. In this case, the IPCC process, with its emphasis on a political form of process rather than an engineering audit, seems to result in a type of mutual reinforcement and excitement more characteristic of market phenomena and fads, than what I take to be the more usual scientific process where there is no attempt to negotiate and institutionalize a “consensus”. People experience the false-consensus effect in many areas of life, and the best-known example of this cognitive bias appears in a 1977 studyon the topic by Lee Ross and his colleagues. This is how, for example, we try to figure out which flu strains to vaccinate against. An attractive male comes along and asks the … He did find the phrase 'scientific consensus' in regards to uncertainty about when life starts, which probably still stands. Lay turned to the article, “When Andrew S Fastow, the 37-year old CFO of Enron Corp. boasts that “our story is one of a kind’ he’s not kidding" it began”. I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. It is a particularly effective approach of inquiry and analysis. Inequality looks at how people are treated and how are perceived by others. Ultimately I suspect Crichton is confused and thinks of himself as a scientist and historian of science instead of his truer nature – a marketeer of science. Therefore, all foreign groups who’d looked into the situation came to the conclusion that there still such weapons and a grave threat that left alone Saddam would try to get more. So I’m a ‘scientist’. That’s what scientists do, get paid for, use to vex and enlighten. But science is not primarily a source of authority. I really don’t see how the corpus of present multiproxy work can be used to develop a valid scientific “consensus”. http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=265 I’ve seen a great deal of replication in various paleoclimate records that largely supports the notion that what’s happening today is anomolous relative to the last couple of millenia. For example, the word "wife" can mean different things to different people. Consensus – Humans are essentially pack animals. False Consensus Effect Examples: There may be a number of good examples of the false consensus effect. They and other volunteers swabbed their noses with swabs from pellagra patients, and swallowed capsules containing scabs from pellagra rashes in what were called “Goldberger’s filth parties.” Nobody contracted pellagra. Consensus an a narrow sub-discipline of one area of research (maize genetics, say) and consensus on the broadest cross-cutting quesiton ever encountered in the history of science (AGW) are two different things entirely. Enter Your Email Below! This can be applied to any system including the solar system, planet earth, ecosystems, weather, climate, societies, cultures, economies, cities, organizations and technologies. If not, does it matter how many scientists believe it? I think you’re right that a consensus isn’t worth much “in the absence of cold, hard, evidence that has been checked and audited and replicated,” and that’s what’s happening now. Saccharine, margarine, repressed memory, fiber and colon cancer, hormone replacement therap6y…the list of consensus errors goes on and on. Of course it’s the warming crowd who both rely on threat assessments (climate models) AND prevent the inspectors (Steve et. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. […], […] – if there’s not. Teaching junk science by consensus makes sense among geostatistocrats who deny that each distance-weighted average has its own variance. The promotion of a scientific consensus in the absence of hard facts which are not in dispute or repeatable experiments deisgned to falsify propositions are not science at all, but political constructs whose purpose is suppression of knowledge and censorship of contrary evidence. FYI, my comment #6 was a reply to Sean Morris, not to Steve’s comment, which had not yet been posted when I clicked “Say it.”. And finally, look for what Stephen Covey called “win-win” […], […] the business, training, breadth of experience) to make a potential customer feel more comfortable? Climatology, on the other hand, is a new field; the foundations are still under construction. Here are some interesting examples – two from Enron showing how fragile a "consensus" can be, one from a geologist surveyed in one of the surveys supposedly showing a consensus among scientists. Our understanding of electronics, computers, physics, robots, whatever: It is in our head, and it is stuff we know. On the risks of low-dose radiation, for example, the right cites the consensus while the left makes the Crichton argument. I think believers in the consensus view (and I count myself among them) who reflexively ignore the arguments you’re raising do so at their own peril. Has there been any attempt to amalgamate those into some “consensus view”? To be clear, I believe what Steve’s doing here is important outlier work. Another characteristic of functionalism is that it is wary of fast social change. For example, is someone angry because they are bad-tempered or because something bad happened? It’s as significant as Copernican or Darwinian theory and must not be accepted as true based on the esoteric “knowledge” of a handful of scientists. At that point, I thought that it would be interesting to try to replicate what they did, rather like doing a big crossword puzzle, not expecting any public interest in what I was doing. There are two separate lines of arguments threaded together, I fear: the question about whether the notion of consensus is in itself inherently unscientific (which is the argument Crichton makes, and which is I think patently bogus) and the question of whether the alleged consensus in the case of climate change has been appropriately developed. This is the speech which fostered the quote: 1. Same as stating that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west – fact. Based on the theory of symbolic interactionism, when a society has consensus around what a symbol means (i.e. If one is not expert in climate science, one could hardly then dismiss it as junk. Gregory et al 2019: Unsound claims about bias in climate feedback and climate sensitivity estimation. We no longer need to question it, test it, prod it- we just say “this is the thing, here’s how it works, end of story.” It’s a black box, and it just magically works, to our perception. Was the WMD information subject to verification outside Langley or MI5 et al? One is a general agreement among the members of a given group or community. The consensus theory emphasizes that the social order is through the shared norms, and belief systems of people. If people stop asking questions and challenging assumptions, power gathers and if we’re not careful we all could end up in some regrettable place (like Iraq) wondering which questions we forgot to ask before we agreed to consent to someone else’s explanations of the evidence. There is no shortage of other examples. What Crichton is suggesting not explicitly what Kuhn has described as the progress of normal science. I think there’s a false dichotomy in your argument. Whether big or small, conflict is not confined only to a person and the people around her/him. But that’s not the sort of situation Crichton’s talking about. "Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. I am not a contrarian (despite John Hunter flinging that absurdity in my direction). I’m not sure how adding another example of a case in which a consensus was wrong helps here. But in the climate field, and for multiproxy work in particular, I am really struck by the extaordinary prevalence of defects in the work of the most influential authors. And yeah, Steve, it was a compliment, no qualification needed. They continued to deny it until the 1920s. Examples: Personality traits or behavior of parents, friends, their parents influence a child’s development. It makes me think about the old saying, “There’s safety in numbers.”. The consensus of scientists said it was infectious, and what was necessary was to find the “pellagra germ.” The US government asked a brilliant young investigator, Dr. Joseph Goldberger, to find the cause. Scientific consensuses are at best stop-gaps for knowledge we do not yet have, but they are not knowledge, and left to themselves, rapidly turn into political quagmires. Dispositional Attribution Example: Attribution Theory in the CLassroom By Michaela Schaller Student and Teacher Relationships Attribution Theory Attribution Theory in Academic Success Attribution theory attempts to explain how people judge others differently based on the meaning we give to each specific behavior. It’s a consensus of explanations. So, all the conditions are satisfied for applying this theorem. There’s a level of engineering consideration that sure seems missing to me. When I talk to scientists about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, I get chapter and verse on its mathematical robustness and its 100% empirical record. I innocently assumed that audit-type or engineering-type replications would be standard in science before being applied to policy, little realizing that attempting to apply such a standard would itself end up becoming a story in itself. The appeal to consensus arises from the fact that humans do not fully understand or agree upon the nature of knowledge or ontology, often making it uncertain what is real, given the vast inconsistencies between individual subjectivities. Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Why do some climate scientists feel it necessary to constantly misconstrue or malign other researchers based upon their supposed links to fossil fuel companies rather than deal with evidence in a professional manner? There’s nothing unusual about the notion of “consensus science.” It’s done all the time. Social exchange theory is a social psychology concept that views human relationships as a kind of results-driven social behavior. This debate has become a semantic one (consensus vs. fact, etc). I think you’re right that a consensus isn’t worth much “in the absence of cold, hard, evidence that has been checked and audited and replicated,” and that’s what’s happening now. It takes the form of a consensus: trusted and mutual agreement that the thing is true.