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Like Nomad I don't like the term 'believe'.

I also don't like the binary will/will not be catastrophic. There's too much uncertainty in the science to be that hardline and in any case what qualifies as 'catastrophic'?

Having said that I voted for the 'anthropogenic/catastrophic' option because that's closest to what the physics predicts and the evidence supports.

Regards
Luke

-- #include witty_sig.h

by silburnl on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 07:26:30 AM EST
If you guys don't like the word believe, feel free to interpret it as something which feels more scientific but means about the same thing (like "consider when having looked at the data"). English is not my native tongue, but I do hope the general message was understood.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 11:11:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By now I've seen plenty of native English speakers propagate the "believe" meme in science - in (older) scientific articles the word also pops up here and there. My rancour against its improper usage has also been exacerbated by the stupid "intelligent design" debate - "do you believe in evolution?"

Man, I really will turn into a grumpy old man.

by Nomad on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 11:55:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I do love the term believe. And I also like the term faith. Because it is of degrees of belief and faith that we are talking about.

In 99.9% of interesting things in life there are no absolute certainties. As such whatever we take for granted might be wrong to some degree.

The problem with faith and belief is their source and their degree. A typical example is the religious bigot: total and undiscussable faith in something there is no evidence for or against.

I have faith and belief in, say, evolution. A faith based on existing evidence and a rational process that can be democratically shared with all humans. A faith that can be REVISED in the presence of new evidence or a good, preferably testable, argument. But I don't have complete certainty about the topic.

One of the reasons that I've loved your post is because it exposes some of the typical bigotry in the left side: some issues (like this) are very hard to discuss with progressives: either you are with dogma or you are casted out.

by t-------------- on Thu Nov 20th, 2008 at 02:44:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"either you are with dogma or you are casted out"

Examples abound, for instance heliocentrism, gravitation, blood circulation, round earth...

In other words the "typical bigotry in the left side" is better known as the use of reason, or the refusal to espouse the anti-intellectualism of the right.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Fri Nov 21st, 2008 at 07:13:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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