Friday, May 11, 2012

In Science, Competence Can Overcome Bias

I have submitted the following comment to Dr. Judith Curry's Climate Etc. blog site, where she has posted on "The Bias of Science":

The issue is competence. With competence, bias can be quickly overcome; without it, bias inevitably becomes hardened, unquestioned dogma. When I compared the temperatures in the atmospheres of Venus and Earth, I very simply--and as it turned out, naively-- used the Stefan-Boltzmann equation as applied beyond the atmosphere, without consideration of the difference in albedo for the two planet-plus-atmosphere systems. I did not consciously assume the planet-plus-atmosphere system was a blackbody, however (I just used the easiest model that occurred to me, to investigate the expected temperature ratio--the simple approach I learned from my earliest physics education, starting in high school and continuing throughout college), and when I discovered, quite directly by my simple approach, that the actual Venus/Earth temperature ratio was a constant that in fact depended only upon the ratio of the two planets' distances from the Sun--thus definitively disproving the "greenhouse effect" hypothesis, of increasing global mean temperature with increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, as well as disproving the need for any correction due to the large difference in albedo--I was able to immediately interpret this, with correct physical intuition, as being necessarily due to both atmospheres directly absorbing, and being fundamentally warmed only by, the same physical fraction of the incident solar power. In a March 2012 update to my original "Venus: No Greenhouse Effect" post, I provided the proper Stefan-Boltzmann equations for the temperature in each troposphere, assuming both tropospheres are warmed by the same fraction of incident solar power, and showed that their temperature ratio at any given pressure is indeed independent of the fraction of solar power absorbed, and is just dependent upon the ratio of their solar distances. This of course confirms my original, insightful interpretation of my Venus/Earth comparison.

So my basic scientific competence and physical insight overcame the naivety (a form of bias, one might say) of my overly-simple approach; I in fact made the correct physical interpretation, and I have correctly stood by it ever after (see here for example). Not so for all of those (including Judith Curry), who have dismissed my findings when informed of them, generally with the flat--and in fact wrong--statement that my comparison was worthless because I had not "corrected for the difference in albedo" in the two planets, and also no doubt because no one was willing to seriously consider that these two atmospheres were both warmed by direct absorption of incident solar power, rather than from the surface (which was and continues to be the consensus belief--that is, the consensus bias). As a competent physicist, I knew, and know, my original interpretation was correct, and I maintained that any competent physicist must come to the same conclusion as I did, from the observed constant Venus/Earth temperature ratio, but it has done no good, from November 2010 to now. Even after posting those equations that starkly PROVE my original interpretation was good, there has been no sign of any growing acceptance, on either side of the climate debate, of my Venus/Earth comparison as a definitive correction to the patently incorrect consensus beliefs of climate scientists.

So the basic INcompetence of all of the defenders of the climate consensus has so far kept them from overcoming their bias against my definitive disproof of the "greenhouse effect", which continues to be promulgated to the public, falsely and incompetently, as unarguable fact.

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