John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 199: We Flooping Love Science

by on Aug.21, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 199th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, we need finally to decide, Lego or Meccano.

Joined by Judge Coxcombe, we take your dilemmas and queries, as well as discuss the Labour leadership race, a conversation you may understand about maths, a plot to be allowed to kill people, and what happens after Twitter?

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then we’ll weep the oceans until they flood the lands. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

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3 Comments for this entry

  • ffsff

    If you’re wondering why you don’t get any comments any more and people don’t seem that interested, it’s because you’ve been doing the same thing for about 4 years.

  • Nick Mailer

    Shall we stop?

  • Josh W

    Boo. Falsification happens all the time within climate change stuff.

    The problem with large scale falsification is similar to the problems of falsification in the social sciences (though not quite as bad); there’s a lot of noise in the system, so you get a mass of possible theories surrounding the truth. It’s not like you’re determining the rest mass of a proton or something.

    However, that envelope of uncertainty does exclude certain things, like cycles of cooling for example, and it is broadly consistent with even extremely simple models based on greenhouse gasses, and gets progressively more accurate the more mechanisms are involved. (To which you might shout epicycles! data fitting! or various other expressions of outrage, but remember this, in each of these fields, from ice core analysis or glacier tracking on the effects side, to atmospheric physics and ocean circulation studies on the “cause” side, there’s obviously loads of debates going on that slowly knock models out of the ensemble and replace them with others)

    You might say that climate change theory is actually a jostling pushing rugby crowd of theories, and although many of them will disappear along the way (perhaps in this metaphor falsification means they give up on the pub crawl and call it an early night?) there’s a clear enough mass of them that you can see where they are going, and it’s probable that at least one of them will make it through to Sunday morning.