IPPC did exactly what should be avoided in objective science!

Have you ever read the work by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and felt disturbed by terms like “Medium agreement” or “Robust evidence”? Such terms origin in a document called: Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties “These guidance notes are intended to assist Lead Authors of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) in the consistent treatment of uncertainties across all three Working Groups.” In short it describes: “The following summary terms are used to describe the available evidence: limited, medium, or robust; and for the degree of agreement: low, medium, or high. ”

Please have a look at the Guidance Note linked above. It is well worth a read.

And if you get a feeling that the Guidance Note is not at all very scientific, you will probably find the following quotes by Karl Popper to be of interest:
Karl Popper; The logic of scientific discovery;
(Karl Popper was the master mind behind critical rationalism)

“We may now return to a point made in the previous section: to my thesis that a subjective experience, or a feeling of conviction, can never justify a scientific statement, and that within science it can play no part… No matter how intense a feeling of conviction it may be, it can never justify a statement. Thus I may be utterly convinced of the truth of a statement; certain of the evidence of my perceptions; overwhelmed by the intensity of my experience: every doubt may seem to me absurd. But does this afford the slightest reason for science to accept my statement? Can any statement be justified by the fact that Karl R. Popper is utterly convinced of its truth? The answer is, ‘No’; and any other answer would be incompatible with the idea of scientific objectivity.”

“from the epistemological point of view, it is quite irrelevant whether my feeling of conviction was strong or weak; whether it came from a strong or even irresistible impression of indubitable certainty (or ‘self- evidence’), or merely from a doubtful surmise. None of this has any bearing on the question of how scientific statements can be justified. Considerations like these do not of course provide an answer to the problem of the empirical basis. But at least they help us to see its main difficulty. In demanding objectivity for basic statements as well as for other scientific statements, we deprive ourselves of any logical means by which we might have hoped to reduce the truth of scientific statements to our experiences. Moreover we debar ourselves from granting any favoured status to statements which describe experiences, such as those statements which describe our perceptions (and which are sometimes called ‘protocol sentences’).

Whatever may be our eventual answer to the question of the empirical basis, one thing must be clear: if we adhere to our demand that scientific statements must be objective, then those statements which belong to the empirical basis of science must also be objective, i.e. inter-subjectively testable. Yet inter-subjective testability always implies that, from the statements which are to be tested, other testable statements can be deduced. Thus if the basic statements in their turn are to be inter-subjectively testable, there can be no ultimate statements in science: there can be no statements in science which cannot be tested, and therefore none which cannot in principle be refuted, by falsifying some of the conclusions which can be deduced from them.”

The intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change regard itself as a scientific body. About IPCC.

However – in summary:
Judging by the works of Karl Popper:

The “Guidance Note on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties by IPCC”  is largely incompatible with the idea of scientific objectivity.



Revision history:
2015-11-22 Format changes + links + sentence on critical rationalism


9 thoughts on “IPPC did exactly what should be avoided in objective science!

  1. Agree Science or Fiction. Some of my thoughts re Karl Popper and
    objective method. I consider Karl Popper the seminal thinker of the
    20th century on philosophy of science and open society because his
    critical method rescues philosophy and science from word games and
    Hume’s problem of irrationality and restores it’s original aims. ‘to seek
    to understand our word, however provisionally that must be . My copies
    of Popper’s ‘Objective knowledge, An Evolutionary Approach’ and his
    ‘Open Society and It’s Enemies’ are threadbare from use. In my 10th
    Edition of Serf -Under_ Ground Journal I discuss Popper.

    Regards, beththeserf.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for your comment, and for the links, I wanted to add “Objective knowledge, An evolutionary Approach” to my Kindle library – unfortunately it didn´t seem do be available in Kindle, I hope it will soon be.

    My personal favorite, so far, is the first section, the first 26 pages, of «The logic of scientific discovery»:

    In the first section, the hypothetico-deductive method is outlined. Karl Popper called it the empirical method. By this method he solved the problem of induction, he provided a method to increase our knowledge and also a way to see the difference between knowledge and fiction.

    Here is Wikipedia´s current take on the Hypotetico-deductive model:

    My first course at university was on logic, the history of philosophy and evolution of scientific theories. As far as I remember the lessons culminated with Poppers hypotetico-deductive method . Kuhn´s elaboration on paradigm shifts added an important perspective on evolution of theories. I thought that every student – at all universities in the world – was taught about the hypotetico-deductive method. Now I know that was an incredibly naive thought, it can´t possibly be even remotely true. I think of that as an international problem of a cultural character.

    By its charter United Nations is supposed to:
    – To maintain international peace and security…
    – To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples …
    – To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character,
    – To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

    One thing United Nations could do, within it´s charter, is to be a proponent for proper scientific methods.

    Instead United Nations created a organ called Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC. A heavily biased beast on which United Nations enforced:
    – a mission
    – the unscientific principle of consensus
    – an approval process and organization principle which must, by it´s nature, diminish dissenting views.

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change itself invented a system of expressing non-numerical probability statements. A kind of statements which is incompatible with objective science. A system which is heavily influencing all the work by IPCC and its working groups.

    Consequently United Nations has created an international problem of a cultural character, an international body pretending to be strictly scientific, while it is obvious from its “Principles governing the work by IPCC” and from “Guidance Note ….. on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties”, that it is not at all based on robust scientific methods.


  3. ‘Consequently United Nations has created an international problem of a cultural character, an international body pretending to be strictly scientific, while it is obvious from its “Principles governing the work by IPCC” and from “Guidance Note ….. on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties”, that it is not at all based on robust scientific methods.’

    … Worth repeating, Science or Fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: IPCC ≠ SCIENCE ↔ IPCC = GOVERNMENT | Watts Up With That?

  5. Pingback: Summary – On the governance of IPCC by unscientific principles! | Science or fiction?

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