the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Reply to a Believer

Posted by Jeff Id on April 23, 2011

Kim Oyhus commented on a YouTube video on line which Steve McIntyre highlighted a why climategate wasn’t a scandal repeating the excuses of the scientists involved which makes it somewhat interesting.  The video quoted them claiming that using certain techniques was the problem in the data.  Of course she completely fails to realize the purpose of the temperature data in a paleo-reconstruction is in fact to verify the data is actually temperature.  It seemed like several commenters on the YouTube thread were accurate in pointing it out to her, but as often happens, the stupidity of the thing and the false claims forced a comment from my bad side. While this fact is completely unambiguous and uncomplicated, like many ideologues, she accepted the explanation completely uncritically – and with near zero understanding.

Of course Steve McIntyre had me wound up about the Briffa Schweingruber series all the way back in 2008 when he finally got them to release the data – it was completely unavailable to the non-certified believer community prior to that time.  I wrote this post back then well before cliamtegate.   Now the scientists are looking straight faced into the public eye and saying it is acceptable to replace the proxy data with temperature data even though a key part of most every paleo-reconstruction is verification stats and correlation to temperature.  This verifies the result of the paper allegedly,  of course the maths used are as bogus as hide the decline in my opinion because the red noise present in proxies will always correlate.  Regression magic is another issue though which we’ve also beaten to death here.

In my post linked in the previous paragraph, the data was chopped off at 1960 and replaced with other proxy data that had a more acceptable signal — hockeystickier.  I rightfully threw a fit when I discovered that anyone claiming to be a scientist would so boldly alter data they didn’t like.   We know the AGW system is corrupted, but on seeing how flagrant the science had become in its abuse threw me over the edge.  And because Kim will read this — I and most readers here do NOT disagree with global warming yet most disagree with magnitudes, maths, consequences, solutions, interpretations and to that end individual papers are often discussed.

I would like to just put my quote and Kim’s reply here, because there is no possibility for links or proper unmoderated discussion in a YouTube thread.

Nice Job Kim- I’m thrilled to see such an in depth and detailed explanation of the problem.

Jeff Id — Climategate blogger.

[/sarc]

I left the title climategate blogger to make sure she knew I was the bad guy. Interestingly, she took the time to reply.

Jeff, you are clearly sarcastic.

I am not.

A short proof is better than an in depth and detailed explanation,

because it is a proof, and proofs are certain, while depth and detailed explanations are not,

and because it is short, so there are less place for errors.

If you do not even accept proofs, then you are not sane.

You might however be normal.

If you watch the video for ‘proof’, you will be seriously dissapointed.  I will however attempt to explain for Kim why she is completely wrong in very short words so that even an over-the-top believer can follow.  I wonder if others can do a better job of this.

Climategate was a scandal for multiple reasons.   One of several subtopics was ‘hide the decline’ where data which was claimed to be temperature, didn’t match temperature.  The scientific conclusion is that this data and potentially tree ring data in general, is not a reliable measure of temperature.   Instead of reporting the poor quality of the tree ring data, the offensive bit was chopped off and replaced with temperature data – without disclosure.

There you go Kim, let’s see if  your own sanity is intact.

Now for the more complicated versions which have been repeatedly explained at Climate Audit and here whereby the non-linear response to temperature(as described by Dr. Loehle), or the regularization methods of tree ring data and noise have all contaminated the data to the point of non-usability.  Here I discovered that the data has an incredibly low signal to noise ratio.  Of course this has little meaning to most of the public, however, it is key to understanding why the hockey stick paleo graphs are bogus in general.  Some are honest in their math but still contain bad data, others by some of the more famous paleoclimatologists, I do believe have a great deal of malicious intent.

60 Responses to “Reply to a Believer”

  1. Mark T said

    I don’t think Kim understands the concept of a proof.

    Mark

  2. John F. Pittman said

    Jeff. left you email.

    Perhaps we should show Kim the quotes from Keith Briffa, immediately after Climategate, where he states that paleos are working (make sure she notes the tense) on the divergence problem, include the link at CA, where Keith is presently being paid to solve this problem she was led to believe was poor communication. This would highlight that in science the explanation comes first or it is not a proof, it is a hypothesis. Perhaps she is normal but not a scientist. Perhaps she is just insane and does not recognize the difference. She does not recognize the difference between a hypothesis with problems, and proof. Maybe she cannot recognize problems or discern definitions.

  3. RomanM said

    I think that they don’t learn about “proofs” in Journalism school – she must have learned about the concept in high school geometry. In a “proof”, the statements should be coherent, backed up by evidence and, most importantly, true. After watching the video again, I couldn’t find anything resembling that anywhere. Perhaps, this “proof” is based on the “miracle” which apparently occurred during the making of the video.

    The candidates seem to be that the IPCC had a lot of graphs which demonstrated something or Mann’s statement that she was looking at the wrong data or Briffa saying that CO2 must have been the culprit and they used a wrong formula, but now they no longer use it so it’s OK or something. The last one was somewhat of a new one on me. ;)

    I would strongly recommend that Kim talk to someone without a vested interest, but who actually understands what the real issues are in the situation and prevent further embarassment to herself. Behaving arrogantly when you are completely out to lunch is not a good trait if one wishes to succeed in their career.

  4. ul said

    Maybe she sould ask CRU about the proof ?:

    Palaeoclimate reconstructions extend our knowledge of how climate varied in times before expansive networks of measuring instruments became available. These reconstructions are founded on an understanding of theoretical and statistically-derived associations acquired by comparing the parallel behaviour of palaeoclimate proxies and measurements of varying climate. Inferences about variations in past climate, based on this understanding, necessarily assume that the associations we observe now hold true throughout the period for which reconstructions are made. This is the essence of the uniformitarian principle. In some northern areas of the world, recent observations of tree growth and measured temperature trends appear to have diverged in recent decades, the so called “divergence” phenomenon. There has been much speculation, and numerous theories proposed, to explain why the previous temperature sensitivity of tree growth in these areas is apparently breaking down. The existence of divergence casts doubt on the uniformitarian assumption that underpins a number of important tree-ring based (dendroclimatic) reconstructions. It suggests that the degree of warmth in certain periods in the past, particularly in medieval times, may be underestimated or at least subject to greater uncertainty than is currently accepted. The lack of a clear overview of this phenomenon and the lack of a generally accepted cause had led some to challenge the current scientific consensus, represented in the 2007 report of the IPCC on the likely unprecedented nature of late 20th century average hemispheric warmth when viewed in the context of proxy evidence (mostly from trees) for the last 1300 years. This project will seek to systematically reassess and quantify the evidence for divergence in many tree-ring data sets around the Northern Hemisphere. It will establish a much clearer understanding of the nature of the divergence phenomenon, characterising the spatial patterns and temporal evolution. Based on recent published and unpublished work by the proposers, it has become apparent that foremost amongst the possible explanations is the need to account for systematic bias potentially inherent in the methods used to build many tree-ring chronologies including many that are believed to exhibit this phenomenon.

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/research/

  5. kim said

    “Well, I’m just a dizzy blonde. I believe you. But I wouldn’t tell that tale to any brunettes.”

    H/t The Landlady of the ‘OOM’.
    =================

  6. Duster said

    Mark T said
    April 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I don’t think Kim understands the concept of a proof….

    The thing most of us perpetually forget is that outside of empirical observation, there is no “proof” in science. Proof is a denizen of mathematics, philosophy and law classes, none of which are sciences. For those questioning this with regard to science: 1) reread Kurt Goedel discussion of the nature of mathematics first, then examine the grounds of the question, 2) consider that “math” is treated as a magic tool by far too many scientists – is plain in the climate “debate.” Mathematics, law, and philosophy strain to achieve “true/false” understanding where science deals with analog – empirical – reality. When you turn to science and theory, scientific explanation can be elegant, mathematically beautiful, internally consistent, and profoundly wrong. There is an old saying that statistics (or logic in some versions) is a method for being wrong with confidence.

  7. [...] Reply to a Believer « the Air Vent [...]

  8. Kim Øyhus said

    My proof is here:
    http://kim.oyhus.no/AbsenceOfEvidence.html

  9. RomanM said

    Re: Kim Øyhus (Apr 27 01:09),

    Nice try, but there is a slight flaw in your “proof”. Definition 2 is incorrect.

    What you define as “lack of evidence” is in fact NOT lack of evidence, but rather evidence exists, but the evidence says the opposite. These are clearly not the same thing since true “lack of evidence” may be viewed as either the union of these two situations or even as a third distinct possibility. Your proof is nothing more than a tautology based on that false premise.

    Your starting point should actually be P( B | A ) > P( B ) which is not necessarily true.

    It seems that in my earlier comment I was under the possibly mistaken impression that you were a journalist. I apologize for falsely tarring you with that brush. ;)

  10. Jeff Id said

    Kim’s proof is wrong just from the conclusions she begins to draw from it. The claim that faith is false for example. The reason agnostics exist is because there is no proof either way. Imagine if they gave up looking for the neutrino after not observing one for so many years. There was no evidence, yet the mathematicians had faith. The lack of evidence of the neutrino was a clue but it was not, in this case, correct to conclude the neutrino didn’t exist as Kim’s proof suggests.

    I jumped on her comments at the thread because of the whitewash going on even two years after the scientists were exposed. There were others who needed kicking even more but sometimes my grumpiness gets the best of me. I can’t stand the fact that that video contains unbelievably stupid quotes from the scientists and that allegedly thinking individuals don’t call BS instantly. It is like listening to Iranian leaders for moral guidance.

    There is in the case of the deleted Schweingruber MXD data, evidence that the temperature reconstruction is NOT temperature. The offensive evidence was removed from the graph and the data was still represented as temperature.

    The Dow Jones index and Gold price both have hockeystick shapes and thus have non zero positive correlation. Would people be happy if officials replaced the dip in the dow (loss of temperature sensitivity in climate science) with gold price and represented that as some truth?

    Gold Dow image here

    Wouldn’t it be more correct to simply say that the prices are different things and then statistically represent that the ‘sensitivity loss’ as a measure of the true (and as yet unrepresented) uncertainty in the paleo-tree reconstructions. Sure a bunch of dendroclimatologists would need to shift their focus, but that is the point isn’t it. If they can dig a temp signal from a tree, they need different measures than latewood density and ring width to be accurate about it.

    Oh yeah, and they need different math as well.

  11. RomanM said

    Re: Jeff Id (Apr 27 08:24),

    Kim’s proof is wrong just from the conclusions she begins to draw from it.

    Absolutely. However, Kim will still believe the conclusions because of a belief that the “proof” is correct. The best way to try to disabuse someone of their mistaken beliefs is to point out where the error in their thinking lies.

    By the way, from indirect evidence on the website, I get the sense that “she” might possibly be “he” even though I can see neither “skirt” nor “pants”. ;)

  12. Jeff,

    If I may do so, I would like to communicate with Kim Oyhus here – briefly and candidly.

    1. Those who perpetrated the story of CO2-induced global warming are not at fault. They simply followed the template used for decades in the solar and space sciences communities: Promote the story that the funding agency received funds to promote [From US Congress via the US National Academy of Sciences].

    2. Former President Eisenhower specifically warned of two new threats to our free society from the power of federal funds in his farewell address to the nation on 17 Jan 1961.

    a.) The Industrial Military Complex
    b.) A Scientific-Technological Elite

    http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm

    [** A governmental "scientific-technological elite" might one day seize control of public policy to the detriment of the cherished values of a free society.]

    3. From personal experience in space research since 1960, I suggest that the selection and manipulation of experimental data to support the model of CO2-induced global warming was not significantly different from the way that experimental data were selected and manipulated to support the model of a Hydrogen-filled Sun, the SSM (Standard Solar Model).

    4. This paper in press shows the experimental data that was ignored or hidden to perpetrate misinformation about the Sun’s origin, composition, source of energy, and influence on Earth’s climate ["Neutron Repulsion," The APEIRON Journal, in press (2011) 19 pages].

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1

    As an aside, I presented this information in 2001 at the Joint SOHO/ACE Workshop on “Solar and Galactic Composition” in Bern. The workshop was organized by Dr. Robert F. Wimmer-Schweingruber. My manuscript was excluded from the Proceedings, but a couple of paragraphs were added there to present arguments against an iron-rich Sun.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2001AIPC..598…..W

  13. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Jeff Id (Apr 27 08:24),

    Imagine if they gave up looking for the neutrino after not observing one for so many years. There was no evidence, yet the mathematicians had faith. The lack of evidence of the neutrino was a clue but it was not, in this case, correct to conclude the neutrino didn’t exist as Kim’s proof suggests.

    There was indeed evidence of something. Several conserved quantities like energy and spin didn’t add up in beta decay. There had to be something and that something had to have certain properties very neutrino-like. That made it difficult to detect, but no one was going to give up looking in the face of incontrovertible evidence that something had to be there.

  14. Kim Øyhus said

    RomanM, your definition of “evidence” is nonsense because it reduces to
    P( B | !A ) < 0

    You also misunderstood the concept of absence of evidence.

    As for my proof being a tautology: Of course it is!
    All proofs are tautologies, because thats what proofs are.

    JeffId, you are confusing proof with evidence with faith.
    You should focus on probabilities, and then things can be much clearer.

    You all seemed to have missed my main point, which was the first I stated,
    namely that the absence of tree ring data after 1960 is evidence of absence of correctness of the climate models.

  15. Jeff Id said

    “JeffId, you are confusing proof with evidence with faith.”

    No I’m not. Lack of evidence doesn’t prove that ‘faith’ is incorrect. It may increase the likelihood of incorrectness, but it doesn’t eliminate the potential for correctness. If I follow Roman’s argument, he’s making the same point.

    “namely that the absence of tree ring data after 1960 is evidence of absence of correctness of the climate models.”

    It is moot with respect to climate models. I’m sorry I picked on you for this but am tired of the ‘we replaced it with better data’ BS, which was espoused more by the post and some in the comment thread. I was a little grumpy that night.

  16. RomanM said

    Re: Kim Øyhus (Apr 27 16:48),

    Kim, your proof is based on a fallacious Definition 2. Unfortunately, you don’t realize that there are three possible cases: Evidence for A, Evidence against A and Absence of Evidence.

    Thus, the opposite of “Evidence for A” is NOT “Evidence against A” but rather “Evidence against A OR Absence of Evidence”. Because of that the inequality on the left side of the first line of your “proof” is no longer necessarily true and the proof fails.

    In your pants/skirt example, seeing someone “not wearing the skirt” (i.e. wearing pants) is “Evidence against A”. In this case, not seeing what they are wearing would correspond to “Absence of Evidence”, a possibility that you simple overlooked.

  17. Mark T said

    Logic… as poorly understood as statistics, apparently.

    Mark

  18. Greg. Cavanagh said

    Kim says …weapons of mass destruction in Irak…

    Sorry for the interuption, but this one always realy annoys me. Iraq and Iran fought a 10 year war with one another. Millions died on both sides. Both sides used nerve gas to kill the other. Nerve gas “IS” a weapon of mass destruction.

    Even more blattant though was after the 1990 US offensive, the Iraqies killed 120 thousand Kurds with mustard gas, because they were looking to form a seperate country in Norther Iraq, and who where expecting help from the US. It was this attack which brought in the no fly zone, which I believe is still in place.

    Iranians are still researching and testing gas agents, which are illegal in all world war conventions, yet it continues.

    Grrr… Sorry for the interuption.

  19. Kim Øyhus said

    RomanM, you are confusing “absence of observation” with “absence of evidence”.

    Jeff Id, you are still confusing proof with evidence with faith.
    Proofs are logical an mathematical, not physical like neutrinos or climate or gods.
    Thats why proofs can be certain.
    For physical stuff like neutrinos or climate or gods, one use science, which is probabilistic.
    My proof is a logical and mathematical proof about science, about probabilities.
    Faith is just plain stupid.

    Oliver K. Manuel, I am looking into your stuff. No conclusions so far. As a physicist I can evaluate it, but I might not have the time for doing that properly, especially if it takes weeks, or years. I have little time these days.

    Greg Canavagh, sure they used weapons of mass destruction, but they still have not found them, which obviously means they get less likely all the time.

  20. Kan said

    ‘Confusing “absence of observation” with “absence of evidence”’

    …’sure they used weapons of mass destruction, but they still have not found them’…

    Where is an Italian flag when you need one?

  21. Jeff Id said

    Kim,

    Your arguments are silly. I’ve met people who miss logic that should be obvious. Roman has pointed out the error in your proof directly, I believe my neutrino example did the same just from a point of obviousness.

    “RomanM, you are confusing “absence of observation” with “absence of evidence”.”

    If there is no evidence to be observed, i.e. we don’t know if Kim is wearing a skirt, can’t detect a neutrino, that is absence of evidence. You call it absence of observation but again it is absence of evidence.

    In your proof, Roman is correct. You have failed to account for the possibility that your absence of evidence is absence of observation. Further, it is an emotional argument you make because you say ‘faith is stupid’. This is not a rational conclusion as you can no more prove god doesn’t exist than anyone else can prove god does. It is stating that your own lack of observation proves lack of evidence. What instrument did you use to detect god? Are you sure it has the ability to detect god? The situation is exactly like the neutrino or ghosts. If you don’t build the right instrument, you are guaranteed to have a complete lack of evidence and lack of observation.

    So sorry Kim, without observable data, you can make no conclusion.

  22. kim said

    Gad, I was starting to take that personally.
    =========

  23. kim said

    Duelfer demonstrated Saddam’s will to WMD, and Rossett demonstrated his means. Furthermore, the latest translations show that Saddam bluffed having WMD in order to keep the Persians at bay. It would have been irresponsible to assume he had no WMD.

    I happen also to be in the minority who believe that most of the deaths at Halabja were from Persian nerve gas. Both sides used poison gas in a War for Water in the upper reaches of the Tigris. Iraqi’s used mustard, a respiratory agent; the Persians used nerve gas.
    ===============

  24. kim said

    Now I’m gonna try to stay the Hell off this thread. Thank God the real Kim uses a real name.
    ==============

  25. RomanM said

    #21, Jeff, what Kim doesn’t seem to realize is that what (s)he terms “absence of evidence” is in fact “specific evidence (~A) IS present and does not support the state, B”. This is pretty trivial to show and is not a surprise in his dichotomous Bayesian setup for B and a similarly dichotomous use of the evidence A. Perhaps he has confused the phrase “absence of support for B” (which would be true) with “absence of evidence”.

    A genuine “absence of evidence” is the situation where the observed outcome A is probabilistically independent of the state B (for which P(B) = P(B|A) = P(B|~A)). If A and B are independent, then A contains no information concerning the status of B. This would obviously be the case when nothing is observed or if the observations are unrelated to the underlying parameters about which the probability statements are being made (e.g. someone dressed up in a bear costume in the pants/skirt example ;) ).

  26. Kim Øyhus said

    Jeff Id, you are truly a good example of how faith is stupid.

    You have faith that RomanM tells the truth when claiming my proof is wrong.
    This faith makes you overlook such obvious truths as the proof itself, which
    you clearly understand nothing of, yet have faith that you do, and the fact
    that RomanM writes provably wrong nonsense, while you have faith of RomanMs
    cunning.

    RomanM claimed to have a better definition of “evidence”, namely this one: P( B | A ) > P( B )
    That formula is totally wrong. It is nonsense, which of course means that RomanM
    lacks the expertise to understand such formulas. Yet you have faith that RomanM is competent.

    Here I prove the nonsense of RomanMs formula:
    P( B | A ) > P( B )

    P( B | A ) > P( B | A ) + P( B | !A )

    0 > P( B | !A )
    =>
    P < 0 This contradicts the first axiom of probability.

    This of course goes completely over your head, since you use faith instead of knowledge and expertise.
    I am quite sure it is over RomanMs head too, since RomanM continued to try to criticize me with nonsense even after I warned that this definition is nonsense.

    The solution is simple: Just stop using faith, and start accepting proofs, as proofs necessarily must be true, while faith is just another word for stupidity.

  27. Jeff Id said

    “You have faith that RomanM tells the truth when claiming my proof is wrong”

    No, I can read the math. You are wrong in your interpretation of your own results. Certainly if you have the known case of NOT A, !A or whatever symbol you use, you can make your claim. When you extend it to faith, you have missed the point that lack of observation and lack of evidence are functionally inseparable. Roman said it, I said it.

    P( B | A ) > P( B ) — reads correct to me

    P( B | A ) > P( B | A ) + P( B | !A ) is nonsense leading to a nonsense conclusion. Oddly, and on a different topic, since you claim lack of any A for your conclusions on faith doesn’t P(B | !A) = 0?

  28. RomanM said

    #26: Kim

    Er… Any elementary text book will tell you that the correct formula to start with is

    P( B ) = P( A ) P( B | A ) + P( !A ) P( B | !A )

    Notice that it can be rewritten as

    P( B ) = P( B | A ) + P( !A ) { P( B | !A ) – P( B | A ) }

    Thus,

    P( B ) > P( B | A ) if and only if P( B | A ) > P( B | !A )

    This is a simpler way to look at it than your “proof”.

    No, Jeff is not taking it on faith, but on his knowledge that I have been studying, teaching,and researching probability for about 48 years.

    However, you still don’t get the difference between “Absence of evidence” and “Specific evidence (~A) IS present and does not support the state, B”. [Note that I have been using the symbol ~ instead of ! for the complement operation]

  29. RomanM said

    OOOps!

    P( B | A ) > P( B ) if and only if P( B | A ) > P( B | !A )

    Gotta proofread more carefully. :(

  30. Jeff Id said

    It looks like Kim 0 may have some work on her/his hands.

  31. RomanM said

    Re: Jeff Id (Apr 29 19:53),

    Yeah. I’m, still trying to figure out what this statement from his comment #14 means:

    You all seemed to have missed my main point, which was the first I stated,
    namely that the absence of tree ring data after 1960 is evidence of absence of correctness of the climate models.

  32. John F. Pittman said

    RomanM. That statement is true if you think that the use of Yamal, upside down, etc., invalidates the reconstructions of temperature for MWP. This is based on Chapter 9 of the IPCCC attribution where it is a necessary a priori for CO2 attribution of the current warm period. So, I guess you would also have to take that as your strarting position in order that it makes sense. That is my opinion, but many on the AGW side contradict the IPCC, but seldom do the Team post to correct the incorrect interpretation of the pro-AGW commenters. Kinda like what Schneider recommended, I suppose. Wouldn’t want people to actually read and understand what the IPCC said, just so long as you stay on message.

  33. RomanM said

    John, what does the phrase “absence of tree ring data” mean in this context? Given what Kim O. thinks “absence of evidence” means, I am not sure how to interpret the entire statement.

  34. Carrick said

    Kim Ø:

    You have faith that RomanM tells the truth when claiming my proof is wrong.
    This faith makes you overlook such obvious truths as the proof itself, which
    you clearly understand nothing of, yet have faith that you do, and the fact
    that RomanM writes provably wrong nonsense, while you have faith of RomanMs
    cunning.

    This would be funny if your weren’t so pathetically wrong.

  35. Kim Øyhus said

    Carrick, you are wrong, and I am right..

    There, I countered you perfectly, and so I won this argument.

    Perhaps you think my argument is wrong, because it lacks evidence?
    If so, then you admit that I am right.

    Perhaps you think my argument is wrong, because you do not like it?
    Then you are stupid.

    Anyway, the people on this forum are clearly mostly arrogant ignorants.
    I however, am able to make and understand proofs.

  36. kim said

    I’m convinced, real Kim. Your eloquence flushes all doubt down the drain.
    ============

  37. RomanM said

    #35 Kim O, nobody is right 100% of the time.

    The truly intelligent person is willing to learn and will actually re-evaluate when their mistakes and adjust their knowledge to incorporate this fact. Those who are less intelligent may deny that an error has been made and will continue to believe in the correctness of their position. This is what I would define as arrogant ignorance.

    I don’t intend to continue arguing with you the issues we have discussed in this thread nor do I want to try to cause you embarrassment. However,if you would like for me to explain how statisticians view these concepts, I would be willing to do so at my own website.

  38. Jeff Id said

    Kimmay 0,

    Welcome to the Air Vent. Tis a bit like a blender when you screw up – even when you’re the host.

  39. Jeff Id said

    “I however, am able to make and understand proofs.”

    Are you able to rebut Roman’s corrections to your errors?

  40. John F. Pittman said

    It reads correctly as deletion rather than absence. But then that would be a mistake. I don’t think the author contemplates mistakes of his own, only others’. IMO YMMV.

  41. Kim Øyhus said

    A very short play.

    Øyhus:
    I looked, but saw no rabbit tracks in the snow, so it is less likely there are rabbits here.

    RomanM:
    Wrong. If you saw no rabbit tracks because you did not look, then your argument would be better.

    Øyhus:
    What? That does not make sense.

  42. Jeff Id said

    No no Kim 0, that is not your claim.

    Your false proof states that if there are no rabbit tracks observed, there are no rabbits. period. Not that they are less likely, you claim that they don’t exist.

    You fail to account for the lack of ability to observe tracks or even the potential that the evidence cannot be observed. You also extend that argument to concepts which have no ability to be observed claiming that to be proof of the concept’s non-existence. A completely emotional argument with zero basis in logic.

    If a blind man sees no rabbits, do the rabbits still exist? — I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t ask the blind man.

  43. Kim Øyhus said

    I see that Jeff Id´s faith in his ability to understand is strong.

    And Jeff, you do NOT understand what I write.

  44. Niels A Nielsen said

    Kim Ø: “I see that Jeff Id´s faith in his ability to understand is strong.

    And Jeff, you do NOT understand what I write.”

    Making ad hominem statement intead of adressing the issue at hand is usually the tactics of the weaker part in a discussion.

  45. RomanM said

    #41 Kim O:

    You obviously did not read what I wrote in comment 25 above:

    A genuine “absence of evidence” is the situation where the observed outcome A is probabilistically independent of the state B (for which P(B) = P(B|A) = P(B|~A)). If A and B are independent, then A contains no information concerning the status of B. This would obviously be the case when nothing is observed or if the observations are unrelated to the underlying parameters about which the probability statements are being made (e.g. someone dressed up in a bear costume in the pants/skirt example ;) ).

    I have bolded the relevant portion for you.

    It is quite possible to have observations which carry no information about the status of B. Since you apparently prefer to discuss the concepts here, I will give you a problem to solve:

    Suppose that you have three coins: A is 2-headed (tossing it will always produce the outcome H), B is a fair coin (P(H) = P(T) = 1/2) and C is 2-tailed ( P(T)=1 ).

    Choose a coin with equal probability ( P(A) = P(B) = P(C) = 1/3 ) and toss it.

    Is the outcome H evidence for (i) A, (ii) B, (iii) C? In which of these cases is the evidence “absent”?

    Now, answer the same questions if the three coins are initially chosen with the probabilities P(A) = 1/3, P(B) = 1/2, P(C) = 1/6.

    Did it snow very recently? What if the rabbit tracks are not unique to rabbits but could have been made by another animal? How might that affect the character of the “evidence”?

  46. RomanM said

    OOOPs again. Not enough coffee (or I’m getting careless in my old age).

    The “problem” should read (changes in bold):

    Suppose that you have three coins: A is 2-headed (tossing it will always produce the outcome H), B is a fair coin (P(H) = P(T) = 1/2) and C is 2-tailed ( P(T)=1 ).

    Choose a coin with equal probability ( P(A) = 1/4, P(B) = 1/2, P(C) = 1/4 ) and toss it.

    Is the outcome H evidence for (i) A, (ii) B, (iii) C? In which of these cases is the evidence “absent”?

    Now, answer the same questions if the three coins are initially chosen with the probabilities P(A) = 1/3, P(B) = 1/2, P(C) = 1/6.

    Using the original with A, B and C, each having 1/3 probability does not make the point that I wish to make.

  47. Jeff Id said

    Ok, so since Kim isn’t going to play this morning.

    in 45
    the outcome H is evidence for A and B preferentially weighted 66% for A. It is also evidence against C.

    in 46 the outcome H is evidence against C but says nothing about A or B.

    The second part, H is evidence against C but is weighted again toward A vs B. P(A) = .57 P(B) = .43.

    How did I do?

  48. Kim Øyhus said

    The outcome Head is evidence of the coin being the one with two Heads.
    The absent evidence is Tail, because it is not Head.

  49. curious said

    Kim – sort of like this?:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Hall_problem

  50. Layman Lurker said

    Current score in hockey game: Sharks 1 Wings 0. For the Wings is this “absence of evidence” or evidence of absence”? :)

  51. Jeff Id said

    Evidence of pain.

    Football is just a game,

    Hockey is real!!

  52. curious said

    LL – Perhaps Wings should cut their loses?…

    http://www.livescience.com/3637-goal-hockey-raise-odds-winning.html

    http://www.sciscoop.com/hockey-and-math.html

    …but were the initial conditions satisfied?:

    …”From the first whistle, team X has a 50:50 chance of winning.”…

  53. RomanM said

    Hey, you don’t get full credit without showing your work … or doing the entire question. ;)

    I’ll give you the answers to the first case in comment 46 (ignore comment 45):

    P(A)= 1/4 … P(A|H) = 1/2 … P(A|T) = 0

    H is evidence for A. However, T is evidence against A. This is NOT “absent” evidence because evidence is there for us to use in recalculating the probability and in this case to determine with certainty that A is not even possible.

    P(B)= 1/2 … P(B|H) = 1/2 … P(B|T) = 1/2

    Neither result tells us anything about B since the probability of B is the same whether we know that the result of the toss is H, or T, or when we don’t know the result of the toss. We have no new information to incorporate into the calculation to try to improve our knowledge of whether B is the case. This is truly “absence of evidence” regarding B even though we have seen the toss.

    P(C)= 1/4 … P(C|H) = 0 … P(C|T) = 1/2

    T is evidence for A. H is evidence against A. NOT a case of absence.

    Kim, you need to understand that evidence against something is not an absence of evidence.

    Interestingly enough, if we flip the selected coin twice (and record both tosses), the new experiment can also give evidence on the status of B. The easiest way to calculate conditional probabilities of this type is through a probability tree (Google can find examples of these).

    Ok, now do the second part! You may have guessed that it will also give evidence for B as well.

  54. RomanM said

    Hey! Why are you guys watching TV instead of doing your homework?

    And, Curious, please don’t get Kim started on Monte Hall…

  55. Kim Øyhus said

    T would have been evidence if it was there.
    Since T was not there, it was absent.

    Thus, evidence T was absent.

  56. RomanM said

    #55 Kim, I don’t know how to say this more politely, but I am seeing very strong evidence that you really don’t have any understanding of what we are discussing here.

  57. curious said

    “Thus, evidence T was absent.”

    As were A,B,C,D… and a whole host of other absent “potential” observables? Is your point that observing something confirms its existence? And, by inference, it doesn’t exist until it is opbserved?

    Re: your proof – I think you are confusing “evidence” and “outcome”.

  58. Jeff Id said

    At least it looks like I’m on my way to a good grade on this one.

  59. Jeff Id said

    Stupid red wings

  60. Kim Øyhus said

    Oliver K. Manuel, I have taken a look at your work, and it seems that you claim that there is a small evaporating neutron star inside the Sun.

    Considering we know of no other cases of evaporating neutron stars, or similar, this seems extremely unlikely.

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