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The scientific status of the peak oil theory

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

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Re: The scientific status of the peak oil theory

Unread postby MonteQuest » Sun 28 Jan 2007, 21:22:05

ReserveGrowthRulz wrote:
Aaron wrote:
at least you get properly banned for not being gullible enough to swallow the standard dogma....


Now that's funny.


Thank you for not disputing the accuracy of the statement.


I will dispute it.

See my pm.

MQ
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Re: The scientific status of the peak oil theory

Unread postby ReserveGrowthRulz » Sun 28 Jan 2007, 21:42:02

MonteQuest wrote:
ReserveGrowthRulz wrote:
Aaron wrote:
at least you get properly banned for not being gullible enough to swallow the standard dogma....


Now that's funny.


Thank you for not disputing the accuracy of the statement.


I will dispute it.

See my pm.

MQ


That didn't dispute it either.
So....heading into our 3rd year post peak and I'm still getting caught in traffic jams!! DieOff already!
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Re: The scientific status of the peak oil theory

Unread postby threadbear » Sun 28 Jan 2007, 21:52:50

bubmachine wrote:
jbrovont wrote:Uh oh - a decoy.


Stop worrying. As I have said, I believe oil will peak. Just not sure when, and I do think we can do things about it, and I do think the powers that be are actually doing something about it, but not in a way that is being discussed.

If the US (and the UK) refuse to accept oil from Venezuela, and that Iraqi oil has been continually disturbed, then it suggests that there is some element of management. If they were really just concenred about getting cheap oil, why have a war in Iraq, and refuse cheap oil from Chavez?

Perhaps they are thinking "don't let the whole world pump oil at will, otherwise we will have a huge crash. So lets manage it".

jbrovont wrote:Is there really global warming? Is the climate really changing? Is the pope Catholic?


That is not the way science works. Science is not politics, or decided by votes.

It is decided by theory and evidence.


I too question Darwinism. There could be many different forces contributing to evolution, Darwinism included, but it isn't the whole story. Evolutionists give you two choices, either you're a creationist or a Darwinist. It's a kind of fundamentalism more appropriately called scientism than science.

The fundamentalists on the board will try to frame your ideas in the same fashion. You're either for us or against us. If you haven't noticed, most on this thread, haven't mastered the finer points of the philosophy of science.
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Re: The scientific status of the peak oil theory

Unread postby TonyPrep » Sun 28 Jan 2007, 23:47:40

threadbear wrote:I too question Darwinism. There could be many different forces contributing to evolution, Darwinism included, but it isn't the whole story. Evolutionists give you two choices, either you're a creationist or a Darwinist. It's a kind of fundamentalism more appropriately called scientism than science.
Hmm, evolution is random mutations filtered by natural selection. Doesn't seem like there is much else to it. It's pretty simple, really. you are either an evolutionist, for which there is lots of evidence, or a creationist, for which there is none. Are there other options?
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Re: The scientific status of the peak oil theory

Unread postby MonteQuest » Sun 28 Jan 2007, 23:56:33

TonyPrep wrote: Hmm, evolution is random mutations filtered by natural selection. Doesn't seem like there is much else to it. It's pretty simple, really. you are either an evolutionist, for which there is lots of evidence, or a creationist, for which there is none. Are there other options?


Spot on, Tony. Anyone who stills believes Darwin's Theory of Evolution is in question, are in the camp of those who still question global warming and whether we went to the moon.

That is, those who refuse to accept the evidence.
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Re: The scientific status of the peak oil theory

Unread postby threadbear » Mon 29 Jan 2007, 00:46:42

TonyPrep wrote:
threadbear wrote:I too question Darwinism. There could be many different forces contributing to evolution, Darwinism included, but it isn't the whole story. Evolutionists give you two choices, either you're a creationist or a Darwinist. It's a kind of fundamentalism more appropriately called scientism than science.
Hmm, evolution is random mutations filtered by natural selection. Doesn't seem like there is much else to it. It's pretty simple, really. you are either an evolutionist, for which there is lots of evidence, or a creationist, for which there is none. Are there other options?


You illustrate my point perfectly. Tell me, why wouldn't there be much much more to it? Meanwhile get the book, Acquiring Genomes, by Lynn Margulis

The underlying theme of endosymbiotic theory, as formulated in 1966, was interdependence and cooperative existence of multiple prokaryotic (single celled) organisms; one organism engulfed another, yet both survived and eventually evolved over millions of years into eukaryotic cells. Her 1970 book, Origin of Eukaryotic Cells, discusses her early work pertaining to this organelle genesis theory in detail. Currently, her endosymbiotic theory is recognized as the key method by which some organelles have arisen (see endosymbiotic theory for a discussion) and is widely accepted by mainstream scientists. The endosymbiotic theory of organogenesis was actually proven in the 1980s, when the genetic material of mitochondria and chloroplasts was found to be different from that of the symbiont's nuclear DNA.[4]

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

Acquiring Genomes was one of the few books I've ever read where I was struck dumb by the implications of the thesis and by the towering intellect and panoramic vision of the author. Prepare to be astonished, if you read it.

I'm afraid I've hijacked this thread, unintentionally. I do think that this subject, illustrates the base of assumptions that many contentious issues rest on, and a stubborn resistance to concede to the subtleties and complexities of the reality of the natural world, be it fossil fuels or other distantly related topics.
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Re: The scientific status of the peak oil theory

Unread postby TonyPrep » Mon 29 Jan 2007, 03:03:53

threadbear wrote:I'm afraid I've hijacked this thread, unintentionally. I do think that this subject, illustrates the base of assumptions that many contentious issues rest on, and a stubborn resistance to concede to the subtleties and complexities of the reality of the natural world, be it fossil fuels or other distantly related topics.
Of course there are subtleties but the basic theory is incredibly simple. The thread starter expressed doubts about evolution, as a scientific theory, as a way to show his sceptical credentials. Evolution, however has stood up to scientific scrutiny so far and is an incredibly simple idea that is hard to gainsay. Just as peak oil is an incredibly simple idea that is difficult to gainsay, even if you have the fringe belief that some oil is being produced via an abiotic process, as we speak. Both evolution and peak oil are as close to certainties as you can get, given our level of knowledge. The only question about the latter is the date of peak. Unfortunately (because it is a constant topic of debate) the question of the date is irrelevant, since we cannot possibly discover it with precision, until well after the event.

Peak oil will occur; the only question then is how are we going to deal with it?

Tony
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Re: The scientific status of the peak oil theory

Unread postby threadbear » Mon 29 Jan 2007, 12:26:12

TonyPrep wrote:
threadbear wrote:I'm afraid I've hijacked this thread, unintentionally. I do think that this subject, illustrates the base of assumptions that many contentious issues rest on, and a stubborn resistance to concede to the subtleties and complexities of the reality of the natural world, be it fossil fuels or other distantly related topics.
Of course there are subtleties but the basic theory is incredibly simple. The thread starter expressed doubts about evolution, as a scientific theory, as a way to show his sceptical credentials. Evolution, however has stood up to scientific scrutiny so far and is an incredibly simple idea that is hard to gainsay. Just as peak oil is an incredibly simple idea that is difficult to gainsay, even if you have the fringe belief that some oil is being produced via an abiotic process, as we speak. Both evolution and peak oil are as close to certainties as you can get, given our level of knowledge. The only question about the latter is the date of peak. Unfortunately (because it is a constant topic of debate) the question of the date is irrelevant, since we cannot possibly discover it with precision, until well after the event.

Peak oil will occur; the only question then is how are we going to deal with it?

Tony


Peak date is very relevant. Running out tomorrow is far different than running out in a decade or two.

Also, the poster expressed scepticism about Darwinism. I've provided very solid information that the skepticism is deserved.

Science is a dynamic evolving process itself, and it's contemproary theories often turn out to be no more than handy working hypotheses. Darwinism is limited by those who think that it stands alone in explaining how and why animals change.

I'm more convinced than ever that the forums are providing a home for fundamentalist thinkers, who can't see shades of grey and simply don't understand the philosophy of, or spirit of scientific inquiry. On the other hand, it seems to provide a podium for shills and apologists for the oil industry.

The best evidence for peak oil is actually intuitive and anecdotal. We can use reason to discern that if oil has run out in the US, it is a finite resource and will run out elsewhere.

There is nothing wrong with arriving at this conclusion, even if it isn't supported, at this point, by iron clad scientific evidence. It IS wrong to slime people who question your "scientific"conclusions. When you take what is self evident to you and other like minded individuals and force it into the straight jacket of science, don't be surprised if someone comes along and pulls it's tautological strings.

Getting over the oil habit can be argued with more purely scientific rigor from a global warming perspective. Let pure reason handle the peak theory.
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Re: The scientific status of the peak oil theory

Unread postby TonyPrep » Mon 29 Jan 2007, 17:23:49

threadbear wrote:Peak date is very relevant. Running out tomorrow is far different than running out in a decade or two.

I said it was irrelevant because it is impossible to know the date with any reasonable precision. I'd agree that if we could work out the date to within a year or two, with certainty, then it would be relevant. As we can't determine the date, the question of date is completely irrelevant. We would do well to just assume that it is sometime soon.
threadbear wrote:Also, the poster expressed scepticism about Darwinism. I've provided very solid information that the skepticism is deserved.

I completely disagree, but that's OK. Evolution by natural selection of random mutations deserves very little skepticism, since it is the best explanation for the life we see today.
threadbear wrote:Science is a dynamic evolving process itself, and it's contemproary theories often turn out to be no more than handy working hypotheses. Darwinism is limited by those who think that it stands alone in explaining how and why animals change.

Not at all. It is the best explanation we currently have. Every theory that we have today could turn out to be wrong, but being skeptical about every theory is not a useful stance; some grounds for skepticism are required.
threadbear wrote:I'm more convinced than ever that the forums are providing a home for fundamentalist thinkers, who can't see shades of grey and simply don't understand the philosophy of, or spirit of scientific inquiry.

Isn't that the sort of comment one would expect from a fundamentalist thinker?
threadbear wrote:The best evidence for peak oil is actually intuitive and anecdotal. We can use reason to discern that if oil has run out in the US, it is a finite resource and will run out elsewhere.

There is nothing wrong with arriving at this conclusion, even if it isn't supported, at this point, by iron clad scientific evidence.

Nothing has iron clad scientific evidence. But is there good reason to be skeptical that there will be a peak? If so, I've yet to hear it. As I've said, even the abiotic theory (patchy as it is) would result in a peak. We can see from oil production that fields and regions peak. The earth is finite, so its resources are finite. You may think that the evidence is anecdotal but I can't see how you can falsify that the earth is finite and any process within it is finite. Peak will happen; we don't know and can't know when, so let's deal with it.
threadbear wrote:It IS wrong to slime people who question your "scientific"conclusions.

Whatever "sliming" people is, I very much doubt that I've done it to anyone here.
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Re: The scientific status of the peak oil theory

Unread postby threadbear » Mon 29 Jan 2007, 17:46:05

Mr. Prep.

You say skepticism about all scientific theories is a dopey stance as they're "the best that we've got, at the moment" You're reiterating what I posted, but have adopted a passive attitude to that fact. Through your statements you have supported my opinion that many scientific theories are simply working hypotheses, that are marginal improvements over the last set of assumptions.

You don't get the Darwinian evolution thing, do you? Do you think I dismiss it? I'm simply saying it makes up a few chapters in the book of evolution. It's not the whole story. It's incomplete. If you didn't bother to read the article in Wikkipedia, I linked to, don't bother me. You don't know how to think--don't make me suffer for it.
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Re: The scientific status of the peak oil theory

Unread postby TonyPrep » Mon 29 Jan 2007, 23:53:56

threadbear wrote:You don't get the Darwinian evolution thing, do you? Do you think I dismiss it? I'm simply saying it makes up a few chapters in the book of evolution. It's not the whole story. It's incomplete. If you didn't bother to read the article in Wikkipedia, I linked to, don't bother me. You don't know how to think--don't make me suffer for it.
Ad hominems are a very poor form of argument. Yes, I did link to the article. It doesn't alter anything I wrote; Darwinian evolutionary theory may be incomplete but I don't see how anyone claiming to require sound science can be skeptical of what it does say about how the life we see around us got here. As far as I recall, the original poster didn't offer any reasons for such skepticism (though I haven't read all posts).

However, this really is getting off the topic a bit too much.
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