[Coral-List] Corals Persist But Bioerosion Rises in Low-pH Waters

Bill Raymond billraymond10 at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 15 10:46:39 EDT 2015

Steve Mussman:
You couldn't be more wrong. As a scientist I have learned this axiom: on any basic issue the experts disagree. To say that the majority must be right is to ignore the fact that many important discoveries were made by mavericks who everybody doubted. I remember when all my professors poo pooed and ridiculed Wegener's theory of continental drift, only to see it overturned overnight when Issacs, Oliver & Sykes' paper came out. Just because everybody believes something doesn't make it right. Time will tell. Gene Shinn is not some maverick, he is one of the most highly respected self-taught geologists who has pioneered many phases of carbonate sedimentology and coral reef studies.   And as far as getting grants or being published in a peer-reviewed journal, try submitting a proposal or paper in support of solar forced climate change. Of course you wouldn't, but ask someone who has.

     On Saturday, June 13, 2015 2:40 PM, Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net> wrote:

  Dear Gene,
  It seems to me that suggesting that âconfirmation biasâ is responsible for
  shaping the conclusions of countless studies published by coral and climate
  scientists in regards to the impending impacts of climate change and ocean
  acidification is a bit over the top. Iâm not a scientist and although that
  phrase seems to have become an excuse for promoting uncertainty, I can still
  read and evaluate scientific information. Considering the preponderance of
  evidence in support of the popular paradigm, I would think that any solid
  research that reaches an antithetical conclusion would have no problem
  getting  published or obtaining funding. There are a number of special
  interest groups and think tanks that are eager to discredit prevailing
  scientific thought and as such they would welcome and support any sign of
  legitimate  scientific  disunity.  Of  course the problem here is that
  confirmation bias works both ways and following your lead one would have to
  wonder what factors could possibly be at play in motivating the detractors.
  Another possibility is that the science is pure, valid and compelling and
  that the reason for a lack of science-based contention on these issues is
  that there simply arenât any antitheses that have withstood the test of

    -----Original Message-----
    >From: Eugene Shinn
    >Sent: Jun 12, 2015 10:45 AM
    >To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
    >Subject: [Coral-List] Corals Persist But Bioerosion Rises in Low-pH
    >No surprise that my apparent skepticism about relationship between
    >alkalinity shift (aka ocean acidification) and limestone boring
    >organisms elicited several responses both on and off line. I asked about
    >experimental confirmation and as expected was shown several papers
    >indicating positive correlations between lowered pH and increased
    >boring. Positive relations in these experiments were obtained when the
    >pH level was adjusted to projected CO_2 levels for the 21^st century.
    >There was no confirmation that present levels caused increased boring.
    >Could the positive results be a leap of faith since those projected
    >levels may not be reached in the future? Such experiments do serve as a
    >warning and should be seen as such. There is a well-tested phenomenon in
    >financial circles called Confirmation Bias. Simply stated, people tend
    >to interpret published financial data to suit their bias and often make
    >the wrong decision when purchasing stocks, etc. The article I read even
    >had a section titled âConfirmation Bias Can Look Very Scientific..â Could
    >we be seeing confirmation bias affecting conclusions in coral and
    >climate science? Could it be happening because the best way to get
    >published (or obtain funding) is to interpret data so that it follows
    >the popular climate change and ocean acidification paradigm? Follow the
    >money? Or is it promotions and or tenure? Just wondering. Gene
    >No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
    >------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
    >E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
    >University of South Florida
    >College of Marine Science Room 221A
    >140 Seventh Avenue South
    >St. Petersburg, FL 33701
    >Tel 727 553-1158
    >---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
    >Coral-List mailing list
    >Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
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