Danger of Using Statistics as Physics

· blackbody radiation

The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart shows the danger of throwing dice to decide the physics of your life.

The previous post Two Proofs of Planck’s Law vs Backradiation illustrates the danger of introducing statistics into physics: CO2 alarmism exploits the concept of backradiation to send the message that the atmospheric trace gas can CO2 cause global overheating. To set the World on alarm without good reason is dangerous.

The trouble with statistics as physics is that the completely essential cause-effect aspect of physics is broken: In statistical physics, electrons and atoms are supposed to jump around by throwing dice and a radiating body is likewise supposed to throw dice to decide to emit a quantum of energy or not.

By throwing dice the cause-effect connection is broken: Things just happen according to the dice as if effects arise without cause.

The result is that physics as realities taking place independent of human observations, like the evolution of weather and climate, is replaced by human conceptions of physics e.g. in the form of statistics. Physical reality is thus replaced by human conceptions of reality.

Statistical physicists do not claim that electrons literally throw dice, only that we can can think of them as throwing dice. Our lack of knowledge as to what makes an electron do this or that, is thus translated into knowledge that electrons throw dice. Non-knowledge is transformed into knowledge. The less you know the better becomes your statistics with the normal distribution as the ultimate precision.

It does not take much fantasy to understand that this transformation from non-knowledge into knowledge, if used in the wrong way, can be dangerous. To break the cause-effect connection can be dangerous because it opens to the possibility that anything can happen. And if anything can happen, then there is reason to send out alarm.

And to send alarm can serve a purpose which is harmful for the people.


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  1. Richard T. Fowler

    You say that to set the world on alarm without good reason is dangerous.

    That’s right, and to do so while knowing that there is no good reason is generally considered a crime.


  2. iceskaterfinland

    At the end of the day i cannot yet work out where you are going with all of this as it relates to the Earths energy budget.

    Roy Spencer made the point that he cannot prove a cold object radiates to a hot object, and said but why does it matter if you already agree that radiation transfer rates are reduced when emission is absorbed by objects greater in temperature than absolute zero?

    X comes in from the Sun and X has to leave. Without an absorbing atmosphere it would all leave directly from the surface. How does it make a difference if some goes up and comes back down again compared to the the rate of transfer being slowed down?

    I note you did not answer Spencer.

    And evidently he has more ability to get your attention than i do

  3. claesjohnson

    Yes, it matters if it goes out or comes down again, as you will notice by throwing dirt up in the air.

    • iceskaterfinland

      The point i am making is that you agree that radiation transfer rates slow down if the absorbing object is warmer than absolute zero as described by heat loss curves.

      So what actually are you describing that is related to AGW alarmism?

      • iceskaterfinland

        Ie if you agree that heat losses slow down when the absorbing atmosphere is cooler, then the surface of the earth is hotter by your agreement.

        As far as i can see this then applies to atmospheric layers also.

        The earths energy can only leave by radiation and you agree it is slowed down and is warmer all the way thru the atmospheric layers.

        If the models have instead ‘slowing down’ plugged in surely that equates to the same thing as some coming back again but nothing is slowed down??

      • Richard T. Fowler

        Claes has written about this extensively. It is a matter of degree. Actually quite a few degrees.

        If you do not want to read what he has written, why are you so anxious to comment about it?


  4. Tor

    Are you claiming that a statistical description of micro-processes violates causality?

    It would be nice if you could show this.

    By the way, isn’t a continuum model nothing but an averaging over molecular fluctuations. Just another idealization one could say.

    • Richard T. Fowler

      “Are you claiming that a statistical description of micro-processes violates causality?”

      Oh, here we go again.


      • Tor

        Are you saying that it does?

      • Richard T. Fowler


        If you can ask me that then that means you apparently think that Claes is claiming that.

        And this on the same day that you write on my blog that you get the feeling that I dont understand the arguments?


  5. Richard T. Fowler

    Claes, I tried to post the following comment on your blogspot post about Singer. But for some reason, Blogspot will not let me post the comment. It seems to hang when it is supposed to prompt me for “human verification”.

    I thought the issue was important, so I reproduce my comment here:

    This is a very disappointing development. Use of the word “denier” by Singer, in this context, is totally unacceptable.

    I have used the word “denial” in a debate once with you, but only because in English the phrase “to be in denial” is very old and lacks the same connotation. And the subject matter had little, if anything, to do with climate. Plus, my criticism was directed at almost all of science, not just you or even a certain group of scientists.

    Claes, I had just assumed that Singer had read your work, or at least some of it.

    The two of you seemed to be getting along quite well in the photo you took together, was it last year?

    I have had enormous respect for his work, myself.

    What has happened?

    Can you comment on whether Singer came to you privately first before publishing this?


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